Don’t Shake The Bottle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Out Of Sorts, And Then Some…

Welcome to the life of the invisible girl…

I’d like to thank the two people who reached out to me with messages of encouragement, respect, and kindness after my last post about how horrible I am feeling (My feelings have only worsened.). Steven & Tasha; your words genuinely helped me and, from the bottom of my heart, they meant the world to me. Thank you both SO much. I don’t even have the words for how touched I am.

As for the rest of the world; I’m not really feeling people too much these days. Granted, I am not a people person on a good day, but it would certainly be nice if some people were more aware of their words, behavior, and attitudes towards me. I’m sick of being told how I am speaking, how I sound, how I’m behaving, etc., because I’m well-aware of my intent when I’m being human. If you don’t know my tones, then you don’t know how I’m speaking, how I sound, or precisely how I am behaving. I’m not two, and I don’t require psycho-analysis by people who really ought to save that for those who need it. You’ll only piss me off, and at the moment, I’d shy away from that if at all possible.

I believe that life, and people, has/have highs and lows, but what do you do when you’re stuck on LOW and don’t know how to rise, and cannot find a reason why you should? I’m hardwired to get up each morning, feed Cat and Kitten, sometimes feed myself, but of late, I’m so physically, mentally, and emotionally drained that I don’t know how to do it any more. “It” being “anything”.

I adopted Cat and Kitten to help keep myself alive. Cat was a foster from a kill shelter, so I felt like by rescuing her, I was saving my life, along with hers. Win-win. Kitten is from a no-kill shelter; and I love to support no-kill shelters because they’re crucial to the survival of so many animal’s lives. Unlike Cat, who has divided love/loyalties (I’d like to say she has a big heart, but I’m genuinely not sure she even likes me most of the time.), Kitten is my faithful companion. Even when I move her off of my blanket at three in the morning so I can get comfortable or grab a few hours of sleep, she forgives me in minutes. Cat holds a grudge if I move her or rearrange her on the bed. In fact, as I am typing this Kitten is making little sounds in her sleep and giving me her belly, instinctively knowing that I am by her side. She is named in honor of my original Tortoiseshell. I’ve noticed over the past two years that she is basically a gift from her; a true companion sent to go through life with me. She’s not a “replacement cat”, she’s a piece of my original cat that I know in my heart was sent to me. But lately, caring for both of them each day has been physically and emotionally taxing.

I have reached out to organizations to try to get emergency help in order to feel better, but after applying for insurance MONTHS ago (which should be underlined ten times), I still haven’t been approved, nor have I received anything in writing from them, which they’ve repeatedly promised each time I’ve called. The answer I’ve gotten is “You’re in the system. You should hear from us in approximately 2-3 weeks by mail.”, before I’ve been hung up on! There’s a reason they call them Massholes, and it’s NOT because they’re all perfectly well-mannered (a small percentage, yes. The rest? Not so much.). I believe they had roughly 30-45 days to approve or deny me from day one, and that I’d then have a period of time to appeal, if denied, but at this moment I feel like I’m stuck at square one. In turn, after giving them one final call this coming week, I am reapplying. I’m utterly tired of the bullshit, because this is clearly a runaround, so I am going to fill out the application they deigned to send me (I have my original documents from last year, all I have to do is insert the same answers), attach copies proving that I’m a legal citizen with a bank account, and fax it instead of mailing it. That way, I’ve confirmed receipt of the documents and won’t feel jerked around, as I have clearly been for all these months. I’m sick of paying for medication out-of-pocket when that $20-$35 (it ranges based on the discounts I’m able to find) could feed me, or my cats. Overall, I’m sick of the struggle of trying to live, and failing miserably. I need to be able to see doctors without cringing over out-of-pocket costs that frankly, I can’t do.

Everyone’s definition of “failure” is different. Not being able to take care of what is most important in my life; that is true failure to me. Not being able to protect my loved ones and keep them safe; that is failure. Thankfully, I care, I am emotionally present, and I’m not a vile human-being, so on that front, I am NOT a failure. I’d hate to be a heartless, cruel individual who only cared about herself. Thankfully, I was raised by two wonderful women (My mother and Grandmother) and selfishness wasn’t a part of their make-up, so it isn’t a part of mine. I miss them both more than words can say. Everything feels like yesterday in terms of loss; at least for me.

