I would love to sit down and write hearts and flowers nonsensical prose, but right now, it isn’t where I am. Also, if I ever DO write anything remotely like that, please send men in white coats to do a psych eval.
Life is crazy at the moment. My primary care doctor is leaving, so even though I will be handed off to another physician during the remainder of Covid (Someone to authorize three of my prescriptions a month and handle a few referrals.), I will still need to find a new doctor for post-Covid care. 😦 This sounds like no big deal, but could take 6-18 months in total. I’m talking from experience. It will be my fourth primary care doctor, too. If you’ve been lucky enough to never have to change doctors, kudos to you, but I have lived in many different places and in each place, I’ve needed a new doctor. In Massachusetts, primary care physicians aren’t very good, so this should explain why I am extremely nauseated at the idea of a fourth one since moving here.
I’ve been dealing with self-induced stress, because I am always in fight or flight mode. It’s not a good place to be, but it’s how you survive, sometimes with (or without) lasting damage. I am doing my best to pull myself out of the quick sand. I’ve asked no one for help, nor have I discussed this with anyone. My independent streak about many things is taller than I am, but at the end of the day, no one else can credit themselves for digging me out of my own pain and suffering.
I’ve made some important decisions over the past six months. “Invest in yourself” is the best advice I can offer up to anyone, at any stage of their life, and I am proud of myself for following through on this, and continuing to make investments as I move forward. A few more steps and I’ll be sharing a whole new venture with all of you. One I know will be better at maintaining connection. 🙂
In the past year, I’ve realized connection, in all forms, is quite important to me. I can’t express enough disgust at those who’ve not even bothered to check in or ask if I’m okay. That’s doing less than the bare minimum in a friendship, and I don’t need friends like that. I am not a surface level friend in any way, shape, or form. I like depth, partly because I can talk about anything, but have no patience for small talk. I catch myself tuning out the second the subject matter isn’t of a higher level. It’s sad, really, because far too many people prefer to stay surface level. It’s boring.
When all of this craziness began last year, I reached out to everyone I consider a close friend or family member, and I included a few people I’m not the least bit close with anymore, because it doesn’t mean I’ve stopped caring. It was disheartening to watch, as the year came and went, very few people remain connected. It must be nice to live in your own bubble and not care about anyone else (Yes, that’s sarcasm.). I can’t relate to that kind of behavior because, as a writer, I live inside my head, but I do come out to check on those in my world. I don’t pretend I’m too busy or that a text or a few lines of an e-mail is too much work for me to fit into my day. That would be bullshit. I can track how much time I spend promoting on social media, and I can always reduce that time, or multitask.
I am learning that it’s perfectly okay to move on without closure. I am learning how to do this because I don’t aim to come off as a bitch. It isn’t who I am, but am I ending friendships which, if you follow the Marie Kondo philosophy, aren’t bringing me joy? HELL YES. Especially if there’s nothing to hold onto.
Friendship, and all relationships, are built on a foundation. If both of the people involved aren’t doing the work, why should one person alone carry all the weight? They shouldn’t. I will not allow myself to feel guilty for cutting people off. Clearly, no one cares enough to even realize they’ve been cut off, so it goes.
I have to thank all of the new subscribers. It is such a joy to reach out to you and realize I AM connecting with a broader audience. I appreciate all of you. Every time I log in and see new subscribers, I feel proud of what I’ve been doing with this site. Many readers have been with me for YEARS, and I feel blessed knowing I still keep you reading. I’m never 100% sure why, but I do feel that people relate, and therefore, they connect to the things I talk about.
Of late, my time has been spent in rewrites. I am trying to complete a novel for sale. Not because I have to, but because I want to establish growth. I read plenty of fiction (The darker, the better.), but writing it is different. My entire career has been based on truth, and I feel confident in the things I have written which have made an impact on others. I’m not good when boxed into one category, because I know I can do more than that.
I remember, quite vividly, shredding years and years of fiction before I moved away from home. If I think back to those days, I remember trying to develop compelling characters. It was, quite frankly, a never-ending story that I eventually saw for what it was. Thus, the shredding. Coming out of that experience shuddering, and embarrassed, I knew any fictional work I might do in the future would have to grab the attention of the reader immediately. I’ve already got editors breathing down my neck for this novel, so I’ve thrown myself head first into rewriting and developing the characters into multifaceted jewels.
I am confident in how the process is going. Instinctively, I know when something is working and when it is not. I trust my own judgment. Someone recently told me that because I trust my judgment, I don’t seek approval from others. They were accurate in this assessment. I will only ask questions if I’m unsure about something, and this rarely pertains to what I write. I write specific material, but I know a lot of my personality shines through. Sarcasm, humor, and wit, can all be involved in serious subjects. If you lose those things, you lose the individual voice.
Other things are happening, too. I am looking at almost all of it as positive. Sometimes, things occur and I am reminded of my strengths and how much I can achieve. Those are good moments, but we all have to take a step back at times and remind ourselves to achieve without feeding the ego, the superego, or the Id. I have watched people, over the past few years, truly feed their superego and it is such an immense turnoff. I choose not to say anything to them because you can’t talk someone down from that level. It slowly becomes a disease and I’m not trained to deal with everyone’s disease-feeding. Factor in that we all know someone who has reached this level of narcissistic behavior, and they now feel free to share their hideousness with the world. Over time, it is shown for the cancer on society it truly is. Add in closet racists and it’s very easy to see why many people choose to fully back away from society at large.
Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead. Mine involves some stress. I am meeting a new doctor this week (a specialist) and have had the appointment for five months. Before I got an appointment, I waited eight months just to get the phone call! Here’s hoping it goes off without a hitch. Fingers crossed.
“Masquerade! Paper faces on parade Masquerade! Hide your face so the world will never find you Masquerade! Every face a different shade Masquerade! Look around, there’s another mask behind you
Flash of mauve, splash of puce Fool and king, ghoul and goose Green and black, queen and priest Trace of rouge, face of beast, faces Take your turn, take a ride On the merry-go-round in an inhuman race
Eye of gold, true is false Who is who? Curl of lip, swirl of gown Ace of hearts, face of clown, faces Drink it in, drink it up till you’ve drowned In the light, in the sound but who can name the face?
Masquerade! Grinning yellows, spinning reds Masquerade! Take your fill, let the spectacle astound you Masquerade! Burning glances, turning heads Masquerade! Stop and stare at the sea of smiles around you Masquerade! Seething shadows breathing lies Masquerade! You can fool any friend who ever knew you Masquerade! Leering satyrs, peering eyes Masquerade! Run and hide, but a face will still pursue you.” -Andrew Lloyd Webber, Phantom of the Opera
My real friends know I’m not just “passing through” or “killing time”. I’m always #AuthenticAF
If you cannot handle an honest take on life and discussions of depression and mental health, please do not read below this image. Thank you.
It didn’t set in until this month.
The majority of my days are Groundhog Day-esque. Lather, rinse, repeat. Dull. Uninteresting. Zero challenge involved. Over time, this method of “living” has worn me down. I’ve kept silent, but today I feel the need to say “I HATE IT. I hate everything about it.”
A little over a year ago I sat in full blown tears when I realized there was never going to be something in this world to cure me. With multiple diagnoses which are highly comorbid, I remember trying to hold back the tears by saying, “I can’t cry. I’m wearing $30 mascara.” I tried blowing it off. I tried using humor. I failed miserably, and no one noticed.
As someone who unintentionally fell into advocacy, fueled by my rage post the ER visit from hell that I still can’t fully talk about without going into the “red rage zone”, I spend a lot of time fielding questions and phone calls, dumbing down information for people so they sort of understand what I’m saying, and doing my best to help others. All while I’m dying inside more and more each day.
This past Spring, a nurse got in my face and asked if I was suicidal. I replied multiple times with, “I have a therapist. I’m fine. Thank you.” and ignored the question because, quite frankly, it didn’t pertain to why I was there. If I come into an office with pneumonia or go to Urgent Care or the emergency room with a broken bone, do NOT ask me if I’m suicidal. It doesn’t pertain to the injury or illness at hand, and medical professionals should NEVERscream and/or get into the face of someone who has a trauma history and a clear-cut diagnosis of any form of PTSD. If I had reacted by physically harming her (I romanced the idea for a good twenty minutes or so.), I would be in the wrong. I would have looked like “the mental patient”, or worse. By pulling myself together and reminding myself of who I am, that bitch still has a face. For now.
“Mental illness” is a phrase I loathe using. It’s a phrase that is incredibly hurtful to me, and always has been. Perhaps because it is so often said in fear, in blame, with malice, or with false empathy, I’m not entirely sure. I prefer to say “Everyone’s brain chemistry is different.”, which is accurate. I could probably get at least one doctor to agree with me on this.
I have openly and honestly discussed my battle with a difficult form of depression. For me, it is virtually un-treatable, so they refer to it as “Treatment Resistant”. I’ve failed more than twenty-five medications, and this year, I failed another. I just started taking something new (to me), but it’ll be a while before I know if it helps or hinders. My first dose definitely affected me and the side effects after the medicine left my system were not high on my list of “Let’s do this everyday”. On one hand, I am lucky because my doctor is trying new things and he has challenged us both with his commitment.
I also suffer terribly from anxiety, Complex-PTSD, and chronic migraines. Two of these diagnoses are hereditary. My headache specialist happily informed me that since my father got occasional headaches (I inherited my pain threshold from him. My father wouldn’t take so much as an aspirin unless something was bordering on emergency.) and my mother had a few migraines in her life, that I most assuredly inherited my migraines from one side of my family or perhaps both. This was nothing I didn’t already know.
