As the sound got closer the further Michael moved from the register, he turned around and heard, “I’m so sorry, Dude. I totally couldn’t help it this time. You know how it is,” Trey said breathlessly to Michael as he scrambled through the automatic doors. “Let me just change into my uniform and I got you,” Trey concluded.
“Yeah, just hurry up, man, this is becoming way too comfortable a habit with you,” Michael replied, truly wanting to punch Trey in his stupid face. Not only was he always late, but he was lazy, never doing anything right. On the shifts Michael worked with him, he did nothing. On the shifts Michael had after him, nothing would be done, leaving Michael to pick up the slack. Nevertheless, Michael never once complained to Barb, the “sort of” Manager of the store, or to Benny. Barb worked in the office and dealt with certain problems but only part time and according to no real schedule accessible to the staff, anyway. Benny was there occasionally, but Michael hated it when he was.
Michael dialed Brooke back and let her know he was ordering his Lyft home because Trey finally got his lazy ass to the store.
“I can help you over here,” Michael said to the customer in the store. “Only one banana? They’re two for $1 if you’re interested. Seventy-nine cents for one just seems unfair.”
“Sure, why not?” the customer replied.
Michael was always working on upselling, and he was good at it. Benny didn’t know how lucky he was to have Michael. At least that’s what Brooke was always telling him. “You’re so good at that, even with deals on vapes and more expensive items. I don’t know why you do it since it’s not like you work on commission, but you’re really good at it, babes,” she’d tell him, adding, “I’m so proud of you.”
Brooke was always telling Michael how proud of her he was. It would be annoying if it didn’t mean so much to him. Brooke nurtured Michael in a way he never had while he was growing up. His mother left him alone with his stepfather when he was six years old and never looked back, only resurfacing once he was in prison. And his stepfather, who gratuitously adopted Michael was mentally and psychologically abusive; hence, where most of Michael’s bad habits came from. He ran away at fifteen and started his life, doing well for himself until the incident that put him away. Yes, Michael was very grateful for Brooke indeed.
Benny was the kind of Owner you didn’t want around during your shift. He was constantly telling you to check the stock of anything he saw in a customer’s hands, and he always put too much damned change in Michael’s drawer. Michael must have promised Benny that he would get more change from the safe if he needed it a thousand times, begging him to trust him to know how much change he needed because he had been working there for so many months now, but it fell on deaf ears, causing Michael’s cash-out to take three times as long as when Benny wasn’t around. And there were always so many God damned nickles. No one needed infinite nickles. He was a micro and macro manager and it drove Michael insane.
Trey was finally on the register, and Michael’s Lyft was finally here.
“I’ll call you when I get home, okay, baby? We’ll play Madden?” Michael asked.
“Hell yes! Get ready for me to have my ass handed to me! Love you,” Brooke joked.
Michael hopped into the Lyft and put on the playlist he and Brooke continued to collaborate on making together, drifting off to his happy place, unaware that in four days a dead body would be found, and someone would be working on trying to frame him as the killer.
“Trey is always late, every single shift, and I want to go home. This is bullshit!” Michael says to his girlfriend on the other end of his blackberry earpiece, raising his voice with the length of his speech.
It’s 10:23 and Michael’s shift ended twenty-three minutes ago. He is waiting on Trey because he is the only one in the store, and despite his feelings toward Benny, leaving him with the responsibility of the place most of the time, he was too responsible to leave it unmanned.
“Hey, how’s it going?” Michael asked the next customer who entered the store. He watched him browse, continuing now just to his girlfriend, who lived over a thousand miles away, “every time someone leaves someone else comes in so I can’t even take a cigarette break.”
“I know, honey, but I’m sure Trey will be there soon. You know he’s always late. I’m just sick of Benny taking advantage of how hard you work. He knows you’re not just going to leave, and not just because it’s a felony,” Brooke said trying to calm Michael down.
Benny is the owner of the 7-Eleven branch where Michael works. Benny had encouraged Michael to jump through the hoops it took to get to the title of “Shift Leader” shortly after Michael started working there, seeing his potential immediately. Michael complied without any sort of hesitation despite the pathetic wage bump, because he didn’t enjoy being told what to do, and he knew he’d be mostly in charge of himself if he did what Benny asked.
Michael’s work ethic was remarkable. He took everything he did in life seriously and believed that if you wanted something done right then you better do it yourself. He also had a remarkably explosive temper, which Brooke was used to, and sometimes scared her, though the thousand plus miles in between them of distance helped with the fear.
“So, you have the booze, and the cigarettes, want to go for all three and get some lottery tickets?” Michael jokingly said to the customer now at the counter. Brooke had overheard him say this many times and not only found it not funny, but also a little rude, but explaining to Michael why the first time he used the line was fruitless, and it became a favorite of his instead.
Brooke heard the customer laugh through the phone and ask when the Powerball was. Michael told her and she bought one of those. Brooke was always astonished at how many people gambled, not in a judgmental way, just in an “I had no idea,” way. When she asked Michael if it was a Florida thing he said he highly doubted it, but lots of old people liked to gamble and there were plenty in his location.
When the customer had left, Brooke asked, “How come you only use that line with the female customers Michael? You don’t feel like making men laugh too?”
“Oh stop, she was like 60 years old, you get so jealous it’s incredible,” Michael replied.
“That’s not an answer,” Brooke replied.
“Hey, how’s it going?” Michael said to the next person to enter the store, letting Brooke know she wasn’t going to get an answer better than that.
“As soon as this customer leaves, I’m going to try calling Trey again, and then if he doesn’t answer I’ll call Barb. If Barb doesn’t answer, then I’m going to call Benny,” Michael sighs to Brooke. “Then I’ll call you right back, babe, okay?”
“Whatever you need, babes. I hate that you’re there when your shift ended so long ago and you have to be back so soon tomorrow. You need your sleep. It’s 10:32 now.”
“Don’t worry sweetheart, I’ll be fine. I’ll talk to you in a couple minutes. I love you!” Michael concluded waiting for the traditional, “I love you!” reply before disconnecting.
Seriously though, where the fuck was Trey? Michael flipped through his Android phone to find stupid Trey’s stupid number and pressed the “call” button. As soon as he did he heard it ring, surprising Michael, because no matter how many times it’s happened, we never expect to hear the sound of the phone we are calling.
It turns out this driver is a writer who has given up on his writing. We talk for a long time about that. I tell him I haven’t written anything in months even though I consider myself a full-time author now, having lost my other career to illness.
“So, what did you used to write and why did you stop?” I ask him. His name is Juan.
“Well, I used to write fantasy action fiction, kind of like the ‘John Wick’ movies, and I always wanted to write a book of poems for my wife, but life gets in the way you know? I have to work, and I have kids and I don’t have time.”
“Would you say it’s your passion? Like the number one thing you would do if you didn’t have to worry about financially supporting your family?”
Juan thinks about this for a moment. He lands on, “yes.”
“Then you have to write,” I tell him, “Otherwise you’re hurting more than yourself. You never know how you could affect someone with your words. It’s so important. Please tell me that you’ll think about it. I have about 50 journals in my house. When we arrive, I’ll get you one, and then you can at least write those poems for your wife, okay?”
“Not so fast. What about you?”
“What about me?”
“If you’re going to insist that I use my words then I’m going to insist that you start writing yours. I can tell you have a lot to say. You’ve been kind to me this entire ride, talking to me about my family and what I like to do and sharing stories we might have in common. You are someone who likes to open peoples’ eyes. With that in mind, you’re really the one doing the disservice by not writing anymore. You said you have a blog?” Juan asks.
“Well, when is the last time you wrote in it?”
“It’s been a minute.”
“Autumn. How can you plead with me about passions when you’re clearly meant to be practicing what you preach. Maybe just start there.”
I am so drunk. I have been drinking the whole ride home, and I have gone back into a state of Blackout. I know I will now only remember flashes of what happens next.
There is one very important thing that I do remember.
On this ride home we make each other promises. I will give Juan one of my empty journals. He promises he will write in it, but only if I start to write again.
It is a done deal.
As I drop off a journal before he leaves, we exchange numbers in case we want to reach out to prod each other to pursue our common passion, but I know we’ll never speak again. Blacked out nights like this leave me too embarrassed about what I might have said or done to even pretend I had any kind of normal interaction with the person I was with. Best not to risk it.
But we promise each other that we will write.
I don’t always take promises seriously. I find I use them to get people off my back more than anything else. But some promises are valuable, if I can remember them after I’m back from a Blackout.
I know I’ll be sore tomorrow, but just like a drunk driver might not get hurt in a car accident, I think my lack of sobriety keeps the fall from breaking anything.
“Ow,” is what first came to mind, and then, out loud, toward the ginger quickly approaching me with a concerned look on his face I yell, “what a dick!”
“Maybe I should stop meeting random strangers that don’t live on the first floor,” I joke to myself, knowing just how unfunny the situation has become.
I’ve officially put myself in a dangerous place, and I do not have all of my faculties to even handle the scene.
All I can think is, “get down the last flight as soon as you can right now, Autumn. Fucking do it, get up go down the stairs, open the door, please, let there be an Uber. Otherwise, after all of his hollering he was the one keeping unsuspecting me in his house just to do this and God knows what else. Only 3 more steps. Grab the handle and push, you fucking moron.”
Running down the stairs toward me, before I can escape, the ginger panics, “Oh my God, oh my God, I’m so sorry. Are you okay? That was an accident. I swear to God I didn’t mean to push you down the stairs. Is anything broken? Holy fuck, I didn’t mean to, I promise.”
The fact is, he definitely pushed me. He literally pushed me out the door. With a staircase on the other side. But it could have been so much worse. It is a wake-up fall. I want to be better.
In terror of what he is capable of, as he approaches me, I tell him, “Don’t you ever fucking touch me again you piece of shit. I was leaving. You didn’t need to fucking push me.”
“I’m so sorry, I really didn’t mean for that to happen, are you okay?”
He keeps saying things like this as I move swiftly away from him, out the door into the cool night, and finally into the Uber that would take me home to my paradise of cats and a Mom who loves me, despite all the crazy dangerous shit I do. God, I must be stressful.
“Fuck you,” was the last thing I said to him as I entered the new Supreme Uber.
“Bad night?” the driver asked.
“You have no idea,” I answer. “I’m Autumn.”
On the ride home I make my second new best friend within 24 hours.
I hate that he’s making me feel like a villain right now. I want to pretend this ginger didn’t sneak up on me in the shower, fuck me while I couldn’t see him, and came inside of me without a condom. And he’s the one acting like my behavior is unacceptable. He’s an animal.
Is it his Sponsee or the ginger who needs help? I never knew anyone who was so close to Relapse themselves who served as a Sponsor.
But that is just my experience.
Who knows how systems are formed?
And I certainly don’t want to accuse or hurt another Addict.
“AA” isn’t my thing though. I went as required when I was voluntarily in Rehab, but all it ever did was make me want to drink when I got home. It was not for me. There are like 3 women to 40 men, and for someone who doesn’t want to be around groups of men, “AA” triggered me in all kinds of ways. Still, I am not going to criticize anyone who works the program as the program works for them.
Also, though, it’s not my burden.
As I sit judging, though not criticizing, him for his involvement in “AA,” I peruse the ginger’s room some more. Again, I’m suddenly consumed by the number of watches he has. All I can think about is how many watches a person needs. If they are collector’s items, well, that’s just weird as fuck. I look over them carefully and decide to take one, and he can suck a dick about it if he even notices. I pick one up, thinking, “I dare you to notice let alone come at me later accusing me of taking it, you coward.”
Because non-cowards steal shit secretly.
The irony is not lost on me.
Still, I feel vindicated in the smallest of ways.
He took something he wanted when I wasn’t looking. Now it is my turn.
