I’m good, thanks

Rehearsal went well yesterday. It was fun, actually stepping into a Dutch home for once. The Dutch are lovely people, but they’ll only invite you to their homes after a long acquaintanceship (much more a ‘I’ll meet you there’ people than a ‘let’s hang here’ people) and showing up unannounced is the height of bad manners. So this was my very first time entering a Dutch home  – one that I didn’t rent for the weekend, anyway.

The blueberry muffins went over as well as I’d hoped. Silence descended on the room the first time they were passed around; everyone was stuffing their faces and it took a few minutes for someone to actually speak. Many compliments on them. It was even suggested (half-jokingly) the group sell them at performances to raise money.

The rehearsals themselves…Well, as I’ve said from the start, I’ll make you laugh. I can make no such guarantee about anyone else in the play. That’s still true. One of the duets is pulling out for the first two performances. Seems they don’t feel they have their parts down yet, which I just find hard to imagine. You want to call yourselves actors – even on the amateur level – and you can’t memorize a 25 minute skit in 6 months? Um…okay. There also seems to be a scheduling problem, even tho rehearsals and performance dates were chosen months ago. *sigh* I admit to a deep disappointment over this. Never kidded myself this was anything BUT amateur. I just hoped it was a little bit less amateur than what it’s proving to be. Or maybe I thought my own skills would prompt the others to up their games. I find it, now, a pity that I’m in the first skit. For the overall show, I think my skit should go second. Somewhere in-between the kinda funny other bits. Putting us first…well. I’m a bit worried the rest of the show will feel flat in comparison. Guess that’s my ego, ’cause no one else seems to share that feeling.

I heard the laughter levels, tho. We’re all familiar with the set-ups. Most of us have watched other couples act their bits out. So no big surprises for any of us, really. Yet my skit repeatedly gets out loud can’t stop myself laughter, while the rest just gets chuckles. I know the chuckles will grow into real laughter in front of a fresh audience, so it won’t quite be that bad for the rest of the couples. Still…this has been a concern from the start for me, and it’s not going away.

Also worried I shot my mouth off a bit yesterday. We took a break and sat out in the garden for a bit, having coffee and a bite to eat. Questions on women’s roles came up. Questions that were voiced as the speaker looked directly at me. So I spoke up. One great moment – maybe the greatest so far in my little life – was finding two other women in the group replying and reacting in the exact same manner as myself. That was so fucking amazing! Usually I’m the only one. To have two other women speak up at the same time, saying the same thing I was saying… It was quite a rush. But I’m a bit afraid I monopolized the conversation at one point. I didn’t get angry or bark out my answers. Just the opposite; it was one of the calmest and most measured responses I’ve heard come out of my mouth. It was just wordy, and there were seven of us sitting around talking. I hope I didn’t come across as a know-it-all opinionated conversation monopolizer.

Well, I guess that’s what the blueberry muffins were for. To make up for my social faux pas.

The marketing for the play hasn’t gone well. Someone checked on-line ticket sales yesterday. Saturday: 14 seats sold. Sunday: 10 seats. Leiden performance: 6 seats. End of October: 2. That’s it. I asked if anyone had contacted the papers with a public announcement. I was given a vague answer that some agenda had been contacted, and they thought they covered everything. Obviously not, because it’s not in the papers. And they’ll print it for free if you get it to them. One other question got a derogatory ‘that’s marketing’ sneer, as if getting the word out on this level was beneath their dignity. Was finally given a few posters to put up these last days before the performance. No flyers. No wonder so few seats have been sold. No one bloody knows it’s happening.

*sigh*

New language class today. It’s in the afternoon; not my favorite time of day. I’d rather learn first thing, before my brain has time to cook in its own juices. But I look forward to getting out of the house, meeting my fellow classmates, and hopefully finding my teachers are up to snuff. I don’t want to spend another class correcting the instructors (and this time, if I find that’s the case, I’m demanding they either pay me or let me attend the lessons for free).

September is almost over. My finances won’t be much better next month, but at least I’ll have a few bucks to put here and there where needed. Will probably have to pay my language lessons off in installments, just like my contribution to the theatre group fees or my gym membership. I’m a bit embarrassed by that, ponying up a ten or twenty here or there, obviously strapped for cash while others whip out fifties like it’s the only currency they carry. But I know the trap of money, know how it works. Paying bills or buying things is the only time and place where having money is advantageous. Other than that, I think it works against you. Makes you buy more, put yourself into more debt, worry about more things you have to upkeep because you bought them and if you let them all go to hell now you’ve just thrown your money away… And you don’t get to keep it. It doesn’t save you from dying. It won’t buy you happiness.

