surviving myself

i have a fear of abandonment
you see
like many people do
except
instead of clinging
when i feel forgotten
i alienate
i isolate
i build more & better
walls
higher & thicker
walls
because
you see
if you can’t get in
you can’t hurt me
if i never let you in
you can never
leave
me.

this one is dedicated to the last therapist i fired after he cancelled an appointment with me without telling me why. i was going through a hard time anyway & kinda spun out on him.
at an early age my frankenstein’s monster complex kicked in. “if i cannot inspire love, i will cause fear…”
or just turn invisible as was the case for me.
the more my parents ignored me, the more invisible i became.
my little sister became the squeaky wheel…i became the invisible girl.
my method has literally never worked out for me.
but
i persist. because, for an invisible girl, i am persistent in making myself even more miserable.
now
now i am trying to take some walls down…but even as i do, little setbacks get me to stirring the concrete & setting the bricks anew….

metaphors galore…a good name for a band.

letting go….

on screen ninja fights
zombies swords flash save the world…
meanwhile, life wasted

i’ve been spending my day sorting through files & files of stories. some are just a couple of words, an idea. some are complete & surprisingly well written stories. i have found that a lot of my stories have a similar voice. i am taking those snippets and adding them to a novel i am working on with the same voice.
threading it all together.
i am also posting some of them over on my patreon site & considering some for possible publication?
this haiku was in the middle of a file full of short stories/flash fiction i had written back in a time i used to submit to the site Helium all the time.

i am pretty sure it is about my ex-husband & my feelings about his video game addiction.
pretty sure.
& this was not the only written piece i found obsessing about my ex-husband & the wrongs he did to me.

which brings me to my tarot card reading for the beltane new moon. a lot of good stuff in this reading.
but the bad stuff…not letting go. the moon crossing me warns about it…so does the card in my “near future” position of the spread.
so i wonder. what is it that i am not letting go of? all i can think of is this anger i still have toward my ex-husband.
how do i let go?
i truly want to.

some time later…

okay, so! i was quietly obsessing about all the stuff i should be doing here at my mom’s house as squatter/care-taker, when i thought, “maybe that’s it…maybe i am stuck here–actually stuck at this place.” worrying about the lawn, the wet basement, and then reminding myself, “it’s not my goddamned property, monkey-boy!” (buckaroo banzai)…. my mom called me the other day about the basement & spent the entire call bitching about my sister who is trying her best to care for my mom. my mom said, “she was never my favorite.”
what the fuck, mom?
she also bitched about dad dying & leaving her to deal with this house & property that she wanted to sell years ago. i kind of agree that that was a shitty thing to do.
the next day, as i was attempting to meditate (meditation is surprisingly difficult for my loud brain to do,) my phone rang with “pure evil” coming up on the screen. so i kept on trying to meditate, but got a sick feeling in my stomach. my mom left a message, but before i could check the message, i checked my email where my sister (or brother-in-law as they share an email) emailed me to say, “don’t answer the phone!”
so i deleted the message from my mom without listening to it.

long story short, my mom doesn’t give a rat’s ass about me & i know damn well that i was never her favorite either.
she only calls me on occasion when no one else will listen to her.
so why am i stressing out trying to care for a place that is not mine for a woman who can’t stand me?
i am free to leave.
but it’s not easy leaving a place where i don’t have to worry about rent & utilities & keeping a roof over my four minions’ heads….
have i sold my soul for a free place to live? it kind of feels that way.
it kind of feels like that scene in labyrinth where sarah is in her “bedroom” & has forgotten her quest because she is surrounded by superficially comforting “things.”
or, as i wrote a couple days ago, it feels like “hotel california.”
i have often compared this experience to the shining as well….
and there in my tarot spread, you can see. i am stuck in “opposition” while change is my conflict card.

change should not be a conflict for me. i love change.

so i have chosen a third town as a possible new home. i was going to road trip there tomorrow, but the forecast calls for storms & rain today & the two days after.
i am stuck.
the basement might flood again if i am not here.
but how long can this go on?
i tried to mow the lawn today, and the mower died. am i going to hire someone to repair it? or someone to mow these acres of grass?
or am i just going to walk away?

