Confrontation…sucks.

I’ve been up all night dealing with a very stressful, emotional and frustrating situation here in my home. Let me start by telling you all that I am not good at confrontation. There’s history with me and confrontation…history that goes all the way back to early childhood if I am truthful, which I always aim to be!

I don’t believe that anyone likes confrontation, when you must directly deal with a person verbally, in person, about a subject or issue that you most likely disagree on or one of you has a problem with. For instance, when I was a kid and I did something out of line I knew that I would have to face my father, a former US Marine and police officer. Those were my first dealings with confrontation. I generally lost and the lectures could be brutal.

When I moved out of my parents’ house at 18, a week after graduation, to move in with my then “boyfriend” you KNOW that caused some serious ill feelings. I was raised old-school. No sex before marriage. No living together before marriage. Etc. I was starting to grow angry with people by this point and I was speaking my mind; fighting back.

Then I started to drink at 19…I would get into arguments, fist-fights and verbal boxing matches; all just various forms of human confrontation.

I out grew the rowdiness of my early 20’s after a few years. I quit drinking (I was one who did not NEED alcohol, it just made me mean and into a total asshole at times). When I quit drinking at 32 I got into counselling, talk therapy on a weekly basis. My temper got much better as I learned the reasons behind some of my anger with the world and with certain people in my sphere. I learned to use tools of conversation, discussion, cooperation and compromise. I became a MUCH better person and learned how to deal with people in a much more mature and civil way. Still, I did not like confrontation and would avoid it if possible.

I spent the last 2-3 days in my room at my home with the door closed. I came out to eat, us the bathroom and tend the dogs. They stayed with me, of course. They wouldn’t have it any other way. I needed to think. I needed to be alone. I had to deal with my best friend about her plan going forward now that she has had her knee replaced and has gotten on disability so she has an income. She’s been staying with me for months, and prior to her staying here I was doing many things to help her survive without an income. I was happy to do it as she is my best friend. I let her stay here, with her cat, believing at first that it was to help her through a bad spot. It started as a temporary thing. Her plan was to go to rehab and then move in with her son. That never materialized.

She had her knee replaced a month ago. She had been dealing with not being able to use it for years, and then in November 2018 she ended up in the hospital for about 6 weeks with a major infection in the knee area that ate 2 inches of her shin bone, the knee (what was left of it by then) and did lots of damage. The infection was so serious that she had to be hospitalized and IVed with heavy-duty antibiotics. When she got out of the hospital I brought her here because she could not navigate stairs at her own house, had no heat, no running water and was on borrowed time before the electric got cut off. The house was also in default, so it wasn’t going to be hers much longer. Thus, I didn’t mind having her here; taking care of her and helping her through the recovery.

I helped her apply for disability and insurance. Finally a month ago she had the bad knee replaced with a titanium one, and rods inserted in both the shin bone and the thigh bone to pull it all together. It was a pretty successful surgery and she’s healing well. She’s not doing her physical therapy though, which aggravates the hell out of me. Her knee won’t last long or work very well without the therapy. She’s not making a good choice by forgoing it.

So, I’ve been at this for about a year now. And lately it’s been on my mind that she really needs to find a permanent place to live. Rent a room from someone in town or something. She really only needs a room as that’s where she spends 90% of her time. A room in a house with access to the bathroom and kitchen. That would be perfect for her and easy enough to find. But I doubt she will even look for one.

Tonight she got on me asking why I was in my room and so quiet. I had wanted to wait to sit down with her and have a nice conversation; explain to her what I was feeling and what I needed and what I expected from her. Finally , I told her. I need to get my space back and she needs to find a permanent place to live. Sleeping on the couch in my back sunroom just is not a permanent thing and was never intended to be from the beginning.

