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?

“Remember How We Were, We Really Were, Before This Disaster Came and Tore Us All Apart.”

I should have known these walls would cave in
I should have never left my heart there on the line

Hurricane by Theory of a Deadman

I think one of the worst things that we do when our lives blow up is all of the remonstrating we have with ourselves after the fact. You’re practically writhing on a roasting spit from hell, turned over and over again by no one but yourself. And in that moment, while you’re torturing yourself with all of the things you could have done to prevent the flaming destruction of your life, you are very, very busy forgetting a key factor. And that key factor is that hindsight is 20/20. So, it’s easy to go back through and see where you screwed up, inventorying all of the wrongs you committed in an effort to figure out where it all went wrong. The problem is that you may not actually be at fault for that destruction, but a bystander as your life goes down in flames. Even if that’s the case, it doesn’t really matter because you’re still too busy, categorizing your fuck-ups while watching girly romantic movies (for women, anyway), ugly sobbing into your pint of Coffee Coffee, Buzz Buzz Buzz.

I’ve thought long and hard over the course of the last few days. In my more rational and clear-thinking moments, of which there are precious few, I know that I am not the cause of this. I know that there is nothing I could have said, nothing I could have done that would prevent TH from needing to “run away.” And in effect, that is precisely what he has done. As he has made it clear to me, he never said he wanted to end things. He never said he didn’t want to be a part of my life or our son’s life. He just needed to put everything on hold while he sorted out his thoughts and emotions (an indefinite hold). While I can understand that desire on the most basic of levels, it doesn’t mean that the facts aren’t the same. He still walked out of the house and is living in his parents’ basement. He has still made both my life and my son’s life harder because he is not here. And he has broken my trust at the most fundamental levels because now, if we do get back together and attempt to live happily ever after, I will always worry that he will “run away” again when things get too difficult.

I completely understand the whole needing to “run away” thing. I most people do. I honestly believe that every person gets to a point where they are entirely fed up with everything and need to take some time for themselves. However, the problem I have with how he went about it is that most peoples’ ideas of running away do not mean walking out on your family. It means that you go to another room. It means you ask your spouse for time alone while you mull things over. It means that you go for a Sunday drive and admire the scenery for a while. It means you walk around the mall. It means you go out to lunch by yourself. It means a lot of different things, none of which equate to actually moving out of your homestead and leaving your family members in the lurch.

In those rational, logical moments, I remind myself that he is very young. While only five years actually separate us on the physical age level, in the realm of emotional maturity, we are vastly beyond each other. I am only his second relationship in his entire life. And in the course of that relationship, we have had a lot more downs than we have had ups. We have had a lot of pain filled changes in the last six years, not all of them horrible, and it’s a lot for someone who has never been in a long-term relationship prior to me to handle. In those moments, I can compassionately understand where he is coming from and in a way, I can forgive him for what he has done to us. I don’t like it. I don’t agree with it. In fact, I still want to punch him in the face because of this. However, I can understand and even sympathize because he is young and he doesn’t know any better.

Even though I can see where he is coming from, even though I can kind of understand it, I still end up feeling like my heart has been broken. I still end up listening to really depressing music, like I was when I was 16 and my then-boyfriend broke up with me for no apparent reason. I remember that week of our being broken up like it was yesterday. I was depressed. I didn’t shower. I didn’t eat. I didn’t sleep. I didn’t do anything but lie blankly in my bed or my mother’s bed and just stare at the walls. Sometimes, to take my mind off of the pain, I would read a book or twenty. And then we got back together and the heart-break subsided until months later. I literally feel like I need to be doing the same thing all over again, only instead, I have to be a mom and do all the things moms do so I can’t really wallow.

And that kind of pisses me off a little because it shows that I’m the more responsible person here.

When I’m done being rational and being angry, then I end up wallowing in the mire of guilt that continues to plague me. As I said above, there is nothing worse in an emotional upheaval of this level than the recriminations you pass on yourself. I’ve sat around for hours, just mulling over how I could have prevented this from happening to myself and to my son. I will do the laundry and there I am, wallowing in guilt. I will cook some dinner and there I am, wallowing in guilt. I’ve been wallowing in the guilt, trying to figure out where I went wrong. I must have screwed up somewhere, right?

