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Medical risks. I am a "Self-injury risk". Obviously. I am also a "Fall Risk", a thing hospitals take seriously, as it turns out. The Fall Risk follows me home just as the SI risk does, at least lately. I weave about the apartment like a girl at her third bar on her 21st birthday. I slur my words. It's been quite significant lately. The exhaustion is becoming heavier than the rocks they used to place on witches to make sure they sank into the river.

(Because only the guilty would drown with hundreds of pounds of stone upon their chests, right? Fuck the Salem Witch Trials.)

Thank god for overflowing piles of laundry for my ass to fall on. And walls. And occasionally chairs and couches. Not the cats, though, which sometimes happen to be the unlucky recipient of my unsteady limbs. Poor things.

I've realized that perhaps I've been too hard on David, at least in a couple of instances. He once wrote about cutting as if it were the only option other than suicide. And when phrased like that, it's a perfectly practical thing to say. Of course cutting is safer than leaping off a bridge.

But I LAMBASTED him for his phrasing. I felt such contempt that he would line up two and only two self-destructive behaviors as coping skills. And yet....

Here I am, finding myself stuck in the same dichotomy. Swimming between sharks and piranhas, and trying to figure out which is the safest to be bit by. The sane answer is "GTFO out of the water, you idiot!"

But as much as I'd like to make cocktail buddies between myself and sanity, it's a thing that can't ever be done in unison.

I'm tired. The longer I'm tired, the murkier things get. The murkier things get, the clearer blood sounds.

Someday I'll look at all this as progress, or at least bravery in being able to share the blow-by-blow agony of it all. Right now, though, I'm just very tired. Very tired and feeling almost as if I owe David an apology.
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I sometimes want to make fun of people who don't know the basics of cooking. Two people I know in particular, both of whom are 45 years old. One, Jesse's ex-roommate, who only recently learned how to brown meat. Another, a mutual friend of Jesse's and I's, who only recently learned a bowl of cereal can, indeed, be used as a full meal anytime during the day.

Both of these men are learning how to cook in exactly the same way I did: by finding themselves living alone for the first time in their lives.

This is the situation I found myself in at the age of 32 when I broke up with David. I had no idea how to do anything BUT brown meat and have cereal for dinner. I lived off cereal and pizza for the first entire three months after the breakup. I did eventually come to the conclusion that a grown woman should be able to make a meal that involves more than two ingredients.

But even now, at 35, I'm only a cook un novice. I can work magic with tortilla dishes, make a wicked cheeseburger pie, and know how to get creative with tuna. Anything else? I leave it untouched, terrified and annoyed that I'll likely burn it, undercook it, not realize its gone bad, ruin dishes with terrible combinations of spices, etc etc.

Still, the gaps in learning are sometimes dumbfounding. Jesse's ex-roommate, ever the annoying weasley man, once exclaimed "I had no idea cooking could save money! I'm only spending $140 a week on fast food now!"

Dude, if you're spending 140 dollars a week on fast food - and that is a REDUCTION of money you've been spending on fast food - you're doing something wrong. This is the same guy who has said to Jesse more than once and deadpan, (after 20 YEARS of them living together) that I'm going to die and he will not be able to help Jesse at all.

The man pays no bills but his own, has absolutely NO debt, pays the same rent and utilities that we do, has a functional vehicle that he's not pouring money into, makes over 30 thousand a year, and has an empty living room that could easily fit a single air mattress for a friend to sleep in for a while. (At least if the man bothered to take out his trash once in a while, which he does not.)

And somehow he can't "help" his "best friend" of 20 fucking years, refusing Jesse even a place to stay for a week should something horrible happen to me. All this WHILE ALSO feeling constantly compelled to tell Jesse that I will die soon and that Jesse will be alone.

Seriously, what a dick. There are just not enough dicks in the world to describe how dickish this man is.

David also had a moment that utterly befuddled me. The man had been cooking for MONTHS at the time, making steaks and burgers and chili and whatnot. He did not know how to cook before dating me but discovered he liked to cook and dove into the art enthusiastically. One dinner, however, he asked me how to boil water.

I was like, uhhhhh whaaat? Even I had mastered the art of boiling water by my 30's. I still don't get how he had gotten to be a good cook without knowing how to boil water. I'm also still grateful that he cooked for me, faithfully and daily, every day for the entire 5 years we were together.

Still a dick, but less of a dick. Concerning cooking and pep talks, at least. David never said anything like what Jesse's "friend" said and NEVER would say something like that to anyone, abusive and dickish as he was.

In the end, mocking them would be mocking MYSELF. (Except for Jesse's ex-roommate. He's a jerk and I'll mock him long and loud.) And while I try to stick to the saying of "If you're not laughing at yourself, you're missing out on the biggest joke in the world", there's only so much self-deprecation I'm willing to dance in.

