Not In Kansas Anymore...

Click your heels, and see if home is where you hang your hat, or somewhere else inside yourself as this simple, postmodern girl takes on L.A.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Those of you who are cold-calling people for the "Say Yes to Prop 8 Campaign" need to know one thing:

You've got the wrong house, bitches. Don't even bother calling me again.

Thank you, and have a nice day.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Whew, okay.

If the collective tension in the US and my personal life dont diffuse soon, I might indeed blow up. Or shave my head a la Britney for real this time. I'm sort of flying without a net right now-- Therapist J and I are on hiatus because I'm so broke, and of course, this is when the stuff starts flying around. I knew it wasn't the best plan of attack to take a break at this juncture but I really didn't have a choice. Now it's to the point where I'm calling my parents tomorrow and saying, "Remember when you told me you'd possibly be able to help me out in November with some bills?" I SO don't want to have to do that, but frankly, I need a shrink.

James and I have been talking, as I mentioned before. Lately we've been talking about all the shit that went down between us when we were together, which....well, is hard to summarize. It was the first time I ever got sick, and it was a sudden onset of an insidious illness in a very, very young woman. ( I was 23. ) I hardly knew what hit me, and then the doctors arrived in a deluge of diagnoses/drugs/dispassion, and everything went downhill from there. From being overtreated to being ignored completely, to being told it was all in my head, to being left on my own to cope with functioning one day and then grinding to a complete and total halt for the next 4 years, it was traumatic to say the least.
Sadly, James and I had fallen truly, madly, deeply in love only two months prior. (I can't do anything to explain that kind of love, since it seems hyperbolic to do so. It was The Real Deal, full on, hold-onto-your-hat kind of "Wuv, twue wuv" ( "The Princess Bride") that people look for their whole lives. There- that's my attempt to describe it, as honestly as I can.) And together we watched nothing improve and everything happy slip away from us, from very different vantage points. There were no support groups of merit. There were no good medicines. There were no doctors who understood; not side effects, long-term brain damage, trauma ( we're only beginning to understand that NOW in psychiatry as a science). There were no therapists who knew how to advise well, because they could barely use the DSM to figure it all out. There were no outside authorities to help, and I proceeded to become more and more inert. We held together out of sheer and total absolute love and passion for each other, but....well, I was sick and he was on his own to cope. It was like we were both in our own private hell seperately, and hanging on desperately to each other.
And then it imploded, the details of which I will likely spare you because it would take too long to explain. We split, but we had what I call "The Bad Divorce". It's an apt way to describe it, because we didn't want to let go of each other, and yet, we were supposed to be separating our lives, and it shook down ugly. In my life I don't think I've ever been through something so excruciating since. It is surely the hallmark of what is part of the trauma I carry to this day about relationships. It ended up being a trainwreck of front-page porportions where we were left picking pieces of it out of our skins for years to come.

And all of this at the tender ages of our twenties. Twenties! What did anyone know then? I sure knew some things for sure, but I was totally making it up as I went along. I was barely an adult, and I was wildly independent,very headstrong and passionate, and still had some things to learn about boundaries, womanhood, and self-respect. He was older, but had weathered a disastrous 2-year marriage to a Borderline Personality Disorder wife that had made his life a nightmare day to day, and left him battered about the nature of illness and independence; he was also trying to figure out what it meant to love without limits, including himself. This all would have been challenging-- but likely do-able-- WITHOUT the malestrom of outside forces hitting the small coastal town that was Us. I mean, people in marriages at 40 something might be able to do it, but some can't. And then there we were. Babies, wanting only to waltz off into the sunset and be happy after our earlier lives had thrown us a few loops, and then the hurricane hit. It wasn't fair. Not in any way.

All I knew, and all he knew was: This Person is the Love of My Life. And it's all coming apart. What now?

Obviously, as I've already mentioned, it didn't go well ( an understatement to end all understatments). But time has passed and over the years, some attempts at amends have been made. With each attempt, another logjam in my psyche gets moved forward, and I release the pain and terror and loss that is frozen there. In the last week or so we've been mostly just speaking about everything from a calm, respectful perspective that only time and lots of expensive shrinkage can bring. I think it's good, I do. I especially listen to James right now with an ear to his relationship with his new wife, since I have often felt in the past 15 (!) years that well, this was my one shot and it tanked, and maybe I don't get another. Maybe we don't get that lucky in this life. His relationship with Diane tells me that's not true. Instead of being jealous or resentful I'm hopeful that I get one, too. I try to think of all this conversation as a step in that direction. Whatever we can let go of is capable of making room for what is going to come. Which is hopefully more amazing than we can even imagine.

I hope.

Anyway, today, we got to the "So, while we're at it, why DID you leave?" portion of the bill, and....while he was able to reassure me that it wasn't any character flaw or deficit in me-- despite some of the things he may have said on the way out--it sort. Of. Had to be done. Sometimes when I would try to explain the strength and power of love between us and then have to get to the ending, people would ask, "Why?" And all I could say was, "He bailed." It's the simplest way to say it. He did. And he did it, according to him now, "without a parachute, and with the most heart wrenching tear as I hit the ground." He wishes he could have been stronger, better, more capable of waiting, more capable of anything to keep us together. But well, you know. I've already said it.

Sometime we are just who we are Then,and we are a victim of nothing but the Time We Live In, with regard to what's available to help us. I was too. I wish I could have been braver and stronger and known all I do now about trying to make it all work. I don't know how I feel about his explanation, but I'm not entirely sure what else there is to SAY about it. It's all true. It was all wretched and bad, and while in my 25 year old heart ( when we split) I want to scream "You fucker! You should have hung in there! Why didn't you have more faith???" , how can I say that to someone who wishes he could have but knows he failed at it and has had to work to forgive himself til NOW when he finally remarried??

How do I let go of all that all that decision of his wreaked and say, "Okay, I can accept it now"? I understand it. I have a great deal of compassion for it, mostly because his efforts to ask for forgiveness and be present for me while I speak about this time are so pronounced, and sincere. And also because I know, without a doubt, he loved me the entire time, and it never stopped. Still, the journey I took after it was radically different from his. It left me with powerful fears and a sense of not-safe-in-the-world that took years to overcome ( the latter, I can say, at least, was likely installed by my lame, lame mother, who seemed to have missed the Nurturing Gene moms are supposed to get. I always laugh when people say that all moms love their kids and want to protect them. No, some of them dont. And some of them, even if they do, are so emotionally stunted they don't know how. At any rate, that precondition left me less likely to know how to float and nurture myself. To say it was difficult was to say it was like I was learning Farsi while in a foxhole. Get it?) .

So. So.....

