Happy New Year

The Dutch do like their fireworks.

Celebrations began in the morning, but let’s face it: very few want to set off fireworks in the day. Nonetheless, every hour on the hour I heard celebrations. Whoohoo! It’s New Year somewhere! The real fun here, tho, begins at 6 in the evening.


As the hours continue, I believe our neighbors get into a pissing contest. Someone sets off a bigger firework and then everyone must follow suit: Yes, we saw what you got and we have bigger. By the time 9 p.m. comes it’s just non-stop. A small lag around 40 minutes past the hour; they’ve shot their load for that hour and are busy refilling. Then it starts again, anticipating the next on the hour celebration.

As the noise increased, (BOOM!) I let my mind wander. (ZOOM!) And I realized that I was not creating a mystery (CRACK!) but a burglary. You could blow up an entire building in NL on NYE and I’m not sure anyone would notice. It’s loud. Damned loud.

Heard from a cousin of mine. He sounded unhappy. And drunk. Sadly, he’s an alcoholic and has fought with those demons most of his life. Wasn’t really ready to deal with it at midnight last night, but I’m thinking I may send him a message today. He’s also been diagnosed with ADHD, and was on medication for it. I don’t know if he’s still on meds or not. His comment to me was: ‘I’m all alone, like always’. Now that I think about it, I’ve never seen him included in those family gathering pix his brother posts. He was the black sheep, just like me. We’ve tended to stick together over the years because of that. I’m a bit wary of opening up a can of worms, tho. If he’s off his meds AND drinking, it’ll be a lot of long and meandering conversations. More talk of coming over here, tho that’s just talk. My cousin is a few years younger than me and… Okay. Own up to it: I feel I ruined him. He always had a crush on me and I took advantage of that when I was lonely. I think I was his first true love, and between his problems and drinking he never really got over it. I feel responsible for what happened. I was older than he, and I never took his feelings seriously. This…thing between us was there from the start. Even as a child he had a crush on me, and followed me everywhere. I can’t take responsibility for that side of it. I do take responsibility for how I handled it: poorly. Selfishly. It’s a truth about me I’ve grudgingly accepted, tho it sits uneasily with me. I want to fix it, but I don’t know how.

The only thing I can even do is just be. Live, and be the example to him. Be there, even in his drunkenness – tho with safety guards built in (for instance, we chat on FB but he doesn’t have my phone number; I can’t deal with calls at 3 in the morning). It’s not easy for me. But I also know he has a negative energy about him. He sucks life out of everyone and everything around him. I’ve dealt with it before. His family has dealt with it, which is why (I suspect) he’s not included in those family gathering photos. That is something he must change, and thus far, he hasn’t.

…Somehow, on top of it all and despite my precautions, I’ve caught a cold. My head is stuffed up and my throat is raw. My bro feels ill, too. We’ve a new chili verde sitting on the cooker. Burn it out with hot sauce. And vit C drink and naps. Lots of naps.

Happy New Year.


The Bitch is Gone

The Bitch is gone.

Received a WhatsApp message this afternoon from the director: I think you should talk to D tonight about the role.

Me?? I responded. I reminded him that I’m not good at that, that I feel under personal attack by her all the time. He said: You can do it. Just stay calm.

Googled how to handle difficult people. Took notes to remind myself. Went out to her original email and wrote her words down verbatim so I could accurately quote her. Honestly, I was more wound up and nervous about having to deal with her than I’ve ever been on learning my lines or performing. Took one of my big pain pills before I headed out just for that extra mellow edge.

Naturally, I was first there. And naturally, D showed up next. I hemmed and hoed a bit, not sure if I should just start in. After a moment I did. I said: We need to talk about Smith. You sounded really confused about the role in your message, and it’s pretty straight forward. As the conversation progressed, the director and the other actors showed up.

Caught myself shaking pretty damned badly at one point. Basically, in her eyes, I’m the problem. She said: I think Beeps’ control is ruining the play. I said: Okay, I hear that you think I’m the problem. Others chimed in here and there, trying vainly to smooth things out. The director tried several times. I asked her if she liked the story and she said no, that she didn’t think it made any sense. Did my best explain the logic behind it, but everything I said she negated. She rolled her eyes at me and basically did everything she could to belittle me. I asked her if I let her just do her thing for a whole month and after that I month I said: It’s not working, do it this way, would she do it? No. I asked her if the director gave her those instructions, would she follow them. No. Finally I told her I didn’t really want her on the play if she didn’t like the story and couldn’t take directions. And I certainly didn’t want her to continue and then leave us in the lurch because she wouldn’t do as asked. She then showed me how stupid of person I was dealing with. This is what she said:

I wouldn’t lurch you. I wouldn’t lurch anyone. How dare you say I’d lurch the group! I’d never do that!

I pointed out to her that’s not the way that word is used. Another eye roll. (Btw, she’s apparently got a PhD in English; I’d have flunked her out of her first level).

