Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Much like Dylan here I've been spending much of my time in front of the computer. Except instead of ordering from Omaha Steaks and the Nylabone company I've been finishing up my last minute school work. But finished it is! On Sunday I finished my final paper for Communications - on Monday I knocked out three media analysis - and today I took my final exam and wrote up a presentation for my last Communications class which is this Thursday :D I won't be taking any classes over the summer so I'll be free of school related activities until August 20th O_o Hopefully I don't find myself dreading going back when the time comes after so much time off - I think I've set up a good Fall schedule for myself and while I'll be busy it should at least mostly be interesting :D
All said I'm quite happy with myself having completed my first semester back at school. I last went to school in 2003 or 2004 and I was nervous as hell to go back. "It's been too long." "I'm too old." "I'm too crazy." "I'm going to fail, absolutely." are some of the thoughts that went through my head. But really I got something fantastic from this - which is the knowledge that I'm capable of doing it. Of course I will go through this all again when I transfer to UW - but one thing at a time...

Monday, April 30, 2012

I've moved my writing (yeah.. well.. there will be soon :D) and writing relating rantings over to Here's My Story. This blog, which was originally meant for writing related stuff just seemed to derail into my own personal thoughts and rantings. It was easier to just start anew with the writing discussion :)
Admittedly there's not much there right now - but I hope you'll consider checking it out. I have high hopes :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

As I was finishing up my chapter work for my Interpersonal Communications class today and I came across the chapter on family relationships. There was a section defining different types of families - "nuclear", "blended", etc.  Whether you’re married, homosexual, combined with other relatives, or remarried - children always seemed to be required for the “family” definition. I like to think that with our two selves, two dogs, two ferrets, two gerbils, two parakeets and a fish tank that we have a fine little family going. And that even without the pets we would still qualify for family status for reasons beyond procreation. I would also say that a young woman living in an apartment with her cat are also their own little family. Maybe that’s too broad a definition for some – but I definitely find the current definitions to be too narrow.

The family I was adopted into was large. Lots of mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins and of course children. But not a family by any definition. Abusive, cruel, petty, manipulative and all of them only out for themselves. Every positive interaction mentioned in the chapter – I never saw it among them. The book says that “family comes from the Latin “famulus”, meaning “servant” or “slave”. I think they were all fully aware of that. They used each other to their own purposes, never giving back. There was no positivity. No openness. No assurances. Everyone yelled at each other even though they were in the same room. When my mother died I left that family. I’m perfectly happy with the little one I’ve got going on here – even if it doesn’t warrant definition. 

In reality “defining family” is probably too difficult. People who are supposed to be our family sometimes simply aren’t. And those that we aren’t related to biologically/by adoption are “like family”. I feel more affection for my brother-in-law than I ever will for my sister. I have an aunt and uncle through my husband who I hold closer than any in my adoptive family. And as I've said before my husband’s father was the only man I ever called “Dad” by choice. Sometimes redefining is required.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Before I start this please know that it is not meant to offend. I have no issues with others belief systems - only how they choose to use them against other people. I believe in the right to religious freedom - in what I see to be the true meaning of the phrase. Everyone is free to worship (or not) how they see fit without forcing their beliefs upon others because those others are free to worship (or not) how they see fit. I think debate is healthy up to a point because we can learn something from one another. See each others point of view. Education is always a good thing. Unfortunately things turn nasty so quickly with topics such as these. Maybe because some of us are trying to convert each other - and we shouldn't be. It's too big a thing - you will almost certainly not make someone an Atheist or Christian or Pagan or any other religion over the internet or in any single conversation in person. It took me over ten years to transform from Christian to Agnostic to Atheist. And no one else did it for me. No one single argument from anyone pushed me in any single direction. People contributed - but by their natural actions. By simply being themselves. By the world being the way it is. But it was mostly my own thoughts and actions. My own questions and the answers I sought out for myself.
I was raised Christian - specifically Baptist. I went to Sunday school as a child and was the youngest person to be baptized at my church (at the time anyway, I haven't kept up with their records.). I went to a Christian camp when I was young and when I grew up I worked there for my first job.
I was thinking about that job today - more specifically leaving it. I was sixteen years old and it was midsummer. I was stressed, anxious and depressed. My job was working in the kitchen and my mental health was not conducive to hanging around sharp objects all day. I was worried about myself and I felt it best to remove myself from the situation. So I let the director know I was quitting. I couldn't give notice, I was sorry. I don't remember what I told him was the reason for my leaving - I know it wasn't the truth. I was told that the two directors wanted to say good-bye to me and as I'd worked there for about two years that seemed normal so I went into one of the offices. They sat me down and one sitting, one standing they proceeded to tell me that I was a slut and a whore for the amount of time I spent with my boyfriend, including spending the night (supervised) at his house. They told me that my character was flawed, I wasn't a good person and I wouldn't amount to anything in life because I was raised without a father. They also said some stuff about my mother. Two grown men lied to get a sixteen year old girl into their office so that they could berate her. And why? Because she quit without notice.
This is what started the change for me. Two Christian men running a Christian camp and acting very un-Christlike. No one with a witty comment or a bible verse or a well thought out point would have done it. No internet argument or in person debate would have changed my life enough to make me rethink where I wanted to place my faith. And even with this turning point, as I said it took over ten years for me to change completely from Theist to Atheist. I think if you want to have a theological discussion, that's fine. Even encouraged. But be smart about it. Be kind and respectful and be educational. Don't beat people over the head with your beliefs because they need their own change, their own turning point for a new belief system - if it ever comes. I always had questions, but I wasn't looking to change. Change found me.

