Conscious

I don’t want to sleep.

The depression & anxiety have gotten worse, & my brain keeps trying convince me that I’ll “not wake up”, if I fall asleep.

I have to force myself most nights to lay down, put on a eye mask (so I can’t look around), & pass into unconsciousness.

And then, there are the nightmares

I

Just

Need

Sleep

Entropy

~things fall apart ~ the center does not hold~

I can feel the edges crumbling, the particles of my balance slipping into the cracks at my feet.

Everything hurts, & I can’t afford anymore doctor bills.

My RA is flaring in places it hasn’t been before. Or maybe it’s not RA, but the beginnings of fibromyalgia, the same as my mother has, mingling it’s chaos with the rheumatoid I already know, and that has been diagnosed.

*sigh*

Who the fuck knows.

And, since I can’t afford more medical expenses, I can’t get anyone to believe me.

Fuck invisible illnesses.

The anxiety & depression are only worsening, as my chronic pain settles even further into my system, denying me rest, denying me decent sleep.

All of which, are causing migraines, as the stress of it all builds.

It’s spiraling, & I can’t ask for help.

I’ve tried explaining, tried telling family that things are sliding Sideways.

But, it’s just not a priority.

They don’t hear me.

They don’t understand, that the smaller pieces I’m telling them, are tests.

And no, fuck, it’s not fair to test my loved ones, but in the state my brain is right now, I can’t bring myself to let it all go.

Because, if they don’t hear the little pieces… The times I continually say “It’s really hard trying to do this on my own”…

If I keep getting blown off…

Why say any more?

It doesn’t make a difference.

There is no help out there.

I have to do it all.

And I’m alone.

I’m always alone.

In the end…

Entropy always wins.

Time to go

I’ve been a bit salty for the last few days.

(In reality, I’ve been dealing with a deep cycle of depression, which makes me more easily irritated…my bullshitometer is redlined)

I’ve known for a while that there’s some resentment in my office over the allergy restrictions I have. People can’t openly eat some of the things they like at their desks, nor can they wear their favorite perfumey stuff.

I get it.

I’m the wet blanket on their fireworks.

I don’t go to many of the company parties for a couple of reasons.

1. I’m an introvert who is uncomfortable in crowds. I don’t really enjoy the large get-togethers, & end up exhausted after even a few minutes.

2. I hate going to functions alone. This goes back to my introversion. If I have someone with me, I have a buffer.

3. Allergy restrictions. I never know what’s being served, & whether I’ll have a reaction. Better to stay away & avoid the pain.

I overheard a coworker talking about my allergies this morning, specifically saying my name in relation to the subject at hand.

But, this post isn’t about my allergies, really.

And, when coworkers have surgeries, grandbabies, deaths in the family, or other major life events, there is usually a card, gift basket, or something else gathered by the staff, to commemorate or commiserate the event.

None of the major events I’ve been through have been represented this way. 2 family members dying within weeks of each other, a major surgery, my best friend dying, 3 grand baby births… All ignored.

(Don’t get me twisted, I don’t begrudge anyone else what they’ve received)

And, to me, it’s not about the stuff.

It’s about the lack of consideration.

The coworkers don’t see me.

And, yes, some of this is probably because I don’t participate in the reindeer games.

I do, though, always sign the cards, & donate to the gifts.

I participate from the sidelines, & normally offer my assistance, if wanted, in person & quietly.

I know I’m appreciated by the company as an employee, but I’m not seen as a person, with valid feelings.

At least, this is what I’ve been shown.

But, all of this is to say…

I understand now.

It’s time for me to go.

If I’m neither seen, nor considered,

It’s time to leave & find a place where I am appreciated.

They’ll never even notice I’m not there.

Words, Sounds, and the Beat Drops

I emote a lot through music. It’s just one of the ways I can gauge my own emotional capacity & wellness.

Basically, what I’m currently listening to, is a pretty good weather-vane into my mindset & mental health.

