Archive for November, 2012

So in completely unrelated news…

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

I get to interview Gabriel Iglesias AND Bill Maher!

They’re both coming in the next few weeks and their people have happily said yes.

I’ve decided to go with clever and/or unexpected (hopefully funny) questions over anything useful (they’re comedians, right??? And if the answers can be found in their Wiki, why even ask?). If you have anything you’d like asked, speak now or forever hold your peace.

I also sent a request to Chicago’s management (the band. Their website is actually something like “Chicago the band dot com”) but musicians are more likely to snub me. John Prine’s people straight up said no within hours.

That’s okay. I still adore this song.

 

Otherwise?

I have come to terms with it all.

I can do nothing to change any of this.

My best bet is to put my head down, accept the pain, don’t try to fight it or question things or resist them. Somehow this is oddly comforting, albeit still awful.

***sigh***

Anyway, I bought the new blog url yesterday and will work on building it over the next few days. Hopefully soon I can go back to compartmentalizing and keeping these posts relatively amusing or at least heartache free.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for caring.

Such is life sometimes. Hard to understand and harder still to survive, but still worth it somehow.

 

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More of the same

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

More silence (it has now been two weeks since the “I can’t talk to you yet. I’m not ready.” text message).

More sadness.

More sorrow.

Sorry about all the downer posts. Here are the Cliff Notes to say “this is the last of the sad stuff until I have something useful to say.”

I am trying to implement my friend and teacher’s advice to “try not to suffer my suffering, but rather witness my suffering and try not to stop it or interfere with it. Suffering resisted becomes agony, so don’t try to control.”

Similarly, I have been reading some stuff written by Pema Chodron from her book “When Things Fall Apart.” I actually saw her speak about three years ago with my friend that died of the brain tumor. It was one of the last things we did together when she was well enough to leave the house and whatnot.

Anyway, some of passages that have spoken to me are below:

“People get into a heavy-duty sin and guilt trip, feeling that if things are going wrong, that means that they did something bad and they are being punished. That’s not the idea at all. The idea of karma is that you continually get the teachings that you need to open your heart. To the degree that you didn’t understand in the past how to stop protecting your soft spot, how to stop armoring your heart, you’re given this gift of teachings in the form of your life, to give you everything you need to open further.”

“I used to have a sign pinned up on my wall that read: Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us…It was all about letting go of everything.”

“Most of us do not take these situations as teachings. We automatically hate them. We run like crazy. We use all kinds of ways to escape — all addictions stem from this moment when we meet our edge and we just can’t stand it. We feel we have to soften it, pad it with something, and we become addicted to whatever it is that seems to ease the pain.”

““To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. To live fully is to be always in no-man’s-land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh. To live is to be willing to die over and over again. ”

Who hoo! I’m fully alive…by dying over and over again. Kind of like “life’s a bitch and then you die…and then she’s nice for a little while just long enough to suck you in…and then she turns bitchy and you die again.”

That stated, new precedents for the upcoming days/weeks/months:

1) Unless I update otherwise, the deafening silence continues and could possibly go on for the rest of my life. In that case, it will hopefully start to hurt less eventually. Maybe in the new year?

2) Let’s not talk about this anymore. I might start an anonymous blog and drag myself through the whole thing there, but for now – and for the sake of my poor dad who is vicariously heartbroken for me – there’s no real need to discuss this further. It’s completely out of my hands, and I just have to accept that.

Although it may be nothing more than a weak attempt at justification, I’m going to stick with the old Desiderata wisdom “and whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.”

In other news….how did your “Black Friday” go? Get involved in any interesting stampedes or fist fights at a Wal-mart?

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What’s Been Going On

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

There’s a great Amos Lee song by that name. One of my favorites ever, actually. It’s about life after a breakup.

No one says a word to me.

They’re concerned with my jealousy.

Well, I guess that’s how it’s gotta be

From now on.

And time it swallows everything

From the mighty to the meager things

And it’s as dark as it is comforting

To play along

With what’s been going.”