Monday, April 2, 2012

I've been planning this tattoo for a couple of years and finally got it a couple of weeks ago. It is in memory of my father-in-law who passed away about five years ago in a motorcycle accident. The chess piece is because the first time I spent quality time with him was when he taught me how to play chess - I was sixteen and my husband (then boyfriend) was away at either basic training or tech school. The Knight is because that's what he was to me. He was the only person I called "Dad" by choice and the only person I ever felt filled that role for me. He was also the only person I've ever had a close relationship with who I can say with no hesitation never hurt me. Maybe if he had lived, he would have one day. But I don't think so. He surely wasn't perfect - nobody is perfect. But in my life, in my experiences - he was as close as they got. He knew who I was and what I was like. He knew the things that were wrong with me and he never thought that that's what it was - something wrong. That I needed fixing in that sort of sense.
   I came from a family that is filled with hateful, selfish, cruel, abusive, petty and just generally unlikable people. And they live. I've never heard of anyone disliking my father-in-law. Not in the sense that he passed away and everyone said nice things about him - that sort of thing always happens. Even when he was alive everyone liked the person he was. These parts of life I cannot come to terms with. These kinds of accidents I do not understand.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

In just about every therapy appointment I bring up that I'm an angry person and I don't like it. That I want to be less angry or less hateful towards others. Hold less contempt. This week my therapist said something that surprised me, and that I never expected anyone in her profession to say - That maybe the anger was okay. That perhaps it was earned and deserved. That perhaps after a childhood and adolescence of every abuse known - that spending my twenties depressed and suicidal, in hospitals and betrayed and preyed upon by the people who were supposed to help me (and that list is long). After all my losses, the cutting, the over medication and solitude that maybe I have earned the right to be angry. Maybe this is the point in my life where I say "Hey, fuck you guys. I got through all your shit and now I'm working on being my own person." And I am. It's very difficult and I think she may be right that anger is the best I can do right now. This revelation also makes it easier to think that maybe this is just a transition phase. Maybe it's not just going to be anger forever. It has been for going on two years but perhaps it will start to fade and I'll become someone who is more compassionate towards the average person - and if not completely compassionate at least not so damn upset with humanity all the time. I would settle for that last part. But it is nice to think that maybe I'm not a horrible person. Maybe everything I've endured for the last 30 years or so has given me the right to be pissed off. And maybe one day I won't be so pissed at everyone.
For the record, the animals get a pass. They have always gotten a pass. I believe them to be better than we are because I can always understand their meanings. If Dylan barks at the mailman I know it's because she's protective of the house because someone broke in when she was a puppy and it affected her. If a person bitches at the mailman I just think they are being an ass. In general I seem to be able to understand the nature of animals better than I can people. I can't accept "He was abused as a child." as an excuse to being an abuser or being an asshole. I was abused as a child too. I'm not an abuser of people or animals and while I harbor anger and hatred, I'm not outwardly bitchy. Everybody is different, but you can rise above.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

 We are a couple days shy of our one year anniversary here in Cheyenne. We have managed to get completely unpacked and mostly set up in that time - there's more in the garage than we'd like and there's some yard work we want to do when the weather gets better. We've made little additions of our own already - rope lights on the back patio, ceiling fans and lights in the bedroom, dog doors into the garage and house and other little things. We want to plant a vegetable and herb garden in the back and tear up part of the front walkway and put down crushed stones and pathway lights.
The picture above was taken today. Winter is still here and may be for a bit. Not very attractive at the moment either. The picture to the right was taken at the beginning of last autumn (we've moved a couple of planters around since and the bird feeder is in for repair). I very much miss the trees in bloom and the green grass and the garden that grows along the fences. I think Dylan misses the garden too - especially the sunflowers. She seemed to enjoy hiding in them. I need to talk to someone at the local garden center about when is a good time to plant. We never had a house that was suitable for gardening really and with Wyoming's extended winters I'm not entirely sure what the best timing is.