She finally made up her mind to leave. Yea! I was glad. So glad I turned and walked away while everyone else said good-bye. I’m sure that was interpreted differently, but in reality I was so damned happy to see the last of her I didn’t trust myself to stand there and NOT give her a parting shot.

The incident was glossed over. That happens so often. The actors that remained sort of purposefully didn’t talk about it. I wish that didn’t happen. It left me feeling like a pariah. The bad guy who’ll can your ass and walk away without a word. But I’d made my mind up as to how much of her shit I’d take tonight, and she crossed that line pretty fucking early in the evening.

We’ve got a few people in the wings. And L said she’d do the role. Put a wig on her and let her do another accent; she’d do well. I have full confidence in L’s ability, and she already volunteered to do it (bless her for believing in me and the script that much!).

Sent a WhatsApp note to the director, saying I hope I wasn’t too bad tonight but once D said she didn’t like the story AND she wouldn’t take direction, I felt it was a lost cause. He hasn’t responded.

Hm. Wish I didn’t have any guilt over it, but I do. I’m not used to standing up for myself. But I’ve less guilt than I’ve had at other times, so maybe I did okay. Better than I’ve done before, anyway.

Now I’ll see if there’s any backlash on it. Attitude from actors, or bad mouthing by D. Probably won’t catch any bad mouthing personally; I’ll have to watch people on that. I know how someone like D operates: she’ll continue to needle away at anyone she has contact with, complaining about me and the script. It can poison someone else’s attitude.

But for the moment, I can breathe again. The Bitch is gone.

I was not to blame

When you find yourself in danger, if you cannot fight or flee successfully, freezing is your next best survival instinct.

I’ve been allowing these words to sink in. Yesterday was the first time anyone ever said that to me. Of course, I’d never spoken about the guilt I carry for freezing up during the times I was raped and “allowing” it to happen. I know I did what I did because I was scared to death. But I’ve always had a part of me that said: if you’d have fought harder, it wouldn’t have happened. Dr T set me straight, and it was difficult to hear.

Did not walk into my appointment thinking that was what I’d be talking about. I thought I’d be talking about the sibling rivalry problem between myself and my siblings. But, no. Somehow Dr T got me to open up. Maybe it was because we were talking in Dutch.

I’m practicing saying ‘no’, I told him. But it’s easier in Dutch. I told him I knew how important it was for me to say no and take care of myself first. And then…and then the word ‘verkracht’ (raped) came out, and he asked when and I said it wasn’t so much when as how often, and then I started talking about the stalker and the beatings and how I felt like a caged animal for years. The conversation flowed from Dutch to English to Dutch in a comfortable manner. So now he finally knows that bit about me.

We talked about sexuality, about relationships. Have you been able to have a successful relationship with a man after the rapes? No. No, I haven’t. Not unless I can take sex out of the equation right away. If I can get a guy to just see me as a person, someone to hang out with and eat pizza, it’s fine. If they think me in anyway as a woman, as a female, as attractive – it’s a mess. Treating me nicely, taking me to dinner, asking me to dress up; all of it freaks me out. I suppose the two date rapes that happened to me do not help this situation. *sigh* Never trust a man that drops a hundred bucks on a meal for you. Never. The more they pay, the more the feel they’ve paid for you and the more likely they’ll take what they think they’ve paid for. That’s been my experience.

Did you ever tell anyone? No. None other than my brother, who’s had the overview but not the messy details. And then came the biggie: I thought my family would blame me. And I was right; they would have. They would have blamed my clothing, the fact that I was drinking, the fact that I went out ‘looking for it’.

I once built up the courage to tell my eldest brother that the stalker was hitting me. His response was a cool So? No ‘you’ve got to get out of there’ or ‘how dare he’. Just So? Like I’d just told him a bulb was burnt out in the house or something.

I was right to say nothing. I know I was. With that attitude, all I would have heard was how much of a slut I was, that I was already practically a whore so I might as well make it official, on and on, ad infinitum.

Trust your instincts, Beeps. The doc just told you you have good survival instincts. Trust them.

People here think I exaggerate. About my family, life in the states, etc. I’m not, naturally. A strange thing happens to people. They begin to act like they know an area because they spent a few days on holiday there. I’ve had loads of Europeans say ‘Oh, yes, I know the US’ and then go on to tell me how last year they spent a week in NYC or Boston. I look these people square in the eye and ask ‘If an American spent a week in Amsterdam would you say they know the Netherlands?’ Here in Rotterdam that’s a kicker; no one will say ‘yes’. Then I move on to explaining how large the US is. How different the states are from each other. The language, the customs, the laws, the taxes – all different. And finally I get them to admit that no, they don’t know what they’re talking about. I’m happy that their logic allows them to follow my argument, that they can readily and easily admit their mistakes. I’m not happy that I have to lay the argument out, over and over, to each fool I meet. I feel like I’m having the same conversation continually loop. Goddess! And why do I have to be the one who teaches everyone? Can’t someone else do if for a few decades?

