Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category

Train   Leave a comment

Rivers follow down to this little stream in me
That cross divides
The beggar and the believer
Even though neither has felt sunlight
For as long as sunlight has been a thing

The ache in my head grows deep
And finds its way into my ears
The sound of everything
Comes passed a hissing and a rattle
And the doctors say it’s just another
Infection or irritation but I can’t help but wonder
Just what has crawled inside of me
And died
This time

I wanted to bury things that bothered me
I wanted to let go of the ones that have lived and died
I wished on stars and burned the images of a god
That never answered back
And here I am
Surrounded by voices and shadows and the crippled lover
Who promises she’ll never leave me
Unless that’s what I want from her

I can’t be the only one to see the sick side of humor
I can’t be the only one left understanding the joke
My life has become
Or was diagramed to be from the jump

But no one really comes and sits beside me and says
Hey girl I get it
And I won’t judge you if you cut and run
I’ve seen what you’re juggling and this shit is serious
And you need to go get yourself a bottle of pills, a razor, a gun

All I get is some talk about how shit gets easier
And how there are loved ones who need me
And then there is all this promise that somehow tomorrow is going to be
Something better than today and all the yesterdays combined
Like life is a fucked up version of a word problem from some 4th grade math class

Well, I never did follow along with those
I was too busy wondering which mother I was going home to or
Which father was going to pick me up that weekend or
What it might be like if the wrong neighborhood boy
Caught me in the cornfield
I’m sorry
I just never felt the need to daydream
So far in advance as to wonder about
That eastbound train heading out of Chicago
At 80mph
But maybe that would’ve been a better thing to focus on
All along
Because all this worrying
This shit hasn’t gotten me anywhere either
And I’m ready
I’m ready
To take that ride.

Jen

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Karen’s Got Pneumonia And I’ve Got the Blues   1 comment

 

