All The Messy Shit (At Least It’s Honest)

If you’ve wondered where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to, Instagram was probably a good place to start. I wasn’t posting too much of the personal journey, which is ongoing, but I was active enough to make a dent in this crazy world of balancing life with social media activity.

When it comes I writing, I have a few partially started pieces (and multiple manuscripts), but I didn’t get very far with anything because I’ve been distracted, sick, and trying to live. The living part is where things get tricky. The art of balancing means I’ve been close to hitting my head many times.

No matter what you may or may not be going through, it’s important to know who is on your side. Over the past year, I’ve watched my circle shrink to a dot. Nothing I say here is anything I will not, or have not, said to someone’s face. Establishing hardcore boundaries showed me who was going to ride things out with me, and who wasn’t. I’m okay. I’m mentally prepared to cut off family members, empty friendships, and anything and anyone who is unhealthy or toxic. People are going to be surprised, but I am ready for this next chapter. My patience is gone. My temper is at an all-time high. I am never one hundred percent sure what is going to come out of my mouth, and I’ve been super honest about this.

Part of my silence here is because my life is changing and for a long time, I felt like I was losing my identity. It felt as though someone had erased my accomplishments, wiped things clean, and took me along with them. It is a horrible feeling. I’m struggling, and I have exactly two people who are aware of what is going on. It feels like a burden; a two person support system. It makes me even angrier, because I listen to everyone with a genuine heart. I answer texts and e-mails. I take calls, even when I would prefer not to. I’m hurting, and that’s actually kind of dangerous because I am dealing with so much narcissistic selfishness that it’s borderline unfathomable, and I do not use this expression lightly.

I wear many hats and titles, some more important than others, but as a writer, you never want to lose your purpose for speaking up and speaking out. You will have occasional ups and downs, because that is life in a nutshell, but lifting yourself back up into your role, and your gift, well, it’s been difficult for me. It is important to talk about it, to address it, and to remember you only compete against yourself. No one else on this planet has what I have to offer. There’s a reason for everyone’s unique perspective. It is a Divine gift.

Someone suggested I put one word in front of the other, and just keep going. They weren’t in the same room with me when they said this, or I would have tossed them out the closest window. It came off so dismissive. Two days later, I had someone else be even more dismissive with me, and I returned from that interaction sick as a dog.

Covid has taught me that I am actually sickened by people in all kinds of situations, large or small, and would prefer to keep things as small and as private as humanly possible. Some things are too damn precious to share. I am adjusting to this knowledge, while honoring my very real feelings on this matter.

When everything is “officially” reopened next month, I will still be taking precautions. I am going to prioritize my safety, and the safety of my family. I am going to put my mental and emotional health first. I am not going to jump into anything, because the cast iron skillet isn’t ever safe. It’s not about fear or paranoia; it’s about common sense. The world has changed. So have I; for the better.

Life is chaotic and messy, but I’m looking forward towards all the beauty coming my way. I’m going to absorb all of it, privately. In peace. And yeah, I will write about things, because it’s what I do.

copyright © 2012-2023 by Lisa Marino & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Don’t Shake The Bottle

I’ve been quiet. I am still recovering from the virus which refuses to leave, so I’ve spent the entire start of this year rescheduling my life. Ultimately, certain things happened to remind me I will forever be a work in progress. I thought I had worked through a very specific set of issues, but so much has come to the surface recently to let me know I’m not okay at all.

Our brains try to protect us through the deepest traumas, so we block out painful things, and/or extremely stressful shit. When it starts to surface out of nowhere, it’s ten times more painful. Your brain didn’t protect you at all; it made things worse by allowing horrors to surface at the absolute worst time in your life. It’s difficult to reconcile those things with your memories. A good example was when I returned to my childhood home. I didn’t think it was the worst childhood anyone on the planet could have had (I have heard stories which make my childhood seem pretty darn shiny and happy. It was not.), but I had completely blocked out living there. For some reason, there was zero familiarity to the space at all. In fact, I didn’t want to be there. I wanted to get in and out as quickly as humanly possible. I tried to avoid dealing with it, because yes, it was bad and I didn’t deserve it.

For the past few months, I was unaware there was extensive rage bubbling underneath the surface. For starters, I am not the most patient person on the planet. I warn people about this. I probably spend a bit more time than I care to by prefacing things ahead of anyone having to deal with me directly. In reality, I can stop doing this because it doesn’t matter anymore. Ultimately, no one gives a shit. The majority of people are so wrapped up in themselves, they won’t notice your behavior if it’s a little off. They aren’t paying attention to it the way I probably do.

As you try not to lose your rage at any given moment, sometimes it comes out unexpectedly. It’s not dissimilar to improperly opening a bottle of champagne. I am equally shocked by half of what comes out of my mouth these days as anyone else might be. I am learning to be okay with that, because it might be raw, but it’s also real. Real is good. It might not always feel good, but it’s better than false perfection.

