Discussions of Funerals and Such

Today is the funeral of a friend of the family who died as a result of Covid 19. My brother is there now, and there’s nothing I can do except be encouraging, even though it puts me into the headspace where I relive every funeral I’ve ever been to. Funerals aren’t usually anyone’s cup of tea, but my brother especially, is not good with them. He has his reasons, and they’re perfectly understandable. That’s why he texted me this morning to ask if he looked okay and to go over certain things since we don’t usually get asked to attend non-Jewish funerals. There are religious and cultural differences between the two, believe me.

I’m in an okay element at the majority of funerals I attend. I’m being brutally honest when I say I’m invited to funerals, but no one ever invites me to their wedding. I’m serious about this, too, so don’t invite me to a wedding out of pity. I have nothing to offer there.

Having always been honest about life and death is likely crucial to how I handle things as an adult. My mother didn’t try to pretty it up for me when my Grandfather died, or when subsequent family members passed away after the fact. There were no bullshit stories in my home growing up, and I had no tolerance when people attempted bullshit stories with me. I haven’t changed on that level.

I cringe when people tell me how they (tried to) explain death to a child (at age three-ish or so), and fucked up royally (My words, not theirs. They think they did the right thing. My eyes rolled to Japan and are on their way back. Excuse me one moment.). I’m mortified by the shit they tell their kids because that level of dishonesty will shape them as they get older, and I’m not good with it. To this day, I still can’t tolerate the lies people tell. If you ever wonder how dishonest you come off, ask me and I’ll tell you.

Yes, I was the kid who told all the other kids that Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy weren’t real. And I’d do it all over again, too. I mildly got in trouble for my honesty growing up, but it was mostly in the sense that my mother understood why I was being so honest, and told me it was the responsibility of other parents to also be honest with their children, or not. And if “not” was on the table, then I needed to try and keep my mouth shut, so as not to interfere with what they wanted their children to believe. I don’t think I’ve ever been on board with that.

In my eyes, a funeral is where you go and pay your respects. You’re not doing it for you or those involved (unless you’re really close with them), you’re doing it because it’s the right thing to do. Period. Respect is something I find lacking in so many relationships these days, and it’s disgusting to me. If you are unable to attend, then you send something, based solely on your relationship with the survivors of the deceased. I generally send cards and fruit baskets, but last year, when my cousins lost their mother to cancer, I had trees planted in Israel in memory of her, because I knew it would mean more to them, and it did.

When my father passed away, I sorted through hundreds of cards. I’m not exaggerating; cards came daily for over three months, and there were a decent amount of people at his funeral. When my mother passed away, I didn’t get five cards in total, and I got only three phone calls. It was bizarre as hell. My support system (i.e: Family) sucked then and it sucks even worse now. I cope differently than I used to. The person who buried her parents five months apart is a completely different woman now. I am colder, harsher, and darker, but I respect myself more for that than I once did. You see, these hard things change you, and when they do, you should honor the change, and not think of it as something awful. Change means growth. That’s not negative, and don’t let people tell you otherwise.

Did I want to burn my Aunt and Uncle’s house down after my father’s funeral? Absolutely, but I didn’t (Instead, I marched over to my Uncle’s grave and tore his spirit a new asshole. It felt good to get the anger out of my system, in the moment.). Did I want to rip people to shreds at my mother’s funeral? Yes. Instead, I stayed quiet, behind dark sunglasses, like a lady, and spoke when spoken to, after eulogizing my mother. I admire the woman I was that day because behind her pain, she was poised as hell. I am still poised. If you’re kind to me, I will be kind in turn. If you’re disrespectful, it’s not beneath me to throw you into the nearest open grave and shovel dirt over you. Everyone picks their own poison with me, no pun intended.

Today, I am sad. I’m sad that people still don’t seem to understand how serious this pandemic is and I’m sad many people have had to say goodbye to loved ones way too soon, and I’m angry with the knowledge that much of this could have been prevented.