I’m not very demonstrative in my affections. I used to be, but as the years past, I haven’t been. I find it easier to keep people at arm’s length because then it won’t hurt so badly when they fuck you over. (Ha. Ha. Ha.) The thing is that I’ve been trying to be a lot nicer to TH lately (the last six months or so). I haven’t been demonstrative of my feefees or anything, but I’ve been saying kinder things to him. It’s a physical prod a lot of the times and stuff just spews out of my mouth that is nicer than I normally am. About a month ago, I told everyone he was a very good father and a good boyfriend. A while back, I told everyone that he is awesome. These are some things, but I wonder if my failure was in not telling him that, specifically? He was there when I said those things, but they weren’t to his face, so perhaps there is my failing?

However, TH suffers from excessively awful bad self-esteem. I honestly don’t know what caused it or why it started. It really doesn’t matter what the cause of his bad self-image is because I can’t fix it. No matter what I say, who I say it to, and when I say it, he will always feel like he is a poor substitute or that he doesn’t measure up to anyone else in his life. I have extremely poor self-esteem, myself. I understand how it is, but either you contend with the negative feelings about yourself and deal with them as they come, or you ignore them completely. No matter what I say, how I say it, when I say it, where I say, or what I’m saying, if he doesn’t deal with his self-esteem issues, then it’s going to continue to cause a problem for him. I could metaphorically make him to be the walking on water type of guy – not that I would – and it really wouldn’t matter. Whatever lies at the core of his poor self-image is a monster he has to fight on his own.

I can’t fight it for him.

Another ongoing issue is that he has a very hard time of letting things go. In all the instances he provided where he felt that I didn’t care about him, they were all very old occurrences. I’ve thought about this some and while those instances could have helped to feed the self-esteem beast eating apart his insides, However, I honestly wonder if those items he mentioned were his attempt at grasping at straws. I honestly worry that this self-esteem thing, this feeling like I don’t need him or want him thing, is all just a very big cover.

I’ve thought about this for a while and it doesn’t necessarily track. I don’t deny that TH has bad self-esteem or that I am not overly demonstrative in how I feel about him. I do not deny that I could have done better, though I know that I wouldn’t have done any better if given the chance. I wonder, honestly, if the core issue is the asexuality thing. It’s a big bite to swallow for any man, whether they are a normal hormonally charged twenty-five year old or not. The prospect of possible never having sex ever again is something that most people, most normal people, would find impossible to fathom, much less to live with. And I can’t help but wonder if the lack of sex is why he feels like he’s not an integral part of my life. Apparently, emotional connections are all fine and dandy, but it is the physical connection that means the most.

Obviously, I’ve had sex with TH. We have a child together. However, the fact remains that sex holds little to no interest to me at present and I honestly do not know how long this will last. I have to assume it’s a forever thing just to be on the safe side. I can’t get someone’s hopes up with an indefinite unknown hanging in the balance. And I can’t help but think that societal norms regarding sex are being played out here. Someone – not me – equates sex with love and tenderness and happiness. Someone else – definitely me – equates sex with a biological need to reproduce and equates love, tenderness and happiness with the emotional connection two people can have. Society, however, has this ridiculous need to obsess over sex and how it is part and parcel to a relationship.

In some cases, that is the case.

However, when it comes to an asexual, that is definitely not the case.

I just worry that the actual reason for all of this heartbreak is that I can love someone, unconditionally, without sex complicating matters. I don’t need to feel someone in a physical way in order to know that I love them, cherish them, and enjoy their company. I don’t need that in any context to make me feel better about myself. Sure, when I am interested, the sex is pretty darn awesome. But that doesn’t mean I need it in order to feel like a human being. I don’t need it to complete me. And maybe TH does because that’s who he is as a person. And if that’s the case then, you know, things will either be completely over, as I think will be the case, or he’ll realize that an emotional connection is more important than a physical one. And things might work out for the better.