…How do you change the world? One human at a time.


The dregs of a hurricane from the Mediterranean are hitting NL today. High winds, rain. I’d like to get to the gym for a while. Work out and think on Dr T’s words. They’re having a big impact on me. They wash the last self-imposed blame from my body: I was not to blame. Nothing I did merited what happened to me. I went into survival instinct.

And they must have felt my head pulling away, or trying to pull away, as they shoved it down on their cocks deeper and deeper until I felt I was going to gag. They must have felt my fear, my frozen unwantingness. How dry my vagina was. How quickly I left afterwards. My lack of touch, lack of desire. It was all there. And they raped me.

I was not to blame.

Feed your soul

I feel hungry.

Not in my stomach, and not for food. It’s centered around my solar plexus, and feels somewhat like a black hole – like it’s sucking all the sunshine and fresh air and vibes into me. Never quite know what to do to fill it up. So, here I am, writing it out.

Got down to the store for that extra sweatshirt. Whoohoo. Actually made it before all the shirts in my size were sold out. Stopped by Etos and picked up talc powder and contact lenses. Even popped an extra four euro for eye drops so my eyes don’t dry out.

Did not go to the gym, but I did take a good walk in the sunshine later on. It feels good to walk out there. Good to have my orthopedics on again – it’s cool enough to wear them. Good to use long strides, swing my arms, look up at the blue sky and clouds, smile. Maybe I’ll head up to the lake today.

My rheumatologist suggested I try lowering my methotrexate. That’s the one drug I really don’t enjoy taking. Need it, definitely. But that’s the one that raises the risk of various cancers thru the roof. It’s the one that dampens my immune system so I get sick at the drop of a hat. My RA seems fine, at least so far. It’s cumulative, so I might not feel the effects yet. But my system knows! That damned pustular psoriasis is back in spades. On my hands, on my feet. Really need to make that appointment. It’s ugly, itchy, and painful. Plus I look like a damned leper.

I’m flipping my agenda around. Been working on it for months now, anticipating later nights with the theatre group as well as being so keyed up after rehearsals and performances that I won’t go down for hours. Last night I cracked the lights out threshold: I stayed up later than my bro. Trying to get used to not feeling guilty for being up later, walking around in a dark house, reading ’til 1 am. If I can break that cycle now, before things really wind up, I’ll be in much better shape come April when we begin performing. Still…woke up at 8 am today. Must get used to sleeping in! That’s the whole point of this exercise.

Been having headaches. Every day. I think it’s just nasal congestion. I think. Could also be that my eyes have just reached that point where I really need glasses. Been using my glasses around the house more, but I can’t use them when I read or do close work. So it’s on and off, off and on. I don’t think that’s doing me any good if the problems stems from eye strain. I’m also painfully aware of how much I’ve been smoking, and know that I could just be doing it to myself. So I haven’t said anything to anyone, and just pop some paracetamol. Most of the time I don’t even feel it unless I cough or blow my nose – which is what makes me think that it’s really a congestion thing. *sigh* I’ll watch it. If it’s congestion, it should get better after autumn.

Or, I could try quitting smoking. …Why do I find that a depressing thought?

Haven’t even thought about writing anything for me. I need to keep focused on the tasks ahead, and just can’t get lost in some new story. Must say, that’s one of the hardest things I’m doing. It’s unnatural. Keep promising myself I’ll find the time to fall into something and let myself write. But I don’t know when that will be.

And I don’t want to let anyone down. Not my brother, not the theatre group, not myself. That’s tough to juggle. I’ve learned so well to say ‘no’ to myself, but I’ve not yet mastered saying it to others. I’m so tired of getting the short end of the deal. Of giving more than I want of myself in order to make things happen. I know my drivers in this. I know why I’m compelled to do what I do.

Funny but probably valid thought: I should begin ‘no’ practice. Stand in front of a mirror and repeat ‘no’ for three minutes every day. Get used to saying it. Say it angrily, funnily, sadly, thoughtfully… As many ways as I can come up with, over and over. Why not? I rehearse so much in my head before I come to it, why not this? Surely it would help me. The word would come faster from my lips, be easier to breathe through, become less anxious than it is now. Side note: the Dutch ‘nee’ is easier to use than the English. I say ‘nee’ all the bleeding time.

…Sunshine outside. I might be able to finally get that playwright pic I want for LinkedIn; there may finally be enough light in the house. Hm. That means more make-up play. Maybe not a bad idea. I do have to master a few things for the meeting.

Well, what do you know? That hungry feeling is gone, at least for now. Guess I just felt a need to check in with myself. Remember that one!

Feeling hungry? Talk to yourself. Listen to yourself. Comfort yourself. Lay everything out in a row and look at it dispassionately.

Feed your soul.


Guilt. Probably my number one emotion. I feel guilty if I don’t go to the gym. I feel guilty if I don’t push myself with language. Guilt if I overspend, guilt if I get sick, just guilt. For everything. The world falls fucking apart and it’s my fault. Somehow.

