Thursday, April 30, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
But today it was like I was seeing it for the very first time. I looked at it. And I looked at it. Then I think a little part of me died inside. Like withered, shriveled and died. What is the point of living in a world where people hang that kind of shit on walls as decoration? Not OK.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Is it just me, or does it now feel like the initial reason for and spirit of this annual event has been lost? When I worked at the hospital, I remember people bringing their kids to work along with toys, coloring books, and other "pass the time" items. They'd situate them at an empty desk and there they'd sit for the whole of the day playing with their stupid toys and making me uncomfortable with their creepy stares. And I thought, "Well, isn't the point of this exercise to inform children about the type of work you do? Shouldn't they be somehow involved your workday, in all its excitement and tedium?" I knew the day had lost all meaning when people I worked with started bringing their infants into work with them on that day. It irritated the shit out of me to have to hear a baby wailing while I slaved away at a job I hated so much to begin with. But I guess kids are never too young for us to begin exposing them to the grim realities of a lifetime of hard work. In fact, I propose a new annual event. Better yet, make it a daily one. Put Your Child To Work Day.
Child Labor Laws be damned. After all the crumbs I've vacuumed, toilets I've scrubbed, ass I've wiped, she fucking owes me.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
"That's a lot of food for such a little girl."
Fuck you. No, really, fuck you. Because after you walk away and forget that you said that, I'm going to get up and dump this plate of food in the trash. And then, come Tuesday, I'm going to lie to my therapist about my goddamn food plan.
"I wish I had your willpower."
Fuck you, too. It doesn't take willpower to have a disease. In fact, I have the opposite of willpower because I don't have a modicum of control over my own impulses to destroy myself.
"Oh my god, you're eating chocolate?"
"...ummm...yeah." (looks down in shame and self-loathing)
"You don't look like you eat chocolate."
Go to hell. And while you're going there, I'll be going to the bathroom to puke up the chocolate I don't look like I eat.
"I'd love to be skinny like you. I wish I could have anorexia for a little while."
Yeah, I wish you could too. Then maybe you would know to never, ever, ever, ever, ever say that to a person who actually has anorexia. It's not a diet. It's not something you put on and take off with ease. It's a living fucking hell. It's the only way I know how to look in the mirror without spitting at my own face. It's the only way I know how to feel like I deserve to exist, to take up space, to breathe air. I had a chewable vitamin for lunch yesterday, you asshole, and I weighed myself 20 times. I threw up the chewable vitamin and I was afraid it didn't all come up. So I went to the gym and walked for 3 hours on the treadmill. Does that sound good to you? Is being this skinny really worth the price of admission?
Present day living room over a mocha and a really, really yummy pastry
Wow. That felt amazingly good. Better than any purge. People don't know what the fuck they're saying sometimes. I know it's not their fault. I've been reading old journals and just feeling sorry for the old me, for the things that were said to me when I was sick and then in recovery. It's so satisfying to see how far I've come, how different I am. Because this is what I would want to say to those clueless folks now:
"That's a lot of food for such a little girl."
Hell, yeah it is. I'm fucking hungry.
"I wish I had your willpower."
I don't have willpower. I try to listen to the voices of my body. I try to allow myself the pleasure of eating without punishing myself for it. I don't always succeed. I don't always succeed in eating every day. I don't always succeed in keeping the food in my belly. I don't always succeed in resisting the urge to lament, "I'm so fucking fat." But I usually do; and it's a thousand times better than that hell I called living before.
"Oh my God, you're eating chocolate!"
Yep. It's really good. Do you want some?
"I would love to be skinny like you. I wish I could have anorexia for a little while."
Well nobody would say that to me anymore because I'm a normal weight. But if they did I would have to just give them a blank stare and a number to a therapist.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
And this, a picture of my baby sister being man-handled by Pinnochio (seriously, dude, let go of her head) and my brother doing his best impression of Don Johnson:
And this, me in 6th grade with very weirdly curled hair. I don't think a picture exists of me in all our family albums where my hair doesn't look like something went horribly wrong.
