I know I've not been particularly vocal lately. I'm just lying low, drugging myself into sleep with Benadryl/Unisom/Ambien, trying to make it through this painful and difficult time. I am not as sick as I anticipated, or as sick as I've been in the past when having problems with pain meds, but I chalk that up to the fact that I had the foresight to drop down to half doses rather than let myself run out completely.

I've got a few whole ones stashed away for tomorrow, which is the day we visit the Ren Faire. I only need a few good hours, then I can go back to being an absolute wreck.

I'm terrified of what's going to go down on Monday… hopeful, yet anxious. I don't dare contemplate what fate will befall me if I am refused pain meds out of hand. I have a plan, should that transpire, but it's nothing anyone who loves me wants to hear about. I did tell my husband, to a degree, so he knows but it's not something I prefer to dwell upon.

Here's hoping things go well on Monday and I can become a person again.
In summary, there's progress being made with the new doctors. The rheum seems to feel that what's going on with me is "just fibromyalgia" (which I do not contest that I have), but he is more than willing to pursue diagnostic measures and check my immune responses. If it's lupus, we'll figure it out. He did seem to frown upon my pain killer usage, stating that using the types of pain killers that I'm on can actually increase pain response and cause more pain in the long run. I told him I understand that, but as the pain makes me so sick without any intervention, it's a risk I'm just going to have to take. He does not prescribe pain killers, though, so that means that I'm going to run out of pain killers (again) before my appointment on Monday with the pain specialists. It was a hefty blow of discouragement, as I was hoping for some help in that department, so I spent some time loudly crying on M's shoulder. As the day wore on, though, I was able to assimilate what actually went down and separate that from what I felt that I was hearing from them, and I'm still satisfied that I've made the switch for my care from the rheum here in town. I did break down in front of the rheum and his assistant, telling them that there is something else going on besides just fibro and that I need help and they have to help me or some such like that… I don't really remember the specifics. There was just a welling up of emotion. I had so many hopes going into the appointment, and they were dashed. I had expectations that were not reasonable, but it still hurt mightily when they were let down, so there was much sobbing, and even a muttered, "Fuck the system," that I had intended to be only in my head.

Things with the psych went even better. He told me, just as many doctors have, that I'm "unique" and "complicated". There's not just one thing at work here, but I have many elements of many issues at work, and no one diagnosis is going to sum up what we're working with. So far we're looking at elements of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and even some mood disorder spectrum stuff (more specifically, manic depressive/bipolar). He increased my antidepressant a little, so we'll see how that helps things, if it does at all.

There's another subject I want to address, but it's more serious and deserves its own discussion. Right now I'm just trying to survive on little to no painkillers, and it's nuts. I have reserved several full pain killers for this Saturday, as I've been looking forward to the ren faire for MONTHS and I'm not going to let this stand in my way. I'm going to see if we can get a wheelchair, though. The rest of the week I'll be surviving on maybe one to two a day, in increments of 1/2 pills… and I'm still going to run out before the appointment, but at least they'll see how sick I am, yes? Maybe I'll get the help that I actually need.
There are words to be said, updates to be given about the trip to the big city yesterday… but frankly I hurt too damn much. Also, I got some sleeping pills from my doc this morning, so I'm hoping to be able to sleep the rest of this week away and avoid the uncomfortable fact of my existence without pain meds.

I'm so sick of being screwed over on these meds. These pain docs had better do something to help me get my life back under control. Please, oh please… help me.
So I'm going through my blog, looking for landmarks of my health problems and decline to take to my appointment tomorrow, and I came across the post where that pastor told me I'd be unhappy and divorcing within a year. Remember that? Well, I realized that I totally let the "deadline" for going back  and showing the pastor just how miserable I am in my marriage pass without going to troll him. I regret this, and I think C will agree with me that we need to rectify this situation.

After all, he should be able to see just how accurate and wise his predictions were, founded as they are on years and years of anecdotal evidence and his unfathomable insight into the word of God. Oh, wait… he wasn't right? C and I are actually happy, secure, and content within our marriage and, what's that, even stronger because of the trials and challenges we've faced in this first year of marriage? Well, how about that.

Pardon my sarcasm, but it's just that I completely called it. And considering the formidable challenges we've faced just within this first year of marriage alone, it's even more notable that our relationship is strong and thriving. Chronic illness (or any traumatic and stressful event) can either strengthen the relationship or break it apart. It depends on the people within the relationship.

We're freaking champions.
Today is the gear-up, preparation day for The Appointments tomorrow.

As I was drifting off to sleep last night, I realized that I am very, very anxious about what is going to transpire tomorrow with the rheumatologist. The psychologist? I could care less. Well, okay, that's not entirely true. The psych will have control over my antidepressant, I'm sure, and that has definitely had an impact on my overall functioning. However, if I were given the choice between my antidepressant and my pain meds… I think we all know which way I'd go. Antidepressants, duh! (I kid, I kid!)

I just… I mean… I'm terrified, y'all. Just so petrified. So, so anxious that my symptoms will be downplayed again, that I'll be told I'm prone to exaggeration again, that my coping mechanisms will be called into question again (without offering any assistance or anything), that my pain won't be taken seriously again, and that it's going to be harder than filling a sieve with Jello to get adequate pain management again, and that I will just end up spending another year getting sicker and sicker and in more and more pain without anyone in the medical community bothering to figure out what's really going on. It's like… this could either be really good or really bad. I'm terrified. I don't know what to expect, but my experience with this stuff so far does not have me exactly resting at ease.

But… I will do my best to come prepared with all the information and documentation that I can to make this as smooth and painless as possible.

Besides gathering all my supplies for tomorrow, I'm hoping to be able to do some more cleaning and tidying of the house. Will that actually happen? I'm uncertain. The pain is pretty persistent and gnawing today, so we'll see. C helped me clean yesterday, mopping the floor after I swept as well as helping me make the bed after I washed all the linens. That has taken a tremendous load off of my mind. I've been bothered by the dirtiness of the floor for weeks now, but unable to do the task myself. Then, of course, I ran out of meds and wasn't doing a damn thing, so mopping was out of the question. Today, I'd like to get the dishes done (since I went through pretty much every single dish while sick, because doing dishes? Hah. Right.) and clean the bathrooms. Dusting would be nice, too, as well as putting away the laundry I did yesterday. If I only get one "cleaning" thing done today, though, it's gotta be the dishes. Well, that and my laundry. How I wish I could do it all in one blazing, glorious, Spring Cleaning type day! To think that I used to HATE the weekends because Mom would want to get all the cleaning that had been put off throughout the week done on Sunday, and of course we were obligated to help. Now I'd give anything to be able to take a day and just clean the house really well. Of course, I try to employ the method that Mom never quite got the hang of, which is tidying up throughout the day and week so it doesn't all pile up and necessitate an all-or-nothing cleaning binge. I'm sure it's harder with kids, but it's also pretty damn hard with chronic pain, too.

So that's the plan for today. Eat, clean, and be merry, for tomorrow I may want to die.

Oh, and quick side note of great importance? The local ren faire is next weekend! Whoop whoop! I'm so excited. I look forward to this all year.