…I’m good, thanks.

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Coming Together

YES!

Received confirmation of our residency status yesterday. Technically, it wasn’t a confirmation; even says so in the second paragraph. That, however, is because the police have the right to yank a residency card last minute as they do background checks. Since I haven’t been in any trouble (such a good girl!), I don’t expect any trouble to come my way. All we need to do now is head downtown for pictures and fingerprints, then wait until we can pick up our cards.

Thank you, Goddess. Thank you so much!

Made what might be the worst cup of coffee in the world this morning (the filter bent, so I’ve a cup full of grounds) but what does it matter? I’m allowed to stay here in the Netherlands to 2019. I’m safe. I can stop worrying, even in the back of my head. Now, rather than looking around and thinking how much I might miss the place, I look around and think ‘I’m home, I’m safe’.

Now we’ve got time to pay down the debt we accrued to hire attorneys and accountants and pay all those fees.

I’m still poor, darlings, but truth is I’d rather be poor here than rich in the states.

Made a lucky choice with an over the counter hair color product. Did my roots yesterday afternoon, and you can see only a tiny shade difference in the brightest of lights. Yippee. No grey hair worries for the next month now. Maybe I’ll even get around to cutting my own hair. Haven’t tried that for years and years; it’s tough on the bursae in my shoulders. But I’m stronger now than I was, so I might just snip, snip. It’s not a big deal. I’ve had what I consider a bad hair cut twice in my life – and both times I still got compliments, so they weren’t that bad (I just didn’t like them). Truth is, it’s hard to fuck up my hair. I’ve got a lot of it, it grows fast, and unless you shave my head down to the bone, I can make it work.

Full dress rehearsal today. We’re doing it in my neck of the woods, so everyone is taking the metro up here. I get to walk since it’s so close to my home. Planning on baking some blueberry muffins to take along. It’s the first time we’ll all be together, and I thought it would be nice to bring something so we can all have a little treat. Plus, I know how good most people find my blueberry muffins. Play to your strengths.

We’ve had two days of glorious autumn weather. Sunny skies, warm air with that touch of cool in the shadows, that musty smell from fallen leaves – my favorite time of year. Been wanting to get up and go, but holding myself back. My foot is still giving me problems, and yesterday my wrist went. Really sucks to hurt yourself ten times over simply doing dishes, but it happened. So it’s nurse myself, don’t do too much, and all that. I guess it’s not a bad thing, really. Helps me remember to be careful this last week before performing.

Wanting more than ever to master this language now that I’ve got the green light from immigration. It’s still a daunting task. My new, higher level lesson begins tomorrow.

I feel like my mind is coming out of a long coma. The first few years here were and still are a mash in my head: a lot of anxiety and pain, and nothing that anchors time for me. Confusion over the language, worry over this or that – you name it, I’ve been there. It’s a floating mass of stuff labeled ‘my first two years’ that I have trouble sorting out. In some ways, I feel like this is my first two years in the Netherlands. It’ll be the first two years I step out with enough grasp of the language to understand most of what’s said to me. I know people now. Maybe I don’t have friends, but when I moved here I didn’t know anyone at all. Now I know people by name, even connected with them on social networks. I also understand how this society works; their time schedules and holidays, their quirks and habits. I’ve got a little foothold, and it feels good.

Can it be that things are finally coming together for me?

 

Stop!

Down time for RA. One of the worst things ever was growing up not having this disease diagnosed. I experienced a lot of pain, and was told I was being over dramatic. Truth was, my bones were minutely fracturing and my inflammation at a level that should have put me in hospital. But I didn’t know. I listened to the hateful people in my life who blamed me. I told myself I was weak and stupid. So I’ve still got a real problem with taking time off for pain I didn’t actually cause. This time, it’s in a foot, and bad enough I’ve been limping. Lovely.

In ultra paranoid mode. It’s the last week before the play, and the most dangerous time period for me. I’ll be working every night, up late, with people (who all seem to have sick kids or sick spouses or a nasty cough themselves). That’s a recipe for disaster. Washing my hands dozens of times every day. Pushing juice. Picking meals for health value rather than taste.

