Broken Windows and Drowning in the Pond of Doom (Trigger Warning)

I live in a haunted house, which is a bit weird as I also live in a one bedroom apartment. Yet this house will always be where I live too. It is the scene of horrors untold, it is also a place where I buried things. The place I stood outside my house, while watching the windows shatter, near that pond with a terrifying icey Ophelia with my face also is a place where things are buried. I know this house. I lived there.

I didn’t realize this was the house on William’s street from Estancia until the windows broke and I could actually remember the house and go inside my mental domicile. The wallpaper is less faded in my head than in reality. Where had I been standing? In my secret place that everyone knew about. Between the gate and the lilacs, staring into the windows that I dreamed of, not that were real. This is the house my mother moved us into when marrying one of her now ex husbands, this is the house where my sister and I shared a space and I had to fight for her life. This is also the place where in a few short years outside my bedroom door, instead of a window I had a door that couldn’t be secured. Of course I went insane from lack of sleep… yet outside this door was a house sized lilac bush, which always bloomed, a butterfly bush, tulips, irises, and every pet we had. Some were killed by disease, neglect, cars, but most by Grandma.

It was in this garden I found myself trapped by my fears for Nymph. Yet it was through that door that I entered this house consciously for the first time since we left it. I had locked away memories and the feelings I hadn’t known how to handle. Mostly sad things, a few happy things, not one spot of anger was in this dusty haunted house. What haunts it so? The lost little girl adrift in this great big world trying to understand why it hurts so much. This house is haunted by my unshed tears, by the pain that I couldn’t take. It is a house built out of repressed memories.

I was wrong, this house is not terrifying, and once the window broke and i opened the door it turns out to be just a sad place. It is a place where hopes were born, dreams were killed, it is a place where I had thought I was the world’s largest failure because I couldn’t stop a literal giant of a man (6 feet 6 inches) from raping my mother. As that is a 15 year old’s duty. I knew he was going to hurt her and I obeyed her as she told me to leave the house. A part of me knows she thought to protect me too, but most of me wonders if she believed my warning or if this house of memories will hold more moments where I am like the mythical Cassandra, right but wronged. Never hear, only believed once people are laying dead.

In this house, I find memories of my Sensei, lost to me until I opened that damned door. I find silence too. There is no one else here. Most of the memories until I want to access them are still pictures scattered over the dusty and broken floor. There are elements of furniture, the bed where my step father killed my cats and stuffed them under it because I had told him I didn’t want to do something. The mirror that fell and broke cutting his femoral artery. My wishes are there engraved in his blood for his death.

In this house there are ghosts too, they are quiet. Most ghosts are. People see them rather than hear them. There she is, in the front window, her big eyes staring out into the endless night. She is waiting for her father to come and take her to visit. She feels utter terror. She would piss herself with fear if she had learned long ago that only meant she would be wet and beaten harder. She also feels a terrible gnawing sensation, she wants him to come because if he shows up this time, it means he loves her after all.

Then there are the ghosts of them, my family. I see my sister and her friends smoking pot, a memory I had. I see however from outside in the moments before I take a toke and end up unconscious and not breathing, and kicked into a corner left to die. I see my sister’s face. I see that she’s just afraid to feel. I see as I am passing out that she is as scared as her friends. I wonder now why instead of going for help she chose probable death for me.

I see that first time I was pushed down the stairs to the basement by a “ghost” too. Except that I can see the ghost. It’s my step father. He wanted me dead. He pushed my mother to choose between he and I, and she chose him. I wonder if she regrets it. I see in the memory as I start to fall, his anger when I am balanced by a cat. The other ghost in my memory. A cat that couldn’t be, because this is a cat I never remembered before. I see him kill her.

It is after that, that I had started trying to kill him. In this house are other rooms from other houses, other places exist outside. It turns out this is the landscape of my suppressed memories. They aren’t in the same plane as my other memories which are full color. These are black and white sepia dreams of silence, no music, just breathing if anything, a periodic gasp, it is all looks and body language. The small smile when someone made pain happen. It is all this overwhelming sadness.

This house is my loneliness growing up, and sometimes now. This house is my suicide. This house is my homicide. This house is my desire for patricide, matricide, and siblingcide. I am sure there is a better word for that. This house is when I became a wild child. This house is the first time I saw my sensei cry because he knew I was hurting. This house is my rapes. This house holds the key to everything I couldn’t quite understand.

This house holds no god. This house holds no future. I feared it, because I knew deep down inside it would bring me more sorrow. So I look into the pond again, and the face before me is no longer my own. It is that of the child I once was. I kneel over the cracks and whisper to her, to me, that it’s okay to thaw. You see, this is that stolen innocence, drowned by rage and hatred. This part of me under the ice is there because that was the only way to survive. It wasn’t about being an alien robot like I told myself, it was just about not hurting so much so that I could go on. It was about no one believing me that my mother is a serial monster marrying monster.

In that house are the times my brother raped me. My grandmother strangled me. In that house is terror, but terror is not scary for me. That seems sort of ironic. It is this child under glass, I am not so sure it is ice after all. She is sleeping beauty, snow white, she is a fairy tale. She lays there staring up at me but her eyes don’t see me. She is trapped in that moment, the moment lost for all time where I could have been. She is my potential. Potential is never lost, but often buried.

So as I stare at Ophelia in the pond, girl under glass, frozen in time I realize. All along I have been the fairy princess. All along I have been the warrior woman. I am like Jean D’Arc. I am a super hero. I am the perfect woman. I am the strong man. I am the bearded lady. I am the freak. I am all my dreams. I cannot leave this haunted house, yet I already did. A part of me is buried with all those things I never had and all those loves I lost.

I lay on the ice and stare at her. She doesn’t breathe or move. Perhaps Innocent Ophelia is dead after all. Her eyes open, her skin pale, there is no color in her face, and it looks to me as if she has actually resurfaced, this pond didn’t hold her before. It could be that though this ice won’t break by it cracking I reclaimed the part of myself that I needed to. I forgave the part of me that wasn’t able to protect my mother from her own actions. I forgave the part of me that was a child and therefore couldn’t stop Grandma from being used as a murderer of pets, as a punishment for loving.

I feel whole. I don’t feel shattered or broken, I don’t feel a stabbing emptiness when I think of memories or these things. I feel the hole I have fought to plug in a myriad of self destructions, millions of atomic bombs to mutate my self failing and destroying, is filled. Oh, I feel sorrow. I feel grief. I will feel anger, I will feel rage. I still feel joy. Oh yes, joy. Because I remember. These silent films, still images, photographs on the dusty wooden floor? If I look at them, I can touch the memory without the pain.

If I didn’t know better I would think my PTSD was cured and I could “move on” with life. Except that I cannot ever leave this haunted house. I can add a yard, I can add a memory but the house is my head. I have continued to build around it, and now I can go wherever I please. So I walk out again, I don’t want to live in memories and sorrow. I leave the princess of ice behind in her silent night.

I stop at the gate, I look behind me at the ghosts, I take a breath and I walk into the world of color. I walk into the thoughts of my future and dreams. It is here that I am writing a book, it is here that I am laughing with my friends, it is here that I am Batman. It is here that I get to kiss the girl, it is here that I get to be whoever I dream of. It is here that I am also living in the moment. Past is still past. That house will wait for me, I will likely find more hidden rooms too.

As far as Ophelia in the Ice? If she is living, she is me and I am seeing a reflection. If she is dead, I am not, and I am a second person. If she is waiting to be set free it is not her time yet. I am not burying Nymph in that grave yard of pets either, I am merely letting her memories roam. Rose is there too, in these parts of me that are alive.

Someday perhaps I will be able to let that house be in color too but I am not sure I want it to be. It is the house that sorrow built, each board and nail created to survive being disallowed pain. Some of the things that will go into my PTSD book are part of this house. In fact, being told constantly to just move on, is a part of this house.

