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Ahh, how does that go? No rest for the wicked? I get an amazing day's worth of energy earlier this week (though procured only after 5 days of straight sleep) and then, as if returning to chastise me for my cheer, come the nightmares.

The worst kind of for me, which involves my cats. Silly, I know. Other people have dreams about their kids. I don't have children. So it's my cats in peril or who are lost and I cannot find them, I cannot save them. Or it's kittens that I have to abandon in some apocalyptic situation to ensure my own survival, their mewling echoing in my ears when I wake up. Or I stumble upon cats that are dying or mutilated and it's up to me to put them out of their misery, sobbing the entire way through the mercy killing.

Those are the dreams that I will wake up crying from. Monster dreams? PTSD dreams? Screaming. Those I will wake up screaming from. In some way, those are easier. I just turn on all of the lights, write out my mindfulness exercises on Livejournal, and lay back down (all lights still on, of course.)

These dreams about animals?

Those shatter my heart.
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I wake up too early, headache, heart racing, climbing the walls of anxiety. I took my Xanax and while I'm waiting for it to kick in, I'm going to do what I've always done. I'm going to write. I hope it helps.

It was a strange day yesterday. Jesse and I had a marvelous time together, shopping and then going to a museum of art. We rarely take trips like that and it was immensely enjoyable and connecting. I came home exhausted, of course, but feeling for the first time in foreeever, that the exhaustion was worth it.

We came home and cuddled on the bed for hours, watching Babylon 5. As the hours rolled by, though, both of us were fell with anxiety. The kind that grips your ribcage and doesn't let you breathe, doesn't let you close your eyes, the kind that makes you feel like whipping about the room to try and keep pace with your sprinting heart beat.

Jesse says his was caused by pain. Mine was caused by something ridiculously over-dramatic and pointless.

I was afraid of sleeping.

The last time I felt so exhausted, I fell asleep and almost died. Most nights this is not a problem, so I'm not sure why it came on then. I took my blood pressure hourly, trying to let the numbers - in full health, if not even a few points higher than normal - reassure me. We had been in the sun for hours, which is proven to lead to exhaustion and flares for lupus folks. We had done far more walking than we normally do, which is also proven to lead to utter exhaustion.

It was all explainable and yet, I kept insisting on just one more episode. I love B5. But last night, I used it a reason to not fall asleep.

I fought the exhaustion until 11:30 PM, a time so foreign to me to be awake at. I staggered my meds as to keep an eye out on what each one did to me. Jesse and I talked our way through it alongside the medication. This was extremely helpful.

My meds did relax me and I was able to sleep, but here I am, up far too early for having gone to bed so late, feeling the same fear percolating.

REALITY CHECK: I woke up. I did not die. Fear against facts, my anxiety is unfounded. It is speaking in the tongue of lies. I know what's real - and what's real is that I'm awake and writing. This solidly disproves the theory that I have expired sometime in the night. (Or if I have, the afterlife is bizarrely mundane and still requires scooping out the litterboxes.)

And yet, the fear remains. I think I know why.

I'm day 29 out of the hospital. This should be uplifting. It is instead TERRIFYING, because I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.

For every day I remain away from the life-saving capacities of a hospital bed, that is another day something could go catastrophically wrong. Will it kill me? How close will I get? Will we catch it in time?

I've never been afraid, REALLY afraid, of Death before. I am now. I am and as is my stupid freaking way, only afraid of it a month after it happened. Delayed reactions are SUCH a bitch.

There will always be another complication. There will always be another doctor's appointment. There will always be labs that return with stilted numbers that require some kind of adjustment. That's just part of the package. I'm well on my way to accepting that part of my disease.

But. Will. It. Kill. Me.

I don't know. I can't say for sure because no one can tell the future. All I can do - all ANYONE can do - is live their lives and just hope that nothing comes along and puts them in the ground that day. That's the best we all get. I know this.

Day 29 out of the hospital. Will I make it to 30? All signs, with my new health now that we've gotten my meds under control, point to Yes. But the Magic 8 Ball that is life gets shaken up a lot. At what point will it say "Not likely"?

I've never been afraid of Death before. I am now.

Day 29 out of the hospital. This is a good number and it means good things. Now I've just got to convince myself of that.
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I was never really a fruit person before I got sick. I didn't dislike fruit, it was just something I never really thought to eat. Now that I am sick, and I've discovered I can eat several fruits with wild abandon without it making me even a teensy bit ill, suddenly I am a fruit LOVER. I eat it almost everyday. The water content always seems to settle my stomach, too, which helps immensely.

Speaking of which, water has also become Super Awesome. I'll wake up in the morning, have the first half a cup of coffee and go "I should drink some water. I'm not very thirs-" (lifts the glass of water to my lips and begins drinking) "OMG WATER IS SO TASTY!" (Drains the glass in a single go).

It's funny (sad, not ha-ha). Here I am, definably the sickest I've ever been in my life, and actively practicing some of the healthiest habits I've ever had in my life. Also, spellcheck thinks "definably" is not a word, but Google disagrees. Screw you, spellcheck. Definably IS a word. (And if it's not, it should be. Why? Because I said so!)

