Me, Myself, and the Voices in My Head

A place to ramble and maybe make some sense about a thing or two.

Archive for the tag “voices in my head”

50 Shades of I’m Tired of Hearing About It!!

O.M.G, people!! What is up with all the 50 Shades crap? I’ve seen people going on-and-on about how awful it is, how wonderful it is, how freeing it is, how humiliating it is, etc. ad nauseum. Some are trying to put together secret viewing groups so that they and their friends can go see the movie but not be recognized by *gasp!* someone who’s opinion of them matters more than any enjoyment or disgusting feelings they’ll get from admitting they actually went to see it or read the books. Then there are those who are shouting from the mountaintops that the movie is a glorification of abuse and such sin that no one has seen in millennia and basically that they and the generations of children that follow them will all be permanently scarred. Every now and then, I see a post or an article from someone who just wants to have fun and watch a mindless movie without being judged.

Here’s my take on this (just in case you were wondering). There’s a fabulous line in the movie Sunset Boulevard that states “It’s fun to see just how bad bad writing can be.” It was with that in mind that last year I read the 50 Shades series. “Bad” is putting it mildly. Not “bad” as in evil, disgusting, sinful, whatever you define it. It’s “bad” as in the author has no real concept of how to complete proper sentence structure and people like me would find themselves more concerned over correcting grammar than being able to “get into” a story line. And if you’re looking for a plot you’re definitely in the wrong place. Yes, there is a storyline to follow, but no real depth or intrigue to keep a reader from putting the book down or, say, start a bonfire with it. I have the electronic versions so the fire was, unfortunately, out of the question without losing a nice piece of technology.

As for the movie, I’ll probably watch it sometime.  Like when it comes on one of the streaming services where I don’t have to pay for it. Because bad writing should only have to be paid for once.  And I think that’s something people are forgetting about the movie — many of the sales of the books were because someone heard someone else talk about it or they were just curious and bought it.  The huge numbers of sales does not necessarily mean that everyone who bought it liked it.  Large sales doesn’t not actually mean success. And the actors in the movie probably never read the books before auditioning. Why? Because they don’t have time and need a job. When you’re always looking for work, sometimes it doesn’t matter what you’re doing — it’s a paycheck and a way to advance your career. You’d rather be doing that than living hand-to-mouth for another year hoping you can become “Oh no, we can’t afford cable” broke instead of “Oh no, we can’t afford food” broke.

Plus, it’s an R-rated movie, not NC-17 or AO or X or any of the other “horrible” ratings. If you’re willing to see an R-rated horror movie, sci-fi, drama, or comedy then what’s the difference? Just because the characters in the book do WAY more than you’d be able to see in an R-rated movie doesn’t mean I’ll go blind from seeing it. Guess what? There’s still pornographic movies being made! Real ones! Yeah! And don’t act like that’s an alien concept — I’ve personally found the people who usually vehemently deny EVER watching an X-rated movie or reading a nudie magazine are the ones who own more of them than anyone else in the room. If I was looking for something to titillate or scandalize myself or my friends, the Internet and adult book/video stores are filled with more examples than you can imagine. And if you can imagine it, it’s probably already on video.

This isn’t a slam against those who feel that they shouldn’t watch the movie or read the books because of their religious background, moral leanings, or anything else.  It is, however, more of a “please-quit-telling-people-how-to-live-their-lives” posting.  If I’m over 21 (or 18 in areas where that’s the age of majority) I can make my own decisions.  Yes, I respect your opinions just so long as you respect mine.  No amount of bashing people upside the head with fears that the whole world will come to an end if some guy gets a minor erection or a woman begins to fantasize about being blindfolded by her lover during the showing of this movie is going to really change any minds.  And, yes, I know there’s more than that in the books.  Remember, I actually read them.  And I’m still here.  And nothing has changed.

So, if you want to see the movie, go see it.  If you don’t, then don’t.  How much simpler can it be?


2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.  True, I’ve not blogged in ages.  So much for my goal….but the ADD kicked-in and I got bored.  However, it’s still open and I can blog when I want to now!  Yay for loopholes!!!

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 7,600 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 13 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Just tired of it all….

No, I haven’t been posting the past few days.  Even my therapist got upset at me because I’ve not been writing.

When you’re in a funk, you can’t write.  You can’t do anything but sit and spin your wheels which just causes more frustration over how you’re not going anywhere in your life.

I can end up waiting up to six months for someone to do something about my ERO/EEOC claim because that’s the law.  Even though I now can’t work doing the job I had because some idiot decided he wanted to make the rules instead of following the law, I have to wait for the legal process to take its course.

I’ve applied for so many jobs in the local area I’ve completely lost count.  And have I heard anything back?  Nope.  Or when I go somewhere thinking I might like to apply and I can already see in their faces the fact that they’re not thrilled over my 86-pound constant companion, I don’t bother.  Besides, I’d rather have her with me everyday than the crap that can happen at most places.

Got news about a family member who’s going through some tough times.  I want to be able to help and give support but I also don’t want to be intrusive.  I remember when I was in a somewhat similar situation and the last thing I wanted was pity from anyone and I usually got a lot of unsolicited advice that didn’t do me much good.  I don’t want to be one of those kinds of people.

One of my friends was to get married tomorrow and her fiancé left her today.  She and her young daughter who had opened their home and lives to him and his excuse is because his biological son is afraid of having to make new friends when he moves.  What a jerk.

I’m trying to help celebrate Youngest Son’s upcoming birthday.  I went to the movies with Husband, Youngest Son, and four of his friends.  They had a great time and I was really glad they could go.  I just feel like I wish we could have done more.

Husband and Youngest Son are currently in the basement doing laundry and playing a computer game.  I sincerely appreciate that they’re doing the laundry because that means I don’t have to do it and I don’t have to go outside to get to the basement.  It’s not a “finished” basement like many people have.  It has a floor and walls, but there’s no way to access it from inside the house.  And with the heat the way it is, I’m not in the mood to go outside much.

And, yes, Depressive is trying to get me to post but I’m so sick and tired of being sick and tired that it’s just been easier to do nothing and sleep instead of trying to come up with something to write and crying while I feel awful.

