The Poisoned Therapist

Water. The sounds of dripping water reverberated often in Mercer’s head. It would drip into a puddle, sometimes pour out like a fresh pail feeding spring’s floral children. But when Mercer hears her ears fill with water, all she is able to do is to be entranced as she drowns in an endless, wondrous, cosmic ocean of oblivion.

Tonight was one of those nights for her, and Mercer remained still for hours, laying transfixed in bed. She was just about to get ready to wind down for the night, maybe check her schedule for tomorrow’s clients, and then drift off to sleep. As soon as the plinking sound of water started, she was paralyzed with a soft sensation – was it adrenaline? It rushed through her veins like channels of streaming water, and her mind washed away of all thoughts and consciousness.

It was the blaring ringing of her phone that finally snapped Mercer out of trance. She jumped, in a daze, and grabbed her phone to answer the incessant noise.

“Hello?”

A nervous voice spoke up after an uncomfortable shuffling moment. “Oh hi Mercer, I was just calling to see if we could actually talk tonight? I finished my project early so I uh, I have the time now.”

Mercer quickly sat up and reached for her compact notebook from the nightstand. “Ohh! Yes, yes of course Cordelia, this is perfect. Then I can meet with Wallace tomorrow evening. How did the paintings go?”

“Well,” Cordelia let out a soft sigh. “It was good, it was good. I’m still adjusting myself to finding that outlet for me, you know? Sometimes I’m filled with thoughts that are always racing, never ending. Like a loop. They just keep on flowing and I don’t quite know how to stop them. So I painted an infinity sign in gold and then I just repeated that pattern. It’s rather hypnotizing Mercer, but today I felt proud. I was able to channel these thoughts into my artwork and it was adorned in this beautiful golden paint I purchased from Joanne’s. It was like, I could engrave my thoughts in each infinite band. Oh and, the other bands were of course other metallic paints I picked out back home.”

Plink. Not now, Mercer thought. She took a quick breath and walked to the kitchen to make herself a small cup of coffee. “That’s wonderful Cordelia. Having that outlet to express your thoughts, it’s one of the best things humanity created as a remedy to our own struggles. Art is, that is. What were some of those thoughts you were having, Cordelia?” She opened the cupboard and started on her black coffee with almond milk.

Cordelia paused for a moment, and then quietly detailed her thoughts. That she was a failure for not graduating college, for having a broken family and a broken heart. Being 25 and unemployed because of her depressive state led her to live with her aunt Terrissa out in the countryside. Cordelia always thought things would get better over there, especially because Terrissa was kind and gentle to her as a child, and the exposure to nature could brighten her mood. Terrissa was rather toxic within the confines of her home; she was constantly pressuring and reminding Cordelia of how much her presence set back Terrissa’s lifestyle of tranquility and remarking on Cordelia’s much changed stature. One day, Cordelia had taken a stroll out back along one of the fences that gated the south pasture, where her favorite mare grazed, and Cordelia saw Terrissa disposing some strange parts. She circled back later that evening and vomited on the spot from what she had seen: Malary, the house cat, was butchered viciously with charred bits and pieces of fur.

“I was just, you know, trying to get some breakfast sorted for me this morning and Terrissa just snapped at me. And then she just started yelling at me about how ungrateful I was to not ask if she was hungry and how I had no manners. She always makes me food and I did feel remorse but I just wasn’t thinking properly when I was so hungry. And honestly I wanted to throw the knife I was using to cut the cucumber at her throat and just, I don’t know, just scar her forever, and make her mute. I wanted to hurt her, Mercer.” Cordelia’s voice quivered.

