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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4 Comments

  1. Dear dear Kat, I wept as I read this post, and I am still weeping as I write. Pain, gnawing numb sadness, brokenness and yes… love… my own heart hears resonance, not an echo but more like a mirrored voice, in every single word you have painted here. And I too fear the one thing that has over and over again all but reduced my soul to foolish debris in a mockingly dancing sea – HOPE. I have no clever words of comfort to offer. I can only mourn with you, as I mourn within myself.

    You are in my heart, even as I battle my own shadows and screaming demons. ((((hug))))

  2. Your words resonate in my soul. My previous comment got lost in cyberspace. I don’t have anything clever and comforting to say, but I am holding you in my thoughts.

  3. I plan to reply to all comments when I have more spoons but I wanted to let you know, nope, I found your comment hidden in my spam folder! I decided to check just in case. Thank you for your eloquence.

  4. You’re so right. To all us victims of PTSD — fear, pain, anger are basic emotions. We might not like or understand them but they’re there, feeding off of us. Love, the one emotion we keep away from creeps up unexpected. Maybe breaking a few windows will be better than being submerged in melted ice?

    I’m thinking of Nymph and you.


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