I wish I had something more substantial to write about. I have this...thing...about Death rolling around in my head, but I'm not sure how coherent it is. All my life, people have said I've been a little obsessed with Death. And they're right - it's one of my favorite things to think of, in morbid, whimsical ways. Not surprisingly though, coming so close to Death changed the way I think about it.

I'm still not afraid of it, but there is a nervousness about it that wasn't there before. Seems a total DUH statement, but for some reason, it shocks me. There's a biological side to my thought process about Death that wasn't there before. The whole "shutting down of internal organs" thing, a process that I would not have noticed at all.

The gentleness, the calm, I would have passed on in is both comforting and terrifying. Comforting because my biggest fear about Death is that it'll hurt, and terrifying because it's something I would have not have noticed - and one would think you'd want to know something as Big as dying was occurring.

In my youth, I was not at all afraid of Death. As I got into my 30's, I realized that I might become more afraid of it as I got closer to it. That hunch turned out to be correct.

Santa Meurte was not there that night. She had come to me in my dreams when Giles died, standing above him while I bent down and petted him and gave him my final goodbyes. She stood silent, sad but eyes deep with compassion, and then they both turned and walked away. I woke up feeling as if I had finally been allowed to put that death behind me.

She did not show herself that night with me or any nights further. I guess it really wasn't my time, or anyone's time. Or maybe she didn't speak or move through me, but through Jesse, who called 911, or my father, who also urged Jesse to call 911 that night, even as all outward signs pointed towards "All Quiet On The Western Front."

I'm not spiritual, and my feelings towards Death have changed. But I still identify closest with her, the patron saint of Death. The relationship just feels...changed somehow. I'm still puzzling out how.

I still wear her around my neck. She comforts me.

Image of my locket )
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I miss the sunrise. Work and necessity has taken me away from my morning hours. Those moments that slide nearly unnoticed over the horizon, making the colors shift so subtly that one can barely remember when it was black, dusky purple, or cerulean.

After the schedule destroying hospital stay, I'm up before the sunrise. I will watch it with joy.

Things, of which seem never ending:

* I have chronic kidney disease. I was like, "What's the chronic part mean?" Chronic means incurable. I have some kind of kidney disease.

* And it will never, ever be cured. I can quell the COPD thing (OOOOH BOY HOWDIE HOW SMOKING IS NOT FUCKING ATTRACTIVE ANYMORE), I can eat better (OOOOH BOY HOWDIE HOW THAT'S AN ENTIRE POST ON ITS OWN), but I will never, never be without badly damaged lungs and a limping kidney.

*I thought I was not afraid of doctors. I was wrong. )I have to be okay with time being its own master. I have to be okay with how short a thing it is, that we could live it so long and yet not understand it. I have to learn how to be okay with this.

""Because we don't know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens a certain number of times, and a very small number, really.

How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that's so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five time more. Perhaps not even that.

How many times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless."


- Brandon Lee, a man who knew a few things about life, death, and what we can only imagine in between

And this morning, this morning I got see my sunrise.
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1) YES, Harvey, SALT. And edema? SALT. It turns out that somehow, rather miraculously, Jesse's and I's diet is super low in sodium. That's wierd, because poor people food is CHOCK FUCKING FULL OF SALT. Pat mentioned that we usually don't have much food to eat anyways. That probably makes a difference.

2) Been salting my food the last couple of days. It's helping the headaches, which (good guess, Harvey!) have been very present and very out of control.

3) Could also be in part that I spend, bare minimum, forty minutes in a car with no AC in what is currently well over 100 degree weather. Somedays, when the errands demand I run them before everything-closes-at-five-pm, I will wind up in the car, which has to reach easily ***120** degrees (49 degrees Celsius!) for hours.

**EDIT: I just found out that a car sitting in direct sunlight in 100 degree weather climbs up to 150-170 fucking degrees. No wonder I feel like dying, I feel like puking, I feel dizzy, I want to sleep, oh god don't touch me, I can't breathe, ice pack and water and four hours of straight sleep, I've got a fever, etc, hits. Jesus, let alone when I'm doing errand running for hours straight in the hottest part of the goddamn day.***

4) More water. More salt. Will be seeing my doctor next week.

5) I made the mistake of traipsing into my own morbid, creepy self the other day. Kansas City has had an accident. A terrible, senseless, tragic accident. A ten year old boy was decapitated on what was supposed to be our crowning achievement. The world's tallest slide, to the surprise of no one, turned out to be very, very unsafe.

6) There were pictures. None of the body (parts), thank god, but pictures of the slide only moments after the accident. So much blood pooling in the water. Two cover tarps in the water, not one. So much fucking blood. That alone was enough to make me feel queasy.

7) What's worse is that the kid had at least a few seconds of free-fall before the netting and metal caught his neck.

8) Decapitation is supposed to be a rather quick way to go. But I can't stop imagining just how terrifying his last few seconds must have been, hurtling through the air. To die like that, to know just long enough that something very bad is happening and that you can't stop it....it's one thing for an adult to go out like that. A ten year old kid?

9) I had been thinking of making plans to go on that ride. It's only a few miles away from here. Instead, I've spent most of the last two days feeling as if I want to upchuck everything I've eaten in the last decade. I should not have looked at the pictures.

10) Both Jesse and Pat do not want to hear me talk about this. It makes sense, in that my need to talk through grief and fear about death and violence is very creepy. I thought that if I just ignored it I would stop feeling so sick about it.

