What a Nightmare

My family had been on a vacation trip and stayed in a pretty big hotel room together. When we had packed up and left, we all got into an SUV to go home. My father drove, my mother was in the passenger seat and I was in the middle in the back, between my brother and sister.

I remember bumpy and twisting roads. I remember feeling scared a few times during the drive thinking we were going too fast. I remember my knees up against the back of the front seats and feeling very squeezed and uncomfortable.

At one point during the long drive home, I shifted and pushed on the back of the front seats. My father turned his head a little and I quickly said, “I know you don’t like that, but it’s a tight fit back here, can you pull your seat up a little so I have more room.”

Next, I was going to ask my mother too, but for some reason my thought was, “One at a time.”
My father agreed but continued to drive. There was a silent understanding that he’d have to wait until we stopped at a traffic light or stop sign for him to do this.  The barreling drive continued.

As we drove, I thought back to packing up my stuff and realized that I had no memory of placing any of my beauty care back into that compartment of my overnight bag. When we got home, I also couldn’t find my tiny little cell phone.

Once home, I went to the kitchen and cleaned up. For some reason it was somewhat of a mess and I tried to make it perfect before I left again to go see Chip.  But I had just come from there too. I was thinking, “Wait, how can I go there before calling first?” And as I was wiping this powdered spice from a counter top that just wouldn’t cooperate, I realized, “Oh yeah, his wife left.”

I was excited to get back over there to Chip before he changed his mind, and as I walked through the living room with my jacket on, I mentioned not being able to find my cell phone to my father. I had it in mind, from the time I was cleaning up the kitchen, to call the hotel to see if they could mail out everything I had forgotten to pack. But at the moment, getting back to Chip’s was the most important thing to me.

Just as I was about to walk out the door, I put my hand in my jacket pocket and found my phone. BUT…it was dead. Oh well. I didn’t care. I really wanted to get over to see Chip.

It was dark out by now. I walked out to the street where the van I would drive was parked. Just as I was getting in, I turned to see Steve, one of my friend’s brothers had followed me to the van and asked me to go out with him.

I hesitated for two reasons. I didn’t want to hurt him but I also didn’t get a good vibe and didn’t feel safe. He kept insisting that we do something together now. And I said ‘how ’bout we go out next week sometime’ to hopefully settle him so I could get away.

He wasn’t having that either and so I jumped in and locked the door. But it was an old school van and so I wasn’t sure that the whole van was locked. I stretched over to lock the passenger side and then quickly put the car in drive.  I lunged forward with the hope of two things: that it would knock him off if he’d managed to get on and grab hold somehow on the outside and that he had not gotten in without me knowing.

I stopped long enough at a stop sign to crawl over the seats to see if he’d hidden himself on the floor boards back there.

He hadn’t. But I could see from the side window as I was sprawled over the tops of the seats that he had found a way to hang onto the outside of the van as I drove.  I noticed he’d gotten down off the van while I was in this position.

I screamed, got back into the driver’s seat and attempted to peel out before he got back on…without success. He simply reached out and stepped up as if this was a thing he did all the time.

I was still only a few blocks away from where I’d started and driving toward the center of town, I said to myself, “My phone’s not working so I can’t even call 911.” The thought continued in the vain of picturing myself going to the police station and just laying on the horn in the parking lot.

As I drove, I kept turning around to see if he was inside the van. I also tried to think of ways I could get him off the outside of the van but before I could implement any of my ideas, he was indeed inside the van. Right behind me, all of a sudden.

I screamed so loud, I woke myself up.

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My Father, the Dog and the Basement Steps (TW: Animal Cruelty)

Snoopy

When I was around 13 or 14 years old, I was home with my father. No one else was home, except the dog (Snoopy) and the cat (Casper.)

I have no idea where the cat was. But Snoopy, kept following my father around. He’d been old enough by then that this behavior was not the norm for Snoopy anymore.  At that age, that didn’t occur to me. At this point, thinking about it, I just remember hearing his nails on the basement steps, along with my father’s.

I have no idea why my father was repeatedly walking up and down the basement steps either.  I never asked. Perhaps he was looking for something and couldn’t find it. But I have no idea.

On one of those trips back UP the steps, my father grabbed the dog and threw him down the steps, down to the basement, which had a concrete floor.

The emotions about this are weird. This morning I woke up around 6 to use the bathroom and then went back to bed. As I lay down, I thought about this incident for some reason and it made me cringe. It made me sad. It made me want to get away from it and at the same time I wanted to write about it.  I chose sleep.

I am trying to break through this protective wall of numb but I can’t really cry much, as much as I want to. I also feel regret and guilt myself.   I remember that I only heard the commotion, including Snoopy’s cry/yelp and didn’t see any of it.  But I didn’t need to, to know what happened.

I was upset at the time, but thinking about it now, I don’t remember being as upset as most people would’ve been. I went outside. Out back where there was an alley and the neighbor’s had a hill rather than a yard. That’s where I sat.

I didn’t check on the dog (not that I remember.) FFS, he could’ve been seriously injured.  And I didn’t take him with me.

And that brings me to what I didn’t think about then, and obviously neither did my father.

The poor dog probably had to go outside. Probably had to go to the bathroom.

I’m sorry Snoopy, that you had a life living in a chaotic family with an unpredictable master. With kids who didn’t really have as much of an interest in you that would even compare to what the attention you’d get from (at least) me now.


