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  • Robin Kastengren

Live Your Truth. Otherwise, You Are the Liar.

Sounds poetic. It's a huge problem with me these days.

I had no idea that "I thought like that." While I thought I was dead, I thought my hands were somehow magic and had one last chance to tell my life story so someone would know who I was. I reached out to the only people I thought would understand what I was trying to say because I knew I wasn't getting it out right.

The first person I reached out to was called from the echoes of eternity from the second children of second children of second children. If that sounds too poetic, then it's because I want only one person to get the message and the rest of youse to get the picture, ya dig?

Anyway, I seemed almost possessed with the need to tell my story in a fevered pace and couldn't get a grip on it for fucking hours sometimes. It was awful. You can't take my lifeline and yet my lifeline seems to be possessed? Idk. On the outside, I'm just sleeping for days like I've been known to do. She gets a little "like that" sometimes. Inside, it felt like the entire contents of my brain had been dumped out on a table one last time. Better get them before they're gone.

I later learned that the medical term for "cell phone screaming at me to type as fast as I can before I die" is "panic attack." Who knew.

Welp. Now that we know what that is all about, let's get to work figuring out what is causing me to shit my pants in panic from my good warm bed. It took a minute, let me tell you. When the whole contents of your brain are not filed away where they belong and instead are like dirty mop water circling the drain, extra steps become necessary for proper sentence assembly, ya feel me?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the goons began circling with their good deeds meant only for themselves. Sorta amps up the shit-yer-pants situation, amirite? How does one resolve this body-killing, brain-sizzling panic when one's brains are already circling the drain?

One of the ways that I found to work in our home is to rapidly remove sources of input with reckless abandon. "There's already enough in there, pal. You just do your thing and tidy up as best you can with all the wrong tools. I will close the floodgates and try to keep food coming." That's what it sounded like in my head. The actions included darkening rooms, removing stabby noises and gently boosting the round ones, (If you think that sounds like "gobbledygook," then you've never tried to help a 3 year old pick a song lol) and keeping the Doordash on standby with only everyone's favorite food. Now is not the time for broccoli, Stanley.

My Second Fairy Godmother (because the First still holds her title, of course) said it something like this: take whatever relief you need that gets you to tomorrow. You know what you need and you know you don't want to harm yourself. And you know that relief is never going to be enough and that part is a problem for Tomorrow You. And I'll see you there.

So I'm closing the curtains, eating junk, and watching rubbish. You better come out and pound me! I mean, it fucking sucks. Let's be honest. But there's no need to make it a whole ass Lifetime Movie of your own. You're supposed to watch them right now and eat as many cookies as you can to see how many it takes to get sick of them. It's better than the other things your brain wants to count, that's for sure.

And when I was at the most terrifying point in this oddly wretched-yet-satisfying life I've lived, it was the sounds of my children in a silent house that called to me in the night. I knew who was calling me and what they were saying by which instrument they chose, which song it was, how it was played. When it stopped. And they kept me alive a whole hell of a lot better than my mother's stabby questions and the sizzling eyes of the goons who can't even bring basic dignity and respect to a birthday party.

Fuck you. I choose love. And music. And cookies. C is for cookies, and when mama starts singing, the kids make her a plate of cookies and put her to bed and listen to her as she sings herself to sleep about mockingfarts or something. Better than the word machine for sure. It's like silk. Or like a really really good fart that you've been holding on the bus forEVER because you're sitting next to you-know-who and you finally blow it out your ass, as my son would say.

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