Of Juries & Feelings

I got stuck with jury duty last week. I’ve been called several times before, but never selected. What day did I get called, you ask? My emotionally abusive rapist’s birthday. I never got to take him to court. Hell, I didn’t realize what he did to me was even classified as rape until 3 years after our relationship ended. Doesn’t change the fact that he never answered for what he did. During the selection the question was asked have you ever been through a traumatic event. I was literally the first person they called from the entire pool of 200+ people AND #1 in my group. I dutifully raised my hand & instead of opting to speak with the judge privately, I said in open court that I was raped by an ex boyfriend.

They chose me anyway.

I proceeded to waste a day & a half of my life listening to a case that was complete bullshit. These people were trash who took their trashy issues to court instead of sorting them out on their own & not wasting my time. Then another juror couldn’t get it through her thick skull that it doesn’t matter if someone says it’s okay to come by the house when a stay away order (a baby TPO) is in place. It was in force at the time, therefore he was guilty of violating the order. Intent wasn’t at play here. She finally caved, but I was getting ready to beat her ass over it. Allegedly, my name will be out of the pool for at least 2 years. I’m not holding my breath.

This past week dug up a lot of unpleasant feelings. For example, feeling like I was being punished for being honest in front of a group about what happened to me. Last Monday would’ve been my very first boyfriend’s 35th birthday. He died in his sleep shortly after he turned 31. I never found out the exact cause. Valentine’s Day reminded me of how my dad would get my mom a bouquet & my sister & I would each get smaller ones. It wasn’t just about his wife. It was about all his girls. Tomorrow is my mom’s birthday. (I guess today since this will be posted after midnight) This is the 2nd birthday she’ll have without my dad. If it’s anything like mine was, it’s going to hurt like a bitch. I don’t know what to do for her. I don’t know if there’s anything I even can do.

I check Twitter & see adulation for other fanfic (read: slash) writers & I feel inadequate. Then I remind myself that I have basically no followers on Twitter, don’t whore myself out on there, & only post my username here on a blog that no one reads. Do I want that kind of attention? Do I need that kind of validation? I guess if I did, then I’d put more effort into it. Ultimately, it’s an escape for me & if other people enjoy it then that’s an added bonus. I don’t need 1500 followers on Twitter & 10,000 hits on my story to be worth something.

I think I had more to say, but my head hurts like a bitch & I have class tomorrow so I’m out.

XOXO!

Current Jam: “Far From Home” Five Finger Death Punch

Twitter & Instagram: retroindiequeen

AO3: TheHuntsmansBoss

Of death and only the beginning

Big week, big week.

Last Sunday, my parents celebrated their 35th anniversary. That’s the third of the 4 banner year events in 2015. My dad will turn 60 in June to round it out.

On Monday, I passed my Series 51 exam. I am now legally allowed to not only give you stock advice, but I can supervise the people who review your mutual fund trades. Quick! Get excited! I got the bare minimum passing score, but who cares? A pass is a pass, n’est pas? It’s just one more dollop of icing on my resume cupcake.

For the past week, my parents have been up in Virginia. My dad’s mom hasn’t been doing well. They were supposed to come home yesterday, but apparently my grandmother flipped, so they stayed an extra day. In retrospect, yesterday was Good Friday and they’re uber Catholic, so it kind of makes sense. In all honesty, I’m not that close to her. I’m not close to any of my grandparents. That might make me a horrible person, but it’s true. I won’t personally be upset when they die, I’ll be upset because the respective parent is upset. My dad is literally the person I love most in the world, so I’ll lose my shit if I see him do it. He’s not the ‘lose your shit’ kind of guy, but who knows? When my mom texted me yesterday to say they were going to stay an extra day, she said my dad cried. I have literally in my entire memory never seen him cry. Ever. At all. I’d like to keep that streak going. I’m of the mind that if I don’t see it, then it never happened. Him crying, in my world, qualifies as losing his shit.