I've actually started writing on my memoir. Journal in book form I've been calling it. I took a go at it yesterday and got 689 words down. Not bad for someone who hasn't been able to get anything out lately :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

It's all about me - apparently. I've decided to write a memoir. Not really for publishing - I don't presume to think the public is that interested in my life. But it's been gnawing at me for months and to the point where I cannot seem to write anything else. I spent weeks outlining another story - even drew out a map for the world - but I cannot write a damn thing for it. This memoir business keeps pulling at me. I'm hoping it'll be therapeutic as well, or at least not damaging. I don't know how to write something like this - how to outline it or what order to go in or anything like that - but I know that it needs to be done and I hope, really hope that once it is I'll be able to actually write something else. It seems silly to be consumed by the idea of a writing project that isn't fiction - or at least someone else's biography. It feels selfish to devote the time and energy to writing about myself and my life. It doesn't surprise me to feel that way - I'm not really into feeling that I'm worth the time and energy of other people - I suppose I shouldn't be worth my own time as well. But in the hopes that it will be helpful - to shut up the voice in my head, to get writing again and to maybe release (or silence) some ghosts - I'd like to actually, finally do it.

Monday, January 30, 2012

  Two years ago today marks the passing of my mom. Our relationship was often tumultuous. At one point I went several months without speaking to her. It was after that that things settled down with us. Nothing was ever perfect. We never hung out just to spend time together, had meaningful conversations, went shopping or indeed showed a lot of affection. She grew in up in a time and family where emotion was not shown and children were not precious after a certain age. When she adopted me there was a full family - mother and father, me the daughter and the hopes of a son. When my father was arrested all foster children were taken from the house and it was just her and I and I think that left her bitter. She had many faults as a parent, but never the less she was my mom.I think a lot of people have a hard time with that. I know my husband does. How can I care about a person who was so hurtful? But I did. I do. Not to say she didn't hurt me. She did. I am damaged due to my
upbringing. I am still, everyday fighting to get on some normal track of living. But your mom is your mom no matter what and while I didn't always liked her, I did always love her. And sometimes I miss her. I missed not sharing that we were finally leaving New Mexico. That we were buying our first house. That I've gone back to school. She was never a great source of comfort, but I did miss being able to call her when I was sick last year and big things like Lupus, RA, and even cancer were being looked at. But I also felt a sense of relief when she passed. Not necessarily for myself, but for her. She wanted to go - I'm certain that she was waiting for it. She talked about it often and believed there was something much better waiting for her on the other side. I believe that after the life she lived even if there is nothing, for her it is better. She deserved the release.

Two years gone and yes, I do miss my mom. Not many people realize it. If anyone. No one expects me to. Hugs were scarce, but I would like to have another one. I would like to call and have her answer the phone in a pleasant tone because her little girl is calling. I would like to explain for the hundredth time how to copy and paste with the computer mouse. I would like to have the good again. But I know that no matter what's out there, it really is better for her. And I try to take comfort in that.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

 New year! New schedule! New camera! New laptop! School has started! Where the heck have I been? I don't really know. I'm still on track mentally. I'm mostly on track physically - my allergies have chosen mid-winter to flare up and I have no idea why. It's totally new to me, but this is also our first winter in Wyoming, so I suppose anything could happen :p I slammed my thumb in the car door last week and that was a fun adventure in pain and pressure. But I went to the clinic a couple of days afterwards and had them burn a hole through my nail and bleed it out a bit and it has felt very much better since then :D
I did indeed get both a new laptop and a new digital camera. The laptop was built at and they did an awesome job, I really like what I've got :D The camera is a Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G3 *points to above picture* I am by no means a photographer, but I wouldn't mind being close to one someday. I love taking photos and am thrilled to have a proper camera with which to do it with :)
I have started school - back on the 10th. I was originally taking three classes but dropped English. It was kind of annoying and I didn't need it anyway - I had the credit from my last school which transferred and I just thought I would refresh. I'm left with Interpersonal Communication (actually quite interesting) and Math (never, ever interesting - but necessary.)

I haven't done any writing for some time. I want to and yet I don't sit down to do it. Part of me (a big part, I think) wants to do a memoir but I have a voice in my head that just says that it's silly and unnecessary or even plain stupid. And I mean for me personally, not in general. So I really want to, but keep tell myself not to, for one reason or another. I keep trying to find something else to write about and so far... well, I haven't written anything about anything. I need to figure something out because the desire is there and the not doing it is bothering me.