Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Been Thinking Again

I 'm trying to figure out what I really, really want to do with the rest of my life. I've talked with therapist and counselors. I try to get ideas. I don't know what criteria one is suppose to use to make decisions that effect the rest of your life. Obviously, I want a career that pays well, that I can be very happy or satisfied with. My main problem is I have such diverse interest. I bore very easy. With my disorder, that will quickly spell disaster. At my age and with my job history, I don't need to keep changing jobs. I would love a job that would let me interact with people on a one to one basis and has some use for my experience in sales. About any job requires a basic knowledge of computers, so I'm covered on that front. I really like helping people. I like sitting down and discussing their needs and how best to meet them. I like being knowledgeable in what I'm doing. I also like being in charge. I don't handle stress very well. It usually leads to a depressive episode after a few months. I like learning and researching. I wish there were a way not to repeat the same mistakes over again, just accepting jobs for an income, but not really something you're interested in. If a job moves to slow or if it becomes too frustrating, it freaks me out too. It throws me all out of whack. I'm great at organizing, writing, instructing and team work. I hope I can figure something out. I can't avoid it by waiting on an inheritance or winning the lottery.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Rubber Ashtrays

This is a story about my ex. It isn't pretty. It's a memory I try to not dwell on.

We had been together for about 6 months. I was still drinking at the time. We still had separate abodes, but stayed over frequently and for long periods of time at each other's place. It begin as simply me wanting to visit and him not wanting to answer the door or the phone, though he knew it was me. Instead of responding to either one and politely saying he wasn't in the mood or whatever, he let it escalate. I had been out with friends at a bar, and therefore drunk. I became upset (very upset) after being ignored for over thirty minutes worth of repeated phone calls and knocking on the door. (I actually was knocking hard enough to put small dents in the metal door). So finally he cracks open the door and I push it open (I use to leg press 450#). Obviously at this point he is livid because I've been so insistent. I'm drunk and want to discuss what his problem is. He pushed. I pushed back. We ended up rolling around on the floor. Now I'm a lover not a fighter, and I really wasn't there to fight, so I was only trying to defend myself not inflict any damage on him. He was out for blood. He grabbed a glass ashtray and begin to pound me repeatedly in the head with it. I was so hurt (not just physically), I crawled to the bar to stand and leave, with what dignity I had left. He yelled to me "just stay down". For some reason I complied. He opened the door and I literally crawled through it. Then to add insult to injury, he kicked me as hard as he could in the ass and slammed the door. I made it the the top of the stairs and sat up to grasp what had just happened. Blood was running down my face. I was sore. I cried.

I finally steadied myself and proceed cautiously down the stairs and to my truck. I drove to a pay phone and called my best friend at two in the morning. I explained what transpired and ask him to come. I was about 30 minutes away from him, so I sat on the curb and waited. When he showed up, he couldn't believe it. I'm not sure how it came up, but the cops was called. When they arrived, we were informed to press charges we would have to go downtown. My best friend drove us the the government center. After all that time and with what I had just been through, the Magistrate wouldn't allow me to press charges because I had been drinking. I had to comeback sober (like getting in the head repeatably doesn't sober you up). We left and retrieved my truck. I never went back to press charges. I accepted the fact that I was partially to blame.

My ex and I didn't speak for about 4 months. We saw each other a couple of times at the mall but that was it. We just keep going. One day, I was in the yard painting some furniture. He drove up. It was a bit awkward, but some how we managed to work it all out. We apologized and started over. The best part was he was hurt from me throwing him over the kitchen bar into the living room, (I don't remember that, but yea me!). I told him that was his "one free shot", next time I would do my best to put him in the hospital. We lasted another 10 years, with no similar problems.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Out of Gas

