tie your mother down. well, mine, anyway

I’m going to buy a nice little travel trailer for my son and his gf to live in up here. We’ll share the house, too, but I’d like them to be self contained. When Exish and I were young, his did had a travel trailer that he used as a guest room. It was so romantic. I loved it. The meth heads stole it a few years ago. We found out from Google Earth of all things.

I think a travel trailer would be a nice little love nest and a great environment for him to continue to pare down his intoxicant intake. In the last five to six years, he’s stopped hard drugs, finally quit pot, moved to only drinking, something h

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appened earlier in the week that has him off hard liquor, now he’s down to beer only. He has a case of arrested development that is typical for people who started drinking and drugging early in life, but he’s making progress. He’s accepting his responsibility for the first time and even making amends and acknowledging the damage he did to the family. I never thought these days would come. It’s like a miracle to me, though it happens millions of times over, all over the world, as people who are sick from dope and booze and life, open their eyes for the first time and realize that life is not only about them. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s as though they are being born again, seeing the world through new eyes. For many, it’s too much, and they go back to what they know. You just can’t fight dope for them, though. It always wins. But, when they’re done with it, and they are ready to live again…oh, my God…there is nothing more amazingly beautiful. They are like babies again. New. Brand new. I love that.

I told my mother what I’d decided. For one thing, I wouldn’t be tied down here and could help her during busy times at the shop. She took that to mean that, if having Jay up here was a failure, and she was certain it would be, that I’d blame her. Holy fucking shit! I lost it. Totally. I told her to get back to me when she could name ONE thing I EVER blamed her for. One. And she knew what I meant by that. Because she dumped my infant ass with people she actually hated because of the abuse she suffered at their hands as a child. So that’s who she leaves me with? Great idea, Mom!

After Mother and I reconciled, when I was 19 or 20, I quickly realized she was too emotionally fragile to accept responsibility for her actions. So, I led the way in blaming the people she already hated and deflecting all negatives from her to them. I figured I could bear the pain of it all better than she could. At the time, I was right. But, over the years, the things that were meant to deflect responsibility have become truths to her. That’s fine with me. But she is actually the one who bears the brunt of the responsibility for leaving me in their hands. She left me over and over, because she was still part of the family and I had to call her my sister. My own fucking mother. I called her Lil Sister. How fucked up is that? It would have been so much easier had she parted company with the family, because every time she’d leave I’d wonder why she never took me with her. Till one day, she came over during one of Dad and Grandmother’s huge fights. He was so angry that he was even throwing my things out in the back yard. He never did that. Grandmother was throwing the good china at the wall and breaking it. I was trying to stay out of the way. I think I’m was about four, maybe three, then. I know that I was small enough that I had to stand on my tippy toes to watch my mother leave. She literally walked in, saw the fight and walked back out. So, I ran to the entry way window and watched on my tippy toes as she got into the car with her newest husband. There was something about that car door closing that closed something in me. I knew, from that point on, that she would never claim me. I was no longer her daughter after that day. Done deal.

Even now, I hear that door slam clear as a bell. I feel the let down followed by the feeling of a heart that began to harden. I watched the car as long as I could, before it disappeared around the corner, then I went back into the fray, begging Dad to kill Grandmother and staying out of the way. I never told Mom that story. I never told her anything. Once we reconciled, I let her think that she may as well have dropped me off at Disneyland, because I was so happy and things were so nice.

