More on My Mental Health

Last night a friend texted me. She’s the kind of friend who composes lengthy missives describing what’s going on in her life. We don’t text every day, but when we have time. Or when we remember. Sometimes a week or two pass before one of us responds to the other’s most recent texts. Which is fine, because when we do text, we are thorough. She’s a much better writer than I, but I often reciprocate in length and efforts at thoughtfulness when I reply to her.

When I received a series of long texts from this friend last night, she asked how my June was doing, and that it took a long time before a certain difficult month for her became significantly less difficult.

That’s when it hit me.

My erratic sleep. My lack of motivation. My blanking out a lot of the time. My distraction.

I replied that she just might have gotten to the bottom of my depressive behavior.

My subconscious self still seems to be grieving.

Coming off that very first day of June–our wedding anniversary but also that extremely mournful day in 2019–a lot goes on this month that trigger layers of different feelings.

That’s the main cause, and that’s what makes the most sense. I generally love summer. The heat. The sunshine. All the quality time with loved ones. But June this year feels off. I don’t know if I’ve processed things enough, or if I have guilt from not moving on or moving on too quickly. Or that I have grief appropriation: she wasn’t my mom, but my feelings somehow can’t compare to Carla’s actual relatives.

And I know I shouldn’t be comparing feelings. And I have feelings about that.

Anyway, I guess sadness waxes and wanes, and this month in particular is waxy. And has a high pollen content.

I’m so exhausted.

Terrified

these thoughts are nowhere near complete. just a quick ramble.

today z is staying home from school. she had some early morning nausea, and i don’t want to get her class or teachers sick.

her sheets and one of her blankets are in the washer. there’s more laundry to do.

she’s gotten to the point of understanding to vomit into the toilet. or bucket. or bowl. or whatever receptacle is nearby.

she’s watching a disney film. as i sit i the adjoining office, i hear her little jabberings in the family room.

ever since she’s returned to school the thought has crossed my mind.

is she safe.

covid is still a concern, but it’s less so now that mass shootings are back at the forefront?

reopen the country, and active killings become more prevalent?

again?

because we’ve never solved for them?

since columbine?

since sandy hook?

when it was somehow decided that killing children was acceptable?

so.

z’s classroom is very close to an exit.

that exit–and probably all exits–can only be opened by a teacher’s badge.

she will have to learn shooter drills. will she understand?

every time she’s sick the empathy kicks in hard and a lump in my throat and a sinking feeling in my stomach follow me around until she’s better. sometimes those feelings linger. because i’m her mom.

and her safety always brings a constant undercurrent of worry.

this

is the world she’s growing up in. that her dad and i have to navigate with her.

these recent shootings and almost-shootings have terrified me. really just continued the terror from the past almost-30 years.

that i have been scared for so long

has also angered me

a lot.

i just love her so much.

Mormonish

You should have seen me as a youth: reading my scriptures every day, going to seminary, being the stake scripture mastery champion, going to church when my parents were inactive. I was a fine little example of commitment to religion.

Of course, as life went on I wasn’t perfect, but I knew the church was always there in case I wanted to go back.

I’m not perfect. I don’t read my scriptures every day now. Church is a struggle to attend sometimes. At times I find myself rolling my eyes at talks or silently criticizing lessons, though it’s a nice surprise when I enjoy church because of an especially sensitive talk or balanced discussion.

I was very recently Primary president in two different wards, and I still struggled. I wasn’t perfect, but I worked hard at being the best Primary president I could be.

I don’t know. These feelings creep up, and I don’t know what to do.

As of now, we’re not super devout Mormons. We believe all the fundamental Christlike things. I love people, and I want to serve and help them. I want to be an awesome friend, mother, and wife. An awesome May.

It’s a combination of things, really: personal trials, policies, politics, raising our daughter to be able to make good decisions and be a kind person. Asking “What if?” all the time.

Yet we’re sticking around. Why, if there’s so much grief, so much struggle between the spirit and mind? Part of me needs to wait it out. Something’s going to change, and it possibly could be me, and it could be another bunch of things. Part of me needs to have faith for my loved ones.

I’ll push myself. But when it gets hard and I don’t feel like pushing anymore, I might pause until I feel like pushing again. Maybe one of these days the church I thought I believed in so much as a youth can be a church I can fully commit myself to again.

A Little out of Focus

Well, it seems I’m a bit distracted.

It’s crazy how quickly time passes.

So much is happening. So much to write about.

So much not to write about. I mean it.

Maybe I’ll write a poem. I should write a poem.

So, there’s that. Poem ideas crash into my head all the time. I would much rather be working on poetry than my other schoolwork. I wish it was all I had to do.

