An Old Poem

I apologize for not having posted for awhile. I’ve been busy. I’m essentially fleeing my apartment, crashing with my dad for a few months (hopefully) before moving out of state to live with my sister and her family and go to college. So I’ve been frantically packing and trying to get things in order. Moving is expensive. Moving twice in 5 months is really expensive, especially since I hadn’t planned on it and have almost nothing saved.

Anyway, I’m packing and getting rid of anything that I don’t want to pay to store then move out of state. In going through boxes, I found a poem I wrote for a friend of mine when I was a senior in high school. My friend, who was not a close friend but someone I partied with, died suddenly. She was 20 years old and she fell down an elevator shaft late one night. She’d been drinking and trying to light the way with her cell phone. While I had lost my dad at 15, this was the first time I’d lost someone my own age.

This poem doesn’t have a title, but it was folded up with this handwritten on the outside: Germaine, RIP at 20 years old. Thanks for the smiles and the hugs. Thanks for making me feel like I BELONGED. Thanks for making Eric happy. The world is less without your smile. Falling from the sky shouldn’t hurt.

Here’s the poem (in its unedited, over-dramatic, teenage angst glory):

Let’s go around the loop.
I’m not fit for this world.
I’m scared of the silence at night
when I hear trucks outside my window.
I’m scared to think of real things.
What if I cry?
I’d never stop.
Just yesterday
driving home
thinking of her
and
what if I’d said yes to a cigarette?
I wanted to.
Now she’s gone and she’ll never bum me one.
She’ll never smoke
She’ll never drink
She’ll never hug
She’ll never look so damn cute that people want to hate her
but can’t
because she’s too sweet.
It’s icy outside
and I’m sliding around
and I’m scared I’m going to hit a tree.
I’m just not fit for this world.
Why can’t I cry?
Why am I crying?
Inside
not out.
I’m scared of the cold.
It’s cold with no arm around me
and I’m scared to be alone.
Let’s go around the loop again.
Spray paint on a bridge saying
“RIGHT NOW”
What if right now doesn’t work for me?
Tell the gods I’m listening
I’m just busy right now.
My own pathetic life
wrapped in my own pathetic dreams.
There’s no reason to write
when no one can read.
No one can comprehend.
I’m too young to be here.
I’m too young to do this.
Where was my childhood?
Playing “Luke Landwalker” loses its innocence
when I’m too scared to go outside.
I shouldn’t know the meaning of rape.
I shouldn’t know the meaning of death.
I shouldn’t know the shake of fear
or the taste of tears.
Let’s go around the loop again.
Trying to clear my head.
What’s she going to do?
Is he okay?
What were her last thoughts
before she hit the ground?
Why do I feel guilty?
Other kids worry about college.
I worry about what’s growing in my friend’s stomach.
I worry about a boy I don’t even know
getting charged for tresspassing
after watching a girl die.
I worry about my health.
I don’t want to be here
but I’m not ready to leave quite yet.
How many coats of paint can you put on a wall
before it falls from the weight of it all?
One more loop.
Light a cigarette while there’s still time.
We all die anyway so what’s the difference?
Is it harder to lose a dad at 15
than a daughter who’s 20?
Will asking the question change the answer?
What do you do
when you don’t know what to do?
Death is a natural part of life
but I don’t appreciate that logic.
Logic is for people who have no souls.
Paint a picture, goddammit!
Pain is not beauty
it just is what it is.
A broken heart is an understatement.
You can cry until your pillow’s soaked
but it won’t bring them back.
Will driving backwards reverse time?
Let’s go around again.
Fuck the assholes
who joke about death.
Too often I’ve been one of them.
I dwell, I know
but if I thought I could help it
I’d try.
A girl is gone
but time goes on.
Let’s go around the loop again.

 

“The Loop,” for anyone wondering, is a path that all the kids drove around art school to smoke. The day of Germaine’s funeral, I spent half of the school day driving around The Loop over and over again, crying and chain-smoking. It’s been 8 years and I barely remember. But this poem brought a lot of it back. I thought it was worth sharing.