I had to stop working two years ago, almost. Nerve damage and such prevents me from doing certain things. Fibromyalgia is what doc calls it, but it’s a bucket term for symptoms they can’t seem to fix. In any case, it wears on me that my mother is still working. I thought that, if Jay were here, I could be free to help her out during busy times at the shop. Yes, it hurts like a motherfucker to hold the clippers, but now and then I could manage it. And I could go down and help with my dad and clean house for her…just do things I can to make life a little easier for her. That’s honestly all that is in my heart. I never once thought that I could use that to blame her if things went South where Jay is concerned. I let him know I can’t afford their upkeep, but I could get them something they’d like to live it. It’s just simple shit. And, I do need help with this place. I live on four acres. Plus, the land out back needs to be tended to. Poachers are a problem and things like that. The road needs to be kept cleared…there are a million things he could help out with. We have a huge shop that they could put a pool table in or anything they wanted. He could play his guitar as loud as he’d like with nobody to complain. Lots of upside. The only downside would be if he refused to work. But he’s changed a lot where that’s concerned and is eager to follow in his father’s footsteps. That has become very important to him. He wants to be a turnaround hand, so he’d be working long hard, very well paid, hours during certain times of the year, then have lots of time off to enjoy life. Plus, I’d have a friend here. I love his gf. She’s ten years his senior and is a great gal who has been through some very deep shit in her day. She’s ready to settle down and has already done so. But, if it goes South, they will have to leave. I’m not buying groceries or cigs for them. I’m just giving them a fresh start that will also help me. But my mother doesn’t figure into this in any way.

She really hurt my feelings today. One thing people can’t say about me is that I don’t take responsibility for my own actions. I do. And always have. I spend a lot of time cleaning up other people’s messes for them…old habits die hard. But I don’t ever blame anyone else for my life. Even if they fucking deserve it. I believe things happen for a reason, so my lot in life, however it came about, is mine. I’ll take that. I’ll own whatever comes of it. Because I’m not afraid to be wrong or puffed up and proud when I’m right. I’m right in the middle, where I should be. So she can fucking suck it. And that’s all I can say about that.

…and then, he was gone. – Pt.1

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Seventeen days ago, today, my husband of thirty years, Bennie, died during an emergency surgery that the doctors knew would kill him. I suppose it was the oath they took that compelled them to attempt to save this dying man, in spite of all odds. I’ll never know. But, I do know that what resulted from their attempt to save him was the most ghoulish, twisted, sickening mockery of life that I have ever witnessed.

Three years ago, Bennie went to the ER in extreme pain from what he thought was a kidney stone. It was then that the doctors found a serious dissection in his downward aorta. By the time it was discovered, his chances of surviving the corrective surgery hovered at the 20% mark. He told them to fuck off. That was in October of 2013. They assured him that he would not see the new year.

Bennie made it far beyond the new year before having further problems. Then, one day at work, he literally fell over from pain. He was rushed to the hospital, where he spent a month in CICU. The dissection was too large for a stint, just as it was the first time they saw it, and, again, all they could do would be to replace the artery. Again, Bennie refused. He was put on medication that the doctors felt would, at least, contain the damage.

Throughout, life was pretty good, in spite of the legal difficulties we were going through. Bennie saw the birth of his grandson and they became great friends. His career settled into a good place, and he made peace with the thing that he knew would kill him one day. Around this time, his addiction grew and his health began to fail one tiny bit at a time. During the last six months, he started losing weight, finally dropping 28lbs. He looked gaunt and unhealthy. Obama’s EPA had begun to seriously effect the oil industry in a way that had a direct effect on his job as a turnaround planner. Competition was fierce and he was not up to playing the game.

In the middle of last year, Bennie went on a job up in Montana, I believe. He had a great time and saved plenty to be able to take off all of deer season. We’d moved up here in April, so we were settled in and he enjoyed being off in the place he loved most. I noticed that he spent a lot of time sleeping. That was due, in part, to his constant pill popping. But, it did seem that there was more to it, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

When it was time to get back to work, work was scarce in a way it hadn’t been before. Ever. Money problems ensued and stress came on top of stress. It was awful. Finally, he found a turnaround back in the Galveston area that started April 7th. He packed up and went to stay at Mom’s house while he worked. He had been complaining of a pain in his side for months. It came and went, sometimes a dull pain, sometimes a sharp. We both knew what it was, but constantly danced around the truth. We decided it was a pulled muscle…a lie that we could both live with. On April 14th, he woke up to go to work at 3am. When he stood up, the pain brought him to his knees. He got dressed for work, but decided to go to the hospital, instead. He called me at six o’clock that morning complaining about the idiot doctor and that they were going to have to do another imaging to make sure that they were seeing what they thought they were seeing. I knew then that he was a dead man. I think he did, too. As soon as we hung up, I called Jay, our youngest son, and told him what was going on. He got to the hospital in a half hour.