Everything that makes me unique, smart, sharp, tough, witty, snarky, and a bad ass stems from at least one or two of my collective diagnoses. It does not make me better or worse; though people would love for you to believe anyone with different brain chemistry is going to either cause you harm or harm themselves. We are treated as lesser. We are labeled and ostracized. Within my own family, I’ve constantly been told I have nothing to be depressed about. I’ve experienced both exclusion, ridicule, and have seen everyone’s true selves. And yet, I see signs of various mental illness in a great many of the very same people who sit in judgment of me, feeling superior because they would never cop to their diagnoses, if asked. They are in denial, and I used the words “mental illness” for them because I have never seen anything special or unique about any of these individuals. I have never thought, “Wow. This person is something special.” When people describe me, it is usually in a positive light and the word “incredible” is often used. It is interesting phraseology, but I’ve also been told I “just want attention”. What crazy, delusional person would say such a thing? Fifty percent of my genetic make-up. 😦 I can’t take this person too seriously. If I did, they’d never walk, talk, or breathe again.
People often underestimate me, and they absolutely underestimate my ability to come back when challenged. If I counted how often a person has said I’m “so nice”, “so sweet”, “the kindest soul”, and/or “so caring”, I would be richer than Bill Gates. These are not words I’d ever use to describe myself. The inability to read non-verbal cues is apparently something many people either choose to suffer from or simply don’t realize they’re doing. If you spend two minutes looking me in the eye, you might catch a glimpse of the real me. “She may be small, but she is mighty.”
My mother once told me I’ve had the most interesting facial expressions since the day I was born; that she knew I was not only looking at someone, but I was also looking through them. She told me, “You see people exactly as they are. Not as they pretend to be. Sometimes, that scares people away, but it’s only scaring the wrong people away. The right people will always stick by you because you’re incredibly loyal.” When I think about those words, I can almost hear her voice again.
I have my moments. I can certainly be nice, sweet, kind, and caring, just not all on the same day, lest I ruin my reputation. 😉 I have limitations on how much niceness I spread around.
My physical and emotional pain is completely invisible. Unless I mention it, no one would ever know, and thus far, only one person seems interested in understanding the complexities of it all. I don’t have a lot of facial expressions. I’m predominantly quiet, unless I have something to say. And you’ll often hear the word “formidable” used in the same sentence as my name, providing the person is smart enough to grasp the fact that I’m not passive.
When other people talk about various forms of mental illness; OCD, anxiety and/or panic attacks, bipolar disorder, trauma, or personality disorders, they tend to be shocked by my openness and honesty. I suffer silently and I suffer alone. I have ceased to discuss it with family because I question their concern for me. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt someone’s concern was genuine. No one has EVER taken a call from me when I was in a crisis situation. People don’t call to check in on me, either, but they’re very quick to dial my number over the slightest thing bothering them, and I find myself exceedingly annoyed by the ridiculous questions I get via text almost daily. Loyalty, compassion, and the ability to be emotionally present are the things I provide, but they’re also the things I am not provided with.
So, it took me all this time to realize I am passively suicidal. And despite knowing this; people have consistently said or done something this year to hurt and upset me. My thoughts, feelings, and overall health has never been taken into consideration. No one has ever said, “Man, she’s going through so much right now. She’s fighting for her life. I’ll wait to talk to her about this until I see she’s feeling stronger.” My suffering is almost completely ignored. I wish people could see how horrible this all is for me and not attack me. I wish they could take my suffering into deep consideration; not as an excuse to avoid a discussion, no, but as a solid reason to know how close I am to the edge.
I can’t remember the last time someone asked how I was doing and it wasn’t someone in customer service. I can’t remember the last time someone genuinely cheered me up. I wish someone would understand how much pain I keep contained. I’ve never used my health as an excuse and I’ve never hidden behind it, but I often think people forget I’m human. The fact that I openly declared being passively suicidal should be enough to get friends and family to sit at attention. I can’t tell you how many times this year I truly believed my life was just moments from ending.
Because it was something I felt I needed to do, I went back into therapy last year. I was seeing someone once a month, and that particular situation worked well, until the therapist left the hospital she was affiliated with. She let me know well in advance, and even when she told me, it wasn’t a shock or a surprise, but it then took me time to find someone new. I saw two people, initially. One I automatically deemed “too young”, and I don’t mean chronologically. I mean in the sense that I didn’t feel she was prepared to genuinely assist me. She immediately got under my skin in a way that let me know she was not a good fit, and I also felt incredibly uncomfortable in the building her office was in, and the surrounding neighborhood felt unsafe and emotionally charged. I shouldn’t be going anywhere if I have to second-guess my personal safety. The second person was okay, but when she pissed me off in two separate sessions, completely twisting my words and practically stabbing me in the hand with a few of her questions, I was hesitant to go back. I mentioned it to my doctor, sort of in passing, and I appreciate the fact that he looked at me and said “Why are you trying to force it?” Beforehand, I felt bad. I never want to waste someone’s time, but he said the perfect thing to me in the moment, and there was nothing about his tone that bothered me. If anything, I was relieved that he knew me well enough to say something. He helped me get set up with someone in the same office, and thus far, things are going well. I feel like she’s got a good head on her shoulders and, because I laid all the dos and don’ts down in the first appointment, she has been good about letting me take point on how I want to proceed. She feels she’ll be able to help me, but she has no idea how hopeless I truly feel.
In the past when I’d read about how people were pushed by friends and family, or maybe one more than the other, into suicide attempts, it appalled me. I would think to myself, “No, not my family. They love me.” But the truth is, people like the idea of me, especially in passing, but love is rarely found in my life. I have friends who likely have more combined love for me than twenty family members, but my family would all deny this. It took me a long time to understand that love means different things to different people. Anyone who ever loved me unconditionally is long gone, and the pain of that sits deep within me.
I often hear people say “I love you.” in passing. It’s the end of many phone calls, but it means more to me than it does to other people. To me, it is a truth, or I won’t say it. There are many ways to say you love someone. It can be by helping them through difficult shit, or telling them to drive safely. It can be so many small and large things, and yet, I feel so devoid of it from people. My cats display more love when they look at me than most people ever could, yet I know many people are quite fond of me. It’s a short list, but I don’t doubt any of the people on it.
Inevitably, once this is published, I will get texts, e-mails, and a few phone calls. This will happen either all within a few hours or over the course of a week. People will ask me questions, pretend to be interested in what’s going on in my life, etc. I will also be accused of writing about each person in my life specifically, be accused of placing targets on their backs, as if I’ve got the time to psychoanalyze all of them and as if my readers are going to attack them physically in the streets! It is ridiculous behavior, but at least they’re all consistent. 😦 I’m supremely honest, so I MUST be targeting them. I mean really, the world seemingly revolves around a LOT of fucking people whenever I speak the truth. It’s baffling, to say the least.
All I want are some good days. Good moments. No pain. I’m desperately trying to survive this life. I’m tired of crying, something I almost never do. I’m tired of the emotional abuse. It is a horrendous burden to bear, especially when someone tells you you’re not being abused, or that you deserve every last ounce of hatred and vitriol a person can spit in your direction. I understand being upset or angry, but I’m tired of it being taken out on me as personal blame. Every time it happens, I reassess my life. No one should have to fight this hard just to stay alive.
It’s important to talk about feelings. It’s important to work things out of your system. Unfortunately, writing this was not a purge of emotion. This is an explanation of my daily life. It is slowly killing me, and those who know me refuse to see it.
I didn’t know until this month. I didn’t know how completely unimportant I am to people who should always have my back. I’ll stop here, though, because the emotional wounds are deep. I’m not sure there are enough sutures on the planet big enough to fix all the emotional harm that has come my way. But I’ll be damned if people don’t start backing off.
When you can’t see past the tears, and can’t breathe without feeling spikes in your chest, passive turns to aggressive, and absolutely no one is more determined than I am once I’ve made a decision. I need love and support right now, and if the people in my life can’t provide safety and a calm, quiet place for me to exist, then I need to stop being the dutiful family member and friend and prioritize nothing else except my own desires.
Hello everyone! It’s been a little over a month since I last wrote something for this platform. I don’t feel the need to apologize, though. Trust me, sometimes it’s better for me to be quiet than it is for me to say what I really believe, at the time, is the right thing to say.
I’ve needed the time “away” (I was very much still here) to focus on my health, diligently apply myself to my NaNoWriMo commitment, and detox from people, and things, that anger and upset me. I’m not really there yet with the detoxification, but I’m working on it.
The holiday season is an exceptionally hard time for me. And yet, an entire month swept past me in what seemed to be a blink of an eye. At this stage, I am simply trying to avoid perky people, and anyone who put their Christmas decorations up on November 1st. I am pretty sure within the next few days, my neighbors will begin to blind me with their lights. To each their own.
When I am not immersed in reading, writing, or extensive research, I am try to “wind down” my brain a bit, okay, a LOT. It is naturally hyperactive, so nothing is really helping. I find it disturbing that my brain is “always on”, for lack of a better term. With a brain that is always at work, you take the good with the bad. Would I rather be dim-witted or sharp with my wit? I think we all know the answer to that. I’m not giving up my snark. 😉
I hope my U.S. based readers had a lovely Thanksgiving and that my readers who span the globe are healthy, happy, pain-free, and able to enjoy the things many people take for granted.
