Boy has this one been a long time coming.

If anyone ever reads this, I may be out here. Alive, sometimes kicking. Thinking about writing. Thinking about our world and my place in it. Thinking about our connections and our similarities and the way we should love each other.

Wishing I was running, watching Teen Wolf with my teenager, crocheting like a mad old cat lady. Desperately trying to muster the strength and courage and motivation to write here again.

Aging.

Piper Kerman, I like the sound of your voice…

Dear readers…
Please read this short article…
“Orange is the New Black” author: Prison wastes time, human potential and money
BEST OF NEWS | FRI, SEP 6
http://pulse.me/s/q2h7GImage
(Credit: AP) “Weeds” creator Jenji Kohan’s new Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black” became an instant hit this summer, due at least in part to th… Read more

Then read this;)

I wanted to remind (if I’ve already harped about this to you) or recommend (if this is the first time you’re hearing this from me) or beg/coerce/threaten (for those who fall into the category of righteously stubborn, piously indignant, mired down in a surface level understanding of existence) you all to buy AND READ this book.
I AM NOT REFERRING TO THE SHOW, WHILE I AM SURE IT’S VERY GOOD, IT IS AN ADAPTATION, NOT THE REAL STORY.
This book is representative of a conversation people in our [or at the very least, my] socioeconomic environments are not having, but should be. We are tragically uninformed and ‘blissfully’ blind to what is happening to those who find themselves dealing with the incomprehensible labyrinth that we laughingly refer to as ‘criminal justice’ in America.
This is the truth of what our inherent desire for retribution, and its pervasive impact upon legislation, means for our incarcerated Americans.
We live lives permeated with bitterness and a desire to see suffering in those who have wronged us and this attitude becomes culture and that culture becomes our justice system.
We puff ourselves up and bolster our indignant self-righteousness with balustrades hewn from our certainty that everyone is capable of behaving and making good choices because we did. Or, we are bitter little children crying ‘If I have to follow the rules… so do they’ which just seems sophomoric in an existence rife with inherent unfairness.
Everything happening in our nation is a result of our lack of education and lack of empathy and lack of foresight in favor of our drive to see bad behavior punished in whatever way seems like it will make us feel better at the time.
A perfect example is my run in with the idiot employees at Bar 3 BBQ in Belgrade the other day, and my gut wish to see them suffer for their poor treatment of me, and COME ON, it was just bad (OK, exceedingly careless and unnecessarily lazy) service at a restaurant, they didn’t kill my best friend.
BUT… writing this little blurb helped me realize that I’m as guilty of perpetuating this pathetic mind-set as anyone. I will absolutely give myself a bit of dispensation since I am actually mentally ill and it precludes me from appropriate behavior and response at times and yes, sorry, it’s unfair that I get special treatment because I have these issues but… life is inherently unfair REMEMBER? If you aren’t mentally ill, simply chalk my perspective up to my overdeveloped sense of balance… I may get special treatment (ok I may deserve, not always get, dispensation) and allowances might be made for my behavior because of my issues, but hey, YOU get to not be mentally ill – so – it seems like it shakes out pretty evenly to me.
 I do like to think I am more capable than some of reevaluating myself and my thought processes in pursuit of enlightenment and my desperate desire to better my corrupt and irreverent and excruciating and irrelevant existence.  If you strive for these things in yourself, keep in mind…
that confinement doesn’t rehabilitate. Are we really so bloodthirsty a society that our desire to see people ‘pay’ for their behavior blinds us to even a shred of what our humanity (and often our ‘religions’) would demand of us with regard to our fellow man?
Instead let’s try introspection and education, conversations with sincerity, and a broadening of our small minds…
Maybe little reminders like this lovely memoir will spark something in us… maybe these things will help us work toward removing our blinders and coming together in kindness and humanity so that we can attempt to treat our fellow man with dignity… rather than contempt born of our own pain, insecurities, and bitterness.
This will be my last post until I return from what I hope will not be a crushing and defeating experience from which I cannot recover, but instead will be an enlightening, illuminating, and motivating decent into the bowels of our society which will prove a treasure trove of heartening observations, deep learning opportunities, and a few outrageously campy tales – Federal Corrections here I come!
Thanks for reading and I hope some of you are still here when I get back… my stories will undoubtedly be hilarious if not spectacular;)
Yours,
Crazy Liah aka despoticloset.
Sent from my iPhone.
“No matter where I get, I fail to appreciate my arrival” – thejackieblog

Project 50K

Update:

21 Miles as of Thursday.

Everything hurts. Knee is pretty uncomfortable… tried to sabotage today’s run but I prevailed!

