31 January 2011

On Death and Grieving…

To Linda:
Do Not Cry
Beth Claybourne a.k.a. me.

Do not cry, do not weep –
My body couldn’t keep
My good soul anymore –
So God brought me ashore.

Though my body’s asleep
Do not cry, do not weep –
I’m in a place of love
Taking wing with the doves.

I’m watching over you
With my body anew –
Do not cry, do not weep
I’m in a place of love.
On death and grieving…
It’s painful, angering, woeful, and leaves you pondering. You want this person back, you scream, cry, wish you’d die or worse, try to die. They’ll say “she’s in a better place,” a phrase of disgrace, you’ll want words to comfort, not clich├ęs. Tears’ll soak your shirt showing your hurt - the words you’ll blurt won’t alleviate the hurt. You’ll scream “It can’t be!” then “Take me!” then “Why me?” then “Let her soul be free!” followed by “Woe be me, kill me, set me free!” You’ll be ill, want to kill, blood to spill – to avenge the lost one, the loved one, the missed one. You’ll question your devotion, question every emotion, want to flee to the ocean, to end the commotion. You gotta stay tough, gruff and when you’ve had enough, you’ll reach acceptance. ~ Beth Claybourne
An open letter to Linda:
To grieve is perhaps the most arduous task a human must perform. If it’s sudden and violent it makes the grieving more intense. To suddenly have someone you know, love and admire ripped from their life into death is painful. You’re trapped with the immediate shock of the situation. An overwhelming shock in which you can feel no emotion, you can’t comprehend the news you just heard although your brain knows the words that were spoken.

You can’t believe this person is gone. It doesn’t matter the age, just that you knew and cared for them. You deny. You temporarily deny yourself the pain, the acknowledgement that he is dead, never to come back, you deny yourself everything mental and physical that you do not absolutely need to survive. Soon the denial is removed by the sheer force of the situation.

Then you get pissed. Pissed at God. At the asshole that needlessly stole another human life. At everyone you love. Everyone you hate. You hate everything. You hate having to wake up every day. Not getting enough sleep because you’re pissed and depression is creeping in to hamstring you. Every negative emotion one can have will attack you all at once.

You’ll wonder why she had to die so early, and try to deal with whatever deity you choose to barter with. You’ll often think things such as “You can have me if you bring her back.” You’ll beg daily if not minute by minute to have this blessed person back in mortal human form, offering anything you can find to offer.

You’ll get pissed again because the gods laugh at your feeble attempts at resurrection. Pissed because she’s still dead. Pissed at the assholes who tell you to feel compassion for the dickface that killed your loved one. Pissed because people are telling you how to grieve, like grieving has a strict flowchart that must be followed or Armageddon will happen. You’ll build snowmen and kick their heads off. You’ll rage at the most minute infraction against you. You’ll want revenge.

You’ll fall into a depression. You won’t want to wake up, can’t see the point of going on with your own life. You finally realize that this person is not coming back as you knew her. Depression because of the cause of death. Because of the wringer you’re being put through to see justice done. Because of the massive hole left in your soul.

Eventually you’ll begin to accept the loss. You’ll have fond recollections, at first painful, later healing. You’ll learn that although the death was sudden, she has not been released completely from your life. Photographs are painful at first, but then make you laugh. Stupid little insignificant objects will cause you to laugh uncontrollably because of the association with her (Blue Bear?). Memories will eventually turn tears to smiles, sobs to laughter, soft weeping to warm feelings.

You’ll go through all of these stages several times. You’ll bounce around several times for a long period of time. You’ll eventually realize the good that can come of the situation. You may join groups such as M.A.D.D. or fight the legislature to force stricter consequences on drunk drivers in general, more so if someone dies. You’ll realize your pain can help someone else in theirs, even if you don’t know them face to face. You’ll learn who your true friends are and form a closer bond to them. You’ll appreciate what you have more. You’ll become a better, stronger, wiser person through the pain. You’ll become a champion.

You have the right to feel everything you feel, when you feel it. I will always have your back, regardless of what happens. You have earned that loyalty after listening to me cry with all of the shit I’ve been through in the last year. Stay strong best friend, stay strong.

27 January 2011

Exhaustion and Bipolar: A fun mix.

I've had a shitty day so I'm probably just rambling to you.

It started sluggish. I really did not want to get out of bed. I had dreams again. Weird ones. Why the fuck Mom was driving me and 3 of my professors around the German countryside from castle to castle babbling about everything, I do not know. She's fucking dead.

Dad lovingly passed his cold to me. I appreciate it. Really, I do.

Watched "Stranger Than Fiction" in class which didn't do me much good emotionally on the death front or the love front, especially when coupled with questions about death. So now I'm missing Mom even more, and have decided that men suck and I do not like this forced celibacy. Even Popes got laid and had bastard children.

By 3:30 I was just twitchy, pissy, easily annoyed and distracted and just wanted to come home and blog about my shitty day and the effects of exhaustion/lack of sleep on bipolars.

On the upside, it takes days to cycle for the most part instead of like 8 times in one day.

6 hours of sleep is not enough... especially when this 6 hours is in shifts. 3 here, 2 there, another one over there. I've been awake since 7:30 a.m. on 3 hours of sleep. I'm exhausted. The effects of exhaustion on a bipolar are not nice at all especially when triggered anyway.

Emotions kick in overdrive: rejection, love, lust, hate, annoyance, jealousy, anger, disappointment, whatever.

Paranoia kicks in: "Is this person really a friend?
What is that trusted person really saying behind my back? Is the asshole just laughing at me? Am I the 'charity case' friend, like a stray dog'? Is this person avoiding me? Did I piss him/her off? Scare him away? WTF?!?" in the interpersonal relationship department.

"Do I really have a future? Am I a good enough writer to make it? Am I really intelligent enough to earn my respect and stripes, or are these assholes just playing with me? Surely these assholes are just playing with me, deriving some sick sense of joy in building me up just to demolish me." in the "professional/educational" department, just to name a few paranoid ideas.

Self-thoughts. Oh my god the thoughts will not shut the fuck up. It's like living with a bitter, pissed off, nag for a wife locked in your head 24/7: You can't shoot her, you can't kick her in the face, you just have to hear her nag and nag and nag, repeating the same things over and over and over..