I would like to hope, but my hope button is broken.

I’m caught in a hurricane
I’m leaving here dead or alive
And I know that I’d be willing to feel the pain
If it got me to the other side
Cause I only hurt
Oh, hurricane
Yeah I can feel it hurt
Oh, hurricane

“Your Baby Doesn’t Want You Anymore.”

It’s over.
It breaks your heart in two.

It’s Over by Roy Orbison

Things have been incredibly difficult for the last two weeks. TH and I have been having difficulties of varying natures for a while now – some say he is at fault and some say that I am – but I always kind of assumed we’d plod on. I thought of our relationship in terms of the turtle who eventually wins the race. It would just continue to take its sweet as time until one day, we both realized that we had lived the rest of our lives together. That’s probably pretty pathetic. Point of fact, it sounds a little like romantic drivel, in a way. I’m not one for romantic flights of fancy anymore. I’ve grown up and grown past that, but I did just kind of always assume that we’d just always be together.

Imagine my surprise when he says that he’s going to move out. “I think we need a time out,” he says to me.

I wasn’t overly surprised by it. As I said, things have been pretty cagey between us for a while. But, I honestly never thought he’d have the gumption to say that to me. I always thought that if, push came to shove, and anyone was actually debating about leaving it would be me. But I have to admit here that I’m a complete idiot about things, too. I’m that asshole who will always forgive, will always forget, and will always take care of the basics. I will be the one to slave and make sure the bills are paid. I will be the one who takes care of the house. And I will be the one to constantly allow more and more irritations to build up until I finally explode.

It really is surprising that he actually took his balls in his hands and finally made a decision.

It looks like I’m a single parent now.

The Reality of the Unemployment Situation.

I called a friend of mine up in a panic today on my way home from submitting applications and feeling true despair at the totality of my situation. She told me that I wasn’t allowed to panic. We would brain storm about things later together. And then she said to me, “Just don’t panic; you can go on Don’t Panic, but you can’t actually panic.” So, here I am.

Yesterday, I received the news that I knew was coming from the office of unemployment. I was no longer eligible for unemployment benefits and now, I have to become a “welfare bear” in the hopes that my family and I can survive the harsh reality of our situation. I cried. There’s no other words for what my reaction was. I just cried. I cried and I cried and I cried. And I can’t help but wonder how many other people are in my situation, crying their eyes out as they try to find something that allows them to survive in a country that has “no jobs” and is itching to cut the very benefits that will keep people like us alive? I can’t help but be angry at the situation – it sucks – but in reality, I feel very betrayed and disenchanted with everything this country is supposed to stand for.

We hear the politicians talk about how unemployment rates are lower than they were. All right, yes. I’m sure the rates are lower, but the only reason is because people have passed their extended benefits and are no longer eligible, whether they are employed or not. The break down isn’t discussed. You just hear this magic number (I believe it’s 7.8%) touted about and everyone pats each other on the back. “Look what we did! The unemployment rate is down!” But how many of the people who have fallen from unemployment are still looking? How many of those people are living off of state aid in an effort to stay with a roof over their heads and food on the table? I seriously doubt I’m the only person in the entire country facing this crisis.

Did you know they did away with the third tier benefit? And that’s probably the real reason why the unemployment rate is so low.

When you’re filing for unemployment or are living off of the state assistance programs, they actually make you go and take classes at your “local career center.” This is a euphemism for a dark, shadowy place of imprisonment that has absolutely no desire to help you find a job. They tell you about the classes they have and they tell you about using their computers and they update their job postings every day! These are half-truths and outright lies. For example, I have applied for the same job three times via their resource list that cut off hiring in August. In August. (I keep applying because by the time I get that low on the list, I’m drunk with typing and thinking.) Their computers need to be signed up for days in advance, but that’s no big deal. And the classes? They’re typing 101 and they’re how to write a resume 101 and all the next levels to these classes. How are they supposed to get you a job?

