Happy Otter

A New Me in 2013!

So much to update....

Things are fantastic with my boyfriend, hopefully soon-to-be fiancé.  We have been together now for almost two years-- it'll be two years on February 23rd.  Wow.  It's amazing to me that I've been with a partner this long & that I've been HAPPY.  He convinced me to find a therapist last year & my doctor also put me on Wellbutrin XL this year.  Both together have made SO much difference!

Around this time last year I was still so broken from the trauma that my ex-LT put me through, but I have come SO far since!  I am actually happy, really happy, most of the time.  I've been able to get my even-keel back & it is fantastic!  I still have my days that are hard but I'm coping so much better.  It really helps that I have basically THREE best friends now-- & I hope to marry one of them in the next few years-- that I can turn to when I need support & a therapist who really helps me with ALL of my issues.

Recently Luke & I took our first real out of town trip, just the two of us.  It was so amazing.  We didn't have an argument even ONCE!  We went to Grand Prairie, Texas for the Hallowe'en Twins of Evil concert/Freaker's Ball.  The line up was DJ Devil (Jon Davis of Korn), Marilyn Manson, & Rob Zombie, but the line up changed from DJ Devil to DJ Starscream (Sid Wilson of Slipknot) a couple weeks before the concert.  I was a little bummed because I've been wanting to see DJ Devil.

The hotel we stayed at was ironically, in a dry county, so we had to go a little ways to pick up alcohol in Arlington, Texas.  The hotel concierge gave us directions to a store called Big Daddy's.  It was so damn BIG & SPACIOUS, just like their business name promises!  There was almost every kind of alcohol ever there & there was so much space to walk around!  It was pretty awesome.  We ended up getting Luke some Bacardi & 12 pack of Coke, while I got a shot glass & some Petrón Silver <3.  We had plenty of booze & indeed still have a ton left in our fridge.

Luke & I got all dressed up for the concert.  I recycled an old Candy Corn Witch costume from SpiritHalloween.com (sans hat) that I never got to wear years ago, added a long-sleeved fishnet shirt that I've had since high school, garter belt with fishnet stockings, inch-wide lace choker, an amazingly cool violet UV LED cube necklace that I found on ThinkGeek.com, my knee-high big black boots (or as my mother has called them for years-- my hooker boots), & a pair of Necomimi ears from Neurosky.com.  It was really adorable & more modest than it sounds due to my height making the skirt come almost to my knees.  The batteries in the ears died about half-way through the concert & I found that the LED necklace turns itself off after a while, but it was so much fun!

Luke had no idea what he was going to do for a costume.  He wanted to go as the Big Boner Skeleton costume from SpiritHalloween.com, but then he wanted to go as a nerd, or maybe a zombie, or maybe not dress up at all?  He just could never make up his mind, so we ended up smearing some fake blood on the bottom half of his face, he wore his Christie's Toy Box shirt from when he used to work there many moons ago, & used some Liquid Skin BandAide stuff to paste a clean tampon string next to his mouth. He went as a "Good Boyfriend".  He looked awesomely gross enough that many people at the concert would just stare at him in disgust & he'd just smile.  It was really entertaining (& it was my idea, inspired by "shark week").

We decided to take a cab to & from the concert so that we could both drink beforehand & didn't have to worry about parking, etc.  It was a fantastic choice!  We liked that so much that we are going to do that for the next concert we attend, regardless if it's in OKC or not.  It was just a really good way to do it & the fare was not expensive in the least.

We got there just before the time printed on the tickets as when the concert would begin, but they had started DJ Starscream's set early so we only got to catch like the tail-end of one song.  We were a little disappointed, but it soon passed.  The funniest thing to us about the whole thing was that the venue was in a dry county, but there were TWO FULL BARS inside the venue!  It was pretty darn cool.  Most everyone that was there was wearing a costume, which was awesome for us as it quelled some of Luke's anxiety over us possibly being the only people to dress up.  I had previously reassured him that "It is Hallowe'en! The only people who will look odd are the ones who DON'T dress up!"  It was really cool.  Even the waitresses walking around with the tube shots were dressed up adorably.  There were even midgets dressed like the performers!

Marilyn Manson really sucked, like bad.  He had gained weight & didn't bother to tailor his costumes to reflect that so everything he wore fit horribly.  He spent most of his time with his back to the crowd fussing with his make-up.  At one point when he was up in a tower for his set, he started screaming angrily at someone that was backstage.  It was, well, pretty embarrassing.  He also couldn't carry a tune in a bucket!  It was really horrible, but Rob Zombie's set(s) were fucking amazing!