Honor Him

This is the soundtrack to my morning. It's been on loop in my head since I fell asleep humming it to myself last night. I adore the Gladiator soundtrack, but this piece has always struck a special chord with me. Not sure why. I only know that I love it.
I spent some time talking to C, discussing my depression that I'm in right now (basically just reiterating what I've written here in the past 24 hours). He agrees that it makes perfect sense, though we both know there's really not much either of us can do about it other than what we're already doing-- keep trying to find answers, do the things that make us happy, and just hang in there. We both went and laid down for a while to cuddle, since we were both tired and I just needed some physical contact to boost my neurochemicals and settle out my hormones a bit. Cuddling led to snuggling which led to other things, and I feel much, much better. It had been a long time, since I'd been so sick this past week. It's amazing how relaxing and yet mood boosting physical intimacy is for me, no matter how tired I am. I really can't go long without sex without it significantly impacting my mood and daily performance.

At any rate… I'm still frustrated, somewhat overwhelmed, and feeling helpless in a major way, but my emotions are a bit more level. I'm going to go put on some 80's music and tidy up the house a bit. It got so messy and dirty while I was super sick, and that's another thing that's been frustrating me. I really dislike an untidy environment. It can totally put me in a funk, which I think is also contributing to my down mood.
I am feeling so overwhelmed and out of control… so tired of fighting. What am I fighting for?

I really, really wish that someone would say these things to me and really mean it. I wish that someone would just take over, take over the reins, and tell me to just rest. That they would take care of all the appointments, all the paperwork, the meds, the worry… to just rest, and I'll be taken care of. It's so hard to fight every single day and then have to fight for the big picture at the same time. Too many battles. Someone… anyone… please?

Give me your pain
Give me your anger
Let me be your rock
I can be the pillar of strength that you need
I'll help you keep it all together
It's better late than never
Lay your world on me
I can take the weight

We all laugh and we all cry
We all hurt the same inside
We all fall down and we lose faith in who we really are
But if we bend instead of break
The choice for us is to make it together
Lay your world on me

I'll help you keep it all together
It's better late than never
Lay your world on me
Lay your world on me
Lay your world on me
I can take the weight

The problem is, I'm a super strong badass. If I can't handle the weight of my own problems, who else can? No one. That's who.

Times like this, I'd love to fall back on the comfort of "give it all to God, he's got this and it's all gonna be okay." Well, I know it's all gonna be okay eventually, but that doesn't change the fact that it's goddamn hard right now, and that's what I'm having trouble with.
I guess I'm just facing a bit of depression. Then again, I shouldn't be surprised, what with how much stress my body and mind were under this past week. I can probably expect to be worn down and worn out. That's normal, right?

So I'll just be… nice… to myself. Forget the expectations. Just exist, try to have fun, and rest. The toll on my body is probably the same as if I had been fighting a very bad illness for a week and now need to recuperate.

Sounds good.

It's hard not to be down about my situation, though. I'm pretty bummed about this crap body that I've got and the limitations it's put on me. I really just want to go hiking. *siiiiiiigh*
It's weird. I don't know exactly how to explain it, but I feel so completely lost right now. I'm all out of sorts… and I don't even know why.

I'm tired. I know I'm tired. But it's like I'm so tired that I don't want to sleep. And I'm hungry (I think), but I don't feel like eating.

Also, I'm worried about meds. The perennial, anxiety-inducing worry of mine. I have pain pills now, yes, but not enough to get me through to see the pain specialist, even if I take them only every 6 hours. Will the new rheumatologist see that I need continuous pain meds and give me a script? Will the insurance let me cash it in? Will I have to spend a few days here and there throughout the week with little to no meds at all in the hopes that the pain docs will write me a script at our initial consultation? I don't even know what to expect. I need consistency in this, and in switching my care from the less than mediocre, I feel as though I am throwing myself off a cliff with no idea what awaits me in the abyss.

I wish I could just worry about, you know, "normal" things. Like holding down a job. Pursuing a career. Going to school. Planning a family. Taking care of my house. Saving up for vacations. Enjoying hobbies. But it seems as though my entire life, every minute of every day, is dominated by the draining, overshadowing worry of, "What if, by taking this pill to relieve my suffering now, I am dooming myself to even greater suffering in the future?" I am drained. I am tired. I am tired of worrying about how I'm going to survive. So very, very tired. I wish I had doctors that would champion for me, that would worry about this for me, or that would make the situation so that I would not have to worry.

I'm so tired… so very, very tired of being sick. Of being in pain. I'm all out of sorts. Now that the initial surge of joy from getting my pain killers has passed, the waves have receded and left me once more run aground on the rocky shoals of "what if".

Do you know what it's like to live in fear that the economy will tank, or there will be some national disaster or something because then you will not be able to get the meds that are keeping you alive, that are making life even semi-bearable? I literally live in terror of that thought.

I suspect that it's the looming closeness of the appointment with the new rheum that has got me all worked up. The unknown, it mocks me. Can this doctor help me? Will we begin finding answers at last? What is wrong with my body? Is it treatable? Is it curable? Is it fatal? Is there irreparable damage? Will you take me seriously? Will you help me, and not expect me to do your job for you? I'm so scared… scared of another dead end and even further declines in my health. How much further can I sink? Where will I go? How sick do you have to get before your body or your mind (or both) finally says "Enough!" and just stops? How miserable does life have to get before you just kind of snap and try to end your own suffering? So far I've managed to resist the temptation. It's been hard. Very, very hard. I have stayed, though, because of those who love me and want me to stay.

I don't think they realize what a sacrifice I am making for them by staying, by living in this body and abiding with this pain and sickness day after day. Every day that I am alive is a monumental declaration, a neon sign that says, "I care about you more than I care about not hurting anymore. I will continue to hurt so that you do not have to feel the agony of losing someone dear. I languish for you, dear heart, for you mean the world to me. Your happiness is more important than my own. I hope you know that." I would dearly love to put an end to my pain. Oh, yes. I would. But I care too much. I love too much. I don't have it in me to hurt the ones I love like that. So… I try to find the happiness here, with them. I try to find the smiles and the joy and the laughter. I try to find what makes it worthwhile staying here… and I have. In many ways, I have.

I do like living. I would like it better if I could actually live, I think, but it's pleasant enough. At times. It would probably be even more pleasant if I could at least have a piece of pie once in a while.
I got my real pain killers, y'all! The neurologist's office up in the big city ended up overnighting it to me, and we cashed it in just an hour ago. I was terrified that after a week and a half of fighting for this prescription and almost a week of immense suffering, the pharmacy would not be able to fill it for me for some reason or another. I mean, I have that fear every time I go to get my pain meds refilled, but this time the fear was especially poignant.

My body and mind are exhausted. I went to my primary care doctor this morning and got some anti-nausea meds and a steroid shot to help my body recover. It has been under a lot of stress this past week, and it never really does so great even when it's not being subjected to harsh conditions. Needless to say, I'll be spending some time recuperating. But now I can actually clean my house! Huzzah!

And with that, I'm off to nap with the hubs. (Sweet heavens, I can feel it kicking in already. It's like liquid gold pulsing sweetly throughout my body. I'm so happy.)
I did a new thing, which was to create another blog. While getting that one up, I figured my primary blog was due for a redesign. What do you think? I think it's pretty cute, and fun, too. Simple, I hope.

