FWF, Kellie Elmore 9/11

the breakfast of steel and ash

every time i close my eyes i am in the same dead, evil nightmare. even in the depths of my sleep i am praying to be freed from this living insanity, i don’t dream in color anymore. just black and white, only black and white. color has left me, left the world. mostly i sit in the corner of my bedroom in brooklyn, back at my parents’ house, watching television or trying to read a book.mostly i don’t do anything. years ago i thought i wanted to be a journalist but there is not a chance in hell i want to do that anymore.

In the immediate aftermath of the September 11...

In the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks many people were evacuated by ferry to Jersey City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

why bother, i’m already in hell and i don’t want to write it down any more than i have to. my psychiatrist is making me do this as an exercise i think it’s stupid but i promised i would try. as if, i also promised i wouldn’t commit suicide but i crossed my fingers behind my back.

i don’t know how easily some people can go back to joy and living when they were seconds away from  the smell in your nostrils of death, burning, steel, crashing planes. people jumping out of windows, running wild in the streets, i try to think of it as a movie but it is no movie.

i was the one who was supposed to look after pippa her parents had named her phillipa, they lived in australia. she was my girlfriend and had flown in a couple of weeks before to attend nyu just prior to labor day. she hadn’t even known what labor day was. this was all my fault. of course it was, how could anyone say it wasn’t. i know it was. i deserve to be dead too.

i was an executive trainee on wall street and they had planned a special back to work breakfast meeting, more like a party, and you were allowed to bring a guest. of course i asked pippa and she smiled so widely her whole face lit up, her pixie hair cut made her look about sixteen and she decided for hours what she was going to wear. the last i heard it would be her flowered dress yellow and orange flowered dress. i think. i don’t remember.  i’m sorry pippa, that i can’t remember that. i’m not sure, i don’t know.

i start crying and thrashing and now my mommy is in my room and she gives me some  medicine to calm me down. it’s okay i like to be calmed down so i can forget for a few minutes of what my life really is. i can sleep then.

pippa and i went to the breakfast meeting holding hands, she had no classes that morning so it worked out perfectly. they served mimosas and bloody marys and pippa, of course, had a mimosa, maybe two. they served the most elaborate breakfast and after the first course pippa touched me lightly on the shoulder and whispered that she was going to find the ladies room. i smiled back at her, i felt so lucky she was in my life.

before pippa got back we felt trembling in the building, we all looked at each other maybe the building was settling, we thought. after five minutes it was much worse there was an earthquake, we assumed, the building started shaking and we thought we heard explosions. everyone ducked, we had no idea idea what was happening. i started to scream for pippa, as loud as i could, i tried to run to her and i fell. stupid me, my voice was so hoarse i could barely speak but i kept screaming for her.

several minutes later it turned out that a bomb exploded in the first building, it had effected our building too but we were lucky. we were told to go down the stairs quickly. i couldn’t leave without her but the police officers said i had to, they promised they would look for her. i made them promise. we were all covered with ash, steel rods were everywhere, i could barely breathe.

September 11th, 2001

September 11th, 2001 (Photo credit: cliff1066™)

what happened after that i can barely remember, all i know is that i was alive and i waited for hours for pippa to come until they made me leave. i had to walk to brooklyn with other people in the city that had become a war zone. i waited for news of her for days, i didn’t leave my parents house, not for months. when i could go out i only went with my parents or psychiatrist to go to ground zero every day and every night but they always threw me out.

it’s been months now, pippa was killed on september 11th, i was supposed to protect her and here i am still alive. barely still alive. pippa was dead, it should have been me.it still may have to be. i make no promises. the only time I go out is to the memorial fence and i wait alone with other lost souls. we sit staring at the fence, crying, still hoping they will come back yet knowing they never will. we talk about joining them. every single day.

A small monument to the victims of the Septemb...

A small monument to the victims of the September 11th attacks on the fence of a car lot on Greenwich and Seventh Avenues in New York City. Taken by myself with a Canon 10D and 17-40mm f/4L lens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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Did I Say There Was HOPE For Fibromyalgia? WRONG.

Flower alone

Flower alone (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

9/13/13

Earth to me. Earth to me. Calling all hallucinogenic hopefuls down to reality please. Yes, I know, I was one of them. Me, optimistic, me. Funny, quirky, stupid, friggin  me. What the hell did I know? DId you believe me? I believed me. I really did until I woke up in reality which was just recently. I used to think of the world as a good place but that stopped a long, long time ago, probably with September 11th. That shook me up and the world still keeps shaking me up and not with good things. I know, I’m a late bloomer and gullible as all heck. There will always be two different “Me’s.” Before and after.