The other friend is less afraid of learning how to cook, I think, and simply more afraid of living alone. That I can understand, having felt that terror for years, even while in a relationship where no amount of food could make up for the abuse dished out. Jesse and I, having both lived (and am currently living) well below the poverty line many, many times in our lives, give him resources, tips, and offers to accompany me to various food pantries.

Though he, too, is befuddled on how to live of the $800 a month AFTER all his bills are paid, which befuddles me, because jesus, if you have 800 left a month left over AFTER aaaalll your obligations are taken care of (bills, medication, rent, utilities, debts, taking care of others, etc)....I guess that just shows how poor I've been in my life.

He is much, much kinder to Jesse than his ex-roommate, however, and that goes a great way in our patience with him. Jesse will cook and offer dinner to this friend and our friend is happy to give away any extra food he has to us. I think the poor, or those who have had loved ones in poverty, understand the power of sharing more than anyone else.

(Not to say that poverty makes one noble. It doesn't. It makes us bitter and hungry. But there is the occasional gratitude - both given and taken - to be learned in poverty.)

I'd planned on writing something funnier, but at least this post isn't all lupus bitching and whining. So, here's to cereal for dinner, Hamburger Helper with well-browned hamburger, and tortillas.
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After another four-ish hours worth of sleep, I wake up slightly less angry/depressed.

(Is there a word that combines those two feelings? Like, ANGdepressed or something?)

The pain on a general level has dropped from a 7 to a 5, which is still enough for me to know that if I go anywhere today, I'll be on my cane. But at least I'm just limping about the apartment instead of stumbling around the apartment.

One of the inevitably annoying aspects of spring has shown up - wasps. Despite our balcony being fairly well used, they build their shit everywhere. And like a demented version of Don Quixote, I have to swing the broom handle at wildly upward angles to knock down the nests.

Tilting at windmills is NOTHING compared to tilting at Nature's angriest, winged little beasts.

I had the oddest thought earlier this morning. I was thinking about David's ex-girlfriend (the one before me), who had been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis at a very early age. Teenage years, I think. I don't know much about the disease except that it causes extreme pain in the body and chronic fatigue.

I think about how awful it would have been to have the onset of such a disease come on so early. I mean, your teenage years are supposed to be super active, super social, to have so much energy. To have that taken away so young? I talk about how my disease isn't fair at 35.

Her disease at 17? Way more not fair.

And then I wondered if, by sheer age and length of experience, she was better at handling her disease than I am at mine. I would imagine she would be. It makes me wonder - and hope - that by the time I've got another 17 years or so under my belt, that I'll be better at this disease, too.

Funnily enough, our diseases are similar in symptoms AND we both also require the same kind of doctor: A rheumatoid doctor. Both lupus and RA are connective tissue disorders (though I'm not sure if RA is caused by internal cannibalization as lupus is). An RA doctor is as close to a Lupus doctor as one gets, being as connective tissue disorders are extremely specialized and often rare.

(Did you know that blood is considered a connective tissue? Apparently since it runs to literally every cell, every body part, and every nerve, it is, actually, CONNECTING to everything in your body. Weird, huh?)

I know several people - online and a couple of face-to-face people, with chronic illnesses. I even know of a few who also have connective tissue diseases.

I don't know anyone else with lupus and I've found crawling about on lupus support boards is often too much for me. I recognize the panic, the fear, and it often drags me down. So I've eased up on that.

Strange, so strange, the things and people we think of sometimes.
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Thank you guys for the advice on writing. I'm going to look into those. Don't be surprised if I message you guys for more specific advice soon.

Something strange over the last couple of days - I've been thinking and talking about David more often. Since getting sick, his influence in my mind has dropped to nearly nothing. But for some reason lately, he is in my thoughts.

So I talk about him and am surprised to note the venom to my voice is missing. It's like I'm just talking about him, not spitting. And I realized something, too. Something that surprised me.

I no longer wish ill or harm on him. I did. I STRONGLY did before. I wanted him to suffer, to be miserable - all things he inherently is anyways, but it gave me joy to think of him being unhappy.

All of a sudden, it doesn't give me joy. His unhappiness is his and not mine. I told Jesse last night that as sick as I am now, it is nothing that I would EVER wish on anyone - not even David.

That surprised me. I'm not at the point where I'd wish him well, but somewhere over the last few months, I AM at the point where I wish him no pain. If David were diagnosed with a disease similar to lupus, I would feel genuine sorrow for him.

This is new. I don't think a day will ever come when I want to speak to him again. I don't think a day will ever come when I want to settle old debts, spats, or arguments.

But a day has come where I no longer actively wish him harm. This is strange, but I assume good.
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Jesse wakes up. The kitten decides this is the perfect time to lay down on his coat, which Jesse will be using in just moments when we go out for our morning smoke.

Kittens are silly.