After checking to make sure it isn’t engraved, I choose one I’d like to see a future boyfriend wear.
Drunk Autumn is not proud of stealing. She’s also far enough gone that she isn’t sure she even takes anything. If there’s evidence in the morning, it certainly isn’t recovered by Autumn,
I go back into the living room where I had last seen the ginger and ask him if the Uber is ever going to arrive. He tells me it is on its way. Thank God. “God, please get me safely out of here.”
I wanted to be home.
I wanted my Mom.
I wanted her to tell me that good men don’t do things like what this ginger did to me and that our Alcoholism was just a random coincidence we have in common.
I wanted anyone to remind me that there are infinitely more Alcoholics out there than are willing or able to admit it, and I know it’s with good reason. We’re always judged. For all I know, this ginger’s anger stemmed from embarrassment more than anything else. I wish I could tell him I was also an Alcoholic and understand how hard sobriety is, but in my drunken state that feels cheap and hypocritical.
“He’s here,” the ginger tells me jolting me from my thoughts of lament.
I fly to the exit.
He escorts me out of the door to the top of the staircase, says, “have a good one,” which distracts and confuses me, and he pushes me forward.
I begin to change back into my street clothes and put my pajamas and the other things back into my overnight bag as quickly as possible, sipping my addiction as I do. I don’t really want to be around the ginger. There is something weird about what’s happening.
Now ready to leave, I approach the ginger who is on the phone, and loudly ask if the Uber is here. He ignores me. I guess the urgency of my departure is changing from moment to moment. Once he hangs up, I feel the wrath of someone who doesn’t know me and doesn’t have the right to speak to me the way he is, cruel and vicious.
“I cannot believe that you would come in here and waste so much of my time while I’m in crisis. There’s no way that it takes anyone that long to pee! Something is wrong with you.”
“Something is wrong with me?” I counter, loudly. “You implied I triggered you!” I yell, feeling guilty, “that’s a really heavy thing to drop on a stranger who you just snuck up on in the shower and fucked without explicit consent.”
“Whatever. You’re not my problem. And you need to get the fuck out of my place.”
“What do you think I am trying to do, you crazy psycho?!,” I reply, holding my bag and my purse out in front of me, praying that an Uber to take me home is truly going to arrive and he’s not going to cut me up into little pieces, or something.
“Your Uber isn’t here yet.”
Of course it’s not.
“Great! Then I’m going back into the other room to give you privacy. Kindly let me know when I can get out of this hell hole.” I walk to his bedroom, not waiting for his approval.
Had I triggered him? How? Is this on me? The guilt of being an Alcoholic who arrived drunk at the apartment of someone in Recovery suddenly hits me hard. I wonder if he smelled alcohol from my “water” bottle. I wonder if it lingered on my breath even though I take great pains to suck on mints after every sip. I wonder what I might have done to make this ginger feel like he wanted to drink, and it weighs heavily on me. Not only am I upset that I could have caused this, but I am also angry it’s happening at all. I didn’t know he was in Recovery, so anything I inadvertently did to trigger him is his own fault, I convince myself. As if I say to everyone I’m about to fuck, “Just FYI, I’m an Alcoholic.” I know I’m wrong about his lack of disclosure, but my guilt overshadows my desire to care.
Yet I’m not surprised that I show up completely wasted to the home of a guy in Recovery, both of us Alcoholics, but only one of us using. There are more Alcoholics and Addicts out there than most people realize. I’ve met many of them through Tinder. This ginger is about my 14th “date” from the website. Most of them drink. All of the have offered me marijuana. I talk to up to fifty men a day through the site, text messaging, or on the phone. I’ve learned that a lot of these guys just want someone to talk to, even before sex. In fact, that is one of the benefits of my sleeping around now. I feel so estranged from normal relationships because I’m still not over being assaulted in my home. It is almost like an exchange of goods when I meet up with these guys. I fuck them. They spend hours talking to me and wanting to get to know me while wanting me to get to know them. Then, they usually want to hold me while we sleep.
And I feel safe.
I know my behavior is being judged by those who don’t know about nor understand the importance of the “after providing sex” part. But it’s not their life, and they’re not me. They don’t know what it is like to be trapped in this mental merry-go-round of coveting safety and closeness after being abused sexually while having been drinking.
The weapon has become the cure.
I didn’t know it when I started drinking, but I’m certain now that I am an Alcoholic. And I am not ready to even try to stop. Besides, having sex with a variety of men is not a bad trade-off as long as I have my alcohol to get through that part. After the usually, not bad sex, I’m moving forward, feeling comfort within my reach again. Intimacy is an interesting thing.
But, at the moment, I’m sitting in this ginger’s bedroom, and I notice he has about 24 watches. Who needs more than 2 watches at most? I am suddenly filled with the rage of his accusations. Not only did he accuse me of stalling when I couldn’t physically urinate, but he was now potentially blaming a Relapse on me. And he’s rude. His behavior drives me insane with fury. If there is one thing I never do it’s blame someone else for my drinking. It’s a disease. Yes. But I also decide when I yield to the disease. And here he is, implying I am a trigger.
Is he, though?
He just said he had been triggered, he never said it was because of me.
But I blame myself unilaterally.
Maybe he was on the verge of Relapse before I even arrived.
The whole encounter happens within a couple of minutes. I guess it’s been awhile for the ginger. He leaves the shower just as fast as he came inside after quickly finishing. Why is it only occurring to me now how something might be wrong with a guy who is willing to pay for an out of state stranger to get to his place by promising they’ll get them home too? I’m suddenly a little more aware of my surroundings but as my mind just plays over and over what just happened, I oddly continue to shower. I condition my hair and I wash my body thoroughly from neck to toe with ginger’s bodywash.
I am getting cold. I am less drunk.
I am aware my number of partners and encounters is ever-expanding.
“What the fuck is going to happen now?” I think as I exit the shower and dry myself off. I go to the ginger’s room and put on a see-through wife-beater and tight women’s pajama shorts.
“What are you doing?” the ginger asks me as he approaches me. I take a couple of swigs from my “water” bottle, making sure not to react to the burn of the cheap alcohol I’m swallowing. It’s not difficult. I’m still extremely numb, but now I’m desperate to stay that way.
“Nothing. Waiting for you.” I reply, patting myself on the back for being straight-faced.
“The kid I Sponsor is having a crisis, you’re going to have to leave.”
Fuck. This isn’t happening.
“Sponsor in what way?” I manage to say with an even voice even though I have a strong suspicion he doesn’t mean Sponsor as in the “Big Brother” program. I already know what he’s going to say, if he’s willing to admit he’s an Addict himself.
“As in ‘AA.’ Get your stuff together, you have to go.”
Fuck my life.
“Are you serious right now? Can’t you help him while I’m in another room?” I ask, grappling with my hidden but present drunkenness juxtaposed to this ginger’s apparent sobriety.
“Yes, I’m serious. No, you can’t stay. I have no way of knowing what he’ll need. Hurry up and I’ll request an Uber,” the ginger says, leaving me to consider the situation I’m in.
“I just have to use the restroom!” I yell in his direction, which is true. I am on a medication that makes it difficult for me to relieve myself even when it’s pressing. I found this out from an Army Veteran taking the same medication. He told me this after trying for an exceptionally long time to cum while on top of and inside me that the medication we already knew we shared can have this side effect. When I’d been taking an eternity to pee after sex, he told me it had that side effect as well. Made sense. My inability to urinate quickly had been an ever-increasing problem for me, because even drunk off her ass Autumn knows not to get a UTI. I am having so much sex now that I must be responsible. And I am a responsible Blackout Alcoholic.
I sit on the toilet and wait. I had used the restroom prior to my shower so I don’t have as much to release as I did after the ride here, despite the gulps I’ve been sneaking whenever I get the chance. I sit and I wait. And wait. And frustratingly wait.
“Okay. You’re stalling. You need to get out,” I hear the ginger say from outside the door.
How dare he?!
“I am not stalling! I want to be out of here more than you want me out of here! There is nothing about you that could keep me here. I’ll be ready to go as soon as I’m done urinating, a necessity for me so you don’t end up giving me a UTI, asshole! Educate yourself.”
“You’ve been in there forever. I don’t know why you’re trying to stay, but now, I feel triggered, and I have to get in touch with my Sponsor.”
“Then go fucking call your Sponsor! I’ll be out sooner if you’re not hovering over me,” I yell at the ginger. Unbelievable. Like I want to stay in this creepy mistake for one minute longer.
I wait. I am not able to accomplish my task for what feels like a lifetime. While I am “stalling,” the ginger is getting increasingly upset. I don’t know if it is me that he’s mad at or if he can’t reach his Sponsor or what his issue is.
“What’s your game? You come to someone’s place and you hover in their bathrooms hoping they’ll keep you?” the ginger shouts.
This deeply offends me. This guy invited me over under pretty false pretenses of a good time, took advantage of me when I was in a compromising position, and now thinks I want to stay with him? Psychopath. “You should call your Sponsor again, because you’re unhinged!”
I fall into a routine of landing at the place of whatever guy de jour I am banging that night and start chugging vodka in my car once I’m safely landed, so I’m ready to get down immediately, which, almost all of them want. The revolving door would swing around at approximately 5:00 A.M. most mornings, with me on my way back home before my Mom, and brother, who is also living at home, even woke up.
“See Mom?” I tell myself, “No need to be concerned. It’s like I never even fucked a stranger while totally drunk at all.”
But just like my days centered around making sure I had enough hard alcohol around, they also began to co-revolve around finding someone to keep me out of my own bed at night, thus Tinder, and now this ginger.
My affair with alcohol is now connected to sex. I was now full-on day drinking and needed to get messed up with alcohol in order to sleep with all these strangers I didn’t know.
As I realize I’m getting sloppier on the Supreme Uber ride or whatever it is, I am becoming best friends with the driver.
We’re talking about life and I agree with everything he’s saying, enthusiastically. I wonder if he sees that the longer I’m in the car, the more excited I get. Am I slurring my words right now? Does he notice? He’s a very wise religious family man of a different faith than me but with the same tenants and values. Ironically, I am not able to understand that I am absolutely violating my own values at this very moment. I am too far gone. I am in the part of a Blackout during which I can only remember flashes of points in time; I can no longer recall what I am saying from minute to minute. Am I even making sense?
Unfortunately, my driver is stuck driving drunken me from central New Jersey to bumblefuck Pennsylvania on a Sunday evening. I wish he could be with his family instead of me.
Before I know it I’m at the ginger’s place and I grab my overnight bag and my purse and my “water” bottle and thank the driver.
I greet the ginger with bubbles in my voice. I find it always makes the first moments of what is clearly a one-night stand, minus my repeat customers of course, the least awkward. He parrots my cheery demeanor and leads me inside. He lives on the third floor of a very clutch apartment building. He gives me my unnecessary tour, which is never something I need on these “dates,” yet most people do it anyway. We both know that I’m only here to have sex with him.
He shows me the bedroom last, and I put my bags down. I tell him I’m going to take a shower because the drive was so long, and he nods. He gets me a towel and shows me how to work the silver nobs for hot and cold water. I thank him, adjust the temperature and after taking off my clothes step in. I check out his layout of shampoos, conditioners, and soap to see what I can work with. Grabbing a bottle, I open it and smell it, approve of the scent, and lather up.
As I am just beginning to rinse the shampoo out of my hair, I hear something but don’t turn, not wanting to get soap in my eyes. I find out immediately anyway as the ginger touches my ass, having entered the shower from its back end.
“Are you joining me?” I ask playfully.
“Nope,” is all he says, as this very sizeable man shoves himself inside me while I’m still facing the shower water.
