My Blog

A blog about my friends, family, and all the weird and annoying people I know. Feel free to comment. I'll delete it if I don't like it.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Concept of Family

*This post first appeared in BlogHer I think where I've been writing a bit more these days just because I don't know what kind of creepy people stalk me on this blog. It has over 600 reads so I thought I'd share it here too. 

My brother died last year around this time, May something or other. I wasn't even sure he was really dead. I got a muffled cell phone call from my mom around 5 am mumbling frantically that Tim may have died and then click. End of message. Previously I'd had a falling out with my mother where she requested I not contact her anymore. Then this. This message about death. It 
 It seemed likely he was dead considering the times he probably should have died.  Once he was so drunk he wrecked his motorcycle and his bottle of vodka rolled out of his back pack. No one saw it happen so he gathered up his back pack, his vodka and went on his way. I got up,  took a shower, came to work and met up with my friend in the parking lot. She said, "What's up?" And I said, "My brother may have died."
 I called my dad and said, "I heard Tim might have died."  He told me he's heard the same thing and was trying to confirm. Two years earlier a girl from Texas was visiting my brother and died in his bed.  We still don't really know why.
 By the next day we confirmed he was dead. I wasn't that sad.  I showered that morning leaning my head against the glass.  I had stopped talking to my brother about four years earlier because he was an addict, a terrible father, and a selfish, self destructive person. I cried though, but not because I missed him. I cried for the concept of a brother. I cried for the idea of family. I cried for the destruction of something I saw crumble around me when I was 11.  I cried for the child who had a big brother. I cried for the family dinners when I had to ask, "May I be excused?" before I left the dinner table and the family who prayed together before bed. I cried for ever wanting someone to call me his little sister and then protect me like I thought a brother might do.
  often get trapped in the concept of things rather than the reality of them. The reality is that he wasn't a good person and I was kind of expecting him to die at an early age.
I wanted to look up to him and I tried. People with brothers seemed to like them so much. I wanted to think he was great or powerful or successful.  I wanted him to be cool. But he wasn't any of those things. He was an addict. I can only ever remember him as an addict too. I have no memory of him being a brother. When I was 9 he asked me, while I was watching cartoons, what I would do if I were ever raped. He asked me if I knew what being raped meant.  I said I didn't know what I would do and yes, I knew what it meant. I sat so stiffly in my pleather bean bag chair my eyes burned as I stared intently at the T.V. I heard him and his friend giggling and whispering in the kitchen. I started to get really scared that he might let his friend rape me just to see what I would do.  When he  finally left the room I called a family friend, explained quietly what he had said to me and she came over and picked me up. I never felt safe with him again.
He was perpetually on drugs.When I was 10, I unknowingly and repeatedly slammed his head against the bathroom door because he had passed out on the toilet and fallen face first onto the floor, pants down. He spent a year in a boys home in Texas when he was 13. My dad knocked over his dinner chair with him in it when he came home at age 15 with an earring. When I was 13 and he, 17,  he cut up lines of cocaine and offered it to me in an attic space in Idaho that he had painted in satanic ritual markings. I didn't like him much, didn't respect him, and was gravely disappointed in everything he did. I declined his kind cocaine offer that night too.
He called me once around the time I graduated from college. I was drinking beer from a keg I kept on my back porch and watching reruns of Friends. When I answered, he said he was sitting in a truck and contemplating suicide.I was sick of all his shit and I was like, "What? Why? And why are you calling ME? I don't even live in the same state as you. Stop fucking with my head man!" He ignored me and asked me to play a certain song at his funeral by the band Live called Lightening Crashes. A woman's placenta falls to the ground in the first stanza. It's fuckin stupid and he's such an asshole for calling to tell me this. I should have called the police but I didn't. I went to bed because I know he's a selfish asshole and by threatening to kill yourself over the phone to someone in another state who has no idea where you live or what your address is, is a shitty, dick move. Fucker. About 5 years ago he ran away from a mental health facility and went missing. I was worried for about 10 minutes until I called my dad and he said, "Don't worry about it. He's an adult He'll figure it out." My parents are very supportive and concerned. He never killed himself that night but a few weeks later called and asked if him and his wife (wife? When did he get a wife?) could come to Florida and sleep on my floor otherwise they would be homeless. I said no. My family sucks.
 He was family though and from what I gather about society and families it's that no matter what happens, they will be there for you and you should in turn be there for them. They will always have your back. You can always go home. Family is forever. Even when families break down and divorce, mothers and fathers still love their kids. Parents don't leave you.  They won't move out of state and tell you one day before so you have no time to plan a goodbye to everyone you've ever known. They don't get married to people you've never met and not tell you until you see the wedding pictures that you're not in, at their condo. They won't take off to another town and leave you living in an apartment with your strung out brother. They won't forget your birthday or to call you on holidays. They won't treat you like you're worthless or insignificant.
But they do. Families forget you.
If I had friends like I have family, I would stop being their friend.
If my friend responded, "Graduate school is really difficult and expensive and you probably can't do it" when I told him/her I was thinking of getting a master's degree, then I wouldn't be friends with that person because that person is an asshole. So when you tell me, "I'm going to get a rainbow tattoo that spans both sides of my butt cheeks" I'm going to be all like, "Hooray for you."  I'm going to be happy for you because damn it, you deserve that rainbow ass tattoo.
I don't need your negative bullshit when I tell you good news. If you're going to talk to me, you better have something fucking positive to say even if you have to fake it. I might not get into that program, or win that award but I don't need your stupid ass attitude reminding me that I'm mediocre and regular and that nothing about me is particularly outstanding. Also, if I don't know you very well, Do Not call me and tell me you are going to kill yourself. I hate that.
The whole point here is that family didn't work out for me. I'm sad and bitter about this and I talk about it all the time. Check out the name of this blog. This month I had some very cool news about things that are happening in my life. I didn't call anyone in my family. It's been a few weeks and I've contemplated putting the news in an email, but they have a way of diminishing me so I haven't said anything.  Now that I'm older I know I'm responsible for maintaining relationships and things I do and say can intentionally and unintentionally affect people. So, I'm going to talk to the people who build me up instead of bring me down. I guess I do have family, technically, but I have better friends.

I don't know what's going on here, but he looks smug. I'm wondering where my real family is in this picture. just kidding. 

My parents took us out for McDonald's before Tim left for some other state to do more drugs.  You can tell by the mullet  and mesh shirt that he's headed for no good. 
 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Drunk Adults at Birthday Parties

 I took one of my daughter's to a birthday party the other day in a part of town that reminded me of the 80s. The houses were probably built in the 70s, low ceilings, sunk in living room and linoleum.