After his arrival at the hospital, and a lot of hemhawing around, Jay was finally allowed to go back to see his dad. He had just gotten to his father’s bedside when the doctor came in. In blunt language, he told Ben he was going to die that day if he did not have the surgery. The aneurysm in his stomach had doubled in size and his entire aorta was involved, from above his heart all the way to his groin. He told him that, with the surgery, were it successful, he would more than likely be a paraplegic. The doctor told him that it would be a good idea to say goodbye to his loved ones, just in case. He couldn’t get reception on his phone, so he texted our oldest son, then, me. He instructed Jay to take care of me and the girls, (his dogs, Pepper and Jezebel). Minutes later, he was taken to surgery and I was in my truck driving as fast as I could to get there.

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Bennie never woke up after surgery. He died one year, to the day, after we moved here. There is a lot more that I have to say about what went on in that room post op, but I just can’t face it right now. It was, without question, the most horrific thing I have ever witnessed. I cannot stop seeing it. It’s as though the sight has taken up physical residence in my eyes and, at times, I just want to pluck them out and stomp on them so I never have to see it again. Nobody should be put through that Frankenstein bullshit. Nobody. He died and I feel scarred for life. I don’t know how else to say it. People assure me that I’ll get over it, but I don’t think I will. It’s like when I was little and this old lady hit a Bandido on his motorcycle. As we passed, I saw blood and his intestines on the pavement where he lay. I remember every detail. And I’m sure I will remember this.

I’m going to finish up and have a drink. Whatever transpired between Bennie and I, I never wished that on him. I think people deserve to die with dignity, not as a science experiment. I am angry. I am disgusted. I am lost. I want to know more about what happened to Bennie, but I’m afraid of the answers. According to the death certificate, he died of natural causes resulting in brain death during surgery. Yet they brought him out, after closing him up eight hours into a twelve hour procedure, hooked him up to a ventilator and a heart pump and told us he was alive. My God…Oh, my God…Why would they do that to someone?

 

 

Yeah…Maybe Not.

I’m really fucking shit up lately. I’m really fucked up lately. Pain days are back in force and it’s like the pain is flexing on me. Showing me who’s boss. Great! I so love that! Because I go for ages without realizing that lil nugget of truth. NOT. Like most total assholes, I pass the pain along to the people I care about most. One, in particular.

I just got back from Mom’s. Three day trip to Hell. So much bullshit going on with my brother and my sons…never one minute to just think or have any peace. I slept on the couch because it hurt too much to walk upstairs to the ‘princess room’ that Mom made for me. She always gets upset, but she didn’t say anything about it this time. She knows what’s up and has finally started to leave me be about things. And somebody needed to be downstairs and awake, anyway, since my brother, the schizo, was on the warpath. That’s one scary motherfucker. I don’t care if he’s ill, he needs to fucking go. He’s a threat to my mother, and he threatened me this trip. I told him what was going to happen the next time he threatened me. The threats stopped. He’s crazy, not stupid. Listening to him yell at Jesus to clean his toilet all day, every day, was quite entertaining in a Shining sort of way. And then there’s my grandfather/Dad. He’s slipping away. Healthy…but very little left of him these days. He’s so old and it’s difficult to look at him and put him in the same box of memories that his former self is in. You know? I guess I just thought Dad would hang in till the end. He had done so well until recently. Now, he’s so senile he doesn’t remember family members. I’m afraid he won’t remember me soon. I love him so much…but he’s not going to be around much longer. I just don’t see how he can be.

