Once Upon a Time

It’s officially Thanksgiving Day here.  I don’t celebrate holidays.  I’ve learned too much truth since becoming an adult.  This particular holiday is the worst one in my opinion.  Today marks the day that the genocide of humans with brown skin began.  Starting with the spread of disease to the Natives in America during the festive feast day.  We’ll never know how many were killed in the initial onslaught of smallpox, and the like.  That, of course, was followed up with war, massacre, and the systematic stripping of all Native heritage, which was forcibly replaced with Christianity.  We took their lives, their land, their pride, and their livelihood.  But that wasn’t enough.  We even went after their spirituality.  And when we were done, we forced them to live in poverty on reservations of land we didn’t want.

Of course, there were a few times that the land turned out to have value, such as gold or oil.  Then we took it back, and told them to move.  I can’t think of a single atrocity that wasn’t committed against the Native peoples of this continent.  If I left one out, I don’t want to know about it.  I can’t sleep as it is.  I feel the weight of the evil perpetrated on the Native Americans.  I feel guilty.  I didn’t exist at the time, and had no voice to object to these actions.  But I have always lived on their land.  When I discovered how we acquired these lands in graphic detail and photos, I didn’t run away in horror.  I stayed and continued living my life.  I didn’t know where to go or how to get there when I was a child.

After I got my drivers license and a car, I drove to the nearest reservation and asked to speak with the chief.  An old man came and talked to me.  I don’t know if he was the chief, or if they even had one.  I knew nothing of tribal government at that time.  I apologized for living on their lands.  He didn’t say anything to that.  He didn’t forgive me, or tell me to burn in hell.  Just silence.  I took his non-response to mean, “Live with this knowledge.”  It wasn’t a friendly chit chat by any stretch.  Some questions I asked, he ignored.  After the silence went on for a while, I’d ask a different question.  I didn’t know how to tell if someone was angry or bitter at that time.  I’m pretty sure I still don’t.  So I don’t know how he felt about my showing up with questions out of the blue.

Part of me expected him to impart some wisdom on me, and tell me that they recognized my brown skin as a commonality among us, along with the struggle it causes.  Instead, he told me that most of them didn’t like black people.  It hurt my feelings, and made me feel a little bit unsafe.  He went on to say that he didn’t hate black people.  He said we’re all niggers to the white man.  The Natives are prairie niggers, and I was just a regular nigger.  It was my first time hearing the term prairie nigger.  Not my last.  The entire exchange showed me that I was ignorant of their culture, even though I felt like I was part of it because of my Native foster siblings.  It was a hard day.  I was 14 at that time.  I went back several times after that with more questions.

The east river tribes are Oglala.  They have it better than the west river folks on Pine Ridge reservation.  My Mom refused to accept foster babies from Pine Ridge.  I never got an answer out of her as to why this was the case.  I figured it was too far away.  It’s about a 5-7 hour drive, depending on whether or not you’re afraid of highway patrolman.  It’s flat and you can see for miles in all directions.  You can drive for an hour without seeing a single other vehicle.  So if you want to drive 90 MPH, and your car is in good repair, go for it.  Just slow down if you see a patrol car in the median.  I’ve never gotten a speeding ticket, and I drive 90 when I go west.  And south.  I did get pulled over in Nebraska or Iowa.  I just got a warning.  I was doing 85 MPH in a 75 MPH zone.  Like it matters at that point.

I went to a few Powwows.  I liked seeing them fully dressed in headdresses and the rest of the garb.  They dance and sing and beat on drums.  The things I noticed that are differences are that the Lakota people speak with an accent that is very distinct to my ears.  And their urine smells different than African and Caucasian urine.  It’s sweeter smelling.  I know that’s a strange thing to observe, but when you consider how I helped my Mom with the foster babies, it’s easier to understand.  My Mom used cloth diapers, and safety pins with plastic protectors on them.  I never changed a single diaper.  I didn’t have the dexterity and strength in my hands to safely replace the pins.  My Mom would have me stand beside the changing table and make sure the baby stayed on it while she answered the phone sometimes, though.