I see my mother with my adult mind telling my child self to just move on and I realize, she didn’t want me to hurt. She just hasn’t grasped the fact that no one ever just moves on. We may live, we may heal, but you cannot set the memories down and throw them away and be just fine. Instead you must let yourself heal. Moving on is suppression and repression. Healing is doing what you must to survive while preventing the gaping wounds of mind and body from being infected.

A second book that pulls at me is a children’s story. The story of a fairy princess who is also her own hero. She saves the prince, doesn’t slay the dragon but makes friends with it, and in general defies her parents’ ideas at every turn. In my imaginary future for this book there are print outs with different art, girls of each color and body type getting a book with their own image reflected by this heroine. That’s what I wanted. My Sensei gave it to me, though it was much easier to do since I am white, red hair, and beautiful by the standards of society. Still, this was before there were many strong female characters at all, and he found them for me.

I will say that there are rooms in color in that house, just very dusty. These rooms hold the memories of the people who didn’t let me get lost in the maze of conflicting demands made by the adults around me. These are the people who saw me for what I am, or at least a facet of that and guided me. The teachers who taught me things, instead of getting frustrated because I knew how to read and write and had already learned the things they should teach me.

Yet my favorite memories are not in that house. They are memories I have been making in the last year. Some even overlap recent horrors. Yes, I am sad and i feel the emotional pain of even having had a giant house I couldn’t see was there. I feel pain. Yet completed. I know there are missing things, my literal thought as I opened the door was, “Oh, someone stole all the furniture” which tells me there is more coming. Yet I am strong, after all I am the conglomiration of my childhood imaginings, I am a warrior princess alien witch zombie wizard ship who sang sword carrying dragon charmer sex goddess battle master bad ass. So I will wait, I will work on healing old wounds that I did not see before, and I will try to repair the house of Memories.

I will also lay flowers for Ophelia everyday, she may not be what I think she is now, but at least I see that a part of me is a frozen child. It is terrible to be that child, there are flickers of memory. Likely escapees when the ice cracked. I am a damsel in constant distress, yet I save myself. That is the lesson of this house. I have always been alone, yet I have never been alone. I am dichotomy woman, though somehow I doubt that would work as a super hero name. I think I will try sleeping a bit more now, all the word steam has escaped and I feel worn out suddenly. Trying to hold all this back in my mind for so long is exhausting.

There is something odd about this house though, I found no glass on the floor and my mental constructs are always complete with such details, which means that there were never any windows to begin with. It was all in my head. Yes, that’s a joke but it is also truth. The barriers that kept these memories back weren’t something as tangible as all that, just as the memories aren’t as solid as they feel. I can see them, hear them, smell them, and touch them as I described but the sword on the wall won’t cut my hand. It still hurts. So I am reminded by the lack of shards on the floor, to forgive myself and to be gentle with myself. It is natural to forget things that will make it impossible to act for survival. This is how society itself works. You discard information constantly in order to either preserve opinion, hence people who believe things that shock you with their stupidity or they form ideas that are as shocking as what others believe and seem brilliant but unfathomable. Yet it’s the same idea. I am just glad my brain didn’t stab itself, that would’ve given me a real headache.

Catnip: My Readers

In my head the title of this post has all sorts of cool robot sounds and lights, it’s half transformer and half comment terminator. Well respondinator. I am still sad, I am still grieving, but I am functional by my normal standard again. I also am well aware I cannot go back and respond to the individual comments of support right now. I know that no one expects me to either, though I try to reply to every comment posted on this blog either publicly or privately. I believe you took the time to write me I should respect that. There are just so many.

I read each one. Each one made me feel loved, supported, and sometimes when I wanted to give up I came and read more of the comments, over and over. Each comment is valuable to me. Each comment is treasured. Every moment when I questioned how much more I could take, there was someone there supporting me. So I could keep going. i could make good choices, I could handle the stress because if I needed to cry, I could either email some of you personally, most of you in fact, or I could write here and I would be supported.

In fact that is just what I did after I realized that I am not alone. I have people here in person and spread across the world who are friends, family, and even really awesome acquaintances that if I really need them will spring into action like emotional support super heroes.

You each are my heroes, you may not feel like it when you seek out words of grief, but groping in the darkness is all there is sometimes and just trying has helped me. I didn’t once get so low I felt suicidal. I didn’t once doubt that there would be another day of living or the value of such things. I didn’t once doubt that I could survive. I did doubt that I could survive without losing my sanity, but, sanity is over-rated anyway.

So this is my reply to each comment. Thank you for your support. I know that though there are only a few words when someone faces loss and they all look the same when you are the one who has to say them, they don’t look the same when being heard. When you really mean it, I know. EAch of you really meant it. In fact, knowing the real support was out there sheltered me from the false support of my enemies, frenemies (I try to avoid having them but some people just don’t let you), and cruel strangers who didn’t understand.

Thank you. I am truly honored to have such a network of fantastic people in my life. I am honored to give you the hard won award for being awesome on this blog. I won’t name names, because the record speaks for itself. (Eventually when there is a certificate for this I will email each of you a copy as well)

Something Cheery (Book Thing)

I woke up with a brain explosion of words, and then found after writing that piece, which is not published because I dun wanna, I felt up to laying out some potential book chapters. I also touched on some initial writing for the book and even some very bad titles. I don’t think I can title this book like I would others so I will likely never be as happy with PTSD the Book (hmm I kind of like that one) as some of my fantasy work titles. Ah well.

I also realized, because a lot of you my friends/readers/ awesome people I benefit from knowing kept suggesting I do this, you may want to see some of the ideas or may catch something I am missing since I literally am losing sleep here. I want to set up my outline by tomorrow and get started officially. Also, if you want to remain anonymous there are several ways to contact me, you may already have my email, you can comment below under a new account or anonymously and ask for non publishing on this blog, there is a contact form (that is a link, cliiiick it) that sends things straight to my email, and or you may be on my facebook account. That account only lets existing friends message me so you would know who you are.

Finally before I copy and paste some of this brain goop into my blog, there is overlap on the chapters, not a one of these is the formal title, and if you can’t think of more that’s probably a good thing.
These are the proposed chapters/segments of my book on PTSD:

Anatomy of a Flashback, PTSD
Who Has PTSD?
Coping skills, adaptations, facing the world (writing, drawing, screaming at the sky)
I don’t have PTSD, how do I understand?
Someone around you is having a flashback, what do you do?
when do you tell someone?
Triggers
Glossary of Definitions
Potential treatments- Special section on EMDR
Disability and PTSD
PTSD and Autism
What is PTSD
Can I hurt someone I love during a flashback?
Am I responsible for my actions during a flashback?
Will it ever go away/ Will the pain ever stop?
Why isn’t there a one size fits all treatment?
Preface – who I am and why I am writing this book as well as it’s intended use (of being awesomely educational)
Support Groups, Therapy, and Healing- connect with potential treatments
How do you know if you have PTSD? (symptoms, etc)
Why I Can’t Just “Get Over it”, Move beyond the past, or “drop it”
What causes PTSD
Such and Such Trauma isn’t bad enough for PTSD
My trauma is bigger than yours
There is No compare and contrasting trauma
How do I avoid getting PTSD
Only Soldiers get PTSD Right? (No)
Who are the “faces” of PTSD
Can a service animal help?
Dealing with Other People who also have PTSD
Suicide
Resources beyond this book
Grief and Mourning with PTSD

These are the Titles, I like a working title and that’s why I did this. Otherwise I end up with ten million untitled documents on my hands.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
An Owner’s Manual for PTSD
Mapping Trauma: A Map For Surviving Life With someone who has ptsd
When There Is No Moving On:
PTSD Sucks
Hey Look, It’s Another Self Help Book!

So have at it!