A large part of me would have loved to be writing the past two months about major news headlines that affect all of us in one way or another, but I chose to leave that to other people while I focused on the final draft of my novel. NaNoWriMo, simply because it’s a challenge, encouraged me to write a new introduction to the story, allowed me to fill in areas that needed depth and growth, helped me with character development, and has helped me decide that every month, I am going to keep challenging myself to produce something enjoyable. Because it’s a genre I wouldn’t normally touch with a fifty foot pole, I have to give myself credit for allowing myself to be vulnerable to the writing and storytelling process. I wanted to write something that is organic, but in doing so, I had to reach deep into who I am and find the part of me that still believes in the things I’m writing. I’ve had great encouragement from my friend, Christy, and her support has meant the world to me.
There’s an important saying, “Pay attention to who steps up when others step away.” These past two months have allowed me to assess my friendships and relationships on an increasingly deep level. The important thing I’ve set my mind on is that I cannot be the one who does all the work in any relationship. If I always have to call, text, and reach out, then the other person clearly doesn’t value me a whole lot. I don’t need people like that in my life. Communication is give and take. If you text me, I will answer it as soon as I see it. If you e-mail me, I will answer you ASAP. If you call me and you’re on my “priority list”, I will answer the phone. I programmed my phone so it won’t ring if you’re not on the list. Mostly because I hate the sound of a phone ringing no matter who it may be, and because a five a.m. phone call is jarring. It’s no big deal if I’m awake, but it’s a huge deal if I went to bed early or I’m suffering from a migraine, etc. Overall, I am extremely sensitive to noise. In the past two years I have only gone short periods of time without a migraine, and of late, the physical pain of suffering from Fibromyalgia has been crushing. I hope and pray these things can be handled properly, and soon, by someone who will have my best interests at heart. This year, apart from one good experience, has made me angrier than ever before at the medical community. Greed, politics, and disrespect runs rampant. I’ve never used this expression before, but I feel completely victimized by “the system”, and only a fool would pretend that it’s okay. It isn’t.
These next few weeks are going to be filled with writing letters, filling out paperwork, doing research, fighting for justice, and trying to go into 2018 with positive thoughts.
As I sit here unable to sleep, with my heart racing (For the record, it shouldn’t be doing that, but I am SO stressed and dealing with so much pain and heartache; I simply can’t control how my body attempts to cope.), I am trying to figure out how to pack a seemingly endless task into the next two days. I’m going to say a prayer and hope for the best. Someone told me the other day to “give it to God and go to bed”. That might be the correct advice, after all. I guess I’ll find out.
I’ve had a couple of rough weeks, though in truth, I’d have to say “rough decade”, but I’d prefer to focus on the present. Some of it I would prefer to address in a future piece that is nearly completed, but the rest I’d like to get out of my system. Unfortunately, I don’t even know where to start.
Like any intelligent writer, I think things through. I don’t “wing it” and hope for the best. There’s an art to how you write, how you speak, and how you communicate. Sometimes, I wish everyone were as gifted with the written and spoken word as I am, but I realize that’s not realistic, or fair, however, it leaves me incredibly frustrated with some of the people in my life and how they speak to me.
My being an incredibly private person isn’t a secret. In fact, I think it’s pretty well-established. However, a few people crossed some very serious boundaries with me over the past few weeks and they are utterly fucking clueless that the boundaries exist. The sad part is; I’ve had to establish these boundaries multiple times with the same people. Only one of them can legitimately say “I forgot.” because she is going through a health issue that affects her memory. It’s not an excuse, but it’s her only “Get Out Of Jail Free” card with me, and even that is getting slim these days. The other person is just plain being an ass, and I am not okay with it. I don’t find it cute, humorous, respectful, etc. I don’t find someone’s sudden interest in my life acceptable behavior. You cannot suddenly ask me deeply personal questions and expect an answer from me. I don’t care if you’ve known me for twenty years or twenty minutes; I still have boundaries. When I say “I am not going to discuss this.” that’s precisely what it means. I don’t owe you answers.
From day one, I have openly and honestly discussed my medical issues and struggles. I have kept my doctors names private, for obvious reasons, and I’ve kept personal details private. I’d expect most of us to do the same. What I write about in terms of subject matter may be open and honest, but my private life is still PRIVATE. Privacy, while scarce, still means something to me. Yes, you can read this and subscribe, but I don’t owe you every tiny detail of my life (Don’t worry, you’re really not missing anything.).
My closest friends are smart enough not to push my buttons (Well, apparently not all of them are so smart.), and yet, so many of you, over the years, have sent me the kindest messages to let me know you care, or that you’re listening, or that my candor has inspired you in some way. That means more to me than someone being nosy or invasive simply because they feel entitled to push me for “answers”.
There is no magical substance on this planet that is going to heal and/or fix me. I have ALWAYS known this. It’s called “being honest with yourself”. Prescription medications (probably over fifty, if I add in all the various migraine meds), several courses of Eastern medicine, enough vitamins & supplements to open my own GNC, eating the healthiest foods you can think of, etc., and nothing has made anything better. I exercised obsessively at times, three times a day, in an attempt to try to “control” what was going on internally and allow the external aspect to take over. It didn’t work, not for long. I’ve lost over thirty pounds in the past month and a half. Can I afford to lose more weight? Yes. I’m not worried about the weight loss, but I am worried about where I stand from an emotional standpoint.
When I inevitably told a few people what was going on post-diagnosis, only a few people rallied around me. One person checks in with me daily to make sure I’m okay, even if it’s just a few quick texts back and forth. Another checks in about once a week, when she can, and again, it’s the thoughtfulness behind the gesture. It’s someone saying “How are YOU?” and genuinely caring, instead of trying to fix me or making me feel lesser. I call that acceptance. We raise our children to accept everyone precisely as they are, but as adults, there is very little acceptance of anyone who is different from us. I find it disgusting, especially when it comes from those who are supposed to love and care about us. You truly learn who is on your side during rough times. People say one thing, but do something else entirely, and they don’t factor in whether or not what they’re doing might be hurtful.
I do not expect anyone to get on a plane and hold my hand, because that’s not going to fix anything, but would it be great for the majority of people in my life to be less self-involved and self-centered? Yes. However, I expect nothing from others because that is ultimately what I get, no matter how much I give. It is important to give to the right people, as opposed to those who can only give you small percentages of themselves.
You might visit other places on the Internet and find a person listing their entire physical and mental health diagnoses from A to Z. They have the right to do so because for many people, that is where they get their support and it’s also where they feel safe to vent, but that’s not what anyone is ever going to get from me. I might vent, but ultimately, venting has never been my goal.
First and foremost, I am a writer. This is a writer’s platform, NOT a blog. I am NOT a “writer who blogs”, but a writer who uses her voice as a platform to speak my mind, and to properly use the platform I am given, I cover topics that matter to me, and others, and I say things other people are often afraid to say. I advocate where I can, when I can, but I’m imperfect and human. A lot of people are afraid to use their voice for the purpose(s) in which I use mine, but I utterly lack the ability to be shy. I have moments of quiet observation, but I assure you, I am NOT a shy woman. I catch myself at times having to bite back my internal dialogue because sometimes, my inappropriate comments have a mind of their own and they desperately want to come flying out of my mouth. I try very hard to be tactful. but sometimes, I genuinely don’t give a shit how I come off to someone else. Okay, that’s nine days out of ten, but I TRY.
I have never intentionally hurt someone I have professed to love and/or care about, but I’ve had so many people say those words and intentionally hurt me in the process. I live my life with a “live and let live” policy. You don’t hurt me, and I’ll let you live. 😉 All kidding aside, I don’t see what anyone gains out of saying something nasty, aggressive, or hurtful to someone they say they love. How does that make you a better person? How does that make life easier? How is that helpful?
I will never be a “Kill ’em with kindness” kind of girl. It’s disingenuous to me to “fake it ’til you make it” with others. If I can’t be 100% real, then I can’t be in your presence. I’m tired of biting my tongue.
Some people will always be comfortable talking for the sake of talking, or in this case, writing for the sake of writing. I prefer to write with genuine purpose. I want my words to have meaning and value to the person on the other side who is reading them. Sometimes I will make you laugh, and sometimes I might make you cry. There are times I will make you think, but ultimately, if I can provoke you to walk away better, stronger, smarter, or more of any one thing in life, then I, as a writer, have done my job.
If you haven’t noticed the boundaries, there’s caution tape up. Please be sure to stay behind it. In the meantime, I’ll be here with Cat, Kitten, and my fucking Invisibility Cloak, lest someone gets dumber with me this week! After all, it’s ONLY Tuesday. Someone’s bound to screw up or dig themselves a deeper hole. I am rolling my eyes with anticipation. Yes, I’m being sarcastic and snarky. Much like high cheekbones and heterochromia, they are two of my best features. 😉
A few days ago it dawned on me precisely what bugs me most about some of my family members. To be fair, it’s probably in my top ten things that bug me about them. It’s not just the fact that their combined I.Q. is my shoe size (I’m a nine, in case you were wondering.), but their flagrant use of personal information and photos on social media makes me cringe. Their motto seems to be “put it on social media, and that will make it true”, when in reality, photos are often artifice.