11) I'm still sick about it. So I'm talking about it here.
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I got a special gal!

Pimpin' this one out: A newcomer to LJ, a very, very good friend of mine! Check her out, friend her, LOVE HER AS I LOVE HEERRRR!!!

http://willow-granger.livejournal.com/

As far as the rest goes:

Patrick, when diagnosed with diabetes in Jan, made the inadvertent mistake of switching his diet exclusively to nothing but veggies and chicken. That's it. For weeks. What he didn't know (and I guess this is not something that happens to everyone) is that diet can aggravate something called gastroparesis.

It's when your stomach stops digesting food. It just sits in your gut for days. This was problem one and it's gone now. He can pretty much eat anything and it goes through as usual. We joke that it allowed him to lose weight (over 150 pounds inside 4 months), but my lord, it was in the most miserable way possible.

What he is struggling with now, though, is neural neuropathy. At least I think that's what it's called. Essentially, he's lost most of the use of his feet and hands.

It is reversible and the feeling and use of his hands and feet are slowly returning. He's able to type at work and mostly able to walk without a walker now. But he still has to have someone put his shoes on everyday and make sure his toes are straightened, as he (1) can't feel if his toes are curled up and will get jammed in the shoe and (2) can't move his toes to uncurl them himself.

All in all, it's another several months before he can fully dress himself and drive and whatnot. But he's finally getting better. It just turns out that diabetes, when left unchecked and when you damn near refuse to go to the doctor's ABOUT your diabetes, has consequences. Long consequences. The doctor's give him another 6-9 months before he's back up to full speed.

It's the first time in Pat's life that he's been physically falliable. While he's been put on an anti-depressant, he's been remarkably calm about the whole thing. I asked him how he was able to do that. His reply was that it was easier to accept once he realized that he had done this to himself.

As someone whose had to fix a lot of self-inflicted damage, I understood.

Not only was it the first time Pat had to face his squishy, human mortality, it was the first time *I* had to face his mortality. As Patrick is not anywhere near as creepy as I am, those thoughts hadn't really occurred to him.

They occur to me and I've been trying to sort through them without placing the whole hysterical thing on HIS shoulders. He's got enough to worry about.

I was sixteen years old when we met. I will be 35 very, very shortly. Over the last few months, I realize - I truly, truly realize - that neither of us are going to live forever.

I'm not sure what to do with that.

Road trips

Nov. 1st, 2015 08:38 am
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I had an extremely, extremely morbid set of thoughts last night.

I was driving home after taking the kids trick or treating. It's a long, empty stretch of road to their home, easily 40 miles or more out from the city. It was dark and the fog wove itself around the car wheels on the asphalt. I know enough to not turn on my brights in fog, but I was still squinting to see the curves of the road.

I wondered, as I often do, what it would be like if I were to simply NOT curve with the road. What it would be like if I simply plowed through the guard rail and into the small rises of farmland behind the highway. These are not particularly unusual thoughts for me, sane or insane. I'm a creepy bitch. I think about this sort of thing all the time. What WAS unusual was the internal conversation that followed.

"Yeah, but knowing you, you'd either die or else wind up brain dead."

"Definitely. Cassie tries a million times to kill herself and still lives, while you know, you just KNOW, you wouldn't. Why? Because that'd be especially TRAGIC, that the sister who actually has some semblance of her shit together would actually DIE."

"Wouldn't that just be the biggest bitch of it all? That you'd have an ACCIDENT and die, while Cassie continually chooses to TRY and DIE but LIVES."

"That's the word. CHOOSES. I choose to live."
*I tilt my head, briefly peering at the brilliantly sparkling, starry sky* "I could choose, any day I wanted, anytime I wanted, to die. That is a choice."

".....Choice. Choices. That's what this all hinges on. I have that choice."

"I CHOOSE TO LIVE.
"

It's not as if suicide was actively on the plate or anything and certainly not last night. I have conversations with myself and others ALL THE TIME about life and death. But it hadn't much occured to me lately that living is a choice. I so often say that there is only one alternative TO living (and there really only IS one alternative to living) and that particular choice is unacceptable.

And it is. Suicide is not and will NEVER be a viable option. But somehow recognizing that it was still a choice made me feel....comforted. Honored to be alive at all.

There were times in my past where I'm not sure I would have been able to keep curving with the road. There have been times in my life where the thoughts of plunging over a road rail and into another metal road rail would have been too interesting NOT to test.

That time is not THIS time. That time has not been "this time" for a very, very long time now. This is, as always, good.

It's this sort of thing I have a hard time sharing with my loved ones, face to face, at least. They usually worry. I can see why one WOULD worry. But in all honesty, this is just how my brain works. It's just how I talk to myself, the THINGS I talk to myself ABOUT. I could try to deny those thoughts, even to deny their existence. But that sort of stuffing has never done me any good. It's only driven me madder, closer to the thoughts of DOING anything about those thoughts.

So I'm glad I can come here and talk about these thoughts. No judgement. No fears that I'm about to check myself out. Just....me sharing about where I go when I road-trip in my own head when I'm out road-tripping in my real life.

