Day 09 : Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
I carefully considered this question, and scanned my mind for any possibilities. I bounced it off of my husband and it came back with an answer.
I cherish everyone in my life. I will hold to them as tightly as I can, if they have any meaning. And, if they do drift, they were meant to.
The character Madea explained in the stage production of “Madea Goes to Jail about the nature of relationships.
If somebody wants to walk out of your life, let – them – go!”
Some people are meant to come into your life for a lifetime, some for only a season and you got to know which is which. And you’re always messing up when you mix those seasonal people up with lifetime expectations.
Later in the monologue, she equates people to parts of a tree. Some are leaves that bud, grow, and blow away at the end of the season. Others are branches, some of which may snap and leave you flat on your back. And then, there are the people that are roots, unseen, deep in the earth.
A tree could have a hundred million branches but it only takes a few roots down at the bottom to make sure that tree gets everything it needs. When you get some roots, hold on to them but the rest of it… just let it go. Let folks go.
I used to have a problem where I’d clutch to people and force a relationship that was only meant for a season further. Eventually, I realized that I was doing myself more harm than good. This was before the wisdom of Tyler Perry through Madea. Sometimes I wish a Madea existed in my life a long time ago. Maybe it wouldn’t have taken me so long to come to my own conclusion.
Eventually, I started letting people go. And worse, there were some I had to evict from my life. My husband calls it, “Flushing the Social Septic Tank”. Anyone I determined was causing me harm for their own benefit had to go. My friendship, affection, and loyalty is worth more than that.
At first, this was a difficult process. I, too, have been evicted from the lives of others. Some of these separations were justified, but many were not. Rejection is not something easily brushed away. It is taken very personally. It often starts to erode my self-worth. I never wanted to be responsible for imparting that upon another being.
After a few major falling-outs, I came to a very important realization. It was often the fear of isolation that drove many of those friendships. And most often, it was the pain of severance, rather than the grievance of a lost friend. Those things shouldn’t be primary motivations for fostering a friendship.
After that epiphany, I refused to enable unhealthy relationships. In all likelihood, it caused me greater pain to pander for affections rather than their suffering after severance.
Many people are ships passing through my waters. Some dock, and others continue wandering in and out of the harbor. Then, there are those that come, dock, and are never seen again. I can’t be expected to board every ship, and certainly not to sail off into the great blue beyond.
In summation: Let folks go. Don’t spend a lifetime mourning their departure. We don’t mourn the passing of seasons. It is nature’s way.
Tomorrow marks another year closer to three decades of my existence on Planet Earth. Admittedly, there is, and always has been a strong contradiction between the number of birthdays I’ve celebrated, the age of my face, and the age of my soul. If everyone in the world forgot the year I was born, I would be very confused about my age.
A few months ago, I gazed in the mirror one day to see my first noticeable signs of aging. Before that, I had a face as smooth and white as a baby’s bottom. A baby face, that took at least five to ten years off of my chronological age. When I was pregnant, people gazed at me in shock and horror, as if I were a teen mother. I went to complete paperwork at the bank for my name change, and the teller was taken aback. “I swear, I wouldn’t have thought you were old enough to get married.” I got that, a lot.
Tick - tock.
Quite the oddity, I was actually excited to see the fine lines across my scarred forehead and around my mouth. I may be the only woman on the planet that was excited to see my face start to catch up with my chronological age! I despised my youthful appearance. I have never felt as if my chronological age fit, nor did I take it as a compliment when someone thought I was a teenager.
I will make an admission; I am one of those people that typically loathes their own birthday. Yes, I find it absolutely pretentious. Except, I do not detest my birthday for the same reasons that everyone else does. As previously stated, I like the aging process. I have always been excited about gaining more numbers. My birthday just falls in a bad time of the year.
Growing up, I secretly envied peers that had birthdays during warmer months. Pennsylvania has reasonable temperatures between March and November. My friends would have all kinds of fun parties, because they weren’t all trapped in the house, buried in four feet of snow, and huddled around the heater in subzero temperatures. Camping parties, pool parties, outdoor parties, indoor parties where we could run around the yard, parties in the park, and every other conceivable party I couldn’t have.
As an adult, the problem grew worse. In the last ten years, I have had two nice days on my birthday. My 22nd and my 24th. Neither of those birthdays had anything planned. I can’t plan a party. Every year I have tried, I was doomed for especially bad weather. My 23rd had to be moved to the weekend of Superbowl Sunday, when the Steelers were playing. Living in Pittsburgh, the Steelers in the Superbowl is more important than anything. When they win the Superbowl, the city gets shut down for two days, because everyone is too busy celebrating to go to work. If they’re not going to work, they sure as hell aren’t going to my birthday party.
