Feeling Powerless

More night terrors. Well, they call them “night”, but I usually have mine early morning. Yell and scream, and curse in my sleep. Another unrestful night. I wake up exhausted and aching everywhere. Even the joints in my fingers hurt as I type this with one finger on my phone.

The anxiety is high, my depression is high. Feeling powerless over everything in my life.

I envy those in control. I have no income, the transcription company changed their metrics, and I got bumped back down to the level of trying to transcribe prison calls and people with mumbling thick accents. It’s a nightmare.

I have no money, no car, no real friends in the city, no family… It’s lonely.

What’s going on at home, being evicted, not knowing where we’re going to live, is a nightmare.

The sleeplessness, the stress, the struggle, feeling sick all the time, being in pain, it’s ALL a nightmare.

Why am I even here?

What’s my purpose?

I feel like a burden. I feel like a loser.

No wonder I’m having the PTSD dreams again.

Going to keep trying for a job. I hate having to work for 4-6 hours, hurting my body, for a measly $15 – $20.

I am so much more than this.

Feeling shattered today.

S.

Don’t Take Shit From People

So I’m laying here tonight trying to relax after the week from hell. (Impending eviction)

Fumbling through my old Facebook photos, you know how that goes. you start nosing in on people you’ve lost touch with over the years to see what they’re up to. Tonight, mine led me to a face that I haven’t seen in over 9 years. My mother.

For the past couple of years, I’ve missed her. I’ve missed having a mom I could call up and ask for advice from. I’ve missed having a mom that would be there for me when I needed her. Most recently, I’ve needed my mother to deal with this illness. whatever it is is. Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, something neurological. I really don’t know what the fuck is going on inside my body. I know I’m in early onset menopause, I know I have pretty severe osteoarthritis as it’s throughout my body and leaves me pretty crippled in the damp and humid weather. I know I have something seriously wrong with my spine and am waiting to see a specialist about it. I know I have PTSD.

I’ve also needed my mom to deal with my father. His in and out presence in my life. His oblivion to my pain. His inability to recognize how seriously he has damaged me.

Then I browsed through some more photos. Saw her and my stepfather got another dog. Got a new motorhome I see. It baffles me how my parents were unable to attend my wedding years ago (I’m divorced now, thankfully and am with the right person, finally) but are apparently able to travel in a camper. You couldn’t even send me a card when I got married.

I remembered how my mother was never there for me. When I called she couldn’t be bothered to take the time to talk to me on the phone. Her TV shows were more important. No matter if I was in a jam and needed help, or just really needed to hear her voice when I was down or needed life advice.

I had no one to go to for life advice.

I look at my stepfather’s smug face in his profile picture and remember how he always looked at me with contempt. Like I was gross. Some kind of fucking slimy garden slug. A garden slug with a bad smell. Yeah, that’s how I would describe it. Oddly enough, it’s the same way my stepmother always looked at me.

I feel like I’ve gone through tremendous mental growth over the past few years. I’ve terminated friendships that were not healthy, balanced or kind. I don’t need that. I’ve ended associations with people because I don’t share their views or ideas. I have different values, I have strong morals. something that seems to be lacking in this world.

Funny thing is, I didn’t get these morals or values from anyone in my family. Not my mother, not my father, and most certainly, not my step parents. I have absolutely nothing in common with my stepbrothers. For the most part, they’re egotistical, selfish, immature, and well… they’re kind of jerks. Who needs that? Nope.

I developed my own code as I grew up. As I made mistakes or failed, I learned lessons the hard way, on my own. Some values I received from my grandmothers. My paternal grandmother was a woman of faith who taught me about Jesus and the Bible at a very young age. I loved it. I found the time we spent reading the Bible together, I read it out loud to her because the printing was too small for her eyes, to be peaceful and reassuring. My maternal grandmother taught me about strength and perseverance. She taught me how to cook. Both grandmothers taught me to stand up for myself and, in their words, “don’t take shit from people.” They were sassy ladies. I probably get my sassiness from them as well.

