Wouldn’t You Miss Me?

Syd Barrett lost his mind. Maybe it was all the drugs, maybe it was mental illness, maybe he left it in a club in Soho and it got picked up by a waitress and tossed into the trash, never to be found again.

I fear losing my mind.

I’m also a fame groupie. I want to be famous, though really, it’s probably the worst possible thing that could happen to me.

No, that’s a lie.

I don’t want to be famous. If I did, I’d be broadcasting my name all over the place, and I’m not. Not really.

I want the writing to be famous.

And that’s the wrong reason to be writing. It’s terribly unsatisfying, darlings, and so yesterday, my crisis of identity, or crisis of meaning, or whatever you’d like to call it, came to a head, and some truly wonderful people helped me through it.

I talked about walking away.

I talked about killing someone some of you have grown to love.

Some of the people I shared this with reacted much like Annie Wilkes (portrayed by the ever fabulous Kathy Bates in the film Misery) and called me a dirty bird and declared that I COULD NOT KILL THEIR FAVOURITE DILETTANTE or else they’d tie me to a bed and hobble me and make me write her (my) resurrection.

Others made me promise that if I was going to go into some sort of cocoon and come out the other side, that I at least gave them a forwarding address.

The problem, of course, without going into too much detail, was that I had lost touch with why I was writing, and why I am Helena in the first place.

I don’t need Helena.

But damn it if I don’t love being her.

And apparently, you love her, too, and the resounding cry that I got in return was that you would miss me if I was gone.

While that is gratifying in itself, all the reactions, all the advice, all the tough love — gave me a clarity that I’d been missing. I’d been listening to all the wrong voices (most of them my own) and I will be writing about the genesis of that very soon, but to hear others refute what I thought about myself, and point out things that I was downplaying was exactly what I needed.

Okay, I’m going to say something, and if you comment on this part of this post, you will be forever banned. It’s just something I need to say in print so that the words are there in black and white, and so that people understand where I’m coming from.

For many reasons (much of them external, and the result of my childhood), I hate myself. I hate myself, and I think and say horrible things about myself, that if someone were to say about someone I loved, would be grounds for a beating. But I take it. I allow myself to say and think these awful things, and I can’t stop it.

SO…. this means that I don’t take praise well. I’m cynical and jaded about it, and I laugh it off and am self-depreciating and I (bottom line) DON’T BELIEVE IT.

I’m always going to believe my own negative view of myself over the praise of others.

Someone pointed out to me (thanks L.) that this is very disrespectful and dismissive of the people who come and love my writing. It’s the equivalent of me laughing in your face and saying “What the fuck do you know?”

Forgive me. It’s how I’ve been built. I think that my parents got me from IKEA, and when they were done putting me together, there were pieces left over, and rather than read the directions and figure out where they went wrong, they just tossed them in the trash, and now I’m forever broken.

Made of cheap, shoddy building materials and held together at the corners with duct tape and binder twine.

Syd Barrett’s mind was pretty fragile, too, I suppose, but his friends must have loved him, because the rest of his band mates made an entire album as something of a sad love letter to their lost friend.

Think of me now and again. I’ll be around. I can’t promise I’ll be socializing as much as I used to, but I’ll be here. If I’m not here, know that I’m doing what I love — writing.




31 responses to “Wouldn’t You Miss Me?

  1. As a music student, a student of musical history, Syd was a tortured genius. It was very likely that he suffered from a form of autism or asperger’s, but also a bit of schizophrenia. But he was a genius, and it’s why the other members of Pink Floyd called him a crazy diamond.

    I appreciate the connection you have made to music here, Helena.

    • I don’t know a healthy way, anyway. I’m lucky enough to not have a tendency toward alcoholism (and I’m not making light of this) but any time I have a couple, I think to myself “Self,” I say, “Maybe alcohol IS the solution.” But I can never commit to self-destruction, so I suppose that’s a good thing.

  2. I think it’s normal for us to question ourselves, our writing, our motives, our place in the universe. Even the blogosphere. I have taken breaks. I have thought about throwing in the towel and disappearing for good (no forwarding address) and all those kinds of things. I thought perhaps I was being selfish. Maybe someone out there actually *likes* what I do. Am I being self-serving? A martyr? I don’t know. I take my breaks and plug away. Strip away what I have to strip away. Take fears head on and try to move through them…because they do come. Whoever we are…or aren’t.

    I get more of this than you can imagine…and at the risk of getting banned, I will shut up now 🙂

    You would be missed – chill and come back!


  3. At the risk of being banned forever I have to say that I get that hatred of self and it’s dismissmiveness of others…so, I’m gonna pay for your writing and hang in there anyway. I just realised it was that very voice that was brought to silence in my last post. Someone not very famous once said, I love because I choose to, not to be loved back. LLH&R REDdog

    • I’m not going anywhere, RD. There’s a strength in me I think you would recognize. I am a survivor. Sometimes I just need to scream about how much I’d LOVE to throw in the towel just to get it out of my system, and then regroup, have a drink of water, and then get back in the ring. (I just hope it’s not that Russian from Rocky 4, ’cause he was scary badass)

  4. Without commenting on the banned parts, I wonder what you would do if you didn’t write, whether here or just for yourself.
    But I enjoy reading your stories, the made up and the true.

    Be well, be brilliant, and I’ll see you when you come around.

  5. I like the idea of being famous but I wouldn’t handle it well.
    I don’t take praise well in real life – I always think people must have an ulterior motive – but I’m happy to accept it on my blog. Funny that.

  6. I don’t know how the hell I unfollowed you but it wasn’t done on purpose. I was without Internet for two weeks and let me tell you it was the longest two weeks of my life. Not knowing what was going on here made me crazy. If you quit in the middle of that serial I will have nightmares forever trying to figure out an ending.And it will be your fault! I hope you remember why you do this and why we adore you. We’ll all be here waiting for you. Even if some of us fall off the map occasionally. Hurry back woman! I need some bayou fix!

    • You’ll be happy to know that on my vacation from my online life, I wrote the next 5 installations of the bayou story – a sort of interlude from the past. Thank you for writing here. I needed this today.

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