Category Archives: disability

After effects

For reasons I don’t fully understand, today has been one of those “teary days” that sometimes enter my life. The latter part of the last week has been full of fear, worry, disappointment and, at times, utter panic. As I’ve written previously, my mother died in February, 2012. I’d known for years that she was not mentally competent and known even longer that she had serious mental health issues. She chose not to deal with either affliction. Unfortunately, her affliction became my affliction because I shared a house with her. Day after day, I’d watch her make horrible mistakes and could do nothing. One person in whom I’d confided kept telling me to somehow “make” her do things or “make” her brothers stop protecting her so that she could receive real medical help. My mother was not someone anyone “makes” do anything. The end result was that she lived in a world that didn’t correspond with reality. Nothing I said, did, didn’t say or didn’t do made a difference. I told her in anger once that she would always find a way to screw me over even if she had to go down with me. That’s a pretty harsh thing to say to one’s mother. That didn’t mean it wasn’t true. Two utterly devastating financial decisions she made that I desperately tried to talk her out of or guide her through have come back to bite me in the ass just as I told her they would.

The financial difficulties I’m experiencing actually force me to mourn my mother. I have not had any real time to do so in the last 18 months because I’ve been too busy dealing with two creditors who hold the paper on the house and my minivan–KeyBank National Association and JPMorgan Chase Auto Finance, respectively. To say these august institutions have been “difficult” would probably be the understatement of the year. I have new grey hairs because of them. Fortunately, my attorneys have kept me away from a lot of the upsetting discourse because, honestly, I don’t think I have it in me to remain focused and calm. My mother’s death and the years that preceded it are truly tender spots on my psyche. There is a lot of unfinished business within the family confines that are deeply painful and ugly. There are days when I can barely keep the dam of anger and pain from bursting as though built with shoddy concrete and rusty steel. Inevitably, there will be cracks where the water of my tears will seep through and run down the spillway of my cheeks. Today is one of those days.

I may have written of a favorite great-uncle, Herbert, who was more some combination of grandfather/father than great-uncle. Even though he was only ten years older than my mother, he had a very big hand in raising her. It was a bond that lasted throughout their lives. Uncle Herbert preceded Mom in death by a few months shy of four years. We didn’t have a chance to say a final goodbye, but I think he understood.

Uncle Herbert was always there for me, too. He and his wife, Ethel, were my rocks when I desperately needed them growing up. Lately, as I’ve watched my world turn upside down, I have wished that Uncle Herbert were here because he’d tell me how to fix everything or protect me as best he could from the very harsh realities I may have to face. My lawyers do help me as best they can, but they can only do so much. Aunt Ethel helped me even though I was deeply ashamed for asking. In the end, it is up to me. It is my responsibility to clean up the hot mess my mother made of both our lives because I didn’t do what needed to be done: have her declared mentally incompetent and get myself appointed conservator. Kicking myself is a waste of time, as is blaming her enabling two oldest brothers who interfered when I tried to get her help. I know that I will never have the same relationship with them again. So be it. However, I have to mourn the woman she was before she was crazy and mentally incompetent, then pick myself up, gear up and fight for my life.

I think the thing I do best is fight. My existence has been a constant struggle since the day I was born. I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have to fight for something or another. That’s one of the things that would have/will make an excellent litigator. I believe passionately in equanimity and fairness. To me, those are basic human rights. KeyBank made a predatory loan to a woman who had no business conducting any financial transactions at all. I even warned the loan officer that my mother was not competent, but the loan officer saw an easy mark and inserted herself into the relationship with my mother. Anytime a woman “forgets” that her daughter has fibromyalgia and a birth defect that has caused problems in various musculoskeletal areas of her body even though that daughter has been on disability since the early 1990s and several doctors have talked to her about the daughter’s needs, that woman is in serious trouble. Whether Mom really forgot or whether she just didn’t want to face facts is something I’ll never know. What I do know is that I may lose my house due to Key’s greed. I have a feeling that I am not the only person who is in this type of difficulty.

Picking myself up to fight another day is one of the most difficult things I can envision doing right now. I am so damn tired I don’t know what to do. My spirit is tired. What keeps me going is my girls. Without them, I would be locked away in an psychiatric facility undergoing God-knows-what kind of “therapy” to lift the fog of depression. Yes, I am fighting for myself, but I am fighting for them even more. We are a set; a team; a four-some. We are family. I really don’t like this house because it wasn’t built very well. However, it’s got a large backyard with incredible possibilities and I don’t have to worry about my babies making too much noise for the neighbors. I know that I live and do things for them when I can’t do them for myself. This time, I’m fighting for all of us.

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A strange day

First, be advised that I’m typing with a critical finger either broken or badly sprained. Please forgive any spelling errors. Second, I’m really sleepy. Only God(dess) knows what’s going to pop out of these fingers, broken or otherwise. With those caveats in place, I’ll carry on.

I dared to have a happy moment Friday. That happiness continued into Saturday. It’s gotten so that I’m afraid to pinpoint the happy days because they are followed by bleakness. This would all be perfectly explainable if I were bipolar, but I’m not. No, I’m more paranoid than bipolar. At times, I do believe the world is out to get me. I can’t be allowed to get too happy before shit starts falling apart. Tonight is a good case in point.