Maybe I’ll get back on a schedule.  Maybe I’ll stop writing completely.  I’ve already told my therapist that I’m not writing anymore at the moment about my past because I’m getting to big areas that I don’t really remember.  There are a lot of blank spaces in my memory — some last days, some last years — and whatever is hidden inside them I do not want to bring back to the surface.  It wouldn’t be healing; it would be reopening the wounds that my brain has found a way to deal with that doesn’t cause me any additional damage.  I remember trying to deal with them and it didn’t work then.  Time does not heal all wounds.

Boycotted yesterday and might not post today

Oh….well….yeah….  That is a sort of stupid title since I do have to post something so people can see it.

Doesn’t matter.  I spent yesterday which, which was Fathers’ Day here in America, with Husband and Youngest Son and didn’t feel the need to post.  Plus, my biological father is a complete and total waste of air that could be used for something productive.  Like horrible balloon-animal thingys that clowns make.  He’s refused to acknowledge that I exist in over 20 years so *pppbbhhhtt* on him!

And today is a slow day at best.  I’m not complaining.  I could use a nice slow day to be able to relax and think about things that have been and will be happening.  Plus, I’m making sure that Youngest Son is completing his chores and assignments as expected.  In the past I was always deployed away from home in the summer and he could get away with not doing things because by the time Husband got home from work he’d be too tired to notice something skipped.  Youngest Son and I have had a little talk about needing to mature and learning to do things around the house that will help him when he’s out on his own in the future.

I might post again tonight and I might not.  The voices are arguing over who should write, about what should be written, and whether it’s worth writing anything at all now.  I have to remind them that this whole thing was their idea so they can’t jump-ship on me now.  Only six months to go with this project and now they realize it’s not as easy as I told them it would be.

And now if you’ll excuse me….  I have to dislodge the family cat from the only air duct in the room and she’s hogging all of the cool air conditioning.  It’s hard to write when you’re wiping sweat (and cat fur) out of your eyes.

This post intentionally left blank

Well….not totally blank.  Depressive here!  Still writing; still in charge.  More issues on the table today, so I’m not really ready for myself to feel any different.  Not that I have a choice.  But, I don’t want to address things going on here right now, so I’m just going to “skip” today. Keeping my promise of posting but just nothing worth reading.

Greetings from Depressive

Hi.  I’ve been around for quite a while but haven’t had the opportunity to actually post anything here myself.  I’ve been trying to keep me from being noticed but when things get really hectic or stressful or disappointing, then I just can’t stop from showing up to practically ruin it all.

Oh dear.  I see you looking at what I’m writing and you’ve got that weird look on your face.  It’s the same look that my family gives me when they can’t figure out what’s going on or when they think I’m just trying to hide something.  Usually I am trying to hide something — myself.  I don’t like me being here and I don’t like it when I come around just out of the blue.

I guess I should explain.  If you’re a long-time follower of this blog, you already know that I have bi-polar disorder (along with some other absolutely fascinating issues that can cause havoc at any moment).  Now, for those who don’t understand bi-polar disorder, it was originally called manic-depressive disorder.  This is when your brain — or, rather, my brain — decides that it wants to do something different for a while without my consent.  I can either become extraordinarily hyperactive, hyper-vigilant, hyper-emotional.  Just pick a “hyper” and it’s on the list.  This is my manic phase.  This is when Manic appears and keeps me from sleeping for long periods of time (days) or has me obsessing over certain things that need to be done and I can’t stop doing them or I end up listening to the rest of the voices up in my head arguing because they’ve decided that since adrenaline, their favorite drink, is on-tap that they’re going to join in the fun.

Manic and I get along well at times but we do have problems when Manic gets OCD a little over-excited instead of its usual state.  Then I can be in big trouble.

But today, I’m here.  Well, I am always here but the specific “I” that is writing here is Depressive.  I am the one that can take any happy moment from extremely ecstatic to morbidly horrifying in seconds.  I have the ability to just wander up while I’m hearing good news and start whispering all the things that are either untrue (whether they are or not) about it or about how everything from that moment on will go horribly wrong.  And I don’t shut-up easily, either.  I’ve been around for ages and I’ve learned all of my defense mechanisms against me.  Even the medications are having problems with me now.

My favorite one was when I was ordered to a psychology group for manic-depressive people and the class leaders said, “If you just think that you’re happy, you’ll be happy.”  They repeated that a lot.  I raised my hand and asked them how that could be possible especially when I was incredibly suicidal?  Was I supposed to be happy about being suicidal or was I supposed to picture rainbows and kittens and cotton candy and hope that the suicidal bit would pass?

They kicked me out of the class.  Seriously.

For a while I’ve been puttering around here reading what’s being written and critiquing things.  It’s one of the things I do.  I also keep bad things at the forefront of my mind.  The whole ERO issue, for example.  Today I got my paperwork that the informal stage is over and I can now file for a formal hearing.  However, I keep reminding myself that I (1) only have 14 more days left to do that, (2) that I have no idea how the whole process works, (3) that I could really use a good attorney to help me, (4) that I’ve been referred to a really good attorney who wants to help me, but (5) the attorney costs $300 per hour that I don’t have and that leaves me sitting and staring at the paperwork and going back to #1.  And then I start it all over again.  See how much fun I am?

I’ve seen celebrities who have bi-polar talk about their different extremes with cute little names for them.  I don’t do that.  I am a part of me that is the whole me and nothing but the me.  Remember, even the voices are mine.  There are just too many of them at times to not give them their own grouping.

Well, that’s enough about me for now.  I have a prior engagement (I think) with PTSD.  We hang out together a lot.  Of course, I’m glad that I have Celeste who helps me keep myself from overly freaking-out when I get this way.  I’ll probably be around for quite a while longer because there’s so much going on that I have to get involved with and I’ve not seen my therapist for almost three weeks so the environment is just how I like it.  Moody, sad, stressed, and down.

And thanks in advance to anyone who types anything positive about what I’ve written about myself.  But I’m going to be completely honest with you — it’s not going to matter for a while.  When I’m here and this far out in front of myself, it takes a lot longer to get me back with the rest of the crowd.  And I don’t mean to be snappy or make anyone think I’m ignoring them.  I just enjoy screwing with my emotions enough so that I don’t want to do anything.  Well, sleep is always fun.  But I only do that when I don’t need to be doing it.  Like when the medication makes me do it.  Or if there’s a ton of things I need to get done and I fall-over on the couch or the bed and doze for, oh, say, three or four hours.  Tonight I’m going to try to make myself get some sleep because I’m really tired just from being me today.  It won’t work the way I want it to, but I’ll still try.

