real bffs.

bffs blog.jpg
This is a free stock photo I found by googling “free stock photo bffs.” My real BFF picture would have us sitting at a bar drinking margaritas and taking selfies with our middle fingers raised, which we would send to various people (COUGHmenCOUGH) who’d done us wrong, with really bitchy captions and stuff. There would be no running tracks or sports of any kind involved. I mean, look at these two women: neither has on the proper footwear for this outing, and pensive looks off to the side just don’t scream FUN to me.

I want to take a break from my anxiety/depression meme entries and talk about two things I’ve had in my brain lately: being real and being real BFFs. Let’s talk about BFFs first.

Occasionally, Ms. M will meet a new girl and immediately begin referring to the girl as “my BFF.” I cringe every time she does this, first because she recently did that with the girl who lives down the hall from us and the girl went, “But I’m not your BFF. I already have a best friend, and it’s not you.” And while on the OUTSIDE I said: What? Girls can’t have more than one BFF? On the inside, I really wanted to punch the shit out of that kid because girls are really mean sometimes. Estrogen creates ego issues, I’ve come to believe.

But also because not everyone is worthy of friendship status let alone being called a best friend. Her aunt and I have both tried to explain to her what officially elevates someone to the lofty “BFF” title, that being things like trustworthiness, consistency, kindness, wanting to hang out as much as possible, and having a lot in common. Also, they should have more good times than arguments. And Ms. M should never feel excluded, made fun of, or used in any way. I’ve subtly ended some friendships with girls from Ms. M’s school because I can see it already: that little girl is well on her way to being a Future Mean Girl. I’m not a Mean Girl. I’m not raising a Mean Girl. We do not hang out with Mean Girls.

Can I be mean? Yes. Can a friend be mean? Yes. But once in awhile, or over things that deserve it. Not because Ms. M, insecure and desperate to be liked and feel like one of the clique, claims she has a dog like Victoria does and a baby sister like Sharon does and then the group of bitchy little mean girls find out that’s not true and decide to start gossiping about M behind her back and occasionally right in front of her and just generally acting like judgmental little jerks. Call me helicopter mom if you want, but that’s one kind of person I don’t want in my child’s sphere of existence. I am painfully aware I have a finite amount of time to help her navigate other human beings, which I am not stellar at myself, and I just don’t have the patience for that kind of person I don’t care how old they are.

One big problem with all of this is that my daughter is an E on the Myers-Briggs scale and I am very much an I. Ms. M renews her energy off social situations, being around other people, being loud, reveling in attention, doing…THINGS. I look forward to introspective activities – reading, writing, binge-ing an entire three seasons of a Netflix show, or just sitting and thinking. I don’t mind parties and going out – on Saturday, for instance, I’m going to a coworker’s house for a fun, casual get together. I am looking forward to this; I genuinely like the people I work with, even the ones on the opposite side of the political spectrum from me…we are great friends (until they start complaining about Obama – who isn’t even in charge anymore – and talking about how magnificent Trump is and then I’m all: but have you seen the stuff where they’re, like, GIVING AWAY THE FREE GUATEMALAN KIDS THEY KIDNAPPED FROM THEIR MOMS????? UH HELLO??????? …………but I digress).

Here’s how *I* work: When invited to a house party, I’ll show up punctually at 6:30 pm, with my beverage and appetizer contributions. We will talk and laugh and OH MY GOD THEY DID NOT!!! about the various things that happen in our place of work or on the news or around town or whatever. Maybe we will play a card game of some sort. By about 10:30 pm, I’ll be all Welp, you guys this was amazing! But if I don’t get in my car to go home like within the next 6 minutes I’mma be sleeping on this couch bye see you Monday!! Then I’ll go home, climb in bed and get angry on Twitter for awhile about things I can’t control, and then I’ll be asleep. I will spend Sunday recuperating from all my people-ing, because I have to do it again for five days straight starting in less than 24 hours.

That’s how *I* work.

This is how my daughter works: When invited to even the most casualest of get togethers, she shows up 15-20 minutes early SUUUUUUPPPPPER excited, wanting to help clean and decorate and cook and set up and pick the music and oh my god oh my god oh my god you guys we’re having a party i LOOOOOVE parties don’t YOU??? parties ROCK!!!!! By 1:00 am when everyone has either left or can be seen painfully yawning, she will be suggesting a rousing game of Charades or wanting to stick in a Wii Just Dance game. She’ll finally drop off about 3:30 am, be up at 7:45 am, and spend the rest of her day existentially depressed because why do parties have to end??? why why WHYYYY????? will there ever be another party???? can WE have a party???? YOU NEVER HAVE PARTIES MOM!!! EVERYBODY else on the entire PLANET has them!!! Every day!!!!! when can we go to another party wheeeen????

I love her. I know way back in eons before time we picked each other out – said: hey, let’s go to planet Earth one day and be Mother/Daughter – up in Heaven or wherever these things are decided. But holy Mother Goose on a popsicle stick, she does exhaust me a lot. I just don’t have her extroversion. Even writing about it has left me a wee bit drained.

But I also get it: this is a child who doesn’t just need friends, she requires them. She needs friends like fish need water and Donald Trump needs FOX News show hosts telling him how amazing he is. It’s the only way she can mentally survive a world full of chaotic, bad people and too much quiet. I spent this summer trying to teach her that existence in a calm home and being bored is actually okay, healthy even, and that sometimes it’s nice to just have a quiet day alone. In your bedroom. Quiet. ….this lasted exactly 2 days, 2 hours each day. Then we had to go to the pool. Where there was no one to play with, and she cried.

The problem with all of this is – I WANT her to have friends, but I want NICE girls. She is resistant to seeing the reality of other people (apples…trees). This has caused a lot of tears on her part and a lot of worry and anxiety on my part; I can see what they are. She cannot (will not).

Also? I DON’T want to have be friends with her friends’ parents.

Some things about that: she can be friends with kids from her school, but they can’t spend the night with us. I’m also reluctant to even have kids from her school in my home. It’s a job safety thing. We also live 45 minutes from where she goes to school. So I’m also reluctant to drive 45 minutes to take some kid I don’t know, whose parents I know even less, out for pizza and a movie. I will do it, have done it. But I usually get pissed off in the end…not at the kid, at the parents.

PSA for Parents: if another parent takes your child off your hands for 3 or more hours or, god forbid, an ENTIRE NIGHT…unofficial parenting rules state you MUST reciprocate. It is poor form not to reciprocate. I have bought your child food and an outing activity. Can we at least get a dinner invite for my kid?

In addition, I have yet to meet a parent of one of Ms. M’s numerous BFFs who I’d genuinely want to be friends with myself. Making friends – GOOD friends – is a process. You have to get to know each other. That takes time, but it also requires you to be real with someone. I spend a lot of time at work covering up the real me. I am myself, but I’m also not. I don’t know if that makes sense. I don’t talk politics at work, ever. First, it’s just not the place for it, but also where I work at I’m in the minority. Second, I share personal things about myself because I’m just that kind of a person – I genuinely have never had a problem airing my dirty laundry for others to see. I think it connects us, and lets people know they aren’t the only ones. (And to those people who look at it and go: EWWW, what an attention whore! I say: fuck you.) But I can’t air out my dirty underpants at work. I’m willing to let them see my PJs, but they can’t see my unmentionables. And third: I cuss. Not all willy-nilly just to throw out the F word or whatever, but once in awhile I do cuss a little like a pirate, or at least a pirate’s wench. Because of my life experiences and personal explorations, I am mixture of preppy Club Med and lascivious Hedonism II Negril, Jamaica. And I only occasionally go to church, and the church we go to has Reiki healers and crap.

So I can’t be real. Not at work. Like my social media is pretty much on lock down as well because of it. I just don’t need people I work with knowing the REAL real me – they get just real me, the 75% awesome version. I save the full Monty for people I know for sure are safe. And over the last 3 years or so? I have made three – THREE – bad calls on that. So I’m super cautious.

What this means for Ms. M: she has to depend on me texting and calling up moms of girls from her old school we got to know. This means peopleing for me, and I have to be in a right emotional zone for that to happen. One recent blessing is her new friend T from down the hall…whose mom gets it and did reciprocate by having M over for a sleepover last weekend. That’s good. But she also seems really tired and a lot like me actually: not so loud, please. T and M would basically live together…like, ask the apartment people to knock out the wall between T’s living room and our kitchen. But T’s mom and I, single mothers and she’s got a 9 month old baby who cries a LOT…we need the wall. (This is the only kind of wall building I support, by the way.)