Somehow Hipstamatic flipped over to this odd film…which seemed fitting somehow. “We” with just me.

I can relate, just sub in “misery” for “jealousy.”

It’s been five days since I let you in on my life, my  little hell…and very little has changed.

I never heard from him.

I had truly hoped, wished, prayed he would “be ready” to talk this weekend…but nothing.

Last night I wigged out a bit and sent a bunch of upset (not angry, just sad) texts and even an “ultimatum”…all were read, but not responded to.

On Facebook, I’m still his banner and profile picture and we’re still “in a relationship” but not really.

I canceled my flight today.

I just couldn’t see anything but more pain coming from crashing Thanksgiving or staging a one-woman “intervention”  or any of it. Addicts have to want to quit before they’ll quit – and it’s still hard as hell – and that’s obviously not the case here.

I suppose it could be something *besides* addiction, but it’s all so illogical and unfathomable and sudden that that’s the closest thing to “reason” I can come up with.

Regardless, Thanksgiving is going to suck. I accept this.

Christmas (for which I have another ticket to see him – and one I can’t afford. He was going to give me half this week) probably will too.

I am terribly behind in my work. Time just flies by these days. It’s morning and then suddenly it’s 4 p.m. I obsess and think and write and cry. It’s hard for me to go 15 minutes without thinking about this.

I can’t eat more than a few bites a day. Any more than that, and it feels like I’m going to vomit. To keep the food down, I have to quit after maybe three tablespoons. That’s okay though. I’ve needed to lose about five pounds for a few months now. It’s probably the only upside to this terrible pain.

The hardest are the friends who wrote two days after all this started asking if I “feel less heartbroken now” or “are better now.” I was in love with this man – I still am – for a year and a half. I thought I’d spend the rest of my life with him. I didn’t see this coming, and I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am not capable of “moving on” in a week or two.

Not even close.

Me without the “we”…literally and figuratively.

When I was a little girl my mother would sometimes get frustrated with me that “you could win an Academy Award.” I am, admittedly and probably not anything you’ll be shocked to read, prone to hyperbole. However, I am starting to think I feel things more deeply than other people.

When I was a little girl I wasn’t pretending to be very upset if a friend ignored me: I was that upset.

This situation has brought up more abandonment issues than I can begin to fathom, not to mention the loss – the plain old loss – of my best friend, the person I talked to every single solitary day for a year and a half.

To say I am devastated barely begins to capture the level of suffering.

If losing him weren’t enough, the silence makes it a thousand times worse.

I feel so, so rejected and abandoned. There are no words.

Still, the show must go on. I have work and deadlines and clients that don’t care that my heart has been ripped out of my chest a la Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom.

It’s been hard to stay in a positive mood or even do my work these last couple weeks, but somehow I am keeping my head above water. Mostly I’m a hermit who barely gets out of bed – thankfully writing and web design can be done from bed.

Despite it all, I have to write five original pieces a week for Maui Now. Regular freelance work isn’t so bad, because it’s like homework: you interview who you’re told and fill in the blanks with facts, but the Maui Now stuff has been a challenge.

Nonetheless, I wrote and published a piece I was kind of proud of today – probably not really what would normally be published on a “news” site, but no one has complained yet. It reminded me a little of the old me (she’s still in there. She’s just licking some major wounds right now…or bleeding out from them depending on when you catch me), so I thought I would share it with you along with my wishes that wherever you are right now, life is treating you kind.

Thanksgiving Survival Guide 101

As George Burns once said, “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.”

Sure, the holidays can be harrowing: all of you there together, crowded around a mountain of food.

But how long will it last before someone criticizes your brother’s continued unemployment or your sister-in-law’s parenting techniques?

Have no fear. Here are some ways to put the thanks back in Thanksgiving…or if all else fails, the fun back in dysfunctional!