I wasn’t going to write anymore stuff like this and go in a different direction…well slightly. But when stuff like this comes up I feel a draw to write about it, which to me seems to be honoring it.  I just don’t want to get over angry, which is what causes such harm to my body and psyche.

What I want is to cry, to truly grieve.

I’ve been thinking a lot about acceptance too.  I can see that the lack of it within me has held me so far back and kept me from moving forward.  I’m not only talking about the lack of acceptance about what happened to me, but also about me, who I’ve been and things I’ve done.

The cruel thing is that the only thing to do, if I don’t like who I’ve been is to change who I am.

I know that’s difficult for anyone to change. But at the same time, I can feel it’s more of the stuckness in guilt and shame that really keeps me from making certain moves. (The feeling of I don’t deserve the good things that might come about with certain changes.)

There’s fear too. (Don’t get too happy or excited, that shoe is waiting to drop as soon as you do.)

I hate being haunted by these incidents.

The other part of this is the anger I’ve felt for the past things done to me and the things I’ve seen done to others, like the incident I’m writing about here. One reason I wanted to stop writing about them all. It’s difficult to accept that these things happened. But it’s all that’s left to do, other than grieve them. Because there are not do overs.

Another time, when I was in my 20s, my father, my boyfriend at the time and I were standing outside the front door talking. My bf and I were on our way out and as we stood there, the little dog from next door came wandering over to our yard.

My father drop kicked the little guy and I was devastated. I could hear the sound it made when my father’s foot came in contact with the back end of this little dog. And again, I said nothing to him and did nothing about it.

As bf and I were getting into his car I said something to him about it. I forget exactly what and he responded with something about if you let your neighbors get away with one thing they’ll keep taking advantage of you.

That’s not it exactly but that certainly was the gist. And again, I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it.Today such a statement would be a deal breaker.  My father’s behavior had nothing to do with neighbors taking advantage. The dog was off leash, yeah. Not a good idea for the dog’s safety.

But the solution my father chose to deter the dog from coming to our yard was not a reasonable one, to say the least…in fact it was a psychopathic one.

I am also sorry to that little dog. On my father’s behalf and even on my own for not doing something, for not checking up on him to make sure he was okay (or not.)

So about acceptance. At what point does it become acceptance and not just pushing something away emotionally?

 

Could Be Ovarian Cancer

This is a difficult one to tell but I’ll try. I’m sorry I won’t be able to get exact dates, but hopefully I can put the events in some sort of order.

So maybe about 6-7 months ago, I noticed swelling in my legs down to ankles when I’d eat certain things. After doing some research, I came to the conclusion that it was probably a histamine intolerance and took some action to clear that up.

I stopped eating the foods I’d react to that way and I took some supplements.  I gave it some time and then try the food again. Much of the time, if I gave it enough time, I was able to eat the food again.

The scariest reaction was when I could feel what felt like my brain swelling after eating  an orange one day. But even those I introduced back around Christmas time and I was okay.

One food I came to depend highly on for months, was local raw milk. And then I started to mix it with kefir. Kefir was one of the foods that made my legs swell for a time, but when I introduced it back, in small portions I was okay.  I started making a raw milk/kefir drink in the mornings because it was quick and easy.

Maybe about two months ago, I noticed reflux at night and finally figured out it was the starchy carbs, I had been eating quite a bit of rice at that point. I used Betaine HCl for when I got the reflux, but also worried about effects it might have long term. So I stopped taking it so regularly and also stopped the starches.

So at that point, including the raw milk and kefir, I was down to eating just animal foods. And I was digesting them all just fine. I went through a period where eggs seemed to be a problem and again cut them out.

Then I noticed the milk becoming a problem and then the kefir and cut that drink out completely. I have no plans of going back to that and worry that that was a major culprit here.

I started to get mid-back pain that radiated around from the discomfort of the left front side too.

I finally called the doctor. When I saw her she pushed a little on my stomach and it was exactly where it was tender. I explained the symptoms and even the mid-back pain. I know that back pain like that combined with the other symptoms could be a sign of different cancers.

I thought, stomach cancer and then I thought pancreatic cancer since my father died from that. I also thought about pancreatitis and H. Pylori.

I first had blood work done, the usual CBC and an A1C. The CBC results were all fine. The A1C shows me as pre-diabetic. No surprise there, with my awful eating habits, especially up to the point of having these severe digestive issues.

I also got a complete abdominal ultra-sound. All was fine there. No inflammation of the organs showed up. Of course it can’t see into the stomach though.

I was then tested for H. Pylori and got what is called a FIT test in lieu of a colonoscopy. Both came back negative.

I have the capability of communicating with the doctor online through something called MyChart and we have been going back and forth on that since I’ve seen her.

The next thing I asked about was getting a blood test for pancreatic enzyme levels and mentioned that I was also concerned about the possibility of an ulcer despite H.Pylori being negative.

She was fine with testing for the enzymes even though she doesn’t think that’s the problem, although she did say that chronic pancreatitis is possible given my old drinking habits.  She also suggested testing for celiac.

Although I have not eaten much in the way of wheat or gluten containing foods in quite some time, I doubt that’s the issue. I did tell her what I had been eating when I saw her, but it’s pretty apparent that she’s not taking a lot of what I tell her, in.