Friday, April 24, 2009
So I let it sit there silently in the time-out chair of my brain. And, of course, at first I railed against it. “But you just don’t understand me”, “You don’t get me, or what I’m doing here.” After I got over the little girl tantrums I realized that a good writer should be able to transcend that divide between universes. A good writer should be able to build a long, sturdy bridge with her words so that a foreigner can make the trip safely and pleasurably into that private world. The things that are the most different than us could be the most interesting; we should want to go there and if that bridge is artfully constructed we don’t mind staying there for a little while in that place that is so different from our own. My bridge is in disrepair.
I’m not on a cross. Truly, I’m not. I’m just trying to work out what it is exactly that earned me 1 star out of a possible 4. I was the nerd in school who would get an A- on an essay and get all fucking worked up about it. That minus would, like, destroy me. So a 1 star feels like a D, which honestly would have had me swallowing a bottle of pills back in the day. So the result of the review is that now I am embarrassed by this body of work, by all that sloppy angst clogging up my archives. But it is what it is and this whole experience of blogging has been me learning and trying to reach different parts of me that were buried. And in the process, I’ve managed to eek out a lot of bleak and joyless blobs of words.
I realize that Nutjobber is right when he says, “Hopefully, she'll continue on her current path, resolutely elevating her writing to allow it to transcend her emotions, making them work for her instead of the other way around.” I let my emotions lead me around like a puppy on a leash and they are always the driving force behind what I put to paper.
The last thing I want is a reader to get a headache from my writing or to put his or her head in hands. And after hearing that my writing had that effect on someone, well my first reaction was, “What the fuck am I doing? Why am I doing it?” And then I wanted to take down my blog and start over somewhere new where I could reinvent myself and not be weighed down by previous failures. Stupid, stupid, I know. Then I read the comments, and I realized that I had readers, awesome readers, who do like my blog, my bleak, self-indulgent, bright red scream of a blog. So I’ll stick it out for a while and see if I can’t just be a big girl about this and actually use the criticism to morph into a better writer. Because I think I’m capable of better writing, at least I hope I am. I’m just not ready to give up just yet. This writing thing is in my bones and even if I stop blogging, I don’t think I’m capable of not writing, even if it is just for me.
So thanks Nutjobber for your honest and well-thought out opinion. It hurt to read it, but maybe I needed a kick in the ass to get me out of my rut and start writing like a grown-up instead of a little girl drowning in a pool of tears.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted to them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also said the law." - 1 Corinthians 14:34
I bite my tongue, hard. Silence. This is how I should sound. There is not a single thing in my head worth communicating. A man can’t learn anything from a woman. That is just the way it is with God.
"Likewise, you husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel" - 1 Peter 3:7
I look at my small hands, fingernails bitten down to raw nubs. These hands can’t hold the heaviness of life. I think of all the things I need to be protected from. It is just the way I am made, hollowed out like a ceramic doll. I am weak, delicate. So delicate, in fact, that everything inside of me is already broken.
But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. - 1 Corinthians 11:3
This hierarchy is embedded in my living tissues; it is soaked into the ventricles of my heart. I have swallowed it whole. I have seen it, while I held my own silence in my clasped hands, fragile as an egg. When the men pray, the women say "Amen". When the men say, "This is where you are to go", the women go there. And it feels safe to be there, in that place where your only job is to nod your head and answer, “Yes, of course, whatever you say.” Whatever you say. You’re the boss. You decide. I don’t know. What should I do? What do you think? Can I go?
“You don’t need to ask my permission.” Todd is incredulous, exasperated. But what he doesn't say is that he likes it too.
I lay my head in the crook of his arm and breathe the sweat of his scent. I sigh heavily and then I cast out my line, "Why do you even love me?
"That's a really good question." And he sort of laughs in the way that men do when they really don't want to be having this conversation.
"I'm serious. I really want to know." I wrap a tendril of his chest hair around my finger and tug it slightly. I really want to know.
"Well...One of the reasons I fell in love with you is because you've always given me my space."
And it's weird because I don't look at his space as something that is mine to give. He owns what he owns and there is a wall around those privates places. And sometimes he will come home at 2 am, with that beer and cigarette smell I love so much saturating his clothes and his skin and his mind, and I don't ask. I don't even think to ask. He gets to have those spaces, separate from me. He is entitled to have those spaces in a way I could never feel entitled to have spaces of my own.
