The door now stands open

But…if I search it, will they come after me?

Oh, brava, Beeps! You wrote that well. The above is quickly becoming the number one question everyone asks after they read part one of my trilogy. Especially when I tell them I based the story on a real web site. lol! The idea that a cyber boogieman will come and get you is all my imagination, but I did it well enough in 30 pages that everyone’s asking this of me. I couldn’t be happier about it.

Saw S. I was right; we talked for hours. And yes, my secret came out and in typical S fashion, she followed up with a secret just as big on her side. We are two peas in a pod in many ways. Family issues, physical issues, self care and confidence issues… The one thing lacking is full comprehension on S’s side regarding the American lifestyle. She kept asking ‘But why would someone do that if they said they wanted children?’ It was difficult to explain the pervasiveness of that cold culture to her. Difficult to get across how individualistic and cut throat it really is, even amongst family. There’s a book for me to tackle some day: explaining American behavior to the Dutch. Or, as I’ve begun to call it in my head, ‘the American sickness’.

It’s such a blessing to be on this side of it. And as I look for the words to explain what happened to my Dutch friends and acquaintances, I’m finding my own answers.

S thinks I need to talk this out. Mostly because that’s what she’s done and it worked for her. I think not, but I heard her out. She feels I need to speak my truth a bit more, and a therapist is there for that. I tried explaining to her that I can rarely even sort out my own feelings before I write, so talking isn’t a great option for me. But…well, I didn’t write it out first, so naturally I couldn’t explain it.

Talk is cheap. I’ve had enough lip service and empty promises from other people. And enough lying to my face. Part of my conversation yesterday with S included a rehash of R, the actor who’s part was cut from the film. Ah. I was not alone in receiving a private message from him. Everyone got a few. In each, R hid a nugget of hate – a diss on someone else in the group. Apparently I can’t act at all, S is a bitch, the director is awful, the script was terrible, no one did a good job, etc. etc. S was really pissed off, and I can understand. They worked hard on that project. I checked on FB before coming out here. Most of the crew have unfriended R. Only myself, the director, and my other co-star remain on R’s friend list. Thought about un-friending him in a show of solidarity but I probably will just leave it. It didn’t escape my notice that this “actor” had only 26 friends and more professionally staged pix than anyone else I know. He’s trying real hard to be someone, and frankly, I pity him. Shouting all the time, demanding undue praise and attention, totally unaware of just how awful his performances are… He’s pitiable. Plus, he’s shown his true colors and my general rule of thumb is know your enemies. Better to keep an eye on him.

Flew off into orbit last night. Couldn’t help it; my long talk with S riled me up in many ways. I found it exciting to have a friendly exchange with someone who’s company I enjoy. I spoke my truth, and was heard. And I can’t help but have hope that yes, my film posse will get together to do my script. S is already hooked on the story, and I know the core group wants to work together again. Last night I saw a path possibility. One that’s a gamble, one that carries risks. But it’s also one I want to explore. For the first time in my life, I’m assessing this realistically. I’m looking at the long haul. My head didn’t shoot out to interviews post film, congratulating all of us and stroking my ego. I saw the work. The year or more of traveling to Den Haag every day to work on the story and script, be there for auditions, set up, lighting, talk, fun. The knowledge that ahead of me lies compromise and team work, allowing each person leeway enough to do their job.

Feels like I can do this. Like I can make the film happen. I’m very, very close. I already have a good support team, and people who will welcome my ideas (and honestly, the film feels closer to reality this morning than the production of the play). All I need to do now is wait for the right moment. Let the last semester hub-bub die down for them. Let S finish reading the script (she was on page 20). I know her; part of me feels I need to put her on my payroll as my private cheerleader. Once she’s set on something, she follows through.

My word du jour is flexibility. That’s the biggest sell my script has. I know the core story. I know what can be changed, modified, swapped around. I know what can be cut and what can be added. I can change gender, location, timing, language… You name it; the script can take it and survive and STILL be good.

Target: end of April. As students, they’ll be wrapping things up and prepping for their internships. NL has a week off for King’s Day. That’s my window. Send the script out as is to the director with full explanation. Get him the story before summer, so he can find a chance to read it. Their required internships last 6 months. Time enough to prep what we’d need to prep…

The door now stands open.


I like that picture

One hour ago, I triggered my brother into calling me “wrong”. It was not my intention to hit his hot button. And…quite often I forget I’m not the only person in the world (or this house) who struggles with life. So I acknowledge my…not so great attempt at communication this morning, or saying the wrong word, or whatever set him off. My bad.

I do not accept his judgement.

Have not and will probably not say this to him. Why risk more fighting? He’s triggered, I don’t know by what, and if I continue it’ll just get worse. I realize what came out of his mouth was programming, and if I pointed it out to him he’d realize that, too. It would be great to modify our communication to rid ourselves of this crap. Right now, I just want to acknowledge it and not buy into it.

Faulty programming. Ignore.

Aren’t I doing well this morning? Not triggered myself, aware enough to put some distance between me and what I would typically consider a trigger situation. Good on me! Stayed calm, backed down, not holding onto anger that’ll manifest itself in some twisted passive-aggressive shit.

What is best for me? That’s foremost in my mind today. Getting upset was not on that list, therefore, I avoided it.

Spent yesterday in zen mode, making cookies. Lembas is a long process and a hand-intensive recipe. I considered my options and felt my stomach needed the acid soaking properties of my cookies more than my ass needed to walk, so I made cookies. It was a good choice.