I’m sensitive to odors.  In my last apartment, the teenaged girl who lived above me spilled her nail polish remover on the kitchen counter, and I smelled it in my apartment.  When I asked her about it, she thought it was amazing that I could smell it.  Amazing is not the word I would have chosen.  Sensitivity to odors is a curse.  Try running in formation while several guys around you are sweating out Tequila from the night before.  They weren’t the only ones sprinting to the curb periodically to vomit.  But I’d rather run with that all day than get in an elevator with a guy who bought into those Axe commercials.

I know a lot of people who have no idea that Native Americans still exist.  They live their entire lives without thinking about them a single time.  It’s a hidden problem.  Most stay on or near the reservations.  Many join the military, but are often thought of as Latinos.  I don’t fault them for the misidentification.  It’s purely ignorance, not malice.  So many people grow up without ever being exposed to people of color.  They see us on TV or in movies, but that’s the extent of their knowledge.  And TV and movies are fantasy.  You can’t rely on the information, and should probably assume it’s wrong until you have a chance to do your own research.

I grew up in a city that was named, The Whitest City In America, by U.S. News and World Report magazine.  I wasn’t surprised.  I was the only black kid in my school district at times.  Heather was a year behind me, so each time I advanced to a new school, I had to be the only black kid all over again until my Junior year in High School.  Then a few black families moved into town.  I hated school until university.  I did well on the Iowa Basics, PSAT, and SAT.  I made the honor role each time.  I also had the record for most days missed.  I skipped a lot.  My Mom got tired of fighting to get me to go.  My last semester was at Augustana University as a compromise to my desire to drop out.  I liked that much better.  I lost my High School Diploma after only looking at it once.  It probably ended up with Heather.  After she died, my sister, Greta, went through her things.  I was too stunned to be of any assistance at that time.  I don’t communicate with Greta.  She’s a sociopath, and tried to kill me when I was an infant.

The last time we spoke, she told me that my Mom should never have adopted us. (Me, Heather, and Steve).  It was creepy.  She doesn’t communicate with any of my remaining siblings.  My Mom had a strained relationship with her.  She came to visit once, and stayed with my brother, Guy.  While he was at work, she snooped through every inch of his house.  I don’t remember how he found out, but he vowed to never allow her in his home again.  The older, birth kids were not close.  There’s a lot of history that I probably won’t get into much.  My oldest brother, Gary, was forced to get shock treatments when he was a teenager.  I think it had something to do with depression and drug use.  I wasn’t alive yet.  I overheard that he never forgave my Mom for putting him through that.

I only saw him a few times in my life.  My impression was that he was my coolest brother.  I was completely fascinated by him, and loved him immediately.  He was soft spoken, and quiet, but when he did speak, it was deep and wise to me.  He even looks gentle.  I’m glad I got to meet him, even if it was just those few times.  I never met Skip.  He was my Dads oldest son from his previous marriage.  Skip moved to Canada during the Vietnam war and never came back for obvious reasons.  The 60’s had a clear impact on my older siblings.  I have mental images of how they dressed, and the music they favored when I was young.  Bell bottom corduroy pants in a burnt sienna brown that made a swoosh noise when my brother walked.  But I don’t remember which brother, or any other part of the clothing.  Weird.

I should be sleeping as it’s the wee hours of Thanksgiving morning.  I couldn’t sleep knowing today will be celebrated by millions of oblivious or callous Americans by stuffing themselves with food, watching football, and the like.  I doubt the vast majority will think about the Natives at all.  And if they do, they will think of them as Indians, even though it’s an incredibly ignorant way of thinking.  It blows my mind that it’s 2015, and most people still refer to Natives as Indians.  There is even a school debate topic titled Indian Country, that was drafted here in South Dakota, within a few miles of a reservation.  When I told them how astonished I was that it was being used, they told me that it was okay, because the Indians are okay with it.  Unfuckingbelievable.

Reality is more like, they asked 1 Native about it, and he or she didn’t care either way, and just wanted to go about his or her business.  They became the spokesperson for all Natives on the issue, and validated the ignorance yet again.  Obviously, it wasn’t going to get changed no matter what the Native they asked thought about it.  If 100 Natives gathered outside the building where this decision was made, and peacefully protested to show their disgust at the ignorance, it wouldn’t have made any difference.  They do what the fuck they want to do, and we have no right to feel offended by it.  America.  Where you can buy absolute power in order to practice absolute corruption.  The peasant majority doesn’t know they are the peasants yet.  Denial is strong.  White people are not used to being subjugated by other white people on this scale, and have a hard time recognizing when it’s happening.