Anyway, the new blog isn't for entertainment purposes at all. I intend to use it to keep track of pain levels and symptoms and whatnot. It's easier for me to do it via blog + keyboard than on my phone where I have a neat app for it. If you get a kick out of reading how miserable I am these days, then by all means head over to Life IS Pain, Highness. This should prove especially valuable as I got an appointment today with the pain clinic in the big city that I have been trying to get into. It's exactly a week after my new rheum and psychiatrist appt. Yes, it's a pain to drive that far and have to find rides, etc., but it's even MORE of a pain to stay as sick as I am. You do what you gotta do. I'm glad C understands that.

Random thought. I'm watching Gladiator, and Commodus just killed Marcus Aurelius, his father. How do you even kill your parent? I cannot fathom it. I cannot fathom killing anyone, even the ones who have so gravely wronged me.
... You are loving ...
When your own pain does not blind you to the pain of others.
... You are wise ...
When you know the limits of your wisdom.
... You are true ...
When you admit there are times 
You fool yourself.
... You are alive ...
When tomorrow's hope means more than yesterday's mistake. 
... You are growing ...
When you know what you are but
 Not what you will become.
... You are free ...
When you are in control of yourself 
And do not wish to control others.
... You are generous ...
When you can take as sweetly as you can give.
... You are humble ...
When you do not know how humble you are.
... You are thoughtful ...
When you see me just as I am and 
Treat me just as you are.
... You are you ...
When you are at peace with who you are not.
So I'm thinking about death tonight. Is that weird?

I'm just thinking… my body is pulling all kinds of crap that it shouldn't be doing, stuff that healthy, normal bodies don't do. I'm not getting better at all. I'm steadily worsening. Does that mean that I'm dying? Like, when do you actually cross the threshold from "sick" to "dying"?

I feel my life force ebbing away a little more each day. Does that qualify?

We had quite the adventure tonight as C advocated for me via phone and (politely and calmly) demanded answers to tough questions. The end result is that I'm not going to the ER tonight, but I am going to raise hell tomorrow to try and get some pain meds that actually work. I've been fluctuating between an 8 and 9 for hours now, and I'm totally exhausted, but I hurt so bad that I can't sleep.

Does that count as dying? I'm certainly not living anymore. I'm just kind of taking up space… bringing smiles and irritated groans wherever I can. I still have hopes and dreams and things that I want to accomplish, to be sure, but I'm not able to do anything about them right now. I simply don't have the energy or the will any longer.

As I lay inert on the couch tonight, fading into the buzz and fuzziness of my mental state (overwhelmed by pain and not able to function properly… how am I even typing coherent sentences?!), I sincerely thought that maybe I was just going to, I dunno, kind of fade out and just… stop being. Right then and there. Clearly, that didn't happen, and mostly because I wanted to update my Facebook status one more time. (Hey, any reason to live, right?)

I thought, though, about what would happen if I did just fizzle out tonight. How would C know who to notify? How would my friends know that I was gone? Would I be happy with what I'd left behind, the blog posts and the Facebook timeline and the conversations with friends and the gifts given and the super hot sex with my husband…?

The answer was yes.

If I were to just fade out tonight, I would have no regrets. I have no bones to pick, no relationships awry that need mending, just a little credit card debt (sorry, honey, I guess you'll have to pick that one up!), and no skeletons in the closet.

Okay, I take that back. I would regret not being able to do more, to give more, to make more of a mark on the world… to make the world a better place. I'm not done yet. I want to help the HJ grow, I want to work with my girls and see them rise triumphant from their broken pasts. I want to paint and see sunsets  and gloriously starry skies in different states. I want to visit the East coast, travel in New England. I want more hot sex. I want to eat pizza even though I'm not supposed to… or maybe a forbidden donut! (There's an awesome allergy friendly bakery in Boston, I think it is, that I really really really want to go to. I miss baked goods!!!) I want to cultivate more friendships and make more people smile. I want to put more good energy out there into the world. I want to visit Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch in Oregon. I want to see my sister K get married this summer. (Though reality whispers that I probably won't be able to do that one, sadly.) I want to make jewelry and sun catchers. I want to cuddle my niece and do silly stuff with my family.

I want more love, more laughter, more life and light and happiness. I would regret missing out on that, being able to create that, that's all.

So, ok, maybe I'm not done yet. But if I do fade away, if I am dying like I feel I am (in a totally non-melodramatic way, you understand), then I shall pass with the knowledge that I am loved, that I have loved, and that I have brought good into the world. That's a good thing to know.
Have I mentioned before that I'm so over this whole pain/being sick thing? 'Cause I totally am.

Guess what, friends? Oxycodone prescriptions cannot be faxed. That's right, after the entire freaking week that I spent fighting to get that prescription, being told this morning that it was going to be faxed in, being told this evening that it was faxed in and then not being able to find it at any of my pharmacies… I have now had to settle for hydrocodone (which, if you'll remember, stopped working effectively for me months ago) at a lower dose than the hydrocodone that I was on previously (when it stopped working), and at a frequency of every eight hours. I'm basically laughing bitterly inside my head, but you know what? If I can just hang on until Monday when I see the new rheumatologist…  and it's better than suffering without anything. It really is. I will just try to sleep. A lot. Like I've been doing since I ran out of meds. I mean, at least the pain is below a 10, right?

By this morning my bowels were completely emptying themselves from the pain and the stress on my body, mostly one way, but a little bit of the other by afternoon. I broke down crying on the phone with the nurse when she told me that they couldn't fax my script and that maybe they could mail it to me? She was really nice and took pity on me, which I appreciated. She even said that she was sorry for the whole mess, which I greatly appreciated, because this whole mess has been because of the doctor's offices… more specifically, that lame ass rheumatologist that I have been seeing for so long. (I'm toying with the idea of suing for damages… loss of income, loss of livelihood, that kind of thing. Especially if I come to find that there is any kind of permanent damage that could have been prevented if my doc had, oh I don't know, done some basic diagnostic work? No, no… not bitter at all. Hmph.)

I'm still hurting, and hurting a lot, but… it's better than it was just two hours ago. I can survive a few more days. I hope.
Life's been a little hard, but it's about to get a heck of a lot harder.

The rheum that's been letting me down for the past year and half is continuing her pattern with great style. I went in to get a pain killer script to carry me through to the appt with the new rheum, and she wouldn't fill it because she says it should last a month. It wasn't supposed to last a month! So anyway, I'm now jumping through a million hoops with different doctor's offices to get statements from one to go to the other so they can write a prescription for me since my old rheum is a douche… Do you know what she told me in my appointment when we were talking about possibly increasing pain killers? "I feel that addressing the underlying issues causing the pain would be the best thing for you."

No… you're kidding. Hmmm… Isn't that maybe what I've been paying you to do for the past year and a half?! I am livid. I hold her responsible for the state of my health and how far it's declined. It's her fault for not pursuing diagnostics to figure out what the hell is wrong with me, and now she's screwing me over on something that I desperately need. I am not a happy camper.

So I've been really really good about my pain killers, taking them as prescribed, but I will be running out on Sunday, because that's just when the script expires. Monday is a holiday, so the doctor's offices won't be open, and the one that I'm waiting on right now told me "sometime next week".

Dear god… They have NO idea how sick and miserable I'm going to be. They just don't know. And I'm terrified… because I'm already so sick. My levels of pain and other symptoms are approaching what  I was experiencing when I was off of the meds, so I'm sure that these days I'm without meds will be a special kind of hell.