My bingo wings chafed my side boob for an amazingly painful and humiliating side-effect during today’s run.   A newfound respect for and awareness of spontaneous combustion has developed.  I am considering relocating one of the fire extinguishers so that it is within reach of my treadmill.

Project of the Week: 50K

ATTENTION:

Fatgirl, who exercises somewhat regularly, is attempting to run approx. 30 miles this week.  

DYK? Fatgirls don’t make good runners? No kidding, it’s true!  Now don’t go getting all offended by the Fatgirl term.  I could say curvy, voluptuous, bootylicious, the dreaded ‘plus size’ BLECH!, or a number of other things about my figure, Fatgirl is simply the most motivating for the current project. Back to the running… I used to run a bit when I was young and thin (in my early 20’s) and never really put much effort in and never really got very good at it though I was in great shape.  I was simply not built for it.  I started again when I hit 30 and got much better at it with much less to work with strength and youth-wise and much more to work with flab and booze-wise. I ran for a few years off and on, doing a few 5K races (as I said I was never very good at running) and pretty happy with myself for doing it.  Then I had another baby and zzzzzzzzz…… well you know how that goes.

Now on the downward slope toward middle-life crisis (or smack in the middle of it) I am out of shape, and REALLY not built for it.

FYI: Running is HARD.  

I see those little cuties running around the world, doing marathons and smiling and looking cool and I want to smack them.  Sure, I might smile and wave and wink and blog while running too if I weighed 118 lbs.  My joints wouldn’t ache, my flab wouldn’t jiggle me off the side of my treadmill, my boobs wouldn’t require two + sportsbras in a size too small to keep them contained, my yoga outfit turned runners gear wouldn’t be soaked with sweaty fatgirl sauce, and my hair and make-up would remain perfectly in place so that the finish-line photos didn’t look like some longer haired slightly feminized version of Nick Nolte’s mug-shot (to be fair, my outfits are much cooler).

 Image

Sure. If I weighed some 60 lbs less. But I don’t. I rock a fluctuating 180 – 188 (it’s not uncommon for my weight to change 5 lbs in a day) and most of the time I think I look pretty great, but there are those days. When I say pretty great, I don’t mean great in the same category as pre-kid, pre-stress, pre-heartbreak, pre-chaos great. Not like those years in my 20’s kinda hot, (boy, if only I could convince that girl to keep running) but still hot enough for me. I may never get to a point where I am a good runner, but that isn’t going to stop me from hurtling my tired, heavy, old, sweaty, achy, flabby body through space at whatever break-neck speed I can pull off. Wish me luck!

As of yesterday she is at 13.69 miles. 

Current Status:

Sleep – 4-6 hours

Left ankle – swollen and sore

Right knee – pinches when bent and straight and walking and running

Lower back – Tight 

Mid back – Tight

Upper back – Tight

Shoulders – Tight

Neck – Tight

Hips – Sore 

Stomach – Still flabby

Boobs – Still too big

Morale – Stable

 

 

Princess Leia or The Girl I Never Was…

“From what I can see of the people like me, we get better but we never get well…” Paul Simon 1981

The original Star Wars movie came out the year I was born.  Yeah, yeah, I’m dating myself.  I didn’t see it until years later, of course, but that didn’t stop it and its sequels from becoming a force of influence in my life that I likely, to this day, don’t fully understand.  This could be due to the fact that it was SO AMAZING (YES, I am a huge fan, but not in the obsessed “I hate the travesty that has become the Star Wars franchise aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh” kind of way) or the fact that the mass-marketing monster we have come to know and love was flexing its remiges in anticipation of its historical flight into global domination, OR the fact that my mother happened to choose an obscure biblical name for me and then shorten its unfathomable and unpronounceable 8-letter garble to sound like “LEIA” (for those who may not be familiar –and… are you really out there? – it sounds like Lay-uh).

I loved Princess Leia from the first moment I saw her.  I begged to be taken to the drive-in showing of Return of the Jedi at age 6.  It was magical and I remember that trip very fondly.  It wasn’t just her ball-busting attitude or her faux-demure sexiness; here was FINALLY someone with whom I shared the same name!!!  It was the most novel and validating thing that had happened to me at that point.  Other kids grew up knowing another Jennifer or Sarah, another Kelly, Jessica, Amy, Kim, another April, even the occasional Misty or Tiffany.