And….*sigh*….Husband and Youngest Son keep coming in to check and see what I’m doing (occasionally led by Celeste who knows something’s wrong).  It irritates me because while I appreciate their worry about me very, very much I also don’t like it because they have their own things to worry about and I don’t need to be getting in the way.  Plus I don’t like people trying to read over my shoulder when I’m writing or reading something out-loud.  And that’s not “Depressive” saying that — that’s just me.  So I’ll go for now, but we’ll meet again.  Don’t know where; don’t know when.

Not in the mood again….

*sigh*  Just not in the mood to post anything.  Have been on the computer all day trying to post items on eBay and still have a lot more to do tomorrow for my business’ website.

My eyes are exhausted, my brain is frazzled, and my emotions are depressed.  I even polled the voices in my head and they came up with a unanimous “I got nuthin’ today” answer.

Oh well, better short and staying on schedule than not posting and freaking-out about it all night.

They’re back! Voices in charge again!!!

Aha!!  The voices in my head are still going at it.  Oh sure, it’s been a few days since they last ranted like this, but I think that’s just because they’ve been saving it up for a nice explosion.  One where not many people come out happy or unscarred.  One where the majority of people who read this won’t give a rat’s ass and others will either be embarrassed, offended, or so confused they won’t know which opinion to choose.

Things are just stupid all over and I have no idea why.  I hate chaos and disorder except when the disorder is created by me.  Then it just looks like disorder to others but I know where everything is and I don’t want anyone touching it.  But the past few days/weeks have me remembering more in the continuing story (which I’ll get back to soon) and watching things happen that just have me shaking my head in disgust and frustration.

Example:  Husband read a post by Half-Sister on her Buttleaflet account.  She made a comment.  He replied to the comment.  Nothing offensive, just an opinion.  She called him an asshole and de-friended him.  So what?  They’re adults and can do whatever they want.  What I thought was strange was that she did the de-friending after calling him an asshole and that prevents him from seeing it.  He didn’t know that she’d responded until I was on my account and saw what was posted.  Not that either of them care, I’m sure — they’ve never gotten along for a laundry list of reasons (some I know and some I don’t) and I don’t think either one feels slighted and/or vindicated by the actions.

So it seemed strange to me when I was reviewing my account online today and found that one of my Sisters-in-Law had de-friended me.  This was weird because quite a while ago we’d had a bit of a difference of opinion regarding something I’d posted somewhere and what she typed to me hurt my feelings.  I let her know how I felt and she replied and I realized that we were both reading way too much into things (which we both admitted) and mutually apologized to each other.  Just recently I’d been seeing posts from my niece but nothing from her mom.  I thought maybe she was just being unusually quiet recently and had even received an email from a mutual friend wondering if she was okay.  Now I know why I’ve not seen anything.  Am I sad?  A bit because we were close in age and had a lot of things in common and always have enjoyed each other’s company.  But, if that’s her choice, then I have to respect it.

So, all of the voices are now trying to get me to continue with the retelling of my story (’cause we’re getting to some of the juicy parts) and argue over whether or not being able to contact family members online is a good thing or a bad thing and lamenting over yesterday being Mothers’ Day and not hearing from Eldest Son.  He sent a brief text, but that’s all.  I don’t want a parade or anything like that but he doesn’t call or return messages anymore.  He didn’t say or do anything for his step-father’s birthday and the last time I sent him info about what Youngest Son was doing he seemed disinterested.  I always take his calls, regardless if I’m at work or in an appointment.  Just as long as answering my phone won’t cause a dangerous situation (like when I’m driving) I answer because I worry about him being far away from home.

But is it “home” to him?  He lives closer to his biological father and paternal grandparents who give him everything he wants.  I see him for maybe a week around the Christmas holidays when I pay for the Amtrak tickets to get him here and back.  He should be graduating from college soon and I certainly don’t want to miss that, but I can’t get an answer out of him when I ask when he thinks he’ll be done.  He used to call me for everything — even issues I couldn’t solve for him but he knew that I’d give him my best advice and intelligent options for him to weigh.  Now it’s nothing.  No texts.  No calls.  No emails.  And he dropped Buttleaflet and the other thing with a plus sign after it when he wasn’t interested in it either.

I don’t really know what to think about much of anything anymore.  I make up my own mind and have my own opinions and invariably someone gets offended.  I explain that my opinions are just that — mine — and that anyone who is offended should (1) say something to me so that I understand that their opinion is different than mine and we can come to a mutual understanding that I’ll have mine and they’ll have theirs and be respectful of it or (2) be quiet about it if all they’re going to do is try to shove their opinion down my throat and tell me what an awful person I am for thinking or believing the way I do.  I have seen and experienced a lot of things I’d never wish on anyone else.  I have friends who have seen and experienced a lot of things — some thousands of times worse than anything I’ve had — that they’d never wish on anyone else as well.  We all come from a damaged background in one way or another.  It was different when people lived tens/hundreds/thousands of miles away from each other and only called/wrote every now-and-then.  With the Internet, everyone is in everyone else’s business 24/7 and people don’t understand that sarcasm/humor/anger/despair won’t translate well through printed words.  So we all (and, yes, I include myself in this) jump to a conclusion based on what we see and what we believe that person would say/do/think.

I try to make a point of stepping-back and thinking about what I’ve read and how it could be interpreted different ways.  I’ve been doing that with a lot of things from my past recently, too.  That’s one of the reasons the voices in my head keep telling me to write more and get things down on paper.  It’s not to beg for pity or to embarrass someone else by airing anyone’s dirty laundry.  It’s trying to see things objectively and get them out of my system once and for all.  The voices have been rummaging through the cabin trunks in my brain to clear out the crap and make more space for the penguins (if you’re a Douglas Adams fan you’ll get that reference).

So now that I’ve gotten that mess out of the way for now, I’ll pick up where we left-off in the story.  My parents decided to divorce and the summer between my 4th and 5th grade years of school they took me on a really long “family” vacation.  Then they waited until the summer between my 5th and 6th grade years to actually finalize the divorce while I was away at summer camp.

