Please hear me

Oh, blessed silence! Why do people have to make so much damned noise the moment they wake up? TV goes on, radio goes on, coffee maker goes on, shower goes on, and talk, talk, talk. Some people seem to go from the quiet of sleep to full volume in under ten seconds.

How can you even think?

Amazed at how well my face/empty tooth slot is doing. Seems to swell up a bit during the day with talking, and it’s still tender. But damn! Healing very well, very fast. Happy about that.

Happy about not smoking much, too. It’s pretty easy for me to sit and not smoke for most of the day. I’m allowing myself one to two Js if I want, tho I know it’s better if I don’t. But I am no longer reaching towards an ashtray every ten minutes to grab a joint and take a hit. That action is already gone. Want to stay at this level. Only smoke a J in the evening – one J – while I watch tv? Only think about a second joint if I’m really fucking upset and out of sorts and I’ve already tried my reading and game playing and other distractions? Yeah, that’s pretty fucking good.

Finished my book in Dutch. Just in time to turn it in during class. Began reading the CS Lewis I checked from the library. That’s tougher, and I might just return it and find something else. I don’t mind reading something that every few paragraphs throws me a word or phrase I don’t understand. But when that frequency jumps to every sentence, I find it hard to keep going. It becomes a drag, stopping and looking up every word, trying to figure out these long Dutch sentences. My head shuts down, and I don’t want to read. And I want to want to read.

Anxiety is very high. Keep reminding myself to relax my shoulders, let them drop naturally. Five minutes later and I’ve got my shoulders hunched up again. Keep breathing deeply, trying to reset or find some zen point. Must not be doing it right, because it’s not sticking at all. And I never really do relax.

Thinking about real goals. Concrete goals, not that thin soup of ‘I want to be happy’. What a fucking lame request. ‘I want to be happy’. Too vague, and not enough signposts to even know if I’ve reached my goal or not. I don’t know what the fuck happy looks like. Last time I thought I was in the ballpark of happy I clenched my jaw until I hurt like hell and ended up breaking one of my teeth. That doesn’t sound happy to me, and that’s the closest I think I’ve got.

So. Simple, but concrete goals. First: really relax. Really feel all my muscles turn to mush. Really let myself sleep just as long as I want. I want 24 hours (minimum) without finding I’m holding my shoulders tight, without having to deep breathe through anxiety, without that sick feeling in my stomach. I’ve gotta know what that physically feels like, ’cause right now I’m clueless. Second: chill. I’d like to walk out my front door without my heart rate jumping up into the hundreds because I’m afraid. Sometimes Often that happens with simple things, like going to the supermarket or the gym. It makes life difficult. Third: I want the first two goals without turning me into a zombie. I want to still be able to think, to do my homework, to write. Don’t chain my mind down. It’ll make it worse in the long run.

Everything else is kind of gravy.

Things I don’t want to hear: I don’t want to hear this is a long process. I don’t want to hear I’ll ‘have to talk it out eventually’. I don’t want to be told what to do, how to act, what to eat. I don’t want to be told what I already know, either. No tired old memes thrown out at me verbally because you don’t know what the fuck else to say. I don’t want to be ignored. If I say I do something (or don’t do something) I’m being honest. Remember honesty? It’s something old fashioned, and I’m old fashioned, so I still do it. Don’t nag at me about something I’ve already told you I’m all over. It tells me you don’t believe me, and if you don’t believe me, why the fuck should I believe you?

Suggestions: Refer to any appointments with the psychiatrist as ‘check-ups’. Just a verbal check, seeing how I’m doing, a little chat, and that’s it. No in depth therapy. Nope. Just a chat. That doesn’t scare me. I’ll chat away about all sorts of things. That’s never been the problem, and anyone who’s talked with me in the last six months knows that. I’ll talk about the abuse, my lack of self confidence, the mania and the depression.

Most of all: don’t push me. I am a stubborn animal. I don’t mean to be, but when someone tells me I must or I will no matter what, I balk. Dig my feet in and say ‘No!’ Case in point: my dad always harped at me that I’d have to learn how to drink coffee. Outcome? I wouldn’t even try coffee before I was 30. Don’t tell me what I must do, because I’ll do my damnedest to avoid it.

I want help I can accept. If you make it into something I can’t accept it’ll just frustrate me and make me quit. So, chats. Check-ups. Nothing heavy. Don’t say long term.

Please, please, don’t freak me out any more than I am.

And…allow me time. Allow me thought. I do things differently. Just accept that, okay? I’ve heard it for 52 years. I’m okay with it. I need YOU to be okay with it, too.

This is me asking for what I need.

Please hear me.


Am I alone out here?

I told you so.

