On Bravery

On Bravery

People keep saying The Donkey is brave. It may sound like false modesty to say
I’ve always thought myself rather timid and cowardly. It’s one thing to give an
e-hoofing- quite another to admit that the closet door cannot be cracked and the
shower curtain must stay open. Hair washing is mildly unpleasant because I cannot
just open my eyes when I feel like it.

I’ve been that way since childhood. Up until a few days ago. (Mom called it being “goosy.”)

You know what I really hated? I hated that phenomena of laying in bed in the dark with the door
cracked so light can come through, and it looks as if the door is sloooowly moving open.

I had a dummy named Lester. It was all fun and games until Magic was published, and then it was NOT hilarious! Lester slept in the closet at night and that closet door stayed VERY tightly shut. Thank the Lord I was not a little kid when I saw IT and Poltergiest. Mom knew better than to let me see horror shows as a child.

You say, well, kids are like that, but I was like that as an adult.

Once I saw a banana peel rotting on the gate walking home from middle school. I got the idea for the sinister story, “The Buckled Goatee.”*

I recently discovered I have a terror of misrepresentation. As a child I had a horrid dream about Superman in the shower. I saw him in there, and he was bald! I was dumbstruck and awoke screaming, probably. It was the idea that he was NOT what he appeared! This always terrified me.

So back to my story. I wrote it about a man who used a buckled goatee to slip on and do his nefarious deeds. I forgot about the story’s inspiration….

dun dun DUN

As you can imagine, and may already be laughing, I then one day saw the now much more rotten and sinister looking nee banana peel, “Buckled Goatee” hanging on the fence, and almost screamed and fainted before remembering.

Now that is a pretty silly kid.

And then,

I was also like this.

1. Dunderhead-

This kid bullied me and other kids. He was a beefy sort. It was jolly times for him to toss kids in the creek, and generally be an @$$, I heard later.

One day I was walking down the bicycle path with some of the day care kids of mom’s coming home from school, and guess who was there ahead. A group of kids had gathered, watching quietly as Dunderhead had one of our day care boy’s (I’ll call him Bear) collar and was holding him in the air. I strode up and slapped Dunderhead in the face! I was probably wearing a knit polyester dress with a lace collar…snerk…and I had never slapped anyone in my life, nor been punched. He immediately dropped his prey. I importantly said, “Run.” to the other kids. The young ones did. The older ones stayed to observe. Immediately he punched me in the nose. I stood there and stared at him (it did not bleed) and thought, THAT is what it is like to be punched in the nose? THAT’S not so bad! and walked calmly away.

This caused problems solved later, deliciously, but that’s not for this day. Later that day the boy’s sister called me and thanked me. No greater glory could have been experienced….ahhhh…..

2. Singing-

In middle school, again (oh, that is a crappy age!) I was in choir, and the teacher was very nice. Some very popular girls were being real jerks and refusing to sing to blackmail/punish the teacher.

I was a very strange, self-conscious, one-friend kind of kid. A weirdo to the other kids opinion, I think. (Except that I missed first place in the school spelling bee in 8th grade, the highest grade in that school, and when I misspelled the word, it sounded like everyone said, “Awwwwwwwwwwwww”, and meant it. I stood, thunderstruck. It was too late to realize, I had been liked, my pedantic, weird little self, the whole time. They were just intimidated by me.

But I digress (as usual, LOL!) My number one fear, above and waaaay beyond Lester walking outta dat closet and staring at me with a grinning face, was SINGING IN PUBLIC. And I suuuuucked. I couldn’t carry a tune back then.

After the third round of music, and those little biatches sitting there refusing to sing (and no one else daring to, cause who wants to stand up to the popular girls in 7th grade?) ….guess what?
I started singing loud and strong as I could.

I figured there would be shouts and screams of derision and laughter. There was stone cold silence. I felt the hot, prickly, sick fear and red face. I sang.

The next rendition, those damned girls sang.

3. In the hospital the staff was insulting my friend, a schitzophrenic. He was such a sweet and lovely boy. I loved him dearly, and he came to love me, too. I knew. They were calling him roly-poly and saying, “blink” and sitting there on their asses smirking, looking at each other, and him, in the day room.

I said, “I feel like I am in high school.”