No. Looking at my mother tonight brought me to a conclusion. A closure even. I don’t know this person, and she doesn’t know me. She’s never been that kind of mom you could call when you needed her. She’s never been that kind of mom that puts her (only) child(ren) first. She’s always been more concerned about her own needs, her own wants. It was proposed to me that perhaps my stepfather is too controlling. Well, yeah. he is controlling, sometimes an outright asshole but, I also know this. What my mother wants, my mother gets. My stepfather has always been a “Yes Dear” man. He’s not entirely to blame. My mother had a choice, and she chose to pretend I don’t exist. In the photo of my mother’s most recent lap dog, she’s a better dog mom than actual mom, I zoomed in on the shelf behind her. There were pictures of stepbrother one and his woman, next to it was a photo of stepbrother two and his wife. There were no other photos on that shelf. No, I’m sorry, their past dead dogs’ photos were there. But that was it. I didn’t make the shelf display cut. I simply don’t exist.

Last year, this would have sent me spiralling down the depression hole quicker than a squirrel up a tree with a cat after it. But tonight something in me clicked. I’m done grieving my father and my mother. It took some time, but I think I’m done. They’ve sucked up enough of my time and energy. No more.

I cut these ties.

I am just going to focus on building what I have with the love of my life. I’m going to enjoy some happiness for a change. As my paternal grandmother would have said, “Fuck ’em.” So sassy.

I feel remarkably stronger and lighter. My love is intact, my faith is stronger than ever. That’s all I need. We have overcome worse things in our lives, we’ll overcome this too.

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

S.

Blogmas Not So Much

The Blog Broad BlogmasI started to write Blogmas posts but quite frankly, I’m just not feeling writing about Christmas.  See my first Blogmas post here.

It’s all so commercial.  Geared towards the consumer.  I haven’t been a proper consumer in years.  I haven’t been able to work in years.  I’m trying to do things from home.  It’s picking up but it’s slow going.   When you’re poor and chronically ill and in pain daily, your priorities change in life.  Where, at one time I fretted over things like the perfectly decorated Christmas Tree, or making sure I baked enough cookies.  Will I get all my Christmas shopping done in time?  Now I think things like, can I stay awake long enough to visit with people?  How many bed ridden days will this holiday bring?  Can I handle the stress of the travels?  Am I going to break down and cry in front of her family?  Am I going to annoy my partner because I’m so exhausted I’m going to need to rest when she wants to go out?  Please don’t let my dog poop in the house.  There’s a lot of stairs in that house and the house itself is huge.  My body is not used to that, so my legs and back often give out while I’m there.  It’s embarrassing.  ME/CFS is embarrassing.  The only other people who understand it, typically, are those with the disease.  To others, we’re just depressed or lazy or need to get out more or or or.

My partner and I also both lost our fathers.  Hers to cancer about 16 months ago; mine at his own choice by cutting me out 18 months ago.  The loss of her father still hangs heavily on everyone’s hearts.  He was a great man.  A kind, gentle and caring man; one of a kind.  My father, still alive, has always been kind of a jerk.  Selfish, immature and somewhat ignorant of the world.  He’s not a loving man.  Nevertheless, he’s my Dad.  I still love him and his absence hurts.  My mother’s absence hurts; we haven’t spoke in 5 years.  Family is actually incredibly important to me and it’s always bothered me that mine is so fractured.

Being chronically ill disables you.  Physically and mentally.  Unfortunately many of us fall into that grey area on paper where you don’t qualify for provincial or federal benefits.  Most people require legal representation to get those federal benefits.  If you can’t work, you rely on your “family”.  My family consists of my partner “C”, my dog Lucy, my partner’s family and my sisters from other misters.  These are my close gal pals that I confide in.  That confide in me.  They’ve helped me many times.  I trust these women.  In my life, I haven’t been able to rely on or really trust my own blood family, but I can trust these women.  They are my support.

I have other things on my mind right now besides Christmas.  I’m more concerned about getting by day by day.  My partner’s job could be gone any time because there’s no job security where she works.  I can’t go in to detail about what she does as it’s kind of a public job.  It’s stressful.  So, are we out spending money on presents?  No, we’re trying to keep up with bills and the ever increasing cost of eating healthfully which costs just as much as our rent I might add.

Do I want to write a holiday inspired post everyday?  No.  Not really?  I just don’t give a tiny rat’s ass right now.  I’m still battling a virus, my partner has it, my wrist is still healing/broken.  I won’t know unless I sit at the hospital emergency for hours and hours because let’s face it, it’s not really an emergency, I just don’t have a doctor and really need an X-ray.