What all of this means for me: a lot of flippin’ guilt.

Because I’m tired after work every day, weekends are for decompressing from all the peopleing I’ve done Monday-Friday, and also I hate hate HAAATE making small talk with people I know aren’t being their real selves with me so I can’t be my real self with them. Or they are being their real selves, and there is simply no chance I’ll ever feel connected enough to them to reveal my real self.

I once had lunch with two moms while our 3 girls played, and the conversation made me want to stab myself in the eye with one of the forks on the table. I kind of expected this from Mom #1, but Mom #2 had like 10 tattoos and liked reading and some geeky things so I thought she’d be more relaxed…nope. They were both super careful with me, about being positive about everything, keeping things light, and NO, absolutely not a single word, NO cursing. Neither of these women attend church, and every time I’ve been in Mom #1’s house, her husband is mixing some kind of alcoholic beverage and offering me some. But nope. We gotta sit around a restaurant table and pretend like we’re all chaste, perfect moms who know exactly what we’re doing. I can’t even with that. Come on.

This is why I don’t have a BFF. Unlike my daughter, this situation doesn’t cause me real physical pain. It makes me sad when I get on social media to see women I like and often hang out with refer to another woman as her “best friend.” I feel sort of like…a longing? But nothing I’m in a big hurry to do anything about.

First, I know how I am: there have been whole days, WEEKS actually, over the last several years I’m lucky if I manage to pull myself out of bed and to the couch, let alone do a load of laundry. I can’t go out for wine or to the movies because I’m usually tired and typically broke. Second, forming a really good, solid friendship not only requires meeting someone you feel a real connection to and desire to bond with, but it also requires time…phone talks, dinner outings, movie dates, hanging out at each others’ homes, getting to know each others’ families, convincing each others’ families they WANT to get to know this person, I can go on. I mean, we’re talking about at least a 2-3 year commitment of friendship foundation. And after all THAT, I feel like it’s like dating: at some point, there should be a “What Are We Doing Here?” conversation. Is this what I think it is? Do you feel for me the way I feel for you? Are we…dare I say it…BESTIES?? Are you in BFF with me?? Cuz I think I’m in BFF with YOU! And then you have to get on social media and announce it somewhere: Amy is in a BFF with Jane.

That is making me want to take a nap (which is good, because as I type it is almost 10:15 pm and I need to go to bed anyway).

So. That’s my blog entry for tonight. BFFs and being real. I think I also had a really long rant about being real – you know, how some people use Facebook to present an image that’s not real. Oh, look! Look at my profile picture! It’s me making out with my boyfriend! We look SO cute together! I guess I’ll keep him for awhile! We’re a bit rough around the edges, but are sooooo much in true love. (Even though he cheated on me 5 times last year and I freaking hate his guts and tell him so like 4 times a day and just yesterday I dumped him for the 100th time this year.)

But I’m not doing that rant because I’ve just written like 5000 words about BFFs and I’m peopled out by proxy.

So I’m stopping here, without a single problem in my world solved. Par for the course…this seems to be how humanity is doing things these days. Now please excuse me, I need to post a meme on Facebook about loving everyone no matter what even though earlier tonight I almost lost my cool on a woman who did not understand the My Space/Your Space concept at WalMart, who kept inching closer and closer to me and when I’d move away she’d move even closer until finally I’d had it and just said in an exasperated way, “You know what? YOU go ahead of me. Please.” Then I flounced off to the OTHER side of the cash register area because GAH and holy mother of god I hate people. That’s my blog. Happy Wednesday.

20 things (part 2)

This was a rough weekend. Listen…I really don’t care who gets to sit on the Supreme Court for life, Republican or Democrat or Hare Krishna for Jesus. It doesn’t matter to me. What does matter is that the person isn’t clearly partisan; I mean, they all are. Realistically. Liberal presidents nominate liberal justices, and vice versa. But one thing I always noted about justices I knew were clearly not on “my” side was that I’d at least be able to trust they’d at least LISTEN to the opposing side’s arguments. This guy?

This was a rough weekend.

And that’s all I’ll say about that. (For now.)

Last night I stayed up until 3 AM pretending to be a voice over artist/director/movie producer and recorded myself reading one of my favorite feminist writings, “A Woman of War” by Mehreen Kanasa. It was Art. And something I could do to channel some of the emotions I felt all day Saturday.

woman of war

So to someone who views feminism as angry and scary, this probably will make that person go: yeah, these women clearly have daddy issues. And you know what? Maybe we do, jerk face. And you should think about why that may be. And you should think about why WHY there was such a gutteral, deep and keening pain heard all over America from its women…at the thought of a possible sexual predator being confirmed to the Supreme Court. And why we’d have such a problem with one sitting in the White House already.

This was a REALLY rough weekend.

So I’m going to finish my anxiety/depression thingie I started last time because god knows I’ve been mired in nothing but anxiety/depression all weekend.

anxiety depression blog

I was on Number 10 of 20 things that make me smile last time I was here. Here are numbers 11-20:

11- Genuinely, truly good men. I do know them, and they make my heart happy. These are men who don’t use women, in any way shape or form. My brother is one. My friend J, married to my friend R, is one. My sweet D is one. Even when I get upset with him or he gets upset with me. My child’s father. A handful of men I’ve become friendly with online. My father’s cousin’s husband. My nuevo amigo J in Barcelona who, dios willing, I’ll one day pay off my credit card debts and actually have some money to visit him in Espana, which I have always wanted to see.

I know good, truly good, men. These are men who when they recognize they’ve hurt someone, they try to fix it. They sincerely make amends. They don’t keep on behaving like dickholes. Consistency matters. All you have to do to be a good man, gentlemen of the world, is to be consistent. If you recognize you’ve hurt a woman, then make the amends and be a good friend. The end. Men like that make me happy. And I feel blessed to know them.

12- Music. This song. And this song. And this one. When I listen to them, my soul soars with hope and faith in love. And this song, song of my soul. Sara Bareiilles’ She Used to Be Mine feels deeply identifiable to me. The Story by Brandi Carlile too.  City of Stars from the movie La La Land…oh my heart. When I need to feel uplifted and hopeful about life in general, I listen to pretty much any song from The Greatest Showman: this one for loving myself…this one for dreaming big dreams, or this one…pretty much I could just live with the soundtrack from this movie in my ears all the time. I sit with goosebumps all over me through almost every single song.

Music helps me sleep AND dream. It’s playing in my ears right now in fact. Because it also helps me drown out the world and focus.

13- Nature hikes. Which I meant to do this weekend and then allowed technology and the world’s chaos to suck me in. I wish it wasn’t so hot still. Or that I at least liked getting up early on the weekends. I always feel better after I’ve been outside. Vitamin D via sunlight is always a good idea (for me). Even if I have to be out on a cloudy day, it’s better for me that hanging out in a small, stuffy apartment.

14- Art. I like sculptures AND paintings. I like portraits, landscapes, AND messy modernists. I have also determined I need a Frida Wall. I think I may start one in my bedroom next year. I’m going to start collecting muchos corazones for it.

 

frida wall
Frida is my art shero.

15- Crucifixes AND Buddhas. I have these all over my home. I have absolutely no problem mixing religions. For instance, right now I’m absolutely obsessed with Mary Magdalene. But in all of her forms: whore and saint, the goddess forms of Isis and Asherah, the Jewish metaphysical representation of Eve and Lilith, Mary Queen of Heaven and consort of Jesus of Nazareth. Mother, sinner, lover, healer. I think she’s fascinating and I could read about her for forever.

16- Magic. Specifically, the feminine divine. I have been intensely interested in this for years and years and YEARS.  When I was small, I was terrified of men. Terrified. Eventually, I relaxed and everything became man-centered. Even God. When I was little I’d sing to God, hoping he’d like my songs. Maybe because I was too shy or afraid to sing to my dad. But once upon a time, God was a woman. Did you know? Once upon a time, God was a woman. So the concept of spirituality as it once was before men dominated it interests me beyond ways I can properly express here in writing; this is more of a deep-seated sense of longing that’s been inside of me for most of my life, pushed down for many years – decades, even – to accommodate what the various men in my life needed from me. Now? I want to get to know Her, and one day write a good story about Her.

