Daily Post 050: The Aftermath of Irma


I’ve written a handful of times since my last posting, but never actually posted them. I didn’t have the time to sit and proofread through all of the red squiggle lines of death in the moment and the promise to “get to it later” never happened.

Those writings seem so long ago now. A lifetime ago even though it’s only been a few weeks. I’m not sure if I’ll post them or not. I know I won’t  delete them, but this writing eclipses them and so it seems almost wrong to post. Their time is past.

Honestly, Irma already feels like forever ago and it was only last Sunday, around this time in fact, that the storm actually made its way to Orlando. I remember waking up when the eye passed over because there was a guy outside my window talking on his cell phone. Rude much?

The storm itself wasn’t as scary as some of the ones I stayed through in South Carolina. Floyd is the one I remember being the scariest. I know a lot of people were severely affected by this storm and so I do realize how lucky Warren and I are. The apartment did not sustain any damage and both our cars are fine.

Even though we came through the storm fine the last half of last week and the beginning of this week hardcore sucked.

It started with last Friday being 4 shifts long rather than 3. I was lucky enough to be sent home “early”, around 9:30pm because I had to be back at the clinic at 4am Saturday morning to continue dialyzing patients before the storm.

When I got home Warren asked if his girlfriend could stay with us through the storm. I didn’t have a problem with it at the time. She came over around 6pm on Saturday. By the time the storm hit on Sunday I was ready for her to leave. I was tired of her and Warren making kissy faces at each other and all of the “new relationship energy” filling the apartment.

I just wanted to be home and not around people. I especially didn’t want to feel confined to my room while they took over the living room with a movie marathon. When the storm finally ended there was a curfew in effect until 6pm Monday. When she finally, finally, blessedly left I got a text message from Warren about an hour later saying her apartment was without power, could she come back?

No, but yes because I’m not that much of a jerk even though I wish I could be.

So she came back and I did my best to not focus on the fact that I was going to get no alone time at all on the few days I had off.

Tuesday I didn’t have to go into the clinic until 10am. I went and had breakfast at a Waffle House which was running off of a generator. I left my waitress at $13 tip. I knew her day was going to suck having to work without AC. Hopefully, I helped make her day slightly less shitty.

Tuesday was a crazy day where we ran for four shifts again. The only things I wanted to do when I got home was eat dinner, shower, and go to sleep. That wasn’t in my cards, though. I got home to discover we had lost power at some point during the day.

I ate cold pizza because I couldn’t heat it up. I had a cold shower by the light of my cell phone flashlight. I tried sleeping but wasn’t able to because the air was so stagnant. I had to be back to work at 4am and with each passing hour I felt more hopeless. Wednesday sucked and the entire day I struggled with not breaking down into tears over the smallest things because I was so burnt out and tired.

I had been texting back and forth with Big Bad Wednesday morning. That evening he offered  me to come over to his place since he did have power. I can’t put into words how greatful I was for his offer. I asked if I could shower at his place as well. I had my gym bag with me which meant I had clothes to change into. He said that was fine and that he would see me soon. I stopped at an Arby’s on the way to his place so I could have dinner. Big Bad said he didn’t want anything.

I knocked on his door three times to no answer. There was a larger part than I want to admit to that was worried about him standing me up, or it being some sort of sick joke. I actually walked back to my car and was about to drive away when I decided to try calling him. Maybe he would answer?

He did. He had fallen asleep waiting for me. I can’t blame him.  It was past his bedtime. He opened the door for me and showed me where the towels were before going back to bed. I showered crying silently as the water washed away all of the stress I no longer needed to hold on to. Once I felt clean I sat in the kitchen eating my dinner, enjoying the feeling of being off my feet.

When I finally crawled into bed he wrapped his arms around me and sleepily asked me how my day had gone. We talked for a little while and as we did I could feel myself relaxing and legitimately letting everything go. None of it mattered while I was safe and cared for and away from that part of my life. None of it mattered while I was warm and breathing in his scent. Everything was ok and I would be able to sleep and in the morning I would be able to begin figuring it all out.

I slept amazingly well. Surprisingly well. I felt restored when I woke up in the morning.  I slept so deeply that I don’t remember Big Bad’s alarm going off or him getting out of bed. I don’t remember anything until he came in to wake me up.

We parted ways after breakfast, him to work and me back to my apartment.

I still didn’t have power so there wasn’t much I could do. There wasn’t a point in going food shopping since the fridge didn’t have power. I couldn’t do anything chore related like laundry, dishes, or vacuuming and I didn’t really want to stay in the apartment as the day progressed because it was going to suck not having AC.

While I was trying to figure out what to do my phone notified me that there had been a post on the dojo’s Facebook page so I checked it out. The dojo didn’t have power but they were going to be open at noon for anyone who wanted to come train a bit.

I decided to say “fuck it” to the day. Fuck life, fuck responsibility. I just spent I don’t even know how many hours at the clinic making sure not only my patients but other clinics patients were dialyzed. It felt like it had been an eternity since I had seen sunlight and I had to turn around and be back to work Friday and Saturday.

No. Fuck it. I’m taking today to do whatever I want to do and no one is going to stop me or talk me out of it. I’ve earned today.

So instead of doing the mountain of things I “should have” done, I got on my bike and biked to the dojo where I sparred with five other guys for an hour before biking back home. Instead of going straight home though, biked another mile and got lunch at Moe’s. I sat outside for a while after that resting in the shade, enjoying the breeze and letting my food settle before biking the mile back to my apartment.

I still didn’t have power but I didn’t care. I wanted to rest before driving to the gym for my training session with L. Originally it was supposed to be Tuesday, but Irma had everything shut down for a while. I was honestly surprised I was able to reschedule so quickly.

Just as I was getting ready to leave for the gym my power came back on. It was a relief knowing I would be able to take a warm shower once I got home.

My training session went well. I was able to talk to my trainer about a lot of things that have been on my mind. I don’t know if I really want to get into all of it right now, but part of it is the possibility of going back to school for an Exercise Science degree. Not because I want to get a different job. Just because I think it’s interesting and I want to learn more and because the thought of doing it makes me happy.

I talked to my younger brother about it. He’s supportive while at the same time not. He doesn’t think it’s smart to invest a bunch of money and time into something that I’m not going to actively seek a financial benefit from.

At the moment I’m in a “fuck it” mindset with my finances. Not that I’m being reckless, at least not anymore reckless than normal. I’m tired of setting goals to “pay this off” or “get rid of that debt” only to constantly, consistently, fail at doing it because other people won’t pay me the money they owe me.

I just spent $300 on personal training sessions instead of paying down my credit card, and for once I don’t care. I get more fulfillment out of training than I do out of making an extra payment on my card.

Maybe this is a bit self-destructive of me. Maybe this is selfishness. But right now, in this moment, on this blank page where I can actually begin to address my feelings over my situation openly and honestly, I’m angry.

I’m hurt and angry. I still don’t know how I’m going to make things work in October. I’ve openly communicated my situation over and over again to no avail.  Nothing has changed. All I have are hollow, empty, useless promises.

So I’m done with those goals. I don’t know how to make things work but I know it’s not going to be by sacrificing the things that I want. I’m not going to give up the dojo. I’m not going to give up the gym. I’m not going to give up myself because I’ve done that over and over again for the past nine years and it’s gotten me nothing.

So yeah. Screw that. Fuck that, actually. I feel alive at the dojo. I feel alive when I train. I feel like living it worth it when I’m able to bike in the sun and feel the wind moving past me, my legs burning and aching from the effort of maintaining my speed on my highest gear.

I’m letting go of my financial goals because they’ve only ever made me feel like a failure at life. Like I’m not adulting well enough. Warren agreed to pay part of the interest I’ve accrued on the card due to him not paying me back. That brings his total to around 8k for what he owes me. If he paid me that in one lump sum I could almost pay off the card completely. Hell, I could pay it off with the remaining money I have from mom.

But that’s not going to happen. He doesn’t make enough for that to work. With Irma, he hasn’t been able to work at all this past week so I most likely won’t get his rent payment yet again. At least this time there’s a legitimate reason for it. It still sucks though, and it still leaves me in a worse off position than I was, and I still don’t care that I spent the money I did on myself rather than saving it for situations like this or putting it towards something that has no hope of being gotten rid of in the near future.

I’m done sacrificing my life and fulfillment.

My new goal, the one I’m giving my focus to, is to run the Spartan race that will be in Florida in December.

Tuesday I go and find out information about the Exercise Science degree, then later this week, hopefully, I’ll be able to talk to my FA about changing my work schedule.

I’ve proven that I can work the hours I was scheduled because I did work them. And it sucked. Sucked to the point that I had to have other people talk me out of not quitting my job.

I know I need a job to survive. I want one that’s fulfilling. I want one that allows me to have a life outside of work. One that lets me still be true to myself. And one that pays enough for me to be able to support myself. I think my FA will be willing to work with me a bit more now that I’ve proven myself to be an asset. I’m worth keeping around. I’m a hard worker. I get along with my teammates and the patients. I am reliable and for the most part, I’m pretty flexible.

I want to cap my days at 3. They can be three 16 hour shifts or three 12 hour shifts or a mix of whatever they need me to work, but three days. That’s it. That’s all I want to give. I’ll figure out something if it’s not enough hours. They can use my PTO to bump it to 36 hours if I’m short because 36 is what I budget on.

There are all these things that could be done as a way to compromise. I can still be an asset and valuable, but I want to be fulfilled and happy with my life at the same time.

Going back to school is one of those things that will give me happiness and fulfillment. I like learning. I have always desperately wanted to take an anatomy and physiology class. That’s going to be what I take in January hopefully.

Finding a compromise with work so I can still actively and consistently train is another thing which I want to address. That’s where the day cap comes into play. I can work three days, train hard three days, then have a day to recover. That would give me time for school as well when that begins.

Increasing my pay is another aspect I want to explore since a lot of my stress is still financial. I found out I can take my certification test whenever I want. I had been told there was a waiting period, but I guess there isn’t. It’s something I want to clarify with my FA. It would be a dollar increase for me. There might also be additional things I can do to increase my wage.

For a while, I didn’t have any real goals and I think that’s why it was so dark for me all the time.

My goal of “get a job” was accomplished. It then became “become secure with job” so I poured everything into it. I worked whatever was needed. I didn’t speak up all that much if I had to give up something in order to make work happy. But I can’t keep going the way things are.

Something has to change. My goal is no longer “survive”. My goal now is “conquer”. I will run the Spartan. I will become a fighter. I will go back to school and I’m not going to let something like work stand in my way.

If compromises can’t be reached then I’ll begin looking elsewhere. I got one job in the medical field. I can get another. I can always go back to using my animation degree. I have options. I’m not stuck even though for a while it felt like it.

I have a destination in mind. Now it’s just figuring out how to get there.


Daily Post 020: The Beginning of the End


Today is the start of “The Two Weeks”. The two weeks of mom being in the hospital.