The male tech turned and said, surprised, “Why?” and that was when they got hoofed.

The schitzophrenic made his appropriate addition and regally and with great dignity, left the room.

They did not repeat the behavior.

Imagine, my first time in a locked psychiatric facility. I had a lot to lose by condemning these people. It didn’t matter. I was treated the same, with respect and kindness. I was scared, but I did it anyway.

Now, are you seeing a pattern?

I’m afraid/loathe to stand up for myself, but I’ll stand up in front of a bullet for YOU.

I think that is exactly what caused the meltdown with my father, a man i usually bow down to. He accused me of accusing HIM of lying, and then treated me with anger and disdain. I lost it.

“Speak your mind even if your hands shake.” Even if you get a hot, sick chill.

Lately, the stress and shock of what I’ve been through, including my friend’s husband dying, has left me numb. I don’t have any fears right now. I feel fearless.

My shower door stays pulled closed nowadays. If Mr. Bates shows up, he’s gonna get hoofed.

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FACE MASK GETS A HOOFIN!

Stoopy Hot Mask

FACE MASK GETS A HOOFIN!!

No more stoopy face mask frum dummy TB test waitings! I been cleared to go to rehab.

Course, there is still teh qkweschun ub why dere bee little tiny spot on mah lung. But my retired xray tech dad says it beez nuffin, an he bee next to teh man upstairs in mah esteem ub him abilitees. So now, I just has to wait 7 weeks for the more complicated TB test. But I duzzunt has a contagious, and prolly no TB. Den, if dat shows nuffin, a stoopy CT scan. All for nuffin, prolly. Sigh. If my dad got in dere and did teh xray, dis nonsense wud be obbur.

STAT. 😀

On Love As a Choice

I was thinking again today about how just before I turned into a Shrek Donkey, someone dear to me told me love is a choice.

This was a different concept to me, and the more I turned it around, the more advantageous it appeared.

I realized it was TOTALLY to my advantage. Here’s a little psychological history on me as to why.

(Why not share it? Hell, I’ve already told you the most private stuff imaginable. This outta be a piece of cake. :/ )

As a probable result of my poor self esteem being raised by one half of my parents in a rather emotionally unhealthy manner, and the possible resulting affect of slowly growing obesity, my self-esteem has been rather poor in certain areas, as you can imagine. (In others, I am wildly arrogant…go figure. That must be from where my doting mother got a hold of me…LOL) So I spent a lot of my childhood, teen years, and adulthood till the last 2 years rejecting before I could be rejected.

I remember, with uncomfortable pain, my assy response when I showed up at Guion Creek Elementary in second grade. They called my name and everyone turned to stare. Instead of smiling and saying hi, I gave them all the buggy-eyed shaky face. They all turned back around. Who’d want to be friends with that? When Davy Albert asked me to skate, I was shocked. Who’d want to skate with me? Ewww, I replied before I could think. He skated with my friend. He was a nice, funny, friendly boy. I still remember feeling like a heel. I was mean to boys as a way of testing them. I’ll digress a minute. I have finally come to realize I fear losing people. So I would pick on them. If they could handle it, I could be attracted. Then, they had to be mean. They had to be able to take care of themselves. The possibility of losing them and suffering was too harsh to bear. I would sabotage relationships. I would either cling and then reject, or just reject.

My life is full of this crap. Full of insane crap, like when some guy refers to his wife, I automatically suspect he thinks I’m desperate and he has to head me off at the pass. Specially if I am training him and being friendly. How soon will he ohhhh-so-casually-mention his wife? Do any other women have this feeling? Then I worry that I don’t look blase enough about it when he mentions her. I fear he will mistake my fear of being mistakenly thought of as attracted as being disappointed. Can you believe this??? It’s horrible. It’s a horrible way to torture yourself and others.

My second husband told me the song Desperado fit me. I was stunned at his perception.
(Here’s a link for the unfamiliar: http://www.lyricsfreak.com/e/eagles/desperado_20044565.html )

I married my first husband, a guy like Cooter from Dukes of Hazzard. Me, a pendantic, bitter, snobbish windbag, marrying him. He was wildly attracted to me. I had no attraction to him. He was the only one I ever dated, kissed, held hands with. I cried the first time. He was like a brother and a buddy. It was ’84 when we married. I was only 18, and so childish and immature. We divorced within 2 years. I just didn’t think anyone else would want me, but found out different during my marriage and was horribly regretful.