"I just love you, OK? Always will." He kisses the top of my head and that's the end of that. He says the prayer and I say, "Amen".
I don't need to ask permission. But what he doesn’t get is that I do. It’s like something inside of me won’t let go of the hierarchy. The way it always is with God. I learned my lessons early and they don't just go away when you're not looking at them anymore.
In bed at night, he sings a different song. There is nothing I can do but surrender. It is the most natural thing in the whole wide world. He tells me "This is where you are to go" and I go there. And the next day, when I remember pinned arms, firm commands, helpless sounds falling from my mouth, the insistence and ardor of something stronger than me, I feel a peace. Amen. It is always that way with me.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
You sigh because you don't want to. I feel the hotness of your breath, the drunk air it has created. My head is thick with a strange mix of desire and dread. No, I want to. I know about this and that it is going to happen.
I saw it in dreams and in girlish fantasies. It played out on the community college stage during our run of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", the push and pull of that dance. You were R.P. McMurphy in your mental patient scrubs. I was Nurse Flynn in my bleached white uniform, my hair clipped in a tight bun. I sat at my perch on the stage, a necessary backdrop. I was constantly on-stage, in character, in my little private box. I watched you at your craft. That is who you became: R. P. McMurphy. And I fell in love with him. And when you walked behind set and became Michael again - then I fell in love with you. I tried to stay in character while you mouthed words at me with that obscene mouth of yours, leaning against a wooden beam backstage, while the play went on in front of me.
"I'm going to fuck you."
"You are so hot."
I couldn't believe what I was hearing. It was a sort of music. And for the first time in my life, something a man said to me made me wet. Whatever it was, it was new to me. I mean that kind of want, that kind of aching, maddening desire. I had never known it before, not with anyone. Not with my boyfriend who I dated for 5 long and chaste years. Our gropings in the front seat of his car after long days at Bible study were far from passionate. That wasn't about lust. That was me bucking up against religion. That was me flirting with fornication. That was me giving him a hand job and hoping he liked it. I wasn't even there. The invisible girl. And then what happens next is you actually try to become invisible. You fall away into your own body. Because you can only blame religion for so long. Eventually, you need a shiny new reason, something entirely new to hang your virginity on.
It was a perfect excuse. Because when you are anorexic all your work, all your energy, goes into keeping things out of your body. That is the focus of your life: Deflection. I mean if I couldn't open up my body to the experience of a cinnamon roll, I certainly couldn't open it for a man either.
Emerging from that abyss was painful but rewarding. I felt raw, newly hatched. Once I started in recovery, everything about the world changed, or at least my perception of it. And you were the first thing I saw. The charismatic, jock turned brilliant actor that people either exquisitely loved or exquisitely hated. You were the guy that was perpetually late and ever essential. Nothing worked without you; Not rehearsal, not beers afterward, not drunken closing night debauchery. You were the guy who knew every single word to Under the Sea and would sing it with abandon. You were the guy who read books like White Oleander and wrote poetry on the sly. You were the guy who insisted, with all seriousness, that Short Circuit 2 was the most critically overlooked movie of the 20th century. You were the guy that all the girls wanted to fuck and hated themselves for it.
I knew you would never belong to me. You loved Dana, the prima ballerina who wouldn't put out. But I closed the lid on the jewelry box and she was gone. It was someone else's turn to disappear. I knew that your hands were daggers. I knew that your arc was sharp and that everything about your game was a lie. I didn't care. I wanted that hurt. I didn't need my first time to be tender. I needed it to be wrong, dirty, harsh. I wanted you to corner me with lips, jagged and sexual. I wanted so desperately to undo the past 25 years of chastity with something wicked. Anything soft would have been too much to bear.
"Stop." My hand on your hand, poised at my hip. You don't want to stop, but you do anyway. There's a gross part of me that wants you to keep going despite my protests. The dirty parts of me hidden for years under bibles and bones are afraid of what's between your legs, of what's between my legs, of what has to happen here, now in my childhood twin bed. I feel like a child in this bed; 88 pounds of nothing, 25 years of nothing.