Rob Zombie's sets included giant robots, giant aliens, giant devils, smoke, confetti, fire, awesome set designs, porn, serial killers, and fireworks!  He & his bandmates even wore costumes!  He was a grim reaper, his bassist & guitarist were Gumby & Pokey, & his drummer was a werewolf.  Even his wife & kids were there wearing costumes!  In fact, he introduced Sherry Moon as "the Nerd he married on Hallowe'en"!  It was adorable.  He had so much energy as well-- he never stopped jumping around or dancing or crowd surfing or throwing colorful rubber balls into the audience or whatever.  He was just so much fun to party with.  He also promoted a new movie during the concert with a preview that is supposed to come out in 2013-- Lords of Salem or Hordes of Salem?  I'm not really sure what it was called because I never could see the first word in the title, just the last few letters of it.  It was kind of like a break for the band to rest & hydrate, but they soon were back to just having a total blast on-stage.  Luke & I both were sad when the concert ended.  We will absolutely make sure to go to another Rob Zombie show!

It was really a great trip except for some frustration with the directions we had not matching up with the exits/roads.  We think it was because of the construction that was going on EVERYWHERE.  We decided to just map it on my phone for the trip back.  It was much easier that way.  Luke drove most of the trip until we got back into Ardmore, Oklahoma.  At that point, we gassed up & I drove the rest of the way home while he DJ'd our music in the car.  It was so much fun & we've been able to keep that peace since.

We've gotten so much better at communication.  We talk about EVERYTHING.  It's fucking awesome!

So, November 5th has come & gone.  It wasn't too bad for me.  It certainly was much better than last year.  I made sure Luke knew what day it was so he took it easy on my emotions ie made light-hearted jokes, made sure I didn't misunderstand anything, etc.  His mom's birthday is on that day, so we wished her a happy birthday.  The day actually ended up pretty stressful for us.  His MS symptoms have just been going apeshit lately.  His doc put him on an antidepressant called Celebrex on the previous Friday.  It made everything so much WORSE!  His tremors just would not stop & by the time Monday rolled around, he just couldn't take it anymore.  We also suspect that he had a couple of minor seizures over the weekend.

About half-way through the day, he called me & told me that he was on his way to the doctor's office to have them change something because he hurt so bad & was experiencing horrible double vision & issues speaking/thinking.  The doctor he saw this time wasn't his primary care physician, but Luke has decided that she is WAY better than him!  He liked the fact that she was more holistic in her approach to treatment in general, & she ACTUALLY LISTENED TO HIM & didn't treat him like he was a hypochondriac, like his primary doctor kinda does (he's been Luke's doctor his entire life).  She immediately took him off the old anti-depressant & put him on a different one called Amitriptyline, which as it turns out it also prescribed off-label to help manage MS symptoms!  She also gave him a prescription for Diazapam (Valium) to help with the muscle tremors.  This combo has helped significantly-- so much so that he actually sleeps through the night & feels rested, daresay, even GOOD in the mornings!

She also referred him to a neurologist to get an MRI to see if the brain cyst has changed any over the last 11 years.  He & his mother have been suffering quite a bit of anxiety over this, but I'm doing a pretty good job at keeping my cool about it all.  I keep telling Luke that we already KNOW the outcome of the MRI (even though they haven't told us yet), so there's no sense in obsessing about it, but I also understand his fear. I am hoping that this time around the neurologist will immediately put him on a MS-centric regimen.  I want him as mobile, happy, & alive for as long as possible.

His job (IT for a large company) has been giving him LOADS of grief about his sudden absences, even though it's medical & he has doctor's notes to cover the time off.  There's one supervisor in particular that just won't drop it & keeps harassing Luke & telling him that his job is in jeopardy because of the absences.  It's causing Luke so much extra stress on top of everything else, which just exacerbates his symptoms.  He has a friend at work who is in a different department (but outranks that supervisor) who has been reassuring Luke that they cannot legally fire him for missing work due to medical issues & if they try, he will have his job back in no time.  That is true-- under the Americans with Disabilities Act he cannot legally be fired for missing work to attend doctor's appointments, whether or not he has sick leave or just uses unpaid leave, which is what he's been having to do.  He has an appointment with the head of HR later this week & I have found lots of information about MS & ADA for him to take with him, just in case he needs it.  I told him that we'd nip this shit in the bud before it's another repeat fiasco like Dell.  He's one of the favorites there & is good at what he does.  He's had three promotions in the last year & is a supervisor now.  I am so very proud of him.