I  lived in a home like that until about 1988 when stucco really became a big deal and track homes and HOAs were the cool kid in town.

So I drop my kid off after introducing myself to the parents. I'll be back in 2 hours. At a certain age it's okay to just drop your kid off. I don't like small talk.

When I came back, some of the adults were drunk. There were people at this child's birthday party who belonged in a pool hall. I got to wondering if there were two separate events going on, one of them a 7- year -old's birthday party and the other one a beer drinking cigarette party. It wasn't just the drunk dad wearing a tiara,  It was also the drunk uncle who introduced himself to everyone while sporting his coolie cup beer holder with the top half of his beer can peeking out. He wore the stench of alcohol like cologne. While the kids gathered around the birthday girl opening gifts, there were 3 adults on either side of the porch smoking cigarettes. They were smoking 4 feet away from where 15 little girls were gathered at a birthday party. It was so bizarre...for 2013.

I had a flash back to the late 70s and 80s where people smoked in restaurants, in cars with kids, and in airplanes. You don't like smoke? Too bad says 1982!

In the 80s I remember going to relatives homes and seeing drunk people, drinking people, loud people, and chain smoking people. It seemed that's what people did. They built low ceiling homes with basements, bought house boats, and hung out on porches grilling food, drinking, and smoking. It was all so normal and casual. No one really made a scene but a lot of people got drunk. It was really exciting when my grandpa got a smokeless ashtray and tried to convince my uncle it was now okay to smoke inside his house.

When I was 18, I smoked with my grandpa inside. We gathered around this contraption like a  bonfire. It brought people together. 

However, in the70s and  80s people also didn't use seat belts and people died. I remember sitting on the middle seat of my dad's red Oldsmobile right between the driver and passenger. I could literally prop my feet up on the 8 track player. I remember the curtain in airplane smoking sections before someone went and did a bunch of research about second hand smoke and ruined every body's good time. I used to shove gum wrappers in there.

There's My Seat, Right in the Middle. I'm lucky to be alive I suppose. All that smoke and dangerous seating going on for years.
~Flickr

I wrote this post several months ago thinking that maybe I was being judgmental since I don't drink anymore and am not a part of that world. Perhaps I've lost touch or I'm boring or something. But just this weekend I went to another child's party and a woman I met once before ran up to me and hugged me like we were long lost friends. That one time I met her must have been significant because we chatted like school girls for a good 10 minutes. At first I thought she was running open armed towards someone else and almost moved out of the way. She put my number in her phone and called it while I was standing there only to realize she probably inputted it wrong as there was no missed call when I checked my phone later in the car. Drunk people are fun. I'm missing a whole component of birthday parties by being sober and I feel a little left out of the good time. I decline drinks all the time. People might be starting to think I'm Mormon. It doesn't matter though because when I show up people hug me anyway. 



Thursday, January 30, 2014

People Holding Cardboard Signs

Starting around November the number of people holding cardboard signs on the side of the road has increased in my area. I'm pretty good at ignoring people, but when I see them I'm quietly afraid they might try to jump in my car and demand I take them to a gas station.

People with cardboard signs have always been around, like scenery.  I lived in Florida when my son was little and we would see them, standing, frowning, looking shabby and sad. We got pretty used to them and once around age 7, as I was driving through an intersection, my son said, "oh, another stupid homo."

Shocked and appalled, I said, What?

"I'm so sick of seeing homos. They are so gross."

What?

"Those homos, with the signs on the side of the road, they're everywhere."

Oh, you mean HOBOS. Not homos. phew. I thought for a second he was developing a hatred for homosexuals which I couldn't remember ever discussing with him. I don't think I've ever called someone a homo in my life. I'm not one to speak in abbreviations except maybe fridge. I say fridge.

After establishing them as Hobos and not Homos I explained that those sign yielders were also called homeless people and I explained they were just trying to get by and maybe eat something at a gas station. I also said I didn't think you're supposed to call people Hobos but if I had to choose between Hobo and Homo, I choose Hobo. A hobo can be a funny little traveling man with a knapsack and a tired look whereas the homo, well, that's not nice.


a little traveling happy hobo
Hmmmm, hobo? 

I told him then that all people with cardboard signs on street corners are homeless. I'm not sure where I obtained that information but why else would you stand on the corner and beg for money? If you are on the side of a road without a cardboard sign and wearing heels, you are something else but I didn't get into that distinction with him then.

I've learned at some point in my adult life that a high percentage of homeless people are actually mentally ill and can't afford to seek out mental health treatment for themselves. This makes me sad. I also heard on an investigative news report that people who stand on the side of road with cardboard signs make more money than people who work full time.This makes me mad. Now my allegiance is torn. I don't know if I feel bad for cardboard signers or if I'm irritated that they might make more money than me.

I have two little girls now, 5 and 7, and they are recognizing the people holding cardboard signs too. I told them once that those are homeless people but then I changed my story and told them those are just people who don't have any money, or pride, and are asking others to give them money for food and other consumable goods. I didn't say the thing about pride. Relax.

That answer is simply not good enough for them. They want to know where those people, who are mostly men, came from, what happened to their houses, and if they are homeless, where did they sleep last night, where did they get those clothes they're wearing if they don't have any money. Why does that man have a dog, how did he get the marker for the sign, is that part of a box? Where did he get that box? . My answer is lengthy and philosophical. I say, "I don't know."

I took this picture yesterday. This young man has a cardboard sign in his right hand that says he is homeless AND a father of two. 5-year-old says, "Where did he get that hat if he's homeless?" 7-year-old says, "He asks for money and people give it to him, ugh, mom can you explain homeless people to her again?" Me: "I have no idea where that man got his hat, how he decided to coordinate it with his shirt, who bought him those jeans or if he really has 2 kids." 

At first I found myself conjecturing about the sign holders by making up stories for my girls about people I don't know. I just made shit up. I said, "Some people lose their homes when they don't have a job and when they don't have a job, they can't afford to stay in their house so they have to move and now they're here." It's all a slippery slope argument but they don't know how to decipher logical fallacies yet. Thank god.

They are voracious questioners though. Their rebuttal: "Where's his family?" "Is he married?" "Does he have kids?" "Does he sleep there?" "How did he buy that backpack?" "Does he shower?"

Me, continuing to make shit up: "Some of them have families but maybe that family can't take in another person because their landlord doesn't allow additional people on the lease. Sometimes people get sick of their kids and won't let them come home because sometimes people aren't nice to each other. Maybe they were married and got divorced and that guys wife got the house and all the money because he wasn't on the loan.  Maybe their parents died of old age or a disease and now they are alone in the world, fuck I don't know." I didn't say fuck.