That's alot to be wading through. I'm getting that "I might throw up right now from all the emotional information" feeling and while I did my best to express to him my thanks and appreciation for being so honest,( because how often in life do you get that chance to repair something like this?), I also said I might need some time to process this. I kind of need the ear of wise people and some grounding and support on my end to rifle through what's been said. I know he'll understand that. He hasn't done anything wrong, and I asked for all the information he has so graciously given me. But I think I need to take care of myself , so I mentioned if I slip away for awhile, to please give me that latitude.

I also say this to prepare anyone who reads this for a phone call in case I find myself overwhelmed. And maybe to say I don't know how blogging is going to go for a bit. It's kind of hit or miss right now. So far I've been able to sort of stay on top of all my feelings and manage to keep it together, ( which is really, really great and a triumph of itself!) but I've just hit maximum capacity on this, and combined with everything else, I'm not really as cute an quippy and oh-so-articulate right now, and I don't know how that might persist in the days to come.

At least this time I have a shrink, and at least this time I have meds, and at least this time...well, it's the first moment where I've been able to say, "At least this time, I'm almost 40 and not so inexperienced and raw anymore," and have it be a good thing.

Along with Pre-Election Tension that certainly hasn't been seen since the Nixon/Vietnam era that permeates what feels like every molecule around these days ( how many more days? 7. The longest 7 days in American political history post Bay of Pigs ? Post 9/11? ) and the $400 phone bill for AT&T that I can do nothing more than toss aside with the remaining $10 in my wallet, I'm just.....ugh, kinds of wrestling right now with .....MORE emotional garbage than I actually think anyone deserves.

Plus, I've just come to realize, inside myself and from conversations with key others that my intuition about Heroin Boy is likely correct. In short, fact that he's more likely to fuck my shit up than to JUST be nice and relieve my unbearable lust is a relief to finally accept as fact. He might smell like Gumdrops and Feathers and I might HOPE he'd somehow not be a total loser in a romance setting, but the fact of the matter is that all information points to him really fucking things up in an attempt to sort his own shit out while I'm there, trying to stay sane. And we all know I don't need a fixer upper and that I don't have to save him, it's not my job.

Plus,-- and all this aside from his curent ghostly-but-appropriate greif-stricken state; I am speaking here to a general condition outside current circumstances-- I find him to be inscrutable and I never find anyone to be inscrutable. Hardly ever. I don't like to brag on myself, but people are pretty much people, and their motivations and goals are always there if you look closely. ( I'm an actor. This is my job. Plus, I studied to be a therapist. Trust me, paying attention is 89% of the deal, and if you cultivate the habit of doing so, its really a fascinating trip around the planet.) HE, however, has me mystified. While Sleuth Jessica is ever so intrigued and wants to dig til she gets to the bottom, I am also wise enough to say, "Yeah, the fact that he's inscrutable to you? NOT a good sign. It means something is UP, and not just in the "maybe-I-drink-too-much-on-the weekends-'cause-I-won't-go-to-therapy" kind of up. More like " I'm-clinically-undiagnosed-and/or-a-malignant-narcissist/liar" kind of up. I really hope I'm wrong about that,and this is just a type of person I've never seen before, for everyone's sake, including his own.

In summary, I have the gut feeling he would be of no real good to me. I've had that and have been wrestling with it for some time. It's pretty hard when you want to er, lick someone from head to toe in a manner better befitting something on the Discovery Channel. It's also pretty hard when, as my shrink has been talking me through, there's all this *ping ping ping* in my intuition going off. I don't think it was coincidence he walked through my door the way he did, and there's this definite "meant to meet" sense about it ( to which he is utterly oblivious to the point of disinterest in my existence. I would say that means I'm making it up, but uh, NO. I'm rarely wrong about these things), and I wish it would leave me alone. If one feeling existed without the other, I'd probably be in pretty good shape and able to shake it much more effectively. As it stands, they don't, so I'm feeling pretty weird, and jacked around and then confused and then pissed. You can imagine when I DO have to interact with him personally it's a Which only makes me feel like a tool, and then it starts all over again. It's really exhausting.
I probably just need to get a different job and move away and forget it, which would be way easier at this point.

Or, find a nice boy to date and sleep with and become distracted in that as much as possible. And throw myself into work, work, work in Job #3 ( Yet To Be Named). And beg,borrow and plead back onto the couch and then get the hell out of here to Paris not a moment too sooooooooooon.

Man, everything's on spin cycle. If it's not there, its in that limbo phase the washer goes into while it's soaking your whites, and about to start up again. I just want it all to be nice and clean and rinsed free of remaining dirt and squeezed free of any remaining dripping water, and be ready to be still and fresh and pretty an new again.

I have to believe everyone wants that right now. So as a total ( not totally, really) non-sequiter, Go Obama. And let this new moon we're waxing up to be completely productive and stabilizing and reconciling and finishing off the old to bring in the good, good new. Yeah? Yeah.

Blessed be and Amen to that.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Nothing real new to report. Money is so tight I can barely breathe. I am rather frantically trying to figure out what the hell to do, since I won't be paid from Literacy Job untill Nov.5 at the earliest, which is only an extra bit a week.

I don't recall if I mentioned Literacy Job in all the bullshit that's been flying around, but basically I supervise what we call "Power Lunches" at a local grade school. During 3/4/5th grader lunch times, we pair at-risk kids up with a mentor, usually someone who's a professional or a senior citizen, who will give the kids a perspective on a different set of life choices. Nothing is said, but the example is there, KWIM? Anyway, the adult and the kid read together in the library, have this nice friendship, and the kids' skills go up, too. It's a nice deal. I only am needed 3 days a week for 3 hours, and so it's super easy. I really love the program; I just wish it loved my checking account more.

And, I am totally pissed that I spent all of Sept and now most of Oct waiting for this Job of Great Promise to make up their minds, and of course they havent. I applied to be Director of Religious Education at a local UU Church ( which would be PERFECT for me, since I AM UU and I HAVE a degree, I've WORKED in education...need I go on? Plus it pays Big Money and is freelance ( I work from home every day but Sunday)! Needless to say, I WANT IT. It is MY JOB. MY JOB!!! (:: Bangs podium like Amy Poehler doing Hillary Clinton:: ) Ahem.
Anyway, since they're a church with no central governing body, everything is decided via committee. They interveiwed me, I came up for services, I met the pastor, ( who LOVED me, thankyouverymuch), I told them ideas I had for the program, they called all my fantastic references and.....nothing. I had to call my contact with them last week and she sounded like I bothering her. I said only, "I'm just calling to check on your progress; I hadn't heard anything in awhile. Did you make a decision, and if not, will you be notifying all the candidates when you do?" She said, "Oh, we're still interviewing. We're going to take our time about this. We'll be sure to let you know what we decide when we decide."

