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

 

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.

dark fairy tales and etc.

Elizabeth Gilbert says that memoir is actually far less intimate than fiction writing. Isn’t that interesting? Writers actually reveal more of themselves when they write fiction than they do when writing memoir. Because you get to write about the things that happened to you, I’m going to. But I’m not stupid. Naive yes, but stupid no. I know the legal parameters and consequences involved when doing that. And that is where my love of fairy tales comes into play.

Fairy tales have so much: good and evil, magic, mystery, adventure, romance. So I was re-reading the (horribly shitty) draft of the dark fairy tale I posted here a few months ago, and it does seem to have the basics of the story I want to weave. I haven’t had a lot of time to really focus on it lately. But I have some more quiet time coming up and I can give it more attention. I’m going to print it off, edit, make some plot and character notes, and off and away I’ll go.

Meanwhile, there’s the pool, and a possible trip to a cabin on a lake with my family, and about ten books in my To Read queue I want to get to. A busy, good summer ahead, with a couple of projects to keep me busy (always a good idea). My daughter and I are adding more fruits and vegetables to our diet and are going to take some hikes on local nature trails, do lots of swimming, and try yoga and belly dancing together this summer. What’s cool about having a 9 year old, I’m finding, is she can do STUFF now. I can share some of my favorite bad 90s rom-coms I love with her: Hope Floats, Music and Lyrics (okay fine that’s 2007, but BARELY out of the 90s), Notting Hill, My Best Friend’s Wedding, While You Were Sleeping, Muriel’s Wedding, Never Been Kissed…she’s already addicted to Clueless. And other movies that I just love with all of me: Forrest Gump, The Color Purple, Legends of the Fall, Practical Magic, Titanic, Groundhog Day, Edward Scissorhands, Braveheart, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Dances With Wolves…I mean, clearly we’ve got Movie Nights at Home covered.

I took her to see Solo the other night. Meh. And she slept through half of it. I think the Star Wars stories with female leads are simply better now. More Leia, less Luke. Why are movie dates so expensive?! $28 for two tickets, $25 for one popcorn/drink. Crazy. Movie night at home is so much better, plus less people to wade through and process. The theater we saw Solo at had reclining seats. The man sitting next to me took his shoes off and brought a blanket with him…I mean what?? Also, he used the arm rest between us. I vowed if he tried to use my shoulder as a pillow, I would poke one of his eyes out with an elbow. I am really really beginning to avoid strangers more and more. Other people exist in the world, and it is not all about YOU, strangers in movie theaters.

On the other hand, I can’t wait to take her to some concerts. And outdoor Shakespeare in a park! Or Shakespeare in general. And some plays. And some concerts she likes. I thoroughly enjoy my daughter’s company at these things. And I like talking to her afterwards, to see her perspective on what she experienced.

I feel like this is an incredibly bland, boring blog entry. It’s entirely possible it’s bland and boring because so am I these days. I am over drama and people who thrive on it. My last complete rage was Saturday, when that calmed down I vowed to never allow another human being to disrupt my inner peace like that ever again; I have spent the last 3 years being scared, crying my eyes out over a selfish person, and being made to feel used rather than wanted. I have said my piece, and I am focused on doing what is best for me now. And what do I want right now? I want quiet. I want peace. I want to work through my darkness and bring forth the light again. The best (and only way) I know how to do that is to write. And I write openly and publicly because I just do. This is how I’ve always done it, and I’m not going to stop because someone else gets their panties in a wad about it. I was advised, in the past, over and over: nobody owes anyone else a thing. And so I’m putting that advice to good use now and focusing on writing in a way that makes ME happy.

When I was writing blogs in 2014, I was completely able to do this…I never thought: is XX reading this?? Or: if I say this, could XX feel this? Or: who cares about this?? I just wrote. Because I felt like it. In my head, I created an imaginary person, someone I’d like to hang out with very much, and I wrote to that person. That was my audience: an imaginary person that didn’t actually exist, but if they did we’d be BFFs and they’d read everything I wrote and high five me. I’m having a hard time finding that person again. And the girl who wrote that 2014 blog.

My boyfriend says I sound just the same as I did back then. So maybe it’s that I no longer FEEL the same. I have been skittish since late 2015. Now my skittish is skittish. I like people (who don’t take off their shoes and bring blankets to movie theaters), but I understand the darkness of people now, and how their darkness can bring out your own. And what that does to a person. I know what it has done to me. I don’t feel like myself anymore. It makes it hard to find (an imaginary) muse, and to feel free as I write. Which, again, is why this may be my most boring, bland blog.

Oh wait! I thought of something to write about that’s not bland…can I say one more thing before I sign off (I’m not actually asking, that was rhetorical)?

Being a woman is scary. I once was followed for about 4 blocks in Midtown Atlanta by a man who “just wanted to talk to me.” There was no one else around and I made it very clear I did not want to talk to HIM. Yet he continued, and kept following me, until I reached the main road where a female police officer was standing on the sidewalk…I practically ran to up to her to ask directions to the theatre. And the man disappeared.