The worst part is that this is absolutely not my fault, none of it. I trusted that doctor's office over and over again, and they have let me down over and over again. I feel… betrayed? I feel… taken advantage of, I guess? I mean, I'm the patient. I'm relying on them completely for my care. I'm powerless. I can't diagnose or treat myself, and I certainly can't write my own prescriptions. I'm in their hands, and they just dropped me. Again. I'm outraged. I'm incensed. I'm broken hearted. I'm facing an interminable stretch of horror because of… because of… ?

This is not gonna be fun. You probably won't be hearing much from me. I am just hanging in there until the appointment with my new rheum… hanging onto hope that maybe this time, maybe this doctor can help me figure out what the hell has gone wrong with my body. Oh! I also got a call from the hospital in the big city and they set up my initial appointment with a psychiatrist as well. It'll just be one fun-filled day, I'm sure. The psych appt is after the rheum appt, so if the rheum proves to be particularly disappointing I have a professional to cry to. That's something at least. Heh.
I know I've probably put these up here before, but they just keep coming back around and meaning so much to me… especially when I'm having a really hard time for one reason or another (like this one, which is entirely not my fault).

But now the current's only pulling me down
It’s getting harder to breathe
It won’t be too long and I will be going under
Can you save me from this?

Cause it’s not my time, I'm not going
There's a fear in me, it’s not showing
This could be the end of me
And everything I know
But it’s not my time I'm not going
There's a will in me, and now I know that
This could be the end of me

And everything I know
Oh, but I won’t go
No, I won’t go down

I look ahead to all the plans that we made
And the dreams that we had
I'm in a world that tries to take them away
Oh, but I'm taking them back
Cause all of this time I've just been too blind to understand
What should matter to me
My friends this life we live, it’s not what we have
It’s what we believe in

Give em hell, turn their heads
Gonna live life 'til we're dead.
Give me scars, give me pain
Then they'll say to me, say to me, say to me
There goes the fighter, there goes the fighter
Here comes the fighter
That's what they'll say to me, say to me, say to me,
This one's a fighter

If you fall pick yourself up off the floor (get up)
And when your bones can't take no more (c'mon)
Just remember what you're here for

Cuz I know Imma damn sure
This video I watched this morning perfectly illustrates what I was talking about yesterday, about meeting myself and not defining my worth or capabilities by my appearance. It's definitely, definitely worth a watch.

Sometimes it all just comes crashing down on you and you just need to cry. At least, that's how it is for me. Funny thing is, C has this freaky sixth sense and somehow always just knows when I'm crying, no matter how quiet I think I'm being. And he always comes to find me. Once or twice I've been crying while he's asleep and he woke up to wrap his arms around me and cuddle me. He didn't remember it the next day, though, which I find amusing.

So I was crying in the shower/bathtub in the wee hours of the morning because I couldn't sleep due to so. much. pain., and because I was just so frustrated with my health and how out of control I am of so many things (all traceable to the fact that my health has gone down the crapper and there's nothing I can do about that beyond what I'm already doing) and I hate that I'm gaining weight and can't do diddly squat about it and I'm terrified that C will no longer find me attractive and will be unhappy in our marriage and we'll both just be sad and upset and live these lame lives because I'm sick and fat and sad. I know, I know… silly, right? But when you're hurting very badly and it all just seems so frustrating and unfair, logic seems to step outside for some fresh air and a cigarette break.

I got to thinking, though, as I was sniveling away in the tub, that my appearance is so not all there is to me. I thought about my friends and all the good they see in me, and how they're not friends with me because of my rocking cleavage (although that does help, so I'm told) or my fabulous cheekbones. I started to wonder, what would I think about myself if I were someone else meeting me for the first time or getting to know me?

Here's something a new friend of mine sent to me via a private message on Fb. (I hope she doesn't mind my sharing!)
"I just want to tell you that you're absolutely stunning! Your positive energy and the care I can see you have in you for others. I admire it don't pay attention to the numbers on a scale or douchey doctors! It pains me knowing they don't know what's wrong with someone so kind who doesn't deserve all the mayhem your body is putting you through! Keep a smile on you face because someone is always paying attention to it < 3"

If I were getting to know me, I think this is what I would think. I would think that this person is

  • Funny. She laughs a lot and likes to laugh with others, not at them. If something can be made into a joke, she'll go for it, and she often finds little humors in every day things.
  • Smart. She is well spoken, well written, has a large vocabulary, and "has a mind like a trap" according to D. She likes to collect obscure tidbits of knowledge and is fascinated by etymology.
  • Kind.
  • Giving. She loves to give to others in whatever capacity she can, however little it is.
  • Compassionate.
  • Stubborn.
  • Creative.
  • Strong and determined. It takes a special kind of person to withstand those levels of pain and still be able to laugh, smile, and care about other people.
  • Ambitious. She has big plans for her life and making the world a better place.
  • Talkative. Especially during movies.
  • Neat and tidy.
  • Sensual. Takes pleasure in the signals received by her senses and in things that bring physical pleasure.
  • Has a large, bright smile.
  • Thoughtful.
  • Skilled at many things. Writing, cooking, creating, interpersonal relationships, attracting and entertaining small children, etc.
  • Wise. An old soul.
  • Open to growth and learning/Teachable. All this, despite being stubborn.
  • Emotional. This is not a weakness, and not a shame.
  • Highly relational.
  • A nature lover.
  • Persistent.
  • A lover of the aesthetically pleasing. This goes hand in hand with "sensual".
  • Exuberant. Often described as "vivacious", "vibrant", and "bubbly".
  • Honest. Hopefully tactful as well.
  • Committed.
  • Good work ethic.
  • Sensitive.
  • Loving.
  • Encouraging.
  • A bit clumsy. Minor injuries are inevitable.
  • Responsible.
  • Too hard on herself.
  • Insecure.
  • Authentic.
  • Eloquent.
  • Adventurous.
  • Loyal.
Frankly, this sounds like the kind of person that I'd want to be around, and that I'd want in my life in a big way. Like, she sounds amazing…and none of those qualities and quirks and personality traits that make her amazing have anything to do with appearance. None of them. If I knew a person like this (and I do, actually!), they could be "ugly" according to society's current standard of beauty…but they would still be a desirable person. They would radiate an irresistible quality that would make them attractive on such a deep level that the superficial physical traits would resolve themselves into a beauty of their own. Think about it. If someone is just so wonderful and lovely from the inside out, you find things about them that are attractive, do you not? One day while you are sharing a hilarious joke, you notice the curve of their lips and the slight dimple to one side. As they look deep into your eyes while sharing your pain, you notice the rich and intense color that is only enhanced by the sheen of their sympathetic tears. During a hug, you notice the strength of the muscles rippling in their back, the graceful taper of their fingers and the suppleness of wrist as they hold your hand.

People can be beautiful aesthetically, but a flat, displeasing, or grating personhood will strip them of all attractiveness. All that is left is a lovely shell. Useless. That is not me. My aesthetic beauty has changed, to be sure. I know that I am still attractive, but I do not align so closely anymore with the standard of beauty that is vaunted in our culture at this point. I need to come to terms with that, and to realize that it really is not the most important thing. As I look at the list above…what I would see upon meeting myself, getting to know myself…I find myself very attractive indeed. Or rather, I would if I saw those same things in someone else. It is still so hard to be friends with myself! Step by step, though… I'll get there. Why? Because I'm persistent, and loving, and committed, and kind, and...
She screams like a banshee,
voicing her wind-whipped sorrow
Howls of pain, rage claw their way
from her throat with cholla thorns
She funnels the ground in desperate agony
against herself, against nature
She wails a death song, a love song;
Life music, blood music
And then she's gone
in a swirl of rainhair and teeth and claws
Disappeared as soon and silently
as she came.
This is it. We're on retreat.
The summer is over.

