Saturday, June 28, 2014

One . . . and Done

I woke up early this morning, hours before everyone else. It happens sometimes despite the Ambien but when I awaken I am clear minded. Sad, but definitely clear minded. I'm coming off of Zoloft. It has been 9 days now. I know that there is a proper way, going to the doctor and slowly weaning myself, but I've done it all at once. I've been heavy for too long. Not just fat (although, yes, I certainly am that) but leaden. Inert. My anxiety hasn't abated, even when I was taking zombie-inducing levels of the meds, but I have to let the medication go. It is the first of many things I have to let go. In the fall, when the boys go back to school, I'm packing away my notebooks and turning in my creative license. I'll be giving up writing and will be rejoining the workforce with a real job. It is disheartening, but it is time. I was only 8 when I first knew I wanted to be a writer. Through the years, I had only considered other paths that might leave me time to write. I really thought that I was gifted and must admit that hearing praise from teachers and professors bolstered me. When I saw an opening, I took it. I took the chance to do what I thought I was meant to do. And I failed miserably. My book bombed. Worse than bombed, actually. It seemed to be a gigantic mistake, revealing parts of me that might have been better off staying hidden. Indeed, hiding away one's true nature seems to be only way to get along in life. I must remember that lesson better. It isn't that it wasn't well received. It wasn't received at all. I know that copies sold. I know how many copies sold because I have the number seared into my brain like the scarlet mark of failure that it is. Beyond that, though, were the lack of reviews. I haven't received a single review either via email or online. I tried not to let it bother me; after all, the subject matter is pretty raw. But either no one read it or those who did hated it passionately and wanted to spare me the vitriol. Not that it matters now. Everything I've touched over the past couple of years has turned to shit. The whole IRS debacle has just proven how depressing and pathetic the whole mess is. Jeff's income is regular and normal and easy to chart. I'd been keeping track of my own income through freelance work (though ebay, odesk, paypal, amazon and lulu make this incredibly easy to do). Finally, four months after filing our tax return (filing early, as always), our tax advocate indicated that the taxes have to be refiled. We didn't make any changes to anything and still no one at the IRS can tell us why nothing has been done on our return since it was received in February. It might be another four months, but it won't matter. It will be one more thing to put behind me. The book will be behind me and I hope it will stop embarrassing my family. I'm obligated now to send off the promised copies to GoodReads, but after that, I hope to just be able to let it go. I hope the urges to write will abate and that it will all fall away to be something I used to do. And I hope beyond hope that there is still something that I am meant to do and that I will find it. Over thirty years of living with a dream makes it hard to let it go. But I'll remember how it feels to fail, leave it behind and move on.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Writing Like a Ghost

Ghost writing is a rather bizarre part of working as a freelancer. Mostly I don't mind. I write a story, sign a release and the client has the option to do with the story what he or she wants. Mostly I don't even think about the stories anymore. I move on, working on the next project or working on working on the next project. Occasionally, though, I bump up against my stories out there in the vast expanse of internet space. That, I'll admit, is a bit strange. Seeing my words under someone else's name is a bit disconcerting, but there is also a feeling of pride. I've written anonymously and written (and still write) under pseudonyms. It used to be harder for me to let them go, as I would hold on to every word I'd written. I used to panic at the thought of losing a poem or story, but nothing is sacred. Though I love them, I no longer make them into more than they are. They're words, assembled alongside other words. Twenty years ago I would not have imagined ghost writing, but twenty years ago I was a different person. A different person who saw words differently.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Year In Review

Hi Mom.

So, it has been a year since I posted my last blog. It used to be the only outlet I felt as though I had for the thoughts and ideas that go raging through my brain. I blogged and had friends who blogged and we exchanged blogs and blog blog blog blog.

No frightening new revelations (so you can keep reading, Mom). I am a year older (though probably not an hour wiser) and I took the huge leap, quitting the safety of "day job" to find my way through writing. It is what I love to do.

It has been a rough year in some ways. Jude is getting older and I can see the ways in which kids can be cruel. It breaks my heart to see him crying because some other thoughtless seven-year-old has hurt him. I had very good friends move away and I miss them terribly.

But mostly it has been a year that taught me that I need to be me, need to be the truest and best me I can be. And all that.

And maybe, just maybe, I'll write here again before another year has passed.

Miss you.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Nothing to Fear But Fear Itself


So on the eve of my birthday, I feel like I owe it to myself to be honest with me and honest with the people that I love. I'm tired of worrying that my own family won't love me if they knew what I am really like.

My husband loves me unconditionally and he knows who and what I am. Unconditional love is so important and I can't figure out if the pressure to keep certain parts of myself hidden was out of fear of my family's disapproval or out of my own need for self preservation.

I am bipolar. I'm being medicated for it but the depression still hits really badly. I have days when I feel "normal" but it turns out that my "normal" is manic. I feel happy and sleep little and eat little but then come crashing down after a couple of days into a state of depression and the medication stills needs some adjustment. At least I finally know why I feel as though I am losing my mind.

Everyone has some super secret part of him or herself but I am tired of lying about where I go and what I do every month. I'm an adult and I guess I finally feel like people are either going to love me as I am or not at all.

It has gotten kind of silly coming up with an excuse every month to sneak out with Jeff. We aren't going to a writing group or meeting friends from out of town.
No, we are heading out to munches. We have dinner once a month with a group of very friendly and kinky friends, around 30 or so people who sit around and talk about ropes and floggers and spankings and a host of other kinky topics that never come up in polite conversation. It is a simple dinner over pizza, yet in many ways I feel like I am coming home. Because I can be myself, free from judgment.