You're ugly. Fat. Annoying. Too aggressive. Needy. Emotional. For fuck's sake you can't even keep employment long enough to pay for your own shit. You live off of college's financial aid. Don't own nothin' but a fuckin' truck and 3 horses. Naturally, you'd fall for a man who is a perfect fit and he's scared of relationships... not that you're that good of a woman anyway, all your fat ass can do is cook and eat. All you do is mooch when you get done wasting your money on stupid shit in manic phases. Speaking of which, you're stupid. Even if you do manage to graduate, you ain't gonna make nothin' of yourself. You ain't that good of a writer and nobody wants to read the shit you write anyway. Can't get a normal blue-collar job like everyone else, gotta be fucked up in the head. You can't rise above the level of your low-birth.

Unshakable feelings of inadequacy, failure, worthlessness and loneliness appear.

Perhaps it's a good thing I started counseling. Now I'm going to drink 2 shots of Jager, take my medicine and sleep for however long I can sleep.

24 January 2011

Last Chapter of Heart of a Survivor pt 3

These warning signs were compiled from Child Help, The National Children's Advocacy Center, and Kidscape. “The possibility of abuse should be investigated if a child shows a number of these symptoms, or any of them to a marked degree”1

Emotional Abuse:
  • Excessively withdrawn, fearful, or anxious about doing something wrong
  • Passive and aggressive - behavioral extremes
  • Doesn’t seem to be attached to the parent or caregiver
  • Habit disorder (sucking, rocking, biting, hair twisting, self-mutilation)
  • Sudden speech disorders
  • Substance abuse
  • Antisocial, destructive
  • Neurotic traits (sleep disorders, inhibition of play)
  • Delinquent behavior (especially adolescents)
  • Physical, mental and emotional development lags
  • Continual self-depreciation ('I'm stupid, ugly, worthless, etc')
  • Overreaction to mistakes
  • Extreme fear of any new situation

Physical Abuse:
  • Self destructive
  • Fear of physical contact - shrinking back if touched
  • Is always watchful and “on alert,” as if waiting for something bad to happen.
  • Withdrawn and/or aggressive - behavioral extremes
  • Arrives at school early or stays late as if afraid to be at home
  • Chronic runaway (adolescents)
  • Complains of soreness or moves uncomfortably
  • Wears clothing inappropriate to weather, to cover body
  • Bizarre explanation of injuries
  • Aggression towards others
  • Wary of adult contact
  • Self-destructive tendencies
  • Aggression towards others
  • Fear of medical help or examination
  • Unexplained bruises (in various stages of healing)
  • Unexplained burns, especially cigarette burns or immersion burns
  • Unexplained fractures, lacerations or abrasions
  • Swollen areas
  • Evidence of delayed or inappropriate treatment for injuries

Sexual Abuse:
  • Torn, stained or bloody underclothing
  • Pain, swelling or itching in genital area
  • Difficulty walking or sitting
  • Bruises or bleeding in genital area
  • Venereal disease
  • Frequent urinary or yeast infections
  • Excessive seductiveness
  • Role reversal, overly concerned for siblings
  • Massive weight change
  • Suicide attempts (especially adolescents)
  • Inappropriate sex play or premature understanding of sex
  • Threatened by physical contact, closeness
  • Being overly affectionate in a sexual way inappropriate to the child's age
  • Being isolated or withdrawn
  • Starting to wet again, day or night/nightmares
  • Lack of trust or fear of someone they know well
  • Become worried about clothing being removed
  • Suddenly drawing sexually explicit pictures
  • Trying to be 'ultra-good' or perfect; overreacting to criticism

I'm positive that if someone at the school or home had been observant to the warning signs of abuse that I was displaying it could have been stopped. In Kindergarten I was withdrawn and anxious about doing something wrong and hated new situations (I still do). I remember having bedwetting and crying-for-no-reason issues in the 2nd grade. I constantly chewed on erasers, pencils and pens and I was always twitchy. I despised making mistakes (still do) and self-depreciation was/is one of my favorite things. 

I avoided personal hygiene if at all possible in hopes it would make me repulsive to Mick. I couldn't go to bed unless Barbie and Ken were naked in their bed. By the 4th grade I was withdrawn, bouncing back and forth between the extreme ends of passive and aggressive, contemplating suicide and picking at my skin. I was always on alert, I definitely hated going home and made that clear, I developed a stutter when I was pushed to a certain point of pissed, I had issues with sleep that were not associated with just being a teenager, I loved my liquor, I had a good knowledge of sex before I was even raped by Ben, I hated people being close to me, and I would cry or throw tantrums over stupid things, like wanting to be an Indian in the Kindergarten Thanksgiving festivities. That’s just falling through the cracks at school. Everyone in the family knew Mom was abusing me emotionally and physically and that Dad was emotionally abusive when he was bothered to have anything to do with me.

If my family, the neighbors, the teachers… if anyone had just grown the balls to follow their instincts my life could have been completely different and less chaotic. If you think someone is being abused, do the ethical thing: call it in and let the authorities sort it out. 

If you are being abused yourself, muster the courage take control of your life, escape the abuse and tell somebody. Let your inner warrior come out and protect you.

Places of Interest and Relevance:
Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline:
1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)

Help for child sexual abuse:
1-888-PREVENT (1-888-773-8368) Stop It Now

1-800-656-HOPE Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)

The National Children's Advocacy Center


American Psychological Association

Last Chapter of Heart of a Survivor pt 2

Physical abuse can be physical discipline excessive to the child’s age and condition. It can be the result of using various implements such as belts, wooden spoons and hairbrushes. The abuse can simply be trying to injure the child in some physical manner. There are three criteria for physical abuse: Unpredictability, lashing out and using fear to control behavior.1

To me the unpredictability is the worst part. As a child I never knew when I was going to be assaulted or for what meaningless transgression it would be for. Mom used to call me her “ghost child.” I was the ghost child. I was the ghost child because I didn’t want to be near her for fear she would get pissed off at me for something and attack me with whatever she chose to attack with.