Death is a funny thing, especially when it’s family. There are so many different family dynamics, family types, and families themselves that influence how they handle death. How did the person die? Old age? Long illness? Suicide? Accident? My office likes to circulate notices when someone’s family member dies. I’ll refuse to let them do that when my grandmother passes. I don’t want people coming up to me and apologizing. I never flat out say “I’m sorry for your loss” when I know someone had a death in the family. It’s simply “I heard about…” and let them take the lead. In the case of one of the other managers, her dad died about a year ago. I told her that I’d heard and her reply was that she really wasn’t upset, the only reason she was even going to the funeral was because she was his only child. One of my other friends had a cousin die in a car accident. He had previously been arrested for drugs and possession of child porn. Needless to say, she wasn’t sorry to see him go.

On the flip side, it doesn’t even have to be a person’s death to hurt. My sister had to put down her beloved kitty a few weeks ago. That broke her heart. When my childhood kitty died of (very) old age, I cried for days even though I knew it was coming. People really don’t understand how much that can hurt, especially in comparison to the death of a person. I got plenty of funny looks when I said I was crying over the loss of a pet. I don’t judge other people for what they do and don’t grieve for. I have no idea what the dynamic was. Yes, I do care about my cat more than my grandmother. Is that your business? No, it isn’t. Your grief and mourning is none of my business.

Emily wasn’t family, but I took her death harder than I know I’ll take a lot of my blood relatives. It wasn’t just that she was young and committed suicide. I, quite frankly, cared more about her than I do various aunts, uncles, and cousins. At her memorial service, her mother told me how much that Emily cared about me. I didn’t see her as a heroin addict. I saw her as a girl who just needed someone to be her friend without judgment. That went a long way for her. I still have the letters she sent me when she was in jail. I still have the program from her memorial service. If she were still alive, she’d be 28 at the end of the month. I’ll always remember her fondly and that my last words to her were kind ones. That’s all anyone can hope for.

On that depressing note, I’m off to take some allergy medication & continue binge watching Criminal Minds. The Atlanta Pollen Snow has set in and my left eye is about to itch right out of my face. Blech.

XOXO!

Motivational Monday: Acceptance

The anniversary of the day I met Will passed this week. I didn’t even notice. October 2, 2004. It’s been a decade. When I realized it last night, I was flooded with a mix of memories and emotions. He was my first and I was his first. After, I was in the bathroom trying to figure out a way to stop the bleeding. Our first Valentine’s Day, he bought me flowers. It was windy, so he walked backwards from the train station to my dorm so the flowers wouldn’t be damaged. He took me to Mardi Gras. His parents’ house was literally half a block off the parade route. His sister hated me. His mom hated me. His dad loved me. His ex-girlfriend and I bonded over having the exact same birthday. His phone number is seared into my brain. If he ever called me again, I would know it was him. I remember his birthday. I don’t remember when we broke up. For all intents and purposes, the relationship ended after graduation when he moved back to New Orleans and I stayed here.

In the past decade, I’ve seen him once. He called me out of the blue in the summer of 2010. He said he would be in town & asked to have lunch together. I agreed. It was a really, really bad decision. He rattled off everything he was doing. His new girlfriend was in town training for Teach for America. He’d bought a car. He’d bought a condo. The car was particularly significant because he had been deemed uninsurable after being in 3 accidents in as many months. Apparently the state of Louisiana changed its mind and he was once again able to legally drive. During our relationship, I was responsible for all the transportation needs. Overall, it was a strange experience. We parted ways and that night I, of course, crawled into a bottle of vodka and stayed there. I drunk dialed him, left him a rambling message, & saw the next morning that he’d called me back. I was absolutely mortified. Two months later I met Boy. Three months later I made my first attempt at drying out. I haven’t heard from him again, in person or virtually. Sometimes I wonder what happened to him. If my phone were to ring right this second and it was him, would I pick up the phone? My stomach drops at the thought. I think that’s a pretty good sign that I should let it ring to voicemail.