Heard from the publisher I was pursuing for my brother’s book. Sadly, they passed. Can’t shake this feeling someone on their side fucked up; we were passed off to another person, and he seemed to discount it out of hand with a ‘we already have enough music theory books’ statement. Which seems odd to me, because they DON’T have a book like this. Theory books are written from piano keyboard standpoints. This one works from guitar and bass fretboards, too. But, okay. I’ll move on. Have pages and pages of publishers to check out.

Have not yet addressed the issue with my uncle. Waiting until after the play. I don’t need the distraction. Must admit to feeling half and half – half anger, half pity. I’m still angry he thinks he has the right to rile me up on my own page. But I pity him, too. Took a look at his FB page, and can I say, it’s little wonder he comes to MY page to get some attention. Nonetheless, it’s got to stop. Lucky for him, that top fresh edge of my rage has worn away. I’ll be gentler now.

…Got to admit to a growing sense of…disappointment, I guess. I feel flat and let down. Almost depressed. Not sure why. If anything, I should be feeling up and excited this last week of rehearsals. Maybe I’m just tired, and the RA flare up doesn’t help. Maybe I’ve been working myself too hard, or worrying too much. I look forward to performing again, and yet…yet I don’t.

Coming to some hard realizations, too. Deeper levels of understanding. I’m beginning to really understand my 20-something self, why I did what I did. Started calling my mother by her first name in conversation and in my head. Found it helps me disconnect a bit from that ‘but she’s my mother; I’m supposed to love her’ shit. C was a bitch, and should have NEVER had children. Full stop. Found an article about daughters of unloving mothers. Had that ‘oh my god, they’re talking about me’ thing happen with a couple of items they noted, particularly a bit about children not knowing if the good mommy or the bad mommy was present. That hit home. Hard. I’ve also been admitting to myself how often I sabotaged my success, or turned away from opportunities because I just didn’t feel worthy. I take responsibility for these actions. But I lay the blame on C. She boxed my mind in, she made me feel helpless and worthless. I hate her for it.

Unfortunately, there ain’t no do-overs in life. I can’t go back and reclaim those lost opportunities. I can’t go back and make myself feel worthwhile. Wish I could. I’d like to see how far I might have actually gone if I was unfettered by self-hate. If I was given just a tiny bit of real support and love.

I am so jealous of people with loving families!

But even if I could go back, I know now the only things that would change would be how quickly fights would escalate and how early I left home never to return or talk to C again. Because she wouldn’t change. The rest of my family doesn’t ever change; why should she? It’s not like she wanted me. She didn’t. And she sure as fuck wouldn’t change her martyrdom for her children. I could only go back and tell them to fuck off. Say the things I should have said. I couldn’t spare myself hurt or pain, because that would still happen. I could just get out of it sooner, stop acting out against C earlier.

It’s difficult to change this aspect of myself. To stop hating myself so much.

Hell! It’s difficult to just stop.

Active

Have you lost weight?

Oh, thank you, thank you! To an overweight person, particularly one not satisfied with her size, the above statement is probably the greatest opener you can use when you haven’t seen someone for a few months. I had the joy of hearing it yesterday, and even tho the scale stubbornly refuses to move (beginning to wonder if it’s broken), I felt uplifted.

My brother said I looked thinner because I was wearing my hair pulled back.

…Um…thanks for the honesty?

Tho I’m still not thrilled with the thickness of my body (that’s the problem, really – not the bulges or cellulite, but the thickness of my torso), I’m buoyed by my growing strength. 3.65 kilometers on the cross trainer. Go, baby, go! Did a little look-see online for cross trainer info. Apparently, that machine is supposed to mimic stair walking without the joint stress. I disagree. It’s more like walking through sand than it is walking stairs. Nonetheless, whether it’s walking stairs or walking through sand, 3.65 kilometers is impressive.

Let’s see that extra flab stick around NOW!

Need to head out today and find an ugly pair of pants at the charity shop. Keeps slipping my mind. Less than two weeks to curtain up; you’d think I’d remember! But, well…I had to send out a request to the director to please cue me in on Sunday’s dress rehearsal time and address. I’d think THAT would be something easy to remember, too, but seems I’m wrong. So I guess I can cut myself some slack. If the director can’t remember to inform one of his actors about a scheduled rehearsal, I can’t be blamed for forgetting to find an ugly pair of pants I’ll probably never wear again.

Also need to do my hair. Just gonna buy a cheap temporary color to cover the grey. No money for salon treatments. I’m even contemplating cutting it myself because it’s just out of hand. I’ve enough hair on my head for two people.

