“…I guess this is growing up…”

Listening to:  “Poems, Prayers, Promises” – John Denver “…And talk of poems and prayers and promises and things that we believe in. How sweet it is to love someone, how right it is to care. How long its been since yesterday, and what about tomorrow….”

…And now when I start to write I find myself wondering how to honor my desire to reach out to, and be a voice of encouragement for, those who are or have experienced domestic violence/abuse, who may read what I am writing, and may find something of it value in it.

It is 6 days to the date of the one year anniversary of when I moved to New Jersey, putting hundreds of miles between myself, and the life formerly known as mine. With the exception of the on-going legal stuff, nothing about that life seems real.  Or at least it for the most part doesn’t. I am very far removed from the feelings I had while living in that ridiculous hell, kind of being in labor with a child, or at least my experience of it. I have a distinct memory of how intense was the pain. I know it was painful, but I can’t FEEL that pain anymore, and that for me, is the key to moving forward.

For most of my life, I have been comfortable in my own skin, (well, except for body image issues which have always plagued me, and my loathing of my distinctly Roman nose) other than that, at some point in my life, I became pretty cool with me. Right up until, whenever it was, that I started to question everything about me, and how I am, how I treat people, what I look like, how I dress, speak, walk, think. And then decided I had nothing of value to offer the world, and that there was nothing beautiful left for me, to include nothing about me being beautiful. My own skin, then, became my prison, as did my life. And how  unfathomable to me now that I was broken down to that point. I’m obstinate as fuck, so I really don’t know how someone managed to get so far in my head… or why I’d stay in that ridiculous hell for so long. It took me a long time to realize how far-reaching were the effects of the ridiculous hell.

A little over a week ago, I celebrated my 50th birthday. It exists in the realm of possibility that had I not been through the ridiculous hell, and the subsequent transformation to a person who is happier than I’ve ever been, that I might have approached that date, and that number, with some trepidation. Maybe I’d feel OLD, and the desire to hide that number from the world. Instead of that, to me it is just a number that doesn’t signify much, except for 51 times around the sun, and 51 years of experience as this person known as Michelle. And MAYBE, because of the ridiculous hell, and current happiness, I feel the most remarkable sense of freedom to be just exactly who, and how, I am. Where in the past I might have felt the need to justify or explain who I am, while being who I am, now my attitude is much more fuck it, I dig me, and if you don’t, that’s cool. I’m, just…. me. I don’t want to waste any more time in this life fighting with others in the hope that they’ll become OK with me, being me.

As turning 50 relates to the life that was formerly known as mine, beside being back to cool with who I am, one of the most profound changes for me, about me, is my appearance. I place very little value on my appearance, with the exception of how I personally feel about the way I look. I was taught a very valuable lesson long ago, that my looks may open doors for me, which I did not ask to have opened, but once they were, the “wowing” with my intellect, with the deeper parts of me, would be what led me to where I really wanted to be. Maybe that’s why I didn’t notice the changes. I had no idea that while I was going through the ridiculous hell, I looked about 100 years older than I now do. My posture changed, along with the way I carry myself. My smile became rare, and reluctant. My weight too, changed, thanks to the back injury, the medication for it, the months of immobility, and the years of being unable to work out, and for a long time, to even stand or walk for long stretches. Mostly though, it was my eyes that changed. My eyes which are green, sometimes light, sometimes dark, and other times are grey, except for when they lean more toward blue. The best way I can put it is, they lost their “light” as in, illumination. Rarely did they become wide with excitement, and wonder. Or soft, gentle, with the comfort of giving love in moments brought on by being able to deeply trust in the knowledge that I was safe to do so.

More than any of that, though, what having been through the ridiculous hell, and “growing up” have given me, is finally understanding what self-care means. To those I love, I will give everything I have, even when it may not seem that I am doing so to anyone on the outside. While that’s cool and all, I did, in the life formerly known as mine, even as I was fighting in words for myself, often forget about ensuring my needs were met. This of course increased 10 fold, as I imagine it does for everyone, due to the nature of the marriage formerly known as mine. Although I’ve no doubt he would say this isn’t true, because it is impossible to fulfill ALL the needs (which are really wants) of someone capable of breaking another emotionally, and being physically abusive, I was constantly chasing my own tail, in an effort to please him, placate him, meet his expectations. I accepted life in an abusive, passionless marriage, in which none of my mental, spiritual, emotional, or physical desires were met, FOR YEARS, with the hope that somehow doing, or not doing, something, would fix everything. Or at least fix something. Instead I became empty, and exhausted, hopeless and bitchy. Not to mention lonely.

While I do forever aspire to be a person who gives to those she loves, and I DO derive the most pleasure in life from giving, whether it be actual gifts, or just doing thoughtful, caring things, I also now know, I have to give to myself as well. I currently find myself in uncharted territory, and it would be VERY easy to lean too far to the meeting the needs of others, over my own. BUT, it would be equally easy to think of only what I need, and be inconsiderate, and quite honestly selfish. Having seen both sides of that coin, and finding both to be lacking in anything shiny, or happy, my chosen balance point is now more a “non-zero sum game.” Where I once may have held an inflexible boundary, albeit for what was meant to be my own good, I now place as much value on perspective, as I do on values.

I could stray now into deep-thoughts on the potentiality for situational ethics to be that about which I’m speaking, (which I am not) or further elaborate on what I am trying to say, without actually saying it. Instead of any of that, I think it is sufficient to be said that what I have learned at such a deep level, is that I can be loving, and giving, and do my sincere best to do no harm to others,  and still take care of myself. I was never much for black, and white thinking, but am even less so now. What I have often been though, is one who spins herself out, over-thinking things. I want always to be thoughtful, but I also want to not spend so much time thinking about things, that I miss out on living my life! 

I absolutely adore the idea of having a man in my life upon whom I dote, to whom I give caring, and pampering, and whose wants, needs, desires, I meet, and whose dreams, I help to see to fruition. But while also doing those things for myself! And accepting getting those same things in return! All while dancing around, singing, sometimes leaving a trail of glitter, and hopefully always, leaving a smile on a (beloved) face. I want always to give to my kids, and my grandson, and future grandchildren, but not to the detriment of myself. Same holds true for anyone with whom I cross paths. I don’t wish to ever again find myself empty, because I gave so much. Especially I don’t wish to ever again be giving, and be abused in return.

So for anyone who may be reading these words, who may need to read them, and who may find value in what they say, because I write of my experiences with you in mind, if it has not done, know that the pain WILL recede. It will fade to a memory, and it won’t hurt at all anymore. And when you finally find the strength to start giving caring again, because I get how it feels to think you’ll never have the energy to give a fuck about anyone or thing again, make sure your priority, in the most unselfish way possible, is you. Also, 5o is the new 30 so, there’s plenty of time to re-write the script, and the plot twists of your future, can be pretty amazing.

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Maybe because tonight, which is now actually last night, is (was) the new moon, and rooms, and people, were smudged, hearts, minds, and souls were opened to ask for wisdom, overtone chanting was listened to, to raise the vibration, and intentions were written, and then burned, I am moved to (told to) include in this writing, some additional words.

To him, I offer my thanks for finally giving me the push to get, and stay away. To her, that is now with him, I thank her for her actions, which further aided me in staying away. I’d say I wish that I’d done sooner, but, I wouldn’t be here now, and here is where I want to be so, I guess it’s all perfect. To him I also say, I forgive you. I have released all anger I had toward you, and her. Go with God, or whatever/whomever you want.

To anyone I may have hurt in the past, I sincerely ask your forgiveness. To anyone I may unintentionally hurt in the future, for your forgiveness I also ask. And to you, I also send love, and wishes for everything beautiful.

To the most amazing extra-terrestrial unicorn, with whom I have traveled the ages, (or with whom I am currently sharing life, in times which parallel the one we know currently as our reality), I give endless thanks for space-holding, given, and accepted, for always, always seeing me, hearing me, encouraging me, trusting me, and for the brilliant words, wisdom, laughter, tears, and moments of magick of all sorts, shared. You are remarkable. And I send love enough to span oceans, and time.

And to my daughters, the most beautiful, amazing creatures, for your forgiveness I also ask, for anything I have done, or not done, which may have hurt you, in any way. You are that of which I will always be the most proud. I am every single day amazed by your strength, your resilience, your intelligence, your humor, your kindness, your beauty in every sense of the word. It is my profound pleasure to watch you both, in your own ways, find your wings, and fly. I love you beyond measure. Never forget, you can do, and be, anything you wish!!!

 

Listening to: The sound of silence. Not Simon and Garfunkel. The literal sound, of silence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“…the hardest part of ending, is starting again…” (except not really)

Listening to: Emmylou Harris covering The Beatles “For No One” “…she wakes up, she makes up, she takes her time, and doesn’t feel she has to hurry, she no longer needs you…”

It’s weird to have “light at the end of the tunnel” thoughts, about the (much belated) end of a thing, which when it meant something, meant, everything. But tunnels there are, and light too. Light toward which I am running. Also, there are tears, that aren’t of sadness for endings… which I am trying to understand.  I’m sure it makes absolute sense that there are tears.