My main goal this year is to do my best. Having to admit that I cannot post every single day this year was incredibly hard for me. I felt angry and torn by this, because yes, I pay to keep my site up and running. It’s my job to produce content. However, when you are suffering from extreme burn out, it is okay to admit that 365 days a year is maybe a lofty aspiration, especially this many years in.

I feel good that I am back on my manuscript. I wish I had more time for it, but I am doing my best, and closing in on 110,000 words is no small feat. Much of the career stuff I have on my plate involves change, big moves, and gaining funding for an idea I feel passionate about. I am a writer, and this is never going to change, but I need more than one thing to be completely passionate about. I will soon have another website for what I will be doing, and will be the Social Media Director for this passion-project, along with many other hats I will have to wear initially. Not only am I cool with that, but the very thought makes me deliriously happy. I hope you will follow the journey, but if not, I will still be here. I will still do my best.

copyright © 1995-2023 by Lisa Marino-Molchanova & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Poison In Lethal Doses®™ is a registered trademark.

Wondering When It Gets Better

It’s hard to believe tomorrow is February, but it’s harder still to believe how sick I am. This virus is no joke. A few days and I’ll feel better? Not so much. Third bottle of cough medicine. Insomnia and parasomnia. The overall feeling this will not go away because it was a misdiagnosis on top of multiple misdiagnoses. I hardly know what day it is, and sometimes, I don’t know who I am. Quite frankly, none of this gives me “virus” vibes. Yes, I may need to see another doctor. What kind of doctor? Therein lies the ultimate question. <Sigh>

Last week, things got really scary when, within a few hours of feeling like I was freezing to death, my temperature had spiked to over 102 degrees. I had checked three times, and each time my fever increased, but I was way too sick to rationalize with myself. Moving was difficult. I was really weak. I couldn’t keep down water. I was sick in all caps, and my throat was raw. In total, it took about six hours for me to be able to swallow four Tylenol. I was deathly ill and so slow; and I have repeatedly tested negative for Covid, so I was pretty sure this was more of the same (With a follow-up negative for Covid.). I rescheduled an important appointment that morning because keeping my head up was too painful, and quite frankly, too much work. I then proceeded to sleep for almost seventeen hours straight. That is definitely not normal for me.

One benefit of being sick is having Cat and Kitten be sweet, little caretakers. Kitten only leaves my side for meals and short breaks. I go to sleep and she’s by my side. I wake up, and she’s watching me. I go back to sleep, and she’s snuggled up close. Occasionally, Cat is also with me. Either by herself, or within 1-2 feet of Kitten. Even though the new vet stupidly referred to them as “old lady cats” (I suggested they bite her.), it is more appropriate to say they are adult cats. Cat turned nine this past Fall, and Kitten turned eight. Collectively, they still have far more energy than I do. There’s something so pure and genuine about the affection when I reach over and pet Cat’s bunny soft fur. She almost doesn’t feel real, but she is, and the second I do anything she doesn’t like, she will run off. I require written permission for affection, which means, no touching. Kitten wants all the affection, all the head scratches, all the chin scratches, everything. She doesn’t hold grudges or take anything personally for too long. They truly have very unique, individual personalities.

If only this virus would move along as quickly as Cat when I so much as move a muscle. Being sick has zero perks. In a full months I have gone to Urgent Care, the pharmacy, grabbed groceries and some cat supplies. I got sicker after the grocery run, and that was with two masks on! My life has legitimately been sleep, sleep, and more sleep. It’s important to listen to my body. None of this rest has seemed to help, and neither have all the vitamins and healthy choices I’ve made, either.

Yesterday was my first step back into “real life”, and I ended up in bed before six o’clock, exhausted beyond words. I felt overwhelmingly ill. I still don’t feel great. Never a worse time for Amazon to lose not one, but TWO tissue deliveries when I need them so badly. UGH! “We promise you’ll have these on Monday.” That was on Friday, so I thought, “Okay.” No delivery. We promise you’ll have them by February 1st. HOW THE HELL ARE YOU LOSING 18 BOXES OF TISSUES?! How does it leave a facility and disappear? Why can’t you lose the orders I try to cancel?! Yeah, I have questions. Who wouldn’t?!

Despite the fact that Covid restrictions are going to be lifted this Spring, I still don’t feel well enough for certain things. February is a short month and I am concerned about how to navigate it in a healthful way. The same is true for March and April. It seems far away, but one look at my phone calendar says otherwise.

Ultimately, I had to make the decision that 2023 would not be the year where I would be able to post daily. This hasn’t been true in the past, even at my worst, but it must be true this year. I have to heal, focus, and work on projects I am passionate about. I will share things as they come up, but I’m going to do what I feel is right. I hope you’ll hang in for the ride.

I’ll be back with an update when I am feeling better. Wishing you all the best. Also, Happy Lunar New Year!

copyright © 2023 by Lisa Marino-Molchanova & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Poison In Lethal Doses®™ is a registered trademark.

