My Exciting Life.

I very much forget that I need to unburden myself. I live so much inside of my head that I forget what it’s like to actually speak with other people about what I feel and what I think. Too often, whatever I say ends up coming back to bite me later. I may be able to think conscientiously and write in same form, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that my mouth works in the same way. I’m a fast-talking jerk a lot of times. What makes it worse is that I’ve found when I’ve been discussing things of a personal nature – ideas and thoughts, beliefs, and emotions – I’ve had this, also, thrown back in my face. That, at the core, is why I stopped writing here. Too often, I found that what I was saying was being used against me in personal battles and I realized that by publicizing what I was thinking or feeling, instead of people asking for clarification, they used it later to their own advantage.

I don’t really have anyone to talk to now. This has happened often enough to me – the personal battles being waged – that I’ve felt the need to keep a lid on everything going on at home and in my life. This is probably unhealthy. Well, there is no probably about that, really; it’s really fucking unhealthy. But even though I may have learned the lesson to keep my big fat trap shut and to keep my fingers away from my keyboard when it comes to personal items, I know that I’m going to end up exploding if I don’t actually say something. I have so much going on that I need an outlet somewhere and I can’t, in my honest opinion, trust actual people to be the receptacles of all of that.

So, I need to dust this bad boy off and go.

Considering the high amount of stress in my life, and there is a large amount, I am actually doing okay, which is kind of amazing. I really didn’t expect to be able to say that, or write it, in any context. As much as I feel like I am going to explode because of work or home, I am not depressed, I am not having suicidal ideation, and I am not at the point where I make a REALLY BAD DECISION (which is my MO). I don’t feel like I need to seek out a professional and discuss going back on Welbutrin like I did before I was fired from Greed, INC. And that is kind of amazing in and of itself because I am pretty sure that I am under more stress than I was back then. I believe most people call that a “win” and I fully categorize it as such.

I recognize, however, that the background of where I work and the type of work that I do is high stress and is not healthy. The work environment is, well, to be honest, a real fucking nadir. There is no other description there. The woman that I work for is one of those very conservative Christian Tea Party people who think that people should be grateful she willingly gave them a job at $13/hr. Considering the company is based out of one of the states with the highest cost of living, there is, in my humble opinion, nothing to be truly “grateful” for. She has used the phrases “pull yourself up from your boot straps” to discuss people on welfare and has made it her mission to, primarily, hire single mothers with children, recognizing that this category of employees means hard workers who desperately need the paycheck. She doesn’t offer health benefits (she found out it is actually cheaper for her to pay the fines since Obamacare went into effect) and has only decided to offer other benefits, such as 401K and bonuses, in the last six months. Almost like she senses that I am deeply dissatisfied and the tables are turned (she needs me; she needs me bad), I was given a bigger raise than I was expecting and a 401K… six months after my yearly review should have happened.

My largest client is a task master and their desires are completely outside what we actually do. There are a lot of high level projects, which are mostly coming to a close. This means that I may finally be able to actually work within a supervisory role, as I should have been, and be able to actually onboard with other clients instead of spending 98% of my time for a client with only 50 sites under its portfolio. (This is versus the other person who was hired around the same time as me who works with a portfolio with over 600 sites across the country who are not even nearly as needy as my one fucking “all important” client.) Since the owner of the company has recognized my dissatisfaction, she has re-written our scope of work with my largest client and I honestly hope it works to my advantage.

I strongly suspect my largest client will be back within six months, needier than ever. (They are making large mistakes and we are all waiting for the explosion.) Whatever the case may be, I know that I need to find another job.

The problem is that the things I feel that I deserve are not required in this current economy and I recognize that. I feel that I should be paid more than $30K a year, especially considering the work loads that I am willing to take on. I also feel that I should be given to paid time off that I can use to my own desire, where as my current boss feels that sick time should be used for doctor’s appointments and vacation time should be used for vacations only (pretty sure it’s illegal for her to mandate that), and have access to benefits such as health insurance, retirement packages of my own choosing, and more than 6 paid holidays a year. I guess I’m greedy. What [probably] makes me greedier is that I want to feel like the person that I work for honestly cares about my situation, honestly believes that I am a human being and not someone who greedily demands a paycheck. I want to feel as though I, me, this person that I am, is recognized based on my worth and not on what it says on my resume or what it says in my cover letter or what it says on my application.

I fully realize that what I’m asking for is probably next to impossible.