"Are you okay?" you whisper. Your voice is hoarse from a long night of cigarettes and beer. "You don't have to...do this. I mean, it's ok. If you don't want to..."
"I want to." I pull your face to mine. Marlboros and Miller Lite. The weight of you against the feather of my body.
"You are so tiny...so fucking tiny." You go into your own little world.
You like my bones. You play the piano of my ribcage, you gnaw at my collarbone, flip me on my stomach and run your rough finger down the divide of my back, hitting each ridge along the way. Maybe you are closing your eyes and pretending I am Dana, but I don't care. I am not invisible; not to myself. Not anymore. You put me on my back again. You are rough and strong. You aren't afraid of what you are, of what has to happen now.
I feel you push against me, hard as a boulder. I open to it. Finally.
"Please. Oh please."
And when it happens, it feels like forever. Like this moment of time is caught on a loop. I wince from the pain of breaking. Then, I change my mind.
"Stop. It hurts. I want to stop." I am embarrassed by my little girl tears.
But it's too late. You are already there. "Gwen, just breathe. I'll stop if you want, but just listen to me. Ok? You're ok. You're a woman. You can do this."
I nod my head in consent. It's time. I'm a woman. I'm a woman. I can do this. And I do.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
or these boots:
Monday, April 20, 2009
I can't think of a more appropriate moniker for these assholes that swarm to the gym in their every spare and pathetic moments of life than "gym-rat". Because like actual rats, these people give me a shiver of unease and an overwhelming feeling of skeeved-out dread whenever I even just think about them decked out in their stupid ass workout "gear" and those wrist contraptions that measure every fucking step their specialty sneakered foot takes. I went to buy sneakers once and I could not believe all the fucking kinds that were on the wall. There was running shoes, trail-running shoes, cross-training shoes, and even walking shoes. Like, what the fuck is the difference? They all looked the same. I just wanted a pair of fucking sneakers. Why does life have to be so hard? And if you're sitting there thinking, "Well Gwen, a cross-training shoe has a...." Shut. The. Fuck. Up. Seriously. Stop your brain from thinking for one second. I can't handle the energy that your brain is putting forth into the innocent universe about the attributes of a god-damned sneaker.
That's what is really gross about these people. The Energy. They're always like revved up about shit. They're always a-doing. It's like flit here, flit there. And they have their own diets. They eat weird things like energy drinks and protein bars and powdered shit they bought at GNC for like $100. Like why can't they eat normal food? And they're always talking about how "they have to get to the gym." They always say that shit out loud. Like they can't just keep it to themselves in their own brains. They have to let the world know that they are going to go to the gym. And I particularly hate it when they say, "Oh my God, I haven't been to the gym in two days! I'm so lazy." It's like, "Hey! Way to make the rest of us feel like shit about ourselves."
I'm not saying that running will automatically qualify you as an asshole. I run sometimes. But I can freely and readily admit that it sucks. The whole time I'm running there are three words going through my head. Goddamnit, Fuck, and Donuts. Seriously, I need to take a couple of painkillers before I can even think about going for a run. As I told Dirty Pirate Hooker on her blog last week, No Pain, No Gain - my ass. The only time pain is good for us is when it's followed by a cataclysmic, earth-shattering, mind-blowing orgasm. When was the last time you went for a run and had an orgasm after you were done? I'm going to guess never.
Rats are insidious creatures. They are sneaky, disease carrying rodents. Yet some people actually keep them as pets. I have a friend Brandy who swears they are cutest, most precious animals and that they make the snuggliest of pets. Well, Brandy used to live in the apartment next to my sister. Her snuggly little rats showed their gratitude towards her kind ownership by escaping through the walls and making a new nest in my sister's bed. Seriously, my sister woke up with a rat trying to snuggle up beside her. So she did what any sane, normal person would do. She went out immediately and bought some rat poison and fed it to those fuckers as a bed-time snack. By the time Brandy came around trying to find her precious rats it was already too late.
What's the moral of that story? I'm not entirely sure. I'm thinking that if you're married to a gym-rat keep a good eye on him and his whereabouts. Because somebody might just get fed up with his fucking antics and put some cyanide in his energy drink. I mean, not me, but somebody.