It’s All Fun And Games…

How did your year begin? I woke up on New Year’s Day with laryngitis and a sore throat that made no sense. I can’t tell you the last time I had both happen at the same time. It’s been a long, damn time since I’ve had vocal issues. My voice went from nothing to a whisper. The following morning, I had a voice, but it was accompanied by a fever and a vicious cough. I sounded awful and my head felt like heavy, wet cement had taken up residence. I tested negative for Covid, but still decided it was best to go to Urgent Care on day three when my symptoms were worse. It’s all fun and games until you’re forcing yourself to see a doctor, or in this case, a Physician’s Assistant.

The wait was reasonable. The nursing staff and technicians treated me with absolute kindness. I immediately tested negative for two forms of strep, two forms of the flu, and Covid. I was convinced I had an infection, and I still sort of question if I do.

When the PA walked in to do his thing, I was prepared to be dismissed. He skipped a few steps, for sure. He didn’t check my eyes and he didn’t bother to check my sinuses. After declaring that he was pretty sure I had an acute upper respiratory infection, I was informed my ears and lungs were perfectly clear (I still think there’s a kitten meowing inside my chest when I breathe.). I was dismissed with a prescription for Tessalon perles. He actually became visibly annoyed when I asked a few questions. I was looking for clarification, especially since I’d been careful.

I’ve spent almost a solid week in bed, when I could, but mostly I’ve dealt with horrendous coughing, a dry throat which sometimes triggers other issues, severe headaches, facial pain, mild wheezing, sneezing marathons, and ear crackling which drives me insane. I’ve either had an appetite for real food or I’ve been craving comfort food, like homemade chicken noodle soup. This is a specific recipe and requires kosher ingredients. I recently moved on to swollen eyes, where I actually looked like someone had hit me.

This virus SUCKS. The Physician’s Assistant told me I’d be fine in a few days. I’m not. I am still experiencing sore throat issues and this cough is keeping me awake and leaving me unsettled.

Your Covid vaccines will NOT prevent you from getting any virus that is floating around. Double mask, if you can. Especially in public. I only got lucky in the sense that this did not progress to bronchitis, but it still could. I am taking precautions and trying to get myself healthier. Right now, depletion of energy is my biggest challenge each day. As of right now, I am pretty sure I will miss at least one in-person doctor’s appointment this month. My doctor did warm me in advance that if I so much as had a sniffle, not to come in. This is the kind of thing I definitely don’t want to spread around any medical office.

It’s all fun and games until you can’t rest, but need copious amounts of sleep. It’s ridiculous how hard this virus as hit me, but I am trying to hit back harder, and failing. Hopefully, it will pass entirely in another week or two. Hopefully, most people will not get this. If you do, stock up on tissues, vitamins, honey, and do whatever you can to feel better. No one hates being sick more than I do. This “acute” URI ISN’T cute at all.

Thank you to everyone who helped take care of my in some way since this all began. It’s appreciated. Stay well, folks!

copyright © 2023 by Lisa Marino & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Poison In Lethal Doses®™ is a registered trademark.

From One Chapter To The Next

I wanted to pause and take a moment to thank all of you for being here. We live in troubling times and our worlds are fast-paced and driven my headlines and social media. Taking a moment out of your busy day to read whatever it is I have written or shared means so much to me. The likes and e-mails do not go unnoticed. I find the e-mails especially touching because they are so unexpected.

I know my social media aesthetic is quite different from that of most people. This month marks my tenth year with WordPress, and I have actually had many of you as friends in real life from day one. That is special and I have immense gratitude for it all. I take nothing for granted.

This year was challenging for me, and for so many others. At times, I didn’t write here because I was so focused on manuscripts. So determined to tell beautiful, complicated, fantastic stories. My attention has since shifted. Don’t get me wrong; I have plenty of drafts for a lifetime, millions of thoughts, and a trillion ideas. That’s simply how my mind works. In a little over two months, I have found myself wanting to return to who I was long before I ever started out by taking print format online.

In late October, my closest friends heard me say, “I feel like myself again. I feel like New York City Lisa.” She is a different beast, indeed. I missed her. She is truly a force to be reckoned with. I missed having a purpose every single day. Even if it meant making enemies, instead of friends. I was my most unapologetic self, but I have grown. The same person exists, but I am stronger. I missed the real me, who often felt neutered by society and over-dramatic, unimportant nonsense. This person sounds like an alter ego, but that’s not it at all. It’s the real me.

When I first took my work online, my goal was to remain authentic and true. I do feel I’ve done that and I am proud of pretty much everything I’ve written, no matter how difficult or painful it may have been. There were many days and nights where I typed beautiful things through hysterical tears.