I didn’t marry again until ’97. We were together for years, but he didn’t marry me till ’97. Then he cheated on me and asked me to leave 3 months later. I was relieved. He was verbally abusive and prone to fits. We never divorced, but I’m happy he lives with a nice woman now and has both matured and softened. We are on good terms.

That’s when I came to California, and finally began dating nice men. (Well, my first husband was exceptionally nice, but it took more than 10 years to appreciate a nice man.)

But I wasn’t ready yet. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago I burned up like a phoenix in a passionate flame for a grade A creepy weirdo, a control freak. After a few more guys I lost it and stopped dating. I was FINALLY SICK OF IT. I snapped when I guy I was seeing and having dinner with him and his son, made some comment about me not being his girlfriend. He pestered me for months after. Being pestered felt great. I never went back. I haven’t dated now for about 2 years and turned into The Donkey. I realized it was time to close the candy shop. No more being used.

It was around then I learned about Love Being A Choice. OMCC…I realized the SOLUTION TO MY PROBLEM!

I could choose to love EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!! By doing this, which was what I had hungered for from my very earliest beginnings, I was freed! I no longer had to feel nervous about telling someone I cared for them, because I freely admit I care for EVERYONE. If someone said, Oh, I’m not interested in you, I can reply, “Oh it’s not sexual.” I am a Christian and I try to love everyone.

Some are easier to love than others, and it is very freeing to try to love everyone. Some people are really jerky. It is a great feeling to reject returning their attitude and love them instead. It makes me feel like such a better person, and not like a victim.

On the Internet, I really learned how true “a kind answer turneth away wrath” is. So many people need to learn to pick their battles. So many angry, petty people hopping into tempests in teapots. Let it go. Say something nice. It is important to be the big man or woman to people. Pride is a terrible thing when anger get involved. By releasing your pride and acquiescing, you reduce the tension and may even win a friend. Lucky you! 🙂

So that’s part of my psychology. I don’t know if many others are that neurotic or not, but that is what feedback is for. I would be curious to know if others have had my growing up experience.

Thanks for “listening.”

“Love,”
Kathleen
PS It’s nice to be able to just write love, Kathleen on letters, too….I do it often. If anyone objects to being loved, I will tell them I do it to everyone. NO one has objected yet.

*big grin*

The Cusp

I has a new friend!

This is what I wrote to Sunnyhuckle this morning, and I liked it so much I decided to share the thought with y’all.

Tell me your thoughts on the subject.

Your letter reminded me of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

Here is a link in case you aren’t familiar:

http://www.envisionsoftware.com/articles/Maslows_Needs_Hierarchy.html

At the bottom, of course, are the basic things all organisms require.

As you go up, things become more complicated. At the top we have things like truth, justice, wisdom, and meaning.

I can’t quite tell if you feel badly about not being back in that time you spoke of, when we were like the Amish, but I do think it is usually a generational thing. I myself was born in 1965; I think that is a cusp of Baby Boomer and Generation X.

I could literally see the difference in high school. My class FELT like a cusp! The class before us and after us were so clearly belonging to those two groups. We felt like the middle.

As such, I admire the former, and analyze it in the manner of the latter (a trait some in the former might refer to as BS, LOL!)

So there is an admiration for the many years’ generations before that worked so hard, and had such wonderful value systems. Some of us cuspies have a combination of lazy and admiration for the older groups’ mores and morals.

But here is the twist: I think church is what caused those people to get their higher needs met, the needs we are today meeting, often, with the results of what some would call efforts of sociologists, psychologists, and pop psychology. If you look at the link, a religious person could agree that all those things can be learned in the spiritual realm, and experienced with the church experience, if it is ideal and properly pursued.

Now, however, we don’t have that general bonding connection. Religion is more looked down upon. Some people are getting their higher needs met anyway; others are suffering a lack of it, causing all manner of problems.

I’m going to stop here and ask, what are your thoughts on the subject?

Now I think I am going to post this letter on my blog. It’s the first time I have completed this thought.