Today’s kicker: an article on a study showing that the DNA of women who have babies is on average 11 years “older” than women who don’t have babies. Wow. Can I say that’s like finally coming out and admitting menstruation causes pain in the female body? Duh-uh. I noticed that very early on: women who have children grow old fast. And why shouldn’t they? Having a living thing tapping into your body for nine months, sucking off your reserves, eating up the vitamins and minerals a person needs…no great surprise to me to find mothers age quicker than normal women [I am using ‘normal women’ here to reassure myself and the rest of the bleeding world that choosing to NOT have children is normal, not some freak accident of nature]. I’ve watched it again and again, through people I’ve known and strangers.

So happy you men finally caught on. Maybe now you’ll begin to recognize why I consider the ‘keep ’em in the kitchen barefoot and pregnant’ is such an indignity. You not only use women like baby factories and slaves, you endanger and shorten women’s lives every time you do it.

Will this open up lawsuits against states and countries that force women to have children? I sure as fuck hope so. Endangering the lives – purposely shortening the lives – of women should be a criminal offense. I hope they hang you fuckers up by your balls.

But no. Some man will probably invent some way for men to have babies. And then we’ll hear it. Then we’ll have story after story of these “courageous” men. We’ll have detailed descriptions and graphic pictures of their pain. We will be told how they’ve never felt anything like it, and no one could ever know how painful it is until they go through it themselves. Then, the men will be lauded. Oh, good on you, old boy, for breaking that pregnancy barrier. By jove, if we’d known it was that painful we’d have given you more powerful drugs. Here! We’ll make something new that will take all the pain out of childbirth because no man should ever have to go through that again. You are a pioneer! And then the book will come out, followed up by the film.

Think it won’t happen? Do you remember how I began this post?

I like men individually. But as a group, you’re assholes I’d rather the world did without. Justice to me looks like several thousand years with men tied up in some holding cell and milked for their semen. They can never see the light of day without a woman’s permission. They can never vote, can never change their circumstances, and will get ridiculed, belittled, and abused every time they dare speak up for this “equality”. Do that for three or five thousand years and we’ll be even. Maybe.

Like any good little girl, I know my anger at men begins at home. Let’s talk about Dad.

Dad, I knew, loved me. Individually, as me. He did not see me as a second class remake of my sister, like my mother did. I need to say that up front.


Continually saying things like ‘women should never be president because they’ll have a mood swing and hit the button killing us all’ did not build up my self-esteem. Telling me I was pretty as a consolation when I was in tears didn’t convince me I was attractive (just the opposite, and I’ve a clear memory of my mother telling me how SHOCKED my father was by a comment from a colleague who said I was beautiful). Lecturing me to hide my intelligence from the world because if men knew how smart I was no one would ever marry me did nothing other than add to my complexes.

I was raised by a Neanderthal. A loving Neanderthal, but a Neanderthal nonetheless.

But Daddy liked his little girl. For all that negativity, he was the one who encouraged my verbal skills, my debate and logic skills. Even when I grew old enough that my logic caught him out and triggered his anger, I felt he was proud of the fact I could do that in the first place. It was as if he wanted me to be one way in private, and another way in public.

Again: secrets. Keep the silence. Don’t let them know. Hide it.

There’s always a second message when secrets are involved. The implied message that you’re somehow wrong if you can’t keep the secret. You talk too much, you don’t care about the other person, you’re self-centered…pick one. They’re all implied, and you can latch onto whichever one your programming set you up to accept.

I have never been accused of talking too much. Saying too much, yes. But not talking too much. My only assumption all these years (and that’s been backed up by the actions and reactions of others) is that I’m different. Somehow. I don’t have certain filters in place. I just say things. I talk about subjects that people don’t discuss. I reveal “secrets” about myself that others think they can use against me. That, of course, is their perception problem. I say those things so I take my power back. If I’m up front about my body issues, no one can shame me by pointing a finger at me and calling me fat. Yeah, I’ve already told you I think I am; you’re just pointing out the obvious to me and that makes YOU look like an idiot. So I talk about my uncomfortable self. I reveal my anxieties – not crying, nor wringing my hands, just stated. I have panic attacks. I have body issues. I have self-esteem issues. My mother abused me.

To me, this is just truth. This is honesty and communication. But the looks I get -!

Perhaps it is too much honesty. Too deep of a truth to reveal to some people. Does everyone hide that much?

Am I alone out here?

Figure it out

R-ring! Ring!

My phone doesn’t ring often. So I was more than surprised to hear it ring yesterday at 8:16 a.m. Ran down the hall to my room, pulled it off the charger, picked it up.

Wall of Dutch. Again. I’ll give myself credit; I’m starting to get used to so much Dutch when I answer the phone. I’ll give myself another pat on the back because I didn’t freak out. Just listened until I heard some words I recognized. Ah! You’re calling from my doctor’s office. Naturally. I’d just finished touting the fact I’d made that appointment. What’s that? You need to change the appointment? Of course you do; what was I thinking? Didn’t say all that, but it is what went through my mind. Managed to change the appointment to Monday morning without using English.