I was ready to leave last night after I took my oldest son to Houston to return his rental car. I couldn’t because I was afraid to, after having a lost time situation on the last trip I made at night. I took the last major turn for home, then I faded out and ended up in Louisiana by the time I came to myself. It happens fairly regularly, but normally episodes aren’t that long. It’s like just going into an actual fog. Fun! My memory is shot. Doc says it’s Fibro Fog. Basically, chronic pain fucks your head up. No shit…

So…I got home today and chilled out for a bit. Exish made a good dinner. Afterwards, I dozed off on the couch. My purse was on the floor nearby. Something woke me up and I see Exish looking through my purse for my pain meds. Awkward. I keep them in a small locked thingy that I can carry in my purse. So, he was shit outta luck, anyway. I confronted him after I watched him for a little minute. He actually denied that I saw what I just fucking saw. Seriously. What the fuck? I told him to just be honest and admit what he was doing and why, but he continued to deny it. Like I’m a fucking lunatic and can’t be trusted to know what the Hell I see. I swear…it’s too much. My nerves are so fucking shot and I’m so fucking tired that I cannot deal with one more thing. I have to get to work and get out of here. It’s like living in a psych ward.

I don’t think Paul and I are going to work out, even though I think I love him more than anything in the world. I just keep flipping shit on him over the most bullshit things. I don’t know why. And I just can’t seem to pull myself out of it. Maybe it’s the pain…lack of sleep…I don’t know. But I feel so fucking pissed all the time. And it might cost me something very dear. And that’s my own fucking fault. He’s such an awesome guy. I’ve never met anyone like him. But even people like him can only take so much. I told him that we need to take a break till Sunday. If I was him, I’d keep on with that break. I’m not really any good for relationship material. I’m a fucking train wreck. I can’t even stand my own self. How can anyone else? Fuck.

I feel like my life is falling apart because of this fibro bullshit. I need a job, but I can’t work like this. My hands and arms feel like they are burning…like actually on fire. It takes forever to type, so I usually do everything on my phone these days with my thumb. When I get finished here, my hands will be shaking. The pain that’s shooting up my arms from the fucked up nerves in them is making my muscles twitch right now. It’s weird to watch. My whole body fucking hurts. I mean…it fucking hurts. I think I’d have to cut my fucking head off to get any real relief from this never ending bullshit. Honestly, I can’t see living with it much longer. I know so many people have it worse. God bless them and their strength and determination. I don’t think I have that kind of strength. Don’t even want to try and conjure it up. So…there’s that.

Anyway…I better go. My fingers are in non-compliant mode and this has taken forever to type. Back to the phone!

-End

scream

i screamed

for the first time

i screamed as though something inside

was trying to get out

trying to get away

because it could not bear

to remain within

whatever it’s called that’s left of me

the depths of despair, too deep

the Darkness, all encompassing

and the stench of a rancid heart, beyond its ability to endure

finally, screams gave way to tears

that poured like rain

brave enough to endure the pain

i fell, limp, in my chair

unable to move

held in place by unseen weight

alone and no choice but to allow my soul to be ravaged

by this scathing emotion

hours passed, as did the storm

and when dawn broke on my shattered heart

i picked up the pieces

rose up

and went on my way

Yeah, Well…

This day is moving along rather quickly. I’ve decided that, at 3pm, I’m going to start cooking and cleaning as though I have company coming. Maybe that will get me motivated. If it doesn’t, I’m going to the liquor store for more whiskey and getting blackout drunk. As they say…One must have a plan of action.