I wish there were something to write about that wasn't lupus related, because even on that front, there's not much to write about. At least not this morning. Jesse and Cassie are both half terrified that I've caught a bronchial viral infection from Cassie. And while I feel sick, (stuffy/drippy nose, sore throat, cough), I don't feel that sick. I don't feel hospital sick, which is where an infection like that would take me. But so far it's stayed in the realm of an average, annoying cold. No fevers. No achiness. Manageable, if not extra tiring.

But hey, whatevs, it's not like exhaustion and I aren't BFF's anyways.

People's sleep suggestions weary me. Some people suggest just staying up as long as you can - 16 hours, 19 hours, 22 hours - and surely the body will just crash. Practice good sleep habits, sleep only in the bed. Reduce light, especially blue light. Take melatonin. Meditate. Limit naps.

Kid's stuff. Everybody knows that shit. Shit I do anyways. Sans the pushing myself as many hours as I can, which would be nothing short of sadistic and cruel to do myself. (It was one of David's favorite suggestions, which neatly lined up with making sure I was up on HIS sleep schedule, no matter how sick and sleep deprived it made ME.)

Besides, limiting naps with lupus often only renders me unsafe to drive. I wish I were kidding, but sometimes if I DON'T lay down for that hour or two, I weave like a drunk on the road. The bodily exhaustion just gets that severe.

I have to call Medicare today. I also have to call Social Security and, like, five pharmacies to tally up the cost of meds that need refilled this week. This is assuming I can AFFORD to fill them, but still, always good to be informed.

Ha. Speaking of Social Security. I remember David used to - and even on his twitter when I was poking at it - talk about getting on disability for his "depression." (And yeah, after 3 years of working through that, it will forever be in air quotes.) I have a nearly 20 pound bag full of medical documents, literally failed organs that are still teetering on failing (unlike David's gallbladder, which had to be removed but funnily enough, you can live quite healthily without. Kidneys you cannot), four doctors of records, an incurable, physical disease that fucks with my daily physical functions, and a mental illness that I have recorded proof of trying to treat and I'm still being run through the long list.

Let Mr. "I misspent 14 grand of rent money on toys because I was just sooooo "depressed" explain that as a symptom to his case worker. There's no doubt there's something wrong with the boy, but his idea of "depression" is nothing short of laughable and irritating.

Wow. That's angry. I don't know why I'm so angry about that right now. Maybe because all the paperwork causes such anxiety in me and he thinks it's just as easy as breezing in and saying he can't hold down a job. AND that his "disability" is cheap and has only been used in pursuit of him getting what he wants.

Whereas mine gets IN THE WAY of what I want.

Yeah. That's probably it. I guess it's okay to still get mad. It won't consume my whole day. Not that there's a lot to do today, outside of phone calls. Probably a good thing.
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I'm bored. Like, really, really bored. Bored combined with a touch of fatigue, which makes things like cleaning or crafting hard to work up to. Maybe I'll play some Mass Effect.

Times like these I consider hitting up David's twitter, just to stir my shit up. And then I remember that all I'll be doing is confirming that he's miserable, because David is an inherently miserable person. And that's just not as entertaining as it once was.

It's not entertaining AT ALL anymore. It's boring. It's like shooting fish in a barrel. It'll be a ton of anime pictures, a bunch of selfies with the tags "I'm so ugly! Why does anyone think I'm cute?!" (for reals, he became THAT kind of girl), and the occasional suicide/self harm threat. It's too easy.

And boring. That kind of self-induced self-hatred is singularly boring. It's the same conversation over and over again. The tune never changes. It just doesn't do anything for me anymore.

Who am I supposed to make fun of now that my illness has got me all straightened out, laughing-at-other-people's-self-inflicted-misery, now?
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Call it petty on one of the grander scales, but the second that I was told I had lupus, a part of me went OKAY, FUCK YOU AND YOUR 'DISABILITIES', DAVID. WANT TO KNOW WHAT A DISABILITY IS? IT'S AN INCURABLE DISEASE THAT LITERALLY CANNIBALIZES YOUR OWN BODY! NOT THIS WISHY WASHY 'I CAN'T HELP THAT MISSPENT 14 THOUSAND DOLLARS OF RENT MONEY BECAUSE I'M JUST SOOOOOO DEPRESSED.

(Yeah, I know the way I worded what a disability is problematic, since there are cases of mental health so impairing that they do require disability, but we all sure as fuck know David ain't one of them.)

I guess it's okay if he pops up in my thoughts in a while, so long as it's not because I've been seeking him out. (Stalking him out. Let's call a spade a spade.)

* Sidenote: I used to hate Tums. I still greatly dislike the taste of them. Chalky, like trying to chew badly dyed drywall. And due to the whole renal thing, it HAS to be those kind. No gummies. No candy like ones. Just the ones that are like eating dusty dinosaur bones.

HOWEVER: Now, that I realize just how AWESOME THEY MAKE EATING, I suddenly kind of like them. I'm starting to get small licks of that kind of care.

In my search for coffee this morning, I landed before a candy vending machine. I was like "AHA! No one around to chastise me if I buy this and wolf it down in the room."