I’d like to go back to normal. I’d like to not have to wear a mask (I’ve nearly walked out without one so many times.). I’d like to not have to worry about whether or not I’ve touched something that may be contaminated, etc. I’d like for people to feel safe again and not be worried, but I’m too realistic for that. Naturally, I have definitive opinions on the three vaccines that were pushed through and approved in less than a year, too, but that’s a discussion for another day and, possibly, a different audience entirely.

For today, I wish everyone the best and hope that you’re safe, healthy, and coping to the best of your ability. If you’re not, please know you’re not alone.

copyright © 2021 by Lisa Marino & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Confrontation

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Anyone who has read my work for more than a month or two can likely tell you basic things about my character. My friends can tell you precisely who I am and what I stand for.

My own brother has described me as, “The last person I ever want to disappoint because you’re scarier than Mom and Dad combined. I’m more scared of your reaction than I am anyone else’s.” I was surprised to learn this, but it explains his behavioral patterns around me because he knows I see through all the bullshit.

Whenever someone describes me, these are the key words used: Honest. Loyal. She says precisely what she means; there’s zero sugarcoating involved. She’s not exceptionally forgiving, and that’s because she knows the difference between a mistake and patterns.

One of my own physicians said he knows I don’t hold back and he respects that because he sees other people do it and wonders what they aren’t saying, but never wonders with me because I’m not afraid to be forthcoming and extremely honest about everything. When I hear myself described like that, I know I am a solid person, regardless of what the occasional idiot may think or be stupid enough to say.

In life, forgiveness is something people have to earn. Once you break my trust, will I forgive you? Or will I listen, merely because I prefer closure? I suppose it depends on the person, but I am now faced with this in my real life.

Early this morning, something popped up in my Facebook memories that pissed me off. I was so angry for a moment, I saw red. Red is a warning sign. It’s like blood spatter to Dexter Morgan. Anger fuels me to be a better person, but that moment where I see red? That’s dangerous.

A former friend who made plans with me and then texted, weeks prior to arrival, to say her boyfriend had scheduled a private tour of the zoo the day we intended to meet up decided to pop back up with apologies. In truth and fairness, I baited her because I was enraged by what I saw.

When she had originally asked if I could make time during the month of May to meet up because she couldn’t wait to see me and missed me, I set an entire day aside, and not for nothing, it was the anniversary of my mother’s death which is SO hard for me. Lesson learned; I will never do that again, especially not for someone who flakes on me.

Quite frankly, I am astounded that anyone over the age of twelve, or someone studying certain forms of biology and/or science, would desire a tour of a zoo. 🙄 It breaks my heart to see animals in captivity. The only thing I do appreciate is the preservation of big cats. Leopards, certain types of tigers, cheetahs, and some of the smaller exotic cats are becoming extinct. This is not news, though. I don’t want to live in a world where these amazing creatures do not exist. I appreciate the wild preservation of their habitats in South Africa immensely, especially all the work being done in Namibia. However, that’s not what angered me.

It was not a change of plans, as she seems to believe, but the disrespect of my time and not immediately standing up to said boyfriend and letting him know that she already had plans that day. You can’t text me and say, “Just FYI, he scheduled a tour of the zoo that day. He’s trying to change it, but…” But nothing. I replied by saying, “I don’t even know how to answer that, so I won’t.” That moment, right there, is when you reschedule or call me about alternatives. You address it in the moment. Especially since she’s here at least 2-4 times a year to visit him.

The post in my “memories” credited me for the friend I am to her, and after deleting my initial response from two years ago where I stated that I’d always have her back, I let it be known that real friends learn how to apologize so they don’t lose their ride or die support system. She immediately replied with an apology and wanted to get into it. 😒 It’s pretty sad when someone waits and waits before they finally get called out. My anger was my error at seeing this proclamation which feels faker than a three dollar bill, and feeling as though a nearly eight year friendship was a total lie.

When a person says they were ashamed and too shy to contact you because they figured you needed time to forgive them, I find that a mixture of pathetic and laughable. I’m not a rabid beast; you just have to communicate properly. All she had to do was reschedule and be respectful of my friendship and time. That’s how adults resolve things. I would also love to know why she thinks I’m going to forgive her, because if you know me, you know forgiveness isn’t a likely scenario. I’ve got boundaries and self-respect.