I talked briefly about 6th grade but it needs more information.  Not only was I again attending a school where my biological father was the principal but his mistress was the school secretary there as well.  Oh joy.  As if I needed further reminders of how much my life was going into the crapper.  But, I was an honor student and was meeting even more people because the school district had two elementary schools and the students from both combined into one class during 6th grade.  Yay….not only did I have the ones who knew me and knew my dad was the principal but I had a whole new set who would look at me as if I was the privileged one because my dad was the principal.

I can assure you that being “privileged” was far from the truth.  Some of my teachers liked me because I was a good student and I worked hard.  Some of my teachers just outright hated me because they didn’t like my father or his mistress or both and were determined to make my life hell and were upset that they couldn’t fail me because I made high grades in all of my classes.

There was an instance, however, where people felt I was being given too much privilege during my 6th grade year.  Previously I mentioned that I began playing the flute in band in 4th grade.  When I finally made it to the middle school where grades 6-8 attended, my father said that he was going to try to get me into the beginning band (7th grade) because I’d already had band experience.  He also knew that I was going to be bored to death in the 6th grade music class because I’d already learned to play the recorder and the keyboarding part of the year would be equally as boring since I’d been taking piano lessons since 1st grade.

One afternoon, my father told me to bring my flute to school with me the next day and I would be allowed to play with the woodwind class.  I happily entered the classroom the next day and was excited to get back to playing.  The band instructor said that it was “Challenge Day” and we would have to play a section from the book to see who would be placed in which chair based on our performances.  The students in the classroom had already been playing together and were in their “chairs” so I was told to take the last seat and would play first.  I played the piece from the book (which was the exact same book I’d already completed in 4th grade) and did better than the person next to me, so I took her chair and moved up the line.  This continued over and over again.  Each time I would play, then the next student would play, and then I would be moved up another ranking by taking their “chair.”  Finally, I had moved all the way from last chair to second chair.  This is when I got really, really nervous because the person in first chair wasn’t just the child of my 6th grade science teacher but was also a boy.  I’d not played against a boy before and I’d heard that he was very, very good.  He took lessons from the same piano teacher I had started with in our new town and if he could play the flute half as good as he played piano I knew I had no chance.  I was so nervous and I actually made a mistake while playing the same line that I’d been playing all day.  He, however, played it perfectly and remained in the top spot.  I was humbled and highly impressed at the same time.

I didn’t even get to finish the week.  Word spread quickly of what I’d done and how I’d nearly unseated the top player in the class.  How dare I, just a simple 6th grader with 2 years of previous playing experience, walk into a classroom of older children who happened to live in a district that didn’t allow them to begin band (in school, they could have taken private lessons though) until they were 7th graders and do so well?  How could this happen?  Who would allow it?  After enough teachers and parents complained, my father wouldn’t allow it.  He yanked me out of that class faster than I could think possible.  He tried telling me it was for my own good that I stayed with my “regular” classmates but I knew better.  He was always trying to be popular with everyone and if someone said something negative about me being in band, he took it as a personal assault on his character.  It never mattered if I excelled at something — if someone said or even thought anything negative he would immediately stop me from doing whatever it was so that people would think highly of him.

And it just wasn’t in school that he did this.  He enrolled me in golf lessons at the local country club.  I wasn’t the least bit interested in playing golf the way he was.  He bought himself the newest Jack Nicklaus “Golden Bear” clubs and made sure that he was seen playing with anyone he thought could get him viewed in a more positive light.  I had a teeny kids’ set with a 3-wood, a 9-iron, and a putter in a vinyl bag.  Yeah….that was going to get me into the LPGA someday.

I suffered through the lessons and one day went with him to play a round at the country club.  I’d never played all 18 holes but he wanted to be sure he was getting his money’s worth out of my lessons.  As predicted, he did much better than I did on every hole (and he had me teeing-off from the men’s tee instead of the women’s).  Every hole….except one.  There was one hole that had the longest par 5 on the front-nine and from a short kid’s perspective seemed to go straight up instead up a sloping hill.  I got there in par — a feat I was never able to reproduce but I was thrilled.  My father did not fare as well.  It took him more strokes to complete the hole than I’d made but he was still ahead in the game.  It didn’t matter to him.  That wasn’t even the last hole on the front-nine.  He was angry.  No, he was pissed-off in a way I’d not seen for quite a while.  He was shocked that I beat him on that hole.  He couldn’t fathom the idea that a young kid could get lucky (with a bit of training) and make a par on that hole when he couldn’t.

Immediately, he said he was done and didn’t want to play anymore.  Just like a spoiled child, he took his toys and said I couldn’t play in his sandbox anymore.  He wouldn’t finish the entire game.  He wouldn’t finish the front-nine.  He never asked me to play again.

So, with my broken family and the semi-acceptance of “friends” from school and church and my mother’s depression and ranting at me as if I was the cause of everything evil in the world, what was I supposed to do?  If no one was happy seeing me or wanted me around, why should I be?  But, I wasn’t quite ready to give up breathing yet.  Summer was coming and my favorite thing was just around the corner — summer camp in Mississippi.

I escaped to Mississippi by begging my mother to take me a day earlier than usual and spending the night in the nearest town so that I could arrive very, very early the next morning.  All of the campers were allowed to pick the cabins they wanted to stay in, the hobbies they wanted to learn, and the bible classes they wanted to attend.  But, all of those were first-come, first-served.  If you weren’t there early enough in the line, you didn’t get anything you wanted.

I needed this to be a good summer.  She agreed and we went early so that I could be one of the first in line.  I knew that my second week I would get pretty much anything I wanted because they would allow me to pick my cabin/hobby/class before the others would register so that I could help show people around the camp, answer questions, and make sure that parents were comfortable leaving their kids.  I even had one father who, when he heard the name of my hometown, demanded that I look-after his daughter ’cause she’d never been away from home and anyone from where I was from had to be “good people.”  I said that I wasn’t a babysitter and that she’d be fine but we were going to be staying in the same cabin so at least she’d have a friend from day one there.  We actually got along and had a blast that week she was there.

During lunchtime, all of the campers would get excited about mail call.  Some kids were shipped items they’d forgotten from home.  Some kids got care packages from their families as if being in the middle of the forest prevented them from obtaining decent food.  (We got decent food, and lots of it!)  Some would get letters from boyfriends/girlfriends back home but most never received any.  I usually didn’t get mail because it would take 3 days to get there from where I lived and by the time a letter would arrive I’d either (1) have already been able to call home on the weekend (’cause campers weren’t allowed to call except in emergencies during the week) and found out everything or (2) I’d have left after the second week.

