BLUFF!

He texted before my alarm went off. Naturally, I was jumpy all night and woke to every unusual sound. When I heard the ping, I went faint in my bed. I’m still feel shaky.

“Your cats will be fine. When will you be out?”

I was prepped for attack and misunderstood. “No. You have no grounds to remove me. The eviction remains unlawful.” Then, “Ah, misread that. Jax,” I continued. “You know when I’ll be out.”

“Just stop. When will you be out?”

“WE’ve said it a million times.” I’d be damned if I’d play into his fantasy that I’m holding some arbitrary date over their head when I have no option to leave before Oct. 1. We’ve discussed this so many times, initially in an effort to best meet both of our needs.

This was planned a month-and-a-half in advance, and he chose the date. I wasn’t being arbitrarily obstinate. I consider these conversations evidence now, and an answer might imply that I’m manipulating the situation somehow. I’m not willing to risk Lost In Translation in a court setting. He knows my move out date. He chose it, and it’s been confirmed innumerable times via text.

I’m not playing into ridiculous behavior, both as a matter of principle and to protect myself. I won’t risk inadvertently supporting their story. It’s a lie.

“I’m probably canceling my Europe trip,” he continued, “largely thx to you being unreasonable and unpredictable,” adding, “So thx.”

“You gave me the date to begin with. You are the unreasonable ones. You are the author of your own behavior. I’m not responsible for anything you’ve done this weekend or for the rest of my tenancy.” “And your trip has nothing to do with me, but thank you for thinking so highly of my sway and influence.” (Come on, I couldn’t help it.)

“I can’t even have my family over for dinner without you making theatrics.”

“That’s not what you did. You terrorized me and ruined your own night.” (And they hadn’t stopped by for dinner. He left to get the groceries only after they didn’t get what they wanted from the police, and decided to torture me the whole night by staying.) “Take responsibility for yourself. For all my fuck ups, I always did.”

“Anyhow, no reason to discuss with you anymore other than to say give us our space on the rare occasion we stop by.” HAHAHAHA! Stop when you’re beat, more like. BLUFF.

I’ve never done different! I begged – literally cried, screamed, and begged for space from them. The only alteration to this has been their egregious behavior.

I had been rapid-writing and didn’t even read that until after the volley was finished. I continued with the thread above. “You know damn well an illness is not theatrics. You know who I am and you know exactly what you did.”

I HAVE NEVER MISREPRESENTED MYSELF AND I ALWAYS TAKE RESPONSIBILITY, even when I hate myself utterly for having to, repeatedly.

He’s willing to ruin his own joy to cling to their ridiculous narrative that I’m responsible for the weekend’s shameful events. I did everything I could to avoid it. I feel no guilt or ownership. I also feel absolutely no care or compassion for either of them, and no need to anymore. I don’t feel anything much more than shock and pity. You know how that’s thrown around derisively. “I feel sorry for…” whomever. I really do.

For god’s sake, take a trip! Nothing has changed but you. Take a load off and breathe.

I blocked him then, seeing that I would soon be unable to remain, in fact, reasonable in an emotional situation that has scared the holy fucking shit out of me. I survived it.

Oh my god. I can hardly stand today. It is ALL spent, the whole reserve. I’m tapped.

Fight-or-flight is still right under the surface. Tears, too. Passion and hatred have to hover close beneath, as well, but I just don’t feel the ugly burden of that dark prison right now. Maybe I will after the adrenaline fades, or when I safely land in my new home. I don’t know. This is brand new for me. Usually, it’s all I feel, immediately, to the exclusion of all else. It takes a looong time to process the protections of rage and hate before I can go, in Truth, and heal the wound underneath. Right now, I feel FREE. Almost.

What a gross man. He found a wife to suit him perfectly. I can’t begrudge a good fit.
And I don’t care about it.

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Murky Full Moon

I still feel spun near the center of a Universal smack-down, but ebbing out of the survival zone. Last month’s eclipse is still with me and hurting, specifically because my success at having fun with it made it all the more bittersweet. Sometimes it makes me sad to watch how good I am at having fun. I don’t know how to explain that, except to say that the little girl growing up beaten, abandoned, furious, and scared to death just figured out how. And this middle-aged gal still has it. How can that be sad?

It’s bittersweet, too, because though I was able to make a truly joyous occasion of it, I could simply have gone home and enjoyed my family, the spectacular countryside, and the magic. I chose instead to scrape out another miracle of mood-alteration. I guess I needed to believe I still could. Nice it didn’t take drugs, like the old party girl would.

I hope in the second half of my life, I’ll finally let go the need to prove myself to myself. It’s like the first half was so hard, especially the nascent beginning, that I simply refuse to believe that anything is real or solid or sticking around if it doesn’t just suck.