Got the second letter for my bro out to the publisher. Now it’s the waiting game. Gave them a whole chapter to look at. Hope I did well. Think I did.

Find I have to check my FB account every day for comments from my uncle. That famed social network just doesn’t work very well. I’m supposed to get an alert any time someone comments on my posts, but I find I don’t. I get a lot of alerts for groups I never said I wanted to join but somehow got into anyway. Found another comment, this time on a rather positive article about the Dutch agriculture industry. My uncle’s statement was: great, but what about overpopulation? I dithered for a moment – yep, actually had DOUBT – before I hit delete. Although there was nothing in his statement that I found offensive, it was coming from him – and as I said before, that fact colors everything out of his mouth. But what really tipped it to ‘hit delete’ for me was what I realized was very typical for him: that sideswipe comment that doesn’t really address the issue raised, but instead belittles the original statement or argument by attempting to distract and redirect to another issue HE wants to argue over. That, I take issue with. And that’s something he’ll never understand.

Right now, between the work outs and the upcoming performance, I could care less. Hit delete, then ignore. My focus is coming down to a pin-point. Forgetting what day it is, forgetting about language, forgetting about anything other than rehearsals and my role. Had a passing thought about writing the other day, and laughed at myself. Not gonna fall into that trap. I’ve set myself up for a masterful performance, and I’m not gonna blow it by losing my head in another story. I know who I have to be: her name is Wendy, and she is SO not me.

It’s just for a few more weeks. I know there’s another performance at the end of October, and I’ll need to keep the role fresh. But that’s later. Right now is right now, and I’m counting down to the first curtain up.

…Just a little obsessed. I know. But this is me using my obsession towards a goal. I know what I’m like – that one-track mind once I’ve taken hold of an idea. Perfect. Be Wendy. Not 24/7; don’t think I could stand myself to go that far. But keep her close. Once in a while I ask myself ‘what would Wendy do in this situation?’. I see things through her eyes for a moment. It serves to underscore our differences.

She is passive.

I’m active.

Please

Hmmm…

I’ve heard that regular exercise help you maintain your emotions. It’s true, I guess, for the small shit. I feel far less likely to bite someone’s head off for a random act of ignorance when I’m on top of exercise. What it don’t help with is the BIG shit. That, I find, still gets me…enraged. Angry just isn’t a big enough word here. Enraged.

I am enraged, and have been for a few days. Fighting it. Doing what I can to distract myself. It only works until the next nose tweak, the next heavy handed attempt to rattle me. Then I lose it again because GODDESS DAMN IT, I’ve asked nicely that my uncle NOT be a shit and NOT engage in political rhetoric with me and yet he still does. Why? He probably doesn’t even know why. He’s just compelled to do it – because that’s what narcissists do. They act without thinking, and push and push until their victims can’t take it anymore and then they put on that air of innocence – Why are you so angry? Oh, gee. Maybe it’s because of the years of insults that have been thrown out of your mouth and directed towards me and my beliefs. The belittling, the discounting, the blatant attempts to shame me for thinking differently than you.

Fuck you.

Sitting half and half right now. It’s either block my uncle or declare I’m dead. Blocking my uncle is the only REAL way to know he’ll shut the fuck up on my page. Declare myself dead and he’ll sit out there, posting right wing shit after right wing shit, until my personal page looks like David Duke’s.

Found, and blocked, a new page from my would-be serial killer nephew.

And people think I overreact. Well, if I met a rapist who espoused opinions on women’s roles and women’s rights, I’d discount them out of hand because of what he was – a rapist. Likewise, I feel I must discount any reconciliatory sounding post from my uncle because I know that underneath he’s either making fun of and belittling me, or attempting to pacify me with lies. He’s admitted as much to me; he feels it’s his “right” to poke at any left-wing idea he sees fit, and he shouldn’t suffer any backlash because of it.

I’m so fucking SICK of white ignorant assholes crying because they catch flack for being racists. Oh, poor babies! You get ONE taste of what it’s like to be marginalized, of what you’ve put others through for fucking hundreds – no, THOUSANDS – of years, and you cry like a little bitch.

I have NO sympathy for them. Is that harsh? I suppose so. I suppose I should turn the other cheek and all that. I can’t, though. They broke that ability in me long, long ago.

Best I can do is turn away.

Which, naturally, I’ll be vilified for. I’m the bad guy, I’m the asshole, I’m the one who won’t communicate.

Yeah, yeah.

