Saturday, September 27, 2014

Its really not that complicated...its just ...complicated

In the interest of holding myself accountable...not hiding from the work that needs to be done...I thought I'd blog my way through this process.

If you follow The Drea and Milana Show on blogtalk, you alread know that periodically we have the Prestess Brandi Auset on.  She always brings us some sort of  knowldege and enlightenment.

I wont get into a heavy details about who she is, what she does and our personal history, you can find all that here WWW.BRANDIAUSET.COM  (well everything except the story of Brandi and I).  But I will say that she is one of the most influential people in my spiritual journey. Not just because of her...skills, but her abilty to relate to me and make me relate to myself. 
I can bull shit a lot of people, but I can't bullshit Brandi. And unlike others who are able to see through whatever guises I might use, Brandi will only let me go so far before she calls me out and challanges me on myself.
She'll probably challenge me on why i felt compelled to blog this way. I wish I could say the answer is I dunno. Which if that was honestly the answer she'd say ok.  But hte truth is...I guess I want to work this thing out. I want to  get passed whatever/whomever is holding me back.  I need to honestly get out of my own way.  Blogging it out is multifaceted... i can work my way through it, be all braggadocio in showing the world ( and in turn myself) that I can do this ( and hide behind that bravodo because I really am scared to admit...the truth.) 

Suddenly I don't want to talk about this... because I think, no I know i've just admitted a part of the truth...not the whole truth and that hurts and I'm scared of it and i don't want to do this right now.  I know i need to, but I...hurt so I'm not. Not right now...maybe tomorrow.  You no what, Brandi said I didn't have to hound myself to have the answer and this is a total cop out, but I'm taking it.  I Don't ....Shit...I haven't even typed out the question she gave me to work on and I'm defensive and angry and ready to cry...so no..no i'm not going to answer shit...i'm going to ..just go 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Celebrating Laura and what her cancer has taught me.

A warning: This blog is long and personal. That is why I posted it here instead of over at the other one.  If you want to Learn More about Laura Guevara and her journey  you can reach her on fb and twitter!  She is a wealth of knowledge and courage. www.facebook.com/LauraGuevara08! 


It has taken me more than a week to sit down to write this blog.  The words have been swirling in my mind, but I just couldn't do it. Every time I thought about it, I’d make myself sick with tears. It’s as if—If I write the words then it becomes reality. I’m still praying to wake up and find its one of those crazy lucid dreams I tend to have. I've actually stopped and started this blog at least three times in the last hour. * I had to walk away from this blog again. I sent what I had to Laura poured myself two shots of whiskey (which happen to be doubles cuz my shot glasses are tall) and went to bed and cried myself to sleep.  Because I’ve been accused of show boating before, I needed to know that this was ok with Laura. Once I had her approval, I got back up and added to and tried my best to edit this. Purple is me trying to be clearly and complete in my thinking.  I’ve avoided even coming into my office for nearly six days because the sight of my laptop made me break out in a sweat. I know I need to get these words out. To set them down so they aren’t lost, but I feel like …they shouldn’t be set free. If I keep them inside then I can hide from them. I wanted to NOT have to face them staring back at me from the screen.


By now most of you know that my very good friend and sometimes co-author Laura Guevara has cancer.  She was diagnosed two years ago. Not that there is ever a good time to get a diagnosis of triple negative stage four breast cancer, but she learned of her cancer just when everything should have been going great in her life. A new first time mom with a 8 month old bouncing baby girl. She had been making career moves and life changes. She was getting ready to  take the world by storm.

My heart dropped. Laura isn’t the first friend or family member that has received such a horrible blow.  Years ago before CWB and I got married one of our closest friends received a similar diagnosis only days after giving birth to her third child and only son.  Melissa, however, didn’t get a chance to fight like Laura. Her cancer was too advanced and within months she was gone.

I recently spent a week with Laura for her birthday.  The last time we spent significant time together like that was in Vegas. And there was no cloud hanging over us in the oppressive heat. Just smiles and laughter and life waiting to be lived. So we’ve had two years of trying to rebuild our friendship and balancing it between fighting for her life and just living every day.   She has a baby girl and I have been struggling with infertility.   There wasn’t time for long weekends and road trips. Neither of us as written a book in over three years; together or separate.  LIFE even when you’re facing death just keeps going-just keeps getting in the way.

Anyway, I was fearful as I boarded the plane.  Even though I had just seen Laura in June, I was … sick with worry.  My mind has been whirling since she asked me to join her for her birthday. We’ve planned plenty of trips in the past two years, but never been able to manage them.  What if she was calling on me so that she could find away to tell me something horrible?

                                     
I thought I knew a lot about cancer. My grandmother passed away in 1992 from cancer. My husband’s grandmother battled cancer for many years before passing away in 2012.  But in every case I’ve learned something new. Sometimes I learn a lot about me as well.   Here is what I learned last week.

I am afraid of cancer.
Not just of cancer but I am afraid of Laura’s Cancer.  Not because I feel like I’m going to get cancer or anything like that. But I am terrified that cancer is going to take my friend from me. I know that Laura is a fighter. And as long as she is fighting so will I.  I also know that LIFE could take Laura away from me. Anything could happen. I’m a klutz, I could trip and break my neck and die. Laura drives like a bat out of hell. She could run someone of the road and they chase her down with road rage. But I’m afraid of this cancer.
If I’m honest right now I’ll admit that part of me dreaded getting on the plan and flying to Houston.  See Laura and I are close, but for a solid year or so leading up to her diagnosis we hadn’t really been. You know life just gets in the way.  We spoke but not as often as we once had. She had a new boyfriend and I had a new career and …issues. It seems as if we were just getting back to US when the news was delivered.
So we’ve had two years of trying to rebuild our friendship and balancing it between fighting for her life and just living every day.   She has a baby girl and I have been struggling with infertility.   There wasn’t time for long weekends and road trips. Neither of us as written a book in over three years; together or separate.  LIFE even when you’re facing death just keeps going.