Not Leia.  Not Lay-uh.  Not me.

Not until I discovered her.  She was everything I wanted to be, a princess, a bad-ass, a big bun-wearing icon with a space gun!  Oh, the famed gold bikini didn’t hurt anything either and no, I was never smart enough to find and wear one while my body could still sport it without guffaws and jeers.  A year ago I did finally (as mentioned in my Halloween post) don the big buns and white, TOTALLY see-through, neck to floor dazzler that is more my body’s speed these days.  It was liberating and somehow just felt right.

Liah as Leia

And yep, that’s my border collie dressed up in the same costume as me.  No need to comment.  I know.  My husband also dresses up as Darth Vader every single year.

Beyond the name, I simply identified with the galactic goddess and never got over it.  I loved Carrie in a few other of my youth-years faves such as The Burbs, Loverboy, and who doesn’t love When Harry Met Sally?  I fell so hard over her that I even gave my first daughter a nod to her with her middle name, though I was too much of a coward back then to admit to anyone that it was a factor in my choice.  Interesting what anxiety /depression/mental illness will do to your concept of self and
confidence.  I haven’t thought about that in years.  Funny.

I was delighted to see her begin to show her mettle with other projects over the years (Postcards From The Edge is still a major favorite – though I was just beginning to experience my pre-pubescent angst and perhaps couldn’t truly identify with its themes, as I get older and crazier it speaks to me in all sorts of new and amazing ways – like everything, I guess) and recently after my (breakdown?), well, let’s call it when I “broke”, I finally read Wishful Drinking ( I am a voracious and eclectic reader, however recreational reading has been a rare luxury for a long time as I had been pursuing 2 degrees full-time while working 2 jobs, one full and one part time for several years before I “broke”) and confirmed a lifetime of suspicion.  We are meant to be.  Like Alanis and the 1994-era me, we have a bond.  As another favorite, Emma Thompson, said in the gooey shame-fest Love Actually, about yet another lifetime favorite, Joni Mitchell… “I love her, and true love lasts a lifetime…”

I think I laughed for the first time in months when I read Carrie’s beautiful little memoir at 3am in a bout of insomnia … I couldn’t put it down.  I cried.  I ached.  I belonged.

She refers to her addiction (s) pervasively throughout the narrative and then on page 239 … Eureka! She nails it. She describes her weekly meetings and realizes that she doesn’t have to like them, she just has to go.  I was floored… I don’t have to like it, I just have to go.  (Not to addiction group – I don’t believe in it.  Period.  Nor is addiction my crowning issue but if it were I think Rational Recovery would be more my bag, baby.)  No, it was everything else that it clarified for me… therapy, getting out of bed, showering, getting dressed in clean clothes, working out, writing… EVERYTHING ELSE.  I don’t have to like it, I just have to do it.  So succinct.  So purely enlightening it was like the beam of a light-saber turned on in my dark room (I was reading on my iphone as I often do with books I must read immediately and cannot wait to order from Amazon) and along with the oh-so-familiar hum of its energy… I came back to life.

Now don’t get wild here, I am not well.  I am not even better on some days.  But I am willing and that’s an amazing place to start.

Thanks Carrie.  You rock.

150px-Hirsutism-3Have you met the bearded lady? She is a creature of enigmatic legend. She is lovely, graceful, tender, sensual, stern, adaptable, kind, tolerant, timid, exciting, outlandish, generous, amusing, frightful, curious, feminine… and hairy.

I sport a rockin’ lady-beard sometimes. Usually when I am “growing it out” for a new treatment experiment, or just for an all-at-once tweezing session, but sometimes entirely out of laziness. It is sad/hilarious. I have determined that it is a case of either generalized hypertrichosis or hirsutism. Doctors don’t take this seriously when you ask about it, btw, they think you are just being vain. Those who know me well are aware of the issue and accustom to it, but most people just have no idea. In fact, until I came to a place of acceptance, only my partner (s), over the years, have known. It’s like a secret life you hide from the world. Like mental illness or addiction… that is how it used to feel anyway. Shameful, heart-wrenching, apocalyptic.

If you are unfamiliar with these conditions, basically they endow you with the magical ability to grow shocking amounts of hair in unconventional (READ: embarrassing) places. If you are afflicted with any similar condition you may also consider that you are secretly the child of the Yeti, Big Foot, or Chewbacca and your mother simply couldn’t bring herself to expose her shameful affair. In my particular case, I would assume it is Chewbacca, I mean if you have to admit you are secretly the daughter of some hair-covered beast-man, at least let it be one from iconic American culture, right?

