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Shadows

 

Although I was at a noisy conference yesterday, I kept my eye on the senate hearing of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh.  I was able to listen to most of her opening statement.  I believe her.

I believe her because I have been in similar situations during high school and college.  There but by the grace of God….in my case, I was surrounded by good, decent people who didn’t take advantage of the situation.  Well, except for one — my first college boyfriend, but I’ll get to him.

Drinking and hormones are not a great combination for the young.  They have the adult bodies ready for action but the minds aren’t ready.  In my case, I was looking for love in all the wrong places.  I had classic Daddy issues.

I listened to Dr. Ford, who is slightly younger than me, and thought back to those high school days.  She ran with an elite crowd — the country club/private school set.  That’s the set my kids grew up with even though they went to public schools.  In my youth, I also went to public high school, but I ran around with the smart kids — the kids of doctors and attorneys — in a small college town.  The kids who look perfect on the outside, but can definitely get into trouble.

I woke up from a dream this morning and in it were some folks from high school.  I realized that Dr. Ford is triggering me to remember parts of my young adulthood that I have buried.  I remembered several instances where I was drunk, but others kindly looked after me and got me safely home.  What if they hadn’t been there?

What about the frat party I went to when I was told I had a phone call?  I went into a bedroom to take a call and was locked in a room with two guys.  I grabbed the phone and there was nothing but a dial tone and when I spun around I realized my predicament.

Little did they know that the reason I actually thought I would have a phone call is that my mom was in a turbulent time with her 2nd husband who was an abusive alcoholic.  I thought she needed me to come rescue her.  Looking back, I wonder how they knew I would fall for the phone call trick — I guess naivety shows.

Anyway, here I am in a bedroom with two guys and a king size bed separating us.  They are between me and the door.  I was terrified.  I wasn’t drunk.  Thankfully, they only wanted my sorority pledge pin.  They grabbed me and fumbled for it.  You have to wear it over your left breast.  I submitted, they got it and I fled.

I went barreling out into the party, immediately went to senior sorority sisters and I don’t remember much else.  I just know I had people around me for safety.  To get that damn pledge pin back, we had to go sing at their house.  My sorority sisters were great — we moved all their furniture out onto the front lawn for our performance (so we would have room) and then left it there.  Months later, I exacted an even better revenge — we stole their antique firetruck.  But that’s a story for another day.

As Dr. Ford told her story, that bedroom incident kept popping into my mind.  Over and Over.  As I write this, I get teary.  I have no idea who those men were.  I don’t have names.  I was so, so lucky.

I was also lucky when later that same year when I was initiated into the sorority, I went out celebrating with friends.  I was somewhat seeing a much older man (32 to my 18).  We were at a big sorority/fraternity party and I downed 3 screwdrivers.  That landed me on the couch unable to move or speak because I was so drunk.  I was so lucky.

Nobody bothered me, nobody preyed upon my inebriated state and later a couple drove me home and made sure I got in safely.  OK, I opened the door and fell over the threshold much to my mom’s shock, but I was home safely.

That was all in my sophomore year.  In my freshman year, which was at another college, my predator became my boyfriend.

I was young when I got to college.  I was 17, having graduated from high school a year early.  A well-meaning high school friend told me to call this guy who was a year older.  She wanted me to have some friends or know somebody when I got there.  I met him, a ginger-haired, outgoing guy.  Now I know that he probably has ADHD.  Even then I knew he had a drinking problem.

We went to a frat party.  I got drunk, as frat boys preferred, and threw up.  That dude still kissed me with vomit-breath.  Ugh.  He got me back to my dorm room and tried to fuck me.  I pushed him away.  I don’t remember if we fucked or not.  I was too drunk.

Non-confrontational Maggie, who only wanted to be liked and loved, agreed to keep seeing this asshole.  This guy who was constantly pressuring me for sex, sex that really wasn’t very good at all.  I liked his friends.  I liked being a couple.  He was bad news. I managed to escape him by moving across the country to another college.  Yes, I moved away to escape him and for other reasons.

My childhood was complex.  I wasn’t abused.  I always had food and clothing.  My parents were smart and educated, but self-centered.  As soon as my parents separated when I was six, my mom moved around.

