Saturday, September 2, 2017

Wild Dark Thoughts

Have you ever met someone "normal"? Ick! They are so annoying with their normalness. Also, rare and hard to find. I feel like a lot of people have a little somethin-somethin going on..ADD, OCD, Depression, Narcissism, Anxiety, Addiction, Anger Management, Bi-polar, etc etc. When I was growing up, I knew I wasn't quite like the other kids. I would cry.. sometimes daily.. for no real reason and I would stress constantly to the point I would give myself migraines. I bit my nails to the quick. What kind of problems does a 5 year old have to stress about? The doctors suspected brain tumor, but, no. Nothing was physically wrong with me. I would come home from school and demand to finish all of my homework immediately and it had to be perfect. If I didn't finish right away or get everything correct, it caused me much distress. When I was in 8th grade, my class went on a retreat before graduation and there, I was voted "Most Weird". My fellow classmates and a nun stared at me with pleasant, satisfied faces as they doled out my new misnomer, which I took as an insult and rejected. I told them to go back and deliberate again. They did and I imagine someone found a thesaurus or something and they came back with the more positive, "Most Unique". I didn't feel different, but, time after time people tell me I am. Whether I like it or not. My palms were, okay real talk, are sweaty at all times. My body is always tense. My muscles always clenched. Fast forward to high school. Teenage years. Shit hit the damn fan. Sometimes my thoughts would turn dark. I thought about suicide. I know that's taboo to talk about. The fact that talking about mental disorders is taboo, is a problem. The more we talk about it, the less taboo and the more understanding will come about. Freshman year was fine; nothing memorable really. My brother was a senior and my brother is very cool. People would tell me I could come to their party but only if I brought my brother, which always prompted a hard pass from me. Sophomore year, a group of guys started hating me out of, what felt like, the blue. I never understood why. I really don't think there was a reason because I never talked really and kept to myself. Maybe because I was different? They did things like write letters describing in great detail everything they thought was ugly about me, yell out that I was stupid and didn't know the answer if I got up the nerve and raised my hand in class, dramatically didn't want me on their team for projects, stole from me, etc. I remember sitting down on the kitchen table and reading an unprovoked letter about being ugly and finally just crying. Sucked. And I felt like a sucker because I knew deep down these people were just shitheads and I let them get to me. Junior year, I switched schools because I went to summer school and LOVED it at the new school. No one really harassed me too much! How lovely. There were all kinds of people and they were all different and unique as hell. Different races, different religions, different thought processes, different backgrounds, different personalities. People not only accepted me, but some people liked me a lot. Meanwhile, my hormones were a-raging and I still had depression. Not because of an event- depression and anxiety were just always looming. Sometimes if people tried to just talk to me, my face would turn red and I couldn't talk back. I wrote constantly and was looking forward to taking English class because I heard we were gonna be writing poetry and reading classics and that sort of thing is my jam. The teacher was a nightmare. I turned in my first poem, which was about suicide. I knew it was a good poem. You know how you just know when you write something good? I guess I was proud of myself and wanted recognition from someone who teaches this stuff. The A+++ I was expecting never came. Instead, the teacher read my poem to all of her classes because she didn't believe I wrote it and wanted to see if anyone recognized it. She read it in my close friend's class who told me this was going on. Which, thanks teacher, everyone thinks I'm a psycho now. But, they didn't. One boy was in a band and wanted to make the poem into song lyrics. I wanted to talk to the teacher and get to the bottom of this. I ran into her in the hall and began to ask about it and she bulldozed me over in the conversation. She was angry. She said she called WEBN to see if these were the lyrics to a song (Side note: Google would've cleared my good name in this day and age). She confirmed to me that yes, indeed, she was reading it to her classes to see if anyone recognized it. This part still hurts to say. She said, "I had to give you an A because I couldn't prove you didn't write it, but I know you didn't write it.". I wrote it. My response was to completely give up on school. I skipped a lot. I skipped to the point that if I skipped once more I would be kicked out. When I did go to school, I slept through her class. She'd call my mom and say that she suspects I'm on drugs because of my new English Class Nap Time. This was about the time I discovered alcohol and it's magical self-medicating effects. When I drank, it relaxed me. Instead of tension, I was relaxed. Instead of depression, I was happy. Life was fun as fuck! I got arrested for a couple things soon after turning 16 and my parents were furious, but I felt really free for the first time in my life. I felt connection to other human beings. I self-medicated for many years and never understood there was something mentally wrong with me until I had been an adult for a very long time and the panic attacks began. Panic attacks demand not to be ignored. I went to the doctor and got myself fixed up and I function wayyyyy better now. I believe that suicide is the thought of someone who is sick with depression. Someone said to me once regarding suicide, "I don't care WHAT is going on.. nothing's THAT bad.". That is probably true for someone with a healthy brain. A lot of people think this way and they don't see the other side of things. It's somewhat dismissive. It's also straight-up ig-nert. It can and it does get that bad if the synapses in your brain aren't firing correctly. It isn't something you can mind over matter. People with depression are not weak-minded. They are strong. They show up every day with a smile and fight an internal battle that a healthy brain may unconsciously take for granted. From Psychology Today: "The greatest suicidal risk exists for people that believe they are a burden on society AND possess a history where they acquired the capacity to harm themselves. Some examples of this arising in unusual ways: playing violent and extreme sports, getting multiple body piercings and tattoos, shooting guns, getting in physical fights." I know what it feels like to hate yourself with such an intensity that stopping it by not being alive starts to kinda sound like maybe a viable option. There are things you can do. You don't have to live this way. I worked at a psych hospital part time for many years and calls where someone is suicidal happened pretty much every week. I know what to do and how to help. I mean, I'm not a doctor or anything. If you ever start getting wild, dark thoughts- I can listen and help get you started in the right direction.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Somewhere Safe