Tackled my language homework in the late morning. The printed exercises were fairly easy, and I got through them in about an hour. Then, I began writing. Our essay assignment this week is to describe where we live. …Can I just say ‘Wow’? For a couple of reasons. One, I could tell immediately my Dutch reading has had an effect. My sentences were stronger right from the start. Fuller. Longer, even. Second, I couldn’t stop writing. Didn’t want to. Just kept going and going until my brother came out to make dinner. Oh, it takes me forever. I still have to have two dictionaries and my sheets on prepositions and odd verbs all handy, open, and ready to refer to. But I’m doing it. Six pages of double spaced, hand-written material done and I still haven’t even begun to describe the living room. Next week I might not feel so confident and cocky, but right now I’m flying high. Feels like I’m getting a real grip on Dutch. I hope so.

Slept like the dead. Really whacked myself out; down for 10 hours. Or maybe I’m finally slowing down enough to feel how low I let my body get. Still tired, and I may end up napping today. Oh! Napping! The word makes me shiver with anticipation. To sweetly fall asleep, gently moving into that netherworld… Well, that idea now has me excited enough that I might not be able to do it.

Things I gotta do today: nothin’. Things I wanna do today: sit in my big chair, under my warm cozy blanket, and read my book until I fall asleep. I’ve been reliving my childhood. Mouth guard at night to remind me sharply of my retainer at 13. Little to no appetite for anything that’s not sugar based. I even – and Goddess, I shouldn’t have said anything! – broke out with a pimple. 52 and I have a bleeding pimple on my chin. You couldn’t trigger me more if you’d designed a box with everything that set me off and put me in it. This is such a body experience. My head knows what’s going on, but my body just keeps responding with that jerked knee. If I have to, I’ll take myself out of the game entirely until this blows over. Zero human contact, no leaving the house. Don’t feel I’m there (yet), but I’m keeping it in mind. It’s my safety blanket (and my safety blanket is a light, soft blue…warm cotton with one of those faux satin trimmings).

Teaching myself to think one step beyond. Not one thousand steps; not so high on the pinnacle it’s dizzying. Nope. One step beyond. Anxious about the appointment with my doc? Think about my next language lesson, just a few short hours beyond the appointment. Worried about the script read through? Think about the day after, and heading back to the gym. Trying to get my thoughts unstuck without sending myself into orbit. It’s a different manner of approaching this, and thus far, it’s helping. I feel a bit more balanced, a bit more continuous in time rather than so up and down or in and out.

Went to physio for my jaw. A nice woman. She asked what I hoped to get out of physio. Obvious to me she’s had some patients who think she can end the pain entirely. I’ve had too much physio to think one treatment will ever cure me of anything. Told her I’m looking for some exercises, something that might help the pain when it does strike or prevent me from doing it in the first place. She nodded, thinking. Who first thought you might have TMJ? she asked me. Me. I diagnosed myself, then went to my GP and dentist. Again, a nod. We chatted away, first in English and then a bit in Dutch. I’ve got some exercises. Pulling on my cheeks, manipulating my tongue, moving and exercising the smaller muscles in the jaw.

Sadly, all that manipulation led to more pain last night. And far more biting, so deep in sleep that I barely remember coming to when I gnashed my teeth or turned over or took off my pj top because I’d sweated through it (obviously, I remember some of it).

*sigh* 13 year old me was a real basket case.

Gonna ignore an awful lot today. Close the curtains because no, I don’t want to see the rest of the world go about their lives while I’m in hibernation. Rest. Feels like that item is always on the menu lately. But my brother keeps telling me I’m still too pale, still not back to my old self.

lol! Now that IS funny. Because I am back to my old self. My 13 year old self. I keep saying it.

And I keep exploring it. I say ‘Okay, have that soda, have that sugary treat. You feel 13, you’re getting triggered…where is this going?’ I wonder where my path will lead me. So eat sugar, if that’s what you want. Read. Nap in the afternoon. Find out what it is that’s driving all this gnashing. You’re here and going through this for a reason.

Figure it out.

Damned if I know

What is it now, Ralph?

If only I had a simple answer.

Positives: color is returning to my face. This is a symptom I should have paid more attention to. Been whiter than white for more than a month. So white, as a matter of fact, that the make-up people had a hard time matching my skin tone on the film. You’re so pale! Even the lightest foundation is darker than your skin! And yes, I’ve Irish blood somewhere in me and yes, I’m blue-eyed and fair haired so I’m naturally pale, but this went far beyond my usual skin tone. The return of a pink flush to my cheeks has made me aware of the fact that no, I’m usually not that pale when I’m healthy. Please remember for next time; make a note if you have to! My brain function is beginning to return to normal. Felt…foggier than foggy. Unable to keep any line of reasoning or thinking going longer than a few moments. Couldn’t remember what day it was. Kept reminding myself, then forgetting. Read how this is a symptom of shingles (when it’s bad). It affects your nervous system, and brain function can get wobbly. I was defo wobbly. Not 100% yet, but better. My bowel function is returning to normal. This is a biggie for me. My mother, C, died of colon cancer and I’ve been worrying over it for a while, a bit too afraid to see the doc about it and a bit too worried to just blow it off. A few days of anti-viral meds and my morning bathroom break worry is a thing of my past; things are normal and everything looks very healthy.