I keep making things up.  I suppose I could just settle for some definition of what I’m doing that leaves me sounding creative and daring, but really I think that I’m just bored and a slight touch demented.  I come up with some other person I’d rather be; a name, a personality, a complete background and family tree and just live out a few days or even a whole lifetime as this new creation.  If I could be organized enough, motivated enough to write it all out and do something with it then I could say that I was an artist of some great means, but really it’s all just for my own entertainment.  It keeps me from hurting myself and lashing out at others and I know that there is some great benefit there.  I mean, any day that I wake up and know for a fact that there are no victims from the day before I can open my eyes and feel victorious.  But I am starting to worry more and more about all of this wasted time.  And I don’t just mean wasted as in “where is my life going” or “what am I amounting to with me doing nothing but daydreaming?”  I am referring to the actual loss of time that has been occurring.  I mentioned it to the psychiatrist and he made notes about it in my file.  It concerned him enough to discuss it with me again the following visit but of course I am now done with my time at Kennedy so all of the progress I have made with him is now dust in the wind which is always the case.  I never seem to get anywhere with anyone in therapy.  Just as we start down an interesting road I stop seeing that particular person and never because it is what I want.  This time it is because my 12 weeks of Intensive Outpatient is completed.  I have to start going to Catholic Charities now.  I don’t much like the idea of it, but what can I do?  With the limit Medicaid that I receive currently it was that or Drenk and Drenk had a 3 month waiting list.  I am a bit mistrusting and paranoid actually and not sure I believe Drenk.  I preferred going back to them for my individual therapy and medication monitoring, but I truthfully believe that my old therapist is still there.  She was supposed to be leaving their employment in late August, but when I called her extension it was still set up with her information.  I don’t think she wants to continue with me and I don’t think they feel I am stable enough to walk into that building, see her in person and not freak out and accept another therapist.  I admit, I got way too attached to her and I understand their concerns.  But truthfully, for as much hassle as going to a new place will cause me I would much rather go back to Drenk and see another therapist and just leave things be.  But they don’t know this and are probably just being evasive to keep things calm over there.  So they are saying they can’t take me back and now Catholic Charities is my only option.  From how it’s been explained to me, I will probably do a weekly therapy, see a nurse practitioner for medication and maybe have to attend a group.  I’m not sure how often the group will be, maybe weekly or bi-weekly.  I hope not much more than that.  They are located about 10 minutes further than Drenk and my old car has had enough of all these trips.  But regardless, it will be closer than Kennedy which was roughly 45 minutes and 28 miles away for me.  I must admit, the groups that I attended at Kennedy did help me.  They let me feel comfortable joining in discussions and being a part of the entire process of sharing and opening up.  So I am must more inclined now, I think to take part in my own therapy, both group and individual.  I don’t think therapy is something you are just born understanding out to utilize.  And that’s a shame because when you really need help you go for so long and it’s wasted just having you go and sit there and be afraid and closed off.  But now I know I will walk into any therapist office or any group setting and barring any bizarre scene I will do my part to get the most out of the help offered.  It makes me really full of hope and possibility.  I also know now that even though a lot of why I start going to therapy is because of anger and such what I really need help with is my PTSD.  My anxiety and fear is what leads me to my anger, but if you need to know where it all begins and what really stops me in my tracks from leading a healthy, happy life it’s the overwhelming fear and nervousness that I live with on a daily basis.  Out of the 24 hours of each day, second by second, I am spending so many of my hours consumed with doubt, paranoia, dread and an agony of disappointing people and being alarmed by the simplest of things.  I am at a constant level of stress and anxiety that I have just grown to expect it, but it corrupts everything about me, about my life and about my reactions.  And now I’m at a point where I am so tired and overwhelmed that my ability to manage it and hide it has fallen apart and what the world is seeing is anger and this violent, agitated, near demonic side of me that was always just below the surface and aimed at myself but now, more often than not, pouring over the brim and effecting them.  I don’t know this wasn’t a story or typical blog post.  My girlfriend is in the hospital with pneumonia and my head is frazzled because I’m alone and feeling too much freedom and way too emotional.  I know I haven’t posted in a while and I just wanted to say something and this is what came bumbling, stumbling out of my head.  I feel like there is a chance I could accidentally hurt myself while she’s gone.  That is such a strange thing to say, to admit to.  She drives me nuts and I spend a lot of time taking care of her when she’s home, but she still manages to keep me safe.  With her in the hospital I am alone and unattended and I feel like I want to do something risky.  Like I could cut myself or take a lot of pills just to do something dangerous.  I don’t know why I have these urges.  I just do.  When my old girlfriend would spend time in the hospital she always knew that as soon as I made sure she was ok I would go out and spend all of our money on drugs and just get totally fucked up.  It was like our routine.  I don’t do that anymore.  But in the absence of that plan I still want to do something risky.  I just am older now and tired and not feeling well.  But those demons still want to play.  They are still digging their claws into my brain and taunting me.  Who knows how I will shut them up?  I’ll have to figure something out.  I think I have 3 more days till she comes home.  And it is officially the first day of FALL which thrills me to no end.  Maybe when I wake up I’ll go get some hot coffee and spend the day out and about.  Anything to keep me from sitting in this house alone with sharp objects and pill bottles that sounds like a good idea doesn’t it?

Fuck it.

Wish me luck and shit.

Jen

Work to Do   Leave a comment

 

I’m trying to turn things around.  It’s true that most of what needs to change is in the fluttering chaos of my head, but there is more than enough actual, physical bullshit in the real world that needs a good ass kicking as well.  Where I live is a horrid situation and I was sold a lie as to a possible change.  I really sank my teeth into the idea that my girl and I would be able to escape here and have a normal existence and it helped get me thinking clearly for about a week or so.  But it didn’t pan out and now I’m back into a hopelessness that shoves itself down around me like a heavy, wet, wool blanket.  I am having a problem even breathing at this point.  But what I have taken away from that short time of being excited is the notion that life can get better and that I do have it in me to be filled up on possibility.  So I am trying to maintain a certain level of activity and clarity, fighting off the depression and anger that is embedding itself in my head with the passing days as the realization sets in that if I don’t work this situation nothing good is going to just happen for me.  I don’t get good things handed to me like some people do.  I will have to struggle, but I am going to be able to attain things.  I am not cursed.  I am not being punished, karma is not out to get me.  I just need to make a plan, think things through and do the work.  I can make a better life for me and for my girl.  I know I can.  Now I just need to do it.  Watch me.