Homo? no. Hobo? no. Homeless? Who knows. Man with cardboard sign sitting on a backpack on a corner by the gym. 

The man pictured above is holding a sign. I took this picture like a picture sniper. I didn't want to seem voyeuristic. This is the light I sit at every day on my way to the gym. Since my daughter can read and she is beginning to critically think and question society, she asked, "Is that man homeless?" To which I replied, "I do not know the living situation of that man or any man or woman who chooses to hold cardboard signs on the side of the road." That's my official party line for people holding cardboard signs. She read his sign which says, "Every cent counts." She said, "His sign doesn't even make sense, every cent counts? Like one two three four five cents, of course they count. She was disappointed and seemingly disgusted with the man and the word choice of his sign. What she doesn't understand yet is the double meaning words can have, so this was my opportunity to give her a mini lesson in semantics and linguistics which all 7 -year- olds love. I would explain to her that the word 'counts' doesn't mean counting like one two three but , it takes on the meaning of the word matters like every cent matters. She has seen me throw away pennies before so even this explanation wouldn't make sense to her either since every cent, doesn't matter. Sometimes I throw pennies away because they are laying around and I'm more worried about them getting sucked up into the vacuum than I am about making them count. So, I didn't say anything, I just repeated this line, "I do not know the living situation of that man or any man or woman who chooses to hold signs on the side of the road. Look we're at the gym."

The people holding cardboard signs is so common now that I think they are working in teams. My husband saw two men with signs working the corners and as a cop approached they scattered and ran away. This leads me to believe that people holding cardboard signs are not on the up and up and by giving them money out the car window only promotes and condones their behavior.

These people seem very nice and very sad and very humble so there is an element of pity I feel when they are standing next to my car window at an iffy personal space distance. I try to keep singing along to Kelly Clarkson, but part of me is very aware that a sad man with a cardboard sign is standing a hands length away from my window.

Just when I was feeling bad about never giving them money, my husband told me he almost threw down with one of them in a gas station parking lot.

A haggard man approached his window, which is pretty gutzy, since they usually stand around with the sign and don't try to talk to you. My husband said something like, no, I don't have any money or whatever and the man got upset and yelled at him, "You don't have any money and you drive this fancy car???" All accusatory as if working hard is a flaw. That's when my husband said, "You better get the fuck away from me right now."

And I said, "Yay, someone finally thinks you have a fancy car!" He laughed and said, "Shut Up." But, we worked really hard to buy that car and we also have five jobs between the two of us to afford our lives, and we'd hate to have to hit a man with our fancy car for getting out of hand with his begging. Just kidding. We'd never try to hit anyone with it.

I once gave a man on the corner with a cardboard sign a Wendy's chili, I think his sign suggested he wanted food. That was the last time I did that. There are so many men on corners with signs now I can't afford to give them money and pay for our fancy car at the same time. I'm working on ignoring them and slyly locking my doors as I approach the stop light. I still see people giving them money so the cardboard carriers will continue to stand there. People give me money when I go to work so I keep going to work. Same concept.

Homelessness is a social and a community problem. I'm not sure if handing people money out of your car window helps or hinders anything, but watch out if you have a fancy car, you might piss someone off if you don't give them money. You can do what you want because, "I do not know the living situation of that man or any man or woman who chooses to hold cardboard signs on the side of the road."
Same corner as below. Different man. This guy has a dog. And sunglasses. You can see the dog lying next to his backpack. I'm not sure if men with dogs are more endearing than men without dogs or perhaps there is a science to having a cardboard sign. There is a woman just a few blocks from this guy who has a cardboard sign she holds while her 2 children sit next to a light pole. It's very sad. Anyway, my girls want to know where this guy got that dog from. I continue to shake my head. I don't know! Then the other day my 5- year- old asked me a question and I said, "I don't know." The 7-year-old said back to the 5-year-old, "Mom doesn't know anything, right mom?" Great. 

This corner is the intersection I have to turn left at in order to get to my house. There is a different man working this corner about every other day. This guy has a cardboard sign and there seems to be a short story written on it. I didn't read it because I'm afraid that looking towards him in any capacity will cause him to think I'm about to give him money, which I'm not, not because I'm a heartless asshole but because I don't have any money. I have too many fancy cars and I'm tired and broke from working 3 jobs. Anyway, this was yesterday. My girls asked, "Why doesn't he have a dog?" Again, I don't know.
BTW: They don't see my taking pictures of  people with signs, I do that on the sly. I'm a picture sniper.








Friday, January 24, 2014

Being 20


Tyler waiting for me in the ER the year I got a flu shot and still got the flu. I have a little bit of panic disorder and thought I was dying, so he drove me to the ER where it was confirmed that I was not dying. 
I haven't been 20 in quite a while and the further I get from being 20, the more I'm glad I am that I'm not 20.

This weekend I got a call at 1:36 am from my 20 -year- old, much blogged about, son. He was in the emergency room with excruciating abdominal pain. He was working the over night shift at Circle K and was basically freaking out. I'm the only one who answered the phone at that time, including the list of Emergency Numbers the managers of Circle K gave him in case of an actual emergency so I guess that's good to know. Yikes. I got up. Changed. Put on a hat and stayed at the hospital with him, my husband, and my 2 girls until 4:45 am when he was discharged and all the tests came back normal. So basically, we have no answers. I knew just as much going in and I knew going out. I have a feeling there's something he knows that I don't know but whatever.

I wasn't mad or annoyed as someone asked me later if I was. I don't know why I would even be mad unless I've been so mad at him before that I just don't get mad anymore. Doing that kind of shit for him is just normal to me now. I was worried at first when I heard his frantic voice on the phone. I thought he had been in an accident, but after I found out he was generally just scared,  I was more tired, maybe bewildered, and tired and bewildered for the entire next day too but not mad. I did think about how much money it was going to cost me being as how I'd graciously offered to pay for his medical expenses while he was floundering around trying to figure out his life. Being Tyler's mom has calmed me down to the point where I rarely react with frustration as I might have used to.

This time in his life now, this decade of the 20s, is a shit show. High school was the shit preview, your 20s is the shit show. Full screen, HD, Surround Sound. It's a period of self-doubt, anxiety, desperation, excess and, sometimes just good ole sheer panic and possibly a couple run ins with death.  I'm going to lessen his decade of panic by paying for a few things so he doesn't have to panic AND pay.

I had to pay for every damn thing myself which is why I'm so bitter and mean now. It would have been nice if someone would have stepped in to take care of a thing or two for me but nope. None of that. Fuckers.