And then I thought just how badly I wanted to fuck myself up today and realized I didn't want to fuck myself up AT ALL. Don't get me wrong, there are worthy occasions. An AA picnic, I went wiiild. Hot dogs, burgers, pasta, cream based everything chocolate, salmon Ritz crackers. Paid for it later, but still worth it.

A candy bar? Two? Shared with no one but my own personal shame? Totally not worth it.
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You guys are totally right about the cognitive difficulty thing. Today makes Day 3 out of that damn hospital bed I was stuck in for a month solid. Speech is still a bit on the difficult side sometimes. It's why I've been writing even more than I normally do. Spitting out words like "I'd like a to-go cup"? Not always easy.

Being able to write it out, where I can endlessly, obsessively, and repetitively, edit and revise exactly what I want to say? PERFECT. It's why I never mind getting comment edits in my email, as revision is part of what makes a good writer. For the love of glamour or grammar, there it is.

David used to brag that he was such a good writer precisely because he didn't edit. Poor boy missed the point so hard that the pencil sharpener fell off the desk entirely.

Speaking of David, something that's been drilled into my head for the last, oh 20 years, finally hit home. The whole time in the hospital, I was far, far too sick to even contemplate what his life is like right now. Funny how priorities like "not dying" can eclipse things like "making fun of your ex-boyfriend."

So out of sheer boredom yesterday, I flipped to his twitter. I saw he's getting married. And as bored as I was, what came out was even MORE boring. I went "Well, that's just not exciting." And it WASN'T exciting. It was so tedious and unremarkable that I spent about 20 seconds on the page and closed it.

There's nothing there I need. It's not even funny anymore.

In the rooms of the 12 steps, you hear the phrase "Holding a grudge is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die." You hear that phrase A LOT. And I've been holding this poison for over two goddamn years, which may have very well led, in part, to actually physically poisoning me.

Jesse said it's okay to remember how much it hurt. That it's okay to remember how angry I was, how latching onto David's pathetic nature gave me a wonderful handhold to dig myself out of him. But I can keep that a memory. I do not have to continually breathe life into those memories.

Because in the end, who was David? A raging asshole who didn't even have the class to be a self-aware abuser. He acted not of planning or malice, but just out of being a sheer, entitled child. Is that worth spilling over, over and over again?

No.

Cassie said something profound the other day that I was able to apply to this....and seemingly every other "positive thinking" that keeps popping up.

"I'm not a positive person", she said. "I just remember how negative I was and I'm trying to balance it."

When she said that? Mind. Fucking. Blown. I don't have to try and look for any positives in that relationship with David. I don't have to try and look for any positives in having gotten out out of that relationship with David.

Maybe all I have to do is remember how negative the whole thing was and just try to balance it out with being more positive today.
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But you know you can never leave.

A second line in my arm. More glass bottle treatments. They gave me a shot of something to do with red blood cells. It will either make me super sleepy or super energetic. Let's see!

Figured out part of the lack of the sleep, thus the insane writing. (1) Steriods + Type 1 Bipolar = a chocolate dipped ice cream cone stuffed with mania and sprinkles...and -

I'm on so many diuretics I can't sleep for more than an hour, max two, usually closer to about 30 minutes, before having to haul my ass out of bed and onto the commode.

Talk about REM disruption.

There's a song I like. The chorus goes "I get a little bit Genghis Khan, I don't want you to get it on with anyone else but me." Super catchy.

Super historically wrong, too. Genghis Khan was ALL about getting it on with EVERYONE. The man had the most prolific dick in history. He wanted to not only get it on with everyone, but he wanted everyone else to get it on with everyone else, too.

I love pop music. It sometimes drives the mild intellectual in me crazy.

And oh, it's official. I'm manic. I think we just blew right past hypomania this afternoon. But it's the GOOD kind of mania and I'm in a safe place. I am reminding the nurses of the timeline. "Play the tape all the way through", something my sponser would say when I was getting clean.

Cuz it's super easy, super fun to imagine the getting high part. The part that's harder to remember - and thus infinitely more nesscary to remember? What comes after the fun part.

The part where the happy mania begins to get sloppy. Reckless driving (which I won't be doing because I'm on all these new drugs anyways). Inappropriate comments. Then it morphs, sometimes it takes a bit, sometimes it's like what Marya Hornbacher says, a "spiderweb crack that shatters out the entire windshield in one shot."

The thoughts stop coming and begin instead spitting. Obbession. You can't remember which idea was which. The paranoia sets in. Then you realize how crazy you are and you can't stop the sinking, even as the muck is getting flung higher and higher.

But I feel pretty good right now. The nurse said she'd see if there was something else I could use to sleep tonight. At the point where I don't want to sleep. Not that I don't want to NOT NOT sleep, either, because I get bored. But still.

I am recieving packages! The phone, oh god, Daha, thank you. This will carry us through this crisis and I imagine others as well!!! And I LOVE the card! And the pots and pans!!