“Oh,” is all I say. I wasn’t expecting this. I don’t like this. But the only thing I can seem to focus on, I mean really focus on, is how uncomfortable the soap feels burning my eyes. I’m so disassociated from what is happening that I try to continue my shower while the ginger is thrusting in and out of me. Really wanting the rest of the shampoo off me, I wish the ginger would hurry up and finish already.
My behavior may seem bizarre considering everything, and I wouldn’t disagree with anyone who categorized it that way. But I am so numb. My mind is numb from the alcohol, my emotions are not my normal emotions because of the alcohol, and my body isn’t really my body because of the alcohol. So, what is happening to me at this moment, isn’t really happening to me, it’s happening to the drunk person who has taken over my body.
Sober Autumn would never let a stranger fuck her without a condom. Sober Autumn is responsible enough to take a prophylactic prescribed by her RN half an hour before sex to help prevent getting a UTI. Sober Autumn would say something to someone who is doing something that is hurting her. Sober Autumn wouldn’t have ridden in another stranger’s car, no, not even an Uber, just to get literally taken from behind within ten minutes of arriving at someone’s apartment. Sober Autumn would never even give this stranger her address. Sober Autumn is not nearly that desperate for sex. Sober Autumn might even have slapped him. Sober Autumn would not be bent over like the number 7 with red eyes and a ginger halfway attached to her. But I haven’t been sober Autumn all day, and I most certainly wasn’t sober Autumn at that moment.
I want sex. Because I’m drunk. And when I drink a lot, I become intensely sexual with anyone appropriate within my reach.
I am skinny. I am sexy. I am not eating anything. I survive off orange juice and vodka and I’m getting by. My body barely functions but that’s normal for someone on my diet.
I originally started finding people to hook up with on a lighter dating site but switched to Tinder to utilize hookups more quickly. Tinder is full of guys who want to fuck me just based on my pictures.
I start texting the multitude of men who are in my phone as potential fuck boys. It is a Sunday afternoon. Someone is bound to want to get it in. I wait to see who takes the bait. Within ten minutes I have 3 official offers and I try to narrow my selections down.
The poly husband. He needs permission from his wife. I am not waiting.
The separated husband. I don’t even know if this guy is separated from his wife, and I don’t care. But he’s only eh looking and he’s stupid so I can’t talk to him; pass.
The hot ginger guy in bumblefuck Pennsylvania. We have a winner with a setback; he lives in bumblefuck Pennsylvania.
I’d love to have this ginger inside me but I have no way to get to bumblefuck Pennsylvania. I’m drunk, so I cannot drive there. I tell him I refuse to drive, and he offers to pay for a Supreme Uber to and from his place.
I don’t know this guy.
But I want in.
This is a very irresponsible decision and I know it, but I don’t care, because I am currently drowning myself in the liquid courage named vodka because I feel guilty 24/7, 365, about drinking vodka. “Alcoholic!” I think, “this is what we do.”
He offers to have me stay the night and I reluctantly agree because I am putting a lot of trust into this stranger that he’s going to get me both to him and back to my home again safely. He promises he is even springing for a Supreme Uber or something which is supposed to be the most luxurious of rides. I pack a bag and fill three separate 16.9 ounce water bottles with vodka. The ride is about 1 hour and 40 minutes so that will give me a chance to drink a bottle and a half on the way there and a bottle and a half will be available as needed throughout the night.
My Mom is worried. I tell her it’s fine. I give her the address of where I am going and the phone number of the man I am supposedly riding to meet. I feel guilty that I am doing this, but I keep having trouble sleeping.
Ever since I moved out of the apartment I shared with my now ex-boyfriend and back home, I have been having a really difficult time. I can’t sleep in that bed because I was raped in that bed. There are no other beds.
For a while when I had gotten back home my drinking appeared to be at an all-time low. It was painful for me at first, but I wanted to show everyone that I could be “good.” What this translated to was me hiding it from them mostly, but not really slowing down. Just like when I used to wait for my parents to go to sleep before I drank so they didn’t have to see me like that, now things were somewhat out of control again. That was back when I was still meeting up with guys for actual dates to attempt a new relationship. Not like my “dates” now.
“My name is Autumn. I have been sober for 0 days. My drug of choice is Alcohol/Benzodiazepines (“Benzos”). I have had thoughtsandurges about my drug of choice today. And today I feel — sarcastic.” Is “sarcastic” even a feeling? I keep getting told so many contrasting ideas in this place it seems unimportant now to make such a declaration about the word.
If you sign up voluntarily to a Rehab Center similar to the one where I gave myself away, you’ll get used to that daily mantra. At Alcoholics Anonymous (“AA”), those who attend don’t really have to commit to their drug of choice —- not too much variety in the AA Program, particularly since Narcotics Anonymous arrived (“NA”) on the scene to weed out any straggler Addicts who don’t happen to use alcohol to numb their pain like me and all the other Alcoholics.
While in Rehab — the Rehab Center Counselors (“Counselors”) expect that number of “sober days” to climb. They also expect relapses and that number to go back to 1 day because relapses are expected at best and hoped for by all parties involved at the Rehab Center at worst — (except the patients — whose opinion matters least in the end it seems anyway). And, at the Rehab Center I went to, after 4 years battling Addiction (a relatively low number of years to be considered Addicted compared to others in my Program — our ages ranged from mid-twenties to early sixties) — I believed that this Rehab Center could, in fact, help me become — and stay — sober. I was so ready to stop being “sick and tired of being sick and tired,” as they say.
I am hyper observant by nature. I think I got that from both of my parents.
My Mom is great at learning things quickly and listening to people to gather information. She is the perfect Librarian and a wonderful person — but I would never say that to her face. That’s a quote from something I think; but I don’t know what because I cannot think of what kind of asshole would say such a thing except for me. Anyway, she is an incredible and passive listener and I am a much more in your face type of observer. While she allows people to go about their conversations uninterrupted — I am aggressive and like to interfere whenever possible. Blame it on my being a middle child or don’t — I don’t care as long as you’re still paying attention.
I think I am a psychopath. I tell my Mom this often. She doesn’t react when I say the words to her. I think she knows I am not a “destructive to other people on purpose” type of psychopath — but there’s still time to achieve many things in my life. I know that my Mom understands why I would call myself a psychopath. It IS one reason that my most recent ex-boyfriend, and I got along so well — we both had a propensity toward destruction. I miss that guy.
I do not make “appropriate” jokes and have been told I have a sick sense of humor. I’ve always felt that comments like that — ones that should probably be perceived as insults — the ones directed toward me in an effort to make me feel bad — say so much more about the person saying them than they do about me. For lack of a better pun, the joke is on them anyway, because if you’re not outraged by the information I’m sharing with you then you’re just not paying attention. And that’s just rude.
My Dad was a different type of observer. He somehow saw people beyond what most people intentionally showed the world of themselves. I like to think that I get my intuition from him. He had this way about him that drew people in, often confiding in him, even if they had just met. My Dad was the type of person who listened to these people, with an open heart and mind. He really cared about knowing anyone who was willing to let him. People tell me I am just like him in this way. I tend to think I’m [at the very least] a little more selfish. He served in the Air Force, and although he told me that he was quite a trouble maker, but I am convinced that after his time in the Service, he calmed down, and as I got older I became more of a Hellraiser.
Both of my parents have always been clever, but I’m pretty sure I am as pranky as I am because of my Dad. I have pulled some pranks that I am incredibly proud of completing, and I’m not planning on giving that part of myself up anytime soon. The pranks are all basically harmless.
However, it should be noted — when I prank institutions — I do it because I have a message I think they should pay attention to — and I think they are lucky to have had me shove such important information in the faces of those people who need it the most. Honestly? I deserve a damn plaque on the wall of that place for the cans of worms I jerked open.
When I am pranking — it is with the goal of either teaching someone a lesson — or just to make the person(s) I have pranked laugh as hard as possible. The seriousness that I originally arrived at Rehab with was not immune to my pranking ways once I realized I was living in a joke.
The next day, Sheila ran the beginning group session (and then the second group session — the one which I had expressed my thoughts so angrily the day before — and soon the one where she would find out just how much an Addict can accomplish). Fucking Sheila.
The first hour of group was the check in when we had to go around and say the things we have to say. It goes like this: “My name is Autumn. I have been sober for 3 days. My drug of choice is Alcohol/Benzodiazepines (“Benzos”). I have had thoughts and urges about my drug of choice today. And today I feel — sarcastic.”
And before the session began I was talking to my friend Stash and he was saying to me, “Damn, Autumn, you really gave us a smackdown yesterday. What a mind-fuck.”
“Trust me, Stash, this is about Sheila, and she’s about to look stupid, and that is a promise.”
“Okay everyone, let’s start with Stash (but she used his real name) today.”
“My name is Stash. I have been sober for 7 days. My drug of choice is Alcohol. I have definitely had thoughts annnnnnd yeah — and urges about my drug of choice today. And today I feel — happy.”
And so it went. Around the room one by one until I was the last person was left, me, who proudly announced that I had thoughts once again.
Overnight, like magic, everyone started having thoughts and some urges about their drugs of choice. I had made a difference, and I pulled a prank doing it, so double win for me.
Sheila looked up from marking down our progress in her notebook. She looked down at it again and ran her finger over something on the page then looked up again.
I reminded myself to give myself a high five later because the next words I heard will ring like Heaven in my ears for the rest of my life.
“Guys! Why is everyone suddenly having thoughts?!”
Our second hour of group therapy for the night is starting. There is an unspoken rule in group sessions. Essentially, everyone knows that if you don’t look at the Counselor or you try NOT to be picked for sharing — you are the MOST likely to be picked for sharing. It is just like elementary school.
I could not stop thinking about how Sheila was so stupid in the last hour telling me I cannot possibly garden and not drink because I am an Alcoholic and we always drink when we’re doing our favorite things which makes them worse, and us bad at enjoying them, she said. She believes all Addicts lie and that it is impossible for an Alcoholic to do something they love without being drunk. She clearly doesn’t take the time to really see us. I know she doesn’t. That doesn’t sit well with me because we’re here to get help; so, if the Counselors don’t even believe in us — or believe in things we tell them — then how are we supposed to grow and get better?
Sheila accused me of lying about drinking while gardening. And I hated her for it
“Autumn, you’re never going to get better if you can’t admit that you couldn’t even do one of your favorite things without alcohol.”
“I told you,” I replied in front of everyone in the group, “I drank at night alone in my bedroom. Not while I gardening during the day.”
“Just keep denying the truth that you’re out of control, Autumn.”
“Those two things are not mutually exclusive, Sheila.” I retorted. What an asshole she is.
I knew I needed to do something to stir things up. I am a troublemaker by nature — I just can’t help myself. I never do things to hurt people — at least not intentionally. But sometimes I make trouble to get a certain desired result for the greater good. It became clear to me in a matter of seconds what I could do to stir things up — and what was better is that I knew it would benefit everyone single one of my companions here, many who I had already talked to about this specific problem.
I positioned my chair in the corner, and sat with my legs crisscrossed in my lap, and tried to look as un-wanting-to-be-picked and pissed off as possible so that I would be called on.
And Jess did not disappoint. I could have almost set my watch to it after she started, “so does anyone feel like sharing anything tonight?” Once in a Harvest Moon someone had something they wanted to share, but almost every single night no one wanted to share — or — if they did — they certainly did not want to go first. But I really really really did want to share so so so badly, I just needed the Counselor to be the one to figure that out — in the only way one could — and my “don’t pick me don’t pick me don’t pick me” body language? Nailed it.
“Autumn, you are looking particularly unsettled tonight. Why don’t you share with us what is upsetting you?”
I intentionally take an uncomfortably long beat, then slowly sit up, lean forward, elbows on my knees which are now firmly planted above my ankles which have moved to the floor. I shake my head.