Okay, so first of all - Mischa Barton in a bikini drinking rosé with a sad face and posting about Black Lives Matter..uh, thanks for that Marissa Cooper. This isn't about you. It isn't about me either, but, I want to write about my reaction and also my experiences and thoughts on race relations. I think it's important that people talk openly about this stuff. To speak calmly and intelligently and not fight. Just discuss. So, Wednesday I was laying around on the couch, mindlessly scrolling through Facebook when the Alton Sterling video appeared and I clicked on it and watched it without really knowing I was about to see what I saw. Being brutally honest, I thought "Not another black person being shot by a cop. The media loves these". I guess I thought I was going to see an aftermath or beforemath of police shooting a black person (not the ACTUAL killing), where it could possibly be debated in a court of law what actually occurred (for example, once I watched a video on the news and was yelling at the t.v., "Shoot him!!". The guy was acting like a lunatic and jumping around with a weapon and there is a time when it becomes kill or be killed.) What I watched was not kill or be killed. I watched a murder. He told him to stop moving and he did and then the police shot him. There wasn't anything he could have done differently and that is murder in my eyes, but, we'll leave that up to a jury of his own peers. Sadly, I've seen the aftermath of a murder before. One time when I was 16 years old and just learning to drive, I got lost and saw a young guy with a bloody abdomen being pulled on a stretcher into an ambulance. That shook me up pretty good. I pulled over and called my dad from a pay phone and told him to pick me up now. He tried to reason with me and explain about how to get home, "The streets count down to the river so just..". "No, dad, pick me up and take me somewhere safe.". My reaction to the video was basically shock. Shock that lasted as I am writing now. Watching the second video, I didn't give a shit what color skin anyone had- I felt like it was me sitting next to my fiance being shot for no reason and watching him slowly die. I was the woman trying to stay calm. A gun was pointed in MY face. I wanted to understand why it happened. The police officers' behavior in both the Philando Castile and the Alton Sterling video reminded me of when I first found my dog, George. Our first walk, I took him to my brother's house and my niece was kind of waving her hands around his face and with no warning at all- he bit her! That was not necessary to bite her. He bit her because he was aggressive and fearful of all blondes in the same way the officers seemingly harbor fear-aggression toward black men. Also, like the police officers, I think George behaved like this because he'd seen some shit before. "Seeing shit" is not an excuse for biting and this is not an excuse for murder. The cause of the behavior needs to be corrected. Hopefully, these officers have a fair trial and they go to jail for their respective murders. Hopefully strings aren't pulled as they commonly are behind-the-scenes in government issues. So this is my stab-in-the-dark of why this might have happened. What can we do about it? The obvious things are peaceful protests, get involved in your community and politics and vote for people that believe like you do. Show up at the the meetings and make a lot of noise. It DOES make a difference. Teach your children to love and respect all people. Love one another. I asked my mom why she wasn't racist even though she was raised under conditions where maybe she should have been, just out of curiosity. She said when she was in grade school, they played a tape which explained what the word "prejudice" means. It meant to judge before you know a person. She thought that sounded illogical and she was a logical person. She also had black classmates and learned they were different individual people. She could see that people are all different even if they have the same skin color as each other. A child could figure that out, but, Americans haven't. I wonder if they still teach that in schools? They should. I remember a few times when I was a very small child, my mom seemed to be passionate about not judging a person for their skin color. One time when I was really little we were at IGA (I think, whatever the grocery store on Madison was back in the early 80's) and I saw a really tall, really dark-complexioned black man and I pointed at him and asked why his skin was different than mine. The man smiled and moseyed on and my mom got a little tense, which kinda alerted me that what she was about to tell me was important, and explained to me that people have lots of different skin colors and then she explained to me about prejudice. Other things happened where I felt my mom was very sad when she witnessed racist things and I took that with me. I am thankful I was raised like this and able to talk openly about race and race issues. I don't know any of the answers. The world feels like a scary place. I wish I could just call my dad now and ask him to take me somewhere safe.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

