The last vestige

Start to heal, and feel worse. Anyone else suffer through this? Three days on the anti-viral and the exhaustion hit me – couldn’t stay awake for anything. Now, it’s a stuffed nose and cold-like symptoms. Joy. Reminding myself to feel happy about it while I cough and blow my nose, tearing through the facial tissues in the house until all the garbage cans are full of my used product. It’s coming out of my body. The nose blowing, the navel goo, the exhaustion…all side products of this illness.

Gods, healing is gross.

Sent a text to my teacher, telling her I had shingles and wouldn’t be coming to class. Waited nervously for a reply. Kept thinking she’d tell me no one wanted me back in class after my outburst. Went through the whole thing in about fifteen minutes: shame, guilt, anger, acceptance. Finally my phone jangled with a note: get well, and we hope to see you next week. I find my reaction and…well, everything that’s going on worth mentioning. Because I’m getting this reply from the teacher I call Ms. Hard Ass. Make no mistake about it: she IS a hard ass. But I think she also understands me better than most. I think she’s sussed out that I’m bipolar, maybe a bit autistic. And I think she’s dealt with this type of behavior before. She was the only one who dared to continue speaking to me normally after my outburst. I remember her even asking ‘may I point a few things out to you?’ before giving me some corrections. Of all the people in that room, I feel she’s the one who understood what was going on with me, so her kind reply is doubly appreciated.

Been imagining me apologizing to the class. I have to; it’s the only way I can work up the nerve to do it. Have to add that my imaginings always seem to include someone (one person in particular) piping up with ‘suggestions’ on how to stay calm or stay healthy or whatever. Assumptions, really. The same sort of thing I have to suffer through when someone tells me of some home remedy for rheumatoid arthritis. Dudes! I studied herbal remedies. Whatever you’re going to tell me about, I’ve tried it or looked into it and decided the science can’t back up the claims. Don’t lecture to me about eating right, or sleeping, or getting exercise. I’m on top of all that. I’ve been juggling this illness since I was 10. I dealt with it undiagnosed for 25 years, and now diagnosed for another 17. I’ve done more than you could ever imagine. But it always comes up. And I have to paste that smile on my face, the one that hurts even me to use (can’t you SEE how unhappy I am with what you’re saying?), and listen, and say ‘yes’ and ‘really?’ like I’m truly interested because doing anything else is viewed as rude. Very few people seem to understand how rude it is from my side. …I understand I’m being triggered. My experience with apologizing has been that the apology is never really accepted; I must go through lectures and reminders for the rest of my life. So I’m naturally leery. Afraid it’ll happen again. It’s hard to remember that there are people out there who aren’t gonna react like my family. Doing my best to offer myself alternative fantasies: apologize, and have the apology accepted. People smile and nod at me. I am forgiven. I want that, and I want to trust that it’ll happen. It’s the last part I’m snagged on: trust.

How can I trust S and the film crew so easily, yet be unable to trust other people? I’m having the same issue with the theatre group. I don’t trust they’ll follow through with my piece. Or am I asking the wrong question? Is it ME I don’t trust in these situations? Do I feel incapable of taking criticism, of hearing ‘no’? *sigh* Again, my experiences are not great. I’ve rarely had the thing known as ‘constructive criticism’ given to me. Rip you to shred criticism, yes. In abundance. Meant to hurt you as much as possible criticism. I’m afraid of that. It hurts. No matter how much of it you get, it hurts. Maybe I’m being a drama queen, but it does seem I draw more of that to me than most people. I’ve heard things like ‘you can’t even write a grammatically correct sentence; don’t even BEGIN to think you’re a writer’, or the always deadly ‘gee, you’d be really pretty if you just lost 20 pounds’. That’s not even mentioning the times I was called childish, ignorant, stupid, arrogant, and just plain wrong in every way imaginable (and no, my inner defeatist attitude is NOT something bred in me, but moulded onto me – these are simply echoes of things I heard about myself growing up). So yes, I’m touchy. Begin to attack me personally and I’ll go off on you. Point things out to me calmly and without judgement, and I’ll be fine. I don’t think I’m asking so much there. Am I?

If life is a mirror, then I’m in trouble here. Because things point to the fact that I’m too judgmental. If I feel judged, then (by mirroring standards) I must be putting out too much judgement. …Oh. Well. I DO judge. I’ll admit to thinking ‘gods, people are STUPID!’ about three hundred times a day. And I judge my mother, and my sister, and all my family. I judge them all to be lacking, and all to be dangerous to my mental stability. *sigh* Yet it’s only after leaving them – finally leaving them, all the way through me leaving them, not just in words or distance leaving them – that I’ve met people I can love. I’ve found places I fit in, even if it’s just a short film shoot. I’ve gained self respect.

My doubts and fears…they are just the remnants, the last vestige of the damage done.


Pick one


Wish I could. Wish I could vomit all this out of me. The anger, the burning hate that threatens to consume my mind. I want to strike out, to hit, to hurt, to kill. Make ’em bleed ’cause they fucking deserve it. I am very wary of this feeling; I know it does nothing but breed more problems. But I feel like I could just punch something or someone and keep punching until my hand breaks.

The weather is not helping. High winds and hail storm against the window, echoing the warfare I feel inside. Noisy shit that just won’t leave me alone no matter how many times I decide to let it go. Keeps coming back like some rabid dog determined to fucking bite me.

