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.

ARGH.

Stressed out womanWe were served one week ago with an eviction notice. For one week I have been unable to sleep more than three or four hours at a time. Unable to eat more than one small meal a day. I’ve had migraines. I’ve vomited, and I’m in a flare up. I’m having some pretty bad PTSD nightmares. My speech is slurred and I can’t stay out of the loo.

Thanks so much for this.

The vacancy rate in Halifax is 1.5%. There was just a piece published in the Chronicle Herald yesterday about how young people aren’t able to come to Halifax anymore because the rents are not only ridiculously high, but you’re lucky if you can even find housing.

So you tell me in what world two decent tenants are facing homelessness by the word of one person?

How can one person have the power to throw our lives into such upheaval? We had been nothing but kind and considerate since we moved in. If this individual didn’t like us, she had three months while we sublet, to change her mind about signing a lease with us. Yet she chose to.  She had ample opportunities to tell us if she had a problem with us, but she didn’t.

Every time I asked, (and I asked multiple times because I am not an asshole, and certainly didn’t want to disrupt anyone else) whether or not we disturbed her, or bothered her, we were told, “No, I never hear you guys.”

Any time she was rude to us, which was frequently, we took it on the chin and just went upstairs. Throughout ten months of incessant barking, we said nothing. Her girlfriend practically lived here, contributed nothing, but again, we said nothing. Why? Because we honestly liked these two people, we thought we were friends. But now I see we were just being taken advantage of.

Even though we did ALL the cleaning inside and outside (except lawn, that was the roommate’s only job), we said nothing because we wanted to live in a clean home whether she pitched an effort or not. We are not dirtbags.

The backyard is piled up with items that don’t belong to us. A bio composter of some kind, prior tenant. A wooden flower bed, prior tenant. Coffee table, roommate, stool, prior tenant, wagon, roommate. Pallets, roommate.  You get the drift.

We have spent the better part of 10 months living in a room together. The couple of times we attempted to use the living room (after we cleaned downstairs for hours) we were kicked out and ended up retreating to our bedroom.

We have felt disrespected THE ENTIRE time we have lived here. It’s not a good feeling. Again, we never involved the landlord because this was not a long term solution for us, and you DON’T INVOLVE LANDLORDS IN ROOMMATE DISPUTES in Halifax.

I’m going to have to schedule an appointment with my doctor because I’m having difficulty coping with all the stress this has brought on. I’m in menopause and I suffer from PTSD and Fibromyalgia, so that means I go from angry to crying in a flash. A hot flash. yuk yuk.

One thing I do to cope is clean, but this place is sparkling and I have run out of things to clean now.  I have begun packing, in case we are tossed out on to the street after our hearing.

Who needs this shit? Honestly.

I feel like I’ve been bullied my entire life, but none more than being a grown, disabled woman.  From constantly having to prove my disabilities, to narcissistic abuse from family and a few friends. I have taken so much shit from so many people over the years, that I have finally reached full. The shit runneth over.

I just want to lie on a beach with a book and forget all this ever happened. Including moving to Halifax.

To address our need for immediate housing, we have started a Go Fund Me to assist with moving costs, utility hookups, damage deposit etc. If you are able to donate, it would be greatly appreciated, if not, a simple share or prayer helps. Thank you so much for your kindness. I really appreciate my online friends and the blogging community.

 

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

S.

 

Image Credit

http://www.clker.com/clipart-634242.html

Just a Broad

The Blog Broad Blog

When did you start blogging/why?

I started blogging 5 years ago with the encouragement of friends, under a pen name- Sparky Lee Anderson.  I chose a pen name because if my blog was terrible I guess it would never be attached to my name and no one in my family and no one I went to school with would know I failed as a writer.  I came up with the name as I was “sparking” a doobie one night while watching X Files.  Having had a crush on Gillian Anderson who portrays Dana Scully since the show began, I went with Anderson.

I was published in 2014 in a Horror Anthology titled The Horror Addict’s Guide to Life.  I wrote a non-fiction piece titled, The Horror Addict’s Guide to Good Health.  I was proud of myself.  I worked hard at it and my submission was accepted and I would finally see my name in print.  Well, not exactly, my pen name was in print, and no one really cared that I got published.