Following are brief descriptions of the aforementioned conditions for those unfamiliar:

Generalized hypertrichosis: Acquired generalized hypertrichosis commonly affects the cheeks, upper lip, and chin.[3][4] This form also affects the forearms and legs, but is less common in these areas. Another deformity associated with acquired generalized hypertrichosis is multiple hairs occupying the same follicle

Hirsutism: Hypertrichosis is often mistakenly classified as hirsutism.[1] Hirsutism is a type of hypertrichosis exclusive to women and children, resulting from an excess of androgen-sensitive hair growth.[17] Patients with hirsutism exhibit patterns of adult male hair growth.[1] Chest and back hair are often present on women with hirsutism.[17

For me, this condition began at approximately age 17, when I noticed a few rogue hairs growing under my chin like little bitch-trolls frolicking merrily under a bridge. Longish and dark but mostly still possessing the vellus quality of fineness (short, fine, light hairs are vellus), I was not too concerned, broke out my constant companion, tweezers, whom I had developed a loving and trusted relationship with since my 13th year or “The Year of No Eyebrows” (more on this some other time), and simply removed them. This went on for a few years and then one day, I don’t even really remember when it was… sometime in my early twenties, I noticed that the number of rogue trolls had increased significantly. At first I was a bit dejected and then I developed a slight obsession, spending inordinate amounts of time pressed up against the bathroom mirror (often having to sit on the counter to get the best view) and tweezing until each bitch troll invader was annihilated. My longtime live-in partner at the time became quite annoyed with my newfound hobby, expressing impatience and frustration at the fact that I was spending more and more time cuddled up to the mirror hysterically plucking away. This did not deter me. I simply learned to satisfy my now junkie-like trichotillomania like any good addict, in secret.

I know that many out there might be thinking of that old wives tale that so many persist in believing, despite the information available to us through the miracle of modern science, that shaving and/or tweezing will make your hair grow back thicker and coarser. This is really not the case. Trust me because I never resorted to that option until much later in life and it has had no effect whatsoever, good or bad. Hair follicles respond to changes during puberty, this happens in almost everyone, and typically those changes do not produce the kind of terrifying result that some of us see. They also respond to pregnancy hormone changes and an excess of androgens, among other things, which with certain medical conditions or simply follicle sensitivity, can change a follicle so that rather than producing vellus hairs it produces terminal (long, dark, coarse) hairs. YIKES! All accounts say that once this happens, it is difficult if not impossible to change it back.

So as time went on and more and more of my facial follicles transformed in this wondrous way, it became just part of my regular toilette to tweeze for long periods of time. Then the miracle of pregnancy happened and between two pregnancies over an 8 year period, I now have the ‘coveted by women everywhere’ ability to grow a full and attractive beard which is rapidly encroaching upon my cheeks as well! It is really quite something and no doubt the envy of pre-pubescent boys everywhere. My sweet family understands my situation and they are kind and gracious about it, but I struggle to keep it under control enough for public display due to the fickle nature of hair growth patterns. Sigh. Such is life, yes?

I suppose I always have the option of becoming a carnie.

A CIGARETTE IN MY CAR AT THE TOSTON BAR

Warning:

 If you are a girl under 25, or a girl over 25 with the sensibilities and/or emotional maturity of a girl under 25, this post will likely offend and affront you so please read on with caution as no amount of righteous commentating will have any effect on my opinions or, I suspect, the opinions of other women my age.  Yes, yes, we know that there are a paltry few of you out there who really and truly may not fit this stereotyped roundup and branding, rest easy.  You may keep your outrage.  This is observational only and frankly we’ve got 10+ years on ya, so the potential that we may have ‘observed’ more than you have in our time is quite high.

As young girls will sometimes do, I spent a good portion of my late teens and early twenties being a bit of an emotionally overwrought batshitcrazy ‘romantic’.  Whenever I have a chance to speak to girls of this age range, I am never surprised by the fact that this state of boycrazynutbagism (BCN) is still rampant.  Of course, we ladies of a certain age understand the inevitability of the profuse and passion-filled denial of their, even temporary, residence in this ‘greymushed’ state.  They are all grown up.  Just as we were… wink, snort.  (While I am woefully unfamiliar with the emotional tribulations of boys and men, if you have insight into similar types of suffering/disorders that afflict the males of the species please feel free to share this information with me as any areas of common ground between the two can only be beneficial.)