Is it possible to mourn the final death of something you don’t wish to have? Not even mourning memories of what had been hoped for, or the ideas of what had once been thought to be… (I’ve read that a hundred times and still don’t know if it makes sense). I see too clearly now just how much what I had for the majority of my marriage was nothing like what I ever wanted, to remember what it felt like when I thought it was something good.  Maybe the tears are for the (nearly) 12 years which I won’t call wasted, but I will call, not the best spent. But even that I say with hesitation… the smallest change to them would have meant I wouldn’t be here, and here is exactly where I want to be…

~ Traversing dark shadows in mental hallways of memories, in search of the moment(s) in time during which I was told stories comprised of lies, and deceit, written by the shaky hand of someone who made and re-made the choice to stay locked in their own unhappiness. Lies which I then chose to make my absolute truth. ~ (unfinished?)

100% stealing words right now, “…10 years ago. I knew so much more back then…”  Not supposing to know what the words meant to the person from whom they’ve been stolen, I know exactly what they mean to me. Because I was so certain then, about so much, 10 years ago.  There is no nostalgia here, there is only (morbid?) curiosity… Who was that girl, who thought she knew so much, but, as it turns out, had a lot wrong? That girl who then (let herself get) got beaten, so far down.

There is a reason that we (those who have experienced domestic violence/abuse) are told that no contact with our abuser is a must. Because I had purposeful contact, initiated by me, with mine, last week. Contact which, in spite of it’s purpose, speeding the fuck up the process of divorce,  and it’s hopefully favorable result, sucked. The me of a few months ago would have crumbled during, and after, such a call. I mean, I would have told him to fuck off, but it would have been while crying, and hurting, and afterward I’d retreat into solitude and depression.

—————————————-

He said…

“You’re just doing this to harass me. You’re just a woman scorned, trying to get revenge. That’s the only reason you want any alimony.”

“You can’t PROVE that the injury to your back is from anything I did to you.”

“You’re psycho.” “You’re a nut job.” “You’re so dramatic.” “Shut the fuck up and let me talk.”

“I have a lot of stuff I’m sure you don’t want made public. I can show emails and texts (from your deepest, most dark, terrifying time, when you felt utter despair, and hopelessness) to the judge that will show that you’re unstable. It will speak to your character. The Judge will never award you anything if they find out about any of what you said.”

“What would your daughters, and your mom think, if they saw your emails, and texts, (from your deepest, most dark, terrifying time, when you felt utter despair, and hopelessness)? I should send everything to them, too.”

It was only after much thought that I made that phone call. The last time I spoke with him, a couple of months ago, which was purely accidental as he called with blocked number, the tone of the call, while still decidedly manipulative, was very different. Likely the billion ignored calls since that one, telling him he no longer has any control/affect, pissed him off, so there was no (feigned?) kindness. If I’d believed for a minute that speaking to him, irrespective of which him showed up, could in any way hurt me, I wouldn’t have done. I also spoke to my attorney before making the call.

There’s a lot of  grey area in my life now, and I think it’s better that way, than when I was so certain of so much, about which I was so wrong.

Things I know for sure are that in 9 days, I’ll be 50 years old, and am a little mind blown by that. I’m not freaked out by it. It just used to seem like 50 was olllldddd. But it is so, not! My littlest angel will be 28 on that same day. I remember my 28th birthday, down to the outfit I wore going out that night. And now I hear in my beloved Nonna’s voice, “Quando ci passa tempo.” which conversationally translated means, “how quickly time passes.”

Also I know that at the very latest, the divorce will be final April 7th. Much longer than I wish to wait, but, at least there is a definitive time frame.

In May I’ll be moving, somewhere. Maybe locally for a while longer. Maybe Arizona. As much as I’d love for it to be London, that’s too short a time frame to make an international move. My littlest angel, Ari, will be moving to Los Angeles, my heart aches at the thought of not living near her, but  it has long been her dream. If there is only one gift I can give to my girls, I wish it to be wings, and the courage to use them to not just fly, but to soar to their chosen highest heights. If I move away (or rather when, as it is inevitable) I’ll be far from my biggest angel, Lauren, and angel baby grandson, Gabriel, also heart wrenching. But if I don’t choose to fly, then soar, to my highest heights, for whatever that means, how can I hope that they will? And here was only every a stop over, on the way to, wherever.

Why am I even writing all of this? This isn’t writing about poor me, or anything like that. This is a written deep think, which I’ve been working on for days… I’m dancing around words… over-using ellipses as part of incomplete thoughts, or just holding back, something. And this has a purpose, this writing, so I can’t do that for me, for anyone who might be reading this, who might need the words, or find value in them. This which has now taken so many days, and should be as brilliant, and long, as War and Peace, and is neither!

What is it that’s trying to work itself out, which also feels it needs to be non-journal writing? Is it to type out those cruel words as some form of catharsis for myself, and to say “if your husband is saying anything like this to you, you are being emotionally abused, get the fuck out! Or to say, don’t take, or make, phone calls, until you KNOW you are strong enough? And only if you have to. And if your attorney says its OK. Also, don’t forget to use your wings, (which you do have) to not just fly, but soar…

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A thank you,  for threatening to use my lowest point in life, against me. A point to which I’d sank, because of the mental fucking so frequently given me, to the degree I didn’t know which way was up. With each threat, with each attempt at manipulation, and intimidation, with each name you call me, you remind me of who I have become, which is who I always was, and I RISE. I grow stronger. I become someone whose light shines so brightly, you can’t bear to look directly at me, because you’re too content your self-imposed darkness.

——————————————————

Listening to: “We’re Still Fighting It”

“…you’ll try, and try, and one day you’ll fly away from me…”

“…and you’re, so much, like me, I’m sorry…”

 

 

“…A one woman riot…”

Listening to: Milck “Quiet” (Song preformed in flash mobs at, and now going viral as a result of, Women’s March in Washington DC, now become anthem for Women’s Rights and Human Rights, and for me, personally.)

“…But no one knows me, no one ever will, If I don’t say something, If I just lie still. Would I be a monster, scare them all away, If I let them hear, what I have to say…I can’t keep quiet…a one woman riot…”

When I woke up this morning, my laptop, and my little laptop desk thingy, which had been on my bedside table when I fell asleep last night, were sat on top of me. As in, sometime in the middle of the night, I sat up, reached over, picked up my laptop, and put it on my lap, and then laid back down and fell back to sleep. I have NO memory of this. Although it was, and is, really weird, I decided that it was just my subconscious telling me I needed to write, because that’s less scary than any of the other possibilities I came up with!

It is no longer morning as I am writing this. My sub-conscious should have known better than to try to MAKE me write. I’ve never done well with being TOLD what to do. (Want to prove this out, just send me a text saying “Call me.” just like that, telling me to call. Great way to assure I absolutely do NOT call. Especially if I’ve already, literally or through my silence, said no.) Anyway, I knew I’d write today, but didn’t have a thought about what.

And then I read this: From the Elders of the Hopi Nation & Marianne Williamson

Instantly upon reading it I was captivated by “we are the ones we have been waiting for.” I can’t explain why, but in their simplicity, they are very profound, and they “made me” want to write about them. The whole story also reminded me of  one told when I was in Arizona having my magical (magickal) healing weekend, by one of the speakers, Denise Linn, who is Native American. I am writing from memory…so I will not put it in quotes as I’m certain I’ll get the wording very, very wrong.

~ It is said that there was a time long ago, when the Tribe’s elders gathered everyone together, and asked that they as a group make a fire. A fire so large that it burned taller than any of the members of the Tribes. The elders then shared with the Tribes that there would be a time in the future where there was a lot of chaos, and turmoil in the world, and the world would need the spirits of some of those who stood around the flame to be come back, to help fix what was so badly broken. So the strongest, and most brave warrior stepped forward, and walked into the flame, sacrificing himself for the future, and his ashes floated upwards, into the sky, becoming a star. After him, another warrior did the same. Then another, and another. Women of the Tribe also stepped forward, and walked into the flame, sacrificing themselves for the future. The elders of today’s Tribes have said that this is the time, now, for which the warriors and women of the Tribes sacrificed themselves, and that they have come back. ~

And now, from what Marianne has written, I read “…we are the ones we have been waiting for.” and it’s a little bit like a lighting bolt, to me.

I know that they, Denise, and Marianne, are giving us this wisdom as related to current events on a global level, and in particular because of the shit show that is the government in the Untied States at this moment. But I’m feeling these words on a very personal level, which I think can then translate into a global level.