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I Like You Better When _______

I had a review at work the other day that was not exactly the best review I’ve ever gotten. But there was one part of it that actually hurt my feelings. As always, I was told that I am too chatty. I have gotten the same criticism on every review since kindergarten. Yep, I’m chatty. It doesn’t interfere with my work and it rarely interferes with others’, so I don’t really take it personally. Except this time my boss said that I seem to be chattier when I’m happy, and we really need to go back to where I was 6 months ago. I wanted to ask, “When I was going through my soul-crushing divorce?”

My ex husband used to say he liked me better when I was depressed. That I’m annoying when I’m happy. My mom has said the same thing.

It’s awfully frustrating to know that you are liked better when you’re depressed. I work so hard to be happy, but to what end? I’m not trying to be annoying. I’m genuine in everything I do, both depressed and happy.

I just finished reading I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp by Richard Hell. The writing was a little more pretentious than I usually prefer and it didn’t really have an ending, but I’m glad I read it. He has some great stories and he talked about addiction in a very matter-of-fact way. It’s just something some people go through and it doesn’t make anyone a better or worse person. (To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with pretentious writing; it’s just not my thing. It’s the same reason I don’t enjoy most poetry or classic literature.) He also talked a lot about his song “Blank Generation” and his album cover that has a picture of him with the words, “You make me _____” written across his chest.

I feel like my entire life has consisted of me telling me that they like me better when _____. “I like you better when you’re sad.” “I like you better when you’re drunk.” “I like you better when you’re not following your dreams.”

I like me better when I’m happy. I like me just the way I am.

I saw a thing on Tumblr today that I seriously want on a t-shirt. It had 4 phrases that I am going to start chanting in front of the mirror.

“I will not hide my mental illness for your comfort. My existence doesn’t require you’re approval.”

“Just because my mental illness is easier some days than others doesn’t mean it isn’t real and serious.”

“My mental illness doesn’t make me strong or interesting. I do.”

“Having a mental illness doesn’t mean you have to behave a certain way. All mentally ill people are different, just like all people are different.”

It’s been a rough couple of weeks but my sister and her family are on their way to see me right now. I have a few things I need to get done before they get here. I haven’t had much ambition, but at least I know that they will still love me, even if I still have some dirty dishes in my sink. They don’t like me better when anything. They just like me.

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Small Acts of Kindness

I’ve had a tough week. It’s nothing I particularly want to talk about because I’ve been talking about it all week. My friends are supportive and have listened nicely, but they don’t seem to understand the fundamental problem. I know there are solutions to the issues I’m facing, but I am mentally and emotionally incapable of carrying out those solutions. This week, for the first time in my life, I feel mentally ill. The trauma that caused my PTSD occurred when I was 6. I was diagnosed with clinical depression sometime when I was in middle school. I was diagnosed with PTSD a few years ago. But I have never felt mentally ill. I have always felt like a bit of a weirdo, but a fairly normal person who has bouts of mental instability. This week, though, I have no doubt whatsoever that I am indeed mentally ill. I have spent the entire week paralyzed with anxiety, unable to sleep or take proper care of myself. My apartment is a wreck, I’m constantly crying, and my shoulders are so tense that I can’t lift my arms over my head without severe pain.

The external causes for this are minor. My landlords are doing some repairs in my apartment and they are poor communicators and I had a very uncomfortable conversation with my brother. That’s it. But my brain is so broken that I have not reacted well to having my home disrupted. My home is my safe place. Without my safe place, I’m reduced to a cowering pile of useless terror, apparently. I’m faking normalcy well enough, I think, but it’s wearing.

I was thinking a lot yesterday about random acts of kindness that have made my life better. It calmed me down somewhat and I actually got a decent night’s sleep. Then today I had a fairly good day, and another small act of kindness by a stranger once again made my day. I’m a big proponent of these little acts, as they go a long way toward improving someone’s day.

I’d like to share some that have stuck with me, starting with today and going back to when I was a little kid.

Today I decided to go see the Veronica Mars movie. I needed some alone time and I’d been really looking forward to it. It was good, and if you’re a Veronica Mars fan you will love it. It felt like an old friend coming home. But that’s beside the point. I tried to take a shower before I left, but the hot water wasn’t working, so I just threw on some old jeans, a Star Wars shirt, and a hat to hide my gross hair, and left. I got to the theatre and actually found a good parking spot, which never happens in that mall, so I was already feeling a little better. I bought my ticket and headed in. The ticket taker was a young, mentally challenged man. He tore my ticket and told me that he really liked my outfit, especially my shoes. I thanked him and he told me I looked amazing. I thanked him profusely and told him to have a good day. We waved at each other when I left.

