Admire my hairy wrist. Thank you.
Hi. My name may or may not be Leif and I’m pretty sure I’m addicted to men.
But not the good men. No, the good men terrify me. I’m addicted to the addicts, the alcoholics, the emotionally abusive, the eternally confused, the self-loathing, narcissistic, nihilistic boys for whom I come second. Or last. Or never.
I’m tired. I’ve had the ultimate Roman tourist experience, and it’s been nothing short of exhausting. Churches, museums, gelato, pizza, pasta, wine, ruins, and walking and walking and walking and walking. I was basically drowned in Roman culture by my couchsurfing host. It’s definitely not my preferred mode of travel, but I’m grateful… Mostly.
Traveling alone is hard. Traveling alone with a history of mental illness can be hellish. There are days when all I want is to go home, sleep in my own bed, and hang out with friends who I know I won’t have to say goodbye to in a few days.
Unfortunately, I don’t know where home is anymore, and even if I did, I don’t think I’m ready to go there yet. I have things to undo, things to learn, ways in which I desperately need to grow. I need to learn to be okay with solitude and to take care of myself without relying too heavily on other people.
I have slept in 20 different beds since June 27.
Hi. I leave Corsica tomorrow morning. I’ll take the ferry to Italy and catch a ride to Florence, where I’ll probably stay for a week, more or less. Then Rome. Then Venice. Then, if things work out with Petter and his family, I’ll start making my way to Sweden and stay with Petter for a week.
Corsica has been intense. The first week was a blast, but in a pseudo-manic way. I was diagnosed with bipolar spectrum sometime last year and have been in denial about it since then, but I’m starting to see truth in the diagnosis. It’s incredibly painful to admit, especially when my list of diagnoses is as long as it already is. PTSD, dysthymia, Borderline Personality Disorder, substance abuse, major depression, etc.
It fucking sucks. I’m so tired of feeling crazy. I’m so tired of my brain.
A good representation of what you’re about to read.
Bonjour. My French still sucks. I’m fairly certain people have given up on speaking French with me.
“Juh suisse Amerycane”
Today has been rocky. I had my first, “oh my god I need to leave Corsica or go back to the States or go to hell because I am an insane person and no one loves me” moment since arriving in Europe. I have those thoughts fairly often, but not necessarily all at once.
Apologies for the disappearance. I’ve been meaning to write since I got here, but haven’t had time. And when I do have time, I’m too tired to do anything but sleep and/or visit one of the many bodies of water around the island. I’m working right now, actually. I’m supposed to be doing dishes or frying samosas or something. Whoops.
I’ve been at Potager du Nebbio for a week now and it’s vastly different from my Barcelona experience. Potager is an organic farm and restaurant near Saint-Florent, Corsica. We share the property with donkeys, sheep, chickens, baby chickens, two dogs, a zillion wild cats, and enormous hornets that sneak into our cabins at night and spasm around the lights. On my first night, “Sage” and I bonded over our attempts to either kill or capture the two hornets that greeted us after work. It ended with us sprinting to our bedrooms and praying that they wouldn’t sneak between the gaps in our doors.
It’s my last day in Barcelona. I never imagined being here this long. That changed when I met Petter, who let me sleep at his flat for two weeks and stayed up late talking to me during my premenstral breakdown and who hugged me tight when Laurent left me on the street. I have so much love for this kid, I can’t even begin to express it.
Seriously. I can’t wait to see the sarcastic, basketball-playing, Sweet-ish little shit again. He is wonderful.
Hi. This is a fairly intense story that takes place in the middle of my prostitution career. I have never publicly shared anything this personal. Please be gentle.
Oh, and FYI: I am not a prostitute anymore. I have not come remotely close to doing sex work for the past three years.
Again, not travel related, but this is one of the two pieces I’ve written over the years that I can still sort of tolerate.
It is graphic. If sex makes you uncomfortable, TURN BACK NOW. There might be people you know in this story. I’ve changed some names to protect anonymity, however, there are a few that remain unchanged.
It was either this or a picture of a giraffe. I feel like this is more applicable.
I am sitting at my parents’ house with not much to do, so let’s talk about Borderline Personality Disorder for a second.
I was diagnosed with BPD last February, following a period of impulsive sex, drug use, alcohol use, and overall chaos-creating behaviors. It was humiliating. Books about “dealing” with the Borderline in your life have names like, I Hate You — Don’t Leave Me, Stop Walking on Eggshells, and Stop Caretaking the Borderline or Narcissist: How to End the Drama and Get On with Life. Borderlines in film range from the not-so-crazy Winona Rider in Girl, Interrupted, to her totally batshit ward-mate, Angelina Jolie. And then there’s Fatal Attraction, where the Borderline lead character acts like this.