Mercer took a sip of her coffee, felt a growing sense of trepidation, and drowned it down with more coffee as she clicked her pen to jot more notes. “I know you’ve tried your best. You stay out of her way when possible, and you’ve tried talking, reasoning, heck even bargaining. I want you to consider, possibly, now to change your environment instead of your relationship. You’ve been out of work for a couple years, I want you to prepare a list of potential jobs you see and like for me next week.” Mercer paused as bubbling sounds floated past her ears. “She’s not only toxic as we’ve established – Cordelia, she’s emotionally abusive to you.” A small sniff stuttered from across the line.

“I knew it at heart but you know I can’t leave her. She’s sick, Mercer. And I’m sick.” Her voice was strained, but remarkably held its composure.

Mercer felt her eyes droop with empathy. “Every day is a fight, but you’ll be the one to win the war. Okay? You have to believe in that, that’s the only way it becomes real. You’re sick, so you’ll find that remedy, even if you carry scars as a part of you for life. Heck, maybe even you have it for life but you will manage it. You don’t just stay down, that would have happened 5 years ago and you very well know that.”

More sniffles and a shuddering breath stifles through the feed after a long pause. “Thanks Mercer. I appreciate this tonight, I’m sorry if I took up more time this session than slated but this really helps me and I think I can sleep tonight.”

“Happy to help, darling. That’s what I’m here for. We can correspond over email on confirming the next appointment.”

“Okay, that sounds great Mercer. Thank you again for the kind words tonight, good night.”

“Good night.” Click.

Mercer felt herself slipping in the sofa chair as she clinked her coffee mug with her metal spoon. Clink, clink, plink, clink. Another long night. The therapist is not exactly religious, but Mercer believes in a soul, in spiritual energy. The souls, vessels and conduits, or reservoirs of internal energy is transferred to another soul, or a spiritual body. Perhaps a ki or a chakra of some sort. Cordelia was filled with uncertainty, and thus Mercer felt a growing sense of trepidation. Mercer “knew better” but still allowed – or perhaps, unable to stop – it to happen. These days, the sighs grow longer and wispier.

Soft ethereal sounds of falling water cascaded in her ears again. Mercer closed her eyes and felt a cold wake splash against her temples. It corrupted her, clouded her mind with billowing fog of emptiness. She felt like the hand of a clock, ticking mindlessly, inanimately, in the race of time. This watery sound knew how to render her a kind of stillness she never knew before. She listens, and understands her heart synchronized to the dripping of water. It filled her spiritual body and drowns her, and where dread once resided, there was nothing but solace. Alone in her chair, she sunk to the depths of this oceanic torrent. It was poisoning, and Mercer let it flow through her with a single breath.


Inspired by Matt Nasir – The Last Train

2019 – A Reunion with God

So, I kinda did a last minute fast (a fast minute?) for Passion Week – I honestly forgot.

But in the two-ish days I had been fasting, I think it was a much needed escapade from technology, and also a tormenting one.

It was full of aching and hurting from being sick, but there was also an anxious ache from in game stuff. It appears that they will be resolved at about the same time.

But this is about God, or it should be at least. I genuinely, and honestly, devoted some time to God, and to learning more about Him. I opened up The Bible Project, in hopes that wisdom may inspire me. I may have learned some answers about how to move forward from this anxiety, which is good.

(On a side note, I absolutely love TBP’s explainer videos – the animations, art, and motion graphics are stunning and that is just the epitome of everything I want to do!)

When I was a child, I earnestly asked for wisdom. That was my first request that was ever fulfilled and that was when I knew God. When I grew older, I stopped. I’m still stagnant, if not retreating backwards in time – I’m not maturing spiritually.

So every time I get sick, I have this habit: I pray to God. I suppose that sounds natural to most, but it’s one of the worst habits. Imagine a friend who only talks to you when they need something from you. I do have friends like these even now, and while I can tolerate them, I think when they are the most obvious about it is when I feel the most hurt and annoyed. I am that, to God.

What’s funny is that the following day my pulsating headache disappeared. My cold was finally starting to take a turn for recovery. This happens every time I do get sick. I turn to God, and it’s like voila! You’re healed. Sometimes I’m cautiously wary, and brush it off because I knew I could get over the sickness. But in my moment of weakness, I still prayed to God. What does that say about me?

