So, we will just roll on with this too. Like we do.

That entire evening is a blur to me. My last detailed memory was us sitting in the waiting room. We were listening to the girl behind us dry heave into the barf bag they graciously provided her. Some children on the other side of the room arguing over a toy fire truck. A man came in holding his shoulder. Another kid came in with an ankle the size of a watermelon. My girlfriend was in Quincy with her parents. We thought you had the stomach flu that so many people had.

When the Physician’s Assistant pressed on your stomach, the look on his face is now etched in my memory. Only, I didn’t notice it then. According to Google you may have been experiencing appendicitis. According to you, it was gas, and after sitting for over an hour, planning your rude nurse’s violent death in my mind, you went for a CT of your abdomen.

Once you came back from that, we sat some more. We sat so long that your ass cheeks went to sleep. And so did you. Then my back knotted up, so I took a walk. I talked to dad on the phone to say we knew nothing yet and were just sitting. Waiting. And I was pissed, because I was sleepy and you just needed some fluids because of the stomach flu and your nurse was rude and they were too fucking slow.

When I got back to your room, you were awake. Staring up at the TV. And you looked like you had seen a ghost. Then, in your typical blunt way, you just said that you had a blockage that they thought might be cancer and you were being admitted for more tests. I knew you were not being truthful. I knew you were holding back. The look on your face gave you away. In 42 years, I’d never seen fear cross your face. I saw it that night. Right then. And I knew they had told you that you did, in fact, have cancer, and you were being admitted for surgery.

 The rude red-headed nurse came in and explained again what was going on. We were waiting on a room and you would remain at the ER until a bed became available for you. We talked very little after that. I saw your eyes full of tears. I saw that you wanted to be alone. The details are very fuzzy to me. I was shocked. I couldn’t feel my face. My mind was racing.

We had never been the typical mother/daughter duo. I think we’ve hugged three times. Said “I love you” four. We have gone weeks without talking. Days while living under the same roof. You never saw me play one single softball game in high school nor college. We’ve never even had “the talk”. Neither of them.

But, you’re still my momma. And I am nowhere close to being alone in the world without one. The last year or so has allowed us to see each other more often. Not under the best circumstances, but it has been a good thing. Things were beginning to look up. There was some light at the end of the tunnel. We were getting better.

Cancer has a way of throwing shade though. It can throw darkness even in the brightest places. And you were never the chipper, happy, type anyway. But, what this has done to you has shocked me. I am struggling to stay afloat here, and I need for you to come back. I was not expecting this out of you.

You have always been in the zone during a crisis. You have always taken charge. With my grandfather, my grandmother, an Uncle, a Great Uncle, with my dad (your ex-husband). And most recently, with your sister. Six months to the day after her passing, you got your own diagnosis.

I guess it was just too much. That is how I am processing this. Everything just snowballed for years and this is where you have finally stopped rolling. This is where you decided to bail. My guess is that this is temporary. My hope is that it is. Because even a sick you is better than this version.

How fucking crazy is that? I am sitting here saying out loud, to anyone that will listen, that I miss my momma. That I fucking miss my mother. The one that told me at 5:00 am on Monday, the 27th, that I was “the laziest person” she had ever known. Because I dared to be asleep at that time of the morning. Then she told me that I needed to either stop snoring or go the fuck home. That one. I miss her.

The worse part, at least to me, is that I should have seen this unfolding. For years, things seemed off with you. Your give-a-damn busted. It was a bit fragile anyway, but it really disintegrated in the past few years. Things were off and I should have seen it. I was blind to the obvious. We can’t see what we don’t want to.

I didn’t notice the weight loss. The fatigue; I attributed the fatigue to the emotional toil of your sister’s illness and death. The stomach pains you said were nothing but gas and stomach acid. I figured the weight loss was stress and age. I figured wrong. I was never good with figures.

I wonder how many people can say that their parent having colon cancer is the very least of their concerns? I cannot imagine there are very many.

You seem to be getting better every day. More aware. Remembering more. Your iPhone pin. Your debit card pin. That nobody bothered to make your car payment for you. Because we are all “the laziest people you’ve ever known”.

We are painting your living room this week and you seem to remember that I am not a good painter, and that I really suck at trim work. You even did the motherly thing and blamed it on the paint roller. Until I walked out the door, then you told my girlfriend, that it “wasn’t just the roller.” That is the you I remember. The one that will only admit my failings when I am not in the room.