… And in this moment I am again finding myself WISHING that I could paint, or draw, or write music. Because what I am FEELING is much more in colors, and shapes, and sounds, than it is words that I am thinking. … oh to be a Unicorn, and be able to do all 3…

I think everyone waits for some sort of hero or champion, at some time or other in their lives. The person, or people, or deity even, who will right the wrongs, and the injustices, or who facilitates the taking of the next step towards whatever it is they are striving for. Christians are waiting for Jesus’ second coming. Jews are waiting for the first coming. Scientologists are paying for their meeting with a deity, or alien super power, or Tom Cruise. Who the fuck really knows. Hopeless romantics are waiting for someone to “complete” them. (Tom Cruise is EVERYWHERE!) In the life formerly known as mine, I was waiting for the wrong person to decide to be the right person, so I could stop hurting. (To be very clear on this, the hurt I wished for him to take away was the hurt he was causing. I wasn’t looking for him to be my personal savior.) As it turns out, I was who I had been waiting for. No Messiah needed. No conversion of wrong person into hoped for right person. Just me, saving my own life, and being happier than I’ve ever been, possibly because of it.

“…waiting, for your modern Messiah, to take away all the hatred, that darkens the light in your eye, still awaiting, I…” Disturbed  “Liberate”

So what if each of us is who we have been waiting for, personally, and collectively? What if each of us is THAT person? That Messiah. (Waiting for bolts of lighting, and mean texts, and “unfriending” over this one!) That warrior? That complete person, in and of ourselves? What if we all saved ourselves? Or what if even most of us saved ourselves? Wouldn’t it stand to reason that in doing so we would create a better world as a whole? If the majority wasn’t so concerned with whose deity was more bad ass, or who has the best toys, or biggest penis, (this isn’t about men, women participate in a figurative most impressive pink parts contests too, they just often don’t admit it)  wouldn’t what the minority thought have less impact? Or none at all? What if in our very act of waiting, we are hindering our own growth, in every way imaginable?

What if I become a one woman riot, of love? Of spreading hope, happiness, good vibes? A one woman riot of spreading the message that YOU, who might be reading these words, who may need them, are strong enough to walk away from a man who is abusing you?  And what if I join my riot, with “her” riot, and “his” riot? Because he and she, if they are already rioting, likely know on some level that they are the ones they have been waiting for.

“…let’s start a riot, a riot…” Three Days Grace “Riot”

Its scary as fuck to let go of what we thought we knew, and to throw our arms open to the unknown, to say “we are the ones we have been waiting for.” But what if we are? What if we didn’t even know we were waiting, until suddenly some sort of awakening occurred, and we realized we had been waiting? And in front of us stood the “we” for whom we’d (unknowingly) been waiting, and together riots were started, because they were meant to be started?

Maybe this is all bullshit. Maybe this chaos, and turmoil in the world is the precursor to some quantum leap in human beings that is going to happen, wherein the dark overlords of AI will control everything, and those of us who oppose their evil regime will be phased the fuck out if we won’t assimilate, irrespective of our riots. Or maybe the current regime will keep their heads so firmly planted in their asses, that the number of terrorists on the planet will grow at an exponential rate, because good people will turn bad, in response to being treated as bad people, and America will be torn apart by their attacks . Or maybe Jesus will come tipping through the door, look at me and say, “you fucked up Michelle, you chose the wrong path by not choosing me” and I’ll be done for. Or maybe it’ll be Tom Cruise who walks through the door and says, “you chose the wrong path Michelle, you fucked up making fun of my teeth and weird behavior all these years” and I’ll be done for. Who really knows.

For now though, I’m laying money on us being the ones we’ve been waiting for. I’m rolling the bones, and throwing my arms open to walk forward into a future where riots are started, and combined. I’m going to spread happiness and hope, good vibes, and my words of encouragement, and strength, and art in any way I can, along with some irreverence because its just damn fun!  I’m not saying I’m anyone’s savior, except my own, but I KNOW anyone (thing) I’m (subconsciously or consciously) waiting for, is already here. And  even though I’m sounding like a hippy, I won’t be wearing patchouli, because I don’t like patchouli. Just in case you wanted to know…

Listening to:  Huffamoose  “James”

“…He answers to a higher calling the moon and the sun and the stars are falling through his time and his space and I am lucky to be part of it all…”

“Fallin’ down, I can’t find my feet, and I don’t know why I’m trippin…”

Listening to: Joe Satriani –  “Always With Me, Always With You”

Once upon a time, there lived a crazy but cool Princess. Princess Consuela BananaHammock, we’ll call her for this story. One Saturday night, Princess Consuela decided that instead of going out, she would have a mellow evening, stay home (alone), eat some mushrooms, and watch “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” Why did she decide this? Who the fuck knows. But, content with this as a plan, she ate a couple of stems, a cap, pressed play, and waited for the ride to start. When that didn’t happen in what she felt to be a reasonable amount of time, she ate a couple more pieces. Then a bit later, a couple more. At some point she realized that not only had she eaten the whole 1/4 ounce of mushrooms, she had her back to the TV, but was seeing in the most vivid, detailed technicolor, some brilliantly bizarre movie, set to the sounds of Fear and Loathing. She in fact realized that she was tripping balls, and shit was about to get real.

For the next 8 hours, Princess Consuela (who’d had the foresight, before things went too far off the deep end, to call a friend to keep her company) talked almost non-stop, found herself unable to sit down, and was feeling every single emotion known to man, and probably some not known, in flashes, lightning bolt style. The highest of highs, the lowest of lows, and everything in between, but to their extreme. Although the Princess knew that everything she was feeling was due to the mushrooms she’d consumed, and wouldn’t be permanent, she was still in moments, a little scared of the intensity of it all. The only thing that brought her comfort in those moments of being in fear of the intensity, was The Goo Goo Dolls song, “Slide.” She would dance around her apartment to the song, and when the “what you feel is what you are, and what you are is beautiful” part of it came on, she would SPPPPIIIIIINNNNNN, like a patchouli wearing hippy chick at a Ratdog show, (She sadly never made it to a Grateful Dead show) remind herself that she just had to ride the snake for a bit, and all was again cool. After 8 hours, the high wore off, she had a snack and a nap, and regained what passes for sanity in her world.


Today marks week 2 of being sick. And day 1 of divorce court, for which I thankfully do not have to be present. It was mentioned to me earlier this week that this “sick” that I’ve been experiencing may have roots more deep than just bronchitis. Not in a physical illness sort of way, but as part of the overall healing I’ve been going through. Which for me, makes sense, so, I’ve begun approaching my healing with that in mind.

When I went back to the Dr on Wednesday, in addition to cough med with codeine, he gave me a steroid to add to the cocktail of drugs I’m already on. I expressed my concern about the possible side effects of steroids, and doc said those are really only a concern at higher doses than what I was going to be taking. He was wrong.

Even in my whiny moments, or moments of tears large and small, over the last weeks, and months, even in the moments where I have found myself in situations that would have in the past triggered me, I’ve been pretty steady, emotionally speaking. That means to say, where in time’s past I might have let insecurity, or fear, or anger, take over, and plunge me into a shitty place, I haven’t done. And let me tell ya, I have been challenged. Not in “bad” ways per se. But really, really challenged to keep checking in with myself to see where I am, what still hurts, what needs work. I’ve been challenged to think about what energy around a situation is mine, or that of someone else, or from a past experience that looks a little bit like a current one, so that I act or react accordingly. I’ve been challenged to keep my momentum in my healing, no matter what is or isn’t happening.

After so many years of letting the outside influence, or control, how I was feeling, I’m very committed to not allowing that to happen again. While I don’t aspire to be one of the floaty, so sweet sugar wouldn’t melt in their mouth, “deeply spiritual” people, (because I find them phony, and insincere, and kinda want to punch them in the neck to break them out of their Stepford style trance) my intention is very much to choose peace, and happiness, in every possible moment.

So, yesterday, having taken 2 doses of the 6 total of the steroids prescribed for me, and being all hopped up on codeine, which helped me to finally be able to sleep for a few hours straight, BAM, fucking steroid side effects slammed me. After waking from weird dreams, during which a few of my ex’s made appearances, I woke up and felt my “vibe” had plummeted to a depth I am no longer used to. Something that had happened hours before, that in the life formerly known as mine, would have triggered my fear and insecurity, but through which I simply breathed without issue, came back to me, and started the voices in my head filling me with negativity, and doubt. My emotions started flashing like lighting bolts, and not one of them was a good emotion. I found myself suddenly crying, and a few minutes later wanting to tell people to fuck off, who hadn’t actually done anything deserving of those words. Or mean words in general. I’d literally said to someone earlier in the day how for the first time in my life I was finally living in the moment, and without fear, or overthinking! Then this happened, and for about 5 minutes I was freaked out that the steroids were going to undo everything I’ve been working so hard to change within myself.