Oh, thanks, lady. It's almost NOVEMBER and we all just have all the time in the frickin' world to wait around while you people dither over this. I know, I know; it's an important position, and they have every right to take their time.

But see, here's the deal: I know how UU, Unitarians , Ethical Societies, et al, work. They squabble and pick and whine about every niggling detail on things in committee after committee untill the whole thing has been worked over and cobwebs are starting to form around the chairs. Since my job won't involve that kind of bullshit TOO much, that's fine. But cheeseandrice, people, get OVER it. Nothing is going to be exactly what you want. Make a decision and MOVE ON. And furthermore, let everyone involved MOVE ON, too. ARGH! You're supposed to be all about ethical action and social justice and peace in the world, but you're driving me to a bell tower with a sawed off shotgun. Come ON, now. Do you really expect us all to wait in this economy untill you've haggled over every liberal nugget of PC consideration? Aren't you supposed to be about COMPASSION TOWARD ALL OTHERS?? WTF?

Makes me wanna tear my hair out.

In other news, I saw H Boy at work today, gave him a big hug and I gotta tell ya, he looks like hammered hell. Not on the outside-- he looks actually slightly better than he did before he left ( I guess mom decided to feed the poor boy when he was home; he was so skinny and looking rough as hell when I saw him last, I kept wanting to offer him a plate of mac n' cheese and directions to the Salvation Army. Yeah, he was looking THAT ragged.)

But I looked into his eyes today when I had him to myself for a minute and it was nothing but pure exhaustion and despair. I almost literally felt the waves of depresssion and fatigue coming off of him. He said it's one day at a time right now, and that every work shift is something he barely gets through and then goes home and collapses. I felt so bad I didn't know what to say. I just said, no one expects anything more right now.But promise me if you need something you'll call me. He looked at me and kinda shook his head, and said, yeah. Thanks.

I could tell that's a call he'd never feel like he could make, and there was no way I could explain all the ways I would SO be okay with getting it and all the ways I've had this kind of loss and pain myself, and can so relate and could maybe even help. It just isn't in our common dialogue yet, and damn, I wish it were. I can't stand to see him suffer like that.It was acutely sad, and..yeah.

At any rate, if he's this bad, I cant imagine his parents. I'm pretty sure his brother was the only one left at home, and now they have nothing. I guess I would say that that commonly held belief is likely true: the funeral is the easier parts of burying someone. Everyone is around and its all a blur. When life settles back into the day to day it all become acutely painful and families are often left alone to struggle through because people don't want to "bother " them. And its true-- people need their time to cocoon. Still, a call now and again just to say hello and we're thinking of you cannot do anything but be a nice gesture....I don't know how I'm going to accomplish that on this end, since we are sort of friends but really not, but I am going to try. That boy is a walking ghost.

Signing off for now....

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I love this:

Let's face facts, here, people: The only reason she's gotten this far is because she's prettier and more "typically feminine" in her pro-everything-housewifey platform: she's not a threat to people because she's not a feminist, in the way that the Great Unwashed have forever thought of feminism, which is can be easily defined by every negative descriptor they've called Hillary. Not that those things about Hillary aren't true, they just don't have anything to do, really, with her being a feminist, unless it has something to do with her generation of feminisim, overall, (which is to say that she can be strident, angry, and socially wooden). However, that's no crime, it's just a likability quotient.

I wouldn't have voted for Hillary because I didn't believe in her ability to play political ball, nor did I believe in her ability to be diplomatic-- after watching her for 8 years, I realized that she has a tin ear when it comes to relating to people in a genuine way. Unfortunately, that's part of politics and it unnerved me when she started with her dirty pool against Obama as some sort of legitimate attempt to discredit him. I worried that THAT would be her default strategy when it came to the situation in Iraq, and I felt it would be ineffective. All of this, however, had little to do with her being a woman. As a strong woman, though, I would have been assured of her position on women's rights, unlike the situation with Ms. Palin.

Obviously, I won't be voting for a ticket with Palin; she's the kind of person who, if she were from Texas rather than Alaska, would have her daughter's cheerleading rivals killed. She's vicious and petty, not to mention the ultimate patriarchal dreamgirl: a woman who is more of a man's man than some men, and hey! She's good lookin' to boot! Perfection for the conservatives, eh?

As a feminist, it makes me really hacked that THESE were our two choices. Hillary is far less offensive than Palin, obviously, but because her crappy campaigning and strong feminist standpoint ( again, unrelated!) , gets lumped in as a crappy scary WOMAN candidate instead of just a crappy candidate, period. Palin comes off like someone who'd be better off campaigning for a desk at FOX News than the VP. And yet, because of BOTH of them, it's going to be awhile before another woman tackles the choice to go to the White House, and the public accepts her. And that's upsetting. Dammit.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What's been up? I'll tell you what's been up....

As you can see, re: blog, Last week was a week from.....another planet. What with talking to James and HB/his brother's death ( all over the STL news, too, and from James' reports, was one packed tearjerker of a funeral), it's been a rollercoaster.

In addition, Jeannie decided to attack me on ( last) Monday for not hopping to quickly enough for her liking when I was trying to help her with packing up Irv's stuff, and I left. Wait. I should back up:
She's decided that she wants to leave him , and has been actually very proactive in putting things in motion for a few months now. Of course, Unmedicated Bipolar II: Asshole Type Irv either spent his time denying it was going to happen and pretending they were a happy family OR telling Jeannie how great it was going to be when he was finally away from her. She'd been in the process of speaking to some women's advocate type folks (given that he's prone to rages and verbal abuse) about how to get out safely and protect Joannie from it all. The risk here is that once he realizes she's not about to hand over shared custody to man who can barely stop himself from throwing shit through windows, he's going to snap and try and kidnap Joannie, or worse. Jeannie made up a will months ago and unfortunatley, none of us think it's unrealistic for him to pull a murder/suicide out of his belt when he loses his shit.

WHICH is exactly what I told her a year ago, but let's not harp on it; things are bad enough. Things came to a head about two weeks ago when he trashed the house ( again) in one of his rages and while Jeannie was trying to quietly make an exit with her foster kitten, the rescue dog and Joannie so she didn't have to deal with the madness, he caught her. He bruised her up pretty badly by trying to drag her into the house and Jeanna called the Burbank Police. Lucky for her, you don't mess around with the Burbank Police: they aren't LAPD and they aren't LA County PD either, so they have plenty of time, resources and money to spend on manpower, and they are damned serious about abuse, or threats thereof. They had him in cuffs faster than he knew what hit him and hauled him off without even a blink.