Wondering now how long this was creeping up on me. I’ve read you can suffer from a shingles outbreak without the blisters. Has this been going on since the beginning of December? Even earlier? Hindsight diagnosis says the possibility is there.

Icky and gross: my body is leaching out whatever made it ill – from my navel. Caught a whiff of something foul yesterday, something beyond the normal unwashed body of a few days’ illness. Took me a while bodysniffing (not something I’d recommend you do in public) to discover it was coming from my bellybutton. I’ve an innie. The skin is red and raw, and when I cleaned it some thick yellow goo came out. First thing out my bro’s mouth was ‘haven’t cleaned the lint from your bellybutton in a while, huh?’, but the answer is no, I keep up on body cleanliness and I do remember my bellybutton. It’s not shingles blisters, either – those hurt. This doesn’t hurt. If it hurt, I might have found it earlier. This just stinks to high heaven. Keeping it clean, and putting on a salve for the raw skin.

Other: my time problems have caught me out. It’s Sunday already. Tomorrow is my Dutch lesson, and I need to think about the note I’ll be sending to my teacher. Feels like I’ve lost a day or two. In effect, I have. Being too out of it to realize what day it is counts as ‘losing time’. The week that seemed so long when the doc handed me a ‘script for all these pills is now short, short, short, and almost over.

Up and coming things to freak out about: heard from the theatre group. A notice went out calling everyone to a reading of my script. A notice that (I noticed) had much closer dates on it than the attempted get-together to watch the vids from the play. Read through the trilogy yesterday. It’s sound heavy, and if it was anyone but me at the helm I’d say it’s too much. But while reading it through, I saw the places where things could be changed. I heard the small versions of the sound effects in my brain. I took everything down to a minimum in my imagination. And the story still works. Stilted acting, obviously fake props, smaller sound than I’d written, and I believe the story still stands strong. I’m nervous the rug will pulled out from under my feet. That the group has wound me up on the idea they’ll do my script, when in reality they won’t (for whatever reason). I’m trying to prepare myself for that let-down. Ach! I don’t trust these people. I’m trying to. But my connection with the theatre group is miles away from my experience with the film group. It was so easy with the film group. All of us pulling in one direction, together. The theatre group is very individualistic, each person worried about their lines, their appearance, their performance, to the neglect of the others. We do not operate as a group. Some alliances can form during work, but they’re tenuous and liable to shift in the next role assignment. It makes me nervous. And edgy. Telling myself that when the time comes for us to sit down and read my script through, I should say that. Tell them I’m nervous, tell them I really want them to do it. Put it out there that I’m vulnerable on this project. It’s my baby. That serves two purposes. One, it helps me start with a clean, honest slate. Two, it’s a bit of a test. It puts the ball in their court. They can rake me over the coals and throw me on the junk pile, or they can hear me and work with me. Their actions will tell me much. It’s the fact that I have to put myself out there in the first place that I hate. The risk of being hurt once again. I will do it, no question about it. But I am reluctant and afraid. Never think otherwise.

Horses and cows, violence and abuse… These things from my childhood are jumbling up in my brain. I’m trying to make sense of something that, in essence, makes no sense.

What is it now, Ralph?

Damned if I know.

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.

The verbal truth

Having to rethink the Dutch people.

It’s easy to see the Netherlands as a fairy-land. The manicured landscapes, the oh-so-cute buildings stacked one atop the other, the canals. It’s easy to overlook, as a visitor, the graffiti or the garbage, the pushy tourists or short tempered natives. Especially if you partake at the coffeeshops. Then it all blends into one glorious haze. The language becomes the tram lines, the tram lines become your croissant and coffee breakfast, and your breakfast becomes the experience. It is something you cannot pick apart. You cannot explain the difference in food quality without delving into food regulations. And you can’t talk about food regulations without addressing the overriding social structure of humanism. Back home, you just shake your head and tell people ‘it’s different’.

And, it is different. Coming from the US, the Netherlands seems a doll-house world. The “wide open spaces” of the US (aka, suburban sprawl) are replaced by neat, tight neighborhoods clustered around parks, playgrounds, and needed services. I am still struck by the Dutch use of space: toilets in unexpected areas, steps up or down to add variety, whole floors of buildings hanging in the air as if ready to fall. They mix these tight, convoluted spaces with clean-lined furnishings, and the overall effect is one of spaciousness. As a first time visitor I was amazed at how much storage space was available in their rather tiny homes, just as I was amazed at how much orange taste they got in a glass of fresh squeezed juice.