As for me, I have my own upcoming ordeal.  On December 12, I will be going through breast reduction surgery.  It's something that I wish I had done years ago, but I was never really in a position to do it.  I am confident that it is the right decision.  I have a small frame (5ft 3in) & my breasts are very dense & heavy.  I started developing around age 9 & by the time I was 12, I was already a C cup.  I am currently a DD & have been since high school.  In fact, the size of my breasts are one of the reasons that I quit gymnastics (as well as a horrible coach that filled in one day for my regular coach; he was spotting me & DROPPED me on my HEAD while he was teaching back tucks-- the silver lining being that it happened on a trampoline instead of the floor).  I'm pretty miserable.  The strain on my back & neck constantly hurts & causes headaches.  Late last year I had a displaced vertebrae & was on muscle relaxers until I could get to a chiropractor to remedy it.  She put my spine back in-line & told me that I have a weirdly shaped spine-- like an upside down question mark-- that's due to slight scoliosis, but that it shouldn't cause me problems.  She said that the cause of the pain was my posture due to the weight of my oversized bust.  I am in constant pain that has been getting worse as I get older & I have what I think may be permanent grooves in my shoulders from bra straps.  I never really consciously noticed just how MUCH pain I was actually in until earlier this year.  My wake-up call occurred when I realized just how much OTC medication I had to take just to cope with the pain daily.

Luke has been very supportive of me in this.  At first when I told him that I was seriously considering breast reduction surgery, he wasn't really on-board because he said he liked me the way that I am.  However, he has changed his mind since as he has begun to understand somewhat how much of a handicap they really are.  He was absolutely SHOCKED when he found how just how expensive good supportive bras were.  He also hates seeing me in constant pain, as he knows what it's like to HURT all the time.  He told me that he will take good care of me through this whole ordeal.  I am very glad about that because I am really going to need him throughout this.  Lucky for me, the surgery date falls on one of Luke's days off so he won't have the headache of trying to get time off work.  Josie said she'd come to the hospital on the day of the surgery, & my mother may come stay the first few days post-surgery to help Luke take care of me as he's a bit squeamish when it comes to blood & may have some trouble with the dressings & drains (should they put those in), but that is still up in the air.

My surgeon is Anureet Bajaj & she is pretty cool.  For my first consultation, she came in wearing leather biker boots that sported chains!  She's very rock & roll.  She's also very tiny-- shorter than me!  She really put me at ease & I didn't experience much anxiety while in her office, which is rare for me to feel anything other than anxiety at a hospital.  I think she will do a FANTASTIC job!

I'm still not too sure how much time I will be away from work.  The surgeon's office said they recommend 2-3 weeks.  My LT has a friend who had breast reduction surgery a few years ago (with complications), & she was back to work after 3 weeks.  I am hoping that I can be one of those cool patients that heal really fast & I can be back to work in a week, but I'm not going to kid myself.  I am going to do this RIGHT.  I only get one chance at this & I am determined to heal as beautifully as possible.  But, hey, it gives me something to shoot for!  I have a post-surgery follow-up on December 27 so I should know more about timelines when they asses my incisions then.  I actually had really mixed feelings when I found out that I was approved for the surgery.  I was so HAPPY!  But then I thought about how I would be screwing over my coworkers because of the date of surgery being the ONLY available date before both the end of the year & the insurance deadline & I felt really guilty. Everything worked out for the best as it turns out the new schedule was actually better than the old one.  WHEW!

I am a little scared about the surgery as I've never had surgery before.  The anesthesia is what makes me most nervous, but I'm sure everything will go fine.  I just hope I don't wake up during surgery or have some weird hangover from it when I wake up, but if I do, I probably won't notice due to the pain elsewhere.

I know that this is going to be a long recovery, but I absolutely believe that it will be worth it!  The pros FAR outweigh the cons.  I know that I will be in a lot of pain for a few months while I'm healing.  I know that I will look like Frankestein's Bride for a while until the incisions heal.  I know that I will be in a lot of pain, I'll be itchy, & will be generally uncomfortable.  I know that I will be forced to sleep on my back for months.  I know I will feel disgusting not being allowed to shower for days.  I know that I also will have trouble dealing with being stuck at home for an indeterminate amount of time.  I know that all of the swelling & bruising will make everything look horrible & wonky & worse than it really is.  I know that I will have to wait a very long time before I even know what size I will end up with.  I know that I will have days when I will think they're still too big or they're too small.  I know that I will have scars that I will hate some days because I'll feel ugly, but I also know that when I think about all the problems I've had all my life due to being top heavy, I will have no doubts that I made the right decision.