Yesterday, I ran out of gas. That was infuriating to me. I stopped at the store directly across the street from where I live and they were out. Not that big of a deal. I went literally a mile up the road to that station. They were out. Now I was concerned. Being unemployed and dependant on my parents, I haven't had an half a tank of gas in months, much less a full one. My gas light was had been on since the day before. I knew I was very close to being out, but I figured I would go back home and use what I had in the can I fill the lawn mower with. After all, it was only a mile.(It seemed farther.) I got half way back and the car cut off. Empty! I was on my way to help my father so I tried to call to let him know what was up. My cell phone was out of minutes! This was getting better by the minute. I did a little cussing and swearing, then started walking. It was only about 40 minutes to the house and back but I was sweaty (fat, middle- aged men sweat, a lot) and irritated. I put the gas in. It wasn't enough to reach the fuel pump with the car on a slight incline. Now, I'm really pissed and still can't call anyone for help. I was about to huff it to a house close by to see if I could make a call. Thankfully, two of the girls that work at the very store I tried first recognized me and stopped. I asked to use their cell phone and called my father to let him know what happened. He said he was on his way. Before I could get off the phone, two guys that also knew the girls stopped to help. They helped roll the car to a level spot. It started right up! I was so thankful to all of them. If I had the money, I would have given it to them. (I may could offered "services" to the fellows, I suppose). At least there are still some very kind people in my county.

Today, those stations were still out of gas and when I went into town, the five I passed were also out. At school, I overheard many conversations about stations running out. Supposedly, the supply is en route and should be within the area in the next day or two. I certainly hope so. I didn't like that walking to much.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Possum in a Can

Sure, this possum looks darling, but trying getting one out from under your sink at 3am! Yes, it's true. I woke up one night a few years ago to a strange noise coming from the bathroom. It didn't sound like a mouse. Living with a cow pasture behind my trailer, I'm very familiar with them. This was much louder. I got out of bed and tipped toed in to the bathroom. It was quiet. Then down the hall toward the kitchen. I heard it again. It was in the bathroom. I flipped on the light. I couldn't see anything. I peeked behind the toilet, even looked in the tub. Nothing there or behind the door. There was that noise again. It was coming from under the vanity! I took a view steps closer and the racket was quite loud this time. I opened up one door. Nothing. I closed it and opened the other. My God, it was a huge possum! I slammed the door! I didn't want that thing escaping and running amuck in my trailer. I just couldn't believe it. I wondered how in the hell it got there, but more importantly, how was I gonna get rid of it? I don't own a gun and if I did, I wasn't going to fire it inside my trailer at 3am! I could see the headlines in the paper, "Naked man attacks defenseless possum". He/she didn't seem that defenseless to me! It hissed at me! I had to do some quick thinking. I needed my beauty sleep!

