The song playing in my head is Beirut’s Postcards from Italy. Unless it’s an inescapable earworm, the music playing in my head is always relevant to how I am feeling, even if I don’t yet realize it.

Perhaps to stretch this idea out to an absurdity, like Postcards, my feelings are hard to pin down. That is true about neither. They are just layered and complex, but there is an inherent beauty, a bit of sadness and wistfulness, and yet, hope. Yeah, that sounds a little closer to the truth.

I have not been able to figure out why I am so skittish and weird about everything. I am incapable of comfortably expressing myself, of making decisions, of committing to anything. I feel weak and stressed and like I am rarely 100% at my best.

At the same time, I know that me at 85% is imperceptible to most people — it just takes a tremendous amount of effort to cover and fight myself. But, those closest to me know. They don’t know all the signs yet, but they know when something is not quite right.

Now, though, I feel like I am back in control. Like things are falling into place. Like there is hope. Like things will work out. Like salvation is close.

I feel remarkably good, despite all the stress and drama, because I figured out at least part of the reason I have been feeling so disconnected from everything, so frightened and with such a short fuse: things in my life really suck. That is to say I am facing tremendous stress and challenges and . . . I have no safety net.

Thanks to the economy, my parents are in rough financial shape, so they cannot pitch in or float me. BP and I had a significant falling out in February where he essentially cut me off financially forever. (Although not really, he did just give me grocery money to keep me going until my earned fee arrives.) I really have no financial backstop anymore and it’s terrifying. My doomsday survival scenario was borrowing against my retirement. Hah.

Yes, thanks to my successful friends, brother, BP, and my boyfriend, it is unlikely I would ever be homeless, but I am fairly destitute. Each day’s mail brings new horror and the stress has become unmanageable.

I have been hell to deal with, I am sure, but the real expression for me has been this feeling of weakness, an inability to make decisions, and my quick irrational bursts of anger. (It’s not to say that things are not anger-inducing, but I am not a flash-anger person.)

I do not know why it took me so long to figure this out: I have no safety net, no protection. I feel weak and vulnerable all the time. I react and overreact to ridiculous things. Again, it’s not that there are not problems, but my reactions are extreme. (JerkFace’s favorite recent example: BFD changed his status on fb, I was fine, and then became angry and reached the logical conclusion I was now single. This took all of 12 minutes.)

Yesterday, I spoke with BP for two hours. We discussed a new project and he outlined a compensation strategy for me that would pay me only 66% of what we had discussed before, still a very significant sum. I freaked out, though and said to him, why must we be adversarial on this. Why can’t you pretend that you have my best interests at heart. Why can’t you protect me from you?!!!

That’s really the fundamental glitch. I feel raw and vulnerable and unprotected, so I keep trying to protect myself by distancing myself from people who love and care about me, from experiencing fully my own emotions, from dealing logically with things happening around me. I am reactive and overreactive. I am angry. I am not me.

Today was remarkably better. I am more positively disposed toward everything. All of the stresses are still the same, but my brain feels a little better. Like I am not fighting myself too. This puzzle has been an enormous distraction for me. I am nowhere near solving it, but I feel a lot more confident now that I have a better handle on what is actually bothering me.

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