Pamela recieved those and couldn't quite read out who they were from, but omg those are QUALITY COOKWARE. I will be able to make a real change in my food, in my body care. Oh god, thank you. All of you.

Also, Daha, those were some of the most beautiful stamps I had ever seen. I'm keeping those for a collage!

I can't stop writing. I dont care. What the hell else is there to do? Like what Bender said, in The Breakfast Club? "Nothing else to do when you're stuck in a vacuum."

But with cheese and crackers, at least.

There is some MAJOR other emotional shifts going on. Ones that have nothing to do with the heightened state of crazy. Paradigm shifts. Cliches that are suddenly comforting. A much, much needed look at learning how not to hold grudges.

Like, with David shit. Omg, so much I am now understanding about what you guys have been saying about the anger, the rage. The holding onto the resentment like a poison, Cinema, the things you've said about it.

I'm beginning to understand it.

I have to go pee again. Oi.
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David was a chronic shoplifter. It took years for me to notice it. At some point, though, I looked at him while he was tearing open a new pack of Magic Cards and went "Honey, we didn't BUY any Magic Cards. Where did you get that?"

He was strangely free with the admittance that he'd boosted it straight from the shelves. He couched it under the fact that "my retail jobs were crappy, so this makes me feel like I'm finally getting something from them."

I was shocked, then infuriated. There we were, both well over 30 fucking years old and here he was, shoving game cards down his pants like some pissy-ass 17 year old. I told him in no uncertain terms that he was to quit that shit rightfuckingnow and start acting like a grown man. Y'know, the kind of man that doesn't involve themselves in petty theft just because you fucking can.

Yes. David spent 14 thousand dollars on McDonalds and Magic Cards....and the whole damn time he was also stealing Magic Cards.

What an asshole.

While I was unsure if he ever did quit that shit, we soon broke up after that. His childish need to indulge in shoplifting 7 dollar game-cards became someone else's problem. Well, kinda. Finally, god knows how many decades later into his petty, teenaged-bullshit, it became HIS problem.

David finally got busted lifting a pair of women's underwear and a deck of Magic Cards. A theft of under 30 dollars, which I know from sitting in endless civil courts with Cassie (and myself when I was younger), is nothing more than a fine and a stern warning. David, never having run afoul of any law, let alone a minor one, became wildly paranoid.

He wouldn't talk about it on his phone. He wouldn't talk about it on chat. He was certain they were going to send a warrant out on him and his electronic devices. I spent time reassuring him that he wouldn't.

I should have gone with your plan, Gonzo, and joked that not only would they pull through his phone and chats, but also through his browser history. (There is little scarier in the modern, first-world-problems than having your browsing history exposed.) Put a little revenge-panic into his head, after he'd put me through five fucking years of actual panic.

In the end, I went with him to court. The judge gave him a fine, a date to pay it by, and a few hours he must serve in a local community center.

In the end, I was laughing wildly on the side, pleased beyond all notion that finally, FINALLY, one of his most ridiculous actions finally got caught. I don't think it scared him straight, but the karma (which was mostly watching him flail about, COMPLETELY unprepared for the idea that his actions MIGHT HAVE CONSEQUENCES) was so, so sweet to behold.
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DAVID: I've been basically homeless for the last two years.

Yes. Homeless. Living in a house with your parents, who gave you your own room with a queen sized bed to sleep in. Homeless. Living in a house with your parents who didn't ask you to pay rent, didn't ask you to contribute to bills, and paid your cell phone and car insurance for you. Homeless. Living in a house with parents who gave you a car, for free, and maintained that car for you, for free. Homeless. Living in a house where you did not have to get a job, did not have to do so much as wash a single dish that you'd eaten off of, and had vast quantities of food available for you to eat.

Homeless.



Signed,

Someone who has ACTUALLY BEEN homeless, you ungrateful fuck.
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I've spent the last 30 hours being chewed alive by the Bitch Goddess Migraine. It's taken a tentative break, though I'm sure it'll come roaring back later, and likely once I'm at work.

So there's this set of tweets from David, days ago, which I can't figure out if the anger from it is part of what's causing the migraine or if it's the fact that I've done my damndest to not think about how angry I am about it. Yeah, if I never read another word from him, I'm sure my anger would just melt away like an ice cream bar on a freshly paved Arizona highway. NOT.

But I damn sure am getting defensive about it, which means there must be something to something about it. (I are so eloquent when my skull hurts. Seriously. My SKULL hurts.) But I'm gonna bitch about it and see if releasing the anger helps or if it just makes the icepick-behind-my-eyes double down. Anyways.

"I hate modern capitalism, for it's abhorrent greed, and for it's abusive ableism. I I can think of things I'm able & willing to do for money

I'd cook, I'd bake, I'd barista for money, but the demands are either too high, the pay is too low, or most often both.

