My mind feels like oatmeal. I realized my cat is now my clock. Our day begins between 6 and 7 AM, with her waking me up by degrees. She starts with a quiet, questioning meow, like, you up? Half the time, it makes me laugh, and I get up. Sometimes I fall back asleep, and she begins walking around my head on my pillow. Her meows gradually increase in volume, (signaling her final warning.)
On the rare occasion when this still doesn’t awaken me, she begins pawing my eyelids. Regardless of how tired I am, this cracks me up so much it always works. When she finishes eating, she goes to her climbing tree and leaps up to the second level. I gush over her athleticism and copy that scene from The Nutty Professor.
I shampooed the carpet yesterday. It was my first time using a cleaner I ordered online, but I couldn’t find the instruction manual. Instead, I guessed based on the fill lines on the solution and water tank. I figured out how to operate it and am pleased with the results, with one caveat. When I emptied the dirty water tank, I discovered the instructions were inside it, along with three teeny tiny solution samples.
Fortunately, I rinsed them off, and they were fine, but the instructions didn’t survive. It’s annoying when products are packed this way without a sticker to warn me. Although I whine about the ones that are ridic sticky and leave industrial-strength residue on the product, so I guess it’s no big whoop. I used a pet-safe cleanser and later caught Amelia B sniffing the carpet with her mouth open. It looked so hilarious; I wish I took a photo.
I miss M. We’re quarantining separately, though we don’t live together. I didn’t fully grok how much time we used to spend together before the pandemic. It was typical for us to hang out when he wasn’t working or with his tribe. When I first recognized I miss his physical presence, it scared me. Then a friend told me it’s probably a good thing, and I got over myself.
We’ve talked about what we want to do when quarantine ends. All my suggestions include traveling with both pets. Perhaps with an RV. It’s fun to discuss. It keeps me hopeful. I had a better week (and didn’t spend most of it sleeping or weeping.) Heh. I discovered my songwriting method. I have to start with a short melody on the keyboard, then listen to it repeatedly for a while.
Once it’s stuck in my head, I can add the bass, guitar, and then drums, (with lots of repetitive listening.) After I get those underlying bones, I can begin layering in harmonies with a violin and synthesizer. Last, the vocals. (I start with hums until I find the lyrics.) It takes a while, and my skill level varies by instrument.
I thought I would be able to play any instrument using a midi keyboard, but not when I’m creating a song. (I’m sofa king literal.) I don’t know if this is because I’m learning, or if this is just how my brain works. I suspect the latter. I thought computers would make the process easier. In my case, nope. They just make music production far more affordable for hobbyists. Still have to RTFM. Heh.
The Depression Monster has had me in a choke-hold for a while. I can’t recall ever spending this much time sleeping in my life. I broke the no napping rule with wild abandon. I didn’t even exercise yet, today. (I absolutely will before I go to bed tonight, though.) I need to locate my mouthguard and start over using my massager to force my body to unclench.
Even though I know exactly how to help myself out of this pit of despair, I’m glad I started therapy again. I appreciate the objective voice of a trained professional. It’s kept me from fleeing the state and hunkering down as far from humans as possible. (There are no limits to what I’ll do to prevent being incarcerated in the VA psych ward again.)
My fear is irrational because they can’t hurt me unless I go there and ask for help. Duh. (I forget this when my thoughts start to frighten me.) I’m not in my bed, which is a victory for today. It’s the first time in my life that I love my bed. I’ve always thought it was weird when people mention hating to get up in the morning, but now I get it. Sleeping can be a refuge from life.
I’m so grateful for Sheryl Crow. I’ve been streaming her songs whenever I’m awake. Sometimes while bawling. She’s teaching me the art of songwriting, and her songs soothe my soul in ways I can’t articulate. Between that and working on the drum part of Evanescence’s Wasted On You, I’m hanging in there. I’m good at drumming with hip-hop songs, but Evanescence’s music challenges me.
It’s hard for me to listen to just the drums when Amy Lee is singing. I got a book about syncopation, which is helping. I have massive kit envy over Evanescence’s drummer. He’s got the top of the line Roland electronic kit (drool.) I don’t have the drummer’s ear that would necessitate owning such a setup yet. It’s excellent motivation to keep practicing, though.