She does seem open to tests, and is not dismissing my symptoms though, which is probably the most important thing, since I don’t expect sound nutrition advice from a DO.

But then she suggested another test that caused a feeling of dread to wash over me and stop me completely in my tracks.   She said that I should get screened for ovarian cancer.

It’s a blood test. There’s a particular marker that is high if you have this cancer. But when I looked it up, it’s also a marker that can be high in someone who has uterine fibroids. And I have those. So I don’t want that test first.
I want a trans-vaginal ultrasound.

The message about this from her came to me on Friday afternoon. It felt like my world came crashing down and I already made the decision that that must be what’s wrong.  I mean, it got to the point where I wasn’t digesting anything at all.

I looked up symptoms of ovarian cancer and sure enough, digestive problems is one of them.

I’m devastated. I don’t know if I can withstand surgery, chemo and radiation.  The possibility of this makes me scared and sad. I never really got a chance to live.

I got so sick of not being able to digest anything, I started to fast. I haven’t eaten since Friday afternoon. It’s Sunday afternoon as I write this.

I’m not a person who likes to see the doctor or indulge in tests. I’m afraid of hospitals and to think about being out of commission for 6 weeks out of surgery, is a devastating feeling since there is no one to care for me.

I think about texting my mother and letting her know about it, but then I feel so devastated that my life would come to such a tragic situation that I would need to rely on someone who betrayed me so horribly.

I know, I don’t even know for sure yet, but the more time goes by, the more it makes sense. I’m scared…no I’m terrified.

(Sorry for any typos or confusion in the story. I can’t bring myself to proof read right now.)

 

So I Had This Dream This Morning

Sometime before 4 am I had a dream about seeing my mother. Now all these hours later it’s a bit fuzzy but I’ll do my best.

I pulled up to house on some (unfamiliar street in real life) and parked my car in a small hilly driveway. I got out and walked up the hill, around the back of my car toward a house that was offset from the road. It had a large front yard and wood porch with concrete steps.

I walked up to the door and inside. It was my mother’s house and she was expecting me. My sister was there too, although she was kind of an incidental presence and we didn’t talk to each other at all.

My mother and I started to talk and I was telling her something. This is what I can’t remember at all. I don’t know what I was telling her but I was trying to get her to understand something. And she was basically gas lighting me. Again, I don’t remember what she was saying either.

It was something along the lines of me telling her that she can’t say one thing one minute and change it up the next. Both can’t be right or true.  But she insisted on.

During this back and forth with my mother is when I noticed my sister there and she was just kind of a floating presence. She was saying nothing.

I finally had had enough of my mother’s game and said angrily, “Fine mom, GOODBYE!”
And I gathered my stuff and went for the door.

My mother said something else but I don’t know what it was and I again replied, “No! GOODBYE!”
And left, flew down the steps and across the large yard in front.

-End of dream-


So when I woke at 4 am to this I was like, “Whoa! That was pretty wild.”

I have a couple interpretations of it.

One: Since today was the anniversary of my father’s death, I transferred my goodbye to my father, who died six years ago today, to my mother, even though she is still alive. This sort of thing made its way into a dream because I was fully aware of the approaching anniversary as I went to sleep last night. It was actually pretty heavy on my mind. Thoughts of my father have cycled back into my mind again.  His ashes came to my attention recently and I made a mission to finally get myself to the grave site of his parents and other family so I could put the ashes there and say a (sort of) final goodbye to him. The idea of doing something with them has been hanging over my head for a very long time. I was single minded and focused on Friday. And it is done.

The other: I noticed that I only said Goodbye, when in the dream I remember distinctly wanting to tell her that I never want to see her again. But I refrained. I was hoping that the word ‘Goodbye’ would get the message across but I would absolutely not make it completely clear with no room for doubt. I’ve done the same thing in real life. Just the simple fact that she’s my mother, it makes sense that I’m ambivalent.

But there is much more to it. There’s the codependent aspect where I’m more worried about her feelings than my own. But not long ago in a therapy session, I figured out the reason I won’t finalize things with her and tell her I don’t want her in my life at all anymore.

It’s because I’m afraid that I will need her. And apparently I carry that into my dreams too.

 

Anniversary of My Father’s Death

I started to write the whole freaking story about my father in hospice, the abuse I dealt with in reference to it, his terminal agitation and my doubts that he should’ve been in there when he first went in.

I was going to talk about how we ‘celebrated’ Easter that year (2013) at the hospice, while my father lay unconscious in the hospice bed.  (I want to throw up just thinking about that right now.)

As I wrote though, I could feel all the anger coming up. My body tighten up all over, my head hurts and I feel a rage that I cannot direct anywhere.  So although anger can be good, I question how productive it is when it’s something from the past and I cannot stand up to what is making me angry, because it’s just a phantom at this point.

Of course I should be angry. But now I feel I’d be better off finding ways to make sure I’m never treated that way again, by anyone. Or at least learn to have the ability to stand up for myself when someone attempts it.  It is better that I allow my body to digest my food that I’ve just eaten, because the anger and stress I feel as I relive these events gives me reflux right.

Besides, I have written about this in the past right here on this blog, and all I seem to be accomplishing is getting myself agitated.  I will probably have terminal agitation myself at the time of my death if I don’t figure out a way to come to terms with everything.  Mostly accept that what happened, happened. Forgive myself for not standing up for myself and be okay with never forgiving them. No matter what the rhetoric is.