Also, and this is important: I don’t permit men to tell me who I can and cannot be friends with. Nor do I allow men to make decisions for me OR disrespect my friends and family. I’d sooner stick a fork in his thigh. I’m not someone’s mouthpiece or tool, and I do not suffer fools. I’m not some delicate little flower. I am a lotus.

If you’re in a controlling relationship, naturally that person doesn’t want you to be around friends who are loyal, honest, smart, make you laugh, and who, up until this occurred, I would have cheerfully shot in the leg and buried alive. I will never, EVER support a friend who chooses to remain in an abusive relationship simply because they see the abuse as a form of love. I assure you, I’ve lived it and witnessed it, and it’s NOT on the same plane of existence as love. Perhaps some beggars refuse to make the choice for themselves because they’re not strong enough.

An abusers’ ultimate goal is to isolate you from your friends and family almost entirely. The sad part is that so many people let the abuser win. If you confront that friend, suddenly you’re labeled as “jealous”. 🙄😂 No sweet pea, I feel sorry for you. No one sane wants to be in an abusive relationship, and I will absolutely give you credit if you have gotten out of one. By “you”, I mean whoever is reading this and nodding their head in agreement because they understand what I’m saying. They understand because they’ve escaped the madness and uncertainty of being in a relationship with a gaslighting, narcissistic, abusive, disrespectful jack ass.

Instead of letting this discussion become Facebook fodder, I replied by saying we should discuss it privately. I don’t do drama on my page at all. Also, I need time before I say anything, but I’m willing to hear the nonsense out. Perhaps I’ve already made my decision and DO want closure. I’m not entirely sure. In truth, I am still so angry that anyone thinks this is acceptable treatment of a friend who has been the highest quality friend one could have or hope for.

An old friend once said, “Lisa isn’t to be trifled with.”, and I think that sums things up nicely. People assume I’m nice, sweet, caring, kind, and a host of other things that nauseate me. Clearly, I have my moments and some good qualities or no one would ever be able to call me a friend, but the second you cross over the line, you’re going to meet the other side of me. The one I often refer to as “The Dragon Slayer”. When you meet that other person who is professionally icy, you might not know what to make out of her. That’s okay. She’s already seen you coming from a hundred miles away and she’s not in the mood to psychologically break you into bits, but she will, if necessary. Many women are as multifaceted as what I’ve just described. We can be your best friend, your biggest supporter, or we can be an enemy. The grey area is ambivalence. It always is.

When you call me your “sister”, that’s a fucking privilege. It’s not some cute word to throw around. Fact: I will always be someone’s sister. I was born a sister. I am a sister to my brother, and to several of my cousins. My best friend and I have basically grown up together, and she is 7000+ miles away. She is 100% my sister. 100% family. She wouldn’t dream of disrespecting our friendship in any way. She would never fly into town and NOT see me. She would never disrespect our friendship, our time, or our bond. I would never disrespect her, either. Alas, I now realize how one-sided this other “friendship” actually was.

I was the support system. The therapist. The one with a fully functioning brain. The one with the grace and maturity I’ve possessed for the majority of my life without truly seeing it until someone pointed it out to me recently. I got nothing out of this relationship, except the feeling that I was always on call, like a doctor. When communication stopped, I felt free. I felt like I hadn’t been able to breathe properly, and suddenly this drain on my life force was no longer present. I was relieved. I was done.

I don’t know if there’s anything salvageable here. The pretty words of apology and love are just that; they’re pretty fucking words that mean nothing to me. They are not the actions of someone who is truly sorry and apologized on their own. I forced it by calling her out, and she would have waited for me to make a move until she died if I hadn’t had that flare of anger. I can legitimately say nothing for the remainder of my life and be good with that. If you’re trying to play the silent treatment game with me, you will lose. It’s NOT a fucking game, it is real life. Friends are not expendable beings.