“I am really upset!” I begin, being, in fact, upset. “I’m fucking pissed off because every single Addict in this room is lying. And they are doing it every day. And it is driving me crazy!”
“Whoa, Autumn, that’s a very serious accusation,” my Counselor chimes in as the roomful of Addicts start to get restless themselves. “You know you’re not supposed to judge other people’s stories or truths.”
“May I finish?” I continue very rudely.
“Go on, but keep in mind what I said because I will stop you if you don’t abide by the rules.”
“Fine,” I comply — and start to look around the room at my fellow Addicts with a stare that meant to convey — “this is a Mutiny, so stick with it guys, you all know I have love for you.” “Basically, what I mean is that every single day in our first session we move around the room person to person and we have to go through our list of how many days clean we are and what our drug of choice is and how we are feeling that day and if we have had thoughts about our drug and if we have had urges about our drug, and every single day I am the only person in this room telling the truth, because I’m the only person who says that I have thoughts about Alcohol — my drug of choice.
“It’s like a tradition for everyone to just glaze over that part of the narrative. All I hear is, ‘no thoughts, no urges, and today I feel [whatever stupid emotion we are supposed to pick off that laminated chart that belongs in a preschool classroom] fill in the blank.’”
Now I have everyone’s attention. Literally everyone including the Counselor is staring at me like, “go on—” and the room is an uneasy quiet as my fellow Addicts start to wake up — almost like a “maybe if we try to give this shit a chance it will help us instead of just going through the motions.” I felt great about what I was doing.
I was going to change Rehab.
“My point is that there is no way that you are not having thoughts about your drug of choice. There’s just no way. This is a short-term program; depending on your insurance, you are here for two months at best, and likely less time than that. That means we don’t even get to have the 90 day chip before they kick our asses out of here. And what’s more: I know you’re thinking about your drug of choice because alcohol is what I’m thinking about all day long. I cannot stop the physiological cravings — and people talk about how they need a drink around my law office all day long as a fucking joke — and on the way to work and then on my way here and then on my way home I pass about 14 different liquor stores or bars. Alcohol is constantly in my face, and I miss it so fucking badly every moment of every day that I have SO many thoughts about it — it is a miracle I get anything done at all.
“Now some of you have been taking oxy or heroin or snorting coke or maybe you’re an Alcoholic Addict like me. And you’re just getting clean. I know there are people here who have been taking oxy for 11 years and they’ve been here, like, 11 days. Sorry to call you out — bot come on man, there is no way you’re not having thoughts about that drug.”
“Well Autumn. That was a thought-out comment. Would anyone like to react?”
I always carried another 16.9 ouncer with me “just in case.” “Just in case” meant for me to sip on as soon as I arrived until it was gone.
Men have made me dinner that I literally fell asleep in because I was so out of it.
The men were often confused. If they hadn’t offered me a drink themselves (it was Heaven when they did), they couldn’t understand why I was so into sex and then eventually sloppy afterward. It wasn’t from orgasms I can tell you that.
I remember that time I wore nothing but my hoodie and stilettos for one of my regulars, and waiting to surprise him when he opened the door. He picked me up immediately upon seeing me and I said, “you’re showing your entire apartment complex my ass right now.” When he realized what I was wearing he was so turned on he carried me up the stairs and I painfully remember now that he hadn’t used a condom.
But, the worst Blackout I had was when I was with this couple. We drank after I had already drunk and we kept drinking for over an hour getting to know each other. I remember so little of that night it is incredible that I woke up. By then I was used to some sort of shitty feeling in the morning, but I actually had a hangover after that night.
Hangovers are lame things that make it very difficult for you to function as yourself the next day. But anyone who has had one can relate to that.
In the beginning, I was having them every day.
Around the time my Father died, I had just gotten a new job and I would Blackout every night and have to be a high functioning Attorney during the day. I still don’t know how I pulled that off so well.
By the time I was meeting up with people from Tinder and FetLife I was used to 2 16.9 ounce bottles of vodka a night. No hangover.
Sitting here I don’t know how I am okay with men I’ve never met calling me “a dirty fucking slut,” “a filthy whore,” “my good girl,” and “a slutty cunt,” while inside me. But, I do know if I were sober I would never allow anyone to talk to me or anyone else I cared about like that.
Dan was first. It was surprisingly easy with Dan. I drove to his place, and he showed me around and we eventually landed in his bedroom. It was so hot. I was relieved to start taking my clothes off, and it came as a shock to me how easily he started to make love to me, gently, kindly, without any aggression, and asking for consent throughout. It was exactly what I was looking for, and exactly what I needed.
And I was grateful.
I didn’t feel pain.
I wasn’t sad.
I didn’t feel used.
I wasn’t upset.
And I was happy.
I could have sex without being drunk, and it could feel good, and there were men in the world who were willing to provide me with this experience, it turned out, over and over.
I know it sounds like I was advertising free sex.
And maybe I kind of sort of was.
But it was what I needed to heal.
And Dan was the first to heal me.
Then came Vinny.
Then sex and alcohol re-entered my life and I started making less than responsible decisions.
I kept my second rule of explaining what type of sex we would be having.
I was messaging men and meeting up with them on the same night I “met” them just to fuck and stay over in a bed that wasn’t my own.
The fourth rule was out the window because I was fucking someone new every night.
I hated my bed.
I couldn’t get over that I had been raped by a family friend and potential husband in that bed.
How could he do that with my Mom in the room that shared a wall with her’s?
All I remember of that incredibly bad Blackout is that I made sure he had a condom on.
I could not be in that fucking bed.
I tried to keep my sixth rule about safe sex, but ultimately, I failed.
Because I am sitting in the parking lot of my OBGYN. And I just got tested for the 3rd time for STDs. Way to be responsible, Autumn.
At least I haven’t gotten any UTIs.
What am I doing?
I am making dangerous choices.
I’m living on vodka and orange juice.
I’m tired of being fucked while drunk.
I’m hurting and numbing the pain with dangerous tools.
I got so many reactions from so many men so quickly. I obviously had to weed through the bad ones.
Then I came across a profile that seemed genuine and sincere and most importantly, non-threatening. His name is Dan. I met up with him eventually for coffee.
On our date we awkwardly sat inside a Starbucks getting to know each other. I was nervous. He was quiet. It was weird. After about 45 minutes my date asked if I wanted to go outside. It was summertime, and hot that day. I was glad I had an iced drink. We went outside and walked for another 15 minutes or so, talking about random things everyone talks about on a first date.
Suddenly he asked if I wanted to sit in his car. It was much more like an SUV type of truck than a car. I said sure. We sat in the back. The windows were dark. There were so many people around.
Dan took out his penis. I hadn’t seen a cock in quite awhile but his was quite large and I considered whether or not I would even be able to have sex with Dan. But right then all he wanted was a hand-job. I can’t remember exactly how it went down but I ended up giving Dan two hand-jobs over the course of an hour or two and he fully came twice. It made me feel good to have been able to accomplish that for him. I wasn’t ready to be touched and Dan either sensed that or didn’t care at the time. Either way, I had my first sexual encounter since my crying days with Gary, and it was exciting and pleasant.
After Dan came a second time, we agreed that it was getting late and we’d talk again soon. I honestly didn’t think I’d hear from Dan again, despite the fact that he was extremely happy with my ability to pleasure him. But I was wrong. He contacted me later that night and said he was looking forward to seeing me again soon.
Surprised, I was excited to see if he would become my first sexual partner since sex had been traumatic for me. I decided I would try with Dan and he would be my first good experience, as long as I could ensure that happened.
I made rules for myself. First, I would always drive to the place of the person I was seeing so I wouldn’t drink. I never drink and drive. Ever. There would be no mixing sex and alcohol during these sessions. I thought that was the most important rule for myself. Second, I would explain to any prospective partner my background and that I was looking for sex that would make me feel safe, and I would explain this in annoyingly explicit detail. Third, I made a pact with the person I was seeing that we would only sleep with each other for the duration of time we were sleeping together. Fourth, either one of us could decide to terminate the arrangement at any time for any reason and there would be no hard feelings. After all, I was basically using men for their penises. Fifth, I would always use my prophylactic given to my by my family physician to prevent UTIs. Finally, we had to have safe sex. I wanted my partners tested before they slept with me. Spoiler alert, all of them complied, until I started bending that rule anyway. I was on birth control and the men would use condoms anyway, just to be safe.
With these rules in place, I was ready for some kind and gentle sex with whoever met the qualifications I laid out both in my profile and then in my rules.
I started off the right way with this whole experiment. I had a goal. I had a plan to accomplish that goal. I accomplished that goal. And then I backtracked directly into the exact destructive behavior that I was trying to fix. I did not pass “Go.” I did not collect $200.00. I went directly back to the jail of sex and Blackouts.
Post break-up with my ex, I never thought I would be able to go on. It was a “my stomach was in knots for weeks” type of in love with him when he left. And by then, we hadn’t had sex in so long. I think we had sex one time in the last year and a half of our relationship. That is not a lot of sex.
I had found that alcohol and sex were so intertwined for me by the time my ex left that it was almost a given that I would be drinking and consensually non-consenting to sex if I were going to have sex with him at all. Basically, I’d drink until Blackout, then he would begin by entering me from behind. I was initially a willing if not eager participant, but while he thrusted inside me, I would always start to cry. I would freeze up, tears streaming down my face, no doubt thinking of my past trauma of being raped. My ex would always ask if I wanted him to stop. I always said no. He would finish. I would sit in the bathtub under the shower for an hour crying afterward while my ex slept peacefully in our bed. That is what sex between us looked like. It’s no wonder we stopped doing that to each other.
Now, my consensual non-consent was translating to other interactions with a multitude of men. Yes, I was seeing some of the same men more than once, but I was continuing to broaden my horizons with other men as I did.
This is how I got here. In my car. After my 3rd STD test in 3 months.
I created an OKCupid profile. I filled it out honestly and posted current pictures of myself. I wrote in the most prominent section that I was looking for someone to make me feel safe again with a man after having been sexually assaulted more than once. I made it clear that only men who wanted to date and to help me ought to reach out to me. It was vaguely implied that I was looking for a sexual partner to make me feel safe during sex again.
I sit in my car after leaving my 3rd OBGYN appointment in as many months. I feel like shit.
“Autumn, your insurance isn’t going to keep paying for these tests. Every month for the past 3 months you have come in asking for STD testing because you’re having unprotected sex. But. Autumn,” she had said, giving me “the look” that says exactly what she was about to, “you’re smarter than this. What’s going on with you?” my OBGYN asked.
I told her the truth. “I don’t know.”
“Well, I want you to take some time and think about how many partners you have and how much unprotected and even protected sex you are having. I don’t think it’s healthy for you, and not just because you could get an STD very easily after just one encounter. Are you all right?”
I had sat there for a few moments and looked at her, tears welling up in my eyes that I was going to fight off if it was the last thing I did and shrugged.
I heard and saw her genuine concern. I have been going to her for years now and she has always given me straight facts. She’s hard on me, but in a good way. I appreciate that she does not sugarcoat things, because so many people do and I’m tired of hearing bullshit. My OBGYN is tough, but she is caring. I like that about her too.
“What am I doing?” I think. I don’t turn on the car and leave just yet. I need to sit here and think for a little bit.
Each day I collect prospects for the upcoming night. The only question I asked myself because it was the only one I cared about was “Whose place can I stay over at so I can drink while we fuck, and so I won’t have to be in my bed?”
Technically, I was drinking before I fucked anyone.
I would drive to the place of whoever the wheel of fortune landed on that night and park. I’d text the guys I was outside. They almost always came to meet me when it was the first time we’d met. Then, I chugged my 16.9 ounce water bottle full of vodka as fast as I possibly could.