Anyway, It's important to have a safety net in your life, a plan B. There should always be a person, whether family or friend, who will let you sleep on their couch and answer the phone when you call late at night having a panic attack about life. Somewhere between me being a hot mess for 10 years in my 20s and now, I've become someones back up plan and I should be as a parent. Even if I've previously wanted to push you down the stairs, thought about moving away in the middle of the night and not telling you where I went, I will still answer the phone at 1:36 am and sit with you in the hospital. Because I needed a plan B when I was 20 and I didn't have one. So, even if I'm inconvenienced and tired, it makes me feel good that my child has one less thing to worry about.

Somewhere in the chaos of my life, my role changed. I used to be this frazzled single parent on a Lexapro and beer diet. Through love and loss and a few cups thrown at a few peoples heads, I've become trustworthy and stable. You can count on me.

Tyler, like me, has anxiety, and if there was such a thing as double anxiety or anxiety to the nth degree, we have it. When Tyler was in the hospital bed he was all a flurry with thoughts of getting fired. He had to leave the store unattended and be rushed to the ER. I calmly told him that most people are good, most people are compassionate, and that I'm sure whomever the manager is will understand what an emergency is. Then I told him a story because now I have stories to tell that tie to life lessons, ugh. But I told him the story of being 25 and in the hospital bed after being in ICU with a heart problem for 5 days. I was panic stricken I'd be dropped from my full time load of summer classes the semester I was to graduate with an Associates Degree. I called all my professors from that hospital bed and one by one they all told me to get well, get the notes when you come back, don't worry, take care of yourself. Because most people are good.

Most people will care. I tell my girls now when they fight that we are here to lift each other up, empower each other to be better, to be calmer, to be peaceful. Yeah, someones going to be an asshole. Someones going to screw you over, take your money, and steal your shit. Someones also going to make life more difficult for you. But those aren't the people we focus on. We focus on being and becoming people who answer the phone in the early morning, who say, don't worry, be well, who want just one person to worry less, panic less, cry less. We seek these people but before we find them, we need to be them.

The decade of 20 is a long one. It's wrought with assholes and bad relationships, but one day, around 29 1/2, when hard work and panic attacks turn into wisdom and maturity, we become what we needed other people to be all along. We find ourselves. We stop dwelling on the victim we perceive we are and extend ourselves to others in ways that would have made us too vulnerable before. We stop wanting others to be a certain way, we stop wishing people would change. Instead, we change. We make the change in ourselves one year at a time waiting for someone to see us, but what we are looking for isn't someone else, it's us. The recognition of self doesn't come without struggle and vulnerability. Many people can't or aren't willing to get there and many become trapped in substance abuse to hide from themselves. If you want to be better, you will be.

Somewhere around sobriety and honesty, I became a dependable person. As I drove away from the hospital knowing the bill would come to me, I smiled through tired recognition that I'd become the person I wanted to be. I don't want him to be different or the situation to change. I wasn't frustrated or angry. I just was. I was there. Sometimes that's all we need someone to be, is there.




Add caption

Friday, December 27, 2013

Dollhouse Construction and Texting Fuckery

Christmas Texting

9:52am
I'm in the process of putting together this ridiculous doll house. I've dropped more f bombs by 10am than one person really should!!!!



Son of a bitch!!! Step 3 of 15! Flipping my shit over here. Van also just spilled my coffee everywhere and is throwing his damn Legos cuz he says he needs me to help him put those fuckers together!! Save me! Aughhhh!!!

3:57pm




I'm going to lose my shit. I poured the entire thing out, I can't even stand to look at this. 


Scott has a lot of dried blueberries to eat. Why does this enrage me.



Sunday, October 20, 2013

When People Don't Like Me

I haven't written in my blog for a few months, so as I sit down to write there are many topics to choose from. I actually began two other posts but decided they were stupid and stopped writing. I'll just recap those things here instead:

1.) My cat started biting out her fur in giant clumps. She pulls so much of her fur out that sometimes when I look outside in the chair she sits in, I think there is another cat with her.

2.) Every single person who lives in my house is allergic to cat hair.

3.) I spoke at a women's conference last week. I was terrified and exhilarated, but the point is I did it. I conquered my anxiety. I am still awesome.

4.) I sat through the strangest parent- teacher conference ever. I wish I could detail the level of hilarity it took on, but if I tell you, I'd have to kill you.

5.) For the second year in a row I rode in the Tour de Scottsdale 30 mile bike race with one of my best friends, then the next day I went biking again, hiked, and finished with a weight class at the gym.

6.) My back hurts.

7.) And finally, someone overheard a person say she didn't personally like me.

Hold on. What? WHY?

That's what I asked when this person told me that she was sitting in a meeting with other colleagues of mine and someone told the entire group she didn't personally like me. In the words of Stephanie Tanner from Full House which I've been watching way too much of......how rude.

I was all wide-eyed for a second and then I realized this: Who F&kin Cares.

That's right! Who F$#kin Cares. I can actually name like 10 reasons that person might hate me right off the top of my head. There are some legit reasons someone might not like me. So, whatever.

The person then asked me, "Does this hurt your feelings? I was worried it would make you feel bad."

I thought about it for a second and after the initial jolt, I can finally say: I don't give a shit. After all those years of lying about it, I can honestly say, at age 39 that I really don't care if you don't like me. I wanted to skip around and high five people because it felt like such a moment of clarity in my life. I don't care what you think. For real. I'm not even going to plot revenge against you like I usually would. I feel grown up. Evolved.  It's so liberating and wonderful. Woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo




Even two years ago if I heard someone didn't like me I would have been very hurt and possibly felt rejected. I might have avoided that person or tried to act differently to get them to like me. Not anymore, baby. Some people are just not going to like you. So what.

For some reason women think they have to be likable to everyone. But I can tell you now, I'm not for everyone. I'm a little loud, a lot opinionated, and sometimes outrageous. I kind of like those things about myself, but I can see how someone else would hate it. And I don't care. I'm not even going to tell you to Fck off because that would imply emotion and I super duper don't mind if you personally dislike me. I'm okay with it. I'll even shake your hand.

My entire presentation at that women's conference was about moving past assumptions that hold us back, mostly, what we perceive others think of us. We take those qualities we think people might hate about us and we suppress or change them to make other people like us more. Well, to hell with those people because the only way you will be able to create your most authentic version of yourself, is by being yourself. When you unabashedly take the risk to unravel yourself in front of others, there is a letting go that happens. You'll attract people you want in your life and the people you don't want won't like you anyway!

Now, I'm going to brush my second cat off my patio chair.