So we peasants, in our denial, fight against one another, causing the corruptors to gain even more power. Until finally, many band together in order to kill off the rest of us with brown skin.  And then we all lived happily ever after.  The End.  Sigh.

Napping Causes Rambling

I had a good nap today.  It’s rare for me to nap, but I needed it.  Prior to laying down, I was sitting on my sofa, rocking, and my cat came and sat on my lap.  My immediate reaction was to tell her, ‘Get down’.  Then she meowed back at me like, ‘We’ve been over this!  When you’re seated, I sit in your lap.  It’s been 3 years now.  What’s wrong with you?’.  She’s very vocal, and I always imagine what she means, and then respond accordingly.  So I apologized, and pulled her into my lap.  She started purring loudly, and I called her My Little Purrminator.  It was a cat intervention.  I was cranky from lack of sleep, and needed a nap.

So I grabbed a quilt and my pillow, and turned on Everybody Loves Raymond with low volume.  Sleeping with the TV on is less restful, but it prevents nightmares if I pick a cartoon or sitcom.  I had the window cracked open because it’s been in the upper 30’s F, and I’m usually hot.  The good thing is that I very rarely turn on my heat.  Being on the top floor probably has a lot to do with it.  I keep the inside temperature at least at 63 F, but if it rises above 65, I crack a window.  My winter comfort zone.  My bed is alongside the window wall, so it’s perfect to sleep with the window cracked.  Well, except for the fact that I have a Temperpedic mattress.  The cold turns it into a rock that gradually conforms to my body as I heat it up.  So when I first lay down, I have on pajamas and socks.  Then I gradually strip down to just a tshirt as I get too hot.  My weighted blanket has glass beads in it, and they stay cold so I put it on top of my comforter.

My cat has her own weighted blanket, which is my old one.  She’s possessive, which is something I didn’t know animals did.  She also has a Hello Kitty pink fleece blanket that she drags around.  When Miles tried to use it to sleep with when they were spending the night, she got loud about it.  I told him to give her back her blanket, and gave him a quilt instead.  We all laughed at how she reacted.  Miles’ Mom has 2 cats, both male.  I have a scar on my arm from the younger of her cats.  He’s aggressive because she plays with him with her hands rather than using a toy.  He got too excited and bit me and it bled.  I wasn’t happy about it.  I told her never to play with a cat unless you have a toy or they will bite and scratch, thinking it’s playfulness.  Her other cat is like mine, only bigger and older.  I liked both of them, but I preferred him because he never bit me.

The thing is, he’s a tuxedo cat, which means long hair that needs to be brushed often.  Her’s looked like he’d never been brushed.  When I asked her if I could brush him, she said she didn’t have a cat brush.  It bugged me, because when I held him, he would leave behind enough fur to make another cat.  Her house had a strange layout to me.  A twin home where it’s broken into 3 floors.  Basement, main, and upstairs.  Two bedrooms and a bath upstairs, one bedroom and a bath in the basement.  Miles stayed in the basement, and his mom upstairs.  But their entire house and garage were completely covered in toys.

There’s levels of neatness.  Neat freak, in which it’s so clean you can’t believe anyone lives there. Neat livable, in which you can tell it’s cleaned on a regular basis, but not everything is where it belongs due to recent usage.  Neat enough, where there are lots of things used on a daily basis in various places of convenience, but a vacuum has been used, and the dust is only in out of the way places.  Then there is sloppy but not embarrassing, in which you can tell the kids have recently been playing in the living room, and haven’t put anything away.  That’s followed by just plain sloppy, in which you can tell just by looking that the family is too busy, or doesn’t care that their living space has stuff strewn everywhere.

Miles’ house was the next level, which is pre-hoarder.  You could still walk around, but it required doing a coordinated dance of avoidance to prevent stepping on toys.  The part that baffled me, was the fact that they had a cleaning woman who came twice a week.  I have seen every room in the house, and I’m certain this woman only cleans the bathrooms.  While that’s indeed important, the clutter was mind boggling to me.  Miles is in Middle School.  I think it’s time to get rid of the tricycle.  And the stroller.  And every toy he has ever received in his life, that are randomly strewn about.  I offered to help her organize, and she took me up on the offer immediately.  However, it never happened.  She opted to do other things and kept putting it off until our friendship deteriorated.