That behavior, drinking so much vodka so quickly was dangerous for several reasons in and of themselves and I was very aware of them. I knew that if something went wrong and I had to leave I’d have to sleep in my car because I wouldn’t drive under the influence. I knew my judgment would be severely impaired any second and that I would probably do more than I was typically comfortable with in the bedroom because I wasn’t really there.
That is another thing about Blackouts. You’re present. But you’re not there. There’s a tornado that is wrapping you up tight as you fall further and further down it’s cone. Actually, that part of the tornado is called the “death zone” because oxygen levels and low temperatures make it hard for one to breathe. These interactions parallel the “death zone.” I don’t know where I am, who I am really fucking or sucking the dick of, and it’s often hard to breathe in those little moments of my Blackout when I am present and see the movie before me playing out. It’s like I know I’m the lead but I have no autonomy.
I can breathe and I’m alive and I feel amazing and I have pride and I need this vibe to keep on revivin’ the person I was because before you came along I was a person and after it was worse then but I’m back and I’m not going away again I found out there’s far too much to win I’ve got a place in this game I have a story to tell I have positivity to put forward I have so much to contribute it’s time I feed myself not just look to nourish you how can someone so starved carry a relationship for two? I have things to accomplish I have people to meet I have stories to tell and I have strength in these feats not only do I now know to believe in myself I’ve learned to grow sometimes you have to lower your own bookshelves I might be asking for help but now I know that’s okay because there’s nothing wrong with healthy dependence at the end of the day what’s toxic was us and I hate to say I can’t live one more second in this delay so goodbye sweet escape I’m afraid we are through for good I cannot believe you didn’t care to understand my worth and for that you’ll regret it for the rest of your life what did I tell you when we first met? they call me heartbreaker and you’re about to feel that bet so I wish you the best but I’m not your girl I found someone else for me and now I’M part of MY world
I really don’t want to be “that person,” but ever since I started doing yoga with this particular YouTube yoga instructor — dare I say it — I have been feeling overwhelmingly better.
But like with all things that make my life more livable — it’s always at risk.
And any happiness I experience is just one FML away.
Annnd before you even think it — I have been going to tremendous lengths to not only try to put — positiveeverything — out into the universe while I attempt to refrain from putting — anythingnegative — out into the universe — 🙄 because science says that ish is real 🙄 — but I’ve also asked those around me — so, my Mom — to do the same.
I am NOT setting myself up for failure or doom and gloom — certainly not intentionally anyway.
It’s not my fault that my history works it’s dark magic.
I know, I know. I hedge despite my best efforts.
And I have a great analogy for you. Check this ish out:
Imagine a gorgeous paint by number that you recieve as a gift. Now imagine the craft store the paint by number came from. Now imagine there are 34 different paint by number choices available in this store. Now imagine a few bored kids decide to check out all of the colors in these sets of paint by numbers — all at the same time — innocently — lining the little paint sections up in rows to see if the colors match or how many there are or which ones are the most diverse or if they can find every color they can imagine. It’s awesome! The colors sometimes match! There are hundreds of different sections of color and each has a number attached! Some sections start with a 1 that’s white ⚪ (geal), and a 10 that’s purple 🟣 (purpaidh) — while others have a 1 that is black ⚫ (dubh), and a 10 that’s brown 🟤 (donn)! Some sections are just different shades of green 🟢 (uaine)! But now there’s a problem, (and I know y’all see it coming!) — the kids cannot remember which paint goes back into which box — where what goes where. So, they guess. They make sure that at least every box has the correct amount of paint sockets as required by the instructions. A few rivers might be purple, and animals might be green, and skylines might be white and black, (“just as nature intended,” the kids don’t tell themselves). After all, they didn’t mean to screw anything up, they just got excited. But, as the expression [I just now made up] goes, once the paint is out of the box, you can’t put it back the way it was before, no matter how much you might wish different choices has been made and considerations had been thought through.
That’s my life.
Oh, it’s never dull; it’s just SO interesting — to look at. The perspective is so unique! YOU might not have used the same color paint, but you can certainly appreciate the brave choices I have apparently made myself.
From the outside.
At a very safe distance.
How straight ballin’ was that analogy?!
Please don’t get me wrong. I do indeed live a unique and colorful life. I’m grateful for everything I have that doesn’t hurt me — (or worse — those around me).
I’m going to tell you a secret: I’m terribly terrified that every single thing I write sounds like I’m complaining — as if that’s all I’m capable of doing. Only others can really decide whether that’s the case. But at least, my dear reader, you will know that should I sound like the constant complainer — I HATE that, and it’s NOT my intention when sharing.
I REALLY hope that you will always know and believe THAT, at least.
So I’m going to set the stage for the paint by number that is my life, which has me feeling pretty great today, and had me feeling pretty great last week as well.
I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll write it again and again, but I have an incurable disease that has cost me the life I was supposed to have at best — and the life I thought I wanted at worst.
My woulda/shoulda bright amazing sunset was switched out with mostly dark grays and blacks and some streaks of light grays and white.
Indeed, my colorful life is no longer (and has not been) available to me. And I’ve had to adjust. And work within darkness much of the time. And when I do get the chance to play with the light I use every last available steak of even dried-out or old paint that I can — because I just never ever know when that light’s gonna run out.
In that vein, I guess I don’t mind so much being “that person,” who’s 🌟shining🌟 about yoga. Because I’m not suggesting anyone else do it for whatever reasons other people annoyingly suggest yoga seemingly endlessly and unsolicited for, I’m genuinely and truly doing yoga for me. It’s part of my light. The fact that it’s a cliché is a coincidence😇⚖️👩⚖️.
When I was younger — I was sick often. It caused all types of problems for me in a multitude of places — and I’m not gonna go into it much further right now except to say that so many adults in my life didn’t believe me.
And my parents raised me to be honest.
And I was.
So when I was not believed for other things that happened to me later in life — it certainly wasn’t the first time.
Though I cannot say it hurt me and confused me any less just because the feeling was familiar.
When I wasn’t believed as a kid — it was scary. I was confused because I couldn’t understand what I had done wrong to make these adults think I wasn’t being honest.
When I was younger, I was sick often, but not nearly as sick as I am now. And I was hella (sorry, Eric) active despite my frequent illnesses.
To be clear, let me tell you what categories the various “adults,” as I’m using the term, were in: Doctors, Teachers, Coaches, Nurses, Tutors, a Priest, Members of my Church, and other kid’s Parents who thought I was getting special treatment (though I couldn’t tell you even one way anything that happened to me when I was sick gave me an upper hand).
I’m only sharing this snapshot of the muck I’ve had to tread through to say quite a simple thing, actually.
I was a competitive swimmer in the winter and in the summer (two different teams in two different locations), I played basketball for a minute, I was on a rhythmic gymnastics team, I was very proudly in Color Guard and Winter Guard in high school, I swam on the Varsity swim team at the same time, I danced in the school musical, I was a choreographer for the Show Choir which I also danced in, and I worked out with my sister wherever we could.
So when I can do a couple hours of yoga a dayNOW — I get a whisk of that past life when I used my body all kinds of ways.
And it feels good.
You have to understand I’ve been doing little much other than laying in bed — in [literally] writhingagony — watching movies and TV, sometimes coloring or reading, thanking God for my 3 cats, (😿2 of which died within 12 days of one another this past winter😿), and connecting with other people (read: my therapists and psychiatrist) via a screen — for about 5 years. Until.
For now, for today at least, that’s all you get.
Please trust that I have reasons — GOOD reasons — to preserve “until” — with an emphatic period, just for now.
I’m not going to make excuses, I’m just going to tell you what happened while I was writing this post: it was turning into a small novella so I thought it best to break it up here.
That means — part II is almost completely written.
And since I’m letting y’all in more and more on my process, even though some of this was already written prior to my finishing my morning yoga at 11:37 A.M. — a LOT of this post was written today.
And then — while I was editing and thinking and creating — I decided to cut up this particular message into more than one post — because part II deserves it’s own stage.
That being said, part II is really important to me.
part II leaves me vulnerable in all kinds of ways that I hope will reach someone who needs to hear my message.
part II will hopefully be up — well — as soon as I’m done crafting it out the way I want it to be. Then — like today — I’ll re-read it a few more times — add more images — it’s 3:04 P.M. now — and hit that publish button for y’all.
Until then, be good to one another ♥️🎶✌🏿✌🏻✌🏾✌🏼✌🏽🦊!!!!!
This is what I sometimes keep next to my bed at night — just in case?!?!?!
I figured out that I do this because I have a sincere fear of being without water or a beverage of some kind at all times. It’s a real thing. I’ve met one other person with this fear in real life but it’s why I bring open solo cups full of ice and water everywhere I go now (with at least two other bottles of water in my purse).
And since taking about this on social media I’ve found even more people who do this!
I can leave my phone at home and the only thing that will upset me about that is if I hear a song that I like — wherever I am — and I can’t use my phone to listen to it so I can add it to my Spotify playlist(s).
But if I leave without a beverage — serious panic ensues.
Over the years this has escalated to the point that I have at least 2 bottles of water in my bag everywhere I go AND I walk around with a solo cup full of ice water in addition to those bottles.
I’m on day 12 — which is no little thing for me.
I’ve already noticed a few changes.
For one, my schedule is effed.
I’ve been waking up between 1:00 AM and 3:45 AM. Because of that I have to try to translate my time schedule to my Mom based on my waking up at 8:00 AM.
Does that make sense?
If not, let’s say I woke up at 2:00 AM, I’m 6 hours behind 8:00 AM. So I explain that when she leaves for work around 9:00 AM it already feels like 3:00 PM for me, based on my waking up at 8:00 AM. Okay. I think that’s clear.
And to utilize the most useless expression of all time, “needless to say”: when my Mom gets home from work a bit after 6:00 PM (most days), then it feels like midnight for me, using that same example of my 2:00 AM wake-up and assuming a schedule of me waking up at 8:00 AM accounting for the 6 hour difference.
I hate math. But I can count to ten in Scottish Gaelic as of yesterday, so, I’m kind of a big deal 😉.
I sometimes wonder if my obsession with beverages is a genuine fear — like someone’s fear of bridges or being buried alive — OR — if it has a more practical purpose.
Maybe I hoard beverages because my body is still constantly screaming “you’re so dehydrated you a-hole! Liquid-ate me up, B!”
I used to think this was because of the nights before, but clearly it’s not. It’s my Disease.
It also might account for why I bring my Mom’s lawn guy and my mail carrier water all summer long.
I spend approximately 7 minutes an hour getting more water. I usually mix it with a zero calorie beverage with taste to lessen the blow, unless I’m leaving the house when I just drink water.
Basically I fill my solo cup with ice and then fill what space is left with that zero calorie ish.
I do this with 2 cups to keep my water intake up as much as possible. And I go through both cups every hour all day long.
It’s too bad my Doctors won’t just let me get an in-home IV drip. I’ve only been hospitalized for dehydration — I don’t know how many times now🙄. But it wasn’t okay every time it happened, I do remember that.
I’ve been tearing through my reading lately. I am so happy to find things to read that I can’t put down again.
While reading the book my face is currently buried in, I became suddenly aware that my body is a lot weaker than I’d like it to be if for no other reason than practical ones, like if I needed strength for — I don’t know — anything?
So this morning as soon as I saw the sun come up I started with 40 minutes of yoga. A 30 minute beginner class and a 10 minute morning class.
And this was not only awesome, but it definitely did the trick because I felt muscles working that I have not felt in awhile.
So there’s that!
I’m still practicing Scottish Gaelic for hours — about 4 or more on average — per day.