What if last week was the last time I ever see her face? Hold her hand? Make her laugh? Hear her call me “estupida cochina”?

Which Brings me to the fact that I learned I’m selfish. And CANCER MAKES YOU EVEN MORE SELFISH.
A LOT SELFISH.   Did you see everything I just said up there. ME ME ME ME…I’m afraid that LAURA’S CANCER is going to HURT ME.
A year ago, Laura lost her hair. I’d made a promise to her that I would be bald if she was bald. I would be as much support for her as I could. God, knows that if I could trade her places, I would.  But I can’t.
So I shaved my head. And I posted the pictures on social media. Then Laura posted her pictures. She wasn’t so afraid anymore to show her beautiful round cranium.  I felt like I had been there, was being there for her. Until someone who used to be very close to me began telling people that I was just showing off. That I should be ashamed of myself.  They felt like I was making Laura’s cancer be about me. I was hurt. Crushed.  I can’t decide if it was more because the person who said it used to be someone I was once close to…or if I was afraid that they were telling the truth.

For years Laura and I used to campaign for cancer awareness together. Laura’s father and two of her aunts also died from various forms of cancer and as I said before I’ve been no stranger to it.  Back in the days of the yahoo groups, we used to do a monthly “BOOBIE BLAST” where we’d send a funny email reminder to everyone to check the ta-tas.   Weeks after Laura’s diagnosis she informed me that she was not only going to fight but to make sure that she educated as many people as she could. I co-signed right away. “ANYTHING YOU NEED”

I never stopped to think that, my actions would ever be viewed as me looking for attention.  As if I was somehow using Laura’s platform to make myself relevant.
But I suppose I am. Not that I want to be relevant to anyone other than Laura. But, selfishly, after all the time we lost for stupid things; I’m definitely using this combined effort to make sure I don’t let a day go by without being there.  I should have been there all along. And my pride almost cost me one of the most beautiful friendships I’ve ever known.  I’ll be damned if I’m not there, in whatever capacity she asks of me now.  I want to soak up every minute that I can. Every memory. Until the day she kicks me out. * Cancer also makes you selfless.  At some point you realize how much the people in your life mean to you and just how much you’d be willing to give up to make sure that they know they are loved, cherished and cared for.  I’ve made more of an effort to remind my other friends that even though we have a strange relationship (what with me being a hermit) that they mean so much to me.  If they are reading this right now I want them to know that I love them. I really do. And I appreciate them. Life may keep us apart but that doesn’t change the dynamic of us.

  For a long time I stopped my fertility treatments because there was a situation going on that I knew…I just knew if Laura needed me I’d do it. If it meant my life for hers I’d do it. And I thought I love CWB but we don’t have children so If I can trade my life so that she can have hers and be with her baby…well I’ve had a good ride.  She pretty much called me “estupida cochina, what are you saying. Don’t be a dumb ass. But…thank you.”  I meant it then. I mean it now. Laura just smiles and says “No. Someday you’ll be a mom, Drea, besides who is going to teach Sid all the crazy shit only you can teach her?”  Side note: seriously…She jokes that Sid is me reincarnated and I not so secretly love it. Sid makes sure that her mom has adventures everyday even when I can’t. It’s pure and glorious shenanigans.  And yeah, I’d lay down my life it meant Laura got to be there forever single one of those adventures.  * Did I mention how Laura kept texting me to make sure I wasn’t getting into anything.  “Sit right here, Drea. I’ll be back. You can go to the café. You don’t have to wait, but don’t get into anything without me.”  See that…WITHOUT HER…not  don’t get into anything. Just don’t do it with out her. Ha… that’s my road dog. Always up for shenanigans. As much as she is accustomed to being alone in this ( and I don’t mean to insult her family because they are with her every step of the way. Her mom and sister are often with her on these trips and have been by her side 100% the whole time. I am the interloper here) she was worried about my comfort. How I was handling it, was I nervous, “You should go eat, Drea.”  As if I could have swallowed my spit at that point. “It takes a while; you have to eat while you can.” (I looked around and noticed people eating various yumminess while there family/friends/loved ones struggled to down giant gulps of flavored barium) “seriously, no one will be offended, we all run out of here to go eat as soon as the scan is done.” Laura has always been a caregiver, whether she wanted to be or not. Cancer has made her even more so.



I also learned that Cancer is lonely.
As many people as you may have to support you. As many people as cancer affects. It’s not a team sport.  Just like you have world class athletes who have a crew of people around them, supporting them, cancer patients have doctors and family. But at the end of the day they are on their own.
And so too is each person who is on the pit crew.
I sat in the hospital while Laura flitted from one appointment to the next. All I was really good for was conversation and purse holding.  I was there as entertainment.  But when it came down to it, she has to do it alone. She is alone when they check her ports or run labs. I can’t drink the barium for her or sit with her in the back while she waits to be moved from room to room to room before finally being stuffed in the machine that scans her body from head to toe.
The least I could do was try not to get kicked out of the hospital and eaves drop on all the other patients’ conversations so that I could relay the stories to her when she came out.   I was lonely (there I go again being selfish) sitting in the lobby. So I talked with other people. People like me, who were lonely, waiting on loved ones to be poked and prodded. People like Laura, who didn’t want to go be poked or prodded…alone, without their friends to yell at.