i want to just walk away.
i really truly do.
so why do i feel so stuck?

hotel california

the drone of the fans
in the basement
will hopefully help me sleep
’cause last night
i was awake
or fitfully sleeping
twisting & turning
as water
crept & dripped into my basement
gallons of water
absorbed into
powder
fucking
blue
carpet…
i used to call this place
bullfrog song
now i call it
hotel california
i just want to be
anywhere
but
here
but road trips detoured
by leaky
basements….

i was totally going to go to iowa & look for a place to live. however! water coming in through a wall dumping gallons onto the floor despite the floor drain just feet away….
this place is a fucking nightmare.
& my mom is pissed that my dad died first & left her to deal with it.
& i’m pissed that i got tricked into living here by siblings that wanted to live footloose & fancy free far away from familial home….
added to my list of things i never wanted to do alone: deal with a flooded basement.

i am brain dead.
all i can do is watch ryan renolds movies, drink beer, & wander to the basement on occasion to bail out this sinking ship….

fuck me.

happy birthday, big brother

today my brother mike would be 55. he died 10 years ago on december 19th. this photograph is from the last time he & i & the rest of us were all together in one place…my wedding.  thinking about him, i started this memoir….

the six of us assumed we were blessed for the mere fact that we survived our childhood.
survived our father passing out at the wheel.
survived drunk motorcycle rides with dad.
survived our father sending us into precarious places to do dangerous chores.
survived our father, drunk, angry, & armed.
survived family adventures. camping. hiking on natural bridges…up to starved rocks…into mammoth caves…all though the grand canyon. 
survived water skiing behind jet engined motor boats.
survived a back yard pond with a homemade diving board in the summer and ice skates in the winter.
survived snow mobiles, three wheelers, four wheelers, chainsaws, log-splitters, tractors, riding on running boards, riding on trailers, riding in the beds of pick up trucks.
survived no baby seats. no seat belts. cars driving fast down country roads so you can catch that stomach dropping hill just right.

six almost died when he had a head on collision with a gravel truck while riding his four wheeler around that one blind corner of the gravel pit. but six was the only one of us to wear a helmet (pants & shoes as well!) the helmet did not survive. six had a broken jaw, broken cheek bone, his femur snapped in half.
but he survived.
which was further proof that we were blessed.

one died when he was 45, and his death shattered all of us. it was beyond comprehension that he could really truly be gone.

some of us were quick to go numb. go into denial. some of us threw ourselves into the mystery, the drama of his death. some of us searched for someone to blame…anyone to blame.

i had talked to him on  his birthday just 19 days earlier. he sounded sad. stressed out. we had so much family drama happening as well as the drama he kept hidden from us. his one consolation was that he had gotten a red velvet cake for his birthday. his family left for a ski trip, but they had baked him a red velvet cake first. 
the same cake that two always got on her birthday when we were growing up because two’s birthday is just before valentine’s day. 
all these years one had been coveting two’s cake just like i had always coveted five’s cake. she got devil’s food every year while i was stuck with angel food–because i was “the good one.”

one finally got his cake. and then he died. and his wife and four kids would have to forever feel like shits for going on a ski trip on his last birthday….

my favorite way to make fun of one was to mimic our phone conversations. “so what else is new?” he would ask incessantly making me scramble for newsworthy tidbits to tell him.

i was on the phone with two around the time one’s plane crashed down. i was making fun of one again. i had just gotten his yearly–& much anticipated–christmas newsletter.
a newsletter so crisp & professional as it was designed & produced by a proclaimed “web guru.” yeah, my brother. 
between the smatterings of “keep christ in christmas” & photos of his beautiful children doing all the things beautiful children with money get to do were articles lamenting the newly elected president and calling for strength & endurance for this upcoming apocalypse of a democrat in the white house. 
thanks to the thorough brain-washing of my completely insane & devoutly catholic mother, one literally feared the evil baby-killing agenda of the left wing.
to me, a self-proclaimed anarchist, one’s christmas newsletter was hysterical in every sense of the word.
so i ranted about this to my sister as one died…for his beliefs. 

so this is the beginning. i hope to write more. another work in progress. hang onto your butts.