This year, though, there was a letter for me.  I was stunned.  The Camp Director enjoyed teasing the kids by pretending there were things written on the outside of the envelope, usually the gooey-eyed type of phrases people thought that people in love would say to each other.  It always got a big laugh and usually helped whomever received the letter he chose to play with feel better.  My family and I were good friends with him, so when he saw this letter I became the target of his humor.  It was funny and I proudly walked through all of the applause and laughter to receive my letter.

It was from my father.  This was very strange.  And it wasn’t handwritten.  He’d typed the envelope and the letter.

After lunch we had a mandatory 30-minute “rest period” in our cabins so that our food could settle before the swimming pool would be open for the afternoon.  Yes, we had a huge lake there but it was much safer to swim in the pool!

I sat on my bunk in the cabin and read the letter.  I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.  I still have the letter somewhere in my house.  I’ve packed it away with other important items but made sure that I’ve put it somewhere where I won’t casually find it but also where it will remain for a long time because it was a great turning point in my life.

My father typed a letter to me saying that (and I’m paraphrasing here) he knew I’d be having fun at camp; that he hoped that I got to be in the classes I wanted that summer; and, oh by the way, that the day I’d left for camp he and his mistress had traveled to Arkansas and gotten married.  He gave a half-assed excuse for not inviting me or letting me know about it before I left for camp and that I should be prepared for them (him, her, and her 2 kids) to pick me up at the end of my second week.

I don’t really remember much after that.  I was shocked and hurt.  To think that he purposefully didn’t want me to know what was going on was the worst.  I can only remember them coming to pick me up in his diesel Chevette and me being crammed into the middle of the back seat between her kids (both of whom I was older than by many years) for the 8-hour drive back home.  No stopping except if they wanted to stop.  No eating anywhere except where they wanted to eat.  It was if coming to get me was a huge chore and not an attempt to help mend any wounds or begin to create a family.  I couldn’t stand it.  It still makes me ill to think about it.  I was ignored the whole way back and dumped-off unceremoniously at my house.

“Well,” I remember thinking to myself one day around that time, “this is it.  Mom’s mad because she’s divorced and has me to take care of on her own and Dad’s being a jerk as usual except he’s rubbing it in my face with his new ‘son’ (step-son, actually) that he’s always wanted.  What’s the point anymore?”

I went to the church camp sponsored by our local church that summer as well.  Fortunately, they drove a bus to get us out there and back so I didn’t have to suffer either of my parents’ unwillingness to deal with me.  I tried to have fun and I remember our group of girls (we were divided by age and gender) doing well on contests, but there were many who didn’t want me in their group.  And I dreaded every day having one or both of my parents showing-up to give me some additional news that should have been told in person but was just haphazardly typed-out in a letter.  It didn’t happen and I don’t think I could have stood it if it did.

Well, poop….looked at the clock and all of my time is gone again.  The voices are still trying to cram words down my arms and to my fingers on the keyboard but I’ve got errands to run.  Need to get things done or Husband will be irritated that I stayed inside all day again.  I know he says he’s not but I also know that it does upset him because I used to be very outgoing and my disabilities are not getting better.  Maybe in the long-run this “therapy” I’m trying with these posts will help.

Day for Mothers brings voices back

I hate holidays.  Scratch that.  The only holiday I don’t really despise is Halloween.  All other holidays are over-commercialized.  You know that you’re going to spend money on costumes, candy, and makeup for Halloween but why does everyone try to guilt us into buying more crap that no one needs just because it’s a holiday?

Today is Mothers’ Day and it’s allowed us (the voices) to move forward and take over the post ’cause even though I have kids, Mothers’ Day has always been somewhat annoying.  Eldest Son sent a brief text message (just “Happy Mothers’ Day).  No call or even an email after months of no contact.  Youngest Son and Husband though did do a good job at making me feel better though.  They allowed me to sleep-in and then made lunch and bought roses for me.  Very, very appreciated it was and no overspending.  If they’re going to overspend I’d prefer that they overspend time with me during the day.  It’s better than anything they could drag home from a store.

Did call Biological Mother today.  Wished her a happy Mothers’ Day and received the same in return.  Always thought it was strange when she’d wish me a happy Mothers’ Day because I’m a mother but I’m not her mother.  I think that’s just a OCD thing.  Husband called his mother to wish her the same today.  I have no idea what she had to say because he’s the only one who talked to her.  She sent me a Mothers’ Day card (again, seems silly but that’s just me) and a note inside which thanked me for sending articles to her that I didn’t send and asking me how I spell my name (by the way, Husband and I have been married almost 17 years now).  And when I’m feeling the way I am today (and the voices are more likely to keep redirecting my concentration), it’s best I don’t talk to too many people.

Voices are in charge again! Day 2.

So…yeah….the voices are still going and I’ve got loose ends from yesterday that I’ve got to tie up.  I just got back to the house from my therapist’s office.  She told me she got my application for disability request and was completing the information for them.  I’m sure she’s got more to add today since I described to her about (1) the “rule of thumb” for hazardous materials incidents (if you can’t stretch your arm out to full length, look down the length of it and cover the entire object that’s leaking the material with your thumb, you’re too close), (2) how the length of your forearm (from the bend in your elbow to the bend of your wrist) is the same size as your foot, (3) the fact that I found a new show to watch the other night on H2 (used to be History International) called “10 Things You Don’t Know” and how it’s now a challenge for me to see if they can come up with things I don’t already know (the one on Hitler I knew all of them), and (4) how I not only applied for disability as she suggested but I also applied for a temporary job at the same disability office.  That ought to confuse them.  Oh, and when I was talking about the “10 Things You Don’t Know” episode they did on Caligula and how I knew most but not all, she had a strange look on her face because she didn’t know who he was.  I find myself often having to explain what I’m explaining to her because I forget that there are people who don’t collect every bit of knowledge they have and store it somewhere until it’s triggered by something else and pops its way to the forefront of my mind.  Today was a lot of those little “side-story” kind of days where my brain didn’t want to stay on-topic.

Oh, and I gave her a copy of the first part of this “log” (for lack of a better word) to put into my file.  That ought to show them I’m nice and bat-shit crazy enough for disability.  Probably not, but who knows?