Toward the beginning of the semester it was easier. But now, I’m starting to flounder.

Oh, I met and spoke with Pulitzer-Prize winner, Marilynne Robinson. That was ultra cool.

Let’s look at this week’s schedule.

Monday: Midterm; homework
Tuesday: Poems, My Fair Lady; homework
Wednesday: French Party; homework
Thursday: Meeting at the library; homework
Friday: There’d better be nothing, except homework
Saturday: Concert; homework

Also, 20 hours of work, 14 hours of class.

Also, I had a damn good weekend. It was fun.

But, I won’t blog about it.

This is the worst blog post ever.

I Took A Nap This Weekend, and I Called It Sunday

I’m looking out my bedroom window, and a mountain is looking back at me. It’s green and rugged and I’m in a valley, and I’m not very green anymore, though maybe I’m still a bit rugged. I’d hardly call myself refined.

So, there were pioneers. Many of my friends have ancestors who crossed the plains in crazy weather conditions and under the order of God’s prophet, in addition to being run out of the Midwest by state governments.

And they settled in Utah.

This is the place.

Apparently some of my dad’s relatives came on that trek, I think. I would need for him to retell the story. He was born in Salt Lake City. His parents were LDS, and he has a stepmother who’s a member of the Reorganized LDS church.

My mother was born and raised Catholic, in the Philippines.

I was born in the Philippines, and my birth certificate says I have a Catholic mother from the Philippines and a Mormon father from Salt Lake City.

I talked aloud to one person today, my roommate. I told her I wouldn’t be going to church, so she didn’t have to worry about giving me a ride. Then I read and slept. And read and slept.

There are people in Africa who populate remote areas of continent. Why do they roam, where do they wander, and how do they decide to settle in certain areas?

And, why are other people stuck? Is it a matter of pride? Survival? Circumstance?

What are frontiers, anyway? What goes unexplored in realms physical and metaphysical?

Now, I’m thinking about Norway.

How do we understand what and where people are trying to explore?

Who are the pioneers, anyway? Do we always agree with or understand what they discover?

From A Notebook Almost Two Months Ago

Right now I’m working on a couple projects not related to my current courseload. Of course I am.

I was flipping through a little memo pad and found some thoughts that once weighed on my mind. The scale still tips, but not as much.

I’ll respond to myself. The now-me answering the then-me.

What differences are there between what I say and what I mean? I try to be straightforward with my feelings, and I am working on being more open with what’s going on in my life.

If I say I don’t need anything, does that mean tangible things? What about time? Patience? An ability to listen? Do I assume those things are understood? How do I react when I feel no one has enough time for me? I like for people to listen. I like people to ask about my life, though I don’t always ask about others, yet I expect them to share. Is that too much?

How do I accept that it’s not all about me? It sort of still is. Working on getting over it.

How do I accept that I’m not the only/best friend anyone has? I don’t know why this was a problem for me. I don’t have to be anybody’s best friend. But I think the times people have called me their best friend went to my head, and then it seemed all of a sudden I wasn’t their best friend anymore. I didn’t understand why. No one explained anything to me. I felt completely sidelined, but now it doesn’t matter as much.

How do I stop treating people like they’re the only ones I talk to? That’s the thing: I talk to maybe a handful of people on any given day. I’m working on getting a life already.

How do I help my friends? How can I be there for them? They could probably answer this best.

I Will Always, Always Love Sesame Street

You have no idea how much I love this show. Since I was three years old. It’s probably responsible for teaching me to read. And my love of monsters. I love the details of the sound of the clam splashing into the water, and the little Sesame Street tune whistling at the end. Plus, Grover wearing a towel? and pants? Hilarious.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

Atop A Foothill

I have a better idea of the vista at the summit.

Which, now, is just over three semesters away.

***

I don’t know if I can pull my history grade up to an A from a B.

I don’t know if I can pull my French grade up to an A from an A-.

My other two classes I’m not too worried about.

I talked with a professor today about classes I’m trying to decide on.

I meet with my advisor tomorrow.

I spoke with another professor a few weeks ago about life plans.

I would love to write short stories and essays for literary journals.

It would also probably be helpful to teach.

Right now, I’m pondering a contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello with a group from one of my classes. We’re piecing together the scene on Thursday and performing it next Tuesday.

I’m also thinking about Ernest Hemingway and how much I liked reading “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” for history class. It has some of the most beautiful writing I’ve ever read.

There’s a quiz in French tomorrow.

I have to write a response paper on the acquisition of knowledge as it pertains to Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia.

Sometimes I wish I could just be done with school.

But, I’d have nowhere else to go.

At least not now.