(And yes, I’m always looking for new music, everywhere I look) A lot of what I find, I will either grab off my Amazon Prime Music, & put it in my playlist for work, for working out, for Roadies. Or if someone tells me about a song & I can’t find it on Amazon Music, I’ll go look for it on YouTube, to see if there’s a video. (There is almost always a video)

Here’s my latest favorite play list:

The Vengeful One – by Disturbed. I’d love to hear someone make a delicate, soft, feminine remake of this. It’d be creepy as hell, & make a great soundtrack for a vicious heroine/villainness.

Therefore I am – by Billie Eilish. This gal has such a grand presence with her soft, whiskey voice. It’s hard to sing along to, sometimes, because I want to sing at volume, but that’s all wrong for this one.

Lemons – by Brye. This gal’s song I first heard a snippet of on TikTok, & fell in love with the lyrics. I finally found a Demo version of it on Amazon Music, & had to buy it to keep. I know the whole song by heart, & funny enough, it’s my notification sound on my phone.

Jekyll & Hyde – by Five Finger Death Punch. I want to be Jekyll, but I’m always fuckin’ Hyde… as the song says. Both live in my head, along with all the other varied sides of my Gemini personality. Jekyll can be logical, but pretty cold, too. Hyde is much warmer, emotionally, but likes to burn things… like relationships, bridges, ya know… the “easy-to-fix” stuff… *rolls eyes at self*

Phantom – by Allen Mock. This is a “get-out-of-my-own-head & just feel the rhythm song. And when that beat drops… dayum.

Overwhelmed – by Royal & the Serpent. This – is my anxiety in a nutshell. It’s so damned fitting.

Villain – by K/DA. This fictitious group is represented on YouTube with CGI videos for League of Legends. They’re some of the female characters, supposedly. The gals who sing are a mix of Korean K-pop stars & English/American/British singers. They’re phenomenal, & this isn’t the only song I love, just the current song in rotation.

Boys Ain’t Shit – by Say Grace. My Beloved Nephew turned me on to this one by sending me the YouTube video. I love this song, & know this one pretty much by heart too.

The Devil’s Bleeding Crown – by Volbeat. More heavy metal. There’s a lot of that on this list. Heavy metal helps me when I’m angry, stressed, depressed… so, pretty much most of the time. I’m thinking it’s the drums, because those always just send me into a zone. And the screaming. Yeah, the screaming helps.

People I Don’t Like – by Upsahl. I just love how don’t-give-a-fuck this song is. Pretty much how I feel in crowds anymore. Like parties I’m obligated to attend. Yeah, not my favorite timesuck.

No Scrubs – version redone by Unlike Pluto. This is a retake on the original by TLC. It’s just got such a sway to it. I love it better than the original.

Protocol – by Leon Else. This song was referred to in a book I really like, so, since I’d never heard of it before, & liked the way they described the feeling of it, I had to look it up. Yeah, it’s that good.

This is the New Shit – by Marilyn Manson. Yeah, I know he’s getting a lot of hate these days. I still love the irreverence of this song.

Wrong Bitch – by Todrick Hall. I LOVE TODRICK HALL. But this is one of my favorite MOTIVATIONAL songs. Don’t at me, just don’t. Cuz I won’t hesitate. Watch the damn video. Do it.

Purple Hat – by Sofi Tukker. This song is just so “mellow LSD trip” (or what I would imagine one would be). It’s bizarre, which Sofi Tukker likes to do, the beat is definitely catchy. Now if I could just understand all the damn words!

Why Do You Love Me – Charlotte Lawrence. Again, very “Bad Bitch” vibe. Definitely sassy & probably psychotic, but I still love the vibe.

Did Ya – by BoA. She’s a South Korean singer, songwriter, producer & actress. I love the message of this song. “You should have appreciated me when you had me in your life. You didn’t. So I’m out. Suck it.”

Out of Hell – by Skillet. Pulled this one back into my current lineup from my archives. I went on a “Skillet spree” a while back & bought whole albums. Some days, it’s just how I feel.