I got my Blu-ray set of the show The Good Place. 😆 I’ll be binging it as soon as I finish watching season 2 of Dead To Me on Netflix. Through podcasts, I’ve discovered so many shows I love are created, written, and or produced by a lot of the same people: Karen Kilgariff, Liz Feldman, Michael Shur, Marta Kauffman, Greg Daniels, Mike Judge, Larry David, and Whitney Cummings. (And those are just the names I can remember.)
I’m delighted by how helpful my favorite podcasts have been during the pandemic, too. The episode of Good For You with Whitney Cummings talking to Kat Dennings is fabulous, even though I had to recharge my earbuds halfway through. Heh. I love longer episodes, which is part of why I love Armchair Expert so much. The ability to hold my interest that long is a skill.
Welp, I’d better go work on unclenching my body before I get on the treadmill. Hopefully, my coma-like sleeping marathon is over, so I can get some chores done. I hope your weekend includes lots of laughter. 💜✌🏽
I deleted 595 posts from this blog today. I saved a copy offline with the rest of my journals, going back to age four—forty-six years of attempts to put my thoughts into words. To exist in some form outside of my head. To insist, I’m a whole, real person in a world that consistently begs to differ. Being transracially adopted at birth and raised in a virtually all-white community affords a distinct perspective.
My (adopted) family were blindspot-bigots when I was born. (This is essentially the default state of humans, in case you weren’t aware.) The only black person I knew was my younger sister until I was twelve. Many of the parents of my peers were racist assholes. It sucked so hard as a kid who had no adult like me to talk to about it. Their children treated me significantly better, though. I’m still proud of them as they had so few good adult examples, yet still managed to choose decency. 💜
At seventeen, military people saw me as a whole human with a right to contribute and thrive. (It was heavenly.) I can immediately tell when someone sees me as less than. The energy is fugly, and my body goes on red alert. Being a soldier was like taking a decade long break from the constant hateful onslaught of racists. Tolerance for racism was nonexistent when I served because it’s divisive, destructive, and fraudulent. It allowed me to develop a healthier self-esteem and excel.
I don’t look at people until I’ve sensed whether they’re an immediate danger. I don’t know the logistics of how I do it. I just know I must be good at it because I’m still here. I regularly encounter people who, for whatever reason, decide I’m not a person. It still hurts more when the perpetrator is African American. I’m working on killing off any remnants of my proclivity for putting unrealistic expectations on people merely because they look like me. My bad.
I’m embarrassed by how many times I’ve been burned by the brazenly insecure before I recognized the mythology of black unity. The unity was annihilated by colorism and blackness definition police long before I existed. I don’t think I’ll ever stop crying (on the inside) over this painfully ironic revelation. I spent so much of my childhood anticipating a joyful reunion with my culture upon adulthood, only to find out I’m too often not black right. Fucking ow.
(I still fall for it because I’d rather be wrong about how I initially perceive someone and get my feelings crushed than tell anyone they don’t matter. Also, change is reliable.)
I love meeting black people from other states who immediately ask me to pronounce certain words, then belly laugh. They see me and recognize I had a different experience and want to know how it went. They want to discover if it would make life less painful for their children if they moved here. (Often yes, unless you can afford a bubble, but may the universe help your kids if they ever leave that bubble. Prepare them for reality at least as much as you shelter them from it, eh?)
My parents adopted me at birth, and they loved me, raised me, shaped me, and did their best to prepare me for the world. They both evolved into even better people before my eyes as I grew up. I understood these things at a very young age. I grasped the lack of malice behind accidental jabs made them forgivable. (I told Jesus in my head.) I loved my parents, and I am glad I had them. They were terrific people.
Both my parents’ parents were racists. We visited my dad’s parents once. Heather and I were not allowed to get out of the car because “the dogs didn’t like black people.” I was four, and I remember some things about this incident. I remember refusing to look at my dad’s parents. I remember the ground where the car was parked was muddy, and telling Jesus (in my head) I didn’t want to get out of the car anyway, because it would make me dirty. (Also, my crayons melted on the dashboard.)
My mom’s parents disowned her for adopting Heather and me. Her mom died a racist as far as I know. When I asked my mom why we didn’t have grandparents like the other kids we knew, she explained to me the difference between my family and her family. I can’t recall how old I was, but I’ve never forgotten. From that day forth, I knew my authentic family consisted of my mom, Heather, Steve, my dad, and the foster kids.
Her dad evolved, and guess what? We had a grampa as teenagers!