People don’t want to come out in January if they don’t have to. I have been cursed with ice storms, heavy snow, and subzero temperatures. So, I stopped planning parties. I stopped planning anything, actually. Because each year, I have been brutally disappointed. Those disappointments mounted into resentment for that day.
Not this year! I don’t especially care what the weather is like. It does not matter if my friends or family notice the date on the calendar or not. I like my birthday. I am celebrating me, and everything my life has amounted to. I am happy with myself, and all that I’ve created and become. There is no need for anyone to justify my thoughts or emotions about me.
I love that it’s on a Saturday, because there are no expectations. I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do. And, I have all of the time in the day to do anything I do want to do. I will go out and have a lovely dinner on the house. (I already have the voucher). Then, I will buy myself the things that I actually want for my birthday. No expectations, no disappointments.
This past year has been one of the harder ones, but not the hardest. I have made so much progress in all aspects of my life. I am managing my physical and mental health well. My marriage is solid. My career is taking root. And my son is growing. My family is happy and healthy. I am happy and healthy. Those are all of the things I’ve ever wanted. This birthday, I have them all.
The best birthday present ever is the pride that I have in myself. I have walked through fire to get to this point. I may not have done it all gracefully. But, I made it out stronger, wiser, and better for it all.
I have at least six half-written posts ready to roll out. Each contains explanations of what has been going on in my life lately. Yes, I’m aware that nearly a week has elapsed since I posted anything.
Why don’t I release any of them? Because, they aren’t quite right. None of them are actually completed. And every time I read them, I deem that there are entirely too many non sequitur tangents, and start editing. Before you know it, I pulled the wrong thread and the whole thing unraveled! Well, sh*t!
At least I know that I’m getting closer to returning to my original condition. You see, I was born into this world as a perfectionist. It is one of those . . . (dropped the word. Thanks Lamictal!), neurotic tics in my very DNA, bred into one generation after another since the beginning of time.
During the big bang, a collection of cosmic dust got together and became determined on being perfect. In evolution, this was found as a specific enzyme that became a tiny molecule in long DNA sequences. From an amoeba, all the way through vertebrates, into the homo genus, it settled into my first line of ape ancestors 9 million years ago. This was the same ape you saw engaging in curious behavior of sorting leaves for no specific reason. Later, it was the caveman who etched, and then went back to attempt to re-etch cave drawings. Today, it’s a genetic line, mostly comprised of dark blonde Scottish women, that are consumed with the urge to perfect everything.
I hope you could find that as amusing as I did. That was exactly one of those sidebars I was describing. But, since I have deemed this a stream of consciousness post, I can write whatever pops out. Now, I want you to do something for me. Locate the little red X at the top right of your screen. If this gets to be a little too Woody Allen-esque or It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, you have your option. Otherwise, note the comment section below.
Back on track, or thereabouts. This started earlier than I have memory. When I was four, I recall the need to conquer everything I hadn’t yet mastered, but I was aware of. My handwriting was always meticulous. That was until I learned that handwriting is not meant to be uniform and is unique to each person. Of course, this happened during the “I am Unique, Hear Me Roar!” phase all teenagers eventually go through. For me, it was more like the discovery of self-loathing in depression that causes complete defeat and perpetuates the cycle of self-loathing.
Here’s where I’m going.
I do not have OCD. Okay, maybe I have some tendencies, but it doesn’t cause me significant dysfunction. I do have a threshold for this. Eventually, I’ll get too frustrated, throw my hands up in the air, and scream, “F**k it!”, as I’m seen setting the proverbial (or actual) fire to the whole thing. (Note: I am not an arsonist. I think. Define arsonist.)
That’s pretty much what happened to me. Bipolar disorder probably put the stop to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Before, I was obsessed with perfecting skills and creations. I actually remember my life before Bipolar Disorder! Granted, I was only eleven and younger, but it did exist!
Then, I became distracted with myself. My feelings, my consciousness, my cognition, and my world. It was all about me. I went around with the blow torch and sledgehammer and demolished everything. Because, if it came from me, then it was flawed in design from its origins. It was as flawed as I was.
And for a very long time, I went through a cycle of self-fulfilling prophecies through self-sabotage. I carry an inherent flaw. Time to get to the incinerator!
But, as years of treatment have ticked by and the medicine has coursed through my veins, I began a process of ecdysis (look it up, I’m not linking it, I’m busy). I don’t consider this a process of reversion. But, it is not synonymous with metamorphosis, because I am not coming out of the cocoon as a different being. It is something different entirely.