Anyway, back to where I’d left off yesterday.  I needed to explain how I’d “retaken” the fifth grade.  After my stellar grades in Kindergarten and the same happening in 1st grade, my biological father informed us that we were moving to a new town where he was going to be the principal of the elementary school.  I remember my parents trying to find a house to rent in the small town where the school was located so that we could live there during the week and in our permanent house on the weekends.  The house they found had a lot of issues and we ended up not living there.  I was happy because I remember going to run the water in the bathtub and it all came out black.  That’s not because the house had crappy pipes; that’s because the whole town had crappy pipes.  Even at the school you weren’t really sure what color the water in the toilet would be after you flushed it and washing your hands could sometimes make them look worse than before.  I don’t even want to go into the drinking fountains.

Even though we didn’t move to the town, my dad was insistent that I attend school there because that’s where he would be and, at the time, my mother was going back to college for her second degree.  This time, she was majoring in education and was going to be a teacher at the school as well.  She ended up in the junior high/high school part and we moved away from that district before I ever reached those grades, so I never had her as a teacher.  I did substitute teach years ago and would often get called to teach her classes, but that’s another story for another time.

Since my father was the elementary school principal and realized that I’d been very advanced (and bored) in school where I had been attending, he made the decision along with my 2nd grade teacher that I should be promoted to the 3rd grade.  Once I finished all of the lessons in the spelling workbook I was officially moved-up into the 3rd grade classroom and took all of my classes with them.  I moved along with those students from 3rd grade to 4th grade and then 5th grade, even though I was still considered only a 2nd grade, 3rd grade, and 4th grade student.  I did all of the work and made the honor roll in the classes that were a year advanced of where I should have been.  I didn’t mind because I was able to learn more at my own pace and do things more advanced than the others.

But when I was chronologically a 5th grade student, we moved school districts.   My father had gotten a job in another town as the middle school (junior high) principal and would be overseeing the 6th-8th grade classes.  I was at summer camp in Mississippi for two weeks when they came to pick me up and announced that we were going “home” and we arrived in a town I’d only visited before after taking a LONG summer vacation (more on that later).  They’d found a house and moved our stuff an hour away from where we had lived before.  It was sad because I did have one friend that I would hang-out with and I was going to miss her.  Most of my other friends I’d had in Kindergarten and 1st grade had moved-on without me because even though I lived in the town, since I didn’t go to the same school I didn’t exist.

The new town was a lot bigger and much different from where I’d lived or gone to school!  In my previous school, I was in the minority as a white person.  In the new town, that’s all I could find!  Other kids thought I was crazy when I asked where the black students were and why no one was friends with any.  The house my parents had rented was just temporary until they bought a new one — and it was brand new!  The local trade school had built it and the home economics department decorated it.  The house was auctioned and we ended up winning it.  It was a nice house on a nice street and I had a nice neighbor — a gal that I’d met in 2nd grade until she’d moved away and now we were living next door to each other.  So, at least I had a friend when I got there.

I thought for sure I’d be going to the middle school but my father didn’t want me standing out from the crowd too much.  I asked about band because I’d begun playing the flute in 4th grade band and wanted to continue.  In the new town, students weren’t allowed to start band until 7th grade.  Even though I’d had a year behind me, I wasn’t going to be allowed to play.  And I wasn’t going to be allowed to go to the middle school because my father decided that it would be better if I stayed with the students my own age.  So, I had to “retake” the 5th grade.  Even the textbooks were the same as we used in my old school!  I mentioned this to my parents and the teachers but no one would budge.  So, I did 5th grade again and then finally moved to junior high.

Oh, remember me mentioning that my parents moved while I was at summer camp?  That wasn’t the only shocking thing that happened while I was away from home, but the camp I attended in Mississippi was a religious camp, 8 hours away from home, and I loved every minute of it each year that I went.  The first year I went I was 9 (the youngest age they allowed) and I was only allowed to stay for one week since my parents weren’t sure how well I’d get along on my own.  My friend Russell and some other guys from our church went as well.  We knew about the summer camp because it was the same place in the winter where men from around the country would go for a religious deer hunting retreat.  My dad would always bring home a buck and a doe and he and his friends would spend hours in our garage hanging the deer and dressing them.  I loved watching it and wanted to help.  When I was 8 years old, he returned from his week-long retreat with the deer and a BB gun for me.  I was in heaven!  And, since it was close to Christmas, I knew what I’d be doing out in the snow.

And, no, I never shot my eye out or killed anything with it.  But, boy, I could sure hit the back of an old heavy aluminum Dutch oven hanging on the back fence!  The “thwing!” that BB made as it ricocheted off the metal and into who knows what direction was thrilling.  Of course, this was back in the day when parents would let their kids have BB guns, you could use a BB gun in the city limits legally, no safety equipment was worn, and no one concerned themselves about the return trajectory of the BBs as they “thwinged” themselves off of metal objects.

I loved my first year at summer camp.  I got to swim in the pool and tried to water ski on the lake but just ended up being dragged around on my face.  I met a lot of people from all over the southern United States who had absolutely NO idea what I was saying because I was a “Yankee” and didn’t have the Southern Twang that was needed to communicate.  I also took horsemanship classes and got to take care of a horse and rode it every day.  I was so busy having fun that I forgot that the large suitcase of clothing and personal items I brought with me included a brush and other objects with which to clean myself.  I don’t remember it but my parents had a good time teasing me when they came to pick all of us up at the end of the week that I looked liked I’d gone wild because I forgot to brush my hair the entire time I was there.  At least I swam and the chlorine in the pool could count as “bathing” more than what Russell did.  He completely forgot to bathe or change clothes the entire time.  We were both sent back to our respective cabins before we were allowed in the car with the other guys to return home.

We were all crammed in the station wagon — a big Oldsmobile full-sized station wagon with plenty of room in the back for our luggage, vinyl bench seats, and fake wood trim along the sides.  My parents and I sat in the front (me in the middle with my feet on the “hump”) and the two older boys shoved Russell into the middle of the back seat between them.  On the way to the main road from the camp was a very winding road that was gorgeous but wasn’t optimal for people with a tendency to have motion sickness.  Russell was one of those.  We heard a strange noise and then my mother and I looked over our shoulders into the back seat where we saw each of the teenage boys pressed as close to the doors as they could get while shouting that Russell was being sick all over the floor.  And he was — and not just the floor.  We had to pull over on the side of a barely two-lane gravel road and get Russell changed and try to clean up the sick.  Thank goodness for those vinyl seats.