Today was the day that I flew on a South West airplane for the low, competitive price of $700 one way to hopefully see my mother if she survived the surgery.

Capitalism at its finest…

Today was the day that I met Lio at the airport and held it together, somehow, when she hugged me and told me mom had made it through the surgery and was in ICU.

Today was the first day that I saw my mom, pale, asleep, wires and tubes everywhere as machines next to her bed beeped and blinked and displayed all sorts of information that I didn’t know how to process.

Today was the day that mom thought I was Lio when I asked her if she knew who I was.

Today was the first day that I felt that soul crushing weight of, “Mom is really sick. Mom needs me. She needs me to be strong.”

Tonight will mark the first night that I stayed with her at the hospital. It’s the first night we had one of our many deep conversations. Tonight’s conversation was the one where she thought she was stupid. How could she have let herself get so sick?

Tonight was the night where I felt shame and guilt and remorse. Mom could have died and here she is, feeble, frail, alive, so weak looking in her hospital bed, her voice so soft and tired sounding and she thinks she’s stupid.

She’s alive and she’s kicking herself mentally for being sick. How is that at all ok? How can she feel bad, awful, for being sick and living? She’s alive. She’s the most amazing person ever and yet she feels stupid.

It broke my heart to hear her say those words, and our conversation that night was explaining how she wasn’t stupid. She did everything right. She was feeling bad. She want to the doctor. He saw certain things and percribed medicaitons. She took them. She wasn’t feeling better. She went back to the doctor. He agreed she was getting worse. He sent her to another doctor. They found out what was really wrong and rushed her to surgery.

Everyone did everything “right”. No one was stupid or at fault. It was a shitty situatuion and we would get through it. Together. We would be ok because we weren’t going to give up. We, Jason, Jon, me, and Lio, would be there for her.

Tonight marks the first night that I fell asleep listening to a heart monitor, to her breathing. Tonight was the first night of a two-week stretch of sleeping for fifteen minutes at a time if I was lucky because everything was a bad sound, a life or death crisis that I had to be awake for.

Today marks the beginning of the end.

I hurt. But at the same time, I’m numb. It’s like I’m in a giant sea of despair but I’m on a raft made of apathy. If I dip my fingers into the water or submerge my hand I can feel all of the hurt seeping into my bones and blood. I can feel it traveling through my body if I think too long on something. I can feel my heart bleeding even though when I look down there is no wound.

It’s like a hole should be there. I should be able to reach into my chest, where my sternum should be, where my heart should be and touch nothing. Emptiness. A hallow void where once something had been.

The beginning of the end.

In my head, it seems fitting to think of it like that. My final two weeks with mom. Two weeks. Every day, every hour building up to that final morning. My last goodbye. My last, “I love you.”

I want to say that I hate this, but I don’t know if I truly do or not. I can’t make up my mind when I allow myself to feel. I can’t choose between being angry and being sad. There’s nothing to be angry at and I don’t want to be sad, so I don’t know what to do. It’s easier to not feel instead because feeling is so confusing.

It’s easier to go through the motions but they feel so empty, so disconnected from the world and pointless. I’m fighting between trying to connect to something excruciating and shutting everything out because it hurts too much.

I don’t know which I want more. I don’t know which one will be better.

I think feeling would be “better”. At least it would keep me in reality. In my reality, it hurts. By feeling, I wouldn’t be allowing the emotions to fester or mutate into things they aren’t. I would be lancing the wound I have. Purging the build up.

But to do that I have to admit to things all over again and I don’t want to. I don’t want to cry, or rather, I don’t want to cry more because I already have been. For days. Random silent tears constantly dehydrating me over random thoughts that I can’t stop my brain from thinking.

I don’t want to go through this. I wish there were a way to stop it. I wish it felt ok to hate. I want to hate this. I want to be angry because that’s easier than being sad, but it doesn’t do anything and so it’s wasted energy.

I wish mom were here. I wish she was still alive. I wish she hadn’t died. I wish I had been able to do more when I had been at the hospital. I wish I had been a CNA then. Or an EKG Tech. Maybe I would have been able to understand the heart monitor then. Maybe I would have been able to do something other than nothing. I would have been able to do something other than holding her hand and giving her sips of water when she asked for it.

I’ve almost made it a year.

I know that’s an accomplishment but it’s not one that I wanted to achieve. I didn’t want to have to live a year without my mom. I didn’t want this to be part of me, my story. I don’t want it to be “an accomplishment”. I don’t want it to be a positive thing.

I want it to be solemn and somber and heavy because it is.

It sucks and I don’t care if that’s me wallowing in self-pity or being a victim or whatever else it could maybe, possibly be. Today sucks. Yesterday sucked. All of this has sucked.

Even with all of the postive steps I have taken, I want to hate it because I would rather have my mom.

In all honestly, emotions being set aside, the past few days have been well enough. Nothing super bad has happened.

I talked to Warren. He knows I’m not ok with the apartment. He’s actually done his dishes the past few days. We got the storage unit emptied out. I’ve moved most of his boxes upstairs so the apartment isn’t completely trashed. I had two successful sticks today and I won one of the review games we played in class, so I get an extra five points on my test tomorrow.

I had an email from the hospital on Tuesday for an EKG Tech position I applied for. I had to fill out the stupid personality survey again.

Me: No. Seriously. I’m still the same person…

There was a 47 question test I had to do as well. It was all about identifying EKG rhythms and what you’re supposed to do with what you’ve identified.

Is it lethal? Should you call a code? Is it normal, abmormal? Should you let the nurse know something STAT or just mention it so she can keep an eye out if anything further develops?

I wasn’t all that confident in myself because we never talked about what you’re supposed to do after you’ve identified. I was content that I took the test rather than avoiding it and giving up on the position.

I woke up Wednesday morning to an email saying I had failed the test. I failed, but, they wanted me to take it again.

Ok… Either I bombed it so bad that they don’t believe I really am that stupid and want to give me another shot now that I’m not filled with anxiety over it, or I barely failed and they want me to try again because they’re interested in me.

Well, I mean… obviously they want me to try again. They’re letting me take it a second time. I don’t think that’s standard if you suck or they’re not interested in you.

So that’s what I did today. After class, I studied, and studied, and studied some more. I took the test and was more confident in myself while I did it. I guess I’ll find out tomorrow if I passed it or not. If not then I guess I need to study more if I want an EKG Tech position.

Tuesday, while I was in the middle of filling out the personality survey, I got a call from a dialysis clinic I applied at. They want me to shadow for a few hours on Friday. And by a few hours I mean from 5am until noon. If that goes well, they like me I like them sort of a thing, then I will have a face-to-face interview at 2 pm that afternoon.

So, yeah… A lot of stuff has been going on but it’s all be behind my wall of apathy. I’m not excited about either position because I don’t know if I passed the test so there’s nothing to get excited about as far as that goes. And with the dialysis position, it depends on how much they are willing to pay me. Once the paid eight weeks of training is over the schedule flexes, so if they don’t pay me enough I can’t accept the job because I won’t be able to get a second one with a schedule that changes every week.

I’m still applying and keeping my eyes open for opportunities. Right now I feel sort of like a raptor. Anything that seems like something I could potentially do I strike out and apply for. But at the moment it’s a cold, detached sort of strike. There’s no joy or excitement behind it.

I did boxing and submission grappling on Monday. I moved some boxes that day, too. Tuesday was the storage unit, so that was more of an active recovery day. No dojo. And today was Muay Thai conditioning at the dojo with more box moving afterwards. I didn’t feel like staying for jiujitsu or the second conditioning class. I didn’t want to be around people anymore.

I’m sort of done with today.

I’m done trying and doing and problem-solving.

I wish I could say that I’m done hurting, but I feel like it’s only just started.

This is the beginning of the end. I still have a long ways to go before this wave is over.

I have therapy tomorrow. Maybe that will help. With what I don’t know. It’s not like I can have help breathing. I have to do that on my own. I have to live my own life. No one can do that for me. No one can wake up for me, and I know I wouldn’t want someone to do it even if they could.

This is my life and I’m supposed to be the one living it.

Right now it sucks.

Daily Post 013: Jobs, Dreams, and Hugs From Mom


Today is a hard day. And even as I type that, even as I thought those words while I was in class earlier, I don’t feel like they fit anymore.

Early in my grief, they did. The days were hard. And in a way they still are. But it doesn’t feel right anymore. Just like calling the days “bad” in the beginning wasn’t right, “hard” isn’t right either. They’ve evolved into something else, something other, but I don’t know what that “other” should be called yet.

Today is a grief day. Today is a day where I woke up from a dream angry, sad, and hurt and still got up and made breakfast and went to class where we reviewed for our test tomorrow. Today is a day where I cried on the way to my sports bar. A day where I made a detour, bought a pack of cigarettes (another two weeks free down the drain) and sat at the park I normally go to and cried until I felt ok enough to force myself to eat something because no matter how much I don’t want to, I need to eat. I need to intake or I really will get sick with how active I’ve been.

I guess it started with Tuesday evening. Tuesday evening hurt.

I mentioned the central services technician position I think. It’s a position my contact at the hospital sent to me, encouraging me to look into it. I did. I liked what it was about. I liked the future growth potential it had. It seemed like a job created specifically with my INFJness in mind. I allowed myself to think about how great it would be to have that position.

Tuesday night, after pushing hard through jujitsu, after three rounds of live sparring in my new gi, which I did manage to get both blood and sweat on since a scab on my hand got rubbed off, I bowed off of the mat, went to my gym bag, looked at my phone. I saw an email from the hospital. I read it, this email informing me in detached auto-generated sentences that the position I had subconsciously already accepted had been filled.

For fuck’s sake, Universe. I can’t even go back out and train again because I’m so completely and utterly spent from the class I just did and you’re going to throw this at me now? At the end of my night? When there’s nothing left in my body to give into throwing a fist at the wall? When the only thing I can do is hold my sweat soaked gi to my chest and let the silent tears soak into it, too?

These weren’t the tears that were supposed to be in it, damn it. Tears of failure weren’t supposed to be the tears I cried. Feeling like something was taken away from me when I never had it to begin with wasn’t the feelings I was supposed to feel. This wasn’t the email I was supposed to get.

Why do you keep doing this to me? Why isn’t mom here for me to cry to? Why isn’t she here to help me keep going when I constantly hear no from the outside world?

Why? Why, damn it! If you can just tell me why and show me how it all works out in the end, I would be ok, but you’re not. I’m having to hope and pray and constantly keep a positive mindset when it feels like everything is personal and about me not being good enough in some way.

It took me longer than normal to pack up my stuff and leave the dojo. It was hard to keep all of those angry, bitter, defeated feelings from spilling over. I got to my car and sat for a minute, I gave in a fraction to the emotions. I let them have a little bit of time, just enough to try to get home.