The thing I am most looking forward to (aside from not being in constant PAIN) is not having to always wear a bra to go out in public!  I will be able to wear bikini tops without feeling obscene or like I've got buckets of water hanging from my neck!  I will be able to finally buy clothing from popular stores!  My clothes will actually fit & not appear too tight or too frumpy.  Exercise will be SO much easier!  I will be able to buy pretty lingerie that doesn't cost an arm & a leg if I WANT to!  I will be able to try STRAPLESS clothes!  I will also be alleviating my biggest PTSD trigger.  I will no longer be known as "the girl with the big boobs" or be harassed or shamed because of their size.  I will FINALLY be able to see what my figure actually is!  I don't even know if I have HIPS or a BUTT!

This is going to open so many doors for me.  I'll be a completely different person in 2013.  I will get to do so many things that I have NEVER been able to do before!  I am so excited!  I really wish I could have done this years ago, but I am not spending one day more than I have to dealing with this pain every moment.  I have no idea how awesome my new life will be!  I feel like it is FINALLY starting!

Grandmoose's Passing

My Grandmoose passed away a couple of weeks ago.  She had horrible Alzheimer's & has had it for a long time.  My mother says that it's a good thing.  She no longer recognized anyone & she thought she was living in Florala, Alabama, where she grew up.  My mother was actually OK.  I expected her to be much more upset, but she said she was relieved instead-- that finally my grandmother was at peace. 

I was sad about it.  My mother had texted me that morning to let me know that Grandmoose was about to pass on & I called my mother who was only on the phone for five minutes before she had to get off the phone to attend to my grandmother.  When I got off the phone with my mother, I cried & Luke held me.  When I could talk again, I told him what was happening & he was very kind & comforting.  Later that morning, he informed his mother who passed along condolences & suggested all three of us drive down to attend the funeral.  I told Luke, "Tell her thank you, but no thank you."  I didn't think I could be trapped in the same vehicle with her & Luke for that long, especially if one or ALL of us were running on little-to-no sleep & I was emotional-- it's an atomic bomb just waiting to decimate the earth!

I spoke with my mother almost all day on the day that my grandmother passed.  We talked about many things.  She told me about my grandmother's history & that included many things that I had not known about her.  She had been married twice-- the first one very young & to an abusive man who she did not stay married to for very long; the second time to my grandfather, whom I have never met & found from my mother to be deceased.  Her second marriage lasted for about twelve years, during which my grandfather cheated on her multiple times, before finally leaving her for one of his mistresses.  When they had married, he brought two girls from a previous relationship (Jan & Kathy) who my grandmother raised.  Their mother was not competent to be a mother due to mental illness that kept her locked up in a mental ward.  When my grandfather dumped my grandmother, he did so while she had been on a vacation with their children-- Jan, Kathy, Laura (my mother), & Kelye.  He left a note for her telling her to be moved out of the house in about two days, along with the children, so that he could move in his mistress.  According to my mother, my aunt Kelye found my grandfather a few years ago & tried to have a relationship with him, but it turned out that he was a horrible person & she soon abandoned that.  My mother told me that when he died, his wife of many years contacted her & told her that he had loved her & her sisters, & that they should go to his funeral.  My mother told her to fuck off as she never wanted anything to do with him & that she wasn't going to do a damn thing as her OWN husband just died & she was dealing with that!  My mother told me that she found out he had basically stalked her her entire life.  He apparently had a collection of newspaper clippings about my mother-- her high school graduation announcement, her engagement announcement, her marriage announcement, etc.  She said it was very creepy because he never once contacted her to have a relationship at all.  As far as she knows, she was the only one that he "kept track of".

We also talked about how life was when my father was alive.  My mother told me about how she was young & naive when they met & married.  My mother told me that she let him change her, to "allow" her to do or think.  She told me that she wasn't happy & I told her I knew that & had known for many years, even before he passed.  We discussed my brother & she asked me if I thought he had been abused too.  She wondered if he had been sexually abused & if that was the reason for his acting out.  I told her that he never told me of any besides the one time he confided in me in high school about a girl who had been stalking him slipping him a roofie & having sex with him while he was unconscious.  As far as I know, he has never told anyone else about it & I had never spoken of it to anyone until then.  I told her I remember my father frequently "punishing" him ie beating him with whatever was handy, most usually a leather belt with a snakeskin buckle.  My mother was distressed by this & she asked me if I thought she was the worst mother in the world.  I told her no, there were worse mothers out there who hurt their kids.  I told her that I understood that many things happened during then & during the last few years & I knew that everyone had things to deal with.  I told her that I loved her & that all that mattered to me was that she loved me too & that I had a family.  It was a very emotional day.