I am not a crier. I am deeply private. I love my autonomy. I love writing. I love putting ink to paper, but find it harder to pick up a pen these days due to early arthritis from repetitive typing. Other writers know what I mean; we feel it when we take a break. I love Blonde Espresso in my Cold Brew, but I also like simpler things. I love rainy days. I love snow days that don’t last too long, but just long enough that I’ve had a massive cup of Earl Grey. I love first edition books, music, and well-made films. And most importantly, I LOVE having a passion for what I do. It’s crucial to my existence.

I’ve been a writer longer than I care to admit. The majority of my life has been spent in front of various computers, typing all kinds of prose. There is power to using words properly, and while I will absolutely continue to write, I have also decided to go back to doing something I love. Something I am amazing at. It’s all about the right time and the right opportunity. There’s one of my intentions for 2023. It’s time to take back what’s second nature to me. Stay tuned!

Wishing you all a very safe, happy, and healthy New Year! Please don’t drink and drive.

copyright © 2022 by Lisa Marino-Molchanova & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Don’t Come For What You Don’t Understand

Authors Note: I don’t want to write this. It’s way too personal, and deeply private, but I feel it is my responsibility to punch this subject matter in the face. I have to speak up. I am omitting the names of the innocent. I am protecting the people I value most. But I’m also speaking up for everyone when I say that a lot of what I’ve come across would break most people. That’s why this needs to be said, especially during a time when we talk about suicide prevention. No one is immune. I am doing my best to be culturally sensitive, but ultimately, these are my feelings and views. Thank you for reading.

For the past six months, if not longer, I’ve heard a lot of ugly, racist, hateful, sick negativity targeted at someone I love. It is not my first experience with this (The criticism, itself.), but it is from a purely racial standpoint, and I’m not here for it. It makes me rabidly ill, which quickly turns to anger. Anger fuels me to be a better, smarter person, and I’ve mentioned this before, but it can easily get out of hand, too. I am extreme, and you will see that here. I’m not apologizing for it. In fact, as I move forward, I make no apologies for my honesty.

In situations like this, where someone I value is being attacked, you’re dealing with a dragon. I go from zero to one hundred in such a tiny sliver of time, and I legitimately don’t care if the person talking shit survives my wrath. You run your mouth, and I’m going to shove your foot back down your throat until you’re choking on your hip bone. I do not come to play with assholes, so check yourself before you start anything with me. This girl will not eat insults politely with a knife and fork. I’m far more inclined to put the fork in your hand.

(Potential Spoiler Alert for Homeland)

Has anyone seen the second season of Homeland when Quinn sticks a knife in Brody’s hand? First time I saw it was with my brother. He turned to me and said, “Oh, my GOD, YOU would totally do that!” It’s true. My patience level is always on thin ice, and right now, it’s barely present. I openly admit that recent events have caused my hostility and filter to break free. Something triggered this to happen. Under normal circumstances, I am not quite as vicious. Regardless of what occurred, I know precisely who I am. I will not be shamed in speaking my truth, or in using my voice and platform in the correct way.

I am the nicest, most loyal, rudest, meanest person you will ever meet, and when you come for what you do not understand, and it happens to be someone I love, I’m going to come at you HARD. You’re not going to see the sniper, because you’ve already underestimated her. That was your second mistake.

A while ago, I came across someone who made a completely unjustified comment. It was NOT an opinion; it was wholly racist and untrue. Please, don’t make public comments on social media when you’re not sure who will come across your words in five minutes, or in this case, four years later. You bet your ass I went in for the kill. I was angry, and I didn’t care how the other person might or might not respond; he needed to be put in his place.

I waited for the hostility to come back at me, because I had actually been warned not to say anything, do anything, comment, or fight. “Just let it go.” 🙄 Excuse him. He’s new here, and doesn’t realize I shoot to kill; he will adjust. The same way I have to, except this isn’t my first rodeo. I know what I’m doing.

There was silence for a while, and a few days later, I received an apology. The person actually said, “Looking back on this, I am cringing so hard right now. It was completely uncalled for and borderline racist.” Borderline?! No, it was presumptuous and one hundred percent racist AF. That’s precisely why I called him out on it. He apologized to me multiple times, but the gist is, calling someone a, “drug addict who will just sit around and not do their job”, is not okay to say about anyone, but it’s especially wrong to say publicly about someone you do not fucking know.

I pulled no punches. I said, “This comment is completely baseless and untrue.” Putting the words, “drug addict” into a sentence with no verifiable proof, and using it to describe a specific person, is slander and character assassination. Dude was lucky-ish. I don’t care what device you’re hiding behind, the right person can get an IP address so that you are issued a cease and desist on a comment of that magnitude. This is genuinely not my first experience handling things of this nature. You can’t make a dangerous statement and pretend it’s a fact. There are rules.

The Internet makes people fucking stupid, because they are hiding behind a false sense of security which makes them truly feel powerful in how they talk about anything, except they are fucking up in epic ways. People like to claim it’s freedom of speech. Libel is not freedom of speech. Slander and character assassination is not freedom of speech. Our forefathers didn’t have the foresight to include the words, “Freedom to be a fucking douchebag.”, written into the constitution. Yes, I’m being sarcastic. I know full well there’s a limit to freedom of speech, and I always have because, as a writer, I have to shut the fuck up sometimes, too. I could very stupidly name-drop and lose everything, and good writers know NOT to do that. For those who don’t understand that there are limits, I feel sorry for you.