I wanted to explore and check out the hot guy that was calling people’s names and to text her and tell her about the cop that scared me and deterred me from going down to the lobby of the huge hospital on my own.

I wanted to sneak in and take a picture of her in that hospital gown and make her yell at me to go sit still and behave. But I couldn’t. So I took selfies of myself on all her devices and posted them to fb so that she could see them on her phone and know that I was just outside…waiting for her and she wasn’t alone.  And I held my breath waiting for each like or reply, because then I knew that I wasn’t alone either. Knowing that our friends and family were all at work or at home waiting to find out if Laura had kicked me out of the car on the 610 or if I could tell them any news, made me able to breathe just a little bit.  I won’t say breathe easier. I fought for every breath afraid that if I relaxed someone would come and make me leave or worse tell me something I didn’t want to hear.

I also learned that unless you personally go to as many appointments as you can with someone, ALMOST EVERYTHING YOU KNOW ABOUT CANCER IS A LIE!  The Images we are feed of cancer patients…they are unfair and one dimensional.  I mean sure we sometimes see the images of “survivors” doing walks and celebrating NED ( no evidence of disease) or Remission or even cures. But what about the folks like Laura, who can’t (as of yet) be cured, but can be managed.
You know what I didn’t see at M.D. ANDERSON?
Not as single solitary skeleton person.  I didn’t see anyone who LOOKED like they had cancer.
I’m sure several ladies had on wigs. I over heard lots of them talking about their latest pieces. Like seriously, they talked about them like they were shoes.  But over all I think I saw six bald heads, four of them were men WHO WERE NOT BEING TREATED FOR CANCER.
Where, I thought, were all the sick people?
The person who could barely walk or had iv’s attached to them.
Laura was looking fabulous. If my boobs were smaller I’d have stolen her peacock shirt.  There was a hunky guy who told me he plays intramural basketball and has been coming to M.D. ANDERSON for FIVE YEARS.
There was a young girl. I’d say she was a teenager really, who frankly might have been being treated for severe obesity.
There was a robust cowboy who couldn’t stand his “damn ex wife, the conniving bitch” and an older man who told the cleanest dirty jokes I’ve ever heard in my life.
There were some snooty people who wore their money as if they thought they were too good to be there. There was a girl in “thot” shorts that I SWEAR was bending over in front of me on purpose.  There was a couple that got into an argument so heated not only did the call security, Houston P.D. arrived.  That cop was the biggest man I have ever seen in my life…and thus my “lil side trip” ended with me finding a vending machine and sitting down to take selfies and look out the window, when my intent was to go down to the gift shop and buy a purse.

Looking at Laura, I wouldn’t know she had cancer.  I mean ok she is lopsided and we laugh about how she can hug me on one side and I don’t have to freak out about her boobs touching me anymore. But honestly, looking at her…I have a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that she is sick.  Her curly hair is so luxurious and full, and I shed more in the shower than she does, despite the fact that the chemo is slowly pulling at her hair again.
She got a lecture about her exercising…which made me feel bad about contributing to her “bad eating habits”, and not insisting that she keep the appointment with the dietician.
Whatever I had been expecting, no one there looked anything like it. Everyone was ALIVE. And that gave me hope.
And it made me angry. I’ve known for a while that a lot of charities that support cancer research aren’t really SUPPORTING CANCER PATIENTS.  It’s big business. And I was hurt, that there aren’t images of people like Laura or the hot basketball guy or the snarky old man being shown.  That the money being raised isn’t being funneled into programs to support the folks LIVING with cancer.  NOT dying. NOT dead. ALIVE! MANAGING! FIGHTING!   Don’t get me wrong we need a lot of research for a lot of different cures for a LOT of different types of cancer. BUT what about the folks that need help with shoes cuz their feet hurt from the chemo or or… ok I can’t think of all the things I wanted to be indignant about right now. And don’t get me started on what I think about insurance and pharmacies right now.

Cancer can steal your memories… I don’t think I can talk about this part right now. But let me tell you that chemo brain…is probably the thing that is breaking my heart the most.  Cancer patients find was to joke about it. But I will never hear that again without my heart trembling and a bitter sadness coloring my vision. I made a vow that I will remember every moment that I can. Because it’s not just the small “oh man I think I’m getting old” memories…but life times and adventures that go missing.  I will do my best to stand sentinel and guard those memories with pictures and blogs and long conversations. I WILL NEVER FORGET* Laura doesn’t remember.  Ok, that needs an explanation: Laura has always been a little foggy in the memory department. So have I. It was a running joke between us. CWB would say “ I’m leaving you a note so one of you can remember to remind the other.”   Or if one us needed to remember something the conversation would sound like…

“hey remind me to…” and the reply would come seconds later.
“hey don’t forget to …”  
“why are you telling me right now when you know I’m going to forget.”  “I told you now because I’m not going to remember to remind you later.”  