Headed downtown in a few hours to meet S. Looking forward to seeing her. She texted me last night, asking me to bring a bottle of my cordial for her dad. That makes me smile. One of my herbal products that’s found a fan. S also mentioned she’d like to discuss her script. Again, this deference to my skill and experience makes me smile. It’s good to be acknowledged, no matter by whom. And…it feels good to pass along a bit of my knowledge, to hopefully help someone else avoid the pitfalls I encountered. Go, girl! I find myself willing in many ways to pass the baton onto the younger generation. Go. Do what I couldn’t do. I am so proud of you for all you’ve already done, all you’ve already accomplished. Just…remember me from time to time. That’s all I ask.

S brings out the mother in me. Or the big sister. Someone caring and kind. Someone who wants to put this young woman above herself.

It’s someone I like.

…Calm exchange with my bro. Neither of us wants to fight. That’s good. Feels like a little plaster on that owie from this morning.

I am reflective and absorbing. Reflective on reality, my perceptions, my feelings. Absorbing on the language. The two go in hand in hand for me, and I credit learning Dutch as the unconscious key that unlocked my brain. Words carry meaning to each of us. Some words become attached to traumatic experiences and become triggers, setting us of on illogical courses of action without understanding why we’re doing it. Dutch has no triggers for me. It’s all just sound and syllables that I am now, as an adult, attaching meaning to. So the phrase ‘ik hou je van’, which is the Dutch equivalent of ‘I love you’, doesn’t set me off on those old patterns. ‘Ik hou je van’ means to me that someone’s got your back, someone will always be by your side, in your corner. It doesn’t mean you won’t disagree or go through hard times. Just the opposite: to me, it means you acknowledge the hard times and still choose to be there.

That’s the adult me, with all my foibles and English triggers, putting meaning onto the phrase. But I can say it without the strings I always felt were attached to ‘I love you’. ‘I love you’ means one of two things to me: I control you or I want to fuck you. I don’t like either of those definitions, but those were the ones taught to me. Not the verbal teachings; I know what ‘I love you’ is supposed to mean. But in my house, verbal and non-verbal lessons were always at odds with each other.

…Which means, if I let myself think it through, that I can tell myself ‘ik hou je van’. I can’t love myself. I’ve tried, over and over and over. But I can have my own back. I can always be on my side. I know my brain can play tricks on me, focus on the negative, say those terrible things to me repeatedly. But it’s MY brain, and in the end, I am not a slave even to myself.

Oh, that’s a good one. Say it again: I am not a slave, even to myself.

…Just felt a moment of…I don’t know what. Juxtaposition of my world, I guess. Everything kind of went boom in my head.

A moment of total control. Me. I’m the one who decides. I’m the one who acts. I’m in control. Not my mother, not my family or my siblings, not “them”, not even my head. Wish the feeling would have stuck around longer. But it’s a start. I’ve felt it. I can build from there.

Take that out into the world today. You don’t have to act on it. You don’t have to try and force the feeling to return. Just remember you felt it. Remember how it felt. And consider living with that feeling. Think how it might feel to head downtown on the metro, knowing 100% you’re the one in control. No fighting tears behind your sunglasses. No angry imaginings forcing you to ‘try’ to calm yourself down. Think about what that might look like.

…Yeah. I like that picture.

One giant leap

Up late. I believe we have new neighbors. Neighbors who believe in allowing young children the run of the house all hours of the day and night. Hearing these kids run around and yell, play loud music and generally make a nuisance of themselves, well past 11 at night. I have to stay up later now, because going to bed earlier won’t result in sleep. It’s too noisy. I have to wait out the kids, and hope they settle down by midnight.

Heard from S yesterday. First a text, then a call. We’re meeting tomorrow in downtown Rotterdam for coffee and a long chat. I was correct in letting go my anxiety over S. Last we spoke, her grandmother had just died. Yesterday I learned that her grandfather died a few weeks later. She’s been in mourning, and had interviews and stress. It wasn’t me. Her life just got very busy. Looking forward to seeing her in person. We’ll probably talk and talk and talk and still not get to everything we want to talk about. That’s okay. It’s what friends do.

No plans to reveal my big secret to S at this time. Not unless our conversation naturally swings that way. I don’t need her to know; I don’t need anyone to know. I was the one who needed to know, who needed to accept it. Telling other people is just an explanation now. Why can’t you like yourself? My mother abused me. Why can’t you take a compliment? My mother abused me. It has become my first line of defense, the first thing I want to whip out when some aspect of my behavior or demeanor is cause for comment. Once again, it’s not a full explanation. A full explanation would be: I know I’m screwed up because my mother abused me when I was young. Can’t quite put that sentence together in my mouth. That’s okay. I’m still assessing how ‘screwed up’ I am, and until I form some conclusion that’s comfortable for me and fits, I won’t say anything to that effect. Res ipsa loquitur; the thing speaks for itself. You see it, I know it…it’s no secret.

It was always just one of those things that was totally evident and never discussed. That’s a very American attitude: ignore it, don’t talk about it, just gloss it all over and when someone finally pops you can all claim innocence and ignorance. Oh, we had no idea she was so depressed! No, he always seemed like the most normal guy! Bullshit. You all saw the signs; it’s just that American secretive attitude that keeps everything shoved under the rug. You don’t want to talk about it, because if you did you’d need to admit how pervasive it is, how cold the American life, how empty the American ‘dream’.

Squeeze a rat colony and watch how quickly they become cannibals. I watched this pervasive attitude that the world is dying and we’re running out of room, food, clean air, water, and energy increase throughout my lifetime. And it’s true; keep polluting the world and everything will run out. But that underlying information has fed fear into humanity’s subconscious, and helped give rise to this ‘all for me, I’m the greatest and deserve everything’ attitude. If we’re all going down and doomed anyway, grab everything you can because it doesn’t matter anyway. We are the rats, turning on each other.