A couple years ago I was meeting my ex-husband and a couple of his friends at a restaurant. (I have probably shared this story before, but it’s worth sharing again.) My marriage was crumbling and we all knew it, although no one talked about it. I’d had a long day at work and desperately did not want to go out to dinner. Traffic was bad and I was running late. I was stressed and miserable. I pulled into the parking ramp and paid the $5 to park. The parking attendant said, “I hope you’re meeting someone special because you look wonderful. You have the most beautiful smile.” I thanked him, parked, went inside, and had an uncomfortable dinner. The thing is, I didn’t mind the uncomfortable dinner because that man made me feel so good. On the way out I told him that he had completely turned my night around and I really appreciated it. He thanked me for smiling and talking to him. He said most people don’t acknowledge him as a person.

I was in the hospital when I was in 2nd grade. I had to undergo all sorts of invasive tests to determine the cause of my gastrointestinal distress. It was scary and unpleasant. For one test I had to drink a whole bunch of barium sulfate. I was trying so hard, but eating or drinking anything made me sick and this stuff was disgusting. I was in tears and my mom was at the end of her rope. A nurse stopped by and saw me struggling. She took me by the hand and led me down the hall to a little kitchen. She pulled some chocolate syrup out of the fridge and squirted a whole bunch into my glass. It still didn’t taste good, but it tasted good enough to finish the glass.

Around the same time, some friends and I were meeting at a park to play. We stopped at Dairy Queen and used pocketfuls of change to buy a couple slushies to share between the three of us. I whined about wanting my own and picking my own flavor, then I dropped it and spilled it everywhere when we got to the park. My friend could’ve easily said, “tough luck.” I wouldn’t have blamed her. Even at the time, I knew I’d been a brat but I wasn’t yet mature enough to apologize. Instead of acting like any other kid that age, she handed hers over to me and we shared.

None of these people probably remember any of this. Likewise, I try to be a good person and I’m fairly certain that I’ve made someone’s day at least once, but I don’t know for sure. These little acts can be the difference between life isn’t worth living and maybe things will be okay. I am mentally ill. I know I am. I know because I’ve spent all week scared of my landlord for no good reason. However, these little acts are what keep me from giving up.

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Hero Worship

I called my brother three times over the course of three days before he finally called me back. When he did, our conversation didn’t go as I had hoped. I wanted to tell him that I got into school. Starting in the fall, I will finally be a college student. It’s happening eight years later than I wanted, but it’s finally happening. My brother has always been the biggest supporter of me going back to school. Yet, he wasn’t thrilled. Instead, he spent nearly a half hour trying to convince me to call my mother, forgive her, and reconnect. I don’t want to call my mother and there is no possible way I can forgive her without at least getting an apology from her. I made it clear that she needs to apologize if she wants to reconnect and she has not done so. I made it clear to my brother that this was not an option.

However, when I got off the phone, I wanted to email my mom (I don’t actually have her phone number) because I desperately want to please my brother.

I went online and appealed to a mental health support group that I am a part of. They were immediately supportive right away and reminded me of all the reasons why I should not contact my mother. Then I texted some friends. Then I finished off a bottle of wine, watched Game of Thrones, and went to bed early.

My misery in this whole situation is that I love my brother above all else and I desperately want to please him, but we don’t really know each  other anymore. He is the only person in my life who is biologically related to me and has known me my whole life. He is and has always been my hero. I love him and adore him. He’s my big brother.

The problem with memory, especially memory viewed through a PTSD lens, especially memory of a trauma when viewed through a PTSD lens, is that it tends to be inaccurate. When I remember that night where my father threatened to kill me and pushed me down the stairs, I remember that my brother saved my life. In my mind, he is back-lit in golden light, like when Stacker Pentecost steps out of his Jaeger to save young Mako Mori in Pacific Rim. My brother has become this near-mythological figure. In reality, he did what any 12-year-old would do: he got his 6-year-old little sister to safety and called our mom.