She first moved to get a different college degree in what she really wanted.  I have to give her props, she was the oldest student in the class and this was the profession she wanted, not the English degree her parents insisted on. That process necessitate two moves:  one to the College Town #1 (grades 2-3) and then to another city for the 6-month internship.

Then we moved back to the city where my dad lived.  That didn’t work out.  He didn’t want her in the town, her job sucked, so we moved about a  year later. That was 4th grade.  I hated 4th grade.  My school life was consumed by bullies and nobody was interceding on my behalf.

Now we were in in Town 3 for 5th grade, for those keeping track, and it was a charming college town.  I loved that town.  I could ride the bus around, great schools, good friends.  I had a paper route.  I won an election for a school office (7th grade) right before Christmas.

Then I learned we were moving back to College Town #1 in January, so I had to relinquish my office, my friends and my great school.  College Town #1 was building a new middle school, but the current one sucked.  Ancient, dilapidated.  The blessing was that many of the kids remembered me.  I didn’t really remember them, but that was OK.

We stayed in College Town #2 until 11th grade.  Then my mom met Ed.  That motherfucker.  She didn’t want to be lonely and found this guy.  He was a piece of lying, alcoholic shit.  I came home from school in the Fall of 11th grade and got a call from a hospital in Florida.  Congrats, my mom got the job in Florida and they needed her to call to wrap up some of the details.  She never told me that she was looking for a job.  She never told me that leaving before I would graduate high school was in the cards.  She was moving for Ed, who needed to skip the state to evade his crazy Ex wife.  We moved 10 DAYS later to a shithole town.  My only escape was to graduate a year early, so I did.

I left behind in College Town #2 a kind, gentle boyfriend, tons of friends — friends whose parents were calling my mom and begging her to let me stay with them for my final year and a half of school. But my mom wouldn’t hear of it — she didn’t want my dad to have a reason to gain custody of me.

With all this moving around, I learned that to make friends quickly I needed to be nice, funny and accommodating.  Add to that the lack of any male father figure and that’s a classic recipe for a woman to have Daddy issues.

So Dr. Ford, I believe you.  I know you are telling the truth and I know that Judge Kavanaugh is a lying sack of shit.  I know that he had some serious drinking issues in his youth because I dated his type.  I know that his white-privileged mind cannot wrap itself around that fact that karma is a bitch and she is here to claim her due.

Let’s hope the US Senate realizes this as well.

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Big Hairy Project Week 1

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have embarked on a strict elimination diet to see what the heck is going on with my body.  If you haven’t tried one of these, I will actually say, “Go for it”.  It’s not easy — don’t get me wrong.  The Hunter had some apple pie yesterday and I wanted to snatch it off his plate and shove it in my mouth, but instead I ate a fucking strawberry.  That was a low point.

The high point is that in the span of a week I lost 5 pounds, an inch off my stomach and 1/2 inch off my hips.  The darn thing is working.  Plus once I got through the first two days, which were me sitting on my butt doing absolutely nothing, I am now bursting with energy.

I told Taz (my daughter the doctor) about how much energy I have now.  I am bursting with energy.  She wisely said, “well, you aren’t peaking and crashing from the sugar, caffeine and carbs”.  Oh yeah, that’s right.  I am amazed at the difference and it’s really making me reconsider my diet choices henceforth.

At the end of this week, I am going to add back in one food.  I think it will be eggs.  I miss eggs and I’m not even a huge fan of them.  They are in so many Paleo recipes that it will give me a lot more variety than my current choices of:

  • organic, grass-fed, nitrate-free, no sugar, wild-raised proteins (a.k.a meat & seafood)
  • certain vegetables–so far it’s been a lot of kale and squash but this week I made some Brussels sprouts and cauliflower mash and cauliflower rice.
  • nuts — raw cashews are my go-to snack
  • strawberries and berries (when my dessert craving kicks in)
  • all things coconut (aminos, oil, cream, milk)

My other option would be add back in tomatoes because I have also eliminated nightshades.  When I raise the pros and cons, I think I get a lot more bang with the eggs, so let’s go eggs!