On the matter of girlfriends, you even made us laugh this week. Names are not easy for you right now. You were telling me something you watched on TV and you lost the name of the person you watched it with. How you worked that out was downright funny.

Unless you were me.

“What’s her name?”

“Who?”

“Whatshername? Your girlfriend.”

“Kay?”

“No. The other one. The older one.”

If I could have crawled into a hole right then…….

It was funny. Only because you weren’t trying to be funny.

Such is life for us these days. But we are going to roll with it. Because, what other choice do we have? Not one single thing in my life, nor yours, has been easy for the last several years. So, we will just roll on with this too. Like we do.

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My Two Cents On NASCAR

I just read a great article in the Wall Street Journal about NASCAR’s declining popularity and revenue. I’ve been a fan since Dale Jr’s rookie Cup season. Not by coincidence. Since that time the sport’s popularity has declined steadily. After Matt Kenseth cruised around in circles in 2003 and won a title after winning one race all season as Ryan Newman won eight races and placed sixth overall, NASCAR came up with the Chase concept. They wanted to make it more exciting for the fans. So, now we have the “Chase”. Some fans dig it, some don’t. But, you can’t make everyone happy.

NASCAR also wanted to be diverse, because in their minds, diversity = more exposure= more money. This generally works out well for businesses and industries. It worked a little bit. We had Juan Pablo Montoya for a while. (The jet dryers at Daytona remember him well). We have Bubba Wallace, Aric Almirola, Danica Patrick, and last year’s Xfinity Series Champion, Daniel Suarez. It gave us some great drivers and even better humans to represent our sport. We need that. Good people to represent the sport. Never know when someone is going to get caught up in a Methamphetamine Invest, or a Domestic Violence incident.

The problem is that NASCAR’s loyal fan base failed to get the memo on how businesses create revenue. When they took Wilmington’s race, and then Rockingham’s and Darlington’s, and gave races to California, Kansas, and Chicago, it kicked their fan base right in the gut. The model just didn’t work. At all. They should have stayed where they knew they’d sell tickets and T-Shirts.

NASCAR is a Southern sport. Always has been and always will be. Not many people elsewhere care about stock car racing. Moving those tracks’ races was like moving the Olympic bobsled training facility to Ecuador. Or raffling off a Boston butt at the Veggie Grill on Sunset Boulevard.  It just was not a smart move. We could have diversified the sport without abandoning the fan base.

Two other issues as I see it: The length of the season and the length of the races. We are moving at a faster pace as a society. Technology has allowed even the slowest among us to multi-task get stuff done. Quick. Everything is fast-tracked now. Well, not everything. NASCAR isn’t.

Thirty six races. Mid-February to late November. They basically get four weeks off, then they’re back to the grind.

Five Hundred miles. We have four and five hundred mile races. And one 600 mile race. Why? In 1948, I imagine people didn’t have much else to do on Sundays. In 1970 Sunday was pretty dead. 1980 the same. 1990 too. But with the turn of the millennium, our lifestyle changed. The internet has allowed us 24/7 entertainment. Who wants to sit and watch a four hour long race? Not many people. That’s who.

MLB had to make rule changes to speed up the games. NFL too. Why hasn’t NASCAR? They figured taking the Southern 500 from Darlington Speedway was a good idea, but didn’t consider shorter races? Smaller venues? MLB also has seen smaller venues become popular. Smaller crowds were showing for games. So they did the obvious; downsize the facilities. The days of seeing 150,000 people at a stock car race are over with.

NASCAR needs to pick itself up, dust off, and reconfigure some things. I hope these new rules changes are a step in the right direction. I hope.

 

Just my two cents.

 

 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/long-in-victory-lane-nascar-hits-the-skids-1487686349

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The Conversation That Will Never Happen, Sadly.

I have spent the past seven weeks dealing with a roller coaster of emotions. You really couldn’t have picked a worse time to destroy me. As if there was a good time, but damnit. My Aunt died, my cousin almost died, and you pulled your last straw after months of threats and borderline harassment. All within 20 days.

