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The Goddess of battle, strife, and destruction explains it all for you

October 5, 2004

Now I know you rely on me to cause you to spew your morning coffee all over your monitor when youíre supposed to be working, but this is not going to be a jolly column at all.In fact, if self-loathing makes you uneasy, I suggest you skip this one altogether.


Writing this column, even under a pseudonym, has cost me a hell of a lot - it was directly responsible for me losing a job I loved when a jealous colleague (initials N.T.) outed me as the author.Oh, I eventually dinged my employer in a wrongful dismissal complaint but the damage was done.It also figured large in the demise of my marriage, as my husband found it ďhumiliatingĒ that I chose to express myself in this particular corner of cyberspace.


I kept doing it, though God knows why -- apart from a few encouraging emails from readers, I get nothing from it.I donít get paid, publishers arenít beating a path to my door and unless I want to lose my job, I have to keep this a secret from my colleagues and employers.OK, so I know it isnít Austen, but Iím proud of it anyway.The fact that I canít claim any word of what I write as my own really pisses me off.


But in a way the anonymity frees me.I can tell you all sorts of stuff Iíd rather die than disclose in my everyday guise.Thatís called cowardice, ladies, and perhaps this column is no more than a cautionary tale about what happens when you live your life less than authentically.My complete willingness to share my own ridiculousness with the world at large seems to have struck a bit of a chord and no matter how shitty life is at times, I thank God that I have the ability Ė always Ė to laugh at myself (even if it makes me cry just as much).


Lately, however, despair has become my default state of mind.It took me ages to realize it because Iíve always believed that depression is quite foreign to my nature.Not that I glide through life with a Stepford like serenity, but at least when the universe has shit on me in the past, or when Iíve fucked up to a spectacular degree, Iíve always been able to see the funny side of it. ďWhy me?Ē isnít a thought that usually occurs to me Ė ďwhy not?Ē seems to be much more logical.That being said, there has been about an 8 year run of hideous luck, terrible choices, incalculable losses in my personal life, karmic payback from my previous life as Hitler and various flocks of ill-aspected chickens coming home to roost and Iíve reached a point where I simply have no more left to give.I just want it all to stop.Iíve responded by slowly isolating myself Ė not returning calls, ignoring emails, refusing invitations from my friends, canceling those Iíve already committed myself to, refusing to believe that I am worthy of love and doubtful that I am capable of returning it. And so now, nearly a decade later, 100% of my free time is spent alone.As I mentioned before, solitude in and of itself doesnít bother me Ė I find it quite healing most of the time, but again, it is the cowardís way to avoid giving anything of myself.If I donít risk anything, I canít be rejected, right?I have begun to suspect that part of my motivation in this regard is my own attempt to contain the contagion apparently comprises my personality.I donít know if the world wounds me so much because I am a half step out of sync with everyone else or because I lack the basic survival ability that everybody else I know achieves so effortlessly.


I used to love the law Ė now I canít stand it.It seems so futile and once you realize that your work is intrinsically worthless, itís game over.†† Criminal law is a constant parade of misery and iniquity and despite my best and most concentrated efforts, nothing I do or could do makes even a remote bit of difference.†† Even years after my call to the bar, I would sit stone-faced in a courtroom making notes as I listened to the defence try to blame twinkies or post traumatic stress disorder for the defendant crushing the skull of a three year old Ė and then spend the next 20 minutes crying my eyes out in the bathroom of the barristerís robing room, overwhelmed by the obscenity of it all. Civil law is a largely so irrelevant Ė vanity, selfishness and vindictiveness glorified, at hundreds of dollars an hour.I hate it and I hate myself for being a part of it Ė needless to say, this shows in my work.Am I helping anyone?Do I contribute anything?Does what I do create anything of value in anyoneís life?My work should be a source of satisfaction but instead it sucks the life right out of me.


The temptation is to just let go and I think thatís the hardest thing to resist.If I didnít have some weird sort of unjustified and inextinguishable optimism at my core, Iíd be eyeing this bottle of temazepam considerably more speculatively than I already do and once you start considering it, itís hard to slip the taste of it back under your tongue.


I donít believe in myself anymore and doubt that there is anything at all worthwhile about who I am, what I do or in any of my attempts to contribute to the world I inhabit.My self- confidence legged it years ago and shows no signs of returning.I feel like Iím pretending my way through life rather than living it as the gift that it is. Iím afraid people realize what a fraud I am.My failures in judgment and integrity fluoresce while any valuable qualities I may possess seem ephemeral and episodic at best.


That being said, there is a big difference between saying to yourself ďI have failed at X, Y and ZĒ and saying ďI am a failureĒ.The latter assumption is so seductive and really, so much easier than trying to pick myself up yet again and give it another try.Especially since I really have no clear idea what I should be trying to achieve or even what I am capable of creating on the best of days.


Iíve talked it over with one of my friends who got through a complete breakdown via the use of ďhappy pillsĒ Ė an option that I absolutely refuse to consider.While I am glad it worked for her, I donít want to rely on a chemically induced sense of well being to get me through the day.Iím not depressed because there is a chemical imbalance in my brain Ė Iím depressed because Iíve made some monumentally stupid choices, the consequences of which has resulted in a blueprint for a life that generally sucks the big one.Iím not blaming it on other people, a malevolent universe or even karma Ė itís all my fault and I donít know how to make it better.I have behaved shabbily in situations where I should have chosen the high road and for that, I can never forgive myself and will never be able to forget.I have wrongedpeople I care deeply about because I was too selfish to put my own needs second to theirs.What scares me is the knowledge that no matter what I do, I canít atone or make it better.That truth has burrowed into me and squirms like a parasite I will never be able to eradicate.


I seem to have lost the one thing I could always rely upon to alleviate the worst of my moods Ė my writing.I always used to be able to make myself and others laugh by pointing out what a silly idiot I am and while that still amuses the hell out of me, Iíve lost the ability to articulate it and that feels like the most vital part of me has been amputated.I feel like I belong nowhere and can find comfort in nothing, where before I could take joy in the things most people would dismiss as inconsequential.These days, I expect things to fuck up and so far, that assumption has been borne out in spades.I know that unless I manage to haul myself out of this, I may as well thrown in the towel and hope for a better time of it in my next incarnation.The scariest part of that little nugget of insight is that it would really be no more than a relief to me.I feel diminished to the point of vanishing and despise myself for believing the lies Iíve whispered into my own ear for most of my adult life.


With absolutely no justification whatsoever and a huge dollop of self-aggrandizement, at times I consider myself to be a pretty good writer.I used to be able to string words together in such a way that made people laugh. Iíve always known that this talent, as faint as it may be, is the only thing of value I have to give.And now I think that has evaporated and the loss has left me feeling so lonely and useless that just getting up in the morning seems like a major achievement.


Iím always surprised to hear from people who tell me that they enjoy this column.In fact, Iím always astonished to hear that anybody actually reads it.If I ever really had the sense that anyone out there was listening, Iíd likely be so mortified that Iíd never approach a keyboard again.


So if in fact you are reading these words, just ignore this pity party.Itís been a shitty month and shows no signs of improving. In fact, it seems inevitable that yet another disaster is looming on the horizon.Iím sure itís all designed to teach me something but I wish that I had even the remotest sense of what I am supposed to learn.


Till next time,



Copyright© the Morrigan & Heartless Bitches International ( 2003
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