I’ll admit I’m odd in that I love to organize stuff.  I blame my Mom.  Growing up being the 9th out of 10 kids didn’t hurt.  We had a large house, but my Mom loved to change things up.  I had 4 different rooms as my bedroom throughout my childhood.  Mind you, we lived in the same house for my entire childhood.  I shared with my sister, Heather, in 2 of the rooms.  I remember our matching yellow floral bedspreads and matching twin beds in that room.  I hated those beds because they had sharp edges and I would constantly bash my toes or clip my knee on them.  I’ve broken every toe and finger at some point, mostly from being clumsy.  Steve broke 3 of my fingers after I made the volleyball team in Jr. High.  It was his way of protesting my decision to play, rather than hang out with him after school.  He had stubby fingers, but his grip was monstrous.

When I announced to my Mom one summer that I was bored, she showed me the mess in our garage.  Bikes, skates, balls, bats, racquets, tools, and boxes thrown about.  She told me that since I was bored, I had volunteered to organize and clean the garage.  At first, it was overwhelming.  All I could see was stuff that needed to be put somewhere.  Then I sat down with my notebook and started drawing ideas of where things should go.  I decided to group things by type, leaving the bikes in a row nearest the side door.  That way we could get them in and out without scratching  cars.  I put all the painting, and mechanical tools in the little room at the back.  They were off limits to us kids, so I felt timid handling them, even with permission.

I put the rakes and shovels against the far wall so that my brother could install the hanging system that was still in the original box it came in.  I put everything on the driveway and then thoroughly swept the floor.  It was a dusty, sneezy part of the job.  Then I cleaned the windows on the inside and outside.  This allowed more light in.  I got my brother to clear away all the cobwebs in the corners.  Then I used sand to get up the oil stains.  Finally, I poured dishwashing soap in long lines up and down the floor.  I got the hose and sprayed the floor, and then scrubbed with the pushing brush.  My brother helped.  I used way too much soap, so it turned into a bubbly mess for a while.  We rinsed several times, but I suspect if I went to that garage right now and poured a glass of water on the floor, I could still get suds.

We got a power strip and as many fans as we could round up in the neighborhood to help dry the floor.  While this was going on, I sorted the sports equipment in the driveway, giving each sibling a crate for their stuff.  My brother, Kevin, mounted the crates about 2 feet off the ground on the back wall.  All that was left were storage boxes, mostly full of baby clothing and the like.  We stacked them up in the loft.  Well, we passed them to Kevin, who stood on a ladder and placed them in the loft.  By the time the floor dried, we had eaten lunch, and were recharged enough to clean both cars and the bikes.  We also had a water fight.  I didn’t know at that time that we had to pay for water, so I feel a little bit guilty retroactively when I remember that we had the hose on for several hours.

Finally, everything was clean and put in it’s new designated place.  We were wet and filthy from our labors, and my mom hosed us down before we could come inside.  I felt so good when she complimented us on a job well done.  She raved about it, and even invited a few neighbors over to see what we’d accomplished.  That was all it took.  From then on, anytime something needed to be organized, I volunteered enthusiastically.  I can’t begin to describe the feeling you get when you conquer a mess and transform it into a well organized space that functions in a manner that encourages others to keep it that way.  It’s my super power.

My little sister, Heather, was a hoarder.  It never became apparent when I was still living at home, because my Mom couldn’t stand clutter, so she was forced to deal with it.  But when she moved to Des Moines, it came out in a big way.  She saved everything.  When I visited her while on leave from the Army, I stayed with her, and discovered she had saved all my belongings from before I joined.  I had forgotten about them.  My yearbooks, old report cards, photo albums, and even clothing!  I went through a phase where I was enamored with Swatch watches.  I would wear 4 at a time, and all of them with multiple colors and patterns.  She had them all.

It was weird to look at my old stuff, but when I asked if I could keep one of my old shirts, she got upset and said no.  These were her things now.  I abandoned them when I left for the Army.  It was an awkward moment.  I didn’t push it.  I had long ago learned not to butt heads with Heather.  She was the most stubborn person who ever walked the face of the earth.  And she used disproportionate retaliation tactics.  That alone meant nobody messed with her more than a few times.  I pushed her in the pool once.  She retaliated by pushing me off the roof of our garage.  I broke my arm and had a mild concussion.  Me and Steve avoided her as much as possible when we were preteens.  We were a naughty team of troublemakers who got in trouble on a regular basis.  So when we would tell my Mom that Heather was a bully, she didn’t believe us.

