Half hiding


Aside from all the esoteric bollocks I post all the time lately, I do have a life that I've been trying to lead. I am in my own flat. It's next door to Tory- the neighbour left the country for work and left all the furniture and that way I'd have freedom but also security. My bedroom shares a wall with their flat- which they said they wanted. They actually said they wanted to be able to hear if I had a nightmare. As if they hadn't gotten enough of that while I was there. Really it's just better them than the couple that live on the other side. They like to complain.

But I've been told to keep up a routine. Even though I'm not working anywhere or taking any formal classes I was told for five days of the week I had to get up early, have breakfast, and accomplish something. They're always very vague about what the accomplishment has to be. I've been taking informal test prep courses so I'll be able to attempt uni at some point. They think going to uni- even if it's just virtual- would really help my personal growth. In all honesty I hadn't even decided whether or not I wanted to go to uni. I know Mum and Dad expected it, but I was 14. I wasn't thinking about it. So I'm also spending a couple days a week looking up programmes I'd be interested in. So far I've only really found a couple, some creative writing ones. It's the only thing I feel like I could even remotely enjoy. Plus I've been told eventually my existence will become more than just a legend on the internet and I'll have to speak publicly. So I'll need to know how to... say what I need to say. Dad'll probably lose his shit, and really it'll be nice to have Dad be a bastard again. I know. That's weird. But him acting like we never had any problems makes me feel very out of place. It doesn't feel normal. I just want to feel normal.

So in this search for normal, I'm allowed two "days off" where I can sleep til whenever and do whatever. I still get up around the same time. I don't like staying in bed too long. Which is fucking bizarre. I get up and make tea. I'm still supposed to have a routine. So every day I get up and make tea. And every day when I'm warming up the kettle... I feel the heat of eye and imagine just laying down my hand on it. It's never a strong urge, but I think it. Even if it's just a passing thought I still imagine scalded flesh. Usually, even on my "days off" after the tea is made and I'm away from the kitchen I spend what free time I have online psychoanalyzing what the fuck it means. Yeah, I've got a therapist, but I don't want to tell her about this shit. She could have me locked up as a danger to myself and I really just... I want to live with weird fucking thoughts in my own flat, where I can make my own tea, where no one is watching me. I want to feel normal.

They're always encouraging me to read. No matter the day, it would count as an accomplishment on those days too. I'm torturing myself with Alias Grace. Historical fiction of an amnesiac whose life never divulged any true answers. A woman whose mother was buried at sea. It's lovely writing but it hurts to read sometimes. Made to appear as a prisoner inside her own mind, but apart from it at the same time. Just trying to appear normal so she could survive.
Half hiding

Other people's dreams

Matt won't let me watch the special he did with the BBC. I mean, he's not strictly speaking able to do anything to stop me. But I promised him, so I won't watch it. He didn't say anythin about not reading the online transcripts. I know, it's not exactly keeping my promise, but I really haven't seen it and I've avoided all the bits in London. I know that's the part he's the most worried about anyway. The aftermath. I only read through the bits that happened in Sri Lanka.

One morning there, they're interviewing him in the hotel because he said he's not ready to go to the beach. His room had a private veranda and he dozed off out there the day before. And... he describes a dream that means something far different to me than it does to him.