…For this morning, I just hit the delete button. Again. No one has the right to post ANYTHING on my page that I don’t want.

Better things to talk about.

Second day of the gym went well. Very well. Found far more energy than I expected. I suspect I’m ready to get on the cross trainer two days in a row, though I’ll take it easy through the next few weeks because of the upcoming performances. Got on the bikes, which I haven’t done since hitting the cross trainer hard. Kept adding resistance; couldn’t feel it even after I went up to a level I know I couldn’t handle three months ago. My legs are really strong.

Hammered out the second letter for my bro, and prepped everything to send out. Going to wait until afternoon here. I don’t know where the physical offices of this publisher are, but I suspect North America, so sending it out at noon here will still be only 8 a.m. New York time. A real agent wouldn’t be working on weekends, so I absolutely do NOT want my message coming in saying I sent it out on a Sunday! No. Might even wait until 1 or 2 here; give that illusion that I came into the office, saw the reply, and prepped my answer right then and there. My bro is very excited, and tends to get wound up just talking about this deal. I’m keeping a lid on his mania as much as mine, reminding him it’s only the first step and we’ve a lot of negotiating to get through before anything is signed.

The short time span before performing really hit me this morning. I’ve been reminding myself of it, but somehow this morning it got real. Hope to head to the charity shop today; still need to find a pair of ugly pants for my outfit. Need to find a magazine, too, because somehow my name got on the list of props claiming I’ll supply that, even tho I never put it there. Well, I don’t have much to contribute in way of props, so I feel I should just do it. Somewhere around here I’ve got a poetry magazine in Dutch I’ve kept aside…

Run lines, shower, prep for tonight’s rehearsal. I’ve things to keep me occupied today. Even have two films I recorded, so plenty of tv time just waiting for me to watch.

Good. I’ve things to mull around in my mind. To write the letter or not write the letter; that is the question. I will only ask once. And I will say please. Please refrain from commenting on my page. If that last, final, clear appeal is ignored…well, I have my answer.

Please.

Progress as a verb

Run.

Nothing like watching a horror film to make you remember why working out is important. What if. That’s all you really have to ask yourself: what if. What if disaster struck, what if you were being chased by an axe wielding maniac. Three years ago, my answer would have been ‘lay down and die’ because I was stiff, out of shape, and in a lot of pain. Yesterday, my answer was run. Run fast, run hard – and the great thing was, I found I’m still capable of doing that.

For the record: 8 minutes and five seconds in I passed my first kilometer. Passed the second kilometer in 7 minutes. My knees felt good, I felt strong. Did my stretches and abdominal exercises and free weights, too.

These days, I have a fairly decent chance of getting away from natural disasters and axe wielding maniacs. Not if I’m with a bunch of 20-somethings. But give me an average group, and I’ll be able to outrun a couple of them. I’ll also be able to fight if needed. I’m lifting more, getting some real muscle definition, and while it may be a while since I had any martial arts lessons, I still know how to move.

Don’t underestimate this old broad.

I said I’d laugh at myself if my plan worked, so HAHAHAHAHAHA BLOODY HA! My letter on behalf of my brother was answered – in less than a day. Fastest response I’ve ever seen on flipping ANYTHING. They want a PDF sample. That’s my must-do today: check the text and pick what to send. And since I didn’t send a sample of the manuscript, let me crow because it’s all down to me. My letter, my writing, my pitch got this response. Bloody hell! Wish I could do this for my own stuff! But envy aside, I’m very pleased and working to contain my excitement. This next letter is as important as the first, so I’ll work on it as well. Pleasant, friendly, open and willing to compromise while at the same time holding a high degree of professionalism. That’s what I shot for in the first letter, and I’m holding to the same standard in the second.

Goddess, please help me not fuck up!

Just a few, short weeks left before performing. Don’t know I’m actually ready for it. You know how things go – once someone knows the jokes, they tend to not laugh. That’s what’s going on. My funniest bits go un-laughed at, and I’m starting to doubt the comedy of it all. And I know how much laughter from the audience can throw you. Hearing other people laugh can set you off. I’d like a bit more indoctrination on that, but it’s gonna be feet in the fire, and keep a straight face because you really only get that experience by performing. I keep in mind that the funniest bits on the old Carol Burnett show were often when they’d lose it a little and struggle to keep straight faces. In other words, don’t be afraid of the process. Or even more simply: trust yourself.