Love, Kathleen

Update

Called the doctor the other day and told him I was too sleepy to drive and do my job. He said I could take half the Abilify. I noticed the difference immediately!

Unfortunately I am still slightly cognitively impaired, but it isn’t too bad. So I finally went back to work today. I notice my mood is also better. I feel calm and not annoyed and brain racing all the time. Tommorrow I go put in an application to be an actual Napa driver…meaning regular hours, insurance, benefits, not having to drive my OWN car, (that’s the big one!) and other things. I think I will be hired. Please send a little prayer/beam for me that things happen for the best…

OUT OF THE FUNNY FARM INTO THE FIRE (or, more elegantly: mixed bag of fleas)

Random ramblings from the recently released donkey (beware! Long rambling ahead!):

Some of you “in the know,” know about the expression I like to spread around, “Thanks for the fleas.” This is from Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place, a story told about her experiences in a concentration camp. She tells of her sister(?) Betsy’s
penchant for thanking God for ALL things. Corrie loses her temper and snarkily asks, “Even the fleas?”

Betsy says, Yes! Let’s thank him for the fleas! And they did.

It came to their attention afterward that their Bible, the only source of hope and inspiration they had, was free from confiscation, because their barracks were flea ridden, and the guards wouldn’t come in.

Yesterday (Wednesday) was a mixed bag of fleas. I’ll get back to that later.

I got out of Woodland Hospital on Tuesday around 1:30. I really wasn’t ready to go. I knew I would have a big load of responsibilities waiting for me, the most pleasant of which would be contacting all the cheezfriends who had supported me. My family and I ended up wasting precious time going to Mercy Medical for paperwork that wouldn’t be ready until Wednesday. Then I had to go pay bills and run errands with deadlines. I had all sorts of nasty surprises awaiting me with my car, as my father and son tinkered with it. It is a ’92 Acura with, I swear, what must surely be a poltergeist inside. Methinks said poltergeist was angered by their tinkering. Nuff sed…

Here’s a synopsis of what happened to me and what I did, since January 27th.

Many of you know the dynamics of my relationship with my father. It is an extremely rare, to the point of shocking, occasion for me to talk back to him and get into an altercation. This is what happened. The details aren’t important, or this post will never end. Suffice it to say that I quickly exploded out of control and into a rage, from all the suppression, and it was ugly. Of course, he did not see this as something to stop and analyze; he merely responded with cold fury.

I was so enraged with impotent fury that I went to my room and continued to drink. (Yes, drink…more on that later, with final positive results)

Eventually, late at night, drunk and in a tunnel vision (that means, dear friends and fellow Christians, that I had no thoughts of my family, including my son, or my cheezfrends, or God. I simply had a one track mind and nothing else. Very scary…when the Bible says “…he who is deceived by it is not wise” that is not a ticket to drunkardness. It is a warning about the slippery slope that drunkardness is…) I pried off the blades of a disposable razor and cut my wrist.

It was harder than I suspected. I then thought about laying down on my arm and making it numb, and then cutting it. Thank God I was too impatient and angry to bother. I just let it slowly bleed and thought I would just go to bed and let it bleed out.

I awoke POd and severely angry to be alive. I finally went to the computer and started researching what I could do for help. I just knew it wasn’t right to be doing this, but I didn’t value myself enough to think I was worthy of going to the ER. It was a scary thought to go to the ER. I have never done anything like this before. I was afraid I’d be treated with derision and turned away. I have no money or insurance to pay that kind of bill. I knew calling an ambulance would awaken the household and might bring derision and anger and all manner of hysteria from my family. (No, I wasn’t thinking clearly…but I can still imagine my father’s face of disbelief and anger at the possibility of waking up to such a spectacle) So I got in the car and drove to the ER. At this point my wrist had a nasty cut in it, but it wasn’t oozing, so that was no heroic feat.

They were so kind at the ER. I was immediately taken into the back and they had me in a room on a bed within a few minutes. I was to end up being there from about 8 am to 4:30 pm. I cried on and off all day. I was sad, numb, and felt hopeless. I was like a zombie.