I never returned with the other guys and Russell to summer camp.  Each year until I was 16 I went on my own.  I’d stay for two weeks and have the time of my life.  My maternal grandparents even bought me a joke book on “How to Speak Southern” which I actually used as a translation guide and my second year there people could understand me.  I’d pack my dad’s old Navy trunk with enough clothes and books and other things to keep me occupied on rainy days and looked forward to going every year.  And after we’d moved and I started my new school, I became even more desiring of being there because it was somewhere I could be happy.

The summer after my 4th grade year I spent two glorious weeks at camp and then my parents, with our dog in tow, showed up to get me.  I was stunned by this but my dad was really good friends with the camp director and had made arrangements to sleep in one of the VIP cabins (where the speakers or other guests could stay) so that on the last day of my stay we could leave as soon as all of the “goodbyes” were said and tears were shed.

They packed my trunk into the back of our 1980 Chevrolet Chevette along with the luggage they’d brought which was much more than for a one-night stay eight hours away from home.  I thought something was up and my suspicions were correct.  After we’d headed up the twisty road towards the main road, my parents announced that we’d be going on vacation.  With both of them being teachers, we had all summer so I sat in the back seat with my dog and watched the miles go by.  We traveled through Mississippi, across Alabama, and finally stopped in Georgia.  We visited Atlanta and went to the Six Flags park there.  I remember having to stand in line for an hour to get my hand stamped with a time to return so I could stand in line some more to get to ride the new Thunder River ride.  My dad complained the entire time but I was just glad to be having some fun.  We also visited Stone Mountain while we were in Georgia and I really, really enjoyed seeing and learning a lot about it.

We ventured north into South Carolina and I remember we stopped in Maggie Valley, North Carolina one night.  There was a HUGE water slide there and I’d never been on one before.  I begged my parents to let me try it and while my mom wasn’t a big fan of being in a swimsuit in public at the time, my dad agreed and bought passes for the two of us.  This wasn’t a fiberglass water slide like you see these days — it was concrete and built into the ground (which pleased my mother because that summer she had seen too many reports of water slides collapsing at parks and people getting hurt).  There were two tracks — one was short and fast and the other was longer but had bigger drops.  We were given neoprene mats and told to be sure to hold on to them tightly as we traveled down the chutes.  I loved it!  It was like an open roller coaster and I wanted to go faster and faster.  My father, however, thought he’d show me some “moves” that would be “cool” and I remember seeing him leave the top of the slide, the mat coming down the slide, him coming down the slide on the rough concrete, and then a large “splash” in the pool at the bottom and him saying that he wasn’t going to slide anymore.  Oh, and Mercurochrome was located for the scrapes he had.

After spending time in North Carolina we ventured towards the Virginias and the Smokey Mountains.  We got to see bears on the side of the road and made a side-stop in Knoxville, Tennessee during the 1982 World’s Fair.  I’ve heard that it’s been listed as one of the worst World’s Fairs of all time and I’m here to say that I wholeheartedly agree.  Everything was about the environment and new technologies such as solar and wind power.  It was also extremely crowded and, of course, my dad complained the entire time.  He and my mother even had a very loud argument in the parking lot on our way to the gates that for all she cared he could sit in the car by himself while she took me inside to see and learn new things.  Every country’s pavilion we wanted to visit had a line at least two hours long and many, like the Chinese and American pavilions, had lines for you to wait to get your hand stamped with a time at which you would come back and stand in line again and wait to get inside to see the exhibits.

It was hot.  They’d paved over a huge park to install the World’s Fair which looking back seems like a really stupid thing to do if you’re trying to talk about saving the environment.  Everything was expensive and, as usual, my dad complained even more loudly as the day continued.  The only pavilion we visited was the Canadian exhibit because (1) it had a shorter line and (2) it advertised that it was air-conditioned.  When we got to the front of the line, the air conditioning was no longer working.  I don’t really remember anything from their exhibit because my dad dragged us through there as quickly as possible because he was getting sick from the heat.

My mother and I found a building where people were exiting out the back doors and suddenly felt the cool refreshing breeze of air conditioning.  Not caring what exhibit it was, we darted inside and, yes, made sure my dad came too.  It was full of computerized exhibits and video games and everything “futuristic” you could think of at the time.  I remember Nintendo had a HUGE area where there were Donkey Kong games lined-up side-by-side and each one was being played by someone who, like me, had never played a video game like that before.  We stayed inside the cool building for a while so that we could rest and recharge before going back into the sweltering heat.  We stayed in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and I ended up sick with a fever for a couple of days which threw-off some of the plans they’d made.

After I was better we went to Louisville, Kentucky where an old Navy buddy of my father’s lived with his wife.  My parents had been friends with them for years and we’d visited them once when they lived in Iowa.  Now he was a big attorney for General Electric and we were invited to come and stay with them for a while.  We toured Louisville.  I got to see the original pot in which The Colonel made his first batch of Kentucky Fried Chicken and the “safe” where the secret recipe was “kept.”  We all also ventured to Indiana and visited Santa Claus Land in Santa Claus, Indiana.  This is WAY before it became Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari!!  Santa Claus Land was basically a cheap carnival with exhibits and stores where every day, 365 days a year, it was Christmas.  Some poor fool had to sit on a throne in an overstuffed Santa costume for hours a day in the middle of summer and listen to kids tell him what they wanted for Christmas or scream their heads off in terror because they didn’t know who he was.  My favorite memory was my dad trying to tease my mother into riding the Tilt-a-Whirl because she gets motion sickness very easily.  He kept teasing and taunting and finally she agreed that we three would ride it together.  After it ended, I had a wonderful view of my father leaning against a large pine tree throwing up everything he’d eaten and complained was too expensive at the park.  I wanted to take a picture for posterity but decided I’d be safer if I didn’t.  After Santa Claus Land we went to Squire Boone Caverns in Corydon, Indiana and I fell in love with caves.  Oh, I knew I was claustrophobic and afraid of heights and falling (which wasn’t ideal since one of the first things you cross is a very large chasm that seems to have no bottom on a very small bridge).  But I loved going through the cave and seeing new things each time.  My parents and their friends waited outside while I went on tour after tour.  When we all went together we made sure to pose for the “obligatory” photo at the beginning that they said they used “to make sure that everyone on the tour makes it out of the cave and will know who’s missing.”  My dad hated the picture because he’s standing in it with his legs crossed like he needs to go to the bathroom.  My mother said we weren’t posing for another just because he didn’t like it and that he should have gone before we left.