Lashing out comes in at a close second and is intertwined with unpredictability. Mom’s mood could change in a heartbeat. I could spill milk while fixing myself some cereal for breakfast and she would completely go off, using the spoon to smack my skull all the while yelling at me for making a mess. I couldn’t even sit in my own house with her around when I was a child because I never knew how bad I was going to be beat if I did something she didn’t like. Dad was good at lashing out too, though not as often. Every single time Dad smacked me I either ended up on the ground (once in a flowerbed full of fresh manure) or with chipped teeth.

Using fear to control behavior is a given if you’re already lashing out and unpredictable. I personally cringe every time I hear some person giving their child “the countdown.” I’ve been the recipient of the countdown quite often, and it was usually in a “get over here so I can beat your ass” manner. Abusive parents use the Machiavelli model of parenting rather than one of love and nurturing. Rule by fear and you shall rule absolutely, at least that’s the way it is in their minds. In reality it’s just picking on someone who can’t fight back.

The physical abuse I’ve suffered has indeed left a huge mark on me. I refuse to have children in the slight chance that I can’t break the cycle. I will not bring a child into the world just to use it for my stress relief, and I won’t bring it into this double dysfunctional family. Every time I argue with a significant other I fully expect them to attempt to hit me. One small move that can be perceived in a split second as a setup for an attack causes me to cower, flinch and cover my body until I can regain my senses. Conversely, I often fear that I will become the abuser to him, that I will be pushed to the point of blackout and become the punching, kicking whirling dervish that I know lives within me somewhere.

Emotional abuse is as destructive as physical abuse is. Child Help lists the following as emotional abuses:
* Constant belittling, shaming, and humiliating a child
* Calling names and making negative comparisons to others
* Telling a child he or she is “no good," "worthless," "bad," or "a mistake."
* Frequent yelling, threatening, or bullying.
* Ignoring or rejecting a child as punishment, giving him or her the silent treatment.
* Limited physical contact with the child—no hugs, kisses, or other signs of affection.
* Exposing the child to violence or the abuse of others, whether it be the abuse of a parent, a sibling, or even a pet.2

As stated previously, emotional abuse can lead to difficulties in emotional regulation, trust issues, abusive relationships, decreased sense of self worth, guilt, anger, anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses.

I still combat the effects of the emotional abuse I’ve endured at the hands of several people. Both of my parents and my brothers constantly belittled me. Nothing I did was good enough, and I often was considered the spoiled brat or incorrigible. I still feel like a failure today. If I had stayed on at the prison and collected the steady paycheck, no matter how insane the place and people drove me, I’d be living on my own right now, probably making mortgage payments on my own house.

I doubt that I would be the type to settle for nothing less than an A and feel a mixture of anger, worthlessness and failure if I receive a B. My grades while I was growing up seemed to be the only way I could get Mom and Dad’s approval. Naturally I’d get fussed at if I got anything less than a B in anything, and it continues today with Dad. A couple of semesters ago I had more than a full load of college courses, Mom was diagnosed with cancer, then Paul was diagnosed with cancer, and on top of that I was confronted with issues of my sexual abuse. I passed the semester with a 2.5, slightly above a C average. I was thrilled I passed every class and didn’t withdraw from any. Dad’s response, “I thought you were going to get good grades this semester.”

Even Dad’s current emotional abuse sends me spiraling down into a depression. If my brothers are brought up I’m immediately compared to them and told that I’m not as smart as I think I am and not everyone is always wrong. This has gone on all of my life. I’m made to feel worthless because I mess up and end up needing medicine from the pharmacy. Dad has always tried to control me through money, like I’m not worthy enough to occasionally go to a movie or a concert. Dad, Brett and Don always called me names which led to me bashing my head against the wall or falling into a crying fit. Mom always yelled when I was a child, and told me things such as I’m a failure. I’ll always be a nobody. I’m worthless. But when I’d ask her if I was a mistake and she didn’t really want me, she’d always say I was planned and loved.

The old adage “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” is utter bullshit. They hurt. They have the power to destroy. Don’t be an asshole to your kids.

Sexual Abuse: non-touching: obscene language, pornography, exposure
touching: fondling, molesting, oral sex, intercourse3

The most important thing to mention here is that many children are victimized by somebody they know, somebody trusted by the adults, as I was in all incidents. Boys are just as likely to be abused as girls. For some reason there is more shame in being a sex abuse victim than in being physically abused. That is partly the reason I didn’t come forward until years had gone by.

It is embarrassing to have allowed my cousins and George to touch me. Even if I was 8 years old, something inside of my brain says I could have stopped it. I could have run away. It is excruciatingly embarrassing to have lost my virginity to my 1st cousin. I can never honestly have the drunken ‘what was your first time like’ conversation, because I lost mine shamefully.

I also know what my family is like and how they reacted when I spoke up about George after growing concerned about him trying to get another younger cousin of mine to sit in his lap all day at a Thanksgiving dinner. Dad naturally wanted to bury his head in the sand, which he did. Mom wanted to kill George. The cousin’s mother thanked me. Grandma didn’t believe it at first and then the response was “well, I’m sorry it happened.” If she were really sorry then why the hell does she still associate with him and Kari? Anne had the best reaction, she was shocked, then pissed, then made sure he was nowhere near any of the children. Mary refused to believe it until he pissed her off then she only believed it because it made him look like a bigger asshole. Everyone else either thought I was lying, I seduced them or they didn’t care and let their children play with him anyway.

As far as the cousins go, I was, and still am concerned about the inevitable rift it will cause. The family will become the Hatfields vs. the McCoys. Not like I care much anymore. I’m sick of the family thinking it’s ok to turn their heads to gross abuses and pretend it’s not going on. Each day that passes the stronger my resolve to get the entire truth out to my family. It may have taken me years to find my strength, but hopefully my strength will translate to someone else it’s happening to right now and they will have the strength to step forward and stop the torture they are enduring.

The sex abuse is and was the hardest for me to deal with. Its effects are layered on so many levels that it becomes a spiderweb of pain and secrecy. It’s a tough thing for an adult, let alone a child to deal with the real consequences that would be met by going to the police, a teacher, any adult that they trust implicitly: Destroying the family (how dare you lie about my angelic Mick!), not being believed (who’s going to believe a kid over a pillar of the community), being treated as a worthless, damaged human (you did that with your cousin? You whore!), and my personal favorite response; You brought it on. You seduced him with your 12 year old charms!

