Category Archives: blather

BooHooWho

This is the only place where I feel the power of having a voice. The blank page listens to me. It gives me its full attention. I feel heard.

It would be unfair of me – as well as a cognitive distortion  – to say “no one ever listens to me”. But I’m going to be upfront: this is the first thing that pops into my head when someone I want to hear me, doesn’t. My immediate emotional reaction to a present instance of not being heard, that frustration – and on a much deeper level, hurt, because not being listened to is being rejected – colors my perception of the event, and it is added to a long narrative of other such events which resemble it in any way, no matter how small. The only thing needed to set off the telling of this particular Tale of Injustice Against Me is a little tap on that button there, which got hit when this not-getting-listened-to business bounced in unexpectedly.

So there in my brain is this entire unfolded saga and every stab of the knife of the central emotions is happening at once, it’s on however many flickering movie screens in that space in my consciousness that’s so close to the world it almost feels outside of me, each screen supercharged with fermented, risen-from-the-dead painful emotion. And all those rotting zombie emotions get together and form a groaning horde, focused on only one end: To eat my brain.

Because now everything I see is colored by this fucked-up perception, so I am not seeing clearly, and if I’m not seeing clearly, I’m not thinking clearly. Not only has the current event been distorted, it’s been tossed into a pit with however many other events where it will endlessly reanimate when new, fresh meat is thrown onto the pile. And rest assured, it will be – because the bigger the pile, the more I’m going to see this negative theme in every interaction. I’ll actually ignore the good things to look for it.

That is, unless I can recognize that this happens. Recognize the distortion, the generalizations of “never”, of “always”… These words are usually good indicators that maybe I need to take a look at the evidence. And if I look at what is real, and not just what I perceive in my moment of pique, I find that actually, quite a few people have listened to me. There have been many people who have, in fact, heard me. So while the zombie horde of emotional baggage wants to pull me into the Victim Dimension, I know that I do not belong there.

And because I can free myself from this vortex of the Woe Is Me Narrative my brain is for all its might attempting to suck me into, I am able to figure out that actually, in this particular instance, it’s just that the people I want to hear me, aren’t. There could be any number of reasons for that. Some of those reasons may have nothing at all to do with me. And just because they don’t hear me now, doesn’t mean they never will. This may be a situation that can be remedied. It may even be an opportunity to learn something – if only how not to get triggered when Life hits one of your sore spots.

Of course, this is all well and good when you’re able to think things through. That doesn’t always happen though, does it?

Coming soon: The Trigger Plan…

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Hey, Andy Lassner…

…I fail to see how tweeting YET AGAIN the SAME “and that was their final command” Orwell quote does more to help anyone than retweeting the question I have about whether painting respirators could be used by the doctors currently out of N65 masks so that this idea might POSSIBLY get in front of them and either be ruled out or MAYBE even HELP THEM…

I usually don’t call people names, but you, sir, are a prick.

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Training wheels are wobbly, but they work, and I’m pedaling to a place I’ve not been in a long, long time. Nothing I’m doing right now is anywhere near perfect – and it doesn’t have to be.

It’s a beautiful day.

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Facts Don’t Care About Your Fat

The party’s long over. It’s a closed subject. And I’m still thinking about it.

I realize how ridiculous bringing this up now is. People don’t even care about what happened last week. Or yesterday. I know – this was millenia ago. But, I’m sorry, I have to say it, because I need to stop thinking about it. See, the whole idea is to get it out of my brain — by putting it into yours. It’s the story of how little blogs are made. But anyway, it must be addressed and purged.

I’m talking about the fucking White House Correspondents Dinner with Michelle Wolf.  (See, I told you –  it’s ridiculous. But also, you’re already reading the post. So who’s really to blame here, hmm?)

HEAR YE, HEAR YE! THE NATION NEEDS A MIRACLE EAR!

I AM SHOUTING BECAUSE NONE OF US HEAR VERY WELL!!

Michelle Wolf said the word “facts” – but everyone INITIALLY thought she said “fat”. As in, “Sarah Sanders burns fat and uses the ash to make the perfect smokey eye.”

NO. The ACTUAL joke was: “Sarah Sanders burns FACTS and uses the ash to make the perfect smokey eye.”