Unknown to me, one of my cousins lost her mother earlier in the week. Maybe someone tried the house phone, but I keep it off the hook because some of Mom’s creditors didn’t get the memo that said: a) she’s now deceased, and; b) unless you’ve made a claim against the estate by last August, you are SOL. I got tired of having to be a stone bitch and so I only use it for faxes now.

At any rate, Bea died and I didn’t hear about it until this evening and even that was a fluke. I sent condolences to my cousins and then another message to the larger “family” to ream them out for not getting word to me. I was actually somewhat nice, all things considered. I just don’t want this crap to happen again.

Well, now, I’m not as happy. In fact, I began to think about Mom. I was able to make peace with her passing because I think her incredible gifts with children were necessary. I’m sure we all remember the Newtown, CT shootings where so many children were killed. Can you imagine how frightened those poor little souls were arriving on the other side? That’s when I knew why Mom was taken at such an early age (for my family, at least). She was very desperately needed for those children. To see my mother with a child was a remarkable thing. Those kids are her legacy. I only wish I had an once of her talent as a teacher, but I don’t, and that’s why I don’t have a teaching certificate although everybody thought I should get one as a fall-back. Their reasons were good. I just don’t have the patience. I’m also no good at following tight rules. I’d see a kid in trouble and I would do something about it immediately, without going to the principal. If it isn’t the kids, it’s their parents. I have too hot a temper and can get fiercely protective. Unfortunately, very often the person the kid needs to be protected from is one or both parents.

As I said, I began to think about Mom and so I had a bit of a chat with her. I’m noticing that my hands are beginning to look like hers. As I lose more weight, I suspect they’ll look vary much like hers, but a darker color. She had exquisitely delicate hands. I used to love looking at them from the time I was around four. Those hands held so much talent as an artist. I truly wish that I had more of her work. Alas, I only have two or three. My understanding is that she still has pictures hanging in the local board of education even though they’ve been there for well over 60 years. My larger family is full of visual artists. I just happen to write. I can barely draw, but I do occasionally try.

I think that I’m really afraid to be happy. I always feel as though I have to watch for those around me. My mind tells me that this is a symptom of post traumatic stress disorder. Yeah, well, that doesn’t mean I’m wrong. I just want to get back on my feet financially and breathe a bit. I know there are things I haven’t done because I’m too proud to do them. I have to get over it, but it’s hell.

There are things I want to do. I’m seriously feeling the magazine as I work on a logo with one of my artistic genius cousins. am so very close to being in a position to get two issues out and hope those lead to more advertisers. I’m even afraid to be optimistic about that! Having life get better and then crash into hell is so engrained in me that I don’t know if it will ever change. I can work around it, but this attitude makes doing so like lifting 100 lbs. sitting down.

I have had what normal people would call a “migraine” for eight days now. Granted, a couple of those days didn’t suck, but came awfully close. Now, I can feel the headache rising in my shoulders. I have to lay down. Maybe sleep will make all of my demons go away.

Ouch!

There are so many things I want to write about, but my mind and body are exhausted. I’ve been setting the scene for my photo shoot that should have taken place weeks ago. Thank you, TEWSNBN! Fuck it. Thank you GLENN!! I spent so much time scanning pages from journals I haven’t read in ten years and re-living the horror of that period because he swore up and down that he had no idea what I was talking about. Then, when I tell him several days and about $50 later that he needs to choose whether he wants me to put the scans on a cloud server or risk the package arriving on the weekend when it was likely to be seen by nosey eyes, the little shit basically declares war. God, he has become the man I dreaded!

I think I may have mentioned this before, but a former mutual friend said that he is often overwhelmed and confused. Yep! And despite growing up in the NYC area and traveling all over the world, he is rather plebeian in his acceptance of people and his view of the world as it is. In fact, very plebeian. I honestly never thought I’d say this, but my worldview and acceptance of different peoples and lifestyles is FAR more broad-minded than his. If readers had known Glenn when we were attending the same college, I think there would be a lot of surprise. Then, he came off as worldly and sophisticated. At 16 years old, of course I ate it up. Then, after spending 17 years more together than not, he married and my life had to go on. I found the leather/kink community online and immersed myself in it both in the virtual world and the real world. I also began trying my hand at writing fiction. It seems I have a gift for writing little scenes that say a great deal. I also wrote my first full-fledged short story with something like six chapters about a bi-lesbian couple that became very well-known around the net because it has a killer BDSM scene in it that took me two days to write, all while listening to Pink Floyd over and over again. I really would love to continue writing stories about their relationship. I need a muse. Then, I had one in the form of this gorgeous blonde chica with lovely pierced nipples I could nestle in and suckle all day long. I have tried to find her, but no luck.

I know that the whole BDSM thing scared him because he had no clue. I used to think that he’d be good at it, but I don’t now. A Master must be empathetic, giving and willing to communicate. That’s not him, I’m sorry to say. I think that most men are very intimidated when I tell them that I still consider myself a leatherwoman even though I haven’t practiced in a long time. They are afraid that whatever they may bring to the bedroom won’t be able to compete with my BDSM experiences. Frankly, they may be right. Eventually, I’m going to get bored. Right now, any man who gets hold of me had better be ready for the fuck of his life. Yes, fuck first, then make love. I’d really like to get to know the guy I met at the gym last week, but my idea of “late” and his idea of “late” are two different things. I’ll pop in earlier tomorrow to see if he’s around.