P.S. If you figured out that my lazy-ass is just largely jealous of this population, well then aren't you a psycho-analytical smarty-pants.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
"What's wrong Mom? Why are you crying?"
"I'm crying because a baby died, Liv. A baby was sick and then she died."
"Now she's in heaven with Aunt Amy?"
"Yep. That's where she is now. But her mom and dad will miss her."
And then she and I snuggled and watched the memorial tribute video together.
I can't stop talking about Maddie. I talk about her to anyone who will listen. It's so hard for me to accept that we live in a world where babies can die. I mean, logically I know that it happens more than it should. But emotionally I'm having a hard time coming to terms with the fragility of human life, with the injustice of a life cut unbearably short. I remember talking with Amy about her death and the one thing she always made a point to say was, "At least I've had a chance to grow and live. There are babies and kids who don't even get the chance to grow up." She knew that life didn't make sense whatsoever. She knew firsthand that life was one fucked up event after another with occasional bouts of joy sprinkled in.
My heart breaks for Maddie's parents and for any other parents who have had to say goodbye to their little ones. When I think about the pain of that, I get sick to my stomach. I can't even fathom the torturous, soul-destroying anguish of losing a child. I feel helpless in the face of it. I look at my little girl, napping soundly in the bed next to me, and I feel an odd guilt but also a gnawing fear. Life is so random. You just never know what is coming up around the corner.
I've noticed a change in me since I heard about Madeline's death. When Liv says, "Mom, come see what I made!" I don't say, "Not now, Liv, I'm busy." I go and see what she's made. I tell her that her block tower is an amazing achievement of architecture. When she sidles up next to me, book in hand, and says, "Please read me a story." I say, "Okay! Let's do it." I know that there are parents out there who would give anything, any fucking thing, to see their dead child's block tower, to read him or her just one more story book. I know that I am one of the lucky ones. So far.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
May 18, 1986
I spent a good hour Friday night trying to find the best and the brightest of this mensa of ant colonies. I sought out the wily ones, the sneaky ones, the ones that were the hardest to catch. My ant farm was going to be the one that changed the course of antkind. These ants were lucky. Afterall, next chance I get I'm going to Home Depot for some weaponry and it's going to be a bloodbath. A ruthless genocide if you will. So this little box of gel I was trying to coax them into was their safe harbor, their Noah's ark of sorts. And those little fuckers haven't shown a hint of gratitude. They haven't started a super-colony. They haven't built little gel mountains. They haven't done any of the shit the pamphlet said they would do.
Instead, the 9 lucky ants have been huddling, climbing on the underside of the lid, playing dead, and I'm pretty sure, if their hands could be seen with the naked eye, flipping me off.
"Todd - the ants aren't doing anything."
"Well they're not really ants. I mean they're not ants ants. They're kitchen ants."
"Spoiled rotten, lazy ass fucking kitchen ants."
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
I don't know what is wrong with me lately. Well, actually I do. It's just really hard to admit you're a pussy. It's really hard to admit that you're writing is stale and empty and devoid of personality. I'm trying to figure out if I have the figurative balls to be the kind of writer that I need to be. Am I brave enough to put down the shit that is really in my head? Can I get down off the fence and explore the fucked up shit that festers in my skull, the questions, the bitter and broken dreams. The truth. Does anybody really tell the truth anymore?
Fuck it all. I'm a black hole. Maybe there's nothing left to say. And even if there was, is it even worth the risk of exposing myself even more than I already have? I think about the nude pictures of me possibly floating around somewhere on the internet. Pictures I sent to some guy back when I was a damn fool, but hotter than I realized. Do I worry about them? Not as much as I should. Like I said, I was hot. Who cares if some guy is jacking off to them in some skeevy apartment? Ok. I do a little bit. But why does it matter? I'm not that girl anymore. Or am I? Isn't what I do here the same thing but without the titty show?