I had a brilliant idea, or so I thought. I would poke it with a broom and it would scurry back from whence it came! I grabbed the broom, opened one door, and poked. The possum didn't appreciate being poked with a broom at 3 in the morning. It hissed and bowed its back and hissed some more. I slammed the door closed again. Now mind you, I'm a reasonable person, even naked and at 3 in the morning. This was already moving past a 30 minute ordeal. I knew damn well I wasn't gonna grab it and yank it out of there. I finally came up with an even more brilliant idea. I emptied out my metal waste can on the floor. I was gonna coax this possum into the trash can! I opened up the door real slow this time. The possum, with his beady little eyes was waiting. I eased the the can close and slowly advanced. He backed up. I moved in even closer. He backed up some more. I could see where this was going. I'm tired, I'm naked, I have a possum under my bathroom sink, and it 3:45 in the morning! I shoved the can right on top of him. He hissed greatly. I heard his claws on the metal and imagined what those would do to my tender neither regions if I failed at this mission. I grabbed the broom and proceeded to try to cram the poor creature in to the waste can. I've never heard such a commotion. He was pushing back as much as I was pushing in.
Finally, I had the can up against the wall under the vanity. He was trapped. Now what? I tilted the can up so he would slid to the bottom. I was hoping he couldn't wriggle his way back out. I managed to keep the end of the broom over the top while I extracted him and the waste can from under the sink. I walked to the back door. I had every intent of slinging him out into the night. Then I thought, "What if he/she is really stupid and comes back in tonight?" Another plan was needed. I had some boards in the other bedroom, at the other end of the trailer, that I paint on. Ah! I stepped quickly to retrieve one while still carrying my catch. I arrived back at the rear door, turned on the light, opened the door, and set can and possum on the bottom step. (no neighbors were frightened at the sight of my danglely bits or possum in a can.) It was done. I covered the top with the board and placed something on top to hold it down.
Morning came. I over slept (thanks). I was going to be late for work. I hurried through my morning routine and headed out the door. After settling in at work, taking care of the opening details and such, I proceeded to recount my tale to a co worker. I stopped about two sentences in. Oh my God! My possum in a can was still on my back steps! I called my parents. I got my mother on the phone and quickly explained the harrowing feat of bravery to her. I ask that she rely it to my father and have him release the poor critter, because in my rush I had forgotten.
Well, I went on about my day. I couldn't wait to get home. I had worked almost open to close, about 11 hours. It was dark when I arrived. I looked out the back door. The can was still there, with the board and the heavy object on top. My goodness. I felt sorry for him/her. The poor thing had sat in a black metal trash can, that reeked of cigarettes, in the hot sun all day, with no food or water.(my mother thought I was kidding!) I hoped PETA or ASPCA hadn't got wind of what I had done. I hoped it wasn't dead because of me. I walked down the steps. There wasn't any sound coming from inside the trash can. I cautiously remove the heavy object and board and peeked in. There he/she was. Those beady little eyes staring back, albeit, they seemed sadder, not quite a fiery as I remembered. I tipped the can over slowly. The huge possum emerged, unscathed. It walked a couple of wobbly steps, turned and looked me directly in the eye and hissed. It turned and took a few more steps, looked back and hissed again! This critter holds a grudge! I apologized and watched it wobble off into the dark.

If you need to catch a possum call me. The Possum Catcher Extraordinaire!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Just the Facts

I thought today would be a good day to share some things about myself. I'm not sure how inclusive this will be. I may hold a few things back to use as a separate post later.

  • I came out to my parents when I was 15 years old. (they thought it was a phase.)

  • My longest relationship was almost ten years. It ended seven years ago.

  • I've had my share of flings and one night stands.

  • AIDS has wiped out most all of my friends,(10 so far) while I remain alone and negative.

  • I've had two D.U.I.'s , after the second, I stopped drinking.

  • I've been robbed at knife point, the only clear description I could give the officer was "He was uncut and limp."

  • My sister and I were both adopted as infants. I have no desire to find my biological parents.

  • I use to party hardy in my twenty's and somewhat into my mid-thirties. Now I don't go out at all.

  • I love to eat out at restaurants when I can afford it. I have even gone by myself several times.

  • I had an acquaintance that was strangled to death and had his penis cut off and placed in his mouth. (never solved)

  • I had a friend die of testicular cancer. (check your balls, guys)

  • I had a high school classmate commit suicide.

  • I had a close friend die in a head on collision with a drunk driver.

  • I live in an 18 year old trailer, in a trailer park, that my parents bought me to get me out of their house. (there is a hole in the floor on one side of the bed I have to step over and a broken out window in the living room.)

  • My sister pays for my Internet service.

  • My parents are paying my expenses while in I'm back in school.

  • I attempted suicide in high school. (my mother was furious that I used her pills and threw the coffee mug at the wall, knocking a hole in it.)

  • I've been in and out of therapy since high school for depression.

  • I was officially diagnosed about 20 years ago, and recently added Inattentive Disorder to the list.

  • I have very good taste and a panache for design. I originally went to college to be an architect.

  • I love to write and have secretly longed to be a novelist. (not so secret anymore)

  • I have a dry, wicked sense of humor.

  • I love movies, thanks mostly to my ex.

  • I had, to date, thirty three jobs in my life, thus far, and expect to have a few more.

  • I've been on food stamps before.