Any job I could get that will not fire me due to disabilities, will not pay me enuff for basic needs, food, rent, medication, help I need.
"

Ragey Responses:

* You had NO PROBLEM with ME working a job that didn't pay enough for basic needs, food, rent, medication, or help.

* You had NO PROBLEM with ME taking out 20 grand a year for school loans to cover for the fact that my job couldn't support us both and you steadfastly refused to get a job yourself.

* You had NO PROBLEM with ME experiencing mental health issues so badly that I had to change my meds every three months.

* You also had NO PROBLEM with ME borrowing tens of thousands of dollars from my ex's to make up for the tens of thousands of dollars of school loan money you misspent.

* You had NO PROBLEM with any of that...so long as it was someone else doing all of the work. Apparently, these things are only problems if they are something YOU have to do.

You'd cook or barista...bitch, you don't live in a fantasy world where being depressed suddenly means you get to pass up on any job that doesn't sound like JUST THE FUNNEST. Take a look around you. You think people LIKE working at Walmart? Or McDonald's? Or at a call center?

Yeah, yeah, but you're so special and so fragile that of course you could never be expected to take on a survival job. That, of course, would be someone else's job.

"I don't know how to live in this world. I don't know how to thrive. I just know I don't want to die."

You're right, David. You do not know how to live in this world. And you have done your best to ensure that you never will. Living in this world is someone else's job, because it's sure as hell never something you're going to step up to plate to learn yourself.
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* I first thought AHAHA TAKE THAT, DAVID!, as chocolate cake (and then only from the Betty Crocker boxed mix) is the only cake he'll eat.

* And then I read that General Mills is only recalling the chocolate chip chocolate cake mix. David, ever the food "purist", loathes anything in his cake, up to and including delicious, melty chocolate chips.

* Not that I want him to contract E. Coli. That shit's nasty. Still, it made me giggle.

* Jesse's ex-roommate once brought over some cookies he'd baked. The cookies were fantastic. I mused that I might run down to grocery store to get some milk to go with the cookies.

* Rarely have I seen someone pull up so short, so quickly, and with such a sudden display of revulsion as Jesse's roommate did. "EWWW!, he cried out. "Milk and cookies? Yiiick. Who would eat THAT?!" His face scrunched up into such a ball that one would think he'd been whacked in the shin with a hammer.

* I, baffled, asked him what in the world he DID eat cookies with, if not with milk. Soda was his answer. Jesse's roommate ate cookies with soda. Which is a fine combination, to be sure, but his extreme reaction to the idea of eating two of the world's most traditionally paired food items was bewildering.

* I have been split from David for two and a half years now. The novelty of having a wealth of restaurants to choose from when eating out has not yet worn off. I don't think it will. Not after five years of being limited to a very small handful of restaurants due to David and his family's picky eating. This is a big city with tons of places to eat.

*What a waste it was that for those five years, that I could only eat at perhaps 10 places, half of those being only fast food. Not having to endure fits, tantrums, sulking, or driving miles out of my way to pick up food from another restaurant is still fucking amazing.

* Don't get me wrong. I love fast food. FOR REALS. If I could eat fast food three times a day and not keel over from a heart attack inside two weeks, I'd do it. I'm an American and we loooove our greasy, obesity-causing, heart-attacks-on-a-plates-food.

* But fer fucks sake, it took over a year after the breakup before I could stomach going to McDonald's even one more time.

* One of David's pipe dreams was to open a bakery. Given the mettle, he might have even been good at the venture. But (1) the know-how for running a small business includes things like accounting and not-blowing-over-ten-fucking-grand-on-Magic-cards and (2) David would only reluctantly, and I mean with great cajoling, entertain the idea of cooking something that he, himself, didn't like.

* And sorry, David, but a lot of the world loves chocolate chips in their cake mix. They love brownies with walnuts and cake balls made with spice cake and carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. They love eclairs, cannolis, and pretty much everything that David (and Jesse's ex-roommate) despise.

* What a bakery that would have been. It'd be like the pastry version of that Henry Ford quote. "You can have your car in any color you want....as long as that color is black."

* Or Betty Crocker chocolate cake mix. An entire glass display filled with nothing but Betty Crocker chocolate cakes.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
I had a thought about anger.

I was driving, as I do, listening to the radio, as I do, and commenting on the various memories and associations I have with those songs (as I do.) One of the songs was a song from my youth, one that I had cradled as a champion in my struggle to break free from the abuse at home decades ago.

It was a song about using your anger as a rock to brace yourself against, to leap out from. A song about taking the rage and using it to prove them wrong. It was the "prove them wrong" part that caught my attention.

I make no bones about how precious my anger is to me. My anger is a force that has kept me walking, kept me clawing upwards, inch-by-goddamn-bloody-inch, on the Everest that has been my recovery. I give no apologies for how I've relied on that anger. It has kept me motivated for most of my life, in that very clear "prove them wrong" manner.

But....who am I trying to prove wrong anymore?