I politely replied to this person, “I am glad you are seeing the error of your ways, even though it’s been a few years. Thank you for owning how awful what you said is, without making excuses. I appreciate it and your desire to correct it. I hope that, moving forward, you will think before you make a comment like this again. Since it bothers you now, it can be deleted.” A few days later, it was gone, but this girl kept the receipts. My mother didn’t raise a fool.

Every single day, I say I’m not going to do this. I’m not going to look, and then I do. I began writing this after walking away from some of the worst things I’ve heard and seen. We’re talking many months building up. I was deeply hurt. Incredibly angry, and ferociously protective. I was ready to scream.

These are not my automatic reactions in situations of this nature, but after so many months of this crap, I was outright ready for war. In my head, a lot of people no longer have vocal cords with which to vocalize their fucked up, racist crap, and they are also missing their hands, so they can’t type heinous shit about a human being who they think they have some ownership over.

I’m not sorry to say this, but slavery is fucking over in this country, and anyone who thinks people should be kept as slaves in any way, shape, or form should be shot on sight. I’ve never made my aggressive personality a secret. I am genuinely tired of this, and yes, I’ve been asked, “Don’t do this. Let it go.” If I sit here loving someone and I say NOTHING, then I am just as bad as everyone else in this world who will ignore a racial attack and/or hate crime. I am many things, but I’m not a fucking hypocrite.

At the core of who I am is incredibly fierce loyalty. My closest friends and family benefit from this strength. I’m not outwardly hostile, until you push me, and don’t realize there were boundaries in place, and then, out of nowhere, the New York comes out of me. You watch me morph into a person you might not know. Sometimes, I’m not sure I know her, either, but I can feel and hear the difference. My body language changes, and so does the tone of my voice. People are generally too stupid to realize a shift has occurred, which is part of the problem. If I allow myself to be silenced, then the hate wins. I refuse to be the kind of person who allows it to win.

I’ve had to tone it down a lot in this particular situation because I am protective. Irrationally so. I’ve got no chill left because it’s not a shitty comment or two, they are all racially charged, hateful, and so negative that you can’t pull back from that. I try. I do. I would love to block it all out, and sometimes I can, but other times I will see key words and my brain lights up with rage. Why else would I be awake after three o’clock in the morning writing something of this nature? It wasn’t because my response to hate is positive; that’s for damn sure.

In October, I read something completely unrelated to this, and just about lost my mind with anger because the comment was so racist, I couldn’t stand it. And yes, I defended the person who was targeted because it keeps coming up, and I don’t deem it respectful or fair.

Let me be supremely clear, assuming all biracial or multiracial men are the same person, look the same, think the same way, believe the same exact things, speak the same way, grew up the same way, etc., that’s completely off base. Why do people feel the need to go there? It’s UGLY and disrespectful. The biracial man with blue eyes is not the same person who is biracial with two white parents, and who rarely points out the fact that he’s biracial at all. If you’re making a stupid remark, you’re reaching, and it’s not acceptable. Why does this need to be talked about? Because it’s racist; that’s why! I’m not the person I know I am if I don’t call it out for what it is.

The exact comment that pushed me too far was, “They’re both biracial, predominantly white, so they’re the same person. They’re half-human.” There was another sentence in there which I will not repeat because the mere thought makes steam come out of my head. My, “WHAT THE FUCK?” radar went OFF like a bullet in a gun. I stepped back, because I knew full well I was going to be meaner than a hornet’s nest. And even in my calmest moment, my words still hit the target with intended precision.

Whenever I step up, which I do constantly in my personal life, people think political references are offensive. They’re actually pathetic. They show me your character.

“You’re just a white liberal. You’re what’s wrong with this country.” Yes, this was said to me. No, this person had no clue what I look like. It’s presumptuous, at best, and highly inaccurate.

“White people have hero complexes.” Really? Tell me more, you racist scum bag.

“Okay leftie.” was another ridiculous comment made to me, and completely off-base. Do people realize you can stand up for others, and simply be a decent human being? Race does not have to get involved when it comes to right versus wrong, and rarely will I make something political. It’s unnecessary. People say it to incite, most of them probably don’t even vote and likely never have. Honesty does not make you right or left, it just means you’re intolerant of bullshit.

Do all the non-Trump supporters think using the term, “illegals” is acceptable? There were people running for office in the state of Massachusetts who were actively using this word like it’s socially acceptable, and several of them are black. Color me mortified as hell! Let’s get really honest here: We live on Native American land. Raise your hand if you’re native to America. If you’re not native to a tribe, you’re not native. You were born in America; and we need to address that, too. You can research this fact. You want to talk about colonization?! Let’s start there. My family came here for a better life and they helped build the better part of New York City; but they did not colonize the five boroughs of New York.