Thoughtscape   Leave a comment

I’m not aiming to be dramatic and I guess that’s what keeps me going forward at any pace.  Even this slow, subtle crawl that has so many straining to make out if I am in fact moving at all.  I know that I’m not measuring up to many standards, but there are voices that sing in the darkness urging me to just keep my shuffle, to just keep my pace and so I do.  I feel the floor slipping away, the actual Earth crumble from beneath me and I want to look back to see if I have what I’ve already claimed still safely tucked in my corner, but I know that if I do and I don’t see it there I will panic.  And panic, that sheer terror that has come for me before leaves me so much worse off that it’s better, even I know it’s better, to just keep my feet inching one ahead of the other.  The door opens every 15 minutes; morning, noon and night.  No matter what I’m doing they come to check on me like I might be up to something worse off than counting the seconds between the last time they checked.  I wanted a few breaths of privacy just to calm my head, but I’m not afforded such luxury.  In that time, that brief time I might patch together some imaginary materials and hang myself from some created plain and do away with the vast playground of nightmares and thoughtscapes.  For a spell, I take to calculating just how long it might take to do away with myself from the moment they shut the door so that I will be long gone before they open it up again so that I can be freshly set in a relaxing new world by the time the light hits my body and their eyes jump from their median income skulls so that I can just feel like a winner just one last time.  And I fixate on this for about 14 minutes too long before the door opens and I hear a thick Jamaican accent say, “Ok, Jennifer.”  And just like that it’s back to me smiling in the darkness as if the only thing that has ever mattered to me my entire life was being right where she left me because all that has ever mattered to me is being right where someone has left me so that I could hopefully be found later on when they come back to look for me.  They come back to look, that’s what that proves.  And in that I feel some small comfort because I may be crazy, but above all else, I’m really just afraid of my own shadow and all of the sinister plans she comes up with when left alone to contemplate ways to do away with us both.

Jen Czahur

Storytellers   Leave a comment

 

 

I grew up hearing people say to my mother that she should write a book.  It’s true, to hear her tell her life out in story form made her sound like some sort of wild and crazy character who had not only herself been interesting, but had also been invested and involved with other such colorful people and plots.  But as I’ve gotten older and I’ve met my fair share of people and as I myself have had many experiences, I realize that nearly everyone should write a book if all that matters is the story involved.  We all have something interesting to say.  What makes it worth telling isn’t the story, it’s the storyteller.

It’s a rare breed of animal that can captivate you with a tale.  Someone who makes you want to sit, mouth hanging open, eyes wide with wonder, ears pricked in awe and heart pounding with suspense.  It’s not the story; it’s the person telling the story.  Think about it.  Think about how many times someone has told you about something as simple as a trip to the store and it was a revelation.  We need to cherish our storytellers.  We need to prop them up and ask them, beg them if necessary, to tell us their tales because they are the essence of what it means to be human.

But my guess is it won’t take much to get them to start talking.  After all, a true storyteller is always merely awaiting her audience.

Seek these people out.  Live and learn and pass along the passion of this amazing art.

Jen Czahur

Trying to Make Therapy Work for Me   Leave a comment

 

It would be beyond fucking fantastic if I could communicate via blog with my therapist.  Not entirely because I happen to really get a lot out of sharing physical space with her which is not something I get to say about a lot of people and I need to say it more often.  I’ve been isolating myself pretty much constantly the last several weeks.  I only go out for therapy and to see the doctor unless it’s some kind of obligation that I can’t shake.  And I don’t even do most of what I really should do.  My poor girlfriend who is constantly is severe pain runs to the store for us so much lately that she has been taking her medication all sorts of incorrectly and I blame myself for it and that just leads to so many other issues for me and between us.  She’s great about it.  I almost can’t stand how great she is about it.  But that’s another set of circumstances for another blog.