What I wanted to write about in this post is a happy thing. My excursions to the gym are paying off. My body feels better once it stops hurting; my fat is firmer, if you know what I mean; I sleep better, and; I am physically stronger. Oh, I should also mention that I’ve lost four pounds. Granted, that’s not a lot, but I’ve only been at this about six weeks. Nearly two weeks out of six were spent at home, as I said, scanning my ass off and re-living unimaginable pain for someone who didn’t deserve it. You’d think I’d know better by now. Any act of kindness I’ve ever shown him has been met with a kick in the teeth. He is his own worst enemy and his account will come due. No more GLENN! (I hope you see your name in caps, m’dear.)

As I said, the gym is paying off. However, at this moment I hurt like a son-of-a-gun. I have placed lidocaine patches any place on my body they’ll stick. I need a script filled, but money is extremely tight until the first of the month. I haven’t been this broke since I was in undergrad. Still, overall, I’m quite pleased with myself. I realized that there was no iPhone app that met all of my needs, so I decided to just keep records using Notes. I’m trying to remember whether or not I have a spreadsheet app somewhere around. If so, I’d like to use it to track my progress. Right now, though, I’d like to share.

April 23, 2013

Cycling
Distance: 2.09 miles
Calories burned: 41
HR: 144
Time: 17 min.
Resistance: 6

Rowing machine
Strokes/min: 25
Calories burned: 107
Cal/hr: 308
Time: 17:00 min.
Resistance: 5

Pull down
36 reps @ 40 lbs.

Chest press
50 reps @ 40 lbs.

Shoulder press
40 reps @ 40 lbs.

Leg press
50 reps @ 40 lbs.
40 reps @ 55 lbs.

April 25, 2013

Cycling
Distance: 3.74 miles
Calories burned: 78.3
HR: 140-144
Time: 31:33 min
Resistance: 6

Rowing machine
Strokes/min.: 28
Calories burned: 94 (This is an inaccurate measure due to problems with the computer on-board.)
Cal/hr: N/A
Time: 21 min.
Resistance: 5

Pull down
40 reps @ 40 lbs.

Chest press
40 reps @ 40 lbs.

Shoulder press
40 reps @ 40 lbs.

Leg press
100 reps @ 55 lbs.

I haven’t measured the body metrics yet. It seems that I never have time when I’m close to the tape measure and I do have time when I’m not close to the tape measure. I’ll do it eventually.

The reason I’m so proud of myself is that I’ve heard a litany of “Don’t do that!” and “No, you need to not risk your quality of life.” Basically, if I do hurt myself on the leg with the birth defect, no one has any idea how to put me back together. I can think of ONE surgeon in the entire country who would have more than a clue. The hospital that stole him from Johns Hopkins built an entire new wing just for him. The bad part is that he’s a pediatric ortho and they do NOT like to work on adults.

That’s not to say that my current ortho would be totally clueless because that’s not the case at all. In fact, his primary interest is in bioengineering. That gives him a solid background in the mechanics of my body. In addition, this hospital’s doctors actually listen to me when I tell them I am not just another amputee. That wasn’t happening at the hospital where the first spinal surgery and knee replacement were done. In fact, I kept telling the ortho that I was sick after my first knee replacement surgery. He blew me off by saying that people often feel that way after joint replacements. He didn’t listen until I spiked a fever and my pulse-ox was in the high 80s. Lo and behold, I had pneumonia and a partially collapsed lung. He was frustrated because medicine wouldn’t release me to rehab, thereby screwing up his schedule and stats. Fucking narcissists. If the nurses hadn’t called in medicine, my lung would have completely collapsed. Ever since, there have been times when I feel as though I couldn’t breathe and had pain in my back right over my lungs. That’s when I say a little prayer for myself because I really cannot deal with being in the hospital right now. I’m hoping that my breathing is better now that I’ve spent six hours cleaning off my dresser. Yes, you’ve read that correctly. SIX hours. I didn’t even dawdle in the process! I found all sorts of things I’ve been looking for for years. I have to clean off the dust, (this house collects it like a magnet collects iron shavings), but a little Pledge goes a long way.

It’s time for me to turn out the lights, continue listening to some music and close my eyes again. I came in from an appointment with my pain doctor and immediately went to bed after feeding the girls. The pain doctor was concerned that I was unhappy because my body is not cooperating. He asked me if the medication was working. That’s a loaded question when asked by a pain specialist because if you say no, they may think you’re drug seeking. If you say yes, even though the meds aren’t working, you’ve conceivably missed an opportunity to get the medication adjusted so that the whole cocktail works better. He told me not to be depressed because there are so many things going on with my body and my life that I have to be realistic about my goals. Thank you, God! He understands! I didn’t even have to prod him. Even if I weren’t at the gym at least twice a week where I theoretically risk injury, I have a specialist for just about every system in my body. That’s a lot of doctors, but there is a lot to be examined. I’m getting a cortisone shot next week if I can get my cousin to take me to the appointment. I have to be sedated because that damn needle HURTS.