Unfortunately, as I began writing this, I noticed things in my own life which I definitely have enormous questions about, because I see it as part of the problem, as opposed to part of the solution. To start, my core friend group doesn’t have a diverse group of friends around them. I noticed this a lot over the past two years, and it galls me. Probably because I grew up very differently and conduct myself in a different fashion to this day.

My white friends don’t seem to have people of color in their lives, and if they do, they will often brag about it like it makes them less racist. Someone I know was dating a person of color, and she kept mentioning where he was from, almost as if he represented something to her. I know he did, because within a few weeks, she was suddenly pregnant and having a shotgun wedding to a white guy. I am not kidding when I say it was weeks, either. If you have to announce where a person you are in a relationship with is from (Let’s use India, as an example.), then you’re harboring some racist tendencies and should look into that. Otherwise, your friends are your friends, regardless of where they come from, or the color of their skin, and the people you’re in relationships with are people. I don’t use labels. I never say, “This is my African friend.” That’s completely inappropriate, and highly disrespectful. “This is my friend,” along with their name, is how you introduce someone. If people want to get to know one another and there are follow-up questions, that is completely different. Yes, if their questions are rude, I’m going to bat for whoever I just introduced you to. I don’t stand for ignorance.

Second, my visibly black and brown friends sort of stick together, but not necessarily, and they will occasionally exclude others as if they might become contaminated. I am accepted into the circle of trust because I am an accepting sort of person. I’ve always fit in with diversity, and as someone who often stands out, there are good and bad aspects to this.

The majority of my Asian friends (Not all.) only seem to have Asian friends, and that scares me. I know it stems from growing up in a very specific cultural level of acceptance. I know they are looking to their parents and the tight-knit community in which they grew up in, but it’s such a stark contrast that I couldn’t help but see it clearly. You’re adults now, and should broaden your horizons. Learn from one another and grow.

I am the odd person out in my friend group because I am not one thing, and one thing only. I use the word, “multiracial” because it is the most accurate description I can give. I also use the descriptor, “multicultural”. More than twenty flags make up my ancestry, with approximately five countries coming up as the most dominant in my genes. I know what you’re thinking; she’s Jewish and Jews are not a race. Someone didn’t do their homework if they’re reading this and thought it, if even for a second.

Jews are an ethno-religious group, a people, a nation, and an ancient bloodline descended from Kings. We are indigenous people of color. Some of us are white-passing. Millions, really. Others are distinctly brown, black, Asian, Middle Eastern, etc. My brother is constantly asked if he’s Puerto Rican or Italian because he inherited my father’s olive skin. I don’t know if he even answers people when faced with that kind of ignorance, but he and I are different on that level. Where I come from matters to me, because it shapes who we are, whether we’re aware of it or not.

When I look at my friends, I don’t lean towards where I may or may not be accepted. I pick and choose who I will be friends with because I know my worth and value in any relationship I am part of. Your skin color matters far less to me, as opposed to how you treat me and how you treat others. I’m not blind; I see our differences, but you’re also not going to hear racial slurs come out of my mouth. I don’t find racist jokes funny. I never have, and that’s because I know what racism really is, what it looks like, and how it sounds. Why do I know this? Because I grew up with a racist parent, and it was NOT my mother.

Our closest family friends are Puerto Rican and Columbian. That’s how I grew up. I had friends from everywhere you can think of, and I still do. I lived in a melting pot, and while there was definitely racism present, I did not take part in any of it. The unfortunate part is that I spent half my life being told I was white, which I knew in my heart simply wasn’t true. People take specific looks and match them up like dominos, but it is completely inaccurate in today’s society, and it must change. How we view others must change, and change sometimes starts with one person saying, “Enough is enough!”

With my father’s family, I would hear Yiddish, Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Polish, Greek, German, Ladino, Catalan (Spanish), and two different dialects of Italian spoken when they thought “the children” weren’t paying attention. They thought we were too young to understand a language change. My mother’s family spoke Yiddish for the same reason; so “the children” wouldn’t know what was being discussed, as did my parents. I would also hear Mandarin, French, Creole, Farsi, Hebrew, Portuguese, and other languages in the homes of my friends and extended family. I can close my eyes on any street in any major city, and pick out the different languages with accuracy. That’s what I want my life to be and it’s what I choose for myself and my future; colorful, vibrant, sharing experiences, recipes, cultures, music. This isolated bullshit is not cute. Please break out of your shells! Gain some perspective and stop being part of cliques.

The reason I began writing this was not to talk about myself, obviously. It was to talk about how I am watching racism smack someone I love in the face. This individual could be the most flawless human-being to exist, and someone will still find fault with something. I am grateful he is a person of strong mind, or I’d be deeply concerned about the trauma of it all, because it is traumatic. When I hear someone say, “I just want to go somewhere where I blend in.”, that is a sign of repeated trauma.