It’s true, I am so excited by the present therapist I’ve been set up with that I wish there was some time warp where I could have her 3 times a week for 2 hours at a time.  Or some other crazy concoction of sessions like that because I am a big time talker and I want to dig into so many things that are bouncing around my messed up, super chaotic head.  She won’t be there forever; no one ever is at this place.  I feel like you have a better chance of forming a long lasting relationship with a Taco Bell employee then anyone who works at this particular “Mental Health” place.  But that is probably good because I doubt anyone could put up with me for long.  I am pleasant enough, but as in the case of this current chick, I will most likely stress her the fuck out as it is let alone if she had to spend even more time with me.  I can get rather intense in a multitude of ways and for someone who actually gives a damn and tries to pay attention and be present, well, she probably polishes off a few bottles of wine a week typically.  Dealing with my brand of crazy might turn the poor thing into a full blown alcoholic.

Anyway, I walk in there each week wanting to say so many things.  But I can’t.  I don’t know why.  I trust her and I want to open up, but I feel tongue tied.  I feel like if I open my mouth to let out something I will be betrayed and my usual carefully crafted monologue will instead rush forth, breaking levies and crashing all forms of structure.  She is a professional and just because I feel like she cares and I can trust her doesn’t mean she’s not going to call security or have me locked up for my own good if I start really peeling back the layers of my mind.  I am a sick girl.  I probably should be put away for awhile.

I actually want to be put away for awhile.  I just can’t bring myself to allow it because I know that I am not at the point where I will be honest once I have been detected.

And by that I mean that if I show a crack in my façade and they put me somewhere I will wise up real fast and turn back into one of the people I have perfected being.  I will say and do what I need to so that I show them I was only having a moment of weakness, some doubts or some time where I was a little overwhelmed.  I will get out of there and not get helped.  And it will be recorded as such.  And I will have missed out on another opportunity to be free of this.

I told myself last time that I wouldn’t do that again.  I wouldn’t be committed again until I was ready to be honest and to show them all what I was really made of because I am too old and too tired and way too on edge to keep pulling myself back from the edge.  And truthfully, if I have to play this game one more time I am afraid that the next time they let me out all bets will be off.

And it won’t be about getting help anymore.

It will just be about enacting the plan.  I don’t try things I know I won’t succeed at.  I only allow myself to fail at something once.  And then, I find a way to make it work.  I know the options.  I know what comes next.

Anyway, enough of that shit.

I asked the therapist if I could write some stuff down and have her read it when I first walk in just to get the ball rolling each session.  She seemed totally cool with it.  So that’s what I’ll do.  I want to start dealing with these thoughts, one by one, as they make sense to share.  So I’ll scribble down things and have her know where my head is at and open doors for us to walk through without me needing to verbalize them first.  I think it will assist us both well.

Wish me luck.  I really, truly need it.

Jen

1st Mother’s Day without Mom   Leave a comment

 

It’s Mother’s Day.  I know that I should be missing my mom, that I shouldn’t be able to stay composed what with this being the first time I have to spend this holiday without her, but I promise you that I am truly OK.  My mother was a pure delight of a human being.  She was laughter and dignity and charm and compassion.  She could take care of you no matter what condition you were in and always leave you feeling as though you were the most important person in the world and at no time did she ever make you feel as though you were putting her out.  Her love and care were effortless, she was able to comfort you without putting someone else down, she was able to build you up without setting someone else to take the fall.  She could spot a liar from a mile away, but she wouldn’t always call you on it because she knew sometimes it was just what you needed.  She was nobodies fool, but from time to time, she would let you get away with murder.

My mother had a strong faith, she talked about God and Jesus all of the time.  So often that it was easy to forget everything you had ever heard about them from anywhere else and find yourself starting to have a relationship with them through her.  But she didn’t use this to her advantage like most people would have.  She wasn’t interested in controlling anybody or gaining an upper hand.  She just wanted everyone to be able to have the same peace, the same satisfaction that she was afforded by sheer virtue of her closeness and trust in what she believed.  Her faith was so simple and pure that when we discussed it later on in life and came to points where we disagreed about religion and even the existence of god, she was very comfortable letting me have my own mind provided I allowed her to have hers.  She didn’t need to dominate my lack of faith.  She just didn’t want me attacking her need for it.  And I respected my mother’s beautiful relationship with her religion so much and was so grateful for all of the comfort and strength her faith and concepts of god had provided her over the decades that I never wanted to debase those ideals now at the end of her life when she was so frail and ill and they could stand to serve her most.  It was a deal I was more than happy to strike.  I found no greater joy than in merely accepting my mother for whom and what she was and in being accepted for the same by her.