I’m jaded, Jaded and faded and disillusioned. Know what my mother’s advice was to me? “Lower your expectations, “I did. No rah-rah speech from her which is not exactly her style to begin with. My dad used to be Mr. Educational Talk when he was alive, think positive, be optimistic, you can do it if you THINK you can do it. He gave “pep” talks to anyone who would listen and yes he believed it and I tried to believe it too, tried to change. But, at the end of his life he was terribly sick and depressed and didn’t want to get out of bed or listen to his favorite Viennese waltzes that had delighted him all of his life. He was a shadow of himself, a shell of a man, it went so quickly and so slowly at the same time. It’s hard to remember when he was last really happy, I have a photo of his birthday, I treasure that photograph. The birthday candles were lit, he was beaming with joy, but it was many years before his death.

I’ve gone to the dark side. Plain and simple. Life is about love and love is about abandonment. Gone. Hello, I am here. I love you. I now will leave you. Good-bye. You are born alone and you die alone. You should pretty much plan to be alone a lot in your lifetime because no one loves you like your mother or father does, or your spouse/partner. You love your kids more than anything, they are your heart and soul, the true essence of your being but it is not reciprocal. It can’t be. Their children will be the lights of their eyes, you need to stand back and make room for the next generation. You may still be in the picture but not upfront, from now on you are in the background and that is where you will stay, forever.

Remember that post I wrote on feeling blessedly numb and peaceful? Yes, that’s gone, it left as fast as it came. Had to do with children and my dead father and abandonment issues.  Just saying the word in my head brings tears to my eyes. Good old abandonment, am I the only nut job that has this umbrella issue? I would bet not. Life is scary sometimes, it’s the truth.

Many limitations from chronic illnesses: Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto Thyroiditis, I can not walk a straight line, my balance is worse than ever, my stamina is non-existent. I need to go into the city for an appointment to see my rheumatologist and I don’t have the strength to get there. Taking the train and a cab seems impossible, hiring a car service is ridiculously expensive and I can’t afford that. So, I keep postponing it which is the worst thing I can do.

I have to suck up my pride and ask my best friend for help, she’s already offered but I am not good at asking for things. I rather help than ask for help. So, today I have to promise myself that I will ask her for a ride to the city, pay for everything and appreciate that I have a friend I can ask albeit begrudgingly. I know I won’t get better, if anything I’m getting worse.

photo credit:@doug88888

written words copyrighted

Could it be Magic? (Carry on Tuesday)

Happiness

Happiness (Photo credit: baejaar)

An Easier Life

Nobody ever said life was going to be easy. In our young innocence we just assume it is because we know no different; our families have protected us from life’s troubles. That, my dear, can only last a short time, you do know that right?

It’s been a rough couple of months, actually it’s been rough for a long time now. As we grow older we look back on our lives, I do not envy the youth of today. No, I really don’t. Growing older does not have many perks. We all handle it differently. There are cheery and optimistic people with me in the nursing home and some say clichés like “You’re as young as you feel.” Frankly I think that’s a crock…”

There are people like me who are over sensitive to other people’s suffering and pain. I feel other people’s pain, it becomes a part of me, I’ve been that way since I’ve been a child, I can’t undo who I am or try not to care. It doesn’t work. I sincerely wish it would. It would cause me so much less pain. I don’t blame anyone but myself but I always thought caring about others was a good thing, no? Well, not for me, you see.

I’ve accepted, after many years, that people are very different, though growing up I thought everyone felt the way I did so when caring wasn’t reciprocated, I was often hurt. As a child how would you know that all people act differently?  Who else could I learn from if not from myself? Life changed that, many years later in my life, not quickly enough but eventually I learned and adjusted, but it never felt natural to me.You deal with whatever happens to you and sometimes you still deflate like a withering balloon starting from a room’s happy ceiling and twirling slower and slower until all the life that has been kept it in the balloon deflates and now it’s just a tiny lump of pink  lying embarrassingly at your feet, defeated and dead.