A year or two ago a “friend” pointed out that I have zero photos of myself on Facebook. She had actually gone through every single album of mine (Who DOES THAT?!) before messaging me to demand that I send her a photo of myself “because we’ve been friends for so long and she has a right to know what I look like”. I nearly laughed myself onto the floor at her audacity. My response went a little something like this: “I’m an EXTREMELY private person. I utilize social media for work and to keep in touch with close friends who live far away, but that does not mean I owe anyone the rights to my private life, and that includes personal photos.” In response, she claimed she was “super private too”, which is laughable because she is constantly posting photos of herself, as if she’s trying to prove something. I went on to describe myself as a “little old lady with blue hair and no teeth” and further stated I was “somewhere between age 10-100 and she could choose one she felt best fit the profile.” She hasn’t spoken to me much since, and I’m good with that because the truth is, it’s not a deep, personal friendship, nor has it ever been. She’s mostly an acquaintance, despite “knowing me” for over twenty years. This chick couldn’t tell you a damn thing about me without Facebook to remind her, so I wouldn’t exactly call her a friend. The fact that she feels the need to report that her new dog farts more than her husband is really unnecessary. I cannot imagine saying or sharing something like that on social media. It’s inappropriate, but to each their own?
My best friend Marion flew from Germany to meet me after we’d been friends for several years. She had zero clue what I looked like, other than knowing I had long dark hair and light eyes, and that I’m very fair on the complexion side. When I met her at the airport, it was like we’d been friends forever. My hair color has changed so many times during over 20+ year friendship, and she will swear up and down that I’m stunningly gorgeous. I’m concerned she has cataracts. 😛 I simply do not see what my friends see when they look at me. They will all say I’m not what I describe. Other than stating my current hair color, height, and the best description of my eyes I can give, there’s no other way to say “short and pale”. There’s a reason that when I wear heels, they’re at least 3-6 inches high.
But I digress; privacy is crucial to how I live my life. I write the truth, I speak my mind, I say precisely what others think and may not have the courage to say, but I don’t even mention my cat’s names on here. I made that decision for privacy’s sake, and because a friend started calling them Cat and Kitten and I thought it was cute. Suffice it to say, they have very unique, creative names that I’m proud of. When someone does happen to hear their names and the story behind them, they’re impressed. I am always complimented for my creativity in pet names. Fluffy, Mittens, Pumpkin, Princess, Muffin, Buttons, Cookie, etc., that shit does NOT fly with me. I also don’t use human names for pets. It’s a rule.
When I refer to a guy, I often use his middle or last name. That might very well be what I call him in every day life, but again, it’s very much a privacy thing. I’m not posting photos of him and invading his personal life, or bringing direct attention to his place of employment. If you’re in a relationship with a writer, you know you’re going to be written about in some capacity somewhere along the line, but you also need to know ahead of time to be on your best behavior before I break out the Taylor Swift songs. 😉
I’ve written about a lot of people in passing, and I’ve never named names. My brother’s name is not a secret, but that’s an entirely different story and YES, I struggled with that SO MUCH. Ultimately his health is so much more important than my protecting him. Spreading the word about what he’s going through and getting him some much-needed help is far more important. He has yet to have anyone approach him and ask if he’s my brother, so I think he’s good, at least on that level. The fact that he no longer looks healthy might have something to do with that. 😦 As for the rest, not so much. It seems people are much more apt to helping an animal than a human-being. I’ve never understood that. It makes me cringe to see how much humanity humans have lost.
I don’t remember exactly when I started my Instagram account, but I can tell you that it’s original intent was for my work as a makeup artist. It isn’t attached to this platform because they’re separate, for obvious reasons. Thus far, it is full of photos of flowers, food, a few makeup items, and one or two cat photos. Like I said, not my original intent. But again, I struggle HARDwith posting photos of my completed work on myself, often deleting forty photos every day I put makeup on because they’re “not good enough” or because I’ve deemed the angle “weird”, which it usually is. I don’t mess with the filters, either. If you don’t look good the first time, then retake the photo and keep going until you get the most accurate portrayal of your work. Thus far, I’ve shared exactly two photos with close friends, and no one else. Posting it online crosses such an immense personal line for me because privacy is mandatory in my life, and once you throw yourself into cyberspace in such a manner, privacy is dead and buried. It becomes a setting, and nothing more. I’m not okay with that.
So to see my family posting hideous photos of their newborn genuinely makes me cringe (I’m not exaggerating. I know cute when I see cute. That baby is NOT cute.). Why do people feel the need to post announcements on Facebook to thousands of their “closest friends and family”? Anyone can snatch up those photos, especially the ones that had personal info on them in the background, and the baby’s wrist band, and track you down. It’s a simple fact. If I could zoom in on them, which I did not because I don’t care to do so, what would a stranger do? If that occurred to me, why did this NOT occur to them with a newborn in their arms?!
When did birth announcements go out of style? Is it too hard to mail a fucking envelope? I would NEVERpublicly put a newborn on display like that. Not online, not en masse, and certainly NOT because I feel the need to show off. I’ve never posted a photo of my Goddaughter for that precise reason. Not her baby photos and not a current photo. She is a CHILD and it is my job to PROTECT her. The Internet is a place of exploitation; it does not promote the healthiest “sharing” experience for photos of babies and children. Let’s call that my detective brain, but it’s also common sense, which is something sorely lacking in today’s society. I’d rather be slightly paranoid than the stupidest person on the planet.
My cousins needs to STOP. Give the kid a few months before you show me photos (Upwards of sixty per day. Honestly, he hasn’t gotten better-looking since being born on Friday and hasn’t done anything even remotely interesting, so please save the photos for yourself! Stick them in an album until he’s thirty.), and PLEASE, pour me a double shot of Kentucky’s finest bourbon first because, EWWW! Yes, I have veryhigh standards on newborn cuteness. They’re called “my baby photos”. If you can’t compete with them, you’re not a cute baby. These are the facts. I’m just being honest. I truly lack the ability to lie and tell you your baby is cute. My face will give it away in half a second.
It’s wonderful that the baby is healthy, despite being born three weeks early. My cousin actually looks like he’s going to puke in a few photos holding him. Again, I feel like there should be some semblance of privacy there. Keep SOMETHING to yourselves. He’s not the one posting them though; it’s his wife. Whatever she wants, he acquiesces to. I find it unnerving.
I had to make an executive decision to block everything from here on in because I cannot abide by what they’re doing. On top of making me uncomfortable from a privacy perspective, you’re letting people know precisely where you are at all times. We don’t live in the safest world and it’s important to be smart about what you post and how you go about it. Announcing “Home from the hospital.” was one of the stupidest things I’ve seen him do, but I ignored it. I’m going to ignore a lot from now on because these are not people who enjoy the truth. They’re people who want what they want, when they want it, and genuinely seem to enjoy burying their head in the sand.
The other decision I made was to prioritize my health, and in doing so, I will not be attending the Bris. My cousins don’t know this yet, but after being told it would be the end of this month earlier this year (the due date was the 25th), that was what I’d prepared for. First babies are usually on time or late. Based on his healthy weight and size, I can only assume the due date may have been miscalculated since my cousins’ labor was induced due to high blood pressure. Instead of the Bris being the original date I was given, it is this Friday. In the middle of the day. I am battling migraine after migraine with no break. I am dealing with too much pain within my body. I am NOT okay to be in a space with the nearly 200 invited guests (I shit you NOT! I’m baffled by this. 100% a “Facebook event”. I’ve decided to not respond at all. They won’t even notice I’m not there.) and a newborn. I can’t do that to myself.
I will go on my own, at another time, and bring them gifts. Forty-five minutes, maybe an hour, and I won’t have to deal with an over-crowded apartment and loud noises. I fully intended to be there for him, but his parents and all of his siblings will be there, so he should be fine. I absolutely won’t be missed. If he’s annoyed, angry, or disappointed, so be it. I asked myself if he’d drop everything to be present for anything in my life and the answer is no, he wouldn’t be, so I shouldn’t feel an ounce of guilt. In the year and a half I’ve lived here, we have not seen each other once. The one time I asked him for help, he said no, after having said he’d do anything for me because I’m family. We live thirty minutes away from each other. Clearly I’m not much of a priority. Any time I’ve suggested doing something, he’s told me coming up this way “makes him anxious” or he’s made an excuse, like saying he wanted to do something with me, but he’d only “fall asleep” while doing it. Really?! I’m great company, I’ve never had anyone fall asleep on me, When his wife decided we should all do something together, I wanted to tell her that I’m no one’s third wheel, because that is genuinely how I feel. I can spend an hour with you, but I’m not meeting a couple for dinner unless I am bringing someone with me. Yes, I can go alone and I’m fine in doing so, but do I want to deal with a couple and their nausea? Not so much. Do that with your couple-friends, not with family. My cousin should be allowed “out to play” on his own without a babysitter/chaperone. How much trouble can he get into with me?! #1- We’re related. #2- I’m NOT going to steal her husband! Refer to #1. #3- Couples should have healthy individual relationships with other people as well as relationships with other couples. #4- Please refer to #1. If she can go out on her own with her family, then he should feel confident to do the same. Pretty soon, he’s going to be BEGGING for breaks from being trapped at home with a wife, dog, screaming child, overbearing mother, and overbearing mother-in-law. Call it a hunch. I’ve just become extremely unsympathetic and incredibly unavailable. I refuse to go over there until his mother returns to Florida. If I have to spend five minutes in her presence, she won’t survive it.