This evening I merely want to survive the mind-numbing migraine that exploded on me this afternoon in the grocery store, to the point where I had to run to the ladies room to be sick. 😦 That has never happened to me in public before (except after having blood work done, and that was one time), but after that I quickly made my way to the register and went outside for some fresh air, despite the fact that it was indeed freezing and took over forty-five  minutes before I could feel my ears again. The smells inside the store were making me violently ill and the noise wasn’t much better. This afternoon I indulged in silence, darkness, and a nap, but it only made the migraine that much worse. At the moment, I am praying that three ibuprofen will kick in, along with caffeinated tea I’ve been nursing since three o’clock this afternoon. Some people need coffee to feel human; I need strong Earl Grey with real sugar.

This week and this weekend, I am definitely out of sorts, but don’t worry… I’ll be back soon with something I’ve been dying to write, but have kept under wraps for years. No more. The Beast Is Back.

copyright © 2017 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


An Open Letter To The “Person” Who Hurt My Brother

An Open Letter To The “Person” Who Hurt My Brother

Let’s pretend, for a second, that I don’t know who you are. I’d simply hunt you down slowly and throw you to a pack of wolves. I wouldn’t shed a tear. My tolerance level for such behavior is nil.

However, I know precisely who you are, which makes this ten times worse than if you’d been a mere stranger. This information is dangerous because, in doing what you did, you pissed off the wrong person. Moreover, you left evidence of your “attack”. It wasn’t an attack in the physical sense; or you’d be dead. No, your attack was low, cheap, deplorable, offensive, and you’re incredibly lucky I haven’t ripped you to shreds and fed you to wild pigs. You fed someone lies in an effort to hurt them. It was not “tough love”; it was pure, unadulterated viciousness and hatred. I know you think you’ve gotten away with it, but you haven’t. Knowledge is power. Nothing will ever protect you in this life again. I work best when I’m angry.

My brother is 100% my blood. He is one of few people in this life that I would kill for. The remainder of the list is shorter than an ant hill in winter, and getting shorter each day. I think some people mistake passion and/or rage for love. They’d be wrong. If I don’t love you, you do not benefit from my loyalty and fierceness.

Like most girls, I didn’t want a baby brother. I genuinely wanted a sister, but G-d gives you what He gives you. You learn to deal with such things as you grow up. I’ve been there for my brother since before he came into this world. I was there when we brought him home from the hospital. I vividly remember the first time I saw him. He was quiet; looking directly at me as if he knew who I was; with wide, searching eyes. From day one, I was his protector. He would cry hysterically if I was out of his sight for a minute, and he always wanted to follow me everywhere. He was obsessed with his older sister. Thankfully, he outgrew that, but still, a person remembers.

No matter how mad I get at him, a siblings’ prerogative, I will always have his back. Not to stab him in it, but to shield him from as much as humanly possible. Not because he needs the protection, but because it’s what a good sibling does. Take notes.

Just because you lack quality communication skills does not give you the right to take shit out on my brother. If you want to be ugly, take it out on someone else. Go see a fucking therapist or a psychiatrist for much-needed medication, but don’t attack a person for existing and being human. Don’t swipe claws at someone unless you’re prepared to be attacked in kind by someone far more lethal. Sadly, my brother is too good a person to confront you. He’d rather pray for you and hope that you develop a heart. I have no such issues.

There are maybe a handful of people I will go to bat for in life, and my brother is one of them. You hurt him and even if it takes me five years or ten, I will figure out precisely what it is that will bother you the most. Hell hath NO FURY like me when angered to this level. I wasn’t raised to eat bullshit politely with a knife and fork, and I will not allow him to believe lies about himself, or lies fed to him about me. Something you do not seem to understand is that he knows me and I know him. You can’t feed people lies about each other when they know the absolute truth.

One aspect of being bonded, close siblings is that my brother talks to me. If someone says something to him he will say “Hey, let me tell you about this and get your take on it.” But this time, the issue at hand was taken way too far. He doesn’t deserve to be hurt like this, and to feel such hatred from someone he’s never harmed. If you want to pick on someone, pick on someone your own size. In fact, attack the person staring back at you in the mirror, because after all, that’s who you’re really mad at, not him.

If you love someone, love them wholeheartedly. Love them unconditionally. Love them while you’re still alive. “Band-Aids don’t fix bullet holes.” You can bandage certain wounds, but not caring and letting a person know how much you don’t care? Not everyone recovers from that. You cannot fix wounds that deep. Unlike him, I won’t pray for you. I’m not that kind.