We’ve  had that conversation several times, but now its not just goldfish/squirrel moments.  There are somethings Laura just can’t remember.  Whole periods of times and reasons. “It’s the chemobrain” she told me as we sat together the first night in Houston. She plied me with a strong margarita so that I’d be in a mellow place before she told me. Food and Drink, that’s always been our thing.   I sat and listened to her explain in not so many words that this trip was important because she couldn’t remember some other times we’d had together.  Oh, she has pictures and she remembers or rather recognizes US, but she can’t for the life of her remember when where why.  “That’s me…in the pictures. I see me, but I don’t know why I was there.” She says calmly while pushing my drink towards me. I cried…I’m crying now.
I asked about several adventures and moments. Tears shimmered in her eyes as she shrugged. She was so calm as she admonished me not to cry.  “I’m not going to forget you…us Laura. I’m never going to forget and I will remember and remind you of everything.”  I said. 
“Good, now stop crying before you make me start.” She dug into her nachos and smacked my hand as I tried to steal some from her plate.  “You have your own.” She munched away, kicking her feet because she is short and they don’t reach the floor. 

See Laura, I’m not going to forget. I’m going to remember everything and If I have to write it down, so will the world.   I’m not going to forget the way you looked putting on your make up, or talking back to the sports show on tv, or sneaking pieces of cake when you thought I was sleeping. I definitely won’t forget the way you looked making out with that headboard in your sleep.  I took pictures even though you told me not to… because I WILL NEVER NOT REMEMBER YOU.

And mostly, I learned that cancer doesn’t mean death. At least, not always.  I’ve always been the person who looked at life as dying. I mean think about it. What is life, at its most basic but the culmination of death. From the very moment we are conceived we begin the process of aging and… dying.  The good stuff, the great stuff is all the adventures and shenanigans you get to do on the way. There is a saying that “you only live once”. I say that’s bullshit. You live every damn day. Sometimes you just survive, but if you’re really into LIFE. You get a new one every day. You only DIE once (unless you’re one of those folks that has died then been brought back then you know…you get a couple of turns).  You’re only good and dead when the toss you in the big oven or cover you with a ton of dirt. 
So being told you have cancer doesn’t mean you’re dead.  It just means you have an approximation OF HOW you’re going to die.  You could still trip and break your neck, or have Laura run you off the road.  So you can’t stop living.  The world isn’t going to stop turning.  Laura says “Hey, I’m taking advantage of all the perks I can. When I get rid of my other boob I won’t have to buy bras, and my handicap sticker…I love parking up close.”  Seriously, she said that. And part of me wanted to be affronted. Like really, who the hell thinks cancer perks are awesome?  And then a smile came to my face as Laura whipped into the parking space closest to the door of the bbq shack.  Laura does…and I do. I mean. I’d don’t want cancer but not having to buy bras is pretty awesome and who doesn’t like parking in front of the door?  That might seem kinda crass, but I realized that my friend is alive. And she is Living. Every. SINGLE. DAY.  She lives and breathes and fights.  And in this fight I’ve learned who Laura is. This isn’t defining her but damn if she isn’t going to end up in the dictionary as the definition of courage and strength.  Cancer is teaching me who the woman behind the name is. I am honored to study. * So this is what I’ve been writing. I know some of you are waiting on me to write something different. I just knew I couldn’t really move forward on anything until I did this. Trust me, Laura is just as anxious as you guys that I WRITE. And I will.  We had lots of inspiration while we were in Houston. I needed to do this though. For Laura and for myself. And for anyone out there who knows just what this feels like. I said to Laura, “I feel like I’m mourning you already and that makes me mad. You’re NOT GONE. You’re here.”
Her answer was priceless, “ If you don’t stop that shit I’m going to haunt you when I die.”

 I guess that’s what this was. Me mourning. I don’t know if I’m done. I kind of like the idea of her haunting me. That way I don’t have to ever let go.  Maybe this is me celebrating her. I like the sound of that better. Celebrating Laura.  Yup, and eagerly anticipating my birthday.  You see Laura is predicting that her hair is going to fall out by then and selfishly, I get to be bald too.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

RECONNECTING

Reunited and It Feels so Good

This weekend my good friend/ Sister Aniece and her Fiancé Carla came to visit with their dog tyler.

I know what you’re thinking, “Dréa speant A whole weekend with people.
I did. And I was Happy to do so. In fact I’m planning to have a girl’s weekend with my best friend Jennifer Really soon.

Here is the thing; as much as I Revel in my hermit-dom, I actually do like “some” people.
And I enjoy spending time with them.  Not all the time!  But sometimes… like once or twice every year or maybe like every three months.

I love to get together with them and share good food and conversation. Catch up on what’s been going on in their lives. Gossip as we are apt to do. Maybe do a little shopping and site seeing, or just split a bottle of wine or a bucket of margaritas.
Yeah, I said a bucket… a really, really Big bucket.

WE laugh and sometimes shed a tear or two. We connect to each other spiritual and reaffirm what words can’t really say.
“I love you.”
“I honor you”
“I trust you”
“I appreciate you”

There is a balm, much like the one in Gilead, in being with my soul sisters.
Jennifer, Tawania, aniece.
There  is a safty in being in the protective
Circle of my brothers
Corey, Jhonathan, Gary, chris.

I am very rarely that close people (particularly females.)


That is a uniqueness to that bond.
Being with the people who know me best and understand… truly understand my need to be separate but together.
To be exactly who I am at all times.
To be silent and moody, loud and juvenile.
Judgemental and unconditional..
A hard ass and a push over.

To have the love and support of people who knew me before I became “ME”.
Who understand the woman beneath the showmanship.