Women are infused with magic, and magic is power and I think that scares many men. Though I don’t understand why, because in goddess-centered religions, men also have been infused with their own kind of magic.

In other words: I have not JUST started my feminism this weekend; even when I was spinning my wheels in anger and resentment at one man or another, it was always because of some sense of injustice I felt from one boy or another. In high school, my senior AP English thesis was titled “Strong Women in Russian Literature.” I contrasted/compared Boris Pasternak’s Dr. Zhivago and Ivan Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons, both novels written by men. Even at 17, I was intensely interested in the feminine divine…how to find it, how to coax it out of hiding, even in the most male-dominated, patriarchal of cultures.

17- The first cold days of fall. I mean, REALLY cold. Not just: ooh, I may need a jacket cold. I mean: time to break out a big, oversize sweater and my comfy boots cold. I hate that it gets dark so early, but I love the idea of evening bonfires and hot toddies.

I feel the same way about the first warm days of Spring, but with spaghetti straps and flip flops and warm evenings with cold margaritas…and some brief but intense anxiety about how pasty pale I am and how much winter weight I added.

18- Thanksgiving. I’ve decided THIS is my favorite holiday, followed by Christmas. I’m cool with Halloween still, but I like how Thanksgiving is really just about gathering with friends and/or family for a big meal and then crashing in a food coma on a sofa. There’s no pressure of having to have a cool costume and walking around in the dark on a school/work night begging strangers for candy then having to argue endlessly with my child about why we actually do NOT need to eat said candy in less than 3 days’ time. And there’s no pressure of presents at Christmas. Or stress-related nervous breakdowns in January over financial situations. Thanksgiving is the best. Even though it marks the beginning of several centuries of oppression, apartheid, ethnic cleansing, and horror for America’s native peoples. And social media is a barrage of bipolar memes about happiness and togetherness vs European oppression and violent cultural appropriation. I’m also studiously ignoring what happens to turkeys every November.

Hm. Wait. I need to do 18 over. This one totally percolated my anxiety.

18 (part 2) – You know what makes me intensely happy? When someone plays with my hair. I could have my hair gently brushed by someone else for literally hours. It lulls me into almost a stupor. Like what happens to sharks when divers flip them over and rub their bellies a certain way. Yes. That’s way better than Thanksgiving. I bet if the Native Americans and Pilgrims had just brushed each other’s hair, Donald Trump and Brett Kavanaugh wouldn’t even be a thing today. Or they’d be hairdressers. Win either way.

19- Hot showers. I always feel so much better after a long, hot, good shower. I feel fresh. Like I’ve washed off all the bad vibes. Showers are also where I do my best thinking. Or win the most arguments with people I’m super mad at.

20- Hugs and forehead kisses. They just make me happy. Really, intensely happy. I think because I feel safe. And okay. Loved.

20 things etc.

I’m not writing (still). But I need to express. Currently, I have an offline (handwritten) journal, in which I really haven’t written either. But I have done some rather manic, horror movie-worthy sketches. That’s okay, right? To get the hate and despair out. That’s all Mike Myers really wanted, I suppose.

I have anxiety. It makes me struggle with depression. Both cause me to behave in ways that are not me. Not the core of me.

There’s a tribe in Africa that doesn’t punish people who do bad things. They gather around the person who caused trouble or harm, and they sing to that person. They sing a song that person’s mother began singing to him or her when they were just a baby. Before they were here on Earth, outside their mother’s womb, their mother sang them this song. It is their Song. The name of their Soul.

I have been lost, and wandering, for a very long time. Three years to be exact. I have met friends who are enemies and enemies who are friends. I have battled dragons and wizards, befriended wily foxes, soothed sorrowful fairies and hobbits. I have unleashed storms from my hands, and I have wielded a mighty sword against powerful foes. I am tired. I am sad. I no longer want to write…I have a friend who says my tweet threads are my writing. My emails. My long texts. I am writer. Words are song. My soul song. (Also Somewhere Over the Rainbow. My true self’s song was, is, and will always be Somewhere Over the Rainbow–my soul recognized it at 6 years old, and it has lived inside of me no matter where I am at in life or what I am battling. My soul lives somewhere over the rainbow, where happy little blue birds fly.)

Anyway. So the tribe sings the Soul’s Song, until the person is on their knees, in tears, exhausted, weak from fighting. And then the tribe gathers the person to each of them, and they hug their person. They forgive their person, until their person forgives themselves. And remembers Who They Are.

I need a hug.

So I’m going to start here. (Again. Cannot count how many times I have stopped then started in the last 3-4 years.) I am going to start here by answering some questions from a meme about Anxiety/Depression, two things I know so much about.

anxiety depression blog

I’ll start at the top and work my way down. If I can remember to come back and do this, I’ll actually finish the entire process (for once). About 2 months ago on Facebook I started sharing pictures of book covers from books that have impacted me significantly. I shared 2 books, then completely forgot about it. I hardly ever post on Facebook nowadays. I just don’t have a lot to say.

So to begin (again):

20 Things that Make Me Smile (Part 1)

1-My Ms. M. She started as Little Miss M. Then became Miss M. Now that she’s entering Official Pre-Teen Status ™ and turning 10, I feel like she is a Ms. M. A Divine Ms. M. Full of character, opinion, anger, and delight. Never boring, and only quiet when sleep takes over her.

2-Kids laughing. Babies, specifically. If you can sit in the presence of a baby laughing and not at least smile, something is very wrong with you.

3- Sleeping cats. I love when I catch my cat very very asleep somewhere. Sleeping cats are so peaceful. And cute. And dainty. I can’t think of anything better about life than laughing babies and sleeping cats.

4-The start of a vacation. Even if it’s just a 3 day weekend. Everything feels free and the possibilities of What To Do are endless. It’s the exact opposite of the end of a vacation.

5-When a boy tells me I’m pretty. My inner rage-filled feminist is SUPER angry at me for writing this. And Divine Ms. M just looked over my shoulder and said: “Mom, you should put that you smile when a HOT boy tells you you’re pretty. It’s better when a HOT boy says it.” But that is what makes Ms. M smile, not me. I like it when any boy says I’m pretty. I so often don’t feel pretty. Even though my inner rage-filled feminist is reminding me I am not my looks; looks are a patriarchal construct designed to keep me subservient at all times.

6-Pay Day. Like the beginning of any vacation, everything feels free and fresh and the possibilities are endless. My budget makes sense, and this time…THIS TIME…I am sure I will make it to the following paycheck with a surplus in the bank.

7-Cleaning my entire home. I feel organized and together. Like I’ve finally figured out how Life works. Like an actual grown up. Like a great mom. (Except for the part when I was cleaning and losing my shit over the ants crawling over a piece of bagel under Ms. M’s bed and now I have to call the apartment office….AGAIN….to ask them to come spray our apartment.)

8-A night out with friends who make me laugh. The best nights are when you get home and your cheeks hurt from smiling and laughing. You’ve been reassured YOU aren’t the asshole. You’ve been picked up, dusted off, and set right again. And maybe there’s a slight hangover the next morning, but that’s okay. It’s the Good Hangover. Because your cheeks hurt.

9-The beach. I am at my most centered, my most peaceful, when I am on a beach. I am rarely on a beach – the last time I was on a beach was over a year ago. If that gives you any idea how often that works out for me.

10-Clean bed sheets. I am about to log off this computer and go to bed. In a bed with clean sheets. Because I’m doing proactive lice prevention (long story). But my kitchen is clean and my bed has clean sheets. It’s not making my face smile, but it’s making my world feel like I’m keeping up with my life issues. And that’s a good thing. After the last several months plus the last 3 years? That’s a really really really good thing.

(I was going to do all 20 things tonight, but it’s late. I’ve had a long day and a long work week and all I could pull out of me were these 10 things. You could say that’s half-assed, and you’d probably be right. But some days? Half-assed is enough.)

 

packing up.

I’m tired. My day job is too exhausting and I’m too angry at a sketchy gamer I made the unfortunate mistake of befriending, trusting, and letting in really really far, only to realize 3 years in that he’s a scam artist and also see his fiancée may help him.