Today’s guilt centers on my inability to get to the gym for the second day in a row. Really starting to burn again while I’m there, but I’m not in good enough shape to do it twice before resting. At least, not today. I’m bloody well beat. My bro has just reminded me that I suffer from RA, and I’m just getting back into it. You’re in really good shape for someone who suffers from chronic RA. Accept that, then move on. He’s right.

Now I’ve been asked to translate my own write-up for his book. He liked the blurb I shot over to him, but it was in English. *groan* Well, that’ll get my brain working on verb tenses…

My computer desktop is a mess. Such a mess I can’t even begin to sort it out. Folders upon folders. Individual PDFs and RTFs with notes I can’t lose track of. It’s intimidating. But I hesitate to change it because no, I really can’t lose track of any of this. And if I start to stack folders within folders, thinking I’ll remember where I put everything… That’s a guarantee to drive myself insane.

Drying more tomatoes. I really should get downstairs and buy more. End of season, cheap and plentiful. After the severe droughts, I expect some problems next season. We’re stocked up on rice, and I’m getting as many tomatoes as I can dried or jarred up. Extra vanilla beans, just waiting to get made into vanilla extract. Wishing I had more room to do more. At least we live in a large port city. We’re the first to get things in: fish, vegetables, products from around the world. It’s one of the reasons I love living here. I spent too many years far away from import centers, and felt the burn. Unable to find ingredients. Paying four times as much for a product that’s on the edge of going bad. Here I get things fresh. And the affordability of food is amazing. Literally amazing.

Been told to mark the 25th in my calendar. Now the theatre board meeting has moved to ‘dinner and meeting’, or at least that was the last reference I received. I’ve no idea what that means: where, or how much. So I have to save some money for myself. Don’t want to end up going and not really be able to pay for something to eat. Maybe my concerns are unfounded, and it’ll end up being a ‘theatre business’ write-off. That would be nice. I feel like I’m putting in a lot of work. It would be good to get a bit of a pay-back.

*sigh* My bro can’t stop talking about his book. I understand; there’s a lot to think about. And I’m the only person he can talk to. Still… It’s been days of graphics work and borders, printing necessities and settings on programs I don’t have. Hard to keep giving him my interest and full attention. I don’t want to make him feel bad by cutting him off, but I’m real tired of that being 95% of the talk in the house. It reduces me to ‘uh-huh’ for most responses.

…How bad will it screw me up if I nap all afternoon? That’s all I really want to do…

Is is worth the guilt I’ll feel to just take a day off and rest? I keep telling myself it is. But every night I dream of a super work-out. Me being strong, doing more. Then I wake up and don’t feel like doing any of it. That isn’t working for me. Sometimes I feel like I really have spent the night working out. I’m twice as tired as I was the day before.

To hell with it. I’m gonna have one of my chocolate covered ice cream sticks (80 calories), shut the curtains to the sun, find something amusing to watch, and chill. I said I was gonna do things differently.

So, hey there, Guilt. Not surprised to see you around today. I hear you. Trust me; I hear you.

But I’m not listening.


Finally! Enough silence I can think.

The past several days my bro has been unsettled. The upshot of that has been hours on end of talking. Over my gaming, over films, programs, dinner, first thing in the morning, last thing at night. I counted the other day; missed three episodes of a program while he jabbered.

There are two things that occur when my bro’s like this. First, I don’t really get a chance to talk for days, sometimes weeks, on end. Second, when I finally do get a chance to open my mouth (usually outside of the house), I end up going on and on very similarly to my bro because I’ve got so much built up.

Getting back into my gym routine. It’s still a slog, and I’m still out of it at the end of the day (which, frankly, I consider a plus right now). Receiving that nod from other members. The one that says ‘Yep. I see you. You’re here working hard.’ Damned right! I’m still the only person I’ve ever seen warm up at the gym. Do not understand that one. But okay, I get it. You can’t even touch your toes, much less get your forehead down to the ground when you stretch. You can’t twist your torso half way around and hold it. You can’t do the military lift your legs from a prone position on the floor. All of that makes me stand out. No one’s asked me yet why I go to the gym. The only equipment I use is the cross trainer and the treadmill. But it’s the only place I have enough room to do my isometrics and yoga, which is what’s really kept me in this good of shape. Maybe someday someone will ask…

No word yet on the theatre board meeting. I shot out to the sign up calendar, to see how it was going. After being told there were only three board members, I find six people are invited. Hmm. Naturally, there’s not one night in two weeks all six of us can get together. The best we’ve got is five. I feel a bit like I’m being brought in front of the board for a reason. Have I overstepped my bounds? I wouldn’t think so. I’d think this group would appreciate any help with marketing since they’re such a well kept secret. Not worried. If they don’t want me to continue at this pace, that’s okay. I, as the actress and behind the scenes helper, will back off. But I as the playwright will not. No way. It’s mine, and I’m gonna shout about it.