*Note: I spent the summer training high school/college students how to sell Christian literature door to door ("canvassing/colporteuring") and working with them in the field. We lived together (in a church), ate together, slept together, studied together, worked together… so by the end of the summer you either loved or hated those around you.*

I'll be seeing my SOULS-ers in 4, maybe 5 days. The excitement is deep, not surfacing yet. If it did, I would explode.

then, I'm somehow going to get to Y to spend a blissful few weeks ministering on the home front. (Lord, lead me. I've never really done ministry outside of a program.)

Then, the trial. Yep, it's a sure thing. The judge called for no more delays! I guess he's tired of this whole thing, too. Sept. 4th is the starting date, so I have to get things squared away w/classes and RA stuff and all that. Sept. 4th is the 1st day of classes, I think. Perhaps I'll drive up for the orientation weekend, get the roommate stuff all taken care of, then drive back down Sunday?

After that, SOULS for the last year, then Big Books Leadership. From there? I have no idea.

SB came to retreat.

I knew he was on the east coast, yet I was looking forward to seeing him. Then I thought, "How dumb! He's in Boston. He's not going to fly to MI just to chill with us…" but he did. Said he was convicted on it. He and Iz spent yesterday afternoon talking, so I may be pulled aside for a chat today. Or maybe not. But I do like talking to the guy. His very presence challenges me to be better, to know more, to use what I already know and fit it into the big picture.

I've heard students talk about me. (Well, they did it right in front of me, so I couldn't help but hear them ^_^) Apparently, the Lord has used me this summer, and they've seen glimpses of Christ through me. (In me?)

Praise the good Lord.

The more time I spend as a leader, the more improbable it seems that God would use me, a humble, broken vessel. And yet, the more time I spend as a leader the more I realize that he has, in fact, used me in some small way. It's very humbling.

So anyway, I've decided, once more, to give everything to God and not worry about the outcome.

(Even my health, and my unruly heart.)
I got a notification last night  that I had received a comment on an older post of mine. I LOVE getting comments (kind of feels like when you get a letter in the mail, you know?), and this one stirred me pretty particularly. Cherryblossoms wrote to me on the post "God won't protect you… or will he?" from May of 2012. This is what she said:

"Hi cassandra, i see ur blog was written a while ago and i just gotta say it REALLY spoke to me. I have not faced abuse but emotionally i resonate with all your struggle in trusting God. I've had a chronic illness for a while and last year was really...really hard. Suicidal at times. And in retrospect i can certainly see where God provided for me but like....exactly like u said, i didnt feel protected. and then i thought well...was i promised to be protected? and if i'm not how am I supposed to trust someone who doesnt seem to bother to protect me, if He could? I mean i sure wouldnt trust another person who did that to me, stand by and do nothing when maybe they couldve done something. And if it was all to teach me a lesson....well okay...did my suffering have to be that overwhelmingly painful just for me to learn something? like really? and im still not sure about what i learned. i have vague ideas. mostly i just think i learned how to be real pissed off all the time. and like u i sit here and think, im such a bad christian! i feel the same. how do i tell people jesus loves them when i still feel hurt for feeling abandoned? Anyway, i wanna know if , since time has passed since this post...if u've found wisdom or solace or anything u can offer me. hopefully u see this comment lol. anyway, take care u sound like a lovely woman nonetheless < 3"

I, of course, had to reply

"Life with a chronic illness (or more than one) is hard. Period. And I think that some emotions are universal, regardless of abused/not abused, etc. Have you ever seen The Princess Bride? One of my favorite lines from that movie has always been when Wesley, under the guise of the Dread Pirate Roberts, tells Buttercup, "Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something."

I can't say that I've come up with any answers… or wisdom… or solace. In fact, I don't even consider myself to be a Christian any longer. I just couldn't reconcile my experience with the facts presented in the Bible. I may come back to it someday, I can't really say… but at this point, I'm more of a quasi-Bhuddist/skeptic/deist/agnostic. Still figuring it all out. What I HAVE decided is that God wasn't responsible for my pain, I don't think. My abusers made the choice to be world class jerks, and the responsibility of my pain lies with them. Could God have stopped it? Maybe. Did he? Not that I'm aware of. But, basically, I've learned to live my life from the inner strength that I possess within myself, and the strength and hope offered to me by the people I've surrounded myself with. 

Now that I'm an adult, I can choose who I let into my life for the most part. I had no choice as a child or young adult whether to let those painful, toxic people into my life. So I surround myself with people that will feed my soul, and I stand amazed at the fact that they seem to feel the same way about me. I am learning to own my own strength, light, and love, rather than dissembling and deferring with "humility" and giving God all the credit. You say that your last year was really hard, and you were suicidal at times. (If you read some of my more recent posts, you'll see that I've been there at times lately as well.) But… you're still here. You chose to fight, to hang on, to believe in hope (maybe), and it's that strength within you that will carry you. Find hope where you can and where it suits you best. If that's in church and a belief in God, then more power to you. I have found, though, for myself… I have found that I lead a happier, more peaceful, more fulfilled and strong and hopeful life as a non-believer than I ever did as a Christian. I know that's blasphemous to some people, but it's the truth. It's safe to say that I'm a better, more authentic person now than I have ever been before in my life.

I have no idea if that addresses any of the questions floating around in your heart, but it's all I've got to offer. Thank you for the comment-- it really brightened an otherwise crappy evening (feeling VERY poorly, physically), and I hope to see you around. Oh, and thank you for the compliment :) I hope you see this!"

I've held back from outright stating some of this stuff, because honestly I'm afraid to catch flak for my new beliefs (or lack of them, I should say). Since I spent so many years immersed in an intensely Christian culture, an overwhelming majority of my relationships and friendships are with people who are staunch Adventists and who feel that everyone should be an Adventist. If you're not, you're lost. And I really, really don't want to deal with the stigma or evangelistic efforts that would come with such an admission. I mean, if we're being honest here, it's not a state secret. It's pretty plain from my Facebook page that I've changed my stance on a lot of things, without my ever having to say anything. But I want to be seen as me, as a person, as Cassandra… not as my beliefs. Not as my religious affiliation. 

Did I tell you that when I "came out" to E about my lack of Christianity, she seriously considered asking me to resign? Why? Because our organization is faith-based, and we, the leaders, must set the example. I personally think that the organization is stronger for having a diversity of beliefs and religious convictions, as the population that we are trying to reach doesn't all fit into the standard Protestant mold. It's unfair to expect them to, and I think it's unfair to require the staff to all have the same beliefs and life choices. I mean, I totally respect other's beliefs. I have no problems with you if you're Christian, Pagan, Muslim, Greek Orthodox, whatever. It doesn't matter to me. As long as you're a good person (wherever the catalyst for that comes from) and you treat others with fairness and respect, we're good. I could wish that the same attitude were applied to me. I don't want to be discriminated against for my lack of Christianity.