They don’t deserve my forgiveness. They aren’t sorry, so it’s not okay. Well, even if they were sorry, it would not be okay.

I was feeling ashamed about suspecting that my father was being manipulative by going into hospice when he did, given that he was fully conscious and at times seemed lucid. Everyone else in a bed in that place, laid silent and sleeping.

Knowing and understanding what I know now, seeing his terminal agitation, I no longer believe it was manipulation on his part.

But my suspicions didn’t exist in a vacuum and come out of nowhere.  There were reasons behind them. I tend to be harder on myself than I am now on my father. Feeling brainwashed into believing that whatever he did was okay because he was old, he was dying, he is now dead.

Truth is, my parents, my family, psychologically abused me. They inflicted the type of abuse I now believe to be the hardest kind to heal from.  I have been figuratively crippled by my past and that IS NOT OKAY. So if I suspected manipulation up to the end, then there must be good damn reason.  It doesn’t make me an awful person. There are plenty of other things that I’ve said and done that could give me that label.  Suspecting someone who manipulated his children into caring for him round the clock while he was dying, instead of hiring a nurse or home health aid, and allowing for us to visit on our own terms, isn’t so far fetched. Suspecting manipulation from a man who crossed boundaries throughout my childhood and adulthood, isn’t so ridiculous of an idea.

Today, April 1 (Fools Day of all days) is the anniversary of my father’s death.   It really couldn’t get more ironic than that James.

6 years he’s gone. I hope he’s resting in peace because his family is not at peace. His family is no more.


Just to mention: I made it to the cemetery/grave site of my father’s family. I left his ashes there and the handwritten lyrics of the song, “Say Something” and a little “Pocket Smile” he’d given me years ago.

I also have a photo of the grave stone and the ashes that I’d like to post here too, but it’s on my phone and I don’t have an adapter cable to get it from phone to computer. I’ll have to ask B about that and see if he can help me with that.

My Father’s Ashes

When my father’s ashes were ready, my sister called to tell me that they’d been separated into thirds, into plastic bags; one for her, one for my brother and one for me. I could pick them up at my convenience.

She later, (as far as I know) bought an urn to keep her third in.

My brother drank a toast to my father, from a beer stein (a family heirloom) before placing his share of the ashes into the stein.

Me, I didn’t really want them. Not only did I not want to keep any of them, I didn’t think his ashes should be divided. To me that meant separating him from himself. I think he’d had the issue of not being very well attuned to himself in life as it was. I didn’t want to further that in his death.

I didn’t even want to have him cremated. But I guess it was majority rule. My brother couldn’t bear to think of him buried deep in the ground. To me a burial seemed the right thing to do. But our dear father never told us what he wanted nor did he include his wishes on this in his will.

I think my sister agreed because 1) it was less expensive and 2) I think it may have been the quicker route.

If the latter wasn’t a factor, I’d be surprised since she was adamant about “getting the memorial service over with” on Friday rather than having it on Saturday. Saturday was my preference, because it would be more convenient for certain (working) people to attend. There were a few old friends of my father’s who in fact could not make it because of this. Not only was Friday a problem, we were dealing with very short notice.

In spite of this struggle, I did what was expected and picked up my third of the ashes. I put them in a fat piece of pottery/vase that I’d found at my father’s apartment.  And there they’ve been for close to six years.

The pottery had been my father’s. When my sister handed me the bag of ashes (on the right) I was a bit stunned. I don’t know what I was expecting. I guess I didn’t know. I’ve only seen ashes from cremation in the movies so I expected them to be lighter in weight. These are heavy and are more like gravel than ashes. And I think it’s cheap af that they are tied with a twist tie. Like WTF?

I’ve wanted to let them go…you know?  The way people take their loved ones’ ashes to a special place, a place that meant something to the deceased.

But I’ve been at a loss of sorts. I’m not sure where to take them.

I’ve had a couple of ideas, but I don’t know if either place would be where he’d want to be set free.

One place I’ve considered is his family’s plot where his parents (my grandparents) are, as well as two of his favorite aunts and other elder family members.

But I don’t know if he’d want that. Which is why he ended up cremated in the first place. None of us knew what he wanted.

The other idea I had is by a waterfall, not a natural water fall though. It’s part of the waterworks in the county I was raised in. And although it doesn’t sound all that pretty, it’s pretty nice there. He took me there when I was little to see the falls. I have a photo of myself that he took I’m standing on the wall there, holding my favorite doll and posing for the camera.

When I was older and looking through the old photo album, my father told me that my mother had a conniption when she saw that picture. I was 4 years old and if I’d fallen backward the possibility of that being the end of me, was pretty strong.

I feel so lonely right now as I write this.  When my father died, we were not on the best terms. Although he tried and wanted to pretend things were okay, I knew they weren’t. It wasn’t just a knowing either, there was a feeling in the atmosphere between the two of us. We both knew. That feeling was especially present in the evenings as we sat there together, just him and me as he ate his dinner. And that was usually in silence because he was so hard of hearing, it was difficult to communicate.

I wanted him to say something but then I didn’t want him to say something.  However my desire for some kind of resolution was strong and I would’ve welcomed any attempt from him.  One night as he sat there eating dinner and I sat with him at the table, he looked down at the table, sort of in a daydream state and said, “I thought there’d be reconciliation.”