I dreamt vividly last night, a rather odd dream. I dreamt of my dad first, and then of Ilse. A disturbing dream in the first, and then rather mundane for the second. I didn’t know what to think of it. These are the two people I would never be able to converse and interact just as simply as that. But it is as simple as that. It can be. But I don’t believe it to be.

When I awoke, my eyes didn’t feel like they were going to pop from the headache. It was gone, relieved, and I let out a scratchy gasp. I continued to sleep and sleep. In such a chaotic world, I never seem to have time for God. Not even in my dreams.

So I sometimes wonder if He is the one who puts them there. The ones that recur every so often, or every other year. The ones that I know what will happen, and still fear. I love this connection with writing down my dreams, but sometimes they hold a scary power. Not of premonition, but of interlinking realms. Have I been reading and watching too much weird fiction? Perhaps.

But I love it too. My connection to God can be seen as vividly as fiction fans to their magical realism novels. Neither realms bow to the order and law of human logic and reason, or understanding for that matter. Almost like its random. I don’t mean, Pokémon Emerald pseudo-random seed generator “random”, but random in its purest essence. In other words, God’s will and design. Something we cannot understand or ever comprehend.

Yup, this is definitely late night writing again. But I wanted to write something about the past two days. I think there is going to be a big change. I don’t quite know what this unrest is, but I regret purchasing Sharn almost. I regret that my friends have went and got me the Season Pass. I always have been telling myself and wondering, will it ever end?

I watched an odd array of movies. Joseph: King of Dreams was a film I watched as a kid, I enjoyed rewatching that. I forgot DreamWorks produced that and Prince of Egypt. Somehow I thought watching Christian films would be a good idea afterwards, but halfway into God is For Real, and I curled back in distaste at some of the lines. Even for a Christian as myself. Blegh.

Themes of forgiveness, and the choice by free will have been circling my mind all day. What does God want me to do? Resounds like the cheesy WWJD bracelets, but I think about Him seriously. I want to be humble, kind, loving, and come from that place of love. It’s not easy.

I’m sick in the heart, mind, body, and soul. I clearly need Him, but I don’t know how to let go. So help me God, in my next transition.


Artistic Influences & Inspirations of the Day

On a separate side note, I came across a couple cool new Christian songs. Yes, they are not exactly worship hymns, but Passion Week is when I discover underground songs like these particularly under the electronic genre. Love it!

Who Says? – Joshua Micah

More than Air – Local Sound

And finally, one that I’ve been listening to lately. The Veldt, by deadmau5 ft. Chris James. I only recently stumbled across this one, and came to learn of its inspirational reference and Chris James’ instant hit. Reminded me of Chris Tomlin’s rise, through a cover of David Crowder’s song. This one calms me, and is probably my favorite of deadmau5, given that his most popular one Strobe wasn’t one that I really connected with, if I had to be blunt.

The films that I’ve watched today gave birth to so many artistic inspirations. The Bible Project’s Ecclesiastes’ caricature, Joseph: King of Dreams’ artistic renditions, and even the cinematography of Pan’s Labyrinth. I learned, loved, and resonated lots today!

Reclusion

I used to be unbelievably outgoing when I was younger.

When I think back, its nostalgic, but I think some people would think its weird. I used to be friends with an old lady and two middle aged mothers, my sister and I. We’d go over to their apartment and clean for them, or walk their dogs (surprisingly, two of them both had dogs, and one of them had a Persian cat and a ton of fishes). Jan was the name of the elderly lady, and I can’t remember the middle aged mother, but her son was in the same grade as me when I was in middle school. I guess we’ve been hanging out with them since then, until we moved away during the freshman year of high school.