In the early onset of my affliction with BCN, I presented with restlessness, insomnia, bouts of blatant overconfidence interspersed with chronic self-consciousness, alternating uncontrolled fits of crying and rage, and a general moroseness. (The last of which lasted… well… into the present)  I was as yet unaware of the type of labeling that could result from such uncontrolled emotional ‘dervishism’.  (On a side note, if you have been reading my blog regularly, you may notice that I have a great propensity for making up my own terms.  Please feel free to comment, suggest, or ask what the hell kind of cockle-brained meaning I might be assigning them as I am certain it isn’t always obvious.) Once you have been ‘labeled’ in any way, it can become an Odyssean quest to erase the stigma.

 A few labels that may be assigned to someone suffering from BCN are: melodramatic, crysack, neurotic, emotional wreck, social doughnut-hole, drama-queen, stalker, and a host of other terms that get progressively worse as your symptoms progress.  A main danger of BCN is that it can easily morph into CSBS (crazystalkerbitchsyndrome) which you can recognize by its inherent ability to almost instantly repulse the male of the species (it is believed that in addition to the repellant qualities lurking in the behavioral symptoms there is also a pheromone component to this phenomenon).  CSBS is even more dangerous because of its long-term effects, which with time and progression will eventually drive off even the females of the species, who have built in defenses against its symptoms.  Both of these disorders also share the unfortunate symptom of complete lack of awareness and/or acceptance of your state, in this way they seem similar to an addiction (hmmmm).

I spent unimaginable amounts of effort and time in what I like to think of as ‘covert ops’.  This basically means that I made ridiculous and I am certain, failed, attempts to hide the fact that I was suffering from these afflictions.  This type of emphatic denial is a tell-tale sign and one we must be prepared to recognize in those around us, be they loved ones or not, in order to either aid them or hightail it in the opposite direction as though our ass hairs were on fire.  I strongly recommend the latter as the former often requires drastic intervention ranging from medication to exorcism.

During the latter years of my tormented dementia (separate from my current years of tormented dementia) I had a long, tumultuous, and mostly immature relationship with a wonderful young man who I met during my first semester of college.  He was a good kid; raised up right, mostly emotionally stable, and as different from me as you can imagine.  We had our trials and we had our triumphs and I look back fondly if not ruefully.  I had many cringe-worthy moments in those days (as I still do, not attempting any type of self-aggrandizing here) but a favorite stems directly from my BCN/CSBS suffering so I will include it here to illustrate the dangers of these disorders.

It happened one weekend that the LOMLATT (loveofmylifeatthetime) had planned to spend the weekend in his hometown without me.  Spending the weekend in his hometown which was just a quick hour and a half away was a very usual occurrence, though I was most often included.  Unfortunately I occasionally acted like a spoilt child throwing down BF’s (bitch fit) for days in advance of the rare ‘no girlfriend’ trips.  Sometimes I would attempt to be a normal human and slap on the BGP’s (big girl panties) and smile and encourage the trip, which is what I did on this occasion.  I was however very jealous and suspicious in those days (which I believe leads you into direct contact with assbags who will lie and cheat and hurt you and turn you into a creature that you cannot yourself recognize – but that’s another story) though this particular boy never deserved it, and would eventually almost always work myself up into some kind of frenzy, which I did on this occasion.

 I had spent the day in a psychotic cleaning episode, which was how I typically dealt with stress of this sort, and then decided to head out to dinner and drinks with some girlfriends.  Somewhere over the course of the next few hours I had convinced myself that the LOMLATT was only home without me in order to facilitate some sort of tryst with a former flame and I was going to deal with this in the most logical manner possible… drive the hour and a half to his hometown at 8:00 at night and confront them with my self-righteous indignation!  As it was summer in the mountains, the sun would be up until almost 10pm so I had daylight, a full tank of gas (which in those days cost me somewhere in the area of $20) in Wilma the Wonder Ovary (my super-cool white Subaru sedan), a pack of Camel Lights, and a healthy dose of fury on my side. 