Earlier this year I decided I wanted to change how I write.  Lose the pen name and write as myself.  I came up with a new blog title which I thought really encapsulated who I was as a writer.  Stephen King I am not (although he is and always will be my biggest idol.  Ever.  In the universe.).  I am however, just a broad (my Facebook profile states just that- Just a Broad) and I blog about a variety of topics; barring Beauty and Lifestyle – there are plenty of people that blog about that.  The Blog Broad was born.

But why don’t you blog about beauty or lifestyle?

I am broke.

I am 43

I have never left Canada

I”m a lesbian

I’m usually in sweatpants or jammies

I have bigger things to think about than the right shade of concealer or “maximum coverage” whatever that is.  Isn’t that just a bag over your head?  There.  There’s your maximum coverage.

*if you are reading this and you’re a beauty or lifestyle blogger, my apologies.  Your make up and/or trips look great and/or intriguing.  Thank you for reading.

 

So what do you write about?

Well, I write about what it’s like being in a lesbian relationship like in The Mysteries of the Lesbian Relationship Revealed  or in Things I Do That Drive My Partner Crazy .

I also write about my feelings for my narcissistic parents.  Like in I Can’t Throw it Away, These Things are Valuable to Some People

I get annoyed with technology a lot.  I write about that too, in I’m Drowning in Notifications I rant about having to be notified for everything you do online.  If you’re a subscriber for example, you were notified when I published this piece.

I write frequently about dealing with my many health issues, like PTSD, ME/CFS/Fibromyalgia, Depression, Anxiety and chronic pain.  Sometimes I write humorous posts because honestly, my humor is all I have left that’s still in tact.

I even write about weird things that happen to me.  Like in A Ghost Sat on Me, I write about some paranormal experiences I’ve had here in Saint John, New Brunswick Canada

I try to be encouraging, supportive and respectful to other bloggers.  There’s enough nastiness in the world and not enough kindness.

 

So, what’s the point of your blog?

It’s for me first of all.  It helps, flushing out your feelings on to the keyboard, sending it out in to cyberspace even if no one reads is cathartic and therapeutic.  I like to make people laugh and smile, so if I can do that to one person a day…   In addition, if there’s one more depressed lesbian out there suffering with PTSD and chronic pain well then, maybe this blog is for you and maybe we can exchange emails.

What is your endgame Sam?

Boy, I’m glad I asked.  Eventually, I would like to publish books.  Books I have written just to be clear.  Preferably non fiction, something humorous and relatable to others.  I’d like to publish a book of my poetry as well as a book of short stories.  This is my goal.

The act of blogging regularly helps enforce consistency and setting writing schedules prepares me for a career in writing which is what I want.  I’ve wanted it since I was 6 years old when I got my first typewriter.  I’m running out of time!

Tell me, why do you blog and what got you started?  Did you use a pen name?  What are your writing goals?

 

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

Sam

Another Fu**ing Poem: ME/CFS

fucking tired

Fuck this chilly weather change

Making me feel tired and strange

All I want is to sleep and sleep

Making me mad, making me weep

Throbbing head and swollen body

A bigger bitch I couldn’t embody

Trying to hear what you’re saying

I think “Hello” is what you’re conveying

My head’s all muddled in shades of gray

Repeating my words, my brain’s on replay

I’m sorry, I didn’t hear what you said

All I’m really thinking about is my bed

Shuffling and grunting like some old hag

Cursing and swearing at my Magic Bag

Why you so small Magic Bag?  You can go to Hell

I need you on my back, my hips and buns as well

In a rage, I plug in my heating pad

The time it takes to heat also makes me mad

Laying on my back, missing the warmth of summer

The period leading in to winter is a fucking bummer

Staying in due to cold means a belly and bigger ass cheeks

While I dream of sunshine, eating chips for the next 28 weeks

“At least you get to sleep in everyday” say the mindless few

You have no clue, the pain, the tears, the guilt I go through

So back to my fleece, hot bath and couch I go

I’m fucking tired and my back hurts me so

Because why I came I fucking forgot

Oh yeah, to tell others to not be a fucking Twat

If you know someone with Fibro, MECFS

Someone that you regularly address

Be compassionate, gentle and most of all kind

Because they are suffering; bear that in mind

 