I looked at this land and thought: Wow. Nice. I want to live there.

There is a polished edge to life here, a smoothed surface on everything. The food is better. The transport is better. The internet is better. The prices are better. The clubs are better. Everything is that bit up. Nothing can just ‘get by’; there’s too much competition. Before you know it, you’re used to the well presented top quality plates at restaurants, the cleanliness of the metro and public buildings, the efficiency and work ethic presented to you in every field.

But the Dutch are quick to say they’ve got problems. Things they’re not happy about. For some, that’s basic: government and taxes. Most, however, point vaguely to less concrete issues: inequalities, rising violence, kids left behind in the system. They seem to think first of the big picture, the stuff that affects everyone and their society as a whole. The small stuff – personal issues like how much disposable income they have every month – comes later.

For three years, I’ve sampled life here on the edges. Kind of getting involved, but the language held me back. You can do that. You can totally get by with zero Dutch. It won’t always be easy, mind you, but you can do it. But if you really want to climb into Dutch living, you’ve got to embrace the language.

Now that I’m there, it seems I can’t be held back. I want more Dutch films. And not just for the language learning. What I’m seeing, what I’m hearing, is teaching me far more than my visits and spaced-out walking around for three years. Art reflects life and vice versa.

Last night’s film… My brother was unashamedly in tears. It was a film about bullying, and so inclusive in its story and so well executed that – even tho it was geared towards the late teen crowd – I can’t imagine it NOT resonating with everyone. I was…stunned. On a couple of levels. First, it portrayed an environment I thought beyond the Dutch. An environment in which adults ignored the evidence, people turned away and said nothing. In other words, what I would consider a typical American mindset: it’s none of my business. Or, worse (since the object of bullying was an overweight kid), he/she deserves it. Having lived in this doll house cocoon, imagining that all of that was far, far away from me…well, it was a slap in my face. A wake up call. A realization that yes, it can even happen here. And no, I’m not so dense as to think that there aren’t nasty people everywhere on this planet. That much seems obvious. What I’m shocked at is this totality: the victim, the bullies, the other kids, the parents, the teachers. The small, unspoken collusions needed to set up this story in the first place. It speaks of darker problems. Larger issues, harder to tackle issues. Why? Because the bullies were shown in their own homes. A few scenes showed a life most people would want to escape. They did not wear black capes; they were not irredeemable. Just the opposite. Hateful actions, from characters you ended up feeling sorry for. And that brings me to my second level of astonishment: the unblinking stare these artists used in bringing out this story. No holds barred. No lines crossed, either: it was neither over the top nor schmaltzy. But they were not afraid to show us the hateful things. The terrible things. It was as if the filmmakers said ‘This is what’s happening. No frills, no added oomph. This is it. Look at it.’ And it was all the more powerful for that understated, quiet demand.

This is what I admire. That forthright attitude. The outspokenness. The bluntness.

Yet I must grow accustomed to truth-speaking. I do it in my writing, but verbally, I lag behind. I stutter, I avoid topics, I outright lie if I feel under too much pressure. No! Really! It’s fine. I’m fine! All the while I’m dying inside.

There is a toughness to the Dutch I didn’t anticipate. It is not a hard slap in your face toughness, but a softer kind. A ‘I’ll tell you the truth because we’re both worth it’ attitude. More than the grammar or the words themselves, it is that part of Dutch that intimidates me. It is that part of life that intimidates me.

The verbal truth.

Dick Driven


The fireworks have begun, despite (boom!) the many neighborhood bans on them. Seems the more bans pop up, the more (boom!) stores sell ’em. So now it’s the pissing contest, with each and every yahoo (boom!) countering someone else’s fireworks as if to say: Yeah, mine’s the biggest.

This is gonna go on for awhile.

My writer’s email account is under maintenance. Mm. Means something might be there and not showing up. Can’t say anything for sure until I hear. Doing my best to not haunt it, but…it ain’t easy.

No word from friends, either. I expect they’re all out having fun. I hope.

Took the morphine down to 2 a day. The pain recedes a bit more each morning. That’s encouraging.

Still manic. Seeing but not seeing, hearing but not hearing. Problematic when my brother tells me something, then leaves, and I can’t remember where he went or when he’s returning.

Bored out of my fucking skull with tv. Nothing new, so we’ve been watching from our collection. Last night’s selection was Hobo with a Shotgun. I enjoyed it for its splat element, its over the top chroma push and panto acting. I didn’t enjoy the blatant dick story: the only women in the film were non-descript mothers who stood protesting violence, or hookers. Nothing else. And only one woman – no, check that, two; the nurse was female – had dialogue. It was dick-story city, testosterone driven drivel that was really repulsive. Could not get past it during last night’s viewing. Made me doubly proud of my own work: solid stories in which the main characters happen to be women. They could be male, as well. It makes no difference to the basic story. It’s not about women’s problems with men, or pregnant women, or women bitching about relationships. It’s just a story. No women’s issues undercurrents, although they’re present in a light degree because they’re always present in women’s lives.