We met Jan when she was walking her two Pekingese dogs (Andy and Amanda) one day and we instantly fell in love with them. They really were so adorable, its too bad we didn’t have cameras or phones “back in the day.” We’d often allude them as ourselves; Amanda was the feisty one like my younger sister, and Andy was more of the calm yet derpy one like me. One day, Jan showed up less and less – she was taken care of by her daughter who was around her late twenties or early thirties, I think. She always had problems with her knee, and she was going into surgery soon. I remember they’d always let us walk her dogs before all this happened, but when I think about it now I imagine they were immensely grateful that we would always come over and walk their dogs. I think I remember them asking us formally if we could, and we were delighted to help. Its funny because we were dense as kids, and so we didn’t ask for payment. I think it was better that way – Jan wasn’t an employer, but our friend. I can’t remember every detail, but certain memories are still vibrant.

They didn’t tell us anything, probably because they felt we were too young to understand or something. I wish they did, because at times when I muse in my past memories, I wish I had known so that I would understand it later in the future. Even now, I still don’t know where they are anymore and where they have gone. Back then, to me, email was not used so much until later on. To talk to them and catch up after all these years would be beyond amazing. Still, I am sure just as I think about them at times, they might remember us fondly (hopefully, we were crazy kids).

I did call Inga’s mother once and we both talked for a while. Inga was really young, much younger than us – I think she was maybe 6 or 7 when I was maybe 13 or 14? I can’t remember. But these friendships were genuine – perhaps in ulterior motive, we just wanted to be around pets since we could never have one of our own, but over time in my childhood we would “explore” the apartment complex and meet so many great people – that place was the place where I grew up in and that was our world.

I remember Kelly, the girl who was maybe 3-4 or so years older than us. She was very mature and crazy in a reserved kind of way, and was kindhearted to hang with us, who probably were kids in her eyes. It’s amazing to me how I was not affected by the age gap stigma, but as I’ve matured, I’ve realized how much I’ve changed, even when its not outwardly.

A wave of memories overflow me as I type these words, I can be very nostalgic at times. I remember so many good and happy memories of my sister, my childhood friend Mary Lou, and all the embarrassing ones too. Both the good and the bad, I look back favorably. Sometimes, in my quiet world of thoughts at night, I would like to express many important themes regarding my childhood in art, somehow.

Up until now. The change is unbelievable – I am no longer the kind of person to reach out to anyone in real life. I’ve always been shy, but the person I am today rejects and dislikes any form of real life social contact. My sister always gets on to me about not spending more time with her, and there is usually a sinking feeling, no, maybe more of a sigh, when someone asks to go hang out. Its not the people themselves that I dislike company – I’ve become nearly entirely reclusive. More and more each day, I am paralyzed by laziness and anti social tendencies, but I’ve never thought of it as a bad thing. I’ve always been comfortable within my own bubble, plugged in to electronic music, and typing away, whether to chat with online friends or expressing my thoughts here. In such a loud, bizarre, chaotic world, music sweeps me away from outside distractions, and games immerse me from any stress nagging at me. That doesn’t mean I don’t think about important things and neglect them, but if I did not do this, I think I would be hypertensive because I am the type of person constantly thinking about things. When I am immersed in this new world of mine, to me, it almost becomes an artistic expression – the stories that I make up for my characters, the expression of my true self here, even the tedious list of things to do in DDO – everything is what gets me so passionate about this game, blog, whatever it is that I love doing. I can only dream I could make a living by truly following my artistic conduct.

Sometimes I surmise and try to explain why I’ve become this way. Maybe my life, that didn’t seem as traumatic as I thought it was, shows in its own psychological form. In that case, would that mean I’m a weaker person that I thought I was, and that all this time I have been putting up a facade? There are these deeper thoughts I wonder about randomly. All this time, I’ve never once thought of my being changing (which to others apparently is dramatic) as a bad thing. I had already subconsciously and gradually accepted the reclusive part of me, as it was the type of person I have always been deep down. There was a reason why I was always considered quiet as a kid, that I’ve always preferred thinking to myself. My mind was the only safe place when people would reprimand me, or when I was emotional (in both good and bad terms). I remember strongly that I would always whisper to myself, which has stopped after my older sister pointed it out and I would have to mentally stop myself ever since, thinking it was a bad thing. Of course, when she started doing it, I reverted right back, but not as much as I used to. Ahh, the psychology of social ethics.