It's good to have friends to talk to about this. Thank you all so much for this. I love each and every one of you.
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The first frost is on the ground. The early rays of sunrise catch it against the cars, a pink glitter here, a gold flash there. It is beautiful. I very much miss Arizona sunrises and sunsets. Something about the desert atmosphere turns the sky into brilliant ribbons of deep purple, neon pink, and an orange that seems to stretch over the horizon forever. Still, Kansas sunrises are noteworthy. At least when I'm up early enough to notice them. With winter fast approaching and the sun rising later and later, I'm awake to notice more sunrises. This is not a bad thing.

I have been mulling over your comments about kids and filters - and I think you guys are right on target. That entry will have to come later, though, as Jesse's son is next to me and I don't want to type it all out where he can see it.

That's not exactly a kid conversation and while I think you guys are right in that there's no need to wrap him up in cotton about it, I also think you guys are right in that there are appropriate times and places FOR those "not-kid" conversations with kids.


And ahahaha! Bart, that is AWESOME about your funeral plans. I should think of something like that. As it stands, I've told my loved ones to donate my body to science. We've a couple of really good medical universities around here and they are always in need of fresh corpses to carve up. None of my organs are in good enough condition to donate. At least this way I get to be useful.

Plus, I think it's free. No need for an expensive funeral, coffin, or even cremation. I've cost more than enough people more than enough money in my life. I'd hate to have to make that expense extend after death.

I have, however, impressed very strongly onto my loved ones certain things they must say at my funeral. A few Babylon 5 quotes, maybe reading aloud a journal entry or two. And I've instructed Pat to set up a squirrel feeder in my honor, wherever and whenever he can do so. I love squirrels.

And there is a local cat shelter that I've requested donations go to in lieu of flowers. "Animals In Need Thrift Store". They are funded mostly by donation and partially by the thrift store they also run. The man who founded the place is a true, true animal lover with an amazing passion for cats. That deserves to be rewarded, even in death. Maybe especially in death.

The question of what to do with my things is still a bit in the air. I know that any money I've left goes to the kids, be it directly or in an account set up for them to access when they turn 18. I want my journals to go to Cassie, even if she decides to burn them. Patrick is, of course, tasked with caring for my cats. The rest? I don't know. Sell it off if they can, keep sentimental items as they choose.

I need to draw all of this up officially, as well as make a living will. I'm not sure how long I want to be plugged in before I consider it reasonable enough to UNplug me, should I fall into a comatose state. My father sent me paperwork for these things a few years ago. I should fill that all out.

I have given Patrick my LJ/DW password with strict instructions to post on my behalf should I die or else become completely incapacitated. Some years ago, I realized that one reason some of my friends here MAY have stopped posting because they are dead. It's been 11 years on here, so that's not so far out of the scope of possibilities.

I don't want anyone to wonder if that's why I stopped posting. Patrick, Jesse, Pat's mom - all of them know how important you guys are to me. I wonder if I should set up a backup person for posting in my name, in case it turns out that Pat and I die together in some horrible car crash or anything. I am going to email Pat's mom and ask if she'd be comfortable being the backup person.

I do feel somewhat guilty that I have not yet considered giving Jesse the password. But time takes time and I'll need more than a year of knowing him before I give him my password, should it come to that. I do not think it would offend him.

As always, of course, this most recent conversation about death came up at bedtime. It always comes up at bedtime for me. I find talking about death right before I go to sleep comforting. I've yet to meet anyone else who feels the same. I get why it creeps people out to talk about death before they go to sleep. Dreams and fears about The Big Sleep right before The Regular Sleep is scary....for everyone but me, apparently.

It has disturbed every lover of mine. It disturbs Jesse, though out of all my relationships, he is the most willing to indulge in my exhausted meanderings about it. He left a note for me to read the next morning, calling me his "his lovely creepy morbid." It was meant as a compliment and I took it as so. He later said that while he does not like to talk about death, the way **I** talk about it is beautiful.

It is nice to hear that. David used to say I was obsessed with Death. Patrick would not say I was obsessed, but he agrees in that I have a strange and possibly unhealthy interest in it.

But life is life and my life has been filled with lots of death. It makes sense to me that it would be such a large thing in my thoughts.

There was this entry, written a year ago, when Cassie's life came crashing down again, in what now, a year later, seems to be a final plunge. This entry, where I didn't know that in just a few hours, I'd be spending the next 24 hours in the ER with a battered, belligerent, strung-out sister. This entry, in which I wrote -

"These sorts of times, this sort of exhaustion - and there's been a lot of it in my life - but this is what makes oblivion as an afterlife sound nice.

Where you just stop. You don't have fight. You don't have to work. You don't have to care. It's just over.

Maybe that says more about my life than what I really think about death.
"

Maybe it does. And maybe, just maybe, that's okay.
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In speaking with Jesse about funeral plans, I realized why I have not yet died, despite having quite a list of life-threatening behaviors behind me.

"I will not give my mother and stepfather the satisfaction of coming to my funeral. THEY will die FIRST."

Tis true.
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It has been nine days since I had to end Giles's life. It feels much longer and yet, much shorter, as Time does when you're in grief. I look back at the last entry before he died, only two days before. I look back and I choke, thinking "Oh god, if only I'd known."

Managing grief )

And I need to get to responding to individual comments, because you won't know HOW you've helped me until I tell you. This is my goal this week - to respond, to let you know, specifically, because this process - and you guys - deserve that.