One night, a few months ago, was such a proud time. I was ecstatically happy, and even happier because he was smiling. It was such a great shift, and an important one. I kept thinking, “This is good. This is fantastic. The shit will stop. The comments will calm the fuck down.”

Only, it didn’t stop. It shifted, but it did not stop. Because no matter how good you are, some people are still determined to rip you apart based solely on your skin color. and I am sick and tired of it. I know where these comments stem from. I refuse to engage with it moving forward.

The one person I’ve confided in about all of this (The broader story, as opposed to the tidbits I feel safe enough to share.) has repeatedly told me that if I tell someone off, then they had it coming. I’m over here trying not to be a crazy bitch, but I’m so sick of it all. I can handle it professionally and personally, but I am definitely fiercely protective on a personal level.

This past week, there was rampant criticism, but it was no longer racially charged. The focus had shifted. The wording changed, but I’m not an idiot. I know at any given moment, for any reason, the hate can, and will, come back. I know blame is going to be part of it, too. It is shameful and embarrassing to me that anyone would think their hatred has a safe space. There is a dark web subculture of deeply rooted hate that must be addressed and rooted out. We cannot hide behind, “freedom of speech”. That’s bullshit. There are boundaries, and it’s important for us to establish them, or we’re no better than the haters.

It comes down to these basic facts; THINK BEFORE YOU FUCKING SPEAK OR TYPE. Check yourself. Go to therapy, Grow the fuck up. Remove deeply rooted hate and misogyny from yourself. Do the fucking work in order to be someone you can be proud of. Do it for yourself and for those who you most influence. Do it for a better tomorrow.

I practice what I preach. I show up, and I do the work. I don’t shake my head and ignore it. Essentially, if you want to make a difference and impart change, then it starts with you. Be the example you wish others could be, for you and yours. Be an inspiration for others to see.

I said what I said.

copyright © 2022 by Lisa Marino-Molchanova & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Poison In Lethal Doses®™ is a registered trademark. Written work by author may not be shared or posted anywhere without express written consent from the author. Excerpts and quotes from author material also requires consent. This authors’ work and personal photos are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws. Further protection is under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

I Wish I Had Words, But That Isn’t What I’ve Got

It would be great to have words on the fifteenth anniversary of my father’s death, but all I’ve got is anger. Anger, frustration, zero tolerance for bullshit, and absolutely no patience, empathy, or compassion for humanity at large right now. Facts are facts; why sugar coat it?!

While this year held many incredible and beautiful moments for me, it was also a stark reminder of isolation, the absolute fragility of life, and opened my eyes even further to the behavior of those who claim to love me. I have come to the decision that this fake love needs to be eliminated from my life, along with fake friendships which, while they may have been good for many years, no longer hold any meaning or value. There is no need to hold on to people who do not wish to put forth any effort. You do not need permission to let go of people who sicken you; whoever they may be.

The past few months have taken an epic toll on me. I have tried speaking about it here and there, but I have not been met with much support. This left me feeling like I couldn’t share it with anyone because no one care enough to hear my thoughts. This sort of explains my need to eliminate that which does not fit, and perhaps have room to embrace new people along the way, or not. The choice ultimately lies with me.

I wish I had more to offer today, but I don’t, and my honesty on the matter will have to be enough.

copyright © 2022 by Lisa Marino-Molchanova & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Poison In Lethal Doses®™ is a registered trademark. Written work by author may not be shared or posted anywhere without express written consent from the author.

Breathe Through It

I’ve always wondered what the hell is wrong with the majority of the people in this world. For some unknown reason, they believe caffeine, sunshine, fresh air, a glass of water, or a cup of tea will magically solve ALL of your problems. If only it were so simple!

Have you ever felt better when someone says, “You need to calm down?” Of course, not. It’s so rarely said with good intentions. Usually, it is said to stop you from talking, or to shut a situation down. FUCK THAT.

I recently had a panic attack that was so bad, I had to keep telling myself, “Just breathe through it.” repeatedly. For hours. No, I did NOT feel better trying to minimize what I was going through, or why. In fact, I felt stupid for thinking I could mantra my way out of a panic attack which was impeding my ability to breathe.

Someone finally stopped me to chat, and told me I am so heavily triggered right now, that everything is bothering me on a higher frequency. They suggested talking to my doctor about this, in order to get some support. Stupidly, I brought up the issue, only to hear the most insincere, “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.” I have family for that comment, I do NOT need it from my support system. I found myself angered, and unable to talk about how painful it was to have to bring it up at all. I speak to him again after the holidays, and I am genuinely torn between speaking up or simply going elsewhere for what I need. The second you feel like your needs aren’t being met somewhere, you should not be inclined to blame yourself. I’d like to normalize talking about this because too often, women do not.