It is so good to be able to touch that point of pure energy and love.
To be grounded to the circle of life and covered in the peace of just being.
To sit in the darkness under the watchful  eye of the late spring moon and count fireflies and shooting stars.

To reconnect, to recharge. To reunite.
To strengthen a bond forged in love and time.

And now I’m done and I can spend some time absorbing it all.
Being all by myself with the sweet smell of rain washed earth.

I spent the weekend Loving and being loved.
Being reminded that I am not alone.
And being happy not only for myself, but for aniece and Carla and their life and family.
 And that has been the best thing.

Being able to see the tangible good in this world.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Holding back the years or the comfort of letting go and moving on

Mood Music.  Simply red…I think my love of all things ginger started with him( yes, I know S.R. is the whole band but HE is who I’m talking about, stop acting new)


So, I've been feeling really whimsical lately.  Stuck in the past in a good way.   Learning to let go of all the things that have hurt over the last few years has been a difficult thing, but as I get better at it, I get to reflect on some of the simple things that made me happy.

I have actually been really happy with some memories.  Content to just look back and be glad of the way things were.  I am able to look back on them without the yearning for them being so strong that it prohibits me from recognizing the whole truth ( I have to make myself take off the rose colored glasses) and living my today.
I miss those times.  As a thirty three year old me I can say that my actions contributed greatly to the demise of those times.  I fully own that I had a role in the way life played out.
I can’t tell the whole story because, again, sometimes when we talk about our lives we inadvertently reveal other’s lives as well.
Life was simpler a decade ago. I was newly engaged and fresh out of a lot of shenanigans.  Really, still a babe in the woods. Everything was fresh and new and exciting. And I met some of the most fantastic people.  People who somehow came to mean so much to me so quickly that when I think of when the last time we spoke my heart breaks and my breath catches.

As with all things life moves on though…some relationships have faded away completely..not for lack of attention but just because that’s the way life is.  Some have stumbled, tripped stuttered, faltered, blown up, crumbled and blown away with the wind.  Some have been mended with the duct tape, super glue and baling wire of time.  Held together by tears and laughter, they have evolved and changed in testament to the people we have become.  The courage and compassion in our hearts. The indomitable spirit that drove us together.
Tonight I got to spend a couple of hours with two of the most important women in my life.  The recent years, life and everything that goes with it had split us.  I have to admit that even though I clung to them as if my very survival depend on it, I didn't honor them or our bond.
didn't respect them enough to say the words that even now are trembling on my finger tips. I feel like a child whose parents are divorcing. How do I fix it, how do it put it back together? Only unlike that child, I know that I have a culpability to answer for. I know that I played a role in the break down. And I know that it can never go back, never be the same and I wouldn't want it to.   Who we are now matters too much to erase it.

Deep breath.

I miss you.  I don’t like that our lives have changed so much. I don’t want all the new people who are there/ here between us, taking up your time and attention. I don’t want to be nice. I don’t want to share. I screwed up a lot. And even now I am still too chicken to say directly to you that I’m scared. I’m afraid of them taking my place. I’m afraid that you don’t need me the way that I need you. I cringe that strangers know more about your everyday than I do. I’m heartbroken that we only speak every fourth month. I’m sorry.  I tried to change and when I realized I couldn't ever change enough I was resentful. I didn't want to change. I didn't want things to need to be different.
But I miss you. I miss us.

In my heart I know its OK. And someday it wont sting as much, but a few hours ago…was probably the happiest I've been in years. To chat with you via im’s and just be us. Reminded me so much of why I was drawn in to begin with.

And now that I've said all that I feel… better.  I feel like I’m me…un-encumbered by hurts and perceived slights and mis(ssed) communications. Not  the same, but not so very different either.  A part of me will always long for Yesterday, but I’m ready for today… and for all my tomorrows.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I won't give up on us or i'm a raging ball of hormones so excuse the $#!% that comes out of my mouth

don't forget to click on the links for mood music




So I’ve been an emotional wreck. The end of 2013 crept right on into 2014. I had these grand ideas about how I was going to slough off the old skin and shake away the past.  I was going to step right into the future.

That’s a little to grand. The adult me knows that you have to take time in the present to acknowledge your past or it will bit your oversized ass hard in the future.
It’s not so much that the law of attraction doesn’t work, but more so that you have to include “what is forgotten will be repeated.”
Just wanted to put that statement out there. I’m still growing. And some wounds haven’t healed but I am going to be better about positivity. I will wish no one any harm and I will work diligently every day to not be bitter about the ay life has unfolded for me. Ultimately, As an adult, I have to be responsible for the choices I made at every dip, turn and crossroad.  I could have changed course at any given stop light. Could have joined a circus. Could have saved that money I spent on those shoes I wore that one time and lost. Could have said I’m sorry sooner.

But that’s not what this blog is about.

I’ve been open as always about my personal life and as always some would say I’m too open.
This year is particularly hard for me because my sane half and I are 300 plus miles apart.  Twists and turns in the road of life , folks, gotta watch those pot holes. Dodge one hit six bigger ones.
Now, I know that people live like this all the time. Hell, it used to be a cultural thing in recent antiquity.  The husband would have to leave home and travel across the country for work and send home funds to the wife and rugrats and eventually when they’d saved enough he’d send for them all.
Unfortunately, that was a dream for many families that never worked.  Momma got tired of waiting and got a new man that took care of her and her kids. Daddy got to liking being a single man and found a barfly that only wanted to drink smoke and mattress mambo.