I'm sick of not committing to this work. And you can laugh at that and mock it and say, "Girl, you're not even getting paid to do this shit." And I'll still say it's work because it's hard and it takes its toll and it wakes me up to jot something down on paper and it stays in my head - the words, the language. How I craft it and manipulate it and mold it. If that isn't work than I don't know what is. I want to get back to that place where I hit, "Publish Post" and gasp, "Should I really have posted that?" That would be me exiting the proverbial fence and finally telling the stories I need to tell, the real ones that might hurt me to talk about, that might confound others or offend them. I can't create anything beautiful if I lie. And sad as it sounds, I don't have anything else to offer but my stories, raw and unfiltered.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Let's do a quick run down, shall we?
Snow White's Mom - Dead
Cinderella's Mom - Dead
Jasmine's Mom - Dead
Ariel's Mom - Dead
Belle's Mom - Dead
Pocahontas' Mom - Dead
I haven't seen Sleeping Beauty but I'm pretty sure her mom is dead, too. Would it kill them to show a human mother having some sort of positive impact on her daughter's life? Apparently it would. If there were actual, living mothers actively involved in these dumb ass princesses lives, they wouldn't have turned out to be such doe-eyed, naive, boy crazy, empty-headed imbeciles.
Now I love The Little Mermaid. When
Mommy Triton would have been ALL OVER a sixteen-year old girl who kept putting herself in constant danger to attract a man she's never even met before. Mommy Triton would have been all "Oh, HELL no, girl" and grounded her ass for going to the surface. Then guess what? No Ursula blackmailing a susceptible love-sick teenager. No threat to the whole way of life of all the undersea folk when her little plan goes awry. No marriage of a SIXTEEN YEAR OLD girl to man she barely knows at the end of the story. Instead, Ariel starts focusing on her academics and her natural musical talent. She graduates from high school with high honors, goes to college, becomes a successful musician. Now that's a happy ending.
Monday, April 6, 2009
According to the mag, Blakesley Grace was born on Friday, weighing in at 6 lbs., 2 oz and is 19 inches long."
What the fuck kind of a name is Blakesley? That has to be one of the most horrible, nauseatingly ridiculous names I've heard in a long time. And people, there are tons of terrible names being saddled on babies every day. Happy Birthday! Here's a stupid, "uneekly" spelled moniker you'll have to explain and excuse for the rest of your life!
I knew I wasn't alone in my hatred of atrocious baby naming trends the day I found this wonderful blog called Baby's Named A Bad, Bad Thing. It helps to know I'm not the only one who cringes when reading the birth announcements in the paper, or hearing the new name of a co-worker's granddaughter. It's an unnatural, fuming distress I feel when someone tells me that they named their daughter Ryan or Owen. I have to stifle the urge to say, "Umm, why? That's a boy's name." I could maybe understand if there were some sort of shortage of beautiful female names. There is not. In fact, there are thousands upon thousands of rarely used girl names.
You know what else? I want to tear out my eyeballs with my bare hands when I see beautiful, traditional names butchered with weird spellings. Here's how I imagine the naming process goes.
"What about Ashley?"
"Well, that's a cute name. But it's too...I don't know, normal. I want my little girl to be different and unique. Let's spell it: Aashleigh."
"Wow. That's so edgy."
Except it's not edgy. It's stupid. It's still Ashley only it's spelled completely wrong. It makes me seethe. I've seen shit like this: Alyvya. Myshell. Tyffyny. I'm not kidding. I've seen that shit with my own eyes. There is a "Y" disease going around. Young mothers are especially vulnerable. There currently is no cure.
I'm not saying that we need to go back to the days when everyone was named John and Mary. A name doesn't have to be boring or uninteresting. I just wish people would stop making up names by pushing together random cutesy syllables, or rearranging great, traditional names into atrocious mockeries of the originals, or selecting surnames/occupation names for their children that have no linkage to their own family heritage. We're talking about a name. We're talking about a thing that someone will be carrying around with them for the whole of his or her childhood and teenage years, possibly his or her entire life. It's not about our vanity as parent. It's not a time to flex our creative muscle and get "crazy" and "artistic". Our names do not define us, but I can't help but think they could hurt us. Tyfyny just might not get the call for the job interview, while Katherine would. It is isn't fair. But that's life.