And that’s where Princess Consuela Bananahammock comes in. I remembered her story. Remembered how she’d said she felt, to their most intense degree, as the result of a “drug” in her body, every emotion possible, in brilliant scary flashes, and came through it just fine. So I decided to borrow a page or 2 from her book. First, I smudged the fuck out of myself, and my house, to get rid of anything which may actually have originated with me. Residue of emotions from the life that used to be mine, or anything else for that matter, that no longer serves me. But I also wanted to clear emotions, and energy, that weren’t mine, whether they were from steroids, or ghosts, or whispy strings of karma.

Smudging completed, it was all about me, and the Goo Goo Dolls, and “Slide.” Volume cranked, singing (through coughing, and with stuffy sinuses, which was no doubt horrible for my vocal chords) at the top of my lungs, and DANCING around my kitchen… “…what you feel is what you are, and what you are is beautiful…”  I sent love to those I’d earlier felt fake ‘roid anger toward, and to myself as well. I told depression, and sadness, and darkness, that they aren’t allowed to have control of me ever again. I also told steroids to fuck the fuck off, and threw them away. I can get healthy without them! This peace that I feel now, I will not lose to a drug that didn’t even give me the pleasure of a happy buzz!

Just those actions were enough to bring me back, to me. Mind over matter, or whatever you want to call it. That’s a lesson I won’t ever forget. Not just about steroids, but about how I can choose how I will feel. I’ve felt such an amazing sense of freedom lately, not living in fear, or hurt, or anger. I have NO idea what’s going to happen down the road, or tomorrow, but for today, I choose happy, and LOVE, and to be open to the possibility of everything beautiful.

If you’re reading this, and you’re in a place where the dark icky is still around you, I’m not saying choosing happy in the midst of absolute fuckedupness is even a little bit easy. But I am saying, maybe throw the Goo Goo Dolls on, and shake your ass a little bit, as you dance through your house, letting the words, “what you feel is what you are, and what you are is beautiful” wrap themselves around you. Maybe it will help, even just for a minute. Sometimes a minutes peace is enough to make it possible to get through to the next minute!

Listening to: Eric Johnson “Cliffs of Dover”

…i had to face my own grief
because i can’t bear to cry
like that
again
don’t offer me pity
all i ever wanted was to be brave
the ability to fly above this lost feeling
and laugh despite my broken days
sacrifice
burn this and let it fly away…
(Credit dD for this)
Lyric excerpt in Title from The Extinct “Humor Me”

Accidentally tripping down memory’s lane

Listening to: Blue Murder “Save My Love”  (Entirely possible that John Sykes’ guitar tone is the most sexy to exist in the history of guitar tone. At least in Michelle world.)

Been 10 months since I moved to New Jersey. 4 months since I first started talking about domestic violence. Except it’s actually been lifetimes for both. But also, only since yesterday. Or just now, in other realities. Skin has been shed, cocoons escaped from, and transformation continues to be one of my words of the day.

And I still have poetry dancing just beneath the surface that wants so desperately to find its way to where my fingertips meet the keys of my laptop. Pretty words about love, or lands far away, or flowers or puppies or anything that isn’t the life that was formerly mine, or pain, or deep thoughts. Maybe its day 12 of being sick that has me longing to escape serious, and heavy. Or maybe it’s something else that has me dreaming of jumping off of edges, into everything that is magically mundane. Or the south of France. Or Holland.

“…I’d like to see you in the morning light, I’d like to feel you when it comes to night. Now I’m here, and I’m all alone. Still I know how it feels…” (Musical interlude brought you by: Dokken – “Alone Again” )

Sometimes trips down memory lane are filled with realities that are difficult to look at with honest eyes. Not so mine, today. As I look over my shoulder, whether it be a peek or a stare, all I see is beauty. Maybe because its all punctuated by the sound of power-ballads ringing in my ears, and nothing can be less than beautiful when listening to power ballads, (and if you weren’t around for the power ballad era, your life sucks! Just accept that fact, and move on.), music, friendship, (platonic) love, adventure. Or it could be that as it was, before the life that used to be mine, was filled with so much magic. My life of permanent impermanence. My only roots the ones deep inside me, that I take with me everywhere I go.

“…saying I love you is not the words I want to hear from you. It’s not that I want you, not to say, but if you only knew, how easy it would be to show me how you feel…” Extreme – “More Than Words” (Oh Nuno… you sexy Bostonian, Portuguese, guitar God!)

As a young teenage girl, my bedroom was covered with the two B’s that mattered to me most. Baryshnikov, and Bruce. (Springsteen). When I was 14 years old, I saw Mikhail Baryshnikov dance with American Ballet Theater. I could have died that day, and been at complete peace.  Our seats were crap, and it wasn’t a full-length ballet, but rather variations from Balanchine ballets. But all the same, it was him, there, on the stage, in his absolute, flawless, and incomparable magnificence. From as long as I could remember, all I wanted was to be a Prima Ballerina, and to dance with him the grand pas de deux, “The Rose Adagio” from The Sleeping Beauty. Instead of that, I, shortly after seeing him dance, was “gifted” with, large, attributes, that aren’t suited for a dancers body. But I’d seen him dance, and for a broke ass kid living in Detroit, that was nothing short of a miracle.

“…I’ll see you, in my dreams. Back in my arms again, and no matter what tomorrow brings, I’ll see you in my dreams…” Giant “In My Dreams”

And even though my career in dance was summarily crushed before it began, I still danced. Mostly in classes, but when not in classes, in the basement of my childhood home. I’d strap on my toe shoes, and I’d pop the “Born to Run” album on the record player (and if you weren’t around for vinyl, and record players, even though they still exist, but not like they did, then your life sucks. Accept it and move on.), move the arm to “Jungleland”, put that bad boy on repeat setting, and dance to exhaustion. That same year, the year Mikhail and I were so close, but yet so far, I went to not just my first concert, but my first Bruce concert. It was 4 hours of no warm up band, poetic, story-filled, ass shaking (me not Bruce) brilliance. Kind of like having a skilled, and well-endowed lover take your virginity, having your first concert experience be Bruce, almost spoils you for everyone to come after him. ’cause it was absolute magic.

“…but if I was blessed with just one wish, to take me through my lonely life,  I’d wish to go back to the day that I met you…” Lillian Axe – “The Day I Met You”

In my teeny, tiny little life, I’ve won spelling bees, and been selected to sing solos in choir concerts, and won the lead part in plays. Choreographed dancers for school concerts too. I graduated high school early, because I could. I’ve gone on vacation, and never gone back home, except to pick up my stuff. I’ve jumped out of airplanes, and done so at the drop zone where literal world champion skydivers, jump. And in fact, I jumped with world champion skydivers. Don’t read that wrong, I was tandem jumping, but I was strapped to the front of world champs doing it! I’ve swam in numerous oceans, and been to the vast majority of the states in the U.S. I’ve lived in a ridiculous number of them as well, along with a couple of countries in Europe.

I’ve taken spur of the moment road trips, just to see the ocean, or a concert. Or the mountains. And not only, in my teeny, tiny life, have I been to more concerts than I can remember, for which my tickets were almost always comped, but I’ve met many of my heroes of music. People whose talent drops my jaw, and who I wanted nothing more than to just breath in the same room as. I got to do that. Not to mention all the work I got to, by really dumb luck or coincidence or providence, within a teeny, tiny beautiful sphere, within music.

Even when I fucked myself, and accidentally developed a coke problem for a very brief period (it was the 80’s, and I had a friend from Colombia, how was that NOT going to turn out bad!), I always had some sort of roof over my head. I’ve always gotten back up, even when I’ve been knocked the fuck out.

Most importantly, in my teeny, tiny life, I have found, and continue to find, my people. My tribe. My soul grouping. Or something cute about a bunch of crazy people who hang out, that I can’t think of. Anyway, its them I’ve found. Sometimes I add to the group, sometimes I subtract, or someone subtracts themselves. But they’re always my people. I even gave birth to a couple of them. And one of them, gave birth to another of them. If me and all of my people were ever in the same room altogether at the same time, there would be so much love, and so much music, and so much glittery shiny awesomeness, that I’d probably die of happiness.

Even now, in my state of permanent impermanence, where I may end up in a few months living in Arizona, or London, or Barcelona (’cause I hear it’s cheap, and awesome), where I still don’t have even most everything figured out, there is ridiculous amounts of magic. Opportunities, and offers keep coming my way. There is happiness, and laughter, and learning. Unicorn wisdom, and caring, and magick, abound, in this teeny, tiny little life of mine. And snuggles with the Babes, which are beyond perfection.

I’m not sure how I forgot, in the life that used to be mine, about the magic. But I did. I don’t want to ever let that happen again. And if you’re reading this words right now, and you’re in the middle of some sort of shit storm that you can’t seem to find your way out of, and all seems hopeless, and lost, look for the sliver of magic, that’s probably just to the left of you, just out of your line of site, but still close enough to reach. Grab it. Hold onto it. And while you’re doing that, look to your right, ’cause there’s a little sliver of magic there, too.