…For the very first time since beginning my heavy cross trainer exercise, I find myself wanting to go to the gym two days in a row. I’m not as exhausted as I’ve been in the past. Tired, but not exhausted. Feeling pretty good, as a matter of fact. That’s why I want to go. And so I will. Not to cross train, but to walk on the treadmill and do some biking and lifting. Won’t let myself fool myself into two hard days. I know how that goes! I’d do it, and burn myself out so much I’d have problems the rest of the week. Nope. Simple movement today. If I can live through that and begin doubling up on days at the gym, then I’ll consider two hard days in a row.

Wow. Can you imagine? When you spend a lot of time sick or in pain, you begin to think that’s it forever. It’ll never get better. And let’s be clear: it ain’t easy. I invite anyone into my brain during my work-outs to experience the nausea, the pain in the push, and all the shit I have to shoulder my way through before I get the endorphins everyone talks about. But it IS getting better. The image of me toddling around barely able to walk, or the one of me using some sort of walking aide…they’re beginning to fade from my possible futures. At least, in my head. I know RA; later today I might not be able to move. It’s a bitch of a bitchy disease, striking when you least expect it, taking you down when you’re not prepared. These are things I always need to remember. I just enjoy not dwelling on them.

*sigh* Got to admit I’m wound up. Received a letter from immigration the other day. It was just to pick up some paperwork, but I thought maybe it indicated a positive response in our case. It wasn’t, yet it was. It wasn’t the magic ‘yes, you can stay’ answer I wanted, and I must admit I feel disappointed even though there’s no reason for it. I also feel a heightened anxiety over the entire issue, which again is nonsensical. What the letter does indicate is movement. Progress. A forward motion in life. The great gears are turning, and things are changing. I’ve lived through this often enough to know I might not be pleased with the outcome, and I guess that’s what’s worrying me.

We risk everything to move forward. I risk my health every time I work out. I risk my brother’s shot at the best music publisher in the biz if I don’t get that package just right. I risk failure on stage. And, the hardest to admit, I risk facing deportation if my immigration case doesn’t go through.

But stagnation isn’t the answer.

Progress is. Not as a noun, but as a verb. I progress through life. Yes.

Walls

Probably just did something I’ll regret. Will no doubt catch flack for it. I just deleted a comment on FB from my uncle, and paired it with a post saying I’ve had it and will not tolerate trolls or bigots in any form. Why? Because my sheet wearing uncle sent me a fucking article from a fucking racist paper. Nothing like saying ‘I like burning crosses’ like a link to a right-wing bullshit article like that.

Why do people like my uncle think it’s okay to spew out such ignorant, hateful things, yet still think they have the ‘moral authority’ to bitch at me and what I say?

I hate them. Hate my uncle, hate my oldest brother, hate my sister, HATE THEM.

Have not yet whipped out that big old blocking mechanism but I’m this close.

…I know what my problem is. I want two things: one, I want my family to acknowledge how bigoted and messed up they are, and two, I want them to acknowledge my successes. Both are beyond the realm of reality, and I should know that. …I do know that. But I also have to own up to the part of me that hangs onto the notion that some day they’ll wake up, some day they’ll see, some day they’ll hear.

Really wish right now I had just killed them all.

Been thinking, too, of announcing I’m dead. Leave the FB account open, because that’s what happens these days. But change the status to deceased. Maybe even post a little epitaph. That way, at least, I’d free myself of family shit. They’d have no reason to email me annoying right-wing articles first thing in the morning. The one or two friends I care about would be informed. The rest of the world can fuck off.

The day is coming. What day? The day I blow my top publicly. The day I let loose on the shits that call themselves my family. … I try, each and every time this happens, to remember all the important stuff. Like, they’re obviously ignorant. Their heads are stuck in cages. They’re obviously hurt and angry. But it just seems to me that they don’t change. At all. If I felt there was even the tiniest shift in attitude, the smallest recognition of the larger view…But I don’t. They continue on, beating the same dead horses with the same hickory sticks, saying the same slogans, listening to the same bullshit, believing what they believe because it’s easier to be angry and aggressive than it is to THINK.

The outcome? Well…I was pretty sure my nephew was abusive to animals when he was young. My feeling is that if he didn’t evolve into a serial killer, that was just sheer luck on the part of humanity. He’s raising a son, so I expect the family to include a newspaper headline grabbing racist within 10 years, when he comes of age.

And I know how bad they are. Who do you think has carried the brunt of their disdain all these years?