I guess that is not entirely accurate. You pulled your trigger back in June. Because she wanted to move out from under your roof. Where you couldn’t keep tabs on her. Where she could be the young adult that she is. Where she could stay out past 11:00 if she wanted to. Where she could hang out with her girlfriend without having to hide her car, draw the curtains, lie about where she was.

You see, she really doesn’t like having to lie to you nor her father. In fact, she hates it. But your words and your actions over the past 10 months, have forced her to do just that. Because you refused to leave it alone. You made threats and said things and texted things that I wouldn’t have said to my worst enemy. If you knew me, which you don’t, you’d know how much weight that statement carries. You put your daughter through emotional hell. To the point, her counselor called YOU her abuser. At this point in her life, YOU are her abuser. That’s what she said.

The saddest thing about this, to me, has always been your reaction to her coming out to you. The hellfire and damnation that you spoke of. The threat to withhold financial support and college tuition. Take the car. It reminded me of the articles I have read online regarding homeless LGBT teenagers. It was sad.

Of course, after coming out to you, she made the horrid mistake of telling you who she wanted to go out with as more than friends. And that is where things got real. And nasty. That is where the text messages threatening to disown her completely started flowing. That is where this gem of a quote came out of your mouth and fingertips: “What am I supposed to tell all of those people who stood by you?”

Had you asked me, which you didn’t because again, we’ve never met, I would have suggested you stop worrying about those people and your image, and worry about your adult daughter and what she was going through. Those people, if they “stood by her” for the right reasons, would always stand by her. If they stood by her, back then, in order to get a front row ticket to the freak show, they would be as absent as they were at present. But, again, I haven’t ever met you, so I couldn’t have said any of that.

And that is what this is really about. We have never met. Never talked. You’ve driven by the house I was staying in numerous times, and on the occasions that I was standing in the car port, you took the opportunity to stare me down in some sort of display of alpha bitch. But you didn’t stop. Didn’t take five minutes, to curse me, slap me, flip me the bird, or heaven forbid, have an adult conversation with me.

Nope. You ran to her former victim advocate, played the victim like a boss, exaggerated stories, flat-out lied, and even implicated other people, including the high school principal, in your little community in your fantastical story. Hell, you were so convincing, that her advocate didn’t even bother to call HER to confirm a damn thing you were alleging. And eleven weeks later, I got dismissed from my job. An ethics violation, because there was no illegal activity. No statutory violation. Hell, there was no internal policy violation. Only an “appearance of impropriety”. Which was not at all, but for the fact that you embellished facts, exaggerated facts, and YOU played the role of the victim like an Oscar-winning actress.

Because you made her look like a frail flower petal, incapable of making a decision of her own. Of functioning like a normal, young, adult. You convinced the people that she was not stable and was being manipulated, once more.

No. It is in fact you that has refused to allow her to move on.  In my opinion, again I don’t know you so it is speculation, it is you who has never recovered, never moved on, never been able to let go of your own guilt. For failing as a parent.

If you had ever taken the time to speak to me, I’d have told you that it wasn’t your fault. What happened was not your fault. You are not to blame.You trusted a person, like humans do. That person betrayed that trust and destroyed your ability to trust. Even your own daughter.

But you have never taken the time to speak to me. Never. If you had, I would have also told you that “I get it”. I get why you’re freaking out. I get why you’re scared. I get why you’re likely a little, or a lot, embarrassed by her latest “scandal”.

And I would also tell you, that you couldn’t be any more wrong about me. About us. This is nothing like that was. It never has been. It never will be. It is not a scandal at all. You may not like it. You may not understand it. You may not have wanted this for her. But, it is not about you. It is about her. What she wants. Not you and what you want. You seem to have trouble differentiating.

We did not make this decision on impulse. This was not something that was taken lightly. It was pondered, debated, hashed, and rehashed. We ran in circles trying to figure this out. We are both relatively intelligent people, she and I. We knew once the choice was made, that it wouldn’t be easy. She has baggage. I have baggage. She’s young, I’m not. We knew it would be hard, rough, ugly at times. What we didn’t anticipate, was that it would be YOU that made it all of those things.

I’m not sure what you expected to get out of this. The only thing I can logically come up with, is revenge. So, I guess you were successful in your endeavor. Congratulations.

I can’t help but think that maybe, things may have been different, had you bothered to speak to me like an adult. Maybe it would have made no difference. But we will never know. Because now, I will go to my grave before I ever acknowledge you, much less speak to you.

