Hindsight is 20/20 – squinting – pt. 3

~Don’t seek healing at the feet of those who broke you.

I can’t remember who wrote this, but it really resonated with me this week.

I even wrote it on my desk calendar, so I could look at it every day, and remind myself of those words, practice the mantra, so to speak.

I need to stop kneeling at the feet of those who have hurt me in the past, seeking resolution, consolation, closure, or healing.

I do it way too often.

You see, I used to be the one doing the breaking, so when I crashed at the end, and had to change the way I did things, I really did change.

Except, sometimes, I go too far the other direction.

I’ve had many people tell me I’m too nice, too forgiving.

But – I’m getting ahead of my own story, here.

I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that the summer of 1990 was just a slow roll towards suicide on my part.

It wasn’t.

I had a blast getting into as much trouble as humanly possible, in the short amount of time I had, and in the limited ways I could. (as in, no drugs, no extreme sports – cause HELLO, I SUCK AT SPORTS)

But – it WAS a spiral headed south, and straight into a wall. Somewhere in the back of my primitive id brain I knew this. I wasn’t stupid. I couldn’t see a future for myself, and I was, oddly… wanting to tromp down harder on the gas pedal, for some reason. Get there faster, & you waste less gas?

Well, my parents weren’t having it.

They clamped down on me, & told me to either “find a job, or you’re headed for the military”.

Yep. No shit.

So – I hit the papers, and found want ads – for nannies. People in other states wanted nannies from North Dakota to fly to their homes to take care of their kids, because they thought ND kids made better nannies, for some reasons. And I – wanted the fuck out. Out of North Dakota. Out of my current life, out from under my parents’ rules, you know… Typical young self-destructive type behavior.

Fast forward a few phone calls, and I’d found a family in New Jersey, who had 2 kids, both adopted, and they wanted me right away.

Off I went.

Everyone has baggage.

But Delta had no idea I had TWO carry-ons with me instead of just the one they saw.

You see, I’d been a horrible girlfriend to the boyfriend I fell for…

And I’d run around and used sex to feel good about myself.

I’d thought I was just malnourished, from not eating well, smoking & drinking a lot over the summer, subsisting on sunflower seeds & beef jerky most of the time.

I didn’t realize I had a growing reason for missing my period.

Until the morning I puked for no reason.

Well, there was a reason, I just didn’t want to know it, or admit it, really.

Shit.

*sigh*

On my day off, I ran an errand to the drug store & bought myself a stick test to pee on.

Damn thing practically turned blue in my hand before I got it open.

Hell.

So, on my next day off… I went down to the local women’s free clinic & got tested there. Positive again.

And a courtesy “talk” with a counselor, who gently went through all my options with me, asking me delicately if I was… Possibly…maybe…could I be…considering…abor.. ??

“NO.” I was most emphatic, and a huge, truck-load sized weight seemed to lift from the counselor’s shoulders.

“Oh, thank goodness!”, she was so relieved, I thought she was going to hug me, which would have been awkward, and extremely uncomfortable for us both, I think.

Then, she wanted to discuss adoption, & I shut her down on that, too.

Nope.

I thanked her politely, and told her that, in no uncertain terms, I was going home, I was going to have my baby, and I was going to raise it myself.

This was mine, and no one was taking it from me.

It was time to fucking grow up.

My baby needed me. And needed me to be an ADULT. I was going to be a mommy, and I’d be damned if anyone was taking that from me.

Now, I needed to figure out how to do that.

I wasn’t even old enough to drink legally, yet.

But I was damned well going to figure this out.

For once, it wasn’t about what I needed.

It was about what someone else needed from me. Someone who didn’t have anyone else, and needed me first, most, and who I could love without reservations or limits or embarrassment. I could give this baby everything I was, and it wouldn’t betray me, because I would be its mommy.

This baby was going to love me, because I was going to love him or her so hard, there’d be no reason not to.

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Hindsight is 20/20 – sorta (pt.2)

That summer…

1990…

Such a blur of color and sound, sun & cigarettes, booze & boys & parties & beaches & laughter & tears and just –

Fucking hell – wild abandon.

I quit college a year and a half after starting. As I said in my last post… I shouldn’t have been there in the first place. I wasn’t in the right mindset for college. Didn’t really know what I wanted out of life, not for real, and had no real passion for it. And without that, you honestly shouldn’t be there. It’s a money and time-suck if you don’t give 100% of everything you have to it.

And I didn’t have 100% of anything to give.

I was really only functioning on about 78%, myself, at any given moment… not that I was aware of that fact.

