But I Can’t Make Myself

Decide.

So many things come down to that One. Little. Word.

My daughters, my parents, & my Schnicklefritz grandson all want me to move to Washington to be closer to ElderDaughter & her family (Schnicklefritz especially, he pouts). I don’t want to miss being there for my grands growing up. I want to be the Gramma they come running to after school, the woman they brag about to their friends who’s just that cool.

BelovedNephew wants me to move to Georgia to be closer to him. He is my best friend, and soulmate. He understands things about me no one else has ever. I miss him so fully, it tears at something inside when I think about how far apart we are.

OnlySon doesn’t want me to change anything. He wants me to live in the house I’m in, keep the job I have, be here, because he’s here. He doesn’t want to miss me. He hates change, and I don’t blame him. Change is uncomfortable and scary.

I know I have to make a decision.

I know I have to make a choice.

But, I can’t make myself.

Because, you see…

Any choice I make…ends with someone I love being hurt.

And that’s one thing I can’t stand to do.

I’ve hurt people in the past, I know I have, sometimes knowingly, but usually out of ignorance, and unconsciously.

How do I make a choice here without hurting someone? I can’t. It’s just not possible.

And then, I hear the voices of my loved ones in my head saying…

“Just do what’s best for you…”

Yeah…but what’s best for me is to NOT FREAKING HURT OTHERS.

Because of what I used to be in the past, because of who I used to be, I made a LOT of changes in my life.

Oh, Goddess, I’ve fucked up so many things in my past, but there’s nothing I can do about that, anymore. There’s no going back, there’s no atonement, there’s no fixing, for so many of those things.

And, I’ve paid. Oh, yeah…I’ve paid in spades, for a lot of it. I beat the hell out of myself (can’t you tell?) for my past, regularly. *shrug* And I do try to make up for being an asshole back then, by being very much not an asshole now.

I think, too, subconsciously, part of me thinks I deserve to be alone now, because of everything I did in the past.

Penance, you know?

Like maybe there’s some kind of invisible-to-me sign that hangs around my neck that says “unworthy“, that men can see, so they stay away.

But, I digress.

I know I need a change.

I know I have to make a choice.

I can’t stay, because things here…just hurt…anymore. The ones that have left their knives behind in my back, wow, they were sharp, and left scars that just don’t fade. The ones that used only words…seemed to scar worse. And the ones that smiled, that seemed to want the same things, then disappeared… everything just hurts, you know?

Is it any wonder I don’t sleep or eat much these days?

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Bottled up

I haven’t been sleeping well, some nights I don’t sleep at all. Literally.

As in, I’ve been pulling all-nighters, because I know I won’t be able to sleep.

I just lay in bed and stare at the walls, then get up, read a bit, try again to lay down, fail miserably, feel fucking stupid, and go back to my chair to read some more until it’s time to get ready for work.

No, this does not make for good days. I end up crashing in there, somewhere.

I get sick, like I did this week.

I try to stop the cycle, I’ve tried exercise, I put down the phone so I’m not staring at social media right before bed. I haven’t watched TV in, fuck, weeks.

I don’t drink caffeine, and I’ve stopped smoking. (Except for the odd stress smoke)

It’s my brain.

I’m all wrapped around my stress right now. I’ve got decisions that I’m supposed to be making, and things I’m supposed to be doing, that I’m not doing and my heart is starting to race just thinking about it.

I think I’m putting off the decisions and the things…because either way I end up deciding… someone I care about is going to feel hurt.

And that’s something I can’t stand to do.

Goddess, I know! All of this talk is so fucking vague… I can’t even come right out and just say it.

Everything is so bottled up inside me right now, and I feel as though I’m a chunk of cesium in water.

I haven’t been able to talk to anyone, either. Oh…stupid, surface shit, sure. I talk to the coworkers, but that’s work stuff, my mask is firmly nailed on, there.

But, to talk about scratching that surface? Letting anyone see what’s going on behind door number 1? That’s a big nopesicle.

I know I need to change something. Something’s going to have to give, or my brain will break, and not in a good way. (Is there a good way for that to happen? Like a pinata, would candy fall out? Streamers?)

I just…

Don’t know how to get out of this bottle without cracking the glass.

So then there was this…

I know I’ve been talking a lot about being depressed, lately. I know it can get to be repetitive, but… That’s what happens with depression cycles.

You cycle, and cycle, and cycle…until something finally brings you out of it.

I’m not there yet.

laughing softly and ironically under my breath…

I just seem to keep getting pulled in by new cycles of dark.

*I recently realized that when my old phone had its “stroke” & I had to get my new one, I lost a good portion of the phone numbers in my address book. One of the numbers was my ex-husband, which I find ironic, but now, if my son is in trouble, I can’t get ahold of the ex to reach him. I don’t really want to ask my son for his number…but I probably should. Fuck.

I didn’t realize I’d lost these numbers until just recently…because I’d isolated myself so well, I don’t receive calls or texts from anyone but family anymore, really. Chosen family counts here.