A close friend, who is very secure in herself, casually mentioned to me that any woman would be intimidated by me being close with their husband. She’s fine that her husband and I talk. She knows he’s like a brother to me and that I have zero interest in him. A wedding band on a man’s hand is like a big red EUNUCH sign on his forehead. LOL. While I find that utterly baffling (other women being intimidated by me), I took a good look at that particular side of my family and realized that compared to them, I am basically a supermodel. One cousin asked what foundation I was wearing in a recent photo because “your skin looks so flawless.” When I replied that I wasn’t wearing foundation, she asked if I’d used a filter on the photo. No, I hadn’t. Without outright saying it, she let me know I looked a little too good, and again, I thought it was so bizarre, so yes, I could understand the comment my friend made, ifwe weren’t related! Basically, my cousin is an extension of my brother. I don’t see either of them as men; I see them as little boys. They could have twelve kids a piece and they’d still be little boys to me, and eunuchs. There’s no sexual component to being friends with a sibling or a cousin. I find that utterly ridiculous. However, I’m not going to argue with a petty woman or my cousin who thinks she’s his savior. If he wants a relationship with me, he’s going to have to work for it.
On a much sadder note, late Saturday night my Great-Aunt, the last of sixteen siblings on my Dad’s side, passed away. My five cousins are deeply upset, as they should be. The funeral is today and then Shiva begins for seven days. Four of my cousins are sitting Shiva and I have agreed to do it as well. My Great-Aunt had a rich, colorful life and was an interesting, groundbreaking woman. The funeral is going to be a fight because four of my cousins are arguing with their Uncle about the cemetery choice. I agree with them; she would have preferred a Jewish service and a more religious burial. She sacrificed a lot being married to my Uncle. She left her Orthodox Jewish family and rigid tradition to marry him. However, she still lit Shabbat candles on Friday night and baked lasagna and made meatballs every Sunday. She never truly forgot where she came from.
I spent most of yesterday fielding their issues, trying to help them, taking a call from the lawyer’s office, etc. I’m amazed I didn’t have a stroke. By the time I was ready to make dinner, I was a shaking pile of lunatic. Her funeral is in less than nine hours and I’m still awake, typing this, unable to sleep, dealing with severe pain in my upper back and ribs.
So yes, you get written glimpses into my life, and I do share photos here and there, but the chances of me posting thousands of photos simply to show off or look like an idiot are slim to none, and slim just left town. I have yet to find a single reader that thinks “Man, she doesn’t write enough about herself.” The comments I get that are the most profound are when I am as honest as I’ve been today. Or when I am writing about specific subject matter.
If you’re close to me, you know who I am. If you’re a friend or a family member I deem worthy enough to have a relationship with, then you know I have nothing to prove. People always tell me they love me because I’m always real, all across the board, and they don’t have to question if I’m different outside their presence. I’m just me, in all my craziness. It’s okay to be low-key and real. It’s okay to be private.
Am I judging my family for oversharing like they’re the fucking Kardashians? They’re new parents, and they’re stupid, so yeah, maybe a little, maybe a lot. Do I think what they’re doing is dangerous? Absolutely. There is no doubt in my mind that it is unsafe. However, I’m smart enough to keep my mouth shut. When it comes to babies and parents, their first thought will be that I am jealous. They won’t hear the knowledge and intelligence in what I am saying, they will simply think I want what they have. Do I want to be a moron who doesn’t know when to stop? Fuck no! Do I want to tote around a hideous little child that everyone keeps saying is adorable and handsome? G-d NO. When I have children, I don’t think anyone will have to lie about their looks. I’m good breeding stock. 😉 And yes, I just laughed at my own joke.
P.S. Apparently I’m not the only smart person on this planet. A sweet friend of mine just posted a photo of herself and her infant son at the beach. For his safety and protection, she used a filtering app to shield his face with an emoji, so the only thing you can actually see are his lips, and nothing more. I praised her for being SO smart and protective as a Mom and she agreed with me that it’s the highest priority. So, she got to share the photo, which is a sweet photo of mother and son, but she in NO WAY exploited her infant by putting his face all over the Internet. Brains, class, and beauty. Yes, we’re out there. 🙂
I survived, and I’m always sorry when I do. Always.
Last week, a member of my family overdosed on prescription medication. It wasn’t painkillers or anything like that. In fact, I have yet to look the drug up, but I do know what it isn’t. It’s not lethal if you’re taking it responsibly, but it can be deadly if you’re being an asshole or you take four instead of one. That’s true for a lot of drugs we deem “safe”, which is precisely why the pharmacy tells you that if you can’t remember if you missed a dose, skip the dose, don’t double-up.
We don’t know yet if it was intentional or accidental, but she doesn’t remember what happened. I wish I could say the same. It took me roughly twelve hours to talk two different family members down over what happened. I’ve felt deeply depressed, unhappy, mentally, emotionally, and physically drained ever since. I’m in such a dark place and as I sit here, I realize no one has noticed.
I remember when I tried overdosing. I’d had enough and I wanted out. This was long before my Fibromyalgia diagnosis, and honestly, it was unnecessary back then, I just couldn’t tolerate what i was going through with zero support (much like I feel now). I can say with absolute certainty that no one noticed what I did and no one knew I did it. Even now, no one spends enough time with me to notice if I’m sick or not acting like myself because they don’t know me well enough to know what’s normal for me. I can’t laugh or be goofy or do anything without it being criticized or psychoanalyzed. I could do so many truly dangerous things and I am certain no one would notice. When would they have the fucking time?!
I’m not content living a half-life. I’ve spent the past few weeks in so much pain, I didn’t realize until yesterday just how badly I want it all to stop. The daily struggle. The forcing myself to get out of bed when I really shouldn’t be moving at all. The emotional struggle. The blackouts are so bad that I don’t remember most of today after eating breakfast and I’m concerned, because I think I hit my head at some point. My skull is on FIRE and aches so bad, I’m freaking out. I’m tired of forcing myself out of the house to do far too much because the one person who knows me best and knows exactly how to help me is hundreds of miles away and I haven’t seen him in a year and a half. The financial struggle is never-ending, and realizing that I’ve been unhappy before, but this is a whole other level of miserable is the icing on the cake of misery. This is something that cannot be broken with a positive attitude and smiley faces. This can’t be fixed with kind words and someone being polite. This is serious and every time I turn to someone for help, I’m given their equivalent of a gigantic middle finger. If someone does help me, they hold it over my head like a weapon. It makes it worse because helping someone should mean that you care, not that you show them hatred.
I do have a doctor’s appointment coming up, but it’s mostly for a diagnosis. A new one, because the old one is almost five years old and things change, including me. This is a fresh start and I don’t know if this doctor and I will click or not, but he’s only getting one chance to show me who he is and what he can do to help me.
Five years ago, I was in a different financial position, and while I was struggling emotionally, I kept it in check as much as humanly possible. I was making things work. My life came tumbling down less than six months later. Horror after horror, and I am suffering for it every single day. My doctor never billed me for my last appointment. He knew I had no insurance that would cover the visit at the time (Hell, the only thing my insurance was paying for back then was monthly medication and the occasional ER visit. My primary care doctor, at the time, was months away from dumping me as a patient when I needed help the most.) and that things with me were not okay. I never saw a bill from him. If he’d sent one, I would have paid it, but sitting here today, struggling, I see it as a major act of kindness in a world where there’s so little of it. In sixteen years, he’s probably bought a car or put his daughter through private school for a full year based on what I did pay him, so I don’t feel guilty about it. When I found out in late 2015 that he never put Fibromyalgia into my chart when he diagnosed me, thus making me look like an idiot and making me question exactly what the hell is wrong with me, I damn sure felt even less guilty. I was shaking with rage, and I still am. That one absent-minded mistake cost me DEARLY. And here I am, back at square one.
I feel like an insane basket-case, just waiting to explode. I’m looking at the pile of problems in front of me, which I cannot solve. I’ve got nowhere to turn for help, and I am scared out of my mind. I can let certain things go, but the realization of this particular problem and how important (and potentially damaging it could be) is making things worse. I suspect knowing that since yesterday is what caused me to blackout today. The stress is too much for my body. Stress can be so damaging, we don’t always know exactly how much stress we’re dealing with, until it’s too late.
Unlike many people, I’ve always understood the level of emotional pain it takes to make a person say “I’ve had enough.” I also understand the level of mental and physical pain it takes to say “No more. I can’t do this.” Most people never act on it, especially when they’re talking about it for several years to family and friends, but the people who, like me, keep it inside, are the ones more likely to act on their thoughts. There’s no fascination involved, we’re just done.
Today, I am 100% DONE. I have no idea how I’ve survived this far and I’m tired of worrying. Of not sleeping. Or praying and feeling like I’m all alone. There’s only so much hurt, disrespect, abuse, and abandonment one person can handle.
Will tomorrow be better? I don’t know. I never know. I can pray, and I am going to reach out for help to see if someone will have my back this week, but ultimately, once I’ve exhausted all options, I don’t know where I’ll be.
I’m praying for better days, but I feel lost and completely abandoned. The level of emotional pain for that is off the charts.
This is the aftermath of loss, grief, abandonment, abuse, and other things you may never heal from. No matter how strong you are, no matter how hard you try, there are some things you can’t do anything about. For me, that hurts almost as much as seeing how meaningless I am to others.
Most people would say “It’s the Monday blues.”, but those people don’t understand I feel like this almost daily. That’s not okay.
Every year, usually around mid-April, is the countdown reminder from every company I’ve ever done business with, or might do business with in the future, that Mother’s Day is fast approaching. Last year, it angered me to the point where I unsubscribed from about 20-30 different mailing lists. I just couldn’t take it any more. The e-mails were daily. Daily. Sometimes, there were three or four a day. How much more business do these people need to drum up?! Was it a slow year?!