And that is truly sad. For your daughter. The one that matters in all of this. That is sad.

 

 

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A Few Good Men(forgot what they stood for)

Sally Bradshaw lives in the small North Florida county that I grew up in. It’s an agricultural community, where many still meet for coffee in the early mornings, attend church on the regular, make casseroles when there is a death nearby, and actually attend family reunions. So it’s no surprise that a lot of the residents there vote Republican in the National elections even though a lot are registered Democrats. Holdovers from years past; What were called “Blue Dog Democrats” a couple decades ago. TIME describes them best in this article from 2009, http://content.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1913057,00.html.

Bradshaw is a Republican political consultant, who’s worked with the likes of Haley Barbour, Jeb Bush, and Mitt Romney. According to the August 2, 2016 Tallahassee Democrat, she switched her party affiliation recently from Republican to “no party affiliation”.  This was done, I am certain by total coincidence, on July 21st.

Ms. Bradshaw is quoted by the Democrat as saying to CNN that “I can’t look my children in the eye and tell them I voted for Donald Trump. I can’t tell them to love their neighbor and treat others the way they wanted to be treated, and then vote for Donald Trump. I won’t do it.” She further stated, “I have worked hard to make our party a place where all would feel welcome. But Trump has taken the GOP in another direction, and too many Republicans are standing by and looking the other way.” The full article can be read here, http://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/2016/08/01/bradshaw-switches-party-wont-vote-trump/87922392/

From my interactions with others on various Social Media platforms, sofas, phone, and email exchanges, Sally Bradshaw is not alone in her disgust with Donald J. Trump. Plenty of her peers feel just as much disgust and distrust for the candidate as she does. But, it does not compare to the total disdain they feel for Hillary Clinton.

There is a movie from the 90’s, A Few Good Men, which starred Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, and Jack Nicholson. The most famous line from that movie was spoken by Nicholson from his character, Colonel Nathan Jessep: “You can’t handle the truth!”. But there was another line which always struck me more than Nicholson’s.

Lance Corporal Dawson’s line, “Unit, Corp, God, Country”, always stayed with me. When I think about the film, that is the line that most often comes to the front of my mind. This election year, has made me think of it almost daily as I read through the news.

It appears that both Democrats and Republicans have adopted this mantra. On the one side, you have the Dems asking the Sanders supporters to overlook the DNC’s role as secondary HRC campaign managers and saboteurs of the primaries, and stand with Hillary for the good of the party and the Country. And on the other side, you’ve got Republicans asking their people to ignore all of Trump’s bigotry, stupidity and outlandish theatrics, and vote for him anyway, because he’s not her.

What has transpired this election year on the Democratic side has been rather annoying but not really surprising to me. The party establishment saw Bernie Sanders as a threat and figured out a way to undermine his campaign to ensure they had what they considered their best shot at maintaining control of the White House.

What has happened on the flip side, has been downright shocking. For years, the GOP has prided itself on its foundation of conservativism and traditional family values. They have aligned themselves with the Evangelicals, become the political strong arm of the NRA, and forgotten there were any other Constitutional Amendments besides the 2nd one.

So, to see them turning their backs on everything that has made them…..well THEM for the last twenty years has been rather shocking. It has left me in disbelief, really. I never really thought I would see the day that the GOP sacrificed its own integrity and values, just to win an election.

I mean, seeing the Dems be shifty and switch up and flop around is really no strange occurrence. We tend to evolve with the times. That is not something you see the GOP do. They don’t cave. They stay the course. They’ve stuck to the fundamentals of their core values and beliefs, refusing to budge even the slightest, even in times of chaos.

In recent years, they have made an effort to be more inclusive. There are many GOP members who have championed equality for all citizens, steps to avoid climate change, educational reforms, and a more forgiving way of dealing with the more than 11 million undocumented people living illegally in our country. Many of these people fully embrace the notion of compromise and are willing to do whatever it takes to keep our country moving forward, without ignoring a past fraught with bad behavior, bad policy, bad choices, and bad leadership.

This election year has seen those members of the GOP stifled, shutdown, and pushed aside. Much like the Bernie Sanders supporters on the other side, the Trump supporters are the loudest, most aggressive, and most unforgiving. They’re angry, they’re armed, they’re alarmed, and they’re aggressive. Anything and anyone that is different from what they believe to be true and just and right, is considered an enemy of their state and a threat to a way of life they deem to be superior to any and all others. Unlike the Sanders supporters, team Trump is forming a run to the White House.