We get along great. I’ve loved having her here and loved helping her out. I love her cat. It’s been very nice. It’s just that I don’t want it to be permanent. She needs to get out on her own and get back to taking care of herself. She needs to find a room, get a used car, take care of her outstanding business and get back to living her own life. She lived alone for years in her big old house, right up until the infection in her knee where she had to be hospitalized. She couldn’t go back to that house then because of the lacking facilities. And I didn’t mind helping her out; best friends DO that kind of stuff.

I am very frustrated with how it went. She didn’t take it well. Didn’t even let me finish talking to her. All she heard was “move” and she shut down completely. Wouldn’t have a rational conversation with me about it. Wouldn’t let me fully explain or tell her my ideas of a plan to help her get this done. She raged and cried. Then she flipped me off and told me I wasn’t her mother. I didn’t understand and I got ANGRY at that point; all civil conversation, negotiation and discussion went up in smoke at that moment. Our voices were both raised and we were both frustrated and angry with one another. It was obvious that we had very different visions of the future.

Because she IS my bestie and I love her like a very close sister, I do not relish the idea of her cutting me out of her life over this. I do not see this as so drastic that we have to remain angry and not speak to each other ever again, resulting in the death of our close bond and wonderful friendship. I understand that she wants to continue to live here. I gave her an option of renting my spare room from me, but she insists that she can’t possibly handle paying that much rent. I won’t even go into the amount, just let me say it’s everything except food, personal toiletries, and cell phone costs…and it’s very reasonable. I know what she will start receiving in SSDI benefits and I know it’s completely do-able, leaving her plenty of cash for incidentals over the month. Hell, I do it on LESS than what she gets! You just have to be creative, smart and active in making it happen for yourself. Hell, I was making it happen for BOTH of us for a LONG ASS TIME! Give me a break, she could easily make it work if she just put her mind into it and TRIED or even made the CHOICE to TRY and COMMIT herself to DOING IT for HERSELF! I have all the confidence in her that she CAN do this, she just has to WANT to do it. Plain and simple.

I wanted to sit down -back hiding in my room – and write about this immediately. I had to get it out of my head and make sure I am not being unreasonable. I suggested she take the next SIX weeks to pull everything together – plent of time for anyone! And I also offered my assistance with anything I could help with during her search for the right arrangement.

She didn’t want to hear any of it. Stubborn. Irrational. Stupid. That’s how she’s acting currently. I do hope she will think about this and adopt a better, more winning attitude. This isn’t the end of the world, it’s just a change that has to happen in her life. I should have thought the whole thing through and made sure she understood that I didn’t want this to be an on-going thing. I want my zen room back. I want my privacy back and I want my bestie to visit and hangout like we used to – each living in our own places. Hind-sight is 20/20 they say. I’m sorry it ended up in a battle. I hope we can discuss it civilly at some point. Of course, she says she’s moving out immediately; going to Crossroads, the homeless shelter…maybe she said that just to evoke some pity, maybe she’s serious. Its a damned shame if she is serious. She’s better than this, she’s smart and resourceful and can easily deal with this if she’ll just put herself out there and DO IT. No one can do this for her. Time to get back on her own, like we all strive to be; self-sufficient and proud.

Anyway, that was my night. I hated it. I wish I had waited like I planned, but she badgered me about it and I had to tell her my request tonight. I guess we will see what happens now. I want the best for her. I hope she makes good, solid decisions for herself As she said, I’m NOT her mother, son, or wife. And she’s not any of those things to me. While I felt bad that her family wouldn’t help her out with a place to live, so I stepped in, but I did my part. I did all I could do for her and now it’s time for her to get back out there and reclaim her life. I know she can do it. I wish her the very best and I will be here if she wants to talk, wants my help with moving or wants any advice about anything I can assist with now.

Some days (and nights) just don’t pan out like you expect them to. This was one of them.

I need some SLEEP and to collect my thoughts. I might even call my therapist and make an appointment. I need a mental tune up after last night. Really bad.

Hope you are all doing well! Peace!!! ~MB

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#YouAreEnough Challenge Day 2-5

Due to the mid-term elections and my obsession with them, I have not kept up with the 30-day challenge #YouAreEnough.  I am about to do days 2, 3, 4, and 5 here.