The rest were my mom’s family (I’m the sole survivor of my reciprocal family.) The children she had with her first husband were my mom’s family, too, but it took a while for me to recognize. Her youngest two children grew up with us adopted kids. There was a clear separation between the adopted kids, the birth kids, and the foster kids. I never felt like my (adopted) parents didn’t want me. But I quickly learned I couldn’t afford to invest emotionally in familial expectations beyond my clearly defined, smaller than advertised, family.
No matter how much money you have, you’re still absolutely going to die. Please act accordingly.
I believe transracial adoption has the potential to be traumatic for all children involved. If asked at any point in my life so far, I would have opted to be aborted rather than born and transracially adopted in a heartbeat. Preborn fetuses don’t have options. I think anyone who lived my life so far would heartily agree. (My mom’s youngest birth daughter concurs, and told me so on multiple occasions, most significantly, right after notably and most shadily securing $15k right after Heather passed. Please pray for her if you do that sort of thing.)
Growing up unvalued by most had a tremendous effect on my self-esteem. Being undervalued happens to POC, regardless of who raised us because we exit our homes to experience the world. It happens to people in the LGBTQIA community, and the emotional abuse begins younger than you’d believe. It happens to disabled people and neurodiverse people. You’re within 4 degrees of a child who was killed by a parent for existing while being neurodiverse. (Have a look at just one basic search.)
I think transracial adoption is more sustainable in 2020 than in 1969.
There are a lot of people who, at first glance, may appear to be valued by most but are not. They might have white skin or wealthy parents. Your eyes don’t tell you much truth about people. If you let them be the sole basis for how you judge others, you’re not experiencing life; you’re peacocking. You’re wasting precious time trying to figure out who and how to impress, rather than building yourself into who you want to be. Hopefully, you have time for the universe to reveal your worth from within, (despite the legion of loud assholes* sharing the planet.)
When I was initially recovering from PTSD, my mom got diagnosed with colon cancer. I was there, and she made me promise not to tell anyone else. (I didn’t.) When she began treatment, I think she divulged to her youngest surviving son, too, but that time is blurry in memory. It wasn’t long after Steve died. I remember taking her to treatments and cleaning her house, but not much else.
The news instantly sent me into a deeply dissociated state. I was still raw with the grief that owned me 24/7 for a solid year. Steve was my anchor to this world, and losing him left me reeling in space. I could barely comprehend the concept of losing my mom. Worse, I couldn’t imagine existing without her: no fucking way, man. I was in my early 30’s, and my mom was my foundation in life, period.
I could only function like a robot operating my avatar from a fortress miles away. Even my vision felt pulled back; I was so numb. I remember going to Target with my mom while she was in treatment, and a woman bumped into her with her cart, injuring my mom’s finger. I had to fight off an overwhelming urge to kill the woman on the spot for daring to bruise my mom’s finger by accident. (I was fiercely protective of my family.) I think she saw it in my eyes because she very quickly turned her cart around and moved away.
Not even a twinge of guilt over that behavior. I’m not going to talk myself into recognizing it’s a little scary, either. Don’t fuck with my mom.
I tried to kill myself when I was six because I didn’t want to live in a world full of adults who were overtly offended by my existence. I still mostly only talked to Jesus in my head at that point. I tried drowning myself but was grossly ignorant of how it worked. I thought repeatedly submerging myself underwater until my lungs felt like they would burst would end me. I kept coming up for air, believing a few more times would do it.
I don’t remember how long I tried, or even what I concluded when I stopped. I just remember I didn’t want to be black anymore because it hurt too much. The only way I knew to stop being black was to stop being. I never told anyone about this or the other time I attempted at twelve. The second time, I had a much better concept of death and how to achieve it (phenobarbital overdose with meds stolen from the foster kids’ medicine cabinet. It was close enough to be memorable.)
It upsets me to remember that time at age six because I was too much a child to understand death, but not too young to long for it. At twelve, I still wasn’t mature enough to consider the aftermath of offing myself. I was in so much pain and didn’t have anyone to speak with about it. Even if I did, I didn’t have the communication skills or words. I had novels, and they held me until I could find my voice. And all the times it disappears, since.
I died a little inside every single time someone stopped my mom to congratulate her on being so holy as to adopt two black babies.