…Yeah. Lots to unload today.

Hope to get a few things done. Go to the gym for a long walk. Start to mix some cookie dough because we’re almost out of lembas again. Water the plants. Take a shower. Read.

Still have not replied to my uncle’s last message. Purposefully keeping a spam email in my box so when I open my email my uncle’s message isn’t the first thing I see because it’s the last message. Do not want that visual nag every day.

Reminding myself to take things one at a time. First, the dental surgery and time to recover. Then, call to have my shoes finally taken care of so I’m comfortable when I walk. After that, see the psychiatrist. Then I’ll be concentrating on the Amsterdam performance of the play. When all that’s over, I can start on other things – seeing my doc about my poor digestion or going back to the dentist because the tooth that had the root canal still isn’t right. It’s too tall a stack of NEEDS to tackle at once, and I know that, but my head tends to pile everything up in one place and label it THINGS YOU MUST DO – which then just makes me feel anxious because it’s all so much.

…And I’m shrinking those pix in my head. Taking the screen down small, turning down the volume, reminding myself it’s not that big a deal. It’s my anxiety that blows things out of proportion, my focusing on one aspect and one aspect only that makes it seem so damed difficult.

One positive thing to report: I can breathe easier. This is a bit of an oxymoron, because it’s repeating ‘my mother abused me’ that helps me breathe – the very sentence that I first fought so hard against and had such anxiety over. But it fits. My whole body clicks into a more comfortable, relaxed position when I say it to myself. While I am verbally hanging onto that phrase, I think I’m beginning to let go of it in my body. I’m encouraged by that, and frankly, it feels real good to breathe easier and release some knots in my stomach. And my shoulders. I carry a lot there.

Top of my list today (and every day from here on out) is: take care of yourself. Whatever that looks like. Hiding, reading, watching films, writing, crying… Does not matter. It doesn’t matter what I do or what it looks like. It doesn’t matter if I’m ‘successful’ or not; the only thing to judge success on now is how at ease I am in my own skin.

One small step for Beeps, one giant leap for Beeps’ mind…

The perfect slave

Can’t stop shaking. Much worse than normal shivers or shakes. Like palsy or I had a stroke.


Woke up crying. 5 am, in bed, crying yourself awake.


I will happily murder the remainder of my mother’s family, too.

Here it is. I knew I wasn’t feeling it. I knew there was more to it. My head could process the hate but my body couldn’t.

Why I am so sad?

Ah, who gives a fuck? Get it out of your system. Of course you’re fucking depressed; look at your life. Look at what you were taught. Look at how you were and are treated. Surprised you didn’t pop sooner than this.

There is nowhere to go when your mind fucks with you. Nowhere you can hide, nowhere that’s bright enough or fast enough or overwhelming enough to take over that tyrant in your head, showing you those things you don’t want to see.

I feel so damned alone.

And it’s all so sad. Those wasted years, not understanding why I was doing what I was doing, why I felt the way I felt. I’m bright, I’m accomplished, I’ve done some great things and I can’t take any of it in. Just the negatives. Just the shit, please. I’m used to that.

Today’s fantasy of choice is a gun. Usually my mind sees knives. Sees me stabbing my family, again and again, over and over and over until they’re dead, dead, dead and can never say another nasty thing to me again. Today, it’s a pistol. Shoot them in the head, shoot them several more times because they fucking deserve it, shoot them, shoot them, shoot them down. And oh, yes, I’m fully fucking aware now is a bad time to say this and I’m fully fucking aware of how sensitive the subject of weapons is right now. This is all fantasy in my head, and it tells me something about myself: I’ve upped the ante. I might let someone live if I stabbed them with a knife. Shooting them is an up. An increase in anger and rage. It also shows me I’m starting to disconnect from them – I no longer have to “feel” the knife go into their bodies in my fantasies; they are not worth that close of contact. Shoot them before they can get to me. Shoot them so I don’t even have to touch them. Disconnect: these people are not my family, they do not love me, and I will not allow myself to be hurt by them any longer.

C is so fucking lucky she didn’t live to see this day.

Because I’d fucking kill her.

The whole thing with the film crew is still eating away at me. Shouldn’t. I know that. I “should” just let it go. Isn’t that the very first thing to pop out of the mouths of those assholes who don’t struggle with this? “Let it go”, like we want to hang onto this, want to wake up crying and shaking, want to go through any of this. Oh, fuck you! It hurts, and I’m blaming myself, and that hurts even more but it’s what I’m fucking USED to because that’s the way I was raised. Sorry I’m such a fucking head case. Sorry you don’t have a fucking clue and can’t even fucking imagine what it is to feel this way.

Most of all, I’m sorry you’re such a sad sack of shit that you lack basic empathy.

I’ve never had many friends. Well…one time. When I was the cocaine connection for everyone between 19 and 30. Then, my mother was pleased because so many people called me to hang out or come to this party or do that. It was all cocaine, mother. They didn’t want me there for me. They were using me, just like you. …I’ve tried to have more friends. I find it really hard. Hard to make that connection on my side, and harder still to have that connection returned. I get a lot of pleasant acquaintances in my life. People I can hang with, if the situation warrants. People I can talk to on some level or other. But those acquaintances never seem to grow into anything else. We never overcome that awkwardness, never really open up to each other. Part of the problem is just me. I don’t have tons of cash to go to this event or that, and even if I did there’s my health to consider. Say no enough times and people stop asking. I try to explain that, but…well. People have loads of reasons for not understanding it fully, and I hope most of them never find out what reality looks like when that kind of shit manifests in your life.