My brother was the person I called when things got bad with my mom. He would come pick me up and he would calm me down. He’s the person I went to when I was a teenager trying to make it on my own with barely any money. He taught me how to drive. He took me to see Les Miserables when any other self-respecting teenager would’ve taken a girlfriend. He introduced me to so many nerdy things that I still love and obsess over today. He has always been my idol.

When he joined the military, I was devastated. I didn’t know how I’d deal with him being so far away and I couldn’t handle the thought of something happening to him. I didn’t cope well. He came home briefly when our father was in the hospital, but didn’t stick around long enough for the funeral. We’ve never talked about it. I told myself that he couldn’t stay because he was in the military. Maybe that was true. I don’t want to know if it wasn’t. Every time he was in the Middle East, I resolutely did not think about it. I was so opposed to the war and the thought of my brother being a part of it was more than I could deal with. The thought that he might die was something I could not think about. He did several tours, and we communicated less each time.

When he came home, he stayed out of state.

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Solid Life Advice

When I was in high school I had a drama teacher who was wonderful to me. She encouraged my dreams and nurtured my talent, ultimately helping me get into art school. We still keep in touch, 9 years later. I worry that I am a disappointment to her. After all, she’s a published author and playwright. She has two beautiful children and is still involved in the acting world. She was one of the very few adults in my life who supported me, and I let her down many times over.

She gave me the best advice- both for acting and for life- that I’ve ever received. I was doing a play directed by her in which I played a character that was upset. I don’t remember which play it was, as I did several with her and I always played upset characters. You see, I can cry on command, and that makes me valuable for a very specific role. Especially in high school. Anyway, so I was playing a character that was upset, but there was a problem: I couldn’t stop laughing at one particular line. I tried, but it was no use. The line was funny and I couldn’t say it without laughing aloud.

I went to my teacher after rehearsal. I was so frustrated and I needed her advice. I take acting seriously, and I took it seriously then. I probably took it more seriously in high school when I believed that I was going to be an Actor and everything I did mattered. I explained my situation: my character was supposed to cry three lines later, but I couldn’t help but laugh. How do I make myself not laugh at something that is funny? It’s so much worse when you know you’re not supposed to laugh. Then what was once mildly amusing becomes hilarious.

She told me, “Whatever you’re feeling is the correct thing to feel.” That changed my life.

With acting it gave me freedom I’d never had before. With this specific situation, it meant that just because my character laughed, it didn’t mean she was happy. I could turn that laughter into tears more easily than if I were to try and not laugh and then try to cry. With every subsequent character, it allowed me to give them more humanity. When I played a little girl dying of cancer who so desperately wanted to be an astronaut, it let me use the fear I felt for my own bleak future. When I played a frazzled receptionist, I was able to take the stress of my life and bring it out in panicked typing and phone calls. It is the first thing I think of when I portray a character, and it was my first insight into method acting.

It gives me a certain freedom in life as well. I don’t know if any of you remember that really stupid Comedy Central movie from 2002, Porn ‘n’ Chicken, but there’s a philosophical line that goes, “If you want to eat a pizza, eat a pizza.” (Side note, stupidity aside, I love that movie.) It’s the same thing. Basically, it gives my emotions validation. If I’m happy, then it is correct to be happy, even if no one else around me is happy or if the person I’m with tells me that I’m “really annoying” when I’m happy. If I’m sad, I have every right to be sad. It doesn’t matter if other people think I should be over my dad’s death by now, or if other people view something as good news but I don’t. Whatever I’m feeling is the correct thing to feel.

Day before yesterday I got a letter from my college. It kind of hit me that I’m going to college next fall. I’m moving to a new state and I am going to college. My sister and her whole family jumped up and down and cheered. My coworker brought me flowers and chocolate. I have cried myself to sleep two nights in a row. I have cried in the car. I have cried in a boat, with a goat, in the rain, on a train, in a car, in a tree, in a box, with a fox, in a house, with a mouse . . . you get the idea.