Why not have a class about what to wear to an interview? How about a class on proper E-mail etiquette when you’re fishing for a second interview? What about a class on how not to feel like a complete fuck up and loser while you’re going through this crisis? Why not offer counseling services for your mental and emotional well-being instead of all of these “skill set” classes? For the most part, I have to assume that they get enough students for the classes. And I have to assume that they are well received by the local and federal governments because the local career centers are still getting aid at the state and federal levels. So, obviously, this is all well and good in the eyes of politicians who don’t understand what it’s like to have to worry about where the next meal is coming from and what’s more important: gas in your car or toilet paper for your ass.

I am so angry and frustrated all the time. I hate feeling this way. I really feel very similarly to how it was just before MEH and I officially broke it off. I am angry. I am frustrated. I am hurt. I am bewildered. I am scared. And always the same advice from friends and family, “when the doors closes, a window opens.” What they forget to tell you is that you didn’t bring a flashlight, the window is probably a thousand miles down some tight corridor, and you have to find it in the pitch blackness of reality. I hate that phrase right now almost as much as I hate the phrase, “have some hope.” Have some fucking hope?

Everything is wrong and evil and stupid and I am so fucking angry. I am beyond angry. I want to hurt that company so badly. I want to stick it to them. I want their pens to dry up; their computers to be attacked by viruses; their questionable fucking practices investigated on a state level; and I want them all to suffer. I want everyone who threw me under the boss and everyone who still works there and everyone who kisses ass over there to hurt and be angry and know what it’s like to be thrown under the bus after nearly two years of committed service. I want every single one of them to know what it’s like to get interview after interview that lead to nowhere. I want every single one of those selfish twats to see me crying as I panic and worry and have anxiety attacks about how I can’t possibly raise or take care of my family.

And I hate feeling this way.

I’ve worked a very long and hard time to gain adequate control over my emotions. I’ve probably taken that control a little too far, to the point where crying actually physically hurts sometimes because I just… don’t. But I prefer to be in complete control over my emotions instead of being the insane raging beast that I used to be. I much prefer this to that, in all honesty. And the fact that I am always angry, hurt, bewildered, scared, anxious, and panicking drives me fucking insane. All of this drives me fucking insane.

The politicians who think they’re doing a good job.

The people who think they can give advice when they really don’t know the situation well enough to give me advice.

The people who offer me the same old platitudes.

The people who aren’t around to watch me suffer.

The people who did this to me.

I am so fucking insane with rage that all I want to do is shake someone or something all the time. (I suddenly understand BFMA’s intense desire to throw shoes at a door whenever she gets upset on such a better level now.) I don’t do this. I scrub the counters. I scrub the toilet and the bathtub. I do load after load of laundry. I sit down and I fill out endless applications. I sit and I fret, but I don’t shake anyone or anything. I don’t throw shoes at a door. I end up crying instead and have panic attacks.

This is the reality of unemployment, people.

Keep that in mind, too, when you vote on November 6th.

P.S. In case it’s not clear, this isn’t some random “VOTE FOR ROMNEY” ad or anything. Romney can eat a bowl of dicks. I lived in MA when he was governor and he was next to useless. His stance on things like Planned Parenthood, abortion, and his belief that his “business savvy” make him ideal of president are laughable. What I’m saying is DON’T VOTE REPUBLICAN.

I Don’t Know How I Feel.

Not knowing how you feel isn’t really a rarity. As teenagers, we’re taught that our emotional development is out-of-whack in direct relation to our hormones. We go through our adolescence assuming that, one day, we’ll know exactly how we feel, though possibly not why. However, as we get older, the emotions don’t necessarily work themselves out. In fact, I have long periods of having feelings and not knowing exactly what they are and mostly, never really knowing why in the first place. Emotions and all that’s related is pretty fucking complicated – there’s no manual, unfortunately. I’ll tell you, however, that a manual could come in handy right about now.

This morning, I was sent an E-mail from my uncle with the title “passing.” In it was an obituary for my biological, paternal grandmother. Unh. Shit.