Some of them, tho, could do with a good kick in the pants from reality.

I want to kill my mother.

The shaking has stopped. Good thing, too. Almost spilled my coffee a couple of times.

How deep the rage goes. Pretty damned deep. It’s in the animal, in that knee-jerk reaction part of me far beyond the intellectual daydreams of my mind. It is in prey part of me, and it ignites the fight or flight reaction. I understand why the little girl froze. She was too small. No surprise, then, my recurring nightmares of being hunted by giants or spy helicopters in the sky. I was overpowered right from the start. Who wouldn’t have been? I grew into the mindset of being a slave, with no free will of my own. That wasn’t my fault. Nor was it my fault to take as long as I did to wake up. It’s a lot to wake up to, and I had zero tools to deal with it.

My mother physically abused me. It was covert; I was not the child on the playground in dirty clothes who sported a black eye or cigarette burn. I was smartly dressed, in ironed clothes, my hair pulled back so tight it hurt. I was the child from the good family, the respected family. I was smart, shy, and prone to outbursts. I couldn’t play well with others and I didn’t have many friends. 

In many ways, I was the perfect slave…

Working on it

Language class. I turned in the Roald Dahl yesterday. Felt like I was giving up something precious, a well-loved toy. But my enthusiastic review of the book has more than one person in class interested in reading it, so…*sigh*…let them read it. Half the class left at break; next week is vacation and many were leaving early to head off to exotic places. The second half of class was warm. Intimate, even. Our teachers asked each of us what we most wanted to learn next semester, and gave us time to chat away (and get corrected on grammar). They also gave us a verbal review of our progress and work. The one thing we all heard was ‘slow down’. Forming Dutch sentences is difficult. Perfect past tense verbs get split, and personally I find it damned hard to remember the last part of the verb pairing in a long sentence.

I am in the top percentile. No more doubt about it. That terribly tricky article we had for homework was discussed. As usual, I went far beyond most. Most of the class hadn’t even read it through. Fewer still had tried to answer the questions. We tried reading it through, stumbling over those terribly long compound words, getting stopped every other sentence to be asked ‘do you know what this means?’. In the end, the teachers’ assessment was that their top three students found it rather difficult, so they weren’t going to push the matter. And yes, I was included in that top three student assessment.

Ach! They look at me differently. My teachers, that is. I can see it in their eyes. It’s almost an inside joke feel. They know I’m doing the work, they know I’m improving leaps and bounds over the others. My instructions are to keep reading, keep watching Dutch films and programs, keep writing. Had a flash of panic as they talked about my progress; was worried I was going to hear (once again) ‘You need to move up a level’. So I told them I loved the class, thought they were outstanding instructors, but please, please don’t make me go up a level yet because I need more practice right where I am. They smiled. I was assured they weren’t going to make me go to another class, that I was welcome to sit in on these lessons as long as I wanted.

Thank you, Goddess!

Yesterday evening provided me with a good laugh. Just so happened to be online and on FB when a message popped up on my screen. It was from R, my co-star in the film whose scenes got cut. It was totally in Dutch. I understood it immediately, tho I couldn’t reply in Dutch. He said ‘Just heard I got cut from the film. Have you seen the final version yet?’ Now, the job of telling him he was cut from the final was up to S, the director. It was a joke at the premiere that he was dragging his feet on it, and not saying anything to R. My first thought was ‘he finally got around to it’. So I messaged S, telling him I just got a note from R asking about the film. S replied quickly, saying yes, he’d just told R about the film and he didn’t think R was taking it too well. LOL! I am online so rarely and not really connected with my phone, so call it dumb luck or providence, but I found myself involved in ‘The Student Film Scandal’ (which is what I’ll call it, and it gets capitalized because it’s been a running gag for MONTHS now) in real time. Back and forth I went, both R and S online and messaging me.

To R, I did what I told the crew to do in the first place: I played to his ego. My first reply to him was that yes, he had been cut in the final, that it was sad but I also knew he’s a pro and probably had it happen before. That soothed a lot of anger away. He then asked me what I thought of the film. I replied that I think the crew got what they wanted, and when you take into consideration the lack of lighting equipment and tight spaces we were working with, it turned out very well. I also shared with him that I thought I looked terrible due to the poor lighting. He came back quickly, saying maybe it was better he wasn’t in the film if it had such bad lighting. I replied with a joke, telling him every wrinkle on my face was blown up horribly, so yes, it was probably a good thing he wasn’t in it. He ended the conversation with laughter.

Kept S informed of what I saying to R. Admonished him a bit for not doing it in the first place, but hey! S is young. Probably never fired anyone before, whereas I have had plenty of that experience. In the end, my conversation with S was light and laughter filled. Hell! I made both of them laugh, so I guess I did that pretty well.

What I didn’t say to either of them was that I always see myself as unattractive. Never ugly, just unattractive. I’m an almost. Almost pretty. I see it every time I look at myself. Or, that’s what I think. I’m a little too heavy, my face doesn’t have the right angles to it, my teeth are a little crooked, etc. etc. Almost. It takes decades before I can look back at a picture and just see ME. Then, I can acknowledge it: wow, I was pretty back then. I can’t do it real time. So I wasn’t shocked or surprised at all by what I saw on screen.

I’m learning. Slowly. Both the language and a bit of self acceptance.

I know my vision mind is skewed.

I’m working on it.


This. is why. I’m going. to a psychiatrist! So said I at midnight, still bouncing off walls while brushing my teeth.