As happens on a semi-regular basis, Jesse brought up my writing again. He continues to expound on this magical gift he thinks I have and continues to insist that I need to do something with it.

Here's the thing: Do I think I write well? Yes. Do I want to be published? Sure, in some vague way. Do I want to put in the work and discipline to produce publishable material?............Not really. I don't even care what you call it anymore. Call it laziness. Call it a fear of success. Call it a genuine lack of expendable energy. Whatever you call it, it sits square in the middle of me and the rat-race-that-is-modern-publishing, let alone the effort to continually pound out words about the same subject day after day.

(Cuz that's the thing about memoir writing - you can't just toss out a life story. Good memoir writing is a flashlight shone over AN ASPECT of your life, not the whole damn thing.)

He's jealous and freely, without prompting, admits as much. It seems silly to me for him to be jealous, as his own writing is beautiful. He simply doesn't do much of it. I understand part of his own insistence about my writing is fueled by his difficulties to write himself, but it's still a strange turn of topic when it arises.

I appreciate every wonderful thing he says about my writing. Make no mistake, I'm a writer and we have MONSTROUSLY hungry egos. Hell, in some petty way, I even appreciate his jealousy. I just wish that the world - and he - were okay with the writing I do. I know it's not much. But it DOES reach people. It reaches all of you. It reaches me. My ego may very well daydream of reaching millions of people - but my ego is also allergic to the kind of work it would take to do that.

I know it's a small corner of the world here on LJ and DW. But it's a corner of the world where all of you live. That's where I need to be. There's no saying I couldn't be here and other places, too, but I'm just not up for the rigors of travel. Here is good. Here is beautiful.

Here is here, and it's where I want to be.

Big enough

Jun. 14th, 2015 06:45 am
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Last night Jesse and I had our first play session with UniG. It was a wonderful experience, bonding on several levels. But that's another entry.

Pip wanders the house, mewling, sniffing in the spots Giles used to sit. I keep having to reach over and tell her that he's not coming back. She can't understand me (what I wouldn't give for a human-cat translator) and it breaks my heart. I wonder if cats can sense when their housemates are not well and if they can extrapolate that into death. I don't know, though, and my heart clenches every time I have to comfort her.

The name of the game with grieving Giles has been distraction. Even a few moments of direct thought is enough to undo me. The guilt is still there. It will be there for some time. It'll ease, though. It always eases. I sometimes see Life and Death as two players on a soccer field, each deftly handling the ball that is Me and My Life, passing over from one side of the field to the other and then back again. Over and over, endless side to side.

Eventually, Death wins. Death will always win. But for now, Death merely scores goals. It is enough.

I had a dream last night about meeting Death. Specifically Lady Muerta, the Latin, Roman Catholic patron of Death. She stood there in her skeletal, white robed glory. I was scared. Terrified. I was also reassured. I don't remember if she was there for me or someone else. I just knew it was time to let go. This morning the grief feels slightly lessened, or as if it will not kill me to think of it.

Jesse might say La Santisima Muerte visited me directly. I say it's my mind trying to find some symbolic way of releasing Giles into the arms of memory. Either way, it is beautiful, frightening, and profound.

It truly is insanity to love things with short lifespans. It is truly remarkable to love things with short lifespans. Insane because it is loss despite love and remarkable because it is love despite loss. It is the sign of the wildly blessed human heart, that we can welcome this sort of grief into our homes, over and over again, knowing that the reward is love, only love, if only for a short time.

I sometimes wonder if the human heart is finite. As if we must clear out room, knock out walls, donate old affections and hopes to charity in order to allow new loves in. But I don't think the human heart is finite. I think it is wide open.

Our hearts are big enough. Our hearts are always big enough.

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6/10/2015
I definitely dislike waking up at 3 AM. It's really more the alarm than anything else. Waking up to an alarm is so unnatural. But for the shift I'm working, an alarm is necessary. By 5 AM I am wide awake and bushy-tailed, but the getting there is a pain. Cest la vie. Better than nothing. I am grateful for the ability to work such early hours, to work a job this physically demanding, to work at all. In a way that I hope is not anything-like-pity-or-condescending, Jesse's disabilities make me realize how lucky I am to be able to work. So I give thanks for that, alms to a Universe whose only game is half Chance and Happenstance, and I get dressed and go to work, every morning.

I do alright about Giles. I go for a few hours, managing to keep from thinking about him, and then I can't hold back the thoughts, and I weep uncontrollably for 15 minutes straight. Then the tide stems and I'm able to focus on other things until I think of him again. Such is the way of grief. I know this, but it does not make it any less exhausting.

I realized today that had I a God, it would be Death. I have a small table in which I have collected skull snow globes, miniature graveyards, a small piece of the WTC, images of Death. On that table is Lady Santisima Muerte, or the Catholic patron of Death. Jesse has called it a shrine and he might not be far off. Death would be the only God that acts without impunity, that comes to all, equal regardless of blessing or curse. Of any ideal to worship that I personify, Death is the sole one I'm loyal to. I used to think I was just needlessly morbid. Maybe I am.

But Death is also the great equalizer and were I to worship anything, Death would not be so terrible a thing to do so with.