This year, Mother’s Day falls out on the day when I normally do my big grocery shopping, which requires hitting three different stores, usually, to acquire everything on my detailed list (which I usually organize by store, so I don’t forget anything major). If I keep my head down and I just focus on that list, I should be able to avoid as much of the hoopla as possible, but the pain in my heart will never go away.
There have been years where I couldn’t even get out of bed at the mere thought of facing other people on Mother’s Day. And the worst part is; Few people acknowledge this or discuss it. I refuse to be one of those people.
It’s unbelievably rude when people dismiss your feelings, especially in regard to something like this. When someone tells you to “get over it”, it might actually be wise to consider the source and/or re-think your relationship with that person. Being dismissive of someone’s pain, be it physical, mental, or emotional, is never acceptable.
Being a Motherless Daughter is painful. There is this enormous piece of me missing, and I assure you; no one gives a damn. No one else’s life stopped after my mother’s death, no one else mourns her daily, and that makes it so much worse in my eyes.
I remember how I felt at her funeral. I probably know her eulogy by heart because I only had a few days to write it, but every word was from the heart. I did her proud. I try to keep making her proud every day of my life.
The things I could talk about with my Mom are now things no one else on this planet would understand. Instead of having a person laugh with me and enjoy my insight and sense of humor, I am criticized for having a sense of humor that others do not understand or appreciate. Technically, that’s their problem, not mine. There are so many times I want to tell her about something going on, and I can’t. I know she is looking down on everything happening in my life and is now the “All-Seeing Eye”, but I really hope she sees how I am being treated and the character of others. I hope she sees and does not forget.
My mother always taught me to forgive, but never to forget. “Forgive for yourself,” she’d say, “So you don’t have to carry the hurt and allow it to harm you, but don’t EVER forget.” Forgiveness has become downright impossible in the wake of her passing and other terrible things that have occurred since that fateful day. There are always things you can never un-hear, un-see, un-learn, etc. There’s far too much you cannot forget. My mother was a nice, kind, caring person. I’m not all that nice and my kindness and ability to care is limited.
My Mom used to tell people she couldn’t remember what she wore two days ago, but that “My daughter remembers EVERYTHING.” My short-term memory is shit, but my long-term memory is eerily accurate. So you can question me, but don’t, for a single second, try telling me I’m wrong. I’m many things, but wrong isn’t one of them (I have a key-chain that says that verbatim.). Not when it comes to most things. And I openly admit when I am wrong, which many people won’t ever do.
Last year, right around the start of this month, is when my blackouts began (at least I’m pretty sure that’s when they started. In fairness, it took a few months before I was aware that I had lapses in time each day.). Is it somehow tied in to my mother’s passing and all the other death that has effected my life in the month of May? It’s possible. I have an appointment at the beginning of next month and I will certainly ask the doctor if he thinks it’s a possibility. If it’s not something triggering me, then it is something neurological, and that’s even scarier to me. I doubt an MRI will show damage, but psychologically, I suspect it’s a form of trauma manifesting itself.
I wish there was a measure of sensitivity surrounding this subject, but there really isn’t. I can attend the local Motherless Daughter event, or I can stay put and mourn on my own. I don’t think I can actually focus on other people’s stories at the moment, so it’s probably best I just isolate myself, except for the fact that I am ALWAYS isolated and alone. The effort I put forth not to be is always slapped down, always insulted, and is never good enough. The more negativity I hear, the more triggered I become. Someone might think they’re paying me a compliment, but I know an insult when I hear one. I’m NOTstupid, and I will walk away or disengage when a person is acting like an asshole or just plain being disrespectful.
One of the reasons people like and respect me is because I’m always the same person. Whether it’s on the phone, in a letter or e-mail, interacting on-line, or when you meet me or spend time with me; I don’t change. What you see and read is precisely what you get. I’ve had friends tell me precisely how much they enjoy that and respect it because they never have to worry how I am going to be because I’m always myself. When my friends spend time with me, they don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t love me. I am most at ease and most myself when I am with them. I wish they didn’t all live so far away, but I do have a very close friend visiting next month from California and I am SO excited to spend time with her! We met through my writing, as well as hers, and have been friends for five years. It seems like a much longer time period because of the bond between us, and I’m really looking forward to whatever adventures we get to share. Right now, having something to look forward to is all I’ve got. I don’t really know what I will do after she goes home. 😦 I do know I will miss her, though.
I might not write anything on Sunday this year, and if I don’t, I hope everyone will understand why. I might reblog something I’ve written in the past if I have the time to search, but if I am silent, I hope no one will take it personally.
I am still recovering from last week’s Urgent Care visit for my migraines. My IV “wound” is nearly healed, but I learned my lesson in regard to how to handle this horrible pain from here on in. I hope the neurologist I see is a good one and that he will have answers for me. I’ve been doing extensive research to make sure I go in armed with information to try and come up with a plan that we can both agree on.
And so, the countdown begins. On the plus side, I’m glad to be writing in a successful, productive way. For those of you who’ve been super supportive of this project (Lillian & Steven), please know how much it means to me.
The Descent Into Hell Is Easy-“Facilis Descensus Averni”
I can accept a lot of things about other people. Damn near anything, but I cannot accept lying, betrayal, stealing, drug addiction, abuse, and/or the acceptance of abuse in a relationship.
As I’ve discussed in the past, I’ve lived through an abusive relationship. It was a roller coaster and the damage done is, on occasion, still present within my mind. It took a long time to fully emerge from the mental and emotional damage the relationship did in terms of screwing with my sense of self. There are some lingering effects that still remain, despite my best efforts. However, I walked away. I did not, and have not, looked back.
I am the product of an abusive home. It took my mother a long time to muster up the strength and courage to leave, but she did something so many people in her position would never do. She knew things were never going to get better, and she (finally) realized she did not have to stay put and witness G-d only knows what else. I was always proud of her for walking away. I never stopped believing that my mother deserved better. Her response was always the same, “My marriage may not have been what I had hoped for, but my children are everything and more.”
When you repeat the same patterns in your relationships (One person is not a pattern. Two is early on-set pattern. Three is a flat-out problem.), there comes a time when you have to take responsibility for errors in judgment. You have to take a look at yourself and own your part in continuing to accept the behavior as “normal”. Perhaps by beginning therapy to work through your issues in order to have healthier relationships moving forward. It’s important to do something constructive to help you put thoughts into action. You should do whatever the hell you have to in order to be rid of the cancerous person that is bringing you down. It might seem drastic and/or cruel, but that’s precisely what it is. Abuse can and will make you sick. No one needs such negativity in their lives.
Good, healthy, solid relationships do not cause you to be afraid, depressed, unhappy, jealous, miserable, suicidal, angry, hurt, and they NEVER cause you to cry. There is an immense difference between happy tears and tears of misery.
Quality relationships do not have to be defined via social media. You will see zero presence of my personal life on my social media accounts, and there’s good reason behind my decision. I believe in protecting that piece of my life because once you open the doorway into it, there’s no way to slam it shut. Even just mentioning certain people, at times, has felt like an enormous invasion of my privacy, but I will do it if there’s a reason behind it, especially if someone’s life is hanging in the balance. Ultimately, I feel like shielding someone I love deeply is more important than the vanity of showing off. What else is social media if not a form of showing off to the world? Unless you’re using it to showcase work, talent, creativity, etc., it isn’t very real. It is also one of the top issues couples have between them these days.
Whenever someone tells me their boyfriend or husband is friends with all of his ex-girlfriends on Facebook, I already know they doubt him, because in reality, how many people feel the need to be friends with every single ex they’ve ever had? No one I know.
When someone hesitates to state that they are in a relationship with you, when you have already stated you are publicly, and amongst yourselves, that is called a RED FUCKINGFLAG. Pay attention to it. If you’re anything like me, you’ve already had a thorough background check run on him and everyone he associates with to make sure he is 100% single with no children, and that you’re not his side chick/mistress. No one wants to be with someone who is dishonest AND has Dexter-esque skeletons in his closet, or qualities within his private persona. I’ve known too many people who were leading double, or even triple, lives. I’m not sure how they found the time, because living one life with one person is hard enough.
One aspect of abusive relationships is the push and pull. They want you, and they don’t want you, mainly because they do not like change. It’s NOT because they don’t want anyone else to have you. They fear change, that’s all. They “love you” one minute, and they also have an opposing side that doesn’t truly resemble hatred, it’s simply disingenuous and emotionally detached. Not everyone is capable of genuine love, and this is important to remember. As the abused party, you have to realize this has nothing to do with you and everything to do with the other person. They may come from the absolute best family you’ve ever met; that means very little when they lack the ability to treat you the way you deserve to be treated, or worse, believe they DO treat you properly.
Another result of the long-term abusive relationship is being the recipient of “guilt gifts”, as I have come to call them, especially in relationships which involve cheating. He fucks up and post-fight, you’re “rewarded” with flowers, stuffed animals, jewelry, chocolate, an expensive vacation, amazing restaurants he’s never taken you to before, you get the gist of it. He thinks these “gifts” mean everything is forgotten and forgiven, that you can keep on “as normal”, and that is precisely where he is wrong. I can guarantee something; his behavior isn’t going to change just because he sent you flowers or bought you something to “shut you up”. Make no mistake, that’s what he is doing. I used to know men who only ever bought flowers for their girlfriends or wives when they’d screwed up royally and didn’t want to sleep on the couch, or in the garage. The ones who were cheating spent a fortune on jewelry. Those weren’t “because I love you” gifts. They were GUILT, plain and simple. The gold and diamond industry is, on occasion, built not on love, but on guilt.