My closest friends often say, “You’re honest and direct, but you’re also supremely fair. So if someone has pissed you off or hurt you, they deserve whatever you dish out because they didn’t have any respect for you.” That acknowledgement and validation is like music to my ears because it’s pure and true.

I don’t do disrespect in my relationships. I don’t make plans and leave people hanging without a word. I will never intentionally flake out on you. I’m not rude and disrespectful. I will be on my best behavior when you drag the uninvited boyfriend along without telling me in advance. Basically that means I won’t poison his food or accidentally, on purpose, stab him in the neck when he says something disrespectful to you that makes me want to slap him while you sit there and take it. Ultimately, I’m YOUR friend, NOT his, and I reserve the right to judge him. 😉 #BarelyKidding

The one time I had a huge disagreement with a friend, I apologized because I was wrong, but the friendship was very much like this one. I realize that now. I overvalued it because to me, friendship is a commodity I don’t play games with. But there I was; the rock she was desperately holding on to, until a bigger rock came along and I was tossed aside like garbage.

I don’t like leeches and I really don’t like psychic vampires. They are referred to as such because they drain you. Physically, mentally, and emotionally. To the point where you eventually avoid them or cut them loose. Dealing with them causes disabling fatigue. Unfortunately, you can’t increase your iron intake and be good to go. The only way to stop the drain is to deny them access to you.

I have never seen any relationship successfully recover fully from disrespect and a breach of boundaries and trust. I’ve tried with one person in particular. Repeatedly. I inevitably decided five years ago that enough was enough and that if they came back tomorrow, I’d listen, but the friendship would still be over. Essentially, I feel the same about this situation. There’s no emotion involved at all, except the previously aforementioned ambivalence, and that’s no way to rebuild something, or start from scratch with. You can’t slap me and tell me you love me. It doesn’t work that way. It never has.

I’m in control of how accessible I am, so she will be sweating it out for as long as it takes me to be patient enough to listen without rolling my eyes. I make no promises, though.

I am not afraid of confrontation. Not even a little bit. I know who I am. I know where I’m coming from, and I know where I’m going. I can’t save every broken birds’ wings. That is not my job, nor is it a role I want to take on. I wear many hats, but it’s time to send the wrong people packing. They were never meant to be a part of my long-term tribe, and that’s okay. I’ve grown and changed, and the last thing I want to do is take on any type of false superhero aspect. In life, your ultimate, true savior is YOU. Grab a sword and take a stab at it. Please don’t wait for someone to rescue you on a white horse. This only exists in fairytales. Perhaps before you buy into such bullshit, you should read about faeries and learn something.

© 2020 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 

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By the way, Peace Talks by Jim Butcher is now available for pre-order. FINALLY! Release day is July 14th. There, I promoted something for another writer. Jim’s a badass wordsmith who shares the same birthday as I do. Give him a shot, and start with Storm Front. You won’t be sorry. #DarkUrbanFantasy

Instagram > Reality

I was stupid-ish for thinking I’d be okay post-procedure. Pain that is complex, high fevers, stomach related issues, and where did all these bruises come from? Is life even worth it? I often ask myself this question. I struggle every second of every day to survive in tact. This is NOT the life I signed up for. 😔

How many people will read that and think the polar opposite of what I mean? Don’t think at all; yes, I’m serious. Just listen.

In the past dozen or so years, I’ve been through hell and back. I have the scars (physical, mental, and emotional) and ashes to prove it. I don’t sugarcoat pain, regardless of the form. I’m extremely transparent about it. Mostly because, pretty words don’t make liars any less ugly. Ten people will be analyzing that statement to death; the texts and email accusations will start ten minutes after this is posted. 😒

I’ve questioned everything my entire life. Not important moments or decisions, but the difficult “in between” phases that many women pretend do not exist. Maybe for them, they don’t. 🤷Denial is a coping mechanism for many, but so is alcohol. Who knows, really. We are all different, and for good reason.

I don’t take drugs. I rarely drink. I’m not boring, but I’m also not typical. The things that matter to me don’t matter to 95% of the people I know, and G-d Bless them for being so uninitiated. 🙄 Every person who has preached how enlightened they are is living in such a state of bullshit, it’s not even funny. Why can’t you admit you DON’T have your shit together and that life is not a fairytale? Why is everyone SO committed to “Instagram > Reality”? I’ll never be able to fathom this particular thought process.