Did well yesterday. Give me a gold star. Homework, gym, and held back on smoking too much. Still want to cut down further, but real progress.

…Meh. I recognize this is part of the process. Increased irritation and anger while going thru withdrawal. Doing my best to keep that in mind. It prevents me from killing anyone, but it doesn’t help me sleep.

Dentist tomorrow. Joy. Have to tell him about my teeth. Oh, gee. Yeah, they still hurt. Sometimes here, sometimes there. Sometimes not at all. I can’t figure it out, and I can’t stop it. And I’m fucking fed up with it. Please don’t fucking touch this one nor that one. And please don’t hurt me anymore.

Don’t want to go out there today. The winds and hail are scheduled to continue, and it just makes me want to hole up under my blanket. I could. I know what I need to do before the premiere and it’ll take one day if I’ve got my shit together. I have the time to skive off. Tempting. But staying home means tempting myself with smoking all day long. It’s so easy to light up and let my worries drift away. So I don’t know.

I also don’t know about my hair. My bro has officially given me funds to go to the salon and do whatever. Now that I have permission, I’m really wondering if I want to cut my long locks. Managed to sneak in that shower yesterday, and as usual when faced with this type of decision, the alternatives all make themselves attractive. I stepped out of the shower with my hair already hanging in soft ringlets – the type of hairstyle some women work hours to achieve. And I wondered…do I really want to chop all that off? Isn’t it pretty? Yes, it is pretty. That’s a plus on the long hair side. But it’s also a pain. It’s so long now I HAVE to blow dry it because air drying it takes more than 8 hours. I don’t like that. I don’t like the fact that when I sit with my head relaxed against the back of my chair, my hair gets caught behind my back. I don’t like the extra heat I feel in bed, either. It’s heavy, and hot. …That’s a lot more negatives than positives. Should be an easy decision.

Fucking dithering. I’m worrying about possible future regret. That’s a moot point. It doesn’t exist, it may never exist. Kudos to me for trying to think ahead and consider the full consequences of my actions – but stop getting caught in ONE scenario. Many possible futures exist. Pick one, and work towards it.

Pick one…

There’s my problem. I want conflicting things. I want, in essence, the impossible. Long hair without the hassle. Smoking without the detrimental health effects. Weight loss without the work. Everything is conditional. If you want that, you must put up with or do this.

Even love. Humans have this intellectual construct called unconditional love. I’m not saying it doesn’t exist; even the “impossible” exists on the e curve, but I believe it exists in flashes of temporary feeling rather than as a stable, common emotion. One cannot feel loved without expecting certain things. We feel loved if people listen to us. Are there for us. Share their lives with us. Laugh with us. Hug us. But that means we expect these things to create this feeling – we put those conditions on our feelings of love. Can you feel loved when someone spits at you? Hits you? Degrades who you are, what you believe or feel? And wouldn’t someone who could say yes, I feel loved when people treat me like shit, be viewed as mentally unfit? Out of the norm? Strange and unwell for feeling that? …I think “unconditional love” is just a misnomer. What we’re really saying is ‘understand me, forgive me for what I think are my sins’. Is that even possible? I wouldn’t know. My immediate family was the type that never forgot, and never really forgave. My sins were repeatedly brought up and thrown in my face, every time things went wrong. “You always”. “You never”.

The hypocrisy I can’t forgive them for is expecting me to forgive this behavior, while simultaneously never forgiving me.

Intellectually, I think I’m at the point where I realize I have to forgive to move beyond this point. That doesn’t mean letting them back in my life; protecting myself is still the most important thing, particularly while I’m feeling vulnerable. I get it. I know what I eventually have to do. I just don’t know how to get there. This is so deep in me, I feel it’s burned into my DNA. – Which is why most of posts degenerate into family gripes, like this one.

*sigh* Your future is out there.

Pick one.


Nothing ventured, nothing gained

Remember to take down time for yourself. It works. I know it sucks! But this is the fastest you’ve recovered. A scant 48 hours. That’s two days, not two weeks. Think about it.

Found L’s daughter. Goddess only knows what I was thinking. Twenty-five years on. Must have been all that sitting around, waiting to feel better. Must have got sentimental. Crap! Sent out a note. Why, why, why? Last time I saw L she was all born again. Could not stand to be in her company much. That came more from her sanctimonious blame (and subsequent forgiveness) of me than her choice of church. You’re to blame for me doing this, but I forgive you… One more example of getting the weight of the world shoved on my shoulders. So why did I write? Why open that up? Why see if anything of the person I used to know is there anymore? I already know the answer: no.

The accusation…I agree I was wild. Wilder than wild. I’m sorry if hanging out with me and being my friend at that time in my life made you feel pressured to do anything you didn’t want to do. But the reality is I never forced you. You left, in fact, after our fight – and headed to Phoenix, where you went deeper into the muck than I ever wanted to go. Crystal meth. I still remember that phone call at 3 a.m. You were really jacked up. I was 1000 miles away.

Still want to blame me?

…Maybe that’s it. Maybe that’s what’s bugging me. The unsaid words on my part. Will a quarter century of experience temper her reply? Or will she still blame me, still point fingers, and simply turn away?

I miss the person I knew. I will always think of her as my friend, even tho at this point we’ve spent more years not being friends than our time together as comrades. Makes me sad because I’ve never had another friend like L.