  • I've been on unemployment several times in my life.

  • I'm currently getting counseling from Vocational Rehabilitation.

  • I've received medication before through Health Quest, and seeking it again.

  • I have only had anal sex with five people in my life. Two were boyfriends, one a crush, one I was briefly dating, and the other a stranger I picked up at a bar.

  • I lived in Tampa for about 6 months in 1989.

  • I've had one wreck in my life, and several speeding tickets.

  • My current therapist thinks I'm well adjusted.

  • I'm a very loving and generous person.

  • I've help out two friends that needed a place to stay, without cost to them.

  • My ex let me drive his BMW 750 back from a trip to Atlanta. (still my favorite car.)

  • I had my truck repossessed once, my father got it back for me.

  • I had to let my last new car go back, (I loved that car) to help take care of my grandfather and I had just lost another job. (my father brought me a used Suzuki)

  • I'm a very spiritual person, but don't care for big organized churches.

  • My lowest weight was 145#, my heaviest was 252#, my current is 210#, my best was 175# with a 32 inch waist, a 44 inch chest and 10% body fat back in 2005.

  • I have had dentures since third grade. (bike accident)

  • I have never broken a bone, and do not have any scars.

  • I have three tattoos. (a dragon, a cross, and a smurf)

If this doesn't scare away every potential suitor, then I may should be afraid. I wish my life had turned out differently, but it didn't. I learned a lot about myself, my family, my friends, and life in general. I can't change the past, but I can learn from it. I wish I were perfect, but I don't think I would be as interesting.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Stubbornness Part 1

I was at my parents house, well technically my grandparents' old home that they are renovating (to move into and sell theirs), helping my father move out the old kitchen cabinets for my uncle to pick up this afternoon. So while we were waiting for him to show up, he and I sat on the tailgate of my grandfather's old truck, just talking. I, not to subtly, brought up the subject of the elections. I was hoping to change his mind about voting for McCain. He told me that he had never made as much money before as he had under the Republicans. I retorted that was great for people in his position, but what about people like me that couldn't even find a job. (He thinks McCain is great). I said he's had 26 years in Congress to do something and still hasn't, how could that be change? He mentioned some not so nice stuff about Obama ethnicity, that includes his wife's looks. I said that wasn't a good way to pick who will run the country or save us from the financial meltdowns we are facing. He said to let other people worry about themselves. I reminded him that currently I'm one of those other people that the government is supporting and ask did he want to continue to keep me up? He said I deserve it. Unfortunately, my uncle drove up with his hired help (an under employed brick mason and a Hispanic guy working on the side to help support his family) so we couldn't finish the discussion.

The reason I even wrote about this is to show the ignorance and bigotry, and yes, even greed that plagues this country today. My father wasn't worried about other people losing their money in failed institutions, or having their homes foreclosed. Why would he? My parents have two homes that are paid for, another they just inherited from my grandfather, and another my father has half interest in from his father's inheritance. They also now have a total of about 25 acres of land in an area where prices are over $50,000 an acre. And my parents own my mobile home! He keeps very little in the stock market (It's just to risky for him). My sister and her husband have over 200 rental properties and one of my uncles has untold rental houses in the area. I guess he isn't worried about anyone else's future. Everyone he knows is taken care of! Now, don't get me wrong, both of my parents are very generous with time and money. Both are very strong supporters of our local Hospice. Both have helped me through my rough spots in life more than I can even count. My father helps out his other siblings when they have a need. I know he has even loaned money to a co-worker that was never repaid. But not voting for someone because of their color or even learning from independent, unbiased source instead of just TV commericals is just about the most asinine thing I've ever heard.