My bro’s been dropping hints left and right about needing help with the company. Took time last night to do some write-ups for him on his book, and he came out of his room after reading them to thank me. That felt good. And I’m glad he thought I hit on some key words to use. Also wrote up some updates for the company site, letting people know what we’re working on. Must remember to help him out more.

Ach! Did I miss the boat by not becoming a marketing guru? Seems so. Seems I’m the one with the drive, the right turns of phrase, the good graphics sense. Fine. Now, just make it work for me. Use my magic to whip up some interest in the projects that will further our goals. My bro acts as that guiding rod, keeping me on track when I go off on a tangent. It works, even if I find it a bit constraining at times.

Happy I have this little lull. A bit of quiet time when I’m not really under pressure to do anything by a deadline. It allows me to try and get back on my schedule. That’s not so easy. I’ve reset my entire life. Used to be bed at ten, lights off by 10:45, sleep ’til 7 or 8, and go. Now I’m off to bed at 11, lights don’t go off sometimes ’til after midnight, and I’m sleeping in ’til 9. Even more important: my new schedule is set around my pill times. But I must admit I feel a bit guilty. I don’t know why. Guess it’s being raised by a farmer’s daughter. If I wasn’t out of bed at 7, I’d better be sick. No other excuse. Hung over? Didn’t get in ’til 3 am? Too bad. Get up now. Otherwise, she’d start hoovering right outside my room just to bug me. I’ve never quite got over that early instilled guilt. But the theatre group are all on this later schedule, so I figured I should just get on it now. I’ll be working late at rehearsals for the next several months anyway.

No word about my schooling. We were supposed to receive letters about the upcoming semester. My bro just headed off this morning, even tho he didn’t get anything. He’s anxious to start. I have a wee bit more time; my class starts on Monday. But I was supposed to receive tickets for a play they were promoting, and I never got them. Think that’s already come and gone. Too bad. I was looking forward to seeing what they did.

Today it’s the gym again. Don’t plan on much else because of how tired I am after working out. Tomorrow I’d like to hit the malls. Walk around, look. Probably buy that underwear I need. Maybe new shoes for the gym. I’d like to get that done before school and meetings.

And I got an email telling me I should really check in with the dentist. Yeah, yeah. Been meaning to do that, too. Just like I’ve been meaning to call the dermatologist.

Well. I’ll take my quiet time this morning and enjoy it. Head out later on. It’s almost time to stop dawdling and start work.


I want to remember

Not certain what I’m feeling. I wanted to come out here and say ‘yep; all is well – I worked out and did some Dutch and tidied up the house and it’s all good’. I did do all that, and I do feel good about it but…and…there’s something else niggling at me, and I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Maybe it’s the recognition of my higher language use. I feel lately like I’m moving beyond the other students. They seem to have problems with things that are very basic, stuff I’m surprised even trips them up. And I know I’m the only real reader in class. Guess I’m feeling like it won’t be too long before I hear ‘you really need to move up a level’ again. And I don’t want to hear that quite yet. I’ve already heard how I could move up, I’m ready and can handle the task. Soon, I’ll have to move up because they’ll be repeating lessons I already know and I’ll be bored. Just have this feeling… Had a couple of word puzzles as homework, and one was particularly tough. I got thru it, but I don’t imagine the other students will have.

Or maybe it’s the whole theatre group thing. Still nothing. May is literally only a few days away and not one plan has been made to even call for auditions. I’m totally uncomfortable with that. And I’m not sure why the group feels they can master my work in less time than they allowed for other plays. Sure, it’s action driven and all that, but most of the group haven’t even read the story yet.

I have not, of course, done the one thing I really need to do: check back with the doctor’s office on the last round of tests. *sigh* Starting with that will probably help. I don’t sit on things well.

Keep forgetting to take my pill. What began at 11 a.m. is now 4 in the afternoon, and I hope it doesn’t swing all the way to my bedtime. I suppose that shows the medicine is working; I’m feeling good enough and engaged enough that I don’t think about it. Still. I do NOT want to miss a day. Don’t think that would help me one bit. Thus far, I’ve only managed to remember taking the damned thing two days in a row at the same time so I’ve no pattern set up to help me remember the ritual. Damn, damn, damn. Not sure what to do to help me remember. Thought about setting my alarm, but then I have to remember to set my alarm every day and turn it off every night so it doesn’t wake me up in the middle of sleep (because yes, I have an old fashioned alarm clock of only 12 hours, not a digital 24 hour clock). Yeesh.

…Guess I’m just feeling my sorrow. That deep disappointment that sits within me. I find the manner of people around me – especially those I grew up with – so utterly fucking disappointing. And it’s not coming from so much a judgmental viewpoint; I’m not saying how horrible they are. It’s more…I keep kind of seeing things thru their eyes. Seeing me thru their eyes, hearing their responses anew from their perspective. I get what they tried to do. I also acknowledge they did a really shitty job of it.