Listening to: “…photograph, I don’t want your, photograph, I don’t need your, photograph, all I’ve got is your photograph, I wanna touch you…” Def Leppard – “Photograph”

It’s 4AM, and I’m finally tired enough to sleep, but too tired to proofread. I’m launching this bitch anyway.

If I Were Going to March Today – 21st January 2017

Listening to: P!nk  Dear Mr President

“…What kind of father would take his own daughter’s rights away? What kind of father would hate his own daughter if she were gay?..”

It would be really easy for me to be a man hater. I mean, based on my experiences in life, it would be really easy for me to “join” the marches today as an angry woman, railing against our new President, and to make my focus how much men in general, and white men in particular, have hurt me, have fucked me over, and irrevocably changed the course of my life. I could throw insults, or bricks, and feel very justified in doing so. On behalf of so many others I know, who have experienced hurt at the hands of men, or “the man” I could do these things too. ’cause I’m seeing a LOT of that online today, around the world. A lot of it.

The very first man in my life, the man who I am, genetically speaking, half of, my father, he wasn’t a good father. That’s not mean, that’s true. It’s said without anger. I don’t doubt for a minute he wanted to be a good father. But getting in the way of that was his lack of desire to be married to a woman, because, he was gay. Gay, and Catholic, except he had been Jewish, but then had to be Catholic. And it was the 60’s when he married my mom, and had his kids, and was gay. I can only make some assumptions about the things he did, and choices he made, because when he was here, he didn’t talk about it, and I didn’t really ask about it. For me, it was enough to know that he participated in the making of kids, 4 of them, and in his fucked-up-ness, and hurt, he bailed. Like, tipped out, for 17 years, only returning to my world at my request, when I was pregnant with his first grandchild, and had been having dreams about my “daddy.” Which was essentially for me dreaming about Circe or Pegasus. Just a mythological creature I’d heard stories about, but had no real life experience of. At least not that I could recall. He chose his shit, and his hurt, and his confusion, over being at least a dad, if not a daddy, which didn’t require marriage to mom. You absolutely don’t have to be married, or even in relationship with, the other parent, to be a parent to your children. So I tried to build bridges that were his to build, and then, because of his shit, and his hurt, and his confusion, he set explosives to those too. I’m not trying to speak poorly of him. Really, I’m not. He was a lot of good things too. He had his demons, and let them win.  Because of him, I could hate men.

The 2nd man in my life was my stepfather. I think I was 4 when he came into the picture. Maybe 3. When I was 7, he molested me. For maybe a few months, or maybe a year, or maybe I don’t really know. I know how it started, and I know how it ended, and I have more exact, horrifying, disgusting memories of things he did to me, and made me to do him, than I wish I did. This “man” stole my innocence in every way possible. He turned into ugly distorted shapes, my thoughts, and feelings, about sex, and love, and body image, before I understood what those things meant. From what I’ve been told, I had been a chipper, bubbly little kid, who bounced around, happily, in her own little world. Until I wasn’t. I remember my mom asking me why I was always so angry. Why I fought anytime I was supposed to do something alone with him. (Haven’t thought about the absolute terror that were those moments, in a long, long time. Weird.) I remember him “telling on me” to my mom, about what a brat I at times was, and her being upset with me for it. And for always referring to him as “HIM” with disdain she didn’t understand. I remember him buying me gifts to keep me quiet, and showing off the special piece of jewelry he bought for me with my initials on it, to my mom, so I had to wear it, even though it was like wearing a noose. When the truth finally came out, to everyone, he told people I was exaggerating. Or outright lying, depending on for whom he was spinning his tale. I have few other memories of him, the only father I, as a child, knew, outside of the molestation. As cruel as it sounds, I was relieved last year when he died. The world has enough monsters, one less is a good thing. Because of him, I could hate men. But instead, for a while, I chose to hate myself.

The 3rd man, he was my (1st) husband (which makes me feel nauseous every time I see or type it, because, I was only ever getting married once, in my romantic little girl’s head). And he is an alcoholic, and all which that entails. We should have never gotten married, or had more than a first date. But I was fucked up about love, and sex, and I was 19, and I’d just the year before told everyone about the molestation, and it didn’t go great. And he kept calling, so, I ignored the Everest sized, flashing neon signs of THIS IS NOT YOUR GUY, and got married, and had kids, almost in that order. For all that he was, and was not, and all that he did, or did not do, as a husband, it didn’t have that big an impact on me, past when it was happening. It was what he did after I left him, and by his own admission to hurt me, get back at me for leaving, which ended up hurting my daughters more than anyone, that more than anything else, changed the course of my life, and fucked me up, deeply. Because of him, I could hate men.

The 4th man, was my (2nd) (bleh) husband. The reason this blog in total was started. For all the deeply fucked up deceit, manipulation, emotional, and physical abuse at his hands, I could HATE men. But instead, for a while, I chose to hate myself.

There are of course other men sprinkled around in my past. Friends. Lovers. Loves (totaling 3 in life. Maybe 3 1/2). Some are absolutely beautiful souls for whom I will be forever grateful to have met, and experienced, to whatever degree I have done. They have shown me what fiercely loyal looks like, as friends, as fathers, boyfriends, and husbands. They have shown me what falling down, and getting back up, looks like. They have shown me that marriage not being forever doesn’t have to be construed as a bad thing, if ending a marriage happens because people change, and grow apart, and love is inexplicable, and weird. They have shown me that, few and far between, there does exist in this world, the mythical creature called “daddy.” They have shown me that drive, determination, persistence, hard-work, and heart, sometimes actually pay off. They have shown me that “real” men have hard, and soft sides.

I know that the marches that have happened, or are happening, today, are about women’s rights being human rights. And I SO firmly stand behind things like a woman’s right to choose, (stay THE FUCK out of MY uterus!) and I fully support gay marriage, “choosing” (which isn’t really a choice) to be your REAL gender, instead of what your outward appearance says your gender is. I absolutely support the ideals that we MUST help those whose situation makes it more difficult, if not impossible, for them to help themselves, wherever we CAN. Equal pay for equal work? Fuck yeah, that should always be a thing! I without question stand up for the rights of EVERYONE to practice their religion, whatever that religion is, even if a whacked out group of people who follow a hybrid of that same religion, are terrorist evil killers.

All that being said, and having said so much more than I intended to at the outset of this writing, there are some things that I simply do not vibe with, that are being thrown into the mix. This last part I will preface with, I have no answers. I’m just some chick, who currently lives in Jersey, who in a few months from now may be living in Arizona, or London, or in a van by the river (not really) who has been hopped up on various drugs for a cold, which turned out to be bronchitis, for a week. I’ve definitely, in the last few months, remembered that I’m kind of awesome. But I don’t have the answers to the problems of the U.S., or the world. I do, however, have some thoughts about what I vibe with, and that with which I do not vibe.

So, if I had been marching today, it would not be in protest of Donald Trump, or other men, as related to things like “locker room talk.” If I were going to get my panties in a twist about that kind of thing, I’d have to hold myself to that same standard. And not only do I have a potty mouth, I have been known to have conversations which can not just be construed as, but are 100% the equivalent of, locker room talk. I’ve spoken candidly with my girlfriends about men, in general and specifically, and things of a sexual nature that I’d like to do to or with them. (If my daughters or mom are reading this, that’s a lie. I’m sweet and innocent. Still a virgin. 2 immaculate conceptions. Never even kissed a boy. Would never indulge in conversations in which men are objectified by discussing their things like abs, biceps, or pert glutes, without even noticing the face attached to the body, much less specific sexual situations with specific men, because I’ve never even had sex.)

Don’t get me wrong, I think the whole “grab women by the pussy” thing, was stupid. And gross. Not for nothing, if Donald, didn’t have money, he (probably) wouldn’t be nailing many chicks, much less hot chicks. I don’t know his wife, but, she’s bangin’, as far as appearances go, so I don’t get it. Because his money wouldn’t be enough for me to do him. He could be a master of kama sutra, with the most perfect package in the history of ever, AND all that money, and still, nope, nope, nope. But I’m not remotely offended, or angered by what he said. And so many people in the world think that if anyone SHOULD be angered by it, it should be, the woman who has experienced less than stellar treatment by men, but I’m not. I’m sure Bill Clinton said things equally unsavory, if heard by people other than the intended audience. As have any number of the Kennedys. Or my girlfriends.

If I were marching, I would also not be protesting his inauguration as the President of the United States, or saying “he’s not my President.”  We have an allegedly democratic system (that is stupid, archaic, broken, fucked-up, corrupt, ridiculous, and just a steaming pile of poo), and we voted him in. Had Hilary won, it would be that same system which allowed that to happen. The same system, which I’m pretty convinced, prevented Bernie Sanders from being a real contender.So I’m more concerned with how we ended up with 2 shameful, ridiculous candidates, from which to choose? Why do we still have a 2 party system? Why aren’t we fighting back against special interest groups REALLY controlling elections? And likely, everything else. Trump having won the election is just the symptom. Wouldn’t our energy be more well spent trying to cure the disease?