At any rate, Bruce is singing Badlands and it’s time for me to magically envision the place about which he’s singing. Every time I hear his music now, I think of The Big Man, Clarence Clemons. I miss him a lot. His nephew is good, but he doesn’t have the experience his uncle had and won’t until he’s been through the trials and tribulations his uncle had. Oh well, Better Days came up next. I think some spirit knew that I needed to hear that song. I wish you all better days ahead. Remember, “Strength above all!”

God, HELP!!

I’ve read nearly all of my first journal begun one week after I’d contacted Glenn a full decade ago this past March 22. I began it as a woman absolutely giddy with happiness at being able to talk to the man she loved more than herself seven or nine years after he hung up on her when she came out to him in the wrong way, granted, but not deserving of a discussion at least, to; a woman barely hanging on to life, being purposely reckless in the hope Fate would relieve her of the agony of not knowing why he turned on her all of a sudden in mid-conversation, blamed her for even thinking that he’d had any interest, telling her he didn’t care whether she rejected or embraced her love for him because he wasn’t “going there,” saying that she had been “dyking around for a decade,” that she didn’t “want this dick and to run as fast and as far as she can.” Destroyed. Absolutely destroyed. I’d trusted him more than any PERSON on the planet, loved him more than ANY PERSON on the planet and had ultimately given more of myself to him than I had ANY PERSON on the planet. Destroyed. Absolutely destroyed. Even now, after reading 10 years later, hanging on to this reality by my fingernails to keep from sinking into The Pit once more even though someone(s) destroyed the woman who was then. I can’t have relationships no matter the gender of the other person because I can’t trust enough or give enough of myself. I was punished for loving women even though I loved him, assuming the words came from him. I’m not at all sure they did. The circumstances suggest the horror could easily have been from the hagbeast monster or his gay male business partner. If the latter, it was at his request. If the former, he probably didn’t know. We went from flirting to destruction after he went away from the screen for a few minutes. That sceptic cunt could have snuck in easily. Especially since whoever was on the other end of the IM wouldn’t speak to me via voice.

I’ve been struggling with anorexia for about a week now. I’d just worked up to eating a whole sandwich, but was drinking more liquids. Now, not only don’t I care, I don’t want to eat. I mean, I ACTIVELY don’t want to eat. I’m trying to get through this because of the girls. I can’t abandon them. The thing is, I don’t think I can do this by myself and I honestly don’t know who to call who won’t make me feel worse than I already do.

I had a terrible shock. I found a portion of a journal entry meant to be found after I’d properly suicided. It contained two phone numbers. One was Glenn’s cell and the other was for a former mutual friend. I called the one for Glenn, never anticipating that it would work. It did. I was so unnerved I couldn’t talk to him. So, in the course of three days I’ve reached him twice after well over 100 letters sent to the usual usernames owners of private mail servers set up. Over 100 letters he said he never received even though some were sent via the “Contact Us” form for his record company. Granted, for a year or more I haven’t used it because I didn’t get a confirmation of receipt from the server and assumed I’d been blocked. But I have also gotten really good at setting up disposable accounts, hoping that something would get through in some fashion.

I never want to leave my bed, but the girls need to eat and go potty. I feel as I did when I had agoraphobia. Anything and nearly everyone is dangerous outside of this room. There are so many ways to kill a person while leaving them with a beating heart. There are so many ways to die and still breathe. I have to focus on the girls. If not, I will die one way or the other. I can go inside myself and never come out. I am so close to that now that I have to work to just stay present.

How could Glenn/hagbeast/gay oh business partner do this to someone whose worst “crime” was loving someone and then determining that she loved those of her own gender more at one point? Had Glenn talked to me, I would have given in. Not to the phone sex, but to allowing him access to body, soul and heart. I would give up women for him. I would have then and I would now if he was willing to do the obvious and make us “us”–hagbeast included, if I just had to, as long as he committed.

This is not the first time I’ve tried to write this book. The first time was way before I was ready. The publisher read the mess I submitted and gently told me to get some therapy and try again later. I told her I couldn’t write it then because all I do is cry while I’m typing. I don’t think she believed me until she saw the mess of the first few chapters. I’d forgotten about that until reading the journals, too. Five or six therapists later and I’m still crying as I type.

What the fuck is going on? Someone please, tell me. First, as I’m about to give up and give in to giving up on relationships, I hear and see my mother frantically trying to tell me NOT to forget about or give up on Glenn. She didn’t even like him! So, I ignore her until I realize I can’t blindside him and his kids. I NEVER intended to talk to him before mailing him a set of questions after getting well into writing a manuscript, but I wanted him to know what was coming. After ten years and a few phone messages as late as last year, he answers the phone. On a Sunday. Today, I call a 10-yr-old cell number I didn’t even know I had and he answers. I cannot hope where he is concerned. That’s especially true now that I’ve read how he or someone tried to blame me for essentially making any perceived interest up. I’ve got notes from conversations. I didn’t make anything up. And, if I made everything up, then how could he have been playing a joke? I did remember that that was part of the conversation I’d initially forgotten due to stress. It was remembered much later. It is a habit my brain learned as a child: bury the most destructive, painful memories deep inside where they can’t be found. That kept me sane and I do not exaggerate.