This attitude, sorry to say, is very prevalent in the south. I doubt I can change his mind. It won't stop me from continuing to try. I wanted to bring up the fact that because of Republicans and people who use the same logic is the reason I have no rights. I can pay tax, serve on jury duty, be arrested, but I can still be discriminated against in housing and unemployment in our state. I can't even die for my country. I can't marry the person of my choice and someone else, because of their religious beliefs can trump my personal rights. What happen to liberty and the pursuit of happiness? What happen to we are all created equal? I'm personally tired of being a second class citizen. I want some one watching my back for a change. I want a level playing field for everyone and everyone using the same rule book. Not special or different, just legally the same as every straight, white or black, female or Hispanic, Muslim or atheist. Is that really too much to ask?

It's the Thought

Just a little story from many years ago. Back when my ex and I were together, he came over to visit one Sunday afternoon. To my surprise, he brought in a box with a dozen long stem roses. He handed them to me and said he had to get something else from the car. As I was putting them in a vase, he returned carrying more! I was shocked. He was not the romantic type at all. I was flabbergasted! I really started scurrying for more vases. It was obvious I was certainly gonna need them. I went through cabinets and closets looking for anything that would hold water. He return yet again with more boxes! In all, after twenty minutes of unloading his trunk, the back seat, and the passenger seat, all the boxes containing a dozen roses were scattered all over the kitchen, the dining room and the living room. I had know idea what sparked this sudden surge of romanticism. All total, there was 12 dozen roses. They were beautiful! Reds, whites, pinks, all derivatives thereof. I gave him a big bear hug and a kiss on the check. What can you say to all that? Thank you suddenly seems insufficient. I couldn't believe he had spent that much money on flowers, for me! We proceeded to open the boxes and try to arrange them as best you can with more flowers than vases. finally after about an hour and a half, it was done. My place looked and smelled like a florist shop. Everywhere you looked was roses! Beautiful roses! I was giddy! He never showed me that much attention! After some other delights(wink) that afternoon, he had to leave. As always, I walked him to the door. He opened the car door and had one leg inside. I told him I really appreciated all the roses. He replied, "I'll bring you some more when I see the next dump list."

So much for romantic when your boyfriend works for a florist wholesaler.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sadness Part 2 Billion

Everyone has their good days and bad days. For me the bad outnumber the good. It isn't always the rain on my parade, the thorn in my side, or even some horrific injustice. It's depression. I've lived with it, tolerated it, beat it, succumbed to it, and held it at bay for almost 20 years now. At the moment, it is kicking my butt. I don't have a job, nor insurance, and therefore no medication. Everyday is a struggle to get out of bed and do the absolute minimal to call my existence a life. I have a hard enough time focusing (mild inattentive disorder, recently diagnosed), and getting through the day without killing myself or someone else, or beating the dog, or lashing out at family or strangers. The frustration is overwhelming. Unless a person has ever suffered through it themselves I don't believe one can fully understand the devastating impact it has in your everyday life. Simple household chores, like washing dishes, doing laundry, or mowing the yard seem like climbing Mount Everest. Everything seems to take more effort and just leaves you drained. The rational part of your mind is constantly screaming at you to do something, anything, but all it succeeds in doing is making you angry. Angry at yourself, your life, your predicament. Medication helps take the edge off. It makes me more tolerant of others and myself. It puts me back on an even keel.
In order to find help with my medication, I had to apply for Food Stamps. Health Quest will only help you if you bring a letter from them stating you have applied. Why they require it, I'm not sure. I felt even worse having to go through that process. I have an appointment next week. I hope I can make it that long. I'm certain I can. One suicide attempt was one too many. Now I have a dog that depends on me. Surprising how much he actually helps. (When I'm away from him for more than a few hours I start freaking out and can't wait to get home.) Unless you have firsthand experience of depression, words will never convey the hopelessness, the frustration, the confusion, and worthlessness of it all.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Letting Go

It hasn't been very long since my grandfather passed away. I still miss him and most likely always will. I look back at all the people who meant something to me that are now gone, it still makes me sad for every one of them. I know there are still more to come and the people I still have in my life are that much more precious to me. I try a little harder, have a little more patience, take a little more time. It's impossible to describe the void that is left behind. I worry about did I do enough, say the right things, visit often enough, treat them right? Questions I'll never have the answers to.