On the way, I stopped at Dairy Queen. It seems stupid, irresponsible. I shouldn’t be spending money. I know I shouldn’t. I didn’t care. I had told Warren after our conversation on Monday that I would. I can’t remember why or how, but somehow we got onto the topic of ice cream, or chocolate… something like that. We both mentioned how having one of Dairy Queen’s Blizzards would be great. I had said I would pick two up for us the next day as a thank you for him not taking time off and for fighting through his depression for me and working full hours at his job again.

So fuck you, Universe. I went and I got ice cream like I said I would. I went inside and I made myself interact with people because I’m not going to sit in my car and cry over something I never had. I’m not going to cry over you taking away a chance I wanted.

I stood there in my gi pants, black shirt, pretty much dripping sweat and didn’t care that I was ordering ice cream and looking totally counter-productive to whatever workout I had just done.

Me: Fuck you, Judgemental Person Who Isn’t Really Judging Me. You have no idea what’s going on inside of my head right now.

It was an angry, swarming rat’s nest inside of my chest. I kept swinging from crushed, to angry, back to crushed. I couldn’t find anything in the middle. I couldn’t find balance or clear perspective. All I could feel were the extremes and in the center of it all was the fact that mom isn’t physically here anymore.

I eventually got the blizzards I ordered. I texted Warren to let him know I was on my way home with ice cream. I drove home and the whole time the only thing I could think of was, “How did mom do it?”

How was she a single working parent of two kids? How did she not break down after dad left? How did she hold everything together? How did she take us to band practice, and weekend competitions, and all of the other things she did and still have dinner ready for us? How did she not go insane from the stress of it all? Who did she talk to after my grandmother died? Who did she turn to for support when things didn’t work out? How did she keep going when all she heard was “No” or “You can’t”?

Did she ever doubt herself? Was it ever hard? Did she ever feel like giving up?

How did she do it?

I made it home. I parked my car. I made it inside without dropping either of the ice creams. And in my hurt, injured state those things, those small accomplishments meant a lot to me.

When Warren came downstairs he asked how I was.

I told him about the job being filled. He listened to me voice all of my frustration and confusion about my emotions and my almost desperate questions of how did mom do it?

I don’t remember a lot of our conversation. I guess that’s sort of rude of me. I know he was trying to be helpful and supportive but all I could feel was the swirling in my heart chakra as I tried to figure out where to go from where I was.

I had just been punched in the face, again, by Life. Was I going to let that stop me? Was I going to take my hit and sit down and say it was too hard, or was I going to fight back, hit back and show that I am good enough, that this wouldn’t stop me, can’t stop me?

At the time I knew that I would figure it out. I knew that I would find another way, another job, another something. I knew I still had classes to go to, certifications to earn. I still had other jobs I was waiting to hear back from, and I knew there was a second CST (central services tech) position that I could apply for. But in that moment it still sucked and I hadn’t gotten past the “this sucks” part.

After a bit I went up to my room where I applied for more positions at the hospital. I emailed my contact to inform him of my additional applications. I then decided that the day was done and went to sleep.

I took Wednesday as a rest day. No boxing, no dojo, no running, just class where my brain got beaten to death with EKG pathologies. After class, I went to my sports bar where I studied and made flash cards and found interesting sites online to help me study.

I eventually came home and studied more. Lots of studying.

I went to sleep. Woke up at 3 am, went back to sleep, and had my dream which is what made today what it’s been.

In the dream, I was with Corey. We were going to go to one of his friend’s houses, someone I didn’t know. I drove my mom’s old car, the one she had for forever, the one I learned how to drive in. I remember in the dream I was supposed to clean it out, but I hadn’t gotten around to it. It wasn’t super bad or gross, but it wasn’t clean either.

Corey and I went to his friend’s house and ended up sitting at a table. Corey’s friend asked him about the new position Corey had recently accepted. Corey talked about it. His friend was super interested and congratulatory.

He turned to me then and asked me what I did.

I told him I was in school for medical stuff since I was changing careers because my mom had died. He said something dismissive like, “Oh. That’s nice,” then went back to talking to Corey like nothing I had said mattered.

I was pissed. Seething. I stayed quiet while they talked like I wasn’t there.

Corey ended up saying something to me like would I mind cleaning the car before we left.

Me: Can you give me a fucking trash bag then?

I didn’t care that I was rude. I was pissed. You can’t be dismissive of me and then ask me to do something for you like I owe you.

Corey’s friend made some comment about wasn’t I over reacting a bit or being rude.

I totally blew up at the faceless stranger in my dream saying that it was rude to be dismissive and unsupportive of someone trying to better themselves and that if he thought my reason for changing careers was lame that he could go fuck himself. I then proceed to walk away.

That’s when I woke up.

I woke up angry and hurt.

I knew today was going to be rough. I still got up and made breakfast even though it took me longer to do than it should have. I took my time showering instead of rushing to make sure I got to class on time.

I didn’t care if I was late. Being late was better than not going at all and with how rough my grief was I wasn’t going to skimp on making sure I was ok. I would get through today, but I would do it at my own pace in my own way and if that meant I was late one time to my class when all we were doing was reviewing I was fine with that.

I actually ended up being on time. Not early like I have been, so I didn’t get time to cross stitch, but I was there five minutes before anything started and didn’t miss any of the review.

After class is when the emotions decided they had been patient enough and that they deserved their time, which is why I went to the park. I cried not so silently. I’m sure it looked like I was emotionally distressed but no one running or biking on the trail that runs along the park stopped or bothered me, which I was actually grateful for. I didn’t really want to explain what I was feeling mostly because I didn’t understand it myself. It was still just a blob of “stuff” in my chest.

I reached out to Chrys and we chatted for a bit. I told her about my dream. I told her about the jobs and how it was frustrating and discouraging to constantly hear no when I wanted things to work the first time.

She told me about her life. It was nice to connect with someone. It was nice to be reminded that life still goes on and four-year-olds still get sick and have to stay home and have endless energy that I’m totally not jealous about missing out on. I messaged my younger brother, too, and told him today was a hard day and that I missed mom and that I guess everyone is right about grief never fully going away. It just feels like it’s been so long since I’ve had a day like this that I had forgotten that I’ll have them.

March 4th is the 11-month mark. The closure it gets to that day the more raw and wounded I feel. March 23rd I scheduled a therapy appointment because that’s the day it all started. That’s the morning I woke up to, “Mom’s in the hospital. The doctor’s don’t think she’ll make it.”

March 23rd marks the two weeks of hell I crawled through, holding mom’s hand every night while I slept in the hospital chair listening to her breathing. And then, eventually, the days will progress to April 4th and I would have survived my first year without mom being here. Physically here.

I keep having to remind myself that it’s only physically that she’s not with me. I know she’s with me spiritually. I felt her Tuesday night while I cried in my car asking her how she did it. I asked her how she held it together all those years and even though I didn’t get an auditory answer I felt her presence around me as if I were being hugged, as if she knew that it was hard for me and that if she could make it better she would.

I don’t want March 4th to come. I don’t want time to keep progressing forward. I was so worried about the holiday season and surviving my birthday and Christmas and New Years. I forgot there were days after those days. Harder days. Days I haven’t let myself think about, but they’re almost here and they’re going to come regardless of if I want them to or not.

I feel like those days are going to be days where my spirit continues in its transformation. Painful, agonizing days where I adjust to reality again. Stark reminders that all those events I have memories of actually did happen. They are real. These dates are significant because they have had such an impact on who I have become since that time.

Jon and I may go to the beach. I know his birthday is going to be hard for him. March 28th. His first birthday without mom. I survived mine. Jason and Jon still have to survive theirs. It’s another first for them so close to the first year. I wonder if it will be harder for them. And I guess there really isn’t “harder”. It’s going to be different for them because they’re different people.

But in this instance, different doesn’t mean better. It doesn’t mean worse, but it doesn’t mean easier, and there’s a part of me who desperately wishes I could take away the pain for them. I wish I could protect them and not have them hurt from the loss of mom.

But I can’t. And not being able to makes me feel helpless. Powerless. I love my brothers and there’s nothing I can do.

It sucks.

A lot of this sucks.

Today isn’t a bad day. There have been positive moments. I’m going to go to the dojo and train. I’m going to study so I can pass my board test next Friday. I’m going to keep moving forward, but right now today is painful.

Right now today is a grieving day where I hurt and no one can take away that wound. No one can heal it or make it not be there. This is a scar, new, red, sensitive, and at the moment it aches as my soul continues to adjust.

I don’t have a name for these days anymore. They’re different than what they used to be, and I think that’s progress. I think this is a positive change. Not necessarily “good”, but healthy and worthy of being acknowledged. It’s frustrating though because I don’t know how to describe it.

Painful feels better than hard. So maybe I’ll go with that until something else presents itself. Something more “right”.

Today is a painful day, and I’m still getting through it.

Daily Post 012: The Weekend And Then Some


The game plan had been to go to the dojo for submission grappling since it’s Monday evening. I think I’m going to skip out on it in favor of writing, though. I know that sounds bad, but it’s pretty understandable when I slip in the added information that I was awake at 4 am this morning and did boxing at 6 am.

Yeah… I’ve already had a pretty intense, “holy shit, my ass is kicked” workout… I don’t really know if I want another one when I still have to wake up and do a bunch of stuff tomorrow in addition to going to class. Maybe that’s me being weak. Or maybe I should listen to my body when it protests about having to climb up the stairs.

I’m going to go with the latter and hope I don’t regret it later.

So, yeah. Things. And stuff.

I started writing yesterday but didn’t really have it in me, so I stopped about two paragraphs in.

I’m pretty sure the last day I wrote was Saturday morning before the dojo. I had a good workout. I enjoy the conditioning classes. I didn’t see Jim there, but I guess he’s been busy with work. At least that’s what Akib said when the subject was brought up. That’s sort of lame. It’s been over a month since I’ve seen him.

We pulled up the mats and swept/mopped the floor under them in preparation for the new ones. That almost makes me think I should go tonight. I haven’t seen the new mats yet… Arg. No. I’m not going to go because I’m still easing back into things. I’ve only had one solid week of working out. I want to do another week of one hour before trying to up it to two.

The instructor for the Muay Thai class posted on my Facebook saying that I did well in the class. It made me smile. There was also a picture of everyone who stayed to help with the mat clean up. It made me smile and feel connected to see that on Facebook, too. It made me feel part of the dojo family.

The day was going really well after the dojo. Came home. Made a grocery list. Switched the laundry. Went to the store. Realized while I was in the checkout line that I had left my wallet in my gym bag at home…

Yeah, that sort of sucked. I had to put everything back since I was in a store a bit further from my apartment than my normal one. I had planned to get an Arby’s sandwich after the shopping which is why I had gone to a different location. I guess that just wasn’t meant to happen.

I drove home to get my wallet which is where things took a nose dive.

Warren was awake and in the kitchen so I decided to get it over with and ask him about rent.

He said he didn’t know if he would be able to pay for March.

I was quiet for an extended period of time because never in any of my imagines did I think he would not be able to pay rent since he had said he would pay February, and didn’t, so that meant he had extra money to for sure pay for March… right?….