  1. Be grateful. Yeah, these people are jerks, but those jerks are your FAMILY. They’re there for you through thick and thin – and even when you wish they’d go away – so you may as well focus on what makes them blessings in your life. Dig deep. Be sincere. There’s something lovable in everyone. Really. Even Hitler had that…well-groomed mustache. Besides, you only have to do this once a year.
  2. Not related to those jerks? Remember one rule of thumb: fake it til’ you make it. For example, if your name is Scott, leave “Real Scott” at home. It’s “Scott-in-law” time! Scott-in-law is a kinder, gentler, and heavily self-edited version of the real you.  Scott-in-law drinks in moderation, says please and thank you, and generally makes his wife proud. Just suck it up and put your best “Scott-in-law” forward: real Scott can cash in for his good behavior later.
  3. Play a board or card game. Pictionary, Scattergories and Boggle are fun for older kids and adults, and there’s nothing wrong with a cutthroat round of Candy Land. No board games at Aunt Vicki’s? Consider charades based on popular movies, animals, or even different professions. Seriously, it’s fun….just don’t start pantomiming each other.
  4. Welcome newcomers. You’re up again, Scott-in-law. Get the heat off your back by making your brother-in-law’s new girlfriend feel comfortable. She probably has no idea what she’s in for, so you may as well reassure her that there’s room in your foxhole. Find out about her background, her interests, and why she chose to be sitting here with you jerks rather than with her own crazy family.
  5. Put a cork in it. Leave your old arguments, political opinions, and religious views at the door. Haven’t you already lost enough Facebook friends during this last election race??? No need to drive a rift between your pagan cousin and your Catholic uncle. Remember our Thanksgiving motto: if you can’t keep it peaceful, keep your mouth full.
  6. Watch a movie together. Are kids in attendance? Check out Elf, Finding Nemo, Rango, or Ratatouille. Don’t forget the oldies: Toy Story; Monsters, Inc.; Mary Poppins or even The Wizard of Oz. No kids in the room? Rent Home for the Holidays with Holly Hunter, Away We Go with Maya Rudoph, or Meet the Parents with Ben Stiller and Robert DeNiro. Nothing fills the awkward silences like watching other, fake people’s awkward silences.
  7. Start decorating the tree. According to the merchandise displayed in local stores, Christmas starts in early October. So what are you doing just sitting there digesting turkey? You’re already behind! Put those little hands to work hanging ornaments on the low branches and before you know it, you’ll be headlong into another festive, family-filled holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving and pass the stuffing!

 

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I’d Say I’m Fine…But I’d Be Lying

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

What is it with me and November?
Or maybe just: what is it with November?

This makes me laugh every time.

Life, once again, has gone to sh*t.

This time it involves someone I love very, very deeply – the same someone as last time, actually. What is it with THEM and November? – and their struggle with (what seems to be) addiction…or insanity…but probably addiction. I don’t know. They haven’t spoken to me or answered a text or email in eight days, even though they bought me a ticket to be with them on Thanksgiving. The plane leaves Tuesday, but I have no idea if I should even get on it.

To say I am confused would be the understatement of the century.

To say I am in agony doesn’t begin to capture this extraordinary anguish.

There are no words for this experience. Just tears and insomnia and punctuations of anger and loneliness and grace.

To be fair, it all started in October, maybe even September. When you back into a mystery still unfolding, it is nearly impossible to “know” what you knew or when or where or what or why or if what your mind is remembering is even relevant.

Still, some sort of dark snow fell on everything a few months ago. I felt it. I was afraid. I simply didn’t know what was happening at the time or how to stop it.

I commented to a friend the other day that this must be a small slice of what it’s like for parents whose children have been abducted: you just don’t know. You don’t know if they’re dead or alive, you are trapped between hope and grief. You can never really begin to mourn. You wake up in a foreign country filled with pain and despair, with no map or any sense of where you are, what has happened to your life or your love, or why.

It’s so tempting to blame myself. To try to find some way to take ownership or control of a situation that is clearly so insane, so beyond normal understanding. I can’t – may never – comprehend what is happening because there is no logic. Still, this is not my fault.