They say successful writers succeed because of 10% talent and 90% hard work. I probably have the 10% talent, but I have a lot of debt and bills I need to pay. I have a young child I need to put through college in 8 years. My job is exhausting–I come home and vegetate or fall asleep. Even when I’m off in the summer I’m so exhausted from the previous 10 months all I do is sleep and vegetate then too, just by the pool. It’s less tiring to read other people’s hard work than try to make my own.

So. I’m going to quietly pack up my writing dreams of 20+ years and just tuck them away in a deep box in the back of a closet. I’m too tired and jaded and angry and heartbroken.

The end.

things through a glass darkly.

shadow things
through a glass, darkly.

i have things i want to write about, things i want to say. i’m not sure how to organize them in my brain enough to do a very coherent job of it though. these are things about people. people i know and love and respect tremendously. people i don’t know at all yet respect tremendously, or don’t respect a single bit. people i’ve known and loved and now do not and never will again.

i have things to say about the way people are, and how they can be, and what that can do to you. things about how strong you have to be to keep going and not give up in spite of what these people do to you, can push you and push you to do until you do it, and it is something that isn’t you. things about what these people can turn you into.

i have things i want to think about out loud, things about the kinds of people who will tell you they love you…even as they admit to pushing you into doing things they know aren’t good for you. or right. or even very fair. and then i want to think things out loud about those kinds of people and how toxic and cruel they can be to the very monsters they helped create. i want to write things about the hypocritical nature of people. their masks. how they hide, even as they sneer at other people for hiding.

i have things i want to put into words about how some people create the very storms they claim to fear. things about how people only see each other from their very limited, egotistical, narrow points of view; that these points of view are always self-serving, helping them to keep their masks on. to hide. to judge. to not really see themselves. to avoid the reality of their lives. to continue surface living – to play the role of mom of the year. or kind and generous person. or party girl. or cerebral caustic. or literary genius. i want to write things about our labels, those we give others as well as ourselves. i want to write things about how when you try to help someone remove their label, they lash out at you. they fire anger in the wrong direction. they deceive, they manipulate, they  hurt, they destroy. to preserve the label. to preserve the lie.

i wish i could find a way to put into words the things i’m feeling about people who condemn this group of people or this person but not that other group of people or that other person, and how they do this because if they really saw the world, their lives, themselves as is, they’d have a mental breakdown they’d never recover from because they simply aren’t built or equipped to handle reality or the truth, no matter what they tell themselves, no matter what they scream into the wind.

i want to write things about how some people are trapped in a movie they desperately wish will come true for them, things about how some people want to exist in a fairy tale that isn’t real. i wish i could cohesively put into words, in a way that would reach these people, that love doesn’t fix or save anyone but especially people who cannot exist without blinders. i want to write things about how duplicitous some people are, how they view love and reality as a game. how people are pawns to them, in their quest to have their fairy tale movie life.

i have things i want to write about, about the nature of honesty versus lies. about how some people talk a lot about freedom being the most important thing of all, but then go on to work themselves to death to help other people get richer. i want to write things about how money is so necessary now that even people who have found a way not to work to help anyone else get richer have to ask for money from others who are working for other people’s enrichment. i want to write things about how sometimes people are so focused on not helping others get richer they forget and end up preying on people who are doing that. they enter relationships that aren’t happy, because they need to pay the mortgage. they beg the internet for money. they use sickness and love and tug on heart strings to pay the electric bill. i want to write things about the evils of money. about how it traps us, and makes us people we aren’t. i want to write things about how fame can do that, too.

i want to write things about the predatory nature of human beings but particularly men, how some men are predatory in non-violent ways. i want to write things about how men who like the hunt will search out women who are vulnerable and struggling with self-esteem, then mark them for their personal ego gratification. i want to write things about how these kinds of men say anything, do anything, to keep those women on the fringes of their lives…through the use of quiet manipulation, outright lies, the abuse of love. i want to write things about how someone can find a very lovely human being and pour gasoline on them over and over until they have no choice but to light themselves on fire…to get away, to save themselves. i want to write things about how manipulation isn’t a sustainable way to have a relationship with another human being. nor lies. nor cheating. no, not even utopian concepts like polyamory.

i want to write things about pain. about how easy it is to give into it, to keep going back and touching the wounds though you know the only way to let them heal is to give them to the air, and maybe god, and that the only way for air, and maybe god, to work is for you to stop touching them.

i want to write things about how hard it is for someone to watch a person they love touch bleeding wounds over and over and over and know they can’t stop them from doing it, this is just what they have to do until they learn. until they learn.

and i want to write things about how some people never learn.

i want to write things about how hard it is to be here. how hard it is watch people you love leave and not be able to follow them, or even to text or call them again. i want to write things about how hard it is to grieve someone you murdered yet is still alive. i want to write things about how hard it is to be able to watch them through a glass darkly, though gossamer threads of technology. i want to write things about how we can know someone so well, so thoroughly, and when we finally see them without their mask know: this is not who i thought, this is pain. i want to write things about how we can watch someone through a glass darkly and know about karma, and how people are just not as happy or as okay as they put on their timelines or their feeds or even in their blogs. things about how we can watch them still, waiting. waiting. waiting. for what? i want to write about those things. and why we’d even want those things. for people we once loved, or claim to love still. i want to write things about how even monsters can be beautiful, and not completely terrible.

i want to write things about working in careers that are not really your passion, but help you pay bills so you can cook food and clean the toilet and drive your child to dance class and have technology to watch other people through a glass darkly. i want to write about how exhausting it is, and how there doesn’t seem to be much anyone can do about it. for now. i want to write things about debt, and the people who make money off of other people who go into debt. i want to write things about what true freedom looks and feels like, and how that most likely doesn’t involve a job or money or debt or looking through dark glasses of gossamer technological threads. i want to write things about how most of us are so very conditioned to help enrich the richest that we would simply not even know what to do with real freedom if we truly had it. i want to write things about what true freedom actually looks like, feels like.

i want to write things about bodies, and how these feel like traps. things about industries that make fistfuls of money from people feeling trapped in and unhappy with their bodies. i want to write things about sex, things about industries that make fistfuls of money from people who are addicted to it, who use it to fill voids, who feel entitled to it, who are willing to risk their worlds and self-respect to have access to it…even if it turns out not to be fulfilling at all. i want to write things about women who make money to pay their bills and raise their children by using sex, things about how that’s always been a thing and why is that?

i want to write things about people – men in particular – who seem to be obsessed with this idea that we are, at heart, just cave people still. men like to hunt, women gather. men want to spread their seed, women take care of the cave and its children. i want to write things about the misogyny at the heart of that faux science, the pain it creates in general but also to specific lives. i want to write things about polyamory, things about how sometimes ideas are good in theory but incredibly impractical given human nature.

i want to write things about how misogynistic men can cover it up – even to the point of fooling themselves they are not even slightly misogynistic, in fact, are champions of women – by using love concepts to get what they want. i want to write things about what creates this, about what mothers can do to their sons and fathers can do to their daughters, and vice versa…what mothers can do to their daughters and fathers can do to their sons. i want to write things about how we pay other people to listen to our things, hoping that getting it off our chests will lead us to find solutions, fixes. i want to write things about how sometimes things just are, that there are no solutions, or at least not the solutions we were hoping for. i want to write things about paying others to listen to our things, and how that only works when we tell the absolute truth about ourselves, and our things. i want to write about how so many of us rarely do that because the masks are so comfortable, so safe. we prefer the lies. the false dreams. the illusions.

i want to write things about how darkness seeks out light, to consume it. things about how bright light has to be to fight the darkness, and that – even when it does – light is often dimmed for a long time by the shadows in darkness, shadows created by all of the things i just wrote about wanting to write about it, and how it takes such a very long time to find the light again, because the shadows are so shadowy, and the darkness is so dark.

i want to write things about how easy it is to hate other people, to hate ourselves. i want to write things about how important forgiveness is, and that forgiving ourselves is actually far more important than forgiving other people. i want to write things about how finding the ability to forgive – ourselves or other people – can take years, decades, a lifetime. i want to write things about how forgiveness is somewhere in the light, but the shadows feel safer. i want to write things about how important it is to claw your way back to the light, away from the shadows, but that is a fight for your life and you are defeated more often than not. i want to write things about how defeating that feels. i want to write things about how there is a true you and a false you, and that anyone who tries to tell you thinking that way is distancing language is not someone who knows anything about love or how to live authentically. or in the light.

i want to write things about how many things take a very long time, sometimes much longer than we have here to do them. i want to write things about how limited our time here is, how important every second is, how dark gossamer threads of technology steal those seconds; and i want to write things about how draining it is to keep fighting everything the world brings us, and how the shadows like this, that this is why shadows exist in the first place. i want to write things about how everything i want to write about has always been true for human beings, and i don’t know how to write about things that are that hard.

i want to write about shadow things. i think that was my point to this. i wish i could write about things that aren’t touchable, yet feel as solid as mountains.

through a glass darkly

 

summertime come to jesus tales.