After that, we're not sure what happened, but he must've pulled some shit, 'cause instead of serving out his 24 hours with a possible bail hearing and heading home, he got a $250,000 bail and sent to NOT one of the local county jails to wait out his time, but to Twin Towers. Let me point out here that a.) $250,000 in bail isn't exactly standard for attempted battery, and b.) Twin Towers is probably one of the worst jails in LA, if not the country. For one, it's for serious behaviorally challenged inmates who basically can't be held in other facilities, and for two, the higher floors are psych floors. Yes, you read it right. The higher floors are for psych patients who have broken the law in some grevious way and have to serve out their time in what is essentially an asylum with pharmaceutical straitjackets. EVENTUALLY you get out, but only when they think it's time, and all the rules and laws that go with being a mental patient in a hospital? Out the window. It's their territory, and it's a whole different ballgame.
(And unfortunately, it's also an unethical one for the patients in there: I had a friend in there from DBSA on accessory-to-racketeering charges ( he had been manic at the time) and he ended up being there for well over a year, even though he'd been well for a year prior to THAT and completely compliant with his docs. He had great lawyers, great tesitimonies, was extremely contrite, willing to co-operate and take responsibility. Additionally, frankly, he had been bamboozled by two OTHER guys --who were totally sane-- into being a part of this deal that had gone wrong because they picked him for a crazy sucker ( which sadly, at the time, he was). They then served their time elsewhere and in a much shorter time . As you can see, the efforts on his part didn't make a damned bit of difference, even though when he was in there he totally compliant and well behaved. He still served longer than the original criminals and was treated like total shit. Hard to believe, in the US of A, right? Well, believe it.)

Irv was in for 10 days. TEN DAYS for no other reason than we suspect he got mad at the judge when he heard about his bail, which I'm sure didn't start that high. He also made the dumb mistake of mentioning he needed his medication ( which he takes only on rare occasion) as a ploy, more than likely, to get sympathy. My comment to Jeannie was that a.) as grim of a place Twin Towers is and as much as I disdain their general practice, in this case, it bought her time to get her shit together while he was gone and b.) I hope he liked it in there, because he does anything else to her or Joannie, and you can bet money he'll be back there again.

At any rate, she managed to get a temporary restraining order against him and have the locks changed while he was in. This means he can't come home for any longer than 10 minutes to get his shit and leave, and any attempt to contact Jeannie or see Joannie will result in arrest. She's been looking for a new place to live, but it hasn't been going well. She wants to try to keep Joannie in the same school since right now, its the only consistency she's got. I agree with that, for the record, although I don't think that in the end it's going to work out that way; I think it would be a far better idea to move into a security controlled building with underground parking --more affordable, anyway--and all those apartments are on the other side of town.

What happened next between the two of us in light of all that information is going to make me look like a total See You Next Tuesday, but please recall I have been dealing with this situation for 3 1/2 years now and attempting to help her in any way I could only to either be rebuffed, ignored, or attacked in my attempts to get her on track. I've been so proud of her for beginning to clean up her own mess that I was hoping to go into helping her constructively and not just the same old defer-deny-diminish I usually see. I was also hoping that she would show some efforts in rallying her resources and not pissing away her time while Irv was in jail.

So, that Monday-- two days from Irv's release-- I got up at 9am at her call, whereupon she invited me to breakfast with some of our mutual pals, as she said she wanted "help in getting organized". ( Note: I am the Queen of Organization, and she knows it. It's a sickness. I literally have all my canned goods facing the same way. When I moved here I had the whole thing planned down to the hour. It's one way I stay sane and a complete holdover from my ex-military dad that I'm grateful for.) At any rate, from my view, she wasted alot of time, yakking and filling them all in ( I was under the assumption they had all known already) and so on and so forth. I kept trying to interject with "Jeannie, so how can we help?" and "Jeannie, what do you need from me today?" and so forth to try and get things back on track, to no avail. I mentioned twice that I had to go at 2:30, (to run an errand before work at 4:30). She had to pick up Joannie at 12:23 from Kindy as well. So the day starts heading toward noon, and I hustle her off from the bakery to the police office to file her order before she's got to run. I figure that at the very least, she's stressed and scattered, and needs someone to keep her from getting distracted,overexhausted and away from the prioritizing. I figure I'm the one there to keep her on point, which is what she had expressed initially.

She goes and picks up Joannie and realizes she needs to run an errand to pick up packing tape, etc, because she needs help packing up Irv's things. Fine. While I'm sitting there waiting for her to bring Joannie in and settle the dog, I go to check my mail, which I hadn't done all day. I also tell her that I'm going to help her make a list of how to deal with the disaster that is her house when she gets back. (It should be noted here that Jeannie keeps house like there's a natural disater approaching at any minute. Literally, there are clothes, toys, dishes, books, papers, mail, software, knick-knacks, videos, artwork and all manner of accountrement EVERYWHERE. There is no sense to it whatsoever. None. It's always been this way, and I've helped her out of this more than once, only to find her doing it again to another residence. I am beginning to have my suspicions about this tendency, as I will mention later, but suffice it to say, it is really hard to manage to help someone in this state of dissaray and chaos in her life as a constant, not just when there's a crisis. Anyway).

Because I didn't read her mind while she went out to pick up packing tape and bring in boxes from the garage and start packing up Irv's shit without her supervision, she started blowing a gasket.She starts in doing this "Fine. I'll do it myself, no one ever helps me" routine, which just a.) total bullshit and b.) utterly ridiculous since if you want help, you need to know WHAT you need help WITH WHEN. (If you can't figure that out, it is perfectly okay to sit down with someone and say, "I'm so overwhelmed, and I don't know where to start. Can you help me figure out what I need so I can ask for it? ") Not surprisingly, pissed me off. I got into it with her, and she ended up rather cruelly berating me for how much I was LIKE Irv ( WHAT?) in that I wasn't "proactive" or "thinking ahead-- why aren't you packing Irv's stuff?"( "WHAT is Irv's stuff? I'm not even sure!" "Oh, Jessica, look around!!!" Yeah, that makes it clearer in this wreckage!). She went on to point out that I was selfish ( "What were you doing, checking your email???") and unreliable ( "Oh, poor Jessica, always sick, always having to cancel. No wonder you can't keep a job. ") When I pointed out I'd been at her disposal since 9am and she had, in my view, inxplicably wasted it chatting, she said, "I needed to vent. And besides, I bought you breakfast", as if THAT made it all sensible and I was rude to have eaten it and then voiced and objection.

It all went really sour when I snapped and said some things I shouldn't have in response ( which started off with "Fuck. You. " and went on to things like "Oh, poor Jeannie; always on her own." What bullshit! Are we all psychic, Jeannie? Supposed to anticipate your every want and desire? No matter what my action would have been, it would have been the WRONG thing, and subject for ridicule, as always. ") It ended up with me saying, "Good luck" and slamming the door behind me. In retrospect: none of those words were helpful, not in getting things back on track, nor were they helpful to the situation between us overall, and they were really awful, and yet.....*sigh*.