Day 2: A special encounter that almost felt like an angelic experience.  An interesting thing to think about.  I once got into a taxi in Gaithersburg MD after working painting a house that day and the taxi driver was an older white gentleman.  I was a bit down and he seemed to notice and struck up a conversation with me.  The 20-minute ride really made me think, he seemed very intuitive to my plight – I was struggling with whether I would stay in DC or move back to Maine at the time.  He gave me some good advice.  The next day I needed a taxi so I called the same company and requested him…they told me they had no one by that name working for them…I swear this guy was an angel in disguise.

 Day 3: Share a time you felt lost and how you got found.   When I left the military in September of 1984 I never realized how difficult it would be for me to reintegrate into civilian society.  I had a really tough time adjusting and was very lost. I drank heavily, got my first DWI within 2 weeks of my discharge, resulting in a broken leg and a concussion plus loss of my license and dignity. By January of 1985, I was miserable. I missed the Army, the organization and always knowing what was expected of me. I missed the discipline and at 22 I still NEEDED that discipline in my life. I re-enlisted for 2 more years of active reserve duty. I was legally in the reserves, I just got them to assign me to duty that I had to report to every day for a couple of years. Once I put that uniform back on I refound myself and my purpose for that time. In 1986 I finished and the second time I didn’t look back, but I do wish today that I had stayed in and done 25 years.  I would have been finished and collecting a nice pension right now.  Hindsight is 20/20.

Day 4: Share a time you received life-altering news, good or bad, that impacted your life.  It was August 31, 1992, I went back to the clinic where I had gone to be tested for HIV – everyone was being tested at the time, so I figured what the hell and got myself tested (also at the urging of my therapist at the time).  The counselor saw me come in and quickly got me into a private space where she blurted out “I’m so sorry, you are HIV positive”.  I will never forget that day, those words, or her pained look when she told me. Come to find out I was the first woman she had had to tell they were positive. Back in 92 we still didn’t have good drugs to suppress the virus and stop it from becoming AIDS. My entire life changed during that minute. I felt like I had an expiration date stamped on my forehead.  Since then I have come great strides. It’s been 26 years, I am happy, healthy and my viral count is Zero – undetectable – meaning the virus is not active in my body and the drug cocktail I take every day is working well. I am lucky. I lost many friends early in the discovery of this epidemic. I still miss them and grieve for the lives that they missed because of this horrible disease. I fondly remember the days before we knew anything about HIV/AIDS and how wild and crazy they were. I live a safe, sane life now and I take care of myself and my loved ones because in the end, that’s all you really have in this life.

Day 5: Share a time when you felt unimaginable loss and how you came to realize that you were ENOUGH to handle it.  The only thing I can relate to this one is the break up of my 14 yr relationship with my ex. I never thought we would split; I seriously thought we’d be together to the end. So, life without her and without all that was entailed – the farm, the horses, the animals, and the money – seemed very foreign to me. It took me a couple of years to adjust to my new circumstance of being single and having to look at rebuilding my life as such. I went through all of the emotions, from grief to anger to acceptance and then I moved on and have put together a pretty comfortable life for myself today. I dated a few other women along the way and last year I found the right woman to compliment my life.

There! I am now caught up. I will write the Day 6 blog after dinner tonight.  I hope you enjoyed this quick one, as there will be more coming!

#youareenough

Peace!  ~  MB

Fleeting Thoughts…that hang around…

I have been doing a LOT of thinking lately; deep thinking, light thinking, silly stuff, and just plain random shit runs through my mind in a constant flow of factoids and ponderings.  Most of it has been the result of changing anti-depressant medication.  Whoa…I didn’t know it would be this rough!  My dreams have been off-the-charts wild as fuck.

Every day is not rainbows, I know. Some days just suck, but we struggle through them toward that time when we lay our heads down at night, close our eyes and hope tomorrow is even a tiny bit better.  We use the resources available to us and we figure it out somehow.  That’s being human.  That’s just part of being alive and living life.