Heather was the baby.  She was incredibly cute, and smiled a lot.  She knew how to play adults so that they thought she was sweet and perfect.  Steve and I were the devils spawn in comparison.  So we didn’t bother telling on her and avoided her instead.  We would leave early in the morning and come back when the church bells rang at 6PM.  It was a different time back then.  We went wherever we wanted during summer.  We used to stop by various elementary school playgrounds and play basketball, go to McKennan Park and do crafts with the recreation workers, etc.  We had a range that seemed huge at the time, but in hindsight was basically a 1 mile radius of our house.

That feeling of ultimate freedom was nice as a child.  I honestly believed I could do whatever I wanted, and so did Steve.  Fortunately, the worst thing we thought of to do was smoke cigarettes.  We didn’t know about drugs or other dangers.  We didn’t even know how to inhale.  We thought we were total badasses.  Heather was certainly impressed.  But she hated that we didn’t include her, and didn’t understand that it was because we thought she was evil.  She was Damien to us.  Interacting with her led to broken bones for me.  She pushed Steve out of our fort that my Dad built us, and he landed with a rusty nail in his knee.  It slid in below his kneecap, and my Dad yanked it out and took him to the ER.

The way we told it, though, was that Heather deliberately pushed him onto a rusty nail.  In hindsight, I doubt the nail was even rusty, as my Dad had just built the fort there.  We went over the grass in the area to see if there were any more before my Dad mowed the lawn for obvious reasons.  We found 2 more.  And you can bet that in the minds of me and Steve, they were put there deliberately by Heather.  The only other incident that stands out in regard to this attitude was when we ditched her at the mall.  She must have been about 8, which made me 9, and Steve 11 at the time.  We did this on purpose.  We invited her to go with us to the mall, and then ran away from her and went home without her.

When we got home, we got the beating of our lives for it.  My Dad was furious that we left poor, sweet, helpless little Heather at the mall.  She got a ride home from a teacher while we were getting spanked.  Steve and I totally blamed her for the spankings.  Cause and effect is kind of an hilarious concept when filtered through the minds of children.  It’s funny to me now.  I had the conversation with Heather as an adult.  She asked me to hug her, and when I refused, she asked me why.  I told her for about an hour, during which time we both cried, laughed, apologized, and agreed that what happened as children didn’t matter now.  I hugged her after that.  I’m glad I did.  I never hated her, and always felt tremendously protective of her, even though I didn’t want to hang out with her as a kid.

She was the first instance in my life where I loved someone I didn’t like.  She was protective of me too, in many ways.  Like when my Mom would announce that I was moving to a different bedroom, and Heather would loudly object, and tell my Mom she was breaking me.  I’m glad my Mom did that, though.  It was painful at the time, but it also taught me how to make a new space my own.  It’s a powerful redirect of a meltdown.  Skip the meltdown and go into decorating mode.  Solve the problem of how to turn this new space into one that feels safe and comforting.  That skill was super important when I was in the Army.  The only two times I had a rough time moving was when I moved to Saudi Arabia, and when I moved to Germany.  Those were hard because my first thought was always, “I don’t know anyone on that continent”.  Self sabotage.

Fortunately, I always found a few people who got me, and the Army is built on tradition and sameness.  You can’t really tell one barracks from another unless you look for differences.  Also, being in a foreign country while on a military base is very insular.  You have to put forth effort to experience the new culture and sights.  In Germany, I started competing in knowledge bowls and winning every time.  It probably wasn’t fair, because I memorized the manuals, and the only challenge for me was knocking loudly before entering, and answering loudly enough for the board to hear me.  I won trips all over Europe where I only had to pay for my lunch.  I went skiing in the Alps.  I played hide and seek in the Louvre.  I ate authentic Italian food in Italy.  That sort.

I know my experiences growing up have always helped me find success as an adult.  I earned awards in the Army, while attending university, and even at the gym where I worked out while going to school.  I got aerobics member of the month.  It was a pleasant surprise.  I think they were impressed by how much I improved from my first class, where I accidentally kicked the step across the room during step class.  I was always going the wrong way, and a few seconds behind everyone else until I finally caught on.  When I put in ear plugs, it became a lot easier.  I just copied the instructor, and before long, I could tell what step was coming next by memorizing the routines.  I loved it.