Damn, I can’t shake this mood. I am just so fucking tired. Pain level is back up, so I did something I rarely do and took extra pain meds. I hate doing that. I have no intention of going down that road. I’m tired of seeing people becoming addicted. And I know that there is very little that separates them from me, except that I began treatment with a conscious determination that I would not abuse my meds. That’s probably because I was raised by a woman who was addicted to prescription medication for as long as I remember. It’s what finally killed her. I think that was the most merciful side effect she ever suffered, to be honest. In any case, I’m just hurting and bitchy and tired. And it doesn’t look like there’s any clearance in that particular forecast today.

I need to get to the tattoo shop soon. Hopefully on a day when my pain level is low. But you have to book weeks, sometimes months, in advance at the shop I go to. I haven’t even looked around here. I have asked around, and there’s one shop that stands out. I went to their website and they look like a bunch of rock star tattooists. You know…people you pay ridiculous hourly amounts to so they can treat you like you’re never gonna be a cool kid? Yeah. They all work at this shop. All the artists shown were in their twenties with pierced everything and stretched ear lobes. GAG. I’m sorry, but if your ears are stretched to the point that I could put my hand through the hole, I’m gonna gag when I look at you. It’s not your fault, it is, indeed, my own. It’s not even judgmental gagging. It’s natural. I just can’t help it. In spite of that, I always feel like popping that little layer of skin. I don’t know why. I just wanna cover my eyes and reach up there and give it a good yank. Is that bad?

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i feel so fucking lonely today

wishing i hadn’t run across that song

wishing i could stay on my diet

wishing i hadn’t had that whiskey with breakfast

chips and meds do count as breakfast, right?

i’m in a ‘fuck this shit’ mood

on a ‘need to get shit done’ day

i’m exhausted

but i know i spent the night in bed

though i don’t recall sleeping much

since childhood, i’ve often lingered throughout the nights

in that place between sleep and wakefullness

neither here, nor there

aware of everything going on around me

with one toe in dream filled waters

it’s how you learn to sleep

as a child living in abject chaos

when you never know when shit’s gonna jump off

it’s how you protect yourself

it’s how you know when that ol Boogey Man

is making his way to your bedroom door

thinking about randy

36164[1]i recall your scent

your sound

the shadow you cast

but i cannot see your face

the pain of your grasp

your hands in my hair…tearing it away

i can feel those things today

but i cannot see your face

i remember the night

you put your gun to my forehead

as i stood awaiting the trigger

i clearly recall the look in your eyes

and the fear in that place

but i cannot see your face

sleep would devour

20150806_080645sleep

i managed to escape you last night

my brain, on fire with ideas

swimming in the electric glow of its own freedom

though you tried

you did not pull me into your dark little cage

to poke and prod me

with insidious dreams

of caustic hope

burning me with thoughts of better times, long past

and vain imaginations of those yet to come

it is my habit to succumb to the tease

until morning’s light reveals her bitter truth

but not last night…

not last night

Lenny By Morning’s Light

they found lenny hanging from a tree one morning

in a park

where children play

i’m sure that he died in pain

and i know that he died in fear

yet, there he was, that morning

an angel peacefully swaying in the breeze

dawn’s first light exposing his outline to a passerby

on display

a warning from the dope man

meant for others who sought to take what’s his

a clear explaination

that the contract is, quite literally, binding

unless you like swinging from trees

by the neck

in a park

where children play

otherwise, do as thou will, boys and girls

“You’re A Hard Woman.”

Exish and I had a really good time making the trip to the coast and back. We talked about so much, even about things we never talked about. That’s a trick when you’ve been together since you were both teenagers. Just before we made it home, he looks at me and says, “You’re a hard woman. I like that.”  For a moment, after his words hit my ears, I thought that I might slap the shit out of him…

You know what makes you into a hard woman? Cheating men, liars, dope fiends and boozers. Stick a woman into a pot and add those ingredients in the form of people in her life and you get one hard bitch. That’s life. That’s me. But what I wouldn’t give to go back to being a softie.