And… last, but most certainly NOT least. I found this band through TikTok videos, & have fallen in love with quite a few of their songs. These 3 are currently on my “most listened to” rotation:

Falling in Reverse – Yeah, the lead singer spent some time in prison. He paid his dues & doesn’t deny what happened, or his part in it. But make sure you hear both sides of the story.

The songs I love of theirs right now are:

Just Like You – I’m an asshole. You’re an asshole. Everyone’s an asshole – sometimes. It’s just true.

Losing My Life. This one is a little off kilter – with the “time travel” referencing. But the beginning of this song… it inspires me.

And… my MOST FAVORITEST RIGHT NOW –

Popular Monster. This fucking song. Right here. Go listen/watch it NOW. I could probably listen to this 20 times a day right now & not get tired of it. Just go do it. Damn.

There are other “filler” songs on my work list, but these are the ones I’m bopping my head, tapping my toe, dancing in the office (yeah you read me) to.

And I really don’t care if people think I’m weird.

Cause they’re right, & I’m proud of it. I worked damned hard, for a lot of years, for that moniker. I wear my freak flag with fucking PRIDE.

So, those are the songs. If there’s something here you’ve never heard of, go check it out. Go. GIT! Expand your horizons. And if you have a favorite song not listed here that you’d like me to check out (Yeah, I take suggestions – I love finding new-to-me music), comment! If you think it’d be a good therapeutic fit for me, tell me about it & I’ll check it. (As long as it’s not country… just no.)

It Takes Time – and then some

Winter is, for me, usually a time of inner reflection. It’s when I do what is called in Paganism, Shadow Work.

And, my Goddess, it’s been a heavy season of revelations.

I’m not listing these in any specific order, just as they come to me.

1. I have been planning on moving for a while now, but the process to get to the actual moving has been slow, and daunting. It’s a lot of work for 1 person to do on her own.

In this, I realized just how much stuff I have.

Gads, the shelves, piles, boxes, rooms… Of stuff.

I’ll never be able to take all of it with me, especially since I’m going to be downsizing my life, considerably.

And yet, I have so many things that were originally given to me as sentimental gifts…

How do you decide?

I was contemplating a clock. Literally.

My grandmother, who passed on some years ago, now, gifted me with a Grandmother clock when I got married the first time. (She gifted clocks to every one of the grandkids when they got married) It’s a gorgeous thing, made of a reddish-stained wood, with beautiful glass in door on the front, split into top and bottom. The top, of course, shows the face of the clock. The bottom is a square in the middle of clear glass, and 4 framing pieces of a lovely wavy, bumpy glass. The bottom shows the pendulum as it swings. The door swings on a hinge so you can open it up and wind the clock with a “key”, instead of like most pendulum grandfather clocks that have chained weights.

This clock used to play a tune on the hour & a piece of that tune on every quarter & half. My first ex-husband broke the music part of it shortly after we received it, by trying to set the time incorrectly. It’s never played music since, but the clock part still works.

During my second marriage, my now 2nd ex-husband, decided he didn’t like the “ticking”… said it was too loud. (Yeah, seriously)

So the clock was stopped, and never rewound. It’s hung on my living room wall ever since, silent.

It has hung there for 20 years, almost 21, now, silent.

And, as I stood there, looking at it, I wondered to myself…

Why do I have a clock hanging up that never works? I should take it down, put it back in its box, and pack it away for moving.

Moving?

When I move, I won’t have a place for this clock. My grandmother, rest her, is gone. My marriages… both are gone. The whole reason for the clock being gifted… is gone.

Hmmm… maybe one of my girls will want this? My son definitely won’t want it. Has no attachment to it.

And yet, neither of my girls have ever evinced an emotional attachment whatsoever to this clock. This silent clock that they’ve never heard sing. Have barely ever heard ticking.

No one wants this clock.

Even I don’t really want this clock anymore, other than as a tangible reminder of my grandmother… and yet.