Because this is the longest blog I’ve ever written, and cough medicine is starting to make words swirl in front of my eyes a little bit, if “we” are saying that women’s rights are human rights, we need to mean it. We need to as a race, the HUMAN race, stop with the divisiveness. All white men are NOT to blame for the plight of everyone else. Yeah, I understand that historically, they have gotten a pass on things because of their whiteness, and maleness. Guess what? I’ve gotten a pass because of my tits. I’ve gotten in places free, I’ve been given stuff, I’ve been moved to the head of lines, I’ve been picked from the audience at concerts, and taken back stage, because of how I look. And I am NOT some little skinny, Barbie Doll typical of what the American male finds attractive, woman. Nor did I seek those things out. I get the impact of me getting taken to the front of a line is much less than the true injustices that have come about due to a historically vanilla, and patriarchal society. I’m not stupid. But I’m not pissed at white guys, for their whiteness. Or their guyness. I’m taking each one as they come.I know white guys who have been molested, abused, abandoned, had their children unjustly taken from them, etc, too. I know white guys who have gotten the really shit end of any number of sticks.

And I actually kinda feel bad for them. I mean, men in general, in a lot of instances. How fucking confusing must it be, to be a man, in this day and age. Too masculine, and you’re a dick. Too emotional, and you’re a pussy. Good luck figuring out how you’re allowed to be, dudes, much less whether or not I’m gonna get pissed if you do, or don’t, open the door for me. And what if you have sex, and the chick gets pregnant, and she decides to keep the kid? That’s all her choice. But if she decides to abort, also all her choice. (And this I get, see above about stay the fuck out of my uterus) but what exactly do YOU, dude, do with that? What if you wanted that baby? Double-edge sword right there, isn’t it. And I feel that for you, I really do.

I think it’s beautiful, and amazing, that so many have come together today to rock the boat. I’m ALL about boat rocking! But let’s pay attention to how we are rocking boats, and why. Maybe the revolution is supposed to be about ALL OF IT. Maybe it’s time to, as lovingly as possible in the face of some really scary shit, give the status quo a kick in the (ass)? Maybe it’s time for us to stop seeing EVERYTHING as us VS them, if we really want to affect change? Maybe our anger is supposed to get us off of our couches, but our compassion, and love, is supposed to be that upon which we act? I do believe that women have tremendous amounts of power. I do believe that the Divine Feminine will create a brilliant shift, if we act genuinely from a place that is DIVINE. Which means from love.

It could be really easy for me to hate men. Or to be honest, people in general. And I could throw insults, or bricks. Or I can try and find a different way. The way that shows my sisters who have been hurt by men, that to raise themselves, to fix themselves, they don’t need to hate all men, or any men. For as much as I abhor politics, I can always seek to try a tiny way to make a positive change, and I don’t just mean writing this blog. The least of that which I can do at this moment is to NOT send a bunch of negative energy to Trump, and his presidency. If ever any situation, and person, needed love in enormous, overflowing, sloppy buckets-full, it’s this, and him.

So, Dear anyone who might be reading this, who might be a woman, who might have gotten really, really hurt by a man, or men, it’s to you I actually want to speak. It could be really easy for us to hate men, and send that hate out into the world in every single thing we do. Or we can choose a different path. We can choose to show our strength as love whenever possible. We can meet “their” ugly, with our beautiful. We can try to be the most dope souls the planet has ever seen. Damn, coulda just cut to the chase, and typed that part, right? Anyway, that’s for what I “marched” today.

Listening to: P!nk Slut Like You

“…You don’t win a prize with your googly eyes
I’m not a cracker jack
You can’t go inside
Unless I let you jack, or Sam?
Fuck what’s your name again ?
You, male, come, now
You, caveman, sit down
You shh don’t ruin it, wow!
Check please…”

“…you can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life…”

Listening to: A Star Is Born soundtrack – Specifically Kris Kristofferson & Barbra Striesand “Lost Inside of You” – “….lost in the music, and lost in your eyes…”

So, day 4 of being sick, and day 2 of being on and off hyper emotional, along with – I can literally feel my fever breaking as I’m typing this, so, crap shoot as to whether anything is going to make sense, or accurately reflect my thoughts…

One of the biggest parts of me writing in a public format is, just in case what I have to say gets read by someone who might need to hear it. Because along my path, I really could have used a no-bullshit accounting of someone’s experiences, to which I could relate. I read a lot of stuff, including very personal accounts of what women had gone through, but none of them that I saw, were my vibe. There wasn’t anything wrong with what I read, because a persons account of their own experiences can never be wrong, but for me, anything that is too dogmatically religious, or too fluffy spiritual, or too “all men suck” angry, or too victimy (not a word),  causes me to peace out a few paragraphs in. This is probably much more a reflection of me than anything else, but, its my truth. I figure that I’m probably not the only girl on the planet who is convinced that she has a disco ball in her pretty little head,  so everything is spinny, flashy, and just a little bit strange, in a cool way. This isn’t about intelligence though, this is about tone, and tempo, and quite possibly the use of expletives.

Today one of my most long time friends commented on my Facebook post about my blog, that what I’d written really resonated for her. She’s just recently seen the unexpected end of a long-term relationship, and now that she’s kind of coming up for air, is realizing (or maybe for the first time, vocalizing) that it was emotionally abusive. Reading what my darling friend wrote was a FUCK YEAH moment for me. I mean, not because of her pain, and shitty situation. That part of things was more like, awww, fuuuuuccccck. The fuck yeah was that in maybe even the most minute way, putting the life that used to be mine, and my mind, and my heart, and my soul, out in the world for people to see, and feel, made a difference for her. That is what makes being so raw, and vulnerable in a such a public way, absolutely worth it.

I feel that it’s important for me to go a bit deeper about this particular friend, even though I don’t know exactly what were her experiences with the twunt who abused her. It is enough that she has said he was abusive. In one of the very first things I wrote about being abused, I wrote something to the effect of “if you want to know what an abused woman looks like, she looks like me” because I KNOW that I am not, to those who know me, the person anyone thinks would remain in an abusive situation. If I’m not that chick, my girl is even less that chick, times a thousand.

When I met her, she was an on-air personality (read: DJ, when there was really such a thing) at a rock station in Arizona. She also happened to be a champion for local bands, which in part took shape as having a weekly show featuring local music. I was at the time, in addition to whatever my day gig was, working as the Local Marketing Rep for a record label group/music distribution company, and working as a Booking Agent for a Music Management company, and also managing some of my own bands.

Our literal first meeting was when she was doing a live-remote at a local record store, and I was working some new releases for the label, into said record store. Enterprising chick that I am, I introduced myself to her, gave her the CD of one of the local bands with whom I was working, and we swapped business cards, each of us happy to meet another woman working in music. The rest as they say, is history. Crazy, messy, blurry, amazing, silly, dirty, secrets-to-the-grave, trading men like PokeMon while playing strip(ish) poker, middle of the night after a concert and against the rules wearing only our knickers swimming in a glass sided pool at a super swank resort, knock-down, drag-out, Jager Meister infused, shroomy at a Tool concert,  singing ABBA songs into hairbrushes, yelling at mean boys who broke or bruised the other’s heart, history.

About her though, let me tell you. This woman, when I met her, in addition to being a DJ, was a single mommy to a baby boy. And a full-time college student working on her Bachelors Degree, and then went on to obtain her Master’s Degree. I remember sitting in the station with her during her air shifts, and she’d have her books spread out all over the board, studying while songs were playing, while taking calls, while yapping to me, while applying makeup so we could go out after her shift was over. She, in a male-dominated industry, was hugely respected, and in addition to her on air success, ultimately became Assistant Program Director/Music Director. Even though Phoenix is a B market in radio land, or was then, our scene was HUGE at the time. All the Tempe jangle pop breaking out across America.  Which also mean, all the BIG national acts rolling through, and they wanted to know her, ’cause she literally played a huge part in their future success in that market.

She’s a Black Diamond snow bunny skier too. Which means a lot if you’re me, and went skiing with her, and spent most of your time rolling down mountains, and knocking 6’4″ men off their skis by skiing into them. Even though it was my first time skiing, and,  I looked cute doing it, I’m not all shoosh/shoosh graceful, badass, jumping moguls and shit, her!

This is also the chick who interviewed Stephen Tyler, while sitting on Stephen Tyler’s lap, because Stephen Tyler ASKED her to sit on his lap. The interview was, at least on her side, and as always, intelligent, insightful, and professional. Because she is that crazy amazingly cool. Well, except for that one time when we were at soundcheck/pre-show BBQ with Queensryche, neither of us having met them before, and she, as we’re introduced to Geoff Tate, fan girls the fuck out and says “We Love You! Teeheeheehee” all 12 year old at a Bieber concert! And kinda won’t give him his hand back after shaking it. And even though that is a true story, in all honesty, the fact that she fan girled SO hard makes her that much more cool, to me.

