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.

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It Won’t Quite Be Today

Monday I found out that my ex-boss from my old job at “that place” died. She was 82.

She had health issues, which I would be willing to bet contributed to her passing away, but honestly, I think she was ready to go be with her husband, who passed many years before.

I’ve written before about her. About how I think she wanted to stop time when her husband passed, & was bitter over the fact that the rest of the world wouldn’t cooperate.

I… have… feelings… about this woman. And no, they’re not pleasant feelings.

Yes, I’m still angry.

Because of things she said & did, because of things she stood aside and allowed to be said to me by others, when, as my employer, she should have stood up for me – this was the span of time when I had to start talking to my doctor about anxiety, & finding the right medication for it, because it spiralled out of control.

Maybe it would have happened eventually, anyway? Maybe not? But, the stress this woman put me under at my job, due to her direct influence and due to her selfish neglect, I truly believe she caused a chain reaction for me that ended up with panic attacks and severe anxiety.

Both have now been tempered, thank Goddess, but it was really bad, back then.

I’ve had a couple people tell me I should just “let it go”, now that she’s gone. And that I shouldn’t speak ill of the dead.

That day is not today.

I will start to let go of the anger I have towards her, because I am still in the healing process.

But it won’t happen today.

I won’t let myself become bitter with this, or hold this grudge. I’m not good at grudges.

And I know the sharp, hot taste of anger in my mouth, the heat of it rising like magma in my chest, making me shake with it as I used to drive past her other business & would flip it the bird.

Yes, I used to flip her other business off…every time I drove by it. EVERY. TIME.

For those who don’t live in my city, or know which business she ran, it sat on one of the main thorough-fares in our city, and I drove past it at least once a week, if not 3 or 4 times.

That’s a lot of middle fingers.

But I know that spicy, angry tang… doesn’t last.

It fades.

Unless you fuel it, religiously topping it with the coal it needs to keep embers ablaze in your gut for years.

Leaving you with the bitter fallout of ash on your tongue.

You speak nothing but that bitter taste, for that’s all you know, constantly regurgitating it from within, constantly stoking that furnace of hatred and regret, leaving you nothing but gray.

No color, no joy, no future.

I do know the difference between temporary anger, and permanent bitterness.

Even if my anger has been 10 years in the healing, and still – the scabs crack & bleed a little when scraped.

I’m working on healing.

But – It won’t quite be today.

It’s Finally Happened

I’ve finally, truly, given up on ever having faith in men.

I just don’t believe that they’ll ever do what they say they will, anymore.

I don’t have any fucks to give when it comes to romance, either.

I’m so done with giving chances to men who shit on me, take me for granted, walk all over me & treat me as though I were nothing more than a convenience drive-through for them.

It’s been a long time coming, this attitude, and a slow death by attrition, but after everything – I’m just. Fucking. Done.

I don’t want anymore promises, no more “please, just one more chance”s… No more winky faces, no more flirtatious texts or DMs on Instagram. No more “trying just one last time” on dating sites, because Goddess knows – THAT is the LAST fucking thing I need. No more damn messages asking me about my “likes and dislikes”.

Fuuuuuuuck… I’m so tired of all the bullshit, only to end up alone again at the end of it all, because it really was all just a game to the other person.

I’m too damn old for this shit.

I’m too old for these men who “claim” they “love me” (ha) and yet they can’t ever seem to make their way to my damn door. Oh, but they can text every day, and want to talk on the phone, sure, cause that’s easy.

But, actually showing up?

Naw, that’s hard.

Sorry.

Fuck off.

I’m busy.

I don’t have time to read your texts anymore, and I’m not answering the phone when you call.

You want to tell me you looove me?

Fucking prove it, bitch.

Til then, I’m out.

I got no fucks to give.

Dim The Lights

And so we come once again to November, one of my least favored months of the year, containing my least favorite holiday.

Actually, I could do away with Thanksgiving altogether, and never miss it.

I think I’ve borne a deep-seated resentment towards this holiday since I was a child, to be honest, and I’ll tell you why.

As a kid, Thanksgiving meant having to dress up, and stay dressed up, All Damn Day. As a tomboy, this was one of the worst possible punishments you could inflict on me. I loathed wearing dresses, and having to wear one for a whole day… Not being able to climb trees with the cousins, or scurry up and down the cliff behind our house – hell – simply having to stay clean all day… It was hell.

And OK, the food thing was alright, but I was always a picky eater, so I pretty much stuck to turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing & corn. No funky salads, no strange fruity jello things, nothing unidentifiable, thanks. Pumpkin pie for dessert, with plenty of whipped cream, & I was done.

And then… Ultimate boredom set in.

The menfolk took over the living room to watch football, while the women ruled the kitchen.

There was nowhere for a tomboy cursed to wearing a dress for the day to go!

Gah!

I usually ended up sitting in my room, playing records on my record player, wishing I could change into my ratty jeans & scuttle down the cliff to the freedom of the river below. 

No joy. The maternal police in the kitchen guarded the stairway & would’ve caught me.

As a grownup, I became resigned to the holiday – until my brother destroyed it a few years ago for me with his hate-filled email one year, & a ranting phone call another year.

I… Quite simply… HATE … Thanksgiving with pretty much every fiber of my being.

And yet – every year, I’m forced to partake in this much-loathed ritual, to make my parents happy.

*sigh* 

At least I don’t have to explain why Mom asks me to make the pumpkin pie every year anymore, since my sibling & his family moved away. 

I wish I could say no.

I wish I could be far away this year & not have to “do” Thanksgiving.