B’ah.  Humbug.

I need a nap.

The Blog Broad tag line
Sam

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Appointments.  Are There Anything Worse?

I am sitting here dumping a Lukewarm cup of tea down my neck hole fussing about my appointments today in my head.
I’m guessing normal people don’t do this. They probably just get up feeling rested in the mornings, go to their jobs and appointments and then home to their pet unicorns and eat mana as it rains down from the Heavens.. 

Stress. Why do I stress about everything? My anxiety levels rise, my heart beats a little faster, I start walking into door frames and bumping into things as I am otherwise distracted by my worries, then I start chewing on my fingers and cuticles as scenarios play out in my mind.

Today’s appointment is with Mental Health. I have been dealing with clinical depression for my entire adult life. I’ve been on medication since I was 18 years old. I have severe anxiety as well as PTSD. I moved to Saint John, New Brunswick with my partner two years ago and it has been DIFFICULT to find doctors here. It turns out I moved to the sickest province in Canada; meaning there are more chronically ill people here than anywhere else in Canada. That means doctors have limits on how many patients they can see, it means limited access to specialists, long wait times and full emergency rooms at the hospitals. I also don’t have a vehicle so that makes transportation difficult. I have to do quite a bit of walking to get around, and on days like today (rainy, damp and cold) I am going to need an appointment with a long hot bath and my heating pad when I get home. So this appointment with Mental Health; I don’t know what to expect really, but these are the possible outcomes:

“Ugh you people with your “chronic illness” and your “chronic pain” don’t you know how much of a drag you people are? You people are just whiny little pissers who just can’t toughen up and deal.” I picture a nasally lady with glasses much too large for her face with one of those long gold chains that attaches to your glasses so you don’t lose them. She has a knitted sweater around her shoulders  probably knitted by her friend Myrtle last Christmas, poor Myrtle has the rheumatoid arthritis so she can’t knit like she used to so Sheila (that’s what I named the Mental Health lady) wears it often because it reminds her of the everyday struggles and that people can overcome anything. Sheila is also slapping a nightstick in her palm. Not sure where she got that but, I feel scared.

“Wow. You are literally THE craziest broad I have ever met. You need some serious help. How do you get through life at all even? I’m not sure I can continue this session today.” The uptight tight faced lady then places a call and requests Igor and Hugo immediately. At that point I am carted away by 2 beasts of men in a straight jacket against my will. 

“Yeah you have some legitimate issues for sure, unfortunately so does everyone else so you will need to go on a waiting list for a year or so. It could be less if suicide rates continue to rise.” This time it’s a man who looks like kind of like David Suzuki only less Asian. He’s wearing brown pants with brown loafers and grey socks to match his grey shirt. I find him oddly comforting so I agree to go on his list.

“What problems? You’re completely and utterly lying. Pain? You are not in a wheelchair nor do you have cancer, why are you wasting my time today?” This guy kind of looks like Sigmund Freud only he speaks with a British accent and wears his shirt collar buttoned up with a bow tie. Normally I think, ‘Bowties are cool’ but not in this particular case. It just comes across as simply pompous. 

I don’t make it to my appointment at all, instead I just collapse from exhaustion and pain in the street while the rain beats on my face. The camera pans out from above and I am all alone drowning in rain, tears and failures while people hurriedly walk past and over me.

Wow, that’s a little dramatic Sam, and yes I am aware of that but this is how my brain works. Mostly I’m simply afraid of opening up to yet another doctor/medical professional with little to no help as an end result.  

After this appointment, I have yet another with a social worker from Community Living here in the city. They assist people with disabilities attain help from different resources. I don’t have some of the documents they want though and need more time so again I stress.

What would a life without anxiety feel like? Would it be as liberating as I assume it would or would you even notice how lucky you are?

Worry

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,
Sam

Photo credit http://www.demotivation.us/worrying-works-1281560.html

Mastering Myself in My 40s

cropped-ferry-n-chucks.jpgLet me begin by saying you will never master life.  You may master cooking the perfect pot roast, the art of knitting perfect stitches or baking the perfect cake, but never life.  You can improve your life through self examination, by releasing your intentions out into the universe, a healthier diet or yoga certainly, but I’m not sure any of us will ever master it.