When I was finally able to half way process through my thoughts I asked why he didn’t think he would be able to pay.

Finances weren’t working out.

… How are finances not working out?

He didn’t know. He didn’t know if he wasn’t making enough or what, but he was going to figure it out.

Was there a date when he thought he would have the information?


What the actual fuck?

I didn’t know what to say. How do you not know how things are not working out, and what the fuck? You can’t give me a date when you’re going to look into this information and tell me how I’m not going to be completely screwed over?

I was quiet for another extended period as the shock started bleeding into hurt. I nodded, turned around, and walked back to my car.

My hands were shaking as I drove out of the lot back to the store; the one close to the apartment this time since I didn’t want my sandwich anymore.

I sent a text my younger brother asking if he could talk.

He called shortly after I got into the store. I was standing in front of the ketchup display when I answered.

“Hey. I’m about to break down into tears in the middle of Publix and I know this is going to be an “I told you so” moment but I really, really just need you to listen to me and not say those words.”

So Jon listened to my story. He listened to me say how I felt betrayed. In the fourteen years Warren and I have known each other, in the six months since I’ve let him live here rent free, after the $4000 dollars I’ve spent to help him, and he couldn’t be up front and honest and come to me and let me know that things weren’t working out?

I had to ask, and poke, and pry, and even then I couldn’t get straight answers?

What the fuck?

How is any of that ok? How could he think any of that would ever be ok? After how he knows about my past and all of the times I’ve gotten screwed over by helping people financially and he’s going to treat me like that? He’s just going to assume after I’ve told him money is running low and I can’t cover things on my own anymore, that it’s ok to not tell me that he can’t help?

I started going from feeling hurt and betrayed to angry. Furious.

Basically where the conversation left off was getting information about removing Warren from the lease. If push comes to shove I need him to leave so I can find a roommate who will actually contribute to the apartment. I knew I needed to have another conversation with Warren, but I also knew that night was NOT the night to do it.

Big Bad and I made plans to hang out. The idea was to watch 13 Assassins. I asked if he wanted to drink.

Big Bad: Heck yeah

Awesome. I didn’t have intentions at the time to get super drunk. Just a drink, maybe two, to take off the edge of the emotional pain. I wanted to indulge a bit in being irresponsible because it looked like the future was going to be a shit storm. You know… one last hoorah before going back to the grind of figuring out the cluster fuck that my life looked like it was about to turn into.

Well… Saturday Big Bad and I got pretty… intoxicated. Yeah. We’ll go with that. Intoxicated sounds so much nicer than trashed.

We started by going out to dinner, which was nice. He wouldn’t let me pay even though he paid for our movie outing after the Warrior Dash. He said once I had a job I could celebrate by taking us out. Totally, going to remember he said I could pay and do that.

We went back to his place where we had the bit of Disaronno with Dr. Pepper. I found that mix from Frank when I went to the Cards Against Humanity nights he hosted. He hasn’t done one in a while, but that’s our go-to drink for those events. We call them Double Ds. XD

Anyway, I didn’t have much left, so when it was gone Big Bad asked if I still wanted to drink? I did, which isn’t really normal, but since I was in a “zero fucks given” mindset I didn’t care.

Yes, I wanted to keep drinking. I wanted to have a good night and not worry about being responsible or figuring things out or not having a hangover in the morning.

I most likely could have driven. We didn’t have that much, but Big Bad did instead. He drove my car since he said his truck wasn’t clean. I was fine with it. I trust him, and we made it to the store and back without incident.

I guess me trusting him to drive my car seems less like a massive leap of faith when I mention that he’s let me stay at his house unsupervised while he’s gone to pick up pizza for us. Somehow I think leaving someone alone in your house outranks letting someone with a clean driving record drive your car while you’re in it.

So yeah. We got a bottle of 151 rum and continued to mix it with the Dr. Pepper we had.

The only thing I have to say in regards to that is, “Holy crap.”

Way stronger than what I’m used to. Wicked hung over, but the night was amazing and I regret none of it.

Big Bad had birthday balloons in this kitchen. He asked if I wanted to write messages on one. He said he would write messages on the other one and then we could go outside and let the balloons go together, letting our messages leave.

I said yes.

I wrote a message to Warren #1, my current roommate who isn’t paying rent. I said that I hoped this situation didn’t ruin our friendship but that this was a situation of survival now and that I had come too far to not choose myself. I would take care of myself first before helping others and that included him.

I wrote a message to Warren #2 as well.

I guess I should backtrack a little.

While Big Bad and I were at dinner, sober, we talked about our past relationships. I told him the whole situation with Zane, before mom’s hospitalization, the events during it, and the events after her death. I think he understands my feelings better.

He told me about his ex-wife. I appreciated him opening up and telling me more about their history. I asked if in hindsight he thought the divorce was a good thing even though he was against it at first.

He said yes. There had been more bad times than good, and that he had wanted to stay together for his children, but that now he thought it was better to be separated; not only for himself but for his kids as well.

I’m not sure how, but Warren #2 was mentioned and Big Bad asked about the story for him.

It was hard. I had to stop a few times during my telling of it. But I told him. I told him everything. The fight before hand. The rape. Being suicidal afterward.

I told him that I try really hard to remain friends with my exs because I was with them for a reason. I cared about them. But Zane and Warren #2 are two people that I don’t want to see again. I can’t be “the bigger person”. I still want them to hurt the way that I and others have hurt because of them so they know what it feels like. So they know what they’ve made other people live through. I want them to hurt so they learn and become better people. I don’t think that’s a good enough reason to wish pain on others, though, so I still feel like there are issues for me to work through.

Part of working through that was writing my message to Warren #2. In my message, I said that I would not give him the power to rob me of my present. I would not allow myself to live in fear of relationships and love and kindness because of what he did to me. I remember I told Big Bad that when you’re punched in the face by someone who says they love you it makes you question what love is.

I’m not going to let my fear control me. I will acknowledge it and I will relearn how to have healthy interactions. I feel like that’s what Big Bad is helping me do.

He has been nothing but accepting of me and supportive of the things I’m trying to do with my life. Saturday night was another instance where I bared emotional scars to him. Jagged, deep, sensitive scars and instead of thinking me as broken he listened and heard me. He held my hand while I told my story, and when we released our balloons with our messages into the night sky he wrapped his arms around me and pulled me to him so my back was pressed against his chest.

We drank more. We got bored with the movie and instead went outside in the backyard and started a fire in the firepit. It was the first time I’ve been in his backyard. He has two dogs that he normally keeps outside so it was the first time I got introduced to them.

It felt nice being able to be drunk around someone and for it to be a pleasant, fun, positive experience. I know I’ve had a few drinks while I’m with Sir. I’ve had drinks with Frank and everyone, but Saturday was different. I have a lot of memories of being afraid to drink when I was with Warren #2 because I knew we would end up fighting and I wanted to be sober in case I wanted to leave.

I didn’t have that worry with Big Bad. I knew I was safe and that I could enjoy all of it with him. And this is where I sound crazy as an INFJ and talk about vibes and feeling things, but it’s true. It was fantastic being drunk and all of my mental barriers being down and completely open to the energy around me. I didn’t have to hold back, and I didn’t. He didn’t.

Even though we both had headaches and felt rough Sunday morning it was an amazing night. All of it. The conversation by the fire, the balloons, the sex. I regret nothing. Not even the hangover I had to suffer through.

I can definitely say neither of us wants to drink like that ever again. At least not for the next foreseeable ever, but from our conversations since Sunday morning, I think we both enjoyed it.

Sunday we had coffee together once we finally got out of bed. Which took a while.

When I got home Warren was awake again. I didn’t want to have the conversation yet, but I did let him know that Jason and Jon weren’t going to help me financially. I didn’t ask Jason or Jon if they would. I think if I worded my request right they would, but I don’t want them to because it’s not me who’s not able to hold up my end of the deal. It’s Warren and I don’t want them supporting him. It’s not their responsibility to help me help someone else. So I felt like I needed to let Warren know that. I can’t do March on my own and I’m not going to be getting help from my family.

He said he understood and would figure his side out.

I went to my room after that and continued to feel like crap, not just because I was low energy from drinking, being up late, and in general recovering from the amazing night I had, but there were the nagging guilt and building stress of returning to reality. I curled up in bed with Scarlet and stayed there for most of the morning.

Big Bad was supposed to meet Corey to give him a check for computer parts. Not sure if I mentioned it anywhere but Corey is in the process of building Big Bad a computer. I thought it was going to be a quick meeting just to exchange funds.

It turned into Corey, Chelen, and Big Bad having lunch at my sports bar. I got an invitation asking me to join them, which I did. It was nice. We sat outside in the fresh air and shaded sunlight. A breeze was blowing which felt calming against my skin.

I think going out was probably the best thing I could have done for myself. It got me out of bed and showered. It got me back outside, moving around. It got me to eat a salad of tasty awesomeness and drink some more water.

Big Bad actually asked me back to his place after lunch. I don’t know how either of us could still want or even accomplish sexy time, but the human body is amazingly resilient.

When I left for the second time I came home and ended up going to sleep fairly early. Can’t imagine why…
I woke up at 4 am. It was an “awake” awake. One of those “This is a day where things are going to get done” type of awake. There isn’t the grogginess of having to fight through sleep, the dragging of one’s self out of the warm bed. I was ready to get up. I wanted to get up. I had things to do.

When I went downstairs Warren was awake, watching TV on the couch. He works nights so him being awake so early is normal. I sat on the couch next to him and was quiet for a little bit.

Eventually, I asked, “How you would feel if our situations were reversed?”

I still felt hurt and betrayed. I didn’t want to feel like that, but how else am I supposed to feel? I really wanted to know what his perspective was.

Warren: I know you’re probably tired of helping my sorry ass. I know I would be.

We had a really long, in-depth heart to heart conversation. We brainstormed different ideas, he told me different things he was looking into. He told me why finances weren’t working out. I told him how his choices were affecting me and why I felt the way I did.

I said by him not telling me about his situation that he took away a lot of the choices I could have made had I been given more time.

I think we’re on the same page now. I think we both feel better and less “the world is ending”. I’m going to give it until Monday before pressing more on the topic. I want to see what happens in a week.

I went to boxing this morning. I came home and made breakfast.

Oh. That reminds me. Big Bad and I figured out that the end of February will be when we’ve known each other for six months. It’s odd. It feels longer than that. We had been talking through texts so I sent one saying, “Happy slightly early six months of knowing each other”

He thought it was cute.

While I had been at his house Saturday, before the drinking, he said he had gotten something for me. I have mentioned a few times how the coffee I make at home is from instant powder and how I enjoy the coffee we have together in the mornings. He uses a percolator and actual coffee grounds. It’s different from mine and I like it.

Well while Big Bad had been out shopping for things he got me my own percolator and container of coffee to have at home with me. I absolutely love it. I totally hugged the box in front of him.