I cannot unlearn what I’ve learned. It is one of the most astounding things, and yet, I’m not surprised. The fact that I have managed to restrain myself this long speaks VOLUMES for how well I have learned to manage my temper. Ten years ago, you would still be explaining to people why you got beaten with your own arm; after I ripped it out of its socket and broke your face with it. Some people talk tough, but I have the capacity to do what I say I will do. My temper is infamous. People do not expect it. They see a petite (read: short) woman. They smile, I smile, but they have no idea what lurks beneath the pretty exterior if you piss me off or hurt someone I love. I am a protector, but I won’t be fooled.

Not to get it confused or twisted; I yell at my brother a lot. We get into very heated arguments because he pushes my buttons and keeps pushing until I lose my temper. However, when I tell him the truth about something, it isn’t to be mean and hurtful, it’s because I’m that direct. He doesn’t take it personally because honesty from me is acceptable, but someone else being cruel to him for the sheer satisfaction of being cruel? NO. That’s unacceptable, and he knows I will inevitably say or do something to put a stop to it. I didn’t major in drama because I lack the ability to be fake. But some people behave like insane sociopaths, and it makes me question their many faces.

I refuse to make excuses for your behavior from here on out. I refuse to say kind things or to temper things gently. From here on in, I am going to be the biggest, most vicious pain in your ass. I’d start investing in hemorrhoid cream now.

If you cannot be a solid person, at least have the decency to tell someone honestly, instead of hanging up on their phone calls and ignoring them for months at a time. If you pulled that crap with me, you’d come to find that he’s the nice sibling. Me? I enjoy being bad cop, even though I’d be an amazing one.

Knock off the drama or deal with me. The choice, ultimately, is yours. Do what you can live with. You’re closer to leaving this world than I am.

copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

One Day Too Many

If you’ve never had a loved one go missing; you’re damn lucky. If you’ve never lost anyone close to you, especially a family member, you are luckier still.

I have spent most of my life watching family members leave this plane of existence for another. I’ve written too many eulogies and speeches not to feel the heavy emotion of deep loss. However, my brother’s mysterious, sudden disappearance is scarier than all of those losses combined. Mostly because, no one seems to have any answers, and the ones they do have are either asinine or terrifying.

People do not just disappear into thin air. Especially not people who are roughly six feet tall and armed. My brother has had to defend his life once before; and he sent the other person to the hospital after warning them NOT to come closer. If you’ve warned a person multiple times that you’re armed and they expect you to just stay put and take a beating, then they simply do not know that my brother & I weren’t raised to behave that way (No, he did NOT shoot anyone. I only wish he had.). If you come at me, I’ll come back harder. My brother is a gentle soul, but if you push him, you will likely get a beating. I keep telling him he’s too Zen for me, that I like my anger, and he keeps telling me to forgive people and pray for them. See what I mean?

It has been over a week of me not knowing where my brother is. The police in Pennsylvania threatened me with imprisonment and a fine if I am “filing a false missing persons report”. For one, I’d never do something like that and two, I expect to be taken seriously by anyone wearing a fucking badge when I call them with a legitimate issue. You can’t keep telling me “We don’t know your brother.”, because that’s got nothing to do with this particular situation. There’s a reason you don’t “know him”; he’s a good kid. He’s not out robbing banks and knocking over liquor stores. He’s only a pain in the ass if you’re his sister. He keeps to himself, minds his own business, but is cautious and aware of things most people are not.

My brother is smart, and by smart I mean MIT/Harvard kind of smart. His intelligence is mind-blowing to people because they’re expecting him to be silent muscle, or they’re simply not expecting his level of intelligence to go beyond one realm. He’s always been this knowledgeable little sponge. Sometimes I’m blown away by his ability to take things apart, put them back together (“No, I’ve never done this before.”), or explain something with such precision that it makes my head hurt. He is the exact opposite of me in that he is extremely likable. I have never heard anyone say they didn’t like him.

My brother & I are very close. We’ve had to be, because at the end of each day, all we have is each other. I know he has my back and he knows I have his. Ultimately, he is one of the only people I would willingly take a bullet for. Other people have, sadly, shown me their true colors as I deal with horrible situation.