While I have been job hunting, I have had absolutely no bites. Most of the jobs that my background qualifies me for, I am unqualified for as based on what their little “qualifications” section states. More often than not, they would prefer a college degree. This irritates me since most of my jobs have been in fields that a degree is suggested but not particularly required. And just because I’m not interested in bogging myself down in massive debt to get a degree that probably really isn’t going to give me too much of a leg above others in my field seems to be my undoing here. It’s possible that I’m a little morose that out of all of the jobs I have applied for in the last three weeks, I have heard not a damn thing back.

Stress is high in our household, too. We live in a very small place and it seems to only get smaller as the years go by. My son is growing like a weed and we need to buy him a new bed – he’s rapidly outgrown the bed he’s been using since he was a baby. (It was one of those convertible things with like four settings to it.) He’s also broken the hell out of it and his legs are to the point where they dangle over the mattress. I have the money, technically, to buy him a new one but it’s the space in his room that holds me back. His room is probably best described as “half a room.” There is no closet and we’ve managed to squeeze a few things in that room, such as toys, a bed, and a destroyed dresser. If I get him a new bed, I have to also buy him a smaller bookcase, find a better way to store his toys, and get a smaller dresser as well.

And to make matters worse, I have nowhere to store things. We have a basement that is infested with rats that the landlord does nothing about. Technically, we have access to the attic that we share with whomever is living in the apartment above us (it’s vacant right now). But because of lack of storage, we’ve had to block off our attic access to make room for things. I’ve seriously considered getting a storage unit for things like Christmas decorations and Easter decorations, but I can’t even afford that [added] monthly expense.

I think, maybe, things would be less “OMFG WHAT DO” if TH had a job. He was working for his uncle’s company and then made a really bad decision about a month later. I managed to not fly off the handle because of his bad decision making skills, but what was promising to be a benefit to us – new job, new car, money – is no longer available. There are, as usual, talks about him working with his father (again), which of course will put added strain on our relationship since most of the jobs will be out Boston way and he’ll spend most of his time at his father’s.

Rock. Hard place.

Where are my choices?

I can remember that I had plans for my life. I remember when I found out that I was pregnant with my son and after the shock had warn off, I had so many beliefs about what life would be like. I never took into consideration the amount of toil that would go into what I thought life would look like. As I sit back now, six years after my son’s birth, I have to admit that what I had envisioned for myself and what is actually happening are two entirely different experiences. I haven’t quite accepted that, yet. I don’t want to end up one of those mindless drones who just toils through until I hit retirement age. But I have to admit that, with the way things are money-wise and personal-wise, it looks like that may be the case.

Maybe, though, I can toil at a job that I like for more money, though.

That still remains to be seen, though.

Am I Sacrificing?

I am such a jerk that when it comes to my friends and family, I will sacrifice everything to maintain a certain level. I think this is because I’ve seen a lot of crap in my life and I think that I can’t do anything on my own. Or, maybe the reason is so ineffable and buried so deeply that I will never, ever figure it out. In any event, I will sacrifice every aspect of my life and myself to maintain an even keel. The problem with this, however, is the fact that when things start breaking down within me, I don’t necessarily know what the cause is. I don’t take as much time for introspection as I really should and so, when it comes to why I’m doing X, Y, or Z, I may not always know until I take a time out to think about it.

After my last post, TH and I have been working on things. We’ve been communicating more and more with each passing day. It’s very much like a honeymoon stage, which worries me. I know that’s how things work out between two people when they have a huge fight and are establishing their relationship anew. All of my divination attempts have reminded me that we’re starting over, that this is a time to take the relationship to its proper place, etc. So, I know that this honeymoon phase will last for only so long before we start actually having to live and prosper. And I have to admit that I’m a little worried about what will happen when we’re both living under the same roof again.

But, the thing is that this post isn’t about my worries for the future; this is about my worries for the now.

All week, we’ve been having sex. I’m not overly worried about it since I do have a tendency to want sex once in a blue moon. My only problem is that I’m wondering if I’m sacrificing myself and my thoughts on my sexuality in order to make him feel better? It’s something that I’ve been thinking about a lot in the last day or two. I’ve wondered if my sexuality really is what I think it is or if it’s actually something a little different. The problem with defining your own sexuality is that it’s fluid and shades of gray; it’s not easy. However, it’s easiest to define myself as asexual at this time until I figure out more of what’s going on in my head.

And at this time, I wonder if my definition isn’t quite incorrect, but if I’m doing this in order to maintain a sort of pleasant buoyancy in our relationship. Obviously, this is a conversation that I need to have with TH, but it’s only something that came to me yesterday and I’m not ready to voice my worries as of yet. The thing is, if I am willing to sacrifice something I feel is accurate in describing myself, what does that mean for our future? And another thing, how the hell do I figure that out?