I used it for the first time this morning, sending him a picture of the percolator sitting in its new place on my stovetop. It actually looks good there. Most of my appliances are black and stainless steel so the percolator blends with everything. It makes my brain happy to see a gift from someone I care about in my environment. Even better that it fits and looks like it belongs there. And it’s something useful.

Best gift ever.

After eating I got ready for class. I picked out the threads I needed for a new cross stitch project. Its something for Big Bad. I think he’ll like it and I want to do something for him. I’m not sure if he’ll be overjoyed by it or anything, but I think it will mean something to him. If nothing else I think he’ll like it because it’s cute and from Star Wars.

Class was good. We started learning about EKG pathologies. There’s a lot of them. x.x

After class, I went to my sports bar. It’s something I’ve budgeted in for the next weeks. Instead of cooking lunch I go to my sports bar for a water and small salad. I study, make flash cards, research, whatever I need to do.

It keeps me out of the apartment for longer, resulting in more light and gives me a place to work since I don’t have a separate office space at home. I don’t work well in my room.

While I was at my sports bar I got an email from my contact at the hospital. He was forwarding me a job posting he thought I would be interested in. He said if he saw any others that he would send them my way.

I took a look at the posting. It’s for a Central Service Technician – Uncertified. Basically, I would be helping to sterilize surgical equipment and setting up the trays for surgeries. Part of the job would be getting certification within the first year of being hired.

I think I would seriously like that job. Cleaning, organizing, mostly introverted work. I would be working nights, which is a little lame, but they would be on the weekend which is sort of cool. That was one of the things I wanted. A job that left my week mostly open.

With a set schedule like that, I could look at getting a part time job after my classes finish. I’m hoping this pans out. I feel like I would like this position more than the position I interviewed for on Thursday. I think this posting is new enough that it hasn’t been filled yet, and I know my resume looks way, way better than it when I applied for the patient transporter position. I have two addition certifications listed, I have the CNA and EGK certifications in progress… On paper, I look way better for an entry level medical position that what I did two weeks ago. Go me. Hopefully, it works in my favor.

So I eventually came home and applied for that after calling Jon to tell him about the posting and finishing my flash cards. It was hard to sit and finish working on them after getting the email, but that’s part of the deal I have with myself for getting lunch out. I can do it only if I do my work. So work had to be completed first, then I could dash home to create a new cover letter and go through the online application process.

Once that was done I emailed my files directly to my contact at his request. That was around 4 pm. Since I haven’t heard back from him I’m going to assume that my information won’t be passed forward until tomorrow, but I’m hopeful.

It’s awesome knowing that my contact is actively looking to help me and that he wasn’t just saying pretty words in his last email to me. He reached out to me with a posting I didn’t even see even though I had checked the hospital’s page just last night.

Currently Big Bad is waiting for me to finish writing so we can hang out tonight. We’re both tired so hopefully, it’s a quiet night we were both relax and unwind from our busy days. I’m looking forward to it, and the morning where we maybe do strength training. Tomorrow will be a dojo day for sure. Jujitsu so I can finally wear my new gi.

It’s still too clean. I need some blood, sweat, and tears on it. Can’t get my blue belt otherwise. : )

Daily Post 150: Post-Travel Rage

So… I feel like this writing is a bit bitchy and that I should put a disclaimer about that. I’m calling it post-travel rage along with generalized introvert burnout. Hopefully, my next writing is less “burn the world down and dance on the ashes” themed. : D



Writing wasn’t on the to-do list, but you know what… neither was running and I did that, too, so I guess today just isn’t my to-do list’s day.

To-Do List: Look at all the things you can do to be productive.

Me: Fuck that shit. I’m going to go do all of these other productive things instead and totally invalidate all of the time I put into creating you.

Yay right, brained moments I guess?

Anyway, I was sort of worried that I was wasting the day. I mean, I was up for roughly 48 hours. I didn’t sleep well (read “at all”) the night before I left to come home. The plane left at 11:50 pm. There wasn’t a chance in hell of me sleeping during the flight, and then when my brother and I landed I had to drive him back to Daytona so he could get his car from his friend’s house.

Shoot me in the face. x.x

To say the trip sucked is an understatement. At least the plane ride and all of the travel I had to do afterward on so little sleep and caffeine. There were two separate times while I was driving to Daytona where I zoned out / dozed off. Not a cool situation.

I ended up sleeping at my brother’s place for a few hours before heading back home. I NEEDED sleep. The three hours I got was enough for me to get home ok, haul my stuff up to my room, and go back to sleep.

Warren’s schedule changed so he’s working nights, which meant he wasn’t awake when I got home, which is a good thing because I was in uber-bitch mode, and I knew I was.

The apartment smelled like dog, which is gross to me. There were dog fur Godzilla bunnies everywhere. My room smelled like a litter box because it hadn’t been cleaned often enough.

Pardon me while I set everything on fire in my sleep deprived rage of the apartment not being spotless like when I left for my trip.

I’m really just bitching to get it out of my system. I’ve already talked to Warren about it. I’ve already gone through and taken care of the chores that I knew I was going to have to do when I got back.

I’ve paid my bills which is another source of frustration because Warren still isn’t back to square one with his bank account yet. He’s close, but I still had to cover all of the storage payment.

It just sucks. I hate money. And to cover everything and still have to sweep up after a pet that isn’t mine… or buy vacuum bags for a vacuum that isn’t mine that’s only used to vacuum up dog fur… It’s frustrating and makes me feel used.

Honestly, if this is my biggest complaint, dog fur, then I think I’m doing pretty well. I wish I was better at having a roommate. I wish when I said something bothered me and I would like for it to be fixed that it felt like my open and honest communication actually did something to fix the problem.

Anyway… moving on from that since it really is a first world issue and I should just get over it (which I most likely will after more sleep)…

My younger brother met Big Bad. He agreed to pick us up from the airport which was a life saver. I had asked Warren to pick us up but with him working the late schedule now he didn’t think he would be able to stay awake that “late” to get us, and couldn’t guarantee waking up to an alarm.

I really need to find topics that don’t involve him since right now I’m still frustrated and writing about it is just adding fuel to that fire.

Or maybe I really should just write it all out rather than pretending that I feel my conversation did any sort of good because I feel like it didn’t. I did a lot to help him during his breakup with Amber because he’s my friend. I didn’t do it to get help in return. When there are the words of, “If you need anything, or if there’s anything I can do, let me know,” then I don’t feel bad about asking for stuff.

Me: Hey, can you sweep? The dog fur is sort of building up.

Warren: Yeah. Sure

So when it goes undone I’m sort of miffed. And to have that situation play out multiple times… sort of sucks. I’m going to stop asking and just do it myself since asking doesn’t do anything.

Me: Can you pick me up from the airport?

Warren: I don’t think so because I’m not sure I can stay up that late and I can’t wake up to an alarm.

Can you do anything when I ask for help other than telling me you can’t help?

This is why I don’t like asking for help and feel it’s easier to just do things on my own. When you ask for help and the answer is constantly “no” even for valid reasons, it instills a feeling that asking for help is bad. Or pointless.

Positive notes: There weren’t dirty dishes in the sink when I got home. Scarlet wasn’t dead from starvation. My car was still in the parking lot. Drugs weren’t strewn across the floor with random body parts from a party gone bad. In fact, there was no sign of other people being at the apartment at all. My room was untouched. The mail had been checked.

There. Good things happened while I was away. I may be slightly justified in feeling frustrated, but the uber bitch fit I can feel myself leaning towards is unwarranted and I know it is. I really do think it’s more from being overtaxed from the trip back, so I’m glad I’ve kept it in check as well as I have.

Back to the subject I really wanted to write about…

Big Bad met my brother. Not for very long, and none of us were very talkative, but for me, that’s a pretty big step. Like… huge… equivalent to meeting mom, which no one can do anymore. So the next step is meeting my brothers.

Jon said he seemed nice and that as long as he makes me happy that he’s happy for me.

Big Bad and I have been trying to see each other the past two days, but things aren’t working in our favor. He was busy the night I came back, and to be honest I was more interested in passing back out and sleeping for the next forever that I wasn’t too heartbroken about plans not working. I had gotten to see him for a little bit that day. We held hands the whole drive to my apartment. And, yes. I realize how mushy and girly that sounds.

We said we would try to see each other today, but today he’s been sick and I slept most of the day myself. Maybe we’ll have better luck tomorrow. It’s his mother’s birthday, so he’ll be busy for part of the evening, but maybe we’ll still be able to have a little bit of time together if he’s feeling better and my post-trip rage has subsided.

I’m not even on my cycle. I mean, seriously. What chemical imbalance is there to have me wanting to set fire to everything? I would totally be ok with it chilling out.

The bills got paid today. That was mildly frustrating since the internet account, which I fixed last month, is acting up again and won’t let me log in. I don’t even feel like typing all of that BS out. Luckily nothing is due, so I’m going to conveniently leave fixing the account until next month when I do have to pay something so I get frustrated all over again because fuck you, Future Self.

In all actuality, I’m most likely going to call in tomorrow to see why it’s messing up again since I was able to get my account number from the representative I spoke with. It’s just annoying that something that should have been quick and painless is now a giant hassle of multiple phone calls and missing information and corporate red tape.

I’ve figured out my workout schedule, which makes me realize how messed up it is for the next month. Right before my race, too. Such poor planning on my part.

My brother and I are visiting my dad in Ohio from the 11th to the 15th. Allison wants to spend a week at Disney for her bachelorette party. That’s going to be, tentatively, the first week in February. The week after that is my race. Then, at the end of March is Allion’s wedding which I’ll have to travel to South Carolina for.

I really just want to be able to stay here. In Orlando. Where it’s warm. And doesn’t snow. I want to go to the dojo. I want to go to my dance classes. I want people to get out of my time account as well as my bank account.

Maybe I need some hermit time. I’ve made it through a really hard time frame. Even though the holiday season wasn’t the soul crushing trial I thought it would be it still had its painful moments. Maybe this is what it looks and feels like to not get the recovery time I need.

I’m resentful of obligations that take me even the slightest bit away from something I want to do or inches me in the direction of something I don’t want to do. Especially social obligations.

I need to find a balance right now.

Running tonight helped. It was dark outside, which I didn’t really enjoy, and it was on the cold side. But I did better than I did on my last run. Shaved two minutes off my time. I want to try to start adding distance. Big Bad can do a 5k easy. I’ve never run a solid mile in my life… I’m worried he’s not going to enjoy the race because I’ll be holding him back.

I really feel that’s something I should bring up. I want him to know he can run ahead without me. I want him to have fun. If having fun is pushing himself, then hanging back with me is going to detract from his experience. The thought of having a running buddy is nice, but the thought of running the course on my own doesn’t bother me. We could meet up afterward for food and our free beer.

Blarg… Another thing to the to-do list.

After my run, I went to the grocery store. I had literally no food in the apartment. I buy things weekly and since I was going to be gone for so long I made sure all of the fresh stuff was used or thrown out.

