Fuckin’ Perfect

Brave.

I’ve been hearing that a lot lately in regards to both my professional life and my private, personal life.

Yet I sit here and my eyes overfill and pain spills down my face. I listen to this and I tell myself I am not what they say I am.

Pink “Fuckin Perfect”on Vimeo.

I can ignore it for a long time. I can give second chances. I can forgive, I have forgiven, I will forgive again. again. again.

But what I will not do is submit myself to the abuse that others dish out with no regard.

I don’t know how it happened. How it all came to blows on the same day, the same moment.

I was making a professional resignation from an organization I’ve been a member of for nearly a decade.  Y’know what. Wait. Let’s be clear here. The people  in that organization have become family to me. We’ve fought, argued, debated, grown, and always–always we’ve loved.  It is not those people I walked away from, those people joined arms in support and walked away as well. It’s really two of the officers of the now disbanded Indiana Horror Writers that I took a stand against. A couple of the officers made some poor choices with sexist language and after trying to deal with it as a group, without resolution, six of us gave our resignations and ended our affiliation with the Indiana Horror Writers. One of us has control over the digital assets of the organization and we’ll see what happens next.  The two men we had problems with are forming another group, people are taking sides. More than that though, I’m accused of being unprofessional, a liar, unreasonable. My posts were deleted, I was removed from the organization’s forums, blocked from one of the officer’s Facebook friends list, was told I couldn’t resign because I wasn’t an officer, talked about in a private forum I was removed from, but all the while told that the doors are open and it’s a safe and comfortable place to discuss the issues. I was told it’s my fault. The message is clear: Shut up.

Safe does not equal degrading me, attempting to shut me up, or trying to control me.

At the very moment I hit submit, and I’m really not kidding, the very moment, I received a phone call from my dad, who proceeded to tear me to shreds verbally. I was called names, accused of stealing money, threatened, and made to feel guilty because it’s my fault. I was hung up on more times than I care to count. And then, one time, the phone didn’t disconnect and I heard what dad was saying to my sister about me. I heard the names they were calling me. The message is clear: Shut up.

If I listen to these people I’m a liar, a thief, a bitchy broad, a hard head, I’m unprofessional, disrespectful, lazy, jobless, and nothing is enough. I’m not enough, I didn’t do enough, I don’t do enough, I’ll never be enough. Never.

{like when I was a child, I was a slut, a bitch, a whore, a liar, a thief, worthless, told that I should have never been born, told that I was brought into the world and can be taken out of it. I used to pretend I was adopted because that made more sense to me.}

I listen this the song again. again. again. Fuckin’ Perfect…

to drown them out.

because they think they’re the victims.
they cry about injustice and how they’re being wronged by me.

Months ago, they were all told how to fix the issues that came to a head on Monday. Resolutions were spoken. Ignored. Because they won’t own up to their parts, I am the punching bag.

{brave i am not}

After the dual meltdowns Monday morning, so much adrenaline ran through me I thought I’d puke. I was shaking so much for so long and I couldn’t make it stop. I cried more that day than I cried when my uncle hung himself and when my mom died.

I stood up and said, Fuck this. This is why my body is in adrenal failure. Because people who say they love me haven’t the first fucking clue of what it means. I will not submit myself to this for one more second. And if you hate me, it will eat you alive, not me.

You don’t like my attitude, my words, my language, my song? Leave. Yes. These are my true colors they have always been my true colors and one thing I have never, ever done is hid this side of me. So you go ahead and blame me so you don’t have to look in the mirror. So you don’t have to change. So you don’t have to own up to what you did. You go ahead and post about me and talk about me and call me names. Tell stories so people take your side.

I do not care if another soul on this earth believes me or thinks I’m a horrible. Turn the whole world against me if you must. I am ok with that. I thought I couldn’t live with these decisions, but I found out I can.

This is not brave. This is survival. This is the last straw in a long line of straws that I have allowed to decimate my physical, mental, and emotional health. If you think this is about just one little incident, think again. It’s about a lifetime of people treating me like shit and I’m not doing it any longer. So if that means leaving organizations I love and walking away from people I love, so be it. Go tell someone else what I horrible bitch I am. I’m not going to shower myself in insults and bathe in lies. I’m not going to eat your hurtful words nor drink your warped version of love.

Dream-Warrior Angels

I had a dream the nigh before last.

