Toute la journée

It is, or has been, this PTSD flashback-like event I have been experiencing all day. I have not had such an experience for a long time. It is as though I had self-harmed and were now berating myself for it. Seeing that is already an advance. How to stop the assault? Saying it is a problem of discipline, not being able to stop it, is no good, and saying one must just accept that one cannot stop it, is no good either.

I had stayed up most of the night saving data because of my computer crisis. When I woke up the phone was ringing and it was my friend with his own software problem and very high anxiety. I told him that I was in an altered state and he said I was nonetheless handling things in a more “together” way than he was.

I had decided not to go to graduation in my state and he needed a cap and gown to go to graduation so I lent him mine.

I call my father every night but knew I could not usefully do so in this state so left a message saying I could not. I feel quite terrible about it but I know I am right. I went to the studio to pick up pieces, and I went to the sauna and to the grocery store, but the onslaught would not stop and still does not stop. I did not do work and I did not go to my concert yet I seem normal — if you saw me, you would only say I looked tired.

There is more to say about this and the origins of this. But the key points are self-harm and berating self for self-harm. In the sauna, I had an illumination about this: my mother always sick, always wanting to be taken care of. Angry during my good years because I was taking care of myself. “You like yourself enough to take care of yourself.” “You bitch.”

Thinking of things people have said about substance abusers. “It is not the drunk that is desired, it is the hangover.” That applied to me would mean I go around in sleep deprived states so that I can break something so that I can be angry with myself so that I can then be kind, because without this cycle I cannot treat myself kindly. What does that domestic violence wheel tell us about cycles? Why is it important to remember that it is not what people can do to you that matters, but what they can get you to do to yourself? Why did Baudelaire say je suis le victime et le bourreau?

If you are ill, you must take care of yourself. It is as though I imitated both parents at once, and did it all internally. Reeducation was also upset that I could do well. So many people were. My brother saying I was a problem in his marriage because my Ph.D. was upsetting to his wife. And on, and on … everyone important needed me not to do well.

If you are ill, you must take care of yourself. Only if you are ill, may you take care of yourself. (In Scandinavia one is not to take care of oneself even then, of course, but then they are Lutherans and very bleak indeed.)



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