It won't be a secret to a lot of my friends or to my husband, but maybe to my family -- I don't know -- but I used to devour romance novels. I know that my family thought it was because of the sex in the books. That wasn't it at all. The sex bored me when I was a teenager. I was way more excited by the inevitable scenes in which the heroine was tied up, either by the villain or by the hero himself. Either way, it was interesting to me, way more interesting than the sex scenes, which I basically skimmed over.

I have always known that my brain is wired differently, that my thought processes are unusual and I kept certain things to myself. How successful I was in doing so, I'm not sure. But even as a kid, I knew that other kids weren't reading Nancy Drew books for the same reason I was.

Because I discovered, too, the way in which my body responded to pain. I didn't fall into cutting or any serious self harm, but I discovered pretty early that certain pain releases endorphins and feels incredible. I didn't discover until much later than other people feel the same way. I spent a lot of time reading books and feeling lonely until I discovered that I'm not the only person who feels this way.

If you're still reading this (which you are not) then you will find out that I am bisexual, something I have always been terrified of telling my family, as I grew up hearing that homosexuality was wrong and sick. Imagine my surprise when I was attracted to girls and boys, though I didn't act upon my attraction to women until I went away to college. I did kiss a girl in elementary school, but it was really very innocent. But I am going to be 37 in a few hours and I grow tired of pretending that I am not attracted to women as well as men. If Jeff can accept that, then I think that is what matters most.

What is the worst that will happen if people find out these things about me? I guess I will find out because 37 years is too long to deny who I am. I am bipolar and bisexual, a bookworm, a wife, a mother. The pieces all fit for me.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Potty Train of Thought

Sully is potty resistant. He is potty proof. He is potty adverse.

Here, he and his brother are planning a coup. This what happens when power to the (little) people goes to their heads.

Yes, Sully is being stubborn when it comes to learning to use the potty. He has decided that he will not use the potty. He has peed in diapers. He has peed in big-boy panties with pictures of Star Wars and Cars upon them, little underwear that breaks my heart.

And this is part of the problem.

For Sully is the last child and he is already three. He is sleeping in a bunk bed. Choosing his own clothes. Feeding himself. Undressing himself. Nearly dressing himself. But the diapers still speak of babydom. So I encourage him to use the potty (which he won't). Take him to use the potty (which he won't). But I don't really push, can't bring myself to push him in this regard.

Because of the lag in his speech, it is easy to mistake him for a younger child. But he is three. More than three now. Not in any way a baby.

I need to encourage. To love. To show him that he doesn't need diapers any more.

And that I need to let the image of my diapered baby go.

You Went, Girl

Yesterday I went shopping with friends. Girl friends. I spend some much time in the testosterone-frenzy that is my home that I crave a little estrogen time.

I hate shopping. Anyone who knows me knows that. And we went to the mall, which was crammed with people, just swarms of people invading every available surface.

Did you know that there is a whole store dedicated to makeup? Well, I didn't. But I went there as both of my friends needed new makeup. I browsed and felt an appalling mixture of feelings, a bizarre combination of "every woman is beautiful" and "you, personally, are ugly." The sheer amount of products in the store was fascinating and also wholly depressing.

I feel that there is nothing wrong with self improvement. In fact, I'm on that whole self improvement kick, wanting to do whatever I can to make me the best me and all that.

One of my friends was wearing makeup when we went into the store and she knows how to artfully apply it so that it is eye-catching. My other friend wasn't and she opted for help from one of the makeup consultants at the store. It was fascinating to watch the chemistry involved in mixing just the right ingredients to accentuate this feature and to downplay that.

Seeing the results made me want to try it, too, so I followed around an employee as she led me in the sparkly world of liquid eyeshadow and glossy lipsticks. When she was done, I had just a bit of cover on my eyes and a mute shade on my lips, but the effect was stunning and my eyes were so damned green.

I felt like I was flying a little bit. I wasn't wearing makeup that was particularly eyecatching and I wasn't going to catch anyone's eye, but I literally haven't worn ANY makeup for years.

And then there was a little part of me that felt sad because I was buying into that which I hate, a whole industry propogated on the fact that women never feel good enough, that they have to undergo chemical peels and grueling daily routines just to leave the house in the morning. I'm all for taking care of myself and I moisturize my skin and I like feeling good. What I resent is the images of perfection peering down from every corner, the impossibly thin women with hip bones protruding and products such as "fat girl cellulite cream."

The store was packed, young girls and older women all pawing products that promise beauty. Do they deliver?

What is beauty anyway?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Another Month, Another Blog

Well, January was an experiment more than anything. I did journal more, but didn't blog more and poetry writing was pretty hit and miss.

Now it is February. That crept up on me. Maybe I will blog more this month. Or at the very least, I will say I will.

What I am Watching: Movie-wise it is Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (someone recommended it to me years ago and I watched it and didn't care for it but I don't remember why so I am giving it another shot). TV-wise it is Ally McBeal on DVD (so sue me: I like quirky chicks).

What I am Reading: F is for Fugitive. The sixth in the Sue Grafton mystery alphabet series. (I think she is up to T or U and I've decided to read them all this year.)

What I am Listening To: Well, duh. The Decemberists new album. The jury is still out as I have to give it another listen. But I dug Hazards of Love so much that I am afraid I'm not giving this a fair shake.

Today was a snow day. Jeff's work, my work and the schools were all closed so we stayed home. Jude and I played games: Chutes and Ladders, Go Fish and a bizarre Go-Fish/Bingo hybrid that Jude made up. Regardless, it was fun. It was strange to have a free day in the middle of the week and I think we were all a bit out of sorts.