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously

Sam

If you enjoyed this, you might like this 

Images

I’m so fucking tired kitty   https://cdn-webimages.wimages.net/05197f03e21089241289b6b115c808dadf2f0b-wm.jpg?v=3

Ol’ One Eye

Sam Clattenburg

Ol’ One Eye this morning.   My right eye hath betrayed me.  Might be too much screen time or not enough sleep.  It’s difficult to say when it comes to Fibromyalgia.   This thing happens with my eye where it swells and feels freshly poked.  You know when you accidentally poke yourself in the eye and it stings and waters?  Yeah, I get that for days at a time.  I didn’t sleep well last night because of neck and back pain so, here I am, Ol’ One Eye…

As much as I want to write new material today (and the urge is mighty) I think I need to rest my eye.  I’m going to take a day off from blogging.  My body is clearly telling me to take a break so I think I should listen.  

Now if I can just keep myself away from reading much today.  I’m halfway through Revival by Stephen King and I’m really digging it.  (I’m just a harmless book Sam, no screen here… why don’t you pick me up and touch me?) Also halfway through Doctor Sleep but that’s on my IPad so that one has to wait.

Wishing you all a great day

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously, 

Sam

My First Liebster Award On the Blog Broad

liebster awardI was nominated for the Liebster Award by Lavender and Levity .  This blog was designed as a coping tool for Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria (RSD) which goes hand in hand with ADHD.  It’s defined as “an extreme emotional pain and sensitivity triggered by the perception (not necessarily the reality) that a person has been rejected, teased or unfairly criticized by important people in their life.” (Wikipedia)  Often, these emotions can be quite destructive and usually manifests as frustration, anger, sensitivity or depression so it’s important to learn how to manage them.  Lavender and Levity takes her anxieties in stride often with a twist of humor.  I highly suggest you check her out and I thank her very much for the nomination.  I wish nothing but the best for my fellow chronic pain/illness/depression warriors.  Stay strong!

 

The Liebster Award is given to bloggers by other bloggers.  It is intended to recognize and encourage another writer’s work and efforts.  It also helps to shed light on what may be some lesser known blogs.  Essentially, once you are nominated, you pass along 10 other nominations and so on.  Some people actually find it an annoyance, but I can’t see how increasing traffic to your blog and discovering new writers is annoying.  It’s an honor, and I will take it.  Thank you!

 

I have been blogging for about 5 years now.  Originally under Sparky Lee Anderson but I didn’t want to write under a pen name anymore, so I left one final post on that, and the Blog Broad was born.  It’s a name I’ve been thinking about for close to 2 years and I really hope to register a domain with it soon.  I try to use humor while living (coping) with chronic illness, ME/CFS {Fibromyalgia}, Degenerative Disc Disease, Arthritis, Depression,Anxiety and PTSD.  It basically helps me from losing my mind completely.  I feel like I have changed and grown a lot since the original conception of my blog.

 

The instructions for accepting the Liebster are:

 

  • Create a new post thanking the person who nominated you, link their blog and insert the award graphic.
  • Answer the questions provided to you, share a little bit about yourself.
  • Develop a new set of questions for your nominations to answer
  • Nominate 10 others and share your post with them so they see it.

 

My Questions from Lavender and Levity

 

 

  • What is your Myers-Briggs personality type?  Do you think it describes you?

 

First, I needed to take an online test, which I found here .  I am INFP: The Idealist. (Introversion- I, Intuition-N, Feeling- F, and Perception-P)  This states that I am an introvert, that is guided by my intuition.  I make decisions based on feelings rather than thinking and I perceive rather than judge.  It states, and I quote “that the main characteristics of an INFP include:

  • Loyal and devoted
  • Sensitive to feelings
  • Warm caring and interested in other people
  • Strong written communication skills
  • Prefers to work alone
  • Values close relationships
  • Focuses on the ‘big picture’ rather than the details

INFPs tend to be introverted, quiet and reserved. Being in social situations tends to drain their energy and they prefer interacting with a select group of close friends. While they like to be alone, this should not necessarily be confused with shyness. Instead, it simply means that INFPs gain energy from spending time alone. On the other hand, they have to expend energy in social situations.