That’s great and all until you’re hungry and you have legitimately nothing to eat.

So I stopped and got the ingredients for salads. That’s going to be my lunches for the week. Still not sure about what to do for dinner. I’m thinking chili again.

I need to message Tre to let him know that I’m seriously reconsidering the job offer. I’m still working towards completing the project, but I’ve done some deep thinking on the topic. We’ll see what happens in February. I can always say no if I get the offer.

I’m sure there’s other stuff I could write about, but I think that’s most of it. Angst. Lots of post-travel angst.

Hopefully, tomorrow is less… whatever today was. I have the day slightly mapped out for things I would like to get done. Going for another run is on there since the dojo is closed until the third. I need to run more anyway.

So much lame.

Letters to Mom 004: Anger and Denial Suck


Hi mom,


It’s been a while and even as I start to type this I can feel myself about to cry and I’m sorry. I guess I’m going to say sorry for a while even though I know you wouldn’t want me to.


The check came in the other day. It got sent to Jason because I didn’t know where I would end up. I didn’t want it to get lost in the mail so if it were sent to Jason at least I knew it would end up in good hands. So he got it, told me it came in, and I gave him the address to my PO box. I knew it was coming. I knew it would be there one day when I went to open that stupid little gray door.


And it was there. Wednesday afternoon. I opened the door and there was a white USPS envelope in it and I knew it was the check from Jason. I didn’t want to open it. I didn’t want to touch it. I didn’t want it to be there.


But I did touch it. It was real, and physical, and I took it out and held it in my hands as if it were some precious thing, burning my hands with fire to the point I couldn’t hold onto it but couldn’t put it down either. I walked to the front of the post office. No one was there as I pulled the flap open and pulled out the papers inside. There was the unopened envelope from the insurance company and a photocopy of your obituary.


I was so angry with the check. I still am. I want to hate it. I want to have a person that I can turn all of this anger towards. I want it to be someone’s fault so I can yell and scream at them. So I can tell them how they ruined everything. How the money is insulting because all I want is you. All I want is to be able to give it back… No, not give. I want to throw it back at someone. I want to hurl it, fling it, with all of the strength I have at someone and have them cower from my fury. I want my anger and rage to be enough to have the Universe return you to me, to allow you to come home and hug me and tell me that it won’t happen again.


I miss you, mom, and while I’m at work or doing laundry or trying to figure out how to move forward with my life I can make it through my days most of the time. I’ve only called out of work twice. I went to the second meeting for the woman’s leadership initiative. I mailed off the papers for the ticket “I” got since Zane ran a red light back in February. I’ve been eating at least one meal every day. I’ve been going to the gym. I’ve been doing all of these things and even on the days that sort of suck and I’m low energy and I want to do nothing at all I still end up doing things because I’m me and I don’t know how to not do things.


But it sucks, mom. It sucks so much sometimes and I really wish you were here to do I don’t know what… Make it better. Be there for me to talk to and escape from my life. I miss our hour long conversations about nothing. I miss hearing your voice. I miss you and it’s only when I stop that I am able to process through this emptiness but I so rarely let myself stop. I don’t want to stop because stopping means figuring things out emotionally and that hurts and I’m so tired of hurting. I’m so tired of feeling alone and like I’ve lost something, something that will never, can never, be replaced.


I talk about how the inside of my self is empty and white. Barren. There isn’t wreckage or debris. I don’t know what there is. I don’t want to be a new person. I don’t want to change. I’m not using bits of broken pieces to make something new. I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know what I’m picking up or touching or finding that causes this pain when I’m alone and talking to you.


I know you left the money to help. I know that you wanted me to have it. I talked about it a lot in therapy this week. I got the check Wednesday and had therapy Thursday, so at least I wasn’t able to stew about it in my head for a super long time. Just long enough to know that I’m angry. Just long enough to figure out logically that my anger is misplaced and the most immediate thing I need to figure out a way to cope with said anger.


Yay logic. Who said you can’t have a to-do list while grieving?


In therapy I said it felt wrong for me to benefit from the money. It would mean I was benefitting from your death because the only reason the money is there is because you died. I don’t want your death to be a good thing, mom. I don’t want it to help me be a better person. I don’t want it to destroy me because I know you want me to keep living. I don’t want it to be a neutral event, one causing no emotional reaction within me, because that would mean your death meant nothing to me. Being neutral would mean you meant nothing, and that’s not true. You meant the world to me. You were my sun, my light, my mentor and best friend. You were my mother.


You meant everything to me.


So your death isn’t good. But it isn’t soul crushingly, life-endingly bad. But it’s not neutral, either… So what is it?


I don’t want to hate myself for progressing in life but if I use this money as a stepping-stone to do it, to move forward to where I want to be, then I think I would have a hard time not hating myself. In my head it’s fucked up for me to, in any way, “gain” from the loss of you.


I hate all of this, mom. I hate the confusion and the hurt. I hate the tears that are always there when I drive to work because the thought of obligations makes me realize how trivial everything is. I hate the tiredness that I wake up with because it’s not tiredness from not sleeping well. It’s tiredness from being mentally and spiritually injured and exhausted. I hate using the word hate because I don’t really “hate” anything, I just dislike it to the point of feeling a physical aversion.


Hate is too strong a word for most of the things I feel, but it’s an easy word to use so I use it. At this point it really is more of a laziness issue because “dislike” isn’t all that hard to type, but hate is easier so that’s the word I use… It’s also more dramatic and who doesn’t enjoy drama from time to time, especially during a pity party?


It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to, dammit!


I don’t want to hate the money because I know it’s a gift from you. And so there’s confliction over that. I want to love it. Accept it. Cherish it, forever and for always, just like the USPS box that you sent my Christmas stuff in. But the money isn’t what I want. I want you, and having the money reminds me that you’re not here. You’ll never physically be here again, and that reminder sucks.


I remember we had a conversation one time. I can’t remember if it was before I moved out or if it was one of the times I was visiting home, but I remember we were at home, in the living room, on the couch. Somehow we were talking about death and you said you knew it was going to be really hard for me when you died. You said something about how you raised me to be strong and that meant not doing stupid shit like hurting or killing myself.


Ok… so you didn’t say “stupid shit”. I can’t honestly remember your exact words but that was the gist of it. “You’re strong and I want you to keep going, even after I die.”


I know the money is your way of trying to help me through this.


I don’t want to go through this though, mom. And I want to say sorry for that, for not wanting to go through this experience, but I’m not sorry. I’m not sorry that I don’t want you to be dead and that I want you to be here, and I’m not sorry for wanting something selfish and unrealistic and childish. I’m not sorry for loving you and missing you and for feeling sad.


Well… actually, I am sorry for feeling sad, because I know you don’t want me to be sad. Which is sort of weird, because I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want me to be angry either but I’m not sorry for the angry side of things… Maybe that’s something to meditate on and look further into… why do I think some emotions are ok to feel, but other emotions, like sadness, aren’t ok and make me feel guilty…


Blah… So I guess this is where I’m back in the denial stage and resisting reality. I don’t want this. I didn’t ask for it. I want to give the money back because that’s how refunds work. If you give something back you get the original thing returned to you.


But that’s not how life works and so right now I’m stuck with the choice of hating life or accepting where I’m at, and hating life is so much easier right now, mom. It’s so easy to sit here, alone, and to feel sorry for myself because the rest of the world can somehow keep going, prattling on with their lives, while I sit here, alone, without you in my life to sit across from me. I know you’re with me, you’re around me, you’re inside me, but I wish with every fiber of my being that you were still physical and could hold me right now.


I still plan to take time off from life. I still plan to use the money to pay for bills and to pay off the credit card, and to have a membership at the dojang. I opened a Navy Federal account so I can get away from Bank of America. I’m waiting for the check to clear so I can pay off the phone and switch it to MetroPCS because there is coverage in Vegas for it.


Everyone keeps telling me the money is a gift. The people who I consider acquaintances make the customary, though annoying insensitive, comment about spending the money wisely.


Every time I hear those comments this conversation plays out in my brain. No joke… Every time…

Irrational Grief Brain: Thanks… but I know this is a gift from my mom. A very special gift. And even though I don’t want it, I’m not going to give it away or do something stupid. It’s precious to me and I want to hold it close to my chest because that’s the closest I’ll ever get to being able to hug my mom again.

I’m not going to go set it on fire or spend it on stupid shit. I’m not a child. I don’t need a reminder to be an adult because I AM a fucking adult.

It’s not your place to tell me what to do with a gift, any gift, especially the last gift I’ll ever receive from my mom. Your not my parent, and trying to be “parental” reminds me that the only pesron who ever had a right to be “parental” is my mom, and that she’s gone because she’s dead so welcome to the “I’ve made myself Jen’s target” club.

Go burn in hell you insensitive jerk-face.


It’s exhausting thinking such emotionally intense thoughts. It’s a lot like when I had to tell people you had died.


“I’m so sorry for your loss. If there’s anything I can do, or anything you need, please let me know.”


Irrational Greif Brain: I don’t know what I want other than for mom to come back. Since I’m pretty sure you can’t do that, there’s nothing that you can do other than leave me alone.

I don’t know what I need. I don’t even consider eating to be a need right now. If you want to be helpful then proactively do something for me, rather than making it MY obligation to figure everything out.

Do you even know how many obligations I already have? I’m not going to remember to delegate things to you. If you want to help than “do” something for me. Take a task, any task, away from me, without me asking, because not only do I not like asking for help to begin with, in this situation I most likely wont remember that asking for help is an option.

I’m alone in the world, ok? I don’t care that you actually exist and breathe and have a life that you’re living with goals and ambitions and dreams. Right now there aren’t other people, ok? There is only this emptiness and Jason and Jon and Lio. And if there are other people, they’re obligations that I have to take care of.

That is how my brain is functioning right now. No one is here to help me. I am alone aside from my family. If you want to help, do the laundry for me. Don’t ask. Just say, “I want to do [insert task here] for you. Is it ok if I come over [insert specific time here] to help you out with that?”

Holy fuck, that would have been so much more helpful than making me remember more things when the only way I’m functioning day to day is by scrawling on my arms with a sharpie marker because there isn’t paper near by and if I don’t write it down I’ll forget it and then fire and brimstone will fall from the sky because I’m the worst daughter ever and mom would be disappointed in me for failing at life.


Yeah… irrational grief brain isn’t a very fun brain… And those thoughts were there literally every time someone said, “Let me know if you need anything.” Which was every, every, fucking conversation I had to have with anyone. So exhausting. And the only thing I said was, “I appriecate it. I’ll let you know if I think of anything,” because that was so much easier than actually trying to think of or remember things that needed to happen right after I had just had to say those words again, “Mom died.”


The best conversations I have had, the ones that make me introspective and not instant Irrational Angry Jen are with my friends. True friends who know how I am.


They actually take a step back and say how I’m one of the few people they aren’t worried about spending the money poorly. They know that I’m responsible and they know that I’ll use it wisely and for things that will truly help me or be a good investment.


