Coming Soon

I close on a house in one week. At which point massive remodeling projects begin. I’m simultaneously excited and apprehensive at the extent of work I’m about to take on.

Considering just how expensive it’s become to have anyone do any work on your house, my plan is to put a LOT of sweat equity into it. This means I’m pulling up all existing floors everywhere except 2 out of the 3 bathrooms. I’m gutting and expanding the master bath. I’m gutting the kitchen. I’m removing walls to open up the living spaces. I’m expanding one bedroom and turning the other into a laundry room, which means framing out a new bedroom in the basement to make up for the one I’m losing on the main.

I will not run my own new plumbing/electrical/venting, however. I’m still waiting for my bids to come back but I suspect that it will cost me roughly the same amount to have a licensed “pro” do those runs as the entire two levels of flooring plus the tile for the bathroom will cost me, and that’s just sad. When I showed the first guy the bathroom and told him what I wanted to do he was throwing numbers like $25k at me and I just stared at him. Like I would ever pay anyone that much to run some plumbing, get real.

Luckily, thanks to the Blair house, I know how to lay hardwood floor, how to install kitchen cabinets, how to frame and drywall. I also know how to tile and replace fixtures both plumbing and electrical. I can do all this work but I’m pretty sure I’ll be kicking myself mid way though.

When I’m done the place is going to look so different and it will be all my designs this time. I will finally have a house that I worked hard to create that doesn’t also have so many traumatic memories. I hope I can finally feel like I’m home and enjoy where I’m living. It’s been so long since I felt like I was home anywhere (minus some fleeting moments in embraces with a person I loved dearly) that it would be a relief to finally settle in somewhere.

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Not OK

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Why am I posting a picture of a phone number on my blog you may ask. It’s because this torn off sheet of notebook paper is evidence. Evidence that no matter how much you may have,or still do, love someone, if they are being continually cruel and abusive to you, you’re not obligated to just accept it.

I had been in an emotionally and verbally abusive marriage for years. I tried everything to make the relationship work but I was the only one putting in the work. Eventually he did something I couldn’t look past and I filed for divorce. Years later I met a man I thought shared my values and I could build a future with and he too decided it was perfectly ok to blame me for his own insecurities and to lash out at me.

We eventually broke up because his insecurities were stronger than his proclaimed love for me. I had finally started to come to terms with the loss of our future together (any sane person should’ve been glad they got out of a bad situation but my stupid heart still loved him) when he finally started being civil towards me again. He enticed me into hanging out again doing shared activities he knew I loved. Then the whole reason for his insecurities reared its head again. Didn’t matter that I hadn’t “betrayed” him. Didn’t matter that I wasn’t trying to defend anything or argue against his bs accusations. He spent two days in a row subjecting me to emotional trauma and abuse…at work. On the third day I refused to acknowledge or engage. I even asked to leave work so I wouldn’t have to interact with him. After several more emails where he was threatening legal action against me for supposedly refusing to immediately provide him with a Bluetooth headset he’d attached to my motorcycle helmet, I told him in no uncertain terms that he had been traumatizing me, treating me like shit, I didn’t condone his behavior towards me and that if he wanted his headset he could arrange a time to come get it. He immediately just came to my place of residence. He refused to use the intercom system to be let in, wanted me to come down and open the door for him. When I insisted he use the intercom system he called the cops. I went down to talk to the officer. After the officer had settled everything and he’d gotten his headset back and left she turned to me and offered support and the number to a group that helps women dealing with abuse.

When the cops are called on you and they leave offering you help with filing a no contact order you know that you didn’t fail, you weren’t the reason your relationship didn’t work out, you don’t deserve to be spoken to or treated with such disrespect.

Down For The Count

I didn’t disappear, but I have been fighting what turned out to be a very nasty staph infection.

This has been an awful two weeks and it’s not even over yet. I wish I knew what brought this on so I can make sure it never happens again. I think I’m just lucky that they finally gave me antibiotics before I turned septic. It would’ve been a complete waste, not to mention mortifying, to have died in my sleep from sepsis over this.

Will resume regular postings once this all clears up.

America Dies in Apathy

It’s been said that democracy dies in darkness, but America is more than just a democracy. It’s a country, albeit stolen, that was founded on principles of freedom, tolerance, the melding of different cultures, and balancing forces.

As I’ve watched the country I was born in, and mostly took for granted, slide downwards on the same slippery slope Germany did when they let authoritarian tactics gain legitimacy, I fell into a depression so deep I pulled back from everything.

In the past I’ve been very clear on how I feel about the current president and his administration. I never shied away from stating that I think we (collectively) all need to do better, stop letting fear dictate our actions, and be willing to embrace the differences in one another. Yet as things have gone from bad to worse in America I stopped speaking out. Part of that was the depression, part was because of the personal drama I was dealing with, but part of that was just the idea that my voice doesn’t matter so there wasn’t a point to continually rallying people against the actions of Trump and his supporters.

Except that’s the trap. Feeling like there’s no point in trying.

As each new story broke many Americans felt like they should be outraged and something needed to be done. Except, nothing has been done, save for the desensitization of the general population about actions that were priorly unacceptable. People cry out “that’s not right, that’s not ok” and congress ignores the will of the masses. Democrats are virtually impotent in their ability to stop anything, therefor there is no ability to check or balance anything. For everyone who doesn’t like the direction the country is going in, there’s the very real danger that we let things get too out of hand already and that only makes it harder to believe we can do anything about it.