I am moving in a corkscrew fashion down a time line that is supposed to be linear. It is only linear in the sense that one can draw lines down the outside of the corkscrew to find a correlation between that snap shot and the next at the point of intersection in the corkscrew.
So, here I am. A whole month of bipolar of stability. The longest point in my treatment that I have experienced this. And if I were idly questioned, I’d remark that I hardly feel stable. My life is a hectic mess right now. But hey, when is anything hectic organized? Pristine chaos – HA! But, my emotions are solid, though they rattle. Is this what non-Dx people feel like?
Now, I’m busy, so I’m going to stop writing now. Have a lovely day.
Lulu Quirk #5 – extreme claustrophobia. Large crowds in tight spaces are the easiest way to set off a panic attack capable of anything. Black Friday might be the scariest day of the year. Every year, I reserve this day for hunkering down in the bunker and waiting it out, like people wait out a snow storm.
The Suit Strikes Again
The bad news started early that day. C.S. spoke with our lawyer. The plaintiff lawyered up, and now, the driver of the vehicle is claiming personal injury. (The owner and the driver are not the same person).
What bull! When I arrived on the scene, C.S. was sitting on the curb with and unfocused stare. His glasses had been lost, and no one even bothered to attempt to locate them! One leg was extended and swollen with bruising. It was clear he was hurt, and yet they let him just sit on the ground.
And she’s claiming personal injury!? Complete lies. When I arrived, she and her male friend (still not the owner) were jumping up and down in the attempt to get the convertible roof down. I saw her up close. There wasn’t a scratch on her. This lawsuit has become a circus.
I am not at liberty to discuss the next course of action. But, it wasn’t the most fabulous news of the morning.
The day was completely redeemed. Yeah, like all humans, especially women, I am petty. I don’t hold active grudges because that takes more effort than I have to give. But I will never forget someone who mistreated me. That includes all of the catty girls who treated me like I was some kind of outcast trash.
I was bullied and picked on. I was overweight. I wore glasses. I lived in a poor, completely dysfunctional family, in a bad neighborhood. My fashion was gothic, standard funeral dress to celebrate every miserable day of my teenage existence.
Eventually, I rebelled against social norms by challenging them at every turn. I started an extremely popular clique called, “The Anti-Clique”. I was an inspiration to all of the wonderful kids who were cast out. Kids with quirks, nerds, geeks, creeps, weirdos, goths, etc. Most everyone was welcome, with few exceptions. Some people were just beyond help. Eventually, I became a household name. I was practically a cult leader.
I was also particularly smart and incredibly talented. I was an honor student who was Chorus vice president and president. I was accepted into the very exclusive Select Chorus by audition. I was section leader in both classes and section leader in band. And I was also accepted into the extremely exclusive music technology pilot program.
I may as well have had a target on my back. Being in the public spotlight with massive support to mock conformity put me in a prime position for attack.
I have mostly forgotten all about it. When it comes up, it’s all rehashed, but with a certain amount of emotional detachment. I don’t really care about what happened. It gave me the drive to become the beautiful, vibrant, educated, and fulfilled woman I am today.
We had a late night. When C.S. and I were dating, we used go to restaurants for half-priced appetizers all of the time. We went to a local restaurant that is rarely ever crowded. When we arrived, we stood at the hostess table for quite awhile. I was becoming irritated. The only thing worse than bad service is inedible food.
But, when our hostess greeted us, I knew exactly why we had an extended wait. I immediately recognized her and I knew that she had seen me from afar. Likely, she ran around begging others to cover for her and came up empty.
Macy was one of those girls. This girl had been a snobby bitch since Kindergarten. We had neighborhood schools, all except for mine. And we were shipped to an adjacent community school. We were outsiders. No matter how nice I treated this girl, she always turned her nose up at me. Her mother even treated mine like dirt. Her mother was the PTA President.
We spent three years in Select Chorus in opposite sections. She was soprano and I was alto. We sat directly across the semi-circle from one another. She was nothing. Not a section leader, and never picked for solos or competitions. But, she’d stare at me with a permanent snarl on her face with her nose propped in the air.
There Macy stood, as a hostess / waitress at a local restaurant with an ass that she could rent as a billboard, and the color of an Oompa Loompa! She was so clearly embarrassed that she couldn’t even make eye contact with me! And once we were seated, she mumbled something about our waiter, and made a beeline for the kitchen!