It happens every time I fall asleep near the ocean. If... if I'm close enough to hear it, that is. Like... when I first moved to LA I slept on the beach a lot. I had a flat but they all got high and I didn't want to be the one guy not using, y'know? I didn't want those questions. I'd wander about at night but sleep during the day, though- someone asleep on the beach in the day is a fun loving beachgoer, not a scrawny recovering addict hiding from the party. To the dream... it's... my point for mentioning it being during the day is that it was hot. But in the dream... I was still on the beach. All I can see is this fog rolling off the ocean. No one else seems bothered by it coming in, and then everyone is gone, but I can still hear voices. Very... very faint at first. Then the fog rolls in and starts passing through me and it's bone chilling. I get gooseflesh on my arms it's so f*cking cold. And the voices are louder. They're around me, and I hear that they're crying out for help. Pleading with God to spare their souls. And then there's a denser patch, one I can't see through. All the sound starts... wobbling. Tone drawn out, slowed down, and funneled away from my ears. I'm forced to stare at this ominous dense fog. Now, this is still over the water, it's not close to me at all but it still feels zoomed in, like it's right there. And I see fingertips poking through, and I hear my name. Over and over, voice getting louder and louder as more and more of the hand becomes visible. It only ever gets to the elbow, I never see his face but I don't have to. The sound of his voice screaming out for me always wakes me up. And before you ask only twice has it ever actually been someone calling my name trying to wake me up. I'd always be cold for a few moments after I woke up, sometimes I'd even be convinced I saw my breath. It was easier to shake off in LA for some reason. Last night... last night I reached out and almost had his hand. I could feel fingertips touching mine.

They comment on how often he rubs his arms and I can see him, only as my little brother, my 9 year old brother. Nightmares would always give him the chills. He'd never want to talk about them if Dad was awake, but you could always tell when he was getting over one. His nightmare was his dead brother coming back... wanting to drag him back into the water. Into oblivion. And yeah, that's bloody terrifying. But I read this and I'm in that fog, desperate to have someone drag me out, pull me through, from wherever plane of existence I was in to the one I'd been taken from. Part of me wonders what would've happened if he took my hand? It's ridiculous I know, the day I washed up Matt wasn't dreaming on the beach. At least, not that he's mentioned. Regardless he wasn't sleeping on Bathurst Island even if he had been sleeping.

But I still wonder. Was I just waiting for someone to pull me through the fog?


It's still not easy to sleep. Or function. I spend a lot of my time thinking too much, or trying to avoid thinking. Both things often involve the internet. This time, I found something while I was avoiding thinking that sent me down the other path. It's just some random thing someone wrote up and posted, something someone found interesting enough to share. It's beautiful. But I'm lost in thought now.

It made me realize, everyone I knew, all the people in my memory that I loved, that I hated... they're all ghosts. They're gone. Me disappearing... dying... irrevocably changed them. Who they were when I was alive only physically resemble the people I remember. In my brother's case even that is... when he first walked into my hospital room I didn't recognize him. Not at first. The brother I knew was 9. He was a bit of a brat, but he was the baby, he got away with it most of the time, when Dad wasn't hungover. When I was gone, he went from the baby to the villain fuckup. Somehow. Somehow, dying made me Dad's favourite son and made Matt the loser I'd been. Cousins who'd changed nappies and cooed over how precious their little cousin was just a few years before became angry zealots, blaming him and then becoming vicious fame seeking cunts. Mum had been, for the most part, happy. Losing a child broke her heart, watching what it did to the rest of her family broke her spirit. Mum had a picture of her great-gran, who she looked just like as a young woman, and we all thought she'd age to look like her. There are so many more lines on her face, grey in her hair. She agreed to leave her home because it was killing her to live there. Her world was haunted and she had to leave to survive. My brother left for the same reason. The course of everyone's life changed because of me.

And my head is filled with ghosts. Flesh and electricity, water and memory, a machine making my reality.

I don't understand this reality. I don't know who anyone is, really. We're all in continuous shock over me being alive and in London again. Grown. I don't even know who I am right now. I am a ghost, living in the heads and vibrant in the memories of the people I left behind. No one knows what to do. Therapists, social workers, doctors. Physically, I'm fine. I manage to make it to appointments and fill out paperwork and do what I'm told to become a person in the world again. To stop holding on to the ghosts in my own head. Including my own.

It's really fucking hard. And I don't know how I can keep doing it.
black and white

(no subject)

One of the many things therapy is working on with me is facing my fears. I'm working up to actually being near an ocean again. It's a slow process. For now I've been instructed to spend some time reading, watching, or listening to stories of people being on the water. I know that sounds odd, but there was a specific article, some Ranker piece that pulls stories from Reddit about people sharing terrifying moments on the water. Fear and the water.