God was sending me in to clean up a mess. Before I went to the place he was sending me, 2 angels appeared. One stood in front of me, one stood behind me. They were both warrior angels. Very tall compared to me at 5’2″. I’d say they were 6’7″ or so. They raised their arms around me. They were like wings, but not wings. God commanded them to pray and held His hand over the top of us. There was a surge of power so incredible it is beyond description.

 

The angels prayed protection prayers over me for a really long time.

 

I was then with my Uncle Ed. He had on a blue, down winter coat. We walked up to the red house I was supposed to clean. It was overtaken by tall dead grass on the outside. When we got to the door, there was a decrepit voodoo doll hanging in the window. We opened the door and I was saying, “Wow. No one has been here since we lived here.” I then realized it was the Westville house. We started scrubbing everything clean.

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Rooted {Listen to Your Mother}

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The barren branches of a mature lilac bush shiver as winter’s breath exhales on them. From the warm and peaceful place inside our new home where I sip my coffee I see them.

Stripped down.

Fragile leaves and blooms gone. Awaiting spring.

Thick branches crossing over one another. Roots unseen stand through the bitter cold.

I used to believe my mom was a weak woman.

Physical, emotional, and spiritual abuse by many different men in my young years ripped through my innocence like rain on tissue paper. She was supposed to be my umbrella. Big and obvious. Shielding and protecting, not folded up in the corner.

I didn’t want to be a girl. I wanted to play football and tackle. Play Army and shoot. In fourth grade, I shoved my knee hard into the boys because I knew where to hurt them so I could watch them fold over, cower, and cry. I wanted to be a truck driver. I refused to wear dresses, and she knew why.

When I watched the 1985 Chicago Bears Superbowl, she said to me, “Girls don’t watch sports.” I never did figure out who she wanted me to be. I just knew it was never who I was, so I stopped trying to please her and everyone else, and I took the sopping wet and torn tissue paper life and recycled it into something more like a cardboard shipping tube.

And I ran.

Away from that life and dysfunction. I met a gorgeous cowboy driving a semi in a traffic jam. I became a truck driver. A couple months later I ran away with him to a new life, a new state, a new family. I learned to stop hurting boys.

Mom called regularly. We made fun of her for always asking what we were making for dinner. I taught my husband Slovak cuisine handed down from my mother, the only part of my heritage I wanted anything to do with.

She visited often. Then I had a boy. She stayed with me after his birth because my husband was still over the road, only home only one out of every twenty-nine days. She hated pictures of herself, and except for a few of my newborn photos, I don’t have a single image of the two of us. She let me take a few of her with my boy, though.

We fell on hard financial times soon after, and mom welcomed us back into her home. I hated being there. Failure washed over me. I did nothing but work to get out of there. Just like before. And I did. I got as far away as I could.

She visited often. And called to ask what we were making for dinner.

Then doctors found a five-centimeter brain tumor on Dad’s birthday. She had brain surgery on their thirty-ninth wedding anniversary, and she could no longer talk, and she tried to write notes but strung all her words together into one big long word, then just letters and numbers and then she was dead in eight weeks.

It wasn’t until then that I realized how constant, consistent, and predictable she was.

The deep roots of her love are like the veins and arteries of my heart pumping, beating, giving life. The branches of her love, even when exposed and bloomless in winter’s grasp, still reached out and survived. The lilac blooms of her love, the ones that happen quick and fade fast but are full of fragrance–that was her laughter.

I started to see how fiercely she loved. How her protection wasn’t in the fight, but the hearty nature through harsh climate, the slow and steady growth of downward roots and outstretched branches, the expected budding, the hopeful blooms.

I don’t have her to run away from anymore and I find myself running toward things. I make art now to speak the words my soul can’t bear saying. I take pictures of expecting mothers who are full of joy and full of baby. I take picture of moms who smiling lovingly at newborn wrinkles because my mom’s frown in all the photos I possess hurts my heart. I take pictures of families and of moms and daughters so that the daughter will have at least one photo of her and her mom to cling to because I don’t. I try to fix things for people who don’t even know and will one day silently thank God for it.

She didn’t physically visit my last house. And she won’t physically visit this new one. But this old lilac bush will soon be full with lush greenness and spotted with purple cascades that have waited out the harshest winter and it will inhale the warmth of a new season.

Insecurity, Trucks, Planes, Trains, and Labyrinths

Dream last night. I was at a party in Florida taking pics. I took a bunch of the people there and someone asked me how long it would be until they would see them and I told them a few days.