I’m going to be real (I like to be real, and not waste people’s time): this has been a summer. Last summer was a summer. And the summer before. And the summer before. As I go into the home stretch before my life gets very, very scheduled and quite hectic and very exhausting (5:00 AM alarms, y’all), I like to reflect at the halfway point – how’d it go? Am I okay? Better than when I started? Or worse off?

I had some lovely days. Truly, very lovely days. Almost an entire week by the pool by myself, reading a good book. One whole lovely day in the Blue Ridge Mountains on a very very blue lake. I got my closet cleaned out (finally), and my daughter is sleeping in her own bed 90% of the time (this has been a major Thing since she was 2 years old…long story). I finished one whole, wildly good book (highly recommend: Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore – so much wisdom, simply and entertainingly told via fiction…with some deeply disturbing scenes, and these are disturbing simply because they are just not that far fetched to imagine happening today; humans are basically terrible things. If I were to sum up this story, that’s what I’d say: humans are terrible things, though capable of huge love). I’m reading The Passion of Mary Magdalen by Elizabeth Cunningham currently. It’s not for people who like to read the Bible literally, or believe Jesus of Nazareth was God Incarnate. I do not do or believe either of those things, so I’m willing to consider Mary of Magdalen could have been born a Celtic priestess, educated by Welsh druids, enslaved to become a whore by the Romans. Whatever, it’s a wild story and I’m only on page 112 of 620. Wild stories are the best kinds.

But I’ve also had some crap days. I didn’t start eating healthier the way I wanted to…too many fun days with friends and family. I didn’t start a work out program the way I’d intended…too much staying up late and sleeping in. I didn’t write as much as I wanted to…too much intense anger that created lack of focus. (I have been really, really, really angry. For a long, long, long time.) I’ve had some reckonings this summer. I’ve given some other people some reckonings too. I don’t care whether it was my place or cruel to do it or not. Sometimes you be cruel to be kind. It’s my new motto.

But it doesn’t leave me feeling very good about myself. Or other people. Or the world.

My daughter and I have had some knock down, screaming fights. That’s really why I’m writing this. Let’s have a hard, honest, heart-to-heart talk about what it means to be a single mom raising a girl, an only child girl at that. In the 21st century.

And I’m going to share some really private information not to be an attention ho or a crappy mom (trust: if you want to call me a crappy mom, I’ve literally got about 10 other things I’ve done or said or not done or not said to her that far outweigh everything I’m about to share here). I’m sharing because I KNOW I’m not the only mother on the face of this planet who deals with some or most or all of this.

First, she’s nine going on thirteen, desperate to be twenty-one. Part of this is YouTube and the Internet. But even if I outlawed and obsessively monitored every single website and thing she was exposed to on the Internet, I couldn’t save her from other kids whose parents haven’t been obsessive. I’ve had other parents, other teachers, other people judge me about this, subtly try to shame me, and whenever I think about it, really think about it, I’m fucking livid. Because this is how people are in the 21st century. They have all kinds of opinions, based on their own political or religious beliefs, or one or two things they’ve seen on TV or read on the Internet, or have experienced, and they jump to conclusions. They don’t ask; they just insinuate. And my job makes it tricky for me to go full mama bear on any of these people, which I absolutely would if I were in a different career. So there’s that part of parenting. But even if I obsessively monitored her Internet activity, there is still even just regular TV. The kids on today’s TV shows are smart-mouthed. The adults are bumbling fools. The kids are cool, the grown ups are clowns. Essentially, this is the crux of all of my fights with my child: I am not a clown, YOU are. Because you are nine, and think you know what you’re talking about, and you aren’t even fully developed abstract thinker right now. Piaget said so. I have a college degree that included three classes on what child development experts learned by studying your kind, so stop arguing with me.

And there’s peer pressure. I personally don’t want my child to have a phone – a smartphone – until she’s in middle school. Really, I don’t want her to have one until high school, but I’ll acquiesce and get her one when she starts 6th grade. Meanwhile, all the other psycho parents are getting their KINDERGARTENER smart phones. Seriously, what the hell does a 5 year old need their own data plan for?  (FYI: I’m about to be a hypocrite in three more paragraphs because I’m totally judging here, and later complaining about being judged). My child sees other children with these things, and feels left out. We argue about it. She negates Piaget. I tell her she’s wrong. She argues again. I say NO. She screams. I say NO. A door slams. My blood pressure rises. Rinse. Repeat.

Also complicating my parenting stress: I’ve never written about it, but she also has a condition called premature adrenarche. She started having adult-type body odor when she was 2 and growing pubic hair, then was diagnosed at 4 with it after we finally took her to see an endocrinologist. Girls, ethnically, develop like this (not every girl, but generally speaking): African-American girls go into puberty first, then Hispanic/Latina girls, then Caucasians, then Asian girls.

With premature adrenarche, she’s going to be first of the first. I’m not sure that it has anything to do really with her ethnic heritage (ethnically, my daughter is a mixture of African-American, Caucasian-European, and Native American), but it’s just something we’ve been aware of since she was four years old and told: she’ll hit puberty young, possibly in 3rd grade.

And here we are.

She’s also extremely tall for her age; her dad is 6’2″ and I’m 5’10”, so this makes sense. But right now, screaming fights with her get a little scary for me – she’s not as tall as me, but the top of her head reaches my forehead. And she’s muscular. And she’s pretty much in puberty; womanhood is simply not far off for her. We are dealing with an amazing amount of hormones, in other words. And not the good kind of hormones; the kind of hormones I have dealt with my entire life: hormones that make her weepy then enraged then weepy then enraged, and the amount of rage is stunning. On top of all of THAT, she’s opinionated, headstrong, dramatic, and beyond stubborn (omg I wonder where she gets THAT from????).

So I’m envisioning, in my brain, what’s going to happen, oh, three years from now when she hits 13 and the TRUE parenting fun begins. And I know I need to cull it and reign it in NOW, before doctors start telling me she’s of age and they can’t tell me anything without her consent (I’m not kidding: I’ve been told this is a real thing in the state of Georgia when a child hits 14).

She’s an only child. This is part of our problem. Because she doesn’t WANT to be an only child. She wants what she sees other people having (and omg where the heck did she get THAT from, I wonder??): two parents and siblings.

No matter how much I explain to her: two parents doesn’t equal happy, and siblings are a pain in the ass, trust me I grew up with one…she doesn’t care. And my level of guilt about this is gigantic, you guys. Gigantic. Because one of the perks of having at least one sibling is (a) you have someone to run to when one or both of your parents is driving you nuts or worrying you – your sibling grew up with this person or these people, they know; and (b) there is a comfort in knowing when both of your parents are gone, there is someone in the world still who’s a connection to them, to your childhood, to that life you once lived.

On the other hand, siblings generally don’t stop being a pain in the ass until you’re no longer living under the same roof. And speaking for myself, I love my brother immensely, but I’m kind of closer to his wife my sister in law at this point. She calls me more. (Love you, Chad! MWAH!)

So we’re trying to come up with ways to help her have the “feel” of having a baby sibling, but for me not to have to (a) put my body or exhaustion levels through that process again, (b) not have financial help in raising a baby then a child then another pre-pre-teen alone, and (c) not to have to put my body or exhaustion levels through that process again. A and C are the most important. Right now, she’s decided she’d like to babysit. The problem with this is: she’s not 13. Thirteen seems to be the Magic Age. This distresses and angers her. I mean, SUPER angers her. Yesterday I sarcastically apologized for having the gaul to birth her in 2008 and not 2005. (We settled on pet sitting and dog walking, but I had to stay on her to feed our cat today, and the litter box is still not emptied, so we aren’t off to a great start.)