 





Monday, June 24, 2013

The Ego of Parenting: Sometimes Yelling Works

This blog post was chosen as a Featured Member Post on Blogher.com. Woooo

The Ego of Parenting


Friday, June 14, 2013

Kiosk People

I don't know when the middle part of the mall became a foreign market place. When I walk through the mall I"m forced to pretend that kiosk people don't exist. I dodge in and out of huts like I'm navigating a maze. I look down, to the side, up, but never directly at them. Eye contact with kiosk people means a 20 minutes demonstration about their silly eye brow thread or  lotion  made of sea lion blubber or smokeless tobacco. There is an area in the local mall here that is like the skid row of kiosks. Between Sears and JCPenneys is the worst stretch of mall I've seen. Kiosks spaced 2 or 3 feet apart. It's a constant barrage of people waving you over or trying to put lotion on your hand.

These people are making money, doing their jobs, but they are so annoying that I have to mentally prepare myself to weave in and out of their Tijuanaesque set ups to get to Victoria's Secret for my free underwear. I do not want my shoes shined, I don't want a plastic hello kitty case for my phone, I don't want feather clips for my hair and I really really don't want to talk to you. These people and their products are the plague of the mall. They are predators waiting for that one person to make eye contact and then they pounce.

Today I was just meeting my husband at the mall to pick up our kids. I saw Mr. Kiosk Man standing with his tiny sample of sea salt magic hand cream and I purposefully changed my path to avoid him. He must have seen my maneuver and popped up right in front of me and said in his thick exotic accent, "Come one, I'm harmless." I just looked down and said, no thanks, no thanks but my heart was racing and before I knew it the eye brow threading lady was asking me to sit in her chair, again, I rejected her, no thanks no thanks, then it was smokeless tobacco man, no thanks no thanks. Once I pass them I feel a sense of relief and accomplishment but also a sweeping layer of guilt.

What the shit is up with these people? Do they go through training on how to hassle people with their wares? The rejection they must face on a daily basis would wear me down. I'd go home and cry every night if I was rejected so many times by total strangers. When people run by you with their heads down and risk running into posts, you know your job sucks. You are the least liked people in the mall.

Many years ago though I was being polite, which I decided never to be again, and was sucked into a kiosk area where a beautiful, Brazilian islander vixen with a rolling accent asked me if I wanted some lotion. Like a moth to a flame I scooted up to her booth. She put a dollop of creamy white lotion on my hand and started to talk and moisturize my hand at the same time. I would have given all the money I had for her. She was mesmerizing and my hand felt the best a hand can ever feel. I never wanted her to stop talking to me and I didn't even care it was about lotion, I was hooked by her wiles. I bought 2 of whatever living dead salt of the life of the ocean lotion she was selling with all the money I had in my pocket, which was 20 bucks.

This is it. That is the lady who sold me lotion. 



But from then on the kiosk people have multiplied. I can only conjecture they have small wooden huts in the middle of the mall so they don't have to pay rent in an actual store. Who are their kiosk pimps? There has to be a ring leader kiosk mall master mind who thought of putting pseudo stores in the middle of the mall to guilt people into stopping. Our parents and teachers and ministers have taught us all to be nice so my initial thought of telling them to fuck off goes against my upbringing. I can't be that mean to strangers unless they cut me off in traffic first.

Kiosk people are preying upon people's societal politeness. They are taking advantage of people by guilting them into looking at useless products in the middle of the mall when all we are trying to do is avoid eye contact with other humans and dodge people in our way. The kiosk people are getting more aggressive. If you Google Kiosk People you will others who are equally as baffled. This is a real social issue.  It's our basic human right to walk through the mall unaccosted.  Soon there will be a movement against them, an uprising, a revolution against the kioskers. Leave us alone, we'll shout! Americans can only be nice for so long and in Arizona in the summer the mall is supposed to be a refuge. If we all wanted to feel guilty we would go to church. We want you, kioskers, to stay on your stool. When I see you get up, I walk faster, my heart beats quicker and my eye contact shoots from side to side but not in your direction. So stop it. Fuck. Just Stop.

Links to the beginnings of a revolution: All over the country, people are getting ready to overthrow you. I tried to google, "people running into a pole to avoid kiosk people" but nothing came up. I'm going to have to create this image myself.

How are any of these images remotely related to pole running into? Geez Google. 


Out of Control! http://blog.timesunion.com/kristi/those-mall-kiosk-sales-people-are-out-of-control/33279/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/KIOSK-PEOPLE-WE-DO-NOT-WANT-TO-BUY-YOUR-STUFF-IF-WE-DO-WE-WILL-/214974461697

http://www.yelp.com/topic/chicago-annoying-mall-kiosk-people

A VIDEO! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLpzQLkgBwk



Happy 20th Birthday

Today is my son's 20th birthday. I can't tell him on Facebook though because he has once again deleted me. Even though he deleted me, I want him to know, that I am right. 
If you want to be right, you can move out and be right in your own apartment. So for the time being, I get to be right and for all the following reasons: 
1.) I said so
2.) I had you when I was 18 which makes me wise as I am the epitome of the phrase, initiation by fire. 
3.) When you were born there was no Internet, therefore, you are lucky to be alive. 
4.) I watch everything you do in wonderment and awe. It used to be because it was cute, now it's because I can't fuckin believe it. 
5.) When you were born I made 6$ an hour sorting office paper for a finance company that loaned money to people who sucked so bad at driving they had to finance their auto insurance. 
6.) I never gave up on myself and you shouldn't give up on yourself either. I showed you that.  
7.) I took you to college with me to show you how to persevere. 
8.) I took you to my college graduations to show you success, drive, motivation, and progress.
9.) I fought with you and for you all the through high school until graduation. 
10.) I showed you how to fight for yourself. 
11.) I keep on fixing the stupid shit you do. 
12.) without complaining. 
13.) Through my own mistakes, I paved the way for your success. 
14.) You now have the examples, the fire, the fight, and the finesse to navigate your own life. 
15.) I will always be plan B. 
Happy Birthday.

