Does this have anything to do with anything I've learned this year?
Preamble: I’d like to make clear with this opening paragraph that I’m not trying to be passive aggressive by posting in the abstract (i.e. subtweeting) but it might come out that way. We’re all fine.
I saw a psychic. I called her last Fall when I felt completely adrift in my emotions and unable to make any decisions. Every day felt a little surreal and time wasn’t ordered in the right sequence most days, but I didn’t feel bad. Just confused. Understandably then, I didn’t think about the fact that she wasn’t calling back. I just sort of forgot. In an army of interventions, you can lose sight of your foot soldiers.
She finally called me back last week. We made plans to meet on a Monday. At this point I was inclined to tell her I had no exigent concerns and almost cancelled plans, but as it was so hard to get a date with her I also didn’t want to lose an opportunity to be read by an intuit of such high repute.
We talked for several hours. She resonated with me but I think it was as much because she had done astronomical math (calculating the degree of planetary shifts in the atmospheres of my life) and I was impressed, as it was that she’d predicted or saw through my psyche. One prediction she made came true the very same day. She said a woman in my life was going through a health crisis that would make itself visible soon. Nothing fatal, but a crisis.
My sister called later in the evening to tell me she was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy.
I talked to a coach. I’d seen her as a reiki practitioner first, last summer. She was incredibly helpful in the aforementioned fugue state. After seeing her I was finally able to jump off the cliff last summer. The fugue state evolved into pure emotion. She keeps reminding me to pay attention to how I’m feeling and says something that feels exceptionally profound:
The outcomes of your decisions are not important. You just need to know that they’re yours.
I have porous boundaries and both she and the psychic see this. These porous boundaries are what I credit and blame for my extremely extroverted and curious personality. I have a million friends thanks to these boundaries. I’ve spent months agonizing and wondering if I’ll ever go to the moon with you because of these boundaries.
She tells me to get off Instagram, as one small gesture toward myself. I’m not a “troubled teen” victim of the app but she understands that Instagram makes me anxious. Unexpected lurkers and dozens of strangers I do not need to talk to, barking at me through my messages.
I’m harassed by someone in my DMs and I have to delete the app altogether. Now when I go into IG it’s to lurk others, myself. I’m supposed to block the people who harass me but I’m afraid they’ll retaliate. This has happened to me before several times, I realize. Men who don’t like that I’ve ignored them on one platform will find me in my phone and tell me I’m being unreasonable.
“So that’s how it’s gonna be huh? You’re gonna make me the bad guy?”
The funny thing is, I’m so fucking confrontational. BRING ME THE CONFLICT I WILL CONFRONT IT. But all I can think now is that I want so desperately to ask you if I am in fact being unreasonable. Am I being the bad guy? Is this how it has to be? Can’t you just pay attention?
I never want anyone to feel this way.
My friend asks her psychiatrist to check on me. This makes me feel, well…crazy. It confirms that I am oversharing. It confirms that I may be ill. It reminds me of when social workers supervised me and I had to lie that everything was fine so I wouldn’t get separated from parents who would separate themselves from us for days at a time.
I’m reassured that this is an act of the friend’s own neurosis. She feels bad. My therapist, my coach, an expert friend, all remind me I can manage my feelings and there are no wrong decisions where it concerns care, but I can and should feel my feelings.
I hear this so often and feel so many of my feelings too openly and in such a raw way that I’m rolling my own eyes at my own self. I feel my eyeballs.
A frequent visitor to AAI becomes convinced we’ve stolen his phone and hid it from him. He starts harassing the entire staff. Lately he’s taken to writing me and others with threatening language. We’re scared. But here I am, genuinely conflicted about finding this person “help” and calling any intervention. On the street anywhere else in the world I could tell you that this man is having a psychiatric episode and is not well. I avoid calling the police, but understand that is always an option. I’m calling everybody else. Colleagues, experts, friends who’ve experienced the mental health care of others in their own lives. Mediators next. We loosely barricaded ourselves in the office. I’m having to look up door security systems. This, after a years long initiative to make the building as easy to get into as possible.
I am actually feeling better than I imagined I could. Not because I’m overjoyed about anything, but because I can name my feelings and understand when I am “love” and when I am “fear.” I can name these stupid fucking feelings now and live with them. I can say that what I feel is lately is loss. I have experienced a tremendous loss I do not know how to fully describe yet. It appears and reappears to me as a “you” and as “that” and as memories and selective narratives that may resemble parable. Thankfully not yet a parody. It’s not the victory of discovery but the vacancy that seems always to be needing plenitude. Some days I am water but often I am a bell. God is the sound and the smell of water touching the shapes we’ve created in its honor.
The psychic told me to look for wild animals and porcelain.
AAI has just inherited a baby grand piano. This is just in time for a concert with Lucy Liyou, a superlative pianist. The timing is unreal, and the inheritance a sign of pure kismet. Thank you, universe, for seeing us.
I can’t believe how fucking lucky I am.
Thank you so much for this <3