Unlike the others that had passed before him, it was expected. He was 90 years old. He had just recovered from a broken hip and doing well on that front. I stayed with him almost every night from mid-December till the morning he passed. In the beginning it was just him and me. Later when it was apparent that a longer supervised recovery time was needed, my mother stepped in and started staying one night a week. Afterwards, it was two nights a week. Then it became obvious that he couldn't be alone during the day, do we divided up the week between us. Some nights, some days. Hospice came in toward the end to help out and so did their Chaplin. All was a God send.

It was still odd though, how he went from a great recovery to not being able to leave the bed. This was something different. It was a problem with the nerves in his spine. In all the time I had been staying with him, he never really complained that much. He treated the recovery as an inconvenience, something to be tolerated. One night that changed and so did everything else. He retired to bed early as usual, about 8:30 or so. I was watching TV, settling in for the evening. He had been in the bed for about an hour when he called out. I went flying down the hall. He was wincing in pain, one leg raised off the bed, and trying to reach it. I asked what was wrong. He said his leg felt like it was on fire, like pins and needle, that he had never felt anything like it before. Then he said what I will never forget, " I think I need to go to the hospital". My grandfather never says anything like that! I knew he truly was suffering. I called my parents, who live next door(though there is a lot of land between them), they both rushed over. We tried to get him into the car, finally me just picking him up(manhandling) and placing him in the front seat. I waited at his house.

After more doctors visits, more test, more x-rays, a CAT scan, and a stay in the hospital,, it was determined to be a nerve in his spine. The bone surrounding it was to fragile to operate. They could only manage the pain. Being 90 years old didn't help matters either. The whole family convened to determine what to do. We decided to follow his Living Will and keep him at home for as long as possible. The bulk of the care fell with my mother and I. She was more equipped than I. She is actually a retired Hospice nurse. My sister lives about 65 miles away with 3 very active kids and could only help out once a week. My father would run errands and such as needed. My parents church was amazing! Food, supplies and visits, it did my heart good.

My grandfather has always been a very head strong fella. He was still growing his own garden, keeping his own house up until he had broken his hip. This was a horrible set back for him. He didn't quite understand what was going on. Everyone that he asked would try to explain it to him. But with his Sundowners and seventh grade education, it never made sense to him. For the most part it wasn't to hard to take care of him. We were all glad to do it. Toward the end though, watching him wasting away, his mind increasing going, not wanting to eat, no longer able to stand, shower or even go to the bathroom by himself really took it's toll. He hardly looked like the grandfather of my youth. I felt sorry for him, but there was nothing I could do to save him. I wanted to insulate him from the pain, restore his health and vitality. I prayed. I stayed. I cried. nothing was going to stop the inevitable. I knew it. The rest of the family knew it. All we could do was watch.

My grandfather died on Saturday, July 5th. That night was rough for my parents and I. About 10:30 or 11:00 Friday night, I called them. His blood pressure was very low. His breathing seemed almost non existent. His temperature was high. He hadn't had any urine output in almost three days. I thought the end was near. I gave him his liquid morphine and prayed and waited. The saddest, most heart wrenching thing was to listen to my mother, through her sobs, tell her father that it was okay to let go. That she would be okay. That it was okay to let the pain end. He hung on through the night. They left, exhausted. I stayed by his bedside till my mother returned the next morning at 7am.

I was exhausted, both emotionally and physically. I took the long way home to unwind. I took the dog out. Ate something, but can't remember what it was and went to bed. I glanced at the clock. It was 7:40am Saturday morning. I began my prayers. When I mentioned ending the suffering of my grandfather because he deserved better, the strangest, most peaceful feeling came over me briefly. I rolled over and went to sleep. At 8:10, my phone rang. I knew it was the phone call I didn't want, but I answered anyway. My grandfather, after his long life, his wrenching struggle to stay in this world was gone. He passed at 7:40 Saturday morning.

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