What does one do when one truly wants to die but can’t? Endure. What does one do when one can no longer endure? I’m frantically trying to determine who can raise my girls if it comes to that. I just can’t bear the thought of their pain after losing my mother so recently. I am in hell.

Panic!

20130409-011732.jpg

I woke up very shortly after two Valium let me nap when I had hoped to actually sleep. I tried to go back to sleep, but it was pointless. On top of that, I was physically ill due to having my world turned upside down. This could turn into a good thing, but right now, all I know is that a truly malevolent creature stole a very large and important chunk of my life. Whatever the case, being sick was/is not something I can handle right now.

Most people eat when they’re upset. Not me! The more upset and depressed I get, the less I eat and the more I don’t want to eat. The thing is, I don’t drink either and I dehydrate very easily. I don’t mean a little bit. I mean ending up in the ER because my heartbeat gets irregular, I get light-headed and I have no veins except in my neck. I then have to lie to the doctors who know I’m lying but can’t prove it so that I don’t get locked in a me tal ward because I’m “a danger to myself.”

I didn’t have any anti-diarrhea meds so I had to get that before I even tried to eat. Otherwise, it’s a pointless effort. I also had to get just about every other prescription I had filled, especially the Valium. Valium is my friend these days. It’s the only thing standing between me and panic attacks, body memories and full-on flashbacks. Yes, I have post-traumatic stress disorder. It is made worse by fibromyalgia and fibro is made worse by PTSD. I’ve also had to cancel my life for most of this week because I can just barely cope with reliving the last 10 years of pain, apparent betrayal, heartache, abuse, suicide, profound loss, self-hatred and loneliness. Yet I have no choice because I have to make the love of my life understand what his hagbeast monster of a wife did to both of us. She took my life when she already had him and he sure as hell wasn’t going to leave her for me. She took my life. MY life.

I had to play Jane Bond and try to find a way to get Glenn, and only Glenn, the documents that detail what happened and all the times I’ve tried to reach him only to be met with silence. He never got ANYTHING I sent him via e-mail. So, I can’t use e-mail. Furthermore, I need figure out how to encrypt the data on a DVD I’m sending to him. It’s quite possible to do, but I need to find out how by tomorrow afternoon.

I went to the grocery store deli because I figured that’s about all my stomach can handle right now. The store is huge and it was crowded. I nearly had a full-blown panic attack three different times. I barely got out before the last one nearly emerged. Had I been there a few more minutes, that would have been all she wrote. I’m fairly good at talking myself down from them, but even I can’t beat them all when I’m tired, sick, upset as hell and want my mom because she’d know what to do when I don’t.

Speaking of Mom, I realize that some would see my letter to her and think I’m nuts. No. As I wrote, I kept hearing and seeing her in my head trying to tell me to not just hang on to him, but insisting I do so. This, from a woman who never particularly liked him. When I called to tell him about the book (a publisher had already offered a deal several years ago that I didn’t take then) and HE answered, I could barely speak. I didn’t believe him at first when he said he didn’t know anything about what I was referring to. But it gradually sunk in. And that’s when the world in which I have lived for a decade began to fall apart. That’s why Mom was so insistent. That’s why I could never shake my love for him even when I hated him for doing what I thought he was doing. Well fuck you Dr. Robin Watt. He may have no choice but to take your side because he put a ring on your finger, but he will sure as hell know who and what you are. Beast!

Now, I just have to get through the rest of tonight (sleep and/or working on that disk) and the day. I cannot get sick and I cannot have any panic attacks or flashbacks. I have to be strong.

The Story of T & G

I’m feeling angry, hurt and mean this Sunday. Therefore, I revised this post with some visual aids. God(dess) will probably strike me dead for BEING that way.

I’m actually at a loss for words. It’s not that there aren’t enough; there are too many. I’ll start with the title and, perhaps, discuss its inspiration. BTW, for this post, and maybe for others, depending on how I feel, the bâtard is being named. I wish I knew the French words for “septic cunt” and “hagbeast” or even “hagfish” because I’d use them as well.

One, possibly two, people who read this blog know who I am in real life and that I am an aspiring online magazine publisher. I’ve been putting the building blocks in place to turn another blog I have into an online women’s magazine since last fall. My goal is to go live this year. I do have a more specific timetable, but that’s my other life and I don’t really want to talk much about it here.

My heart and soul are dying and my mind can’t hold me up on its own anymore. I can blame it on a week off my antidepressants and that would be partially accurate. However, the antidepressants only allow me to cope with real life and make better decisions (I hope). They don’t change what’s happened. Certainly, they don’t heal me in places I’m not totally sure anyone can, including me. My way of coping has always been sex, music or the written word. I was; I am; I will always be, a musician, even when my only instrument is my voice. I am and have always been, a writer, even without a pencil, paper or laptop. I have written countless stories in my head that never make it to paper because there’s no need. They were written by me for me.