Thing is, that’s childish, and I’m the only one who can grow up, or refuse to. I’m in danger of not doing it at all if I don’t get this shit behind me, like, yesterday. I’m 44.

Christie, trust that the skills are in there to enjoy and appreciate magic and beauty every day. They don’t disappear or stop coming if you know that. Expecting miracles is different from taking them for granted. They’re your right and your routine.

I suspect that they’ll become more powerful if I let them in every day, rather than needing each one to be epic. It’s just the way it is. I’m connected and I know it. So are we all. Nothing special, just a walking marvel, ‘s all.

So, here I am in full moon energy during the day, a red-gray sun snuffed by wildfires severe enough to cause evacuations in northern Utah. It’s bad. The throat and eyes sting, mountain beauty’s blotted out, and the whole damned planet is burning or flooding or turning night at midday, just 2-odd weeks ago. It’s eerie and spooky, and everyday run-of-the-mill. It all is, and I’m busy cleaning up the mess I’ve made, of my life, my family, my namesake, my most important friendship, and my last relationship.

****

Today, this memory popped up on Facebook. It seemed especially poignant and timely, so I’m marking it here to make myself accountable. Of the memory, I wrote:

“Two years ago, the last of my 3 best girlfriends left Salt Lake City. At that time, I began planning my move, too, to the next phase/location of my adventure, but found continued wonderful reasons to stay, as one does. The last month+ has got me asking the Universe, sincerely, “Is Utah kicking me out?” I’m anchored through November with a passion project 24 years in the making, which would make any big transitions impossible until the end of whatever lease I’m able to come up with next month, which tells me: ONE YEAR. My life purpose for one year is to look at 20 years in the Promised Land and squeeze in all the personal goals I meant to reach but didn’t, face character deficits I ignored or pretended away, and set myself up for the second half of my life. I don’t want to leave next year, but I’ll have a picture of and real progress toward a clear 5-yr intention, with no particular destination in mind. What’s next? It’s terrifying, exciting, bittersweet. It’s time.”

jojo's good-bye

Jojo’s good-bye… Germany, here she comes! Aug. 29, 2015

 

Hard Day

Rehearsal was rough. These things happen. There was technical difficulty that pushed us behind by an hour and a half, and our music director was left to scramble to fit everything in after that.

First, let me say how much I love this woman. She is indomitable, and delightful! It was an example of “rolling with it like an adult” that I needed to see right now.

That being said, she quite accidentally ended up keeping me at a rehearsal that never even got to me. In total, with drive time and rehearsal hours stacked together, I spent 6 hours of my day to rehearse for no more than 20 minutes, and when I got home I had nothing left.

I’d hoped to come home to a nice solar-cooked meal, ready to tidy the house and pack just one box. Baby steps, but progress I could feel good about. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get my scattered self to settle or do anything more than pace and move piles. I thought I’d be done by noon, but didn’t get home til 3, and my solar cooker didn’t get the rotation it needed, or the seasoning, it seems. I was demoralized by the failure even to feed myself like a grown-up, and spent the rest of the afternoon searching online for apartments or roommates with no luck, consequently worrying (panicking), and eating junk – chips chased by cookies – ’til I felt sick.

THEN… Jax let me know that he and his new, perfect, InstaDreamFamily would be stopping by to pick some things up and introduce the cute 10-yr-old kid to the cat they’ll be ripping away from me. It had, until today, given me a modicum of pleasure to imagine Jax’s beautiful boycat Ollie with a sweet little human boy.

They didn’t pick some things up and “meet the cat.” They plaaayed. Like, forever. In the house, in the yard, in the garden. I couldn’t hide from their joy, and I started to freaking lose my shit. I went into my room to cry alone, but it soon became clear that if I didn’t stop crying soon, I wouldn’t stop at all tonight – or for days! Who knows? – so when it got quiet and I knew they were outside again, I peered out of my room looking for Jax.

I was sick. My heart was pounding. My stomach was in knots. I thought I’d just breezily poke my head out and ask Jax to come “look at something.” Luckily, he was inside right then and I safely started crying in front of him alone, without disturbing anyone else or humiliating myself. I asked him, “How much longer?” and he was put out.

Look, I get that you own this home, but I live here, too. And there’s a difference between stopping by and shoving your family fun day in my face. (I had appreciated the “heads up.” It had been a herculean task to get that much from him, but I was grateful.)

Less than 2 months ago, we were still talking about our possibilities for family planning! It killed me to endure their bliss today. What don’t you understand about gradual exposure? He’s such a jerk! Just rude! He’s so inconsiderate, literally doesn’t even consider me. He never did, and I’m so ashamed and embarrassed that I didn’t have the sense to notice it before he traded me in for her. I was pretending with a man who not only did not love me, but didn’t even think of me! Even when he was here!