Sleep Actions

Somatization is something I dislike, I prefer my subconscious to just tell my conscious what’s wrong. Usually this is how my brain works, something is bothering me, I think on it. Then I can fix it. I however sometimes reach one of those moments of such overwhelming crap in life when I cannot filter it fast enough to fix it and miss something vital. This leads to things like sleep walking, which I am not sure how I manage but I do. Then there are other things once I am upright and walking like a drunken zombie.

I had milk, you see. We had just gotten a half a gallon of milk for baking, I had just enough milk left over for pizza or bread after Ny’s death. That night I went to bed, looking at the cereal a moment and decided I would wait till tomorrow to eat the cereal. My craving wasn’t there in the morning and I didn’t note that I had eaten about a pound of cereal (I had two, now I have one) and the milk. I had dreamed about how delicious it was, the coolness of the milk in my throat. I even put back the empty jug.

When this was discovered yesterday, not the day of the occurance no I was alone that day to grieve and so it was missed that I had been up and about, I had been hurting more and I also had a horrible stomach ache. For obvious reasons. That’s a lot more food than I usually eat. I worried over this for a bit but mostly was amused by it. M my dear friend turned out to hold the key, it was in his question of “Why didn’t you get a stomach ache?” When I replied I did, but I wrote it off as grief it all snapped into place, because the day that Nymph was laid to rest overlaps the first anniversary of my not dying at the hands of Him.

That day when he was ousted from that hell hole he had built, his nest of putrid starvation overlapped the day that I made the choice that I thought would crush my soul. I missed PTSD triggers, and I didn’t eat enough that day because I don’t really eat when sad. So my body thought it was a year ago, my physical memories took over. The PTSD for starvation never stops, food itself is a trigger, being hungry is a trigger, and constant food cravings as well as having dealt with Bulimia Nervosa means I can’t always win. I guess I should say I am dealing with Bulimia Nervosa though lately my body image has been very good and it hasn’t been a challenge to eat for psychological reasons, financial reasons, or cooking reasons. Chewing reasons are another story but my jaw is in process.

M had been about to go to bed but he let me have the moment of flashbabbles where my brain essentially explodes and it all makes sense, except when it fails to make sense of course. Indeed, he couldn’t keep up but neither can I, I just ride the wave of thought. There is no stopping it, and it can be physically painful. The revelations though unpleasant were a relief. I was worried I might do it again, but now I know how to stop this, and I will admit I did this a year ago too. When I had the abusive carer before I was with the good agency.

I also have slept done stuff before when I tried Ambien, which was the first time. I don’t know why I kept it up but then again I am the child who used to sing opera arias in her sleep so my deep sleep has always been a bit off. I also don’t get to the point of sleeping that deeply unless I have exhausted all other options physically.

I know these paragraphs are short, I am thinking in star bursts still. I can’t stop it, and I stopped trying a long time ago, but usually the transitions are smoother. My haunted house, I have identified the building I think. Though I can’t pull up an actual memory of the house in Estancia where my family lived and I grew through the most painful years of puberty, At the very least the haunted house’s contents are mostly inventoried. It seems I locked away mostly good memories, though I was afraid of them because I didn’t have them. It’s small things, big things, and a huge number of sad things. All of them are beautiful to me, these antiques and artifacts of my life. I have fewer black holes in my memory. Also though my brain doesn’t have a time line but instead file folders of similar things, such as a door connecting them all etc, I can sense more memories there. This house needed it’s windows broken, it was suffocating not knowing some of this.

Things and people I forgot, the creation of the pet cemetary outside of my bedroom when we lost enough pets to make rows of graves in such a short time. Three years. 1o graves or more. All the flowers planted. The secret space in the trees. All the animals that I knew and kept hidden. All the times that Goldie would wake me, Goldie the yellow lab that was my first service animal even if no one knew about it. The way I felt when she committed suicide (someday I may write about that). This house is haunted by the ghosts of feelings never felt. My fear of this house was based on the fear of feeling, something that I battle daily.

So as I look at my black eye, it’s not noticable at all, and realize I must have done this while sleep walking I laugh at the image in my head and I find myself a bit worried that I was so overwhelmed with all the things I deal with day in day out that I forgot to celebrate survival. I am also relieved.

My actions in my sleep have reminded me that it’s okay to move on, it’s okay even if you don’t feel healed to risk the risks. It’s okay to trust M the Carer, M the friend, and myself. The Three Ms? Muskateers perhaps? Both M the Carer and M my friend have let me be a bit quixotic in my quest for living and my style of life. Both protect me and care for me, and neither one makes it feel like work. If I go for a jog in my sleep though I might get arrested. I sleep nude.

Catnip: Aztec Animal Clinic

Aztec Animal Clinic is located at 4340 Coal SE, Albuquerque NM 87108

Their Phone Number is : 505-265-4939

No one ever wants to need a veterinary hospital for their animals, and yet this is the best one I have ever been in. In previous places I had faced discrimination based on my disability, financial recriminations for being a poor person and daring to have an animal companion, and just a general process of humans being devalued. Needless to say my writing this should indicate none of that happened here.

At the Aztec Clinic my cat and I were valued equally, and highly. My financial limitations were respected, and every single doctor I dealt with made me feel safe and I had no hesitation on trusting them. I worked mostly with Benoit Bouchet, but several of their doctors were helpful in dealing with Nymph’s critical illness.

From my first phone call when dealing with their receptionists and asking about pricing on through my most recent visit, not my last by any means, there was no problem with my need to keep in mind my wallet. There were suggestions made on how I could help make ends meet and other hospitals were mentioned as places I might try. Aztec turned out to be the least costly and the best equipped for my veterinary needs.

My first visit we met the founder of the clinic, Dr. Truesdell, she was warm, understanding, and I didn’t feel like there was any grating despite my Autism always being a factor in conversation. Especially during times of stress. In fact, I appreciated how up front everyone was with me, each doctor asked me if they needed to sugar coat things, though they phrased that far better than I did. I was given the communication I needed. I was unaware she had founded the hospital at the time, or I would have had more faith on my next visit where we met Dr.Bouchet. He continued this trend, and each of the techs that I worked with, there were so many and I cannot recall all of their names, each one was the epitome of professional without professionalism being used to distance them from their clients.

Wait, there’s more. The receptionists, I worked mostly with Hope, 9/10 calls Hope answered and that is why she gets mentioned. She was great with me on the phone, and I will be honest, the phone is where I sound like I am a rabid badger. She was great in person. She was great even when I wasn’t sure how to answer a question. The amount of patience and actual care these people have just knocks my socks off. It was at a point where I was actually disappointed when Hope didn’t answer the first time, until my discovery that each of her colleagues has the same skills.

I wish I could go into detail with my experience here, but as I did on other pages of this blog and that writing is very sad, I want to try and keep this light hearted. This Catnip Award is the most well deserved so far, out of a tradition of only the best meeting my standards.

As always this means the ADA must be met, and then surpassed. The only flaw is their front door, but as the staff will help you, other clients will help you and I do believe the door was light enough, though M the Carer is the person who handled it the most often, it isn’t an object. The rooms, even their smaller rooms, are large enough for me and my chair, as well as other people. Their wheelchair friendly room is huge! In fact, I could navigate the space easily. There are enough places to sit where I wasn’t exposed to dog without my say so, which is incredible to me.

Even the lighting and decorations are soothing, this place was built to echo the chambers of your heart, a place of love.

Frankly even if they are no longer the cheapest vet, they are my vet. If you want a veterinary experience full of love that helps you and your pet to heal? Go to the Aztec Animal Clinic!

For more, please visit their website. http://www.aztecanimalclinic.com/

Paw Steps In the Stars (Trigger Warning)

Nymph left us today, and the experience is one that I didn’t know how I would feel. Every other loss in my life of such a companion as she was during a time when I had no control in my life even over my own food, I was a child as well not a woman and those caused so much pain as the experience was full of suffering, deceit, and often the death of the animal was a punishment against me. My dear friend Nymph’s last moment was perfect. There is no other word I can use. There is nothing I would chance, except her having been ill at all and as it was, she had a very good life.