For those of you not familiar with the Duolingo app — they kind of pit you against other people in what they call “leagues.” I don’t really love it because in every league I rack up a lot of points, and people then try to put me in my place by beating my score. What they don’t realize is I’m only playing against myself.
This isn’t a matter of pride.
It’s not a game!
I’m just practicing as much as possible so I really and truly LEARN the language. And it’s working. But I guess good for them for practicing so much too? 🙂
So an early wake-up means an early bedtime, and a natural one at that.
I’ve just been listening to my body, and when it’s ready to sleep I can tell, and I let it. Whatever time that happens to be.
I’ve been listening to music of COURSE, as well, usually while I’m getting my ice cups ready.
I have been listening to a lot of Eminem’s “Recovery” album. I can’t imagine why.
I can’t find it at the moment, but I watched an interview in which when asked HOW he rhymes words and puts them together in the way he does — Eminem basically says that his brain just does that 24/7 and it’s not something he can ever turn off — and although he spoke about it like it was a curse and a Blessing — all I could think was — okay so his thoughts are always just conjuring genius.
He amazes me.
After watching that interview — I remember thinking that although I cannot relate to his genius — I certainly understand it.
I’m always conjuring — then — very carefully — shaping words, sentences, and ideas for public consumption. A LOT of things go through my head at once pretty much 24/7 as well. I’m always thinking about words and their effect.
Sometimes in an attempt to quiet my mind I dive into music — and Eminem’s sick use of language immediately appealed to me from the time I was 15 years old.
If I’m absolutely losing my ish — I’m supposed to listen to music according to my previous therapist who practiced Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). And you would NOT be able to figure out what “sort” of person I am from listening to my Spotify playlists — they are so random.
I wonder if this is just how a Writer’s mind works. Or just a creative mind? I cannot imagine that there are that many people walking around with the manic thoughts that I’m constantly desperate to write down somewhere. But how would anyone know?
As a sidebar: an enemy of Em’s is an enemy of mine. I would have liked to check out your music, bro, but if you’re straight up lying about things Em’s done and other ish just for attention tryna blow up — I can’t respect that.
I told one of my closest and dearest friends (who is more like a sister now, which I’m very grateful for, having been abandoned by my sister by blood: Hillary Joan now if a different last name) yesterday that I want to get a “tramp stamp” of the name EMINEM as soon as possible.
I explained I’ve been listening to his song “W.T.P.” too much in which Em raps: “She’s got a tattoo of me right above her ass, man In the streets of Warren, Michigan we call ’em tramp stamps That means she belongs to me, time to put the damn clamps down and show this hussy who’s the man Now, get amped, dance!”
My friend and I were also talking about irony at the time.
Then we both talked about how we have more than a handful of tattoos in our respective queues to get when we can afford them. I have at least 7 I’ve mapped out.
I’m serious about the EMINEM tattoo as long as it doesn’t intervene with the other tattoo I’ll have going down my spine. Hear me out.
Eminem saved my life in sort of the same way that Captain Jack Sparrow did. His music kept me from killing myself, particularly the song “Sing for the Moment” from his album “The Eminem Show” which came out when I was first experiencing depression but didn’t understand what to do about it yet.
Eventually — I spoke up to my Mom as I’ve mentioned before, but with Eminem’s music in my ear, I was able to hold on until I was able to ask for help.
So honestly, as far as tattoos go, I think tattooing the name of people/characters who kept you from killing yourself are not only validated — but earned and deserved.
And my ink has ALWAYS been for me and only me anyway.
The artist who did my Captain Jack Sparrow tattoo tried to convince me to turn it 180° so other people could see it clearly and I unequivocally said, what on Earth makes you think I’d ever mark my body for anyone but myself?
She didn’t answer — and I’m definitely not judging people who do what she suggested because I think tattoos are sexy AF. I’m not a fan of face or leg tattoos, but please, the more the better in whatever way you want as far as I’m concerned.
In the meantime, I’ll keep planning my future tattoos out meticulously. And, I’ll give the one large significant tattoo which adorns my body “the main event” attention and appreciation it deserves. It feels especially special because it’s the only one people usually see. And there’s something significant about that too.
In conclusion, I’m killing it, in a good way: music 🎶🎵🎶🎵🎶🎵🎶🎵🎶🎵🎶; reading 📚📖📙📘📗📕; writing ✍️✏️📜📝🖊️🖋️📖; hydrating 💧🥤🍶🥛🚰🧉; learning Scottish Gaelic 🏴🏴🏴🏴🏴🤟👩🏫🟠📙🧡; yoga & ballin’🧘♀️🧘♀️🧘♀️🧘♀️🧘♀️🚴♀️🚶♀️🚲⛹️♀️🏀
Uisge-beatha means “whisky” in Scottish Gaelic. And uisge by itself means “water. “
Do you see the difference?
Because I’m sure starting to.
Math fhèin, meaning, “Excellent.”
As always be good to one another ❤️🎶✌🏿✌🏻✌🏾✌🏼✌🏽!!!!!
I just watched “The Batman,” the newest Batman movie based on DC characters in Batman comics. I remember wanting to see this film when it came out. I wanted to see Robert Pattinson in this role. But it took me about a week — in stages — to actually get through — and I probably only finished it at all because of a friend’s recommendation.
I suppose, tangentially but not unimportant to this post it seems, he is more than a friend. He’s actually kind of the smartest guy I’m not dating but basically in some form of relationship with. I met him on a dating site — and I liked him a lot — and he was really nice — and we set up a date — but after talking through my concerns with my therapist I ultimately cancelled with him — but not at the last minute — because that’s a dick move. I even explained to him my reasons — I believe there were three of them — and they were all on me and where I was at mentally at the time.
This guy — he was giving me too much credit before he really knew me. I remember that being probably the main reason I pushed the eject button. I needed him to be less kind to me because for a long time now — that is what I believe I have deserved in relationships.
Since I was 24 years old I haven’t believed that I deserved someone who was kind to me.
I thought — “I’m not a good person, therefore I do not deserve anything good.”
And I know what you’re thinking — “where does ‘The Batman’ figure into all this?”
I’ll get there.
It turns out — after thinking on it more than a little — I realized that I have been cancelling on men that I thought were too good for me since I was 17 years old.
I regret rejecting [at least] five seriously good men in my life. I can identify by first and last name five specific men.
I definitely had a more than “a chance” with four of them.
And the fifth I’ll never know. Because he’s dead. But I regret feeling “not good enough” to have tried with him. I miss this guy CONSTANTLY — but I thought HE thought I was “an untouchable” — or something — back when he was alive — which I NOW realize cannot be the case because otherwise — me not being a psychopath or stalker and all — I could not be missing someone constantly that was such an important piece of my life — which I visualize as a puzzle.
I am so freaking angry that the idiots who said to me “you’ll never regret what you do in life, but you’ll regret what you don’t.”
Said above idiots are doubly wrong.
I TOTALLY regret what I didn’t do AND what I did do so far in life. I regret every single move I’ve made since I was 24 years old — with the exception of how I spent my time with my parents.
SPOILER ALERT re: “The Batman.” IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE MOVIE YET AND INTEND TO — KNOW THAT THERE ARE SPOILERS AHEAD. I WILL USE ALL CAPS AGAIN IN THE REMAINING PART OF THIS POST WHEN THE SPOILERS ARE DONE AND IT IS SAFE TO READ AGAIN. SCROLL DOWN IF YOU WISH.
Batman doesn’t get to ride off with Catwoman in the end.
He is alone.
He is on his own path; he has a mission.
I am a difficult case. I know I am. I have a fear of commitment. I have a fear of being alone. I simultaneously do not understand and fully understand why I am not like everyone else I know.
I, too, am on a mission.
Actually, I’m on about four or five or six (or maybe more) specific missions — with potentially one ultimate mission driving them all — though at the moment I’m loath to put a name to it.
I LEGALLY STREAMED “The Batman” ON HBO MAX.
I WATCH A LOT OF MOVIES AND TELEVISION SHOWS IF I FEEL LIKE THEY ARE WORTH MY TIME AND ARE CULTURALLY RELEVANT OR BASICALLY IF THEY JUST LOOK GOOD. I AM A SUCKER FOR A GOOD TRAILER — AND I AM A RELENTLESS CRITIC WHO ASSIGNS GRADES TO FILMS AND MEDIA THAT I LIKE OR FIND VALUE IN WITH A STRICT RANGE OF A++es SWINGING DIRECTLY TO D–es IF FILMS WHOSE TRAILERS WERE THE ONLY GOOD THING ABOUT THE FILM IN MY EYES DESERVE SUCH HATERADE.
I think I’m fair about it though. I appreciate variety and diverse concepts and budgets. But I’m discerning — as I am with everything NOW in my life.
I’m not an idiot.
I know that people enjoy different types of film and dislike others.
We have to.
Like my regrets.
I find it decreasingly difficult to be objective about my life, however.
It’s probably from the sugar and the sobriety — but memories of various and bizzare things are coming back to me that I haven’t thought about.
I am intentionally not putting a time stamp on the above statement — because I cannot remember time correctly anymore.
So ACTUALLY, what’s going on with my memory, and in my mind, is what this post is supposed to be about.
I will continue to meander — so forgive me.
It started early this morning while I was reading on the back porch.
I was simultaneously ruminating about media that’s been in my head floating around, I suppose, because I suddenly thought: “Stop reading. Get to the computer. Write in your blog about your memory. Tell people WHAT JUST HAPPENED TO YOU TODAY.” So I’m here.
While scrolling through other things available on HBO Max — as one does on any streaming service — (I’m going to say something about this too if you bear with me) — I came across a few films, etc. that I wanted to check out. One of them was the standup of Nikki Glaser. If you’re interested — the whole title is “Nikki Glaser: Good Clean Filth.”
I don’t love a lot of gorgeous celebrity women. It’s [usually] because I’m jealous of how gorgeous they are or what sexy celebrity man they are married to, etc. You know. The reasons I’m surely still single 🙄.
But since I first watched Nikki Glaser (wherever that was) I have liked her. I respect her. I have tried to hate her — because she is awesome and hilarious so she’s also intelligent AF and she’s gorgeous — but I can’t. I really like her. She is hella (sorry Eric) all that, yes, but importantly she exudes a confidence I need.
And I think Ms. Glaser is confident because she should be.
I have always felt that one must be intelligent to be hilarious.
I think if you can make people laugh — you’re, first, incredibly intelligent, because, as Ms. Glaser says, “manipulating [someone’s] emotions” takes mad skill.
I’ve been told since high school that I laugh at everything too easily. But I disagree. I think I have incredible taste when judging what’s funny.
I sometimes even think I have mad skills.
When it comes to comedy, obviously I am not on Ms. Glaser’s level. But, I have definitely made people laugh. Kind of a lot. Kind of every day. On purpose.
Secondly — I think someone who is as hilarious as Ms. Glaser must be defined in a way that I bet most people will find objection to and that’s obviously your prerogative. I think to be hilarious you have to be a bit of what we used to call a Sociopath.
(Earlier, I said I’m not a psychopath. Actually, now, I believe that Mental Health professionals group both — at least what my generation used to distinguish between — “Psychopaths” and “Sociopaths” — as “Antisocial Personality Disorder,” (ASPD). And I think I probably should be diagnosed with this because I have too many of the traits at LEAST occasionally but that’s a story for another post. Anyway. I think the people who write the DSM are off their rockers to utilize those words to describe a human being. And again. Maybe I have this disorder because I feel that way.)
I think — with RESPECT — people like Ms. Glaser and Batman (who, yes, is fictional, but I’m making a point about character), maybe even someone like Tyler Henry (who I have all of the admiration in the world for as well), and every one of my ex-boyfriends who I wanted to marry, as well as I’ve already stated, myself — check off some of the characteristics of a Sociopath — again, with RESPECT, I say this, because I admire all of the above — because we have to if we are ever going to accomplish what we set out to do in this world — AKA our missions.