I remember L as a woman of conditions. Certain lines drawn in the sand, never to be crossed. I also remember L as wild as myself, without any prompting by me. A pool hustler that convinced me to get my first and only tattoo. The chick in literature class I with whom I smoked my first on-campus joint. She was, in truth, the brave one of the two of us. It was her drive that first got me into the gym, her determination that took her half way across the country, while I looked on in awe and tried desperately to keep up.

Now we’re old. She has a grown daughter. And I think I still need to say a few things to her. Most of all, I want to acknowledge that yes, I was screwed up back then. Very much. So much so I didn’t know how much. I’ll take responsibility for that. And I am truly sorry if she felt pressured into anything during that time. I don’t remember it that way. But I’m willing to admit that my memories are not the only ones in question here. She saw what she saw, and felt what she felt.

…Maybe I’m looking for confirmation on my character. Character witnesses. Maybe I’m trying to absolve myself of past sins. Honestly don’t know. But I think there are unsaid things on my part, which is why I kept looking for her for so long.

I guess if there’s people you can’t let go of, you probably have something you need to tell them. I never told my mother what a bitch she was, ergo, my mother issues. Never fully called out my sister on her lying and cheating. Never said a lot of things to a lot of people – mostly because I couldn’t at those times in my life. Couldn’t articulate what was going on with me. And those people return to me. Their words haunt me, the memories of injustices left unchallenged drives me mad. Sometimes so much that I have to search them out, find them, say what needs to be said, because writing it out for myself just don’t cut it. It doesn’t release me from my bonds. I have to put it out there. I owe it to the younger me.

Gods, I’m scared.

What if it doesn’t work? I’m expecting some lightening of my load here. Some part of me thinks I’ll breathe easier after saying whatever it is I think I need to say. Will it? I think if I can address those times when I’ve been accused of more than I’m guilty of, perhaps I’ll view myself in a better light. Stop beating myself up so much. It’s hard, though. Hard to say I’m a little bit guilty. In my experience, once you admit to any bit of guilt you might as well go hang yourself. You’re guilty, full on, no exceptions, go straight to the guillotine. Or, just shove your toes in the fire. We’ll turn them as we sit fit.

Guess I can’t lose much of anything.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Eating Elephants

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Night Witches is definitely an elephant. I don’t want everything centered on one character. Each role should be unique and driven by the character’s personality.

I’ve taken my basic outline and begun expanding it. Busy writing individual outlines for each and every character. Where are they? What are they doing? How do they react? Found a few surprises for myself, bits and pieces I hadn’t considered while writing the overall outline. When I’m done with each character’s outline, I’ll take everything and assemble a master outline. Very specific and tight. It should give me a good start on scenes and dialogue.

Settings shouldn’t be a problem. I think all they’ll really need will be a few tables and chairs. I was going to use the barracks as a setting, but that involves getting cots or beds in there to make it look like a barracks. Involved, and expensive. Changing it to a common area, like the mess hall. Kind of makes sense: if the entire regiment is going to meet to discuss anything, the space needs to be big enough to accommodate everyone at once. A mess hall would have tables and chairs, and enough space.

Going to be asking a lot of sound and lighting crew. Again. But, come on! That’s what they live for, right? Something inventive to get them involved. I’ll bet turning lights up and turning lights down for every scene gets boring. So, write them in. Make them pay attention and be present for the production. They’re part of the crew, after all.

My brain is cooking. The creativity pot is bubbling and boiling.

Skipped language class this morning. For one, I’m bloody well busy and damned happy to finally be on the active side of Night Witches. For another, the class was scheduled to have students come in to talk to us individually. Kid students. Those walking germ factories. Sorry; don’t care how old they are or how beneficial talking with them might be for me. I can’t risk my health. Not now, not ever. Got so involved with my outlines and thinking that I forgot to text my teacher. Feel kind of bad about that.

Had rehearsal last night. Can I say it? DAMN, I’M GOOD! For one, we blew through the first 7 pages and went on to begin working the last half of the scene. For another, I got one suggestion from the director on a line delivery nuance. One. My partner had quite a few. He also stumbled more with his lines, but as I assured him, he’s got the bigger speeches. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the director smile and nod during my performance, laughing a few times at my physical portrayal of the character.

One not so great thing I’ll note: I’m really terrible at small talk right now. During the break last night, I immediately got into heavy topics – generally, a no-no. But I, of course, just dive right into that stuff. That’s where my head is: my issues and my writing. That’s the conversation anyone gets out of me these days. And as the words came out of my mouth last night, I knew I was wrong. Wrong to bring it up, odd to mention my thoughts, too abrupt with my feelings. I need a bleeding social interaction class. *sigh* Though I think that only served to emphasize how perfect I am for the role of Wendy, who’s very socially inept.

Other: chatted on the way to the metro after rehearsal with the director, as usual. He told me he never partied. Like, never ever. At first, I thought he was pulling my leg. Took me three ‘Really?‘ exclamations before I accepted he was telling me the truth. I wonder if my wild days inevitably led me to where I stand today. I wonder how different things might have been…

In a lot of ways, I feel like I’ve never really lived. Never went after what I really wanted, never gave myself a chance. That’s terribly sad. I’m both angry at myself for caving in and my family for programming me this way. I pity myself and hate myself at the same time. It’s a really sucky place to be.