As you can see with all of that running through the mind of an 8-13 year old, it is difficult to come forward. Every day I regret not telling the police when it happened, and at the same time I’m pissed that trained professionals missed or ignored the signs and weren’t my voice when I didn’t have one.

The American Psychological Association has this to say about the effects of childhood sexual abuse:
Children and adolescents who have been sexually abused can suffer a range of psychological and behavioral problems, from mild to severe, in both the short and long term. These problems typically include depression, anxiety, guilt, fear, sexual dysfunction, withdrawal, and acting out. […]

The initial or short-term effects of abuse usually occur within 2 years of the termination of the abuse. These effects vary depending upon the circumstances of the abuse and the child's developmental stage but may include regressive behaviors (such as a return to thumb-sucking or bed-wetting), sleep disturbances, eating problems, behavior and/or performance problems at school, and nonparticipation in school and social activities.

But the negative effects of child sexual abuse can affect the victim for many years and into adulthood. Adults who were sexually abused as children commonly experience depression. Additionally, high levels of anxiety in these adults can result in self-destructive behaviors, such as alcoholism or drug abuse, anxiety attacks, situation-specific anxiety disorders, and insomnia. Many victims also encounter problems in their adult relationships and in their adult sexual functioning.

Revictimization is also a common phenomenon among people abused as children. Research has shown that child sexual abuse victims are more likely to be the victims of rape or to be involved in physically abusive relationships as adults are.

[... ]Some children even report little or no psychological distress from the abuse, but these children may be either afraid to express their true emotions or may be denying their feelings as a coping mechanism. Other children may have what is called "sleeper effects." They may experience no harm in the short run, but suffer serious problems later in life.4
1 Ibid.
2 Ibid.
3 The National Children's Advocacy Center. http://www.nationalcac.org/families/for_workers/abuse_indicators.html 24 JAN 2011
4 American Psychological Association. http://www.apa.org/pubs/info/brochures/sex-abuse.aspx. 24 JAN 2011

Last Chapter of Heart of a Survivor pt 1

CHAPTER 12 – Signs and Effects of Abuse
The long term effects of abuse are hell to live through. Abuse does affect every facet of the survivor’s life. Trust and relationship issues should be at the top of the list. Abusing a child teaches them that they cannot trust anyone but themselves. The child can grow to be so scared of being abused or controlled they simply can’t maintain a relationship. On the other end of the spectrum the survivor will often join into abusive relationships because it’s all they know. They don’t know what it is to be treated like a worthy human being.1

Or they could end up like I did and have issues on both ends of the spectrum. I tend to make people prove to me that they are trustworthy. Often this takes at least a year. I don’t trust easy and I never will. It keeps me safe. Unfortunately this is not conducive to long lasting relationships because invariably men get tired of being tested and nagged at about various things like who they’re talking to, where they’re going, how long they’re going to be and will they be having sex with whomever they’re with. It also drives friends nuts.

The sense of self-worth one acquires while being abused affects things like employment. According to Child Help feelings of worthlessness and being damaged goods are quite common in victims of abuse. Many people hold themselves back in life. They take menial jobs and disallow themselves the opportunities higher education offer because the victim has it engrained in their brain that they can’t go past blue collar jobs and they would fail in school. Child Help also goes on to say survivors of sexual abuse find it particularly difficult to get past feeling “damaged”.2

I’m living proof of this. I’m also living proof that it can be overcome. At times I still feel that I don’t belong in college, that I’m wasting my time and I’m still going to end up slinging burgers when I’m done achieving my degrees. There are several days when I think I should just give up on college and settle for the steady paycheck the prison offers. That’s bullshit thinking. It’s the type of demon that calls out Legion XIV and Legion XX to lay down some whoopass on unacceptable thinking patterns. I will finish college. I will attain several doctorates. I will enjoy my future, even if the present is difficult. I don’t honestly give a shit who you are or where you come from, you are worthy enough to follow your dreams. If people try to talk you out of it and hold you into something below you, get rid of them. They’re toxic. They’re traitors to your crown.

Damaged is an interesting quotation since that’s how I’ve often described myself in long conversations with my most trusted friend. I often feel that I am indeed damaged goods. I feel that I drag far too much emotional and psychological baggage with me to be of any use in any sort of relationship. My innocence had been stolen from me. I was deflowered not for love, but for a sex crazed Neanderthal who couldn’t honestly give two shits less about me or what he was doing. I ran into the same abusive situations over and over again whether it be my parents, cousins, boyfriends or teachers. It feels like a big slice of me as a human is not there, like it died and is floating above my head watching me struggle with life.

Child Help goes on to list difficulties in emotional regulation as a long term effect of abuse. When you’re being abused you cannot have emotions. If you do you’re putting yourself at risk of being subjected to further abuse. As a result children learn to push their emotions deep down. Unfortunately these emotions tend to come out at the wrong times and in the wrong ways, like me bashing my head against the wall trying to knock myself unconscious. Adults tend to suffer from anxiety and depressive disorders and can be prone to anger.3
This is where the bipolar does not help me at all. I feel guilty for every emotion I have (and the’re all felt to indescribable extremes). This means love, lust, anger and joy. I definitely exhibit social anxiety. I hate talking to new people. I’d prefer hang out on the wall watching everyone else have a good time while looking for people who could potentially cause me problems. If I’m alone in the hall at college and I suddenly become surrounded by other students minding their own business waiting for class to start, I freak out. I start having problems breathing, my pulse races and I need to go outside until I can calm down.

Depression, well depression just sucks… especially bipolar depression because it can literally hit at any second. I can be at a high manic, talking myself to death – and the poor people who have to listen to me to deafness – feeling like I’m the queen of my domain and suddenly I’m reduced to tears, wanting to run away from everyone, fighting the urge to cut and if it’s really bad, the urge to commit suicide.