I did so well. I was actually grateful for a do-over with his lady love. When he brought her home for their first [only] overnight here – that he didn’t alert me to because, again, I never occur to him – I wasn’t able to meet her graciously. I didn’t throw shade, but I couldn’t manage anything beyond a terse, “Hello.” I did force a half-smile, but I wished I could be… different.

I mean, at bare minimum a decent housemate would let me know there would be a Walk of Shame in the morning. “FYI, just because you live here,” kind of thing, right? The real truth of that morning’s Walk of My Shame was a feeling of, “You’re out. She’s in, and here it is in in your face, no warning! ‘Cause the joke’s on you, stupid girl who screwed her roommate and then got screwed.”

Do you think maybe I ought to be aware that there’s a stranger in my house? If, for no other reason, than to give me the option, upon waking on a Saturday morning set to deep clean my home, not to sing out loud, talk to “the cats,” and humiliate myself in front of a woman who didn’t mean to but absolutely DID humiliate me.

Not even an fyi? Any flexibility there? No. A haaard NO. Got it.

Jax never cared about me at all.

Today, I extended my hand to her and apologized that I’d been unable to greet her more warmly then, and she accepted very kindly. A little too happily for my desolate and lonely mood, but she’s a nice enough girl.

(As far as I’m concerned, she sounds a little dumb, frankly. Jax – God knows why! – told me about how sweetly she was pitying me one day. “But she’s so pretty,” she said. Like, is that supposed to make me like her? And – yet again, the dismissive pressure to be different than I am – pretty girls aren’t permitted to feel pain? Duh!)

So here they are, playing, laughing, loving, lingering, and I’m in so much pain. How long would they have stayed? If I hadn’t said anything, my heartache wouldn’t have entered his consciousness at all. Not one thought for me.

Right now I feel like I hate him again, and I hate that!

A lot o’ tears and melancholy tonight.

And I can’t find a place to move! With nothing. I got rid of almost everything when I moved in here, and now that’s what I’m left with. Alone.

I did not get here alone, but I get to be here alone. And I hate him for that today.

By the way, I’m just gonna be catty about the way that girl was dressed. You could never convince me that that outfit was not showing the ex-girlfriend who’s got the man now. Those were the tightest, tiniest underwear-masquerading-as-jean-shorts I’ve ever seen. And a crop top.

Just wear a bikini next time, and spare the pretense. Honestly! I get that you love showing your shit. And she looked great! For real. But that was a “Who’s got him now?” moment if I’ve ever seen one.

I mean, I wear booty shorts. At home. Those were panties I would wear at Burning Man, except for the tacky denim styling. She wanted to show her goods to me as much as anyone. I really don’t trouble myself with her much, or even begrudge some woman her joy, but that was no mistake. That was for show, and for me.

She’s cute. She didn’t look awful in her waaay-too-tight short shorts, but I certainly wouldn’t walk around in public like that. And I wear crazy shit! But congratulations, and all that. Wag your little hiney for your fat man – who’s down over 20 POUNDS since meeting her! – and make sure I see without doubt that you won.

Got it.

For my part, I haven’t worn make-up in months, except to the audition. I knew they were coming, and I didn’t even brush my hair. ‘Cause I don’t give a shit and I’ve got nothing to prove! I’d gone to rehearsal with wet hair, and was left with that fuzzy, unstyled nest look, without product and not a stitch of make-up. Not even lip stain to boost my mood or compete with her age. I don’t care. I just want to live my life and be left alone by people who took my Everything, and left me to wallow in it alone and bawling. It was an illusion, of course, but I didn’t see that until they got together and took it away.

I’ve never cried so much in my life. That’s the truth. It’s been almost 2 months of tears. I am so tired.

Just get your shit and go. You know what? That’s how I feel about it now, and I’m letting myself feel it, dammit! Yeah, it’s your house, but it’s my home. You’ve already become a plug-n-play Daddy and moved out. So get out! And don’t bring your shit-smelling sunshine to my safe place and shove my nose in it. Unlike you, I have nowhere else to go! I’m crawling out of my skin as it is!

Give me an ever-loving BREAK!

One last thing that I haven’t permitted myself to even think about until today is this: This girl – I sympathize with the things I know about her history that Jax SHOULD NEVER HAVE TOLD ME – ran away from an abusive relationship in the Midwest, after a trauma she endured in April that’s too horrifying to mention. She proposed to Jax after they’d known each other for FIVE weeks – and for 3 of those, she had gone back to the abusive ex who followed her out here! If you don’t see red flags all over this girl… Well, shit.

And it’s none of my business, so I haven’t even permitted these dark thoughts. I don’t want to spend my time hoping for their demise. I don’t hate that girl, and I loved Jax once. I want people to be happy, generally. These people, I just don’t want to see again.

There’s more.