Lyrics to “Say Something” by Christina Aguilera. I know it’s about losing a romantic love. But it can be applied to a child’s love to a parent as well.

I turned and looked at him in surprise and only a speck of hope and said, “With who?”

And he said, “Oh, no one. Never mind.”

I felt like I had a family once upon a time. A group of people to celebrate Christmas and birthdays with. People to exchange cards and gifts, eat meals and have drinks with. People who have known me for so long that we can sometimes finish each others’ sentences. A family that I laughed with and shared a similar sense of humor with.

And now, there’s no one. No blood relative, no one who knows me like they did. No one I know like I knew them.

My father wrote me an email at some point in the last year of his life; an email I cannot find now unfortunately.
He’d apparently knew the tension among his three adult children and had wished to get us all together for a talk. He’d said something along the lines of wanting to make sure his “three favorite people” get along and stay a family. I can’t remember whether he wrote this before or after he knew he was sick.  Either one would make sense as he was aware of the contention prior to his diagnosis.

I remember the sunken feeling I had as well as thinking, “Sorry Pop, that’s not very likely. That’s something you should’ve taken care of decades ago.”

It’s tragic and quite sad to me that he died on such a disastrous note.

Double Standards on the Job(s)

I started thinking about this after spending three hours total in the kitchen cooking, eating and cleaning up from dinner.  I first thought of the last job I had, because it gives me anxiety to think about working until 5:30, then coming home to spend three hours on my feet (save for the time I spend eating), plus a little more time to prep lunch for the next day.

Thinking about that reminded me of a double standard situation at that last job and then that reminded me a weird double standard at another job years ago when I was pretty young.

The last job I had was at an executive suite. I worked in a dry windowless room answering phones. There were three other women who did what I did and one would cover the front desk.

One woman worked until 4:30, another worked until 5:00 and I worked until 5:30. The three of us were all full time. And there was a part timer.

Whenever any of these women’s quitting times rolled around, none of them could get to their coats and bags fast enough. When it was quitting time, they were not asked to stay longer and no one said anything about them being too eager to get outta dodge.

But after I’d been there a couple weeks, that is exactly what happened to me. My manager approached me after I’d gotten up to get my stuff and set out to the elevator to get out of the stuffy building.  She said to me, “We need someone who isn’t in such a hurry to leave at the end of the day. Someone who is more dedicated and thinks more about the job than just coming in, doing the minimum and leaving.” (Or something along those lines).  It’s been a decade since I was let go from that hell and I don’t remember her exact words. But that was the message for sure.)

How is it the boss didn’t have a problem with the employees making a run for it the moment the minute hand struck the end of their work day, but I’m supposed to worship the fucking place and hang out longer.

Being there until 5:30 already made it so I was lucky to make it home by 6. By 5:30 I hadn’t eaten since noon and I was ready for dinner. But I still had to get home and cook it. Then since I had to relive the torture, I’d also need to prep my lunch for the next day.

I had the double standard imposed on me at another job years before that too.

I was working for a company that printed out multi-page litigation reports and sent them out to a number of subscribers. This was long before the internet and email. There was a master report printed out and usually there would be smudges on the pages, so we’d have to go through the papers manually and white out the smudges, let them dry and then make multi-copies of each report.

We used a gigantic copy machine that would make many copies at once. Then we’d have to gather all the pages to each report and staple each report together.  It was a long, tedious process. But it wasn’t that bad of a job. We worked in a huge room…it had to be to fit that monster copy machine. It was on the first floor and it had windows!

When we were finished with the first master copy of the report, we’d send it upstairs for one of the lawyers to proof-read. A handful of attorneys worked there and did the proofing. Most of them were pretty quick and had the report back to us within an hour.  But there was this one lawyer who would take a really long time. We’d be held up sometimes because he was taking so long and we had no choice but to wait for him.

I asked once, “What takes him so long.”

The woman who I worked directly with, the person in charge of all that copying and getting the reports off in the mail, answered me with, “He’s just really thorough.”

It wasn’t like I could say much anyway, so I was just like, “Um, okay.”

Well, I wan’t there for much longer than a month when I was let go.

Reason: I was too slow.

One person’s slowness is thoroughness, the other person’s slowness is seen as negative. Thing is, I was only there a short time and was still learning.

I was crushed. I didn’t have a car at that time so I called my mother and told her I’d been let go and asked if she could pick me up.

She did and when I got in the car I told her the whole story and the look of disappointment knocked the wind out of me. I had been crying. I was already disappointed in myself enough, besides being confused as to how I was seen as ‘slow’ while slow poke lawyer was called ‘thorough.’

I was maybe 21.

I needed my mother to say something comforting. What exactly I don’t know. But something along the lines of “I’m sorry that happened” would’ve worked pretty well.


I’m not proofing this. It was painful enough to write it out and work through it the first time.

In addition, I’m also grappling with some new found realization that my mother is likely a sociopath. Figuring out she’s a narcissist was painful enough. But to figure out I was raised by a sociopath, is a lot to process.

 

 


 

 

B(lu’s) Youngest Sibling

I know, I know, this is not the season to be all bitchy, especially when it doesn’t effect me much at all, but I’m going to be anyway because I’m annoyed as hell. The annoyance is with B’s younger sister. I don’t want to trash her to him, so I’m gonna do it here and get it out of my system.