My body is responding in some very interesting ways.

The energy has been the most noticeable result.  I got up last week and said, “I’m going for a walk/run.”  The Hunter looked at me like I had grown another head, but said, “Enjoy” and I did.  I walked/ran two miles and felt fabulous.  I am working out 5-6 days a week with a variety of things:  gym, cardio, hiking, biking, run/walk. We did a 1-1/2 mile hike through ankle deep water and knee-high grass, no problem.

I feel fantastic and am sleeping like a log.

My sense of smell is improving (I have always had a horrible/non-existent sense of smell, so this is significant).  My night vision is improving (strange, but when I go to the bathroom at night, I’m seeing better and quicker when I turn off the light).

I still have some brain fog issues.  Yesterday I was grasping for words — common words during conversations.  I hate that because it scares me.  My mom had dementia — it runs in my family, so when I have these word drops and memory issues I think I have early onset Alzheimer’s.  I don’t or at least I don’t have it now.  I remind myself that this is all part of getting older, then I look at my 82-year-old dad who is spunky and tell myself I take after his side of the family.  I do need to see what I can do with improving the brain stuff.  I have been thinking about learning a new language or picking up a musical instrument again — those things do help.

Anyway, Week 2 is well underway.  Great progress helps me stick to the plan.  I anticipate that things will level off, but the ever-optimistic side of me whispers “you’ll keep losing 5 pounds a week”.  That Pollyanna needs to shut the fuck up.  2 pounds a week is plenty.  Let me go have some homemade bone broth, yum.

alison-marras-361025-unsplash

This weekend these will be mine!  Photo by Alison Marras on Unsplash

 

Time to Move

Life is speeding along and my To Do list grows by the day.  The lease for this godforsaken house is up at the end of May.  Hallelujah!!  That means de-cluttering, packing and, oh yeah, finding a place to move to.

On the de-cluttering front, we had our first garage sale and netted a nifty $300.  We will be having another one in a couple of weeks which will include the furniture.  Thank goodness for Craigslist!  I am being ruthless.  If I haven’t used it in the past 12-18 months, then I am jettisoning the item.  I’m also getting rid of my sofa and loveseat — we aren’t crazy about them and they aren’t that comfy.  I’m hanging onto my dining room set for the moment because it was my grandmother’s and I’m not comfortable with saying good-bye to it.  The kids have expressed an interest in it, but won’t be able to take it for about a decade.  Yeah, a decade translates into forever but that’s OK.

I’ll slowly start packing over the next couple of weeks.  There are other things to get done as well, but I can start packing up non-essentials soon.  We saved the boxes from our move into the hellhole, so I’m hoping we don’t need much in the way of packing materials.

The most important aspect of all this is where the heck are we going to live?  The Kracken is definitely an obstacle to finding a place.  Nobody wants a large dog.  We put an offer into one place, but when the landlords saw an adorable picture of him (it actually made him look mid-sized), they said “nope”.  I’m being patient and not rolling my eyes every time we have to rule out a place over their pet policy.

The other thing that is affecting our move strategy is my job situation.  I am actively looking for a real job and it may involve moving to who knows where.  I want to stay in the state, but I might need to move 2-3-4 hours away for the right job.

The Hunter came up with a great idea this weekend.  Let’s toss everything into storage and move to the beach for the summer.  That will buy us 3-4 months of extra time for me to sort out my work situation.  We would squish into a furnished studio or one-bedroom place with the Kracken.  I’m thinking this will relieve our boredom either by being out and about all the time or by killing each other due to the close quarters.

I’m at a loss.  I’m applying to jobs online which we all know isn’t the best way to get a a decent job for my level, but I don’t have an “in” for these companies. I need to uncover some more recruiters and chat with them.   I had one informational meeting last week and have two set up for this week.  Last week’s was interesting.