INFPS typically rely on intuition and are more focused on the big picture rather than the nitty-gritty details. They can be quite meticulous about things they really care about or projects they are working on, but tend to ignore mundane or boring details.

INFPs place an emphasis on personal feelings and their decisions are more influenced by these concerns rather than by objective information. They also dislike conflict and try to avoid it. When conflicts or arguments do arise, they usually focus more on how the conflict makes them feel rather than the actual details of the argument. During arguments, they might seem overly emotional or even irrational. However, they can also be good mediators by helping the people involved in a conflict identify and express their feelings.

When it comes to making decisions, INFPs like to keep their options open. They often delay making important decisions just in case something about the situation changes. When decisions are made, they are usually based on personal values rather than logic.

Because they are so reserved and private, it can be difficult for other people to get to know INFPs. They tend to be quite devoted to their circle of close friends and family and place a high importance on the feelings and emotions of their loved ones. Much of their energy is focused inward and characterized by intense feelings and strong values. They tend to be very loyal to the people they love and to beliefs and causes that are important to them.

INFPs tend to be very creative, artistic and spiritual. They are often skilled with language, but may prefer to express their thoughts and feelings through writing. Because they have strong ethics and values, they also become passionate about advocating or defending their beliefs. While they feel strongly about their own values, INFPs are also interested in learning more about others and are willing to listen and consider many sides of an issue.

INFPs also have strong interests in making the world a better place. In addition to wanting to gain a greater understanding of themselves and how they fit into the world, they are also interested in how they can best help others. People with this personality type spend a lot of time exploring their own purpose in life and thinking about how they can use their skills and talents to best serve humanity. (http://www.onlinepersonalitytests.org/mbti/infp)

 

Well, I’d say that pretty accurately describes me.  

  1.   Which technological invention of the past 100 years could you least live without?

Probably my hair dryer.  I use it everyday and my hair would be a curly frizzy mess without it and my ceramic round brush.

  1.     If it were solely up to you (no medical, job or family demands to dictate otherwise), what time would you go to bed at night and what time would you get up?

I’d probably stay up all night and go to bed around 8 am or so.  I like the quiet during these hours.  I also like watching the sun rise, having a good breakfast then going back to bed.  It happens often when I am writing plus I don’t sleep well at night so I’m sometimes up all night anyway.

  1.  What is your favorite pizza topping?

Mushrooms.  All the mushrooms.  (But only if they’re fresh, canned mushrooms can go in the trash where they belong)

  1.     What superpower would you choose if you could have only one?

I think I’d go with invisibility.  I have (embarrassingly) spent time fantasizing about being in the kitchens of fabulous restaurants and bakeries going unseen while I sample all of their wares.  I used to have a recurring donut dream, right before my monthly, where I was behind the glass just grabbing donuts of every kind, taking bites out of all of them.  

  1.     Again, assuming no financial, medical, job or family demands, and that all options were available where you live, would you rather drive your car or take public transportation?

That’s a no-brainer for me.  If I had a car, I’d use it.  I hate public transportation because I hate people’s smells.  I hate loud people, drunk people, smelly people- period.

  1.     If you could only eat stereo-typically “breakfast” foods, “lunch” foods or “dinner” foods for the rest of your life, which would you pick?