Online, I have learned there are men in the world who deeply hate women, and some of them hide this very well. Others just do it anonymously, the coward’s way out: the other day on the Internet, I had a scary man with a scary @ name retweet and reply and quote tweet some of what I said…none of what he was attacking me about had absolutely anything to do with him; it didn’t involve him at all. My real face and name is attached to whatever I say there, so I think it takes a special kind of coward to verbally attack someone from an anonymous account. The person I was interacting with was male…and he wasn’t attacked. So you can imagine what narratives my brain can run with on that. Whatever the case, male misogynists are on both sides of the political aisle, and they are all horrible people. I find gamers to be particularly plagued with this problem, and women are regularly attacked online for expressing emotion, opinion, or telling our stories. There’s a reason the #MeToo movement is so huge; women have been dealing with crap like this for eons. Don’t even get me started on what black women have had to put up with, still do.

I’ve read very well-written, thoughtful pieces by men about the hardships women face online…and then these very men are often discovered to be guilty of that which they have protested and judged. Men are interesting like that…is it their ability to compartmentalize so thoroughly, they can’t see the log in their own eye? I don’t know. I love several. I have a good handful of men in my life who are very, very good men, so this is not a diatribe against all men. I’m just stating what I have experienced at the hands (fingers?) of men on the Internet (100% on Twitter, by the way) and have observed happening to other women.

So I fight back verbally now. If I catch bad behavior by a man, I’ll call it out. I am ONLY interested in interacting with and hearing from decent men, who deeply and truly respect women. Men who quote Bible verses then retweet a porn video? Bye, Felipe, you’re one sick puppy. Men who write about protecting women online then go on the attack against one? See ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya. My boyfriend hates blocking people; I don’t have a problem with it. Blocking and wall building are my two special magical talents, and I like to use them freely on that particular social media website. It is very very bad there. Very bad. I’ve said (20,000 times, I’m told) I hate that place and am leaving. I’ve even been encouraged to delete my account by certain icky men there. The fastest way to get me NOT to do something is to tell me to do it, though. But mostly I don’t because I was fine there for a very long time. I let one dweeb in, then another, then a true sociopath, Donald Trump gets elected, and BAM. Now I’m doing regular battle with bored psychos who hate women. Crazy. But I’m tough. I’M not quitting.

I know I could easily get rid of them by just quoting happy happy peace peace friendly cute puppy gifs and memes. Be completely boring. But I want to write again, and I’ve Google researched it: writers HAVE to have a Twitter. And, like Mara Wilson observed in her excellently written article about this particular website, I genuinely like SOME people there. It has brought me some very good people–two women friends and a lovely gentle soul in Los Angeles who writes poetry and has been quietly supportive for a steady three years of utter nonsense from me. I met a man I love deeply there. These aren’t just patient people, they are people who don’t seem to have rules or unspoken expectations for conformity from me to the friendship. And those are the best kinds. I find.

Where was I? I think I’m completely off tracked now…writing, dark fairy tale, 90s movies, weird theater people, misogynists on social media. I have no idea how to wrap this up. I think I just felt like typing thoughts out. And thus goes my brain.

Wait! Here. Here is a summary of my Memorial Day, 2018. I had delicious shrimp teriyaki and mango boba tea, bought sunflowers to foil the rainy day, there were sweet memories, and tie dye shoes were made (plus one shirt destroyed), and one crazy picture of the love of my life was taken – quirky gifts I am occasionally left to find when I open my phone.

memorial day 2018.jpg

I’m gonna be okay. I just need to be tough and THWACK! at the hyenas out there, and get to a point where I just completely and utterly and totally ignore their whining and yapping. But mostly: write. Writing always makes me feel better, even if what I write makes no sense to anyone else (secret: I’m not writing for anybody here but me) (…and an imaginary muse, if I can think one up).

The end.

well.

Let’s try this anew. Fresh. I’m a big believer in fresh starts. Because fresh is awesome. 

Allow me to reintroduce myself. This is my story and then I shall be off and running once more here.

+++++++

I’ve been writing since Mrs. Tippie chose my story about an owl family and shared it with my 2nd grade classmates, declaring it “one of the finest stories” she’d ever read. Mrs. Tippie failed at teaching me how to borrow and regroup in Math, but she is one of the catalytic reasons I continue to express myself best via written word to this day.

Since then, I have written middle school sappy romances involving boy bands and various muscle-y superheroes and emo soap opera stars I desperately wished would love me. I have a stack of journals full of my progress (and many times DEgress) through life as a young adult to (as my 9 year old daughter calls it) a middle-aged woman. In 2005, I discovered blogging. Over the years, I have maintained (and abandoned) numerous blogs.

     In 2015, I separated from my husband and my daughter and I moved to an apartment. I met two men who flipped my world upside down  in bad ways, and eventually in 2017 I gave up writing altogether.
    While I firmly subscribe to the belief that bad people do good things and good people do bad things, that we are all a mixture of light and dark, and I am certainly no exception, I’m also healing from some really terrible people I let in over the last few years. Whenever I’ve struggled with hard things and weird feelings and anger and sorrow and fear and just general “wtf is wrong with the world and other people??” thoughts, the one thing that always helped me work through icks like that is words – reading other people’s and writing my own. Because stories heal us. They connect and teach us, and help us examine ourselves. And they heal us. Even when they connect us to bad people. Those teach us, too. Because we are made of stories.
    And that’s mine.
anne l