In Which I Explain My Foray into [Gray] Ace.

Mom, if you read this, please don’t tell me. I’d like to remain blissfully unaware on that river in Egypt.

Some time last summer, I was having a complete thermonuclear meltdown to one of my closest friends. She’s an online friend and the term “close” is subjective. She actually lives four or five states away, we’ve never had tea or coffee at a local shop, and we’ll probably only ever know one another in the murky world of Internet relationships. I was whining to her about how “abnormal” my sex life is. I explained to her about the “the sex camel” and how I most assuredly am one. And then, I tried to put into words about how I felt about sex, which probably came out completely wrong and convoluted. But, being a friend and being awesome means that she got what the fuck I was saying. And she says to me, “You know, Aubs, it sounds like you might be an ace.” And while I’m scratching my head with images of camels in my brain and camels trying to have sex and then not having sex because it’s all stored in a hump on their back, I started researching asexuality.

Of course, coming into this whole terminology, I started thinking about worms. However, while being able to reproduce without any sexual contact would be really fantastic, although possibly boring because it would probably end up being more like cloning yourself, the term as applied to human sexuality isn’t on the same level. It has nothing to do with being able to, or unable to really, reproduce via mitosis. As Wiki said, “Asexuality (or nonsexuality) is the lack of sexual attraction to anyone or low or absent interest in sexual activity.” Oh. Hm. Yes, I guess that sounds reminiscent of a sex camel.

In the last year, since that conversation, I’ve done limited research on the topic. Outside of Tumblr, there doesn’t appear to be a lot of discussions about it. And I will fully admit that it wasn’t like I was really looking for those discussions. Just thinking about my own sexuality, whether I have one or don’t have one, makes me uncomfortable. Looking into the information as provided by that awesome friend, I had to admit that a lot of what was being said could easily be describing me. However, there are a lot of factors one has to take into consideration before they just jump all willy-nilly onto a little-known topic.

I’ve been on birth control for almost the last ten years, in some form, which has been linked to lower levels of sexual desire. For a long time, I believed that my lack of desire was because of the birth control pills I was on. I figured it was just one of those awesome side effects some women got – some women being, you know, me – and some people didn’t. My best friend, BFMA, is a sexual creature the likes of which the gods have never once seen. And her birth control consumption didn’t seem to impact her sexual desire, but obviously, I was the “lucky one” here because it did effect me.

I’ve taken myself off of hormone based birth control pills. On the one hand, since I’m not having sex, there’s no point in shelling out the money for them, but also because I’ve wanted to test this. I’ve been on and off birth control pills in the past, but never really paid attention to the connection, or not, of my sexual desire. I’m paying attention now. And while I’m not scientist and I have no control group or anything, I can safely assure anyone who cares that I haven’t even remotely been interested in having a self-made orgasm, much less the kind you have with other people.

The thing is that I wasn’t entirely positive about whether or not I was turning to this definition to make my life “easier” or if I was sticking a band aid over my fragile psyche. As a person who has survived numerous sexual assaults, it really isn’t surprising that I have a distinctive lack in sexual desire. Let’s face it: when you’ve been used in that way, it really puts a damper on everything else. The thing is that I have never really considered sex in the way that societal norms dictate how people should view sex. I’ve thought long and hard about my past thoughts on sexual activity and I’ve had to admit that I’ve always been deeply disturbed by the whole process. This leads me to believe that as much as I’m running toward something that may, in a way, make things seem easier, I’ve actually kind of always been this way and it’s only been in the last year that I had a name that fit.

While most of my sexual activity came after my first sexual assault, I’ve been doing some deep digging. It’s hard, sometimes, to analyze your thoughts on sexuality and sexual activity back when you were still playing with Barbie dolls and My Little Pony, but I’m the sort of person that wants to know. I want to be sure that I’m not just sticking myself into a category because it’s easy. I want to be positive that I’m not going to make things easier by subsuming my identity to match whatever I find online. And I’ve had to come to the conclusion that while sex made me uncomfortable post sexual traumas, it also made me pretty fucking uncomfortable prior to those instances. I don’t know what, specifically, my thoughts on it were other than some internal debate about how I would probably like it, you know, but how I really wasn’t interested in, you know, going out to find out.