(I’ve changed that percentage number twice, lowered it, actually, because I realized just how little I was emotionally coherently functioning that summer)

After they brought me home from my college town, they tried to put me in therapy. It was a miserable failure.

I don’t know if it was because of the therapist they chose, or what they told him, but it was a train-wreck.

I walked in to that first visit, thinking I would maybe give it a chance, that maybe, finally, someone would hear me.

And the first words out if his mouth were…

“So your parents tell me you think you were molested,”

As if I were making it up, lying, or delusional.

Fucking train-wreck on fire, I was all done after that. I wasn’t going to tell him SHIT. He could fuck ALL THE WAY OFF.

And that was the end of therapy.

[and you have NO idea how difficult this post has been to write. All you see are the results. This shit – days – it’s taken days – and that’s not me. I’m “off the cuff girl”]

(Yanks self back on track)

I won’t lie. That summer? Best fucking fun of my life.

I have a million snapshot memories of that summer, lodged in my head. Smoky bonfires, sparkling lakes & rivers, scorching heat while laying on a rocky beach, smoking & stubbing out cigarettes in the sand, waiting for a tan…and the end of a hangover.

Snapshots of laughter, of rides in cars, cruising up & down main at speeds so slow, you could walk faster than the car was moving; memories of loud music, long hair & short skirts, dancing under gushing rain gutters on main street, not caring if makeup smeared & we had to drive home damp, later.

Snapshots of going to sleep after the sun came up, and getting ready for the day, only a handful of hours later.

Dancing wherever and whenever we damned well felt like it, because we just didn’t fucking care.

Snapshots of late-night conversations, of kissing in the dark, of a boyfriend… One I fell for so quickly… He was funny and smart. Sweet, and sexy & kind; older than me & treated me well. You can’t just do that to someone looking for self-destruction. I wanted to curl up next to him and not move again, because it was safe being fun and happy with him. I scared myself so badly… I ran, and ran, and ran.

I was an awful girlfriend. I know that now. I hid from him, wouldn’t answer the phone, asked my parents to lie when he called, refused to talk to him. In my head… I made excuses for myself.

It all kind of culminated one rainy day, when he stopped my friend & I, tried to get me to talk to him, and I ran off again, down the street, into the rain, as fast as I could. I was such a coward.

He didn’t follow, didn’t chase, so I vindicated myself once again, inside my head. I wasn’t enough for anyone, wasn’t worth it.

So… Fuck it.

I ramped up the wild side.

Threw all caution and common sense to the wind, and went completely berserk.

I slept around, drank…oh gods, probably my body-weight at the time, in booze. Mostly beer, because that’s what was cheap. But, whatever was available? I drank it.

I thought about trying drugs.

I did.

I had them – SO easily available. The town I hung out in was HUGE in drugs, and I knew most of the druggies. They might not have been my besties, but, they knew my name, & that I wouldn’t rat them out. We knew some of the same people, hung at the same parties, small town, you know the drill.

But – I didn’t.

I honestly, truly, never did try drugs. Not even so much as a hit of weed, or even so much as one pill of anything.

I saw – wow – I saw shit involving drugs I can honestly say I never expected. Shit I won’t elaborate here, because it’s past, it won’t do anyone any good, so why do anyone harm?

But I never touched them myself.

I thought about it. I was tempted.

And if it hadn’t been for my best friend, at that point? I’d have done them. I would’ve. I’d have caved.

Why?

Because I saw NO FUTURE.

All I saw for myself at that point was a black wall, and I was speeding towards it.

I was driving the car inside my head, and I kept mashing the pedal to the floor. I wanted it over.

I just – wanted all of everything – over.

The Guest ~ Flash Fiction 9/30/18

There was a nuclear explosion going off inside her body, and no one knew it but her.

Mostly, it didn’t bother her, except once in a while the atoms would split in uncomfortable ways and would make her sick, but she could hide that.

She’d always been rather a sickly child, anyway. Growing up hadn’t changed that, much.

“Oh, you know, I just had something that disagreed with me for lunch,” she’d smile softly and wave off concerned looks in her direction.

And she’d quietly patter down the street to the store, or to her home, or wherever she was headed.

It was a good thing she didn’t have to work in an office, she thought. Too many questions, too many strangers in her business, when she really didn’t have the time for any of that.

And the nuclear explosion carried on, creating new worlds and collapsing old ones, deep within.

She’d known, almost the moment it happened, what was going on. That she was forever altered, there would be no going back.

She could almost hear the tick tick tick of a miniscule clock… counting down.

To what result, she wasn’t precisely sure, but she knew the sound was growing in strength.

Which meant, time was growing shorter.

And she needed to prepare for all eventualities.