And shockingly, the power players within the GOP establishment seem to be riding right along beside the Trumpeters. They’ve seemingly given up on trying to make their party seem to actually give a damn about things and people that don’t conform to their way of thinking. Formerly loud-mouthed heads like Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Mitch McConnell et al. are suddenly mouse-quiet. While not necessarily supporting Mr. Trump, they’re not speaking out too loudly against him either. Paul Ryan and Reince Priebus are running around like chickens with their heads chopped off trying to clean up the trash that the Trump shit storm leaves behind every time he opens his mouth.

Even the average Joes, who just two weeks ago were railing away at any and every person who dared to have an opinion about police conduct because “they’ve never served” or they “weren’t a blue family”, seem to have absolutely zero problem with Donald Trump, who hasn’t served a damn thing but divorce papers, absolutely belittling and berating the parents of a Veteran KIA.

Unit, Corps, God, Country.

That lesser known line from A Few Good Men comes to my mind on a daily basis now. The GOP base seemingly desires the Presidency above all else, regardless of how they get there. It is something they’ve always accused their counterparts of doing. Sacrificing their core values, beliefs, and integrity in order to claim the White House.

Presidency, Party, God, Country. Not long ago, for the GOP, those last two, were the first two.

 

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My Pulse Is Still Racing

It’s been seventeen days since the Pulse shooting and I still do not know what to say about it. I have much to say. I have many thoughts. I have many opinions. I have much anger, rage, bitterness, and sadness. Most people have a vision of “us” as a very passive, accepting, non-judging, easy-going lot. Anyone that knows me, knows that (try as I might) I do not truly fall into any of those categories nor naturally possess any of those characteristics. I’m certainly not passive. Nor am I a very accepting person. I am judgmental as fuck, and I’m not a laid back person.  I have spent a lot of time thinking about this in the last couple of years and I have tried to tone down some of my bullshit. I’ve made a lot of progress, I think.

That Sunday brought a great deal of that progress to a very abrupt halt. I know there are stories of love and acceptance within the aftermath of this. Some people’s minds have been changed. People have found common ground with each other and begun to heal, together, despite ideological differences. A few people have opened their eyes to their own thoughts and actions and acknowledged their own judgements, bigotry, and prejudices. The tragedy has brought some families back together. It has begun a healing process among some people that has nothing to do with injuries sustained in this shooting.

And that is all super.

I’m still pissed. I’m still bitter. I’m sorry but the thoughts and prayers do not mean shit to me. They carry absolutely zero weight with me. I appreciate the sentiment, I suppose. I think that is what I am supposed to say. I think I am supposed to be grateful to God’s people and the followers of Jesus for their “sincere condolences”. I am supposed to believe that politicians who on the Saturday night prior to the shooter’s rampage, were fully supportive of over 150 pending anti-LGBTQ Bills within various State Legislatures, are now standing strong with us in the wake of this tragedy. Standing beside their fellow Americans in solitude. I am supposed to believe that their political agendas have never been prejudiced nor bigoted. I am supposed to believe and accept that they care about what happened to those 49 dead, and 54 wounded people. That they GAF about this event, the “worst” mass shooting in modern American history. I say modern because I want to acknowledge that a case can be made for both Gettysburg as well as Wounded Knee on that “worst” tag.

To even label any of the ”mass” shootings we’ve had in this country as a “worst” seems a bit peculiar to me. As if there is a “best” one. In fact, they’ve all been pretty fucking horrible. Jonesboro AR, Springfield OR, Columbine CO, Atlanta GA, Wakefield MA, Red Lake MN, Brookfield WI, Seattle WA, Nickel Mines PA, Salt Lake City UT, Blacksburg VA, Crandon WI, Omaha NE, DeKalb IL, Covina CA, Geneva County AL, Binghamton NY, Brunswick GA, Tucson AR, Aurora CO, Sandy Hook CT, the list goes on and on and on.