Breakfast foods.  I LOVE bacon, eggs, hash browns, pancakes, waffles, omelettes, fruits, and cereals.  I could very easily live off that and when I go somewhere that serves all day breakfast, I usually announce it like a BINGO caller, “Oh! ALL DAY Breakfast”

So that’s a little bit about me, again I’d like to thank Lavender and Levity for the nomination and here are my 10 nominees:

A Fractured Faith 

Oh Words 

Sunlight in Winter  

Sleeping Tiger  

Bethany K  

GabFrab  

Confessions of a Brat  

M.U.D. Life  

DGGYST (Damn, Girl, Get Your Shit Together)  

Spooky Action at a Distance  

Here are your questions:

  1. If you could travel through time and live in any era, when would you choose?
  2. What was the last good book you read and why would you recommend it to a friend?
  3. If you could change one thing you’ve done in the past year, what would it be and why?
  4. Tell us one of your guilty pleasures.
  5. What is the goal of your blog?
  6. When did you start writing?
  7. If you could fight a celebrity in a boxing ring, knowing you’d win, who would it be?
  8. What’s your biggest pet peeve?
  9. What show can you simply, not miss?
  10. What game (Board, card or video) are you best at?

 

Thanks for reading.

 

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

Sam

I Can’t Throw it Away, These Things are Valuable to Some People…

mangrove tree  Trying to pull it together after a week of pure exhaustion.  I have Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis everywhere and degenerative disc disease so I have bouts of pain and exhaustion where I fluctuate from suffering from insomnia to chronic fatigue.  I spent the evenings unable to sleep and having to nap in the afternoons.  My brain has been so foggy.  I’m somewhere in that space between not really awake but not exactly asleep but walking around. Miraculously.   Yesterday I went out with 2 different shoes on and I didn’t even notice.  Everything I eat makes me feel like I’m going to be sick.  It’s like having the flu.  I woke up this morning completely soaked.  Had to change and crawl back into bed.  I barely remember because I was still partially asleep.  I couldn’t wake up and get up so I slept.  I slept until 11am.  What woke me was another nightmare.

 

I usually dream the same things over and over again.  The world outside is chaos.  Something has happened.  Something from the skies.  We’re always watching the skies.  People are travelling in small groups of people trying to stay safe and unnoticed.  There’s no food, and there is destruction and devastated buildings everywhere.  We have to to stay quiet and unnoticed because if they hear us, they will take us.  I don’t know who they are.  I never see because I usually wake myself  up screaming.  My dreams are terrifying and violent.   I’ve had dreams similar to this for most of my life.  I have had PTSD for most of my life.  Another way I wake up is I’m yelling at my parents.  Usually my father.  We fell out a couple of years ago over money.  He had co signed a line of credit for me in 2007 to go back to school.  I went back to get certified in Fitness Instruction, Personal Training and Nutrition and Wellness.  That was going to be my career and I was really good at it.  Then I got sick.  I had to have emergency surgery one night from endometriosis complications.  I was off work for a while but I was unable to ever fully return to my normal capacity.  Over time my Fibro came back full swing with new symptoms added.  Arthritis became crippling some days.  I missed time from work and kept getting fired from job after job.  The stress of not being able to eat or pay rent or take care of everything while being sick and getting sicker was awful.  Again.. No support or caring from my father or stepmother.  I was put off work years ago because of illness.  My stepmother thinks I’m lazy and so does my father.  Kept telling my to get my shit together .  I’m sick not lazy.  They don’t understand that I am actually ill.  So when I was unable to keep up the payments on this line of credit, my father cut me out.  He told me he did not want to see my face.   That was almost 2 years ago now.  My mother and I haven’t spoke in five years or so.  She has a lot of health problems as well, in fact we share many of those- thanks DNA, but I was told by my stepfather years ago that I wasn’t to call there anymore.  If I had something to say, to put it in an email.  I know my mother has moments that she could speak to me for five minutes.  She chooses not to.  She’s chosen not to since I was 26.  I had a rocky relationship with my mother until about 12 where we became friends.  I say friends because she was never consistently in my life like a mother should be.  My father just ignored me but she would be in and out like the seasons.  In while my stepfather was away at sea and she was lonely, out once he retired.  