…Sent out a letter yesterday to a publishing company on behalf of my bro. It was as tight and exciting as I could make it. Didn’t go so far as to represent myself as an agent, but I implied it. I know how those letters are seen: appearance is everything. More than half the publishing places won’t even look at a letter if it’s written by the author. Did my best to get him the attention I think he deserves. Need to cull through some other publishers, and continue to send out feelers.

I’ll have a good laugh at myself if it turns out I find my niche representing other authors…

Skipped the gym yesterday. Didn’t care, didn’t want to go, didn’t have the motivation to get out of the house. Told myself that was okay. Really should go today, just to clear my head – rain or no.

Got that extra irritation going today because I recognize that if I was zen, I’d just delete the comment from my uncle and be done with it. But I’m not zen, so I’ve gotta go that extra bit. And what’s really getting me is that this is the same behavior I want to call him out on. That little extra nose tweaking that isn’t necessary. Knowing I’m acting out and being petty does not help my cool. On the other hand, I am so SICK AND TIRED of being my family’s kicking dog that I can’t help but cheer myself on: You go, girl! Give it to them! Stand up for yourself! 

What’s a scapegoat in a family of narcissists to do?

Seems to me it all comes down to how much I’m willing to take. That’s the answer in most cases. How much bullshit are you willing to deal with in the name of your career, or love, or whatever? We deal with shit from bosses because of the pay check. We deal with shit from spouses because of sex. We deal with shit from our families because that’s the way we were taught. We even deal with shit from outed racists and bigots under the banner of “free speech”.

And I think people like my family push people like me because they’ve done so for so long they think they have the right. Plus, they secretly want to see us blow up. It gets them off. Gets their dicks hard – or their vaginas wet; take your pick.

…Maybe the fascists are right about one thing. A wall might be a good idea.

Distractions

In the past 24 hours, I’ve had to turn down an invite to see a local band and nix my language lesson – all in the name of health. Does not help that I feel manic and am having a difficult time settling. I’m probably erring on the side of caution, but after six weeks ill this spring plus losing my hearing, I don’t really think of that as a minus. Still…it’s hard not to feel like a wimp. I’m not ill. Trouble is, I want to stay that way.

Avoiding class today because we were scheduled for a field trip to the local library. Offered a three month free library membership, which I wanted. But it’s cold and wet and windy again. Chances of getting soaked on the walk to and from the library are high, and even higher for being exposed to something. So I’m bundling down. Drinking juice. Staying warm.

My commitment to the theatre group runs through the end of October. Like it or not, I have weeks of vigilance ahead of me.

Vigilance kept me from a full work out yesterday, too. All went well, topped another 3 km on the cross trainer, felt strong. Then I got off the cross trainer, and felt a twinge in my knee. Tried walking it out, both on the floor and at a very slow pace on the treadmill but it kept giving me gip, so I followed the damned instructions on the machine (the one that said STOP if you’re having pain) and headed home. *sigh* It’s not like I wanted to. But again, experience spoke to me: nine months unable to walk after tearing the cartilage in both knees makes for a powerful memory.

Been watching Ally McBeal again. Very dated at this point. Especially post Ugly Betty and Drop Dead Diva. Had to remind my brother it was a ground breaking series when it came out. Ally McBeal was one of the first shows to portray a single, working woman who didn’t close herself off in a male world. She was romantic, soft, and very flawed. Oh, but there are elements that grate at me! I watch it now and pity my younger self and all women of that era. THIS is what we thought was marvelous at the time. I can only hope that the rapidity of strong female role models emerging in the entertainment industry will be mimicked in reality.

Ach. It comes too little, and too late for me.

Not too late for me to capture what I know, though. My particular brand of family issues and insecurities is brewing into something. Will I leave an opus? Goddess, I hope so. I don’t feel I have much to give as a person. I give what I can, trust when I’m able – but I recognize it’s far too little in most instances, and I judge myself meanly.

…Being left alone with only my thoughts brewing isn’t helping.

C’mon, distractions!

Are we having fun yet?

It’s been a few months since I got hot under the collar from something my family did, so I guess it’s time. At the moment, it’s a FB push for a thumbs down so they can publicly let anyone and everyone know what idiots (their word, not mine) they are. This little tantrum campaign is headed up by – you guessed it – my uncle. He tagged me in the initial post, and asked for comments. So I gave him one.