The veterinary center that I go to is amazing, the set up protects the humans and the animals, it was a guided journey in absolute kindness. Furthermore I am aware that the staff became attatched to Nymph, her illness effected so many people, not just me. I didn’t have to be alone, M the Carer was with me. I gave her the option of waiting outside during the process but she did not do so.

They set us up in a quiet room, the lights were dimmed which was nice for both Ny and myself. Sprite doesn’t like the darkness but that’s alright. Sprite climbed into the bed they had set up for Nymph and laid down, which I think made it far easier for Nymph to do the same. Ny was curious and wanted to poke around the room. Sprite was not, for the first time in a new place. Instead she and Nymph held one another. It was beautiful. We were there settling in for a good half an hour, this gives the humans and the animals enough time to relax. There is enough time to change your mind if you want, and nothing happens until you, the pet friend are ready.

Sprite and Nymph both met a few nurses, and Sprite for once let people in public pet her without any balking, she just made sure that Nymph was okay with everything. We played music, I set up a play list on my MP3 player and brought speakers. The playlist is the songs that I like, Sprite likes, and the ones that Nymph responded to most favorably. I felt a bit unsure about playing her favorite song at first, during the process but it was fine with everyone. Though Rob Zombie isn’t excactly what was expected I am sure.

I went with her favorite song because for some reason the Devil’s Rejects makes her dance, run, AND play. She had been fighting the Nurse a bit, she didn’t want them to touch her. So I hit play and she put her head on Sprite. I put my hand on her after they gave her the medication, and the first thing that happened was her pain went away. She was awake and alive at that point and I felt her being her again.

Pain changes how your body feels, from the texture of your fur on to the way you hold yourself. Nymph hadn’t felt like her at all for days. This is how I judged her pain, besides asking her. She felt soft, warm, and she purred. Then she was gone. I felt her go but I also felt Sprite’s awareness as I was touching her too. She was sad immediately, and pressed up into me, pleading for a bit. After the doctor and nurse confirmed that everything had gone as it should they laid Nymph back with Sprite and I cried. M the Carer hugged me, which was what I needed at the time. That need surprised me but she was good about my redirecting where she touched me, because I knew she didn’t want to hurt me and she confirmed that.

We sat with Nymph for almost an hour after, I was okay to leave before Sprite, but Sprite literally would not let go. So I let her process and be sad. I knew she was ready once she was out of the bed, even though as soon as I reached for her she jumped back in. We played most of the playlist I set up, and Sprite for a time had her head on the speaker. She is even now very sad. She was alarmed we didn’t bring the body with us, but she does know Nymph isn’t going anywhere else.

My vet’s office will be mailing me a cast of Ny’s paw. I have one of Sprite’s and I will reframe them together. Likely I can use the same frame, since neither cat is giant. I came home, I talked with a few people about some unsavory things but that is life, they were careful with me too and made sure to ask if I was up for the conversation. As it is about Murder, I had to be. If I put that off it would hurt me more.

Then I talked with friends. I realized I was fighting my natural resting patterns and let myself go lay down. It started to rain immediately, which explained to me why I hurt so much bodily. Mentally I feel the same peace that hit me when Nymph felt like Nymph. There was no wrong in this decision, just right. I had the right facility, the right doctors, and the right day and time. Any longer and Nymph would’ve been tortured. Any shorter and she would’ve not been in enough pain and it would have cost her days that she could enjoy. I never expected peace.

I expected guilt, anger, sorrow, doubt, but peace was there.

It was in my rest that the glass shattered in that empty house and the ice cracked further. In that house are my regrets, losses and it is a house on a foundation of pain. The entire house collapsed as I let myself remember every moment I had with Nymph. Her first steps in my house as Sprite greeted her with a big lick and her last morning here with me. Her delight when she realized Catnip is VERY good, and her frustration that Sprite wouldn’t let her pee at the same time. I don’t think we had any bad moments, though our worst was indeed the moment she became sick and I knew I had to take her in. Yet even in this there are so many good memories.

This morning I woke up, and before I could even shift I realized I had a chest full of cat. This left me with a bit of a pain in my back but that’s fine for Nymph.Sprite rarely stays on my chest but after my walk yesterday predominantly stayed with Nymph. She even let her pee at the same time. She dislikes sharing her litterbox, yet it was what Nymph needed. Yesterday was horrible for her, Nymph hurt so much that all she could do was lay with Sprite. Today she was too weak to do much, though she made a valiant effort at hiding from us when she heard me say, “Okay lets get the cats ready to go to the vet.” She went under the bed, not as far as before as we blocked that off but enough that I couldn’t get her, then she went to try and get under the shelf. That was hard to see as her belly was so full of fluid that she couldn’t fit where she should’ve.

Even then she purred for me. She was only wanting to avoid the other people with their poking and their prodding. That was at a minimum too, and that she purred in her last breath is something I am grateful for.

During our settling in time, as I watched Nymph I told her what I think Kitty Heaven is. It is a place where I would love to be myself frankly, not the death part but who doesn’t want rivers of fresh milk full of fat fish that jump into your paws, plump mice that run through rows of catnip, growing everywhere, and where cats are made out of stars?

The storm has concluded it’s fury as I write this, and this is the second time that a storm has mirrored my grief. I will still be sad when I wake up and she isn’t there. I will be sad when she doesn’t poke my feet trying to figure out how I can be so big. I will be sad when I think of the things she loved to do. I will not be sad when I think of the pain she did not feel. I will be happy as I think of her as a cat made of stars, she sparkled even in life and I would expect that she could be no other way in death.

Explosions (Trigger warning)

For some reason my chest feels like it is exploding. This is a feeling related wholly to emotions, not a physical one though they feel similar. There is a tightness there, and I feel as if there is a metal coil compressing me into a corner and I must run. I have some unspeakable need, it is unspeakable because I have never actually felt this need before. I have no clue what it is. I think it may be a hug, but I don’t know. It may be the need to cry, but I don’t think so because I am doing that as I write this.

This sensation is so very strange to me. I know what brought it on, and it may just be two forms of overload in one, emotional overload which is in the realm of PTSD and then sensory overload with a bit of an overlap. You see I feel a hint of this every time I find out a child has been violated in any way, and I already dealt with this today. I wrote a submission for a survivor’s anthology of letters. This means I laid open my heart and looked at the core for the words, and that always shakes me. On top of that in the morning Nymph will be going to the vet and will not be returning. Sprite is very upset, I am very upset and I would not have managed this weekend alone. M the Carer did more than her job.

I tried watching a movie, but it made this vice worse. I am new to knowing and understanding that I am different and I find it a struggle to know that each time I do this, writing this sort of thing publically, I am challenging conceptions. I find it painful, because I don’t understand and that knowledge adds this time to that sensation. I am proud that I am able to write and pour my heart into this world, so that the love I feel can be given to others in need of that.

I also hate that my words touch others who are wounded. Why? I don’t want them to be hurting in the first place! I am rocking as i sit, I don’t rock often, but I am stimming because if I stop then I will burst more.

Maybe this is empathy for how Nymph is feeling? The crushing fluids in her body that are suffocating her, rotting her? I feel guilt too because I went out today. I went for a walk as she is giving off this horrible smell that I know is very bad. Sprite was given the chance to come with me and almost did but went and laid down with Nymph with such resignation. She is hurting too.

A part of me thinks nothing will fix this sensation but time.

A part of me loathes my visual thinking.

YOu see whenever I talk about Nymph being given release from her intractable pain, which the medications no longer are helping with and relieving her of a torture that could go on for weeks I see her laying in the vet’s office, I see them giving her the medications and I see her dying. I can see it. OVer and over again.