I’ve been playing with an idea for the last few weeks that I’ve decided to follow through. I am going to write a book based on my truth about Glenn and me. It takes as long as it takes. What’s in it is in it. I don’t care who gets hurt as long as I can write the truth. I’ve got a lot of documentation in journals, letters, etc. I only wish I had a screen capture of his wifey-slime pretending to be him saying, “It was a joke” when referring to his supposed interest in becoming involved again after I’d poured my heart out to him. I think the only people who might understand how destroyed I was and still am are the readers here and my shrink. I’m not sure my shrink understands completely. Then again, she did understand that it was cruelty in the extreme, and one of her specialties is abuse, so I guess she must get something.

In the last two or three days I’ve gone from righteous anger to crumbling heap. I’m trying to get angry again so that it becomes a motivator for action. The problem is that when I’ve been angry I’ve also been the most hurt. I’m angry because of the things Glenn did that utterly and completely betrayed me for sport. I’m angry that he let that hagbeast be the one who was in on at least part of it with him, knowing that I detest her and have since I was 16-years-old and didn’t even know she was seeing him. I’m angry that we laid in bed together for 17 years and there was love. . . the love. He never professed love to me, but I most assuredly expressed mine to him. Even though I was sleeping with other people, there was no doubt that he was my heart. He brought me to life in a way no one ever had and no one has since. Sure, we’d get tired of each other at times, but in the end, even when I basically chased him for nearly two years, I believed it would be Glenn and me. I took “themeangirl” seriously, believe me. I watched them together and could read them and knew it would be a tough fight but that she would not be good for him in the end. Therefore, being angry with him also brings up the intense pain. The pain overcomes any benefit I could have received from the anger.

Photo of a toothed hagfish

This photo of a type of hagfish reminds me of stories told in some parts of the world about vaginas with teeth. That’s my image of the “hagbeast.”

The reason I was/am angry with Glenn is because he has yet to take any responsibility for anything. He’s a coward and what he and his hagbeast did was a twisted, sick thing. That’s not anger talking. That’s what I’d say if someone else told me that they’d been through what I have with him and the hagbeast. I have found ways to survive by running, closing myself off, crying myself to sleep and anything and everything else except drugs, although I have gotten drunk once or twice. OK, three times. Over the course of ten years, that’s not so bad. But it all has to end. I can’t do it anymore. I have things that need to be done in real life. The more I try to suppress what I feel about The Hagbeast, featuring GT as her apprentice, the sicker I will become. However, if I can write constructively and know that this is NOT my fault and that what was done was wrong, even though I already know that in my head, I have to believe I can heal.

I know that I’m no angel in this either. Hagbeast has had a ring through his nose for over 20 years. I don’t know if she knows that we were still sleeping together as late as four years after they were married and did so during her entire residency. However, I doubt things would have progressed as horribly as they did if he’d just not ignored me for two years and expected me to be in the same place when he decided to come back. I can understand him wanting to give his marriage a serious shot. I would have hated it, cried a lot, pleaded, bargained and did whatever I could. But in the end, I would have understood. This ain’t my first rodeo. But he just disappeared without a word. By the time he appeared again, he called me for phone sex. Ladies, I think you have some understanding of how . . . I don’t know . . . MIFFED I’d be about that. So I told him, “Sorry, but I am not currently sleeping with men.” He responded, “At all?!” “No. I am not having sex with men at all, nor getting them off online or on the phone.” *CLICK* He hung up on me. I was too pissed off then to regret what happened or realize how hurt he was–and he was definitely hurt–and that he’d loved me. Mom tried to tell me, but I learned to never trust anything unless he says it. He’d burned me too many times on that. Regardless, that’s when the foundations of my personal hell were laid. It took nine years and barely surviving a relative who tried to destroy me for me to come within hell’s reach. I needed Glenn again. He acted interested, but suspicious. I’d sensed someone else listening to us as he talked to me while driving down to Florida for a convention. I thought it was probably some male friend. Men are often jerks when they get together, so I just tried to pretend that I knew nothing.

By the time he arrived back home, he had a very special present waiting for him. First, a prelude.

I have loved Glenn my entire life minus 17 years. I loved him when I hated him and hated him when I’ve loved him. Hell, I love him NOW. However, when I found him and asked about resuming our involvement, I honestly thought the love had passed and that we could be good friends with benefits, meeting a few times a year to catch up on several levels, perhaps share a meal and go back to our own homes. I’d accepted, I thought, that he’d married someone else even if I detested her. Now, since she was such a hagbeast, I didn’t feel any guilt at all about shaking the chandelier with her husband. When Glenn opened up, we were great together. When he shut down, he was frustrating. He wasn’t all that happy about leaving me behind and he was lonely.

Image of a hagfish

Hagfish are real, slimy, disgusting but necessary. I apologize to any hagfish who were hurt by my bastardization of the name of your species.

I’ve loved him nearly as long as she theoretically had and I’d been the one to soothe him when she was being a right cold fish. He didn’t marry me because I’m his “Gregory.” That means that he didn’t love me quite as much as he did hagbeast just as I loved Glenn a little bit more than I loved Gregory. I also wasn’t going to make six figures coming out of training, thereby allowing him to set up his businesses without having to worry about his next meal. In addition, she was able-bodied. There’s nothing I can do about that, so she won. I don’t happen to think that being able-bodied should have been a criteria, but it was. What hurt so much is that anyone who has ever seen us together felt that they were in a room positively crackling with electricity. Given that, why does having an above-knee prosthesis on one leg make any difference? What difference does it make if I developed fibromyalgia? Apparently, a lot of difference. She’s better arm-candy, a better earner and doesn’t limp and spend much time as a patient in a hospital.

