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?

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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.

No Lightning…But Kinda Pissed

First off – let me say that most of today was just fine. That’s why I’m only kinda pissed.

I went to my hometown during the all-school reunion festivities today, & made my first stop my parent’s house. Because, of course, I did! I’m a good daughter!

Dad was out of town, so it was just Mom and me, & we ended up wandering the town to look for Dwight Knuth, the gentleman who wrote his autobiography, & featured one of my blog posts in it. We met up with him at the school, & talked to him for a bit. It was really, very nice & he had to have a hug from us both when we parted.

Then.

We went in search of the shadow box my dad built for the school which holds my sculpture of Horton & the book, Horton Hatches an Egg, which I mentioned features my hometown in it.

See the teeny little plaque at the bottom?

Know what it says?

“Donated by the Class of 2015”.

#&#%@$@%$+$+%((#!@!!?#-#-@!

WHAT!?!

Nothing, and I repeat…Nothing about how my DAD built that wooden box FROM SCRATCH… Nothing about how a member of the Class of 1988 created the sculpture.

Nothing about the hours of time it took my dad to handcraft each piece of this shadow box. The measuring, sanding, staining -painstaking work that he put into this piece, making sure that each shelf fit perfectly into the enclosure, and would hold up over the years. 

This is not a “company-made” piece…this is a hand made, one-of-a-kind piece of artwork. 

But no one knows that, because my dad is too humble to ever push himself forward in that manner. He’ll never tell anyone about the work he put into it.

Just that the Class of 2015 Donated it.

Ungrateful little shits.

Pisses me right the hell off.

Did I get a thank you?

From my Dad, yes.

From the Class of 2015? I got fuck all.

Anyway…

After that, Mom & I blew that popsicle stand & went downtown to have lunch, retreating back to their place afterwards.

I did stick around long enough to hit the “street dance” too… (Nobody was really dancing, more like milling around the street, drinking & listening to a band play really loudly)

I did end up running into some classmates, & had fun talking to them, catching up with where they are, what they’ve been doing, how old we’re all feeling anymore…

And before I knew it, it was almost 11pm, & I had to get the hell out of Dodge. I hate driving the highways so late at night, after hitting a deer a few years back – it makes you a bit jumpy & skittish while driving alone.

So, I’m home, safe. I didn’t smite the town with lightning…although I’d like to smack some little ungrateful wretches from the Class of 2015…

And I scored some homemade strawberry jam out of Mom’s freezer…so…definite win.

So, no lightning, but still kinda pissed.

Thanks, Though







And the stray gets put to the side of the road once again on the journey of life…

I’m used to it now.

The pain of being left behind…

The confusion as they leave, with no explanation, no thought of anyone else’s feelings, & just a merry wave…because, hey… She’s resilient… She’ll bounce right back & find someone else. 

They think that because they don’t see the brokenness that follows… The destruction of self I never allow anyone to see.

All they see is the mask & the automaton that goes through the daily motions, existing until I can rebuild from within, slowly, excruciatingly, piece by piece.

The only one who never left me…is the one I had to push away, because he was a toxic liar & chronic breaker of promises. And, is still stalking me to this day. 

Something seriously wrong with this picture.

And DON’T tell me “Well, maybe you just need some time alone”. 

Fuck that.

I’ve been alone for 6 years, considering how many times I’ve been dumped, ghosted, benched & dusted.

But, I’m fine. Just tired…

Thanks, though.

Truth Bombs

Dropped some truth bombs tonight.

I don’t know if it was Because I’m at the end of my tether, emotionally, or because I’ve been taking more of my antianxiety meds…or just because I’ve had more bullshit to deal with lately than I can successfully shovel…

But, I let the cleansing begin.

First, I talked to my Mom. 

We discussed a lot of things on the phone tonight, about what’s been going on in my life, what my parents have been dealing with (they’ve been helping a friend deal with the loss of her husband, and it hasn’t been easy), and about OnlySon’s graduation. 

While on that subject, I told her some of the family members I’d sent announcements to… And my brother was not on the list.

She wasn’t happy about that.

But, as I tried to tell her…

I don’t have his contact information.  Ever since he & his family moved, I’ve lost touch. We don’t call each other, don’t move in the same circles socially, & haven’t had much to say to one another ever since he wrote his venomous email to me a few years ago, which prompted me to cut off contact with him.

She tried to tell me that “He’s totally changed, & didn’t mean any of those things anymore”.

When I told her that he’d never said he was wrong, had never apologized or attempted to make amends, she said he never would.

So, I told her “And I can never forget, nor forgive, what he said. He destroyed any hope of a relationship he could have with me, so why should I have any consideration for his feelings? He doesn’t want me to be involved with his children, so why should he be involved with mine??. He once stated that his little sister was dead to him. He was right.”

And that ended that conversation.

Then… it was time to handle Truth Bomb #2.

I received an email from E today.

Begging for forgiveness, and threatening to take his own life if I don’t take him back and talk to him.

Emotional blackmail.

After having been emotionally abused in my last marriage, I swore that it would never happen again.

So I let him have it with both barrels.

He has a preteen daughter.

I called him selfish and a coward.

I told him that if he could fight for his country, then he could damned well fight for his daughter, pull himself up by his bootstraps, & prove to his child that she was worth sticking around for, instead of turning her into an orphan.

I told him that it was time to stop laying the blame of his feelings on me, and take responsibility for his own actions and choices.

And that, obviously, he’d never listened to anything I’d said, didn’t know who I was at all, & had some fantasy built up in his head of who I was, and that he’d better get over it, stop lying to himself & everyone else, go home & treat his daughter better than he’d treated me.

I also told him that I’d take responsibility for my own culpability, that I’d let him talk me into lying to family & friends about all the secrets he’d asked me to keep for him, but that he’d asked me to do that at all was reprehensible and morally objectionable.

Finally, I told him that, after all this, I’d been right to stop trusting him, that stooping to emotional blackmail was sick, that I had been right to put a stop to the relationship when I had, and that I wanted him to stop trying to contact me ever again.

The calls would not be answered, & would, in fact, be automatically rejected.

That texts would be sent directly to spam, & I would never see them.

Same with emails.

And I never answer unknown numbers, so trying to reach me from another phone wouldn’t work.

This – needs to end.

And if it means being a stone cold nuclear bitch from now on…

Bombs away….