As anyone who knows me or who has read this blog knows, the family member that I’m talking about, I do not know them. For those who are unaware: My biological father was not around when I was born at my mother’s behest. He had a chance to make his presence known in my life when Daddy adopted me after he married my mother. A notice is sent to the biological father (or that’s how it was done in the 80s), alerting them that someone wants to step into their shoes. The biological father has the option of showing up to the hearing and contesting the adoption. My biological father never showed up. I’ve always felt that this was a telltale euphemism for any relationship I may have ever wanted with the man.

Don’t get me wrong, as a teen, I wanted a relationship. I was lost and alone and feeling awful inside all the time. For some stupid reason, I thought forging a relationship with a man who didn’t want me was a good idea. I never actually did anything. I had the house number and called a few times. When I got the answering machine every time, I figured it was a sign that I shouldn’t fuck up someone else’s life. It also didn’t feel right, really. My daddy was dead and had been, at that point, for seven years or more. The man I was thinking about would never fill the shoes my daddy was supposed to be filling. And as interested as I am in knowing things like the genetic and cultural heritage of my biological father’s family and as much as I really kind of need to know what sort of genetic diseases I may have passed onto my kid, I’ve left it alone.


When I was living in Texas, my uncle (the same who sent me the E-mail this morning) sent a letter with a newspaper clipping in it. The person features was my previously unknown half-sister. I was shocked and startled. What got me, too, was that the two of us look a lot alike. I’ve always been under the impression from the few photos I’ve seen of my biological father (from the 70s) that I actually look very much like my mother with little hints that a guy helped to make me. Seriously. However, after seeing her picture, I saw a lot of myself in her. The picture in the article reminded me of a class picture I took in the 7th grade. (Mom? Remember that one? You were so mad at me for wearing that green sweatshirt.) After finding out about her, I sent her a letter with information about who I was, where I was living, a little about myself, and ways to contact me if she felt so inclined.

She did, actually, contact me.

I have a sneaking suspicion she never told her parents, though.

So, there I am, reading this article and reading about the family. I got to learn what the full names of my biological paternal aunts are and their kids. Apparently, I have a second cousins now from that side of the family, too. It’s a very interesting article, giving me the basics of what my paternal biological grandmother did and what she left behind. I just spent a little time with my mother, asking her what this woman was like. She’s a complete enigma to me. Sure, technically, she’s a bit of my genetic heritage, but I don’t know anything. All I have from that side of the family are three 70s photos of my biological father at a family picnic at my maternal grandparents’ house and some family heirlooms (wooden birds, a couple of dishes, and some hurricane lamps). That’s the gist of what I know, aside from the pieces I’ve gotten from my mom since my half-sister is curiously incapable of telling me anything I want to know… like what kind of genetic diseases may run in our blood. (I don’t get it.) It’s not much.

It all comes down to, though, not knowing how to feel about this. A person I never knew and would have never known about if my daddy had his way (and you know, didn’t die) has died. She’s technically an ancestor of mine. Do I honor her? Do I muscle in on the funeral they have? Do I try to find out any details from the half-sister who doesn’t seem willing to discuss this with me? Do I do anything? Should I care? Should I have any feelings whatsoever?

I don’t fucking know.

Life is way too complicated and emotions? Doubly so.

Yet Another Week of Feeling Like a Loser.

Note: I’m just venting, so I really don’t want to know if I hurt your feelings.

I put it off as much as I can. But, I know that sometimes, something is going to happen that means I have to call the people in charge, so I try not to put it off too long. I find myself sulking and depressed whenever I click on the link. It gets to the point where I just don’t want to. I keep telling myself, this week, I’ll have the job I need and want, whenever I click the unemployment link. But, you know, each week I apply, I still don’t have a job. And I still feel like the world’s worst loser in the shittiest lottery contest known to mankind.

And whenever I talk about it with other people, employed people, they tell me lots of things that are meant to make me buck up and get on the horse. They’ll remind me that the entire nation is going through a shit time with employment thing. They’ll remind me that I just have to have hope. They’ll tell me that I did pass down some jobs since I’ve been hunting for one. They’ll tell me to suck it up, grow thicker skin, just keep at it. They give me loads of advice. I appreciate the fact that they’re still willing to give me advice when I get so very, very, very low about this job hunting thing. The fact that I haven’t scared them off with my depression regarding my unemployment is an amazing thing. However, I have to say? There are lots of days where the advice fucking sucks.

