3, 2, 1… #MeToo

I gave an interview a couple of days ago.

On camera.

Scared shitless and shaking, anxiety riding me like a cowboy strapped to an 8-second bull.

But I did it.

One of the local TV stations had posted to Facebook on Monday that they were looking for people willing to share their stories about sexual harassment and sexual assault, all in light of Alyssa Milano’s viral Twitter #metoo, where women and men could come forward about their experiences.

I messaged them about my story that night, and didn’t think much more about it.

Tuesday morning rolled around, & I received a message back, from a reporter at the studio, wanting to know if I’d be willing to talk, on camera about my experience, to possibly help others.

Before I could psyche myself out of it, I said yes.

It was awkward, and uncomfortable, being in front of the camera, and talking about it brought my anxiety back full force, & I’ve been having major issues with it ever since.

Especially since my mom caught just the tail end of the interview on the news…and texted me, wondering what it was for…

When I told her why I’d done it, all she said was “Got ya,” and immediately changed the subject.

Because to this day, we still don’t discuss it.

Another reason for my anxiety to flare.

I hate how I looked on camera, as though I was almost ready to burst into tears… I wasn’t, it was just my nerves were so taut, I was strung so tight I was surprised I didn’t make snapping noises when I walked.

But I did it.

I finally spoke publicly about my assault. 

And that counts for something.

#metoo

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Something I’ve Never Been

Well, I got my down-time, in an unexpected way.

I ended up with pneumonia, & had to stay home for a couple of days. 

Not exactly what I was going for, but then again, is it ever?

I have, however, had a lot of time to think. Which could be good or bad, considering who’s doing the thinking, since I tend to overthink every-fucking-thing. 

I’m tired of being alone all the time. I’m tired of my days consisting of nothing more than work, working out, & working on the book & house. 

And while I adore my Beloved Nephew, having my only real adult conversations be on the phone with someone hundreds of miles away…well, sometimes it lacks a little something.

Ok, I’ll come right out and say it. 

I want to date again. I want to feel desirable and wanted, and I want someone to look in my eyes and see me again. I want someone to hold my hand, to push my hair back behind my ear as they lean in for a kiss, and to cuddle with me on cold evenings.

I want to walk through the park in the brisk fall air, crunching the leaves beneath my boots & breathing in the autumn scents. I want to sit & listen to another person talk about their day, tell me all about it. 

I want to feel them lying next to me in bed, heartbeat under my hand…falling asleep together, and waking up the next day to tangled limbs & avoiding each other’s morning breath.

I want the disagreements, because they’re fucking normal, and to be able to work through them and talk them out like the grownups we are, even if we both have to throw mini hissy-fits first. 

I want the long days where it seems like nothing’s gone right, and the long nights that you never want to end. I want the passion and the friendship and the affection and the laughter and the tears, yes, even the tears, as long as we can overcome them. 

I want to be normal, and be like those couples I see out at restaurants & in stores, laughing with each other, telling inside jokes – I want to have inside jokes with someone again. 

I want all of these things, but then…my heart stutters, my eyes well up, & I remember that everyone leaves me.

I don’t get to have normal.

I don’t know why…

But it’s something I’ve never been.

You never write, You never call…

I haven’t written here for a while, I know. I could make excuses, I could apologize and squirm and fall to my internet knees…

But I won’t.

Yeah, I’ve had things to do. Yeah, I’ve been working on writing my book, which means I haven’t really had the urge to write here too. Yeah, blah, blah, blah…

Truth is? I haven’t really felt all that inspired to write here, either. I’ve been a little under the weather, & in a depression.

My head is kind of a dark place right now, & I haven’t really felt like sharing.

What I really want to do is curl up in the center of my bed, pull the covers up, & stay there for the next few days…but

There are bills to pay, & guess who earns the checks ’round here? 

So, every morning, instead of curling back into myself like I want to, I crawl out into the world & do what I have to to survive.

I ain’t got time for this, I got shit to do.

But, I so badly want to stay in the dark…

Heartbeat

This evening was beautiful.

I spent some time outside, knowing it was probably going to be one of the few, really nice days left of the fall weather.

I mowed, & planted my lily bulbs for next spring.

I got back in touch with the heartbeat of the earth, and with my own.

And while I was working my hands in the dirt…I was thinking about “Things”.

How many “things” I have.

How many I care about.

Whether I care about “things” at all.

And I came to a conclusion.

The only things I truly Care about…

All have a heartbeat.

My family, chosen and blood, my friends, my 2 cats.

Everything else can be replaced.

But not the heartbeats.

Those are finite.

I’ve lost a few of those over the years, and a handful just within the last couple of years. They are irreplaceable. Gone forever, they exist now only in my memories, and in the memories of the others whose lives they touched.

And, sometimes it hurts, knowing that the only way I can connect to the heartbeats I love so much is through the phone.

This is why I’ve thought about moving closer to my Beloved Nephew.

At least being there, I know I’d be near someone who truly wanted me to be there. Someone who values my heartbeat as much as I value his. As Chosen Family, and my best friend, our friendship is one of those irreplaceable things I cherish.

And here… Well, after everything that’s happened here, I do have a couple of good friends, but no romantic life… and pretty much only painful reminders of heartbreak and rejection. Not exactly a rousing endorsement to stay.

So, I’m going to pack my heartbeat up in cotton, and pad it against breakage for the coming cold months. I’ll work on savoring the moments I get to have with those I cherish, even if it’s only over the phone, and get rid of a few “things” I no longer need.

There’s plenty I can do without.

Getting To It and Leaving It

Yesterday I worked on my kitchen.

I’ve been tearing it apart for days, preparing to repaint, ripping off wallpaper, scrubbing walls, repairing busted plaster, cleaning up old grease & fuzz (can we all say GREASE FIRE?? Geezus) off the tops of the double oven & cupboards.

And, after 10 hours of painting, cleaning blinds from the windows, moving fridge & stove repeatedly, I ended up with this.

It might not look like much difference, but it really is.  It’s now all a soft, dove gray, except right behind the sink, where I’m working today to put the back splash.

Far from finished, but I’m getting to it. There’s a lot more painting to be done. The cabinets will be getting painted as well, but the doors have to be removed, the pulls taken off & replaced. And I’m doing it alone, so it takes time.

And….. I had a phone call yesterday that – fucked me up for a while.

My mom called.

I have such trouble typing this, because I haven’t really let myself deal emotionally with it, yet. And I can’t allow it to take me over right now, either. So I have to push it down, bury it in a box deep in the back of my brain, for now… Until I can think about it without losing my shit.

My mom’s baby brother’s cancer is back.

My Uncle J’s esophageal cancer, which we all thought was in remission. has come back – with a vengeance. It has spread. To lungs, back, bone.

There’s a period at the end of that sentence.

I’m leaving that for now.

I can’t.

My head is so full of pain and rage about this… And I can’t.

I won’t.

I won’t let the pain and rage win.

I’m going back to the kitchen.

Fuck this.