Many things have happened in the world lately, things that I thought I would never see in my older years. Things I didn’t want to see: the horror of September 11th, the killing of children and adults in Newtowne, Connecticut and this week, the joyful runners of the Boston Marathon and onlookers killed senselessly. I spent almost half of my life in Boston, the good years, the young, innocent years when Hank and I got married. There was a joy known only to newlyweds, many more days clothed in bright yellow happiness than the darkness of fear. There was nothing to worry about back then; could it have been just magic? Maybe, it was the utter happiness, cloud of love and youth, having no responsibilities and living in a simpler, easier time.

There were no bomb threats or terrorist attacks back then, now our children and grandchildren live in constant fear and uncertainty. I’m glad Hank isn’t alive to see all of this.  The Boston Marathon this past week put people back, straight back to 9/11, this terror spares no one, no place, no time. How hard, how scary it to live actively in today’s world. I fear for my children and my grandchildren. I have lived a long, life, and for that alone, I am happy to be old. If I died tonight there would be no regrets.  Sitting in my room, rocking in my chair, smiling at the pretty white flowers, visits from my children and grandchildren, sleeping and a good meal is all I ask for and all that I want. I don’t envy the youth of today, in fact, I feel quite sad for them.

I Panicked, Then I Got Over Myself (Because We Have No Choice)

The Donna Reed Show

The Donna Reed Show (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At dinner, my nineteen year old son told me that he and his friends were going to see a movie later that night. I felt a chill course through my body. “Batman?” I asked in a somber tone. “Yeah” he said, just looking at my face, “Mom. don’t worry.” But, of course, I worried a bit and it is making me furious that once again there is another thing to feel fearful about when so much has already been taken away. We have lost the freedom to feel care-free, happy, because other people are killing each other senselessly.  Wait, that is incorrect, we have not “lost the freedom” it has been stripped from us, leaving open, bloody wounds and physical and emotional pain that will never go away.

I’m not saying that I won’t go to the movies again, certainly not, movies have always been my safe haven but now there’s another feeling about going into a movie theater other than just pure joy and excitement and playing the preview game, (thumbs up or thumbs down?)….there’s trepidation, at least for now.

Right after 9/11 people were scared to fly, many, many people. Others were even scared to take the trains or buses, I don’t like the world now. I liked it better when “Father Knows Best” was on television and “Mayberry RFD” and “The Donna Reed Show.” Any situation was always wrapped up neatly by the end of half an hour, and there was always a sweet, comforting ending. Sure, some mischief may have been made but the child learned a lesson, hugs were warmly given and they all sit down together for a really good dinner. ( Yes, it was always made by mom.)

Life seemed easier back then, sure we had fire drills at school and we had to scoot under our desks (maybe there were threats we knew nothing about) but there were no actual terrorist attacks or abductions or practice lock- downs that my children speak of as part of their day, as common as milk and cookies were to us in the fifties and sixties. Knowing it can never be the same stirs a gloomy sadness inside me.

What can I do to help?  Anything? I know, probably not. The world as I knew it has changed. I just wish there was some way that collectively we could think of a way to make things better. Instead, we stand on the sidelines and want to lift a hand. It may be a totally unrealistic and innocent idea but I just feel so helpless doing nothing. Sure, I can spare a few dollars to donate to the victims of Aurora, Colorado but that’s not what I am talking about. It’s not ENOUGH.

I have a longing for the past, an ache for a simpler life, the life of my childhood. I want to help make things better and don’t know how.

Can anyone else relate?

What I Miss About Childhood

Up, Up And Away

Trans World Airlines (TWA) Boeing 747-100

I miss the innocence of being a child. When you are little you think that your parents can handle all of life’s problems. When I was a child we boarded airplanes continuously since our father worked for TWA. My sister and I had to dress up in matching blue skirts and sweaters, I remember the buttons felt and looked like small rocks. The only feeling we had, since we were flying non-rev, (subject to space) was perhaps annoyance that we may not get on the flight we wanted. We would have to wait for another flight at the airport which could take hours. At that time it seemed like a tragedy. Now, we fear terrorist attacks, bombs exploding, emergency landings and even birds in the sky. We take off our shoes, we go through security; everyone looks suspicious. Back then we dressed like we were going to the opera, now people wear jeans and sweat pants on the airplane, myself included. I would give anything to have that innocence back; I wouldn’t even complain about wearing a sweater set that identically matched my older sister’s.There is no way of making up for that loss of innocence; after 9/11 the world as we had known it, changed forever.

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