Then spinning became popular.  I just run now.  I need to find something to supplement it though.  My back is weaker than I’d like.  My arms are so weak it’s embarrassing.  I think maybe some Wii tennis and baseball will help.  It has to be something I do daily or I lose the muscle tone super fast.  I hate the lay on the floor on my stomach and lift my leg and arm and hold exercise, but it’s the only one I know for my lower back.  When I do a long run, it’s so frustrating when my lower back and feet get tired too soon.  I know intellectually that running alone is not enough.  It’s just the only exercise I like.  Probably because it’s a stim.  Sigh.  I’ll pretend I’m playing Wii tennis with the Williams sisters.  That should motivate me.  I know if I imitate the grunts Serena makes it’ll crack me up.  We’ll see.  I hate using the weights at the gym in the main building.  People don’t wipe their sweat off.  It’s just so gross.

Gravity Check

I got about 2 hours of sleep last night.  It was my anxiety that got in the way of sleeping more.  The night before, I had bad nightmares.  When I finally broke free of them, I was weeping.  It’s recurring in that I find myself in an impossible situation, and I’m stuck.  I’m not sure what triggered it.  The book series I’m reading is about an MMORPG game in which most people who play it for more than 5 hours in a row end up becoming permanently logged in.  I’m on book three out of seven.  I’m enjoying it immensely.  The author is Russian, so for once it’s not from the perspective of an English speaking protagonist.

The corruption in this new permanent digital milieu involves enslaving people and torture.  That might be what triggered my nightmares.  The worst part in the novels is that the characters stuck in the game forever can’t die.  They respawn at their designated respawning point.  I read of people being tortured until they changed their respawning point to where they were ordered.  And of characters being enclosed in the walls of a castle.  As is the case with all MMORPG’s, the dark side of the lore is very dark.  I try to ignore that sort when playing Warcraft.

The thing about the situation that upsets me is being stuck and powerless to improve my situation.  I’m sure this is a nightmare for everyone.  It provokes such a visceral response when I’m sleeping, and most vulnerable.  I try not to make sleep my enemy, but sometimes it’s hard.  Like last night.  I went through my mental imagery for lucid dreaming, and slept okay at first.  Then my brain kicked into overdrive, and sleep became futile.  I got up and played Warcraft.  My Horde toon is now level 47.  I’m having trouble leveling my cooking, because the few recipes I have call for ingredients I haven’t yet encountered.

I decided to not worry about professions for now, and just enjoy playing.  This is my first toon doing alchemy and herbalism, so it’s interesting.  Someone sent me some herbs in the mail.  I assume it was someone in my guild.  It’s very active.  There are usually between 4 (at 5AM) and 40 people logged in at once, and not even during raid times.  While I was playing earlier, and people started logging in, joking and helping each other, that song from Annie came into my head; ‘I Think I’m Gonna Like it Here’.  I’m always thinking of songs that fit a situation to amuse myself.  I just need to be more vigilante about not singing them aloud without realizing it.  Actually, I’ve tried this many times, and I still do it.  Oh well.

I don’t think it’s possible to force myself to become self-conscious.  I would have to be in a sensory deprivation chamber, I think.  Otherwise, forget it.  I think of it as a filter.  Those who find me too strange when they catch me singing quietly, or jumping, or whatever, are usually people who won’t fit into my world anyway.  Most people don’t.  I’m okay with that.  I’m happiest when isolated from others because it’s when I’m most calm.  This has always made me suspect I’d make a good candidate for distant space travel.  Or space observation from an asteroid or space station.

I tried to get in an outdoor run last night.  It didn’t go well.  I had to walk through snow up to my mid calf to get to the trail, which left me with wet ankles and cold feet.  I didn’t put on enough layers, and my hat wasn’t thick enough.  I only put on running tights under sweatpants that weren’t windproof.  I didn’t bring gloves or mittens, and just a basic knit beanie.  Then I wore a t-shirt under a long sleeved shirt, covered with a hoodie, and a windproof jacket that had no lining.  So I was cold, soggy, and I almost fell several times, and finally did near the end.