And, honestly… I'm afraid. I'm afraid to lose friends. I'm afraid of being judged, of being attacked, of being the target of some campaign to change how I feel and think and believe. I have my reasons for my choices, and it feels so very invalidating for someone to assume that they know better and that if I only listened to them I would see that I am being a fool and need to come around to their point of view. I also hate the pity that is reserved for "the lost". Please, please, please… just treat me like a human being, yeah? My bestie J is a marvelous example of how the relationship between believers and non-believers should be. She sees me as a person, not an evangelistic target. We discuss religion and God and exchange thoughts, theories, viewpoints, etc., but at the end of the day we both respect each other's choices as valid and reasonable and know that the other has perfectly legitimate thoughts and feelings that went into those choices. My other friend H is a good example of this as well. It is kind of sad, though, that I find myself so appreciative of interactions that bear the mark of basic respect. I wish it were a more common thing, and that I didn't find myself living in fear of the Christian community, or the conservative SDA community, to be more specific.
My guts are bleeding again. This concerns me.

Also, I have been in large amounts of pain for the past week or so, and I'm trying really hard to be good with my meds because I know I can't afford to run out… but sometimes I have to take a pill early to fend off a massive pain storm and I end up taking one or two more than my allotted daily dosage. I know when the pain storms are coming, though. I can feel it, and I have to take steps to forestall it or else it will take massive efforts to tame it once it's roaring, if it can be tamed at all.

I don't know why I'm hurting so much. I don't know how to stop it. My pain coping mechanisms are failing me, and I'm not okay with that. Pills every 4 hours was okay at first, but now even that is insufficient.

As I said… this concerns me.

I will speak of these things tomorrow when I see my awesome GP for a follow up on that sinus infection (that never went away, even with antibiotics.)

My poor body. It's a mess. I just wish I didn't have to feel the effects of that mess.

I found this coat today on a website that I like to browse, dresslily. I'm slowly coming to terms with the fact that most of their products are made for people smaller than I. (I'm still not used to being an XL with a double-digit bosom!) It's a shame, really, because they have some adorable things!

This coat, silly as it is, really appeals to me. I like bright colors and fun, unexpected accents. I love fur trim. I love old-fashioned looking things, and this is reminiscent of the late 19th century to me. Did I ever mention that for most of my childhood my greatest ambition was to be Amish? I used to actually spend hours scheming about how to be taken in by an Amish community, since they're pretty exclusive.  The simplicity, honesty, and hard work of their lifestyle really appealed to me, and it was all cloaked in the romanticism of childhood fancies. The dream died when my mother informed me that all the Amish were allowed to read was the Bible. Being the bookworm that I was and am, this was an unacceptable compromise, so I sadly parted ways with my fondest wish. (I've since learned that this is not true.)

I had a vibrantly sky blue coat while I was at SOULS. I got it at a yard sale put on by the church we were staying at my first summer in MI. It was a pleather trench coat, dappled in shades of sky and pale blue so that it looked like a pleasantly clouded sky. It made me sweat since there was no air flow through that material, but it was certainly handy for rainy days. GM hated it, I later learned, because it didn't match with anything that I owned or wore it with. I am of the opinion that you don't have to match at all, ever, unless you want to. I also firmly believe that coats are exempt from any outfit matching rules and can be whatever color or style you darn well please.

I finally did part with my blue trench coat, but I think back on it with fondness. It was my way of hanging on to my individuality and the sparkle of my persona in an atmosphere that, while not explicitly demanding conformity, encouraged a sort of bland sameness. Once there I didn't have much to work with anymore-- no unnatural hair colors, no jewelry, no crazy haircuts… Just modest shirts, long skirts, and cute flats. To counter that, I wore shawls, blue trench coats, neon sweaters… anything that was still me I clung to in the lukewarm sea of conservativism. I wasn't the only one. JP had his crazy knee-high socks and his sling, BH had a red track suit he wore in off times, LP always maintained her classic, fun style with grace and ease and lovely scarves, and JR would forego the demand for "propriety" in favor of the leafy embrace of the nearest tree.

Over time, though, I even gave up the bright colors, heeding very literally the counsel to not draw attention to oneself through dress or appearance. I regret that now. I entered the world of conservative Christianity during a (long) period of my life when I was struggling to find myself, to figure out who I was without the clutter and debris of friends and hobbies and expectations and excuses. I became what I thought I was supposed to be, but that was a trick I picked up at a very, very young age. If you are what you're supposed to be, act the way you're supposed to act, etc., then you curry favor with those in power and make yourself less likely to be noticed. A handy trick for abusive and dysfunctional situations. It's taken years, though, to shed that habit and slough off the accumulation of personas cultivated over decades.

I'm finally figuring out me, letting my true self shine out bright and bold… and I think the true me would like a coat like this.

But don't be fooled by the radio,
The TV, or the magazines.
They show you photographs of how your life should be,
But they're just someone else's fantasy.
So if you think your life is complete confusion
Because you never win the game,
Just remember that it's a Grand illusion
And deep inside we're all the same.
We're all the same...
Awww, that's so sweet Mom… *wipes tear from eyes* Seriously, I did cry when I read that…

Gawd, so much has happened since I last wrote… H and I got together, then broke up, then got together again, then broke up again. I dyed my hair black and now people think I'm a witch… Could be because the front half of my hair I bleached blonde… who knows? I'm going tricolor next- red, black, and blonde/orange… hehe. Oh yeah, J and I broke up forever ago, but I still miss him like hell. I think I might have loved him. Funny thing-- I believe in love again. I didn't for a while, but I found out that I did all along. I think I was using the whole "don't believe in love" thing as an excuse not to get close to H. I still like him, but I think that subconsciously I knew I wouldn't be with him forever. I can see myself with J forever… But it's too little, too late. Ah well, c'est la vie.

It's weird, this month… J came to visit for my birthday (woohoo!)… Then all of a sudden-- wham! I have a bunch of guys expressing an interest in me! There's JS, from Algebra; C (asked for my e-addy) from Health; JD; H (of course); and A's brother A… What to do? What to do? Do I ride out the wave, or jump for a guy? I think I'll ride… You never know who might join the crowd.

Ok, well, I need a piggy, so more later… Oh yeah, I started smoking too… and got glasses..

Later in the day… round 2:30 am or so

Okay, back to my ponderings of love and lust. I've thought about it, and I've reached a conclusion-- yes, I might love J, but I do love H. It's not the aching love/lust that I have for J, it's something deeper… It's like, I don't know, this quiet sense of affection, I guess. I still get chills every time we kiss, but I seriously care about his well being. Ahh, it all sounds so stupid on paper. But H knows I like A… He says it's obvious, but he wouldn't tell me how. The punk. lol. He got all weird about it though… didn't make a big fuss about it, but something just didn't feel right. Heh, if only he knew how many guys I actually like! 7 or so… Yeah, that sounds about right. Anywho, it's bedtime now… It's been bedtime for a while heh.
Oh my baby…

Cassie, you are
Smarter than I was at your age (probably even right now), but without (lacking) the discipline your mother should have taught you and couldn't.

You are
more beautiful than I ever was at your age (the teen years are the worst)… You imagine you are fat and ugly, but as time passes, you will look back and see just how beautiful you really are.

No one knows the real you? You're right. It is easier to lie-- that is my legacy to you, that is what you learned from the life I brought you into. That's all I've known, too-- I go through so many guys because I want so much to be loved, but I come to a point where I'm afraid the real me will rear its ugly head and they will hate the real me. I have hope, though, that this book will help us both.

You are not so much of a screw-up. Yeah, you didn't keep the house perfect. Neither did I, nor any of the kids. Yeah, you're not doing so great in school. But you're not stupid.