I have many other things that remind me of her.

What do I do with it? Do I get rid of it?

I’m sure my mother would tell me to hang onto it. That one of the girls, or one of my grandkids will someday want it.

And yet. That’s so many years in the future. I’m downsizing. I don’t have, and won’t have, room for storage of “future maybes”.

If I get rid of it, my mom will surely have her feelings hurt… but again… it’s my clock. At least right now.

So, it sits on my floor now, I took it down from the wall, and am reminded every day about it.

When I took the clock down, the pendulum started swinging again, and now it sits… on my floor… ticking with the wrong time.

2. I was emotionally and mentally abused in my last marriage.

It didn’t start out that way, of course…(when does it?)

He told my best friend (who introduced us), that when he met me, he loved the fact that I was a “take no shit” kind of woman. I didn’t take crap from anyone, adult, child, or animal. I stood up for myself and made no apologies for that.

This ability was slowly squashed out of me over the 12 years we were married.

I don’t want to go into all the details, but he was a narcissist who had very little, if any, empathy for anyone other than our son, his golden angel.

It took me almost those same amount of years after we divorced to finally come to this realization.

I finally stood up for myself, and we’ve now been divorced for… well, it’ll be 10 years at the end of May this year.

Almost 10 years to finalize the conclusion that I had back then. And it took a friend, former boyfriend, really, to make me realize that. This man, my friend, asked me one night while we were messaging back & forth on facebook…

Are you happy?

And it took me too long to answer him.

I was going to answer “Of course I am!” But, I took a breath, and answered him honestly, instead.

No.

And that was the beginning of the end of my marriage.

The passive-aggressive insults, the subtle slap-downs, the quiet commentary on my lack, on my family’s lacks, on my friend’s shortcomings… they’d all built up into a deep, searing resentment that I couldn’t live with anymore. I’m ashamed to admit it now, but I now realize that he’d been doing the same things to my daughters, who were his step-children, and that this constituted emotional abuse of them as well. I waved it off at the time, not wanting to admit to myself that he was really hurting them. I wanted us to be a nuclear family like I’d grown up in. But I was wrong.

The girls have grown up since, both lovely adult women with lives of their own. My EldestDaughter is now a mother herself, to 3 beautiful children. Her eldest, my Schnicklefritz, is my buddy. The younger 2 don’t know me well enough yet to define our relationship, since they’re in Washington state, while I’m here. But once I get moved, and I’m planning on moving closer to them, that’ll shift too.

My YoungerDaughter is a no-nonsense upright young woman who is the first in our family for 4 generations to finish college, and is now a 2nd-grade teacher in Wisconsin. She lives with her long-time boyfriend, and I can see them getting married within the next few years.

My OnlySon, lives with his father. There’s a whole story there, but it’s not always an easy one, and I’m not going into it right now.

Suffice to say, the girls’ upbringing didn’t cause them irreparable harm. They have both been able to overcome it, and have built lives that suit them both.

Me, I’m getting there. It’s been a long, rocky road.

I’m still prone to times of severe depression, with longer periods now of only mild depression, thanks to changing a few things in my life, and the treatment I follow for it. I still have anxiety, pretty much always, but that’s manageable most of the time too, through my medication & things I do for it personally. I am working on it.

And as far as relationships go? Well, I’ve pretty much given up on that, since they’ve all failed, for one reason or another. I’m 50 years old, living alone with my cat. (My son’s cat went to a new home this year)

For right now, I’m contemplating finishing out my years living close to my grandkids, my daughter, and her husband, Moose. (yes, it’s a nickname, but appropriate… he’s 6’4″ for goddess’s sake!)

I’m contemplating being content doing that alone, because I can’t see anyone wanting to take on any of the myriad of years’ baggage I bring with me into any relationship.

Yeah, my self-esteem is still crap. Being ghosted, and/or told you’re not good enough to be in a permanent relationship, lied to, had promises broken because “it’s just not that big of a deal”, having one tell you that the depression is the deal-breaker, and any other number of “yeah, I’m just not going to deal with this woman” actions, is kind of a self-esteem killer.