Similarly, I’ve been having issues with reading the Dune series. Good Goddess! Always the male lead, the male who ‘can see where women can’t’, the male who drives the entire fucking thing. Women are victims of time and space, their own frailties and the men who enforce the law. *vomit* Same shit made me stop reading CS Lewis.

And every time a man writes a woman’s story, it ends up like Ultraviolet. I want to like that film. But it’s based on what every man assumes is the ultimate pinnacle for every woman: motherhood. What. the. fuck? You spend all that money and time making a film and THAT’S your fucking message? That motherhood is the saving grace of every female? That’s as bad as Grease.

I will jump all over ANYONE’S ass who calls me ‘the mistress of suspense’ or makes any other reference to me being a female. Screw you; I’m a writer. Sexless. It makes no fucking difference! Let’s throw out the bullshit: words like actress. Why? Why aren’t we all just actors? Why the sex difference? It shows up a lot in Dutch, and I find it irritating. Different words for female teachers, female this, female that – it’s a not-so-subtle enforced distance from men.

Men who support that shit…You can all go suck your own dicks. I sure as fuck won’t.

…Yeah, yeah. I’m on a rant. And I’m becoming an entrenched feminist. The times make the woman…

*sigh* It doesn’t help that lately I’ve been reading a story from my friend J. It’s…female strong. Female strong from a homosexual male’s perspective. It doesn’t ring true. In some ways it’s as clunky and offensive as a heterosexual male’s take on women. And I don’t know how to tell him that. Plus, well…all the intensive writing and editing I’ve done has made me sensitive to certain problems. Passive writing. Inclusion of all the senses. Truth is, I’m not even half way through the story and I’ve already a long page of notes for him. He’s a good writer. Excellent when it comes to stuff like film reviews. But he’s too cerebral for novel writing – at least, to my tastes. And while I understand he’s writing fantasy, his narrative continues in the same pondering sort of tense as his dialogue, and it becomes too much. I think his stuff could be real good, and break out of his cult fan base, but only if he addresses some of this. I just don’t know how to say it…

And doesn’t that make me sound arrogant? …On the other hand, if I notice it and really do want to help (which I do), shouldn’t I say something? This is stuff I had pointed out to me. Not nicely. If I can convey the info without hurting people the way I was hurt, well, that’s good, right? I mean, I’ve run into writers to whom I’ve had to say: run your stuff through spell check first. And they don’t. You can’t help people like that. They do what they do. But J’s my friend. He’s promising as a writer. …Fuck. Let’s face it: I don’t want to risk losing him as a friend. I don’t want to hurt him.

Honesty again, huh? Oh, Universe. I woulda thought you might give me a few days off from that. It IS a holiday, after all.


…Yeah, it is. And as long as that’s going on, I’m hibernating. Napping while it’s quiet. Chillin’. Making no decisions more pressing than what’s for dinner.

And finding something (boom!) that isn’t dick driven (boom!) to watch.

Save yourself

Slept decently. Yea! Small victories are sometimes the most important.

Woke, however, with one thing on my mind: the friend request on FB from an ex-neighbor who done me wrong. I’ve let it sit for a month, as I do when I’m unsure of what action I should take. I finally woke this morning finding I had something to say.

We are not friends. Not since you so coldly shut me out over the farmers’ market. Why are you asking to be my friend now? Do you think I’d simply forget your refusal to give me a lift, your refusal to talk to me at the time? Do you think friends simply ignore past problems and they’re magically white-washed away?

I was, and still am, hurt over your actions.

In fact, every single one of the women involved in that incident can go to hell. You all wanted to cheat the system, to by-pass the law, to sell illegally, and, most importantly, to sell substandard and dangerous products to the public. I didn’t call in any inspector for you or anyone else at the market, it was for me. Of course the inspector then saw the signs in town, and of course she checked things out. That was her job! And the law. And if people got in hot water because their kitchens were filthy and they were finally found out, it isn’t MY fault. Never was. It’s THEIR fault. Yet, I was blamed and ostracized.

I suppose in a strange way I should say thanks. I didn’t know at the time what a den of thieves and liars I was getting involved with, and that incident showed me beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are people I do not want to associate with.

Live your life out on your tiny plot of land at the end of that peninsula. Take what joy you can from the life you’ve created. I wish you no ill.

But stop asking me to be your friend.

Again, this is sitting on my desktop unsent. I’ll think about it for a few more days before I do anything. All I want from this communication is to state what I feel and think. How easy to tell someone how I feel if I don’t really care about them! Easy! This is it; you fucked up and I’m hurt. Wish I could do that with everybody.