I do feel a tremendous amount of guilt for the judgement in my heart on one issue: SHE HAS A SON. How dare you bring a man you do not know into a child’s life without any assurance that he’s not as effed up as the last guys you’ve dated? Do you know how much danger minors are in under the same roof with men who aren’t their fathers? Risk goes up further when he’s not even step-dad. Obviously, it doesn’t matter beyond her own romantic fantasy how “dreams” can become a nightmare for an innocent child!

She met Jax on the 4th of July, and they’re already shacking up. You’re a mother!

At that point, I’d stop dating, get my shit together, and care for my son. Period! That precious boy should be the only man in her life, not the men who come calling when that ass gets waggin! I’m sorry. It’s none of my business, but it was in my face, and that makes me mad. I was molested. I know danger. Single mothers are targeted by bad men. You should be more vigilant than any parent! Shame on that mother.

It just so happens that she hit the jackpot with Jax. He’s a reliable man, strong, hard-working, likable. I can’t think of a better step-dad to guide and mentor that little boy, and heal some of the things he’s seen that he didn’t choose. And Jax is in love with this girl, like he never was with me, so she won’t have the problems with intimacy we had. Jax unconsciously eliminated all invitations for closeness by coming home from work (in actual dirt) and marinating in his own stink, with headphones in to plug me out, until I gave up and went to bed alone. Nothing in his behavior invited intimacy or fostered love. I’m the idiot who thought we could make something work from that.

I’m the girl you fuck and leave behind when the Primrose Family moves to town. It sucks. He didn’t do it on purpose or with malicious intent, but that’s what I’m left with.

Geez, do you think he has a type? The girl you rescue, maybe? She obviously plays the damsel in distress much more cleverly than I do. He gets to feel like the protector, and why shouldn’t he? He is that guy!

For that young mother playing fast and loose with a 10 yr-old boy’s safety, that’s pure luck, and I sorta don’t have a whole lot of respect for her. I know, I know, it’s easy to judge when you’re not a mother, but that’s risky behavior, bottom line. A vulnerable child can’t choose for himself. He’s at her careless mercy. They’re lucky Jax is good.

As for this messed-up girl, Yours Truly, I’ll die before letting you see how scared I am, and how much I crave tenderness, without any ability – STILL – to generate it, offer it, or accept it. It’s just how my violent childhood shaped my energy into a sometimes very-aggressive response to intimacy. I push you away when I need you most.

Jax and I were both unapproachable, and stupid enough not to notice long ago how pathetic and hopeless we were. I’m embarrassed, bereft; he’s on to “next.”

It kills me. So that’s where I am tonight. With monstrous emotions of hate and envy eating me alive AND a prayer in my heart for this woman who stole my dream, and for her sweet boy who’s going to love the cat I’ll miss more than Jax.

I don’t hate Jax or his girlfriend. I don’t wish them ill.
And I hate them both. And hope they fail.

You know, the easy stuff.

Eclipsed and Bitter

And tongue-in-cheek as ever. That’s a good sign.

I’m recording my thoughts in real time, to edit and add to during the day from my desk. My ugly, utilitarian desk in a warehouse in a ugly industrial complex in the bowels of Salt Lake City. I should be enjoying the TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE, complete with good viewing weather, and that amazing, once-in-a-lifetime solar corona, in my beautiful, mythic Western Idahome.

But I’m not. Because my family sucks. And I fit right in, ‘cuz I suck the hardest!

I’m getting my wicked sense of humor and strange spirituality back, the dance between naughty and nice I so enjoy about my life, and I’m on the road to recovery. But make no mistake: This day is not easy for me, and I’m very cranky about it.

IT WAS MY BIRTHRIGHT, you bastards!

Bitter is easier than weepy. *sigh*

I’m drinking a 6-pack of cold Coronas with lime after work to commemorate missing the cosmic corona of my life. That’s something I couldn’t do if I’d experienced this day with my family, with God, and the Mormons.

So there’s that.

*SOUR!*

I’m quite enjoying full indulgence in this tantrum, if I’m honest. It’s fun, and a relief from pressure to call on the strength of my higher self. I’m actually doing much better emotionally, and in all other areas of life, having given myself permission to just be a brat. I’m not adulting today. Deal with it!

****

Hashtag This Is Happening!

The moment I saw the eclipse beginning I started maniacally hooping in the parking lot of my ugly industrial building, and making a TOTAL FOOL OF MYSELF, in honor of the total solar eclipse I’m still furious for missing. We’re visible from a very busy road, and I’m super out of hoopractice, so I looked gooood and foolish.

I’ve been laughing so hard!

God, it feels good!

It’s been a long time since I did anything other than cry and rage. Hardest summer/romantic break-up/familial divorce/pet emergency of my LIFE!