I also cannot stop this. When I think of just Nymph I see her first time getting on my bed by herself, as she jumped up and down. I see her dancing to music, making me laugh as she does so. I see her surprise when Sprite pounces her and rolls her over, then bathes her head to toe. That is Nymph in my head. Euthanasia gives a more horrible image and this is where the trigger warning on this post started. I see the dog I beat to death because I had to protect my sister, I see the bloodied remains of the cats and dogs my father ran down out of malicious hatred for all life, and I see myself in the middle of a pool of blood, staring at my aching hands, which always ache when I am sad, and wondering why I wasn’t allowed to go to that bright light space, but had to keep on living even though I hurt. Even though my neck was broken. I see it all at once.

It makes me queasy.

The music in my head is easier. I am trying to set up my MP3 player with music that Nymph likes for tomorrow. I am not sure what her last sounds on earth should be. She likes Heavy Metal, Gothic Metal, but mostly me singing but I think I may cry too hard for that. Do I take a sound recording of myself? I am very tempted by a few songs I know she adores but they aren’t socially acceptable for this sort of thing, and may be a bit too macabre and I don’t want to damage my own needs by giving her something that will help.

Do I include the Rob Zombie with the Celtic Woman? I don’t know.

Maybe what I need are answers. I did sleep earlier, the rain that fell forced me to do so.

Oh yeah on top of this my toilet has sprung a leak. SO my bathroom floor is wet and of course Manager Fail decided to Fail like the label given. Thankfully he’s going going, and almost gone.

I was surprised by his kindness when Ifinally got him to come and see what we needed (new seal) when I told him why he could not touch the cats. He’s a nice man but incompetent with  his job. He has cats, new borns and none of his cats are over the age of FIP’s supposed immunity. He was horrified and told me if I need anything to ask. I know better but he meant it in that very moment.

I did get my brain to stop going over the things that I have to replace, that was sending me into panic attacks.

So what do I need?

I have no freaking idea.

Horror in the Heart (Trigger Warning)

I woke up this morning and sat watching Nymph for a half an hour. At first I had begun to doubt my choice for Euthanasia tomorrow, then I saw it in her eyes, There was no light, just this darkness. The only moments she looked like her usual self were my own fears speaking. The fears are silent now. Those heady doubts that feel like a punch in my gut will return but not for a long time. I went to sleep feeling peace in knowing that I will do the right thing, and that feeling is here today. Every other time I have had to help someone pass on, I have felt none of this. I mean my pets, I don’t mean when I sat and spoke to strangers who were dying or sang to children in the ER as their parents never showed. Those times make me very sad but no, not the same.
It is different because as a pet owner I have always held her life or death in my hands. She knows it to a degree, as do I. I think that is why she trusts me. She knows that this choice is one of the last resort. After seeing her eyes change like in a horror movie I got up, went to the bathroom and as I started the morning feeding routine for the cats and the other things one does in the bathroom first thing in the morning, she sat at my feet and shook, crying silently against me. In agony.
She is due for a pain medication dose in half an hour. M the Carer will be doing that, but, I am worried that it won’t be enough. I understand why people use animals in place of children in their lives. That was never my intention but the feeling is the same. I love Nymph and Sprite so deeply that this wound feels like the same sort of wounds that my baby sister’s illnesses as a child gave me. Each time she nearly died, it stopped a part of my heart.
Looking at Nymph now is no longer a pleasurable exploration of her potentials, but is instead a horrible process as I see the bodily changes. I am honored to know that I acted far sooner than most humans in the face of this disease. Many don’t find out their cat is sick until their belly is swollen from the fluid that FIP forces them to excrete internally. Not I, I felt that heat in her and I felt her stomach and I actually presumed it was very bad.
Not being able to hear her as well today also makes my mind make leaps, and I know some of them are accurate. She is sitting and staring at me. Her eyes are so dark, I understand stories of possession to a degree because the pain has taken away what is Nymph. Nymph is buried beneath it. This listless cat that is quite sad and horribly angry, though not with me the anger is very present with in her, this is not the cat that I loved. It is that cat in pain.
This is the transformative moment that I mentioned I was waiting for, that if this happened I would be taking her in. I knew yesterday the odds were high she would get to this point first because Nymph has proven to be strong. I have learned another lesson from my little Ny, It is not always right to be strong. Sometimes being strong is more damaging than being weak. With weakness and strength there can be only deviation depending on the circumstances. No one is strong. No one is weak. We all simply live with in a moment that defines what we do and how we act defines the perception given our actions.
I say this because I do not ever feel strong, when others see me as such. I most often feel vulnerable, in my mind I see images that Frida Kahlo would love to paint. In my mind I know just how many hard edges I have, and I know now why I cannot see the strength until either after or never. Strength is a perception that others overlay onto a moment to understand it. This does not mean they are wrong, it merely means what I need to understand something is not strength. This may be because I have always been willful, though I am not sure. I do know I am strong it is merely something I don’t see in most people or moments unless it is detrimental.
Another analogy to make this a bit clearer, Roses are fragile. Roses are strong. If a frost comes the roses blooming in my yard will die, most assuredly. In their fragile beauty the petals will fall from the bush, decorating the ground with a visible loss. However, what is not seen is the strength, deep with in the earth the plant still feeds and grows, and soon more roses will bloom, and the cycle starts again. Living on even when there is a loss is what makes the Rose bush strong.
For humans strength comes in a variety of ways, most often physical strength is prized, at least from my perspective of not having any. I know mental strength is as well. The strength I see in Nymph, this fight to live when that is impossible, this is the wrong kind of strength. I see her get stronger around the time of her medications, food, and when she nearly loses it. She fights so hard.
So the horror in my heart is knowing that this valiant being cannot win. She wants to live. She wants to be with me. She wants to be with Sprite. I know that she will not stop fighting for weeks now. She already has fought for a lot longer than the average cat with FIP, and still could degenerate further. The horror in my heart is there, because I love her.
So I will be strong, I will be weak. I will cry. I will wish she had seen snow. I will joy in that she has loved and I will try to not doubt myself and the pain in her eyes will haunt me for my life time.

Euthanasia (Trigger Warning)

I am not pro Euthanasia. I think it should be illegal for humans and pets to be discarded willy nilly. Euthanasia however has a special place when it comes to the suffering of animals, and if humans ever value minorities and the disabled, humans. Yes, I am well aware that cats and dogs are put to sleep for being unwanted and unloved, and that is a part of this conversation I am having with myself. You see, today it became clear to me that if Nymph is here Monday with her dull eyes, her silent meows because she just can’t take the pain caused by making a real meow and if she no longer purrs at all, I will take her in. We will reassess Wednesday if she is still here Monday and is okay enough that this is in her best interest.

Even considering this step is not in MY best interest. I realize part of what is in the house and what is under that ice, from my discussion with myself about fragility. Under the ice is the feelings I locked away after killing my dog, to protect my sister. In as little detail as possible for my sake, it was not humane but he had taken a three year old girl by the throat and so I did what I had to do. I can go into more detail but why? Even thinking of that hurts me. Especially the reasoning and the fact that we had raised this dog from a puppy, and I still cannot fathom why he attacked my sister.

In the house are the feelings related to every lost pet, every lost self, every moment of agony that I cannot quite accept was real. All the things I talk about, and there are more things that I am not sure really happened on the surface but I know deep down these “things never happen here” happened to me. More evidence that the crimes we westerners associate with third world countries happen here, and to the supposed preferred female archetype too.

I think a bit of my issue here is the location of my vet’s office. The first time we went in I had a serious flashback, I could still talk and was aware it wasn’t real but I spent most of the time seeing two worlds, and I think I may have “stumbled across” the location of the murder my father comitted. I am not able to explore that memory fully, it’s still distorted and my brain won’t process it when I try. The only way to force it is dangerous for me, so I won’t do it. I already know EMDR and also just going to the place where I was triggered? Very bad.