My mother, my stepfather, whom I haven't seen nor spoken to in years? David, who has also been exiled from my life? They no longer see the struggles or the triumphs on the big screen that is Teressa's life, because I have completely booted their asses out of the theater.

They remain in my life only in metaphor. These people are ghosts. And how can you prove a ghost wrong?

You can't.

Proving someone wrong only works when that person is able to see what you're doing. But they aren't allowed to see me, because I have long since removed myself from their line of sight. It does no good to hold jousts for an audience that is not there. Dotting my past with bonfires to show just how bright my future is has become nothing more than a constant fire hazard.

My anger, my rage, the burning, seething mess inside of me will not be completely doused. Not now, probably not ever. But maybe I can realize its place - that place being a handhold up instead of a flamethrower aimed behind me.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
* *read some shit on the internet about fedora'd, delusional assholes buried elbows deep into their own fragrant bullshit.* Ahaha! That's so funny! That makes me want to make fun of David! It'd be SO FUCKING FUNNY!

* But everyone around you is SO TOTALLY TIRED of hearing about David. They are SO OVER IT. Do you really want to keep yammering on about something that's gonna bore them at best and annoy the shit out of them at worst?

* But OMG I HAVE REALLY FUNNY THINGS TO SAY!

* Y'know, humor is partially based on the temperature and read of your audience. If they don't find it funny, maybe it's not so funny.

* BUT JESUS I CAN'T CONTAIN MYSELF ANYMORE THIS IS JUST TOO GOOD NOT TO SHAR-

* Okay. So let's not actually *share* the things you might think are funny and instead share about the FRUSTRATION of funny-but-socially-acceptable-even-if-it's-only-on-Livejournal thing.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
I realize I have been asking the wrong question about David. During the relationship and even past it, the question that filled my mind was "Why won't he change? Why won't he change? Why won't he change?"

That is totally the wrong question. The right question is Why WOULDN'T he change?" After all, he:

* Didn't have to hold down a job.

* Didn't have to pay any bills.

* Didn't have to do any of the cleaning.

* Didn't have to seek out or go through on therapy.

* Didn't have to go to school.

* Didn't have to spend any of his loan money or tax returns on anything but toys for himself.

* Didn't have to eat anywhere he didn't want to (as I, after years of him throwing tantrums about food, decided it was just easier to eat at McDonald's for the eighth time in a month rather than deal with his bullshit.)

* Didn't have to give me quiet time in which to sleep.

In other words, why the hell SHOULD he have changed? The relationship was so ideal for him. He didn't have to do anything he didn't want to and got to do everything he DID want to do. And on the rare occasion when his conscience briefly caught up to him, all of these "didn't"'s wound up being the excuse for him to flail about in self-hatred.

Which, of course, became his perfect excuse as to why he couldn't get better. His self hatred became the perfect strawman for his feigned helplessness. He hated himself so much that of course he couldn't find the energy, the will, to change.

There was absolutely no reason to change, as the set-up was splendid for him. He got the world's easiest free ride, in exchange for nothing but a few apologies every few months, in which even then he would get comfort and reassurance for.

In the rooms of 12 step programs, you will often hear the phrase "Change only happens when the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of changing." For the largest part of his and I's relationship, I assumed that he was feeling pain about how our relationship was staying the same.

But it turns out the real pain he was ducking from was the pain of changing. Why should he have changed? Staying the same gave him what he wanted.

I guess the good news is that eventually I decided the pain of his staying was worse than the pain of changing my relationship status.

Your job

May. 22nd, 2016 10:12 am
quirkytizzy: (Default)
* This is why the "I don't see the mess!" argument doesn't work.

Think of the working world – we would never nod understandingly at an employee who constantly refuses to keep up with their workload, or who wanders off to play with their phone while others are working if they said “Well, I wasn’t raised to do [tasks] because my mom always did that for me, so I don’t notice when it needs to be done.” We expect grown adults to be responsible, to learn how to do things, and to find some way to manage reminders and obligations. - Capt Awkward commenter

Cleaning is part of your job as an adult. If you do not ever notice the fact that you have no counterspace in which to cook on, or can't seem to plant your foot on the floor near the bed without hearing trash crunching, or just plain don't mind that when you stick your ass on the toilet seat it comes away with black, moldy smears on your butt - then it is still your job to find a way to remind yourself to clean these things.

I'll accept, on a very thin level, that there might be people out there who truly do not notice it when they are eating off plates that haven't been washed in two weeks.

I do not accept, on ANY level, that this excuses those two week old dirty dishes.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
* He’s treating you like a medication, so let’s try it: think of yourself like a medication. For a person who reads the instructions and uses as advised, you can do a ton of good. Your partner has slipped into substance abuse of you, and is suffering inevitable ill effects, and now he’s just bashing the bottle to see if he can get any more out of it.

The answer to this problem is not to give him more doses of you."


I don't think David was ever afraid of admitting that he was using me the same way an addict uses a drug. I think he was afraid he'd have to do some work if he admitted he was using me.