I acknowledge that every time my sister called me a liar, she was loudly proclaiming that is SHE who was the liar. I acknowledge my oldest brother and sister are narcissistic shits. Spoiled fucking rotten, brought up to think they’re the hottest shit on earth and let me tell you, they’ll never let you forget that. Again: they spewed that at me, and I recognize that anything said repeatedly by one person is a better indication of what THEY’RE doing rather than anything else. They are spoiled. They are brats. They are narcissists. They are sluts, and thieves, and liars. I do not like them.

…I do not like them. *sigh* I shoulda run away at 17, when that impulse was so strong in me. Left and never looked back. I stayed to honor my parents. First, my mother – whom I thought I loved, and I suppose underneath all the complicated crap she set up in me I do love her but I’m having a damned hard time feeling it these days. Then my father, and I’ll never regret the time I spent with him or what I did those final weeks of his life. I exposed myself to my siblings’ bullshit on purpose, knowing what I was walking into, counting the cost and finding it worth the price. But it took it’s toll on me. I see that now: the mess of mourning, regret, sorrow, and then the added blame and guilt and anger.

And the deepest sorrow sits in me because I long for what we could have been. We could have been a family that supports each other. I’ve met them now; they’re out there. We could have been a family that stays close, despite geographical distances. Somehow writing to my uncle is more important to my siblings than responding to a message from me, tho I don’t know why and I gave up trying years ago. …I can imagine how we could have been stronger together. Instead, we tore each other apart.

For my part…I’m still too angry. Still too willing to whip out the big guns in my head to use against these two people. To my sister, with a cool disdainful look: Tell me, are you still taking it up the ass or has your boyfriend managed to find your vagina? To my brother, with a sneer: So tell me, how much of your thinking brain did they actually scoop out with that tumor?

That is not someone willing to forgive and forget.

But maybe that’s the difference between us. My siblings do an awful lot to help them forget.

I want to remember.


Beginnings are tough. The first word on a page. The first day of a new job. Seems just about everything in life turns into a metaphoric pair of shoes: you gotta wear ’em in a bit and get used to them. And until you do, you’re a bit uncomfortable. A little too aware of where they are rubbing at your heel or pinching your toes. Hopefully the shoes give a bit with time, and the heel rubbing and toe pinching stops. Meanwhile, you hang in there with that new pair because you just bought them, or they look good, or you so want them to work for you.

My metaphoric new shoes were my return to the gym. I found it tough just walking thru the door because it’s been too long. Kept to the exercise bike and treadmill. Too long = I’m weak as shit, so no big push until I can do the bike and the treadmill without sweating. No weights, either, until I know my wrist won’t start hurting again (this is the third day without pain, and I’m just enjoying it). Felt good to stretch out and use my muscles. But now I’m telling myself how I need to go and do it again and… Ugh. Again? And again and again and again? Is there no end?

…You were expecting an end?

That’s the topper, isn’t it? We live in a false world full of ends. Stories end, films end, days end, years end… But that’s not true. The story continues, the film could go on, and we live in an unending time continuum. It would be better just to say ‘here’s where the story stops’ or ‘here’s where this day becomes the next’. ‘End’ is a misnomer.

We have come to expect ends. An end to life, an end to pain… We tend to call the culmination of our dreams ‘the end’, although it’s really just another beginning. Dieters dream of their restricted meals ending, schoolchildren long for the end of the school year. Focusing on ends pushes our vision into the past: the end of an era, the end of ‘the good old days’, etc. We want to wrap things up in tight bundles: here it is; finite and complete. Take a picture, and bemoan about your memories for the rest of time.

This behavior blinds us to the continuity surrounding us. To the flow. To seeing how one thing leads to another, then another.

Too many people seem to be asking ‘how did we get here?’ when the answer seems obvious to me. Stop viewing time as frozen bits of truth. The past does not contain our truth. It only contains the seed of what we are now, and if you’re blind to that you’ll never recognize it even if it bites you on the nose.

Look to the past to discover who you are. Look to the future to find who you can be.

I have looked to my past. Kept my eyes inwards, downwards, searching, asking. I can’t bemoan any of that right now. It’s served me well in many instances, and made me a better person.

But now I look up. Literally. Used to walk down the street looking down, watching where I put my foot so I didn’t trip or turn an ankle. Now I look at the sky and trees. It’s amazing what I see when I stop looking at the ground. I forgot the world held so much color and variety.

Often I’ve been called a ‘starter’ rather than a ‘finisher’. I can finish projects – make no mistake about that. But I’ve started more than I’ve finished. In the past, that’s been used against me. Shamed me. This morning I can only see my behavior as evidence of my underlying optimism. I kept starting. Kept trying to reset. Toss away the shame of ‘not finishing’ and see what you were really doing: continual movement, continual attempts to change things in positive manners. Me grasping for me. Oh, little girl! You did so well! You just never gave up, no matter what. You hated yourself, you hated life, you didn’t understand so much, but you just kept at it. … Now, that’s a solid feeling. One that doesn’t flutter in briefly and leave me the next moment. It is deep and heavy, yet light…

I have allowed so much shame to cover me in the hopes that it would bring me love. I let myself be used physically, like a bag of garbage. I let myself be lied about, let the worst be thought about me, without one word of defense. I let others’ judgements rule me: how I should act, what I should want, how I should look or be.