The month of December brings up a lot of pain and heartache for me. I cannot just “breathe through it”. It’s been a while since I’ve acknowledged how bad my Complex PTSD is, but it’s bad. and I feel unable to fully cope. Mostly because, medication usually helps, but this year, it is all just hitting harder than usual. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot to distract me, so it’s present every minute of the day. It’s beginning to cause insomnia, which worries me, because I’m finally going to bed at a decent hour and often getting decent sleep, but not now. Now I am tormented, and I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.

Alas, I will probably survive. Or maybe I’ll just breathe through it. 🙄

copyright © 2022 by Lisa Marino & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Poison In Lethal Doses®™ is a registered trademark. Written work by author may not be shared or posted anywhere without express written consent from the author.

Eleven Days

For some reason, the number of days hit me. December is never an easy month for me, but this year I’ve got more grief than usual weighing on my heart. It’s unbelievably intense and heavy. I try to talk about it, and the pain seizes control of my vocal cords. It shuts me up and shuts me down. In the end, I go back to a state of isolation and silence, because those are safer places to be. For now.

My voice is my strongest and best asset in this world. Whenever I have to go into a deep, dark well of silence, I feel like someone took me to the vet and neutered me (BTW, Cat and Kitten did pretty well at the vet this year. They maintained their weight, are in good health, minus my having to add some supplements for arthritis, and tolerated a new vet who I wanted to smack. It’s sad to see tiny kittens in your head, and then see their ages on paper in black and white. It startled me. I genuinely hope they will be with me a long time. Also, it was much easier to sedate them in order to avoid shrieking and any additional trauma. They still meowed their displeasure, but they were very well behaved, overall. I came out with two minor scratches, as opposed to last year’s Blood Match, so YAY on that.). I HATE feeling like I cannot be my true self. If only there was medication to fix that for me!

When you’re dealing with grief, NO ONE gets to tell you that your feelings are invalid or, “have gone on too long”. No one gets to tell you when your pain ends, except you. The truth is, some pain will stick with you until your dying day. That’s part of your humanity, and I hope you never lose it. I would be more concerned with those who feel NOTHING and/or want you to, “get over it” because it’s an inconvenience to their life. Heartless shit is a red flag; please remember this for future reference.

Unfortunately, I have to take my pain into therapy. I’m not happy about that, but I need some support. My expectations are nil. You can’t make people understand what you’re experiencing, or have experienced. Even by giving some people comparison pain, they still don’t get it. I assure you, what people do or do not comprehend isn’t your fault. For me, I’m rethinking many of my relationships because it isn’t my job to help people comprehend things and/or meet me on my level. In fact, it is almost certainly time for me to move on to new energy. I owe no one anything, and this is something I am trying to remember each day.

Yes, I have other things to talk about and share, but for now, I’m at eleven days and I am HURTING. I pray for better moments where I can celebrate, instead of feel overwhelming grief and sadness.

copyright © 2022 by Lisa Marino-Molchanova & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Poison In Lethal Doses®™ is a registered trademark. Written work by author may not be shared or posted anywhere without express written consent from the author.

Experiencing What You Can’t Talk About

Sometimes, we go through something we cannot talk about. Something deeply private and painful. I want to share what I have been through, but it’s not entirely my story to tell. To some degree, it is entirely mine, but I’m not selfish. Someone else has a vested interest in this pain, and so, I am trying to honor both sides of the coin.

Personally, I need to talk. I need to know I am not alone. I need others to know they are not alone. I need support. I looked at my family, and nixed all of them. We simply don’t have the kind of relationship where I feel comfortable going to anyone and opening up on such a deep level. It’s a very painful subject and I know what I will be met with. Ten minutes after I say anything, my entire family will know my business. It’s a fucking insidious game of telephone which I find toxic, and choose not to support. That means, biological family is off grid.

I then looked hard at my friend group. Only one person knows what I am going through. I wanted to share this agony with a few other people, but since they have their own drama going on right now, I decided to keep my mouth shut. I can’t explain how much it pains me to say nothing, and to suffer silently. The simple fact that I had no one to trust and turn to bothers the hell out of me. I actually sat and thought to myself, “You need new friends.” Talk about a conundrum!

Trust is not something anyone should just hand over. Private things are so difficult to navigate. I pray that in a year from now, I am able to say, “This is what I went through. Here’s my story, here’s my truth. It was scary, it was awful, and my heart shattered. Here’s my joy in overcoming it all. I survived, and so can others.” That’s only part of what I want to say, but I also want the control to tell it when the timing is right for all involved.

Tonight, I try to power through what is haunting me. I don’t know if I am capable of crying because I’m in such shock and denial, but I do know that when the tears come, it will not be the worst day of my life. I’ve survived some of the most awful moments; so my track record is pretty good. It’s coming out whole on the other side that bothers me, because I don’t entirely know if this is possible.

copyright © 2022 by Lisa Marino-Molchanova & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Poison In Lethal Doses®™ is a registered trademark. Written work by author may not be shared or posted anywhere without express written consent from the author.