I’m going to give her and the other people I mention names here, make one up, so when you’re reading it doesn’t sound so clunky. I’ll call his younger sister, Lucy, his older sister, Sara. And his mother (who’s passed), Dottie.  But none of them are real names.

I’m also going to change B to Blu and no that isn’t his real name either.

Okay so:

Blu went to spend Christmas with his family at his sister Sara’s house.

He has a pretty big family.

Two sisters, two brothers, three of those siblings have spouses.

Two nieces and two nephews.

So instead of exchanging gifts with each and every one, they have a Pollyanna. They’ve been doing this for years, before I met him.

It’s the type of Pollyanna where you just buy a general gift, wrap it and put it in a pile with the rest. You pick a number from a hat ranging from one to however many people are participating. Then follow chronologically picking a wrapped gift from the pile and opening it. There is more to the rules but it’s unimportant to the story.

The amount of money spent is set to $50, which is reasonable for everyone in this particular situation.

Blu bought a really nice external hard drive as his Pollyanna gift, which, is a good gift for pretty much anyone and certainly everyone in his family could use it.  So it’s a thoughtful gift in my not so humble opinion.

Just to note, I didn’t go with him and he spent the night at his sister Sara’s house last night, He called to let me know what he was doing and we talked a little. I asked him who ended up with his gift, but he misunderstood my question and told me what he ended up with.

When he told me I didn’t really have a reaction and I went back to my original question. He answered and we talked some more about his day.

I was home alone so there wasn’t much for me to say about that.

But today, I started thinking about what he told me he ended up with again and got really annoyed.

I think his sister, Lucy is pretty thoughtless…either that or something is wrong with her. And I don’t mean that facetiously.

The gift she gave as Pollyanna was gardening tools. Remember it’s a ‘general’ gift that could be conducive for anyone there to use, or whatever.  Well, no one, other than Lucy, gardens to my knowledge. Maybe Sara does, and she would be the only other one. But if she does, then it’s very little and she has so much money, I really doubt that she needs gardening tools. In fact, Sara has fricken’ landscaper because her property is so large.

Blu ended up with the gardening tools. And then said, “I don’t have a garden though.”
And Lucy said, “Oh, well I’ll take ’em back then.”

Who fucking does that????

So Blu participates, gives a nice gift and then gets no gift in return.

Now I know I sound like an utter ingrate here, and of course it sounds like it’s about what he got or didn’t get. It’s not. It doesn’t effect me whether he got presents or didn’t. And knowing him, he likely doesn’t care either.

But wtf Lucy??? Why would you get a gift that no one in the family would use other than yourself. I went through my mind and listed the family members to see…”Hm, who else would use them?  Um…NO ONE LUCY! NO ONE!”

The only one who may have appreciated them, is no longer mobile enough to be able to dig around in the dirt, so the fucking ‘gift’ is seriously thoughtless.

Today thinking about this, I’m thinking, “He could’ve held onto them and sold them on ebay.”  Even if it had occurred to me on the phone last night, it would’ve been too late, because I think Lucy had already left.

Oh well. I don’t care about that and I don’t care about the gift itself.

Lucy is a bit loud and obnoxious, making her very different than the rest of the family. I can’t be around her much because her boisterous personality does a number on my sensitive nervous system. But that’s just one thing.

When we lived in our house, we lived next to Blu’s mother. She was a pleasant and nice elderly woman (when I knew her) who didn’t want to impose on us, but we were there for her when she needed something. I would also go over during the day once in awhile and sit and talk with her. I loved to listen to stories about her childhood and when she was a young woman raising her children.

At one point, Lucy, who had been living out west, moved back to the area and moved in with their mother temporarily. She took over in some ways, which I’ll get to in a minute. But then she would also (when she wasn’t working) make food for herself and then hole up in the bedroom she was staying in. Dottie told me she would come home from work, go make herself some dinner and then go right up to the room to eat it, not saying a word to her mother.

When I say, “She (Lucy) took over” I mean that she planted all kinds of things out in the front yard, so that there wasn’t much of a yard anymore, it was a mini jungle. I’m not against plants and flowers and things, but she was there temporarily. And when she moved, it didn’t get attention because their mom wasn’t able to do much of that anymore and Blu and I never had any interest in doing any type of gardening. The only thing Blu did and enjoyed when it came to yard work, was cutting the grass. He cut his mother’s grass as well as ours, but all those plants next door actually made it more difficult to get around the yard with a mower.

And when you have a garden or yard full of plants that you want, you also get a bunch of shit growing that you don’t want.  And when Lucy moved out, no one was there to weed all the overgrowth. I hated it because it took over the space in that yard that Blu and I would used to toss the frisbee back and forth and practice disc golf putting.

 

 

Lucy also brought area rugs with her and took it upon herself to lay them where she wanted them.  One day Dottie tripped over one and fell!  I was pissed about this. I found this out one day when I went over to visit. Dottie had a black eye so I asked (obviously) what happened.

I never said anything to Lucy, but I let Dottie know I was angry at Lucy. And asked her to speak up to Lucy and tell her to remove that rug.  I also let Blu know what happened and told him that I was pissed off at Lucy. How dare she lay down an area rug in an elderly person’s house, where she’s not used to an area rug being.   Again, there’s that thoughtless theme.