One day you might be right, but probably not soon

June 14th

My son will be 20 on Friday. When I was his age, I had a 2 -year -old child, no internet, no outlet plug covers, and I've been letting him sit in the front seat, well, since he was 2. He's lucky to be alive. I've written a lot about my struggles with him, sometimes much to his dismay. Our relationship has been rocky and tumultuous at times. 
When he was born, I adored him as any mother would adore a newborn child. When I heard him cry in the night I rushed to pick him up and rock him for hours. He was a sweet baby. I took a million pictures of him and had stacks of scrapbooks and baby books documenting his every move. My husband at the time said I loved him too much and that probably God would take him away from me. Yeah, he was an asshole. But I loved that little boy and I still do. 
However, somewhere along the way his little personality grew. He grew intense and sometimes hostile. We moved to Florida when he was four, leaving behind his drug addicted father. I sold everything I owned, bought a booster seat and drove across the country to start my life over and save myself and my son. 
Sometimes though the best intentions often have negative consequences and immediately upon moving he started having trouble in day care. He was afraid to have me leave my side and was constantly defying anyone in authority, even at age 4. Kindergarten was our worst year. The first day of school I went to pick him up, all the kids were sitting in a circle listening to the teacher read a book. My son was crawling on his hands and knees in the middle of the circle. By the third grade I had picked him up for fighting, for kicking, for failing, for refusing to sit, stand, or do anything any adult wanted him to do. In the 5th grade he got in trouble for breaking another student's calculator and when questioned why, why he did that, he told the teacher, the school psychologist and the principal that I was beating him up at home; making him mow the lawn with his hands, and making him run behind the car as punishment. I was in my first year teaching. I got called out of my classroom into a meeting with 6 people including the state psychologist to answer to the allegations that I was beating and abusing my son. I was mortified and instantly broke into uncontrollable sobs that either made me look guilty or extremely unstable. Child protective services were called. My friends and boyfriend were interviewed and an investigation was launched. I thought my career was over before it has really begun. 
By then his father was sober. Within a week my son was on a plane moving to Arizona. I was free. 
However, when he got to Arizona he realized that I, perhaps, was not so bad after all and that he had over glamorized the idea of a father. Whatever his motive was for 'turning me in' for abuse had backfired on him. He had been duped by his own treachery. At some point he was put on anti-osmotic medication as he'd killed his step-brother's tiny rat pet as retaliation for not being allowed to play outside. He was held back a grade and had to repeat the 5th grade. 
I moved back from Florida to Arizona, alone, to do whatever I could to help him. Seven months later his father was back on meth and my son was living with me again full time. In the 6th grade he was expelled for telling a group of teasing girls that he was going home that night, getting his dad's gun, and coming back to kill them. He was placed in special education services for ED or emotionally disabled students. 
Of course I blamed absolutely everything that was wrong with him on me. I thought I didn't rock him enough, hug him enough, I just thought I wasn't enough. It was breaking me down and by the time he was 16 and I was 35, I was a full blown alcoholic. His junior year at the high school I teach at, he attempted suicide. By 19 he has attempted 4 more times. What we know now is that somewhere along the way he developed or was born with a personality or mood disorder. Much of the way I deal with him and deal with my own guilt or responsibility is by writing about it, talking about it, and understanding certain truths about me and him. 
1.) I didn't create his mood disorder. However it is that he internalizes problems or copes with life is something he developed on his own. I never beat him or punched him or neglected him. He was everything to me and he wanted to remain everything to me. Part of my ex-husband's stupid ass statement was right. I loved him into co-dependence and some of his negative behavior was to keep me near to him, even in a negative capacity. This is what he told me after I kicked him out of the house at age 18. 
2.) I have to save myself and my current family. I have remarried and had 2 more children. I have a responsibility to protect them and that means setting boundaries that often make my son angry or hostile and accusatory towards me. 
3.) I must not take his personal verbal attacks personally. This one was really difficult because when someone comes at you with a vitriol of insults a natural defense is to well, defend yourself. At one point, in the most recent verbal explosion, I told him straight forward, "I will never, ever agree with you and I do not care what you say about me or to me." It took me 20 years to really stand my ground. 
4.) I love him. He loves me. 
He is my boy. He is my child. And although he makes terrible decisions, seems ungrateful, and makes me question my sanity, I will be, and sometimes I'm the only one, standing by his side. Even when his anger, disappointment, and sadness all lash out in my direction, I know it isn't about me. It's about him. I have to watch my boy child grow into a man. This task is often difficult for someone who does not have a personality disorder. And sometimes watching him fall, letting him fall, breaks my heart. He needs to learn to live without my constant assistance. I've had to learn to let go of him with the full knowledge that he may not be able to make it on his own and that part of him may self-sabotage himself in order to keep me in immediate stand by. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Demons of Addiction

June 8th marks four years of sobriety for me. Four years really isn't a long time in the scheme of life, but what transpired in these last four years changed who I am. I didn't quit drinking because I hit rock bottom or got a DUI or had an intervention; I wanted to quit. I was tired of fighting the battle in my head every day and losing. I was worn down; it had control of me, mentally. I needed to start my life and start living. I was in a perpetual hell, waiting for the strength to get out. I knew myself well enough to know that I was better and stronger than the alcohol. But, I was so mentally addicted to it; it took me 12 years to finally quit. I was done being beaten.

People are faced with many types and degrees of demons that control their lives. We all have an obstacle that causes harm to our soul. And if you have this, this obsession, whether it's with food, alcohol, gambling, weed, sex, bad relationships or just fear, you know that it can seize your life in ways that will hold you back from being the person you know you can be. Getting trapped in an addiction is hard work. It takes effort to feed the demon that you know is destroying your happiness and that can potentially end your life. It's a struggle with your mind and body to either partake or abstain from the activity that we are so forcefully drawn to it's as if we have no choice but to do it. For me it became a fun, fascinating game, a challenge, I played with my life. I walked a balance so thin that one step, one error in judgment could have ended in personal tragedy. I lived a normal life within the parameters of what people expected. I held my life together well on the outside but inside I was fighting a battle with myself. I wasn't being me; I was just going through the motions. I looked successful, but I was deeply unhappy with myself. I thought I was unacceptable and irreversibly flawed. I basked in my own self-loathing, yet I found a comfort in it so reassuring I couldn't let it go. I wasn't authentic. I was constantly hiding from hurt and pain of the past which I let define my life.
I was existing but not really living. I tried to fly under the radar so I could be who I really was when I got home. An alcoholic.  The only time I could feel normal was when I was with my best friend, alcohol. And if you happened to be with me while I was drinking, fine, but I would have just as well been alone. And if you walked away for long enough, I would drink yours too. When that tiny click of liquid relief hit my blood stream, all I needed was ...more, and I felt at peace. Being drunk was something I did for myself. I was rewarding my mind and body for putting up with life. I deserved it and I basked in it.  There is a deep dysfunctional comfort in giving into the addiction.

“If you live in the dark a long time and the sun comes out, you do not cross into it whistling. There's an initial uprush of relief at first, then-for me, anyway- a profound dislocation. My old assumptions about how the world works are buried, yet my new ones aren't yet operational. There's been a death of sorts, but without a few days in hell, no resurrection is possible.” 