The definition of “fun” back then is surely, not even remotely the same as I would define it today. I think a lot of people would not understand me on what I think is fun on what seems to be an addict’s ritual. I’m a repetitive person until I burn out, when it comes to music, grinding in game, etc. I wonder if I would ever stop playing DDO, and sometimes I do get tired (as I am right now, definitely burned out from constantly reincarnating). But all in all… I am truly passionate about DDO. I know there is a difference between fanaticism and passion. However, they are the same to me when it comes to things I love, and I am sure that is how other people may view their interests too, with a sort of fanaticism that we cannot help. I guess it’s just a matter of deeming whether their interest is ethically right or wrong – I know that some things aren’t right to be fanatical about of course (this is for you political/philosophical peeps). Perhaps that is how the others view me.

My thoughts are always random, but I find that artistic. It’s kind of how I set up this blog to be as a ramble spot, but I know that can be annoying for those who read traditional blogs. It reminds me of dreams, which I vividly remember most of them on the day I wake up (of course I forget the ones after a while) – both spontaneous but coherently fluid enough for comprehension. I’ve always been the type of person to muse a lot on my dreams and nightmares, and maybe that has even translated into my thoughts and how I organize them in regards to my experiences and the world around me.

In the end, I may be completely different a decade from now, just as I was a decade ago. My friends and family may love or hate me then. It can be scary thinking about this, but identity has always been such a huge question to me. I’ve always followed in my older sister’s steps, but I’ve never made enough tracks to identify in my own footsteps. I loathe thinking about the future in regards to my education and future life in general, so much that I sometimes almost wish I don’t have to worry about the future once and for all. Of course, I wouldn’t go that extreme in actuality, but I hate it that much. Because of this, this has been one of my top prayers for when I do pray (forgive me!), but the answer is still unclear after all these years. This is where I am at my weakest. Even when I am inspired (which I have been lately) by pieces or art or the like, it appears that I am too far in this sort of inner paralysis to do anything that I would want to do but cannot.

“It is a long way forward,” but I am trying! Even if I’m taking snail paces, the realization of all of these as of recently is my starting point. The lagging pace in my gaming time in DDO recently has sparked something for me, and thus this frustration of these thoughts were poured forth. The frustration of not moving forward in both life and DDO. For the first time in forever, I wanted to draw. And now, before I fall asleep, I wanted to write about this. I have the worst habit of doing that. But hopefully, I’ll be able to change that and make room for other things than DDO – I want to.

The biggest inspiration that got me thinking about this, writing about this, fighting about this, was Porter Robinson’s Shelter. My sister showed it to me and at first I was impressed mildly, but after watching it over and over and over again on my own, the isolated world there was what resonated with me and all that was happening. Maybe in the future, I won’t be lagging behind as much, sleeping in as much, and putting forth my real motivations to action.

The hardest thing I struggle with: putting thoughts into words, words into action. I am but a hollow shell, really.

The Problem of Avoiding Drama

So I had a random thought hit me today when I was prefacing what our guild was about to a recruit – and one of those things included a “tendency to avoid drama” and other good stuff. But I thought to myself suddenly right after I pressed the enter button, is it really a good thing? I thought more critically about this and I came to the conclusion that a guild or a player who avoids drama isn’t really a good thing at all at its core.