I can be a little complex at times.  I have walked a few different trails in my life and of course, I am the sum of those experiences.  What happens to us sometimes defines us in very specific ways.  I have been thinking about that a lot the last couple of weeks.  Who I am and why I am, crazy shit like that.

My girl is long distance, which has its own set of fucked up challenges.  I miss her all the time, but this is how it works for us.  It’s not perfect, but I love her and don’t want to stop.  She’ll be here for 4 days in a month, I’m so in need of her visit!  Being with her just makes me feel so much better; relaxed and happy.  It’s very hard not being able to be there for her when she might need me.  I can only do so much over the phone, Skype and text…which frustrates the fuck outta me at times.

She works so hard and is managing her daughter with special needs getting to and from school, daycare, feedings, etc…it’s all a LOT for her.  She has some help there, I know, but I still wish like hell I could be there.  I naturally worry about HER health and well-being during all that goes on in her days.  I encourage her to eat and take care of herself, but the stress on her is pretty formidable right now and I feel the tension in her voice.

There are moments when I wonder if managing a relationship with me doesn’t just make things that much harder for her. But I know that we love each other and I couldn’t – or won’t – stop now.  I’ve committed myself to her and will just continue to try to bring good things to her life; make memorable contributions as I can.

Sure, I have my insecurities and I tend to over-think sometimes.  She is very into the “in the moment” mind space. Sometimes that throws me a bit.  I like to think forward a little.  And being a writer and a lover of words, I sometimes either read or interpret their meanings incorrectly.  It has caused me a bit of angst on more than one occasion, and we’ve dealt with it.

Sometimes I’m afraid of loving her so much.  Sometimes I feel a little in the way.  I love her so deeply and really try to keep things calm and focused for her.  The less drama on my end the better, so I stay very chill and think things through.

I’m starting to ramble; my head is so full of stuff lately, and the med changes aren’t helping me much.  Today I was on the verge of tears for a couple of hours after having a negative experience at the pharmacy and with my prescriptions.  It aggravated me so much I drove angrily home with tears in the corners of my eyes.  I hate feeling that way.  Maybe it IS easier just not to feel at all.

 

 

 

Focus, Happiness, and the News

Today is one of those days that my mind seems to be going in all different directions with my thoughts.  I am really struggling to focus on one thing at a time…thus nothing is really being accomplished here in my world at the moment.  So I sat down here and I will write about it, perhaps that will help me to get some resemblance of order going on in my noggin.

Ok, let me get to this.  I’ll start with 5 things I am happy for today.

  1.  Waking up feeling pretty good.  Not feeling sick or irritable today.  This is good.
  2.  Waking up to sloppy dog kisses and Nola trying to shove Lulu off of my chest so she can have some up-close and personal kind of loving.  Those dogs love me, this is good.
  3. It’s Saturday,  I have the day off and the weather is perfect at 76 degrees.  This is good.
  4. My mom called this morning to check on me and told me she’s adopting a little older dog who was in an abusive situation with a former breeder.  The dog ended up at the local rescue with broken ribs!  I’m super happy for both the dog and Mom, this is good.
  5.  My best friend and I are once again on speaking terms and hanging out together.  This is good.

The condition of my country right now worries me very, very much.  Trump is driving this country to hell.  I fear for all of us.  And it’s so blatant what he is doing, yet there is still this huge contingent (like 30%) of Americans who actually “like” this man and “like” what he is doing, his policies and his agenda.  THAT is the fucking scariest part of all of this!  That there are actually people, whole swaths of them, that adore the evil man.  It’s just not right and makes no sense to my rational brain.

I get far too emotionally invested in this lately.  It’s part of what is stopping me from pursuing the things that make me happier.  All that is happening is rolling around in my head, making tons of noise and causing me to be super agitated.  I am in a state of perpetual anger and outrage.  I feel helpless – as I am sure many do – to do anything to stop some of this senseless madness, like the separation of children from their loving parents at our southern border.  The problem is that I don’t know how to ignore this and let it go.  I don’t want my country to become this land of “no one cares” and I don’t want to continue to see so many people suffer due to one man’s ignorance, greed and hunger for power.  The tension in America is palpable.  People don’t know what to do.