The funeral was in Florala, Alabama.  It was a fourteen hour drive, but actually ended up being a sixteen hour drive due to construction on every highway that went on for MILES.  I went by myself because Luke couldn't get off work to accompany me.  The funeral was on a Wednesday.  I worked Monday evening & was supposed to leave at 2100hrs when my relief showed up.  That did not happen as my relief took her sweet time just piddling around.  When I asked her if she was ready to take over for me, she looked at me as if she was confused, & asked me, "Aren't you here until 0200hrs?"  I told her, no I wasn't; that I had come in at 1100hrs & I was to leave at 2100hrs when she arrived.  She told me that no one had told her-- that the LT never texted her to tell her of the schedule change.  I told her that it had been approved & updated in the schedule book on Thursday by the LT. (Which was one day before this person returned from her days off-- so she had three days to SEE THE CHANGE.) She finally got all of her shit together & I finally got to leave.... LATE I might add.  The reason I was working the odd hours that day is because I had to get up at 0300hrs on Tuesday to leave town by 0400hrs on my way to Florala, which is on the southern border of Alabama where it meets Florida-- hence the name-- FLOR-ALA.  I was worried about getting as much sleep as I could squeeze into such a short amount of time, but it didn't matter-- I didn't get to bed too soon anyway.

Aside from the construction, the drive was pretty smooth.  Long & frustrating, but relatively smooth.  I got mildly sunburned, like I always do, but I applied sunscreen religiously every hour or so.  I stopped frequently to utilize gas station restrooms & reapplied the sunscreen every time.  I finally got to Florala around 2000hrs & eventually found the house that my family was all staying at.  It was the house that my Grandmoose's brother, Ralph, used to live in.  Since his passing a couple of years ago, his daughter, Rhea, now owns the house with her husband.

My mother & my aunt Kelye, whom I had not seen in years, met me at the drive way & waived me to where I was to park.  As soon as I got out of the car my mother hugged me for a long time & my aunt did as well.  My little brother came out of the house & immediately got my luggage out of the vehicle & carried it inside.  My cousin, Rhea, her husband, my stepdad, & my sister, another aunt, Jan, & her husband, were all sitting on the patio chatting & drinking.  We took my luggage inside & then I joined them outside after I composed myself & swallowed the fear that I felt.

It was awkward for me.  I had not spoken with most of them for years nor had I seen any of them since my father's funeral, except for my mother & my stepdad of course.  My cousin hugged me & told me that she had missed me & that she loved me.  I almost cried, but I held my composure.  My sister hugged me & told me that she had missed me.  My brother did the same, as well as my aunt Jan.  Soon after that everyone except my brother & I went to bed.  We stayed up talking for a while about everything that had happened in his life & in mine since he had gotten married.  We eventually moved to the living room where we were to sleep for the night & he put 'Hook" on the TV, which was comforting for both of us as we used to watch it as children.

The next day I was awakened at 0600hrs by my cousin's dogs barking right next to the cracked window that my couch was under.  It was daylight, so I knew I wouldn't be able to go back to sleep with it as bright as it was, so I went ahead & got up.  I went into the kitchen & Rhea was putting together a "breakfast casserole".  I sat down, my aunt Jan & aunt Kelye came inside, & we chatted over coffee while the breakfast was in the oven.  My sister got up soon after & she pulled up a stool next to mine & we talked about our lives.  She brought up my father & the things that occurred all those years ago & basically told me that she had spoken to my big brother about all of it & flat out told him that she had witnessed my father confessing, so she did believe me.  She told me that she couldn't deal with all of it at the time that it happened & that in addition to that, she & her ex-husband were having problems.  She didn't exactly come out & apologize, but I appreciated what she was telling me.  I got what I needed from the conversation that she initiated-- validation.  She said that she had visited my mother two weeks prior during Spring Break & that they had a conversation about everything that had happened.  She said my mother had urged her to tell me what she had seen & that she believed me.  She said that my mother had told her that I needed to hear it.  I appreciated the fact that she had waited to do it in person.  I told her about what had happened in my life after my father's funeral-- being dirt poor & unable to afford food, working my way through Law Enforcement jobs, dating multiple losers until Luke, etc-- & that I knew everyone had things to deal with through the years.  It was a freeing conversation.

Soon after that, everyone was awake & we began getting ready for the funeral.  Once everyone was ready to go, we all divided into a few different cars & went to the funeral home.  It turns out the man who runs the funeral home knew my grandmother when she lived in Florala forever ago.  He said she was a nice woman & used to make jokes & smile all the time.  That was very different from how I remembered her.

I met my aunt Kathy for the first time & learned about her life.  She has several children, all of which are grown.  She had been in an abusive marriage & had finally gotten divorced.  She told me that she now works for a group that helps battered women & that she does so well that she was able to pay for her daughter's college.  Again, the conversation turned to my life & I told her about the things that had happened, but I did not bring up my father.  My sister heard the conversation we had & told me later that she was surprised how mature & different I was to how she remembered me.