Have I mentioned that she’s also in the Naval Reserve? Because she is. Her baby boy is now a college student. And although she’s put radio behind her, she has been super successful in her other career pursuits.  But somehow, this woman, who had done so much that so many would give their left, whatever, to do, who is SO intelligent, and driven, and strong, was in an abusive relationship. And she stayed, as I did, much too long at the dance. Because that’s what we sometimes do, us strong women, who are intelligent, and have a lot going for us. And now she, my dear friend,  says she had been walking in an emotional black hole, but is now on a brighter path to healing. FUCK YEAH!

So for anyone who reads this, who might need it, please know that no matter if you’re being emotionally abused, or physically abused, it doesn’t mean you’re not strong. It doesn’t mean you’re not brilliant, and beautiful. Don’t get down on yourself if you, by all outward appearances, aren’t the “type” that this happens to, because we are all potentially the type that it happens to. And you’re not alone.

Listening to Queensryche – “Someone Else”  – “….All my life they said I was going down, but I’m still standing, stronger proud. And today I know there’s so much more I can be…”

 

Being a Whiner

Listening to: The sound of some bullshit on TV

Debated for a minute or 7, not writing this blog, as I’m in a hyper emotional state, which I’ll attribute to being sicker than I’ve been in years, but maybe it’ll help if I purge some of the emotion onto this figurative piece of paper.

OH GOD DAMN IT with the phone calls!! No, this isn’t part of my original intended writing. This is my frustration, and incredulity about the FUCKING PHONE CALLS, of which I’m getting another right now. The phone calls that for years I wanted, and did not get. That come from number blocked, so it’s not even like I can block them. Right now, in this moment, feeling like death that’s not even been done the courtesy of being warmed over, THAT phone call just pisses me off. There’s no chance I’ll answer, but in my head I’m screaming “what do you want from me??” Except I don’t really care to know what you want because I’ve nothing left to give. (Without malice.)

You were lucky enough to be one of the 3 men in this lifetime I have been in love with. And “…you lost the love, I loved the most…” (Christina Perri – “Jar of Hearts”). You were pampered, and nurtured, and cared for, and about, in ways others can only dream to be. And then you hurt me. A lot. And in every way imaginable. I finally, and fully, walked away, at your behest. Remember?  You to me: Hey Michelle, I want a divorce because the reason I used to be so horrible to you is because I’m embarrassed about what people think because you’re 14 years older than me.  And then you and your girlfriend went on a cruise to the Bahamas. And you tried to use the love of my daughters for you, AGAINST ME. And you set me the fuck free. If you are by some chance reading my words, and that’s why you’re calling me, I am NOT GOING TO ANSWER. Without malice. I’m not the girl who answers anymore. I’m back to the girl you met, except, an even more awesome version of her.Please, go love your girlfriend. Better yet, go love yourself!! That’s all I ever really wanted for you. But now if you do or don’t, it doesn’t involve me.

And just writing these words has taken away the emotion I was feeling. *Woooosaaaaaa*

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I’m not editing this when I’m done writing it. This is going to be the most free-form “…swimming round in our glasses, and talking out of our asses…” (One Direction “A.M.”) (and so what if what’s in my glass is sage tea, and not booze? I’ve never needed alcohol to be unabashedly honest. Or to be an idiot.) sort of thing I’ve ever written, and it’s all staying. It’s staying because its possible that the six thousand five hundred and twenty four emotions that I’ve been feeling in flickers, and flashes, all day, is more healing around the DV. I also know that because I’m physically sick, I’m emotionally more “weak” than I may otherwise be. So just in case anything going on with me today can serve to tell anyone who might read this, who needs it, that if they one day, after feeling really grounded, feel like a flippin’ psycho one day, they aren’t alone.

The whiny bit is about how physically miserable I’m feeling, and how for the first time in a long time, I am lonely, and miss the idea of an “us” a lot. I’m missing being taken care of. And I don’t mean in the way a parent, or even an adult child, or a good friend, will take care of me. I mean the way a love would take care of me. Run the bath, pour in something aromatic, and soothing. Wash my hair for me, and that place on my back I can’t quite reach. Help me dry my hair when I’m done so I don’t catch a chill. And bring me a fresh cup of tea, once I’m back in bed. And as sneezey, wheezy, coughy, red-nosed, fevery-eyed, and likely contagious as I am, cuddle me to sleep, maybe while singing to me. And know that when you catch what I’ve got, I’ll do all that, and more, for you. ’cause that’s what love does.

I dig that being a strong, independent woman is cool, and that I’ve gotten through the shit I’ve gotten through because (even in my most weak moments) she is who I am. But today I just wanna lean a little, or a lot. Today I kinda dream of a someone who is fully engulfed in thoughts of (all of) me, and into whom I could melt, who’d melt right back into me. A someone who helps me shine, instead of being intimidated by my brightness, for whom I do the same. I want a someone whose intensity matches my own, and whose calm does too. Someone who isn’t scared to push boundaries, explore new thoughts and ideas, and take chances with me, because they know that whatever we do together, it will be extraordinary. Together we’ll be shouting YOLO, but both of us know that it’s not the truth because we’ve lived a thousand lives, or are currently living a thousand concurrent lives.

And as I write this I get a bit bothered by the fact that someones have put out there in the world the psychodrama that to want these things, makes a woman less strong, less independent. Why am I hesitant to say them, think them, feel them? Fuck that. Isn’t it GOOD that I didn’t get so broken that I’m no longer capable of giving, and receiving, love? Doesn’t that really speak to my strength?

This has taken way too long to write. I’m tired. I don’t ffeeeeellllll gooooooodddd. My cup of tea is empty. And I want someone to cuddle me to sleep, because there is nothing else they’d rather be doing.

Because this blog will maybe be read by someone who has experienced DV… For you, and for me, as much as I am whiny girl right now, I would not trade having to run my own bath, for getting punched, hit and kicked, ever! I can get my own cup of tea, and am happy to know that never again will I hear that I’m walking too slowly to get it. None of the abuses, small or large, none of the bullshit, is worth having someone, occasionally, show you what passes for love in their world. So for me, while I am open to a love, bars have been raised, never to be lowered. What I what in a man is so tangible to me, it’s almost as if I can see every thing about him, in exquisite detail, in my mind’s eye…. And sometimes it seems like 90 years I’ve been waiting for him. Or since the middle ages.

So now I’m throwing this out into the ether too. All that I desire, desires me. And HE is out there. But until he’s here, instead of there, (whoever he is ’cause as much as I can see my ideal of him, who he will really be….unknown) I’ll some days whine. And then I’ll go make my own tea.

“…there’s nothing to be afraid of, even when the night changes…”

Listening to: One Direction – “Night Changes”

A few months ago, one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Gilbert, most well known for her book, turned into a movie, “Eat, Pray, Love”  posted on social media that she was no longer going to apologize for how she feels. She elaborated on what that meant for her in a specific situation. I, at the time, kinda judged her for it. And by kinda, I mean 100% judged her for it. Thought her wrong, wrong, wrong, for the choice, which led to her making that post. But also, was a little in awe of her fearlessness in making the difficult choices she needed to make, choices that didn’t affect only her, so that she could be living as  her authentic (I hate buzzwords, but it fits) self.  But now, I get it.

To quote another lyric, one that has stuck with me from the first time I heard it is “…I don’t wanna live like my mother, I don’t wanna let fear rule my life. And I don’t wanna live like my father, I don’t wanna give up, before I die…”  (Smile Empty Soul – “Silhouettes”) (This quote in no way intended to make a statement about any of my parents.) These words, and this idea, have become increasingly more true for me over the last several months. Coming out of a place where fear ruled every single choice I made, and having been on the precipice of giving up, and in some ways had actually done, I feel them to the core of my being.

As a half a Jew, who was baptized Roman Catholic, and attended Catholic school for 8 or 9 years, weirdly enough, the core “religious” teachings of my life have been predominantly based on principals of spirituality. I mean, aside from what I learned from the nun who was my teacher when I was 6, who told me that since my parents had gotten a divorce when I was 3, for their sin, I was going to hell. Which in my precocious mind meant I had carte blanche to do as I pleased ’cause I was already fucked.Six year old me hollering YOLO! Except not really, because YOLO wasn’t a thing then. And, I was six. But I did believe, at least for a while, that I was fucked. Except, spirituality.

Bat shit crazy nuns aside, I have long KNOWN that living a fear filled life, a life fraught with negativity, and coming from a place of lack, is counterproductive. Yet for many years, it was my absolute truth. Not fear of getting hit, because I never really feared that. But fear of what would or wouldn’t happen if I did, or didn’t, do, or say, or look, or act, speak, think, respond, FEEL, the right way. I (subconsciously) chose to merely exist, instead of choosing to LIVE. At a point I became consciously aware of my choice, and yet I kept making the same choice. Not that I didn’t put up a fight for change, but I kept waiting for another to change what they were doing, while the Magical 8 Ball kept saying “shit ain’t happenin’ GTFO while you can.”