There were preparations at home that needed to be made, she knew. Things she needed to have purchased and sent to the house, papers that would need to be signed at the lawyer’s office.

It was a good thing she still had mother’s money to help with these things. Granted, she had a decent job, working remotely from home, editing for a publishing company out east, but that job would have to be terminated soon, and then mother’s inheritance would make all the difference.

It was what had allowed her to keep the family home, after all.

But, enough, she shook her head ruefully, a slight grimace on her face.

It was time.

The nuclear explosions within wouldn’t stop, and she – had to be ready for the fallout.

“I’m home,” she called softly, as she dropped her house keys on the foyer table.

The front door slid closed with an almost silent click, shutting out the neighborhood noises.

And a rumble rolled through the house, rolling around her in a welcoming embrace.

“I wasn’t gone that long, it’s alright. And I won’t be going anywhere else today, so it’s just us, luv.”

Flames flared to life in the fireplace as she maneuvered through the parlor, shedding her cardigan, and laying it across the top of the couch.

“Ah, thank you. It is starting to get a bit chilly outside, I do appreciate the thoughtfulness.”

She plucked the book she’d been reading from the table near the couch, and sank down into its generous cushions, reveling in the relaxation of her own home.

“It’s never as nice out there as it is here with you, you know. If I didn’t have to go out occasionally for things, I’d never leave these rooms.”

Stretching her feet out, she laid her head back on the pillowed armrest behind her, and closed her eyes for just a moment.

“Mmmm, that feels nice. You know my feet always love your attention,”

Gentle but firm massage stroked her toes and instep, working its way up to her ankles, sliding her slacks up to push on her calves. Delicious. That’s what it was.

“I do love the way you take care of me, you know that, right?”

A deep rumble of assent was all she got in response, but she knew he heard, she could almost see the smile on his face, even with her eyes closed.

“You’ve always taken care of me, I know that, and that’s why I want to take care of you. I’m almost ready. I’ll have everything here next week, and then we can finish this. After everything you’ve done for me, I want this for you too. For us.”

She felt a hand move from her leg, up to her stomach, where the explosions were going on. On and on and on.

A thumb rubbed gentle circles around her navel, fingers splayed in an arc across her abdomen, warm, holding her, but not pressing down.

“Not much longer, luv, really, and we’ll have forever. But, I suppose, I should really continue my studies, to make sure I get this perfect.”

And opening her eyes, she turned to the bookmarked page in her text to read.

Demonology – Invocations and Summoning Into Being

Where have I been, Where am I going, Who am I now?

I used to write a lot of funny posts on my blog.

Mostly about my kids, but some about just – life, my past, growing up, my teenage years, shit I did when I was young, you know, normal funny things you remember.

Like the time I made my ElderDaughter a costume for Halloween that was a slice of pumpkin pie, just as she wanted. It was fun, and everyone adored it. It goes into the “Best memories” box.

And getting a foal to fall asleep in my lap. Also, going into that same box. I was a horse whisperer up until my 20s, when I stopped having contact with them, because my parents didn’t have any anymore, & I moved away after having ElderDaughter.

I used to write about all these things.

Until I stopped.

And I don’t know when that happened.

I don’t know when the depression started to take over, when it started to color everything in gray, including my writing.

I know it’s fucking depressing to read this shit all the time.

It’s depressing to write.

But if I don’t get it out of my head, and down onto the virtual “paper”, it continues to burn me up from the inside. It gnaws, and grinds at me, knotting my stomach, making me physically ill until I find myself back here, releasing the poison.

And no, simply writing it isn’t enough. I have to actually push the “publish” button to start feeling better.

Does that make me a masochist?

That I need the outside validation for my feelings to be read?

I wish I could just jump back into being that person I used to be. The one who had people to take care of. She was happy, taking care of her little nestlings, after kicking out the grown cuckoo of an ex.

I want to be happy again, I truly do. I’m so tired of this constant dragging feeling. I’m so drained all the time, as though something outside of me is sucking the energy from my soul.

I don’t know how to climb out of this.

I don’t know how to shift the balance from depression to happiness again.

It’s so difficult to do this when you’re working at it alone, but I won’t burden anyone else with it, so – there you go.

I think I’m going to start, by telling the people I care about how I truly feel about them.

It’ll probably scare some, because most people don’t do this unless they know they’re dying.

I am, in fact, dying, we all are, and who knows when it will happen?

I’m not guaranteed tomorrow.

I’ve lost too many friends over the years – I’ve learned that lesson well.

So, I’m going to start telling people how I feel.