The funeral was nice.  There was a lot of religious music, which apparently my Grandmoose became more religious as she had gotten older, but most of which I remembered her singing when I was little.  We all wrote memories of her on paper & shared them with each other.  Mine was the blackberry memory.  After they were read aloud, we put them in a locking compartment in her casket so that they could be buried with her.  Several people got up to speak about her & my brother sang a bit too.  It was a nice service.

After the service, we went to the graveside & they had a short gathering there as well that was just for family.  It was peaceful & warm & windy.  The people that worked for the funeral home distributed iced water bottles from a cooler to everyone.  It was very thoughtful.  Afterwards, we went back to the house & everyone changed into more comfortable clothes.  An older lady who knew my grandmother stopped by & dropped off large amounts of homemade southern food.  I had not really eaten much beyond alcohol, water, & Five-Hour Energy shots up until that point, but it did wonders in stimulating my appetite. 

My sister, I have found, is similar to me in ways that I didn't know we were.  She's bisexual too.  She remembered that I had told her a very long time ago when I was in middle school.  I honestly didn't know she was listening.  That's how I felt most of my life-- like no one was listening.  It was surprising.  She has a boyfriend who she has been seeing about three years.  She also has two steady girlfriends & a few girls that are casual dates.  It was interesting listening to her talk about the dynamic that exists between them all.  Basically, they all live in their own homes, & she kind of runs everything.  She's mostly unapologetic for how she is, but she seems happy.  She told me of the drama that exists between her & her ex-husband & the drama that seems minimal with her "women". 

My brother was exactly as I remember him-- obnoxious, immature, attention-seeking, & narrow-minded.  He would randomly burst into song all the time.  It was kind of strange.  I suppose I don't remember him being that way, but it's been a long time.  He says that his Cron's is mild, but he does nothing to really take care of his health.  I have a niggling suspicion that he will get sicker as time goes on simply because he hasn't changed his diet accordingly.  I witnessed him drink nothing other than beer while there & mostly eat junk food up until the condolence dishes showed up.  I hope he is as on top of his health as he says he is.  He was rather rude & judgmental a couple of times.  He started a petty argument over my mother's age when I was born & then started another one about Gonzo's leaving a day before our mother.  He just couldn't understand why Gonzo would leave before my mother.  Both my sister & I explained to him that Gonzo has an anxiety disorder & the being away from home agitates it.  I also explained to him that they had changed the locks on their doors to their house before they left, but no one thought to give the maid a key so he had to fly back before she got there to make sure she had access.  He still just couldn't understand & he made himself quite mad about it.  My sister & I just looked at each other & rolled our eyes & dropped the subject.  I really hope that my brother grows up soon; he will be 24 this fall & he is married with two kids.  My fingers are crossed.  He was surprisingly even-keeled when it came to her death though.  I expected him to be a wreck, but he shared my mother's view about my grandmother's death-- that it was a good thing.

I felt a few of the old emotions from my youth being around all that family.  I felt invisible at times, as well as jealous of the attention that my brother sometimes received.  I think, though, that they give him attention out of pity.  He acts as though he is still a little child & seeks attention the way a kid in elementary school would.  He is very frustrating, but despite that it was good to see him. (as if it isn't obvious by my writing so much about him!)

My cousin Leigh, who I have not seen for ten years, also attended the service.  It was very good to see her.  She has been seeing a man for a little over a year now & keeps hoping he will pop the question. (As of writing this, he finally did & it is a beautiful ring that he gave her!) We got to catch up on many things & she told me many stories about her old dorm days of having roommates.  It was fun, like we were in high school again & having a sleepover.  Sadly, she didn't get to stay very long after the service before she had to drive back to her home.

I left the next morning relatively soon after Gonzo left.  My mother drove him to the airport which was about an hour away, but my mother requested that I wait to leave until after she got back.  It was a good thing I did-- she hugged me like she would never let me go.  Everyone that was there-- Rhea, her husband, Kelly, aunt Kelye, Zach, & mom-- all hugged me & had me take pictures with them.  They all made me promise to not wait so long before seeing them again.  It was nice feeling loved like that.  When I left, everyone waived goodbye until I was out of sight.

The drive back was just as tedious as the drive there.  It was just as long & just as frustrating, but I hit most construction sites after-hours, so it was a little less crowded on the roads.  The worst part of driving back was the one-lane construction with no shoulder from Arkansas almost all the way to Shawnee.  I was exhausted & it was dark & the road was narrow & very hard to drive.  I was on the edge of my seat the whole time while simultaneously trying to stave off exhaustion & resist falling asleep.  By the time I got home, I only had enough energy to text one word-- "Home"-- to everyone who I had promised I'd text when I arrived.  Tim & Luke both immediately came out of the apartments to help me.  Tim grabbed the luggage & Luke had to practically carry me inside as I was too tired to stand up on my own. 