Ha! Karma’s a bitch! and you could tell she was getting it three fold. I’m hardly arrogant. But I knew what it looked like on the outside. I’m in stylish clothes, thinner than in high school, with lovely skin and brilliant blonde hair. C.S. is gorgeous. (I can say that with confidence because he bears a strong resemblance to Robert Pattinson, or Edward Cullen from Twilight). And T.D. is beyond cute. And overall, we are a pretty happy family that appears as if we have money.
I texted a high school friend who texted me earlier in the week to ask if she was being catty over her pleasure in watching all of these other girls become wide and miserable. “Absolutely not!”, I answered, “You didn’t do it. They’re paying for all that they’ve done.” I had to dial this back to her and she laughed. I don’t usually bathe in other people’s misery, but in certain cases, I can’t resist. She assured me it was totally justified.
A little after midnight, I receieved a call from my friend. Excitedly, she asked, “Did you see Macy’s recent status?”
“No, we’re not FB friends. She’s private. What did she say?”
“Apparently, you must have given her a serious blow to her self esteem! Status: Goals for December: 1.) Get in shape, 2.) Get a second job, 3.) Be happier in life.”
And the smug laughter ensued.
I didn’t have to say a word. I didn’t even have to make eye contact. All I had to do was be myself.
Revenge is like a fine wine. It gets better when aged.
I have a lot of things to be thankful for. Best of all, my family. Especially after this Thanksgiving.
I had originally forgotten that our presence was required for Thanksgiving dinner at the in-laws. I was reminded the moment I awoke. Ugh. There goes my plan to visit with my family and enjoy the rest of the day in a turkey coma.
I don’t loathe my in-laws. In fact, I love my MIL and FIL. However, to be frank, with the exception of my MIL, they are my step-in-laws. That includes all of the extended family, Nana, and Aunt N. Those two are some characters. But, in Italian families, everyone is kin no matter how they came about being so.
You know Lulu. Everything happens with a certain twist.
Family gatherings are awkward without MIL. She’s the link that solidifies me as part of the family. I’m not used to Italian families, honestly. They’re very affectionate, even physically so. Scottish families are not. We wave at each other from across a great expanse and smile.
We went to my family’s dinner, which is extremely relaxed and informal. To my parents, Thanksgiving is not really a celebratory holiday for them. It’s a ritualistic yearly event encouraging gluttony. In prior years, it was actually closer to Festivus.
Immediately following that dinner, we packed up the family and headed to the in-laws. Two Thanksgiving dinners was going to be a challenge. It was like (wo)man vs. food. And I’m in no shape for a challenge like that!
There are thirteen miles between our home and my in-laws. On the way there, C.S. talked to MIL. Apparently, FIL was at Market District to buy one of those hideously expensive, pre-cooked dinners! I was in shock! What an absolute waste of money! And next, how could they possibly afford to drop over $100 on something that could be prepared for half of that when they are so hard-up?
We arrived at Nana’s and called FIL to meet us up there. He told us that he’d have dinner in the oven and it would be ready in two hours. Two hours! Unfreakin’ believable. Over $100 on a meal you actually had to cook anyway?!
And what to do in that two hours? The house is not child-proof by any means. There is no cable and no toys for T.D. I could only imagine the disaster awaiting us.
So, we waited in the car, in 40 degree weather with the heater off. T.D. was peacefully slumbering with his parka on, in the car seat. C.S. tells me that he’s going to take more pictures of Sebastian (the totalled car) from the interior for to document the damages in the lawsuit.
Forty minutes elapsed. I was absolutely freezing my everything off, tingling from the cold. My husband called FIL back. “Ohhhh,” he slurred, “I was playing with the dogs. I’ll be up in a second.” FIL time runs on quite a different clock. Ten minutes later, he pulled into the driveway.
He stumbled out of the car with armloads of packaged, partially cooked food. I tended to T.D. I met my FIL in the kitchen and he gave me a wobbly hug. He quietly admitted to me, “I don’t know what happened. I was sitting there and I just fell asleep.”
C.S. stayed in the kitchen to help. FIL stood there, silent with his head hanging. It became clear that he had fallen asleep standing up! C.S. woke him and he said, “I took some pain pills earlier. I’m going to wake up with a cigarette in the smoking room.” He was never to be scene again.
I noted Nana was nowhere to be seen as well. Apparently, she had taken another of her infamous falls and went back to bed for the day. It was T.D. and I surfing the four channels available to find something, anything, for entertainment. It came down to Maury or Judge Judy.
Once everything was in the oven, we took T.D. outside to run around the vast property. It wasn’t without shenanigans. There had to be some entertainment to make the trip remotely worthwhile.
And it will stay like this until Christmas!