Part of what living in fear, and giving up meant was that I was closed-off to possibilities. Literally. I did not see a future for myself in which there would be happiness. This wasn’t about being with my ex, or not, it was much more expansive than that. I remember sitting in a counselors office, and crying, telling her exactly that I saw no future which for me held happiness. That I was hopelessness, personified. Where once I used to “hear music in the sunrise,” (City of Angels) and had in what were previous to this, my toughest times, fully believed that as long as there is in the world such a thing as a beautiful sunrise, there is hope, living embroiled in fear washed that away. And this I now speak of because it IS a huge part of the truth of what experiencing domestic violence, and for me, concurrently, being married to a sex addict, can do. (Although without a doubt, some of it has roots more deep than that.)

It may smack of melodrama to say what I’ve been through is analogues to a near death experience, but I’ve a very real sense of having “seen life from both sides now.” (Yes, lyrics, again. Standing on the shoulders of giants, as it were. Joni Mitchell – “Both Sides Now”) If death, for purposes of this writing, can be described as one side, and the utter absence of light, I have indeed seen death. Conversely, if life can be said to be the other side, and all that is brilliantly bright, this is now my view.

Which brings me back to Elizabeth Gilbert, no longer apologizing for feelings, and fearlessness.

To live now, as my most authentic (bleh) self, I do not apologize for my feelings, no matter what anyone else may think of them. So if I love, and “…my three words have two meanings…” (Ed Sheeran – “Lego House”) I do not apologize. “Love, is love, is love, is love is love is love is love…” (Lin Manuel Miranda – Tonys Acceptance Speech) And I will be fearless in speaking my love to anyone for whom I have love, because love is only ever a good thing. If I don’t love, for that I will also not apologize. (Although I will always strive to hold love for everyone, in a spiritual sense. So I guess three words have three meanings, Ed.)Because I wish to facilitate others feeling the way I feel when receiving a compliment or kindness, these things too, I will do, with no apology, and no fear of anyone maybe thinking I’m weird for doing so. For my evolving/deepening spiritual beliefs, which are absolutely rooted in what FEELS like truth to me, and more importantly, feels like what has always been my truth, which got sometimes lost in dogma, and the fear others held, there will be no apology.

I could continue to cite examples of what this looks like for me, but for anyone who reads this, who may need it, it is for you to decide for what you do not wish to apologize, and how fearlessness will show up, for you. And none of this is to say that I will thoughtlessly launch myself into unwise situations, nor do I encourage anyone else to do so. I’m talking about being unapologetic for feelings, and fearlessness here, not being stupid. And while I will always try to be very considerate of others in the making of my choices, at the end of the day, I have to live for myself.

What I can say is the absolute truth in my life, and for me, is that each step, and in some instances, leap, I have taken, without fear of what might happen next, and without apology for it, has led me to a place where I am happier than I can ever recall being. I am amazed at what I am now attracting into my life, simply (and not so simply) by virtue of no longer living in a place of fear, with a side of self love, and support when needed, thrown in. I’m actually excited about my life now, and the prospect of what is next for me. I don’t have everything figured out, and in fact I have mostly nothing figured out, but it’s all pretty fuckin’ cool. Especially the stuff that is the most messy, and unexpected. And now I can (again) hear the music in the sunrise, and magic(k) is everywhere I look.

Listening to: Goo Goo Dolls  – “Black Balloon”

“…our scars remind us, that the past is real…”

Listening to:  (I can’t tell you) But it is “Crazy, sexy, deep layers of everything erotic, and spiritual, and musical, all at once” (this is me, quoting me) And when you some day hear it, you will be mind blown by it!
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Once upon a time, in a life far away, I was a well spoken chick. Not on purpose, not intentionally, it was just a thing. My love affair with words, and talking, started at a young age. I have a very clear memory of being in kindergarten, so, 5 years old, and for some reason pointing out to my teacher that the “thing” depicted in the book being read to us, was a conveyor belt. I remember the look on her face of “how in the actual fuck do you know that?” and her saying something, that didn’t at all involve the word fuck, I’m sure, but that told me a 5 year old wasn’t supposed to know words like that. (I have no idea, then, or now, how I did.) I also remember getting in trouble for not shutting up when I was supposed to. And then for talking back, when I was getting in trouble, for not shutting up. A-fucking-dorable, right?

Some of my best memories in life involve having long conversations on topics ranging from deep and serious, to just silly, which were somehow taken deep. Sometimes those conversations have been an equal exchange, other times they have been a bit more one-sided. Whether deep thoughts, deep feelings, discussion of facts, or just bullshitting, throwing out supposition that seemed to fit, I could hold my own. And by that I mean, I could make a contribution to the conversation. Even if I wasn’t well-versed, or versed at all, on the topic, I had something cogent to say.

In recent months, as I’ve actually started having conversations with people again, after years of hiding from anything too deep, or even too silly, I’ve found myself tripping over my thoughts, and stumbling over my words. Or trying to give Reader’s Digest versions of whatever it is I’m saying, even if the topic isn’t really Reader’s Digestable. I’ll ramble, even when I’m saying something that is actually meaningful to me. And the thing is, I’m smart. I mean, legit smart. Like, back in the day, tested at Genius IQ level, smart. This isn’t bragging, because it’s not something I can take credit for. And god knows I’ve not done fuck all that I could have to utilize the intelligence level I was given to its potential, so, definitely not bragging!

Last night, after a conversation which at some points was really deep, and other times just brilliantly silly, but was in sum total fantastic, during which time I was speaking of coolness that’s going on in my realm, I got reflective (read: a little bit obsessed over how many times during the conversation I might have sounded like the huge dork I am), and realized how much stuff I didn’t say. Not blah blah stuff, but stuff directly related to the explanation of the coolness! And how not eloquent I feel I sounded. Not like I’m supposed to be all Queen’s English, Shakespearean, or whatever, in daily convo. I just feel like I was rambly, speeding through topic, little girl, cutting myself off without saying what I wanted to say, how I wanted to say it.

Because I’ve noticed the frequency with which I’m feeling this way, irrespective of with whom I’m speaking, I decided to take a deeper look to see if I could figure out how I arrived here. But the look ended up having to be not that deep at all. Some really shit memories came back of how often I was told that I speak too slowly. Literally SPEAK TOO SLOWLY. I was told to speed it up, cut to the chase, omit shit for the sake of expediency, or to leave out what the listener thought to be extraneous info. I was told that what I was saying was a repeat of shit I said before in other conversations. Told that I didn’t need to bother using “big words”, because no one was impressed by them. Told that I didn’t actually mean what I was saying, because the look on my face conveyed something else.

I used to pride myself in being (for the most part) thoughtful, and taking my time before vocalizing my thoughts and feelings. I thought it was a good thing. Until I allowed myself to believe when I was told I needed to speed it up, or shut up. Words hurled with such disdain, and condescension, served with a side of “looking at you like you’re an absolute worthless idiot, shooting laser from my angry eyes” that I’d lose my train of thought, completely. Or I’d just shut up because I felt I had nothing of value to say. Or I’d giddy the fuck up, as instructed, so as not to further annoy or bore the listener. I started to wonder if I really believed what I was saying, no matter if I was saying “my name is Michelle.” But, is it really? Or does the look on my face say I’m full of shit?

I felt moved to write about this because this IS indeed part of the larger picture of domestic abuse. More covert than getting punched in the head, but abuse none-the-less, which has left its mark on me.  Clearly it was/is a form of control. Along with telling me I walk too slowly, which I heard all the time too. A way to, intentionally or not, break me down. Make me feel less than. And it worked.

I won’t suppose to know the reason behind this aspect of the abuse, anymore than I have the physical portion of it. The why doesn’t matter, anyway. What matters now is me fixing this tiny little fracture, which feels kinda huge when I think about it. I suppose it comes down to, as much as does, bolstering my self-confidence. Remembering who I am. A glittery chick WITH a high IQ, and something to say! I guess I just need to take a beat, and have a few more conversations with myself, in which I remind my, me, that its more than OK for me to speak, at my own pace. That the fact that I at least attempt to be thoughtful when expressing whatever it is I’m trying to say, is GOOD. And that anyone who does not see the value in that, isn’t worth the time I’ve taken in being thoughtful.

And for you, who may someday read this, who may need to hear this, know that you too should be cool with taking things at your own pace. Know that not all scars are visible, and that the invisible ones, I’m learning, take more time to heal, than those you can see. Surround yourself with those who see your worth, and tell you they see it. But even in the absence of them, make YOUR voice the loudest thing in your head, and know it for yourself.


 

Listening to: The Eagles “Love Will Keep Us Alive”