Thankfully, I had the next three days off from work, so I used most of that time to catch up on sleep.  Subsequently, I got sick for the second time in the month & am only just now getting over it, only to be attacked by allergies!  It's been a long month. 

I will always miss my Grandmoose.  I do hope she's at peace.

Forced Mantra

"You are selfish."

It's the phrase that was hurled at me over & over during my childhood, through adolescence, & into adulthood as the ultimate insult.  It was my constant soundtrack that I tried to get away from... & in doing so, I am selfish.

No one can harbor more hatred for myself than me.  I hate myself because I am the cause of all of my suffering.  If I had never been born, then I wouldn't be filled with such hatred.  I am too fat.  I am too quiet.  I am too loud.  I am too blunt.  I am too honest.  I hate me more than you ever will.  I am nothing.  I am shit. 

I deserve to bleed.  I deserve to be tortured every damn day because I am bad.  I always have been & I always will be.  I deserved every fucking thing that has happened to me.  Everything.  I am a horrid person.  I am cold.  I am fucked-up.  I always will be.

I can't deal with my problems, only push them down, just like everyone else.  There is no "dealing" with anything.  I have been ruined for years & will never be "good."  I don't speak when I should & I speak when I shouldn't.  I never do the right thing. 

I deserve death.  I don't deserve to breathe.  I don't deserve food.  I deserve nothing. 

I am selfish & will always be horrible.  No one needs to be around me.  I bring everyone down.  I have too many problems & it doesn't matter.  I am unimportant.  Nothing I say means anything.

You are welcome to cut me with the things that hurt the most... & you did...

Trigger me.  It's all it takes to make me collapse into an irrational heap of anger & tears & self-destruction.

I am nothing.  I hate myself.  I am not worthy of shit.  I don't deserve anything.


I am hurting so much that I can't put it into words. It literally hurts to do anything beyond breathe. I can't form the words.

Joe Cunningham was killed Saturday. He was in Afghanistan.

I got the call at work. The Army National Guard Chaplains showed up. Jeff confirmed it.

I loved Joe. He was the only person who ever talked about PTSD with me. There was nothing wrong with him. He was honest, kind, funny, & honourable. I can't stand a world that he doesn't exist in.

All I've done the last few days is cry & sleep. I've hardly eaten. I threw up when I came back to work.

I hate this place. It's brought me nothing but pain.

I was turned away from HR today. Guess I will just have to contact a lawyer.

I really don't matter.
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Gas Station Loser

Oh yeah... I forgot...

I ran into Sanju two days ago at a gas station. He's back in town. It caught me completely off guard. He recognized me. We didn't speak. I shook the whole time & pretty much ran away. 

I'm ok now about that. It was bound to happen at some point if he was back. I never expected to see him again. I didn't think his parents would let him come back to the US.

I've calmed down from the initial shock. I oddly don't feel much about this. It's the same uncomfortable feeling that I have whenever I run into an ex, kind of like a gnat flying around the corner of my vision. 

I'm better off. I didn't need a drunk in my life anyway. 

I'm human & it doesn't matter

I hate this. Why does this have to be my problem? Why can't I just be physically ill instead? 

MENTAL ILLNESS IS NOT VISIBLE. Just the symptoms. Therefore, it doesn't matter, doesn't exist...because it's me. I don't matter-- my problems don't matter-- because they're MINE. If it was anyone else, then it would be important, but since it's me...

...I just don't matter. 

I am crazy. I am unstable. & no one cares. They just say, "Go take some pills, get a prescription. You need it." They have no desire to actually care-- they just want their lives to not be affected. They want me to be medicated so they don't have to deal. It's a fucking bandaid over a rotting limb-- it doesn't make the problem go away, it doesn't fix anything. What I want or how I feel doesn't matter-- as long as I don't bother or inconvenience them in any way. 

I'm told, "Oh not again. Just get over it. Get a script. You've got a chemical imbalance," because you don't want to deal with me. I don't have a physical illness so it doesn't matter. I MUST be a hypochondriac! You actually have physical problems... You just don't want to bother with my invisible ones. The elephant will be there until eternity. I wish you cared. I know you don't. 

God, my boyfriend is mad at me because he thinks I'm not happy about his promotion which includes him traveling for the company. His first business trip clashes with a trip we've had planned for months. Because I'm disappointed that I won't be able to have his company on our trip, he thinks that I'm not happy about him getting this promotion & going on this business trip. I have actually expressed just the opposite to him-- that I AM happy for him, that I'm proud of him, & that I'm even jealous I can't go with him on his trip!-- in several different ways & he just refuses to hear me! He instead just wants to see it that he's the victim & I'm the bad guy. 