Well, as I said, by the time he got back from Florida and after talking to him a few times while he was down there, I decided to make a film of myself talking to him and telling him of this love that came rushing up from its hiding place out of my mind’s eye view. It was corny, I admit. The music in the background was Donny Hathaway singing his masterwork, A Song For You. But it fit.

Here are the lyrics.

A Song For You
Sung by Donny Hathaway

I’ve been so many places in my life and time
I’ve sung a lot of songs I’ve made some bad rhymes
I’ve acted out my life in stages
With ten thousand people watching
But we’re alone now and I’m singing this song to you

I know your image of me is what I hope to be
I’ve treated you unkindly but darlin’ can’t you see
There’s no one more important to me
Baby can’t you see through me
Cause we’re alone now and I’m singing this song to you

You taught me precious secrets of a true love witholding nothing
You came out in front when I was hiding
Now I’m so much better and if my words don’t come together
Listen to the melody cause my love is in there hiding

I love you in a place where there’s no space or time
I love you for my life you’re a friend of mine
And when my life is over
Remember when we were together
We were alone and I was singing this song to you

I love you in a place where there’s no space or time
I love you for in my life you’re a friend of mine
And when my life is over
Remember when we were together
We were alone and I was singing this song to you
We were alone and I was singing this song to you
We were alone and I was singing this song
Singing this song to you

A Song For You lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

You see, by that time, I’d been a journalist for three very busy years and had definitely gotten people’s attention. I was going a few places to conferences and such, talking to people active in black gay circles and in the Welcoming Congregation movement. Indeed, that’s how I made my bones. I covered the 2001 United Methodist Church General Conference. It was one thing after another. My adrenaline was pumping and I was taking pictures and conducting interviews with people I would never have been able to get next to otherwise. I was in heaven! I attended the First Annual National Black Lesbian Conference where I watched an organization being born. Let me tell you, it was a beautiful experience. I got mobbed by the women when they found out who I was.

The lyrics to A Song For You say:

I’ve been so many places in my life and time
I’ve sung a lot of songs I’ve made some bad rhymes
I’ve acted out my life in stages
With ten thousand people watching
But we’re alone now and I’m singing this song to you

I really had lived my life on a stage of sorts. Mine was the digital and glossy paper stage. I’d written a lot of stories about a lot of people and organizations and they really were my life. To my great surprise, people knew who I was and appreciated my work. But I chose to sit on my office floor, with a cigarette (to keep me calm because I was scared to death) and told the absolute truth. I didn’t realize how much I still loved him when I contacted him and that these feelings came up almost the moment I began talking to him. I loved him regardless of his situation. We figured things out once and we could do it again.

I know your image of me is what I hope to be
I’ve treated you unkindly but darlin’ can’t you see
There’s no one more important to me
Baby can’t you see through me
Cause we’re alone now and I’m singing this song to you

I apologized for the way I told him I was, for all intents and purposes, a lesbian. I should have been more sensitive to his feelings because we had such a long and storied history. I told him that he had me if he wanted me and that I wanted him. I opened up completely. I was totally vulnerable.

I didn’t hear from him for two days. I finally caught up with someone I thought was him but, as it turned out, it was the hagbeast. I asked if he liked the movie. The reply was “No.” I said something like “Oh.” Some other thing happened that I can’t remember except that it made me go cold inside and my stomach clench. That’s when I first got a clue it wasn’t Glenn. He’d never talked to me that way. I ran to my bedroom to phone him and tell him that his wife was online pretending to be him and saying whatever else she said besides “It was a joke.” There was no answer. It is only recently that I’ve accepted that this is what happened. I didn’t want to believe that the hagbeast had that much evil in her. Certainly, I didn’t want to believe that Glenn was complicit in her games. It led me to wonder if they plotted the entire thing and laughed at me while they did it. I picture them making love while making fun of me. Even now, the humiliation is such that I really and truly want to die. No kidding. No exaggeration. If someone shot me right now, I would thank them. The only reason I don’t do it myself is because of my girls. They need me. Even an empty shell of a person is better than what would await them at the local shelter. So I live.

I don’t know how I’m going to get through writing this, but I will. I doubt it will be ready for submission even next year. So, I’m looking at two years. I’ve got to keep myself alive for at least two years. OK.

As the watchful eye of Mother Earth is my witness, I just want to die and get it over with, but I can’t. My babies need me.

Shit.

Congratulations if you’ve managed to get this far! For your efforts, I want to reveal two photos I sent to Glenn yesterday and last night.

A picture of my arm showing severe self-inflicted burns on my arm

This is a photo I sent Glenn so that he can see that I was in so much agony there were no words. The only way I could express myself was to burn myself almost to the bone and cut. I did this after the “It was a joke” comment.

Photo of a paper plate with 3 bacon strips next to a paper plate with a stack of pancakes with a dinner knife connecting the two. There are assorted food items in the background.