You see, when I was a teenager and all of my classmates were going off to college, I was jealous. I didn’t know how to go to school and all of the people in my life who should’ve been supportive were not. For 9 years I have struggled just to go to school. Now that I’m going to a shitty 2-year school with the hope of transferring, I am upset. Yes, I want to go to school. Yes, I want to move in with my sister. Yes, I want to be a teacher. Yes, all of this is good. But I am upset because it all should’ve happened a long time ago. I had big dreams and the brains and grades to match, but I was missing the biggest piece of the success puzzle: a support network. It’s not fucking fair and if I want to be upset about it, then I’ll be upset about it.

I have a solid support network now. They’re just not biologically related to me. I love them so much and I can’t even begin to say how grateful I am. But I wish the family I was born with had been the family I deserve.

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Happiness Makes You Cry

Sorry I’ve been so absent lately. It’s partly because I’ve been busy and it’s partly because I’ve been happy. I don’t feel as strong of an urge to post when I’m happy.

Let’s go over my last week or so.

A week and a half ago I took a friend of mine to go see a screening of Coriolanus with Tom Hiddleston. It was beautiful. The cast was talented, the interpretation was interesting, and the costume designer is now my personal hero. Anyone who puts Mr. Hiddlesface in ultra-tight pants and then a nearly sheer gown becomes my favorite person in the world. After the show, my friend took me out to dinner at my favorite restaurant. We ate and laughed, and then I drove her home. I’m in Minnesota, so it was a long, slow, slippery drive, but it was worth it.

Then I had a date with a very nice man. We went to see “Elephant’s Graveyard” at a local theatre. The play was beautiful.

Work has been good. I’ve applied to school and expect to start in the fall. I went on a few more dates with the same man, all fun. A friend asked me to collaborate on a graphic novel with her.

There have been a couple frustrating days. Last Saturday the lock on my apartment broke and I realized just how shitty my landlords are. I went 13 hours without a lock on my door. I was 5 and a half hours late to work. But my friends are kind and after work I went out to a show (a circus arts variety show) and things got better.

Happiness is hard for me to cope with. I don’t trust it. It never lasts and I can’t seem to manage to enjoy it while it’s here. Every time I have a particularly good night, I find myself wishing I could just end things so they would end on a positive note. It’s a fleeting feeling, but it’s still there.

I’m hoping to change that. School is a new adventure. I’m moving away from the city into a small town. I’m moving in with my sister and her family, trading a life of quiet solitude for a house filled with kids and pets. I’m going back to school after having been out for 9 years. New adventures. New experiences.

I read an article today about how creative people process things differently. It was interesting to read something that I could relate to so strongly that didn’t have to do with mental illness. It’s helpful to have reminders sometimes that my PTSD isn’t the only thing going on in my brain. Just as it is nice to remember that sometimes I have two weeks in a row where things are pretty good.

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An Open Letter to My Sister

I got a long series of texts from my sister today that I’m going to start by duplicating here:

“I am probably going to ramble a little, so I apologize in advance for my nonsensical texts that follow . . . I couldn’t sleep early this morning, so I started reading your blog. I have been a terrible reader and not kept up. I read from end to beginning and by the time I woke the kids up for school, I had experienced every emotion possible. I started daydreaming about all the ways I can make up some of the wrongs that have been done to you. In an overly dramatic, I can’t explain why, fashion, I feel the need to wrap my arms around you and tell you that you ate (sic.) one of the most beautiful ‘gurls’ I have ever met. Truly, inside and out. You are kind and honest and an amazing friend. I want to help you in any way you need. You said you felt like you had two different lives, one here and one in Minnesota. Of course, I want you here, and to be happy here, but if you find you have bigger or different dreams, I want to help you achieve those, too. Not ate one of the beautiful . . . you ARE one of the beautiful. Yikes . . . that changes everything . . . hehe. I want to slap [your ex husband], run your mother over with my van (because running her over in a mini-van is much more colorful than just a car), I feel the need to track down everyone who has ever hurt you and ask them what the hell is wrong with them. So I have spent the morning trying to come up with ways to show you that you absolutely deserve love, the kind of love that you question exists, and I promise to try and help you see that you deserve so much more!! I don’t mean to be all cheesy and sentimental, and I really hope this doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable. I feel like, until I met you, I haven’t really ever experienced friendship. That I have had ‘friends’ that were convenient or needed something. I am forever grateful that you have come into my life. I wasn’t going to get all emotional and sappy, but a little bit ago, my dad called and told me that the sweet friend that helped [my brother] at his worst, who got him into rehab and paid for some of it, recently died, of an overdose. It put, once again, what is important into perspective and I just felt the need to tell you that I love you . . . hehe . . . and I was so cheesy . . . that I couldn’t help but go here . . . ‘You are good enough. You are smart enough. And doggone it, people like you.’ Stuart Smalley. I had to end on a lighter note. :)”

That was 23 texts, if you were curious.