The thing is, people are willing to help her. ( Hello? I fucking moved her out of MY apartment with NO help from her--or Irv-- when she was 8 mos pregnant. I took her in last year at this time when she decided to leave him. In neither case were my efforts good enough because in the former, I boxed things up and left them in her backyard which "set Irv off." In the latter, I was "difficult and demanding" when I asked her to pick up some laundry soap, and she instead jacked around all day and I was irritated. ). But somehow, because we can't anticipate her needs, or fufill them in the exact ways she wants, we're bad people. And she's "alone as usual", which fufills some script of hers that's been going on since she was 16 and on her own because her mom had died and her dad had checked out mentally, and she was the only kid left. It was quite sad then, and I feel for her, it's true. However, it's time to go on from there, and there's plenty of evidence to the contrary IN THE NOW.

In the end, I think a.) she has adult ADD -- after knowing her for almost 8 years, and seeing how her life works, it's the only explanation for her life to be such constant chaos and dissarray. I don't expect the whole world to face-out their canned goods, but I think being 41 and living like white-trash hoarder, not being able to keep the utilities on ( or remember where she put important things like birth certificates, etc.) with a 5 year child is reflective of either flat out neglect ( which I can honestly rule out because she loves Joannie and is a really great, totally present mom) or something else Being Off.
B.), she doesn't know how to ask for help, and probably never learned how to really do out out of subtly dancing around it and/or manipulating it out of people, and when she DOES ask, hasn't let go of feeling guilty about needing it in the first place.
Finally, c.), she isn't capable of being capable of being grateful for the help she gets because both asking and accepting make her feel guilty.

That's my take on it, and I can offer very little at this point. Last week has come and gone, Irv is out of jail. He came by, got his stuff, is staying with a friend, and has put up little resistance to anything ( he did express surprise that Jeannie didn't call him or visit when he was in jail-- total delusion, as expected). They have a hearing to see if the restraining order is to be permanent soon. Other than that, I don't know.

All I do know is that I remember this thing from Al-Anon long ago: you are not to be abused in the interest of another person's recovery. And since it has long gone past the momentary "I'm freaking out and acting like a totally nutty bitch right now in this crisis" that anyone could expect as reasonable, I feel like ONCE AGAIN I need to draw a hard line. This of course, makes me a total you-know-what. Additionally, I don't want to TOTALLY abandon her during this time, because that seems wrong, too. So, somehow, I'm going to have to roll it down the middle in some sort of compromise. Here's what I've come up with:
I'm going to write her a letter when things are more settled after this week and tell her that if she wants my help , from now on, there are rules for behavior: specific instructions at every turm since it's HER deal, and I'm here to help, not to rescue; if she needs help sorting that out, I can start there. No name calling, no losing your temper and getting ugly. Respect for MY time as much as HER need. And finally, taking responsibility for her life in the end of all of this so it doesn't all happen again.
. I don't want to turn my back on her or lose her from my life, but I can't allow her to act like that every time she freaks out about having to need people. It's not right.

*sigh of exhaustion*

In other news, I told my parents I'm going to Paris. My mom is worried I'll be abducted by French terrorists ( "Mom, it's FRANCE. Like,you know? In Europe? I realize terrorists come from all over and let's face it, lots of Islamics in France, but I'm not going to Pakistan, for chrissakes." ), and my dad wanted to know who was paying for it. ( "Me." "How?" "With money from my lawsuit. The ticket is bought, the hotel is booked, and the passport is here. It's done. " "Oh. Well, then, have a good time, I think that's great!" "Uh....I'm not coming home for Christmas so I can save money. " "In these economic times, Jessica, that makes sense."). After all was said and done, they decided it was okay. Then I announced I didn't want anything for Christmas because I just wanted travelling money. (Mom: "Yeah, so what?" Dad: "I think we can swing that. " I told my mom "I MEAN IT. No crap. No gifts. I don't NEED anything, I just want to go to France!!!" A couple of Euros says I get a pair of slippers and a box of cereal.) Luckily, Brother is a travel agent and Dad has spent lots of time abroad, so maybe they can talk some sense into her and anyone else who tries to rain on my Paris parade and/or buy some worthless trinket in lieu of stuff I'd really be able to USE this year.

In work news, Dil, the wretched SM's house was evacuated for being in the fire zone today. I felt bad for about ten minutes, and then it passed. I chastised myself mentally for not being very compassionate, but it's not that I wish the man harm or extreme loss. I just had a moment where I considred that a natural disaster ruining his property could effectively require a leave of absence that would keep him out of our hair for awhile. Sad, isn't it? Mal, who is leaving at the end of this month to go back to school (*SNIF!!*) said to all of us today, "I can say this now, because I'm outta here, but I've worked for this company for 15 years, and he's the worst manager I've ever seen. He's arrogant, and stupid, because it's a deadly combination. He's incompetent, and it takes all four of us (ASMs) to keep him in check all the time. My advice to all of you staying on is to REPORT HIM for any small thing that he does that you find offensive. Because otherwise, this is going to be a living nightmare for you, and you don't deserve it. " He went on to state that he himself is going to be taking the opportunity to sit Dil down before his last day and effectively tell him, "You need to quit. You're completely unaware of what doing this job entails, and you are in over your head. ". (Oh, to be a fly on the wall during THAT conversation....). For Mal, who is so easy-going, funny, and yet totally responsible and professional to be reduced to this and to ADVISE this, is really serious. I can't emphasize that enough.

And there's Christmas to get through yet with Dil, without Mal. Oh, joy to the world, yadda yadda my ass.

And of course, the Unitarians are taking their sweet time in deciding if they want me or not. Typical. Without a central governing body in their faith, everything is done by committee, which in case you've never been involved in something like that, is something like getting a haircut one strand at a time, while every hairdresser in the salon expresses an opinion about it. In short, its maddening. And maddening waiting for a decision, thank you very much.

Luckily, I did get a small part time job with my friend Sofia's organization Everybody Wins!, a literacy group. I only get 9 hours a week, but I go and supervise one-to-one reading between at-risk kids and professional mentors. It's a great program, and the school I'm assigned to is less than 2 miles away from my house. However, THAT has yet to start, so I'm still waiting on THAT, too.

So I sit and do laundry and watch the bills pile up, the holidays grow closer and a trip abroad approach with no money in the bank. On top of it, Angel is extremely edgy about being kept inside for October ( the All Black Kittehs Inside Month. Halloween, ya know, and lots o' crazies everywhere out to get them ;especially the Latino population, for some reason, on this point. Humane societies wont even adopt out cats of ANY color at this time of year, but especially not black ones. Hard to believe people are still so superstitious and hostile, eh?). He's also in dire need of a friend, but I can't even afford the $68 adoption fee to bring a kit home. Hell, I'm looking at taking a hiatus from therapy because I can't even afford that right now, even when I need it most! Needless to say, things are getting a little outrageous.