I only ran 2 miles or so, because I started to sweat.  It was a spur of the moment thing, and I should have just used the treadmill as planned.  It was 30 F outside when I left.  I don’t know why I forgot to wear windproof sweat pants on top.  I have winter running gear, so there’s no excuse.  Knowing me, I’ll try again when the snow melts, just to correct the mistakes I made last night.  When I was a teenager, I ran year round regardless of weather.  I ran in -15F before, and although it hurt to breathe it was fine.  When you’re moving constantly, you stay warm enough so long as you layer properly and wear wind blocking top layers.  Also, against your skin needs to be sweat wicking material.  I have running spikes that attach to my running shoe soles for ice.  I just hate wearing them when it’s not absolutely necessary.

I have hats of varying layers, gloves, mittens, ski goggles, a few baclava’s, and a face mask meant for snowboarders I think.  I prefer to run outside over the treadmill, but I guess that’s probably obvious.  I just have to be careful of black ice on the bike trails.  I have a wicked bruise on my hip and upper thigh from hitting some when I was almost home.  It didn’t hurt very much when it happened because I was too cold to feel it well.  But it hurt to lay on that side last night.  It looks worse than it is, though.  At least I know why I have the bruises this time.  I have one my calf that’s been there for a few days that I have no idea how it happened.  This is typical for me, though.

My brain is moving on to something else, so I’m going to lay down in front of the TV and not have nightmares.  Everybody Loves Raymond is on.  I love this show, except for Debra being such a bitch.

Priorities

I had a productive day.  I got all my chores done.  I did a little work on some of the websites I’m currently working on.  Nothing live yet.  I’m revamping the design for the support site for autism and similar.  I got fed up with the domain issues from battleptsd.org so I picked a new one instead.  It can sit in limbo for a year for all I care.  A $15 mistake.  I’ve made worse.  I registered PTSDsucks.com instead.  It gets right to the point, and I like that.  I’ll work on that during the week.  The other site is 3rd in priority, so it’ll be the last one I address.

The autism site is up, but not live.  Meaning, it hasn’t been advertised and has no members yet.  I was using WordPress, but have since decided against it.  I don’t have the content to bother with a CMS.  So I’m doing it from scratch, which is always best.  That way I have control over all the design elements.  I’m keeping the logo, though.  I really hate web development.  I stopped doing it ages ago.  Back before Adobe bought out Macromedia.  Back when Flash was considered cool.  I used Macromedia way back when Flash was called Action.  I was so accustomed to the interface, that using Fireworks was like breathing.  I’m glad I don’t have to create for dial-up bandwidth anymore.  That was so limiting.

I do realize that most people access the web with their smart phones now, but I don’t build websites for phones. Just apps.  I’m optimizing the site for phones, but not extensively.  They won’t be able to chat on their phones without a 3rd party app.  Pretty sure that applies to the forums too.  I don’t surf on my iPhone.  My vision is too poor.  My phone is for texting, email, weather, banking, and games.

I’m so over Apple.  While I do like Logic Pro X and writing IOS apps, the reasons to ever buy one again are plummeting.  I want to try the Google phone next.  If I don’t like it, I’ll go back to a Samsung Note.  The iPad Air 2 is nice.  It’s fast, light, and has a great screen.  Nobody has topped it yet.  However, I don’t use it enough to bother buying the next iteration.  Certainly not the monstrosity they just released with the $99 stylus.  I did get $99 worth of laughing my ass off at it, though.  It’s been out for a week.  I wonder how many people have lost their stylus so far.  Bet it’s more than one!

The only thing about Apple is that their laptop touchpad is still the best on the market.  Sigh.

Dear Chinese Electronics Manufacturers,

Please copy the design for the Apple trackpad, and install it on every laptop you produce for the next three years.  They won’t sue you because they need you to continue fleecing the American public with their overpriced but sleekly attractive products.  Except the Mac Pro.  That thing is fugly.  What were they thinking?  But I digress.  Copy the design.  Use it on everything.  You will be rewarded with American customers who like me, despise Apple, Inc., but still buy their stuff because nobody else has copied the trackpad design.  Be that someone.