ps! if you want to support my art & writings…contribute to my getting microsoft word again so i can edit my stories…buy notebooks…journals…ink & paper…you can do this (and more!) by clicking here

misha’s birth day

i know another reason why i’m feeling warm & fuzzy towards dusty right now. when we were married, i surmised that if we were ever trapped somewhere, dependent on working together to get to safety, we would die.

my observation was true of every time i needed him to be there for me.
except one…misha’s birth.

misha is my third child. my first two were c-sectioned because my body likes to take more than 42 weeks to perfect a baby–& doctors do not like to let a woman go much past 40.
so, twice, i let them cut the baby out of me because they said that it was for the best.
when i got pregnant with misha, i could not bear the thought of another c-section.
so i fired all the doctors.
problem was, none of the midwives in madison would support my birth because i had been deemed too risky.
i had never had a vaginal birth. i was 40 years old & prone to long pregnancies. these were my crimes.
misha is the one who suffered for  them.
i found an outlaw midwife who lived one state over & would travel to me when i went into labor.
second problem…i didn’t know what labor looked like because doctors had never let me get that far.
by the time i was certain i was in labor–& not wasting the midwife’s time–misha was on her way out.
she came out fast. relentlessly fast. none of the stages of labor i had read up on were observed by misha as she rocketed out of me.
there was one doula present and dusty.
we were in a kiddie tub on the fourth floor of a 30 person cooperative.
when misha was born, she was having trouble breathing. she probably just needed a few puffs of air to get her going, but none of us knew what to do. by the time the mom down the hall called her midwife to come help, misha was showing signs of seizure.
the paramedics took her away.
the NICU kept her for 12 days.
they told dusty & me, best case scenario: misha has coordination issues & learning disabilities.
worst case scenario: cerebral palsy or epilepsy
i cried so hard as they said that. my heart broke. it was all my fault. if i had just been unselfish enough to get the fucking surgery…to have another fucking c-section…misha would have been fine.
i waited for dusty to blame me. he blamed me for everything. it was always my fault.
this time he would be right.
except
he didn’t blame me. he told me it wasn’t my fault. he zoomed me around the hospital in my wheeled chair–being silly & sweet–as i was still too wrecked to walk much after the birth. he watched the boys while i kept vigil at her side. he came to be with her when i was forced to go home & sleep.
he took care of us.
he was there for me.
seven years later, just as i would remember & be traumatized by a bad event, the good things that happened feel as fresh as yesterday.
and i miss that version of dusty.

(in the NICU…& one year later when the neurologist said, “oh…nevermind.”)

don’t tell…the last page?

have i finally exorcised this fucking ghost?

i hope so. i am tired of holding a torch that just burns the fuck out of my fingers. i want to move on and stop wondering which thing that i did wrong was the thing that drove him away.

fuck it.

it needs editing & more substance, etc. but the rough draft is available entirely for reading over at medium.

let me know if you have any suggestions for work that needs to be done on it. i am still pretty close to the story–i was crying as i wrote this last page. but i think in writing it, i am working out a lot of the bullshit that i was holding onto and calling love.
yay.

the journal page is from 1995 when seymour & i lived in austin, tx with peacocks on our front lawn .

i told me so

i wanted to believe him
oh how badly i wanted to believe
that he really loved me
really wanted me
really saw now what he had done
wrong
how he had
wronged
me
i wanted so badly to believe
he really had changed
that things could really be
different
better
that there was hope still
even though the nagging little voices
in my head
assured me he had not changed
pointing out the little red flags
scattered around him

dusty and i were perfect and in love once. so so so in love. it was a long time ago. he was the center of my universe…and i’m sure i somehow fit into his universe.

and then i got pregnant with fidgit.
and everything changed.
i changed, my focus changed, shifted. dusty was no longer the center of my universe. he had to share the spotlight.
and dusty changed. a person emerged that i had never met before. a cold person. a cruel and judgemental person.

and that was the beginning of the end.

i was surprised when he started up with the love and adoration this last time. i guess i shouldn’t have been. i guess i should have remembered he will do anything he has to do to keep the status quo. but i was surprised because it has been awhile since he acted as if i were important to him. usually i am just a piece of the puzzle…but he started acting as if i were the puzzle itself. every piece.

but i told him “no” because i have to hold close the hurt he caused me so i don’t forget. like snapping a rubber band on my wrist whenever i want to believe dusty actually cares.

and last night i got my proof that i was right to do so.

while he was wooing me to keep our family together, apparently he decided to cover his bets & he also got back in touch with the woman he used to try to destroy me. the poor delusional twat who he would lie to as much as he would lie to me–except she believed him. i don’t know if she was crazy before he got a hold of her, but she was crazy by the end.

so, yay, they are back together.

i told me so.