When I stopped drinking I grieved like I had lost a loved one. The sense of loss was so profound, so unexpected and often so unbearable I'd go right back to drinking a few days or a month later. I felt I lost something important to me and I was gravely sad for myself. My brain and my body missed it; they told me in unison I needed it to survive. My mind told me it wasn't worth it to stop. My body wouldn't let me sleep. I longed for a drink like I was missing an old friend or lover. I spent so much time thinking about drinking, finding more to drink, hiding it, and recovering from it, that I wasn't sure how I would spend my days without it in my life. The fear of living without that companion was worth the hatred I felt for myself in the morning. Alcohol for me was an abusive boyfriend who punches you in the face but holds you close at night telling you that you're beautiful. My emotional attachment to alcohol was far more intense than I had ever imagined and letting go of it was feeling a part of myself die.

Every one's journey through addiction is different but there is a commonality that connects us all. When I went to meetings I was no better than anyone else regardless of success, degrees, career, or socio economic status. We are intertwined. We are the same. I heard myself in their stories, I understood people I had never met before. 

The desire to change my life well mostly my thinking about life eventually led me to begin the journey towards sobriety. That meant humbling myself in front of my family, my friends, myself, and even strangers and admitting I am powerless and I need help. There is no way to fight that battle alone. I found the fighter in me. I found the pain from my past was a fire that could destroy me or build me back up. So, I fought. I fought with and against my weak mind, I fought with my body, I fought the overwhelming desire to drink, a desire so strong I thought I might crawl out of my skin.
“The real struggle is about you: you, a person who has to learn to live in the real world, to inhabit her own skin, to know her own heart, to stop waiting for life to begin.” 

I had to learn who I was without alcohol because addiction hides you. So if you've seen me in the last four years, I've been busy learning who I am. I had to set boundaries in relationships, I had to find out who my friends really were, I had to learn to cope with problems without running to the liquor store, I had to learn what I stand for, learn what I was good at, learn my limits and learn to set  limits with others. Here are some things that changed when I changed.

1.) Relationships: I lost some. I became honest with myself and others. I said honest things out loud and in emails. People don't like that. So I lost people, important people. However, my other relationships, some old and some new, have become so fulfilling I can't believe I spent so much time alone drinking when there were all these amazing people to hang out with. I didn't set out to improve my friendships; it was a side effect of sobriety. The love and admiration I have for the people in my life fills me up, it makes it okay if I don't always get what I want or if I fail at something. They inspire me, encourage me, and appreciate who I am because now I finally know who I am. I was so locked inside my addiction the only person I could ever see was me.

2.) Setting boundaries with people: I have people in my life who can or used to engage me in excessive emotional arguments where I would ramble on and on about shit while crying and then barely remember the next day anything that I said, I just knew I was drained. These types of people are exhausting to know, but I had also taught them, through my participation, that it was okay to treat me this way. I used to let people reel me into drama that was fueled by alcohol and my own emotional immaturity. When I stopped talking back, texting back or getting upset, those people got really pissed off and accused me of being mean, narcissistic, and selfish. There was some ugly backlash when I took a step back and stopped participating in emotional manipulation.

3.) Sleeping: I couldn't sleep anymore. For twelve years falling asleep was drinking enough until I passed out. At first, I would panic at night in fear that I wouldn't be able to ever sleep again. Alcohol was the only way to shut off my brain. Until I found over the counter sleep aids. Sometimes though I dream about drinking. The disease plays in my subconscious because it's still a part of me... It's a kind of haunting that reminds me I am a product of all my experiences, my past is always nearby, and being an alcoholic isn't something I was...it's something I am. 

4.) Loving myself: People don't like this either as it can seem arrogant to others who have previously known me as a drunken, crying, self-loathing, bloated person who has the potential to fall down. Loving oneself is not arrogance, it's confidence. With sobriety I found a bold sense of peace.  I found a pride I didn't know I had. I found a sense of belonging in and to my own life. I broke through the perception of what I thought I was supposed to be. I started to become unashamed of well, everything I thought I lacked. I've learned who I am, what I can handle, and what I'll allow.

5.) Fear: Breaking through something that holds you captive is like conquering your greatest fear. It's jumping out of an airplane or winning an award over and over again. It's exhilarating every day. When you take a leap that changes your life, there is a euphoria that follows the hell you went through to get there. I tried to describe being sober to someone as a person who is saved by finding Jesus. These newly saved people are highly annoying and ridiculously happy. That's what I'm like but without the Bible or Jesus. I am so happy that I'm annoying and there will always be people who try to undermine my progress or remind me of who I used to be or what I used to do. I ignore those people. 
6.) Running into things and falling down: I can say that I have not fallen down in 4 years. I haven’t run into the bathroom door with my face. The mystery bruises I had all over my body are gone as is the puffiness I carried in my face. I'm brighter. 
7.) Talking on the phone: Drunk people like to talk on the phone. I had the best ideas and epiphanies when I was intoxicated. I don’t really talk on the phone much anymore, it’s lost its appeal. The vitriol of brilliant ideas is gone so really, what’s the point.
8.) Eating a lot of nachos late at night until I am wearing it: I don’t do this anymore.
9.) Smoking.  I also smoked when I drank. I craved cigarettes so badly I would have eaten them whole if it helped get the nicotine into my body faster.
10.) Crying and throwing up: I put these 2 in the same number because crying was usually followed by throwing up.  
11.) Remembering what I watched on TV: I can’t remember anything I saw on TV for 12 years. I had to watch all the episodes of Friends as if I’d never seen them. That was fun.
Now, I look forward to, well, everything, being alive and being the person I was always afraid to be. Sometimes I have bad days; sometimes I struggle with life and relationships. I'm still learning to navigate this sober life I have with sober feelings and sober reactions. 
With sobriety, everything, absolutely everything got better in my life. I lost the people I needed to lose. I gained a sense of self that seeps into every area of my life. I had to wade through the shit in my head for my life to be different. I'm not a victim of my fears and insecurities and I don't handle them by self-medicating. I might seem arrogant. I might seem narcissistic or selfish, but I'm not. I'm happy with who I am and I'm happy for what I had to go through to get here. The fight isn't over; I'm always going to carry this weight of addiction. But, I'm confident and self-reflective and I know I can fight the demons of my past now with clarity and grace.

“Trying to describe the process of becoming an alcoholic is like trying to describe air. It's too big and mysterious and pervasive to be defined. Alcohol is everywhere in your life, omnipresent, and you're both aware and unaware of it almost all the time, all you know is you'd die without it, and there is no simple reason why this happens, no single moment, no physiological event that pushes a heavy drinker across a concrete line into alcoholism. It's a slow, gradual, insidious, elusive becoming.” 