As much as I hate it, I am quite prone to anger, especially when I feel I’ve been wronged or challenged. I just cannot let it slip by. I often feel I have nothing to lose, so when someone hits one of my hot buttons, such as making fun of mentally challenged people, the rabid wolverine within me begins to make her appearance. If I catch someone in the act of abusing their significant other, especially if they’re cowering and half their size I’ll become so pissed that I can barely hold myself from giving them a concrete facial. I do have trivial, unwarranted rages as well; some careless person hits me with their book bag, someone continues to stand in my way when I’ve said excuse me, I feel someone is invading my personal space, some asshole says “I’ve already gone through my Hot Topic phase” when I show up wearing my new Tripp NYC Bondage pants two days after my mother’s death and I had just received a compliment on them by the person I was there to see, and Mom liked the pants. Stupid shit that pisses me off to the point of I want to head butt people into unconsciousness and removes the perpetrator of stupidity from ever getting off of my “twatwaffle” list because they have proven to me that they are douchebags.
1 www.childhelp.org. Effects of child abuse and neglect. 24 JAN 2011.
2 Ibid.
3 Ibid.

23 January 2011

Sorrow, Dread and Melancholy - a poem

O sweet Melancholy - thrive! thrive!
Make love within my ebon heart!
O these delusions you contrive
Play somber songs sweet as Mozart.
O joyous notes have been deprived
Forever astray from my heart!
Oh sweet Melancholy - live on
Within my soul with love foregone!

O sweet Dread take away the dawn -
I cannot endure its beauty,
Nor the warm rays kissing upon
My weathered face, softly weeping.
O sweet dread - make dawn be gone,
I prefer my soul be brambly!
O sweet Dread, I'm obliged to you
As green blades are to morning dew!

O sweet sorrow, how you pursue
My poor, annihilated soul -
Feeble maiden to be subdued!
Helpless lady raped on the knoll
By sorrow and his knightly crew -
Paces away from the maypole!
Sorrow, Dread and Melancholy -
The three beastly knights over me.

Me. I wrote this. Yay.

22 January 2011

Tough Day All Around

Henry Wallis "Chatterton" (1856) Tate Britain
I woke up this morning in a great mood, ready to take on the world, revise my manuscript that Dad doesn't give a fuck about, get ahead in my reading assignments so I'm not as crunched later in the semester considering I have 27 books I have to get through.

I called the doctor's office to get my very needed Lexapro refilled since shit happened this time and I didn't get the paperwork done (because the nurse who does it didn't come to work). The nurse spoke to me as if I were a child and this happens all of the time with me. Stupid fucking twat doesn't realize that I rarely run out of medicine and I often still have a week or 2 left when the new shipment from the patient assistance program gets here. 11 am, awake for half an hour, already pissed. It got worse from there.

I called the pharmacy to make sure the medicine was in, it was and an extra supply of Klonopin was in as well. Yay on that point. Unfortunately the Lexapro is expensive as hell (why I use the patient assistance program) and 15 days costs "Dad" $109. This of course pissed him off because I am such a failure that "I didn't stay on the ball and make sure the paperwork was done." This was followed by several back and forths about this being a fluke, a rare thing and "I need my fucking medicine unless you want to deal with me being like this all goddamned weekend."

To further prove how uncaring and callous this person is he asked me if there was anything I could change lifestyle wise to "help not need meds." WTF?!? I'm ALWAYS going to need medicine. "Well I thought I got medicine for you a few weeks ago, what was that?" That was my damn Risperidone, since the Lexapro was losing effectiveness. I was suicidal all through November except for the week I was away from here. Then I was manic, free and happy... and quite stoned for most of it. "Well you make me suicidal."

Really? You're fucking making fun of my goddamn disease and bitching at me because I fucked up and you have to front me the money for my meds so I don't kill anyone? Don't fucking tell me your goddamn suicidal until you live a week in my shoes going from manic to suicidal to manic to suicidal to manic to suicidal several times a fucking day. Then tell me how exhausted you are just trying to survive yourself and pass your classes with a B considered mediocre.

And how I need to try to work 20-40 hours a week and take the fucking classloads I do, shooting for the 4.0 so I can get out of here and stop being the failure 30 year old I know I am, go on to grad school and forget everything about this fucking double dysfunctional family and pretty much see this part of the country as in flight movie.

"You don't even care enough about me to accept the fact that I'm bipolar and I am never going to be able to live a normal life in your eyes. My only shot at normalcy and self sufficiency is this writing thing." Something else was said and I evoked Mom. "At least Mom gave a shit enough about me to learn about what it is I suffer. I know she asked you a million times to Google the shit and see what my life is like 24-7, she accepted me for me while you don't even bother."

"I accept that you have something wrong mentally, but I'm not going to google it or try to understand it. Why should I?"

"Because you make the shit worse! Everything you say to me, especially about college and my plans to be a doctorate collector, all the stupid things you do like leave your Quicken up so I know that you think so highly of me that you keep a running tab of what I owe you..."

"Half of it's not even on there!" Yeah, like that was supposed to make me feel better?

Luckily the grief counselor from the hospice company got here after a good 30-45 minutes of arguing with Dad.

She wanted to talk to me and see how I was doing and Dad went to being nice and caring, even smiling (passive aggressive much?) when he said "I'll see you later," while I'm foaming at the mouth with a red face and ears and black eyes. I popped a Klonopin and talked to the counselor for awhile.

Apparently Mom had asked for a chaplain when she was in the hospital and the grief counselor is attached to him. Mom had expressed concerns about my relationship (or lack thereof) with Dad. Probably a great insight on her part. I had told her I was fucked if it went down to just Dad and I. Mom used to be the mediator so to speak, or at least scream at the top of her lungs for us to shut up, which neither of us did, both feeling the need to get the last word in, until she finally caught my attention enough that I just walked away, or got in my pickup and drove to the lake exiled from my own house or imprisoned in my own room.

Then again, Dad hasn't given a fuck about anything but money in 30 years, why should I expect him to see the real me, and the entire situation with me now? What the fuck made me ever think he might goddamn try to understand my daily struggle just to live somewhat normally when all he does is throw my stupid ass perfect brothers, everything I do wrong, every penny I borrow and the fact I'm a psychotic asshole in my face.

Just to spite his bullshit ideals of what I should be as a human being, I'm finishing school, getting graduate degrees and I will live my life as I see fit, hopefully without the dysfunctionality I'm stuck dealing with on a daily basis.

I've already popped 2 klonopin, getting ready for the 3rd.