*I was going to go to a drag show this last weekend, but my mom called with bad family news.

Her baby brother, my Uncle J, has had throat cancer for a while. He went through chemo & radiation, & they thought he’d gone into remission.

Well, it’s now back, and is in another place. He’s back in chemo, but is not doing as well this time around.

On top of that, his son, my cousin C, also has cancer. He has a very rare, and virulent, form of lung cancer.

They live in Iowa, and are treating in Rochester, which is an exemplary facility…

But, according to Mom, C has ONE CHANCE at treatment. If this treatment doesn’t work…

Folks…he’s only 31.

31.

My uncle and my cousin.

Father and son…both dealing with life-threatening diseases.

Where is the fucking sunshine again?

A Witch in the Forest Primeval

At Christmas, my daughters got me tickets to go out to visit my EldestDaughter & her family in Washington State.

The trip was this last weekend.

I was gone Friday through Monday, and it was…amazing.

This was my first view from the plane… Yeah, it was a wing seat, so?

Ironically, the last time I flew, I was pregnant with EldestDaughter… And this time, 28 years later, I was going to see her.

(And her husband, and my grandkids, yes. My other daughter & her boyfriend were going too, I met up with them in MSP/St.Paul!)

The trip was a whirlwind of sightseeing & visiting with the kids. I don’t know that I got to do a whole lot of sitting unless it was in the car, or in a chair to game with my grandson, Schnicklefritz. (We play Fallout 3 more or less together… I’m teaching a 7-yr. old the skills he needs to survive the Wasteland, don’t hate)

(Lots of “road” pictures, I miss tree variety…)

Skagit Valley Overlook. In the last picture, to the right, next to the trees, you can see the oyster farms, as the tide was out.

Schnicklefritz & MiniMoose (in the background) We went to a Mexican restaurant Saturday night for dinner. The food was excellent, had a meander through town with Youngerdaughter & her beau afterwards, then MOAR GAMING, saith the Schnicklefritz…

Sunday was a trip up towards the “pointy mountains”, as EldestDaughter called them, but they were pretty well hidden in the clouds. We did see Deception Pass. I was able to walk across the first walking bridge…but not the second one…

Ugh.

Even the first one made me nauseated.

No lie.

I just can’t do heights anymore.

As a kid, I used to climb like a monkey up & down the cliff behind our house in Iowa, using saplings like a ladder. I was fearless.

I’m not that kid, anymore.

But, being in Washington…was like stepping into a forest primeval.

Everything was so…lush…

The trees were coated in moss from roots to branches, the ground littered with huge ferns that trailed and meandered everywhere.

And everything seemed to be in bloom.

I wish I’d gotten more pictures, but my head was on a constant swivel, and things seemed to rush by so quickly. I just couldn’t take it all in.

The trip was over far too soon.

And now, I have a huge Schnicklefritz-sized hole in my heart again.

*sniffle*

Save me some sunflowers, Lil dude.

Fringe

First off… There will be no pity.

This is simply me, telling about something I’ve figured out about myself. I don’t want any sad looks, or “sympathetic statements”.

It is what it is, and that’s what it is.

To start, I started listening to a new type of music, for me, about 3 months ago. K-pop.

I know, odd choice for a 48-yr. old woman, raised on hard rock & heavy metal, right?

Anyway… I’d been watching videos on You-Tube, and found this song called “Pop Stars” by K/DA, created for the game League of Legends. If you haven’t heard of it, which you probably haven’t, it’s an animated video, and it’s amazing.

I loved it instantly.

I started looking for more K-pop (Korean Pop) to listen/watch, which led me to Blackpink, a girl group, who are also kickass.

And they led me to…

BTS.

Yes, BTS.

A boy group, comprised of 7 members, who – yes, again, sing mostly in Korean.

BTS (Bangtan Sonyeondan – which means “Bulletproof Boyscouts” in Korean)

I don’t even care.

I fell into the gravity well that surrounds this group. Wholeheartedly.

Why?

Because these boys are a family, even though they aren’t blood.

And they treat their fans like family.

And the fans, known as ARMY (Adorable Representatives MC for Youth) treat each OTHER and BTS like family.

At least, the ones that I’ve met so far, which have been quite a few, have all been respectful, welcoming, kind, and warm.

Which has been really, really nice to experience, for a change.

You see…

I live my life on the fringes of everyone else’s lives, anymore. Always on the outside, looking in.

And, I understand.

I always kind of hung back, growing up, too. I was always “someone’s friend”, or someone’s daughter, sister, cousin, girlfriend, or whatever. I’d walk into a group, slightly behind and to the side of whomever I came in with…I never walked in somewhere on my own. I needed to belong with someone else.

And then, I grew up & became “someone’s mom”, and then “someone’s wife”. Later dropping the “wife” part.

And now…

My children have their own lives. They must go live them, and NOT be immediately tied to me. This is a good thing. They have their wings, they have to fly. This is life.