We. HAVE. To.
At least a little bit.
This is why I think goal oriented people might have a little bit of this so-called disorder. Sociopaths are said to: behave impulsively, disregard the feelings of others, recognize what we are doing when what we are doing is considered wrong but we do it anyway, cannot typically maintain both a “regular” (whatever that means) work and family life — and I’m going to say here on behalf of at least myself — that means we don’t have 9-5 jobs or a regular schedule because we don’t fit into one and cannot for into one because of how we think and what we want to accomplish — and as for family — I guess we’re basically all unmarried without children. And finally, sociopaths CAN have emotional connections with others but it is difficult for us.
So, we probably don’t fit what “they” see as “regular” because we are different. And I understand why. And the above was the short version.
I want to emphatically state that I am NOT labeling/stating/intending to say that Nikki Glaser is a Sociopath. I’m ATTEMPTING to say that I can relate to her, more than ever, because she potentially has some of these characteristics, and because I think the DSM is wrong. Besides. Who the eff am I to judge?
But here’s where it gets tricky. Essentially — it is widely accepted that Sociopaths lack Empathy — and that is in direct conflict when juxtaposed to my third requirement for one to be hilarious.
Jesus Christ, this is a long post.
I’m blaming Recovery.
To accomplish a goal or a mission, and in Ms. Glaser’s case, that would mean being hilarious — which she has accomplished — thirdly, one must have Empathy.
So grapple with THAT, [my own] point number two!!!!!
Empathy is essentially the capacity or ability to understand AND share the FEELINGS that other people understand and share. Ms. Glaser unequivocally does this — so it is redundant when I now say that she is not only capable of empathy — but she exudes it in her profession and I imagine in her life.
I have learned that you cannot fake Empathy. CAPITAL E. Emphatic period.
I have been officially diagnosed by a psychiatrist as an Empath. This means that I have these characteristics: I work with OTHER people or on behalf of other people because I want to help them, however, I am also UNCOMFORTABLY sensitive to being around other people. Sometimes I’m INCREDIBLY sensitive to noise, smell, vibrations on bleachers during a basketball game I attend, I get chills watching someone brush their teeth, etc. I’m often exhausted after being in social situations. I do not like crowds, and I get overwhelmed if I have to be in a crowd or I unintentionally land myself in a crowd (now I’m looking at you and how you say you feel about this, Tyler Henry).
I saved the worst for last. The worst part of being an Empath is that you literally absorb the emotions and feelings of everyone around you — usually almost immediately. I cannot explain how this feels — except to say that my previous sentence is what happens. (Imagine going to funerals, being around someone who was just sexually assaulted because you work as a rape crisis advocate, or worse, absorbing the hate that your abusive rapist of an ex-boyfriend exudes when he threatens to kill himself if you don’t stay the night.)
I. FEEL. ALL OF IT.
And in a world where we as a society like to pin good versus evil, I’m looking toward the good as I attempt to make these three points.
Nikki Glaser, Tyler Henry, me, and, yes, even Batman are on missions to leave our mark on this world in a way that helps people.
This is where the Antisocial Personality Disorder thing gets to me.
How can I simultaneously feel confident enough to manipulate others if I absorb what they are feeling so incredibly all-encompassingly and often debilitatingly at the same time?
Because that’s how to make positive change happen.
At least that’s my new and only outlook.
It has to be.
And it is not lost on me that this seemingly impossible contradiction perhaps applies to people who attempt to change the world by leaving an evil footprint. But that’s not what I’m thinking about today.
Not today, Satan.
These traits actually aren’t contradictions. They coexist perhaps intentionally for people who WANT to implant change.
I guess that’s a thesis I could write about thoroughly if I weren’t so busy Straight Ballin’.
HBO Max gave me hope through Nikki Glaser. She is a badass 37 year old unmarried woman who is a brilliant, beautiful genius. She IS a hilarious comedian. She is confident. She has an impact. And her intense raw relentless honesty is not only awesome, it’s imperative. (People have said I have the same style — and it’s gratifying.) I cannot say emphatically enough how much I respect and admire her. She IS one of my heroes. She’s accomplished her mission. At the very least she’s in the process of doing so.
I hope that’s okay with her.
Speaking of geniuses, the man I mentioned earlier, the one I did not go on a date with, but am in a kind of relationship with? The one I explained to why I was cancelling our datr, and pushed away like I did with all of the best men I could have been with so far in my life, (two of which are now dead)? He did THE only thing any man has ever done at me — and this really caught me off guard and blew my mind.
He graciously understood, and asked if we could continue talking as friends.
GD effing genius, he is.
Now, of course, this wouldn’t work for every guy that I have not ghosted but also did not pursue (through online dating, at least).
But I’d rather have that offer even if I don’t take it than the fairly typical cursing me off and telling me I’m an ugly B they don’t want anyway.
But, if I knew I was NEVER going to want to be with a guy I wouldn’t entertain this request.
However, in this man’s case, my reasons for not wanting to go out at that time had the potential to be ironed out in the future. Basically, for significant and logical reasons, I just wasn’t ready.
Of course I did not say to him, “I’m just not ready.”
But perhaps in my explanation he understood that was what I meant.
And when he asked me if we could still talk as friends I was so thrown — because he was serious!!!!! And genuine.
Obviously, whether this was his plan or not, that request changed everything in our relationship.
Now, we’ve been getting to know each other quite well for months, and he continues to treat me the way that had always made me uncomfortable before — in the process — making me comfortable.
He treats me well.
He gives me respect.
He doesn’t judge me.
He is honest.
He doesn’t have a bad thing to say about anyone.
And by getting to know him through this on-going “friendship” I am more comfortable with him and our relationship has become something more.
So if any men (or women for that matter — though I’ve never experienced the respect from anyone who rejected me the way I rejected him so I don’t know if it applies because everyone has different experiences) are being rejected under the HONEST premise that the person they are interested in “just isn’t ready”— I recommend that you ask said Rejector if you can continue talking as friends.
Because I think it’s genius.
And as someone with traits of Antisocial Personality Disorder — I affirmatively state that whether or not my man has “game” — this “move” worked like a Mmer-Effer.
And to quote Em’s song “Seduction” from his Album “Recovery,” (appropriate timing), “You sadly mistaken if you thinkin’ that I’m not on my game, boy And things just ain’t been the same since the day that I came forth You wear your heart on your sleeve, I sport that white tank, boy What you hollerin’ my name for? Ain’t my dang fault, man, I can’t call it.”
I wonder if Eminem still knows I’m hoping he’ll seduce me. I didn’t Stan him with letters so I doubt it. Someone hook that up for me, will ya?
But back to reality.
Brillant. Sgionniel!!!!! Right?!
Sgionniel means “brilliant” in Scottish Gàidhlig (aka Scottish Gaelic for us Americans).
The answer is YES!!!!!
I am learning Scottish Gaelic. I practice it so much every day that I have started thinking, speaking, and writing in this new (for me) language. And I’m kind of obsessed with Scotland now.
TOTALLY unrelated, I changed my hair up again.
This is the fourth language I’ve attempted to learn in five years.
In case you’re curious:
I took an adult French class with my Mom prior to the pandemic because she learned French in High School and I wanted to do something different outside of the house with her. Unfortunately, my Mom understood and spoke French better than the “teacher” of the class, so she didn’t learn anything new, and even though I tried really hard, I was ultimately unable to understand how French worked.
Prior to that I took Mandarin through an adult school. I was working for a company at the time where much of the staff and the owners spoke Mandarin fluently. I thought I would work there for a long time because I loved it there and my coworkers loved me, but unfortunately — shortly after I started taking the class the dam that only allowed some symptoms sometimes broke and the Disease that plagues me now —- and will forever — has taken over my life — and IS why I wanted to write this post — and I could no longer work there. That was probably the most fun place to work I ever had. Anyway, I was oddly able to learn beginners Mandarin, although it is an incredibly sophisticated language, well enough that my Mandarin Teacher didn’t believe that I had never taken a class or learned the language before — a compliment that really lifted my spirits at a time when I needed spirit-lifting.
After I moved back home to live with my Mom, I started watching more and more movies and films and media as I’ve already stated. I watched the movie “The Informer” with Joel Kinnaman. Actually, I watched this movie for two reasons: Joel Kinnaman — (God — the concupiscent me would love to find a Swedish-Scottish American who is a mix of Mr. Kinnaman and Mr. Sam Heughan) — AND because the movie involves the Polish mob (which is not generally an ethnicity surrounding mob movies) — but there was a lot of Polish spoken in the movie. I am 50% Polish — so I thought — why not? So I started learning Polish — and then I got REALLY into it — and I think I’ll go back to it again because I liked feeling like I was indulging myself in part of my heritage. But sometimes I can be manic with what I want to do. And when that happens — I start doing a bunch of things at once — and I stopped learning Polish because I started learning other things. That’s my bad.
Finally, one of those things I started learning lead me to wanting to pick up Scottish Gaelic, and I’ve been working hard to learn it for 74 days straight now, and I practice a few hours every day. My fascination with Scotland’s history lit the spark. But this is also THE crux of my post.
FYI — shoutout to the app Duolingo — without which I most likely wouldn’t be learning any languages.
I, like Nikki Glaser, am now 37 years old.
Except, I don’t really feel like the last 13 years happened, sometimes.
Imagine losing 13 years of your life. What a mind-eff.
I mentioned that I have regrets about most everything I’ve done since I was 24 years old. So THAT math checks out.
It’s like I stopped being me when I made the decisions I made in 2009, influenced by what happened to me in 2008.
This won’t make sense to most of you — but I feel like it’s nine days later than the worst choice I made, 13 years in the past, meaning I’m about to do what I should have done at 24 years old.
In fact: most of what I’m about to say may not make much sense to anyone.
I don’t know.
Those of you reading this that have the same Disease that I have will understand. But I’m not sure that everyone else won’t just find my words to be cray cray.
I brought Nikki Glaser up again for a reason. (That phrase jumbles my mind.)
During her set, she used the word “blazer” to describe what she was wearing during a particular interaction she had with someone — and she said the word quickly and without much emphasis — meaning it was not especially important to her sequence — except for the fact that it was setting the scene so we could visualize better what was going on.
And that word is what prompted me to write this incredibly long post.
I think part of the reason it is so long is because I think differently now than I used to be able to, partly because I guess I have a lot to say and writing feels really good because I’ve “only” been “hand-written journaling” and working on my book which in which everything is surrounded by one specific topic — so I miss writing my opinions about other things, and mostly because I haven’t posted anything since last year during Christmastime. That’s quite a long break.
And the reason is me. (Sorry, Hoobastank.)
I’ve been suffering.
I’ve been struggling.
I’ve been in pain.
I’ve been selfish.
I’ve been disabled.
I’ve been losing.
I am an Author without words.
That’s how I described how my mind feels to my Mom one night when I could not find the word — for the 600th time this year — I needed — to get my meaning across — in what I was failing at attempting to explain to her.
It took me approximately forty seconds to figure out what that word meant. I could not recall for the life of me what that garment looked like, though context clues in the set told me it was a garment. This was my thought process:
“blazer. what is a blazer? i know that word. i know it is a top, i think. does it have a collar like a golf shirt? no that’s not right. what about those sweaters with the knot looking things running down them. or just a sweater with a v-neck. that’s not it either. blazer. blazer. blazer! it’s that thing that hill wears when she coaches. it’s that thing she gave me when she grew out of it. oh my god. i have like ten of them at least. more like twenty if i count all of my suits. how could i forget that. i wore them every day when i was practicing. blazer. god. ok. that is right. blazer. what is she saying? i have to rewind the joke.”