I don’t really give two shits about how the rest of the country is fairing. Just because I, logically, know that I’m not the only asshole in the entire state going through this at this moment in time doesn’t make it any easier. I’m not going to reach out to Unemployed Jane Doe and Unemployed Joe Blow and commiserate over a bunch of beers. I’m not going to sit around and join some forum for unemployed assholes. I’m not going to do any of those things, so why keep reminding me that this is a country-wide pandemic? Again, I have to say that just because I consciously know that the rest of the world is fucked economically and that like 8% of the whole country is also unemployed, like me, and probably not even for “terrific” reasons like myself, that doesn’t make it any easier. I’ve mentioned this in my religious blog and I’ve said this to my friends: MY PROBLEMS; MY MISERY; MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANYONE ELSE.

It’s not that I’m trying to be an asshole with that statement but just because we know that someone else is going through similar situations doesn’t mean that it will impact how we feel. It doesn’t mean that we’ll magically get better. It doesn’t mean that we’ll end up feeling better about the entire situation. When it comes to our depression, our misery, and our pain, there is nothing greater than our own misery. This is intrinsically true with teenagers – I’m thinking of a certain lady who reads this with a teenage daughter. And it doesn’t make any difference later on in life. The misery we experience is the only misery that matters because it’s the only kind we can feel. Sure, we might feel sympathy or empathy for people going through a similar experience to our own. We might be able to understand another person on the same level because of the similar experiences, but just because Person One and Person Two have gone through similar experiences doesn’t mean it’s a bonding experience. It doesn’t mean that things are going to look brighter tomorrow. It just means that they’ve both been shit on in similar situations. But the core concept is still the same: the misery of Person One is more important than the one of Person Two, and vice versa.

I know in this economy that passing down of a job is pretty taboo. How could I dare to have standards? But it’s not really that. Some of the jobs that I’ve talked about have all had issues with scheduling. In effect, they’re at night. I guess I’m biased or stupid here, but I want to be able to raise my child. In one of the instances, TH’s mom told me that if we had to do sleep overs for R over at her house so that I could work late, then we’d do it. I appreciate the offer. I appreciate everyone’s offers of assistance. But, call me a bad person for wanting to raise my child. Call me a horrible asshole for wanting to be there with him, at night, feeding him dinner and arguing about whether he’s taking a bath. I guess I’m just a bad person for wanting to be his mother and not letting other people raise him. Sure, right now, TH is out of work. So, I could go back to work and I could work nights. But I remember those days at Greed, Inc. Before I became a manager, I worked second shift and I never saw my child. Or, if I did see him, I was too tired to do much more than the basics. That seems wrong and horrible. It impacted me relationship with my son and it impacted my self-worth because everyone under the sun was doing the raising and I was just some background noise.

It’s really different being unemployed when you have a child.

But, I think the worst is when people tell me to have hope. They tell me to buck up, chin up, keep on keepin’ on. I understand the viewpoint. And yes, I am still doing that. I’m still going around and doing the applications, sending out the resumes, sending out scouting letters and all of that lovely stuff. I’m on the websites that I use to job hunt between three and eight hours a day, depending [on whether things have been updated or not]. I light my candles. I pray before I send out these things. I hope. I have faith. I constantly tell myself that this will be the week that a job comes my way. I have all of those things, but you know, sometimes I just have dark points. I cry and I rage and I feel like my worth is in the negative range. It’s not because I don’t do the praying and the faith-ing and the hoping. It’s just hard. It’s so hard to maintain a one hundred percent positive outlook when everything always seems so bleak.

It’s just hard.