I told him that in the social climate today, trolling others and calling (or implying) them to be “idiots” was mean. Simply mean, with no redeeming value. In my opinion, it shows an inability to form a coherent argument, a complete lack of logic, and a childishness one could only expect from life-long narcissists. Am I surprised? No. This is my family, my blood. I know what shits they are.

Trolls. White supremacists. Greedy mother fuckers you don’t want on your side, or as friends.

Goddess, I hate my DNA! Still don’t know how I managed to survive that upbringing.

…Oh, yeah. I drank. A lot.

Sometimes I think I should of just picked up one of the family’s guns and gone on a rampage. Taken care of all these headaches at once. But I’ve long noted the reluctance of we grandchildren to reproduce. Seems most of us got the message, somehow: the family’s fucked; don’t have any more kids. Three did not get the message – all male. No wonder. It’s not like it’s difficult for them to have kids. But I worry about these few surviving remnants. This is a toxic family, a family bred for war and violence. Their message is” hate yourself, then hate the world”.

If I received a message later today that every single family member – close to me or far extended – DIED all on the same day, I don’t think even one tear would fall from my eye. That, of course, is for my mother’s family. My father’s family never was a family. I never even knew most of them, and those I did know I only met once. Perhaps politics and ethics were a part of that: those of my father’s family I’ve reconnected with are as liberal and tree-hugging as myself. I am more at ‘home’ talking with these near strangers than I am in deep conversation with my mother’s side.

…Took care of myself yesterday, as promised. It was boring. I was boring. But, so far, I’ve hung onto good health.

Been tired without a good reason lately. Don’t know if it’s the weather, or my RA, or just ME. Sleep sounds great, but I hit my bed and sleep isn’t as easy to find as it should be…In my armchair, it’s a whole other ball of wax. Out like a light as quickly as snapping your fingers. Ah, aging! Another delightful thing for you to look forward to, like your pubic hair marching down your legs and growing grey. All that shit no one tells you.

Are we having fun yet?

Bombshell

Ah. Late start; slept in. Gotta get used to this back and forth. Rehearsals (and the soon to come performance) really screw with my timing. I come back home wound up, excited, and nowhere near sleep. So it’s hours beyond my usual bed-time by the time I close my eyes, and the sun is well above the horizon before I wake.

Had fun last night. It was fun to do the role in a new manner, fun to play with make-up, but perhaps most fun was the reaction I received. Walking in freshly done up, I received an overwhelming ‘Oooooo!‘ from the group. Not a huge surprise; they’ve never seen me in make-up before. I’ve got one of those faces that can change into anything because it’s a blank slate. Put different colors on me, change my hair – and viola! Someone entirely new. These days, I don’t wear make-up. Ever. I’m not out for anything, I just want to be a person. Plus it’s really bad for your skin. But I’m still that blank slate. Add in some shading and color, and suddenly I’m a glam bombshell. Or, that’s the way the group treated me. My acting partner told me four times last night he found me terribly attractive – and that’s more than lip service, because he broke character twice and his reason was, both times, my look. My ego got stroked. Don’t care if I want anything or not; being perceived as attractive feels good. In the end, the director decided to retain my original interpretation of the role – though he does want me to keep using the false eyelashes. And may I say, wearing false eyelashes is one WEIRD experience. First, you’re very aware of them, and it feels unnatural. It’s visually odd because you can see the lashes hanging over your eyes. And the initial shock of going from no lashes to thick full lashes…well, it takes some time to adjust. About an hour and a half, to be precise. By the end of rehearsal, I was used to the lashes and the way they made me look. Good news is they hung on, despite sweating, so I’ve got the gluing process down.

Bad news is, the director was sick, so I’m on health watch today.

Still no compunction to write other than an occasional note and this blog. That’s good, actually. I didn’t want to be caught up in something this close to performance. My mind is focused on staying healthy and performing well.

…I’ll confess that in the secret depths of my heart, I hope one of these people I’m working with will be so impressed by my various interpretations that I’ll end up having an in with an acting agency. It’s a long shot, but I know most of these people are involved in various acting areas – other theatre groups, films, etc. They know people. And one can hope, right?

Dressed for the gym, but I’m not sure I’ll go. The weather is iffy; we’ve a warning out for high winds and storms. And I’m tired. Plus, I’ve been exposed. Might just chill. Probably should. …Oh…if I hold to my promise to myself, I have to chill. Forget the gym. Drink juice, nap, relax. I should stop kidding myself.

Great to know I can still pull off the bombshell look. But at almost 52 (just a few, short months away), it really takes it out of me.