I headed out full of adrenaline and red wine (ya, ya, I DO know) with Alanis (dating myself here) blaring on my tinny unbalanced stock speakers, lighting up a cool Camel and throwing back my head to sing.  I smoked and sang at the top of my then strong pink lungs for approximately 40 minutes or so feeling powerful and badass, before approaching a roadside bar of the hillbilly variety (IMO) at the base of a curving overpass.  Chain-smoking furiously and unapologetically while driving takes some planning and skill, I would pull out a new cig, light it with my old cig, and then toss the old cig out my window with a practiced flick. This way I wasn’t required to use the cigarette lighter which I was convinced was inefficient and also I felt cooler which was of the utmost importance.  I rolled down my window to the exactly perfect position, not so much that I get blasted with wind and not so little that I couldn’t get the cig out easily, all the while wailing “and I’m heeeeere… to remind you”.  I pulled, lit, and flicked.  What I did not realize was that I had inadvertently hit the button to roll down the back window at the same time and as luck would have it (or maybe fate?) the rushing wind sucked my still lit butt back in through the back window where it lodged under my driver’s seat and began to smoke.  I fairly quickly realized what was going on, stopped singing, and began a futile reach-around attempt which earned me a set of burned fingertips and a panic attack the likes of which even I was not ready for.  I was swerving and swearing and pretty quickly the food-grease, spilt booze, paper, and who knows what else laden carpet had ignited and I was forced to pull over directly opposite the roadside bar where 3 or 4 cars lingered. 

Like a lunatic being swarmed by Africanized bees I jumped out and opened the back door bending in my embarrassing ‘daisy dukes’ and frantically pawing for the rogue cig while beating at the carpet fire with my purse, which was the first thing I grabbed in my crazed ransacking of the backseat that was not made of paper or plastic.  I did manage to beat the small fire out with my handbag, bursting open every container inside in the process so now I had a gooey plumeria scented menagerie of sloppy wet crap in my purse to boot.  I sat down against the back seat huffing and sweating like I had just run a quarter of a mile and lolled my head back at which point I noticed the 5 agog bar patrons standing in the gravel parking area across the street from me sporting expressions of shock, mirth, and I am certain, awe.  I looked around me and saw the entire contents of my backseat strewn in the dirt around the open back door; McDonald’s trash, receipts, old cigarette boxes, magazines, newspapers, plastic bags, plastic cups, and other assorted bits.  I imagine that those folks enjoyed quite a show and I can only count my blessings that in those days every 8-80 year old didn’t have a smart-phone at the ready to capture and share such impressive moments. 

I decided at that point that heading home was probably in my best interest and I did exactly that.  I never told anyone the story of the cigarette in my car at the Toston bar until many years later when I finally understood the catharsis of healthy self-deprecation.  I have since begun to realize that I find nothing as hilarious as my own chaotic decision-making, apparently this is a view shared by many.

As the years went by I, thankfully, began to see the drawbacks of my emotional situation, the effects on my relationships were disastrous and the effects on my sense of self even more so.  I began to metamorphose.  Sadly, with my as yet unrecognized mental disorders also present, I went the way of the erratic ‘judgementalist’ with no concept of a middle ground and careened to the other end of the spectrum so spectacularly that I ended up as what some consider robotic and aloof.  So removed from emotional attachment that when others (this is quite rare) discover the Lake Vostok-like depths of my emotional reservoir they invariably go into some form of shock, panic, and/or disbelief.  This also has not had the most beneficial effects on my life/relationships.  I cannot recommend a sojourn into the waters on either side of this continuum and if you find yourself drifting too far in one of those directions please seek immediate attention from a mental health professional, naturopath, witch doctor, or exorcist for THERE IS NO TIME TO WASTE!

The Madness of the Masquerade

I can fake my way through the day, the month, the year.  I have been doing it my whole life.  I hide every part of me that is real, revealing flashes only in a dance of veils.  Just a whisper of skin… a hint of calf here, a shoulder there, sometimes unwittingly, sometimes perhaps in a silent plea for help.  So quick that its easily missed and if the observer does chance to catch a glimpse in periphery, they question what they saw… discounting by nature.  Recreating and reformatting the information to make it graspable, to be able to accept it and move on without rocking the landscape of their knowable universe to its foundations.

I am not real.

I write today from a deep and cavernous chasm of sadness.  Days of depression are an unpredictable and sickening carnival ride.  I have never liked carnivals. Or rides. 

Kinetosis is a maddening bitch.

 I don’t seem to be able to identify a pattern or set of circumstances that trigger me…

I wake up and I feel as though the weight of my comforter is too daunting and I must remain in bed.  So I do.