My upbringing should have made me hard, but it didn’t. I don’t know why. It’s just that, after I met Exish, I thought I was safe. I really figured all of that bullshit was behind me. As I’ve said before, I have always felt that I owe him a debt of gratitude for rescuing me from my home life. I didn’t see any other way out. Not then. But, he came along and I fell in love and he took me out of the environment I had been dying in. It was the first time in my life that I was able to let my guard down and just exist. We got married when I was fresh out of rehab, so it was a clean slate. I absolutely loved it.

As a child, I was an extreme self preservationist. It was necessary in order to simply get through a day at my house. Violence hung in the air like a thick fog. Though my dad never hurt me, I was the object of my grandmother’s frustration and anger. That bitch. Dad came down on her, she came down on me. She couldn’t stand the fact that Dad loved me so much.She hated me, and the feeling was mutual from the first I can remember. As soon as Dad, (my grandfather), left for work, she’d start in on me. It didn’t bother me, at all. Even as a very small child, I could sense her weakness, and it disgusted me. No matter how hard she hit me, I would not stand down. I remember looking up at her as she lifted her arm high and came down, striking me in the face with her hand. Fuck her. I’d fall down, but I’d get right back up. There was nothing she could give that I couldn’t take.

As I got older, my grandmother abandoned beating me with her bare hands. When she’d flip, she’d grab anything close and use it as a weapon. It’s amazing how many household items can be used to inflict pain. Even so…I never let her win. She never saw me cry. The only thing that she ever accomplished was strengthening my resolve. I was as tall as she was by the time I was in the fourth grade. She couldn’t knock me down anymore. She’d still give it a good go. By then, I was so numb, (next level out of body numb), to her bullshit that I’d just stand there, or I’d laugh at her, outright. Yes, it hurt…the things she did. It always hurt. That’s what beatings are meant to do. But I always hurt her more because I never, once, gave her the satisfaction she wanted…the ‘respect’ she demanded.

I should note that I was a very good kid. I was reading by age three and excelled in school. I did my chores, never sassed anyone, was all about the ‘Yes, Ma’am, No, Ma’am’. All of it. I sat through endless hours of her making me into her little doll. She’d pull my hair into ponytails that were so tight they gave me a headache. I had to look nice to spend every available hour at the bar with her and Dad. Even after I started school, as soon as I was picked up, it was off to the local bar. I never had friends my own age. (Surprisingly, most parents don’t bring their children to the bar with them, even back then.) No matter. My friends were mostly the old men who’d sit at the table with Dad. Almost all of them were veterans and I’d sit quietly for hours on end, listening to them talk about WW2. I loved their bravado as they relived some of the most terrible things I could imagine. You’d never know that the war left a single scar on them. The women who came in always seemed to have red lips and tobacco stained teeth. Far beyond their prime, they’d sit cross legged at the bar, smoking and drinking cocktails, hoping to draw the attention of some random man. They rarely had time to share a story with a child. What would they have talked about, anyway? Their fifth husband’s porn addiction? Seriously…silly bitches.

When it was far past my bedtime, and I couldn’t hold my head up any longer, I’d be taken to the proverbial ‘back room’ and put to bed. We were always at one of three local bars, and they all seemed to have the same back room. There was the requisite dirty bed where patrons who were too drunk to walk to their cars would go to sleep it off until closing time, or until they could drive, whichever came first. And there was a tiny black and white tv that never seemed to get reception. The rooms all smelled like vomit and stale beer. A lot can happen to a little girl in the back room of a bar. But that’s a story for another time.

This tale is getting long and tedious. I guess that, when Exish said that, I just felt so insulted. It reminded me of my failure as a woman. Ultimately, what made me so hard were things I could have controlled or escaped. It was him, mostly. His cheating ways and lying and addiction. It was the decade-long battle with Dope for the life of my son. It was allowing him to drag me to depths that I could not fathom in order to keep my family together. After all the bullshit I’d been through, in the end, it was him. And, in spite of it all, I still love him. He’s as much as part of me as my children are. I hate myself for that. Always will.