There’s slight guilt in that regard because getting a PS4 so I can play Witcher III in my head isn’t responsible, but I know that I need some sort of escape and “down time” sort of thing. I was thinking about getting back into Guild Wars II once I’m back in Vegas as well, though with both of those outlets I’ll have to be careful. It would be all too easy to allow myself to slip into a gaming addiction where all I do is sit at home gaming, absorbed in another world. There’s just something about running around picking flowers to brew crazy potions, or crafting in general so I can whore the action house that totally does it for some part of my brain…


But yeah… to me games don’t really seem all that “responsible”, but if it’s something that’s for mental health then it is responsible… but it’s still a game, so wouldn’t it be more responsible to find a more constructive outlet…


You can see where my confliction comes in…


I suppose if that’s the biggest, most irresponsible splurge I have then I’m doing pretty good. I know you would want me to do something “fun” related. I’m always work and no play. At least that’s how it feels, especially the past year or so. The past how ever long it’s been since I gave up aikido. I feel like that was the last thing I really did for myself, and I had to give that up when Zane became unemployed. There was the Warrior Dash, which was awesome, but I already had the gym membership, which was a big part of that goal. I don’t know. In my head my race doesn’t count all that much because it was such a finite thing. One day doesn’t make up for the months of having to go without, you know?


I guess it’s the way my friends approach the conversation. It’s not a “This is what you should do,” talk. It’s more of a, “You’re going to do whatever it is you feel is right. I have faith in you,” talk. And the, “You’ll do what’s right,” makes me stop and think.


It makes me question, the world, myself. What is right? What would I be ok with? What wouldn’t I be ok with? It’s not an obligation or an order. It’s openness and acceptance and it lets me explore and question rather than being forced into a box.


I haven’t really spent a bunch of time figuring it out, shocker I know since that’s basically my catch phrase right now, but I do have one rule in regards to your gift. I’m not allowed to spend it on anyone else. Ever. The money has to be spent specifically on me, and only me. If I want to take someone out to eat, I have to have some sort of other revene to do it with because your money isn’t meant to take someone else out. It isn’t meant to help someone else survive. It’s meant to help me survive.


So at least there’s that rule. I’m not sure if there will be others. I’m pretty sure they’ll come to me as I find and think of situtations that I wouldn’t be ok with. It’s nice to have at least something to define “right” verses “wrong”. Honerable verses dishonerable.


I keep thinking about the feeling I felt when I got to the hospital that day. April 4th. I keep thinking this past week how it’s still been less than two months and how crazy that is. So much has happened in such a short span of time. It can’t have only been a month and a half…


But is has. It’s been such a short amount of time, mom.


On April 4th I stood in the elevator for the last time as it road up to our floor. I walked down the hall to our room for the last time, sort of surreal like. Almost out of body as I kept telling myself that I would make it through “this”. I would be ok. Somehow. Somehow I would keep breathing, and I would make it to tonight, and I would make it to tomorrow and the world hadn’t ended and, somehow, somehow I would be ok.


I remember seeing everyone standing around. The nurses that we had been interacting with, tons of new people as well, most likely from the rapid response team. I didn’t ask. I didn’t care. I kept walking, walking. I could see our room. Your room. I remember how the hall was so crowded but near your room it was so empty. So quiet and still. I remember Jon coming out of the room when I got there like he knew I was there. It was like a scripted TV scene. As soon as I was there, in the right spot, he came out of the room as if to prepare me for what was about to happen. He had his hand out as if to give me something, so I put mine out as well, to receive whatever it was.


He gave me your mother’s ring, the one I had made for you for Christmas. I remember how you always wanted one because MawMaw had one and you said yours would be so pretty. Two aquamarines for Jason and Jon and a turquoise in the center for me. You loved your ring so much, mom. I know you did because you showed it off to everyone and bragged about how “amazing” your children were even as I felt like a total fuck up half the time because of the stupid choices I always made with my relationships.


They had put tape around your ring so it wouldn’t fall off while you were in the hospital and get lost, and I remember when I got into ICU and held your hand for the first time through this whole experience how I was so grateful that you still had it on. I don’t know why I was grateful, but I was. Maybe because it was normal. Because it was a reminder of life. A reminder of how much we loved you.


I will always remember what it felt like for Jon to put your ring into my hand. I will always remember the weight I felt when I saw the little gold band in the center of my palm.


That was when I became matriarch. That’s when I knew that I had to grow up and be an adult. I remember how it hurt so much to see that ring, and how my face felt so pained, twisted into an expression I’ll never see as I put your ring on my ring finger before breathing in deep, holding back the tears and sobs as I walked into the room.


I saw you there. You were laying in bed. They had taken out all of those stupid tubes that had made it so hard for you to sleep. You looked so peaceful, mom. So beautiful. You weren’t in pain. You weren’t uncomfortable or tired. You didn’t have to worry about anyone coming in and poking you while you tried to sleep anymore.


I remember holding your hand and after a minute or so had passed I asked what we needed to do now. I took charge. I talked to the nurses and the case worker. I called the funeral home and asked about your insurance coverage. I made sure you wouldn’t have to go to the morgue in the hospital. Even then, less than ten minutes after getting to the hospital, I was doing things, because that’s what needed to happen. Things needed to be taken care of, so I did them so other people wouldn’t have to.


I didn’t want Jon or Jason to have to do that. I didn’t want them to have to call and tell a stranger, “My mom just died and I don’t know what to do. Please help me.” And I think the only reason I was able to do it was because while I said those words I was holding your hand, your ring secure on my finger while I squeezed my eyes shut against the tears that wouldn’t stop, while I squeezed your hand against the pain in my chest that made it so hard to breathe even though my voice was steady.


You were there to help me make it through that conversation because that conversation sucked really, really bad, mom. It was so hard to make that phone call and to remember the answers to all of the questions they asked. It was so hard to not just break down and start thinking about how the only thing I wanted was for you to wake up. For you to truly be asleep and to just wake up and for things to be ok. How I wanted to give the ring back to you, to slip it back onto your finger and for it to somehow bring you back to me because it’s your ring and how I needed you to not be gone because I loved you. Because I still love you.


I don’t know what matriarch means to me yet. I don’t know what I want it to mean. I haven’t spent much time meditating on it. I really haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about anything to be honest. Small snippets here and there. Small working throughs. Breakthroughts. Therapy helps with taking steps.


In regards to the money, instead of thinking of it as benefiting, I’m trying to look at it as your way of helping me survive, because that is my main goal right now. Whenever anyone asks me how I’m doing, which I still hate that question, more so now then ever, I answer with, “I’m surviving. You?”


Literally, without even realizing it, that’s the answer I’ve been giving. Yeah, surviving is still benefitting I guess, but it has a different meaning in my head. I’m not ok, and using the word “benefiting” makes it seem like I am ok. It gives this whole situation a positive spin rather than conveying the feeling of it being an agonizing trial that I didn’t ask for.


You’re helping me survive in one of the few ways you still can. I know that I personally need time, and I can use the money to give myself that time, that space, to figure out how to keep going on my own. I have to relearn how to walk is what it feels like. Fuck running at the moment. Maybe even screw walking. I have to make sure I can stand first, let alone do anything else. It feels so awkward at times. I feel wobbly, squishy. I feel like I just came out of some sort of cocoon that I didn’t know I was in. I’m not a butterfly, though. I’m not something nearly so pretty and fragile.


I don’t think I’m a newborn hatchling dragon either though, because what was I for the past 27 years if I suddenly just now hatched?


I don’t have an analogy yet, other than I feel squishy and vulnerable and that doesn’t bode well for other people because I don’t like feeling vulnerable.


I need to figure me out. I know I do, and I know that will mostly happen in Vegas, and so I’m not giving myself crap for not having the answers yet, especially with the realization that it’s been less than two months. Well, duh, I don’t have the answers. Who would, right?


I’m working on that whole “being kind and realistic with myself” thing… I think I’m getting better at it.


I think a big step, the next one I want to take, is figuring out “matriarch”. I keep coming back to that word, to that moment at the hospital where the word infused itself with my being. It means something to me. It means a lot. It’s a heavy word inside my head. I need to understand why it is important to me and what it changes because it changes, a lot. I felt it at the hospital. I feel it now.


I always thought that I would die young, and in my head that meant I would die before you. I never told you that, but I’ve written it before, and it’s always been something in my head. To me, young meant you would out live me, and I know writing that, saying that, drives some people crazy.


Sir mentioned that despite my “feeling” that biologically, realistically, children are meant to bury their parents. This is the natural order of things, and if you had had to bury me it most likely would have been a much harder situation because that’s not how life is supposed to work.


I understand that. I do. After hearing him say those words, I’m grateful for how things worked out. I’m grateful that I didn’t hurt you by dying. I would never have wanted you to feel this type of pain. Or worse pain. I would never have wanted you to have to call and tell someone that I had died and that you needed them to help care for my body.


It’s still odd for me. I had thought things would be different. What I had thought isn’t what happened, and so I’m having to adjust to reality. It makes me wonder though… There was such a shift in myself at the hospital when Jon gave me your ring that I wonder if that’s what “my death” was. It was most certainly an ending of something, and the start of something else.


Other than that, I don’t know what it was. I’ll most likely never know what it was. A lot of spiritual and emotional things aren’t meant to be understood. They’re not things you can analyze because they’re not analytical. They are things you feel, in your chest, in your being. They are experienced rather than explained. And so I have this experience before me, within me.


I am changed. Of that there is no question or doubt. Is it a death? Is it a shift? Is it nothing? Is it everything? I don’t know. I suppose it’s up to me to say what it is, and I guess that’s why figuring out the word matriarch is so important, because it is so entwined with this change, this feeling, this experience.


I realized the other day the black widow from my dream was you, rather than me. That actually made the dream make more sense. The widow in my dream ended up disappearing in the end. Sort of like how you were here, and now you’re not, at least not in a physical form. I should have known it was you when it felt “wrong” to think of myself as the widow.


I didn’t know what else, who else, it could have been, and looking back at the dream, it seems so silly to have not seen the connection to you. Other people mentioned how it was most likely you because the widow is a symbol of strong female power, but in the dream that wasn’t important. The spider wasn’t you because you were a strong independent woman. We both are. Actually, there are several women in my world who are amazing examples of strength.


You were the spider because you were there, and there were so many problems and issues and tasks associated with you. Thousands of baby spiders, and then suddenly you were gone and the baby spiders were still there, getting bigger, taking over everything that was special and sacred, and I had to take care of them all, kill them all, in order to keep what was important to me, to us.


I think I’ve gotten most of those spiders for you, mom. It feels like I’ve been at war. I’ve mercilessly killed and slaughtered most of the issues and obstacles in my life. I’ve systematically beaten down anything that has made itself look like a task. If I get too tired to finish something I save it for the next time I have energy. I hack away at it until it’s off of my to-do list because nothing shall survive this war. I will take NO prisoners and I WILL NOT accept “no” as an answer. These things WILL get done, and they WILL get done the way I want them to be done because that’s what I said will happen.