The day was shot from the time I woke up. I went from a good, maybe hypomanic mood to rabid wolverine pissed, to depressed enough that even Awesomesauce couldn't calm me down or make me feel better.

The weekend is going to be rough because weekends always suck. I'm regretting the usually awesome 3 day a week schedule. At least when I went 5 days I was gone before he woke up and asleep by the time he got home. Then again Mom was home to referee and get Dad to back the fuck off of me. Weekends were the only point of contention, but if I stayed in my room it went a bit smoother. It's no wonder I have a fucked up sleep schedule.

Hopefully Steve the counselor at school can help me not stab people.

My first week of class and I already need a vacation to York or Hadrian's Wall.

21 January 2011

The First Week Back...

I've completed my first week of classes. So far so good. I've taken "nerd" to a whole new level in my literature classes, and it's proving that double majoring in Literature and History is a good combination for me, even if it makes me a bit manic. I'd prefer manic to depressed.

My history professors would be proud of the little history nerd beast wolverine thing they have let loose upon the literary studies world.

If the next 15 weeks are anything like this one, well, it should be interesting. Every lit class except for Studies in Fiction has began with a historical overview.

Gender and Ethnicity is showing the historical evolution of the feminist movements in the UK and United States. I was particularly interested in the Quakers perspective on equality and, of course, Mary Wollstonecraft who seems as eccentric and unorthodox as I. In fact, I believe I will have to research her and her works a bit just to add to the nerdiness.

Beginnings to 1660 and King Arthur is where my nerdy self is appearing like a rabid beast. Those two classes are starting with a historical overview of the Middle Ages. YAY! Henry II is appearing often in association with King Arthurian lore which I find fascinating. Even more YAY! Though I have been driven nuts on the historical aspects already.

Henry II and Eleanore of Aquitaine - Fontevraud Abbey
Beginnings to 1660 started with a historical documentary entitled "A History of Britain" featuring Simon Schama of Columbia University. So far so good. It started off with the neolithic peoples which I know nothing about and don't really care about, moving onto the big pile of rocks in the middle of nowhere.

part 1 Start at like 7 mins in. part 2 part 3

Then we got into the Romans and Boudicca. My keen observations noticed some things wrong and I had to fight the nerd.

Julius Caeser did not go to Brittania at first with ideas of conquest. He went on a recon mission because the Britons were aiding the Gauls in the Gallic Wars. Book 4 Chapter 20 - The Gallic Wars. As you can see if you muddle through the short chapters, JC even tried to run the snitch game with merchants and Gauls who were all too familiar with Britons.

Claudius' legions were not the ones playing "carrot and stick." The Britons were. The Romans simply waited for reinforcements and chased them down. That's not including the fact that many just submitted to Rome with some sort of client-kingship deal.

Then we go to Boudicca. "It only took a policy of stupidity, arrogance, and brutality on the part of the local Roman governor to turn her from a warm supporter of Rome into it's most dangerous enemy." It was the praetor, not the damn governor that started the shit with Boudicca. The praetor happened to be running the show in a small (maybe 2 week or so) time frame after the unexpected death of the real Governor, then they had to wait for Paulinus to show up.

Paulinus had nothing to do with Boudicca's uprising with the exception of stopping it.

Boudicca's husband died and Decianus Catus decided it would be a good idea to not honor Prasutagus' will (which is to be expected) and send his minions in to loot and pillage the tribes aristocracy in an effort to reclaim a "loan" given to certain tribes by Claudius. Not only that, Seneca had forced the tribe to take a huge loan and called it in. Essentially it was a mob shakedown from all sides.

The literal translation from Tacitus is "scourged" not flogged, not whipped... s-c-o-u-r-g-e-d. This means the flagrum was used and she probably took it 39 times. Though I could probably debate scourged vs. flogged to death. At 40 lashes with the flagrum the Romans would have had to have some sort of ok by the big boys in Rome. Her daughters were "outraged" meaning raped. She got pissed and rose up. It was a very well planned revolt which involved more than just running in and killing shit. She used a network of spies, psychological warfare, and even planned on stealing the Roman grain supplies so her warriors could train and arm.

The video shows a re-enactment of the final pitched battle between Boudicca and Paulinus' legion. It starts correct with the Romans patiently waiting and unloading their javelins. They kind of like forgot to get into wedge formation. Tacitus is implicit that every single unit at that battle went crashing into the Britons in wedge formation. Something they probably picked up from the Germans. If you're going to show a dramatic re-enactment and get parts of it right, get the whole thing right.

After that I don't remember much because I was trying not to explode into tears of frustration.

I also patiently sat through a layman's session on feudalism and the 3 Orders. I didn't want to hurt the professor's feelings, because, well, I like this professor, and this person actually gets my utmost respect. Plus I'm probably the only person in that room that gives a shit about the intricacies of feudalism and the 3 Orders (Fight, Pray, Toil). My brain automatically went to previous feudalism lectures that were drilled into my head. At least I got the professor to put up a picture of Old Sarum. More YAY!

I had a "discussion" in the King Arthur class about chivalry after someone said "Chivalry isn't dead. Men still open doors." Blah!?!? I think I gave myself whiplash. I know I ended up with a headache. Yeah, I had to mention the true, medieval version of chivalry and naturally I spouted something or other about William Marshal, and real chivalry died with him. The professor was cool though and diverted my attention to another shiny object or something. At least I can get an argument in this class.

I'm already going history nerd in one of my history classes. So far I'm going to research Peter I "the Great" of Russia (not sure where I'm going with it yet, probably his concept of servitude and serfdom, but I have chosen him). The other one, I'm just trying to get through because it's a freshman level class, American History and the ignorance and stupidity surrounding me makes me want to stab myself with blunt objects.

Yes, I am a nerd. And I don't have anyone to babble at about my day at class, so you loyal readers are just going to have to suffer.

17 January 2011

I'm A Proud Mommy

I just had to say that I have given birth to my first manuscript. Right now it's a measly little 30k words, but they're powerful.

16 January 2011

I'm Still Alive and WTF Is Agitated Manic?

Agitated Manic
I call it 'agitated manic' however it is probably clinically defined as a mixed episode involving hypomania and mild depression. It is not a fun place to be, however it is better than full on depressed.

Unfortunately, when I am in this state it is easy to tilt me one way or the other. The fulcrum is a bitch.