In fact, most of those don’t even ring a bell as only 5 to 13 people were killed. We’ve moved onto much higher body counts. The higher the body count, the more likely an assault rifle was part of the shooter’s armament. But, a .22 rifle and/or a 9mm can take out several people in a few short seconds as well. Dead is dead. Does it really matter how they became dead? Which weapon was used? But, that is really neither here nor there as far as I am concerned. Until Congress limits Second Amendment Rights as it did the First Amendment in regards to hate speech, we are stuck with the legality of some pussy carrying his AR-15 into the Hartfield-Jackson International Airport if he pleases.

What I can’t wrap my head around, is how a group of people can honestly expect another group of people to suddenly believe that they care about their well-being when every single action they’ve taken, every single speech given, every single tweet, Facebook post, snapchat, editorial, or press release made public concerning said group of people, has been to condemn, damn, censure, denounce, disparage, and pass judgement on their lives, and their lifestyle. Pardon me if I’m a little bit skeptical of the sincerity that is now heard in those voices.

The way I see it, those voices helped lay the foundation for what happened at Pulse. Those voices laid the framework for what happened in Charleston S.C. last year as well. Those voices have stirred up a faction of our society that had been, because of limitations on the First Amendment and until part-black POTUS and Gay Marriage, kept at bay with their bullshit hate, xenophobic ways, and supremacy. Those voices are the reason the RNC is going to be the best drama on network television in years.

The political divide has never been like this since I can recall. And when our politics are this divided, our society is as well. Which does nothing but fuel the unpredictable rage in the weak minded, the bitter, the disturbed.

We’ve created this mess. We’ve created this by allowing the extremes to gain control. Control of our media, our politics, our homes, our lifestyles. We have become a society of black or white, this or that, one way, or the other. We are no longer a society where common sense has a role.

Because common sense would mean that a person who had been on an FBI watch list twice in the recent past wouldn’t be allowed to purchase a pellet gun, much less an AR-15. Common Sense would mean that a person could choose a spouse and marry them legally without a religious approval. (or a fucking SCOTUS ruling). Common sense dictates that shooting a cop just for being a cop, should be a hate crime. That ALL of our lives matter. That we should be able to piss where we need to piss. Drink where we want to drink. Dance where we want to dance. That building the Great Wall was really cool of the Chinese to do, but we don’t really need that here. Not in this Century.

But those voices. All of those damned voices. The rage, anger, and hatred. They have brought us to this. This is not JUST about Radical Islam. It’s not JUST about Homophobia, Xenophobia, or Racism. It’s not ONLY about assault rifles. It’s about all of that and so much more. We are lost right now. Our Country is a bit lost. Our rhetoric is coming around to bite us. Our past, our history, our actions, are having some dire consequences.

And I don’t mean that as in “our actions” = “our sins”. Nope. Not at all. Far from it. I can’t be objective about what happened in Orlando. Not one bit. Because from MY perspective, this blood is on many hands. Even on the hands of those praying the loudest. The direction we have been taken in, especially in the Confederate States of America (so to speak), has landed blow after blow after blow to not only “my” people, but people of color as well as people who don’t worship the way others do. It’s lit a fire under a caldron full of rage.

And now people want to be shocked? Really? This monster was created in part, by those people that fought the hardest against gay marriage, against integration in the 60’s, against so much other shit I don’t have the patience to delve into. That made it feel acceptable to openly discriminate because Jesus. They think just because their asses aren’t setting any of us on fire or throwing us off of buildings, that their actions are any less deplorable? Seriously?

Omar Mateen was a homegrown, domestic terrorist, fueled by radical religious beliefs.

Wade Michael Page was a homegrown, domestic terrorist, fueled by radical religious beliefs.

Jim David Adkisson was a homegrown, domestic terrorist, fueled by radical religious beliefs.

Don’t even let me get started on Eric Rudolph and the Army of God.

So, you’ll just have to excuse me if I don’t buy it. If I don’t believe it is sincere. If I am not at a place where I want to sit around a campfire and tell grand tales, and talk about loving one another. Because until you can clean up your own house, don’t fucking expect me to side with you over a common enemy. Not as long as you’re harboring them in your house as well.

 

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I’ve Done Some Things Right. Some.

The last six months of my life have been nothing if not chaotic. I ended a 13 ½ year relationship, began living alone for the first time in the same amount of time, realized some harsh truths about myself and my own shortcomings regarding relationships and codependency, and spent a lot of time sitting in a room alone with 2 clingy, old, Chihuahuas, watching the ceiling fan spin around. In a friend’s empty, huge, house. Thinking.