Oh, how I pray for Ed MacMahon and a giant check. Or a game show audition for "The Price Is Right". (I wonder how they cast for that?)

Wish me luck and keep your fingers and toes crossed. Hell, just pray for me. That's better than I can muster myself these days in my bitter cyniscsism. Lord knows I could use a faith injection to pull me through til something... well, pulls through.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Okay, so the same day the HB shiz went down, I got an email from an old ex of mine on Facebook.

I should mention that I have only joined Facebook recently and under peer pressure. ( I was feeling as an actor, you know, I should. And I wasn't going back to MySpace.) So, I was on Facebook and I found my old ex, James.

I should explain that James and I....we had a very intense 4 year relationship in my early 20s that should have culminated in marriage but didnt. Thats probably for the best, considering who I was at the time and who he was, but the ending was possibly the most ruinious thing I have ever experienced. It was like a bad divorce- pain and regret and a wrenching separation all around.

We did eventually make amends after 2 years of no speaking, in 1999. He apologized for all the shitty things he did and I took responsibility of all the stuff that was crazy-making on my part. And then we sort of parted ways, only barely keeping in touch for awhile and then not at all til now.

Til now. I emailed him and wanted to know how he was-- I was just thinking it would be nice to know. It is nice to know. It is also monumentally WEIRD to know. I can't explain it. I'm also having a freak out of bizarre proportions on the level of:

He's married. He's married to an old mutual acquaintance of ours ( she's lovely and funny and great, so he made a good choice!). Is it weird that I find that weird???Is it weird that I am totally like...WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ME THAT ALL MY EXES ARE BEATING ME TO THE ALTAR??? Seriously, why does everyone I ever knew have better lives than I do? My life sucks! I'm despondant, because everyone has moved on and I haven't...and what the HELL IS WRONG WITH ME?? Why do all the men I date have to work out their issues on ME and then after we break up they go into therapy and become good men and marry SOMEONE ELSE and have a happy ever after and I am turning into a spinster??? Seriously....what is WRONG with ME?

None the above is not meant to make any sense, BTW. IT's just the dialogue in my head that loops around. Ridiculous and petty and childish. And completely out of porportion. In the end, I'm not bitter about his happiness, I'm just being childish and petty. I'm allowed every once in awhile, I say.....But I went through a little spinout about that, and then I went to work and dealt with Boy. It was a fun day, to say the least.

I guess I asked for this one. But in some ways, I suppose it's hard to straddle this fence on "this person was an ENORMOUS part of my life and development" and "we don't really speak anymore." But I guess that's the deal of it, really. It's bizarre and yet a truism of intense romantic relationships. It's just so strange, although makes perfect sense, which is really kind of oxymornonic, and that's hard to manage.

It's not like we're "friends" in terms of I'd go to dinner with him on a regular basis or call him if I had a problem, all of the sudden.. It's more like we're on peaceful terms and haven't spoken in almost 7 years so it was probably all right to say "hi" and get an update. I don't think I could EVER be you know, IN his life again, in any significant way again, not even in the "invite her over once a year for New Years Eve" kinda way. That would skeeve me out, and probably be just....weird.

I don't know. We have been emailing like mad catching up and it's completely enjoyable when I'm not feeling...a little bit off center. Nothing has changed in terms of our getting along about random books, tv and interests. And we have alot of people in common ( HB included! Shocker!), so it's nice to catch up and gossip. He's so happy I emailed him, and that we can talk. I am too.

However, I had to remind him today that it's still a little odd for me; he was bringing me up to date on his family, and saying I should get in touch with them too. I was like, "James. You need to understand. When we split, you obviously got to keep your family, and I had to grieve them as a loss. I loved them like my family, because that is how I love. It is also reflective of how I was thinking about the permanence of our relationship at the time. When you speak of them, I am so happy that I get to hear of them and glad for their well being. But it brings back so many memories and memories of loss. I can only do one person at a time, here. That whole period in my life was so painful, and while I am not angry or bitter anymore, and I am glad we are in touch, it is reaching outside my comfort zone to do so, so please understand I need to be slower in this. "

I think he'll understand. And I hope in the end it will be healing for me for that whole painful period and it's aftermath. While alot of it has healed, ( like, for example, I don't feel the need to rehash any old shit with James anymore, nor am I carrying a torch, so that's done), I feel like, well, obviously I need to really be able to put it all to rest finally, after all. It's not like I stand around thinking about our relationship or how it failed every day or even at all. What's done is done and that's it, with regard to that. My only sadness is that I haven't found anyone to love again like I loved him. (Well, Anthony. But we all know that disaster.). And perhaps the only was that sadness will be healed is when I do. I don't know.

But those years were so awful, and part of that was losing all that I loved in one fell swoop, pretty much. Not only did we split, but I lost his family. I lost alot of friends. I was almost totally alone and dealing with an illness every day without much support. I was lonely and sad and devastated and broken-hearted. I had to pick myself up from the bottom of the barrell and try to make my life work without my family's help, James' help, or friends' help. I don't know that if there was a worse time in my life.

Suffice it to say in part I had to put it away in a box to cope, and survive. I see now that the box is open. I am stronger now, and perhaps I will be able to go back and look at it all and become more at peace with it and greive it no more. Maybe it is all part of a process helping me become more whole with who I am and where I've been. I always thought I pretty much was/am, but obviously, some things that linger need to be let go of. I think I can handle that, since the result can be nothing but good.

Anyway, it's been a hell of a week, what with that and HB and then his tragedy. It's like the Universe is on Tilt-A-Whirl and I'm holding on and hanging in, knowing it stops eventually, and all will land where it should. Or so I hope. I'm leaning on faith for that one.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

His brother died. HB's brother just died yesterday. A total accident, he fell while rock climbing. He was 18. It was on the front page of the online newspaper.

So sad. A family tragedy, to state the obvious.

Shit. I feel like an ass for taking him to task on Sat. But, I'm not psychic. Not like that. He had, in fact, pissed me off, so....???

We're not close at all, so as someone mentioned to me, I shouldn't beat myself up. And they're right. But he's got no one here and I had just told him to basically grow the fuck up and play nice and good luck with that.

So I took a minute and messaged him that we had a clean slate. If he needed anything, to call ( don't worry, I won't be waiting by the phone. This is HIS thing. HIS FAMILY'S thing. Not about me, and this little personal momentary guilt pang is about as narcissistic as I'm gonna get about it, I assure you.). That he had support in LA if he wanted it.