The read through…wow. First, I’ll note how disappointed I am in the “members” of the theatre group. Other than the director, myself, and the guy who set up the read through, ZERO members showed. Everyone fucking blew it off. Trying to not take it as a diss on me or my work. But we had 9 people who claimed they had interest and said they’d show. Nine. Second: We did have six newbies show up from the FB post. Thank goodness! Without them, it would have been difficult to give it a read through at all. And it’s always nice to meet new people with similar interests. Third: oh, Goddess! Nothing will take the wind out of your sails like a bad read though of your words. And although the first words out of my mouth were and are ‘Thank you’, even I have to admit it was a BAD read through. These people claim they know English? Stumbling through simple words, unable to pronounce half the text…if I read aloud like that in my language class I’d be kicked down a level. Absolutely awful. That’s not even mentioning the flat delivery, or the almost inaudible voice of one person who sat right next to me yet even I could barely hear her! Saving grace: two of the readers were decent. They carried it.

Since everyone who mattered in the decision on this script was absent, it’s still got to be approved by the Board. Glad to say the director and the member who set it up both like the story, so I’ve got two people who’ll vote ‘do it’. No idea when a decision might come down the tube. With their track record, it might be another month. Or maybe it’ll be easy for them: We don’t have to pay her, so let’s just do it.

Best of all, yes – they all got the unspoken meaning and reason for the trilogy. And, as I walked back to the metro with the director, he again brought up Lovecraft and compared my work to that master of terror. The director is a well read, articulate guy, so I have high respect for his literary opinion.

I can write.

But, yeah. Bouncing off walls. Up late, too excited to try to sleep. Oh! And I forgot to mention the kicker (at least for me). Mentioned to the director that as long as he’s taking the helm, I’ll take a role if he needs me to. He turned to me with large eyes and said “I should hope so! I want you in this!” Ah…to be acknowledged on two fronts. My ego is full. And to have a chance to play one of these high-octane characters -! Speak my own words?!? Oh YES! PLEASE!

Full disclosure, I took a morphine pill last night to (1) calm the fuck down and (2) prevent myself from biting down on my teeth again since I knew it began from mania and I was (and am) as wound up as can be.

Today is as full of stuff – or as empty – as I want it to be. My choice. The weather is crisp and clear this morning, and it almost feels like I’m starting anew. Things I may or may not do include a visit to the gym, tackling two needed phone calls in Dutch, reading, and starting on my homework. I could also duck out of the house to meet my brother at the library so I can get a new library card. Might do that…the sunshine out my window is awfully tempting and considering everything a little shake-up of my norm is probably a good idea.

One of those phone calls I could make today is to make an appointment with a local psychiatrist. Saw my doc on Monday regarding my mental health (YEESH! It was difficult to write those words!). Cried a little. She was very understanding. So now I’m holding this phone number. Need to pop by the doc’s office and pick up a referral letter, too. Then call, set a date, get my brain picked, and get some pills. Mentioned to my doc how I often can’t even tell you how I’m feeling before writing. She thought that was interesting. Have to admit I’m a bit curious to see what this referral letter says. My Dutch is good enough I’ll be able to read all of it. Finally.

Follow through. Remember that! Steady, slow progress. You don’t have to tackle the world today, or even this week. Take a bite today. A bite tomorrow. And put on that brave persona. The one you hauled out on holidays, the one who knew she could leave behind all the angst and shyness simply by choice. You can be whoever you want to be. Finally, keep in mind that you’re harder on yourself than anyone else. No one remembers your flubs like you do. And you’ve cut all those awful people out of your life, the ones who liked to nag at you and verbally remind you of all the times you fucked up. …Hell, woman! You’ve got a cheerleading section these days.

Yes. S and the rest of the film crew. The director here. The artistic director in the states. Even my teachers. Such a glow in Monday’s lesson! And why not? Even I could hear how my language popped up a level after reading through that book. …A couple of other students wrote their essays – half sheets, a small paragraph. Me? Five pages of A4 paper with small, tight hand writing. I received a gratifying gasp from my teacher. In perfect Dutch, I said ‘I can make my homework shorter, but I really want the practice.’ She smiled, and said no, please keep writing just as much as I want.

I am, and always will be, a writer.


Tuesday was a set-up all the way. From my uncontrolled rage late Monday night to getting turned around and almost taking the wrong tram in Den Haag on the way home, it was one thing after the other seemingly designed to throw me, upset me, and make me lose my cool. Keeping said cool – and I did, thankfully – was costly. I’m taking today down. Maybe tomorrow, too, after I see my GP about that shoulder wound (redder and more irritated now than when it happened). Maybe even the rest of the week.

Our student film won two awards. Two out of five total, and the only group to win more than one. My co-star won for overall acting. I’d be lying if I said my ego didn’t take a small twinge on that one, but I reminded myself these awards were designed for the students, not some random actor they pulled in off the street. And the group/family feeling was there: we hung out together, sat together, took pictures, and celebrated together. If there’s one thing I can and should feel proud of, it’s this: I made it crystal clear to these kids that any award we won was a group effort; not one of us could do what we did without the others doing an equally excellent job. That sentiment was echoed back to me by their acceptance speeches. Every single one of them spoke about the team. No one was left out. I did a good job there. They didn’t just mouth the words, they felt them. They knew.

It helped, naturally, that a few people singled me out to tell me loved my acting.

And once again, we talked about working together on more projects. My co-star has an internship at a Dutch film company and said if she gets any more roles in front of the camera she’s going to demand I co-star with her. S wants to market the film to some festivals, see even if she can get some money from it. The director is itching for a story to pull us all together again. I feel buoyed up by their exuberance. Certain that sometime, somehow, we’ll all do another film. Maybe it’ll be my script, maybe something different – it doesn’t really matter. What matters is we’re family.