Important note: if you ever go to ER and ask them to notify your family, don’t. Ask for a phone and call them yourself. I asked them to notify mine, and was told okay (by an unknowing soul, I’m sure) and then lay there for hours and hours expecting with doom to see their faces come around the corner, peering at me, as I lay there feeling smarmy from my incredibly smarmy and selfish act. When they didn’t come, I started to wonder. Finally in the afternoon, I asked again and was told they don’t notify. I found out I could have a phone brought to my room and was told sure! and there was no time limit! I immediately got ahold of mom. I don’t know why I thought my mother would be exasperated and disgusted with me, but she was not, of course. Maybe I thought it because I was so tired of myself that I thought she was, too. She was terribly kind and warm. Unfortunately it was too late for them to get there on time with anything for me before I got transferred to Woodland at 4:30. The techs were so nice and friendly. Everyone was. It was an eyeopening experience. I figured they could all see my lame, wussy attempt at cutting myself and look at me with a pained, disgusted expression saying, “You are wasting our time. We are here for REAL victims, REAL patients, not the likes of your pathetic, whiny self. ” It was humbling to be treated so kindly by everyone.

They drove me to Woodland Hospital in Woodland, IN. It was embarrassing to be wheeled in strapped on a stretcher and knowing all the patients were checking me out. Again, met by much kindness. When I plainly (as I do, donkishly, LOL) told them the chair was too small for my big butt, and I needed another chair without arms, the sweet tech started talking about how tall I was (I’m only 5’5 1/2″, but she was tiny,) as if to say, oh, you’re not fat, you’re tall. 🙂 Such a sweet lady. .

The next day my family came. I felt awkward. Not much smiling. Still zombie like. I think mom was kind of stunned. It truly was a strange thing for me to do. Sean was his normal, computer faced self. Dad was subdued and polite. He did not appear to be drunk. They brought me things.

Never during my stay did I ever feel that taboo feeling of being in a psych ward, or afraid of it. I just cocooned and felt taken care of and calm. Sometimes I cried and was depressed, but it got better.

The food was wonderful and plentiful, and the staff and patients came to care for me.

They diagnosed me with depression, BiPolar disorder, and gave me Antibuse.

Those three meds have me knocked for a loop. I’m always sleepy, and I’m confused, too. I am unable to think of simple things sometimes. I haven’t gone back to work yet. I am stressing over that. I don’t know if I can…I’m a courier. Calling the doctor tomorrow to talk about THAT problem.

I didn’t miss the alcohol when I was in there. Don’t really miss it now, either. Isn’t that strange?

WHile in the hospital, I called work and was told this coworker, a girl I feel like a mother or sister to, a very young married mom with 2 small kids, had lost her husband. He died of a brain aneurysm. His funeral was when I was in the hospital. She had no idea why I didn’t come to it. I was devastated. I called her and cried and explained what happened and how sorry I was. He was the only goodness in her life, I think, besides her kids. How incredibly heartbreaking. I keep thinking about Valentines day and how hideous it will be for her. There is always someone else to make you realize what a whiner you are being. What can I say to her? I am at a loss.

Wednesday I spent approximately 4 hours messing around with a Medical like office. You’d think I’d be about crazy. I filled out the form wrong, and basically was an idiot. Poor clerk. I was very calm though…then started crying at some point (before the paperwork fiasco) for no discernable reason. Just sat there and the tears poured down. That’s what it’s been like. This crazy behavior.

Coming home I thought about my cheezfrends, and how much they love me and support me and what a heinous, selfish thing I’d done. And I realized even given that, they loved me anyway. Then, for the first time, the enormity of God’s same kind of love struck me and I felt like a worm. I began verbally accosting myself and crying.

I started questioning my good works. I decided I was a coward who did good deeds because subconsciously I am afraid of punishment and I think being good will keep me out of trouble, not because I am a good person. I basically ripped myself several new orifices on the way home, howling all the way.

Then I decided to throw melodramic attention w…. into the mix, and that I was beating myself up so I could get my melodramatic-spike fix. I was doomed. I could think of no good intentions, no purity of motive to defend myself. By the time I got home I was exhausted from the self-attack and its resulting confusion.

That’s what I’m going through. It is very selfish. I need the positive feedback, yet I feel guilty about it.

I am staying hopeful for when the meds kick in. Right now I’m just kind of feeling strange.

More later if I think of it.

Thank you to all who sent love and concern, and posted and emailed. I love you all so much. You help get me through. Bless you and yours.