A friend of mine recently confessed to “taking a break from social media”. She truly believes that everyone else is “living their best life” and she’s stuck, suffering. I broke it down and explained it to her from an extremely honest perspective. If you’ve got to brag about it via social media; it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

I know people who’ve been married 3-4 times since I first became friends with them. I’ve been best friends with each of my best friends longer than all of those marriages combined, yet people are desperate to post photos on a  constant basis.

How many engagement rings do you need to show the world? How many wedding cakes and wedding dresses do you REALLY need to see from the same person in 5-10 years? No, I am not “asking for a friend”, I’m just being honest.

I encourage people to live their lives OFF of social media. I, myself, question whether or not to share a thought, photos, happy moments, positive things, etc. Nine times out of ten, I send the photos to my best friend, we talk about the happy moments (and the bad. We don’t bullshit each other. I talk to her almost daily. My other best friend is going through a LOT at the moment, and I feel like the best thing to do is let her know she’s ALWAYS got my support, no matter what, but I also know she needs to be able to focus. I’ve been there and have lived it, so I take nothing away from her. She didn’t stop being my best friend.), and I don’t publicly share any of those things.

The other day, a lady asked if I’d take a photo of her with her grandson. I was only too happy to oblige. She immediately confessed, “I’m not allowed to show his face.” I said, “There are apps that allow you to have a great photo, and still protect him while he’s so young.” She kept trying to cover his face with her hair, but, like most babies, he was obsessed with me (Have I written about this before?) and wasn’t interested in her hair until the end. She got about five or six great photos for herself and others for social media purposes, but honestly, I’m all for protecting a baby. 👍

Someone stated almost a year ago that I am both a “public figure” AND an extremely private individual. I don’t consider myself a “public figure” at all. The first time a family member used that turn of phrase, out of concern for my physical safety, I nearly laughed until I cried because the expression sounded utterly preposterous. The sentiment was of a genuine nature. She was concerned that I’d be targeted for writing the truth in such an “in your face” manner.. I remember my response was, “They can TRY. I’m trained to take someone out, if need be.” This required further explanation because this person’s fears are SO great, the concept of physically fighting back was not something she had ever considered. It wouldn’t occur to her to fight back with words, either. 😔 As a result, I encouraged her to take some self-defense classes and/or Krav Maga, especially if she was going to keep saying she “doesn’t like guns”. You don’t have to like or love any instrument, tool, or experience that is the difference between your life and death, but you shouldn’t be ignorant, either. Women should know how to protect themselves, and pray daily that you NEVER have to utilize the training. 

I do bite, but I think it’s all in how I’m approached. If you saw someone walking around blatantly publicizing my work (via merchandise, like a t-shirt or phone case), and you wondered if it was me, a normal person would probably just come up and ask. I *almost* ordered a customized case last year as a promotional tool before replacing my phone, but if you’ve got to think about it for six months, it’s okay to pass. I might do it when I upgrade.

I have hundreds of ideas involved with my writing and the expansion of my work, but I know when to make a move and I also know when a promotional move looks completely desperate or pathetic. I’m many things, good and not so good, but I’m NOT an attention seeker.

Weeks ago, I noticed an awful lot of bragging from someone in my acquaintance circle. After rolling my eyes (A LOT. I’m not going to lie. This person gives off SUCH a fake vibe to me, and honestly, I’ve tried figuring out why, but I can’t. Once I detect that a person isn’t authentic, I don’t invest additional time into them. Your first instinct is almost always the right one.), I decided to do a little homework. If it was legit, I would be supportive and cheer this person on (a little), but I ended up having a good laugh, sadly enough. I was utterly wowed by the stupidity. Instead of the “achievement” being 110% authentic, I quickly learned it’s smoke and mirrors. 🙄 I CANNOT support a lie. It’s a costly decision, and to each their own, but that’s not going to be something I will support. It definitely falls into the “Instagram > Reality” mindset. The grass might appear lush and oh, SO, green, but the reality is this, it’s been fertilized with epic amounts of manure. 