After, we joined FIL in the smoking room. T.D. found his favorite shows and sat in FIL’s lap for over an hour. And eventually, FIL passed back out, his head hanging backward with his mouth completely open. It was a sight to behold. I wanted to take a photo, but I figured as hilarious as it would be, it would likely be insulting.
When T.D. got up from FIL’s lap, FIL’s jeans were soaked with urine. It turned out that my son’s diaper leaked. And yet, FIL was absolutely oblivious. It actually looked as if FIL soiled himself! He groggily asked, “What happened here?, completely unphased.
C.S. and I joked about the absolute ridiculousness of the situation. Why the hell were here? What is the whole point of having to cook our own dinner? Who exactly are we supposed to be visiting here? Everyone here is unconscious but us!
We went back up to finish dinner. C.S. asked me for assistance in the kitchen, leaving T.D. in the living room entirely unsupervised. You know, I’ve been to every major holiday at my in-laws house for the last five years, and I still don’t know where the light switch is in the bathroom. How would I know where anything is in the kitchen! Everything was in bags, tucked away in drawers!
That is when I started to notice the address labels. There was one on the refrigerator and another on the cabinet. I looked some more and found more on the stove and the cabinet above it. They were littered throughout the kitchen! I began to play Where’s Waldo!
I returned to the living room to find absolute chaos. Life alert was activated. The phone was off the hook, beeping. Cabinets hung open with their contents strewn about the floor. And T.D. stood there repeatedly pressing the button the answering machine. I couldn’t help but laugh. What destruction! I was almost proud.
I rejoined my husband in the kitchen to ready the table. I said, “I found eight, beat that!” He laughed and asked, “Did you see the one on the toilet?!”I burst into hysterical laughter and exclaimed, “No!” He smiled devilishly and said, “I took pictures!”
Property of Nana, who is afraid you're going to jack her toilet.
I looked and burst into the hardest laugh I had experienced. My legs turned to rubber and I fell to the floor. My stomach and sides ached, while I laughed so hard, I made no noise. I curled up and just shook like a Tickle Me Elmo.
Dinner was served. Nana came out of her bedroom wearing only her nightgown. Now, had I know this was casual dress, I would have stayed in my pajamas too! FIL came from downstairs and we all assembled at the tabled. Their family is extremely Catholic, so FIL mumbled through grace.
Nana doesn’t hear very well, so our conversations are very limited. This is despite the fact that I am a 5’1″ powerhouse of sound. I’ve been teased my entire life for having a loud voice. When I did solos, I did not need a microphone, even from a large auditorium. And yet, Nana cannot hear me. I looked over and FIL was practically asleep in his plate. C.S. and I exchanged hilarious glances across the table.
I can’t remember the last time I knew of 5 o’clock in the morning’s existence. I was so exhausted, my memory is fragmented down to the moment I set foot into Magee Women’s Hospital. First, I stood in my living room hugging my mother and saying goodbye. Then, I sat in the gas station parking lot when the voice started screaming, “Get out of here! Go! Run away!” Next, we were at the light to the on-ramp to the highway. And finally, we were entering Oakland.
I arrived to check-in at 5:30am. I was ushered through registration so quick that I didn’t even have a chance to fill out the papers before I was in pre-op.
Pre-op is just like when they call you from the waiting room to the examination room. Then, you’re required to sit and wait for an eternity. Various nurses came through. One to instruct me to strip down and don the teal and white pinstripe hospital gown. Yes, the one that leaves little to the imagination when it comes to my backside. Another to make notes of my current medications. There’s certainly no staff shortage there!
And finally, I met my OR nurse. She was a pretty lady, probably at the end of middle-age. She had fluffy, curled blonde hair, tiny sapphire eyes, and a warm smile. I related my extreme loathing of IV’s. The first time I had an IV, it was in my hand continuously for 48 hours. The last time, they gave me a pain medication that sent me through the roof. I paced the room screaming about how I wanted the IV out now or I was going to rip it out myself. I can always feel it in my veins and it hurts my whole arm.
She smiled and said, “You’re in luck! I’m going to put a local into your hand. You won’t feel a thing.” I didn’t! I stared at the IV in my left hand in amazement. She put a blue gauze hair net over my head, pulled my blanket closer around me, and fixed the one in my lap. Everything felt so warm and maternal. She looked at me confidently. “You’re all ready!”
I took a milligram of Xanax at 5am. I must have timed it perfectly. It grabbed me hard just before I was about to go. I joked with C.S. about silly things. The pangs of panic existed, but they hardly echoed from their distance.