Seriously, Universe? Why you gotta pile on? What else you got for me?! I can take maybe one more thing, and then you better lay off while I do the work of getting myself re-situated and well.

Let this partial solar eclipse – that I’m pissed as hell about – be that one more thing, the cosmic smack-down that I’m finally willing to listen to, and have done with it. 91% is NOT GOOD ENOUGH!

And guess what? I accept it. OK, Universe? I accept. I’m okay with that right now.

I am chastened, humbled, reminded, censured, redirected, embraced. I’m ready now.

And I’m having fun! I’m so relieved.

*sigh*

****

Well, I just hula hooped for an hour in my parking lot with coworkers. I don’t even have jealousy in my heart for missing the TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE in my Idahome town.

91% ain’t bad, folks. Not bad at all. I’ll take it! … With joy, with zeal, and maybe even a modicum of humility for a minute.  

*sigh*

My mom always warned me, “Perfect is the enemy of good.”
Dare I say it? … Mother was right.

That really was cosmic, and I feel great.

bowing to the mother

Bowing to the Mother

group photo

Making merry with fellow warehouse stiffs was the best thing I could have done!

warehouse meeting~ Supervisor Mark getting in on the ridiculous ~

When I learned my boss had gone to Burning Man one year, and came to know more about his wonderful wackiness, I started saying, “I KNEW this was the right job for me!”

He’s been a great friend and colleague.

(I’m not the best hooper – won’t devote myself to consistent practice – but one thing I’m good at is getting the shy-folk to JUST TRY IT. I won’t take no for an answer, whether you like it or not, and I love this pic of my colleagues in the hoop.)

We’ve been Eclipsed.

corona

I ended a beautiful day with Corona-and-lime to commemorate the Solar Corona I missed not going north to Idaho. That’s something I couldn’t do if I’d spent the eclipse with my family, with God, and the Mormons. Perfect!

Mother/Daughter Date

I should be at the Hyrum, Utah, cemetery right now. My mom, grandma, and I had plans to visit the graves of our ancestors, Sarah Ann Haigh and Louis Frederick Miller. Sarah Ann survived the crossing of the Martin Handcart Company.

We had tickets tonight to the Utah Opera Festival’s performance of Pirates of Penzance, one of my favorite musicals. They’re going without me.

This time last year was grandma’s 90th birthday. I drove all the way to Idaho, only to have a nervous breakdown and leave the campground in the middle of the night.

I’ve ruined everything. What’s the point of living a life like this?

All I’m hearing about these days is the total eclipse of the sun passing over my hometown, Rexburg, Idaho. It will be a 91% eclipse here in Salt Lake, but I wanted to go home. I mean, what are the odds? 100%!

I’m so sad.

The thing is, I didn’t ruin it. I had a breakdown, but it was ruined already. I can’t live the lie when my defenses are down. I tell myself they love me. I tell myself they care how I feel, how I’m treated. But when I’m depressed, when I need anything from them, they tell me what I’ve always known. I do not matter to them. Shut up, Christie. Shut up.

On the other hand, my grandmother has nothing to do with this. Am I really just going to let her life play out and never see her again? I was so excited to share this day with her, especially after I ruined last year. And I did ruin it, for myself. They still had a wonderful party, but I’m sure it was painful for her to see me and then have me disappear in the night after being rude and irritable.

I shouldn’t have gone. I almost didn’t. I was so filled with regret, and I thought the drive would be cathartic, windows down, singing at the top of my lungs. I pictured myself joyful for having taken action, feeling immediately better for not depriving myself of the celebration. I’d organized a family outing on the zip line over Heise Canyon. I knew my mood would lift if I just got there. “Go, Christie! You’re punishing yourself because you’re depressed. Just go! You’ll be so glad you did.”

I thought I was doing the right thing, but it absolutely backfired. It was awful.

They forgave me. That’s something. That’s the thing, though. I’m sorry when I screw up. I take responsibility for my mistakes. No one ever apologizes when I’m done wrong, when I hurt. When I ask them to, they double down on the blame. It’s my fault. I caused or aggravated it, so it no longer needs to be accounted for. I deserve it.

Get over it, Christie. Shut up.

It’s maddening. It’s crazy-making. I really can’t survive there.

I’m so sad.

Down The Rabbit Hole

I’m swirling down the drain over here. It’s a new me and I don’t really recognize her. The old me would be in bed, unable to function. This one’s at work.

I’m actually better at my job in the midst of existential ennui. I’m nice.

I’m having the strangest feeling of having left the matrix, seeing things for what they really are, and returning to the mundane world. I feel like I have intel that few eyes have seen. I certainly never saw it before. It’s a cinematic moment.

Useless information, really. I learned that I’m a fucking idiot.

So, yeah. I’m creating a whole new persona over here. I don’t know what it’ll be.

