• family,  flawed but authentic,  hard!!

    To The Family Tribe of the Other

    Hi. If you read that long epistle I wrote and got really irritated and bugged and kept rolling your eyes or thought things like, “it’s not that bad,” or “she’s exaggerating and it’s disgusting,” or “we’re not like that at all,” then rest assured it was not for you! Congratulations! You are not the Other in your family. Your knee-jerk reactions of anger, frustration, disgust, and fear are totally normal. It’s ok to feel threatened. It’s tribal. Let me just assure you that I’m not trying to make you do anything. I know how deep your feelings of protecting your tribe go. If you find as you read this piece…

  • family,  flawed but authentic,  hard!!,  mental health

    The Harm of Othering

    (Are you a Person of Color? You will see the * periodically throughout this piece. Please know as you read I am talking about family dynamics and not systemic racism, which is a completely different kettle of fish.) I’ve been thinking about you. And about me because I am you. And about how all of us fit together in this Earth Experience, this thing called, (as Prince said), Life. I don’t love labels so I try to avoid them, but sometimes they are helpful when you’re trying to get down to the nitty-gritty and see what’s what. There are other words we could use like “crazy” and “lazy” and “selfish”…

  • family,  hard!!,  photos

    Slowly Fading

    You wake up and everyone is outside picking peas in the garden. It’s the morning at your parent’s home before the morning you’re going to leave and go home. This visit was too short and you won’t see them for a few months. Again. Maybe six or seven. Maybe eight on the outside. Mom’s the fastest pea-picker. She’s got the most experience. Joe tries to keep up, but her fingers are defter and have years of practice. Dad is pulling up weeds, then pea plants. Occasionally he looks over, evaluates what Mom is doing and then, copying her, manages to pick a pea pod and put it in his bowl.…

  • hard!!,  health,  lupus,  mental health,  sucky,  thyroid

    Remember That One Time? When I Had Lupus?

    Here’s the skinny – I have lupus. Here’s the story, and it goes a little something like this – Lupus affects skin, joints, blood, and kidneys – for me specifically = pulmonary hypertension and pleurisy/chest pain 3 winters in a row in 2001-03 and now off and on, swollen lymph nodes, memory problems, confusion, headaches, high fevers, behavioral changes such as depression and bipolar, personality change and psychosis***, fatigue, painful joints, anemia, rash on forehead and beginning on cheeks, sun sensitivity, hair loss, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting, abnormal heart rhythms, blood in the urine and long-term elevated white-blood count since a child. The Lupus begat Fibromyalgia, a full party…

  • hard!!,  mental health

    The Real World

    My life-coach, Piper, told me about a used bookstore downtown that would give you store credit for used books. I decided I would go there and see what I could get in exchange for some airplane novels I had hanging around. Venturing out into the world that day was hard. Since I was released from the hospital, I haven’t gone and done much of anything besides going to my support groups, appointments and meetings. That morning, everything sounded overwhelming and I didn’t even want to get up. I called Piper to tell her I was staying in that day and she basically said, “Get your ass out of that bed,…

  • hard!!,  mental health

    Slip Slidin’ Away

    I know in writing this out in the open, I will lose readers. And that is alright, readers that want to leave. I totally understand. I’ll also turn potential employers away. And that is alright, potential employers. I totally understand. No one wants to read about someone else’s misery. It sounds pathetic, self centered, whiny and stupid. But, write I will, because today I still can. The thing about slipping away, slipping under, the light getting smaller and smaller, is that you don’t realize it’s happening until it’s too late. You’re going along, not thinking about how things are getting incrementally harder because you’ve always had days that are harder.…

  • hard!!,  mental health,  photos

    This Post is All About Me. Seriously. Me. Me. Me.

    This is a post all about me and it’s filled with photos of me and I’m going to be talking about me and pretty much only me. Feel free to move on if this doesn’t interest you. And let’s be honest – it probably only interests me. I’ve never been happy with the way I look. Ever. I hated my fat arms and thighs when I was around 8. I hated the shape my legs made when I sat on a chair and I tried to not rest all my weight down so it appeared (probably only to me) that I was thinner. I’m the short one on the left…

  • hard!!,  in the car,  mental health,  that joe,  true love

    Neon

    If they came and kidnapped me right now and blindfolded me, gagged me stuck me in the trunk I would stay calm because I know the roads. I would know where they took me. Quick left, quick right, quick left to the freeway or the other way. The slow S shape winding back and forth. They won’t go 35 and 45. They are in a hurry. They will push it and speed. And when the orange sign warns that going over 30 round this turn will lead to death and it will be your own fucking fault they won’t listen. They will go as fast as they want. But the…

  • blessings,  hard!!,  mental health

    Now Shhhh

    “Now shhhhhhhh,” she says, “you’ve said it all once and now you’re repeating yourself. It’s time to listen to someone with some age on her bones.” I tried to stop the pointless murmuring coming from my lips and tune into her voice. The phone was slippery against my wet cheek and I pushed it closer to block out the sound of my brain. “Now, you listen to me. Life is hard. It’s hard for everyone and if it wasn’t this it would be something else. The trick is to be thankful for your own set of troubles because believe you me, you don’t want someone else’. Yes, you’ve got it…

  • hard!!

    A Decision

    And then he started yelling No! His face turned dark red and his hands squished his cheeks forward, moving all around his head, messing up his hair, then back to his cheeks. He was so overcome with emotion that the only word he could get out was No! No! He nearly lept out of his skin – I saw it begin to happen and then recede. His body could have charged a car battery. I watched in disbelief, then horror. And then I refused to see it anymore.