There’s this stigma around drama both online and in real life – that it’s just a pain to deal with it because the assumption is that everyone’s had gone through countless drama filled experience and it is not pleasant. And that is true all in all – they really aren’t joyful experiences and indeed rather a headache. We’re so tired of hearing about them and facing them. No one wants to stay up late worrying about friends fighting with each other (or you in a dispute with someone else, whatever the situation is). But the truth is, no one can escape “drama.” There’s no such thing as a drama free guild because that implies absolute freedom from such experiences, and we as humans know inherently that that is just close to impossible. Perhaps there are exceptions to the rule – solo guilds or small guilds composed of family, real life friends, or folks who just agree on close levels and have that common understanding of boundaries. But to me, it feels like 90% of the guilds, especially ones that are “public” (meaning open recruit for the player base that is a conglomerate of various kinds of people), face at least some kind of drama in their time of activity.

It is the inevitable, and so my conclusion is that we should acknowledge it and face it – to work through them and arrive successfully at a point of ease. The phrase “to avoid drama” is basically synonymous to “don’t start anything in the first place” – which is a very good practice. But the part I am getting at here is that the possibility of failure to doing that is always there – and to ignore that is to be ignorant of imperfect natures. Most guilds who promote a drama free policy boot as a result of failure to comply with the policy. It makes sense at surface level – but the more I think about this, the more it seems wrong. So I ask, what then do people really learn from this “rule”? This social stigma that drives guilds to be so harsh in regards to dealing with drama? I think we place too much emotional value behind this seemingly laughable, easily dismissed issue.

We should be teaching others by our actions that it is OK for some drama to happen. Sure, there is indeed a limit on how much drama is too much drama. But sometimes, people don’t reach a greater point of understanding until they make a mistake and then learn to overcome it. It is especially important that people who join a guild are capable of doing just that (or even willing to). To me, it feels as if the current way of things is paralleled to a time bomb – a temporary fix, bound to ruin. Would it not be better to learn to disable the time bomb instead of moving it to another place? Essentially, we aren’t doing people a favor when they are booted because of drama reasons. From firsthand experience, I have seen it, and would never want to resort to that ever again.

So then, why do I still feel like I’m obligated as an officer of this guild to offer that as an explanation or reason for joining the guild? Perhaps I too have fallen in this trap, the socially acceptable idea that all (social) conflict is poison. Or perhaps one could argue that this rumination doesn’t establish a true grasp of what drama means – its subjectivity however is another topic.

Nonetheless, I’ll apply the same idea to my own conclusion: to work through it all the way to the end and arrive at a point of clarity. Who knew I could turn a totally random, laughable thought into an essay!

I just wanted to close saying that BBA as a guild is fantastic. Well, in my opinion that is an understatement honestly, haha. I mean, I can’t say that there was no drama, but there were very few cases, and only one that ended without much of a solution. As much as I want to think that the guild is all good and all perfect, it would be foolish to claim so. Many people would think so, but every guild has their own problems. Not that I am saying this guild has problems inside at all, and not particularly now (it is rather the opposite of that – lack of people playing the game/active in guild means nonexistent “sparks”) – no, that is not why I made this post. I felt strongly about this particular matter because of cognitive dissonance – the new conclusion resonates with my thought of logic and beliefs. BBA as a guild has done so much for me, and in turn I do the best I can for them. I’m amazed at how well the guildies click, as if it weren’t purely coincidence/chance in the recruiting process. It truly speaks a lot of our officers’ recruiting abilities, and even of their own values. After discussing guild stuff with the officers in a meeting today, I can’t help but want to continue to strive for better and help the guild grow.

This post is best understood by where I’m coming from and the kind of person I am. There’s nothing more anxiety inducing to me than when there is a sharp dispute or atmosphere among people, not even just friends but with anyone in general. Social harmony means a lot to me, so anytime there is a conflict that threatens that, my first instinct is to try and resolve it myself. I know that to be one of my greatest flaws as a person online. But to organize my thoughts in this post/ramble, this is where I am coming from – just as another person striving to understand others the best she can.

🙂