So I’d like to respond. You may be wondering why I’m responding on here, rather than texting back or calling her. I did text a response, but I couldn’t think of what to say. Truthfully, my response would be far more than 23 texts, and too emotional for a phone call. You’ve all been on this journey with me, and I feel like I need to respond publicly. I hope my sister is not offended (although if she is, she should tell me and I’ll take this down). I just need to get my long, convoluted response out there.

To my dear sister,

I did not know what family really meant until I met you. I love my biological brother dearly, but even at our closest, we have never had the relationship that you and I have. My mom and I have had a difficult relationship nearly my entire life. My dad wasn’t there, for the most part. I was close to my grandparents, very close, until I hit adulthood and they disowned me. The aunt that I am close to now wasn’t around when I was growing up. I didn’t meet her brother until a couple years ago and we barely exchanged 10 words. I have 2 sets of aunts and uncles on my mom’s side. I’ve never met one set, and have never been close to the other. My step dad and I are reasonably close now, but weren’t at all when I was growing up. I can’t emphasize that enough.

When I was 8 or 9, before my step dad adopted me, my parents were remodeling the house. I had to go with them to pick out carpet. I hated the pattern they picked. Hated. I know now that, because I’m colorblind, I probably saw it differently than they did. It made me nauseous and I didn’t want it in our house. They made it very clear that it was their house and I just lived there. My opinion did not count. (Now, I’m not saying 9-year-olds should have as much say in the decoration of the house as the adults, but maybe they deserve a little input.) On the car ride home, I was in a terrible mood. I cried in the back seat until my dad turned around and yelled at me. He was really harsh. I don’t remember the exact words, but it was way over the line. I yelled back that I hated him. (Also out of line, but I was 9, he was an adult.) He responded that he didn’t like me and would never like me.

We’re close now, but it took me many years to get beyond that.

I have never doubted that you love me. I know that you support me and care about me. I go to you with all of my problems and all of my good news. You are my sister.

I was telling my coworker a story on our lunch break yesterday. Actually, it’s a funny story and somewhat relevant, so tangent-

About 8 years ago I got a new phone. It was a new number and I wasn’t able to transfer any of my contacts. So, for a few months, I picked up every time it rang, since I couldn’t tell if an unknown number was a friend or a telemarketer. I answered the phone one afternoon and a very sweet voice said, “Hey! How are you?” I didn’t recognize it, but I thought I could figure it out. So we chatted casually for a few minutes, but I could not place the voice. So I said, “I’m really sorry, but who is this?” She said, “It’s your sister.” I paused, then said, “I don’t have a sister.” Yeah, I had a 5 minute conversation with her and neither of us realized we didn’t know each other.

So, I told that story to my coworker, and she laughed, but looked confused. “But, don’t you have a sister?”

Because I talk about you all the time and I refer to you as my sister. Any friends I’ve made in the past 5 years or so don’t know that we’re not biologically related, that we didn’t actually meet until we were adults. I will argue adamantly that we are sisters. And I will fight anyone who says your kids aren’t my niblings. (Gender neutral term for nieces and nephews. Seriously, it is my mission to get this word into our everyday vocabulary.) I haven’t been in a fight in a long time, but if anyone wanted to debate my relationship with your kids, I would punch them in the face. Your kids are my whole world.

I can’t wait to move in with you. I was conflicted for so long as to what to do with my life, but I feel confident now. I want a family. Unconventional as it may be, you are my family. I’m blown away by your support. No one has ever offered to help me the way you have. Plus, there are so many times when I just really need to hug one of your kids and it kills me that I can’t. It kills me that I’m missing them grow up.