I’m sorry but what an asshole.

Lucy brought her 4 or 5 cats with her too. And by the time Lucy left, the house stunk so bad of cat piss. At least one of the cats was using the dining room rug as a litter box. It was downright nasty.  Lucy would let the litter boxes get fuller than it should have been. I remember Blu going over to scoop them sometimes and I know that Dottie scooped it too.  One day Dottie and I were talking about it and I said, “You shouldn’t be scooping those boxes.” She replied, “Well if I don’t, it won’t get done.”

Lucy planted a few vegetables in a tiny little plot in the back of Dottie’s house, while staying there. I can only remember cherry tomatoes right now. They would ripen so much, they’d just fall to the ground and rot. If not that, the squirrels were munching and taking them.

So one day when I saw Lucy out front, I asked her if she’d mind if I used some of the tomatoes since so many of them were falling off the bushes and rolling down the driveway. I figured she was aware that she wasn’t eating many of them and that they were rotting, rolling away and feeding the animals. Not that I begrudge the animals, you understand.

She replied with a grating and penetrating voice, the whole neighborhood could’ve heard… “I’d rather you didn’t.”

And that was that. I seem to remember her grinding voice adding something to that, but I don’t remember the rest. I pretty much turned her off after that. I just remember thinking, how ridiculous this woman is.

F.E.A.R.

This seems like something many so called healers like to use… False Evidence Appearing Real, to ‘help’ people diminish their fear I guess. But to me, and it might just be my mood today, it seems like just another degrading, condescending way to wave away someone’s emotions and even a twisted way to blame the victim once again.

Sometimes there is REAL fear for real reasons. As in the evidence shows that you should be afraid. Ffs. You know what this actually pisses me off more than I thought it did when I opened this window to type this out.

 

What do you think?

I See No Progress

I posted a photo I took of our living room here in the apartment last night. This is the first year in a very long time that we’ve even put lights up. I mean it wasn’t a huge project. I just got the lights from the basement and plugged each strand in to see if they worked. I found one that worked and B strung it up, like you see in the photo.

This is a new strand though. Some of the lights from the original strand went out. Kind of trivial but I’m sure there’s some sort of analogy there, even maybe some parallel to my life.

When I opened up yesterday’s post, to look at it just now, I noticed underneath of is a couple of older posts of mine. One of those posts is last year’s Thanksgiving post. You can read that one right here.

I read through it myself and I not only feel that my life is stagnant, I feel like I regressed. At least last year I had a list of things to be grateful for. This year I posted a photo and was glad that B wasn’t here.

That post is here if you want to compare.

I feel like I regress every single year and that I’m worse off now than I ever was.

I understand that some recent realizations about B, have contributed to feeling, probably, more depressed than I did at this time last year but that still equates to regression or at the very least stagnation.

When I look back at the things I’ve written in the past, I can see how many things about me had not or have not changed.

After the break up with the affair partner (AP), I went back and read things that I’d written to him and about him in my journals back when we had the first affair, which was in the 90s. Yes, I fucked up twice…with the same man no less.

The things I’d written back in the 90s, I was writing again in 2010, 2011 and some of 2012.

It’s alarming to see such a thing. I tend to put it out of my mind after a while but upon reading or realizing that I have the same patterns I’ve always had, it alarms me. It makes me want to be and do different. But then I feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.

I need therapy. But not just any therapy. i need a therapist who will be supportive and non-judgmental. One that will make room for my personality flaws or disorders or whatever you want to call them. I have ended up with therapists pretty much overall who expect me to behave like a neuro-typical, like someone who has not been severely psychological abused. And yes, I have asked before going to see these so called therapists if they have experience with the very shit that is ‘wrong’ with me.

My preemptive strikes don’t seem to make any difference and I end up with a therapist who might help someone who is grieving a one time loss but has no clue how to help someone who’s been gas lit by passive aggressive assholes all her life. And they don’t seem to understand that yes, the traits fucking rub off.

I have them too. I have narc traits. I can be passive aggressive. I rage. I don’t trust easily.  Depression doesn’t have a quick fix. I’ve done things I’m not proud of and feel guilt and shame.  The therapist I had before going into DBT hell, was judgmental of something I’d told her and had no clue how to validate and most of the time after I finished talking she’d sit there with a look on her face that made it look like she felt sorry for me.

I don’t fucking need their pity. I need their help.

I’m sitting here getting all worked up writing that and the thought process here is triggered by the fact that I have an appointment with a new therapist and I feel like I’ve set myself up for more disappointment and maybe more damage.

She caught me off guard on Wednesday (day before Thanksgiving) with a return phone call. She asked if I had questions but I froze and couldn’t think of any. So I just told her a bit about me and my background as well as what’s going on presently.

I prefaced that with, “Well, how ’bout I tell you a little bit about myself and then you can tell me if you think you can help or not.”

She said, “Okay.” But when I finished, she jumped right to, Okay so let’s set up an appointment. Are you available during the day?”

I answered her question and then said, “Do you have any feedback for what I just told you?”

I don’t remember now exactly what she said because I was too busy feeling a ton of doubt about her. I should’ve hung up but I set an appointment anyway.