(i just realized that if we had stayed married, today would be our 14 year anniversary)

fight or flight

cancer
my sun sign
is a cautious one
a suspicious one
keeping her shell close at hand
just in case.
strangely though
i will run head long
into a disastrous relationship…
while carefully skirting
my chances for
a healthy one
what the what
& why?
does that even make sense?
i run from the chance to be
happy.
why do i do that?
hmmmm
nevermind why
i guess
just know that today
i am choosing to stand
& fight.

these epiphanies are brought to you courtesy of a facebook messenger conversation with a boy i met on an online dating site.
i don’t know if he is good news or bad. i guess that remains to be discovered. what i do know is that as soon as i realized he was in fact interested in me (after three weeks of messaging,) i freaked the fuck out.

page9

who knows why.

but i can tell you, the same thing happened when i was a teenager and a cute, sweet boy i had a crush on showed me interest. and again when i was in my twenties, when a sane & sweet one was in love with me.

but what about all those assholes i threw myself at without a second thought?

good question.

i have no idea what is wrong with me.
and i am done analyzing myself.
now it is just time to re-write the script.
as i said yesterday, it is time to heal.

page10

so i am going on a date, y’all.
after some really awkward and sad flirting (i am NOT good at flirting even on my best day) i am going on a date.
tonight.

so, assuming he is not a serial killer, i am no longer running away.

confusion perfume

i’m at a crossroads
turn back?
to the crap i know
the familiar crap
the daily rejections
or forward
left or right
does it even matter?
onward
to unfamiliar crap
& all new rejection
fresh horrors
which way do i go
when all i want
is to be heard
to be seen
to not just be their mirror
for their warped soul
eyes that only seek out
my own
for the benefit of seeing
their reflection
in me
which way do i go…
wait
can i unfold my wings now
can i choose to fly
not backwards
not forwards
not left or right
but up
up & away?

so i’m still trying to do the internet dating thing…though i have deleted my profile at least 3 times & started over….
i’ve made dates & broken them.
i’ve been made fun of by men who think they’re smarter than me.
i’ve been asked to be a submissive (told him i can’t do what i’m told to save my life)
i’ve been asked to be a dominant (never responded because i was so creeped out by this guy)

i dunno.

i started just messaging guys who had interesting or intriguing or message-worthy profiles. some actually messaged back. one seems pretty cool….

meanwhile…

dusty seems to think we are in a relationship. or desperately wants to be in a relationship with me? that’s the way it goes with dusty. he only wants me when i don’t want him. and i used to only want him when he wanted me…but then i realized that i don’t need to be rejected to feel loved. funny that.

so he is always asking to “talk” to me about something. after how many years of marriage of my begging him to talk to me. after i finally divorced him. after he tried to hurt me with other women. after i gave him an ultimatum and he chose option b….
now he wants to talk.
all the time.

i haven’t told him i am trying to re-enter the dating pool. i’m not sure it’s any of his business. i really don’t think it is. i have been clear with him…if he chooses not to listen to me–still!–is that my fault?

so today i dug out the test i wrote back in my late twenties.
no one ever passed it.
i eventually gave up & got married anyway.

also!
i dug out the comic i wrote about the test i made and the fact that i never followed through with it….

which made me miss writing comics a lot more than it made me miss dating….

the bat card…rebirth

i have woven
together
love & rejection
my earliest experiences with love
being rejection

people become important to me
once they have
rejected me
i focus on this rejection
instead of
acceptance

i look for my worth
in the eyes
of people…of men
who reject me.

i feel anger that i am not
valued
i let my anger become
who i am.

i am not my anger.
i am not that reflection
i see
in the eyes
of people who cannot
love
me.

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