What do you do if your boundaries are crossed? What do you do if they’re crossed repeatedly?
Apparently, if you’re me, you kick a hole in a wall that you immediately patch before going to hide in your house because the thought of being on campus makes you feel like torching everything. Thankfully I only kicked the one hole this week but that fight instinct is still there.
Fight or flight is a basic animal instinct honed over time as a means of survival. I read somewhere that its buried somewhere in your psoas muscle. Mine is several levels of fucked so I imagine that fight instinct is looking for a way out. Most of my life, I’ve fallen towards that instinct. I’ve had to battle bullying, a cult of personality/narcissist and his three knife-wielding children, for my life in the hospital, and a few people along the way for good measure. The only time the flight instinct kicked in was when I had to flee Washington in the dead of night, exhausted from battling both a flash flood and another narcissist. Fleeing was shameful. Not because I did anything wrong in the situation, but because it felt like I had failed in that fight or flight response. Like I had failed yet again to undo all the training a narcissist does to you to keep you under their control.
Which brings me to this week. What do you do when the place you built out and had reserved since last semester is taken from you? In some ways it felt like becoming homeless again. Like the deal was vetoed even though it had the support of Congress. I spent over two years homeless, living off people’s couches and in my car, sinking further into depression the longer a foundation was withheld from me. You can be homeless without being home less and just as captivity can become a mindset, so too can homelessness. When I first arrived in Columbus, first settled into my apartment, I was terrified of leaving my house. I was afraid that if I left it for too long it would be gone, vanished, a figment of my imagination. As a child, we moved around too much for us to have a place to call home. It took me almost a year and a half to finish unpacking and decide that I was safe. It was the same for my studio. I couldn’t settle in until I knew I was safe. Now most of my things have been brought home and I took down anything not thesis related from the walls. Its white, bare outside of a photo of Lulu, a point of frustration every time I walk into it. I’m great at leaving places. Not so good at staying.
I’m aware that a large part of my flair up lasting so long was tied into the stress of campus. And with an abscess now sitting right on my sciatic nerve, it feels like a sign to stay the hell away from this place until I’m obligated to be here. The damage was done, shit got changed, and I got the short end of the stick. Part of the deal had been that I was willing to shift my pieces if the first years needed a place to hang and that deal went the way of NATO under Trump.
Which means I have no clue where to put anything for my final crit before install. I can’t figure out the combinations that need to go on the titanium rods or which will be the five free floating. I have nowhere to hang them and I’m not going to stress my body building out another section just for one crit only to have to remove it all over again. The sole reason it came down after last week was because of how many people kept asking if I was removing it immediately due to them needing a space to hang. Maybe I’m in a mood because of Cliff the assfuck from PT (reason for the hole in the wall). Maybe it’s because this time of year sucks for me. March 2 was my father’s birthday, April 2 was his death day, and my life started all over again on May 19th, 2006. I’m superstitious about these dates. It took me over ten years to drive on May 19th. My body was terrified it wasn’t going to make it through the day.
I’ve heard that Icelanders survive the winter, the long days without sun, only to kill themselves when spring begins again. Maybe the sun is too bright, too confusing. Maybe its just this weird fucking time of year when the stars get cross and send mixed messages to our brains. Maybe there’s something about spring that brings the fight or flight response into overdrive.
Whatever it is, I’m keeping my feet and fists away from walls while I try to figure out a way around this mess.