I think life is about finding out what you’re afraid of. At least that’s what I’ve been doing. To restate, life is about nothing. What I’ve been doing is creating meaning.

I no longer think life is about finding any sort of answer or solution. It’s just what you look for. I’ve been looking for fear. I found it. My whole life has been a process of finding the scariest thing I can possibly imagine. The next thing to happen is I live it! Lucky me! What am I afraid of and what will it do to me? What won’t kill you.

That’s the end of that sentence. I have no cute platitudes for you.

Once upon a time – 5 years ago when I created this blog – I thought the meaning of life was to forgive. Why else would I have landed in such a shithole of a family? I was born to people who would abandon and abuse me before I could form memories, and never stop. Later, the abuse would become a uniquely mental form of torture called gaslighting. If you don’t know what that is, look it up. (Or look to the behavior of our prezident and figure it out from context.)

I’m afraid of pain, I know that. Now my only goal in life is to get out of it. I’ve conquered emotional pain, inasmuch as I’m in it. It won’t kill me. I have no expectations of relieving it, so I’m not trying anymore. I don’t need to. I know how to live with it.

I need nothing. I don’t need love. I don’t need money. I don’t need family. I have none of those things and I’m still here.

I need a roof. For now. I mean, if the apocalypse comes, well, on that day I’ll figure out how to live without a roof. We’re not there yet.

I feel like this blog has served its function. Five years ago, I moved here and created an address. At wildwesterngirl.wordpress.com, I intended to learn to forgive. I failed.

Whatever’s next, it doesn’t belong here. I won’t move until I have an idea what I want from my new experience. Til then, you can watch the transition, if you like, though I think that sounds unfathomably boring. For me, it takes the form of lists. Endless lists. Have at it.

I suspect my next goal in life might be to find out if I can get out of this new-ish physical pain. Interestingly, it entered my life 5 and a half years ago, just after the first divorce from my family of origin.

I might fail. I’ve done it before. I’m going to try.

My next blog will probably end up being an insufferable fitness journey. I don’t about you, but I’d rather indulge a stranger’s circuitous voyage through mental anguish than read online about how some bitch lost 30 lbs.

But I think that’s where I’m headed. I hate that girl already.

Hey! I know how to do that! Halfway there!

  • TASK ONE: Fucking downsize. I have too much shit.

It is nice that I work at an organization that takes donated items and does good with them. Or means to. I like that.

Oh, no. Intention does matter. My family means well.

Good for them. I’ll perch them above Hitler, Drumph and other despots on the spectrum of assholes populating or once populating the planet.

  • INSIGHT ONE: I’m still a fucking Pollyanna.
    Fuck.
  • INSIGHT TWO: I’m a nihilist. I believe in nothing. Even my angels are a lie. They seem to exist only to demonstrate what a fucking idiot I am.

My family killed Fun Christie.
End of transmission.

Fun With Numbers

Today, my odometer passed 144,444 when the trip meter read 22.22.

Last week, I saw license plates with double ones, twos, threes, fours, fives, sixes, and sevens. “Alright, angels,” I issued the challenge. “If you show me eights and nines, I’ll be impressed.” I found eights, nines, and zeros! (I watch the road, too.)

On Sunday, I saw a plate that said Y73 9LV, which I took to mean 1973 9 lives. I saw a reminder to hang on. I don’t really want to anymore, but that’s what I read. Maybe it meant, “You’re almost done.” I like that better.

I’ve been crying since Friday. I finally told my father what my sister’s husband did to me 5 1/2 years ago. Naturally, I thought he’d be disappointed in his son-in-law and feel for me, but he dismissed the whole thing as my “perspective,” which clearly deserves no credence or compassion. I told him to ask my brother, who overheard it (and didn’t even come out of the room). (There was time.) I told him to ask my sister, who held her husband off of me, though she still denies it came to that.

My dad told me that if someone crossed the line in his house, he’d make sure they left, too. “You’d tell them to leave,” I said. “You’d be firm. You might even be angry, but you wouldn’t scream and curse at them. If they refused to leave or became combative, you’d remain calm and involve the police. They’d understand you were serious about protecting your home.”

“That’s what I would do,” he agreed.

“You would never physically threaten, menace, and terrorize a woman, run at her from upstairs, with your chest puffed out, purple-faced, fists clenched, veins popping, in your holy garments!”

“No,” he conceded, “I wouldn’t.”

How had I crossed the line? I was talking to my sister. It’s true we disagreed, but our voices never raised. We would quickly have come to understand each other, I imagine. If her husband hadn’t attacked me, I’m certain that my nieces, who witnessed the whole thing, wouldn’t have noticed the discussion at all. It wasn’t extraordinary.

He crossed the line! Even if we had been fighting, nothing can justify what he did. It was disgusting. It was violence intended to make me very aware of my vulnerability. I was meant to be terrified. And he didn’t tell me to leave the house. He just screamed, “Shut up, you bitch!” over and over and over. (I left.)