For starters, I do NOT need to be lectured on what to do or how to do something. I’m a capable human-being. When I have to block a family member from contacting me because she sticks the knife in my back and keeps on twisting; under the guise of “caring” and “providing helpful information” (The fact that I didn’t say “FUCK YOU!” or “BITE ME!” is a testament to my reining my temper in at the last second.), that tells you a lot about who I deal with on a regular basis. A normal person wouldn’t say “Sorry to hear, sweetie.” I’m not sorry to say that if you say that to me, it makes me want to punch you in the face. I didn’t just break up with a boyfriend, you dumb cow. My brother is MISSING, it’s not something trivial! This person doesn’t even know my brother to say the things they did, but wouldn’t shut the fuck up. I finally had to say “All I really need right now is support. All you have managed to do is anger and enrage me, so I am stepping back until I can be a decent human-being.” I said that because the questions wouldn’t stop, and I let them know that enough is enough. This person was pushing the last of my buttons (How many times do you have to reiterate that you’re not okay?!), and doesn’t know when to stop in general. If you push me and you don’t stop, I will absolutely lose it on you. I didn’t do that. I respectfully backed out the best way I knew how, but this person made it all about them. When it’s one of your siblings, then we can discuss your hurt feelings, but until then, NO, the world does not revolve around you. It’s not about you, this isn’t even about me, but if you want to be supportive, don’t throw it back in someone’s face and say you’re sorry you bothered to inquire. My personal life is not a fucking newspaper.

If you don’t know my brother’s middle name, date of birth, place of birth, who is Godparents are, or anything unique about him, then you don’t get to ask me stupid fucking questions. And there is always a difference between someone who genuinely cares and someone who wants to gossip, just as there is a difference between people who pretend to care, but sleep just fine each night while you cry hysterically from worry. I know the difference based on how others behave. Pushing someone who is already hanging by a very fine thread is dangerous. But this person couldn’t respect me enough to back the fuck off. I’ve gone months without speaking to them before and I can go a year this time without batting an eyelash. I don’t need this kind of drama in my life when I’m dealing with a serious situation. Moreover, don’t Facebook message me or text me for “updates” unless you live in another country. Those are the only people who get a pass. Everyone else is fully capable of picking up a phone and saying what they need to say, without being passive-aggressive, or aggressive. It’s called compassion. Don’t claim to possess it if you do not actually utilize it.

I’m an extremely private person and I am waiting for more information before I do anything that I feel is invasive to my privacy, or my brother’s. There is always a proper and improper way to handle a situation. I’m handling things in a manner in which I feel is correct.

You can support me, say a prayer or a kind word, or get out of my way because at this moment, I am a ticking time bomb. My brother is OFF LIMITS. I don’t appreciate anyone making up conversations I never had with them. Focus on your own family problems, don’t stick your nose into mine.

My best friends both said “What do you need? I’ll do whatever it is you need to help.” and they live an ocean away. My “relatives” did not say that. Hell, most of my “friends” didn’t say that, either, but I don’t fault them. I fault the person who messaged me last night and came at me when I am already raw with emotion. She always accuses others of attacking her, but the fact of the matter is; she likes playing the role of victim. She doesn’t know any other role but the role of victim. In every situation, it somehow becomes all about her and her role as the victim once she’s pushed you to the point where you have to tell her to back off. I don’t have respect for that. Many of us carry childhood issues with us, but when you’re pushing 40, you need to work your therapy and stop playing the victim card with everyone. It’s the reason people don’t respond well to you and it’s the reason people don’t like you. It took me a few years to see the pattern, but now that I do, I’ve stopped allowing myself to be turned into the “great evil” for speaking the truth.

When someone is bleeding from head to toe, do you throw them into the Dead Sea? No, you don’t. Therein lies the problem here.

I can let some things go, I can forgive certain things and I can forget others, but when you constantly play the victim card with me, I question how valuable the relationship is. I also realize that some people self-sabotage to the point where they have no friends or loved ones to turn to. But there comes a time when you can no longer make excuses for them.

I’m just trying to get through this dark cloud hanging over me where my brother is concerned. I know full well that I am not some “great evil” for saying I am stepping away. If I’ve said nothing and every other thing you say is an attack (“Sweetie” does not soften a damn fucking thing. I’m not five.), then it is up to that person to know when to back off. If you always have to say something to back them off, that’s unhealthy. Being told I’M the unhealthy party is utterly laughable.

Sometimes, people forget who they’re talking to. They get too damn comfortable. They start thinking you’re exactly like them. They don’t realize that the silence from one day too many has hit you hard, and that saying nothing is better than talking shit.

It’s a damn good thing she wasn’t standing in front of me.

copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.