The other part of the problem is my child is an extrovert. I am not. I am decidedly not. I’ve made a sweet new friend at work who is, and I’ve had to break her heart several times this summer by saying No to some outings she wanted my company on. She understands, and is sad because (I quote): “Amy! You’re such a delightful person! I just love your humor and laugh and spirit! I wish you liked to be around people more!” This woman has known me only a year, and has basically summed me up in about three sentences.

But I can’t. I just can’t. I can once in awhile, but not all the time. I cannot. People drain me. After I’m around a lot of them, or even just small groups of them for extended periods, I need a good day or two of decompression. I get weepy and weird. I have to lie on my sofa and read or scroll through social media feeds or watch TV. Had I known when I picked teaching as my profession how I was, and how much peopling it truly involves, I would be doing something else today. I’m okay Monday through Friday, but Saturdays are my decompression days. Every Saturday. That’s one reason I make no apologies for taking summers off; I have peopled enough, end of July through end of May. I have peopled enough. I typically take all of June JUST to decompress from August through May.

My child is the opposite. She wants (and needs) friends and play dates. So I don’t mind hosting friends over once in awhile, but two things happen: first, I get annoyed when the other mom doesn’t reciprocate, and I’m sorry that’s not how life works. I took one of her little friends out to the movies once, spent a ton of money on both of them, and that family never even invited Miss M over for an afternoon play date. I don’t care if that comes across petty; there’s an unspoken but understood Universal balance to play dates and that family’s weighing down the seesaw. Nope.

Second, I just don’t want to hang out with these moms. They’re usually not the kind of people I’d choose to hang out with. I’m cool chit chatting at pick up and drop off, but I don’t want to spend the afternoon with them. We have the exact kinds of conversations I abhor: we talk the weather. We talk about chit chatty, small talk things. And we typically have to do this thing I call The Mom Dance, where I have to be careful and she/they have to be careful to make sure we look like great moms, but we all know we aren’t. I prefer moms who are open and honest about how they really mom: they stress eat and drink, they cuss in front of their kids, sometimes they let them have ice cream or cereal for dinner because they’re too damn tired to cook, they lose their shit a lot more than the world wants moms to lose that, and occasionally, just occasionally, when they’re alone and exhausted and just really really really done with everyone else’s shit, they wish they could get in their cars and just drive and drive and not come back. They love their children with their entire beings; they do not regret having child or children. But they question the sanity of having children in today’s world – not just with the crazy politics and stuff going on, but with crazy PEOPLE. The judgments. The other day on Twitter I put up something that said something like if I’d known what was going to happen in the USA by 2018, I might not have had a child. I found it really fascinating that at least 3 men kind of jumped on me for saying that. I didn’t say I regretted having a child; I said I wouldn’t have had a child had I known.

Men are full of all kinds of opinions about women, though. I find. Even the good ones. Even the ones I love a lot. We’ll just blame the Y chromosome and leave it at that. I do like men; I’m not going to be an asshole to a man who’s just expressing concern over a child. But unless you’re in my life and in my house, you, Mr. Guy, don’t know what I deal with. And you don’t understand the level of worry I lie awake in bed at night with. Life is very different for you as a man.

Tonight I am tired. This was a rough day. We’ve had a lot of Come to Jesus moments this summer, she and I. Today was a big one. Because one of the OTHER things I’m worried about is breaking her spirit. I WANT a child, a young lady, a grown woman who will scare the SHIT out of men – not all men, just the kinds who really really need to have the shit scared out of them. I want to raise a girl who knows it’s okay to march to your own drum, it’s okay to play the drums, and dresses and heels aren’t even remotely comfortable; wear pants and go barefoot when marching and playing your drum. I’m raising my daughter to stand up to people and say goodbye to friends who show her they’re not good friends, actually. One of the friends I said goodbye to this year was someone she actually adored, and one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do was talk to her about why he was gone. She asked: what if I run into him somewhere, will he be mean to me? And I had to consider that, because I don’t know…he and I ended on a really toxic note. But I also don’t want to destroy her innocence about the world or for her to wrestle with some of the friendship stuff I do, so I just told her no, no he thinks the world of you and his and my problems aren’t yours. He’d be very sweet to you, and very kind. He’s not all bad. Just bad for me. Because I want her to be able to see people for who and what they are, before it’s too late, but also not to grow up afraid of getting close to other people. It’s just one of the hardest parts of life I’ve had, and I’ll be honest and just say I really have no idea how to help her with it, except to be honest with her: this is hard.

And being a mom is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Ever. Ever. Whether you’re married or with a partner, or single with a great co-parent, or single with an absent ex-partner…being a mom is deeply, incredibly, heartbreakingly hard.

But it’s also really cool! Because you have a selfie partner so you don’t look TOO narcissitic-y. And sometimes I watch her talking or laughing with other people and I just love her. The other day she was in her room laughing at something on television, and the joy and love I felt listening to her was completely and utterly overwhelming. I know what life was like prior to her existence, and I do long for those days at times – cannot tell you how many times I’ve had a door slammed in my face this summer, flipped her off behind that door, and walked away muttering: Good. Stay there, bitch. Yes, I did say that. Yes, I have called my child the b- word, and you can go right ahead and call the police on me if your meddling, judge-y ass feels like it and then I’ll get to flip you off and call you the next step word, the C-dash-dash-dash word that gives 99% of all Americans (except this one) the vapors.

Because I say it is okay to admit your kid can be an asshole and NOT go to jail over it. Know why? Cuz kids can be assholes. Piaget said so. And back in the day, about 1975 or so, people actually said that to kids’ faces and did much worse – I once had my mouth washed out with soap for some word-related infraction. So I think we’re fine saying it to doors they slam in our faces, especially if it’s true: they’re being a jerk. (We’ve talked about that too; we do not slam doors in parents’ faces…we do not refer to our parents words like “dude” or “woman” or “bro” or “sis” or “yo”…we do not tell our parents “no” and argue with them about how terrible they’re making our lives…we do not…we do not…this list goes on for five more paragraphs.)

img_3798
A mermaid! A mermaid! At long last, a mermaid. (A pool mermaid.)

But I’ve also had sublime moments of pure joy this summer. I love that she’s sleeping in her own bed now, but last night she had a nightmare and I woke up at 3 AM to find her next to me. I’m okay with this – everybody needs comfort at 3 AM when they’ve had a nightmare. And she earned her mermaid fins for working hard to bravely sleep in her own room (though we did have some supreme arguments at 2 AM when I refused to let her in my bed…she’s not used to me being mean, and there’s another long story about why I’m just now being very very very mean finally). They came this afternoon and watching her transform into the mermaid she’s always wanted to be was delightful. It was one of the best parts of my day.

And maybe that’s what parenting kids just is: some days are great, some days are crap, but find one best thing. I don’t know. If I knew, I wouldn’t have written this not-cohesive or concise blog entry about it.

img_3782
Fourth of July 2018. She’s exhausting, but she is my heart walking around on the outside of me.

war is hell, y’all.

img_3746
This one’s my favorite. #RockOnFemalesoftheSpecies

My angry-at-men story was shite, as the Irish say. Imma put it aside and work on it another day. Maybe.

You know what I figured out today, though? There are actually a LOT of men I can take my angry-at-men-two-men-in-particular out on. These men all worship Donald Trump, and sometimes they decide they’re gonna show ME on Twitter. Gonna show me. ME. Like that’s actually a safe and smart plan. Clearly they haven’t been following my life the last few years.

I LIVE for these people. They give me a chance to flex my feminist muscles AND get some negative energy out ON the negative energy in the world. It’s really a win-win: they get to pretend they’re super clever, I get to slam-shame them into tiny pieces AND try out my most creative cuss combos, then I block them because they’re clearly psychos and possibly Russian operatives, and we all go on with our lives, bada bing bada boom, WORLD PEACE, Y’ALL.

Also, it’s cathartic. And cathartic is ALWAYS good. Ask Sophocles and Shakespeare.