I Said "OF COURSE!"

So, Michael was a couple hours late coming home from work and I was thinking wtf. When I called him, he put me to voicemail and he’s never done that before. Like when he is gonna be late, even like 15 minutes, he gives me a head's up. So I was a bit worried, but, shrugged it off like calm down, it's nothing. I went on with the day and walked the dog and worked out and then got in the shower and, meanwhile, he had went to the jewelry store and bought a ring and then went to my dad’s house. He said when my dad opened the door and saw him standing there by himself, he immediately knew and was like !!!. So they had their man chat and then Michael came home while I was still in the shower and knocked on the door and I said “Come in if you’re not a murderer!”. So, armed with the idea of doing nearly the exact opposite of murdering, he came in and opened the shower curtain and I was all covered in soap bubbles (which I don't believe I ever washed off) and he took my hand and got down on one knee and asked, “Will you marry me?”. I was SHOCKED (and also naked as a jay bird) and thinking "Is he proposing to me while I'm in the shower?!!" and then I was like YES HE IS HOLY SHIT and I started crying and covered my face with my hand and I said “YES! Yes, of course, you’re the best man I’ve ever met!” He really is. And then we hugged and I cried some more and we walked out to George, the dog, in the hallway and he said, “GEORGE IS GONNA HAVE A REAL DAD!”. Right now my feelings keep changing from shock, to happy-happy!, to sobbing, to "God, my fiance is ADORABLE", to feeling like hmm..how do you Wedding?! I don't know how to Wedding!!" So.. this happy life and tiny family I have now is PERMANENT and I can't wait to Wedding it up! It can't be that hard, right??

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Time I Car-Jacked Someone, Accidentally

I hope everyone enjoyed the warm holiday. I sure did and I'm excited for the New Year coming up and all the good things that BETTER happen or ELSE in 2016. Before departing from my parents house on Christmas to go to my boyfriend's family's get-togethers, a bit of concern was raised by my parents about my inability to just say normal things like a normal human-being and to think before I speak. Well I can't do that, even when I try very hard. Example: My boyfriend's father mentioned his mother's age and I let out a loud whistle. INAPPROPRIATE. The room got quiet and everyone looked at me. I was oblivious to my goober-y behavior, as per usual. Maybe that's something I can work on in the New Year. It's time now for a short story about another time I have behaved like a goober in the past. Grab your cup of hot cocoa and have a seat. One of my friends told me to meet her in the parking lot by an Outback Steakhouse. We were going to meet there and then go shopping for a couch at a furniture store nearby. I didn't have my glasses on because I hate wearing them. I just don't like things on my face. I guess I hate it more than I hate when someone I know waves at me and I don't see because I can't see and then that person feels puzzled. This story begins as I park in the mostly empty lot and soon someone drives up and parks next to me in a black car, much like the car of the friend I was meeting. Stupidly assuming my friend had arrived, I got out of my car and hopped into her's and started talking-- when suddenly I noticed THIS WAS NOT MY FRIEND. It was a terrified woman-stranger who was backed up against her door as far away from me as possible and she kept frantically glancing in the backseat. I turned around to see a baby in the car seat and stuttered, "Oh my God. I thought- wait, no, my friend-I thought-". I couldn't form the proper sentences to explain myself and she was so terrified of me that I just got out of her car immediately and, not knowing what else to do, got back into mine parked right next to her. I sat there while my face burned red and wondered if I was now going to go to prison. I didn't dare look over and I'm not sure what happened to her after that. I think they must've went into Outback. My friend showed up and I scurried into her car once I was very, very sure it was her and that's.. the end.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