It was a warzone, mom. My life. Showering… Actually, even before that, just getting out of bed, was, still is, a battle sometimes. And every day I do it. And every day I count it as a victory in my list of vicotries and accomplishments and conquests. I count all of my tasks as part of the horde of spiders.


I still have a few “big” spiders here and there to squish. They’re pretty small, though, when compaired to some of the ones I’ve had to kill in these past two months. They just seem big in relation to all the other small ones, and really, even those spiders are almost gone. Most of the time I want to go to the gym now. Most of the time I want to get out of bed. These normal, daily tasks, aren’t always part of the overwhelming wave from the dream any more.


It’s getting better, mom, and I know I’ll be ok. And I know I’ll be ok in large part because you’re still here with me even if I can’t see you in the form you had for so many years of my life.


I’m sort of written out. It was good to cry, a lot,  and let so much of this emotional confusion out. I still have a lot I want to say, and while I’m alone in a hotel room again I may write more. Maybe to you, maybe as just a musing moment post. I don’t know. I’ll most likely end up falling asleep for a while again because I’m allowed to do that, right? Be a slacker on the weekend… that’s a socially acceptable thing, and I’ve already done laundry so there’s literally nothing super adulty that I have to do. Go me. I know you would be proud about that. : )


I love you, mom. Thanks for being here and for listening to me. You’re helping to keep me sane, even if it’s by making me seem crazy for talking to myself. : D

Musing Moment 086: What the Fuck, Florida?


Rated P for Politics


For the first time in my life I voted. For the first time I actually put in effort to mildly understand what was going on politically in my country.


I voted. I cared. I became emotionally invested.


And I am ashamed. I am disappointed. I am flabbergasted at my state. My country.


How? How can things be the way they are?


My avoidance of politics stems all the way back to my childhood. I can remember being in my grandparents house and seeing the President on the TV. Everyone was talking about him. Their tones were angry and that concerned me.


I didn’t understand what was going on so I asked my mom, “What did the President do?”


Such an innocent question. It was the pure, unadulterated curiosity of a child trying to grasp the world around her.


“He lied,” was my mom’s answer.


As a child I was crushed. How could the President lie? He’s supposed to be the best American ever. That’s why he was in charge. Because he was a good person. Good people don’t lie.


That is where my opinion of politics comes from. Politicians are liars. Much the way people think all lawyers are evil, blood-sucking bastards, all politicians are liars to me. They aren’t interested in the county. They’re interested in self-preservation. They’re interested in their own agenda and making it big.


They don’t care about “the people”.
They care about “their people.”

That has been my stance for years. That it’s pointless to get involved because it truly doesn’t matter and our system is broken and in need of a serious update.


But this year was different. This year, being with Zane and Trevor and hearing all of their conversations and reading countless articles on the Internet I became informed. I became invested. I became aware.


Trump, an angry, bigoted, racist ass-hat.


Hilary, who started out iffy at best due to past choices, ended up lying again.


Bernie, the only politician I have ever seen, aside from Obama, who seemed to genuinely care about the American people as a whole.


I’m sure you can guess by my biased writing who I voted for in the primary.



Florida voted for Trump. What the actual fuck?

Taking Bernie out of the equation completely, my state chose a blatantly, openly hateful, spiteful person, which the UK has actually contemplated banning, over Hilary.


In a way I can understand it. At least Trump is honest about his hatefulness. At least with him we know what we’re really getting, unlike Hilary. If you’re going to lie about emails what else are you going to lie about.


Fucking own up to your actions. If they are something that would get you into trouble then don’t do them. I don’t think it’s that hard to understand. I’m pretty sure that’s one of the lessons we’re taught as children.


How is it so many people forget things that are supposed to be ingrained into us during our up-bringing?


Don’t be a dick to people.
Don’t lie.
Don’t cheat.
Don’t hurt others.
Have compassion.


The only person who seemed to be a “true American” in my eyes was Bernie.


It’s not about being Republican or Democratic to me. Fuck the parties and loyalty to a name.


It’s about being a decent person. It’s about having morals and values and sticking to them. It’s about being ethical. It’s about being transparent. It’s about being honest and having integrity.


Wouldn’t it be so much better if instead of parties candidates had to choose a word to represent their whole campaign?


No more Republican or Democrat bullshit. We would have “parties” called Change, Hope, Stability, Reformation, Love, Growth, Acceptance.


A single word to represent what the person believed in. What their whole campaing stands for.


In an age where votes can be tracked electronically
why do we have all of these issues counting votes still

How can we have issues where people get turned away because “this isn’t a republican station?” What happens to all of those people who are turned away and not allowed to vote? Why don’t we have a system like Australia where if you don’t vote you’re fined? Why don’t we make election days a national holiday where people are allowed to actually go and vote? Zane almost missed being able to vote because he had to stay at work late and he didn’t have vacation time to use to cover missing time if he left.


How fucked is that? “I can’t vote because my employer is making me choose between paying rent and investing into the future of our country?”


Is this capitalism? Is this what we stand for? Is this what the American spirit is about? Keeping the gears grinding even as they fall apart rather than improving the machine with maintenance? What good is the 15th Amendment if we aren’t given the chance by our employers to vote?


Trump doesn’t even understand the first amendment and he won in my state. What the fuck? My mind is blown. He doesn’t even understand the things our country was founded on, and in most cases goes against them completely, and we’re going to put him in charge?


I just don’t get it. And because I care, because I put in time and effort and now have an opinion, I’m angry. I’m hurt. I’m disappointed. I’m confused. And the only thing I can do is spill out all of these emotions onto a blank Word document, not caring about the red squiggle lines of misspellings and I wonder if it was even worth caring.


In an age where millions of people are in debt to prove that they are educated and productive citizens how can such an uneducated choice have been made by so many people?


I feel so alone in my view point right now. I feel I am the only one who has this perspective. I feel as if I’m the only one legitimately looking for an escape route because it seems like my choices of a leader are between Mr. Racist Ass-Hat and Mrs. Liar.


I don’t have an American I am proud of to be my leader. I don’t have someone I can stand behind and say, “Yes. This is the figurehead for my country, and I am proud of them. I believe in them. I trust them to look out for me and to care and to try to do their best.”


For the first time in my life I am ashamed
to be classified as an American.
I am ashamed of where I live because I am lumped
into a category that I do not want to be a part of.


This is not the country I was raised to believe in. This does not feel like the land of the free anymore. This does not feel like the place of opportunity, of equality. This feels like the land of the broken and weary. This feels like the land of blind sheep. This feels like the land of apathy where, “My vote doesn’t count,” really means, “I’m too lazy to try to change things.”


To everyone who didn’t vote…


Fuck you. You’re part of the problem.


I know that’s harsh. I know that’s going to make some people mad, and at the moment I’m ok with that. We deserve to be mad at each other.


This whole campaign has been a joke. It has highlighted everything that is wrong with our country, and we all deserve to be mad about that. Maybe in our anger things will change. Maybe the situation will reach such a degree of contention that there will be a breaking point, and turning point, which will cause a reaction throughout the country.


I hope my anger at you sparks something inside of you. I hope it makes you look at yourself and question what you’re doing with your life. What do you support? What do you believe in? What type of American are you? What type of country do you actually live in?


It’s not America the Great anymore.


You live in America the Joke. America the Laughing Stock of the Rest of the World. America the We’re Still Ashamed of Love and the Human Body. America the Fuck the Future and Our Children.


We live in a sick and broken country, and your choice to not vote only increased the sickness. Let it spread. Let it continue to fester. Your choice worsened the situation so now it will take even more effort to heal.


Fuck you. Fuck your apathy. When you complain about your life, your job, your situation, make sure you do it in front of a mirror because the only person you have to blame is yourself.


You are responsible for your life. You can make any change you want to make. You are in control of your own actions. And this single thing, this act of voting, was in your control and you chose not to do it. That is your own fault. So when you complain, make sure you take a breath to own up to your actions.


And for all the people who voted for Trump. Fuck your narrow-mindedness. Fuck your lack of empathy for others. Fuck your dated “conservative” ways.


There is a rift in our country. Some distinguish it by age. The “older” generation sides with Trump. I don’t believe that. While a “majority” of his supporters may be older what I really think is that we have so many people who are brainwashed by a set of values that, while they are meant to teach love and acceptance, have fostered hate and exclusion.


Gays are bad. Anyone not white is less than. Anyone not Christian is evil. The man has to be in charge because woman are only meant to be mothers.


That is not how society works anymore. That is not the world we live in. I don’t care when you were born. I don’t care how you were raised. There is your perspective of reality, and then there is the actual reality of the world around you.


Sexual orientation has nothing to do with morality. Faith has no sway over how I contribute to society. And if you’re going to make a distinction between the Westborough Baptist Church and the KKK then you sure as hell can make a distinction between terrorists and Muslims because it’s the same fucking thing. You can’t make exceptions for one group and not for others. That’s bullshit.


You can’t say it’s wrong for gays to marry because the Bible said so. You know what else the Bible says?



It’s wrong to so much as touch a women
when she’s on her period,
much less for her to set foot in the house of God.

A woman can’t go to chuch after child birth,
especially if it is a girl child
because how dare she have a girl and not a boy.

It’s wrong to wear clothing made of mixed fabrics.
Kiss those yoga pants goodbye, or that suit jacket.


You want to say the Bible is law and everyone has to follow it, then make fucking sure you’re following it, too.


I’m sick of people having double standards. I’m sick of my society being sick.


I’m sick of being quiet and
hoping that people will stand up and say this is wrong.

I am in control of my own actions. I am in control of my life. I am in control of making the change I want to see. So here I am. Standing up, speaking up, and calling people out.


This is the slap in the face of reality.


Fuck you to anyone who didn’t vote.
Fuck you to anyone who supported Trump.

To the people who are angry with me, I hope you take a good look at yourself, at your state, at your country. I hope you think long and hard about the situation we’re in, and where we are headed.


I’m going to fight it.


I’m going to keep trying to make a change because I remember being a kid and thinking how lucky I was to live in such an awesome and respected country. I remember the American Dream. I remember being proud to be an American.


I’m still one of those people at the sports bar who stands up and puts my hand over my heart when the national anthem is sung before a game. I still care about my country even though it’s doing its best to kill itself.


I’m not going to let you
destroy it further.

I’m going to fight your apathy,
and if I have to make you angry to do it,
to provoke you into action, then I will.


Be angry at me. Be angry at the country. Be angry at yourself. Be angry. Feel something with such intensity that your body can’t stay still. Feel to the point that you have to take action.


Look around you.
Notice what’s broken.
See why it’s broken.
Do something to fix it.


Be the change you want to see. Be angry that things aren’t right, and then do something about it.


That’s my call to action. Change your life. Make ripples. Rock the boat. Capsize it if you have to. Just fucking CARE about something enough to follow through.


Stop letting this sickness spread.