The fact that the date passed without me noticing is significant in its own right. My uncanny ability to remember dates, times, places, and people along with their significance can be a blessing and a curse. This year, October 2 was spent calling in sick to work & cat napping all day. That’s the only reason it stood out. No anxiety. No pain. Nothing to otherwise distinguish it from any other Thursday. If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that swatting at the past like you’re trying to get a bug out of your face does no good. I was reminded that he wasn’t all bad. He wasn’t abusive 24/7. That by no means absolves what he did. A reminder of our own humanity and the humanity of others is important. Yesterday I did what amounted to narrowing down what’s important to me right now. The results were a bit eye opening. My main focus is to self improvement and improving my relationships with those closest to me. I hadn’t really given it much thought recently other than in passing. That requires accepting our flaws, strengths, and quirks as part of a whole package. It’s never easy and sometimes far easier to ignore, but it’s worth it in the end.

Motivational Tidbit Takeaway: Be human

XOXO!

Of deep fried Twinkies and the anniversary of the end of my beautiful scars

In honor of AJ McLean’s 36th birthday today, I dug up Backstreet Boys greatest hits album thanks to Google All Access (seriously, this program is crack like and makes Pandora look like the 90 lbs weakling. Anyway…). It was vastly entertaining to take a little trip back in time to my 14 year old self and what she was crazy about. In my head, I was having a dance party. You know, the trademark Jackson 5, boyband back step that’s recognizable out of the corner of your eye. Their music is the aural equivalent of a deep friend Twinkie. No nutritional value whatsoever, but tastes really damn good. Piggybacking off Carrie’s post, that was half a lifetime ago. Well before I knew much more than pop music, high school, new friends, and living in the dance studio. I had my first boyfriend and my first kiss that year. The worst pain I’d felt up to that point was moving away from the city I grew up in and all the friends who came with it. I would be dumped for the first time with the most ridiculous reason ever, but I didn’t see that at the time. It’s easy to look back at her and smile. If someone had told her where she would be almost 15 years later, she probably wouldn’t have believed them.

This month is the 3 year anniversary of when I finished my final tattoo. I had my first sitting in September 2010. With large pieces, it’s not uncommon to sit for multiple sessions. It’s a phoenix which I thought was fitting symbolism. Three years ago I gave up hurting myself. Quit it cold turkey along with sleeping around. I haven’t had a drink in almost 10 months, the longest I’ve gone since I started drinking regularly. It just took the right motivation that AA lacked. Maybe I just don’t notice it any more, but I get fewer and fewer comments about my tattoos. Maybe because it’s the winter and everything is covered. I don’t get defensive or angry when people ask. The silly questions still make me roll my eyes, but I don’t get angry like I used to. “Did they hurt?”, “Yes, there were needles involved”. “What do they mean?”, “They’re my self injury scars”. That usually backs people off fairly quickly. I’ve probably mentioned it before, but I’ve entertained the idea of having some of them removed. Ultimately I decided to keep them. They’re part of my story for better or worse. Some days I hate them and want to scratch them off. Other days, I hardly notice them like I would hardly notice a mole or a birth mark.

The funny thing about the final sitting was how much it hurt. Up to that point, tattooing had been more annoying than painful. I could sit for hours without so much as a peep. Artists were always impressed with how long and how well I could sit. Up to that point, I’d only ever had a hard time sitting once while getting a tattoo. It was at a convention, they’d worked on me for almost 6 hours without a break, and my quads were about ready to die. It took a total of 8 hours and spanned the entire front of my right thigh. While finishing up the phoenix, I could barely hold still. I spent most of the 3 hour sitting trying to wiggle away. I’d had my ditch (the place where your elbow bends inward) tattooed on the other arm with no problem. Not so on this round. It occurred to me much later that it was a sign of healing. To an outsider, it seems strange that cutting or tattooing would provoke an emotional release. It’s all too true. Once I’d begun to heal the broken bits, the ability to withstand pain went away. I was, quite literally, able to feel again. And goddamn did it hurt. I walked out of the shop and never looked back.

XOXO!