 

Why I Struggled to Write This Piece

 

My friend approached over a month ago to submit a piece to her website dedicated to women Mastering Their 40s.  Eager to please and flattered she asked I embarked on something more than I expected.  I was stumped.  Me?  I haven’t mastered anything.  I have been disabled for a few years now and unable to work.  I struggle every day to get out of bed as I never feel rested from constant pain and restless sleep frequently filled with PTSD nightmares.  I am 43 but have the body (inside, biologically) of a 65-70 year old woman.  I have been plagued with illness my entire life and now I am constantly exhausted, it creates what they call “brain fog” so different days I am cognitively impaired, stiff and very sore.  It makes me miserable.  Illness, pain and depression stole and is slowly consuming my life.  I can’t do what others expect of me which frustrates me as well as them and leaves me burdened with a tremendous amount of guilt and self deprecation.  I thought to myself, “Who am I to give advice?” and, “I’m not that interesting or fabulous”

 

I Am Neurotic.  I Apologize

 

I’m not one of these broads that have it all together.  I don’t have a husband; I’m a gay woman, I have no children; I have a dog.  I will never own a home and I don’t have a vehicle.  I am poor.  Not, I can’t afford a cruise poor, but sometimes I can’t afford tampons poor.  I still drink sometimes, I smoke marijuana, and I curse a lot.  My idea of a fancy meal is delivery from Boston Pizza on pasta Tuesday with maybe a $15 dollar wine if it’s a special night.  I am more apt to drop my food on my shirt than to drop cash on something I don’t really need.  I have to be extremely frugal.  I am more apt to have a peanut butter and jam sandwich for dinner than orchestrate a full meal.  I am more likely to exchange delicious and inventive curse words with someone who cut me off in the crosswalk than to exchange delicious and inventive recipes with a friend.  Martha Stewart I am not.  I worry.  That’s what I do.  I worry about everything.  I stress about everything.  I get nervous about everything.  I fart when I’m nervous.   I am … a neurotic mess.  

    

So instead of writing advice or listing things that has helped me I’ve put together a few things that illustrate where I am as a woman in her forties.


Finding My Niche


Once I hit my forties, I threw out my thong underwear.  All of them.  Not because I was planning on giving up intimacy, not because I wasn’t concerned about VPL (visible panty line) but because I wanted to be comfortable.  My comfort comes before you seeing my panty creases in my pants.  For the first time I started to become more comfortable in my own skin.  I don’t have the body of a 25 year old; I never will, I am 43.  I have flabby arms, a big round bum and less than perky breasts.  So what?  So does every other 43 year old woman unless you’ve had surgery or live in Hollywood.  Now leave me alone with my bacon cheeseburger.  I also enjoy my food a lot more than I used to.  I take the time to taste each bite and savour flavours without worrying how long I need to spend on the stair climber to burn it off.

 

I also learned that working a 9-5 office job wasn’t for me.  I had to accept that and learn to be okay with that.  I needed to find ways to earn money from home and focus on writing more instead.  Writing has always been a passion of mine since I was a child and I take a lot of pleasure in completing and publishing a piece.


Taking Time to See the Beauty

We spend so much of our youth speeding to hit adulthood that we find ourselves in our forties thinking, “I missed so much.”  Then we spend our midlife and beyond trying to recapture our youth.  Enough of that.  Now I just try to savour moments like I savour food.  Take mental pictures of things that make you smile.  Remember details of the things you enjoy so you can revisit those moments on your bad days or store them in your brain locker for when you’re in your old age.  Whenever I encounter beauty, I breath it in, I fully immerse myself in that moment and remember every detail.  A breathtaking view overlooking the serenely sapphire Atlantic ocean on a sunny day when it seems the sun is dancing amongst the waves, the only sounds are the waves hitting the rocks and racing to the shoreline.   A peaceful swim on a quiet lake at midnight, the only light is that of the moonlight that reflects upon the still lake, the only sound being that of your own heartbeat as you float on your back, effortlessly breathing in the brilliant moon.  That delicious meal you’ve been waiting for and it’s finally arrived; the aromas, the colors, the textures, that perfect sear on a meaty juicy buttery steak; that first bite as it pleasures your palette with delicacy and satisfaction.