Trump is so power hungry.  Yesterday he said he wants “his people” to “sit at attention” when he speaks, like they do in North Korea for Kim Jong Un.  He uses rhetoric and speaks so cavalierly about brutal dictators who use torture, murder and mass incarceration to govern their countries.  He wishes he could do the same.  Sad for America.  The guy is just a blithering fucking idiot.  He loves these brutal dictators and wishes to emulate them in all respects.  He has no ethics and is guided by no morals that would tell him that ruling by brutality is just wrong.  No, he openly wishes to be treated just like they are treated – with a fake respect borne of fear of death.

There are a virtual TON of legal troubles brewing for Trump and his family.  Now especially with Paul Manafort, his campaign manager, in jail awaiting trial.  And his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen now considering giving the federal prosecutors some cooperation in order to reduce the sentences he will be facing when he goes to trial.  That’s just 2 of the men that Trump surrounded himself with, and did business with, and cheated the country with over the years.  Manafort is a direct link to Russia and Putin.  That’s a known fact; a given.  What he alone knows will cause Trump a whole heap of problems both personally and politically.  It will be interesting to watch as this all plays out over the next few weeks.  I don’t think it will be long now before either of these two traitors are talking and giving up highly incriminating info on the big orange traitor in our White House.  What gets done with that information is yet to be seen, I know it will be a fucking mess and the Republicans in our Congress will swear it’s all “lies” and try to protect his stupid ass all because they are so afraid of him.

Here’s a fun video from Robert Reich, our fearless leader of the Resistance here in America.  He’s a great source of up-to-date information and videos about what is going on inside of our government.  It’s with guys like this that we will win, good over evil.

How to Survive Summer with Trump in Office

I have turned off my TV for the rest of the weekend.  I just had to do it.  I seem to be unable to watch television without watching MSNBC or CNN, NECN, or local news.  So I had to just turn it OFF.  I am going to try to leave it off for the remainder of today and tomorrow.  I can read, write and do lots of other stuff that will help me release some of this stress that’s building up inside of me from all of the bad news I view and absorb.

I’m sure I will do more blogging or at least some personal journaling.  Writing helps me so very much.  In Groups this week we did a thing on our favorite things, so perhaps I will do a blog about my favorite things next, just for fun.

I hope you are all enjoying this weekend. It’s a gorgeous Saturday here in Maine. Today is Portland Maine’s LGBT Pride parade and festival.  I was going to go, but decided against it when I got up this morning.  Next Saturday is the local Pride parade here, so i will have that one to attend and have fun at.  We have a heat wave coming this way beginning Monday, supposed to get up into the mid-90s here, which is super hot for Maine!  I’m going to make sure my AC units are fully functioning today!

Stay cool!  And be kind!

Peace  ~  MB

 

Nola is Turning 10!

2018-06-07 17.33.58Tomorrow is Miss Nola’s birthday.  She was born on June 10, 2008, so she will turn 10 tomorrow.  The obligatory McDonald’s breakfast will be served to her, and she will be hyper-excited when I wake up and say “Happy Birthday Nola!”  She KNOWS what those words mean:  cheeseburger and fries….and a ride in the car!  And Lulu will be just as excited, they will both jump all around on me on the bed and bark for me to get up.

Nola has been with me since July 31, 2008…the day I found her inside of a cardboard box, with the words “Free Puppy” written on the outside.  I looked inside and saw 2 tiny eyes and a puppy about as big as a guinea pig.  She was tiny, adorable, shaking and scared.  I fell instantly in love, and scooped her up right there. She and I became partners.  The deal was sealed, I told the young woman with the box I would take her and she told me that Nola’s mother was a dashound and her father was a chihuahua…thus she’s a “Chiweenie”.  Funny name for a funny little tiny puppy.