There is also guilt and a plethora of bullshit apologies in physically abusive relationships. Now I’ve never personally experienced a physically abusive relationship outside of my childhood, or I’d be in jail, and there’s a reason for that; I will not tolerate it. I WILL fight back. After several warnings regarding sneaking up on me and/or not announcing one’s presence, I broke a guys’ nose and gave him two black eyes with the force of a well-placed elbow. They truly did not believe I’d do it, but I’d spent weeks saying “Don’t come up from behind me without announcing yourself, because I will react. I am instinctively trained to react as though you are a threat.” Again, this person did not believe me. I don’t know that he learned his lesson, but I gave so many warnings and no, I didn’t do it intentionally. Maybe you can sneak up on a girl who doesn’t have city street smarts, I wouldn’t know, but for me, a warning is enough. “Don’t do this…” is the best I can give a person. My Uncle (G-d Rest and Bless His Soul) did not believe in allowing me to be a victim.
Normal men with healthy attitudes towards women, love, and life don’t keep making such enormous, unforgivable mistakes. They keep to their word, will be where they say they will be every single time, and don’t ever have to buy a “guilt gift”, unless they were SO busy at work they forgot your birthday, anniversary, or had to skip a major holiday. If they do come home with their tail between their legs, it’s not because they were epic fuck-ups or intended to hurt you. There’s a difference. They’ll be honest with you.
Deep down, all women know when they are genuinely loved and when they are genuinely being lied to by their significant other. Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be the only time someone shows you their love or the false kind of “love”. It should be a year-round thing. It doesn’t always have to be large displays of affection either, it can be something as simple as making you breakfast when you’re in a rush, bringing you coffee/tea each morning, or taking care of you when you’re sick. It is the little things that build intimacy and show you you’re loved. If someone knows how I take my tea within a few weeks, that’s a sign that they’re on the right track, because they’ve obviously been paying attention to things I do for myself, as well as things I do for them.
To this day, red roses make me queasy. I sold a gold necklace, including the engraved pendant that came with it, and two rings from that horrible relationship. I donated an FAO Schwarz teddy bear to a charity, because I could no longer allow it to be in the same space with me. I felt immensely liberated in those decisions because I was no longer bogged down by the heaviness of emotions left behind. All evidence of the relationship was wiped clean in those moments. I never have to go back and I do not have to choose to re-live it with anyone else, not unless I choose to divulge the information. There are a few photos that remain, and I don’t have to keep them.
Sometimes I am still haunted, slightly, but ultimately, I would rather be with someone normal, someone who understands that loyalty means remaining loyal, than be with someone who can’t tell the truth, and who thinks it’s okay to cheat when it most certainly is not. I refuse to cry over any relationship when I have the intelligence, self-esteem, and common sense to walk away from anything and anyone. I am stronger in my ability to place my self-worth over someone else’s negativity and drama.
Unfortunately, when you’re in an abusive relationship and you continue to stay, after a while, even your family and friends will stop believing you because your false mask, the one you’ve chosen to show while in the relationship, is one you’re choosing to keep in place. It’s quite similar to covering up bruises with makeup and continuing to allow yourself to be beaten. I’m not sure which is worse, but what you’re doing is a HUGE LIE. It’s encouraging the behavior and allowing it to continue in a vicious cycle. For what?! You gain NOTHINGfrom this merry-go-round of hell. In turn, any support you may have had from family and/or friends will be gone, because they will come to believe you’ve been lying about your relationship all along. They will come to believe that maybe, just maybe, you’re an attention-seeker who cannot be honest, not even with herself.
I am one of the most loyal friends in the world, always ride or die, but when I question that in someone, something is very wrong. I dislike people who force me to question my judgment. In fact, it pisses me off. For some reason I find myself unable to sympathize or empathize with people who keep going back for more. I’m strongly considering cutting ties with a friend for this very reason.
While I value the friendship and absolutely adore her,.she obviously lacks the ability to hear what I’ve been saying to her from day one. You can’t agree with me and say you know I’m right, but continue to do the exact opposite of what we’ve discussed. It’s unhealthy, and I won’t perpetrate that unhealthiness back into my own life because it inevitably results in a phone call at 4:00 a.m. where I then have to calm this person down and get them to agree that this is the end of the relationship, that they deserve better, that it’s making them sick, and that they need to focus solely on themselves for now, and that they need to start by making a clean break.
Ultimately this person is an adult and can do as they see fit, but I can’t listen and be there for anyone if they are constantly refusing to follow through on sound advice. That’s a waste of my time and quality oxygen, not to mention it disrupts my sleep cycles. I will give 110% of myself if you’re actually going to listen to what I’m saying and hear me, but I am NOTgoing to waste my time if you keep going back to your abuser. If you truly want out, I will be there for you. I will help and I will listen, but if you’re going to go running back to what’s comfortable, to your version of “normal”, then I’m out until you get your shit together.
Having written this, someone will inevitably read it and call me, feeling betrayed. If you have to call me, please re-evaluate your circumstances before attacking me. I did not name names, nor has anyone’s confidence been betrayed. I could be talking about ANY of my female friends and/or acquaintances, or even myself (Yeah, not likely.), so before attacking, get off your high horse. This isn’t about you, it’s about facts.
I don’t think it’s bitchy to question a friend’s motives on this level. I am happy you trust me enough to come to me, but be honest. If the relationship is SO horrible, why keep going back? Are you that deprived? Is that what you truly believe love is? Call me crazy, but I cannot be with someone who has zero respect for me and makes that clear. I cannot be with a person who tells me he is going to keep cheating, and that I should “learn to accept it”. Those are DEAL-BREAKERS. No sane person stays around for that kind of trash-talk from anyone. I’m more apt to knock a guys’ teeth out for talking to me like that. No truly smart man would EVER say that to my face, either. He might very well hide behind a computer screen or a text message, thinking such things will keep him safe. They will not. My mother didn’t raise a fool. I will hunt his ass down.
The same holds true in reverse, gentlemen (When I use that word, I’m pretty much thinking about Tom Hiddleston. He’s my visual example of a classy gentleman.). If your partner is disrespecting you, cheating on you, lying to you, etc., then I fully expect you to pick your ass up and walk away, even if it is terribly painful. The only issue on this level is if you have children in the picture. If you do, file for joint physical and legal custody immediately. Don’t hold back. Don’t stop fighting for your kids. Even if you’re angry with the other person, do not let your children know that there is a huge issue. They already know, because they can feel the tension and they’re not stupid. Do NOT speak ill of the other person in front of them, even if you are utterly blind with rage, be sure to hold your tongue as much as you are able. That person may be a great parent, and a horrible partner, but you don’t want your children to see you as unwilling to fight for them, or hear you talking trash. Children repeat things and they don’t truly forget.
While my life was quite different in this respect, I can tell you that my father was physically present when I was growing up, but was never emotionally present. He worked hard, he provided, but there was zero love or warmth whatsoever. I can count on one hand the times he genuinely spent caring about his children. Overall, I feel he viewed his wife and children as nuisances, nothing more. If we were sick, he’d yell about the money being spent on a doctor’s visit and/or medicine. Talk about unrealistic. Kids get sick and accidents happen, that’s life, be it with children or anyone, really. When I fell on a sheet of ice and fractured my elbow, he had a tantrum over the fact that I did it early in the year, before the deductible was met. At the time, I knew NOTHING about such things, I just knew I’d fallen, couldn’t feel my elbow, and that the pain was awful. My Mom took it seriously because she was the responsible parent. Always. I didn’t fall on purpose, but to hear him yelling at her over the phone was downright ridiculous. She cared more about me having a potentially broken elbow, but he cared about the doctor’s visit and the x-rays at the radiologist’s office. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized we were by no means as poor as he implied to my mother, blaming her for years about not working because she just “had to raise HERchildren”. Not even “our children”, always “HER children”, spoken with pure disdain. We were upper middle-class, but my father mismanaged finances in terrible ways. My mother raised her kids and went back to work, and she did that to gain financial freedom from my father, because he controlled finances the same way he tried controlling all of us.
He was the type of person who should have stayed single and never should have had kids. My mother was the type of person who followed the list of pre-set rules placed before her (Get married, have children, live your life even if it’s not perfect, etc.), mainly because she wanted to get married and have children more than anything in the world. Her marriage may have been horrible, but her children were truly her world.
I was raised entirely by my mother & Grandmother. At about age thirteen, I began raising myself (I fully believe this was a smart move because it definitely helped shape who I am today.) and I helped raise my brother. My father never once asked me to spend summers with him or asked me to visit after we were safely away from the abuse. My brother spent every summer with him (I chalk this up to him being younger and Daddy’s boy.), and did not experience anywhere near the level of abuse I did because, for years before we left, I physically put my mother and brother behind me to protect them. I never knew when things would escalate to extreme physical abuse, so I took my role as protector quite seriously. It was not perfect, but I did my best. You can hit me, but I’ll hit you back, and once my father discovered I wasn’t afraid of him, it only made him angrier. It was a physically, mentally, and emotionally abusive environment and this went on for years. No matter what my mother said or did, her words and actions would never have stopped him. Walking away changed things, but the abuse did continue in a different way.