Dr. T. came in and I knew it was showtime. I was eager to introduce her to my husband. I felt like it was a long time in the making. Really, it has been. April 2011 was the beginning of round two. It was at that point that the nurse and anesthesiologist joined her. They plugged the sedative into my IV while I kissed C.S. goodbye.
He had the talisman. I was in caring, capable hands. I was wheeled into the OR completely soothed.
The sedative was interesting. It messed with my vision first. The fluorescent lights seemed to have a runner, a beam of light than ran along them. The staff helped me off of the gurney and onto a soft, heated OR table. They asked how I felt and I told them that it was all wonderful. I had two snuggly blankets around me and I felt like I was lying on blankets fresh from the dryer. “It feels like a cocoon.”
The staff was helping me to put my thighs into some elevated pads instead of cold stirrups. And that’s the last thing I remember.
I started telling the nurse that was talking to that I needed more medicine. I think my mind thought that I was still in surgery. She told me that I didn’t. I woke up and started sobbing. I looked around and didn’t know where I was or what happened. I asked if I could have a few tissues.
I inquired between sobs, “Is this normal? I have bipolar disorder.” I was terrified that all of this triggered a vicious episode.
She put the box of tissues in my lap and assured me, “A lot of our younger patients experience this. It’s completely normal.”
I remembered something from my childhood. I would fall asleep not remember doing so. Then, when I woke up somewhere else, I’d bawl my eyes out, because I was so confused. I felt like it was akin to that.
“Are you in any pain?”
“Can you walk?”
“I think so.”
A young, brown-haired nurse helped me off the gurney and over to a quiet, private area. I sat in a nice leather recliner and she asked if I’d like something to drink. “A soda, Pepsi. It’s all I’ve wanted this morning.” She assured me that I’d have a cold soda and C.S. in a short moment.
I was delighted to see him and smiled. He smiled back in relief, at beside me, and I started crying again. I laughed and sobbed at the time time, “I woke up crying in the post-op!” He laughed and hugged me.
The local started to wear off, and I was in some severe pain. C.S. was on the phone promptly to get me relief. Considering a had a part of me electrocuted off today, I’m great! I’m a little cranky, emotional, foggy, and tired. But nothing unusual.
Crossing my fingers and toes that the LEEP took care of all of the bad cells for good.
I’m always all about leaving some funnies on my site. It’s a nice pick-me-up when things are crappy.
I happened to be on IRL FB last night and saw a status from my good friend. She was talking about how sick she was but how she and her roomate were still going to the bar. Yeah, that’s while her kid called off for the entire week. So much for getting her fine paid off so she could get off of probation.
This is installment one of “The 99 quirks of Lulu”.
I’m know these are not at BP related. Some of them are anxiety related. Others stem from life experiences. And the rest, well, I don’t know.
I can only wear found or gifted jewelry. If I wear jewelry that I bought for myself, it always either breaks or gets lost.
When sitting in a public place, I try to position myself so it would be difficult for a person to come up from behind me. We’s don’t want no surprises. No, seriously though. I’m pretty paranoid.
I can’t make eye contact when I’m telling a story. It’s not symptomatic of anything. I just can’t take in any visual information when I’m trying to give out verbal information.
I have to have a minimal amount of background noise when I’m working on something. The more tedious and repetitive the task is, the more sound I require.
I have serious claustrophobia. I hate elevators. I will walk six flights of stairs to avoid it (I’ve done it). I have nightmares about getting trapped in a tiny space. No matter how badly I want to get home, I’ll let a crowded bus pass to get on a later, less crowded one.
I am obsessed with office supplies. I cannot resist a sale. I hoard them.
I am so particular about my pens that I will only use specific brands, with gel ink, and only in 0.7 tip.
I have been wearing the same Capricorn pendant for 10 years. C.S. bought me a Taurus pendant at a craft sale 4 years ago and I haven’t taken it off since. I’m very superstitious about it. Every time I forgot to put it back on, something bad has happened. Last time was C.S.’s car accident.
I practice natal astrology. It can peg a person every time.
I put my hand in front of my mouth a lot. Ethology would call me a liar. But really, I’m just trying to hide.
I have a really difficult time lying. It produces an intolerable physical response, so I don’t do it unless I really have to protect myself.
I’ve bitten my bottom lip since I had teeth. I have pictures to prove it.
I am so particular about shoes that I only buy tennis shoes every three years. And that’s after they start taking on water. This is partially because my feet are abnormally wide, although they’re not very big. It takes a lot to find a comfortable, stylish shoe.