I don't worship Death. I don't worship anything. Atheist through and through. But with Giles's death, it is yet another thing to place in box full of mementos of other dead kitties, ones who have passed on. Death, as Life, is worth noting. Worth pausing for. Worth thinking of in times like these.

All will be well, even if it takes my own death to do so. I can wait. She'll come for me when she's ready.
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I wish there were words other than "Thank you" to express the immense gratitude I have for your support. It's needed. Thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU. There is so much of what you guys said that soothes, that strengthens, that allows me to feel what I feel and then do the right thing anyways.

I love you all. Every one of you. I forget to say that sometimes. We all do. Forget to tell the people what they mean to us...until, at least, we crash headlong into a reminder of what happens when time runs out.

Last night, Audrey and I passed a car accident on the highway. The cops hadn't finished putting up the white sheet and Audrey saw the body. It absolutely undid her.

The body wasn't visible from my angle in the driver's side, so I don't know if she saw blood or body parts. She said the body was in a normal position, which is at least a relief. I couldn't get any more information out of her about what specifically she saw.

I'm not sure if it matters what she specifically saw. The mere act of seeing a dead person, even in passing, someone who died violently, no less, is enough to shake any person. For a child, it can be outright traumatizing.

She wept. It broke her heart. She cried that it wasn't fair, that no one should have to die, that the man must have been so scared and in so much pain, and that he died alone. All I could do was hold her and reassure her that the man who died is no longer in pain, and that he likely died very quickly. It did not comfort her at all. But I understand not being comforted by any words when faced with a situation like this.

I told her things like this scare everyone and that it's okay to be scared. We were on our way to dinner with Pat, so I told her that eating is one way a lot of people deal with Death. It's so very much a clear act of being alive. While she didn't eat much at dinner, she ate with far greater awareness than I've ever seen a child eat with before.

As expected, she had nightmares last night. Very creepy and violent ones. I understand nightmares, so I did what always helped me. I put on a nightlight, gave her some chocolate and milk, handed her my stuffed Bunny Rabbit, and sat with her until she fell back asleep. Food raises the blood sugar and sweets and milk are comforting to begin with.

She was able to get back to sleep, but the sound of her sobbing will stay with me forever. I know these things are circle-of-life things. I know these are experiences are, in the course of a human life, inevitable.

I just wish there were some way to make it less scary.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
The thing I must do today: STUDY. Study as if the very demons of hell will be unleashed by a failing grade on tomorrow's exam. Study, study, study. Which in this case, will require half a notebook's worth of endlessly re-copied terminology, as that's the only way I can commit things to memory. I will probably drag Jesse into quizzing me several times on the study guide.

I think it's terribly unfair that the teacher has not adjusted the exams to cover the fact that NOT A SINGLE ONE OF US IN THE CLASS has gone through any of the pre-reqs she has built the exams on, but resentment over fair or unfair will not win me a passing grade.

Livejournal AND Dreamwidth have not been properly notifying me of comments. It must be a glitch in my Gmail. So today I must also get that straightened out.

Jesse's discovering that I'm a terribly, terribly morbid person. It's my favorite kind of humor. It's my favorite sort of bedtime discussion. Death, love, and extremely inappropriate and incorrect jokes. At some point in the evening he asked me if I was positive about something. I said "I'm as positive as an HIV patient at the end of a 20 year diagnosis."

Okay, sure, horribly insensitive. But it was one of those things that just came out. I laughed. He just got wide-eyed. That also made me laugh.

I talk about Death a lot, especially at bedtime. It helps me sleep. It relaxes me. It seemed to bother him. It seems to bother all of the lovers I've had. I get that but it's still hard to reign in the impulse. David used to say I was obsessed with Death. I'm not obsessed, but I can see why others would think I was.

I especially talked about the death of my cats, about how welcoming one into your heart and home comes with knowing you will bury that pet. It is inevitable. Animals generally have shorter life spans than we do. It is an eventuality, an unavoidable aspect of this kind of love. And yet, as I told him, it is what has taught me that my heart is strong enough TO love, even knowing, even dreading, the loss of that love.

One comes with the other. You can't hide from it. You can't ignore it. You either open your heart to it or else you have to not bring pets into your home. It is a test of will and love...and it is what convinced me that the human heart is infinite. We ARE able to handle worlds of love and loss in stride. Even knowing I will lose them, I can still love them.

He said it was a terribly morbid way of looking at things. He also said it was beautiful.

Love - and life - IS morbid. It is also beautiful. If it is the fleeting and passing lives of felines that help me learn such a thing, then so be it. All will be well.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
Because I'm too tired to write anything resembling a real post: (chopping bits of my chat out with Pat)

ME: same old same old. She puts on a new coat of paint and claims a miraculous recovery. Also, turns out her boyfriend also smokes PCP. Like, she admitted this. In the visitors room. With other people around. As if it were no big deal.

Gee, what a keeper.

It's just her refusal to get help. TO even think she might need it.

I don't think she's suicidal right now, whih is fair enough for the hospital release.

But give it another week or two weeks or a month. And it'll be right back to where it was.

These sorts of times, this sort of exhaustion - and there's been a lot of it in my life - but this is what makes oblivion as an afterlife sound nice.

Where you just stop. You don't have fight. You don't have to work. You don't have to care. It's just over.