Timing is just a trick of fate. You think you know, but you have no idea. On so many levels. Sometimes, it's just really unfair, and I wonder why sometimes. Why bad things happen to people when they're already down. Why dumb misunderstandings happen at the worst times. Why it's all so unpredictable.

Life is so....adjectives fail me these days. This is just one of those times where you wish you had a Google Map so you could zoom out and see the bigger picture, 'cause surely it would help.


I don't know. I really don't. Like everyone else, I'm just making up as I go along.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Good god. As if the week wasn't going to be weirder. There's plenty of weird going around ( it'll take a whole other post to explain why TODAY in particular really blew, but you'll have to wait for that one. However, I offer you part of the reason now ) and it certainly seems like the Universe has me working overtime on Stuff. (At least it's getting resolved, I suppose. Or something. But it's like dentistry, and you know how I feel about that. Not enough numb to go around, trust me.) It has been weird and it all has sucked, in my humble opinion, although that doesn't seem to matter much, in these kinds of things. And it just got weirder, like I already mentioned.

Okay, so I finally had a one-to-one with Heroin Boy about the weird behavior. If nothing else, it was to make ME feel better. Here's the results.....

I'll cut to the chase: I don't understand how someone so fucked up could be so nice and tolerant, but he's basically a self-involved jerk. Not to ME in particular, but to people in general. Or so he states, and trust me, now I believe it.

Here's what happened: I go into work. He's perfectly normal. I say, "So, can I have your ear for 10 minutes or so after work? I know you're tired and I will be too, but I would like to talk to you ." He said, "Okay....everything all right?" I say, "Um. I'm not sure. But no worries. I just think we " He looks at me kind of askance, but agrees to it.

The rest of the night is totally normal and he's totally normal and we joke and laugh and all the rest. We close and we walk out to the parking lot and I'm like, "Let's just sit." And he lights a cigarette, inhales ( sexy, dammit), and asks again if everything's okay. I launch into:

"Um, this is awkward, but indulge me for a minute, 'cause I'm kind of confused about things with regard to communication between you and me. I call, leave messages, I email, and nothing. I am feeling weird about it, and so I wanted to sort of.....uh, well, I guess, make sure you weren't misunderstanding anything. For my own sake, really. I don't want to put you on the spot, so I'm not going to ask you to answer WHY to anything. I don't want to make you feel uncomfortable, and this is awkward enough already.

See. Okay. When I met you, I thought , "Oh awesome!', because I was excited that someone else from St. Louis was here and going through what I was going through, and I thought that was cool, because living here sucks. As you know. And I was really wanting to be your friend. But dont respond to contact. And that seems weird to me, so I've been concerned there's been some sort of ...that you've been laboring under a false understanding.

So let me clear some things up. I don't want you thinking that I'm trying to hit on you, because you have a girlfriend- ex-girlfriend- whatever ( he makes an "Ugh, THAT situation" face and smiles). I wouldn't DO that, because I dont GO THERE in those situations. That's not my thing. Plus, it's sort of ethically questionable. Completely not cool. So I was worried you were thinking THAT.

Then I wanted to say that I really see all these strange coincidences happening with all these people we know in common, and while I find that amusing and cool, and even a point to bond on, clearly you said nothing about it. I was thinking perhaps you were freaking out about it. When....well, here's the deal: it can't be helped. We come from a small pool. ( He nods, and is still smiling, like this is all very amusing.) And I don't want you worried that there was going to be some weird gossiping thing, because I don't really DO that, and I don't really talk to people back there ( He interjects: "I wasn't thinking that at all. And I don't care about THAT.") Well, okay, but you never SAID anything, and I didn't know. That whole deal with Weiner and all...I dont even KNOW him, and it's just a weird thing, and....what can I say?

So anyway, lastly, I didn't want you to think I was stalking you on Facebook, I just FOUND you, it was total coincidence, dude. MY friend A emailed me, I haven't talked to HIM in like 7 years, and he had lists of friends and all from the same circles, and those friends had lists, and you were on one of them, that's ALL. (He's smiling again and shaking his head, and says, "Oh, I didn't even think about it.")

Um, so...the bottom line is, I don't know what the deal is, but I hope you're not thinking any of these things and I just wanted to clear the air. You don't have to answer to anything, and you don't owe me any explanations, like I said....I don't want to put you on the spot, and be all, "Oh, Heroin Boy! Don't you wanna be my friend?" because, well, if you don't, then that's fine and go on with your bad self. You know? I'm not going to ask you that.So. Thanks for listening, and yeah. So. There you have it, and we're done."

He looks at me and grins and says, "I was thinking none of those things. Basically, I'm just....I don't respond to people. It's bad. It's the reason for alot of things that don't work in my life, but I've come to accept that it's the way I am. I am asshole, I guess."

I look at him. I pause. ( And I'm thinking: what a winning answer. Am I supposed to say, "Oh no, Boy. Dont say that. 'Cause I'm NOT gonna. Besides, if you're that rude, you ARE being an asshole.) . I say, "Okay. Well, good to know. Because I've been sitting here going, "What did I DO?" and thinking I must have offended you somehow, or you misunderstood something, or well, HB, that you were just a rude jackass, to tell the truth. No offense."

The smile goes away, and he's serious--not angry, just serious-- and he says, "I would say the answer is rude jackass, yeah. But you shouldn't take it personally!"
"But that's the thing. I WAS. It hurt my feelings, frankly."

Him: I certainly didn't mean to hurt anyone's feelings. I'm sorry. I'm just....I....see, this is why all my relationships fail. This is why. It used to be alot worse, I've gotten alot better. But I don't reach out, I don't do contact.
Me: Hmmm.
Him: I used to just alienate the hell out of people; say whatever I wanted and not give a damn how it turned out. I don't do that anymore.
Me: Hmm. Really. Well. Interesting. ( Thinking: FANtastic. You're totally fucked up, by the way. )
Him: This is just how I am. I've tried to change it and I don't know... I just gave up, I guess.
Me: You're a weirdo. ( smiling, but utterly serious on the inside)
Him ( grinning again): I'm a weirdo.
Me: And totally inscrutable.
Him: And yes, totally....I suppose, yes. ( big smile)
Me: Well, okay, then. Now that we've cleared this up....I guess I would say, you aware how this looks to other people. You know? I mean, Other people are here, and trying to interact with you.
Him: I know, and....I guess I'm sort of dumb, too. I don't think about it, I don't see it.....see, this is why my marriage ended, this is -in part, anyway- why this other relationship is over....I don't really have any friends, either.
Me: ( Thinking: you have GOT to be joking.) What? Really?
Him: No. I lost all my friends about a year a situation partially of my own doing, but partially due to other things....and I have one friend back home I talk to, and he and I didn't talk for about a year....I just, don't. I don't know. I'm on Facebook and on MySpace all the time, but I'm a Friend Whore. I just scan lists of people and send out like 70 friend requests...and I get so many messages. I don't answer them, really. I don't....I am just a dick. I guess. (Looks all serious and committed to this idea.)
Me: ( Thinking: if that's the way you want to think of it, who am I to argue?) Okay. Well, that's entirely your own doing. You're not going to make any NEW friends acting like this. And even if they want to be your friend and are perfectly nice,--oh, say, like ME, for instance-- they're eventually going to say, "what the fuck is WRONG with him??" Because I was at home thinking it. Granted, I'm a worrier, and I...well, clearly I think about stuff alot, so I had other concerns, but, listen: Boy. Pay attention. If people are trying to be your friend, they're eventually going to give up.
Him: I have heard that so. Many. Times, I can't even tell you. I mean, really.
Me: Really.
Him: Oh, yeah.
Me: Well, okay then. So....I guess the only thing I would say is that...if you want to hang, it's on YOU. I've put in my time here ( we laugh). I'm not going to call you and say, "Hey, do you want to hang out?" or "Hey, do you want to go to the movies with us"? Or anything.
Him: I don't go out, either. I'm a total homebody. I have my tv shows and my books and my cigarettes and I'm good.
Me: Well, me too, I never go anywhere, but I'm making a POINT! I'm a total homebody, but anyway....yeah. So, okay then.
(I smile. He smiles.)
Him: Okay then. Take care, Jessica.