They range in actual terror. Some are brief and end well. There is at least one shark. There are three that send me to whatever horrified place my therapist wanted me to be. Bodies in the water. The overwhelming sensation of being called to jump in the water.

I'd gotten a little high to deal with the anxiety of doing this shit. You know. My prescribed way to deal with my anxiety. And right now I am really regretting it. Normally, I latch on to a thought and the high carries it off to something else. This time, well, it did carry it off somewhere else. But somewhere much worse. Bear with me, I have to put it somewhere in the world and everyone is asleep.

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The Pandemic Goes Ever On and On ...

Hello OVW ...

I don't know about y'all, but it's been hard to focus on anything, really. I mean, I'm into season 5 of my Voyager rewatch, but that's about where my brain is.

That being said, there IS a comment fic post still up and we never set a deadline. I really hope the prompts that are up can help with your creativity. They're helping mine. :)

Check it out and I can't wait to go back and read some of what's been posted.
black and white

(no subject)

I'd been reading about Lin-Manuel Miranda, just being fascinated by his work and actually pretty bloody amazed at how I can be so captivated by someone. Well Tory's girls noticed, and they said they were going to make me watch Moana because he did a lot of the soundtrack for it. They love it because it's a Disney Princess that's not a white girl. I figured what harm could it be, it's a fuckin Disney movie.

I got really, really cheesed off with Tory for not warning me about the subject matter. Warning me that there were multiple scenes of people struggling to keep from drowning in the ocean. A movie where the ocean is literally a bloody character. There were parts of the movie I had to close my eyes through, and lemme just say I felt like a pathetic fuckin child havin to close my eyes through a damn animated kids movie.

The girls were such sweethearts. They noticed when I got uncomfortable and curled up with me, givin me hugs. And after, when they were still tryin to make me feel better, knowin why I was reactin that way, they said "Maybe the ocean chose you, Uncle Andy" and "Maybe you're here to return heart to the world." They suggested that when I was ready to talk to people about what happened, it would make a really good movie and maybe Lin-Manuel could write the music for it.

I've never felt so simultaneously good and horrid at the same time.

(no subject)

Have you ever looked back at your life and wondered how... how you made such a fucking mess of it all? When I got engaged to Tom, Gran was cautiously happy for me. She saw that I was happy, and loved that I was happy, because... well because it was so rare for me to be happy in those days. But I know... I think... she saw what a mistake it was.

I love my husband. But if we'd spent some time apart when we were young, lived more of our lives, come back to each other as fully formed people... maybe our lives wouldn't be so bloody broken right now.

I miss him but I'm not ready for him to be back. And even with Frankie visiting, I feel incredibly lonely. And I know I did this to myself.
need to relax

(no subject)

The little details of my life don't matter in the grand scheme of things, I know this. But I feel I have to talk about them regardless, because otherwise I might go mad.

Tom is still staying with his sponsor. The two week mark for him to evaluate things was last Sunday, and none of us were quite ready. Today it's been three weeks, and today in particular things have been a lot harder, what with it being Father's Day. The kids are... they're almost ready to trust him. But him knowing they still don't breaks his heart. I can hear it in his voice and see it in his face when he talks with them on their video calls. He says he's doing better, and he looks better. But both his sponsor and his therapist think he needs more time away, and he's trying to be okay with it.

Today was hard. Wednesday- Caleb's birthday- will be hard. Even though I'm still not particularly comfortable with the idea of him being around... because I'm still getting over the trauma of it myself... I don't want it to be the end of our family. Maybe I'm weak, maybe I should want to file for divorce and be done with my marriage... but I still love the idiot. He's never truly gotten over his own traumas, and I really do believe if he starts working through them... the stressors that trigger him being an asshole won't be as dangerous.

All I want is my family back. Some mild sense of stability in this incredibly unstable world. I know, that's what everyone wants. I know I'm lucky to have what I have. I'm sorry.