I’ve never really seen the true need for this holiday. A secular holiday “celebrating” something that ended up being basically a farce? Pilgrims & natives eating together in thanks? And then European settlers basically trying to destroy the natives in their greed for land and domination? 

Why are we giving thanks again?

I’m thankful most of the year for what I have, I don’t need this one freaking day to remind me to give thanks – thanks anyway.

And shitty things always seem to happen at this time of year, so I walk around, cringing, waiting for the other shoe to hit me on the back of the head.

I’d like to just fit a dimmer switch on November… Turn it down, gradually, a bit at a time…until that day rolls around… And I can just dim the lights & pretend to not be home?

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.

The Guilt of No

I used to take “No” lessons from one of my coworkers years ago.

Back when I was still married to Ex-husband #2, and working for a different company, one of my coworkers used to tell me often that I needed to learn how to say “NO” and mean it.

This was usually in reference to something my ex wanted to spend money on that we really didn’t need, and I was being coerced into going along with it. He would manipulate me with guilt, and I would cave, because it was easier to just go along and get along than deal with the pouting and temper tantrum when he didn’t get his way.

The “NO” lessons didn’t work very well back then.

Of course, the guilt had had years of training by then, as my Mom and Grandma were the Queens of Guilt, wielding it like fierce bullwhips crackling in the air whenever us kids would step outside of their imagined “acceptable” boundaries.

It’s damn hard to say No when you’ve been trained most of your life that you don’t have the right to that word…

And yet, here I am again, trying to learn how to do just that.

I’ve done it, successfully, a few times over the years. Sometimes even in big ways, that have benefitted me greatly. 

And yet, there are times, recently, when I still feel guilty about setting personal boundaries and saying No.

I have a personal fb account. 

It’s very private, and I have very few people in it. Less than 20, actually. A handful of family members (some blood, some Chosen), some friends from the blogging world that I never get to see in person, a couple of friends who live out of state, who, again, I don’t get to see in person, & a couple of friends from here in town.

But, these are all people who I am actually CLOSE to, in one way or another. We share a connection, we talk, we text, we vent, we laugh, we mourn, we gripe & share war stories together – the friends here in town? Occasionally we get together & actually GEOGRAPHICALLY hang out with one another. We go to dinner, or grab drinks, or walk in the park, or get coffee/tea. We do things together.

So, when I received a “friend” request the other day from someone who I’m not close with, but just a friendly acquaintance…

Ahh…there’s that guilt again.

There was a blow-up a few years ago at work over my fb account. Because I’d deleted a bunch of people from my page who I wasn’t actually really friends with, but just friendly, and when they wanted to play around on my page…they couldn’t get on it anymore, because I’d deleted them.

It got brought into the office, of all the inappropriate places, and made a big stink about, so I blocked pretty much everyone, & said I’d deleted my page altogether.

Problem solved ~Poof. 

But no.

Now it’s rearing its ugly head again.

Well, whatever.

I’m done explaining.

My personal page is private.

I don’t see what the big deal is, anyway. 

It’s not like any of the juicy shit gets put there, anyway.

All the raw, personal ME is RIGHT HERE.

Stop being butthurt about not being able to snoop on my social media page where I post memes about Paganism and GOT, FFS.

If you’re reading this, you know more about me than those who only see fb.

And if you want to know what’s going on in my life, but haven’t seen it here? Maybe you should FUCKING ASK ME INSTEAD OF TALKING BEHIND MY BACK.


Race

My extra dose of anxiety meds this evening slides down my throat as my pulse races once again.

Panic waits nearby, always hovering, crackling on the edges of my nerves.

For the last few weeks…things have been, bad, in regards to my anxiety.

I’ve been trying to deal… and for the most part, have kept the panic attacks at bay for now. But it’s just a matter of time.

I know it’ll happen, just not when.

So, I prepare.

I use the exercise to wear myself out every night, pushing myself to exhaustion. 

It’s not just to keep the dreams away.

If I’m worn to a nub, there’s no adrenaline to push through my system…and no fuel for the panic to feed off of.

And this time…I know why my nerves are frayed.

The rejection from the last one started the spiral.

But – it was spiked by E. 

He refuses to leave me alone, even though I’ve told him I’m finished. That I’m moving on with my life without him. I told him that I was through being manipulated, used, left behind. And that he needed to leave me alone from here on out.

He’s refusing to hear me.

Multiple attempts to call, at least on two occasions, he tried to call me – and when I rejected his “private number” and “unknown caller” calls, he rang back immediately – 12 times each day.

I’ve blocked his number, email, texts, etc., but when you make your # “private”? It rings through anyway… It’s stalking. Harassment. Meant to intimidate and manipulate.

I refuse to answer.

But…it reminds me that he will not stop.

Not until he gets what he thinks he wants.

And that makes my anxiety shoot up.

It makes me want to – at the same time – run for the hills and hide… And face him down and smash his face, force him to leave me alone.

I’m so sick of people trying to tell me who they think I should be, what I should do, what I should think, or feel.

I know who I am.

I know my own feelings.

I know what’s right for me.

And I’ll be damned if I’ll ever fucking apologize for any of that, ever again. 

Yes, there’s more than one reason for that last statement, and no E isn’t the only reason. I’m not ready to go into the rest of it, just yet. 

I’m pissed off, anxious, depressed, lonely and fed up. All at the same time.

It’s not easy trying to deal with all of this, but I will. I talk to the Beloved Nephew, but he’s not here…he’s states away, so I ride this wave alone.  So I deal – On my own, because that’s just the way it works. I don’t ask for help until I’m bleeding out. 

You should know this by now.