But, I can’t. The more I care, the more I risk by telling my truth. And the more difficult my truth becomes to state.

I don’t trust a lot of people with my truth. That’s a mess. Don’t state the truth, resentment builds, eventually there’s an argument – which I don’t want in the first place. I’m working on it. Still haven’t got to the point I can say something like ‘Ow, that hurts’ when people say hurtful things to me, but the day is coming. I have some fresh, powerful memories of feeling good about myself and being around positive people. That helps immensely. I’m less likely to take shit right now because I’ve had a taste of what good relations feel like.

And I don’t want to be angry about this. I don’t want to stand up for myself with a red face, yelling or screaming.

I just want to be able to stand.

…That’s not asking too much, is it?

*sigh* And the thought occurs that I may have to do this over and over. Tell my truth to the people I was too afraid to say it to before. Seems to keep cropping up. Just when I think I’ve shaken off the last of my past, someone comes creeping back with a message or a friend request. …The weirdest part is that I know I’m making this harder than it needs to be. I’m the one reluctant to take the chance. And I’m the one who needs to be brave right now. Do it. I risk nothing by stating my truth; they’re already out of my life.

Shatter that last barrier.

No. more. abuse. Not physical, not mental, not spiritual. I have my foothold now. I know what it’s supposed to look and feel like. I found that ‘click’ with people I’ve been so desperately searching for. They’ve made me see a part of me I didn’t know I kept hidden. And they loved it, and loved me, and I loved them in return.

Your family shouldn’t hold you back. Your friends shouldn’t drag you down. If you’re out there in whatever time and space you occupy and the people around you make you continuously feel shitty about yourself, get the fuck out. Now. Don’t think about what you’ll be losing. You’re trained to think that way. You’ve been conditioned, subordinated, brainwashed. Just get the fuck out. You’ve a lifetime to sort thru everything, so give yourself that lifetime. Get. out.

And yes, you’ll be called a runner. A coward, for leaving. These people will try to shame you even as you attempt to save yourself. Ignore them. Leave. Cut all ties. Change your name. Whatever you have to do to get away from them, do it.

Save yourself.

Scrape it off


I’ve noticed a sick tendency in myself. I think about my new friends from the film, or the experiences I had, and the right side of my face hurts. It’s abundantly clear to me I’m clenching my jaw because I’m getting so much incoming wonderfulness. And that, people, sucks.

For now, I’m riding meds. Saw the doc. First thing out of her mouth: ‘You can open your eye again’. Did not know I was doing that, but a quick consultation with my bro confirmed it; the pain made me crunch my right eye closed. Three a day on the morphine pills. Do not even think about any less right now – and that’s with verbal confirmation from the doc, who assured me I’ve got an open ‘script on those pills at the moment. She didn’t say TMJ, but she did talk about a physical therapist who specializes in jaw manipulation, which is part of the treatment course for TMJ. She wants one more check from the dentist, to make sure all is as is should be with my teeth. She also warned me she’ll be on holiday by the time I see the dentist, so she’s preparing and leaving a letter of recommendation for the physical therapist. In other words, she believes me. Thank the Goddess.

Now I’ve just got to decide what to do. I’ll follow thru with the physical element: the dentist, the anticipated fittings for a mouth guard, the physical therapy. But…I’m pretty sure I know what set this off. What’s continuing to set it off. And therein, lies my decision.

I could ignore the reason and simply drug this away. Carry an open ‘script for morphine and take as desired. They’d let me. Once you hit a certain age, the docs stop fighting you so much on drugging away the pain.

But that would mean I’d repeat what I just went thru. The pain. Doesn’t matter if I can drug it away. That amount of pain makes time stop. A minute is a lifetime. Funny thing, that.

I have had lifetimes of pain.

Too many lifetimes.

So. Decision time. Don’t need to jump on anything or seek out a shrink right now. But if I want friends and love in my life, I need to accept it without hurting myself. Right now, it seems I can’t do that.

*sigh* My brother has also rightly pointed out that I was more manic than he’s ever seen me, and that’s saying something. I looked over my posts during and leading up to the film. Over the top. I knew it, did my best to stay on top of it, but it was riding me – not the other way around.

Fuck. Nothing like a lot of pain to make me finally seek out help I probably needed fucking decades ago.

…A road is traveled by putting one foot in front of the other. You don’t have to move fast, or take big steps. You just have to put one foot in front of the other. Remember that.

Hm. What do you know? Pain. Crops up lately every time I hit on something, and I’ve been hitting on a lot lately.

I could base my therapy on this shit.

Still squirrelly. Don’t want to admit it, but I am. I’m either knocked out from the pills or squirming in my chair. That ain’t relaxed. And this post ain’t helping.

Gonna go back to the big chair. Put my feet up and a movie on. Set an alarm to take my pills on time. Screw you, epiphanies. Screw you, self awareness. You’ve put me into overload. The animal can’t take it anymore. I’m calling a stop to it. You hear me? It stops. Now.