Family. Now there’s a word that’s had nasty connotation for me. But I was shown a different kind of family last night. Not only with the crew; that alone was great. But S’s parents are the sweetest, nicest people I’ve met in a long time. Her father told me I was always welcome in their home, that I was part of the family. I felt so comfortable with them I fell into using Dutch because their English isn’t that good. And they encouraged me, and helped me, and made me feel okay with using what Dutch words I know. My brother pointed out that they’re probably impressed by me. They’re Muslim, and these days…well. I don’t blink an eye. I ask questions when I’m curious. I’m respectful. And they’re so warm and welcoming and friendly that I’m just gobsmacked that this bigotry against all Muslims has been allowed to fester. But I find it akin to any religion: I don’t really care, unless you try to use your beliefs against me. If I catch a whiff of lecturing or blame or shaming, I’ll come down on you and your beliefs like a hellcat. That’s happened innumerable times with Christian sects. But I’ve yet to hear such blanket disregard of ALL of Christianity. I should. It’s the same. thing.

And please! Who hasn’t been annoyed by certain groups ringing your doorbell on Sundays to preach the word to you?

But no. Similarly, I came across an article today out of the Davos meeting. They’re claiming that AI will replace mostly women’s jobs. One article said ‘women and other low-skilled workers’. My gripe, naturally, is the assumption of what kinds of jobs you’ll find women in. The sexism is blatant to me, yet there it was carried in news articles across the internet with an attitude of ‘ah, yes, here’s some REAL facts we can report’. Zero comprehension about why this is so sexist. Am I the only one who sees this?

Blatant. fucking. bigotry. It’s nasty no matter who it’s directed at. Sex, religion, skin color, ability or disability, gender identification, life choice, lifestyle, body type, age, manner of dress, amount in your bank account – the list is endless, if you want to break it down. We’re just beginning to tackle the big issues. Underneath that there are thousands of subcategories. And all of it comes down to one issue: respect for others. Simple as that. Be open, be honest, and above all, be kind. I realize that for a sadist being kind is inflicting pain; this is aberrant behavior and cannot be allowed to flourish. But if there’s one thing humanity has ALWAYS allowed to flourish, it’s sadism. This idea of ownership. Greed. Gluttony. Power. Control. This trait has, in fact, been glorified. Held up as the pinnacle of all that is “winning the game”.

Shows you how small and despotic the human race really is.

…The winds are high today, never good for my mind. My shoulder is burning, and I’m worried that I’ve had a shingles recurrence and scratched off the blisters. It would be a strange place for shingles blisters, but the wounds look like it and it just gets more and more painful as time passes. Which is why I’m seeing the doc tomorrow. Meantime, I’m sequestering myself. Just in case. Having a hard time believing that’s what’s happened, but there are a few symptoms I can’t just blow off. Headaches. Chills. Been thinking it’s just stress from the premiere and school and such. But…maybe not. The risk to public health is utmost in my mind, so I’m erring on the side of caution.

I recognize I’m in a web of set-ups.

That might explain it

I am here only to bitch and moan and scream. All those things I’d like to do on other social platforms because that’s where it gets triggered. All those things I don’t do on other social platforms because I don’t want to deal with the back-talk, the trolling, or the other unwanted fucking bullshit.

First up: women who support 45. *ahem* Go and kill yourselves. Quickly. It will save me from murdering you, so look on it as if you’re doing God’s work, which you seem SO fucking concerned with even though your God makes you an outcast for your sex, your God MUST be called “Lord” or “Him” or “He”, your God of course had to send down a son because daughters are fucking worthless (right?), your God who is a man first and always and will never, ever let you forget it. Get down on your knees and suck Him (and that ‘Him’ stands BOTH your male Gods including the one in the White House) off. You utterly disgusting whores, so eager for a pat on your head from your Daddy or your husband that you’ll give up every ounce of decency in you just to have it.

Second: England. Congratulations on confirming in my mind, at least, that you ARE the pedophile capital of the world. The amount of ‘adults’ who engage in this behavior in your country is fucking staggering. And it’s pretty obvious that all your women are lying whores who deserve to be raped – or at least that’s your attitude. You’re letting the worst serial rapist in your history out of jail. Free. Guess his victims just don’t fucking count. They all wanted it anyway, didn’t they? Just like those kids you fucked. Those kids wanted it, too. They dressed provocatively, didn’t they? You just couldn’t help it. Your dicks got hard and, well, you’ve got to find SOMEPLACE to put a hard dick, don’t you? And, after all, that’s what women are made for – even if the ‘woman’ in question is only 5 or 6, or really a boy who won’t fight you too much because they can’t.

Third: the 1%. The day is coming, people. Your throats will all be cut. You will be left penniless. The masses will wake up to the fallacy of ‘divine right by birth’. You take, you keep, you hoard, and you laugh at the rest of us when we complain. You have no rights to what you claim is yours. Contrary to popular belief, the old idiom of ‘you can’t take it with you’ still holds true. If you can’t take it with you, you don’t own it. So no, you don’t own your land or your homes or your car or the workers whom you treat as slaves. You don’t own the government, or government officials, or the stock market. You are greedy fucks who stop up the progress of the world. You are the WORST of this terrible parasitic species called human, and on my list you’re number one to be shot even tho you only show up as my number three gripe this morning.

Fourth: the U.S. My only answer is this: napalm, and lots of it.