Currently I sit here pissed off, slightly depressed, yet exhibiting the signs of mania as well. My leg will not stop twitching, I'm chain smoking, thoughts are racing and, well, I kind of feel like kicking a wall or something. I am a ball of nervous energy.

It honestly wouldn't take much to turn me into the Hulk or giddy to the point of I want to puke at how disgustingly happy I am. And I've experienced just that multiple times in a 4 hour frame.

Everything I can possibly construe as an assault on me or my heart is taken as such, and not easily. It is far more difficult to make me giddy. I guess I'm emo or just a pessimist that looks at the glass as 3/4 empty.

The manic part picks up every single thing going on, every word, every sound like an alert Doberman Pincer, and the hyper mind is busy processing the information, correctly or incorrectly. It doesn't care. It generally processes the shit in the negative though.

Example: "The quality of a book doesn't necessarily translate to popularity," gets translated into, pfffffffft. "Your book's gonna fall flat and you ain't gonna make no money out of it," and my brain says "this fucker don't believe in me."

I hate this state. I get pissy, emotional, and it often means a depressed state is about to hit.
How I feel at the moment.

Personal update: I have decided to write a book about the abuse I've suffered through, my dysfunctional family, my mental illness and the path to healing I've taken and things I've learned along my path through hell.

I'm definitely in an agitated manic state right now, but I have approximately 25,000 words so far (no it is not "fuck" or "stab" repeated 25,000 times, that's my diary), and nobody in my family is making it out unscathed, not even me.

It didn't quite dawn on me until writing this shit that I was born into a double dysfunctional family full of assholes. Some are redeemed later, and Mom is redeemed about 500000 times. It seems that the chapter I was compelled to work on today has brought up some not nice demons, mainly reliving the bullshit that got played on Mom in her final months of life.

Yes, I've taken a break from writing to write. I felt compelled and figured some people were starting to get concerned since I haven't been on the internet much because I've been contemplating writing this book and then doing so in a highly productive manic state since Wednesday.

I also know that "quality doesn't necessarily mean popularity," but this is my only fucking chance out of this shithole life I'm in. Maybe I can sell the movie rights to my shitty life and make $100,000.00. It would definitely be a piss you off, make you sad, inspire you movie. It's that kind of book.

I have to write. I have to make it as a writer. It is the only thing I have going for me.

Seriously, what normal shit job am I going to be able to do with History and English degrees that I won't fuck up because of the mood swings or general "gets bored easily, does not put up with bullshit or play politics" things?

Anyway I'm gonna go back to writing this thing... and not stab people.

11 January 2011

8 Years: Heavy trigger warning.

:I've been tossing this idea around for some time, and I believe that while it is uncomfortable for me, I need to bring this to light, and smash its face with a fucking hammer... like this:

A period of 8 years in my life. Horrible years that should never have happened, but happen all too often to others like myself.

It starts when I was 8. I went to my aunt's house after church (I know, me, church?) to play with my cousins Michael and Jennifer. Both are considerably older than I since my parents decided to have me way the hell late in life.

Apparently when I was 8, good ole Mikey was going through puberty. What a wonderful time for a boy this puberty thing is.

What is interesting is how Mike used my idolizing him as a brother to destroy my childhood. We did the normal kid things: built a fort, played in the machine shed, played in the hayloft of the barn. Normal, redneck, farmers children things. Until one day in the fort he asked me to take my clothes off. I didn't want to, but I did anyway to make him happy so I could get a ride on the 3-wheeler later.

Mike still has this creepy fucking smile.
Mike perversely admired my naked, timid, childhood body, smiling his stupid fucking smile that looks like The Joker's. He began rubbing me everywhere with hands ten times bigger than mine. He knew what he was doing was wrong because he uttered the all too familiar words: Don't tell anybody!

There were more times in the fort. It started as just quick looking and inappropriate rubbing. I still kept asking Mom and Dad to go back to my aunt's house to play with Mikey. Enthusiastically. Every Sunday after church. Sometimes I even sat in the sound room with him as he recorded Brother Door's sermons. The foldout chair was far more comfortable than sitting in a stiff wooden pew listening to Dad snore and Mom sing her soprano notes.

One day we went to the barn with the BB gun to shoot birds. We ended up in the hayloft for some unknown, ungodly reason, and as was the habit, I had to get naked. By this time I was growing breasts and probably already up to a B cup. (These bastards grew overnight, I swear). He told me he had a new game to play called "Milking the Cow." I had to get on all fours, legs spread apart looking like a dog in heat.

I wasn't happy about being naked again, but really, what the hell is a pre-teen going to do against somebody who's already hitting 6'3"? He told me I was the cow, and my developing breasts were the udder, and with that stupid fucking smile still on his face, me in a completely helpless and hopeless position, he proceeded to massage my breasts as if he were indeed milking a cow.

Another wonderful interaction with him was in their swimming pool. It was just him and I splashing around, me stupid enough to wear a pink and black horizontal striped bikini (why the fuck do they make those things in kids sizes?). He made a game of charging through the water at me to try to get the top off so he "could see my boobies."

I still hate Fords.
My favorite dealing with good ole wonderful fucking Mikey was when he was old enough to drive. He had a Ford F-150 that was dark blue. It was made back when they still used steel for vehicle bodies, maybe mid 80's. One hot summer night, and I mean night, it was dark and hot enough that you were dripping sweat at midnight, Mikey and I went for a joyride on the country roads. He went a ways down Cherry Road, stopped, and made me get out.

He made me disrobe, showing off my flabby, white, pubescent body and ride on the hood of the truck. If I didn't ride naked on the hood, he told me, I'd be walking back to the house, naked. This incident was traumatic enough to me that I don't even remember if he molested me that night or not.

My parents and I moved away for a year and came back. Looking back, I should have just encouraged Mom to take the job in Cincinnati even if their football team sucks. I was 13 when we came back in early '94, just months after I had lost my grandpa in a vehicle collision (another blog). I was totally the awkward, ugly, spineless, despised and bullied teenager.

There were a few days when Mike found his way over to my house, some of them at my own asking.