I wake up and I feel ok. A few hours later I begin to feel defeated and contemplate driving my car off the nearest embankment.  (I have thought about this in various scenarios since I was a child and I have theories about it which don’t stem from any suicidal tendencies so please don’t harp on that most tiresome and hackneyed topic simply because it is the assumed conclusion that requires the least amount of effort.  That will annoy me and I may use my unholy powers to reach through the digital matrix and bitch slap you,  more on driving off the road in a later post)

I wake up and I feel strong.  I feel certain that I blink my eyes and the day is gone. I feel a great rending within; a physical agony that precludes function.

I get up only because I know I should.  Because somewhere in this viscous nightmare is a girl who is desperate to get well.

The concept of therapy hovers in my mind as something suspicious and potentially dangerous.  What is the draw? Are we simply seeking validation and a path to justify or explain away our poor choices, or is it something more? Is it truly an opportunity for personal enlightenment and healing?  Do I simply want to pay $135.00 an hour to have someone’s undivided attention?

Thoughts like this, while constantly present, aren’t currently preventing me from seeking treatment for my psychosis though they are fueling my already skeptical neurotic inner sub-letter’s monotonous stream of condescension.

On the topic of endless condescension, I find it baffling when my fellow humans (and even more baffling when I do it) create personas for me based solely on “things as seen from the omnipotent perspective of [insert name of the most exasperating ass-clown in your acquaintance here- I’m using me… ] CB the Destroyer.”   Perhaps not baffling as much as so infuriating that I would gladly trade a limb or possibly even an organ for the ability to set something [someone?] on fire with my mind.  Coming from a person who is, albeit attempting reformation, an admitted and outstanding counterfeit of such enormity that she has frequently been victim to her own magnificence, I certainly cannot do anything but stare in slack-jawed drooly wonder at someone who thinks they have some cockle-brained insight into someone else’s persona beyond the most shallow and superficial. 

SIDE NOTE: If you identified with, or even understood, that last paragraph’s mobius strip of slop trough floating flotsam crazy then you may want to consider some immediate and lasting therapy of your own. It is 2 am, after all, and I refuse to hold myself to an unrealistic height of explosive genius expectation at this hour.

In all reality, I do think it a bit more than egotistical to presume to know another person better than they know themselves.  While we may not want to, or in some cases be able to, admit or understand everything about ourselves on a conscious level, no one knows all our secrets and thus cannot know us better than we do.  Perhaps cannot truly know us at all.

Frankly, I am undecided as to who does more damage to my timid attempts at repair, the sub-letter or the crushing press of my fellow “humans”.

“The Unfairness Doctrine: A Halloween Tale of Horror”

Once upon a time there was an exasperated little girl who wanted nothing more than for the Danvers-bound addlepates around her to recognize that while on the outside she was a grubby, dirt-munching little scrapper who may not have brushed her hair for three solid weeks, inside she was a cotton candy scented pink princess politely knocking on the door with her fairy wand, waiting to be let out. 

I have a sister 14 months my junior who has, from birth, been a vision of such feminine loveliness that the natural result in someone of an alternative persuasion (in literally every department from looks to beliefs) such as myself was, is, and always will be, involuntary retching.  As a child, she photographed like a china doll and behaved like a minion of Loki.  I introduce you to this paragon of Hellenistic beauty because she plays a major part in my story of pre-adolescent injustice.

  Baby china doll and jealous big sis…

While still toddling my sister and I were dressed identically on a regular basis.  Especially on holidays and Halloween was no exception.  One year, there were two lovely satin clad butterfly fairies and the next year BLAMO! Prima Ballerina and Drum Majorette.  Prima Ballerina had a pale pink tutu with a starchy silk bodice that made whispery crackling sounds when you ran your hand over it and a stiff “powder-puff” style skirt of net and tulle.  (check out this cool page for more info on Tutu design and history http://www.classacttutu.com/hints-history-of-tutus ) Drum Majorette wore a disco gold leotard with red braided epilates and white satin detail.  The costume was completed by high white boot covers and a baton.  (please don’t infer that the costume was anything other than darling, mother had eccentric tastes and what she chose was always unique and mostly spectacular)

 

Now you may be thinking, “what’s wrong with a Drum Majorette, that costume is adorable!” [retch, retch, retch]but let me assure you that to a repressed princess in a tomboy’s body it was a message that Prima Ballerina was in the feminine club and Drum Majorette was firmly in the tomboy camp – NO COLORING OUTSIDE THE LINES!