My only focus is feeling better. Sleeping thru the night. Eating properly. Drinking enough water. Taking my pills on time, so I can do the aforementioned. Everything else gets scraped into the wastebasket. All the gunk and goo, the spilled blood and guts, the vomit…scrape it off. Down to the final molecule.

My writing speaks for me

Whirlwind. The dust bunnies are settling (no, I didn’t get to them) now that it’s over. What was the reason? One day of massively concentrated writing.

Taman is essentially done. A couple of typos I caught on the last read thru. But the extra scene, the additional dialogue to spin out enough time so it didn’t seem like everything happened in two days, and a few references to modify the tone here and there…that’s done. Finito. In a few days’ time I’ll take the pdf from the system and wipe it from my page.

Good on me. Good on me for thinking ahead. Had some time after the gym yesterday (never really feel like taking on a big project post workout) so I buzzed around the internet, searching for theatrical props suppliers. Wanted to know what sort of costs I was running up in the thriller, asking for a gun and prop knives. Found some articles that made me think we might not be able to get said props here in NL. Asked the group, and sure enough, it’s a big hassle. Toy guns are okay. Prop guns are not. I’m assuming at this point that prop knives are just as big a hassle. What I’ve been reading seems to indicate that.

So, knives are out. Oh, sure, maybe we could find a rubber one, but I wanted retractable knives to stab. Just wouldn’t be the same. That makes Act 2 tough: how do the two siblings kill each other? I’m thinking poison, voluntarily taken… Sad to think Act 3 might feel a little cheap using a toy gun. But I gotta have a gun. I’ve thought and thought about it, and the gun is…it’s poetic. It’s poetic and frightening and terribly sad all at the same time. The last scene just wouldn’t be the same without it.

Sat in my chair last night during telly, half watching what was on, half listing out all the ways to kill someone without using guns or knives. I like electrocution. It carries the possibility of a good scene. But it implies forethought, and these killers do not think ahead. They just kill, using whatever is at hand. Beating someone to death is basic – and I’ll use it. It will take more physical acting than I’d anticipated – I’ve got a fight scene, but not a fight to the death. Most importantly, tho, I don’t want to double up on deaths. I don’t want everyone to die from gunshots, or stab wounds, or strangulation. I want variety. Total variety.

Gotta say, spending my time looking at all the things in a room I could kill someone with is…weird. I feel a little weird doing it.

….Hm. Too bad nothing I’m writing is near water. Drowning is always a spectacular death…

On land, without forethought, I’ve got strangulation, suffocation, poisoning (a little forethought there, but I can make it work), beating to death (body), pushing their eyes into the brain (difficult to pull off without FX), pushing someone off a height, hitting them over the head hard enough with an object… There’s always variations, too.

And there’s a thought! Can we get break away bottles to use rather than the guns??? I could make that work. Easy. Make a note to check.

…Now that I think about it, I could write a drowning scene. It only takes a few inches of water to drown someone. It can be done in a sink. Hm.

Rather morbid thinking for 7:30 in the morning.

When I’m done rambling, I gots Dutch to do. Meh. Not looking forward to it. I’d rather sit and pontificate on paper. But I need to look at those verbs, and write out my homework. It gets two hours of my time before class. No more.

My bro’s been proclaiming (loudly): Don’t forget to say ‘you’re number two’. I think he’s put that in my brain at least a dozen times since my crying jag. Still don’t know how to properly say it in Dutch; suppose I should try and look it up. The idea behind it is that I’m a writer. I write. Do not ever ask me to give up my writing. Ever. For anything. Because everything comes second or lower. This is an idea I need to communicate to my Monday teachers. I enjoy being challenged – but do NOT grill me or act disappointed when I say ‘I was writing’ and didn’t study. You do not come first; you are second at best. Third, if I’m honest, because I’ll blow off all my Dutch including my class to act.

And I do not want to hear ‘you’ll never get the language if you don’t stop using English’. I’ve heard that nugget of donkey shit already. No. I’ll take longer to learn to the language if I keep using English. It’s not fucking impossible, and I won’t believe it is.

And you know what? I’m cocky enough this morning to say that I’ll eventually get the writing side of Dutch enough to do my thing with it. Maybe I’ll never speak like a native. I think I could live with that, if my writing passed the mark.

I’ve never been real good at off the cuff. I can do it, and if it’s a subject I’m knowledgeable about, I can be intimidating. But…ask me how I’m feeling, what I’m thinking at any one moment… Then I stumble. Then I say things poorly. I can’t seem to find the words to explain myself clearly; I’m too caught up in the jumble.

Which is why I write. It gives me time to think. Time to lay out my ideas – as much for me to see as for the world. Once I’ve done that, I can be as bluntly honest and quick on explanation as anyone. But not before. My verbal communication has never been strong.

My writing speaks for me.