And yeah, I know I have to forgive myself. Sometimes I feel like I’m almost there. Other times…not so much.

Forgiving myself…now that’s a big elephant.

Puberty at 51

It is a source of continual amazement to me that people who voted for 45 – restricting human rights, killing the environment, degrading women – are shocked when I inform them we can no longer be friends. I’ve been told to ‘grow up’ and ‘get over it’, or better yet: ‘it’s just stupid politics and you’re far less of a person than I thought’.


As a measure of my self restraint, I’ve said nothing in reply. Good on me.

Feels like I’ve taken the first step towards adulthood. Sticking to my ethics. Saying “no”. No more! I won’t take it.

And you’re fucking surprised.

Seems you didn’t know me at all.

Now I may have to deal with a troll on FB. My ex pen-pal, who voted for 45 and said ‘it wasn’t a big deal’ (among other language that PISSED ME OFF) sent three messages telling me to fuck off then three more emojis throughout the night to make sure I knew he wasn’t okay with any of it.

One more message from him and I’m reporting him. I DO not and WILL not take being fucked around with on a social network.

And what goes through people’s minds? That this kind of behavior will reflect any better on them? That I’ll change my mind and say ‘oh, sorry! you’re so upset; let me take it all back’? Um…nope. Should be a clue that it took me as long as it did to say what I said. Time = thought. I thought long and hard about it. Thought about my ethics and moral stance, thought about the friendship, forgiveness, taking the higher road – all of it.

So let me make this utterly clear one more time:

I am not some messiah, willing or able to turn the other cheek after you abuse me.

Expecting me to be is on YOUR head. Telling me I’m wrong for my feelings is on YOUR head.

I’m not wrong. Now let me throw back your own language at you.

Suck it up, snowflakes. You big fucking babies! Whine, whine, whine. Sorry you’re so fucking stupid you don’t realize that when you shout obscenities at me and my friends, when you take away our rights, or when you destroy the planet I react with anger. I think your ignorance is on your own head, too. Read a book!

Went to the gym yesterday to try and burn it out. Two hours. I was tired, less angry afterwards, but not completely calm (obviously).

Didn’t help that my language lesson lacked ANY sense of direction. First, we were asked to pull random words out of the fucking air and make sentences. Then we were told to use ‘omdat’ (because) and corrected on grammar without being told the grammatical rules. I didn’t know what I was supposed to be learning. Couldn’t take anything down because the instructors said the correct sentences once and then quickly moved on. I was bored, angry for having my time wasted, and frustrated because I now KNOW how much better a lesson can be.

Fucking hell!

Happy news: have all of next week off. Thursday is Hemelvaartsdag (Ascension Day), and Friday a lot of stuff is closed to ensure a long weekend. Perfect for me! An entire week free of classes or appointments. I can write. Get the radio script loaded into the software, make the formatting changes, send it out and move onto the next script. Already stepped out the scenes for the next one in my brain. I think I can do it with 4 actors and very minimal set dressing. Can’t wait to get started; it’s timely, creepy, and easy to do as a production.

…You know, if I keep coming up with these horror/Twilight Zone plays, I’m gonna get a reputation for being able to write them. Maybe I can; it IS what I’m coming up with. But I think it’s all a fluke. I’m just stumbling into them. Discovering them by accident. I’m not setting out to write them. Gotta admit, they’re fun to create. And maybe I should let go of any expectations I have of myself. If I turn into a female Clive Barker, well…that’s not all bad, is it?

Ha! Listen to me. Dodging the flack thrown at my head and accepting my limitations and abilities. Now, that IS really growing up!

Can a person hit puberty at 51?


What have I got to lose?


The weekend was tough. Lots of sleep, lots of not being able to breathe through my nose, lots of feeling almost better so I squirmed and got antsy in between my naps.

Doesn’t help my anxiety keeps ramping up. Immigration, no word from this place or that, tumbleweeds rolling through my email and private life – the list goes on and on. Doing my best to keep myself from freaking out. Went back to a Downton Abbey run, because I find it soothing. It’s that or films where everyone dies, and I’m trying to keep positive, so Downton Abbey it is. It helps, a little. Gets me through long afternoons when I got nothin’ to do. Talked with my brother; he’s assured me that no matter what happens the world won’t end. I’m not so sure about that, but I guess he’s right that there’s no bleeding reason to worry about it. If it happens, it happens. Expending energy and thought on future horrors doesn’t do me any good. I can’t solve anything. Can’t do anything to change it. I’m just caught up in the machinery, hooked on a cog that’s spinning around, so I spin with it.

I hate waiting.

Saturday found me just too ill and too bummed to get the script out to anybody. Every time I looked at my list I lost my confidence. No one cares, no one will do it, no one will bother. Very negative (thus, the Downton Abbey). By Sunday my mind hand’t changed much, but I felt a little stronger and was able to work through it. Pick a place from my list, prep it, send it out. Hit that damn button, woman. SEND. The new theatre had an automated response to my email, saying they received the script. Hey! That’s one up from the rest; at least I know my new email works because the message came through.

