My parents called tonight. I considered not answering, but I decided to bite the bullet and be a woman about it. I picked up when I heard my mom’s voice. She immediately started saying how she and my father are so excited about us going (my bro, my niece, and me). Then she paused and asked what she asks me every time, “So, are you excited?”
Excited? Sure, if by excited you mean I can’t breathe and I feel like I’m going to pass out from terror. I’m that kind of excited. Then she asked if I was going to bring a hard copy of her book, and I said, “No.” They have print shops there. I am not going to lug around an almost-three hundred page manuscript halfway around the world. She was saying how she would have to go to the shop and get it printed…yes, well, that’s exactly what I would have to do, in addition to lugging it halfway around the world. She was pulling the helpless trick again, and I did not react well.
I am afraid I snapped at her. My tightly-controlled emotions are not-so-tightly controlled, it seems. I have always had more difficulty not exploding at my family. They know just the right buttons to push because, as people have pointed out to me, they are the ones who installed the buttons in the first place.
Then, we talk about the snow we are getting here. She frets about the planes being delayed and such. She frets about us missing our connection. I said there isn’t much we can do about it, and she said, “You only have ten days! We don’t want to cut short a minute with you.”
Guilt. Heavy guilt.
So my mom talks about the weather. It’s between 50°F and 70°F, and they don’t have heat indoors. To me, that’s not cold outside, but it is cold inside. She goes on in that vein for a bit before handing the phone over to my father. Incredibly, he repeats exactly the same thing my mom just spent five minutes talking about concerning the weather. He talks about it being cold and humid, and I said that it’s not cold to me. He doesn’t understand that, of course, because it’s cold to him. That’s all he needs to know.
He tells me that I have to worry about the weather (as if I weren’t already worried about a zillion other things), and then in the next breath he says, “We can always buy whatever you need here, so don’t worry.”
Then he asked if I was ready to eat a lot or just a normal amount. I said a normal amount because I didn’t think saying, “The thought of eating makes me want to puke my guts out” would be an appropriate response. He was talking about all the great food we would be eating, though he doesn’t enjoy eating at all.
The whole time they were talking at me, I was finding it difficult to breathe. I was answering in monosyllables when I could say anything at all.
I am the worst daughter in the world. My parents are older, and I don’t know how many more times I will see them. They are so excited to see me (as they keep telling me), and all I can feel is abject terror at going.
I had a meltdown today. I am taking my laptop (as you all might guess), and the power cord died on me today. I have a spare cord, but it wasn’t where I had thought I put it–the front closet (don’t ask). I started throwing shoes around and screaming because I couldn’t find the power cord, and I scared the shit out of my poor kitties. Actually, I think I just made them concerned because they both came to be by me and just stared at me with wide eyes.
I don’t lose my shit like that very often, but I had reached the end of my very-short rope. There was no way in hell I could survive without my laptop, and I felt as if it was just one burden too many. Rationally, I knew I could go pick up another cord tomorrow, but that seemed to be so much fucking effort. I started crying because I couldn’t find the fucking power cord. I looked elsewhere, but I couldn’t find it. I was growing increasingly desperate, so I decided to check places I really didn’t think it would be. I found it in my bedroom (again, don’t ask), and all I could feel was–nothing.
I did laundry today, and I transferred the rock Choolie gave me from the pocket of the old sweats to the pocket of the clean ones. I lost the rock. I am such a fucking idiot. She is going to try to find another for me, but I really liked the one she gave me.
I woke up this morning with a monster headache and popped three Maximum Strength Migraine Excedrin (or whatever they’re called). Two is not enough, but I knew from experimenting that four was one pill too many. Normally, the pills start working within ten minutes. This time–nothing. Nada. Didn’t make a dent in my headache. I will take three more before I go to bed, but I am not sanguine about it helping.
I went to bed at four-thirty in the morning last night. Now, this might help out with jetlag, but it’s not a good thing in general. Going to bed later and later every night is something I do to prolong a dreaded event, and it always takes it toll on me.
Guilt. Heavy guilt. I am being crushed under it. I am such a fuckwad.
My niece sprained her ankle yesterday. This will make the trip more interesting.
I am consumed with despair and self-hatred at the moment. I am listening to Apocalyptica because cellos make everything better, but I can’t stop my chest from tightening.
An incredible sadness washes over me as I think about how much I am dreading this trip. How fucked up my life is. How fucked up I am.
One more day in the States, and then, on to Taiwan.
I can’t take this. This is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, and I’m such a dipshit for being so fucked up by this trip.
Why the fuck am I reduced to this? Why the fuck can’t I just put the mask in place and fake my way through it like I have most of my life? I can’t stand it that everyone else is so fucking excited about it, and I can only think about how the fuck I will survive without taking too great a hit to my core.
What the fuck is wrong with me? Why the fuck am I so weak?
The demons are tearing into my flesh now with their talons and their fangs. They know that I am weakened, and they are going in for the kill. My skin hurts. My chest hurts. My brain hurts. My bones hurt.
How am I going to survive?
The noose is tightening.
The tension inside of me is growing. I don’t think I can contain it any longer. How can I pretend to be having a good time and enjoying myself? How can I not be the complete dickhead who just mopes and skulks her way around Taiwan?
How did I use to do this? How did I use to get through this kind of shit? I have no fucking idea. That was another lifetime, a different me. All my defenses are gone, and I don’t know how to survive without them.
I would welcome death right now.