I don't understand how its a bad thing that I feel this way about him not getting to go on our trip. Isn't it actually a good thing? I mean, how exactly would he feel if I said I WASN'T disappointed? How in the world does telling him that I'm disappointed he can't go on our trip translate to I don't want him to go on his business trip? It doesn't. He accuses me of being upset because "things aren't going my way". I hate it when he says that. It is hurtful. It's not true. I simply stated that I was disappointed he wouldn't be accompanying me on the trip we had planned. I never said anything negative about his business trip. 

Somehow this translates to me not being supportive or happy for him. I don't understand. I got so frustrated that I started to cry & he accused me again of only being upset because "things weren't going my way" & because I "couldn't control the situation". 

Whatever. Think whatever you want. I'm no longer going to argue with you about it. It doesn't at all mean you're right-- you're actually completely wrong-- but I'm too tired of fighting & too frustrated because I'm not being heard to argue anymore. There's only so many times I can beat my head against a wall before I give up due to the frustration & pain. 

Apparently it's wrong that I have any feelings at all & that I express them. It's funny how you tell me I don't talk to you & that I bottle things up when I am trying to communicate with you & I rephrase things in different ways hoping that you might understand what I'm saying because you CLEARLY aren't getting the picture.  

I don't matter. I never will. You say you're proud of me when I stand up & defend myself, but when I defend myself against your misconceptions & offer to correct them, then I'm just a horribly selfish person & it pisses you off, so you tell me to leave & go hang out with my best friend since you know I have fun with him & that you're tired of always being the bad guy. That is a nasty & horrible thing to say-- to take the one person that is always in my corner & use their relationship with me against me as a putdown. He is my only real family. He is my brother. That's cruel. & unfair. I don't fight that way. Ever. It's shitty. 

I hate my life. I'm fucking crazy. This pushed me over the edge. I was so upset that I threw up in my bathroom after I got home & I hurt myself for the first time in years. 

Thank you very much for restarting this cycle, job. Thank you very much for pushing me back into crazy. I'm so grateful. It's exactly what I needed. I'm back to being unstable. The warnings didn't matter. I'm nine years old again-- nine years old & completely powerless, helpless, unheard, & ignored. My words don't mean shit. 

I beg him to read this journal. My best friend begs him to read it. Apparently it's still not important enough even though we both say it is. He won't do it-- he thinks it's too private. Well, fine. Don't learn anything about me. I can't talk about all of this stuff. It's here so I can tell you, so you can know, but I guess it's just not important to know your partner even when the WORDS ARE CLEARLY ON A PAGE FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE. 

I'm having trouble with communication. Does this clear shit up for you?

Family Updates

My mother told me that my little brother has been diagnosed with Cron's disease. He apparently has has a lot of health problems over the years. She said that when he was 17 he went through a period of time where he threw up blood quite frequently. She said he has had two surgeries to remove large hemorrhoids & the doctor finally gave the diagnosis of Cron's six months ago. Six fucking months ago. No one tells me ANYTHING! 

I am obviously, as I always have been, very much not included in anything when it comes to this fucking family. 

My mother also told me that my cousin has been dating some guy old enough to be her grandfather for over a year. She seemed surprised that I didn't know anything about it. My response was, "No one tells me anything." There was quite a bit of silence in the car in the wake of that statement. It's true. I'm only part of the family when I visit. 

My mother said that a shadow was seen in her last mammogram. She has to schedule an MRI to figure out what it is. I hope it's nothing malignant. 

Everyone else has physical sickness. In this I am also excluded. I will never be included in this family. 

My mother says my stepdad is clinically depressed & is on a new antidepressant. She swears up & down that I need to be medicated too. We had the discussion again about why I don't want to be on any medication. She always seems like she comprehends what I'm saying, but next year I'm sure that we will have the conversation again. We always do. Nothing ever changes. 

I am always treated like I don't know anything, like I'm a fucking child again. It's been getting worse as my mother gets comfortable. My stepdad even had to step in & tell my mother to back off a few times. 

Why can't they just love me? Why is nothing I do good enough?

I feel such grief. My emotions are delayed. I learned this a few days ago. Today I feel such pain & grief from being excluded again. I feel rejected again. Over & over I feel like they're telling me I still don't belong in this family. Forget all of the things I've accomplished. I'm still not good enough to even warrant a phonecall. I suppose that missed call from my mother all those months ago when she called just to tell me she loved me was a fluke.