Was gonna pull back on my smoking today and head out for needed blood tests. Then I saw 45’s face, no messages from my friends, and my will kind of petered out. Just don’t know why I should keep trying some days. Seems like nothing I do makes a difference. So I lit up one, which has led to another, and now I’m just bleeding smoking. Fuck it. Tell me again how my activity is so horrible when we’ve blown up 2000 atomic bombs on this planet. Tell me again how the plastic in our food, the additives, the chemicals in our air and water don’t matter, but it’s my smoking that will kill me.

Fucking liars.

Woke up hating my sister. I always figure I’ve dreamt about her when I wake up like that. Some nightmare, or just a revival of some memory that really was a nightmare for me. Takes a lot of daylight to conquer those nighttime horrors. To let go of the desire to skin her alive. My mind is not inventive with torture ideas, but it is very cruel. I want her to hurt. I want her alive so she can continue to feel pain. It is the basest, cruelest part of me screaming out – and it is also the part of me that is in the most pain. I recognize that. So I did a little chorus of ‘Ding Dong, The Witch is Dead’ – the song I plan to sing when I receive news that my sister is, finally, dead – and pretended she’d already bit the dust. Had a little spark of pure joy at the thought. I know that’s very horrible of me. My own judgement condemns me: I am bad for feeling that way. But if I am to make sense of things, if I am to overcome this base ugliness that sits so constantly in the pit of my stomach, I must confess to all. A part of me looked forward to my mother’s death. Felt very guilty over that for a long, long time. Likewise, a part of me looks forward to my sister’s death. In this, I feel no guilt. She has always been guilty, always been horrible, always been the worst of everything a human being can be. I understand – at least a little bit – that her reaction stems from the same place mine does: my mother’s narcissism. Once in a while I get flashes of understanding from my sister’s viewpoint. I see things through her eyes: the favoritism our mother exhibited, the verbal bashing. I wonder if my sister suffered the kind of neglect and abuse I went through. My mind tells me it’s probable. More than probable. And I begin to see how she may have fixated on me as someone to hate, someone to be jealous of, someone to continually rip down, use and abuse, as a reaction to her own pain. I see all of that in her, because I see all of it in me.

Understanding does not bring forgiveness, though. I’ve never seen her try to change. Perhaps that’s sad; in fact, I feel it so, at this moment. She’ll never get it. She can’t; it’s beyond her way of thinking. At best, I pity her. At worst, I want her suffering. I suppose that’s a step up from only wanting her dead or in pain.

Not a very big step up, though.

Been sketching out scenes for new scripts. Forget actual writing; I can’t call it that. I won’t allow myself to fall into that trance. Too much to do. But I’m allowing little bits to come out, scene roughs. I figure if I do what I did last time, I can take all my little bits and mush them into something when I get another break. Not sure what’s going to take shape yet. I’m not restricting myself. Last time, I wrote specifically for the local group – small cast, small budget, small scenes. I’ve taken those blinders off. Not worrying about HOW something might be done. Here it is; you figure it out.

After all, what have I got to lose?

Authoress Theatricus


Four days, non-stop (other than my brother yelling at me to pause for silly things like meals and sleep). The script is finished and I am thrilled. Thrilled to be done, thrilled to have finished at all, thrilled to hope there may be some real funny jokes in the script…thrilled. Did a little victory song and dance yesterday after I wrote the last ‘curtain down’. The world of spell check and formatting comes later, but at the moment, the bulk of the work is done.

Now what the hell do I do?

That’s a joke, of course. I’ve got four days of piled up stuff to do. More, if I care to be honest about how lazy I’ve become. But I’ve been walking around with “that burnt out stare” (according to my bro) that I get after an intensive writing spree. Watch one of the movies you recorded! Don’t you dare turn your computer back on! I had to get up a wee bit early so I didn’t catch hell just blogging this morning.

My bro even topped up the card we use online. He handed it to me yesterday afternoon with a slip of paper. “See? Over a hundred euro all ready. You’ve got fifty for games.” I never spend that much on games, I scoffed. “I know. Break the habit and spend it. Just take a few days from your writing.” – Now, that’s the act of a desperate man!

I like writing the way I do. It’s become something of a ritual with me. When I finally fall into that groove, I don’t want anything to stop me. Not my brother, nor tv, meals, sleep, or any other interruption. I really should have a cage to go sit in. A dark cage with just my desk and computer sitting in it and a plaque on the front saying:

Authoress Theatricus: a rare species of female writer. The Authoress Theatricus enjoys solitude, and working under the cover of darkness. Although she may look warm and fuzzy, the Authoress is extremely dangerous. Do not approach the cage; do not hit the bars of the cage to catch the Authoress’ attention. This animal is known to attack swiftly and violently without provocation.


Right now I need the zookeeper to hose down my cage. Part of that ‘no interruptions’ stuff includes not showering or even changing my underwear. I don’t want to wash the story off my back! Sounds silly, I know, but I have this strange feeling that when I write, I sweat out the story. That sweat becomes part of the story, part of the setting, and when I’m really in the groove I don’t want anything to throw me.

Including my own stink, or lack thereof.

This morning I’ll get the sweat and oils burned off my body in a chlorine pool (don’t gross out; I’ll shower before jumping in). I might just float on my back, grinning, the whole time. I did it. It’s done. I still feel all giddy thinking those thoughts.