I know how easily people fall into the trap of following one over the other. It stems from monotony and unhappiness that, all too often, is not discussed. Reality is something people now think of as “television entertainment”, as opposed to me smacking them in the head and saying, “No. Your LIFE is reality, not an image or having an outlandish imagination.” If I smacked more people, this world would do a total 360 quickly. It’s not the worst idea I’ve ever had. 😉

There will be people who love what I’ve written here, and others will get upset and/ or have hurt feelings. I’m good with both because I know what reality is.

I don’t have time for bullshit. I have time for authenticity, for pausing before I do something publicly, and I have time to say, “This is who I am. I haven’t changed. I’ve grown 🌱, but my core values and message, no, that has not changed.” I’m going to remain my mother’s daughter, and I’m beyond good with that. 💜

Which do you prefer? Instagram or the truth?

© 2019 by Lisa Marino and Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Incurable

                                            ***Potential Trigger Warning***

Friday night, I stupidly read my new diagnosis for the first time. And then I sat here in tears. The old diagnosis, which I’ve had for a long time, is clearly nowhere near as serious as the new one. My doctor isn’t even sure how it ever even fit because he doesn’t see it, and I do think it’s a case of having fresh eyes and a fresh perspective, as well. He did NOT try to box me in, but he answered me because I asked. I needed to know what the hell this was.

The new diagnosis basically states that nearly 60% of sufferers, or more, as it ranges from country-to-country, die by suicide, regardless of age. I was stunned into terrified silence.

I have always said I didn’t want to be a statistic, but reading the documentation; I feel like one.

As I stated previously, there are no treatment options left. I can wait ten years and hope a medication is approved by the FDA, but mostly, I am on my own. I cannot fathom ten more minutes like this, leave alone ten years, or longer. Hope is kind of futile at this point for me.

There’s a person in my life (heretofore to be referred to as “The Idiot”) who cannot think about anything but the future. I suggested they take things one day at a time during a stressful period, so as to help them help themselves focus, and they told me their “brain doesn’t work that way. That they must constantly look ten, twenty, and thirty years ahead”. I was astounded by the insanity of that. Especially knowing that there is a strong possibility they might not live that long. I take everything one hour at a time. It helps keep me focused. It keeps me in the moment, because I don’t have a crystal ball and quite frankly, I am not looking that far ahead. Nor do I care to do so. For me, life just doesn’t have that level of longevity any more. Truth be told, it never did. I always knew that.

There’s something very difficult, and exceptionally disheartening, about reading something on paper and realizing that every hope and dream you’ve ever had has been impossible to achieve because it’s likely never been meant to be. All the things you’ve wanted for yourself aren’t going to happen because something serious is interfering with all of it. It’s NOT you, it’s an incurable illness you never asked for and it’s destroyed your life immeasurably.

Thus far, I’ve only managed to tell two friends. One told me I needed to fight so I could stick around and “help keep her sane”. She means well, but that wasn’t the answer I needed to hear. I intentionally withheld the info from someone who I am afraid will be triggered by this. She has been through enough and I cannot be responsible for my health affecting hers. Other people might be triggered by this information, so while I am not disclosing what the actual diagnosis is, I am telling each of them in my own way.

I will not be discussing this diagnosis with close family members. I know that none of them care. I have slowly started to see their selfish, self-absorbed, self-righteous natures and I find it utterly despicable. I am grateful that I do not resemble a single member of my family and that we possess almost none of the same character traits. They live on their own planets, and I live in reality.

It hurts me deeply that out of everyone in my family, I would be the one afflicted like this while everyone else is allowed to live a normal life, or as close to a normal life as possible. It feels like the cruelest curse in the world. That’s not jealousy talking; that’s honesty. One illness is enough of a burden, but for me to have spent the majority of my life suffering is pure evil. To have to battle all of this alone makes it so much worse.