At this point some of the horrifying realities Americans already have to face are that we have a Muslim ban the Supreme Court just upheld, we have hateful racists called “fine people” by our political leaders, we have been pulled out of the Paris Climate Change as well as some trade pacts which only causes the rest of the world to be far less willing to want to work with us, we are told not to believe our own eyes by Trump and his administration, we have people in the same administration brazenly engaging in unethical behavior, allies are insulted and ruthless dictators treated with respect, and now we have concentration camps for children and the people running them have no desire to help reunite the families torn apart.

WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK PEOPLE!

How do we come back from this? Can we vote our way out of it, because I am not sure we can. However, we can’t continue to sit back and hope that someone will come save us.

This shit isn’t ok. I don’t care who you are, if you think what is happening in America is acceptable and doesn’t need to be stopped right now then you’re an insecure coward with no empathy and no investment in a sustainable future and I am not afraid to state that. If we’re picking sides than I am on the side of democracy, of decency, of truth and of a future I’d actually want to bring the next generation into.

Those that don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it and I don’t particularly want to repeat WWII. I’d rather there be a whole new civil war.

 

 

 

Jet Setting

About to depart on the longest flight I’ve ever been on…heading to New Zealand with a stop in Australia first. From the first flight till I get there will be about 24 hours of straight travel. I’m quite excited about the potential for adventure but I hope this time my airline doesn’t strand me in another country.

Your Truth Isn’t My Truth

We all experience life differently. Our perceptions become our reality, our truth. This opens the door for many misunderstandings, arguments, and hurt feelings. We see it happen all around us. I’m not talking about fake news, that’s intentional manipulation, but I am referring to those times in life where you seemingly can’t see eye to eye with another person regarding your interactions because you both think you’re the one who knows the “truth” and you’re both right, but also both wrong.

When I was born my father had to leave for nearly the first year of my life, he was in another city looking for stable work to support the family. His truth was that he was doing what he needed to do to take care of his family. My mom felt abandoned by him and his family, even though they were still together, because she was left there to work and care for a newborn alone. That’s the first environment I ever experienced, one where I was surrounded by feelings of abandonment, of self pity, of not being worth the effort (his mom had stayed with the women his brother had kids with when they had babies but refused to help my mom) of not being good enough. Yeah I was an infant but my tiny growing brain heard the phone calls, heard my mom talking down to herself, saw her crying, felt her pain. That was my first lesson and no one realized it, that was my perception, that became my truth. Men leave, you can only count on yourself, they say they love you but when things get hard they run away.

As soon as my dad did get a job he moved my mom and I down to be with him. They were together until the day he died in 2015 and my conscious brain has no recollection of that first year. I would’ve never guessed I’d have long buried fears of abandonment waiting to sabotage my relationships. But I do.

When I was around 5, I remember there was a night where my mom was at work and my dad and I were sleeping. Suddenly I woke up, I heard a banging noise coming from somewhere. I thought maybe it was tree branches outside or something. I tried to go back to sleep but the banging continued intermittently. After awhile my dad came sleepily into my room and yelled at me to stop kicking the wall. I told him it wasn’t me. He didn’t believe me and I was completely shocked by that. I didn’t lie to him and to not be believed by my dad felt like a huge betrayal to me. He went back in his room. The banging resumed. He came back in and yelled at me again. Once more I told him it wasn’t me, I offered my explanation about trees. He still didn’t believe me. I was even more hurt and confused. Why was he so sure I was lying, there were many other reasons this could be happening, why did it have to be coming from me, why did he have to think I would be so disrespectful? As he started to turn away to go back to his room the banging started up again. This time he could see it wasn’t me causing it and then he told me to stay in my room while he investigated. Turns out it was my mom, downstairs, banging her cane on the wall as a joke. She got to work and they told her they were overstaffed so she came back home early. My dad never did apologize about not believing me.

From that moment on, whenever I would tell someone something true and they refused to believe me it brought all those same feelings back. It took me 30 years to figure out the initial source of the pain though. I can usually handle people attacking me for things that aren’t true and I’m always willing to admit to my mistakes and faults even though it’s hard to do sometimes. But when someone attacks my integrity it’s like a knife through my heart. I feel helpless and afraid, I don’t understand why someone would and it really fucks with me.

We all have events, incidents, and misunderstanding that happen when we’re young. They shape how we see things, they shape our definitions, they shape our truth. As we grow up we start to realize that other people don’t have the same truth as us about certain things. What is important to one person might not matter to someone else (wait this sounds like you’re talking about opinions vs truth) or one person could interpret things literally and another person more figuratively and to each person their definition (or opinion) on a topic is their truth. This is why we have so many arguments amongst people on so many topics. Everyone is so caught up in their truth they refuse to acknowledge anyone else’s. They don’t often stop to wonder what the source of their truth is either. So round and round we go arguing about who’s right, who’s telling the truth and everyone loses.

What happens when we change the way we think about truth? What happens when we allow ourselves to be open to the concept of individual truths that don’t negate either side, when we allow ourselves to believe that other people aren’t lying just because they think differently? What happens when we stop convincing ourselves that other people’s feelings (if they aren’t what we want them to be) are invalid and ours are more important always?

I think we’d all be better off if we did, but that’s just my truth I guess.