It's not your job to take care of me, and I'm sorry I made you feel that way. I'm sorry I haven't been able to care for all of you enough to allow you to just be you. I love you, honey. I am proud of you-- the depressed you, the temper-tantrum-throwing baby you, the lazy you, the exercising you, the you that feels so unlovable and unworthy and untrusting.

I love you for all the good and bad you are, and I hope you come through this being the strong, intuitive person that I know you are.
Once so welcome,
                                     now shunned,
barbs of kindness that pierce my soul.

Once embraced,
                                   now feared,
inextricably twined with panic.

Once anticipated,
                                   now dreaded,
dread the explanation of numbed joy.

Once I had hoped,
                                  now I long,
long to return to yesteryear,

When joys were not yet realized,
When day stretched bright before me,
When the decay of premature hope did not
lie in monumental ruins across my soul,

when we were not…

                        Once… I dreamed.
Respiratory Infection, Day 2.

Yesterday I did a juice fast, and I was planning on fasting today, but I learned this week that the majority of the energy from your food goes into heat production. So, since I've got a fever, the wise thing to do would be to eat light food moderately, so my body has the energy to blaze this infection outta sight.

I got my period yesterday. Last time I can remember was sometime early to mid-summer… so it's been a couple months. I wonder… is my abnormal menstruation why I never got pregnant? If and when I do marry, will I be able to bear children? I guess that's something we'll have to talk about in pre-engagement.

By the by, I would just like to record (for the sake of posterity) that, as of the weekend before last, I finally began to "get over" C. I realized a.) I'd been holding onto that relationship in my heart, b.) There's no hope of us ever getting back together again, even if he does convert.

The b. realization was sparked by a convo with C (and influence by convos with B) about C. When she talked about his stubbornness and unwillingness to meet halfway, the sky began to lighten. When we talked about his life (which consists of work, TV, and vid/comp games), the sun broke the horizon. And as we discussed a certain situation where he had manipulated me into guilt to hide his lack of motivation, the dawn of truth broke full and clear. I realized… he's not someone I would date now. Why hang on to the memory of the relationship if I'd not go through it in the present?

Once I realized that there is no hope of us ever getting back together, I was able to let it go, like the thing with GM (which I sorely regret).

(Note: I find this hilarious, as we did get back together, get married, and I'm quite happy with the lifestyle we lead, and also with his stubbornness. Granted, we'll never live like mountain people in the country, but that's okay.)

Anyway, it's nice to be free of that.

Something happened inside me on the drive to SOULS. It was while I was contemplating the woman caught in adultery. I could identify with her so closely, I knew what happened to get her to where she was (abuse--SOP), and I knew exactly what was going on in her heart. I was her. So when Jesus said those word, "Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more, " he was speaking them to me. That's when I knew that healing was possible, and I don't have to be the way I am.

Upon further reflection, I've also realized that not only was he forgiving the action but all the thoughts and attitudes and sinful choices and habits that had led her to that point. Go and sin no more is not only a "command", or expectation, but a promise!

And those words, "neither do I condemn thee" meant that he loved her… me. Not for her body, or what he could get from her, or because she was an over-achieving superstar. He just… loved her.


Because she is his own creation. She's his image… like a father with a child. That child is his… and he loves it.

Yeah, that's what happened inside me. I don't fully understand what, when, why, or how… but now I have hope.

I think they call those things miracles.
Just an out and out discussion of the thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head.

God, you promised that the Holy Spirit would bring to remembrance all things that you have said. Please make good on that promise now. I'm asking for the guidance and protection of the Spirit.

I'm worried about Faith Camp. I'm afraid that I'll have to wear a super spiritual mask, because I'm a speaker, and I have our (that is, yours and mine) reputations to uphold. What if they find out I'm a phony? A fraud? I'm a Bible Worker masquerader. Sigh. So I'll wear the right clothes, and I'll say the right things, and I'll be what I'm "supposed" to be because, really, I do care about you a lot (yes, love… I guess), and I want to make you happy, and this is how I do it, right? This is my reasonable service? Because if I were to display my insecurity for all the world to see, it would impugn your cause… cast a bad light on the gospel.

It's funny… I'm so afraid of losing my job, yet I've contemplated quitting.

I'm supposed to be a life giver, but I feel like my soul is mildewing, on the verge of rot. (If not mildew, then at least brackish stagnation.) How can I give what I don't have? And yet, I've committed myself to ministry for life. I can't just walk away from it.

Are you twisting my arm, or am I twisting my own?

Running away is worse that failing, anyway. I've done it for so long… but never in such an overt fashion.

And now I feel the weight of those churches on me. I can't leave now… I'm afraid it would shatter them.

Those Evanescence songs keep running through my mind. I identify so much with the lyrics…

And then I read those books like The Heavenly Man, or Tortured For Christ, and they love you so much! They went through so much worse things, and were/are totally gung-ho still. So what does this say about me? Am I a bad person? Am I even a Christian? I find it difficult (internally) to work for you sometimes. What does that mean?

God, can you even hear me? Am I talking to air? Have I separated myself from you??

I guess the big problem is, how can I give what I don't have? I don't want to be a phony.

J has made me promise that I won't "do anything" (quit, write Steve an email telling him that I'm a bad Bible Worker, go back to Az, etc.) until I talk to D. He's my boss, it's only fair. I know he thinks I'm doing a good job, and so do S, H, and Carl (no matter how I try to convince them of the opposite). Maybe it's because they don't have a good Bible Worker to use as a reference point. The full soul loatheth an honeycomb, but to the hungry, every bitter thing is sweet.

But if I left before my contract was up, I would hate myself.

So tired. Manual labor is a good thing. Goodnight.
My mistake. Yesterday was the 28th. (Note: I had misdated the previous day's entry.)

Dreamt last night that I went to Spokane, but I missed the meetings. Bah. That will not happen in real life.

I came out this morning and found Lloyd lying on the floor of the dining room. It scared me at first, because he's so elderly, but I found out that he was just doing deep-breathing exercises.

Had 2 dreams last night about car washes. In the first, there was a car wash in C's living room, and I got a massage while my car was being washed. I guess the massage took so long that they moved my car to the bedroom, because there was a lady with a minivan waiting for her turn. So I went into the bedroom and laid down to sleep, but C was on the other side of the queen-size bed. He was reciting to himself 7 reasons why religion wasn't true. Every time he cycled back to #1, he'd reach over and affectionately stroke the bridge of my nose with his forefinger. I woke myself up with my cries of distress, and succumbed to a stomachache. (The last part is real.) The second dream was based on my experience with Hollie yesterday, except that, in the dream, I came out of the gas station to find several State Troopers busily washing my car. Then, they arrested me, confiscated my car, and proceeded to nosily and rudely scavenge through my purse and car. They found some money that I'd stashed away during Big Books and determined that I was a drug dealer. Sigh.

Yeah. I don't really understand.
Wow, looking back on all these pages of Me really gave me a shock. That was when I was going to Cibola, I think. That was a very hard time… But things are much better now. Mom and R are still together and talking about getting a house (a real house, one that we would own ourselves! With my own room!!), and C and I are still together (and in love, I might add). It's been almost 10 months! Well, 10 months at the beginning of next month. Anyways, I'm going to Vista high school, which starts at 12:50 and goes till 5, plus Nova Net 3 times a week till 7:15. I only have 3 absences, and those because I was sick. I'm going to summer school in June, where I'll be taking Reading A and B, and Psychology! I love psychology. It's just fascinating to find what makes people "tick".