What's Wrong with Me This Year

If you are my close friend or family member or co-worker, you may have noticed my health kind of sucks. It seems I am in the hospital more than your average bear. It's always around this time of year too. I am reminded of this, literally, by Facebook sending me my "Facebook Memories". Yesterday, it sent me a picture I had titled "Hospital Spa Day". I had the cucumbers from my salad on my eyes and I was laying in a hospital bed. I'd just had 2 surgeries on my heart. That was scary. They keep you awake through some parts of the procedure and your heartbeat is going 500 beats per minute while you are conscious. There is one person in the surgery room whose only job is to try to keep you from freaking out. I cried and begged to be put back under. It's that time of year again! I have been having unbearable stomach pain since August. I went to doctors and specialists many, many times (depleting both my emergency savings and my paid sick/vacation days from work) but no one was telling me anything helpful and didn't seem to be very concerned. They also did things like cancel a procedure a couple of hours before it was to take place and forgot to turn in one of my urine cultures (or apologize for forgetting to do that). Any way, last week I was at work and started having the severe stomach pain of which I was now very familiar. I typically had these episodes at home. Now, I was at work and my shift would be over in 10 minutes, but, I didn't know what to do. The pain was too much to drive. To make a long story short, my wonderful boss offered to drive me to the E.R. We made it about 2 blocks and another car wrecked into us. My stomach pain was so intense, I barely noticed we were hit and I barely noticed biting my tongue. I had a passing thought wondering why I chomped down so hard on my tongue and didn't feel anything. Do bodies only feel pain in one area at a time or something? Then I got out and threw up in the gravel by the side of the road. An ambulance came and took me to the E.R., where it was so busy that I was in the hallway as they gave me an I.V. of stuff to make me stop throwing up and then, morphine. Ten minutes later, I felt no pain. A half hour later, they found "a HUUUUGE kidney stone". That was a direct quote from the nurse, echoed later by the Doctor. It is 11 point something millimeters, if that means anything to you. It didn't really to me and the nurse explained that anything over 5 millimeters is too big to be passed naturally. The E.R. figured out the issue in half an hour and I have been seeking help elsewhere since August 3rd. I am having a procedure done on Tuesday to go in and "blast it" (another doctor quote). He thinks we might have to do it more than once. I am scared. Even if you are at the hospital on the reg, like yours truly, it doesn't seem to make it any less scary. I am also afraid of what will happen to me financially after everything is all said and done, to be honest. Sigh. Thanks Obama! In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the times when I am healthy and need to remember to eat well and exercise once I'm back in the saddle again. I am also thankful for my family and friends and Michael, who I love so much, and who make me feel the opposite of how some doctors can make me feel- which is like they don't give a flying f-word. I know I'm not dying or anything like that, but, these kind of problems that come up.. even though it overwhelmingly sucks.. it's a nice reminder that there sure are a lot of people who care about me and that makes me thankful and fills me up with love. I plan on recreating this photo Tuesday:

Sunday, November 8, 2015

That's a Full-Grown Dog Right There

Never in one million years will you believe what I'm about to tell you. I GOT A DOG! I've only been wanting one my whole life...! This actually happened two months ago, but, I'm writing about it now. I was driving home from work and I saw this tiny little pup darting around the busy traffic on my street. I parked in my driveway and went to start walking to the intersection to see if I could do anything to get him out of the street and guess what? By the time I parked, he was running toward me on the sidewalk! I couldn't tell what he looked like really because his fur was matted with mud. Half of the fur on his tail was missing and he was covered in fleas. I googled "How to get rid of fleas on a puppy" (he was so tiny that I assumed he was a puppy at first). The internet said to bathe him with Dawn. I did that and then I cut all the matted fur off. After his bath I was like wow, he's beautiful. He laid stretched out on the towel on my lap like "ahh this is the life" (I mean he REALLY enjoyed the pampering)and a few minutes into drying him off, I knew that I was in love. Title Explanation: We took him to Goodfella's Pizza to sit outside and grub and, as we were leaving, a table of grown (drunken?) men were like "Awwww". They asked questions like "How much does he weigh?", "What kind of dog is that?", "That's a puppy, right?". Before I had a chance to answer, one of the men loudly announced, "That's a full-grown dog right there!". I thought that was funny because how the hell does he know? ANYWAY- I don't know if he had ever lived in a home or if he was always living on the streets. He was not potty-trained or socialized. He didn't know any commands. He is getting there on all three of those things now. He acted so afraid of everything at first. The slightest noise would scare him. He did a lot of cowering and just behaved in general like an abused dog might act. I don't know if that is the case or not, but, that first day when I was toweling him off I had that sense and I told him I would never let anyone hurt him again. Here is my darling little sweet potato, George:

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Bitch Confessions

I woke up one day recently and I was transformed into a complete and total b-word! I think maybe I'm just really stressed with work and working 2 jobs and things like that. Something's got to give because I don't like feeling this way. I am usually nice, easy-going, laid back, etc. Happy-go-lucky even! Those are adjectives that could not be used to accurately describe my current personality. I'm going to tell you everything, Dear Diary. I'm holding nothing back. A wise man (named Usher) once said, "These are my confessions". Here are mine. Enjoy! Earlier today, I was at Target and took some clothes to the fitting room. The attendant made a fuss about how I had more than 6 items. Which, is totally fine..I get the rule and it's usually not a big deal but she was being rude about it. I took just 6 items and put the rest on a bench and she said, "I don't think so, let me count them.". She counted the items thoroughly and released me off to the fitting rooms. I came back out after trying on the 6 items to sub them out with the clothes on the bench and was again accosted. She yelled, "Let me count them!", as though I had plans to sneak by her. I handed her the pile and she picked a hanger up from the counter and said, "Where did THIS come from?". I told her, "I don't know, it's not mine. I took in 6 and took out 6 and can I go in now?". As I was changing, I listened to her talk to other customers and she wasn't mean to them. I became heated up about the way she was treating me and decided to just leave without trying on the other 2 shirts on the bench. So I walked out and after I was almost out of the area, she yelled- "Are those your clothes on the bench??". I wound up telling her, "Yes, and you can walk your happy ass around the counter and pick them up.", while motioning with my finger the path around she could take. Then I ran into some friends from work and told them the story, totally shocked at myself. After chatting with them, a different girl almost ran me down and I said loudly, "Watch it girl! You about ran me down, what's wrong with you?". After my Target trip, I had to go to work. I backed out of my driveway and a teeny, yellow Smart Car came barreling down the street and up to my car making it so I was stuck unless I pulled back into my driveway. Now, this exact scenario plays out (different cars) 75% of the time I pull out of my driveway. I threw my hands up in the air and glared at the driver, who backed up immediately. Then, as I drove past him, I glared at him some more and his face looked stupid and afraid. Just minutes ago, I was scrolling through Instagram and saw a picture of a fellow with a rat tail and became totally irritated. Out loud I said, "What an asshole." and shook my head deciding this person that I didn't know was awful. I have been in a days-long battle with The Children's Place because they sold me a Canadian gift card that can not be used in the U.S. and they will not refund it. The last letter I wrote them is the meanest thing I've ever written, I think. Earlier this week, my darling boyfriend was telling me about something he was reading as I was getting ready to leave for work and I snapped, "This isn't chat time!" and swept out of the room. The other morning, my dearest coworker/friend greeted me by asking what I did last night and I barked, "I'm busy! I'm too busy to talk". I feel awful. I'm sorry to the general public. I'll be nicer, I promise. I'm just going to go listen to some meditation music or google cat meme's. P.S. Don't ever ever EVER text respond to someone the word "Oh.". Don't do that. P.P.S. The Target lady totally deserved it, right?!