And today, I got to file for unemployment again. In the next two weeks, I’ll have to sign up for another extension, and I think it’s the final one. And I have to hope that something comes my way sooner or later. I’m at the point where DD and its minimum wage is looking appealing because, maybe, I can go in for the six in the morning shift. But is even that worth it? Is going back to work at minimum wage worth it if I’m not sure I can pay all of my bills and rent and maintain a good household and keep on keepin’ on? I make more on unemployment than I would working a minimum wage job, but it’s starting to look appealing because I’m almost desperate.

And I hate the feeling of desperation.

I just want to raise my kid. I just want to make enough money to live. I just want to be able to succeed somewhere. I just want things to look positive for once. But it’s hard because, at least four times week, I’m too busy feelin’ like a loser.

The Itch is Back.

I haven’t felt this itch in a while. It came in fits and spurts the last few months, so to feel it in this overwhelming way… It’s just so intense. I wish I could just shrug it off. I wish I could just ignore it. I have the mundane to answer for. I have a life to lead. I have things to do…

But, I keep coming over to my computer and stroking the keyboard softly. I keep staring longingly at my laptop and thinking, I need to write now. I sign in to this and I keep saying to myself, Now. It’s time to write this right now. But I don’t know what to write. I find myself sitting in front of the glowing screen in confusion because I don’t know what it is that I’m supposed to be getting out now. I have an idea that’s niggling, but I’m saving it for later on when I sign up for NaNoWriMo. I don’t want to use that little gem up before it’s time… so what the hell?

Is it just because Stephen King’s stories are my life right now?

Or is it just really time to sit down, cut the crap, and get this shit over with?

The life and ramblings of a part-time writer.

You Must Not Come Lightly to the Blank Page.

The above is a quote from Stephen King, in On Writing.

I go through phases where I want to become a published writer. The phases in between this desire tend to coalesce in the feeling that the story ideas in my head just aren’t that good enough. I put those ideas away like the clothes at the back of the chest of drawers that I swear I’ll fit back into one day. I probably won’t actually fit into those clothes and similarly, I probably won’t actually get to the publishing stage. It’s not because my stories aren’t good. And it’s not because what I have in my head can’t come out, although sometimes that muse block is a bit of an issue, but because I just don’t see how I can ever get to that point. I don’t dream small and hope for something published, once. If that were the case, I would have been satisfied with the few poems published in books when I was a teenager. (I have three or four published poems in compilation books. No, I won’t tell you the books’ names.) I think of days where I can be like Anne Rice or Stephen King, the two most prolific authors in my life, and I dream of those days, dripping in ink and blood and words and wish terribly that I could get that good.

I’m re-reading The Mist by Stephen King. I go through phases where I love his stuff and I go through phases where I’m sick of his stuff. I’m in an off phase with Anne Rice, too. I still dream of the day where I can be like them, where my words are everywhere and I’m on lists and I can say on my tax returns that I am a “writer.” But those days haven’t shown up and those days are either too far in the future or not made for this life or maybe, just a goal that I’ll never achieve at all.

I started writing about vampires because I love them. I’ve always loved them. I remember taking out The Last Vampire series by Christopher Pike in my local library just about once a month. I would read and re-read them over and over again. I loved his version of vampires. I loved everything about those types of creatures he wrote about and was sorely disappointed with the series’ ending. (I won’t spoil.) But that love affair took me to ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King, The Season of Passage by Christopher Pike, and The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice from start to finish. I watched and read and did research and read some more. All of my childhood was absorbed in horror stories – I think I read Pet Sematary for the first time when I was nine or so – but I always went back to vampires. I knew them. I had good ideas on how to create them. None of this sunshine bullshit. None of this fang bullshit. None of this horse manure that was so popular in the stories that soaked my childhood. I would head back to the innovative ideas that Christopher Pike began forming in my head with his vampire series and revamp them (hurr, hurr) to something that I felt was more functional.

I went back to the old stories about vampires, you know. When I talk about the research, I went back to the old myths, the old beliefs. I went back as far as I could and hand-selected the pieces that I thought were the most interesting. For example, did you know that to keep a vampire occupied, back in the day, they would throw seeds or nails on the ground? It would keep the vampire occupied because they all suffered from OCD – they had to count all of the seeds, nails, or what have you on the floor at their feet without fail. I loved this little piece of vampire history. I wanted to add it to my novels, but I never figured out how.