People went on and on about how horrible it was for Michelle to insult Sarah Sanders’ appearance. But she did nothing of the sort. Everyone else did.

They all HEARD “fat” because they THINK “fat”. “Fat” doesn’t even work for the joke. Burning fat until it is ash isn’t some popular or common activity we all engage in, we consider burning fat to result in something else altogether (there’s a multi-billion dollar industry built around that cultural definition, even) and that F-A-C-T alone blows the “fat joke” theory all to Hell. Michelle Wolf was actually paying Sarah a compliment on her appearance, I mean, backhandedly, but she wasn’t calling her unattractive, or even suggesting that the smokey eye look is passe (cough) or awkwardly applied. The “Perfect Smokey Eye”. If someone said I had the perfect smokey eye, it would not hurt my feelings, unless maybe I wasn’t wearing eye makeup.

Michelle Wolf, Sneaker Aficionado

Michelle Wolf also pointed out that Sarah Sanders was a liar. (ETA: This is what you call a truth-based joke. Sarah Sanders is verifiably a lying liar with lying fire pants.) No one mentioned that part. Which kinda seems like the IMPORTANT part. Don’t know about you, but I would be a little more insulted to be called a liar than an expert at applying my eye shadow.

The point is, the whole outrage over it was nonsense, a bunch of cartoon hens cluckity-clucking their faux shock between commercials for A Place For Mom and Have You Had a Slip & Fall? Attorneys are Standing By! (Spokesperson is not an attorney)

I feel like a burden has been lifted. The truth is FINALLY out there.

See you at the next useless post!

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I Think You Just Don’t Want To Be Happy

Hey EVERYBODY!

I think that this unhappiness thing is just getting out of hand. I mean, c’mon. You’ve been skulking around here FOREVER. It’s like, SO obvious what you need to do. I think you know that. But I’m your friend. Your pal. Your buddy. So I will happily remind you. You’re doing this to yourself, you know that, right? You really just need to get out of your head and…

FORGET GRANDMA!

Yeah, she was nice and all, and like, related to you or whatever so she was around a lot, but still – never, ever, EVER think of her again. No holiday visits. No birthday presents. If you smell a cookie and it smells like hers and you involuntarily think of her cookies which automatically before you can control it leads to remembering that time you made those cookies with her? You see what you’re doing here. And you see that you’re doing it to yourself, right?

I’m telling you:

FORGET GRANDMA. NEVER THINK ABOUT GRANDMA AGAIN.

Also, don’t think about your parents. Or your siblings. Or any pet you had, or any house you lived in, or any kid you knew in school. Don’t dream about them either. Especially don’t dream about them. Because, really, if you dream about them? What good are you doing? You need to control that shit. You need to focus. Mind over matter.

Don’t think about classes you took, schools you went to, foreign lands you visited, books you’ve read, clothes you used to have, shows you used to like. In fact, you need to forget everything that ever happened to you. Seriously, man. Forget the past, will you? You’re fucking STUCK there, jeez. We ALL see it, and we really think you have issues. It’s like you WANT to have problems. Do you even WANT to be happy?

Oh, shit. Hold the phone, folks —

Sorry, but, uh… I just looked at my notes here.

Apparently, when I said “EVERYONE”, I was supposed to say “People with PTSD”, and when I said “GRANDMA”, I was supposed to say “the trauma you experienced”.

Otherwise, the advice is exactly the same, and it will work JUST AS WELL.

Whew. Fixed it.

(Hey! Thanks for checking out Armchair Therapy, where people who lack self-awareness counsel you about your own problems before tending to their own!  The moral of today’s story: Telling people with PTSD that they “seem stuck in the past” is a stellar comedy premise, truly. I mean, thinking that people can forget their entire lives by sheer power of will! COMEDY GOLD. If only Mitzi were alive for this, sniff (RIP, Babe). But hey, take part in the “Armchair Therapy Challenge” and give forgetting your life a shot! And please, write in to let us know how you do – oh, wait, you won’t be able to, because if you succeed, then you won’t remember reading this. Well, pin a note on your shirt for someone else to do it, okay? Armchair Therapy – if you don’t have an armchair, a broken futon will do!)