My characters threw me curves right up to the curtain close. My brain fished out a divorce horror story from long ago, and I threw echoes of it into the script via the eldest son and his wife. I had this foggy idea of how the play was supposed to end, but no real idea how to get myself there. But, trust to my subconscious! Even when I don’t listen to myself, it does. It heard and remembered my words about using the script to heal my family in a manner I’m unable to do in real life. And this came out:

I know, Mom. But that’s not a life. And I want a life! It would sure be a lot easier to go and get one if I felt you supported me.

That stopped me and made me think. Brought a tear to my eye, too. From there, the rest fell into place: the denials, the jokes, the confessions – everything.  The real parts of my life are utterly real in this thing. Almost too real, in some aspects. But as my fingers beat down closer and closer to the word count I was shooting for, I wrote what never happened in real life: a change in behavior. A healing, a coming together in support of each other like my family was never capable of.

As the last lines were written and the final running gag punchline typed in, I felt a release. An acceptance. The buzz of irritation and anger I felt around the word ‘family’ melted away.

I didn’t look for this. I didn’t expect it. But I’ve healed myself, at least a little bit. The understanding I needed as a writer to create these characters, with all their foibles and irritating behaviors, got welded into my mind. I wrote what I thought was behind it all: my mother’s narcissism, my father’s bellowing, my brother’s drinking and cheating, my sister’s shallow callousness. The characters were called out, brought up short, and given a good slap in the face metaphorically to wake them up. And I find, today, in my heart, more understanding and forgiveness for my family than I’ve felt in many years.

With the final curtain down stage direction written, the heavy fog surrounding Rotterdam lifted. Quite literally; I opened the curtains to weak sunshine, which grew and strengthened into the nicest day we’ve had since I fell into this trance. Can’t help but feel that’s a sign, or at least a reflection of this brilliantly glowing light inside me.

I done good.

Today, I pick up my old life. The one before the time portal opened and I fell down the rabbit’s hole. It feels strange to face a day of swimming and…and nothing. No plans to write, no need to dream up any more dialogue. I should turn my brain to Dutch again. Get back to the gym later this week for exercise.

Time to draw the curtain down around the cage; this exhibit’s closed for the time being.

Piss and Vinegar


It took everything in the house and everything the goddess could throw at me – all the bright colors I have everywhere, my games, fun music, and an almost overload of sunshine and fresh air – to pull me out of my weeping woman role yesterday. Loving someone is hard. Loving someone and losing them to time and circumstance is even harder.

I’ve been left with the practical: dishes, cleaning, transplanting my tomatoes. Stuff to do but it doesn’t feed your soul like having a good friend around. It does keep my hands busy. Fills my time. And let’s face it: I hate doing it, but feel good about the results. So I do it. I do it to make myself feel better as I sit in my chair relaxing, and I do it to give myself something concrete to do with my hands during the day.

Ugh. Back to THAT.

One week and I get my passport renewed. Two weeks and I’ll have my new shoes. My bro and I talked; we’ve made the decision that no later than July and we’ll take another train trip. Go somewhere we haven’t seen yet. That’s all stuff to look forward to.

I also spent time discussing music production with my bro. He’s my head engineer; he can wire ANYTHING together. Talked about getting both boards side by side and my plans to move forward. All of THAT is on hold ’til mid summer as well. I’ve a tantalizing offer to find NEW effects prior to my final takes. Can’t pass it up. And for the first time, I know what I want in a new effects unit. I know what I want to hear and what I want to see.

It’s exciting.

But not too exciting.

Ring-a-ding-ding. My computer is set to go off with alarms to remind me to do stuff, and I just had three pop up. Take my methotrexate (joy), get my blood work done (double joy), and get my passport photo taken (oh fuck! you’ve got to be kidding me!). *sigh* All that means I have to go out there. Better hop in the shower when I’m done here.

Ye gods! I can always tell when I’m not being completely forthright with something. It just nags and nags at me until I write it down. Fine.

Had a lovely (not) bulk email from my uncle this morning. He does that; crafts jokes or compiles historic pictures and then sends them out to his family and friends. Usually I don’t mind. He’s a funny guy with a good sense of humor, and often makes me laugh. But as he’s aged he’s become more of a touchy feely orthodox religious type of guy than just straight out funny. I get a lot of messages about his god. And a lot of ‘buck up, someone’s got it worse than you’ type of thing. Today I got a list from some goddess-only-knows web site. One of those things with basic life advice. Two items are stuck in my craw:

If you sit for more than 11 hours a day, there’s a 50% chance you’ll die within the next 3 years.

Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Forgive them for everything.

First things first. *ahem*

IF YOU WANT TO PUT OUT A POSITIVE MESSAGE, DON’T RIDDLE IT WITH FEAR DRIVEN LANGUAGE! Jesus fucking Christ!! Let’s just throw the fear of DEATH into everyone’s faces. And THAT was number two on the list.

As for the second statement, I agree with the first part and disagree with the second. I strive to not hate. Probably doesn’t read like that sometimes, but I do. I work hard to let it go. But forgiveness? No. I don’t forgive. I won’t forgive. Forgiving, to me, means allowing that other person in again. Trusting them again. Letting them hurt you again (and again). I’m not a fucking patsy, and neither are you. Let’s get out of the rainbow room for kids and back into the real world: there are nasty pieces of shit out there that live to hurt you. It’s not nice, most of us don’t understand it, but it’s true. And if you really do let the wolves back into your life, the people who spouted forgiveness will the be the first to line up to voice another adage with a completely opposite viewpoint to ‘forgiveness’.