You can tell I had many, numerous, copious, a whole fucking lot of misgivings about being separated from my heart for work.
I mean before CWB, I was seriously dating (promised) to a guy who joined the marines ( without telling me he was going to join the marines) and when he came home with his hair cut and his dog tags, I smiled at him and fixed his favorite dinner. Sat across from the table and cried as I told him, I’m not the one for you. I don’t want to be a single married person. I don’t want to worry about you being blown up. I don’t want to move from base to base. I don’t our kids to not know where their home town is. Or to have to make friends over and over and over again three times a year.  We prayed about it and he understood. I was speaking from my heart. I loved him but I didn’t love him enough.  I would have made a shitty military wife. At least, the me that I was then would have.
I had to bite some bullets once I got married. CWB is my own personal hero. He has been in the medical field (a certified emt), has been a firefighter, in law enforcement and in education (yeah, he taught some courses to some juvies when he worked in the boot camp). But this separation, by far, has been the biggest one. 
Ask any “old married” couple you know. There can be times when you never see each other. He works nights, she works days. One of you or both of you work more than one job. One or both of you might be in school.
Or you see each other, but you get into a routine. So you don’t even have to speak. You just do the same or similar things all the time.  Sometimes you have to just break the silence and say “hey, are we ok?  We aren’t fighting are we?”
There is something so comforting in that to me. For an introvert/hermit, I am oddly addicted to his presence.
I truly believe he is my match. We are literal salt and pepper shakers. We just go together.
I’ve done ok with the separation. It was unplanned (for the most part. See we moved in anticipation of his transfer, and then it got delayed and delayed again…and delayed again. ) And supposed to be short term. But I cowgirled up and stuck with the program, besides we can see each other on skype and hangouts and one of us can drive to see the other on days off. *yes, that’s sarcasm people because we all know that hasn’t exactly worked out. This is life not a novel*  Besides a bit of depression * side eyes closest friends, ok ok a lot of depression* and a small amount whining * look, I’m telling this* I’ve weathered the storm.  I’ve drawn complete strength from some great people and mostly from CWB. He is, in all things, my rock.
Tonight though—tonight I probably exhibited why I am an asshole. I’ll blame it on the separation and hormones.

Tonight everything spilled over. I started off trying to feign excitement for what I perceived as another delay. I almost got all the way to enthusiasm.  Then the whole baby situation spiraled out of control. (Maintaining two separate households, hundreds of miles apart, while dealing with infertility and ttc--not conducive for stress free shenanigans).
I tried to count to a million, then go to sleep. I woke up four hours later and still couldn’t keep myself from bubbling over.
It ended with a couple of long vents to amazing friends  and one booger snot slinging melt down of a phone call to CWB. And I’m sorry. Because as scared and freaked out as I am. I know he has to be feeling the same way. I know that he loves me like I love him. Ultimately, he only wants to do what’s going to be good for us. Sometimes its just hard to mesh our two styles of thinking together. Even when we are trying to achieve the same things we come at them from different angles. Its like comparing apples to apples. His are granny smith and mine are honeycrisp. In the end they are still damn apples. Its not like one of them is secretly an orange or a banana. We just, sometimes are reading the same story and even though we are on the same damn page, one of us is still reading and the other is ready to jump ahead to the next. (two guesses which of us is which.) I know CWB is an amazing, stand up guy.  I still think he his pin headed, hard headed and old fashioned curmudgeon.   
In conclusion: I’m probably an asshole.  At least this time I can blame part of it on the hormones and the stress.  One box of Kleenex, two boiled eggs, six pieces of crispy bacon, one piece of burnt bacon, four pieces of toast and a candy bar that I found in the pocket of my winter jacket;  I’m a hormonal asshole.  
I don’t know all the answers.  But what I do know is that we will figure it out together. Because that’s what relationships are about. Good marriages, the ones that last the test of time, aren’t the ones that never went through anything hard. They're the ones that linked hands, stood back to back and stared down the hard times and said “ bring it.”
 I know that I don’t have to be “ a big girl all the time.” Its ok for me to get lost in my hormones and my feelings and have break downs, as long as I don’t stay lost.
This year for our anniversary, I gave CWB a little compass. Its no bigger than a quarter and shaped like a heart. In a child like font its inscribed “ my heart will lead you home.”
I hope he knows that its true for me as well. When I am lost and afraid. When I don’t know how to carry on and I can’t remember how to breath.  It’s the beat of his heart that leads me from the darkness. The scent of him on the pillow that fights off the nightmares. The sound of his voice that soothes me to sleep.
I’m sorry that your wife is a hormonal ass hat CWB.  She doesn’t mean to be. She just misses you like crazy. But she is and has always been 0n this ride with you.
We might have to make a few pitstops and detours. But this is our journey. I wouldn’t take it with anyone but you.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

(don't)Speak @$$ (I know what you're thinking), Mouths' gone on vacation OR My Introversion isn't a reflection of you (it ain't you, its me), OR, Don't sleep on my silence( its not me, it really is you).

Warning, as the titles suggest, this is going to be a fairly long one!


“Speak Ass(hole), Mouths’ Gone On vacation!”


Growing up Black and Southern, I've been privy to a lot of distinct expressions.

Some of my favorites are ones that, as a child I completely misunderstood, but the were so colorful the sent me in to peals of laughter. Now, as an adult, they make a little more since ( some of them) and still often move me to laughter.

