I’m not sure, whether that is a rather common side-effect of seasons changing, but I am feeling a sense of loss these days. And fear, very deep fear. But I’m digressing at the outset.
For the past two years I have camped in my home folks’ house. I had lost my former appartment due to my landlord needing to occupy the space I lived in and so I got the termination note. Having depended on welfare checks since 2009 for reasons of disability and incapacity finding another abode and then actually getting to move in has become nearly impossible for people of “my ilk.” Although I don’t consider myself anywhere near those whose routines and appearance started the stigma with disabled or unemployed citizens and don’t come across as disabled – which is a problem in itsself as I’m being met with high expectations, the latter I often can’t meet due to the disability -, landlords don’t discriminate in that regard according to my experience. At first I thought of asking friends whether I could stay with them for a little while – and one or two actually made that offer and in a tone of voice that gave me reason to believe that they were sincere. In the end, though, I didn’t feel comfortable placing such a burden on them and had my piece of humble pie by asking home folks, whether they’d be able to accommodate me for a while. Generous as they are, they let me move back in for free, even gave me an entire unused floor in their house. But needless to say that having to ask in the first place doesn’t work wonders on your self esteem. Anyway. In the face of much larger problems, self esteem or pride and any such luxurious ideas aren’t much more than a side note – one that has to be discarded in the light of the hard times I fell on and the lack of real support from the system in getting myself out of it again.
So I brought my stuff, unpacked just as much as I thought I’d immediately need and didn’t reckon I’d be there for two years. After I had landed back here, word must have gotten out among friends of old and I was given the opportunity to reconnect with some and even make new friends along the way, most notably with some very talented musicians who had then started out at Vocational Music College Krumbach, my hometown. In other words: I went from having become a recluse on account of my situation to an at least half-social being again – which was a very welcome and actually much needed side effect of moving here. So I’m very grateful for that and I’d socialize as often as my supermeager means allow for (generally maybe twice per month at most, unless we meet in private and when it’s an affair where I’m not expected to bring gifts, like a birthday or such). And now the bulk of my new friends have all completed their diplomas and move on, taking the next step in life and leaving Krumbach. Under different circumstances, one might maintain some contact and go see each other here and there. But I don’t have a travel budget, so in being realistic I don’t guess I’m going to see any of them anytime soon, maybe never again. So there’s that.
But that’s not all there is to it. The part that gives me serious trouble is that I’m beginning to wonder whether I’ve got any good emotion left in me that I might get to rekindle given better circumstances and the right people. Here’s why: Tonight I got to see my new friends again and we’d actually play some music together in their rehearsal room downstairs. Musicians’ jargon is “to jam”, meaning to say we just got together and improvised on a whim. I do remember how I’d religiously devote any spare moment in my teenage years to improve on my instrument – main instrument guitar, second piano/keyboards, some singing – and how I couldn’t imagine anything more important on Saturday afternoons than getting together with the band and rehearse for little gigs in the vicinity. Naturally, we’d cover popular music on the radio, but went on to writing original material in the end (and ultimately won a regional battle-of-the-bands contest with a professional studio production as first prize win). The excitement of bringing the songs I loved to life with a band was always enough to keep my mind busy and also give me the feeling of being part of something, something good.
As we jammed along tonight – and the music flowed naturally and we kind of “clicked”, musically speaking – I was expecting for that “religious”, all engulfing feeling to come back full throttle – when it didn’t. I mean, eversince making friends with these guys I had dreamed of such an opportunity and finally upon their leaving it manifests! So I should be grateful – and I am, don’t get me wrong. But on the other hand…. it’s as if something inside of me is broken so bad that I don’t seem to get to repair it – or reinvoke those feelings of a nurturing kind, feelings that were powerful enough to let me rise beyond and above my C-PTSD and its large number of almost impossible to handle symptoms that I’ve been dragging along for all my life, almost since day one. That trick doesn’t seem to work any more. Ok, even here, you could go and say: “Alright, we all go through that at some point. What’s lost is lost. Find something new and move on.” Fair enough. Where? And what? And how? With very limited resources and very independable ones, I’d have to say.
I think, I may have used that phrase before, “stranded in life”. That’s where I’m at, that’s where I’ve been for the past 10 years. I just don’t know what to seek out any more – or where. My former survival strategy was to set a goal, assess my resources, attain missing qualifications and skills if necessary and then – go for it! That’s how I’ve been living most of my adult life. For the first time, I seem to have run out of ideas as to what goal might even be worthwhile pursuing. Music was my first dream. And I still can’t entirely let go of it for some reason. But when I’m at it, when I’m actually doing the darn thing, it nowhere near moves me as hard any more as it used to. And I need it to do that for me, because just being functional and showing up takes an all resolved effort on my part. I’m not even addressing the real humdingers here like diligent practice and discipline and all that. No. I’m talking about the mundane things like not exuding an air of danger to peers by letting on my hypervigilance and such. Handling my body, learning to navigate it all anew after learning of food intolerances, things of that nature, in other words: All the stuff other people don’t even have to spare one single thought on.
I did have quite my share of fun tonight, admitted. But only to be able to be there and deliver, I have to go a number of extra miles compared to other people. In other words: I have to work for the mere ability to be there and not stand out negatively. Nutrition, sleep, regular body functions – they’re all a constant problem that needs managing. In one phrase: There is no such thing as spontaneity for me any more. (on account of the symptoms and now in addition to that on account of the precarious living situation). I’ve learned to fight alright, but this time it seems that the opposition I’m facing is too much to handle for one person (and mind you, I have been handling it for some 10 years – on my very own). But more importantly, I seem to have lost sight of and connection with all these things that make life worthwhile in the first place: Love – for anything for starters by the way, we’ll get to the “people” or “significant other” part later… Actually, yes. It all boils down to love. I seem to have lost love somewhere along the way. And chuzpe, the go-getter sense. And I have no clue how to get the latter back, much less the first.
This – is – a – scary place to be in. Can’t recall having been in a place like this ever before.