I’ve caught up with my family once again, to a point. They’ve been shockingly NOT nosey and intrusive, and thankfully haven’t asked too many questions. My family has never been good at maintaining healthy boundaries, and has never been shy about flat out asking questions that are none of their business. Until the last six months. I haven’t been bombarded with requests for the sensational details of my mid-life modifications and the resulting aftermath. My infidelity, my moral turpitude, my irreverent ways, and the many other extraordinary aspects of my present, haven’t been inquired upon. And it’s made think a lot easier on me, truthfully. It is one of life’s simple, yet profound, truths. No matter how distant you’ve been, how different you are, how much time has passed since you’ve spoken, your family always seems to know when to leave you the hell alone, and when to insert their opinion. Or, at least mine does. And if you know us at all, that seems quite unbelievable. We ain’t the Waltons.

My friends have been the big shocker. In fact, I have better friends than I thought I did. Great friends in people I thought only spoke to me for the purposes of entertainment. Or because we’d known each other for 40 years. I’ve had a roof over my head because of one of them. I took online classes because of another. I was able to keep my step-daughter and grandson off the street because of yet another one. There have been too many to count as far as being an ear to vent to, or just an ear to bullshit with. Many occasions of them flying in like a seagull to put some people in their place on social media for trying to attack my opinions, even when they didn’t agree with my opinions.

I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I’ve made bad choices and decisions. I’ve caused harm to people I was supposed to care about. I’ve associated with derelicts and worse. Somehow, along the way, I managed to make, and keep, some very amazing, selfless, awesome, people in my life. People that set the bar really freaking high, as far as what a friend should be. It is one of the few things that I’ve done right.

 

 

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Can SOMEONE Else Do The Bending? For Once.

My counselor suggested at one of our first meetings that I keep a journal. My first thought was, “You, lady, are insane. Hell no. That’s asking for trouble” because frankly my private thoughts are enough to give the devil himself pause at times. I don’t really have a good explanation for it, but generally my very first reaction to just about anything is nothing short of inappropriate, if not downright rude. It doesn’t matter what it is, my reaction to anything usually falls within the boundaries of……well. There are no boundaries with my reactions. I am impulsive and ornery and I always have been.

We spend a lot of time trying to figure out ways for me to relax and think before reacting. She thought journaling was a good place to start. If I could put things on paper instead of in an email, text, or a face to face confrontation, then possibly I could avoid some stress and it would help with my urges to drink straight Irish whisky, yell “fuck!”, and punch people in the face.

Until yesterday, I haven’t really gone on a pure rage in my journaling. Yesterday, I did. It felt good. It felt damn good. Because damnit, I am trying. I’m trying to not be an asshole. I am trying to do right by a lot of people right now. And frankly, I’m getting shit in return. But, maybe shit is what I deserve? yesterday’s rage:

 

I’m trying to do right. I’m doing my best. I may not be doing what people want, or the way they’d do it, but I’m doing all I can. I’ve never claimed to be some righteous person with impeccable morals and the best delivery. I’ve never claimed a pedigree which precluded me from suffering the consequences of my actions. I’ve never been one of those asshats that just got away with shit because of whose vagina I slid through. Nor have I ever wanted to be. I have never attempted to sit atop some moral high ground and toot my own horn.

Today, I am taking five minutes to do just that. I am pissed. I have laid down and rolled over and coward down for as long as I can stand it. I’ve bent the hell over backward trying to make certain people’s life easier on them, make them happy, and handle them with “kid gloves”, all for the sake of making shit easier on them. And I am sick of it. Right now. I AM FUCKING SICK OF IT.

I want somebody to bend their ass over for me. Quit walking all over me, and saying fucked up shit to me, and just standing there looking at me as if I am just some damn brick wall built to absorb their bullshit.

I have been wrong about a lot of shit that I have done during my life. I’ll own that shit. Gladly. What I haven’t done, is purposely blow off, kick, step over, or otherwise figuratively shit on someone I claim to care about. I’ve hurt people, no doubt, but I’ve never just stood there with a straight face and looked at someone I allegedly care for, and ripped their soul out, just to make myself feel better about my own choices. THAT, is something that I’ve never done.

 

Anywho, that pity party is over and I feel better.

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