Maybe that says more about my life than what I really think about death.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
How my brain works:

1) Hear a conversation in Mass Effect about how shooting a nuclear head into space, even if it misses its intended target, will eventually hit SOMETHING, even if it is ten thousand years later.

2) Wonder what the rate of decay is in space. Google.

3) The answer to the rate of decay is: Not much. Not much and not fast. We have not yet done experiments on this, as it would likely be expensive to send a corpse up to space.

4) Wonder if I could somehow offer my body to Nasa to try it.

5) Read about the process of human decay on Earth. See the term 'body bloat' tossed around a lot.

6) Google "body bloat after death."

7) Pause for a moment to decide if I REALLY want to see dead people in advanced stages of decay.

8) Decide I want to.

9) Get alternately grossed out and fascinated by the search results. I mean OMG I HAD NO IDEA THE HUMAN BODY COULD DO THAT. WE ARE SO GROSS!

10) Close the window after seeing too many dead children and puppies.

So yeah. Random conversations on video games had my brain run off on a tangent where I was scouring the dead's pictures.

Also - there is NO WAY I could work with the dead. Not the recently dead, not the long dead, and certainly not anything in between. People who do that have MAD, MAD respect from me.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
The dreams don't come in the day. *snort* Yeah right.

So I'm stuck in this crowd of people. Shoulder to shoulder, and suddenly some old guy just vomits this cereal mix on a platter and starts passing it around. And everyone LOVES it. It's apparently the most delicious thing anyone's ever eaten. And they begin vomiting the stuff up, too.

So much that soon we're all swimming in it and everyone's chowing down. They start getting sloppy and biting people. Hands. Ribcages. Ankles.

And then this woman just...disappears under the crowd's teeth, in a spray of blood and bones. A spurting geyser of tendons and sticky body parts. And they keep eating. I am desperately trying to get away.

I wake up to the sound of teeth clicking and snapping together, a single voice speaking over the void going "You can't get away. May as well eat yourself."

What. The. Fuck.

I'm here, guys. I am receiving transmissions loud and clear. I just might not be so hot on the uptake of responding. Too busy not eating myself, apparently.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
It's a wonder I don't believe in demons and otherwordly things, as often as I dream about them. A psychic assault from things that, if not from Hell, gather in some dark place just outside of waking reach, and are only able to slither into the human world while we sleep.

But there's no such thing as ghosts and there's no such thing as demons. It is, as my brain told me last week, just me. Why do I dream about evil things?

I'm my own messenger. Duh.

I especially dislike nightmares that take place in my own apartment. It takes me several heart-pounding minutes to reassure myself that I AM awake and not stuck in some sticky dreamworld, where the laws of physics do not apply.

Waking dreams, or dreams where I am "asleep" in my dreams and "wake up", only to discover I'm still dreaming. That's when the most lifelike of the dreams occur.

But when I woke up shouting, my bedside light did turn on. Electricity never works in my dreams. It's how I know I'm awake. Turn on a light. If it blazes to life, then I am awake.

And if there is some kind of demon realm out there, then I should be grateful that it does not press into my waking life. I have cats. Cats are good luck, watchers of the physical realm. So if there really are demons wandering around, then I've got the safest apartment in my whole building.

What with my 3 cats in a studio apartment.

I've long since held that belief, Fengi - and it'd be a marvelous one to work into your stories.

But there is no such thing as demons. No such thing as monsters of shadows collecting in the lightless corners of the apartment. It's just my mind, doing what it does best.

And that's scaring the shit out of me.

David and Pat always thought I was soft and a little weak for needing so many daytime naps. Well, dipshit, if you lost something like a full night's worth of sleep during the week to nightmares, you'd be pretty tired, too. Broken sleep is an especially nasty drain on your energy.

I wake up from nightmares several times a week.

Oh well. At least this one wasn't TOO creepy. Creepy enough to wake me up screaming. Creepy enough that I'm going back to sleep with every light in the house turned on.

But I've had worse.

Suck it, demons of any sort, real or imagined, trapped in my mind or else in some other dimension. I have lights on and I've got cats.

So fuck you demon dudes, cuz I'm also going back to sleep.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
For the last few nights, I've been thinking about Molly. Okay, trying not to cry about Molly. At this point, she has been dead for nearly the same amount of time as we had her, but I've long since discovered that a short amount of time together does not equal a short amount of love.

David messaged me that he missed her. That I understand. We talked a bit for a few moments about her, remembering her teeny little body, her featherweight step across the bed. How picky she was about her special food that we bought her - and about how neither of us ever minded the extra time and money we put into caring for her.

She was such a good cat. They've all been good cats.

It's been 7 years since Mama Kitty died, and several other cats have joined her in that time. I still cry. If I ever have to fake cry on-the-spot for some reason, all I'll have to do is think about how hard it was to let each one of them go into the arms of Death. Those tears won't be fake at all.

But they are dead. And while Mama Kitty's ashes sit in a box on my shelf, the rest of them are buried out in Patrick's grandmother's yard. I keep a bit of fur and their collar, for every cat that's passed, but their bodies are long rotted at this point.

Save Molly's. It's only just begun getting warm. The thaw will take some time, I imagine.

I asked Patrick's grandmother if any other animals were buried out there. It turns out there are several. There are the three cats I and my lovers have buried out there. There are also two other cats, a dog, and a rabbit - all pets of Pamela and her sisters when they were young.