Oh yes, and I had a pregnancy scare recently. I took a test (which came out negative, but I'm not so sure), but I told C it was positive, to see the look on his face, but I couldn't keep a straight face so I told him it was negative. He almost squeezed the life out of me, then called me mean. He's so great. When I was still pre-test, he said if I was, then he'd be doin a whole lot of working. I asked why, and he fixed me with a real serious stare, then said, "I'm not going to be a deadbeat dad." He said it with such conviction. I just know that I am going to marry him someday. He's so good to me. I can honestly say I love him with all of my heart, and I cannot even remember any other guy I might have "loved" anymore.

I'm as happy as a clam at high tide. Life is perfect. Remember the void I spoke of before? It doesn't exist anymore. Life is perfect, and so is C as far as I'm concerned. I'm just so happy lately, I don't think I can stand it. I'll probably write again later, but I need to eat something now.


The darkness shimmers in my eyes
and I swirl into the abyss of your eyes
where there is no dark,
and time goes on forever.
A poem written some point between late 2004 and early 2005.

Convo with a wall

Am I really crazy?
Shadows, voices in the corners…
(other way around)
Yessir, crazy as a daisy.
--insert hysterical laughter here--

I believe in God again.
(WWJD?? How should I know??)
He's com in back, just not for me.
I don't know where… still waiting for when.

You believe me, right?
If I decide to leave…
(You'll hunt me down)
Okay. Put me on the next flight.

I gotta go, this place gets to you
(Don't tell me I'm not crazy.)
after a while…
But where the hell am I going to?
--Going, going, gone--

School started about a week ago, and I've been going faithfully so far. I've even been doing my homework. Yay me! lol. Okay, update time…

First and foremost, C and I are going out. (Note: Yes, that's C as in my husband.) I don't know exactly when we started going out, mostly because he never formally asked me, but it's all good. And guess what? I found his turn on spot haha. When I bite his neck, he gets all short of breath and he gets this cool look in his eyes. It's so sexy. I can't believe I was so blind and stupid! Why didn't I tell him I liked him earlier? Doi. It's like Mom always says about R… She's always like, "Why didn't I like him before? I could have had so much time with him!" Oh well, maybe I just wasn't ready before. Who knows. Anyways, I like him now, and he's mine, for the time being anyways, so I'm going to enjoy it. But sometimes I wonder, why me? Why does he like me? I am not worthy! Haha. I still have super-low self esteem, so that doesn't help…  No matter what anyone says, I'm still chubby looking to myself. I'm not going to go anorexic or anything; I like food way too much for that. But I have aerobics at school, so that should help. I was hanging out with C and his friend on Saturday, and we went to the park where I whooped their asses at crunches. 150, without breaking a sweat. Oh yeah, I rock. lol. Anyways, I think I just might be developing some muscles in my tummy. Wheee! Man, looking back on this entry, my writing sucks! I would say, "Oh well, no one's going to be reading this anyways," but last time I said that, Mom read it. Maybe I should throw some intelligible writing in here, just in case lol. See, much better, I think. Anyways, onto a new subject.

Oh man, today I wore my mumu-type-thing to school, and I got so many funny looks… It was great. I thrive on individuality. My odd clothing is the only thing that sets me apart from the rest of the cattle being herded around at school. I'm like a cow wearing a bright orange boa around my neck, and a sign that says, "Bite me, you insignificant piece of dust." Someone asked me if I was in a play, 'cos of my mumu. I had it belted around the waist with a scarf. Totally candy dude. (Note: "Totally candy" is the slang phrase my mom made up and tried to make cool. It never worked.)

I should probably get to bed because I have to get up early… which reminds me… I never finished the homework for my 1st class. Oh well. Earth Science can go fuck itself for all I care. After all, I can alway raise my grade later. G'night, dear diary. lol
I'm such a failure. I don't know how anyone has put up with me at all. Yeah, I can understand how my friends still hang around me. I lie. Yeah, everything's okay--lie. No really, I'm okay--lie.

I feel bad all the time because I'm just not good enough. I mean, look--I can't understand my work at school, I don't do my homework, I don't help out around the house as much as I should… I have reasons for all that, but nobody would understand. Example: I don't do my homework or clean because I'm trying to clean messes up when I should be doing my homework. I don't clean because I'm trying to do some of my homework while watching the kids. I try to do everything, and somehow that makes me lazy. And then, somebody really great finally comes along and I don't tell him anything. I'm just not used to actually telling anybody anything, and when someone who will listen comes along, I can't. I don't know how. It's like that one song goes-- "I'm dying inside, and nobody knows it but me."

I just want to scream and let it all out. Everything. All the shit I went though with G that I never told, all the anger at Mom that I never express, all the hatred at myself for being me… Nobody knows… And if they did, they'd just pat me on the head and say, "Poor little girl, let's get you some therapy before you hurt yourself." And the nightmares… They aren't like a terrifying scary most of the time, but it's like all of my memories are rushing to the surface lately and mixing all together until I'm so lost inside my own head that there's not even enough room for me. I sleep, but I don't rest. I just wanna call it all quits and start my life over. I wish I was normal. I wish I could be the perfect little girl I'm supposed to be and get rid of the screw up that I currently am.

I know I'm selfish. I shouldn't be worrying about me, I should be taking care of Mom and the kids. But I can't, I can't. I can't even take care of myself.

I never asked for this. What did I do, God? Was it something I did as a kid so that I have to be stuck like this all the time? I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry. I will say it all day if I have to. I just want to be happy, if only for one day. I know that I pretend to be happy sometimes, but it's never real. All I am is a bundle of lies taped together and told to be good.

Be good, do this… Now run over there, little sheep. Baa.

I'm just so tired. Years and years, I have been doing this… I need a rest. Not a rest for my bod, but my mind. I just wanna go someplace quiet, curl up, and hibernate for years on end. Maybe forever. Hardly anybody would miss me. Everybody would be happy.
I am so kinda-sorta-not-really-happy. I'm happy cuz the kids are out with A for dinner right now, and also that I didn't have to go. He creeps me out. Now he has a handlebar 'stache and a beard (I think). Looks like G. Scary. And he's always touching me, like hugging and messing up my hair. Pisses me off.

M called Sunday morning on his way to the airport to say bye, but I was asleep so he left a message. I'm kinda glad, cuz now I can play it and hear his voice whenever I want. It's stupid, I know, but still…

I went shopping y-day and got a new Bob. (Note: "Bob" is what I call permanent markers.) Two of 'em. And some of that colored gel (red), some stuff that wavifies ur hair (I'm wearing some right now-- it works. Coolness.), deep red lipstick, melon lipgloss (the stuff that Mom had), green nail polish (totally awesome), and I think that's about it. Cool, no?

Today, I've been with J for 2 months. I haven't seen him in a month, though. I tried calling today, but he was sleeping. Go figure. I hope I get to see him soon…

H and I were supposed to go to the movies y-day, but I got stuck at Walmart, so that kinda plopped. Then, we were gonna go to day, but Mom got a run, so… I miss him a lot, but, yeah… (Note: Mom had a job that required her to be on call 24 hours a day, so she could get a "run" at any time. Plans were often cancelled because I had to stay home and watch the kids.)