First thing I did was go to the pet store and buy her all the necessary puppy equipment.  I was in New Orleans Lousianna…so I named her NOLA, after the city she was born in.  It fit.  It was appropriate.  I also call her “boo-boo” affectionately.  She likes it.  Nolie-boo-boo.  She traveled with me, loved the car, trucks, u-hauls – anything that moved.  I even took her for rides on my motorcycle when I had it.  The dog just loves to BE with me, wherever I am going, whatever I am doing.

For those of us who have chosen not to have human children, a pet can become the “child” that we need to nurture.  Nola has been my best friend.  My confidant, and my sole source of comfort in times of sadness or grieving.  She’s loved me unconditionally; no matter if I was a good person or a bad person on any particular day. She just loves me, period.  And I never take that love for granted.  I make damned sure that I love and pet her as much as possible.  I keep her near to me all the time.  If I must leave her home, like when I go to work, I tell her where I am going and when I will be back.  Perhaps, you think I am nuts.  It’s a dog.  Yes, it’s a dog, but she has feelings and instincts.  She knows when I am preparing to leave and she likes the reassurance that I will be back.  She’s smart.

I love my dogs.  Nola has given me a great 10 years of unconditional support.  Lulu joined our family unit 3 years ago, and she’s just as important!  She’ll be right next to Nola tomorrow morning, celebrating Nola’s AWESOME 10th Birthday!!!!

Peace!  ~MB

2018-04-10 15.33.51

Ice cream love.

Fake F*cking News America

Fake News.  It’s a term we hear EVERY DAMNED DAY here in America.  It’s a new kind of term, one developed by the current MORON occupying our Oval Office: Donald J. Trump.  What DJT actually “means” by screaming or tweeting “FAKE NEWS” is that the news is actually TRUE, but it’s in disagreement with what he WANTS people to believe.  It’s sick, and it’s completely CRAZY.

Our great journalists and reporters bring us the news and reliable, honest news agencies stand solidly behind them, yet our “President” has the audacity to deny actual FACT BASED reporting of events, conversations, e-mails, TWEETS, and photographs, videos and audio recordings.  The man is full-on batshit crazy!!!  He’s working for Russia, it’s obvious, and cajoling with mobster-style attorneys, racist pig lobbies, like the NRA and the RNC.

He’s taken money from foreign governments, and may possibly be illegally occupying the White House due to direct Russian assistance.  White House bought and paid for in Rubles.

The political landscape in the United States right now requires about 4 of the 2’x3′ Walmart white-board material, all glued (or taped) together and that’s the kind of surface you would need to lay this out – if you use rather small photos – I can’t imagine what the FBI’s board looks like on this Cohen case alone!?!!!  It’s become a giant ball of fucked-up shenanigans!

Watching the newscasts is like watching a reality TV show, or a really, really deep episode of Law & Order and Scandal all balled together.  It’s disgusting and shameful to the American people.  THIS is NOT what we wanted, or expected when we held our 2016 presidential election.

It’s been about 2 weeks since I typed the above paragraphs, and things have continued to rapidly decline -as if it wasn’t already bad enough – here in the USA.  It’s just crazy and out of control.  Our government is no longer “governing” but is spending all of it’s energy destroying our country, fighting amongst themselves, stealing from the tax coffers and creating complete mayhem in the press.   It’s fucking scary.  It’s NOT right or normal.

I fear that we are in far more serious trouble here than ANY of us realize or think.  People are becoming numb to the news coverage or having trouble believing what is right and what is wrong, depending on what news outlet they choose to watch.  The government has the Trump channel now and Fox News to spread they hate and propaganda.  Just like Nazi Germany decades back….what the fuck America???? What the holy fucking hell are we going to do about this?  Are we really going to allow the white supremacist, bigoted Nazi fucks in our White House and around the country, run the show now?  Are we really going backwards in time and humanity here?  WTF???