So you can add "name snob" to the growing list of my terrible qualities. I own it along with all the rest of them. I don't expect you to give a fuck about my opinion on modern trends in human nomenclature. But for the love of God, Buddha, the sun, or whatever else it is you're worshipping, please don't name your next child Neveah. I hate that name with the burning hot magma of a million trillion volcanoes, with the force of at least 10 atomic bombs, and possibly with the force of the big bang. That's a whole lot. The name Neveah needs to die a quick, painless death and all the children that have been saddled with it need to be released from their bondage and given sweet, sensible names like Eve or Lily or Sarah. Together we can rid the earth of this plague of "Neveah is heaven spelled backwards!1!!! Isn't it the kewlest name eva?" It's not even heaven spelled backwards. It's haeven spelled backwards. And isn't a backwards heaven more like hell? Anyway, I hate it. HATE.
For the very few that do give a fuck about my opinion, here are a few of my pretentious and arrogant naming rules.
1. You can't go wrong with a traditional name when it is assigned to the correct gender and, this is most important, spelled correctly.
2. Unusual names are fine if they are actual names and not just words (Bird, Apple, Chair, Moon) or made up with your ridiculous imagination. There are tons of amazing, beautiful names from various cultures and languages to choose from.
3. If you must name your child something weird or weirdly spelled, then at least have the decency to make this your child's middle name. Or, better yet just use the name for your pet. But not a cat. Cat's have low tolerance for bullshit names. Try naming your cat Apple and see how quickly it starts pissing all over your carpet.
4. If you MUST use a surname as a first name, could you at least try to use a family name? And please don't burden your daughter with a surname for a first name. There's really no need for a girl to be named Walker or Jackson. That's just wrong.
This is all the bitch I have left in me. Seriously, I've been so preoccupied with living that I haven't had much time for bitching and moaning and acting like my opinions actually matter in the scheme of things. And that's a damn shame.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Who would have known? I mean, I feel like people are always talking about the dangers of drugs, and particularly opiates. Isn't it insane to think that Tylenol is actually more dangerous? And yet, I can purchase Tylenol over the counter along with a soda and a pack of gum. We live in a weird society.
I was talking with my mom a while ago about pharmaceuticals. Her and I both have problems with severe anxiety. And her and I both have difficulty getting adequate treatment for that anxiety. After my sister passed away, obviously, my mom was having a really hard time dealing with that loss. She asked her doctor for some Xanax and he acted like she was some drug-seeking fiend. My mom was grieving the death of her daughter and that asshole decided to make her feel like shit for asking for some relief. He offered some bullshit anti-depressant instead, which, of course, didn't do anything to help her. That's what my primary doctor has always offered to me for my severe anxiety and panic attacks in the past, some bullshit anti-depressant. I'd be like, "I'm not depressed. I'm anxious." And he'd say, "Well try this anyway." And then I'd try it and I'd end up eating like a fucking pig, gain weight, and then become depressed. So the anti-depressants always made me feel depressed and I'd still be anxious and unable to sleep at night with uncalled for fears swirling in my brain. Why are doctors so afraid to give people real relief from their problems? Sometimes I think the fear of addiction has caused doctors to not prescribe medications when they are very desperately needed.
And can somebody please tell me what the difference is between needing to take a Xanax every day to control your anxiety and needing to take a Zoloft every day to control your depression? My point is that the former is usually considered an "addiction" and the latter is usually considerd a "treatment of a psychological disorder". Why is one thing slapped with a bad label and the other not? I really don't get the difference at all.
Anyway, I'm very lucky to have found an amazing doctor who takes my physical pain seriously and gives me the medications I need to live a full and productive life. My nerve pain from the mastectomy has been excruciating lately, seriously kicking my ass. And to be honest, I can't help but think it is somehow related to, you guessed it, my anxiety. I've been fretting about this ovarian cyst for weeks now and I have to wait four more weeks for any definitive resolution on the cancer question. (My CA-125 levels were very low, which is pointing in a non-malignant direction. Thank God.) Anyway, maybe if I got on some Xanax I wouldn't be so tense and bitchy all of the time and my body wouldn't react by stabbing me incessantly in the chest. Wouldn't that be lovely?
And now my Morphine is tiring me the fuck out. Have sweet dreams, lads and ladies. You know I will.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
"What are you doing? Take that thing off. NOW!" She was in a state of panic.