My grandmother would bark these lil' gems out randomly in conversation. Some times just trying to get our attention or sometimes they were "pearls of wisdom"  and more often than not character assessments( and soooooooooo accurate.)

One that would come across often is the title of this blog. "Speak ass(hole), Mouths' gone on vacation."
Getting past the shock of having that tossed in the middle of polite conversation or content silence,  which of course means she had spoken to you and was awaiting your response or you'd entered a room with out acknowledging the people already present, you'd do as you'd been bade.  As long as you didn't respond with "huh" or "what", which indicated you'd "lost your mind and your home training." and surely "must want your ass warmed up, today."

It is a simple phrase really and artistic in it's delivery. It's designed to shock you into paying attention and then to trigger a response. You're shocked and confused by someone demanding that your anus talk, as if your mouth literally looked at it in a board meeting of all your body parts and said " so I'm slated for Fiji for the next three weeks, Anus your going to need to take over all vocalizations until I return."  I mean, what does that even look like? Would I need to bend over and my butt cheeks would move?  Would I be flatulent? Was my grandmother fluent in farts? How the heck did that work? ( and as you can see I was always a very imaginative and literal child. The other term that bothered me was similar to this "talking out your ass(hole)". Really, how the hell does that work?))

The purpose of my blog isn't exactly the same, but none the less when I was contemplating recent situations I heard my Mu( grandmother)  clear as a bell.  The thought had actually been swirling in my mind for several weeks, but I'd put off writing it. I  mean last month I was pretty out there with the introspective. I felt like if I put this thought in the universe, I'd undoubtedly be faced with some other thoughts that needed to come out.

And then it happened.  Someone mistook something I said or didn't say and again Mu came to me. This time she hooked me around the waist with her trust cane and spun me to look her in the eye.  "DIDN"T YOU HEAR ME?! WHAT SUDDENLY YOU'RE DEAF AND DUMB?! YOU WHO ALWAYS HAS SOMETHING TO SAY?! SPEAK, I SAID!"

What Mu was urging me to do was more in common with the last blog. Telling people when they'd hurt you. Saying exactly what you think and mean.  As adults we don't speak often enough. We just assume people know what we need. What they mean to us. That we are or are not talking about them when we do speak.

Sometimes when things are bothering me I just don't speak until I'm pushed, but when I'm pushed I say all the things I would never say. I forget to be tactful. I don't see in shades of grey. Or Violet. Or Rose. I only see the colors in my spectrum. In whatever emotion I'm feeling. And people tend to be shocked.  They either are expecting the placid "oh, no nothing is is wrong"  or  a meek " I'm sorry let me get it together and attend to you." But what they get is ...well they often end up hurt. Sometimes I am sorry they are hurt. Most times I'm not, because its likely that I've needed to voice what ever has come out, albeit probably in a more tactful way, for a while.

“My Introversion isn't about you (it ain't you, its most definitely me).”

So If you follow me on FB, you know I tend to have "code blacks". It means I'm off the grid for any number of reasons. Typically if its for a REASON aka someone hurt my feelings and so i'm gonna go pout, or i'm sick  I'll state that reason.   I have said many times that I share... A LOT. But I'm selective about what I share. I share just enough, I share exactly what I want to share. Even when I am sharing something that is seemingly deep. I've calculated the exact risk, and know exactly how much and what level I am going to share.  From my comfortable space in my colorful office, I can still protect the core of me, while sharing "seemingly" everything.

In my mind, I've developed a system. Code Blacks that are triggered by "something" are normally proceeded with inexplicable  outbursts of " you know what's" and/or " emotional revelations".   Those code blacks are really just about me needing to embrace my introversion.  I need to  be away from the world. I need to re-evaluate my place. I need some quiet time. I need to be in my cocoon and only hear the sound of my own heart beat dancing with the sound of two super needy puppies.   In those times even the closest people to me are shut out.  I am truly deaf and blind. I honestly have scare alarm tones that my husband can set off remotely to remind me to check in with him. I have a couple of people who are alerted if I'm going to leave my home and travel  to be alone. ( yeah sometime code black means that i leave the state of Texas and hide away in a place that is OFF the grid).  This people are in place because I do have medical issues and sometimes my introversion is driven by the compounding of those things. And I need to make sure that even in my seclusion I can receive medical attention  should I need it.  In those cases, cases where I am sick, I promise you the people who need to be there for me are! And most likely I'm home in my sleeping bag in my closet with an Alpha approved baby sitter.

But there are so many people close to me that I tend to say, look I'm sick right now. So I'm going to go dark for a while and I'll be back soon.  Because people worry and I understand that.

Other times code black, just means that I am busy. I have two new retail businesses aside from a day job, writing( and all that comes with it) and baking for select customers.
Those code blacks are ...just code blacks.  It just means that I am a busy person just like every other person. But because I make it a point to be so available to so many people all the time I just want you to know that I have to pull back for a minute or two. Nothing is wrong.
Maybe Alpha is home and we have something special planned.
Maybe I have twenty cakes to bake or 20k words to write.  Maybe I just need a moment to sit in my closet with my sleeping bag to decompress before I have a "i hate the world code black".

