You Are My Heart
I come to this place wearing the chip of the day on my shoulder. I have moved back to British Columbia’s fairly remote interior, a choice that I feel strong about, but that I still hate, as some irrational part of me feels like I failed at life in Vancouver. I know that the truth is that I made the very calculated decision that I just did not like the city, as I thought I would when I moved there three summers ago. During my “hardcore participatory observation project” that involved immersing myself in the lifestyle of Vancouver’s notorious Downtown Eastside (DTES) - I will still, of course, write a series of essays on my experiences “Among Hungry Ghosts” – I learned that there is a climate of legitimized corruption on a societal scale, and a sense of entitlement and lack of appreciation for friendship on a more individual level, that has an awful effect on my affect in that town.
Excuse the generalization. Many great people live in Vancouver, like many great people live in any city. I would like to chalk it up to mere bad luck that all the “born and raised” Vancouverites I had the, er, pleasure of knowing, possessed the aforementioned less than likable qualities, the final straw being the “friend” that I had spent two very down and out weeks with, and whom I thought stood up for me albeit knowing others whose blacklists I was already on, doing exactly what he promised not to do – that is, cleaning out my bank account, pawning my brand new phone, and “losing” my keys, while I was sicker than I had ever been in the hospital (I acquired a gastrointestinal superbug while in the psych ward, and spent two weeks on a clear liquid diet). Not once did he visit, another promise made (apparently [false] promises are the only things that come cheap in the most expensive city in North America).
I will write more about each of these things, so if I have offended at this point, please allow me a little time to elaborate, and perhaps you will see where I’m coming from – perhaps not, but that is the wonderful thing about writing and conversation, isn’t it? The ability to have an opinion? During my time on the DTES I found that opinions were a dime a dozen, cheaper yet the more money that was spent on cocaine, but any that strayed from the norm – all based on the very ignorant premise that the DTES is hardcore, and more hardcore than anywhere else on EARTH - were unwelcome. Catfights often began this way.
Deep breath. I come to this place, and I find pure joy.
First, in your lovely, lovely comments. Each time I read that this blog/website has helped another person or produced laughter or provoked thought, my childhood dream of writing words that have an effect on other human beings, is realized. Second, in the fact that, together, we have come this far. Despite adversity – at times, in the form of multiple hate-mail type comments per day – I have never deleted a post, and together, I, the writer, and you, the readers, the so-much-more, the people, we have created a community for learning, support, less shame, more smiles, survival, and an alternative to mainstream dialogues on mental health/illness, womanhood, and membership in the human race alike. I can never thank-you enough, but I will always try.
So, the rainbow-striped elephant in the room…
WHERE HAS SHE BEEN?!?
IS SHE DEAD???
Obviously, despite my strong urges to throw myself off the Lion’s Gate Bridge, the first suicidal ideations/plans I had (and made) in over six years, and despite going over the old scars on my arms with a new razor blade, a kitchen knife, and a piece of broken glass, as well as mimicking Picasso on each of my thighs with the same sharp instruments and the bright red liquid they produced, despite losing so much blood that my blood pressure did not rise over 80/50 or so for two weeks, and that I nearly drowned in a bowl of horrible hospital soup after passing out into it as soon as I sat down by myself in the dining room (now that would have been depressing!!! ) and, most disturbingly, despite the fact that the intake staff did not notice that my jeans were soaked with blood and my fingers were cut from holding a broken-off Venus blade in between them, I made it through.
Somehow, I did what I had said I would several months earlier – I stopped caring what anyone but me wanted for my future. And just like that, I became excited about that future again. Whoulda thought.
I moved away.
I told my dad that I could not live without his support – that I had no one else, and that no one can live with no one, and that he had to be there whether he liked it or not. Otherwise, I would die.
And he came. Together we drove to the tiny city of Trail, BC, where the people are lovely and it almost never rains. I hope, in however long it takes for me to be able to live alone again – a length I cannot even conceive of right now – to move to Nelson, BC. Now that is one fabulous city. I could see myself “settling down” there, which I suppose is what an almost-thirty-year-old does. Well, we’ll see.
For now, I am residing with my dear Aunt Ruth, whom I did not speak to more than once since Christmas until I arrived here. I can agree to disagree about responsibility and driving off cliffs. I hereby promise this will be the final time I refer to the horrific car accident we were in last October as her “driving us off a cliff”. :lol: ”This time I have my own room, I have the big box that holds Past Lives Beadery, and I have an Internet connection in my room. Indeed, a room of my own, and, hell, a $900 disability assistance cheque that will not be eaten – except for $100 – by outrageous Vancouver rent prices.
I feel ready to rebuild my life. Much was lost, but that just means that what comes next will be the finding. Yes, here I am, come find me…