Then elementary school began and DP’s “oh, what fresh hell is this?” became the battle cry of a struggling, awkward little alien who never could seem to do anything right.  School was a mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting enterprise for me, but more on that in another post.  What really became the dollop of horseradish on my sundae of manure was the Halloween “costume parade” which consisted of a seemingly never ending line of elementary classes marching in a circle around the school parking lot (seriously, I cannot figure it out either) over and over and over and over to ensure that the parents who bothered to show up got as many wretched photo-ops as possible since in those dark ages of technology getting a picture of a moving child without a missing limb, smile, or head was a feat worthy of braggadocio.   

The Year of the Great Tragedy, my sister and I were in the same school and so our classes would perform the humiliating Halloween asphalt death march together, at least I wouldn’t be alone.  I was filled with elation and anxiety as our mother announced that she had our costumes ready, this would be my vindication! After a half a year of desperation and loneliness fueled by the rejection of my peers, my day had finally come! My mother’s creativity and eye for detail would guarantee me a costume of such uniqueness and charm that no one would be able to resist a place at my side! I would be “Queen for the Day”.  My sister and I jumped and danced around the room with glee, though I have no idea if she was suffering from similar woes, was caught up in my excitement, or simply loved seeing stuff come out of brown paper bags.  Mom pulled from behind her back a pointy crown as tall as Abe Lincoln’s top hat and covered in tin-foil, a matching wand with a star at the end followed.  These items were homemade by mom, btw and very cool.  “You’re going to be Glinda, the good witch of the North!” she crooned excitedly at my sister, who squealed with delight as Mom pulled a perfect pink tulle skirted (sensing a theme here, people?) gown out of her brown bag.  I was jazzed; Mom really seemed to be on the right track this year! What could be lurking in the bottom of that brown bag? A Dorothy costume perhaps, complete with red sparkle shoes the likes of which no one at Adams Center Elementary School had ever seen?  As Mom reached into the bag and began to draw out the first piece my anxiety and expectation soared to echelons nearing apoplexy –  in the background my sister was already stuck head through arm-hole in her stunning new gown – and finally there it was… my perplexity momentarily stilled the anxiety that was running rampant, what was going on here? That outfit is … green?

I waited for her to pull something else, anything else, out of the pathetically wilted paper bag … nothing came.  “Look here!” she said to me, with obvious delight, as she laid out the outfit for my perusal, “Isn’t it the most beautiful costume you ever saw?” I, slowly and with great trepidation, walked over and peeked at the truly gorgeous, made with obvious skill and care, Peter Pan costume. 

PETER FREEKIN PAN? Darling baby sis is our hero, the angelic and wondrous Glinda, and I am the naughty little boy who never grows up.

Well, as you can imagine the parade was a nightmarish whirl of fairies, princesses, ballerinas, and me.  I was mulish and sour and my candy turned to ash in my mouth. 

After this I cannot remember another Halloween costume I wore (I literally cannot, I believe strongly that I must have blocked them out, I even searched for photos to try to find some more or jog my memory to no avail) until 7th grade.  That was a disaster of such epic proportions that it deserves its own story so we will put that one on the shelf for now and just say that high school and early adult Halloween celebrations meant a time of rebellion for me, I was a slutty “insert your favorite cliché here” everything you can imagine, as well as Madonna, Cleopatra (that one was amazing thanks to a loner from my, to this day, Halloween loving mother), a Charlie’s Angel, and even one year Elphaba in a silent middle finger of justice to the Year of the Great Tragedy.  (Thank you, thank you, Gregory Maguire; you will never know the depths of my gratitude)

A few of my Halloween Follies… in order of appearance: Charlie’s Angel, makeshift Madonna, Cleopatra, Elphaba…

 

 

Finally, in my “adult” life (I use this term loosely because I am nothing close to an adult) I have settled down to costumes for fun rather than for vindication.  I am Princess Leia quite often (and if you don’t get this reference STOP READING MY BLOG IMMEDIATELY and go fix your damage) though this year, since my wig had a catastrophic mishap, I am going as Angelica Teach and not because of the sexy pirate wench costume, but because I get to have a big sword.

Also, in the interest of being honest, last year I made my baby daughter dress as Yoda while my older daughter dressed as the Monster High fashion savvy werewolf girl, this year my husband and I chose a velvety green dinosaur costume for my youngest, while my older daughter is going as the (ugh, again?) Monster High version of Cleopatra.  Don’t think that the tragic hilarity of this is lost on me…

baby dinosaur 2012…