 

All I’ve ever wanted is to feel loved by my parents and to feel close, but instead I felt like an old antique piece of furniture being passed back and forth.  “Well I don’t want it right now, so I’ll just store it in the attic in case I need it for something, I mean, I can’t throw it out, these things are valuable to some people.”  I guess not everyone gets the supportive advice, the encouragement, the hugs, the “I love yous” , the birthday cakes, the gifts, the help, the empathy, the compassion.  I’ve been pretty much on my own since 13 with the occasional help from them of say groceries for my birthday.  I’ve lived with my father but I was ignored.  Like not even told there was dinner ready ignored.  No one noticed my good grades, no one noticed how hard I was working at university, or the fact that I never asked them for anything.  Ever. (Except for that line of credit in 2007) I overdosed at 18 on Valium and slept in my bedroom for two days and no one noticed.  When I got married in 2011, my mother and stepfather didn’t attend my wedding, nor did I receive a card or a present.  I noticed my youngest step brother got married this past month, my invitation seemingly lost in the mail.  My stepfather made it to his wedding I learned.  My stepfather.  He taught me some things and helped me different times but he was more of the same.  There, then not there, then don’t call me.  

 

All this stuff seems to come up when I go through a flare.  I guess it’s because it’s when I feel most vulnerable.  I so wish I could hear an encouraging “I love you” or a hug or “I’m sorry that you’re having these problems, can we help?”  I hear my partner talking to her mom and sister on the phone and there’s always this little piece of me that breaks a little inside.

 

My parents are getting older, approaching their seventies and I know that things will never be resolved with us.  The chaos I grew up in, the things that happened to me and not having their help, their protection, their guidance or love.  Even my health needs went unmet which in turn has complicated my health now.  In today’s world, I would have been removed from that home.  I saw things and knew things children should never know or be exposed to.  Nothing…  There will never be anything different with them.   

 

Seeing how difficult it is to attain mental health help in addition to the family doctor I am waiting for, 2 years now.  I felt like the only means available to me is to write about it.  I can’t afford the treatments that many people have access to and I have no health coverage.  The only thing I have is my writing.  I have hesitated to really put things out there for a long time.  I already got yelled at by my brother because of “how I write about our parents” he is my step mother’s son from her previous marriage.  Her only child.  He got taken care of well.  Very well.  I on the other hand was not her problem.  He doesn’t realize that despite us living under the same roof for 6 years we have lived very different lives.  

 

My family doesn’t care about me.  I have one cousin that I wish lived closer but I even tend to keep her at arm’s length because I don’t trust she’ll stay in my life either.  My now ex wife cheated on me and we divorced in 2014 so yeah, now I have some serious abandonment issues and PTSD and chronic pain and poverty and bad credit and all the other shit that comes with being chronically ill.

 

I prefer for people to think of me as witty and happy and clever so I tend to only write when I’m feeling upbeat but that isn’t realistic.  Life isn’t always like that.  Sometimes, life is just shit.  

 

I hope I feel better tomorrow.

 

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

 

Image

“Mangrove Trees” by 9comeback  www.freedigitalphotos.net 

 

These Days

I am having a bad day.  I’ve been dealing with physical pain the last few days.  This always happens with a season change.  It starts with the sleepless nights.  The tossing and the turning.  Sleepless because my legs and feet ache.  A cold throbbing ache through to my bone that refuses to subside no matter how I position myself.  Next it’s the neck pain.  I am writing this currently with a hot magic bag wrapped around my neck.  Then the spine pain.  I’m eating Tylenols like Pez while propped up by pillows and have broken out the space heater.  In the meantime, I wanted to post at least twice a week to the Blog Broad but it’s difficult to be witty when you’re in pain.  All I want to do is ensconce myself in fleece and watch things that make me cry.  I like to hide that part of myself; the sick part of myself.  I prefer to retreat like a wounded animal far away from people.   I feel like I have nothing of importance to say or pass on on days like this.  It takes a big toll on my confidence.  I spend these days in a state of anxiety and nothing I write is ever good enough. 

On “these days” I am going to post “Guest Pieces”.  By a good friend of mine. I am urging her to start her own blog because she is a fabulous writer and I really enjoy her style. Last year she wrote a book and is in the process of finding a publisher. I read her book. Not only was it full of humor and things I could relate to, I couldn’t put it down and finished it in a couple of days. I really hope she finds a way to get it out there for other people to enjoy. She is a teacher by career, so her life is incredibly busy. Until she starts her own blog up she’s going to occasionally send me pieces and I will share them here.  

Stay tuned for guest posts by Ocean Hayward … 

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