And that's it. Fuck it. He's obviously totally jacked, and while he's completely nice and friendly while admitting it, what can I say?" Um, yeah, dude, that's fucked up. See you around." Which is essentially what I did. Even if he's lying to spare me or some such, it doesn't MATTER; he doesn't want to be bothered. ( Although I admit I totally buy his spiel. He didn't seem wrong in it, and my gut didn't scream at me that he was lying when he was talking. I heard alot of bullshit on a personal level- in the sense that there's something WRONG with your LIFE, hello?!?! It's not just that you're "just an asshole"-- but I didn't hear him attempting to snow me. He's a good actor, but he'd have to be brilliant to spin that one. But if he is....well, see next paragraph.)

And if he doesn't want to be bothered, so be it. His loss. I can be nice and sociable and see him at work and life will go on. He can go rot in his miserable cave, or live his life without someone who genuinely wanted to be his friend.....not that he'll notice the loss. Oh well. Like I haven't been there before. I know I'm worth more than whatever his assessment is-- or is not.

Good times. I guess I got closure after all. Too bad it wasn't anything better than this lameness. But hey. It's been one of those days.


Onward and upward.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

MORE on the Haircutting Incident.....

I got it trimmed at the local Armenian salon for $12 today. It's not bad, it's just....short. I haven't had this haircut since I played a flapper in "Splendor in the Grass". That was when I was 18 (I'm sure Sassy recalls....). ON the upside it's a super easy do and now I can color it and worry no more.

AND for the sake of sanity Therapist and I discussed all manner of things today, and it would seem that a.) new job possibility , b.) Heroin Boy (I've given Gumdrops and Feathers a new moniker; this is far more accurate. I'd mentioned the heroin metaphor with regard to him before, and it fits. I should note that I'm borrowing from Stephenie Meyer there; when Edward ( the vamp) meets Bella ( the girl) and gets a whiff of her scent, he goes kinda wonky in the head, wanting her, even though THAT is a completely BAD idea. His now-famous line is " If I were a drug addict, I would say you are exactly my brand of heroin." Unbelievably appropriate in this sitch.). Finally, c.) , money woes have me living on the verge of sanity, moreso than usual. Mix and combine with Turning 40 Stuff and a slight dip in the seratonin levels ('cause of .....well, who knows, really?), throw in a splash of not talking to hardly anyone about it and WHAM! Julie officially melts down and now looks like Dorothy Hamill. (Which, as far as haircuts go, could have been worse. But frankly, I'd prefer not to repeat this experience.)

All in all, I AM feeling very restricted in lots of ways, and talking it out with people post-mortem has made me a bit clearer on what's going on.

I would only add to the summation that I've already given, the sort of general state of my life, the de riguer: I don't have any room for pleasure, I don't have any creative outlets, I don't have my support group anymore in case I need to talk, and I'm trapped in the house alot lately because they're cutting hours at work, and I have no money to go DO anything.

I read somewhere once that if creative people don't have an outlet they get a little...well, itchy and intolerable, and sometimes destructive. I don't buy into the "tortured artist" bit, mind you-- (I had a teacher once take some of my peers down a peg for putting that on in art school. She said, "Life hands you all the suffering you can handle, so dont go looking for it to be dramatic and make your work. Snap out of it, it's just a pose. " I almost stood up and applauded.) -- I don't think all artists are fucked up.

I DO think, however, that everyone needs to express their gifts and talents, in some way. And with this particular type of temperment, the impetus to do so is more urgent for some reason. (I don't know if it's a wiring thing, but its' been there since I was born, and I don't think it's a dysfunction.And I've since met lots of other people wired the same way). And when you can't, it feels like you're going to explode.

I feel like I'm going explode ALOT. From creative emptiness, and from all the things I can't control right now that I've already listed. The only thing I look at every day is all the things I have to fix around the house which makes me frustrated and bored. Something has to change.
So maybe you're right. I don't know what to change, so I changed my hair. Pretty radically, and maybe it was kinda crazy. My next task, I see, is to fix the underlying problem so I dont feel so pressure-cooker anymore. But that's a task that's harder than it looks ( although see afortmentioned Therapist J session; we're on it.) *Sigh*.

Meanwhile, I think I'm going to go color my hair into something sexxxaaayy and scrape up some money for some new perfume. I've decided to look into a cheap acting class as well, and in addition to therapy, seek out a new DBSA support group. I'm going to have to do some juggling to fit it all in, both financially and time management-wise. I may not be able to do it all at once, but it will give me hope. Hope the sense of possiblity is something that's been in too short supply around here ( I suspect the whole country feels that way, but that's a whole other topic.)

*Sigh*. Some days I wish Oprah would do one of those shows where she gifts people who are good or lost a limb or suffered enough to boost ratings with paying off their debt and having Tina Turner sing for them or whatever their dream is, for ME. Sad that I actually fantasize about it. ( In my fantasy she pays off my student loans, I get a new Saturn Skye Roadster-- silver-- and Keith Urban sings 'You Look Good in My Shirt' -- no Nicole in sight--. That's not too much to ask, right? I'd nominate myself for this kind of show, but that would probably be in poor taste. )

And that's about the size of it, folks. Sorry it isn't rosier, but as everyone keeps telling me, it could be worse. And I suppose that's true. However, I would prefer it to be better, and I appreciate all the support I can get in trying ot make it so. Thanks.

So be it....