I then asked her if she’s familiar with the term ‘family scapegoat.’ I do remember enough to know that she said she’s worked with people with childhood trauma. The WAY she said some things, came off a bit like my mother. So that’s a red flag.

She told me we can’t really know if we’re a good match until we meet. I knew that was bullshit, but I said nothing. Like I said, I could not think of any good questions. I mean, I spit out a couple asking if she was experienced with childhood trauma and scapegoats, but I didn’t walk away satisfied that I wouldn’t be wasting my time going to see her.

She also said that the person who referred me seemed to think we were a good match, so we probably are.

Um…WHAT????

She didn’t even ask who referred me. I got the referral by calling my insurance to get names of therapists who were covered. I got a list of therapists. It had nothing to do with a good match. So she seems a bit disconnected and the usual not so great therapist.

I’m expecting nothing to be honest. In fact I probably have the wrong attitude altogether because I’m on the complete opposite of the ‘hope’ spectrum. I kind of expect to walk out, telling her that I won’t be coming back.

Before talking to her I also talked to a male therapist who I think is probably old enough to be my father. I didn’t get to ask him questions either and just summed up my background and present life.  He was leaving for a couple weeks for the holiday and will be back the first week in December.

I would like to meet with him too but not sure how I can do that without first deciding against the other therapist. I guess I’ll call my insurance and see how that works or IF it works.

I get a better vibe from the man than I do the woman. But then I’ve been wrong before.


I want to circle back to what I said about realizations about B. I have come to understand that he is really passive aggressive in a chronic and probably a pathological way. I also know and understand that he has been this way for a long time, since childhood to be exact. We’ve talked about it and he has admitted to being this way since then.

He has said that he didn’t understand that that’s what he is/was doing but has now that he knows something about it, he can see how he was that way as a kid too.

That being said though, he may very well have become even more so with me. And that’s because of my own control issues. I did not develop control issues upon moving in with B. I had those issues looooong before I even met him.

So a PA and a control freak move in together. Um, it can’t help but be toxic. I’ve done some intense blaming lately of him, after years of believing that it’s 100% all me that is the problem here. But I have responsibility too, despite having C-PTSD, I can’t just lay all of our problems on his lap.

Much of the time we’ve lived together, I’ve found something wrong with so many things that he’s done or does. Even the smallest shit like putting something in the wrong drawer and reacting in a way that is disproportionate to the offense. Which isn’t really an offense is it? It’s just being human.

I also think there have been some ‘rule changes’ as well. Like I’ll get mad at him for throwing something away but then when I find something sitting there because he’s not sure of whether to throw it away or not, I get mad that he didn’t just chuck it.

One solution would be to simply ask and he does that sometimes. But there are times that he assumes, goes with that and doesn’t bother asking. I’m not just talking about whether to throw something away or keep it here either. That was just an example of one thing.

Being financially dependent on him, not doing much but sitting around watching YT or reading, is pretty passive aggressive too.

I’m not in denial. There is no doubt he’s been PA and as a result has put me in a spin of confusion as his lies are usually that of information omission.

I also know that saying that you forgot is passive aggressive. And in some cases I think this holds true for B. But I also do think there’s some legit forgetfulness given the stress of walking on eggshells around me. He’s said to me in the past that I make him feel like he can do nothing right.

I was thinking about that last night in relation to my recent understanding of his passive aggression. And in relation to my behavior. I can pin point one incident at the beginning of us living together that I would say started the whole dynamic.

He was folding clean rags in the basement instead of bringing them upstairs to fold them, which I would’ve preferred.  As he folded them, he put them in a pile on top of the drier he’d just gotten them out of. But we were in the process of cleaning and I knew that the top of the drier was dirty and dusty.

I got pissed when I saw this and my reaction was of a disproportionate amount. I screamed so loud and intensely, it was a screech. Anyone else would’ve said, “Yo look! I’m not gonna put up what that shit. I don’t deserve to be screamed at like that. You have a problem, talk to me in a civil way and with respect.”

My point is that it’s become a never ending cycle. To me most of the things he does that bothers me seem like common sense. But the answer is not in screeching at him for it. I’ve just created an even MORE passive aggressive guy.

And as he’s become more PA, I’ve become more controlling.

That being said though, I have not become more controlling only because of his defense against it. It’s also a result of being financially dependent on someone else and I don’t see that as his fault at all.

When I start to think in such a way where I’m looking at myself and what my actions have been to contribute to the dynamic, and then talk to someone about it, I expect one of two things. Either the person will think of me as making excuses for HIM and that he is actually abusive or just see what I’ve done and said and judge me as the abusive one.

But I don’t see either one to be true. Although I probably have more shitty feelings about myself than I do about him, I can see the toxic cycle we are in pretty clearly. It’s not a case of denial to the point where I think he’s all good and I”m all bad.  I think I went through that when I first discovered how bad his PA behavior actually are. Seeing his behavior for what it is, helped me to see where some of my reactions are coming from.

PA remarks can feel like punches to the gut and leave you very confused.  So yeah, although he’s a quiet guy and I’m the one flying off the handle, yelling, he’s no innocent.  So I do see it.  But I’m not fault free here either.

Even though, it’s helpful and awakening, to see and understand the toxic behavior of someone else toward you, true progress doesn’t come from focusing on someone else and their behaviors. It comes from seeing, understanding and working hard to change your own.