I honestly believe I’m going to die in some ridiculous, unbelievable accident or situation. I have this scenario about how I’m going to die in the Walmart parking lot. If you want to hear about it, ask in the comment section.
The numbers 1, 5, and 14 follow me everywhere. The bus number I’m on – 5157. I’m on a bus everyday that starts with 51. My birthday 1/14. My husband’s birthday 5/14. Just strange as hell. Coincidentally, no lie, this just happened to be 15!
I am a camel. I can hold it for hours on end. Longest held? 16 hours. I was 13, and stuck in a car with my parents on the way to Florida who refused to stop until we got there. By Virginia, everything below my waist was numb.
I have always had a problem regulating body functions. I can’t fall asleep, and then I can’t wake up. I am always thirsty, but I have difficulty knowing when I’m hungry. Sometimes, if I’m busy enough, I’ll forget to eat until I have hunger pains.
I have an incredible internal clock. I always know what time it is. Or maybe I’m just very observant of the position of the sun.
I yell at inanimate objects.
I can get a vibe from someone and know instantly if we’re incompatible. I don’t discriminate. I can be on the phone or over the internet and know. It is in the way a person addresses me.
I am the only person that does the dishes and folds the laundry. It has to be done in a certain way. My clothes have to be sorted by graphic tee’s, solid tees, and color. My jeans are assorted by thickness.
I have twilight blindness. I can’t see things correctly during that time of day.
I carry my person journal on my person at all times. You never know when you’ll be inspired. You also never know when someone wants to take a peek at your dirty little secrets.
I used to make wishes. My wishes have always come true, but in a Twilight Zone kind of way. There was always some kind of catch that ruined it all. Remember the episode about the man who just wanted to be left alone to read his books? And he got his wish, but then his glasses broke and he was all alone. It’s a lot like that. So I don’t anymore because I know there will be consequences.
I have a cat that wipes my tears away when I cry. He paws my face without claws.
I think it’s ridiculous to give a kid a weird first name. So, in case my kid want a weird name, I gave him a weird middle name.
I think the most random thoughts. For instance, my husband and I were once talking about daily activities that burn calories. I asked him, “How many calories do you think a seizure burns?” Today, we were talking about how we were going to manage to find a girlfriend for another friend. He’s kind of nerdy, so I said, “Maybe I should start telling these girls he has money? Do you think that would help? It worked for Bill Gates! How much money does someone have to have before they stop being a nerd?” Honestly, I want to know these things.
Flashing lights drive me nuts. Imagine me verses a strobe light. I have a message indicator that is driving me crazy on my voicemail right now. But I just don’t feel like listening to it.
I have to sleep with my feet outside of the covers. My feet are my temperature control. If they’re too hot, then I’m too hot.
I am almost always barefoot when I can help it. You see, my depth perception is terrible. In order to not trip and fall all of the time, I use the sensations in my feet to guide me.
I count stairs. I can tell you the amount of stairs that are on every stairwell that I encounter frequently. 13 in my house. 14 in my parent’s basement and 16 to the upstairs. And 10 each going up each floor at work, with eight leading into the building.
Every clock I have that isn’t set to a satelight is set randomly ahead. I don’t know the real time, so I have to assume that what I’m looking at is the real time. This is how I trick myself into being early.
I am an organizational freak, not a neat freak. Everything in it’s right place. I want to know where I can find anything on a moments notice.
I am extremely scheduled. I have to do things at certain times or else my day isn’t going to go right.
I am obsessed with the weather. Especially during hurricane season. It is absolutely fascinating.
I collect odd things from places I travel to. In fact, I have sand from Myrtle Beach in a baby food jar with a little ceramic turtle with a little straw hat sitting on my desk. I went to a theme park in California that was selling as many rocks as you could fit in a tiny bag with a drawstring. I have a collection of decorative boxes from various places.
Old world maps tickle my fancy. It’s amazing to see how differently people viewed the world in those days.
I believe in the power of hematite. Hematite supposedly absorbs negative energy. To clear the energy from the hematite, you bury it in the ground for several days to return it back to the earth. I actually had a hematite ring shatter once. I was going through a really bad time.
I cannot spill a drink without freaking out about it.
I hate the smell of raw onions. It is intolerable.
Perfume is my best friend. I have this fear that I smell bad. So everything I use is scented. Lotion, bodywash, shampoo, deodorant, body spray, perfume, anything you can name.
I don’t like wearing jeans. I prefer skirts and what would be considered a house dress. But, I live in Pennsylvania and we have two seasons here. Winter and construction, also known as summer. Jeans are required dress.
I cannot stand getting my face went unless I’m fully submerged. That means, I hate any kind of precipitation, with the exception of a good summer downpour. Now that’s a way to get wet!