This photo is filled with symbolism. Some of it would only be evident to someone who knows me. I sent this to him with a letter telling him that I’m writing our story.

The eternal quandary

I qualify everything I’m about to type with the fact that I am sick. Therefore, if a sentence doesn’t make sense or there’s an obviously misspelled word, please forgive me. I’ll probably catch it later, but it has flown through the holes in my brain for the moment.

What to do? What to do? I am so confused. I think I’m in a phase where I actually have an attraction to men. I don’t mean a specific man, but men in general. That scares the daylights out of me! I have no idea what to do. I am not straight. I haven’t been straight since I was about four years old. I admit that most of my intimate emotional and physical relationships have been with males, but that general attraction pretty much stopped in my late 20s. It was then that I came out as bisexual, but I wasn’t a “true” bisexual. I didn’t like men and women equally. I definitely preferred women even though I was involved with a man at the time who was the lover of the woman who became my first female lover. If there was a box I could check that said “It’s complicated,” that would be the one I’d mark.

I think there are two factors at work. The first is that Prof. B brought up the issue of me sleeping with men and having to become monogamous AND completely lesbian. I can understand both desires. If there were a woman who connected with me intellectually, emotionally, socially and sexually, and I with her, and; who didn’t think that developmentally disabled children were things, not people and certainly not “its,” I would be happily monogamous in a lesbian relationship for as long as we both shall live, as it were. I so want that! It physically hurts at times that I don’t have a mate. The yearning is so strong that it threatens to tear me in two. I’ve been alone most of my life. Yet, I am not someone who is emotionally equipped to be alone. I need that person I can trust to have my back. I need that person I can turn to when there is no one else who will listen, even if that person doesn’t have answers for me. I need someone who values me as a person and as a bright, loving person who has a great deal to give to someone else and to the world. I need to know that I really do matter to another person. If I could build that person, she would be a woman with a penis. Really! Thank the good Lord that penises can be ordered online!

The second factor is that I’ve been spending time at the gym, although I haven’t been in over a week because my body feels like crap due to a fibro flare I thought I could exercise through, but couldn’t. While I haven’t really spoken to a lot of men, I do have an opportunity to see more of them up close and personal. They don’t stink the way they used to. Did my sense of smell change? I also saw a couple who fit my two, very different, physical profiles of attractive men. The first profile is what gay boyz call a “bear.” That means big, probably bearded, strong, very masculine. The second is one I didn’t realize I had until men kept physically reminding me of the-ex-who-shall-not-be-named (TEWSNBN, maybe I’ll pronounce that “twos’ nibin”). That type would be a bit on the short side, no taller than about 5’9″; canine teeth that are noticeably sharper, and; arms that are slightly long for his height. As TEWSNBN once said, he looks a bit simian. At the time, I tried to deny it, but he was right. Like it or not, black men with that look immediately grab my attention.

There are a couple of each kind at the gym. I’ve said a few words to one of each type. Nothing I actually thought about, but things that came out of my mouth organically. For instance, there was this machine where I couldn’t lock in the weight and I asked this big, handsome bear of a man if he could help. He was a doll, as “bears” frequently are. He not only showed me how to do it, but explained a couple of the other machines too. The more “simian” guy just happened to catch my eye in the mirror as I saw him leg press an incredible amount of weight and I said, “Wow!” as my eyes grew big. He smiled back and I asked him how long it took him to be able to do that. He said that he’d been at it for years. I couldn’t help but notice how cute he was. Eh, I’m human.

I know that sexuality can go back and forth like a pendulum with some people, me included (I suppose). It’s as though there’s this smorgasbord out there and I want to taste it all. In many respects, I’ve had the sexual adventures of two or three people’s lifetimes. I just haven’t found the right person for me and s/he has yet to find me either. I’m not the kind of person who likes sitting around and waiting for things to happen to her. I like going out there and making things happen for myself. However, I think this is the most difficult task I’ve ever faced. I don’t know how to find the right person or how to be found by the right person. I feel as though I’m alone in a fatally opaque bubble where I shall remain until my dying day. I, like the rest of humanity, do not want to die alone. I have too much love to give and I know that I’ve got one hell of a hot-danged love affair in me full of intense passion, great sex, opening of windows to allow fresh air in and peace. I need to share it with someone who will appreciate it. I think my problem now is accepting that it is possible that person could be male. I’d have to do a huge mental make-over, but if that’s what it takes, then that’s what it takes.

It has occurred to me that maybe my mate could be a male amputee. We could understand each other on a level no one else can. The idea only came to me a few hours ago as I was watching Thursday’s network evening news about vets coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan missing limbs. That led me to think about the photos I should have already taken and have been stressing about because I have zero energy, but they must be done because I’m utterly broke. I don’t do “poor” well because, frankly, I’ve only been poor once in my life and I could have hauled my butt back home, which is what I subsequently did. At any rate, it is my hope that my very tastefully suggestive photos reach a good man among some of the . . . shall we say . . . less than desirables. I know that I have to treat each with respect and I will. However, that doesn’t mean some won’t earn a greater respect than others. There are days and nights when it sucks to be me. I am, however, trying to make the best of it.

Lonely on the Great Lakes