But, as a teenager with thoughts and feelings and stuff, you go out and explore. I’ve taken as much time as I can, which isn’t a whole helluva lot, to verify the impulses that set me into motion into a previous sexual activity outside of a relationship. And I have to admit that I was doing those things because I wanted to be liked. I was doing those things because it was supposed to be normal. And I think, a big part, was because I wanted the attention. In none of those instances can I say, clearly, that I enjoyed the act. In none of those instances can I say, clearly, that it was good. And in none of those instances can I say, clearly, that a magical box was turned to “on” inside my uterus that said, “LET’S DO THIS ALL THE TIME.” I just did those things because it was expected, honestly, and that bothers me on a different level that I’m probably never going to discuss.

Thing is that I’ve been looking into this for long enough to feel, finally, comfortable with the idea that I may, in fact, be “asexual.” I don’t think I fall directly under that definition, but I don’t think anyone can really define their sexual orientation with certainty. Everything in that category, to me, is kind of shades of gray so I can say, “I fall under this category,” and just not mention that there are “buts” in there. Some of those buts are as follows: I experience self-made orgasms, which would make it seem like I’m just all about myself and not about any of my partners. I can fully say that I find movie stars attractive, though I can’t say if I’d act on that sexual attraction or not. I can tell you that I have a very rich fantasy life that may or may not include a sexual situation.

To put it bluntly, I don’t fall into societal norms when it comes to my sexuality. Point of fact, I don’t think I ever did.

Interesting Links

  1. How Stuff Works: What Is Asexuality?
  2. Asexuality at AVENWiki
  3. Asexual FAQ
  4. Under the Ace Umbrella
  5. Gray/Grey-A Asexuality

The Land of Claims.

I think one of the major reasons this job grates on me is the bureaucratic bullshit I’m hearing about. I get about three to four calls, a day, in which I have to listen to an irate policy holder complain to me. They almost all are usually demanding to know when an adjuster will be coming by to view the damages to their home or calling to set up an appointment to come by to see the damages to their home. From what I’m seeing and hearing, not just from these people but from other people in the center, it would appear that this particular company is sitting on their ass and busily doing nothing.

It drives me insane.

It’s not that I’m being yelled at (although that is extremely irritating) but that I can’t assist these people. They are calling me for the answers that I have absolutely no access to. All I can do is give them a telephone number (usually the one that they called to get a hold of me to yell at me) and update the information to be sent off to the main branch. I can’t give them absolution or a time limit on how long the travails will be happening to them. And usually, that’s all they’re looking for. They want to look at their shit time as being finite and I can’t tell them that.

I am really good at customer service, if I do say so myself. I know how to foster a relationship. I know how to smile even at four in the morning when I’m dog tired. I know how to troubleshoot. But, here, I can’t do that – my hands are completely tied. I can only respond with, “I don’t have that information. I apologize.” And then, give them a useless fucking telephone number that will probably bring them back to someone else in the call center.

It’s fucking maddening.

I am rapidly beginning to realize that I am a “soft touch” as Tony from The Tenth Kingdom would say about his daughter. I want to help these people with their problems. I want the good feels of a job done well. I want to be able to say, “Hey, I know this is awful right now, but it will end around this time,” and have it come true. I want to help, help, help.

And I just don’t feel that I will be able to do that here.

After work, I am just completely grateful that I survived another day.

And that, my friends, is a huge fucking problem.

The Early Life of a Writer.

I’ve mentioned that I always wanted to be a writer. I literally cannot remember a time when being an author wasn’t my super secret, most wanted career path. I answered the “what do you want to be when you grow up” with various responses, but being a writer was always something I craved. And I was sure to keep it secret because it was my desire and I didn’t want others encroaching on that territory. I don’t think it was the fame so much as the ability to create entire worlds just by imagination alone and then being able to bring others into that world be virtue of utilizing words. This is, by far, the most accurate reason for my excessive articulation. I know so many words, and utilize them, because of my writing capability and my reading comprehension. I mean, before writers were telling wannabe writers to read like crazy, I was already well on that train, hanging out and taking names.

But, I’ll let you in on a little secret, the real reason why I started writing was to escape.

I didn’t actively start writing down my worlds until nine, but I had been creating stories in my head for a good deal longer than that. I say, definitively, that I began when I was seven, but I know it was earlier than that. I would read a book and my eyes would grow too tired to continue, so I would shut off my light to fall asleep and let my imagination carry me away on the backs of unicorns, flying through the trees, or rescuing hapless damsels in distress and on the flip of that, being rescued as a hapless damsel in distress. I was writing and writing and writing all of these things in my head, as a kind of precursor until I started doing the real deal. The reason, though, that I began to write was a form of escapism. Y’see, as a small child, watching your dad die, it really evokes a lot of unknown emotions inside of you that you can’t handle. So, I escaped into worlds of my own creation.