*loud assholes are insecure people with no insight who aren’t yet brave enough to work on healing their wounds, but insist on helping create them in others; and have the means to read this. The internet is a tool. Use it to heal and grow. The information is there if you put in the work at applying it. 💜✌🏽
p.s. If anyone treats you like you’re less than a person, call them on it if you’re brave, but let them go (away.) Your value is purely intrinsic. External sources are like an illusion: Fleeting, unreliable, illogical, unbelievable, etc. You can choose authenticity instead. For the most part, life is generally worth experiencing, even though it seems none of us get to play without paying in tears.
p.p.s. The inability to recognize others of your species as a human ever so strongly resembles an inability to recognize one’s reflection in a mirror. Just saying.
The Depression Monster tried with me earlier. I couldn’t be bothered, (she said as if tears weren’t involved at any point in the thankfully brief struggle to regain homeostasis.) I’ve gotten good at doubling down on my best coping skills. Cut to me on the treadmill, singing while finger drumming on my Midi Fighter 3D. A girl knows how to clap back, yo. 🙃
Singing cadence while marching or running in-formation was one of my favorite activities in the military. I’ve been fascinated by how well singing and moving together as a group bonds people, ever since basic training. It’s also helpful for depression. I understand why John McVie (Fleetwood Mac) walks around while he plays. Music demands motion.
All that you touch, you change. All that you change, changes you. The only lasting truth is change. God is change. – Octavia Butler
Since I know many people are grieving right now, here’s a book (When You Lose Someone You Love, by Joanne Fink) that might make an excellent gift for yourself or someone you know. 💜 It turns out I was wrong when I thought I couldn’t be friends with my neighbor. All relationships hurt, sometimes. Fortunately, we seem to have figured out each other’s boundaries naturally, which made all the difference.
I purchased a Trikke PON-E 48V from her and am going to take full advantage of the bike trails on it this summer (pandemic permitting.) I did manage a test drive just before going total hermit. I had a blast. It felt so fast I plan on wearing my helmet even though I grew up in the ’70s and ’80s (when slamming a door was far more likely to get you yelled at than riding a motorcycle without a helmet.)
Side note: In South Dakota, you can’t cycle without a helmet anymore unless you’re over 18 years of age. (Then, the law allows for all sorts of bad decisions.) Perhaps the message is: Welcome to adulthood. I hope your head doesn’t get crushed, but if it does, it’s your fault, starting now. 😶
I just finished listening to D’arcy Carden on Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend. She shares what she’s working on now that The Good Place is done, and had me laughing so hard, Amelia B is still hiding. Also, Conan completely took Sona Movsesian out, and her laugh is hella contagious. My face still aches, but I feel that same level of confidence to face the world you get from a powerful buff in a video game, only it’s real. Bonus. I’m off to locate and comfort my cat. 💜✌🏽
I’ve lost my ability to speak again, but I can still sing. Weird, right? Whatever, embracing it. My band leader yelled (jokingly) at me to practice a duet on Skype, and it triggered my inner soldier who hears a firm order and obeys it without question, (then immediately questions thinks about it.) 🤭 I suppose I can’t whine about being easily programmable after volunteering for the military. (I’ll take Things You Don’t Consider Before Joining, for $1000, Alex. 💜)
I’ve been creating music ever since. I made a song, but it’s incomplete. It’s a sandwich with nothing in the middle because it’s not my song. I just heard the bread and created it because I’m a hopeful romantic. Sigh. I think it’s Karen Kilgariff’s song. I don’t know her personally, but I adore her. I’ve been listening to her comedy albums on repeat just to keep from having the panic attack that keeps promising to be a doozy. 🙄
I’m a little floored by how well it works. Usually, when I find a comedy show I immediately love, I savor it and only rewatch or listen when I’m stapled to the floor by the Depression Monster. However, both Live at the Bootleg, and I Don’t Care, I Like It (with Drennon Davis) are hilarious over and over again. Bonus. I decided to make a video for the empty sandwich because it felt a bit more complete (and I have mild OCD muted by Prozac.) 🙃
(Below is just the audio in Creative Commons so other artists can play with it.) 💜
The Irish singers are loops with which I’m in love. 🥰 I don’t have words beyond Nah. Also, Guitar Hero said, “It doesn’t suck.” (Compliment in Babyboomerbonics ((say it three times fast.))) 😆 Okay, I have to get back to pseudo-socializing (going to try the Zoom with M) because we all know I can’t slack off, or I’ll get too weird at the speed of light. 💜✌🏽