now I'm here and I'll drink to the shame, I'll drink to the madness that made me this way.

-kasey chambers

July 9, 2003
11:01 PM eastern

dear loafe,

I have to tell you something. I've been struggling lately. I am not too sure what it is. Summer is supposed to be happy, carefree, all watermelon laughs and lemonade kisses. But instead I have such heaviness inside, eating away at me, filling me with holes.

I've been having trouble sleeping. I get in bed, I stare at the ceiling and I wait. Something has to give, sooner or later, and it's not going to be me. What do other people do in this situation? They count sheep! How easy! Anyone can count sheep. Here is what happens to me when I try this age-old, insomnia-conquering tactic:

I close my eyes and ready my mind for the sheep-counting. But then I start wondering. I'm counting sheep right? But what kind of sheep? Cartoon sheep? Real sheep? What do sheep even look like, I can't remember the last time I saw one, they're white and fluffy and have black faces. Should they look normal or all exaggerated and crazy? And where do I focus my sheep-counting camera? Is there a big herd of the sheep hanging out in the back just waiting for me? Do I pan across the entire field? How do I know it's even a field? Maybe these sheep are jumping in a forest. But that doesn't make any sense. Why would sheep be jumping over a fence in forest? What's the fence doing in the forest anyway? I guess a field then. Do I watch one particular sheep as it jumps and then gets back into rotation for more jumps, or is it just a line of sheep, one after another, and once they jump they disappear forever? Should I center in on the fence and just wait for each sheep to bound over it? Or do I pull back so I can see the big huddle of sheep and count them as they waddle up to the fence and then jump over it? Sheep don't waddle. I guess lumber, I'll watch the sheep lumber up to the fence. Although really, sheep don't lumber either but whatever. Do I watch the sheep walk away from the fence? At what point do I stop focusing on the jumping sheep? Because the sheep jumps over the fence and then has to presumably go somewhere. Do I watch it go there? Is it night or day? And why are these sheep jumping over the fence to begin with? I don't know very much about sheep, but I've never seen one run much less jump over something. Maybe the sheep just float magically over the fence. Maybe I'll just stick all on the sheep up on some sort of clip attached to a wire, and they'll just roll on by over the fence, and I'll count them. But still, I don't know if they should be cartoon sheep or real sheep. And what kind of FENCE, my god, is it a white picket fence, a chain link fence, a brown horses-and-rodeo type of fence? ARGH.

See what I mean? Counting sheep does not work for me, loafe. By the time I give up on the whole affair, it's an hour later, I'm still awake, only now I am all crazed and stressed about the sheep.

Going to the gym at lunch and avoiding caffeine, especially after 2pm, seems to help. but I'm still feeling funky.

I wish I had a stuffed loafe that I could cuddle up to at night and whisper all my dark crazy clunky secrets. my soft squishy loafe would not judge me or ask me a million questions or laugh at me or roll its eyes or say "cuckoo cuckoo christa is a cuckoo."

I think I need to start seeing a doctor again, loafe. A doctor to help me with my head. I keep having all these bad awful thoughts, scary thoughts, worried thoughts. I feel shaky and nervous all the time, anxious and jittery. Little things I do help me with the physical parts, working out and eating certain foods and drinking water. That helps me physically from looking like the newest resident of Sunny Brooke Nut Farm, but in my mind, it doesn't help at all, in my mind I'm zooming along at manic speeds and my mind is going to fall, just like I fell on my rollerblades, only I won't get to walk away with just a few scrapes and bruises.

Mental health professionals (I use the term professionals very loosely here) are an untrustworthy lot. I've had some bad experiences with them, these people you go to for help, these people you crawl to on your hands and knees for just a bit of relief, a bit of peace, these people who take ahold of the knife and drive it deeper into your brain and into your heart, twist it around, then wrench it out just to drive it in again. For every good doctor, there are 50 very bad ones.

I had a dream recently, I was with my mother, and we went to get help. I went to talk to someone, to say "I can't do this alone anymore" and they smiled and they said "we can help you" and they gave me pills, and then they said "but you have to stay here now christa, you can't leave." and my mother she fooled me, she tricked me, my own mother, she left me there, a place where a person will do anything she can just to be left alone, just to leave, just to be forgiven.

That dream scared me, and I think maybe I need help, but you cannot be honest and truthful with these people without being held accountable. What good is therapy if you can't open up completely, if you can't say all the things you need to say, if you can't let out this stale, stank breath you've been holding for so long now, this breath that is choking you, and keeping you from drawing in that deep clean fresh air you want so much?

Because if you do, if you let that out, they will lock you up. They will see that you're nothing but a fraud, that you could never be a functioning productive member of society, and they would lock you up. And being out here is infinitely better than being in there, this I know.

But I can tell you loafe. you're my saving grace. you're the only one I can tell that I miss being a slut, that I miss being treated like trash, that I miss being the dirty whore that I am. I miss sleeping around with random people, because the only time I feel alive and special and worthwhile is when I'm doing that.

I can admit to you loafe all the crazy things I think, admit that I do things to bring hurt and pain, that I like to surround myself with the people who will bring me the most amount of suffering.

I can admit to you loafe that on that terrible terrible night in January, I didn't fight. I can admit that I wanted him to not just rape me, but to kill me, to stab me, to bash my head on the floor, so my cheek could rest on the cold tile and I could watch my own blood spreading around me, see his feet as he walked out, and that is where I would die, that is how I would die. I can admit that I wanted him to do that to me so that I could be dead, I could die in the most demeaning and pathetic way possible, the way I deserve, and I wouldn't have to be awake anymore or think about anything ever again, I wouldn't have to keep fighting and struggling and surviving, I could finally just be at rest.

I can admit to you loafe that I can talk and remember and think about all these things without crying, without batting an eye, without grabbing a gun, putting it in my mouth and pulling the trigger. I can admit that I want to do this. I can admit that I hate myself for being so numb and indifferent now, that I have that ability, that I have that strength, because I don't want it. I hate myself that I am waking up everyday and going through the motions of life, doing the same stupid meaningless useless things that we all do, hating myself for being able to surive things that a person should never have to survive, for enduring, for living. I hate that I can tell you all these things loafe and my hands barely twitch anymore, and my eyes don't fill with tears, and my heart keeps on beating, and my brain keeps on remembering. I hate that I am already dead inside, but I still keep on living.

thank you loafe.

love always,