My mom tried the escapism bit by getting me into dancing. I know that’s the reason I started ballet classes. It was a way to get me out of the house for an hour each week. I got exercise and I got to make friends (though not really because I was never the friendly type, more the wallflower type). But, while I enjoyed the weekly out-of-the-house adventures at my dance class, I was already well into doing that by writing stories in my head.

The places I created and the worlds I lived in, they were real to me. I could distinguish easily between reality and fantasy, of course, but they were very real. They were a place as real to me as the dance studio to get away from the constant negative energy fluctuating throughout our apartment. It wasn’t my parents’ fault for being angry and mad at each other and then, you know, continuing that with sadness and horror as we watched my father slowly die in front of us. So, I created a place where things like AIDS didn’t exist. I created entire homes and friends and strangers and creatures and places that didn’t have things like that to encroach and destroy so visibly. Sure. There was drama and there were problems to be overcome and there were arguments in those worlds and between those people, but they were always easily fixed. I just had to do a quick edit, a little addition and a little deletion, and ta-da! The problems were overcome and everyone would live happily ever after.

And yes, by the way, the “happily ever after” part stopped after the death of my father. I tended to leave the endings of my stories then rather ambiguous. And they got instantly darker.

But, besides creating entire worlds where I could escape from the world and my reality, I also created friends. I created people who would rescue me and take care of me. If I was walking through a wood, there would always be a little cottage on the other side with someone willing to listen to me cry or listen to me laugh. The characters I created were people who I loved and cherished in my own, childish way. There was evil afoot and we would have to defend the honor of a maiden or evil would be afoot and we had to slay that evil. It didn’t matter what it was. There were always characters around to hold my hand and tell me it would be okay. I never believed them because, you know, in a story-world of a child who is trying to contend with the very real problem of watching her father die, I knew nothing would ever be perfect. But, for a short while, perfection could be achieved.

And with the best friends in the whole world: the ones who understood me because they were my creations.

To this day, I remember all of the characters I have created. They’ve changed and morphed. They’ve made appearances in various short stories under real-people names. I created archetypal characters who could be easily morphed into a real person, if necessary, and usually, it was. I took the things I had learned as a child – the creation of worlds, situations, and people – and utilized it often in high school to better understand things or to help me get over some things. I would use them to help me emote the things I was feeling from the death of my father and onward without really knowing what it was I was feeling at the time. (Suffice it to say that a lot of my shorts in high school were, uh, pretty dark. And the fantasy world I still visited regularly, just as dark or more so.)

Someone said today that you can’t be a real writer if you remember all of your characters.

I remember all of mine. They were my friends, as I said. They were people who helped me through some of the darkest, most heinous moments of my life. They were people who hurt me and abused me, but ultimately, were shown the light so to speak. They’ve morphed and changed from evil to good and back again. They have held my hands. They have watched me shed tears. They have been the cause of my tears, sometimes. I remember all of them because they were more real to me than anyone I knew in reality some days. They were more real to me than the reality of watching a father die and watching a family fall apart at the seams because of it. They were more real to me than the reality of being a wallflower, misunderstood and bullied.

So, to anyone who thinks that you should write about people that you can ultimately throwaway, I say fuck you. To anyone who ever thought that you shouldn’t be able to remember plot lines and twists, you shouldn’t be able to remember when you started or why, for all the people who think that you shouldn’t be able to remember your first story, I say fuck you. I’m as real of a writer as anyone else and maybe even more so because I loved, hated, and bled along with my characters.

Did you?

My Bitter, Bitter Stew.

I don’t always know when I’m depressed because I’m not as smart as I think I am. OR. I am really good at hiding my mental state from myself, which could be chalked up as much the same thing as being not intelligent enough to follow the cues. I do have clues that indicate I’m feeling down or depressed but unless I’m actually paying attention, I don’t always notice when they start happening. I realized today after someone mentioned I sounded bitter that I realized I had been sleeping more, getting more headaches, and craving munchies more than usual. Whoop. What is…? OH! Heeeeeey there, depression! It’s been so long! Come in and try not to make yourself comfortable; I’m hoping you won’t be around long.