But… it’s what it is, really. This is my life now. And I’m comfortable with living alone now.

I do what I want, when I want. I am obligated to no one for my time. I don’t have to apologize if I want to stay up late reading, or gaming. I come home, drop my stuff where I do, and it’s still there when I go back for it.

(unless the asshole cat has done something to it)

I can play my music at the top volume, singing along loudly, and dancing through the house, if I want.

I can, and have, paint whatever I want on the walls.

I can rearrange my life, my house, and my mind, in whatever way I want, and I don’t have to apologize, or explain, or defend my choices to anyone.

It’s not horrible.

Yeah, I’d like to have someone to share it with. Sure, who wouldn’t?

But, Relationship has 12 letters.

So does Fuck this shit.

Maybe, someday, I’ll be able to say I’m over it. It’s better, now that I can recognize what it is, truly.

Now, I can focus on what I need to do to heal.

These 2 things are not the end of my realizations this winter. But I’m emotionally exhausted from this session of reliving them for the page, so I’ll end this here.

I’m still going. I’m slower now, more cautious, in my decisions & actions. But I’m still moving, working toward my goal.

And that’s the important bit.

Isn’t it?

Tightrope

Balance. My life for the past… Oh, at least 23 years, has been about trying to find,and maintain, some kind of equanimity. And while there have been a lot of highs and lows, I’ve done alright, for the most part, at my search.

I had a really bad 2 year stretch, depression my constant companion, with anxiety keeping me strung tight & riding the line between dread & the feeling of utter numbness.

I’d fake my way through the days, keeping everything light & surface at work… then I’d come home, and static would settle between my ears. I’d sit in my chair, & stare at a wall for hours on end, until finally realizing the sun had set & it was time to sleep. I’d then lie awake for hours, not able to get my brain to shut off that static noise, problems whirling around inside like a tornado, eluding my grasp & stymying any problem-solving abilities I thought I had.

I came very close during those 2 years to just cashing in what few chips I had. 3 times, I almost took that last, long step.

But something always pulled me away from the edge.

My children. My grandchildren. My Beloved Nephew. They held me to this life long enough to claw my way out of the hole I’d sunk into.

And don’t bother asking what held my head under water, because I don’t know.

Depression doesn’t work like that, at least for me.

It seeps in under the door, around the cracks in the windows, like dark fog, slowly obscuring the light.

You don’t notice it at first.

It’s just a light haze, and you can easily brush it aside.

Until it fills the rooms inside your head with maladaptive thoughts, urging you to give up, give in.

You’re not really going to make anything out of yourself, after all, where are you now? What do you have? Who’s on your side, anyway? Everyone talks about you behind your back. You’re so weird, they can’t handle it. You’re too much. You’re not enough. You’re just….. wrong.

And, it’s always easier to believe the bad stuff. An overheard remark… a backhanded compliment/insult. Passive aggressive comments. A glance in the mirror after your anxiety/depression kicks in, and you’re done.

Yep. You’re just not worth it. No one wants you around. Not to keep. Get over yourself, & just do it.

And the strains of Hotel California start playing in your lizard brain, urging you on.

“You can check out any time you like… but you can never leave.”

You walk a tightrope, every day, between barely making those 24 hours, with your heart in your throat, and your chest on fire, your whole body clenched in knots, or slipping from the heights, plummeting to your final stop.

It’s hard to see the light right now. I can feel the fog rolling in again, after having a respite from the blank spaces for a while. I try to drag myself away from that edge, but the land tilts under me, and I slide…..

Being sad – is not the same as Depression. Being sad is for a reason, for a space of time, even if that space of time is a long one. There is a reason for it, and there are ways to work your way out of it. It’s explainable, logical, even expected, at times.