This is me 3 months before, so march 09' all
bloated and stupid






This is 2013, I'm on the right 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

How to Deal

My son has BPD which is borderline personality disorder. However, he doesn't believe he has this and gets terribly upset when I say he does, which is a sign of having BPD. I suppose if anyone accuses you of having a personality disorder though, anger and denial may be your first reaction. For almost 20 years I've been dealing with a person who has a myriad of emotions or non emotions which leave me a teensy bit insane. I wrote a blog a few years ago about raising teenagers and how it can equate to having or developing PTSD. Some angry person, possibly with a mood disorder themselves, responded that I was minimizing the war veterans real problems with PTSD. I deleted that comment because it's my blog and I do what I want. But, it made me think. I decided I thought they were wrong and I was right and moved forward.

Recently though I bought a book about living with someone with  BPD. Guess what it said? Those people, I'll call us victims, develop PTSD. I'm right again. I love that.

Now that I have a book that validates how confused, bewildered, angry, and sad I've been on and off for almost 20 years, I can finally  start to understand my own reactions to his reactions.

Much of my reaction has been ignoring his reactions because reacting to every dumb ass thing he does would ruin my quality of life. I ignore people who bother me, harass me, are mean to me, or are making a lot of undue noise. Until I snap. Then I freak out and tell you exactly what it is I have been meaning to say all along and it's quite ugly. I can be not so nice about it. Here is an example of things that make me want to freak out. I've think I've said before that I have been known to throw things at people with the intention of hitting them. I have toned that impulse down to a quiet, seething hostility. I decided long ago that if I freaked out about everything he did that made me want to freak out, I would be freaking out all day long, every day.

Scenario A:

1.) When you hit my car backing out of the garage and don't tell me.
This makes me angry.
2.) When I ask you about it you say, "It just looked like some paint."
This makes me angry
3.) When you never apologize for any of it.
This makes me angry

I'll call this scenario "I hit two of your cars and never told you, geez, get over it"

Scott and I have spent the last several years going over this situation in our heads. Both of our cars have dents. Dents. Not paint marks but noticeable dents in our cars. The person who did it thinks we are both bat shit crazy and need to stop being so negative. That's what he says. I choose to ignore the obvious flaws in his logic and move on. I made my peace with the dents, but I've added it to my quiet seething.


Quit being such a materialistic cry baby about the dent in your car. It's just paint. 

Scenario B:

1.) When you let a 15 -year- old with no driver's license 'get gas' for you in a car that is not yours but one we've given to you to drive to and from work and school.
2.) When that 15- year- old does a beer run at Safeway and uses the car that says ROMO on the license plate as his getaway car and the whole thing is caught on surveillance video.
3.) When you go pick up your son's friend (before you know about the beer run) from the Walgreen's where the 15 -year- old has been arrested for trespassing and find out your car has been used in a crime.
4.) When you're told to 'quit living in the past' when you confront the son who gave the car to the kid to drive and 'get gas' and tell him he cannot use the car anymore. Good lord you crazy old bat, that was a week ago!

I'll call this scenario: "I thought he was just getting gas, get over it, you're so negative, stop living in the past."

These 2 scenarios are just a taste of what I've been dealing with for about 20 years so the art of ignoring shit that makes no sense and leaves me utterly bereft, forlorn, and chain smoking, has become the norm. And when crazy is your norm, well, you start to doubt your own reality.



Since I've been on the mood disorder train for a while now, I've become a wonderful ignorer. I know that's not a word but I do what I want. I've ignored the whirlwind of anger that has punched holes in my walls, wrecked my cars, left doors open and unlocked to let in serial killers, yelled at strangers in parking lots, come home drunk, and then blamed all the fallout, consequences, and reasons he did those things...on me.

Living with someone with BPD has toughened me up. I can take a lot of shit, but then suddenly I can't and no one really knows when I'll snap.

I deal with people, mostly, in a very special way. I call it, Ignoring your stupid bullshit  in hopes you'll go away and take your problems with you method. Sometimes it works and people go away pretty quickly and other times I get vindictive and I don't like when my mind races with revenge.

I can ignore many of the dumb shit other people do around me, but one day I'm going to start plotting against you or tell you off. It's just my natural defense now. It's how I work. I have PTSD in response to someone elses BPD. I'm trying to recognize that my pattern is to ignore, then freak out, then ignore, then freak out. I have to remember that not everyone has BPD and that perhaps I should talk to people who bother me immediately to clear the air, but I need to relearn how to talk to people who don't have mood disorders. However, when you've lived for many years with someone telling you that you overreact, are crazy, mean, wrong, and living in the past even though the past happens 2 days ago it tends to make you leery of your own emotions and afraid to react to them. I'm left second guessing what I feel or do when the person I'm dealing with deflects everything back on to me and makes it all my fault.

Since I'm used to being manipulated and lied to, I've developed a keen perception  when people are full of shit. I've been surrounded by a game player for half my life. I've learned to nod and agree while the dialogue in my head sings the song of bullshit.

A friend of mine always reminds me that I continually give people the benefit of the doubt hoping that maybe that person has a mental disorder and they need more care and compassion.  But I can see your bullshit. And when I see it, I ignore it until I can't ignore it anymore. I haven't learned to tolerate corruption as well as I'd like.  I can tell when you're trying to appear more important than you are. I can tell when you're trying to make others feel less important. I can tell when you're trying to convince me of something that I know is false or stupid. And, just because you can screw someone over doesn't mean you should. When you are given the opportunity to do good, you shouldn't take most of the good for yourself and give only the good that's convenient for you to others and then act like you are altruistic. Cuz, you're not. I can ignore this for a long time. Mostly because I don't care that much as I've got a master game playing manipulator living at my house, 3 jobs, 3 kids, and a cat. I just don't have time to get worked up about all the shit that annoys me.

I very often get hung up on stupid shit  though even when I don't want to. I teach people writing and in writing I teach people ideas. I tell them they cannot merely have an opinion, they must express that opinion through action via communication be it verbal or written. With knowledge comes great responsibility. When something feels wrong, fight for what is right. Even if you lose, it's worth the fight. Silence is often the permission for corruption to continue.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)


Your life won't change until and unless you change it. You have to freak out and fight for yourself  because a lot of people don't have the strength or knowledge or passion to fight for you. Sometimes you're the voice of people who are afraid to make waves. Like dealing with someone with BPD, you need to carefully plan your responses so when you do freak out, it's over something that's worth it. Believe me, you are always worth it.



You can be stronger than how weak you feel




Life Will...

"Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won't either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could." Louise Erdrich, from "The Painted Drum