Back in my day, it was very easy for me to admit I was an addict. Denying that while having a needle hanging out of my arm would have been ridiculous. So I openly said I was an addict. Often. Without prompting, even.

My problem was that I thought admitting it was enough. I'd watched too many movies and thought that the mere utterance, if done in some dramatic, sweeping fashion would show others just how much I wanted to change. After all, the first step is admitting it, right?

And I did that first step. Over and over and over again. All that first step ever did was land me with another needle in my arm. It wasn't until I took the second step, and then the third, and the fourth, that I realized honesty isn't about saying things.

It's about doing things. It was about going to two meetings a day for the first two years of my sobriety. It was about sitting on my hands when I wanted to cut myself, or about unplugging the phone when I wanted to call my dealer. It was about accepting that no one was going to lend me money for a really long time because everyone was sick of me spending money on drugs.

Eventually I did so many things that I actually did get clean. I did so many things that I stayed clean. And I still do things to stay clean.

David was very good at admitting he was an addict. But all he ever did was take that first step, jump back, take that first step again, leap back, step forward, skitter back...on and on until I decided I couldn't dance with a partner who had only one move.

It's easy to say you're addicted to what's in the bottle.

It is a HELL of a lot harder to put down the bottle before you end up shattering it.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
You would not be obligated to stay in there with them and die in the fire as well. Firefighters (aka therapists) are specially trained to save people from fires. And if for whatever reason the firefighters can’t save them, it isn’t your fault. You tried. You just can’t save them all on your own without them trying. And you don’t have to get stuck in the fire with them.

Emotional hurt isn’t as obvious or clear, and depression is awful and unfair, but you do not have to let your own lives go up in flames. If you give your partners concrete things to try (like starting to crawl towards the door of the burning house) and they still do nothing, you need to think about leaving. And that will suck, because you will not have saved them and they will still be in that burning house, but you will be saving YOU. And that doesn’t make you a terrible person.


That's from a capt awkward thread, though which one I'm not sure. I read that and immediately thought of David. And then I thought of Cassie. And then I thought of my mother. Even of my stepfather.

I thought of a few friends in recovery, the ones I had to let go of because they were standing in the windows, smoke and flames snaking around their wrists, refusing to take the leap out of the burning wreckage that threatened to collapse all around them.

I've stood in front of a lot of burning buildings.

And I've watched a lot of them go up in smoke, the bodies and souls of my loved ones reduced to ash. Those who haven't died yet are still screaming. I can hear them when I sleep, when I close my eyes, in the quiet moments where I tilt my head, wondering if what I'm smelling is something behind me burning.

Wondering if what I'm smelling is someone behind me burning.

I know I'm supposed to be grateful that I'm the one who got out. The one who found my goddamn oxygen mask, even if I had to crawl on the charred ground, muscles and tendons sizzling, to breath. To not suffocate to death. To find that I am strong enough to leap out of a burning 27 story building, because bones that break can be healed, while burning to death is a bit harder to bounce back from.

The flames aren't pretty anymore. I don't need the ceiling to collapse onto me to feel warm. I have found other ways to see what's in front of me that doesn't involve torching an entire goddamn city block.

I've stood in front of a lot of burning buildings.

And I will learn to stay out of burning buildings. It hurts. I remember how it felt to be burned. But the only way you stop getting burned is by getting the hell out of the burning house. I've gotten out.

I just stand outside of them now.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
One thing I heard regularly from Pat and David concerning housework was "Well, I'm not the one making the mess, so of course you're the one picking it up."

Even though with David that was really, REALLY, and I mean REALLY not the case at all. And even Pat, whose shower devolved into this after I moved out, would occasionally pull the "well, I'm not the one making the mess, so of course you're the one always cleaning" argument.

But let's say that both of those men were, in some alternate dimension, fastidious. That they were not people who were comfortable living in squalor but were average sorts of people who occasionally leave socks on the floor by the hamper and forget to take the trash out once in a while.

The whole "It's your mess" thing still don't fly.

We both walk on the carpet. We both eat off the dishes. We both cuddle the cats and use the toilet and fill up ashtrays. That is not "my" mess or "your" mess. This was impossible to convey to either David or Pat.

I remember, more than once saying "Y'know, if we were college dorm-mates, labeling our food with our names and splitting the long distance call charges down the middle, that argument would work. We are not roommates." I, for one, don't find myself having sex with my roommates or planning weddings with my roommates or otherwise building plans that stretch out over the next decade with my roommates.

So giving me arguments that make it sound like what you really want is a roommate-with-the-option-to-fuck aggravates the hell out of me. I tried everything with both of those men. Making lists (because that's what you do with middle schoolers and apparently 30+ year old men, too), crying, begging, screaming, asking nicely, and promising to have more sex if they'd just do the damn dishes once in a while. Whoring yourself out for money is one thing.

Whoring yourself out for the romantic trade of not contracting botulism is another.

I can't believe I put up with that for so long.

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