Logically that is hard to get your head around, but I'll put it this way; negative attention is attention. He paid attention to me, and now that I was hitting puberty my body was fighting my mind and curiosities, and I had a source to experiment with. One day I even asked him to tie my hands above my head to the shower curtain rod and cane me with a switch. Talk about a confusing moment in life. And why I'm still wishy-washy on masochistic tendencies, as the fantasies definitely inspire a multitude of emotions at one time. And this shows just how damaged goods I was, and am.

Eventually Mikey went on his own way, graduating from high school and college, getting married, and having a daughter of his own. Even when I was 19 he was still finding ways to abuse, or try to abuse me. He would send me pictures of fisting, bizarre sex, BDSM, and a lot of skinny lesbians with big tits and apparently elastic pussies. One day, at a dinner at Grandma's house (I was somewhere between 19 and 21), he caught me alone by my car and tried to grab my now full grown, awesome, D-cup breasts. Luckily he only got the bra, and I was able to escape somehow.

Good ole Mikey got to touch me from the ages of 8 to 13 for those of you keeping track. And yes, his daughter is big enough to have breasts of her own, and I feel guilty every fucking day, wondering if by my not snitchin' I've put her at risk. He's that type of offender, and I wouldn't put it past him doing this shit to his own daughter.

Next up on the hammer smashin' list, we have Kenny. Kenny the Meth Head rapist. Kenny is the product of yet a different aunt, but both cousins are on Dad's side of the family.

When I was younger, my brothers weren't really around. I was essentially an only child, so I looked to my cousins to be my brothers. Kenny was one of these cousins, and perhaps the one I looked up to the most, aside from his brother, The Marine.

Inside, I was still this age.
When I was 13 or 14, Kenny had a job that kept him on the road. He also had a rather bitchy girlfriend. He and the girlfriend had a fight about sex and she took off, not expected to return that night. He wanted it, she didn't.

Me, in my innocent mind, thought it would be awesome to sleep in the waterbed with a cousin I loved and looked up to. I mean, come on, waterbeds are fun toys, and who the fuck thinks your own cousin is going to cross any boundaries? Plus I hadn't seen him for almost a year.

I crept into his room and asked if I could sleep with him, like I'd done a million times before. He was pissy with me this time though. He told me "To sleep in my bed you gotta have sex with  me." My initial reaction, which I should have stuck with, was you're kidding, followed by fuck no.

Really, I thought he was kidding. Apparently not. I went back to the living room and mulled it over a bit, and for some really stupid reason went BACK into the bedroom and allowed him to commit statutory rape and sodomy with my body.

He finished and went to sleep. I felt guilty and went into the front room, smoked a cigarette, watched the severe storm roll in and basically questioned myself on what the fuck I had just done.

I was still smoking when the pissed off girlfriend came back to the house. I know the scent of sex was still in the air, because I remember thinking I heard her say that she thought Kenny and I had sex. Nothing else was said to me and I slept on the couch, listening to the storm.

We went to Walmart and Aladdin's Castle (props to the locals who remember it) as soon as he woke up the next day, like nothing had happened, like I wasn't missing a vital piece of me that was still trapped in his bed alongside the smell of used pussy.

^ Kenny
Now, since Kenny isn't the most endowed male I've had the joy of having sexual contact with, losing my virginity to him did not hurt, physically anyway. Mentally it fucked me up. Kenny is still the one I have the hardest time wrapping my head around.

With Kenny, as with Mike, I had found a source to fulfill a very physical need, and one every damn teenager has... the need for sex. My brain and soul hated it, my body liked it. I know I called him to come fuck me at least once, maybe twice after the initial time. I also learned the improper way to flush a condom from him.

Kenny went on to have many girlfriends and another failed marriage with a woman who had two children. One of these children was approximately 14 and looked a lot like me when I was her age. Looking back I think he did something to her too, based on the interactions between them I saw and just how she acted. This wife, and all of the girlfriends I'd had the pleasure of meeting all complained about Kenny's "aggressiveness in bed."

When the wife finally left him I was somewhere around 20. I was at his house playing a computer game and he decided he wanted to go to bed. Apparently he was horny and decided it was a good idea to tell me to either have sex with him or go home. I was far stronger at 20 than I was at 13; I went home and played Mortal Kombat.

Good Ole Walt
During most of my teenage years a parasite known as Walter the Molester and his family were attaching themselves to my extended family. Walter was a natural as the school janitor. He LOVED the job, mainly because his creepy old ass could scope on teenagers wearing thongs and low cut tops.

While I didn't dress like a skank, he must have taken notice of the "good victim" sign I had flashing above my head. He was a slow, methodical predator. I was 15 when he finally got his chance. He had a habit of sitting in his car to watch the local football games. After years of grooming me, he had built up enough trust to get me to watch the game in his car with him. That was a bad idea. Seriously. Fortunately for me I was already 15 and had about enough shit as I could possibly take.

The episode started off friendly enough. "Here, let me give you a backrub, I can tell it hurts." Yeah, I'm so not falling for that line ever again. His disgusting hands crept around to the front, fondling my nipples while I was paralyzed, listening to the moans and groans emitting from behind his rotted teeth. He must have taken my paralysis as a sign to continue, because he slipped his hand into my pants, fingering me, and telling me how he loves shaved girls. Another reason to at least leave a landing strip when trimming.

My body was fighting my mind, it was naturally reacting to stimulation, like all post-puberty bodies do. But this time was different. While that portion of my body was revolting against the rest of it and my mind, my mind finally won the battle for once. I'm sure he would have raped me had I not finally gained the composure to get the fuck out of the car, never to be alone with him again. EVER. Haha I won one!

So did God, actually. He was forced to be castrated due to an accident involving a 2x4 and a dumpster.

Then there was the asshole, Wayne, who didn't realize no actually meant no when I was 16. I wonder if he was so repulsed by my biting his odd-shaped, pyramid looking penis when he thought it was a good idea to try to make me give him a blowjob that he turned to underage boys, or if he already had those tendencies and was pretending I was an underage male myself.

I should totally write a book about my shitty life growing up. This was just the sexual shit. There's emotional, psychological and physical added in on top of this throughout the entire time frame.

Dear Awesomesauce: If you even made it through this entire blog, I commend you, and maybe now you understand my point of view on certain matters, and why I am the way I am a bit more clearly now.