I am pretty tech savvy...well modestly so. I use a few programs to condense things into one or two dash boards that filter, file and separate so that I can see everything by toggling between to windows. Its complected ( because those more tech savvy than me are like you know you can condense this even more and those not tech savvy are like "wait, what the feck is all this"), But It also suits my needs of introversion, because depending on the level of code black I can easily assign things to be filtered and ignored with out actually logging out of things ( Drives alpha MAD that I am ALWAYS available and logged in to EVERYTHING, even when I am NOT available. Which is another reason I offer code blacks. Because of my dashboard, people think I'm being rude and ignoring them but honestly, your talking to my laptops sitting in random places around my car, house, hiding places and the only persons who could possibly answer you might be my dogs, they don't have  thumbs and they cant type and frankly, if your not in the room to give them treats and belly rubs well they don't care about you.)

This next little bit is about to be harsh and there is no way to say it without being that way.  There is no one that is special enough to me right now that I will ignore code blacks for. Code blacks go across the board. Especially if I leave my home to achieve one.  Don't get me wrong. I love lots of people and they are very special and important to me. There are some built in work arounds for code blacks. But Its all up to me if I feel like responding. That sounds bad right. Or does it only sound bad because I'm saying it. Everyone functions this way. I'm just flat out saying it.

I probably shouldn't have responded. But the compulsion to "speak" as my grandmother thumped her can across the dinning room table louder than that damn heart buried under the floor boards drove me.
Of course I'm sure... more than sure that my response hurt and offended. And while the tender parts of me regrets it. There is a part of me that is showboat-y and callus going "you asked for it. its not like you weren't warned to let sleeping dogs lie."




Don't sleep on my silence (it’s not me, it really is you)


Which brings me to this. Sometimes, I don't speak when I should not because I'm obviously riddled with more issues than the a rabbit shot with a buck shot has holes.  Some times I don't speak because it is you. Not me.

Sometimes my silence is in deference to our relationships. Because despite my anxiety, my need to fight what could be a very cold and uncaring side of me is greater.  I am not so evil that I don't want to be wanted. I just don't want to be clung to.

I know that is hard for some people. They don't understand how someone can be so selfish (and me be honest, I know that my introversion is very selfish. I function on a level that is different than anyone i think I've ever heard of. I've had way to many doctors with lots of letters behind their names to think any differently. Somethings I can't control, but the way I manage is completely self designed and self important no matter what way I spin it). The fee like every code black is a cry for help or attention. And eventually, they let me know they feel that way. I get frustrated with those people, because THEY are the reason code blacks were invented. There was a time I'd just slip away. Stop talking. Cancel accounts change phone numbers and reject all mail.  I walked off the face of the earth for a year once. It was peaceful. But it drove my mother insane. She was royally pissed to be getting random postcards with no return address. Hell, I can't even say they were random. I prepaid for them and there were only three.

In my "need" to be normal, I developed a false meekness. One that forced me to defer to others when I really didn't want to. I want to be loved and accepted, but I understand its hard for people to deal with me and my moods. Other people think they are introverts but they really aren't. They are just regular people who happen to enjoy alone time. Other people think I am not and introvert ( and they'd be correct, introversion is a Part of me, but not the diagnosis as a whole) and that if they stay close to me  they can understand.

Staying close isn't what I need. I'm just like everyone else. I need only to know in my heart that you'll be there when I need you.  My very best friends. Jennifer, Aniece, Tawania , the six Muses, Have all mastered this.  They know the difference in "someone better go check on Drea" and " hey, when's the last time you heard from Drea."  They understand the value in seeing that "available" Icon, next to an online symbol as opposed to " the number you're calling has been disconnect or is no longer available."

Sometimes, when people are too much for me in particular, I shut them out. Systematically. I just develope avoidance skills pertaining to that person until I decided I can handle them.  A lot of times I can't ever handle them again.  I cut them off. Completely. And I find the peace that I was looking for.

Other people mean that much more to me. So I have to have moments where I just can't speak. Because what I want to say is, "You're actually getting on my last damn nerve."
What I mean is " I really love you and I don't want to hurt you but I'm reaching my breaking point and even though it has nothing to do with you, you're too much for me so I need to not talk to you in particular or anyone in general until I decompress."
But people are sensitive. So I can't say either of those things.
I also can't say "Ok, you're really getting on my nerves, and its not me its you. You're doing xyz and the third and it is truly bothering me."

All three of those things can be cutting and cause irreparable damage. But so can be silent.
Because sometimes when you don't speak, people take liberties with you.  Sometimes they are unintentional based on your past actions or reactions or lack or either.
They assumed because you didn't speak before, that you didn't object to their treatment.
Or if they are being intentional they assumed that because you didn't speak you are submitting to their authority over you.

Some people think that because you reacted a certain way with someone else, your reaction with them will be the same way.

Speak out ass(hole), the mouth is afraid. If you don't say something they cycle continues. Every word you don't say is acceptance.

Their are differences between those intentional and unintentional people. You just have to keep your eyes open and listen to what they say in your silence.

With people who unintentionally take liberties, be gentle with them ( yeah I  am actually talking to myself.) They are only dealing with the cards you handed them.  Sometimes you have to snap and then take a breath and say "Ok, wait. Lets get this straight."

I deal with intentional irritants in two ways. I go into silence or I snap. Same way I do with those that i I know or come to know, mean me no harm. But with these people I look for clues to their motivation. and when I discover it I treat them the same as the others. But I know in my heart who they are. And Its not long before they remove themselves from me. One way or the other.

Loose tongues will reveal you.

Don't sleep on my silence, its not me...its totally you.  Don't speak, I already know what you're thinking. Besides, you're always talking out your ass.