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A Post About Singing, Yeah, That’s It

The late, great Maggie Estep used to say that singing was one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself. And she’s right. Singing gives you all this endorphin action, and all the benefits of extra oxygen. It reduces stress, it increases your immune system, fosters clear thinking through correct breathing, improves your memory, and benefits your heart. It also lessens feelings of depression and loneliness because of the oxytocin released when you sing.

Basically, it does nearly everything except cure those pesky little abandonment issues. I mean, an emoji just made me cry. What the fuck.

Anyway. Singing does all this really great stuff for you if you just sing. But I grab a digital recorder and try to be a One Take Sally with every single syllable and note absolutely perfect in a room that’s about as acoustically sound (pardon the pun) as an outhouse. And I have medication dry mouth so it sounds like I’m trying to sing with a tongue piercing. Clack clack clack. So I frustrate myself. But I busy myself, also. Focus elsewhere (except for that fucking emoji thing). And dare I even say it.. I feel a little of that energy, bouncing off what Lynch has referred to as the radio, and I feel a little better.

And then I get sidelined by something and it’s a sob-show again, but this stuff comes in waves, this recurrent shock of loss comes in waves that knock you over just as you get upright again. And that is normal grieving. And it sucks unbelievably, and those waves have been part of my life for nearly a decade now between the losses of my parents, my friends, and my kitties. But I also think it’s okay to say that it sucks. Because if I say something that feels so debilitating and painful actually feels how it feels, that’s how I get past it. And I’ve been kicking myself for laying out the eviscerative (if I may make that a word?) nature of this particular pain, asking myself who cares, telling myself I don’t matter, plus the usual difficulty I have whenever I say anything in public, no matter how strident I sound, because for most of my life, exercising my freedom of speech has meant sacrificing my physical safety. So putting thoughts into the world can feel a little uncomfortable sometimes.

But the only way to purge a thing is to tell it. It’s the only way to be free of it that I’ve found works.

And I forgot the power of that. I forgot the songs and poems I wrote about traumatic events that freed me from them, only because I wrote about them. I somehow forgot through this past fucked up decade, so unlike any of my others which were fucked in their own way but at least contained some really cool shit too, that it’s not just comedy that saves. It’s art, and music, and film, and singing, and kitties in sweaters.

The only problem with purging the stuff is that while I’m doing something very healthy, people who don’t understand can read it and be like, oh, this bitch is really crazy, look at all her problems, she can only focus on the past (separate blog post coming soon) as if I am trying to wallow and be unhealthy. Nope. I am sincerely trying to get better. I don’t want to BE my disabilities. I am NOT my disabilities. My disabilities are challenges that I have to deal with and manage and despite them somehow be human, and some of the challenges I face make being human not only like walking over hot coals, but standing on them.

And honestly, a lot of the coals are the judgments of “normal people” who don’t even ever have any kind of dialogue with me about my disabilities – or about who I am OUTSIDE of them, how I view the EXEGESIS of all of this. No judgmental person goes meta. They barely even go SURFACE. Give a little tip of the iceberg to try to foster some understanding, it will not usually go well but instead be more grist for the mill of how you just really need to be avoided because ISSUES.

(I have to interject here that I cannot recall a single time a smoker has judged me for having mental illness. They {we} are all dopamine-deprived and seem to understand one another. And we all know what it’s like to be ostracized, that’s for sure.)

We are a nation of alienated people. We don’t exactly welcome those who are different. We don’t listen to their stories without judging them. We don’t look into their eyes and try to imagine what it must have been like to have been them, what it is like now to be them. We find every way we can to Other each other. So if me making myself sound like a total sailor-mouthed basket case – which I may well be, but also, a lot of other things, many quite positive and healthy and good – helps someone else? I’m down.

And it’s also okay to cry, is what I’m telling myself, because finally now, we are getting out of the Mewling and Puking phase, and into the cathartic phase, and with that comes clarity. My perspective is a lot different than it was a week ago. So ironic I had all this stuff I was trying to work on in myself and my life, but now I think it was all the wrong stuff. So concerned about the future when I am still trying to get a handle on the present, and then Typhoid Mary-ing the person I loved best in the world with my toxic panic and grasping at them at the worst possible moment.