I didn’t write tonight. Or I did, but I did a hashtag game called#secondcivilwarletters. Apparently those of us who do NOT support or like Trump are to start the Second Civil War tomorrow, July 4, 2018. Alex “Why Am I Not Hospitalized And On Anti-Psychotics Yet”  Jones of InfoWars said so. Which so surprised me, because MY personal 4th of July plan was to just eat a hot dog and drink a Budweiser. Maybe light a few sparklers. The sparkle lit ’round the world. I guess? Far right conservatives are weirdos. But okay. Second Civil War it is. For YOU, Alex.

Anywho. I think I’m going to work on my dark fairy tale. It’s closer to being finished, and it makes more sense. I’m not giving up on my anti-user men tale; I’m just taking that idea and letting it sit for a bit til I cool off some more.

Also, I have to go to Whole Foods. I hear all Democrat Socialists are gathering there for a strategic planning meeting on how to send a mass shipment of pork butt to the White House. Desperate times call for desperate measures. This is War, and War is hell.

img_3740

img_3741

img_3743

img_3742

These are my contributions, aka my writing process for Tuesday night, July 3 (aka The Eve of the Second Civil War):

img_3745
He doesn’t really have my iPhone charger. But he’d have totally stolen it if we still lived under the same roof. I KNOW HIS NATURE.
img_3747
They started July 2 and won’t stop til every fireworks store in America closes.
He actually used to say this.*

no one will read this but…

…i’m going to write it anyway.

I’m going to start a story. I’ve been working on it in my favorite location, which is my sofa, IN MY BRAIN. I was going to outline some stuff, and I may before I start actually typing. I can’t sit and outline the story arc PLUS the characters PLUS the plot twists and whatever. (A) that’s too disciplined, and (b) I’m not disciplined, I don’t know if you’ve noticed yet or not. So I’m just going to start. I have the working title (“Repeated, Intense Stress”) and the basic gist of the story I want to tell. I probably should at least get some main characters, figure out what they want, and what is stopping them getting it. There. That will be my outline:

Main Character 1

Problem:

Obstacle:

Main Character 2

Problem:

Obstacle:

Begin typing, tally ho and away!

This is pretty much how I approach every single thing in my life. Which may also be why every day I go: I’m going to get up early tomorrow and lift weights. Then I go to bed at 1 AM and sleep til 10:30 AM and can barely make a pot of coffee before it’s 3 PM and I’m already trying to figure out how to pull myself the couch and at least empty the dishwasher. (I’m joking, it’s not that bad…except on Mondays, Wednesdays, and every rainy Sunday.) (Also: I make ZERO apologies for how I spend my summers. I fit 12 months of work into 10 months, and half of that is front and back end loaded on the end of my work years, and really I don’t know how it’s gotten like this but if anyone can figure out how to make it stop I’ll gladly work a regular work year and only whine a tiny bit less about it.)

Man I’m angry. Listen. Don’t try to interact with me on Twitter if you’re there to judge me on any level, be an arrogant jerk, or apologize for some man accused of some heinous thing. I no longer have the patience for it.

Also: don’t try to interact with me if, two years or two months or even two hours ago, I unequivocally and very clearly with great and tremendous force told you to stay the ever living hell away from me. For. EVAH. And don’t whine to me about forgiveness of YOUR sins. If I’ve stopped interacting with you, punching at you with my words, etc etc and so forth, trust me: you’re forgiven. But it does NOT mean you and what you said or did are forgotten. I don’t care WHAT you have to say about MY actions. Focus on YOURS. Take care of YOU. I don’t care how many women you’ve convinced you’re a great guy. I don’t care how many spiritual people you quote or how much lip service you pay to goodness and kindness, how much you talk about how you’ve changed. Are you kidding me?? I’ve got gigantic files saved on a flash drive to remind me of what you did, lest I start to get stupid again. I don’t keep these to be an asshole, I keep these as insurance policies, to protect myself. I now understand the nature of selfish men. You know what you did. So if I’m not going after you to publicly ruin you, then you’re forgiven. But forgiveness does NOT mean I have to EVER interact with you again. In any way, ESPECIALLY if your intent while interacting with me was to take advantage of me, use me, prey upon my vulnerability and lack of boundaries, and just generally use me as your personal hump toy. You are a bad man. Go away.

So don’t like my tweets, don’t encourage your latest social media friends to follow me,  don’t interact with people you see me interact with frequently, don’t even LOOK like you’re trying to get one of your little toes back in my door. When I get to a point I very angrily and publicly tell you to GO AWAY, and start calling you names, a door has been slammed, locked, bolted, with several 2x4s nailed across it and a gigantic piece of metal welded on top of all THAT, for good measure. This is called the INFJ Door Slam, even though I officially always come out INFP on those tests. I do have some INFJ in me, quite a lot actually, and I’m wondering if the two are just really kind of interchangeable. Or maybe I’m sun in INFP with a moon in INFJ. Either way, the INFJ Door Slam is a real thing, and even though the INFP in me is begging the INFJ in me to please not be so cold and hard-hearted, my INFJ feminist has put in her ear buds and is currently blasting Alanis Morrisette’s You Oughtta Know until her eardrums beg for mercy.

That’s how I work.

Speaking of…I got to hear from an old friend about two weeks ago. He texted, then he called me. It was a good and a bad conversation, in that I was able to apologize in person for going after him very publicly for hurting my heart. He did try to do the right by me, and I acted like…well, I acted like an entitled little bitch. Which I am not, but in that time period, with what I was dealing with and going through? I was. So I told him he hadn’t deserved a lot of what I said about him…but then he said a bunch of things that made me go: hmm. Maybe you DID deserve at least SOME of it.

The last conversation we had via text basically was him being very cutesy, and me going: get in touch with me if you want to have a REAL conversation and be FRIENDS. Because unlike the two men I’ve INFJ door slammed on, I did not INFJ door slam on B. Which makes me sad. Because I genuinely kind of adore B and think he’s funny and has got great man growth potential. When he’s not being a perv.

Which is also part of the story I’m about to write. Kinda. Sorta. Just…Men, please don’t use women. On any level. Not sweet women at least. If you’re old enough, you know the difference between a sweet, nice, good girl versus a female version of you. I’m sure there are chicks out there who are just out for the sex. Please go find them. Please do not find sweet, good girls on the Internet and use them. Just please don’t. Because what happens is, you wreak havoc and damage and then whine and get upset when it comes back on you. I will NOT apologize for any horrible thing I have said or done to ANY man I’ve met via Twitter. Ask those two guys. They may not tell you the whole truth, but I guarantee if they read this they know exactly what I’m talking about and why. They know what they did.

Guys are all weirded out and upset by the #MeToo stuff and our extreme anger. Are men seriously saying they reeeallly don’t understand and are shocked why some girl they really thought was very sweet would suddenly go ape shit angry on them? After being physically and verbally abused by men in the past? And then told she was basically just a convenience? REALLY.

Go do some self-examining. YOUR past actions, YOUR past choices. You wanna get mad at us for being upset you used our bodies for your needs? Then don’t do that. You wanna get mad at us for ruining your “happy” home life by taking out a wrecking ball  (YOU handed to us) and becoming whistle blowers? Then don’t cheat. Plus, while you’re so upset about the repeated, intense stress that caused you, does it ever occur to you that you, yes YOU, caused repeated, intense stress for the women you were so gleefully hiding right out in plain sight? You think that was fun? You think deciding to be a whistle blower is fun? You know what happens to whistle blowers, right? Go look it up. They don’t have fun lives. Look at Edward Snowden.

So yeah. I’m pretty ticked. I don’t have a lot of patience for male tools on the Internet OR the apologist, simpering women who gang up on the women for them…the chicks who don’t get what’s going on yet. I probably don’t punch the women as hard, and that’s probably because I used to be in their ranks, and I know why they are the way they are. But Internet dudes? Oooh. Y’all. Y’ALL. Just. Make wise choices. Please.

Anyway. I don’t know how this story will turn out. I’ve read different opinions: don’t write mad…write mad!! Don’t write while drinking…write drunk, edit sober!! Don’t write fictionalized real life narratives…write what you know!! So screw it. I’m writing a fictionalized real life narrative while mad and drinking. (which, contrary to what you may be thinking at this point, I have actually not started doing…yet.)