I told my dad that all these years I’ve dreamed that if he knew, he’d tell my sister’s husband he didn’t appreciate how he treated his daughter.

He defended him.

“Maybe you don’t consider me your daughter anymore.” He didn’t say otherwise. I really thought he’d find Dan’s behavior inappropriate. I would, even if I hated the person he did it to. It was wrong.

I don’t think I appreciated what that daddy rescue fantasy meant to me. It was ridiculous. My mother beat me for 19 years. He was there for 9 of them, and did nothing. When I finally punched her back… Well, she had me on the ground again, kicking the shit out of me. I finally stood up. Dad’s the one who kicked me out, and that was that. No one’s ever apologized.

(Incidentally, she had ripped my pajama top off. My father saw my naked breasts. In fact, he kicked me out while I standing there topless, still catching my breath.)

What should I have expected from the man who, when I confessed on my 17th birthday  that I wanted to kill myself, explained paternal responsibility to me? He thought of himself.

My father said that when he married my mother, he had made a commitment to God that he would protect and provide for our family.

“I’m the head of this family,” he explained. My heart was pounding so hard I could hear it. I thought he was about to say, “And without you, it wouldn’t be this family.” I thought he was going to tell me I mattered.

Here it was! He was going to tell me he loved me. I was special to him. To someone.

“Until you’re 18,” he continued. “I’m responsible for what happens to you.”

“Kill yourself next year,” is what I heard.

He was afraid of getting in trouble with God! He didn’t care about me at all. He should have wrapped me in his arms. He should have cared that I was in pain.

Not one person in my family has apologized for what Dan did to me. Not to take responsibility; Only he can do that and he’s not sorry. But I want someone to see me in here, to see that I’m hurting, that 5 1/2 years later this hasn’t gone away for me. Not one person has hugged me, held me while I cried, or told me they were sorry to see me in pain. Not one person has said, “I’m sorry that happened to you.” No one cares.

I should have protected the dream, I think, and never asked them to.

I was stunned to learn how truly unloved I am. I really didn’t understand how complete their disregard was. As far they’re concerned, I don’t deserve their concern. I’ve chosen a life of sin; I don’t matter. They absolutely do not care.

My heart is breaking.

I don’t know that I’ve ever felt loved. I don’t know that I could at this point.

I didn’t expect to be so upset. I just didn’t get it. I was living in a fantasy world. Well, yeah. The angels speak to me through numbers, but I believed this one. I needed it.

I don’t think they’re awful. I know they mean well. That’s different from saying they did their best. They didn’t, but it’s still true that they’re decent folk. They mean to do good, but they’re profoundly misguided. They’re sick. I mean, I’m sick. There’s a reason.

It’s best to divorce them for good. I’ve tried everything. I can’t keep doing this to myself. They literally make me sick. I need to recover at last and let these wounds become well-healed scars. I know that others have survived worse things. Some have gone on to live fulfilling, joyful lives, so certainly I can at least get by without this searing pain.

I have 9 lives. I have to be close to the end of those. Surely, I’ve saved the best for last.
chosen family

Oh God, this just keeps getting worse. I just asked my brother Aaron why he never stepped up for me, and he said I’ve rewritten history. He said he doesn’t remember Dan ever saying, “Fuck you, you bitch.” Neither do I. I’ve never said that.

Aaron just told me basically what my dad believes. So they’ve talked about this before. HE’S REWRITTEN HISTORY, TO DEFEND DAN! He told me he doesn’t remember any cursing or profanity, and that Dan never raised his voice! He did! He screamed, “Shut up, you bitch!” over and over and over. I know, because I was screaming back the whole time, “All I’ve ever said to you is thank you! Thank you for being a good provider! Thank you for being a good father,” which is easier than the truth, that my nieces know their daddy loves them, so long as they don’t deviate from his very narrow command on what they must be and act like. Over and over and over and over, until my sister screamed his name and I ran upstairs. (Melanie almost never yells, and she was pushing her whole body weight into her husband to counter-balance the rage of his violent lunge at me.)

A couple of times he said, “Don’t you ever stop talking!?” Hahahahahaa! and “You ARE a bitch!”  (That’s my favorite. He actually thinks I didn’t know his opinion of me. God, he’s stupid. All strong women are called bitch.)

“Shut up, you BITCH!” (I was playing nice for 20 years! I coulda made him miserable! “You call me bitch? Watch out! You’ve never met my bitch!”)

I didn’t say that. I just said thank you. Over and over and over until Mel yelled his name and I ran upstairs. IT HAPPENED.