I can’t stand when my husband uses my toothbrush or razor. So I intentionally buy pink colored items so he doesn’t use them. It’s not manly.
Everytime I dye my hair, I always have to do a trim. So, I take a sample of the hair and I keep it in a ziplock with the date on it. That way, I can always keep an assessment of my hair color at any period of time.
I like having certain imperfections. My hair is cut choppy and asymmetrical with a weird part for a reason. I love the scars that I didn’t inflict upon myself. I have stretch marks all over my body for various reasons (growth spurts, pregnancy, etc). I love when my dark blonde roots come in against my white blonde hair. And I especially love my eyes. They are each split in half in color. One part is green-gold and the other part is blue grey. Maybe people think I look like a mess, but I think I look real.
The noise of someone biting their nails is like nails on a chalkboard to me. Ugh.
I can predict the weather based on previous injuries. When my hips and knees hurt, a serious storm is coming. I’ve never been wrong.
I imagine you have quirks too. Maybe you identify with some of mine. So tell me, what are yours?
I like to apply the 1 in 10 rule to everything. 1 in 10 people…
Those are the words from a man we call Fireman Dave. Fireman Dave was at work yesterday to give us two DPW required seminars, blood borne pathogens and fire safety. He is a truly entertaining man. He began his presentation with the quote above. And he did apply the 1 in 10 rule to many things.
With blood borne pathogens, he said, “1 in 10 people have something you don’t want to catch.” Sure, there is logic in that. I know I’m part of that 1 in 10. I have HPV. I know it’s contagious in a sexual setting, so it doesn’t apply. But it still makes me one of those 10’s that someone wouldn’t knowingly have sex with. No big deal; I’m married. So it doesn’t apply there either.
“1 in 10 people will catch something they don’t want because they aren’t educated about health and safety.” I’m a 10 – I had never even heard of HPV until I had it. We talked about all of the things that you can contract from contact with blood. Did you know that Hepatitis B can live in dried blood for up to 7 days? Scary.
He told us a story about a woman who called 911 because her husband had been stabbed. The police had told Fireman Dave (who is also a paramedic) that the scene was secure, so he rushed in to help the man. He was leaning over the man and checking his vitals. He hardly had time to look up in the mirror in front of him to see the woman stab him in the butt.
“1 in 10 people are truly wacky.
We all laughed. After he said it, I joked, “Yeah, that’s me!” Haha! “Nah, I’m just kidding!
He continued on with his presentation filled with humorous anecdotes. I made an off color comment about one of them. I heard a mumble in the crowd, “Oh yeah, she’s a 10.” and everyone roared. I smiled, shrugged, and said, “I told you!”
I may have seemed jovial on the outside. But the anxiety was welling up like a balloon being inflated from the churning in my stomach to get lodged in my windpipe. “Breathe, just keep breathing… keep… breathing., I repeated in my head. I was more still than a statue and closed my eyes for more than a moment. I hoped that when I opened my eyes, I would be out of the spotlight. When I opened them, the fluorescent lights seemed to be brighter and the room much quieter. Fireman Dave went on, but was the spotlight really off of me?
“Am I really a 10?”
Fireman Dave described 10’s as being Richard Baumhammers, Richard Poplawski, or George Sodini (three notorious murderers in Pittsburgh). I’ve actually read “Crazy George” Sodini’s blog before authorities shut it down. Although it was both homicidal and suicidal, it was very much like catching a mental health blogger on a bad day. Except, this was every day for a long time.
I’m not homicidal. I’ve never been homicidal once in my life. I’ve only ever wished death upon two people, and I never even considered that it could be by my hand. My moral compass has always been finely tuned upon a sturdy foundation of values. But, if George Sodini could have a blog that I could understand, could I be a George Sodini? Am I that 10?
Maybe not. But, the 1 in 10 rule is relative. It states that “1 in 10 people that you encounter…”.
Mental health and development issues are very commonplace in my life. My family has something or another, whether they want to admit it or not. So, my threshold for slapping a 10 on someone is probably way higher than a “norm’s” would be. I consider serial killers and child molesters to be 10’s. Does that mean the “norms” consider me a 10?
Every other Saturday, C.S. and I make a family outing to the grocery store for our big stock up. Our local Walmart is not a Super Walmart (meaning there is no grocery section), so we trek about 9 miles out to get one. Sure, we have our options of various Shop N save and Giant Eagle stores, but I’d rather not spend $400 a month to feed a family of three.
In our community, we see all manner of silly things. I’d like to share something that we saw.