I had coffee with the Godfather of my profession.  He is semi-retired, but he has coached/mentored hundreds.  I think that meeting triggered my breakdown last week.  I realized that dammit, I should have consulted with him YEARS ago.  We walked through my skill set and he shook his head at my predicament which is that I have to spend 80% of my time doing the things I hate the most.  That’s a recipe for disaster.  Godfather didn’t have specific people to direct me to, but he’s thinking about it.  We closed with me saying that the hardest, yet most important thing I must do is to tell the sharks in my tank (i.e. other professional colleagues) that I am looking for something else.  It’s scary, but the only way out of my situation is to chum the waters…

The Hunter is leaving for 5-7 days on a hunting trip.  I feel a distance from him.  I’m not sure where we are and we aren’t having sex.  I talked to him about it last week.  More to come on that front.  Hunter, if you are reading this, it shouldn’t surprise you.  Anyway, it’s Monday and it’s been OK.

excuses

 

 

Me in a Nutshell

Today has been a bad day. I’ve spent the past hour sobbing out of aniexty, frustration, fear, anger — name a nasty emotion and it probably raced through my body. Throw in a sprinkle of jealousy and a heap of hopelessness. Sob.

This article is very interesting. I took this quiz

https://drmargaretrutherford.com/how-to-know-if-you-experience-perfectly-hidden-depression-a-questionnaire/

and was top of the class. My achievement for today.

My follow-up suggested reading is this article:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/panic-life/201603/3-steps-acknowledging-your-perfectly-hidden-depression

Let me lick my wounds and get some rest. I have to keep moving forward.

Oceans

oceans

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

I think it’s the sound that calms me.  The never-ending crash of waves is a beautiful, relentless wash of white noise.  Add in the salty wind and my soul quiets so I can think and listen to myself.

My anxiety grew yesterday until my skin crawled and my breathing grew short.  The Hunter had gone hiking so I needed to cope on my own.  I grabbed my keys and headed for the beach.

My chest was tight.  I felt tears threatening at the slightest provocation.  Then I stepped onto the sidewalk along the beach and began walking.  The wind was gusty.  As I settled into a rhythm, I began talking to myself.  OK, not too loudly because I don’t need to be Baker Acted on top of everything!  At first I began with:

  • “What am I going to do?”
  • “How am I going to survive?”

But the walking and the waves began working their magic.  The steady cadence turned my self-talk to:

  • I am not a victim.
  • The only way to go is forward.
  • I am a fighter.
  • I am an Amazon.
  • I am relentless.
  • People like me and once they know me, they like working with me.
  • I need to talk to the people who like working with me
  • I can do hard things

I walked two miles through the tourists, the retirees and every step returned my confidence.

I am a warrior.  I am a fighter.  I raised kids who are fearless and fighters and they are who they are because I showed them the way.

Courage is the ability to do something even when I am afraid.  It’s OK to be afraid so long as I’m still fighting and moving forward.  I’ll be fine.  Actually I’ll be better than fine — I’ll be great.

I’m Still Trucking Along

Work has started off with a bang and I am happily quite busy this week.  It’s almost 11:00 and I’m still at the computer.  No complaints there.  Anyway, a quick update to say that life is just fine down here.  The Hunter and I had a great holiday break.  I’ll write something about what a kid that man is when it comes to presents.  We went camping and it was chilly but we got back before the big freeze.  Now I’m ducking and looking out for frozen iguanas falling from trees.  You folks up north may have snow, ice and all that mayhem.  We have to look out for frozen invasive reptiles.  It’s kind of a reptilian zombie apocalypse.

Anyway, I started kickboxing as my new exercise routine and I absolutely love it.  I have never been any type of an athlete, but this speaks to me.  It is great for my body and my brain.  My brain has to remember the punch/kick combinations and my body is sweating up a storm.  Plus I must say that this franchise has it’s shit together with an active Facebook group, a personal note mailed to me after I joined, lots of hashtags, selfies, contests, encouragement.  I feel like I just joined a new tribe.

I’ll try to write some more this weekend, but for now just know that I am freezing my tuckus along with everyone else — nothing in South Florida is built for cold weather.  We don’t have the clothes either.  Brrr, I need to go snuggle up with the Hunter.

Fun Read: NY Times on Sex Toy Manufacturer 

For the First Family of Pleasure Products, Toys Are Us.   The uptight Trumpsters can rest assured their butt plug  was Made in America   https://nyti.ms/2jCQiHj

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