So, after reading the comment in question and perusing the entry it was left on, I put my phone down and stared at the TV for a while. I was doing a partial mull on what was said. On the one hand, I was paying utmost attention to the pathways in my head to try to figure out what started all of this (although I kind of knew the answer to this already) while simultaneously trying to watch the last few episodes of Psych on streaming. It was at that moment that a certain BFMA called to demand to know what the fuck was going on. “I feel like something is really wrong. What’s wrong?” I laughed at her and deflected, but she’s kind of used to my deflections so she tried to work around it. However, when I have a wall up, there’s no going around or over or underneath because I have defenses in spades. Not to mention, there was absolutely no way I was going to tell her what the hell was going on in my head. I didn’t want to discuss it yet and I wasn’t going to unleash my issues on her. She has enough problems. That’s when I realized why all of this was affecting me particularly hard.

Last week, BFMA had a bunch of seizures. After the post I just linked to, she actually had about two more. She had one while in the ER at the local, larger hospital, waiting for someone to see her about the pain in her neck after her last seizure. They admitted her to the neurology unit. After that seizure in the middle of the ER, she told me she couldn’t feel or move her legs. As time went by, she could feel some things in her legs, but they still weren’t working right. After about three or four days in the unit (and another seizure at some point during that stay), she was released. She was told that it was “all in” her “head.” I likened it to all the fun times we’ve had where doctors don’t listen to her about how her body handles medication or anything because she’s listed as bi-polar on her charts, so, you know. There’s some serious distrust and dislike going on by doctors who “know everything.” But, she was given medical orders for physical therapy to try to get the use of her legs back and the PT guy told her that it technically was in her head: it’s a syndrome where the brain shuts down pathways to certain body parts while it tries to fix itself, or what have you, after a seizure. And that’s the case here, I guess. So, she’s got a lot of stuff going on…

…is it any wonder I wasn’t going to tell her what the hell was going on? Why am I going to unload all of that on her shoulders? She has all of the emotional bullshit to contend with that happened prior to Seizure Week. She can’t walk and there’s no timing for when her legs will come back. Her thirtieth birthday is on Monday and that’s the first day of her physical therapy sessions. She has to start talking to her mother who is likely to blame all of this on her and how crazy she is. (Her mom’s a gem!) She has the squatters in the living room still and has to be embarrassed and mortified daily by asking them for help to the bathroom, down the stairs, into the kitchen, onto her bed, etc. So, no. I wasn’t going to unload on her shoulders – there is enough there already.

So, with all of this background, everything started on Tuesday (the day before they let BFMA out of the hospital).

I started having a panic attack that would have made BFMA proud. It was because there wasn’t enough time to finish it all! I don’t know what “it all” was but I was panicking about it. This was stupid. I don’t have panic attacks. After talking with someone about it for a few minutes, I realized that I was channeling someone or something. And I managed to control whatever was going on. This left me in a fairly morose state: I didn’t understand what was going on or why I was so upset. So, I decided to unleash this sudden welling of emotion in the form of a blog post about my dad that I’ve been trying to write since, uh, February or so. I finally managed to get it all out and by the end of it, I was crying my fool head off. I signed offline and stared blankly at the TV while TS and I cuddled. (He’s good at trying to make me feel better.) After that, I went to visit BFMA in the hospital and was horrified to learn that they were releasing her and not figuring anything out or trying to fix her, really. So, I was pretty pissed off when I went over to a family dinner over at the MIL’s house.

Family dinner really solidified to me some emotions I had been having in regards to HLB and HLB’s GF, which is utter resentment. I texted BFMA with the words, “I really hate them.” And at that moment, it was so true. The two of them seem to have some sort of magical wards in place that gives them so much. Recently, they were kicked out of MIL’s house after 18 months of sucking down resources. I was thrilled that they were getting kicked out – now they’d learn about the real world! Wrong. The two of them got a house. Albeit, the house isn’t theirs and they have to pay rent to HLB’s GF’s mother and the house was a pretty big shit hole before they worked for a month on it, they still managed to be given a fucking house. And that’s when I realized that apparently working really hard for your goals at any given moment is bullshit because if you sit around and do nothing long enough, someone is going to make your life easier for you. Obviously, I don’t really believe this because otherwise, I wouldn’t feel such gross animosity towards the two of them, but it sure feels that way. I know that TH is, also, under this impression as well. It’s like, why are they lucky enough to be handed everything in life? I know their lives together aren’t easy. They practically hate one another about 85% of the time and they have a child with special needs, but it still comes down to the fact that when shit was getting ready to hit the fan, luck found them a home.

And it’s not fair.

What’s so fair about life, though?