So, here I am. I’m re-reading The Mist, like I said. And I can feel the terror rising in my belly as I read all about the horrible things in that artificial, white mist. And I’m wondering why I can’t get shit out like Stephen King, Anne Rice, Christopher Pike, MaryJanice Davidson, Patricia Briggs, and Charlaine Harris. You’ll see that I have horror authors in that list, but I also have the paranormal romance authors that are so prolific today. I want to write about vampires. I want to write about horror, but I want to keep it in the framework that those ladies have set up for me: a little romance, a little sex, a little something to keep the readers coming… and not just because there are blood and guts everywhere.

But then I head back to my dreams as a child. No one could write as wonderfully, to me, as Stephen King. It didn’t matter what it was that he was writing about, but it scared me nonetheless. My favorite frightening stories are in the anthology, Night Shift. I would re-read Jerusalem’s Lot (not to my confused with his stab at vampires) and fall asleep with the lights on. I would re-read The Boogeyman and make sure my closet door was shut, my hands and feet were not near the edge of the bed, and again, that my light was on into the wee hours. There was no way I could stay awake if my eyes were heavy enough, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t have a security blanket of sorts to protect me from the horrific imagery Stephen King can easily invoke.

I had a rabbit named Professor and a doll named Emily who did their duties well.

I want to write about fears. I always have. I just have to figure out what those fears are and how to write them… without sounding too much like an idolizing fruitcake.

Things Are Never Easy.

I’m pretty sure things are not going to be as smooth as I’m hoping.

Last Friday, I told the landlord about the bug problem. He was right next door, re-painting the apartment that my quiet neighbor had just vacated. And he immediately got me a phone number for an exterminator. I called the guy that night and we made plans for him to come over today to get the problem gone. However, as I’m talking with another friend of mine who has had this bug issue, she says that the methods the exterminator talked to me about aren’t going to be sufficient. He mentioned something about wrapping our beds in plastic, putting some kind of powder or whatever in those bags, and leaving it for a few hours to kill off the pests. Now, I will admit that I was purposely vague on the phone when talking to him – I’ve got bed bugs; woe, woe – but the problem is gigantic for an apartment this size.

I know they’re in my couches. When we accidentally pulled the siding off of the couch, GUESS WHAT WAS IN THERE. You can just see that they like to congregate in there. I’ve found them in the carpeting in our bedrooms. I’ve found them in the bathroom, in the tub in there, and all other manner of places leading into the bathroom. For fuck’s sake. TH has seen them COME OUT OF THE WOOD WORKING on the little islands that separate the nook where his computer equipment is from the living room. And I’ve seen them do the same thing from the little half wall that separates the dining room from the kitchen. (They’re not in the kitchen.) This place is a shit hole and not just because of the bugs – they half-assed the whole creation of the fucking place, not properly sealing things (thus why I have ants LIVING IN MY COUNTER TOPS), and I am the asshole that pays for the misery.

The guy is coming with a few rocks to fix the hole in the dyke, but he really needs a five-man team and cement.

I’m on the verge of tears. I cannot even convey how many of my things I’ve had to throw away. I’ve had to take down pictures and throw away the frames. I’ve had to take out shelving units with sentimental value and throw them away. I’ve had to freeze my books. I’m so freaking miserable and sad about this whole thing that I want to set fire to everything in my apartment and start all over. Even with the exterminator coming in to “do the job,” I still want to get rid of most of my furniture. I want to get rid of the couches, which weren’t the greatest in the first place anyway. I want to get rid of my bed. Our son is rapidly outgrowing his bed anyway so he needs a new one – and a whole new furniture set, really, since he destroyed EVERYTHING in his room. I want to get rid of the entertainment center and its accoutrement since I don’t plan on setting it up ever again, not with the wooden pieces that go above the shelving units BENEATH MY BED as I type this. I want to get rid of everything and just start dogging it all over again.

I can’t do that.

I can’t start over anywhere.

I just want to cry as I watch everything fall into shambles.