It is strangely - and yet deeply - comforting to know that whenever I walk out in her yard, I am standing on the ashes of many pets who came before and were loved. I find it comforting to know that Molly, for as short as a time as David and I did have her, was buried in a place of love.

I don't know which cat will be next. Now that I'm living alone, the prospect of being short a cat via A Sudden Death along with a Terrifying Vet Trip is, well, terrifying. I keep telling them that they are steadfastly and resolutely NOT allowed to die. But cats are notorious for being bad at following orders.

It's part of why we love them.

Like I did when Molly died, I come here and talk about it. It's nice to no longer have the frustration and hurt of being denied the conversation while with David. So as I'm getting ready to close the computer tonight, getting ready to haul all three cats up onto the blankets, I can say:

Goodnight to all of you and goodnight Molly. Goodnight to all that have passed before and all that will pass in the future.

Things

Apr. 30th, 2014 02:55 am
quirkytizzy: (Default)
It's not as if I'd expected to get much sleep (and certainly not unbroken sleep), what with the pain meds AND the nicotine patch.

Don't get your hopes up. I'm not quitting smoking. It's a way to get nicotine delivered into my body without risking a dry socket. Dentist Albert said two days ought to suffice it. So for two days, I'm going to have a sticker that delivers straight nicotine into my butt.

Literally. That's where I stuck the patch. Nicotine is a stimulant, thus the sleeplessness. Vivid dreams, too. The few other times I've been on the patch have been some of the clearest dreams I've ever had. (Including a delicious one where David Boreanaz and I had sex in a field of flowers.) I digress....

But only two and a half hours of sleep in one shot? Come on, body, we can do better than that!

Also why can I not sleep on things such Vicodin, Percocet, and Oxycontin? Drowsy, sure. Uncomfortably high, complete with a staggering, weaving walk? Definitely. Sleep? Not a chance.

There were these things. They looked like people, but they weren't human. Hunters. They hunted people. They worked for some unimaginably Dark Power, something I couldn't even begin to fathom, so old and so ancient was this force behind the monsters.

A mere brush of their fingertips upon you would kill you. Not only kill you, but...END you, somehow. Something more complete than death. Burn your soul as if you never existed. Everything that made you YOU, made you human, made you part of this world, would become ashes. And it was a slow death. Painful. And They liked this. Their joy wasn't just in serving their Master, it was in the incredible terror and pain they inflicted while carrying out their orders.

They weren't so much after me as I just happened to be part of the group of people protecting whomever it was They (the monsters) were trying kill. I think it was a young girl we were trying to keep safe. Twelve, maybe. Blonde hair. She knew of her importance, but being twelve, wanted to be out there fighting with us.

But being twelve, we of course forbid her to do so. So we - a group of maybe eight or nine adults - found a house and spread out.

And They had found us.

I could hear the screaming of the other adults They had managed to kill. Not all of them, but at the end, there were only three of us left. We had nothing, absolutely nothing to physically fight Them. Our only chance at survival was hiding.

So I tried to hide. A tiny, closet bathroom in which I realized I could only "hide" by pinning myself close to the ceiling. My breathing would give me away. There'd be no escape in the closed confines of the bathroom if I were found. I was terrified to open the door and slither to another hiding place - after all, I had no idea where in the home these Things were. I could run right into one of Them. And They would smile horribly, reach out to grab me, and my screams would join the other protectors.

I've been awake for half an hour now. I can still hear those screams.

But outside of the bathroom I crept, desperately seeking an open window, a door, some avenue or corner I could dash around if I saw one of the Things. Eventually, I came upon a window. It was locked. I was panicking. If I died, so did the little girl. And if I died, it would be painful, and so would the little girl's death be painful.

I broke the window. They heard the sound. And they came running. Running and laughing. It was the sound of their laughter - as if by walking around in human form, their laughter was twisted. Perverse. Corrupted. It was a mockery of humanity.

From then on there, the dream gets less specific, though no less terrifying. Running, crying, with Them everywhere and closing in on me. I had to find the little girl. I had to keep her safe. I had to save her.

At one point, one of the Things leered at me. Their face was like a strobing image - one of a human. An almost attractive man in his 40's, salt and pepper hair, gray suit, dark blue tie. The other was of a rotting skull, skin bruised and green as if he'd been dead for years.

There were so many of Them.

A strangely comedic moment in the dream: One of the Things had taken the form of a college girl. Nice, fashionable black sundress. Highlighted dark hair. Understanded eye makeup. She'd backed me up a flight of stairs and was reaching towards me.

In desperation, I grabbed her first. Something happened. Some spell broke and she was...she was suddenly human. Human with no power to destroy souls. She felt it immediately.

"No! No no no NO!" she cried out. It almost sounded petulant, a temper tantrum. "Give me back my power! Humans are so boring!"

Think Anya, but in a Girls Gone Wild sort of body.

There are occasionally dreams that I'd like to turn into short stories. I have a few of them written here. This is one of them. And considering one of the main aggravations of yesterday - a long, long Cassie interaction - the dream makes plenty of sense.

I don't have symbolic dreams anymore. It's all pretty outright and overstated.

It is now 3:25 AM. I can lay back down. I wonder what I will dream of next.

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