It hearkens back to a conversation I had with my mother about MEH on Sunday. I told her about how I hated him so much and how things worked out so easily for him all the time. It wasn’t fair. (There’s that word again…) She said that she did, indeed, agree that he seemed to have a silver spoon in his mouth. While monetarily, he was always struggling but his charisma knows no bounds. Without actually finishing his paramedic courses and clinicals, he’s able to get a NR-Paramedic in the state of MA. Without actually saving the money, he gets a house. Without actually paying off his last car, which had negative equity in it, he manages to get a spanking new truck. It’s like Lady Luck follows him around and turns everything he desires into reality – like HLB and HLB’s GF. The two of them suck together, have a child with special needs, have fucked up this child hardcore, can’t stand each other more than half the time, fight like nobody’s business and yet… They get a house. WHAT THE FLYING FUCKETY FUCK FUCK IS GOING ON HERE? WHY?!?!?

Do you have to be a registered asshole or something to get what you want? I can do that, but you know, it’s not me. An it’s not TH. So, we work hard and we save money. We look into getting a new apartment, only to find that there aren’t any in our price range or area to rent. We look into getting a new car, but realize that the money we’re saving could go to putting down on a house at some point, so we think of fixing the car instead. (Don’t get me started on my fucking car, either.) We work hard for the money that we make, or have at least, but we don’t get any further in our life plans or our goals. It’s like we’re constantly running in place and it’s not fucking fair. (Again, that word…)

All of these emotions have solidified into something angry and bitter and snarky. I’m pretty good about ignoring it, but I still have those depression cues that I can look to. And there they are. I want to sleep. I want to read. I want to eat munchies. I want to wallow. I want to just hate on everything and everyone. And everything all came out with yesterday’s post as a bitter stew. And that’s where I am now. I’m dealing with my bitter stew and I’m trying to work through it, but it’s like… why bother? What will change?

I know that you’re supposed to work towards a goal, but my goal was pretty easy. I was going to have BFMA quit her job and go back to work. That was my first goal… except that now, we can’t really do that can we? How is she supposed to watch TS if she can’t even walk? I feel like I try to take baby steps and get shit on. So, I try to take huge leaps and I get shit on. And I go back to baby steps, just in case, and I get shit on.

WHY.

WHAT IS THE POINT.

My Father Was a Dreamer.

My dad was the kind of guy who would do anything for me. My memories of him are very twisted and difficult to discern. Part of this is because I don’t have very many of them. He was my dad for all of four or five years before he died, when I was seven. Another part is because the whole experience of him dying was beyond traumatic. I did my utmost best to hide the bits and pieces of my father in the dark recesses of my mind. It was my childhood mind trying to protect me from something so tragic and heart-breaking that there wasn’t any telling if I’d be able to bounce back. Obviously, I’m alive and well, so I’ve done some bouncing from the trauma. But it still lives in my heart and in my mind. He’s everywhere and nowhere for me. He’s in my dreams and in my fantasies and he’s right down the road, being all dead and whatnot. He lives in the blood of the veins of the people in his family and the memories they hold to share with me. He lives in the beating heart of my two step brothers and my half-brother. He lives in the mind of my mother. In me? Well. I know he lives on in me. But sometimes, I find it hard to figure out where exactly he is at the moment.

When I was two or three, my mother was a single parent. She was set up on a date with someone she worked with. He was in the printing department of where she worked. Printing was the family’s life blood for my father’s family. They were all printers and to this day, some of them still are. My uncle, the youngest brother of my father, still runs what’s left of the family business. Anyway. He showed up at the door while I was being my young self and doing whatever it is that I did at that time. When I looked up at this man who walked through the door for the first time, I said, “Daddy.” There was nothing more to it than that. As far as my little head was concerned, the man entering our house was my father. And while I don’t doubt he was in love with my mother and all her charms, I only just added to the package. A daughter. A daughter. He had two sons and chances are that was all he was going to have was boys. And here he had a woman he cared for with a daughter. He could be the man on the porch with the shotgun, scaring away the boys. He would be the guy who taught me how to dance. He would take me to a father-daughter dance and he would swing me around in his arms while I was laughing at whatever we were talking about.

Dreams. Dreams. We all have dreams and my father’s biggest, baddest, and boldest was being my father.

I remember that, as a child, the relationship between my mother and father was rocky. He wanted to be a parent and he wanted to be a husband, but he didn’t know how to fix the demons that were eating him alive. And really, there is no other explanation for his behavior. From the little bits that I’ve gleaned from conversations as a child and from the pieces my mother has told me, my father lived with some very big demons. He had a box of things that he carried around with him, wherever he went, and when he was dying, he asked my mother to throw it away. He said not to go into that box, ever, and just to throw it away. Curiosity is a dangerous beast, but he trusted my mother enough to know that she would do with it as he had asked of her. And she did. We don’t know what lived in that box or what sort of monsters were hiding there. All we know is that the box was a kind of cross to bear, his to be exact, and when he died, it went with him.