I would spend years hanging up on my father when he’d get abusive with me over the phone. I had to reiterate to him that I was an adult, and over a hundred miles away from his abuse and wasn’t going to take it because I no longer had to. Sometimes he’d wait five minutes and call back, and other times he’d simply call the following day, as though nothing had happened. He’d turn me into the bad guy because I placed boundaries on the relationship.
Thankfully, in my intimate relationships, I do not look for a father figure. I had a couple of good male role models to keep me from going totally off the rails, but I definitely notice red flags in pretty much every relationship I witness, especially people I am close with. I have warned my brother that if I ever witness him treating a woman or children the way we were treated that I will personally remove them from the situation. I would never allow him to become my father. I hope he knows he’s better than that, because he’s likely reading this.
Sometimes my friends will call me, upset that a husband or boyfriend isn’t where he said he’d be. “He’s ignoring my calls. He’s not answering my texts.”, that sort of thing. I 100% know when someone has hit DISMISS or DECLINE on their phone. It’s a total douche move. Unless you’re in a business meeting or you’re performing life-saving brain surgery, there is no need to hit that button. Let it go to voice mail. Don’t be a douche bag..
I will grant someone a low battery excuse here and there (it happens), but how many grown men do you know who turn off their phones completely unless something is up? Not a single guy I know over the age of twenty. They might silence their phone for work purposes, they might put it on vibrate or airplane mode, but ultimately if a guy hasn’t called you in 6-10 hours, you talk regularly each day, and have left multiple messages, he’d better be in a fucking hospital because there’s no quality excuse he can provide.
“I lost track of time.” Mm-hmm. “Uh, my battery died and I lost my charger.” The words are spoken as a blatant lie, not as a statement of fact. Especially when you find a working charger in his glove box or center console. Or when he returns and his battery is at 75%. Dishonesty is dishonesty. The first time a man lies should be the first and only time you accept it. It’s your sign, do you need it to flash in neon and sparkle?!
Men are men and women are women. We’re very different indeed, but smart women are practically trained from birth to smell the lie. If ever the government truly wants ISIS stopped, they need only recruit military teams full of fierce women because once we lose our patience, we’ll take you down with little remorse.
Here’s the difference on my end in a relationship of any kind; I call to say I’ll be late. It’s called RESPECT. Hell, if I was going to be five minutes late to anything, I’d call whomever I was meeting. The same is true for my hair stylist, nail technician, etc. I firmly believe in being polite and respecting people’s time and concern for my well-being. If someone tells me they’ll be here at 6:00 and it’s 7:00, I am going to call and make sure they’re safe. Granted, very few people care about me, but those that do would definitely notice if I didn’t show up at all. In truth, it’s probably 80/20. Most people wouldn’t notice unless I disappeared for over 48 hours. They still wouldn’t be able to tell the police what I look like, what color my hair and eyes are, how tall I am, what I was wearing, my approximate weight, or if I have any identifying marks or tattoos. My height is incorrect on my ID by a good inch or so. You have to LOVE other people’s awareness and attention to detail.
I make sure my phone is fully charged before I leave the house. I keep my ringer on, even when I really want it off. I never know when there will be an emergency and quite frankly, that’s why I have a cell phone. For emergencies, and to communicate with family and friends out-of-state and overseas. Sometimes the best part of a person’s day is getting a text message to let them know you’re thinking of them. It’s a mood-booster.
I always tell my brother “If you don’t feel like talking, text me so I know you got there safely.” I always, always tell him to be safe. I always tell my friends to be safe and to text me when they arrive at destinations, just in case. A few months ago, when a close friend was worried about a trip and how it might turn out, I let her know I’d contact a friend in the same state if she needed to get out of the situation, and I did that without even asking the other friend because I know she’d have done it in a New York Minute. It’s important to check in with people.
My brother will be the first to tell you he KNOWSI care, even when I say otherwise, because no one else would ever send him fifty texts and twenty e-mails for dropping off the grid for six days. He misplaced his phone and the ringer was off, so he and several friends couldn’t find it. They were calling it for days and it kept going straight to voice mail. He knew I’d be pissed. By the time they did find it, one friend saw my last text message on the screen which was something along the lines of “I am calling the cops and having your phone tracked, you KNOW BETTER than to ignore me for six days without expecting me to react.” Poor guy freaked out and ran to my brother to say “I found your phone. HOLY SHIT, your sister does NOT mess around. You’d better call her immediately. She’s scary, but at least you know she loves you.” They were literally ALL apologizing to me at the same time. What can I say? It’s a gift. 😉
My real point is this; if someone is harming you with words, actions, hands, fists, etc., then you do NOT stick around for more. The nursery rhyme “Sticks and stone may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” is absolute BULLSHIT. It’s a terrible lie we tell children, which only sets them up for disappointment because at a certain age, many children become vicious little replicas of their parents. Words and actions, among other things, are the reason most people are in therapy trying to heal parts of their psyche. There is zero shame in that.
One of my rules is that if you hit me, I will 100% hit you back, and you’ll be sorry you pushed me that far. I’ve been told not to be proud of it, but here’s the thing; I was taught to defend myself, not to lay down and allow someone to harm me. I may not beat you to death (unless I see red, and then I make no promises), but I’m not going to allow myself to come to harm if I have the ability to stop it. And if you’re using words, I’m going to walk away. You’d have better luck bringing a knife to a gun fight.
When you see red flags, please pay attention. I’ve known people who didn’t pay attention, and they paid horrible prices for ignoring the signs, and/or their intuition. An old friend was once “engaged” to a prisoner she became pen pals with, and inevitably began visiting several hours away each week while going to school full-time and being a single Mom to a young child. When he finally got out of prison (and it took her quite a while before she admitted the prison part to me), she eventually found out she wasn’t the only person he was “engaged” to, and she called me hysterical, because she now had to wait weeks for the results of an HIV test and was being tested for other STDs as well, and she was really scared. Sometime during that waiting period, she dropped off the face of the earth and I never heard from her again. Suddenly her phones were both disconnected, she stopped answering all correspondence, and as a last resort, I tried contacting her Mom to make sure she was safe. No answer. To this day, I still worry. I’ve searched over the years and have never found her. I never found a missing persons report for her or her son, and she lived with her mother, so I feel like a report would definitely have been available and/or made public to find if something bad had happened. For me, that is quite scary and I often worry about it. Could I have done more, said more? I will probably never know, but I genuinely hope she is alive, happy, healthy, and thriving. She was a good person with poor judgment, but she was also someone who simply wanted to get her degree, raise her child, and enjoy her life. She deserved that, and more.
When a person cheats on you, it has nothing to do with you. There is often something wrong with them, it’s not something you’re doing wrong, or not doing right. I can’t fake a polite hello to someone I hate, but there are people faking entire relationships! I’ve never understood it, and I likely never will. If you experience the sense that you’re being cheated on, you’re probably right, or quite possibly paranoid, you be the judge on that one. Just remember this piece of advice: Your intuition never lies to you. Unfortunately, some people mistake firm belief for intuition and they wrongly accuse people of heinous things, so be careful and do a little research before confronting someone.
One thing I’ve noticed about every ex of mine is that none of them are married or in happy, healthy relationships, so it’s safe to say I wasn’t the problem. Okay, to be fair one ISmarried, to the person he cheated with, and I openly admit I pray for the poor soul that has to put up with his psychotic shit.
Early on in their marriage, I was informed by close, mutual friends that he was cheating on her. She was pregnant with their first child at the time. I felt bad for her, because I’m sure she believed in him. He was, at the time, a VERY good performance artist when it came to lying in a relationship. He could have shit on someone and told them it was raining, and people would have believed him. That’s how good a liar he was. I don’t believe those things ever truly change, but I’m glad it’s not my responsibility to deal with. I pray for her, but I do not owe her anything. She & I only met once, briefly, but I immediately knew something was wrong when she looked me in the eye. I said something incredibly uncharitable to her, and, at the time, completely unlike me. Instead of denying it, she put her head down in shame. She said nothing, because she obviously had no defense. Apparently she didn’t see that as a red flag though, because she’s still with him.
Since he was the abusive relationship, I try not to think about it too much. I’m clueless how he was able to walk away from me and be engaged to her and married almost instantly when a ring was still on my finger. Yes, these things DO happen, and YES, I questioned my sanity for years after the fact. However, I’m also proud of myself. He didn’t take me down with him. Having dignity and self-respect saved me. I don’t have to take care of a narcissistic control freak who refuses to admit his faults. I have zero ties to him, and for that I am eternally grateful. I dodged a bullet. I wish I could say the same for so many others who put themselves through such complete and utter hell because they’re not strong enough to truly put their foot down and walk away.
Be honest with the person in the mirror, because that’s who you have to live with. Knowyour worth. You don’t have to be an adult reliving his or her childhood experiences. I’d rather go to therapy and work on me, than stay in a relationship that gains me nothing but pain. I already suffer enough without some asshole making it worse, so I’m going to keep making the right choices. I’m going to keep good, solid people in my life who would never dream of causing me such heartache. The types of people who are smart enough to realize that I’d cheerfully rip their heart out if they hurt me in such a manner.
The descent into hell IS easy, but you can make better choices. You can choose to ascend. You can choose not to allow someone to break you. Hell does not have to be “normal”. Let’s face it, there’s nothing “normal” about any of it. Be true to yourself, and don’t ever let someone drag you down to their level. You’re better than that.