This also makes me laugh every time.

My teacher tells me that there is a lesson here for my soul. Something it has chosen to learn.

I personally think my soul needs a black eye and a serious talking to.

And my soul is not the only one I’m pissed off at. If it wasn’t a broke down jalopy these days, I’d hijack the Space Shuttle and go give God a punch as well. I’m not much of a boxer, but after I pulled his hair and screamed at him awhile, he might realize I was there.

Then there is the fear.

Is this person okay?

If it is drugs – meth probably, as they struggled with addiction to it in their past – will it suck them into its little hell? Will they lose their job, their home, their teeth, their health, their sanity, their life?

Will I have to bear some sort of witness or do I have the strength to walk away?

Is that strength?

Seeking guidance from my friends who are recovered addicts, there is no clear answer. If he had cancer, would I abandon him? Never. Anyone who’s ever read this blog from November(see!? There’s November again) to January 2009-10 know the faithful friend I am.

Do you walk away from someone you love when they are struggling – even if they won’t admit it – unless you give it your best shot to help them wake up and ask for help first?

I don’t know.

But then again, how do you help them wake up if they won’t even speak to you? If you are the one person they’ve cut off simply for knowing them too well?

I am the only one he has exposed this crisis to…even if his method of exposure has been suddenly and inexplicably avoiding me, but I don’t know that he wants my help. Everything I’ve read says they have to want it for themselves, and so far he is showing no signs of that.

Then there is my own loss. My plans, my future, so many hopes and dreams wrapped up in this person and who they were, who we were or might have been. All that is lost now, irretrievably broken.

There are these little moments that take me by surprise in their awfulness. This vague sense that something is missing, something just a little to my left. Something that was always there before yet somehow invisible like my glasses or a background noise. I pause, wondering what it could be and realize…him. It’s an emptiness as big as the room.

And all explanations – insanity, drugs, revelation that this is simply the cruelest, coldest, and most heartless human being in the world – totally suck.

I’m doing what I always do: crying, talking myself blue trying to “understand” what is happening, putting one foot in front of the other.

Still, as I mentioned, there is grace. There are the friends who have come forward simply to ask if I was all right and the “inner circle” who have listened to me spin and spin and retell every detail and clue in my own sober mania. Those who have called or picked up the phone at truly unreasonable hours or checked in if they haven’t heard anything from me for a while.

I am so grateful I am not an addict or plagued with mental illness or even just cruelty. Life is hard enough without these extra burdens, and I do know – no matter what – I will be just fine.

My “Matrix red pill” moment came on Saturday morning: the realization that my life had suddenly, inexplicably changed and would never quite be the same.

Then the sadness, the despair, the “how could you do this to me?”, the fear, the “why!?” The whole avalanche of every crappy feeling in the book.

I am grateful to have good guidance through this darkness; my beloved teacher I have spoken of many times before.

She adopted and raised 17 fetal drug and alcohol children (and fostered many more) and her advice to me is not only loving and kind, but rich with wisdom and experience. She knew her kids’ birth parents, let them come around, suffered terribly at some of their hands…and then watched as they remembered none of it.

Thanks to her patience and love, I came to my own decision somehow on Tuesday afternoon.

I decided to put away my disappointment and anger and outrage and taking this personally, and only send pure, unconditional love. I think about him every few hours and just imagine him bathed in it and hope somewhere in there, wherever he is, he can feel it and it might ignite his own knowing of his value and importance in this world.

I was sitting on a lawn chair when I made this decision, and I emailed my teacher to tell her what I had decided.

As I hit “send” on my phone, I saw something come toward me from the left. It was a Hawaiian Peace Dove, which proceeded to land on my knee.
Those babies are as big as a pigeon and its claws kind of hurt my skin, so I screamed bloody murder and it flew off. That detail makes the story a lot less magical, however, so let’s just stick with the omen and wonder if maybe I don’t need that Space Shuttle after all.

 

 

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