Still, back to the choice at hand. Nymph is dying a horrible and painful death. I decided that when the pain is there and she has no her left, if her body won’t stop going I will stop it. This time it will not be in my backyard. This time it won’t be an animal lost to a toddler left alone in a swimming pool that thought the kitten should swim, this time it won’t be an animal spreading disease because he was dumped instead of taken to the vet, though loving people did treat his expensive illnesses and then he left and returned to me like a ghost, this time I don’t have to watch her suffer for months on end because I and my cat don’t merit medical treatment. This time, she still ends up dying. The screaming in the house is me, screaming because how can I watch someone I love die? Agian? Humans, animals, even flowers before I understood them as others do, at least enough that seeing them cut doesn’t hurt me but it still can make me sad (though I worked as a florist so flower genocide haunts me at times) This is what is in the house.

Under the ice is my self hatred. I don’t talk about that very often because I don’t actually have a lot of self hatred and it tends to be fleeting. I am not a bad person despite being forced to do things that hurt my soul. There are sounds I never will forget, there are screams of pain mine and theirs that I can’t escape, so I put them away under ice and the house. There is no one or the other and that is a bit scary but the cracks are memoriy itself. They are a different form of rememberance, perhaps more violent or more gentle than the flashes that twist me into knots, I don’t know.

For Nymph this choice came down to a single thought, do I want her to stay for me? No, I want her to just die so she stops hurting. I want her to go, even though that pains me to want, because I love her. That’s when I knew that if she needs help letting go, then yes I can choose death over more painful death. Sometimes cats who are sick hold on to a point where no medication eases their pain, we’re on the edge of that already. I lived two years without pain medication and suffered. I won’t let her go days or weeks that way. I love her.

The second thought on this was, is it wrong? I thought I would say yes to myself, but the answer, though complex and a struggle to get out of my head? No, it is not wrong to let her go. It is wrong to make her suffer because I am afraid of feeling guilty. There is no way for me to escape the guilt at this time. No matter which choice I make, I will feel guilt.

Moments of guilt, is this soon enough, did I wait too long? What if I act too quickly? What if Sprite never forgives me? What if Nymph haunts me? what if? What if? I had to stop that sort of thinking and put it into terms for myself. If I were in a world where there wasn’t any morphine, an I couldn’t take pain medications would I have continued to let myself live? No. Ny doesn’t have as many options as I do, so I will help her. There is no cure for this disease, and Sprite, her share in this is also leading to yes.

I never wanted to have to make this choice again, but at least this time it wasn’t the choice of the giant dog vs my sister. It wasn’t life or death, just death and death.

Sprite is trying to keep Nymph happy. Yet she has hidden from her a lot more today. Sprite is crying for her. She woke me from my nap because Nymph was making that silent scream face, Sprite asked me to help her and all I could do was hold them both. Nymph has yet to leave Sprite’s side for the last day except for when Sprite goes somewhere Ny no longer can follow.

The purring thing is also misleading, which is why I am worried I may miss the cue, but I speak cat far more fluently than I do human, even typing this is harder for me than glancing at my cats and having an entire conversation. My self doubt is a part of grief and any time you choose death, even when it is one death over another, there is guilt. I feel guilty for Rose, because I feel her death though inevitable as she was alive (which I had to change from is to was) was preventable at this point in time. I feel the degradation she and I faced from the carer agency we shared, as well as the doctors we saw played a part and I am angry.

Nymph does not have that. I wish her vet was my doctor infact because he has treated us all with greater kindness and he hid nothing from me. He did ask me once if that was okay because he didn’t want to make it worse and I told him the truth, upfront hurts less than me trying to guess between the lines of discussion.

So back to Cat’s purring. Sorry this is so jumpy, my brain is not letting me flow as much because this is an active thought process not my more common secondary rehashing of ideas. I think the difference shows as those tend to be a bit more orderly. Screw order! Cats purr from pain, happiness, fear, and all sorts of emotions. Most often love and comfort. Cats purr to heal. The fact is, each purr feels different and when I touch Ny and she starts to purr, it is still love and comfort purr. Her pain purr is a ragged gaspy purr, it is a sad purr that doesn’t feel soothing. Still, those big golden eyes of hers are greying over, and I can smell her scent changing. That bothers me. Being super smell sensitive I liked her scent before. It was like ice cream. Sprite smells like sugar cookies.

The effect of her purr starting to change has not happened yet, which is how I know she will still be there in the morning. I sort of hope she and Sprite share my feet again, each one wrapped around them because that was a gentle way to wake up but I also keep waking Nymph when I cannot tell if she is alive. This happens a lot more each day. I have told her if she just wants to let go she should but I don’t think she can yet.

So Sprite is holding her. She has washed her every day, tucking her up against her side. She curls around her and Nymph wraps herself up closely and just closes her eyes and I know, if she no longer can rest that way I will do what is right, even if it is not what I want and in other situations I find this sort of thing abhorrent. This sort of pain and incurable disease, this sort of suffering is what Euthanasia was actually meant for. Is it murder? I honestly think in this case, especially since I can and WILL ask Nymph, as I have once already, no. Will it hurt and will I doubt that sense of no? Absolutely.

Some of the things Nymph has told me in the last few months we have shared:
1. You taste good, can I have milk on your hand again?
2. I want up! Can I get up too? I promise to not bite Sprite more?
3. Oh, it’s bouncy! (Twice, once for my stomach and once for my waterbed, she proceeded to jump up and down on both for the next hour)
4. Bug! Bug! I’ll get it! I can do it! Rawr! Aww… bug got… bug! (She then squished it under her paw, it was a spider.) Bug stopped moving.(She licked it, made a face) Bug is gross!
5. Soft, warm. I like this. (insert purring that out purred sprite as she stuck her head against my back and curled up next to me the firsttime) Okay I sleep here. (Sprite sleeps there, she wasn’t thrilled about that)
6. I love you.
7. Play? Here’s toy! Yeah!
8. I like hands. Yeah, put your hand on my head. See. I like this.
9. My tail is stuck again! Why doesn’t her tail get stuck?
10. I’m a big girl, just like Sprite.

Nymph has made me and Sprite very happy. That first moment when I met her, I was so surprised by her. I had begun to fear that I would never find a cat that was as cool, amazing, intelligent, or unique as Sprite. My two fae match their name sakes in ways. Nymph with her long thin legs, her adult size tail which is already longer than Sprite’s tail, and her big eyes and ears. She looks like she belongs in a fantasy novel to me, the cat companion to the heroine, her own stylized beauty perfect for such things. Of course Sprite was in the Golden Compass so her beauty with it’s delicate ethereal quality was already immortalized for all to see.

I still find myself imagining what Nymph would be like all grown up, and I regret knowing she wouldn’t ever be much larger than Sprite. Sprite is actually just a tiny bit bigger than Nymph, lengthwise. Ny was taller, and when they sat eating it was Ny’s tail that reached the second shelf down, that’s about a foot. Her tail stretches past her front paws and she has enough tail for two. Right now she has it wrapped all the way around her like a portable hug.

She doesn’t play today, because it hurts. Last night she hunted her last bug, and went for the string toy for a few moments, before the pain stopped her. She tried so hard to hide it but you cannot hide such things.

The part of this that is harder is when I cannot keep my tears on the inside, she still tries to make me happy. I know she knows she is dying. Sprite even told me so. When I asked her why she wasn’t sitting with Nymph, “I don’t want to see her die.” That was what she said. “It makes me sad. Make her better.”