No obligation for response, none necessary, none required or expected. No response even really wanted, to be truthful, because I’d probably end up either horribly embarrassed or hurt.

Either way, not a pretty color.

So, where have I been? I used to be happy… Naively, I thought it would last forever.

Where am I going? Not a fucking clue. Not yet, at least. I am, however, going to work on digging my way out of this hole, even if I have to rip my fingernails to do it. And I will be continuing to journal here. I have to. This is my sanity. Whether anyone reads it or not.

Who am I now? I am a 48-year old woman, desperately seeking a way foward, toward the sunshine.

I’m tired of the rain.

Spiraling and in need of a Net

Possible trigger warning. ⚠

I can’t believe what I heard in my office this morning, and it’s got me so upset that I’m spiraling into my PTSD.

I’m going to have nightmares tonight, that’s a given.

I was minding my own business this morning, when I heard two coworkers talking about the Kavanaugh hearings, and about Dr. Christine Blasey Ford coming forward about her past experience. They were asking opinions on what people believe.

To be completely honest, I haven’t been able to read a lot in depth about this, because of my own past, so I don’t have all the facts about this case right at my fingertips.

But, what I do have, from what I have gleaned in my perusals of the news, is that I believe the women who’ve come forward.

But that’s neither here nor there, because that’s not really what this post is about.

What I heard my coworkers saying was, basically, that they couldn’t believe that anyone credible would wait 30 years to come forward with an allegation of sexual abuse.

It stopped me in my tracks.

And I had to speak.

I told them both that, I could certainly believe someone could wait 30 years to come forward. And that, maybe, she did come forward back then, but whomever she told, didn’t believe her, or blamed her, so she didn’t tell anyone else. I told them that I knew exactly how it felt to not be believed as a 48-year old woman, speaking about a 30-year old occurrence, and how it felt as a 16-year old to not be believed when it happened.

I could certainly believe a teenager NOT coming forward out of fear back then, because of the much more sinister rape culture I grew up in that blamed everything on the female; from what she wore, to how she walked, to whether she smiled at the perpetrator.

Then, one of my coworkers went on to say – that she couldn’t believe that Bill Cosby was going to prison for as long as he is. And that she didn’t think he deserved to go to jail. “He’s 80 years old, for cripes sake, he doesn’t deserve to go to jail for the rest of his life.”

WHAT.

Stop.

My head almost spun around on my shoulders, & I wanted to scream. I’ve been wanting to tear into her ever since, but have kept my mouth shut in order to keep my sanity as well as my job.

But, I CAN’T BELIEVE she basically stated that it’s acceptable for someone to get away with being a MASS RAPIST, which Bill Cosby IS, it has been PROVEN IN A COURT OF LAW, simply because of his fucking AGE.

The women who had to go through the tragedy of abuse at his hands have had to live with this, and will have to live with this FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES.

But – by her way of thinking? Because he’s geriatric? Eh…he gets a pass.

FUCK THAT.

RAPE CULTURE LIVES AND THRIVES BECAUSE OF THINKING LIKE THIS.

What Bill Cosby did is not only unacceptable, it is horrific and disgusting. It deserves far more than the 3-10 years the judge has sentenced him to.

DOZENS of women came forward to accuse him, but only 3 counts were able to stick. Because rape culture still blames women, and women are still afraid to come forward, and the statue of limitations has run out in many cases.

What Brett Kavanaugh stands accused of is also disgusting, unacceptable, and horrific. As such, there is no way he should sit on the Supreme Court of this country.

Tell me… If someone stood by and watched your child get raped, or helped someone else rape your child, would you want them sitting as a judge… Anywhere??

I don’t care when it happened in that person’s life, it speaks to their moral character, which is not likely to change that drastically. If he was that apathetic at 17, He’s worse now.

We only become more fully ourselves as we age.

My head is still spinning, I can’t get a grasp on everything I’m thinking, and I just want to sit & scream. My chest hurts, which I know is extreme anxiety, & my heart is pounding.

My anxiety meds are SO not doing their job today.

My PTSD is flaring so badly right now, I wish I could just stay home & hide with the cats, but I have to go back to work to finish the day. My lunch break is almost over, being not nearly long enough.

But, thank Goddess it’s the weekend, because if I had to go into the office tomorrow? I don’t think it would go well.

I need time to decompress, & to stop rehearsing arguments in my head.

Granted, one of my coworkers did stop me later to ask me more about my own experience, and to express sympathy, which helps. Of course it does.

I just wish more people would get educated on rape culture, on what it means for the survivors of abuse of all kinds, & on what should happen in the justice system, instead of what actually does.

Dammit. I still can’t believe they said that.

And around we go.