My mother and I always had a close, odd relationship.  It evolved like everything does.  We were very dependant on one another the last handful of years even when I lived in Georgia.  I would make calls to her several times a week crying about how sad I was in what I could only classify as the “completely backwards, backwoods south”.  She always urged me to come home, which might sound like a typical mother but it wasn’t my mother, not typically.  And when she needed money or advice, she would call me, her youngest.  And when she was ill, she called me.  And I came home to care for her because my heart was always with her and in her illness I was dying and being reborn.

But the last two years of our time together were two of the best years of my life.  Yes, my mother was dying.  And yes, I was basically jobless, near homeless, suffering from a manic episode that would not pass, in and out of mental health treatment, dealing with many other family crisis-type issues and flat out broke, but I was there for my mom when she was sick, when she was scared, when no one else could figure out how to be.  I was the one she called and I was able, while going through all else, to be there for her.  We would stay up all night talking and laughing.  We got to discuss things that I’ve always wanted to, we got to gossip, we go to philosophize, we got to hold each other while we cried, I got to spoil her rotten on whatever food she wanted to eat and all the ice cream and back rubs she could ever want.  It was like heaven for me because for a while there my mom got to finally be the center of the universe and in my mind that was what she always deserved.  It took old age, 4th stage cancer and an overall tiredness to allow her to let me give it to her, but finally I was able to show her just how special she was to me.

I wasn’t perfect at it.  I would go a few weeks here and there where my own mental illness symptoms would flair up and she would have to take a back seat to my raging.  But in a way, that was a certain kind of blessing.  I needed some of my mom that I hadn’t been able to get up till that point.  And having me on my best behavior 85% of the time gave my mom a clear comparison to see just how hard being bi-polar really is and she could finally sympathize with my struggles.  It broke down walls for us so that I could explain what my life was like and so she could ask questions and get more involved.  My mother passed on knowing all about therapy, medication, symptoms and other treatments.  And that’s really important to me because now when things get hard on me it helps me to know that my mom understood and would want me to seek help and take care of my problems and not just hide or deny or pray it away.  She was proud of me for all that I dealt with and she loved me for exactly who I am.

Last summer, my mother and I were up in the middle of the night talking.  She was sick, coughing a lot and having a hard time catching her breath.  She was a few weeks away from going into the hospital for the last time.  She was telling me, between struggling gasps, about how when she was pregnant with me a lot of people thought she was too old to have another child and how maybe, just to keep the peace, she should have an abortion.  I already knew all about that, but I figured she needed to say it for some reason so I just listened.  She stopped talking for a few minutes and her expression changed.  I can’t really describe the look on her face.  It just warmed my heart in a way nothing else ever has.  She looked at me for what felt like forever, only now I know it wasn’t forever and a part of me wishes that it could’ve been.  She smiled at me and then said, “Can you just imagine if I did what they said where I would be now?”

You hear something your whole life and it goes from being too complex to comprehend, to too painful that first time you get it, to too numbing because you’ve just had to find a way to make it not matter anymore.  I’ve known my whole life that I was the kind of pregnancy that made my really Catholic mother contemplate an abortion and on many levels in many ways I have had to wrestle with that knowledge.

But with that one shared moment, all the pain washed away and I was reborn.  I still have a lot of struggle in me.  But my mother adores me and trusts me and knows that all the pain and sacrifice was more than worth it because she raised the kind of daughter who would always be there for her mother.  And that is because she was always there for me.

So today is Mother’s Day.  And I assure you I do not miss my mother today.  Not because I do not love her dearly, but because she is more apart of me today then she was the first 37 years of my life.  She is in my heart, on my mind and all around me.  And in her love, I have all the faith in the world.

Jen Czahur

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