Being Depressed… *sigh* for me, most of the time, there’s absolutely no reason I can point to where the slide starts. No “thing” I can point to that is the catalyst. It just, exists.

I do the talking thing, not with a therapist, which I can’t afford, but with trusted folks in my life.

I do the medication thing, which helps to keep the BigBad from clawing my chest open, but doesn’t “fix” the problem.

Believe me, if there was a fix, I’d take it.

But, you can only keep the fog at bay, sometimes.

Walk the tightrope.

And hope… that the light starts burning off the fog when morning comes.

Keyboard Warrio…. Nah, Whatever.

I can’t decide whether I love or hate social media.

Yeah, it helps me keep in touch with friends & family I don’t get to see much, if ever. And I get it, if I don’t like something about it, maybe I should just get off that platform, right?

Well, it really doesn’t matter which platform you use anymore, there are trolls everywhere.

Shit, Twitter is one of the worst, IMO. It was trolls that put me so far off that platform, I simply abandoned my Twitter account, & walked away without deleting it. *cue dusty wind blowing & tumbleweed rolling across screen*

Instagram is the pressed-plastic, Barbie Dream House version of people’s “lives”. It can be amusing, & I find some great memes there, but I’ve never taken anything there as real. It’s all window dressing, never mind the pins & tape behind the curtain.

TikTok has changed something for me, though. Some days it’s good, & it makes me feel great about myself & the world, and some days, I have to put my phone face down on silent & walk away.

Goddess, don’t even get me started on Facebook. 🤐

My point is, I used to be one of those so-called “keyboard warriors”, out there till the wee hours of the morning defending the downtrodden, and burying the bullies.

Or, so I thought.

But, I finally came to realize, that – Even if you feed trolls garbage…

You’re still feeding them.

You know?

I get it, it’s REALLY difficult to walk away when you see this bottom-feeding behavior on a subject, site, or person’s post that you care about. And it’s SOOOO easy to let your itchy trigger fingers wander over the keyboard & give them a good smack-down. Or what you THINK is a smack-down, anyway, because honestly? They’re probably sitting with their phone in their hand, or in front of their keyboard, giggling to themselves over ALLLL the ATTENTION and validation they’re receiving.

Because it IS validating, in their minds anyway. It proves their existence, & their “nobody gets me, the world’s against me, so I have the right to stand here & yell louder than everyone else”.

They enjoy being polarizing, & watching as people around them start spinning in circles, popping off at them, while they’re safely munching popcorn behind their screen.

And, it’s absolutely infuriating to others, when the trolls refuse to back down, or inflame situations higher.

But – in cases where it’s just trolling? And not actual internet terrorism? And, by terrorism, I’m talking bullying, harassing, doxxing, stalking, etc… ( and yes, all genders are guilty of this)

If it’s just some Incel wanting to start a virtual fisticuffs for funsies?

Shunning works.

Blocking works. I’ve blocked so many strangers on social media, because I’ve seen them being trolls to other people. I’m just glad that so far, there’s no numerical limit to how many people I can block, or I’d have hit that wall on Facebook years ago.

Blocking these people doesn’t just keep me from responding to their infantilism, it means I don’t have to see it, & they can’t see my stuff, either, at least on FB and TikTok.

Hmm, (hot take) this is just another method of using the INFJ door slam…

Humorous rebuttals can sometimes work, too, if you can figure out a way to totally confuse the troll, & get them off balance.

I had one make a not-nice comment on one of my tiktoks, once, smarting off about something that was totally irrelevant to the video, was supposed to be personally hurtful, & posted in such a way as to make them look like the victim of bullying if I responded defensively.

Instead, I snarked back with an overly-sweet, totally sarcastic, comment, that was impossible to twist without watching me rolling my eyes while typing.

I got an apology *shrug*, & an “I’m sorry, I had a bad day”. Not a valid excuse to be an asshole to a stranger minding their own business, so I responded again with

“Yup, I was amused, honestly.”

Nothing pisses trolls off like having others being mildly amused at their antics, instead of being offended.