I had no idea what I had done wrong. I had no idea why this necklace had put my mother into such an angry frenzy. My grandmother said, "She can wear it. It's no big deal."
"It is a big deal. It's a rosary. Don't tell me what my daughter can and can't do..."
I stopped listening after that. I heard the sounds of fighting but I was beyond understanding the words. Grown-ups were fighting about me putting on a necklace. I was so confused. After the rosary was put back in the Virgin Mary's hands, we left. I never touched the necklace again. But I often looked at it, trying to understand its mysterious power. Trying to understand why my mother was so afraid of it.
I still don't completely understand why this happened 25 years later. My mother doesn't even remember the incident. I do know that Jehovah's Witness doctrine teaches that the cross is a idolatrous symbol of false religion. They believe that Jesus died on a stake, not a crucifix. Seems a small matter to me. But to Jehovah's Witnesses the difference is huge. And to have a cross in your church or home, or worn around your neck is a sinful act of idolatry and disrespect.
I bought a cross the other day for the first time in my life. I'm not entirely sure why I did that. I saw a pretty one at the jewelry counter and I had to have it. I feel like a rebel with this thing around my neck. I may be the only person alive who thinks that wearing a cross makes me a bad-ass. It's a lovely thing, all sparkly, fake diamonds across the face of a torture device hung sprightly on a sterling silver chain. It's not slathered with guts, excrement, urine, and bloody tears the way the real thing would have been.
Death on a crucifix must have sucked big-time. Thousands upon thousands of people were punished that horrific way in the past and, unlike our pal Jesus, they didn't have super-power daddy in the sky to raise them up from the dead to a glorious place in heaven a million times better than the world they left behind (i.e. a place where people don't run the risk of having their arms nailed to a wooden beam before being subjected to a slow, excruciatingly painful death) Therein lies the problem I have with God's big sacrifice, his redemption of all sinful, imperfect men. How much of a sacrifice is it really when you get to have the thing you sacrificed back in, like, 3 days?
I'm not trying to be subversive, offensive, or disrespectful. I just remember sitting at church as a teenager listening to a sermon on "God's Ransom Sacrifice". I remember hearing about how much I should feel grateful to God for what he did for me, for little old, undeserving me.
"He gave his only begotten son so that you might have everlasting life."
I was supposed to feel unprecedented, weighty gratitude. I wanted to feel that heaviness in my heart, I wanted to will my eyes to manufacturer tears at God's grief and loss. Grief and loss that he endured for my benefit because I'm such a disgusting, sin-infested human. But I just couldn't feel it. Not really. I would look at all the old people sitting in the front row straining to hear these tidbits of spiritual truth, some of them suffering from illnesses like cancer. And I'd think, "What good has it really done? Is this what redemption looks like?" It made me really angry.
I was indignant at the fact that we were all supposed to feel indebted to God for his great sacrifice to redeem us all, when in reality he had lost nothing at all. There was actual loss all around me. Tangible loss. Real suffering. Unmitigated anguish. And there was God living up in some heavenly palace with Jesus, the very person he had supposedly sacrificed.
I've been thinking a lot lately about God. More specifically about whether or not I can believe in the existence of a higher power in the face of all evidence to the contrary. Damnit, I know God is dead. But you know what? I'm tired of being at sea without a compass. I'm tired of walking an endless road. There has to be something more than what I can see, or touch, or taste. There has to be another plane of existence, another level of being. Right? Or is my grief deluding my sense of reality?
Remember how the show The X-files had that little saying that flashed on the screen at the end of the opening credits? I Want To Believe. That's what's going on in my brain right now. Except with 100% less spaceships and alien abductions.
Feel free to call me a hypocrite for displaying my crucifix around my neck after all the shit talking I've done about God and his boy wonder Jesus. Actually, I have no problem with Christ. My problem is with the one who created this twisted mess and then tried to lay a guilt trip on humankind as part of the solution.
The cross is more of a symbol of hope to me than anything having to do with faith. It's also a triumph over past superstitions and traumas. It's my way of connecting to something greater than myself, and holding on to the dream that my sister's soul is gone to God waiting for reunion.
P.S. I'm also happy to finally have a vampire repelling object at the ready. I fucking hate vampires.