My parents and I are not immediately tied together, either. This is a good thing. I’m not super dependent on them for things, and they aren’t at a stage in their lives where they need me to step in, either. I’m glad they are still young enough, vital, strong, independent, people who don’t need a caregiver. There may come a day when that happens, but that day is not now.

And, I don’t have a significant other. This is obvious. No need to rehash this.

My best friend, my Beloved Nephew, lives in Georgia, while I live in North Dakota.

He has his family there, his dad, brother, extended relatives, etc. Yes, he is still my best friend, but we are no longer enmeshed in each other’s daily lives like we once were, due to geography.

I’m on the fringes of all of these relationships.

Hanging by the threads of phone calls, text messages, short weekend visits maybe once or twice a year.

And, I can’t deny that it hurts, sometimes, dangling from those delicate strings.

Hmm..so, what, you say, does BTS and the ARMY have to do with any of this?

Well…

I figured out WHY I fell so eagerly and completely into their orbit.

Because with them, I don’t have to be fringe.

I’m just another member of the extended family.

They let me right in and gave me a hug and told me to sit down and get comfortable.

And it felt good.

I’ve missed that feeling.

I haven’t had that in a long time.

And, I think that’s the saddest thing of all.

That it took strangers to make me feel better.

(Please don’t feel bad Beloved Nephew! This is me, not you!)

This is just where I am, where I’ve been…for months, now.

On the fringes.

Of everything.

Hanging.

But the music helps.

And so do the boys, just by being who they are. The message they send out has to be listened to carefully in order to really be heard.

It’s difficult to explain, I learned it in small steps, as I watched many, many videos. Not just the music videos, but other ones, too, about the guys, ones that they put out themselves, and ones that fans put out about them.

The fans are super loyal. No joke.

And yes, I’m one of them now, all kidding aside. I don’t care what anyone says.

I really don’t.

Because I purple BTS. 💜

And if you want to know what that means??

Google it. I dare you.

Have You Tried The Bread?

I made some cinnamon streusel bread today, needing a little pick-me-up after the last few days of feeling like trash, between being sick and being in a depression.

I actually got a couple of household chores done today, as well, surprisingly, which means my energy is starting to come back, so this is a good thing.

I’ve kind of bottomed out now, though, which is not a shock. I know I need more rest to get well, I just hate this worn-out feeling. I really do.

Anyway, tonight, as I was getting ready to put the loaf of bread in a big ziploc… I suddenly heard in my head –

“Have you tried the bread? It’s good bread…”

In a voice I haven’t heard in years.

Ahhh, the voice of Ren. That infamous Asthma-hound chihuahua.

But, it was his voice as interpreted by one of my beloved Chosen Family. A “little brother” from my past, who loved Ren and Stimpy as much as I did.

And a pang went through my heart.

Because I don’t get to hear his voice anymore. He died a few years ago, taken by an inoperable cancerous brain tumor. He was smart, funny, fiercely protective of those he loved, and he was my friend, Shane.

And I fucking miss him.

And yes, Shane, I tried the bread.

It is good bread, dammit.

No Breath, but Speak.

I’ve been sick for days, now, and finally, after going to the convenience-care clinic yesterday, I was diagnosed with a bad dose of both bronchitis and sinus infection. So bad, in fact, the doc wouldn’t let me leave her office without making me have a nebulizer treatment, & giving me a scrip for both an antibiotic and prednisone (a steroid, to keep the bronchitis from becoming pneumonia).

I’ve taken steroids before, and…we don’t get along really well, so we’ll see how this goes. I might end up looking like a blowfish.

Anyway, I have no – and I mean – ZERO – physical strength right now. It’s a bit better than yesterday, shit…going to see the doc, then getting prescriptions? Man…I was wiped, and slept most of the rest of the day. I woke up long enough to eat something, so I could take the drugs I needed to, and called it a day.

It doesn’t help that my depression has been riding me hard for the last week or 2. I hide it, for the most part, because people just don’t want to deal with it, or me when they see it, but it’s always there, and I have to live with it. It doesn’t just wander off after a joke or 2. It’s not that easy.

I alternate today between the fires of hell and Antarctic winter. Take a deep breath, and I’m wracked with deep, hacking coughs, I remind myself of my Grandma…it’s a little frightening, and sad. I’m becoming her. She was plagued by chronic bronchitis. I don’t want to remember all the crap she had to go through. Just – not today. I’m tired, and not dealing well.

So, the only thing I have energy for, is pretty much this. I can type a little, or read for a while, until my body’s battery runs out, & I need a nap again.

I know, bitching doesn’t make it better.

But it makes me feel better to get it off my chest.

And if you don’t want to read it, don’t. *shrug*

Well, the battery has about bottomed out, & it’s time for more drugs again.

*sigh* maybe I just need to move somewhere where the air doesn’t hurt my face… Then bronchitis & pneumonia wouldn’t be such an issue.