Which .. the whole grasping thing, anyway… damn, what the fuck, Annie? This is like a question on a test, and I knew the answer, but I put down the wrong answer, couldn’t understand why I got it wrong, and then burned down the school without realizing it (while my fucking coat was on fire). Which is to say, grasping is fucking stupid for ten million reasons (and Four Noble Truths, cough cough).

So, um, yeah.

Singing.

Ask for it by name.

ETA: Oh, shit. Pretty sure the original point of this post was to say that I WROTE A SONG.

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Send Me An Angel, So That He May Destroy Me

it’s not 7am yet but i’ve already done the wracking sobs thing this morning. So grateful for the sweet warm cat named Bear in my lap who is wearing a sweater. He is such an enormous comfort right now. And just having that comfort makes me realize, it doesn’t matter how much I pour my emotions or thoughts out onto the page. Whether I do or whether I don’t, I am in this alone.

I’ve been learning about how to deal with grief on a daily basis for —

well, I just looked at the date, and actually tomorrow, eight years ago, was when the death parade of loved ones began in earnest, when I watched them take my dad out of the home he loved in a body bag, with my mom collapsed in absolute heartbreak on the floor where he’d just been laying. His sudden and unexpected death destroyed her and she never came back from it, and I watched helplessly for two and a half years as her spirit and her body died in front of me. There was nothing I could do to stop it. She didn’t want to be here anymore. Not without him. I feel even more empathy for her now than I did then, because I am getting a glimpse of how it feels when one moment you have a soulmate and everything is okay, and the next they are just gone and that’s the end and you didn’t even get to say goodbye.

But my mom knew my dad loved her. She had no doubt about that.

I don’t understand how he could have ever loved me at all. How does that change so drastically in moments? I don’t think I said anything hateful. I was saying, hey, I’m scared that when you get thru this big huge thing, you’re gonna decide you don’t want to be with me anymore, cause you talk about the future like I’m not in it.

Well, yeah, okay. Apparently, I’m not in it, so that was why. You would think I would have just fucking realized that instead of trying to “discuss” it.

If someone doesn’t want to be with you, it’s not negotiable. I don’t know how not communicating well in that moment completely destroyed every single good thing he might have seen in me, to the point where it doesn’t matter to him at all what happens to me or how much it feels like I’m being thrown into an emotional wood chipper. But there it is.

But WHY destroy me in the break-up? Especially when it is SO out of character. This is not a person who is vindictive. This is not a person who hates people. This is a person with a buoyant, loving soul. He treated me better than anyone ever has in my life – listened to me, encouraged me to make music again, to draw again – bought me expensive art supplies for Valentine’s Day – actually loved to hear me sing and THAT MEANT SO FUCKING MUCH TO ME I cannot even say –  ugly-sobbing now and getting tears all over my cat, this is killing me, I know i keep saying that but i keep saying it because it is, it’s killing everything i am.  So, okay, one day this beautiful soul who has NEVER shown me ANYTHING but love,  suddenly behaves like someone I never got to know? Someone who will give me no slack, benefit of the doubt, or chance to explain or discuss, but instead hates my fucking guts and won’t acknowledge my existence or even that he’s ending things, even though he knows that pretending I don’t exist is destroying me on level after level because of my disability and chronically traumatic history???

It does. not. make. sense.

And because it doesn’t make sense, it is fucking destroying me.

If he just would’ve said, you know, we need a break, and drifted off, that’d make sense, because there is that distancing beforehand. Even a subtle distancing, like someone stops saying “i love you” or something – that didn’t happen. Was there a distancing I missed? What, when we were making vacation plans?? I never had any idea that I could try to discuss something with him honestly and just by virtue of the content of what I was saying – that I WANTED TO BE WITH HIM AND MAKE HIM HAPPY BECAUSE I LOVE HIM AND I THOUGHT HE LOVED ME TOO AND I WAS SCARED THIS WOULD NOT HAPPEN – drive him away FOREVER. My timing SUCKED. It was HORRIBLE. But did it deserve this, really? Did I? Am I that terrible?

I keep trying to make it not matter. I can’t.  It matters more than anything.

But I’m the only one who cares, nothing concerning me matters to or in this world, and I may as well not exist.

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