..And I realize something this morning. Those time worn sayings are spoken not as words of wisdom, but as words to silence us. As I scroll back down the list, most of the sayings are plucked right out of a Farmer’s Almanac. Might as well have included ‘early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise’. Pat sayings. Blanket adages. Statements too broad to argue against. And that’s the key. We don’t hear these things when life is good and we’re not complaining or hurting about something, right? We hear these things when we fall into a depressive state our friends and families can’t pull us out of. We hear these things when other people look at us and judge us to be out of control or off the deep end. It’s supposed to stop us, shut us up, and make us sit down like naughty little children to think about our behavior.

I am BEYOND being a naughty little child.

And I won’t. be. silenced.

Words of wisdom today: if you get a message that includes anything – ANYTHING – that pokes at you, nags you, sticks in your mind and can’t be erased, don’t swallow it. Rip it apart. Accept no one’s wisdom but your own. We’re all looking for guidance. That’s okay. But don’t make guidance your guru. Don’t accept anyone as an authority on YOU. Don’t let anyone tell you what you ‘should’ be doing. If you hear ‘should’ in any context, run. Don’t look back.

Damn! I’m full of fire this morning. My aunt would say I’m full of piss and vinegar. Never quite got that saying, but I have grown fond of it.

Piss and vinegar.

That Includes Me


Been trying to sneak a new word or phrase each week into language class. Try it out first with my teacher. Yesterday I managed ‘in de war’ which is the Dutch way of saying confused. Ik ben in de war. Also stretched my memory to come up with herinnering (literally ‘memory’) which is a word I’ve seen often but not tried to pronounce before. I do really well with pronunciation. Exceedingly well. Over my head I don’t even know what I’m READING type of pronunciation.

Fuck. Why am I bringing this up? Because I ran into a word yesterday I didn’t understand. I pronounced it flawlessly and just ran past it as I usually do with a new word, waiting for understanding to dawn on me rather than looking it up. Got tripped up by my teacher, who’s playing a new game. He stops us and asks for the antonym to various words we’re using. It’s an excellent learning tool. Anyway, it was one of THOSE moments. Everyone looking at me with that ‘you didn’t KNOW that?!?’ look on their faces. I owned it; the word was ‘krijgen’ (to get or receive) and I was mixing it up with ‘kijken’ (to look). Gimme a break. The two words look similar and sound similar. I confessed to my confusion and everyone laughed.

And I can’t get their faces out of my head.

My reaction goes way beyond embarrassment. There’s real shame in me for not knowing the answer. For being SO far off base. For being the ONLY person in class who didn’t catch on.

I can handle making mistakes. Mistakes are small things that can be corrected. What I have problems with is flubbing. I flubbed to a major degree. Flubs can’t be fixed. They’re the type of things that get caught on camera and show up on Ridiculousness. They’re the type of things that (goddess forbid!) define you if you’re unlucky enough to have them happen as a teenager (there goes The Flasher…yeah, split their pants right up the middle and didn’t have any underwear on…everybody saw).

Ugh. I’m sure no one else has been ruminating on my mistake. Just me. Just me and my own shame.

Knowing that doesn’t help.

The more I try to pin down the why of it, the more I think it’s a very, very early thing. There is no specific memory that pops to mind. Just the repeated HEAVINESS (and oh! how heavy that burden was!) to be brilliant. Always. With everything. Mom made a point of never telling me what my IQ was when I was young. What she DID do was repeatedly tell me I had too many brains to be stupid. ‘Stupid’ to me included flubbing (which was often scoffed at as temporary ‘stupid’ behavior). And it didn’t matter what the subject matter was; my brains meant I should be able to grasp it and grasp it fast. Getting things wrong didn’t mean getting hit or punished. It meant mom’s mouth clamped down into that thin, white line. That instilled enough terror in me. I still get the willies thinking about that look.

And I was told I was a disappointment. Not with words. Oh, no! Never say it with words. Say it with tone of voice. Say it with body language. Communicate two things at once because that’s what people do, and of the two methods of communication humans will take the non-verbal message over the verbal every time.


So I’m tight in my body because part of me is having a damned hard time letting this go. I’ve stopped myself from a knee jerk reaction of diving off the deep end, intensifying my studies so I never make a flub like that again.

It ain’t easy.

Got to run a couple of errands today in between rain drops. That should afford me enough opportunities to make an ass of myself that I’ll probably stop thinking about yesterday’s mistake and start thinking about all the ones I’m currently making. Joy.

Bright side, bright side, bright side. I guess I’ll never mix up ‘krijgen’ and ‘kijken’ again. That’s something.

And DAMN IT! I’m NOT a machine. I never wanted the mantel of perfection. It was fucking thrust upon me by a narcissistic mother, complete with a dirty hem of SHAME for when I’m not perfect. Fuck her and her ‘gift’. Fuck her and her ‘nurturing’.

Time to let that go. Let HER go.

I am me. Here, now. I begin today. No one knows me. I can be anyone I want. I don’t have to carry shame over flubs and mistakes. I don’t need to see myself as less than other people.

I can be worthy. Of ME. True to myself. Honest in word, thought, and deed. No subterfuge.