Here’s an excerpt I worked on the other day. I was texting a friend about some stuff she was dealing with, and I literally looked at a paragraph I’d typed to her and went: that looks like it should be part of a story. And off I went.

img_3649
“Repeated, Intense Stress”…indeed.

And just so no one thinks I’m completely lost, please know I have GOOD men in my life. Steady men, men who bring my heart a lot of happiness, a lot of peace. And I even have men I interact with online who are GENTLEMEN. Sweet, good guys who I think will make lovely friends for a long time. Plus, I’m pretty sure I’ve scared them shitless. So we cool.

The End.

Now look. I just took this picture (and yes yes yes! I DID Photo Shop to smooth out my 46 year old forehead wrinkles! So sue me). Do I LOOK like a scary girl? I say NO. And that’s  been a large part of my problem – I’m sweet and full of love. I’m a good person. But check yourself, because I’ve hit my ceiling; I simply no longer have time for sketchy, selfish men.

 

on national writing.

nationalwritingday   today is national writing day so i felt like i should finally pay attention to this blog i’ve paid $40 per year to have a domain for, with no ads. i just painted my nails so i’m reducing the amount of keyboard clicking by not hitting the shift button and also i just don’t feel like hitting the shift button today for capitals…punctuation only, and i’m mulling over writing the rest of this blog sans that, too.

i really don’t know what to write about, i’ll be honest. other than i’m having a rough summer with my 9 year old. kids are exhausting, particularly girls. and it’s hard to be an introvert who’s just fine reading or watching tv all day to be raising an extrovert who needs people around her to feel okay in the world. on the one hand, summers are supposed to be boring. kids can and should be bored sometimes; the world (and their parents) aren’t here to entertain them – in fact, i say it’s the other way around: dance, little kids, dance. amuse us, minions.

last saturday miss m and i helped potential new american citizens apply for citizenship. i learned a lot. things like…the application is actually a book. the second 50 pages is the actual application; upon which you – the application filler outer – must write the 9-digit green card number in the right hand corner. ON EVERY PAGE.  the first 50 pages is teeny tiny print of all the restrictions, red flags, requirements, and expectations the united states of america makes of its potential new citizens. if only it had these for its natural citizens! there would certainly be no president trump, i assure you. for example, one of the requirements is to have no tax fraud for the whole time they’ve been here. i’m just going to leave that little subtle accusation right there. argue if you like; he refuses to release his tax returns. i believe nothing til i see ’em.

i helped two little old couples. neither spoke much english, but there’s an exemption for older citizens who’ve been legal permanent residents for at least 15 years. the first couple qualified – the grandpa was a tall, stately looking mexican gentleman. i promise he may have been zorro at one point in his life. his wife was a tiny, sweet lady whose body somehow carried ten babies full-term in her younger years. bless. i had one, and while i actually enjoyed being pregnant, i think about the birthing process itself, what she did to my body, and what she’s doing to my mind currently and just…bless.

the second couple needs to come back in about 4 years to apply so they can meet the exemption. i had to ask each person why they wanted to be a citizen, and each replied: because it’s time. but because of what’s going on, i did wonder: are they also here because they’re scared? they want to make sure no ICE shows up at their door for no reason and sends them back? if you aren’t a natural born citizen, these are scary times. my god, i’m a natural born citizen and i’m getting a bit nervous.

at any rate. i really don’t have much more to say or write about today. i wish there were no borders. miss m’s dad refuses to put down those divider things on supermarket conveyor belts; he feels they’re unfriendly and not neighborly. i mostly agree with him, but i use them anyway because one time i wasn’t watching and the person behind me let me pay for 3 of their things before stopping the cashier. i went ahead and paid because they were little things, i’m too nice, and i used it as my random act of kindness for that day. but i have my suspicions, to this day, that kind of person does that a lot.

….but then that’s me being donald trump isn’t it? we just help our fellow people, and if they take advantage of us, they take advantage of us. we can always get on social media and shame the crap out of them for being anuses. be sure to have written or photographic evidence on a flash drive somewhere because anuses always like to go: i did not!! when, in fact, they always did.

****

i have story ideas floating around in my head, but no focus to write them but i’m going to try tonight, for YOU, national writing day. for you.

what happens with me and writing is, i go: before i write today, i need to clean the kitchen and do this load of laundry and deal with the clothes on my bed that have been sitting there for almost a month and i’m tired of sleeping on the sofa even though i think all of this has re-trained my kid to sleep in her own bed and room. but i need my bed. so i make plans to clean the kitchen, while washing clothes, and doing laundry. then i end up shopping or at the pool for three hours, and when i get back i’m pooped. so i sit on my sofa for a bit looking at twitter getting worked up over politics or whatever. then it’s time to make dinner, then clean the kitchen. i did not get to the laundry, i did not get to the clothes. it’s late, i’m tired, and there’s the tv and my phone (televisions and smart phones are of the devil, and the devil is laughing because he knows we need them – i need them…i need the tv to keep my kid occupied and i need to phone so the outside world can reach me as i have no landline anymore). and once more, i go to bed having done no real writing. anne lamott made me feel a bit better about this yesterday on twitter. apparently, her writing day yesterday involved a lot of laundry, too. and she has a lovely house. i hope it smells like lavender and patchouli. (that’s my house smell goal. i want to have a lovely home that smells like lavender and patchouli.)

or i don’t write because i get icked out by some jerk. (a jerk from my past “liked” a tweet of mine the other day, and it sent me reeling into enraged PTSD…life was pretty cool not knowing where he was on that website, and i actually pretty much forgot he’d even existed…now here he is. he’s latched on to some sweet woman who has no idea what he is, and he is still very much the creep he was two years ago. the more things change the more they stay the same.)

how do real writers do it? how do they write with laundry to do and wayward children to raise, with horrible things going on in the world, and horrible people reminding you they are still horrible? i don’t know. i don’t know.

i have nothing further or productive to add to the national writing day convo, and i should probably at least shower. also my nails are dry so I’M ENDING THIS USING ALL CAPITAL LETTERS FOR BALANCE.

THE END.

img_3097
nope. not a single. one.

hurting kids is not okay.

Once, when I was 5, I woke up from a nap and couldn’t find my mom. I was devastated. I convinced myself she died, and found a photograph of her, a pair of her earrings, and I think maybe a handkerchief. I quickly erected a Mommy Shrine and sobbed, because I’d never see my mother again. After 3 minutes, I wept, and laid my smiling, beautiful mommy to rest. In my sock drawer.

Eventually I went to the garage. My dad was cleaning it out. He went, “what’s wrong with you?” And I broke down and wailed, “Mommy is gone and I’ll never ever see her again!! She left me! All alone!!” And started crying uncontrollably. “What?! What are you talking about?? Your mother went to the store. She’ll be back in an hour. Get out of here. Go play in the basement.” Said my easily annoyed dad. (It was 1977, that’s just how people talked to their kids. My 2 year old brother was often tied to the swingsset on a leash. For example.)

I’ve always told that story because it makes me laugh now – and thus a lifetime of anxiety was born. But I also remember how beyond utterly devastated I was, for 10-15 minutes, thinking I’d never see my mom again. That I’d never find her. She’d never tuck me in again. No more hugs. No more home cooked meals; I’d never seen my dad cook…how would we eat??

She was gone. It was terrifying and my 5 year old mind literally didn’t know how to process it.

I’m thinking about that, with these children who are separated from their moms and dads, with no way of processing what’s happening. And no dad to roll his eyes and tell them to get over it. And no mom to come home eventually and go, “That’s silly. Of course I’d never leave you.” And no hugs. That happened 41 years ago and I still remember it like yesterday. And I have resources and have had therapy. That’s how horrifying it was…I wasn’t being hurt by my country, I wasn’t begging asylum out of fear for my life…my mom came back and made dinner and we watched M*A*S*H. I can joke about it today, I’m okay. But it devastated me in that moment so much it’s stuck with me, the real deep fear, for the rest of my life.

I think about that and what these babies are experiencing. I don’t anticipate jokes or relief in their futures. I don’t.

This is not okay. It’s not. THIS IS A BIPARTISAN/MULTI-RELIGION NOT OKAY. it is NOT. Okay.

Okay? (Say yes. It. is. not. okay.) The end.