I can’t believe this. I can hardly breathe. I was counting on Aaron. At this point, I don’t think he’s lying, but he is wrong. He was my only witness. I thought he’d step up for me, but he forgot the truth and sold himself and the whole damn klan a lie. He lied! To protect him! I’m losing it! They care so little they’ve rewritten a history that completely and utterly vilifies me. It nullifies me! It erases me.

Aaron, the one ally I thought I had left, has rewritten a history that protects that man.

That’s it. That’s all I can handle. That’s it. I’ve found it. I cannot handle any more than this. It happened. I’ll tell you what it is: It happened to me. That’s why it doesn’t matter.

And I’ll tell you who remembers: Dan. He knows what he did.

I’m not kidding, I can hardly breathe. Aaron was the one person I thought had my back. He was the one person I trusted. And he’s been telling them the whole time it never happened! Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god.

I’m such an ass. Of course they’ve discussed this before. That’s what they do. They get together and judge me. Then they find ways to make it all my fault, so they never have to take responsibility for the things they do to me. Then they tell themselves they’re good people, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Oh my god, I’m so stupid. I don’t want to wait another 5-10 years for my cats to die. I want to kill myself today. Oh my god.

(Aaron took me to the bus station the next morning. “I don’t want to put words in your mouth,” I said to him, “but I wouldn’t mind if you told Dan you didn’t appreciate how he treated your sister.”

He said nothing. Now I know why. It happened to me, so it didn’t matter. And now he’s rewritten history. Worse, he’s forgotten. Dan first screamed, “Shut up, you bitch,” from the top of the stairs. He was right next to the room Aaron occupied with his brand new bride. What followed is not just my perspective. It happened. My brother heard it. Dan yelled again and again, “Shut up, you bitch!” until I ran upstairs and hid, crying, not sleeping until I could get online in the morning and find a bus. It happened. And, like them, Aaron doesn’t care. It happened to me, so he said nothing. He did nothing. He lies like all of them. And he believes it. They all do! I don’t matter. Period.)

I’d love to know what Ali thinks. I’m afraid to assume – now that I have a picture of how the incident has shifted, at least in Aaron’s view, and what he’s has shared with our father – that she, too, has forgotten the hatred of women and seething, violent rage Dan betrayed that night. I just can’t imagine it, though! She’s such a strong, self-assured person. I just can’t fathom it. However, I also can’t imagine Aaron and Ali not discussing it thoroughly. They’re such a strong couple, with strong opinions, each, and respect and love for one another. I have to believe that she shares his memory of the event?

I’ll tell you, the only eye-witnesses other than my sister, who denied it completely right after it happened, only to come around when faced with evidence and EXCUSE HIM, because I “didn’t act afraid”: My nieces. (I was perfectly groomed after a life of violence to never show fear, duh. I’d die first before giving him that. It doesn’t mean I wasn’t positively terrified, and it certainly doesn’t mean he didn’t do it simply because he seemed to fail to achieve the desired frightened effect in me.)

They were very young, but I just can’t imagine they don’t clearly remember the night Daddy’s thinly-veiled hatred for Aunt Christie finally boiled over into dangerous, violent rage, the night Mom yelled at Dad for the first time ever, probably the last. Melanie is gentle, but she was scared, too. I can’t imagine the moment Daddy called Fun Aunt Christie a bitch, over and over again at top volume, isn’t seared on their brains.

They don’t have challenging personalities and they are all decidedly, devotedly Mormon, and they love do him. He’s their Daddy, their hero, as a papa should be. I want that for them. That’s why I thanked him that night. I had been for years.

It’s true I’ve never liked him, or what he’s done to my family. He’s a shameless racist, homophobe, misogynist bigot. We didn’t spend every meal denigrating Others and explaining and rehearsing our hatred of difference until Dan joined our family. I’m endlessly disappointed my dad didn’t notice the shift in conversation, but instead joined and emboldened it.

Years ago, I consciously chose to focus on the positive. My sister was happy. Dan had succeeded in ways my biological father hadn’t. And he had a talent with animals, which says a lot about a person. So I started pointing out his strengths and successes. I even gave him a church magazine I found about Daddy/Daughter dates as the oldest, Rachael, was entering her teens. He didn’t know what to do with kindness from me, so after a brief experiment to reach out, I decided to live side-by-side in the same family, with no personal involvement together. I would always speak up against prejudice. It was never a secret where I stood or when I disagreed. It’s wrong not to speak out against wrong. And my nieces needed to understand that they were never alone, no matter who they were or would become.

There’s the slimmest chance Rachael would remember accurately. She’s the oldest, and she’s an artist. She’s had the most challenging relationship with her father, but that is still cohesive compared to anything I’ve ever known of relationships.

Finally, I could never ask one of those horrified innocents to recall or report on when they witnessed. But having lost my one ally, I’m sorta dying here. My mind clamors for anyone else that was there, anyone to remember me. Anyone to see. Anyone to care.