I have chosen to take a pass on all things temporary. I don’t need that in my life. If someone cannot be permanent or semi-permanent, then I don’t need them right now. I need solid support all across the board. I don’t have time for games or bullshit. I will be informing my doctor of that before he leaves. He can pass that message on because I know after we talk, he’s going to be very concerned. I don’t care how I sound or come off this time because I’m not here to worry about his feelings. He can contact my primary if he’s concerned, or whomever, but that isn’t going to make a difference at this point. I refuse to see the doctor he wants me to see. I’ve had terrible experiences with certain types of physicians and while this doctor might be wonderful, I don’t have any trust to offer this person. I will look for someone else when I’m ready. There’s a six month wait for anyone permanent, so I am going to inform the “temp” when she calls me that until she finds someone permanent, I am not interested. I cannot sit with a temporary person and build anything with them. That’s not how I operate. It’s an absolute waste of time. I’d rather talk to Cat and Kitten, both of whom pretty much ignore me these days unless the treat bag shakes or they hear me in the kitchen and think food might be involved. I could leave for six months, they wouldn’t notice, so long as they were fed twice a day.

I don’t think anyone cares to notice how unsupportive they are being. If you’re a shiny, happy person, you want to surround yourself with others like you. You don’t want to delve into the darkness and look deeply at someone with depth. That’s fine. I am better off without your bullshit. What you send out into the world comes back to you threefold. I listen to people and I give with my whole heart. I care, even when no one else bothers to do so. Faced with something that cannot be cured or fixed in any way, I am able to fully see how cruel and hateful people really are. And I am closing ranks in terms of my friendships and the people I consider to be anything in my life at this moment. I cannot imagine not reaching out to someone and offering support, but as I have noticed, people truly DO live on their own planets. I am walking around with the pin from everyone’s hand grenade. They just don’t know it yet.

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For the record: I’m not stupid, or blind. I noticed the drop in subscribers the second I was super honest in my last few posts. When am I NOT honest? I’m not going to apologize to ANYONE because there IS a trigger warning for those who cannot handle anything too deep. I get it; we all have our issues, which is precisely why there was a warning. If you see a trigger warning, STOP READING. Come back when I’m discussing something funny and lighthearted. In all fairness, it was the first time I’d ever used a trigger warning in four years, so please, give me a break. This is MY safe space and I am going to be as honest as necessary here. You can stick with me or you can unfollow or unsubscribe. I’m not going to chase you down the street. I’m not desperate. I know who my readers are.

For every two people that disappear, twenty more show up and thank me for being honest and sharing my story so that they don’t feel ashamed in sharing theirs. I have received more love from Twitter followers than from any other social media platform I use.

I’m going to keep being me. I’m going to keep advocating to the best of my ability for change and I am going to keep speaking my truth and telling my story. I’m not going to allow others to stigmatize my pain or what I have been through. You can read my work, but ultimately, you don’t know me. You know a small percentage of what I share, but the people who’ve been with me for years and years, those are the people who know just how real I am. The people who’ve met me and spent time with me know who I am. The people who text me daily know who I am. The people who can call me at three a.m. for anything know who I am. The select few who get to share certain aspects of my life are the people who have made an effort to be a real friend to me, and for that, I’ll always be grateful.

You can sit and judge me ’til kingdom come for being honest, but the fact of the matter is, you have NO fucking idea what it takes for me to get out of bed each day, so please, judge yourself first. No matter what I face, you’re probably not as strong as me. I’m not ashamed of my reality, and I won’t allow anyone to make me feel bad for things outside of my control.

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

The Only Thing Worth Writing About Is People

“The only thing worth writing about is people. People. Human beings. Men and women whose individuality must be created, line by line, insight by insight. If you do not do it, the story is a failure.

There is no nobler chore in the universe than holding up the mirror of reality and turning it slightly, so we have a new and different perception of the commonplace, the everyday, the ‘normal’, the obvious. People are reflected in the glass. The fantasy situation into which you thrust them is the mirror itself. And what we are shown should illuminate and alter our perception of the world around us. Failing that, you have failed totally.” ―Harlan Ellison