I have come to a realization from this however, about heart break. Hearts do not break, they shatter. They are glass flowers that grow on the vines of our souls, and when we feel healed it is because it is a new spring time with in our minds and hearts. It is because we have regrown a part of us. That is why we are never the same, that is why at times we miss things and feel those shards of glass, they are there beneath the Heart Tree, evidence of the lives we have lived and the chapters that we have written. These shards can cut us but they also hold things of beauty. So though my heart has burst with sorrow, it held more joy than any heart I had before.

I am going to start looking for a new feline on my birthday. I don’t think I will want to. I however must take care of Sprite, and Sprite can handle a month of being alone before she starts to get depressed. I want to find a new companion by her birthday. I also know from experience with her that a month is how long she tends to openly mourn. Therefore, though I will never actually stop mourning, I will do what is best for Sprite.

I know I don’t stop mourning, I just don’t cry as much and remember the happy little moments like when Nymph decided the best place to sleep was in my miniature roses, and I woke up to find her coated in petals. Or when she then brought me a rose the next morning, having decided Roses are really great to pounce AND tasty. She took most of the actual roses, leaving the buds and laid them all around me. Sprite being allergic to roses had no reactions so she did not take part. When I can remember those moments and smile without tears, then I am once more living.

I haven’t managed to do that for Snowball, the kitten my brother drowned. Though as an adult I realize, A could’ve drowned as easily as he was without adult supervision. I am grateful he did not, and I know he has never forgiven his error. I think I have, I just don’t forgive my anger at him, he was three. My mother? Not forgiven for that. She should have been watching him.

I haven’t managed to do that for Sweet Thomas Feline, diagnosed with FIV, feline aids, he turned out to be misdiagnosed and was going to be euthanised. My step father dumped him on the mountain. Tom was found by a classmate, though with no color and this predating microchipping, she had no idea he was my best friend. In fact this classmate was kind to me about my horrible sadness. She was the first person to tell me it was okay to cry and to see that tears tend to mean bleeding for me. She wasn’t a friend but she wasn’t cruel. When Tom returned and I called the tag to find out who had had him, she and her parents allowed me to keep him. They didn’t ask for money but were glad that their cat who disappeared was my dead cat and that he loved someone so much he would walk for six months to return to them. Tom didn’t die with me, instead he chose to not move with me one last time, he was old and hurting and there was a lady, I thought she was ancient but likely not, she gave him a home indoors with REAL TUNA. I have yet to remember his face in the window the last time I saw him as he watched me walk away, the window was open, but he stayed inside and yet he was sad to see me go. He may still be alive, though I doubt that. With her his medical needs were taken care of and he was safe from cars, dogs, storms, and so on. In fact Tom became the father of several generations of cat in a town and is essentially their patriarch. Tom is why I believe in steralization. Someday I will tell you how I obtained this cat, who was a champion apple head blue point siamese. It was an adventure.

There are Philip and Lily, Minerva, Backlash, Fox Meowder (yes after the XFiles character Fox Mulder) and so many more. There were each of the kittens that didn’t make it, and there was Colores’ last litter, who died because their mother did too. She may have turned up in my biology class actually, on my dissection table. I did not dissect the cat that looked like my missing cat, I could not. I failed the class over it. I have no regrets. My biology teacher showed us pornography, home made, because that’s of course human reproduction. The school never ordered cats. My cat wasn;t the only one that looked like a missing pet.

Still, as an adult I have been able to protect my cats, I have been able to fulfill their needs. With Nymph I had to ask for help, and with Sprite once before too but I can do that. In fact if I had not learned to ask for help for them, I would not be here today because I learned to ask for me too. In a life of regrets about how my animals were treated because I could not care for them, there are no regrets about the treatment of my cats as an adult.

I also have seen another cat suffering with medications to keep him alive, feeding tubes, and I have had the horror of this cat asking me to kill him. “Just let me die”. I have seen the light lost in his eyes for almost two years now. This cat, is six pounds. His body was meant to be twenty pounds. I think of him when I see that same look of agony in Ny’s eyes. I regret being unable to save him from years of agony. Is it wrong to save Nymph weeks or months? Days? My heart answers, no, because that is love.

Another lesson in love that I am learning.

Lesson the First: Love is not pain, as I learned before.
Lesson the Second: Love means doing what is best for someone you love, even when you aren’t sure you can live with it later, because if this is truly an act of love then it is selfish to not meet the need no matter how sad it makes you. This is why people can break up and still love one another. This is why a mother can go hungry for her children. This is why sometimes you have to say no. It may make you unhappy to do so, but if it is what is right then do it out of love.

Of course that lesson isn’t learned yet and it is one which others claim in defense of horrific acts. In those cases that isn’t love. In this one, deciding that she should not have to writhe in agony and scream for weeks? That is an act of love. It is another piece of the happiness I have given her.

This picture was taken just as I finished this piece. Essay/Decision making process. Now you know how I decide even what to eat. Intensive mental exploration.

This picture is a symbol of love.

a small white kitten curled up with a larger silver and grey cat on brown carpeting. the kitten is a calico with orange and grey spots with a white under coat. Both cats are about the same size and make a spiral.

Hush my sweet, sleep so sweet, true is love and true are you.

Fragility

I try to never admit that there are parts of me that are fragile, to myself. To you? Sure. There are very few things that I don’t write about, and the few things that I do not write about are either things that could endanger my safety or things that scare me too much to think about. Fragility is the only one that fits into that last category, at least when I admit the full grasp of the depths of broken that go along with my upbringing. I do not know how to mourn. I feel like something cracked deep down inside, it feels like an old wound and it is just there.

I know a huge contributor is my tears, they burn me. Why would I want to cry if it could end with me having blisters and no skin? It is unpleasant and yet I do cry sometimes. I am crying now. I amtrying to not cry infront of Ny because I don’t want her to be sad. Sprite is doing the same, a sort of clownish over playfulness that turns off the minute Nymph curls up in the bathroom or in bed. I told her flat out when we got home and I have never seen Sprite look so sad except for twice. When I was sick and almost gave up on living a year ago, just before I found my current home and when she was electrocuted and was on the edge of dying. Both are very good reasons to be sad.

Sprite is the only reason I didn’t kill myself and instead called just one more number. I had held the knife to my wrist and she let out this sad meow. It was so quiet I almost didn’t hear it but she didn’t say no, she didn’t say please, she said love. Sprite loves Nymph. I love Nymph. I want to be strong for Sprite and I don’t know that I can.

I am emotionally fragile. I talk about the whys a lot but not the actual inability to handle emotions. This is PTSD not Autism. I know that my actual processes if they were normal would be different but with PTSD there aren’t processes for emotions. There is numb and then this internal scream that won’t stop once numb goes away. When the scream stops, the emotions like grief are not really gone but they are smaller and the other emotions hide them.

This is why my mother told me I was a monster for obeying my grandfather and not crying for him after he died. His last words to me were, “Always sing, it makes everyone happy even if they lie and say they hate it, and never cry for me. I want to die, because I hurt and there is nothing left for me to do in my life.” He had cancer, and he did die of natural causes. I wanted the doctors to die too, I was so angry and I was told all grieving is are tears in public when everyone else dresses like a Goth.

I know better now, but I don’t have any real tools. I almost lost my cool today because I cried in public. I couldn’t hold the tears back until alone time, partly because the vet was on the verge of tears. This says nothing about their professionalism and everything about how amazing my cat is. She had the entire office wrapped around her tailtip with in minutes of our first visit. In fact, I felt safe enough to cry there and that is my vet’s office, forever and ever. Until I move like I always have sworn I will at least. Eventually I am going to write about palliative care and animals, because animals and the disabled get a short end of the stick on medical care. The very fact that the first thing my vet said to me was, “Okay, lets talk about how we can make her comfortable,” instead of the usual FIP line of, “Well nothing to do now, let’s euthanise” shows the very real difference in care that these people have.