Irony can be defined as an occurrence that is intentionally not something a person anticipates and therefore may be slightly amusing.
That being said, ironically, I thought just this morning (madainn an-diugh) — about something I used to say sometimes when horrible things were on the minds of the people around me who I felt compelled to help as I always do, and when horrible things were on my mind as well and I was expressing them: “I wish I had a Pensieve like Dumbledore, and I could take certain thoughts out of my head and store them so they aren’t forgotten, but I also wouldn’t have to suffer them constantly in the meantime.”
Unfortunately I am forgetting words when I need them — in almost exactly the way a Pensieve might work — except it’s like the words are deciding for me who should tap out.
So I got a very effed up version of my wish, I suppose, in the end. (I never understood that thing anyway. Like, are the thoughts labeled? Because at some point “magic” isn’t a good enough excuse for everything anymore. It’s not like JDepp as Captain Jack Sparrow saying, “Pirate!”)
The losing words thing happens most often when I am speaking to someone, which isn’t that often anymore, but it almost always happens at least once during every single conversation I have with anyone.
I have to ask whoever I’m talking to if they know what I mean.
And now I’m forgetting the meaning of words I know?! It’s not something I love — to say the least.
Actually, it’s terrifying.
And since I’ve had time to process; this has been happening for years now, actually.
It started in 2017. That’s when the dam in my mind broke. I just did not realize it until it was too late. I didn’t realize it when I decided to pursue a different avenue of my career in 2018. And I had to leave my favorite place of employment — a place where my co-workers (all male but me — seriously — all of them), LITERALLY cried when they found out I was leaving because I was making such a difference in their sanity. I was proud of getting that job too. It actually didn’t exist until I met with the Owners of the company. They made me an employee when they were not hiring. I hated leaving. I was making such a difference.
I was hired by another company at the end of 2019, but had to leave after four days because I got so sick almost immediately — because of this Disease — and I could barely function, let alone move my body parts without excruciating agony. That sucked.
And I’m aware people think I’m exaggerating about the pain.
I have a high tolerance for pain. I think a lot of athletes have to in order to get the job done.
I’m not exaggerating.
I am often in agony. I’m in pain right now.
I consider opiates. Knowingly. I’ve resisted on purpose. But I am ALWAYS in pain. And I mean it wakes me up every night and I cry out in agony from my bed trying to reposition my screaming body.
I also realized I could make a career out of something else and I drew up a business plan, presented it to a local business, and they loved it so much they hired me immediately. Unfortunately, the four hour meeting that was meant to be a fifteen minute presentation brought my never-ending Disease out full throttle again, and I realized I could never do what I wanted to do if I continued to have unannounced Flare-Ups that left me paralyzed — unable to walk or talk.
Imagine ME not being able to talk. Everyone’s favorite joke against me is “silence is golden.” But do you know what happens when I stop talking?
It IS silent.
And no one likes that.
Silence makes people uncomfortable.
People want to be stimulated if not entertained.
Perhaps that’s why an ASPD outlook gives me the confidence to say: I AM the main event.
Nevertheless, I am writing all this to share some things I wanted to put out there, about me, and where I’ve been. First, for 5 months in 2017, when the dam broke, and I was quarantined to a typically empty apartment because my ex was a beaver, and then, in late 2018 because my brain just wasn’t keeping up and my body was broken — I really went through it.
I REALLY went through it.
By “it” I mean that when the pandemic hit, absolutely NOTHING about how I was existing changed except that now — everyone was wearing masks. In THAT way, the pandemic did not make me stir-crazy the way it affected other people.
But, when people started losing it about being locked down, I remember thinking, “this is the first time I don’t care that “they” don’t like it and have feelings about it.
I have no empathy.
Because we’re not going through the same thing at all. For them, this will eventually end. But for me, it will be the rest of my life. And if I had had competent Doctors when I was a teenager, or possibly even earlier than that, maybe I wouldn’t have made the choices I made when I was 24. Maybe I could have prevented 13 hard years of regret.
Instead, I’m blocked, getting worse all the time.
An Author without words; a Writer without words.
I have lost so many people in my life because of Disease.
I have lost entire communities who turned their back on me.
I lost friends.
And I also gained a couple of really close ones.
And now — I have a plan — and I’ve given myself a timeline. There are 3 projects that I have given myself 3 years to complete — and I intend to do just that.
Unfortunately for me, I could use help, and I know people who could help me, but they won’t.
And I still often need Pedialyte because I am ALWAYS dehydrated.
I take 26 pills every day. I am “only” 37 years old. That is more than what my Father was taking when he had tons of medical issues before he was dying, and it’s even more than what he took when he was dying, and he would have been 84 this year.
I really hate complaining — although that statement seems like BS based on what I’m sharing now.
But there are these things that are just so much worse since that dam broke.
For example, the second hot sun touches my skin, it burns. IMMEDIATELY.
Showers are agonizing to the point they’re some days impossible. (And I do NOT have a bathtub nor can I afford one at this time in case you’re wondering — because EVERYONE ASKS ME THAT.)
My hands are almost always shaking. This isn’t new. It’s just worse. Imagine something as simple as painting your finger nails while someone’s chewing on a nerve in your arm.
Now imagine trying to hold a plate of food with the same effect.
Imagine you took a serious interest in photography and suddenly couldn’t hold a camera. Imagine you shake so badly that even the accessory that is supposed to ground and steady the camera doesn’t work. Imagine you giving your love of that up because you can’t take pictures like you used to anymore.
That broke my heart, y’all.
I was so proud of myself for weeding my front garden bed that has been a disaster for years now, after I cleaned out our gutters as well. Unfortunately, I ended up getting poison ivy. Poison ivy is not supposed to last longer than 3 weeks. I’ve had it for at least 5 weeks now. It’s because my immune system is absolutely shot, though no one seems to be able to explain why, AND even though what I suffer from is not considered auto-immune.
I started falling asleep while driving so I haven’t driven in 3 years.
I started falling asleep while reading, which meant I fell face first into my books, sometimes with my glasses on (oops!) and when I woke up hours later my face, glasses, neck, and back were destroyed.
I fall asleep when I’m eating.
I have dropped food suddenly all over the place while putting it on my plate because I guess now I’m somewhat narcoleptic.
On the plus side, since last month, for whatever reason, I have been Blessed and have been able to read without falling asleep as often as I used to so I am taking advantage of that HARD.
Writers have to read!
Things that people take for granted I cannot even consider doing ever again.
But that’s okay.
Because I have resigned myself to some things. And I’m positive and excited about them all.
With respect, I [also] don’t want/need suggestions on what I “should” look into for relief.
You cannot help me. Empathic period.
Not with supplement suggestions or exercise recommendations or diet changes or by asking questions or my very least favorite with books about how it’s all in my head — (that was the suggestion from my college roomate of 3 years who I was extremely close to but I have since cut out of my life — and THAT’S not even the reason why — although it could have been or should have been — but I think I’ll keep that story in my pocket for another day because it is a doozy).
I currently see exactly 11 specialists who give me conflicting information and cat-scan and x-ray me so often that I am certain that I am going to die from brain cancer because I have been exposed to so much radiation by now — to my head — that I think it’s inevitable.
There is exactly one person who can alleviate my pain — and because of my financial situation I cannot afford to see her right now (and that’s not her fault — insurance is BS). If I get my 3 goals accomplished in the 3 years then I will be able to — and I hope she’s still here — because I would see her 5 times a week if I could. She is my Acupuncturist — and she is absolutely AMAZING. Shoutout to Karen who is the only one I trust with genuinely helping me to feel my best. And shoutout to my Wifey who told me about her. Both of you have helped me live more of my life than I could have hoped. If I saw you more I’d be so much better, I know it. Fingers crossed that it is in my future.
I have so much hope.
I want to make that extremely clear.
I am sharing what I share because I feel I owe the people who have reached out to me (thank you, by the way, for doing so) asking where I’ve been and why I’m not writing here some information if not an explanation.
I care about my readers!!!!!
And I want to be informative.
I want people to know what I go through.
It has been so rough (garbh).
But I am fighting back.
In addition to my 3 main goals I decided I’m going to start taking words back.
I made the decision last month to try to finish my goal of reading 52 books before the end of the year. I’m working on it.
I am also fighting back by learning Scottish Gaelic.
I decided that if this Disease is going to take things away from my brain — I am going to shove new things in as much and as often as I can.
I AM going to learn NEW things.
I’m not going to give up.
I take notes about words I want to look up.
And I’m studying them.
I am learning history and realizing how much public education failed me in so many ways.
But it is awesome to think about all of the things that I CAN do now that my schedule is completely effed so it is impossible for me to have a 9-5. It leaves OTHER options open.
Like writing this for me and hopefully for you — those of you who stuck it out.
I’m hopeful — about the future — because I see one.
I’m making myself see one.
I’m not dead yet.
I’m just getting started.
I am basically starting over as that 24 year old — only I’m much stronger, wiser, confident, and have more experience than I did 13 years ago.
But I get to start my real life now.
The one I should have started to begin with.
But back then I didn’t really live for me. I did what was expected of me. Happily, at the time.
But I knew after one semester it wasn’t going to work out. It wasn’t what I thought it would be, and when one of those five men I mentioned at the beginning of this post that I had a chance with announced that he was leaving after the first year was over because even though he did incredibly well in class — he hated it — and said so — and he left — I envied him.
I wish I had followed my own path like he did.
I could have been happy so much sooner.
I might have a family by now.
But what ifs don’t really get us anywhere positive.
And it’s time for me to stay positive.
Lord knows I AM trying.
Before I forget completely, I know why streaming services started putting that optional button up that says, “pick something for me,” or whatever. I believe it’s because people are spending more time trying to decide what they want to watch than they are watching content. Because there’s too much freaking content! Don’t let them fool you. Don’t let Skynet win. 😉
I hope you can imagine how difficult it feels for me to try to “date” at the moment.
The prospect of a relationship is daunting because I’m me.
I’m on a dating website that is overwhelming me. I get a lot of attention, and I cannot keep up. That’s not a low key brag — it’s just the truth. And then I have this awesome relationship that formed out of an unexpected friendship that I never saw coming. Seriously. What a brilliant move.
After months of talking I asked him if he had done this with women in the past — because I thought it was so slick and he had mad game to approach me this way. He said [apparently] honestly, “No. You are just someone so interesting. You don’t flirt or say things you think I want to hear. You talk about things that no one has ever asked me about before. I wanted to have you in my life in some way even if it was just as friends.”
Then. Flash forward.
Me: “I know that you are probably going out with other women because I turned you down and that’s obviously fine because it’s none of my business. But if you aren’t serious with anyone, now that you know me better, are you still interested in dating me?”
Him: “First of all, I am not seeing anyone else. And yes, I’m extremely interested in dating you. Let’s set a date.”
All of that is very flattering to me. But also horribly overwhelming. I don’t know where to put it.
So, now with a better understanding between me and myself I am willing to say: I am a difficult case. I know I am. I have a fear of commitment. I have a fear of being alone. I simultaneously do not and also fully understand why I am not like everyone else I know.
And that’s no little thing.
Everyone should watch “Cool Runnings” by the way. Then you’ll understand how the above phrase changed my life and why I say it when something incredibly meaningful happens in front of me or to me. — I “just” need to keep seeing those “no little things” in myself.
So that’s where I’m at y’all. For better or worse.
Ach. Who am I kidding?
Day 9. Tomorrow I hit double digits.
😎 Bussin. As always, be good to each other ❤️🎶✌🏿✌🏻✌🏾✌🏼✌🏽!!!!!
Author’s note: mostly written yesterday — edited today. And I’ve hit double digits y’all. 🌤️☀️🔆😎