…I suppose in my world, being yelled at for this or that was the only attention I really received. Being good never got it. I was never good enough to be praised for being good, only told I could never be the best, the prettiest, the most talented because there would always be someone better than me. Getting yelled at, though… Now, that I excelled at. I was the worst ever. The most base slut on the planet, the worst drug addict, the biggest liar, the most horrible thief, the worst person you could ever know.

It seems I could be the best at something, then.

…Yikes. That’s a hard one to swallow. Years of bad behavior in a textbook case of an unloved and unwanted child seeking attention.

That’s my seed from the past. It grew me into who I am today. But who I am today, when I step outside the door, is totally up to me. I can go out there loaded for bear, ready to take issue with everyone and everything.

Or I can take my seed and go out with gentle patience and understanding. Knowing my seed can’t grow under certain conditions. It’s part of what it is.

My new beginning.

I need some help today

My computer screams the Golden Question at me. I made a meme for my desktop: bright green and yellow. Can’t miss it. Not sure how long I’ll keep it up, but for now it’s a good reminder. Always asking that question behind my browser, or the files I keep out on my desktop.

Got to the gym. Disappointed to find the CD I bought (and loaded into my iPod) was 20% rockin’ and 80% downtempo. I was hoping for the reverse. I have no need for downtempo music right now. I want tribal beats, and throbbing bass. I want my feet to move, I want to get up out of my chair and go, not sit there and sob, thinking about my past mistakes. Still. It’s new, and I enjoy the EQ of the band. Decided I am too flabby and gone to hit the cross trainer; went to the exercise bikes instead. Just get moving, woman! You’ll pick back up that enthusiasm for the gym if you can just break out of this inertia.

Practiced saying no. I’d told my bro about the Twin Peaks revival on sale, and he calculated and found enough money to purchase it. Yesterday morning he came out with a pre-paid credit card, slapped it down on the table, and proceeded to tell me there was enough cash on it to get the DVDs so I could just head downtown and buy it if I wanted. Although I was pleased and excited, it wasn’t what I was planning on. Suddenly, my day tipped: I felt my head scramble to rearrange all those ‘taking care of myself’ things in order to run downtown. I sighed, and thought. My brother said: You don’t have to go if you don’t want to. I can stop and pick it up. I thought some more, then tried something different: While I’m excited about getting the DVDs, and I want them, I don’t really like unexpected things to pop up in my schedule. I find it unsettling. That still wasn’t clear enough. Do you want me to just pick them up? Deep breath. Yes. Yes, I do.

That was difficult for me. My brother does a lot of the running around for the house: grocery shopping, errands, etc. There are many days I don’t step outside the door. When something like that comes up on a day I know he’s got other plans, I feel like I should go and do whatever he’s suggesting. But I stuck to my guns. Me, me, me. I needed the gym like I sometimes need a shower. I felt it right down to the most inner part of me. Good on me for that!

Watched the first four occurrences of the new Twin Peaks. One can hardly say ‘episodes’, can one? Episodes is an American term reserved for things like Dharma and Greg: simple set-up, repetitive plots, one basic set. David Lynch is an occurrence. It happens. You watch, because you can’t not watch. Lynch has a rare gift, in my opinion. He mixes the surreal with enough easy to understand reality based action to give you a sense that you kind of know what’s going on, but you’re left puzzling over many elements, wondering what symbolism the imagery held (because when Lynch wants you to see symbolism, he makes it bloody obvious that it’s symbolism, even if you don’t get the meaning behind it). Hm. I am not yet at the point where I could write some of the scenes I witnessed last night. Though there’s one thing I would have done differently, if I was Lynch. I would have had Cooper smash that white marble statue he keeps seeing in the red room. Cooper in the red room is very much a visitor, led by others, reacting. After 25 years, I’d think he’d try something different: take action, not just react. But, that’s me. My characters take action, even if that action isn’t the best choice for the moment. Cooper is very passive. I guess that tells me something about Lynch. …I don’t know what to think of the new series yet. I’m geeking out on everyone who’s in it. Thrilled that Lynch and Frost wanted to pick up the thread of the story again. Dyin’ to get further into the story. Happy to be watching such open ended imagery right now; it shuts my head up like nothing else. Huh. What the fuck -? 