Nymph has days to live, and yet I will always love her. This also confuses me. It always has. The first cat I felt this strongly for died from FIP, I was not home and I have to say I don’t know if my mother lied to me because the cat was symptom free, and she didn’t tell me for years what killed him. I still think an abusive husband did it to punish me for talking to the cats like a “weirdo”. He didn’t seem to understand that this cat, a wild cat that came to us with his sister both of whom despite being my sibling’s pets officially only played with me was my friend not just a pet.

This sense of fragility, to describe it in my head the image is antique glass. A thin sheet of glass with the bubbles in it, it can warp the outside view slightly, making everything softer but it’s too thin and once it cracks you cannot repair it. It is in a house that has various repair, a good strong foundation but this glass is in every window, and every window is cracked and for some reason it cannot be repaired. IT just cracks further each time there is great pain in my heart. My heart is not the same as this glass, though it is similar. My heart has recovered from so much pain it is more like a statue that no one ever finishes, but it beats and moves. I think the glass house with the cracks is haunted too. It’s haunted by all the love I wasn’t allowed and all the feelings I had to put away. No one lives there, it’s an empty space that holds screaming. I don’t like this house. I don’t like fragility.

I know I cannot take endless amounts of pain, at least not more. Pain has been a life long companion. Pain is the big sister to my Depression and Rage. Those are the triad of emotions that I know best. I can handle pain. It is the sense of overwhelming sadness, or love, or hope that throw me off. Hope is the worst thing I have ever experienced. Yet I want more. I say I don’t but I do. It’s soft, like Sprite and Nymph and it purrs. Hope is a feline emotion. It’s that first moment when I wake up and I feel the heat of the cats against my back, it is when Sprite head butts my chest and climbs up to lay on my shoulder, or when she makes me laugh by playing Farmville by herself. Something I haven’t been able to let her do since my couch broke but we’re working on that because it makes her happy. It’s the best feeling besides love, which I often say I don’t want because it overwhelms me and it cracks that glass when who I love is lost. Rose cracked the glass. Nymph cracked the glass the moment I met her. I looked at her and I loved her and that terrified me.

What happens when this glass, which I know is related to my endurance, cracks all the way? I am very much afraid of that. I can hear it cracking. It isn’t the same as the ice that cracks under my feet in my head with this. I am surrounded by shattering. I don’t know if I can take more loss. I am now terrified and a part of me wants to run to my mother and grandmother and let them destroy me because I might regret this once I lose them. It is the self beneath the ice, which is the numbness come to think of it, that knows better. I am not drowned under the ice but there I am in that space which terrifies me mentally. It is a dark space but it is the space which I am most comfortable. It is my face under the ice which makes it scary. I am crying there. I can see my eyes, so blue through the ice. I can see my face. I am that pale in reality, but for some reason I fear the ice breaking. What is under the ice is where I put the anger that scares people, and me. My anger has always been demonized, and I can handle it but can I handle it if the ice and the windows are gone? A house with no mirrors made of glass that is shattering slowly and ice that is cracking.

It is a house built by a child long ago. It is a house with a memory I don’t want to come out. In reality that is what scares me the most about my fragility. It has always been there and I have shattered twice before. What comes out when I shatter? I never remember. Each time I have shattered I look at it is as if I have died and been reborn but this time maybe it is healing to break the windows? I cannot know until they break and I don’t like this feeling.

I dreamed of Rose, telling me she would take Nymph’s pain. I dreamed of this the night I woke up and Nymph was so cold, her fever was gone and she was finally resting well. I woke up and there it was. Hope. That was when the cracking started. I was so afraid to actually hope and this is why. I knew on Monday she wasn’t going to live but I wanted to be wrong. I am tired of knowing things. I am tired of having so much knowledge that I cannot help but be right about facts in the worst of times. Fact doesn’t always let you hope, and for someone who is not very good at feeling anything, fact is easy to hide behind. Still. I cannot change the broken glass, and there it is. A part of me honestly hopes that when the windows shatter and those ghosts come out, one of them includes forgiving myself for the sins I did not commit, and when the ice melts I pray that I find it was me all along, and though that image of myself scares me it is likely similar to why a lot of people cringe when I am angry, especially when I am quiet in my anger, and that it was me all along and nothing changes except that maybe, I buy new windows and live in the house. A part of me wants this victorian manner to be a safe place. Maybe it used to be. Maybe it is the house that innocence built and hate made empty. I will find out. I do know that when Nymph is gone, I will be forever changed.

I was forever changed the moment I met her. I was forever changed the moment I felt her temperature. I was forever changed by every moment between. Every choice. Frankly, I have never had an experience where I felt so supported by so many people before, perhaps the ice is melting on that loneliness I don’t ever talk about, because it has been there for as long as I can remember. Nymph and people like her, those fleeting moments of people that change you, the people who once you meet them are gone once they do whatever loving they can? Like my sensei, like some of my teachers, like everyone I have ever loved, each of them does the loving they can and then we part, they are the best people I know. Not all of them are human but frankly, my cats are better than many humans ever could dream of. How many people can say they have a cat that teaches them french? Sprite of course.

The fragile part of me that is breaking it is not all of me, it is my core. It has broken before and I am still here. It has been burned, it has been beaten, until it shattered. This time, with the pain no one outside of me is hurting me. It is merely a part of life. I have decided several things, first and foremost if any of the research labs locally want to use Nymph’s remains to help find a cure for FIP then that is what will occur with her body. My belief is for cremation so that is the second choice. Nymph doesn’t care, she said so. The nurses at the vet’s office were shocked when I asked if they could contact these places for me, one said she hadn’t ever thought anyone would think of that. They ask sometimes but not always. The second thing is in Spring I will plant two trees or permanent type plants. One will be a rose bush, the other I don’t know yet. These will live here and whereever I eventually move to, because I will I promised Nymph someday I will live in a state that makes me happy, I also promised Rose that, she demanded it one day, I will plant the same plants there wherever I end up permanently. If no place is permanent then there will be a lot of plants. I think Ny’s may be a butterfly bush.

Finally, no matter what happens when the ice cracks, which does mean it is melting because this is very thick ice, no matter what comes out of the house of broken dreams, the house that innocence built, that haunted house in my soul? I will keep on living. I am constantly walking on a knife’s edge of depression and suicide and that has been for my entire life. I feel happiest when I am at my gothiest so I am going to resume showing that on my outside. If it makes me happier, why am I ignoring it? Pushing it away? I remember when I made the choice to try and blend in more for work but I don’t work a traditional job, when I do work well, I can wear whatever the hell I want!

I also will write that book about PTSD, and I think what comes out of that house may be chapters or a segment on how emotions change when you are no longer nuerotypical. I also forgive my mother for something, I feel it. That actually annoys me, because I don’t like forgiving her she’s a horrible mother and screws up constantly. I still do love her but when she does not change the hate and pain she causes, there is no reason for me to forgive. Yet, I forgive her for not knowing how to feel. I realize when her father died from all sorts of lovely genetic conditions her mother who has always been a broken piece of humanity, and in this case the worst of humanity, she didn’t let my mother grieve. My mother stopped growing up at the age of eight. As did a lot of me. I forgive her for not knowing but I will never forgive my grandmother. I already told Grandma Murray that, because she asked me after yet another emotional attack to do so. I will not forgive repeat offenders, but my mother’s offense was ignorance and childishness.

This does not mean I am going to let her into my life en masse, I don’t think she wants that anyway. It would also be very bad for me. I have hopes about what comes out of this space full of cracks, and I really do hope a part of it is my innocence. Who knows, maybe my dreams of demons will fade away and the dreams that are “normal” and “healthy” will suddenly spring up? Though that my scare me too. Whatever comes, I will be here. I promised Nymph. I promised Sprite. I promised myself. That last promise is the most important of all.

If I can figure out how to love, then grieving though not an easy task is one I must learn. It is a part of love. You can only mourn the dead if you love them.

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