After the long vacation, we went to our new home, I started my new school, and things started to change a lot.  My mother was attending graduate school to receive her Master’s of Education and my dad was busy at the middle school many evenings.  I’d be at home by myself (remember, this was back when you could do that and not be scared of someone snatching your kid) and he’d tell me that if I had problems with my homework to call him at the school.  I wasn’t sure what he was doing there but I know that he didn’t answer the phone when I would call.  I guessed back then that he thought I’d be able to do all of the work on my own or figure it out and would never need to call him ’cause I had no idea where he was.  When he came home he’d tell me he was at the school but I had my suspicions that he was never fucking there.  Well, he might have been fucking there — but that’s an image I don’t want in my mind.  It’s bad enough when you come to grips with the fact that your parents had to have had sex at least once to get you into the world, much less any more than that. (Told you I could swear and this is where it’s necessary.)

No, my dad had introduced me to his secretary and she had introduced me to her family.  She had two kids (a boy and a girl, both younger than me) and I absolutely loved her parents.  They treated me as one of their own.  My mother and I would go out and pick blackberries and corn and other fruits and vegetables on their farm and in their gardens.  We were welcomed with open arms and they loved having me visit and go fishing or riding three-wheelers with them.  They even gave me my own rabbit to raise (which had to be put-down after it ate its babies) and taught me to milk cows and work with other farm animals.  It was great!

Then it happened.  I went to summer camp and came home to a changed house.  My dad had been having an affair with his secretary and my parents had decided to divorce.  Being the naive kid I was, I thought the reason my dad had moved his stuff into the guest bedroom during the year was because he snored too loud and he was often up late at night typing his thesis for his Specialist’s in Education degree.  To me, it seemed logical that he stay in there where we could close the door on him when we wanted quiet so we could sleep.  I had no idea that was the first step in him moving-out.  I went to camp with married parents and came back a child of divorce.  They’d decided to do it while I was gone so I wouldn’t have to speak in front of the judge and so I’d be happier.  That’s what they said, anyway.

My 6th grade year was controversial just like my 5th grade year.  I was meeting new people and finding that being the principal’s daughter did get you invited to a lot of the best parties and events in town but only so people could say that I was there, not that they really wanted me there.  I’d often find myself in the corner alone watching everyone else participating or I’d try to get out there and dance or play the games or whatever they were doing and was told indirectly (and sometimes very directly) that I wasn’t welcome in what they were doing.  It was difficult trying to find a place to fit-in.  Everyone knew who I was because everyone knew who my father was.  I was in Girl Scouts and played intramural softball and participated a lot with the local youth group at the church we attended.  I tried to convince others at church to attend summer camp with me but no one was interested.  The church we attended had their own one-week camp they sponsored and I decided to give it a try as well.  It wasn’t as much fun, but I was with people I knew from school and hoped for more friendships to grow from it.

Of course by now everyone in town knew that my parents had divorced and who my dad was seeing.  As I’ve said before, I know their marriage had been rocky for a long time but I never dreamed it would end.  I didn’t know people who had gotten divorced.  Or, if I did, I was never told about it.  The “scandal” didn’t help me in winning friends.  I hated hearing people whisper, “Do you know who he’s dating?  She’s from that family!  How could he sink so low?”  And it really upset me, too, because her parents had never been anything but kind and loving to me and I had no idea why people were speaking poorly of them.  Even after my parents divorced they invited me over and let me have fun fishing or just playing outside.  I guess they wanted to help me through the transition as best as they could.

In the divorce, my dad gave my mother the house (with the mortgage) and one of the cars (the Chevette that would later become mine) and he took the money from the bank.  And not just his half of the money — ALL of it.  And everything in the safe deposit box which included my coin collections he’d tried to help me start and all of the savings bonds my paternal grandmother had bought me every birthday and Christmas since the day I was born.

I’ll never forget one night when my mother was upset over the whole thing.  My mom hadn’t been drinking or anything like that.  She was just pissed and wanted to yell and scream at someone and, since I was an only child and the only other person in the house, I caught it full-blast.  I remember trying to retreat into the kitchen to get away from her screaming and she cornered me.  There in the dark, I swear I could see her eyes glowing.  She screamed at me, “You’d just better get used to taking care of yourself because you’re not going to have a mother to come home to!  I’m so pissed and I don’t give a shit anymore that I just might go and kill that asshole father of yours and maybe his slut and then you’ll be on your own ’cause I’ll be in jail and I don’t give a fuck!”  That was one of the first times I can ever remember being totally speechless.  I didn’t know what to do!  She stomped off towards her bedroom and I just stood there with a glass in one hand and my other hand outstretched as I had been preparing to turn on the lights.  I just stood there in the dark and I remember hearing my brain “saying” to me, “Yup, got it.  That one’s going right in the files with the rest,” as the recorder in my mind turned switched off.

I knew she wasn’t serious because I had the only weapon in the house (my BB gun) and she didn’t like guns.  I didn’t think she even knew how she’d try to kill someone but I didn’t move for quite a while.  I waited until I heard her go into her bedroom before I dared move.  She never mentioned it again and I’m sure she wouldn’t remember doing it now.  But it’s definitely stuck in my memory banks.  Could be one of the reasons I became depressed my 6th grade year.  It could also be the reason that along with another event triggered my first real consideration of suicide, but that story is going to have to wait.

Again, I’ve sat here for I don’t remember how long (more than a couple of hours) and typed as different voices in my head have brought things to the surface.  Some I’ve had to push back because they’re trying to get me to tell stories out-of-order and, of course, that’s just not my style.  OCD is a bitch no matter which way you look at it.  Maybe I’ll continue again tomorrow with this.  I’m sure many of the people who read this and know or are in today’s story won’t be happy — but my brain is whirring like a car that’s idling too fast.  I know if I don’t do something to slow it down soon it’s going to break.  And this is all I have at the moment.

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