…My question for myself today (and a little test I set up for myself) is: Can I ask for help? I left all the housework undone. The place needs a full top to bottom scrub, and it’s a big job. My brother is not scheduled to head off, so he should be here. Now…I want him to get off his ass and hoover the place. I’ll do dusting, and sink and toilet duty. I’d really like to clean my own room, and that’s the only way possible I’ll have enough energy to do it all: with help. Fu-u-uck. Will he just see it if I complain loudly enough? Hm… Maybe. Maybe not. And that’s not the point of the test. The point of the test is to speak up. Say it. You said ‘no’ yesterday, now say ‘please help me’. You can do it.

I’m prompting a very reluctant toddler in my brain. She is pouting and silent. Asking for help is bad. Weak. Something to be avoided. …You know who else did that, right? You know who you’re sounding like more and more, don’t you? And you said a long time ago that you don’t want to be anything like her. You see her flaws more than ever now. Learn from them. Don’t go down the same path.

I guess parents do teach their kids something, even if it’s just the stubborn refusal to end up like their elders.

I need some help today.

And so it goes…

Blank wall. Been trying to remember lately. Nothing worse than trying to force something; it never comes when you want it. I’ve had repressed memories surface. A strange, disjunct experience that disturbed me greatly. I quickly learned to tell myself it was okay, that I was protecting myself until I felt I could handle the memories. I’m telling myself that again. That whatever comes up, it’s okay. I’ll be here for myself.

But there is a wall of grey nothingness. Just…fog. I see that younger me, I feel her. But there’s nothing. No surfaced memories of long repressed angst or abuse. No ‘oh, yes, I remember that incident; it changed my life’. Just that teenaged awareness, that awkwardness, and the same old body issues that have plagued me forever.

Tore through more than 50 pages in my Dutch book yesterday. Now there’s one thing I’ve rediscovered: my obsessive love of a good story. I’m gobbling it up, so enthused I have to share every bit of the adventure with my bro (who is getting sick of hearing about it). In the last 10 years, I set myself the task of reading more ‘classics’. Many I’ve enjoyed, but some have left me feeling like I’m back in school. Read it because. Because it’s listed as a classic, because people talk about it, because. Not because I enjoy it.

I’m loving this book. Both for the story, and for the fact that I’m understanding the language. It’s a reinforcing circle. Haven’t felt this way for…well, since I was a teen.

Forecast today is for snow. The country is on yellow alert. The Midwesterner in me laughs; this country is much like Texas or Florida. They shut down for a dusting. Today we might get 1 to 3 cm. Ooooo! lol. But it’s good warning. They put out alerts because it isn’t the Midwest, and people don’t normally carry shovels and a bag of sand in the trunks of their cars. Same with sidewalks. Shovel…sidewalks? What, are you picking up the cobblestones and re-laying them? This leads to some icy patches until it warms up enough to melt everything. That’s a serious subject for me. Icy patches mean risk of falling and hurting myself. Plans are to get out and do what I need to do early, then return home to snuggle under my blanket and READ.

Have to get back to writing, too. Didn’t finish my homework yet. But later, later…after I find out the next bit of the story. Or maybe after the next chapter. Or…oh, hell! There’s only 50 odd pages left in the book. Just finish it!

…On the heels of rediscovering my love of reading, I’m also rediscovering a very uncomfortable guilt. I feel guilty reading all day. Isn’t that silly? But I was raised that way, getting yelled at if I read books all day long. That probably tells you everything you ever needed to know about my mother: she bloody well yelled at and belittled me for improving my mind. No wonder I’m all hung up about excelling intellectually or just giving myself the pleasure – the pleasure – of reading all afternoon. Unwinding that guilt is tough. It’s all tied up in my mother issues and my feelings of self-worth.

*sigh* I compare myself to others to try and figure out if I’m a wimp or not. I know it isn’t healthy or ‘right’. I’m just admitting to it. Pain levels in particular are something I’ve had to do that with: I was taught my pain was nothing, I shouldn’t even complain about it. Now, as adult, all I get are confirmations that that idea was wrong. Doctors look at me in horror. Everyone asks why I let things get so bad. …The thing that’s strong in my mind this morning is when my mother told me about her bout with shingles. She said it was the most painful experience of her life. Caveat: that was before the cancer. Nonetheless, it’s important. Because I can say with 100% certainty that the pain I complained about and was told I should ignore was much worse than shingles. My mother was the wimp, not me. She was the whiny one, gobbling up pain pills three times too powerful for what she had. She was the one who drugged me as a child. And she drugged me a lot: when I got sick, when I went to the dentist, when she got sick of me. Not when I complained of pain in my hands or feet. No. Those were growing pains, and must simply be endured. Deal. [And…erm…WHO taught me to use drugs recreationally??]

I hope some small part of my mother’s soul is still aware, and knows just how fucking much I hate her for what she did. It was such a head-fuck.

Two days into exercises for my jaw and OW! Took one of my last morphine pills last night because it just had that sharp, painful ache going. I might have to get a refill on those. Do not want to be caught without pain pills and then have it hit me like it did. Haha! And here it is Friday, and me with only two pills left. Better sign into the pharmacy and order them right now.

Ye Gods!

And so it goes…