…I am frustrated and anxious, thus you get a tirade this morning. I know it. Continuing to hold smoking to a lower level despite feeling so homicidal. Have not yet gone off on anyone. That statement makes it sound like I expect to go off, and I guess I do. It’s my pattern. A pattern I’ve tried to break for a long time without success. I consider that a personal failure. …I must be at least a bit crazy, because I keep trying. Even tho I know I haven’t done it yet, even tho I don’t even know HOW to do it. Breathe, they tell me. Hell, I’m breathing! Sometimes damned hard from my anger. Can we get something a little more concrete to work on? Telling me to breathe just doesn’t cut it. And putting on that sanctimonious attitude and telling me it’ll all be okay if I just breathe only makes me want to shove breathing up your ass so far you’ll be belching from your sphincter for the rest of your natural life.

*big exhale* Yes, I’m currently smoking. I said I was keeping it under control, not quitting, and if anything serves as evidence of needing to calm the fuck down, it’s my post first thing this morning.

I’ve been diligent this weekend. Worked steadily. My homework is done. I’ve finished the latest Dutch book I was given to read. I’ve prepped up an article to share with the class. This morning I’ll conjugate irregular verbs while eating my oatmeal. In addition, I’ve watched Dutch programs or films every day to reinforce hearing the language. Also managed to clean up the house, finish off laundry, check on times and routes for Tuesday, SMS’d S about Tuesday, sent a message off to my insurance company about the increased coverage I need, sent a note to the theatre group telling them I’m done with the story and ready to share it, and even got to the gym. That’s diligence!

I should be happy as a clam (tho why clams are so damned happy, I’ll never know). S assured me in her message that I’m always welcome in her home. That warmed my heart. She’s been caught up in last minute homework projects, so we haven’t had a good chat yet. But looks like I’ll head up there on Tuesday so she can do my make-up. I’m sitting pretty with language, having done all that work. Should do just fine in class today. I’ve got what I need for Tuesday: the outfit, directions, back-up plans, and money on my OV chip card. My back isn’t hurting me, and my jaw pain is very low to non-existent.

One weird thing. I’ve got two sets of bite marks on my shoulder. Too big for an insect.

Maybe an angry imp bit me at night while I slept.

That might explain it…


The first thing I did this morning was reach up to drag my heavy, long hair out of my face. Then I realized – it’s short.

Somehow, I always ask for the impossible. I always want a color they can’t give me, in this case auburn because I went too dark and no hairstylist wants to bleach my already dry and thirsty hair. They did manage to find a nice in-between, a lighter and redder color they added to the roots and brought through to the ends to blend it all. But I did it again with the cut. Brought in several pix of asymmetrical haircuts, which I just love on me; looks so much better than perfect symmetrical cuts. Then it was snip, snip, snip. Several inches hit the floor in the first pass. I went to a student academy, ’cause prices are half what I’d pay in a regular salon. So I had my stylist/student, three teachers, and a professional stylist puttering with my hair, talking about the length, the fall, the curve. Took more than two hours, but it was worth it. My hair hangs pixie-like and free, curving around my face gently to set it off, and falls gracefully a few inches to the right leaving a long lock that winds around into one gorgeous curl.

Maybe I’m the one person in a hundred thousand who still wants asymmetrical cuts. Or maybe it’s because I walked in there with such long, shaggy hair and it was such a dramatic make-over. I don’t know. But, as usual, I garnered a LOT of attention at the salon. Not just from the teachers, but also from the other students who kept watching the process of my new look getting sculpted out of the old. Are you sure you want this? Have you gone this short before? I found their questions funny. I wanted to say yes, I’m 52 and have done everything with my hair before you were born, dearie. Shaved, purple, multi-colored, rat-tails, super spiky short, long curly locks, blond, brunette, and red-head: you name it, I’ve done it at some point.

And oh! I’m not getting rid of this cut anytime soon. I’ll work hard to maintain it, as a matter of fact – which is not something I’ve said in a while. I like it. Brings back memories of my first asymmetrical cut when I was 17. My mother wanted to send me back to the salon (in fact, she wanted to send me back to HER salon, not one of my choosing). C was very noncommittal with me on most things, never showing too much approval or disapproval no matter what. But that hair! She hated it. Really, really, hated it. Nagged at me every time I wore it in a manner that emphasized that off-set cut. Pin it up, she’d tell me. No one will hire you with that hair. Eventually, she wore me down. I got a job in an office, and cut it.

Now, I’ve no one to tell me to cut it differently. No one to nag at me how it’s not normal, or how someone my age or weight or whatever shouldn’t have hair like this. I did not expect to feel so giddy. So free and uninhibited. Nor did I expect to write over 500 words about my hair.

…I’ve a long list of stuff. Things I need to do, things that have happened that nagged at me over the past day or two… But the headlines, of course, are where my immediate concern lies: government shutdown. Not sure how that will affect my brother’s pension, but I don’t expect it to be good. Refuse to panic or worry. There will be time enough for that later. And if something drastic happens…well, I expect a bit of understanding and slack here. I hope. It’s not something I want to discuss much, because that riles me up and gets me worrying. Just noting it’s happening and I’m doing my best not to freak.