I have had some bad things happen to me. If I were a different person with a different world view, I would say the world owes me. Or, at the very least, I’m karmicly due. I don’t believe that, I think things just happen. It’s easier to just live life like a dog with it’s head hanging out the car window, taking everything as it comes and just being happy to be along for the ride. But, if I did believe the world owed me something good, I’d also believe that you are that payment. Cheesy, I know, but you and your family are the best thing that has ever happened to me. I feel like I belong somewhere now.

I would like to believe that love exists and that I deserve it. If there is anyone I trust to help make me believe that, it’s you.

Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for supporting me. I hope I can be half as good a sister and friend to you as you are to me.

I love you and I’m so glad you’re in my life.

Love,

Sheena

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I Need to Limit My Caffeine Intake

I just need to walk you guys through yesterday and today. It’s been a weird roller coaster.

Yesterday I was the closing manager at work. Never mind that I’m not actually a manager. I’m trained and it was a switch as a favor to the assistant manager. That’s fine. But it was a crazy night and I was stressed. This was the first time closing with our new computer system and I wasn’t super confident.

I got home late last night and my cat would not let me sleep. My back is sore from the recent tattoo work so I’ve been sleeping on my stomach. Yeti doesn’t like it when I sleep on my stomach. He cried and cried and then sat on the back of my head. So I finally flipped over and he slept on my chest. He was happy but I couldn’t sleep now because my back hurt and there was a furry butt in my face. I finally got to sleep about 3 hours before my alarm went off. I had a dream that I was at a wedding at some museum where my old high school was also having a field trip. I stole my cousin’s baby and ran off with Nick Cutter from Primeval. When I woke up I couldn’t stop thinking about how sad I was that I didn’t have a baby or a boyfriend. (I’m always sad when Douglas Henshall isn’t my boyfriend, so that’s nothing new.)

I got to work and was so sleepy I could barely function. A couple of my coworkers and I started pestering our supervisor about wanting cake until he broke down and bought us cake. A couple cans of soda and pieces of cake later, I was having the best day ever.

Until one customer ruined it all. She threw a 45 minute fit. She sold us something she didn’t mean to and wanted to get it back without repaying the money we gave her for it. By the time I got off of work, I was exhausted and crabby again.

I managed to get my good mood somewhat back on the drive home (although I really wish liquor stores were open on Sundays in MN). I got home and started watching Bo Burnham’s special what. (Watch it here. It’s hilarious.) Then I paused it to watch Tom Hiddleston on Top Gear. And he said something in his interview that made me freak the fuck out.

He’s going to be in Guillermo del Toro’s new movie. Tom Hiddleston is going to be in Guillermo del Torro’s new movie. With Burn Fucking Gorman! My very favorite director is making a movie with my #3 and #1 celebrity crushes (respectively)! Look!

I posted a caps lock frenzied mess on Facebook and had a ridiculous text conversation with my best friend. Then I hyperventilated. Seriously. Couldn’t breathe. Too excited. So I took a long shower to calm down and then texted my sister.

I didn’t mean for our conversation to get deep, but it did. I’ve become increasingly celebrity obsessed. At 26, I am as bad as I was at 13. I care more about both the celebrities and the fictional characters they portray than I do about my own life. If I think to hard about how true that statement is, it makes me cry.

I have never been in love. I loved my ex-husband, honestly, I did, but we were never “in love.” There was never any romance. Every relationship I’ve had has involved me settling. I will work hard to stay with anyone who is willing to tolerate me. It used to be that I had such a low opinion of myself that I didn’t think I deserved any better. Now I have much higher self esteem. I’m awesome and deserve good things. But I can’t seem to apply that to relationships. I can’t stand up for myself and I can’t seem to believe that someone could be nice to me and be attractive and want to be with me. I’m so scared of settling again that I avoid thinking about it by obsessing about celebrities. Then I feel bad for obsessing about celebrities.

When did my life get so pathetic?

I have a school tour coming up next week. If all goes well, I hope to go back to school next fall. At 26, nearly 27, I will be starting where I left off at 18. That’s scary. But there will also be a new Guillermo del Toro movie, so maybe life isn’t so bad.

 

p.s. For anyone who read my previous post, I did get that tattoo work done. We got 5 celestial bodies colored (Mercury, Venus, the moon, Mars, and Jupiter). It cost less than I anticipated and I am so happy with the result.