We were all sitting outside and the sun started setting. I pointed to it and told this guy I dated in high school to turn around and look, it was purple. He wouldn’t. Then someone else sat down and said the same thing and he looked and said he thought I was lying. I was upset he thought I was lying.

I got up to get a beer from inside the house. I went to the front deck and sat down and took some pics of the sunset and this baby crawled up and went to sleep on me. I took him to his parents.

I sat in a booth with DiNozzo from NCiS and he was waiting for this girl to get there. It was getting late and he was flirting with me and then she show up with an autographed baseball shaped coffee mug worth millions. He completely ignored me and focused on her.

I was sad that nobody liked me or looked forward to seeing me so I got in a pickup and drove to the airport (in Houston LOL) there was a weird labyrinth thing people were walking through and I couldn’t figure out how they got in. I climbed to the top where there was a very small platform with toy trains and Legos on it but I had to crawl instead of walk because it was so compact. I climbed down and then finally asked someone how to get in and these two nice guys started to tell me when a woman came running by us screaming that her scarf was yanked off her and got caught in the turning labyrinth platform and it was ruined. The airport people shut it down, got her scarf and turned it back on. The two guys led me through and then we sat down in movie theater chairs (kinda but like a huge couch) and they told me this is where we wait to vote. And we waited.

Uhm. Ok? LOL

Military Dreams

In the first one, the government wooed people to join this project and promised all this wonderful stuff. When the project started though, the military’s mission was to starve us out. They cut off our food supply, but no one really knew. We just received smaller deliveries. I had noticed early on so I’d been rationing our family’s food.

In the second one, I had enlisted, or was thinking of enlisting. I was on a bus full of teenagers also enlisting. We were being driven to the ocean for a weekend drill. There were these condos that everyone had their phones out taking pictures of saying that’s where we’ll be for the weekend…oceanfront condos!  They were talking about parties (and I knew it wouldn’t be they way they thought it would.) I looked back and said to myself, aloud, “Wow. They’re all just babies.”

It was night as we arrived and it was about to storm. Two women in civilian clothes told us to run into the cornfield across the street and everyone else listened. They were picking up these squares of sand (looked like carpet squares, but made out of sand) and they piled them on a flatbed semi along with rocks and driftwood. One lady asked why I wasn’t participating and I told her I was not about to run around a cornfield in the lightening to pick up sand and sticks in the dark. The sun was starting to come up by now and I walked away from her, pulled out my phone, and took pictures of the sunrise.

Truck Driving Dream

A dream I had last night:

Phil and I were doing something in the house, I can’t remember what. We headed outside to look at (or watch) something, some event. There were quite a few people gathered outside forming a crowd…seems like it was on a farm because there was a lot of land, a barn off in the distance and barbed wire fences.  It was raining. There was a semi in the driveway and I knew if I got up in it, I’d be able to see above the crowd. I climbed in and the scent was familiar, very familiar. It was the scent of my mom’s clothes, but I knew that wasn’t possible. The window was down, I was in the driver’s seat looking out to the crowd and I still couldn’t see too well. The scent in the truck was real. It was my mom.

I turned to see if she was in the sleeper and I saw a  green,  heavy canvas duffel bag  with the E, J, & E Logo on it. The railroad my mom worked at and retired (twice!) from. I was certain, then, that I was not insane and my mom was truly occupying this semi.

I called out the window to Phil and told him what was inside. He climbed up and looked at the bag and was as surpri

sed as I had been. He got out of the truck and I sat there for a few minutes wondering where my mom was if she wasn’t in the truck.  I stared at the bag trying to recall when she’d got it. “The J,” as everyone called it,  gave stuff like that as safety awards and mom was always coming home with something.

Mom saw I was in the driver’s seat so she went around to other side and got in. I had this conversation with her, “You’re driving a truck?!” and she was so excited that she got to travel and see the United States. She asked if I realized what company she was driving for and I hadn’t, so I looked out my door and saw the Prime, Inc logo on the door of the yellow truck. “You have a  yellow truck just like the one we had?!”  She shook her head yes.

“So do you like driving?”  She did.

“Isn’t it hard for you? You’re not good at directions.”  She said that with GPS, she could go anywhere without getting lost.  Good point, mom.

I started giving her tips about truck driving, she was asking questions, I was answering. Telling her stories of when Phil and I were on the road together. She mentioned us going over the road again and I talked about Zane still being in school, but we did enjoy it (for the most part) when we were driving together.

* * *
And that was it. Weird.  Logos. Colors. Past employment. My mom, who has been gone 19 months now.