Anywho, I try my best, these days. When I see someone being a jackhole for no apparent reason, I practice aggressive passivity.

I clench my fists (and usually my teeth too), I take deep, slow breaths, & I do one of 3 things.

1. Scroll on, because it’s not worth the hassle to engage.

2. Block/Shun, because the person is a jackhole, sexist, racist, homophobe, tinfoil fanatic, whatever, & I don’t need that kind of stress in my already stressful life.

3. Snipe back with so much sugar and tart they lose their teeth. (I got really good at using words to insult people without them realizing it when I was young)

I’m not out here, trying to change people’s minds about how they handle trollish behavior, I’m telling you my way.

But, if I could add one request?

Please don’t feed the trolls, because they end up making everyone else feel sick when they grow from it.

Dichotomy

I spent a lot of time thinking about this, yesterday, on my drive to & from my folks’ house.

I am a tangle of contradictions.

Most people know one side only, as I keep its opposite pretty well hidden from view.

And nearly all the people who know me IRL, know the jokester, who mixes in with the caring, nurturing part of me. (If I care about you, I care enough to joke with you/about you)

Something I don’t say often, though, is that – once I love someone, it’s forever. No matter how much this can hurt ME in the end. And I’m not just talking about being in love with someone, I’m also talking about Chosen Family love. And there’s a few of those out there.

Beloved Nephew is first & foremost of the Chosen. He is now, and has been for years, my best friend. There could never be anything intimate between us, because we’re family to each other, but he knows me better than anyone else alive.

And he’s seen both sides of my personality.

There are also kids, well, they’re not kids anymore, because they’re godsbedamned grownups now, (yes, I’m feeling the age, here). Kids my children brought home with them, who needed an adult at the time to tell them that they were going to be ok. That they were enough, that they could do this thing called life. I don’t get to see them, or talk to them anymore, because they’ve moved on & past needing me, but I still consider them Chosen Family.

And yes, it stings a little sometimes when I think that, once I wasn’t needed to prop them up, I was forgotten. But that’s what happens. And I don’t want anyone to feel any kind of obligation to me because I was kind to them. That’s selfish. I’m just glad they’ve grown, and hopefully gotten themselves to a good place.

And, yes, there are people whom I’ve been involved with in the past, exes. Who doesn’t have those?

And yes, some of them I love.

Still.

To this day.

NOT to say that I’d go back to them, because most I wouldn’t. There was a reason behind the split, and it was needed. I’m healthier, emotionally, mentally, without them in my life.

There’s a couple that I would, but it probably wouldn’t be good for me, so I keep my damn mouth shut. Go me. (sarcastic eye roll)

BUT.

Not one of them can say they’ve truly seen my other side.

The dark coldness that I keep for only myself.

Y’all have no idea.

There is a detachment that happens when my switch gets flipped. And I can honestly say I, myself, have only seen it truly come out a couple of times. Always in the most dire of situations, and ALWAYS as a protective measure, either for myself, or for a loved one.

Example – cutting my male sibling out of my life.

I’m not going to retell the story, just know that I did it to protect myself from further emotional harm.

The point here, is, that I was able to do it. With no guilt, no remorse, and no second thoughts.

And no one has ever, nor will they ever, talk me out of it. Familial guilt gets nothing.

Talk of blood, of dna, gets nowhere.

After all, his blood, his dna didn’t stop him from hurting me in the first place, now, did it?

Anywho, before I get completely derailed off onto a rant, this is only one example.

But it’s an effective one.

The level of darkness to which I can descend, should I deem it necessary to the situation, is one which most would never seek, and I’m sure, they would never suspect me of reaching it.

But a part of me lives there.

And only the Nephew has seen it, or heard it in my voice.

Probably because he recognizes a kindred spirit when he meets one.

But, I digress.

My tangled dichotomy is pretty balanced, ironically enough.

Because as deep as my darkness goes, that is how far my love extends. And vice versa.

Scary thought, hunh?