And I can tell myself it’s okay. Even flubbing is okay as long as you learn from it. There’s no lesson of shame in this. Those faces I see in my head – that’s a distortion. The surprise is exaggerated. The laughter is not unkind. In fact, I handled the situation well. Diffused it with a little comedy. It’s only my battered brain that refuses to let it go. It wants to build it into something different, to make it another reason to feel guilty. I’m onto your tricks, you devious bastard…

As for the two people who wanted to start up lengthy conversations with me yesterday..Yes, it was above my head. I was back to catching about 40% of what they said. That does not negate my little victory when I understood the woman asking for directions. It just says there’s a lot more to learn. And no doubt. I feel like I’m a sponge, just trying to absorb words here and there. There’s thousands of words to learn AND I’ve got to learn how to make sentences. Throw in the fiddly sayings of any language and you’ve got a hell of a lot to catch on to.

Considering I began with my current instructor in November, meaning I’ve had a scant 5 months of lessons, I think I’ve come a long way. At this rate yes, I’ll be speaking pretty fluently after a year. And reading even better.

Everyone takes time to learn. Everyone. That includes me.


My Mother Abused Me


My post yesterday disturbed me on a lot of levels. As you might expect. I went out for a walk and some fresh air and spent a lot of that time standing stock still, gazing out at the distance and thinking deep thoughts.

The pair of swans down at George’s canal moved on, or at least they weren’t there yesterday. George was the first duck at my feet, jumping the way he does. And I must not be the only person who was put off by the damned swans; those ducks were HUNGRY and I could barely get the bread out fast enough for them. Felt so guilty getting some bread and going back there is high on my list today.

When I got back I was ready to talk. Use my words.

My brother joined the family after his baby years were over, so what I had to say was news to him. In many ways I envy my brother. He didn’t look at my parents as perfect. He’d had too many disappointments with adults prior to that. He saw them more for what they were: imperfect people doing the best they could with the knowledge and tools they had. My mother’s covert narcissism didn’t touch him the same way it touched me. He didn’t buy into it. And he wasn’t subjected to the abuse my mother heaped on the rest of her ‘babies’.

What he did do was listen. No judgment. Just empathy and understanding. We ended up talking earnestly for about two hours.

My mother was an RN in the local OB/GYN dept. She was known as a ‘baby expert’ among local mothers. I realized that someone who was very good at hurting babies would, of course, be an expert on babies. You gotta know how to treat them well to know how to hurt them well. I’m not saying my mother was so sadistic that she purposefully set off to hurt me or any other person while they were babies. I AM saying that when you consider her background and medical history, she should have known better. But her own anger made her do those things. She took it out on the most helpless of victims – babies – because (1) they couldn’t fight back and (2) if they started to scream or cry they were just being babies, it was natural, and not because of anything she did. Or that’s what I imagine her internal justifications might have been. Not that those thoughts were conscious. I don’t think she actually thought ‘now I’m going to hurt her by doing this’. No. But she did hurt me, she knew she was hurting me, and she never stopped hurting me. It was her own twisted self that led to that behavior.

I didn’t ask for it. I didn’t want it. And I didn’t deserve it, in any manner.

It’s hard to acknowledge that underneath that perfect mother everyone saw, a covert abuser lived. She never bruised, burned or cut me. But she hurt me a lot.

She hurt me through her actions. She hurt me by ignoring my pain. She hurt me with her words, with her thoughts – which settled into my brain. She instilled so much guilt in me that by the age of 10 I couldn’t see a purpose to life. It was all bleak nothingness. There was no reason to go on, because if people who loved me hurt me that much, why bother? THAT’S the good side of love? Damn. There’s no upside to that.

Now’s when I’d like a world class therapist on my side. Because I really don’t know how to proceed. I don’t know how to work through this. Yesterday I said the words out loud ‘My mother sexually abused me’. Just to see what it felt like. I disconnected; felt like I was reading the words aloud from a script. I couldn’t make the connection between the words and what happened. Just saying ‘my mother abused me’ is tough, never mind adding the adjective ‘sexually’ in there.

I imagine somewhere underneath all the shame and guilt there’s a lot of anger at my dad, too. For standing by and allowing it to happen. Right now I still rush to his defense. He was as much under my mother’s control as I was when she was alive. But he was the other adult in the situation. And he knew what was happening was wrong. I could see it in his face. I still see it in his face when I close my eyes: he was as scared and upset as I was. And just like me, his protestations went unheard.

Memories burned into the brain forever. It’s not fair that something that happened so long ago should have such a lasting affect on me. I’d like to shake it off like a dog and move on. I can’t. No matter how much I try.

*sigh* I’d like to smoke something other than a cigarette, too.

And I’d like to get back to the headspace where I can read other people’s blogs and interact a bit more out here. I’m not; my head is up my own butt with heavy, deep, and rather shitty thoughts.

I guess that’s what I really want: for it all to be over. All the thinking, the processing, the not understanding, the epiphanies, the new levels, the comprehension, the integration, the forgiveness. Just be done with it. It’s scary to be somewhere in the middle of the process with no end in sight.

Today I just want to let it rest. Let those thoughts be there, but not try to think them through. Just take my walk, see George, tackle the dishes and the tidying up all without trying to process any of it. See what it’s like to walk thru my day with the words ‘my mother abused me’ hanging in the air. Not to play the victim. I’ve BEEN a victim. No. I want those words to hang there for me. So I can accept them. So I can accept what happened.

So I can forgive myself.