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Money Money Money

I have identified most of my triggers and I am getting better at controlling and curbing my reactions by the day. There’s one exception: money.

I am poor. I work retail. I live alone with my cat in the city. My rent is 40% of my income. My other bills make up another 15%. Groceries, gas, cat food, litter, toilet paper, hair dye, and all those other little things that add up so quickly take up the rest of my income. I try very hard to stick to a budget, and I’m pretty good at it for the most part, but it doesn’t leave much for me to save. If I’m lucky, I can put away $100/month, but more often than I’d like, some small emergency (or large emergency) comes up and that money is gone.

My brakes went out in December. Luckily it was perfectly timed so my Christmas money from my grandparents covered it with nothing left over. The mechanic also found a crack in my radiator, which I couldn’t afford to fix at the time. Still can’t, but it needs to be done. So my car’s at the shop.

I need it fixed now so I can drive to Wisconsin in a couple weeks for a school tour. I’ve decided I’m going back to school. I picked a school, found a place to live, and set up an appointment for a tour. I have yet to apply, so nothing’s a sure thing, but I’m looking forward to it. Other than the whole not having a job and having to live off of loans for the foreseeable future. That terrifies me and makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry.

This month is going to be tough. I’m not sure how I’m going to afford it all and I’m panicking.

Here’s the thing, though: I wouldn’t have to worry so much if I cancelled my tattoo appointment tomorrow.

But I can’t! I haven’t been in since 2011 and my back piece is 2/3 completed. I have had this money set aside for this specific purpose for months and I refuse to let it go. If I’m going to move out of state to go to school, I want my back piece done beforehand. It’s been too long and, even though I’m scared of how bad it will hurt (there’s a big patch of scar tissue), even though I can’t afford it, I need to do this. I need to. I can’t be rational about it.

Yep. I’m fighting off a panic attack because I don’t know how I’m going to pay my bills but I’m going to drop a few hundred dollars on a tattoo. I’m an idiot. I know.

It feels like I am suddenly afraid to be an adult. I’d been doing so well. I’ve been responsible for so long. I’ve paid all of my bills on time and my pets have never gone hungry. I got my goddamn adoption certification. I am a divorced adult who has worked at the same place for 5 and a half years, which is damn impressive for someone who is 26 years old.

Now that all feels scary, though. I just want to sit in my underwear and watch tv. It’s not depression; I know what depression feels like. I just want to be irresponsible with my money, just this once. But I can’t do it without severe anxiety.

And I have the money song from Cabaret in my head.

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Let’s Talk About Sex (Baby)

First of all, I apologize for getting that terrible song in your head. If you don’t know what song I’m talking about, please take a moment and appreciate yourself.

Okay, I learned the other night that I am more damaged than I previously suspected. I have some severe intimacy issues. If you don’t want to hear about my sex life, stop reading here.

Still in?

Here goes:

Night before last, I had my first threesome. It was great until I started crying and left. Let’s explore why I freaked out, shall we?

1. There was too much attention focused on me. And it was all positive. They were patient enough to bring me all the way to orgasm, which is a first. They watched me and wanted more from me and all of a sudden, it was too much. I’ve never had one person that focused on me, let alone two. I could handle having things done to me while being watched, but suddenly the thought of doing things to someone else while being watched was more than I could handle.

2. I am more attracted to the woman than the man and I got super panicky that I was giving her too much attention or that I was ignoring her so no one suspected that I was more into her. It was too much. I just wanted it to be over so I could relax.

3. They really like me. I have kept sex and emotions separate for a long time. I don’t care about them the way they care about me and I’m uncomfortable being with people who actually care about me.

4. They live half a block away from where I was living when I got married. So when I was freaking out and having a panic attack while chain smoking and driving home at 1 A.M., I had to drive past my old apartment, and my house, and the place where I got my tattoo right before the wedding, and the DMV where we always went together so neither of us had to be bored, and all of these other relationship landmarks that I’d prefer to not think about.

So, I’ve been avoiding these two because I don’t know how to explain any of this without sounding any crazier than I actually am. We’ve been out twice, but they keep texting because they’re concerned about me and still want to see me again.

I cancelled all of my plans yesterday and went shopping. Retail therapy helped a bit, but it didn’t solve all my problems.

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