 

People can be so removed from the moment, thinking of something else, worrying, stressing.  These actions do not serve us at all.  All they do is distract us from things we should be enjoying.  When you’re with your family or close friends- BE with them.  Put your phones down, talk and really listen to one another.  

Exercising Gratitude

This was a big thing for me to do.  Struggling with illness and depression for so many years and not having the support I truly needed left me with the sour taste of bitterness throughout my thirties.  Sure I sometimes took time out to express gratitude to God, but I felt pretty jaded and cheated.  It wasn’t until my latter thirties early forties I really tried to take time out daily to think about what I was grateful for in my life and to come to terms with my sexuality despite my faith and beliefs.  Through prayer I determined that God knew what was best, that I should live my life genuinely and honestly.  I spend a few moments each night reflecting on that day and I thank God for putting certain people in my life, providing food and clothing and shelter in addition to His love and forgiveness.  


I Couldn’t Care Less About Gossip

There’s an old adage that says,
  

 “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”  ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

 

I have tried to move away from paying attention to things like gossip for example which seems to not only require a lot of time and energy that in the end benefits no one.  So why waste the energy?  Let’s talk instead about I don’t know… Changes in our society and how to adapt, because I don’t know about you but, doesn’t it seem there are far more important things to talk about right now?   There’s that impending war, or the changes in our laws that affect everyone or how our food has become practically toxic to most people?  Hey, those bees are still dying.  There’s an increasing rise of violence and crime?  The fact that respect and courtesy are dying attributes in our society?  I don’t know about you but I am ready to pop those snotty kids at the drive thru windows these days… But hey, I digress.

    

Writing Notes For Myself

I have several notebooks that I have stored all over my apartment, my purse, my nightstand and by my couch.  Each notebook serves a purpose.  I have one for short stories, one for poetry, one for writing ideas, one for organization- listing things I need to do or take care of, one for hopes and one for prayers.  Writing is a great tool for self discovery.  It allows you the freedom of emptying your heart without judgement.  It’s therapeutic to put into writing how you feel, how you’ve grown and the things you’ve learned about yourself, the world and others.  It allows you to be present in that moment and experience those feelings.  I find even spending just a few minutes a day with just myself and my words leaves me with a small sense of peace and accomplishment.  

Self Care

This is still fairly a new concept to me but I am taking it in stride.  As we get older and get bogged down by every day life: Work, children, spouses, finances, illness, it becomes crucial that we take moments out for ourselves.  Even if it’s a long hot bath or a solo shopping trip.  Taking care of ourselves and our health allows us to put our best selves forward.  If we are healthy, happy and strong we can be better spouses, parents, employees and friends.  We can be more supportive of others and lead by example.

Meaning What You Say/Saying What You Mean

I spent a lot of my thirties searching for inner peace, immersing myself in my faith, reading a lot of self help books and I even went back to school for Nutrition and Wellness, Personal Training and Fitness Instruction.  I guess I spent a lot of my thirties trying to become a better version of myself.  Along this journey I stumbled across a little book called The Four Agreements you may have heard about it through a friend or through the original lady’s guru Oprah.  Admit it, you watched it, we all did.  One of the agreements is to Say What You Mean and Mean what you say.  That resonated with me simply because as a Customer Service/Sales person for years, I had heard  A LOT and what always frustrated me was people who beat around the bush.  Just say what you mean but only say it if you really mean it.  Words can easily be thrown around like monkey feces at a zoo and sometimes words can hurt people.  So think about what you’re going to say before you say it.  I have a checklist:

  1. Is it important?  
  2. Will it make an impact?
  3. Is what I am going to say going to possibly hurt someone’s feelings?
  4. Is it really necessary?

If it’s not necessary and if it’s just a matter of pride to speak up and voice your opinion, like just to prove you’re right for example then I say nothing.  Whatever little quip or sarcastic remark I may be thinking, I refrain from saying it out loud.  It takes a lot of practice and I have the bite marks on my tongue to prove it, but think of how much nicer the world would be if people considered these things before speaking?

 

I don’t know, I’m no expert in anything as I previously stated.  I’m just a broad with a potty mouth who is trying desperately to just be a good person.  

 

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

Sam

Burger Lover