Concerned, also, about the premiere. Getting up there, timing, the outfit, finding the place… The list on that goes on and on, too. I will be alone in a not-so-familiar city. Alone and dressed to the nines. At night, and it’ll probably be raining. Need to check with S about helping with my make-up. I don’t want to intrude; sounded like she’s gonna have loads of family at her place that evening. If I do go and get her help, I’ll more likely have time to kill because I’ll want to not step on any family gathering so I’ll be there early. My bro suggested I just head to a coffeeshop to smoke. I just don’t know: me, in fancy dress, with sparkling jewelry and full on make-up, walking into a coffeeshop to smoke weed. It’s more everyone else’s reaction I’m thinking of…not that I make a habit of it, but please! I’d stare at me if I walked in looking like that. Then there’s just the ick factor: coffeeshops tend to be a bit less clean than other Dutch establishments. The bathrooms can be…not nice. And there’s always the concern about burning my outfit from some falling ash. I’ve kept this dress in good condition this long, and I don’t want to lose it because I felt like having a hit or two before the premiere. Similar concerns with getting a bite to eat: messing the dress, smearing the make-up, and dealing with food stuck in my teeth. Um…nope. Drinks? That’s my best bet of staying neat and tidy. Also my best bet at getting out of hand because I don’t drink anymore and a couple of beers will put me under the table. I have this vision of me standing alone in a corner (so I don’t wrinkle the dress), drinking water through a straw (to keep the make-up perfect) for an hour or more in a quiet, out of the way nothing place. Sounds boring.

But I’ll look fabulous.

Can’t see the forest

And so…

Did some pacing, and some self-talk therapy. Needed to walk out those feelings that were overwhelming me. Got to the gym, burned hard and didn’t tear up once. Back home to hit my homework. Meh. Will I ever learn this language well enough that I don’t have to look up umpteen frigging words in my dictionary every time I do homework? Begrudgingly, I’ll admit my comprehension in general is higher. But there are words I’ve done before in homework, and I just can’t retain their meaning. Don’t know why, but every damned time I think ‘Oh, shit! That word! I know it. What the fuck does it mean again?’ It’s slow going.

Have replayed Friday in my mind so often I’m growing a bit paranoid. Did I go overboard? Ye gods! STOP IT! Stop thinking about it, analyzing it from every little angle. It was fine; you were fine! Stop…looking for something to throw you. Hate it when I do that. And I do it more often than I want to admit.

Now it’s back to practicalities. Get prepped for the premiere. Try on my one good dress (almost vintage now, at 28 years old) and see if it still fits. Shoes are a priority: I only have sneakers and ankle boots. Clean the jewelry I think I’m gonna wear. Think about what the hell I can do with my hair. Wear it up? I’m tempted. There’s so much of it, tho. Will I have the time and funds to get it done? Nice thought, but doubtful. My brother has already been generous with extra money for shoes and a dress if needed; this month is financially tight, as every month seems to be. I can’t ask for more, nor do I feel right splashing out a lot on myself. I’ll try to make do.

I look forward to a day when getting my hair done isn’t viewed as ‘splashing out on myself’.

Smoking: been uppermost in my mind. I am hyper conscious of every time I smoke. Beginning to put it off. Wait a bit longer each time. No great strides, but a bit of progress. A little bit less than the day before. I’ll take it.

…Have to admit to something difficult now. I’m disappointed, and I shouldn’t be. Or, that’s what I’m feeling. …*sigh*… Right. I’ve already acknowledged that even tho I’ve broken off contact with many members of my family, I still want their praise. That’s a common theme in my life. So it shouldn’t be so hard for me to say I’m disappointed that not one member of my DNA family whom I have so many frigging problems with said ANYTHING about the film trailer I posted on FB. Even the ones I still have contact with – no likes, no thumbs up, nothing. Nadda, with a silent exclamation point because it’s that damned quiet. It is difficult, tho. I feel like it’s not appropriate. I made the choice, I cut them off – what the hell am I bitching about now? But if I’m not honest about my conflicting emotions and nonsensical desires, well, what the hell am I writing this for? …Right? (Asked with a desperate need for confirmation..)

Shit, Beeps. You’re looking in the wrong direction…

Remember? Don’t look back. Your elders will never give you what you want. Look forward. Look to the children. It’s they who are excited over you and your knowledge. They’re the ones to call you a role model. You can never be that to your elders. Never, ever, ever. Let it go. And take what you’re given, because what you’re given is precious and wonderful. S looks at me and wonders why I give myself such a hard time. You’re so beautiful, and talented, and brilliant! she tells me. Everything I wanted my mother to say to me. Everything she never said. Take it, Beeps. Without reservation, without self degradation. Hold your head up, smile, and take it as it’s meant. This is your payoff, finally. Allow yourself to enjoy it.

I give myself permission to be happy. I give myself permission to be happy…

People say ‘give it time’. Whatever the hurt or problem, ‘give it time’ is the answer. What people really mean is ‘have more patience with yourself’. And that is far harder than giving it time. Time you can while away through many shiny distractions. But patience for yourself! Now, that’s something you’ve got to work on. Consciously. It is a moment by moment thing, and it’s tough. Doesn’t help that while you learn your new conditions or language or habits, time drags. Tick, tick, tick…Your days become filled with the ticking of the clock, counting off every begrudged minute devoted to whatever it is you’re trying to heal from or learn or change. Once you’ve got it, that stops happening. Time goes back to normal. Sometimes, it even speeds up. But until then…it’s just a slog.

Why do the good and fun things in life seem to fly by so quickly, while the horrid things we’d rather not put up with go on and on and on?

If that holds true, this week should last a few months. I’ve got my language lesson (not ready for it, but then I don’t know that I ever will be), shopping for shoes (ugh. don’t even go there.), and a dental appointment for a mouth guard fitting (dread; more crap in my mouth). Must call about my orthopedics – that’s a double whammy: Dutch on the phone combined with shoes angst. Find out if I’m too fat for my good dress or not (MEGA dread).

Hm. Well that list gets me back to my normal anxiety/stress level. *ironic chuckle*

I walked into this year thinking it was all gonna pop for me. Everything just go, go, go. Now, I don’t know. Now I’m in the daily muck of it all, and I’m getting lost in the small shit.

I can’t see the forest for the trees.