“The silicone chip inside her head gets switched to overload”
Sir Bob Geldof was right about Mondays. I don’t know what it is about them that makes me cringe so much. Maybe it’s the symbolic start of a new week and I’m reluctant to face the things it may bring my way? Perhaps it’s that I always have to work on Mondays and there’s always so many tasks, so little reward and so very little time to take a breath. It could be the conference calls that drone on with an overwhelming amount of information – so much so that it all just blurs into a mass of thunderclouds looming over my head.
This is the story of a Monday. A Monday starting just like any other Monday. I got up, got ready and went to work. In spite of work performance being rather awesome the previous week, it went unrecognized on the conference calls. I’ve grown accustomed to this. But in my mind, if it’s not a positive, it must be a negative. There is no in between.
I lost the end of my lip stud at work. There was no way I was ever going to find it. That was upsetting. I asked my “Wusband” (was husband) if he could get me another one on his way home from work since he visits the Tattoo/Piercing place frequently anyway. When he got home, I discovered that it was the wrong one. I’d also lost the stem at that point. The gauge was wrong as was the length of the stem. They were now uneven and creating anxiety for me. I need symmetry.
My boyfriend had invited me to a cocktail event that evening where I would meet another lady whom he’s fond of and enjoys spending time with. I wanted to meet her. I really did. I wanted to go because it made me feel good to be invited. I wanted to see them interact and support their relationship.
I’d previously posted on a facebook group page a desire to get a group together to go to Hippie Hollow with us. We really enjoy going and would like to also be a little more social while we do the things we enjoy. Then when I got home from work, it was shot down by the group’s admin because the event takes place at a “clothing optional” venue. There was nothing in the rules for that page definitively stating that clothing optional venues were taboo. So, another disappointment.
Then, Wusband is about to leave and grabs his suitcase. This was a cut and dry case of miscommunication. He had told me that he was only going to spend one day in San Antonio instead of two. Me, being me, took that to mean he was leaving in the morning, making it a simple day trip and would be back that night. But he was leaving now. He was leaving for an overnight and didn’t make any arrangements for the dog. I had planned on staying with my boyfriend for a few days. I had Tuesday and Wednesday off. I just wanted to relax. The notion of having to come back 2-3 times a day to take care of the dog on top of all of the other things that had overwhelmed me that day was more than I could stand.
I was a mess by 6pm. I was welling up with tears. I was already beginning to display irrational behaviors. I messaged my boyfriend to tell him I wouldn’t be going to the cocktail event. He was, as he always is, understanding. I became angry with Wusband for the miscommunication. I was out of control angry. All I wanted was for just one thing to go right. Just one! It wasn’t unreasonable for me to check in on the dog a few times a day. I was only going to be a ten minute drive from the apartment. None of the things that went wrong that day were insurmountable dilemmas. All together they were the perfect ingredient list for abject doom, unrecoverable disaster.
I tripled my pharmaceuticals and waited. Nothing was happening. All I could do was try to wait it out. The longer I spent in the apartment with no space that was free of clutter, the worse my mind became. The thoughts of checking out for good were more than tempting. The only place I felt remotely clutter free and slightly more calm was the bathroom. I lay on the bath mat and I cried. They weren’t little soft whimpery tears. They were angry and frustrated tears that fell heavily to my breasts and then to the floor. They were uncontrollable sobs. Pharmaceuticals were taking too long. The answer was sharp edges. I’d given up.
I took the “I really don’t care if this gets dirty” quilt from the living room and bundled up in it. I felt completely defeated. Nothing mattered to me at all besides the voice inside my head telling me I was useless. The inner voice became an audible voice, my voice telling myself I was a failure and that I really wanted this, I needed this. It was time to end this nightmare.
The blade was pretty dull. The first two cuts were the deepest. Following the veins, tracing over them like the sensual caress of someone who understands you and loves you anyway, I dug in hard. I stopped (again) and I saw the blood. I buried my face in my palms and let it flow. I cried at the frustration of not being able to follow through without a clear conscience. That guilt again. “Why can’t you just do it” were the angry words I yelled at myself , “you know this is what you’ve always wanted”. Over and over I’d repeat those words. As I repeated those words, I hacked away at my arms with the blade repeatedly for a full thirty minutes. I was a disaster. I just kept cutting and the anger continued to build.
James messaged me at around 10pm. He really wanted me to go and spend the night with him. I told him I was in no fit state to be driving. He offered to pick me up. I really didn’t want him to see me like this. I was happy just to lay there bleeding in my cocoon on the bathroom floor. I told him it was going to be a “red blanket night” which is code for “I’m bleeding and I don’t want to mess up your sheets”. He asked me if I was okay. I didn’t really know what to tell him other than to expect the worst and be pleasantly surprised when it’s “not as bad as you think it is”.
By now the pharmaceuticals had kicked in. I tried to stand up but everything was a blur and I couldn’t keep my balance. I had to pack if I was going to spend the night. I stumbled around trying to make sure I had everything I needed. I fell repeatedly and picked myself up as the floor seemed to move under my knees. James arrived and surveyed the damage. I’d already cleaned off as much of the blood as I could and I was still in my quilt cocoon. I couldn’t see very clearly. The floor looked much closer to my face than usual. There was a spinning sensation that I was aware enough to note as being cliche while slightly intoxicating. Even in that state I did my best to remain as stoic as possible, gathering my things (albeit clumsily) and not wanting to accept help from the one person who shows me more love and acceptance than anyone else ever has. I wanted to die. I really didn’t want to be spared this time, or any other. But I spared myself the guilt of leaving. I spared others the grief and the effort it would take to dispose of my body and my memory. I cried myself to sleep wrapped tightly in his arms while mine continued to bleed intermittently. I awoke to the realization of needing long sleeves to cover the damage for the next month of summer in Texas. I awoke knowing that someone else was going to come home to an empty apartment and a bloodied quilt cocoon.
The cycle of guilt will never stop. It only ends when we run out of oxygen.