I remember that, one night, they were fighting and my mom took us over to my grandparents’ house for the night. I don’t know what transpired, but I ended up going with him instead of staying the night with my mom and little brother. We watched Rainbow Brite and My Little Pony on the TV in his room. We were up until late. Another time, he was taking me home from the baby sitter’s house when I started freaking out because there was a bee in the backseat with me. He pulled over, got out, opened the door, and ushered the bee out of the car so that I would calm down. He always made me feel like I was super-duper special and that he would move Heaven and Earth to make sure everything was okay for me. I know that my daddy wasn’t perfect and that he screwed up with a lot of things – one of those harsh lessons all children must learn: their parents are human. But, he did his very, very best to always make it seem like he could fix anything. And as far as I could see, as a young child, that was the case.

But, like I said. Every child has a harsh lesson to learn about their parents and that lesson is that they are human. They are not Superman or Superwoman. They are the sum total of their experiences and they put those into practice as best they can. My father succeeded in some areas and failed in others. We all fail sometimes, but my father’s failure was the biggest. He got sick. He lingered. He grew tiny. He died.

When I was very young, he got sick. I don’t remember when he got sick, but I think it was around the time that I started hiding in the pantry on Fort Pleasant. I remember I would hide in there, trying to fit underneath the cabinets because it was a hiding place. I was a princess in need of rescuing, or something. I remember watching him get smaller and smaller. He was never a big guy to begin with, so watching him lose weight was hard. He started sleeping with his eyes open and that was a weird sight. He had to go to the hospital a lot, but I don’t remember visiting him more than a handful of times. The one clear memory of seeing him in the hospital was, I’m pretty sure, at the Veteran’s Hospital in Holyoke. There were green floors and a big, huge doorway and in that doorway was my dad. He was lying all hooked up and I was playing in the hallway.

My dad contracted AIDS before there were new and innovative drugs to keep it at bay. When he got sick, it was the late 80s. It was still the “gay disease.” It was still unknown and misunderstood. All we knew was that he was going to die. I remember not telling anyone in school that my dad was sick. I don’t know what it was that kept my tongue in check. I wasn’t the most friendly of children and a bit of a loner, anyway, but I had some friends. I could have said something, but I didn’t. I ended up lying later – I told everyone he died of cancer. That was back in the days when most people thought that catching AIDS was as easy as catching a cold. They didn’t realize that kisses and hugs were okay. It wasn’t contagious like a head cold. It just was. And I got to watch bit by bit as my dad slowly went from the Superman that he was in my head to a skeletal figure.

There is something completely heart-rending about watching your parents die. There is something so painful and heart-breaking about watching someone you love and care about so much slowly but surely make the long journey toward death. As a child, you always think that they’ll bounce back. And I know for a while that I thought he would be okay after the right medicine. Isn’t that what doctors do? They give you the right medicine? But, this is around the time that I became disenchanted with doctors and strangely enough, wanted to start thinking about a career in the health field to help other people. You see, the doctors couldn’t fix him. His demons were eating him alive in the form of AIDS.

The night he died, I was awake. I heard my mom crying. I heard my dad yelling. I heard the two of them saying their final goodbyes and then I fell asleep. I dreamed about him. He was talking to me but I don’t remember what he said. And the next morning, I got up and my mom’s best friend was lying in the living room on the pull-out couch. And my entire world changed. The Superman who had loved and cherished me was gone. The father I had was gone. The man who was supposed to love me, hold me, dance with me, scare away prospective suitors, and make me feel beautiful all the time was gone forever.

I was angry. I was hurt. I knew it was coming, but that doesn’t stop the feelings that eat you up. I’m still angry. Why did you do this? I want to ask him. Why were you so stupid? On the other hand, I just want him to hug me again and make me feel safe. I need my Daddy. My mom needs my Daddy. My little brother needs my Daddy. Instead of being a cohesive family unit, or even a close approximation of one, we’re scattered to the winds. Instead of turning to one another with our pain and our hurts, we’ve pushed one another away and looked for a new start. Instead of bonding over the loss, we hurt each other more. And I blame him for that, too.

But I also love him.

And I miss him.

And I know that he’s watching over me. And I know that he hears me when I talk to him at his grave. And I know that he has a thousand words to give me, but I can’t hear them.

There’s a hole in my heart the shape of my father. And nothing will ever fill it.