Love, My Blatant Inner Consumer

If they don’t manage to pull this off, I’ll use an external mouse and suck it up.  I’m no longer hostage to Apple’s ecosystem, thanks to Amazon.  So I’ll continue to use the 2 Apple machines I have currently, but I won’t buy anything else from them.  I’m officially boycotting Apple for loopholing their way out of billions in taxes.  Having a gay CEO isn’t enough to overlook this bullshit.  They still don’t hire enough women and I’m unaware of a single disabled person working there.  I won’t even bother to see if they have any veterans on the payroll.  These are important factors to me.  I vote with my money.  If you suck that hard, you can’t have anymore.

I understand that tax dollars finance a lot of bullshit programs for an extremely corrupt government.  It’s a legitimate issue.  But the “can’t beat ’em, join ’em” attitude doesn’t cut it.  Just because the laws are set up for the wealthy corporations and individuals who buy lobbyists who then pay off congress and senate representatives to skew the system in their favor, doesn’t mean it’s right to withhold your share of the cost of being an American corporation.  The system is corrupt because companies like Apple, Inc. have shareholders who make the company their little bitch.  I know the shareholders care only about the profits.  I also know that being a publicly traded company is optional.

I know that Apple, Inc. could buy back it’s own controlling interests, and stop being part of the problem.  I know that Apple, Inc., could stop outsourcing all their manufacturing to China and South Korea, and bring those jobs to America.  It would require paying them a livable wage, which would cut into their overall profit margin.  But if it was a privately owned company that didn’t contribute to the corruption that is Wall Street, it could do these things, and be an outstanding company, rather than a morally corrupt part of the problem with America.

I hate Wall Street.  I hate it because people use it to gain without giving anything.  They don’t add anything or create anything.  They are vultures who gamble in hopes of gaining profits off the labor and creations of others.  Everything about it is corrupt.  It’s a festering boil on our economy.  The fact that taxpayer money was used to bail it out is something that utterly disgusts me.  It etched in my mind the moment I recognized that I would no longer die for my country.  My service to the US Army is over.  I never stopped being a soldier afterward, though.  I was always prepared to do whatever my country needed me to do to protect her interests.  This is no longer the case.  Until America is freed from the corruption that is presently strangling her, and robbing her of the dream that once united us all as a nation, I’m only dedicated to the interests of the poor, the infirm, and those who are weaker than me.

The leeches and festering boils that are ruining America can suck it.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

I watched the news a bit ago.  It showed footage of Muslim men in Paris holding up signs that said they were accused of being terrorists, and that they of course were not.  They said they trusted the people of Paris, and asked them to show that they trust them too by giving them a hug.  One was a Syrian refugee who was smiling as people lined up to hug him.  Another was just 17, and he eagerly ran up to people who opened their arms to him so he could hug them.  Another was blindfolded to show his trust.  It was beautiful.  It made me cry.

I knew there were genuinely good people on this planet.  It’s still touching to watch them express their kindheartedness publicly.  Especially after such a tragic day less than a week ago.  I sent a tweet to my state senator, as he was going on about halting the Syrian refugees from entering our state.  I basically told him that if he operates from fear rather than compassion, he has no business representing my state.  If the people in Paris can shed their fear to make room for their compassion, then so can a senator from South Dakota.  I have no tolerance for adults in representative leadership positions who behave like a toddler watching Mufasa die in a stampede.

The news about Charlie Sheen was unfortunate.  I’m not sure he’ll make a good poster boy for HIV, but at least he’s had an impact on the general public.  Apparently lots of people got tested after his interview.  That’s a good thing.  Of course, Jenny McCarthy had to jump into the spotlight to play victim once again.  She’s already far more dangerous than a person with HIV and a sociopathic enmity.  Her loud ignorance regarding vaccinations led to a lot of parents not immunizing their children, even though it’s been scientifically proven not to have any link to autism.  Unvaccinated children can collectively rejuvenate long-dormant diseases and trigger lethal epidemics.  I don’t think parents should be allowed to pass on vaccinations and remain in the country.  No vaccinations, no citizenship.

With privilege comes responsibility.  It’s a privilege to live in America.  People who have never left it don’t realize how awesome it is in comparison to many other countries.  They’ve never seen real poverty, so they think it means people who can’t afford cable TV.  Privilege.  Those who abuse the privilege by refusing to take basic measures to protect themselves and everyone else should get the fuck out.  However, it wouldn’t generate any money, so the government does nothing.  Capitalist socialism sucks.

Rolling with the Horde

I started to build a new character on WoW yesterday.  A Tauren Warrior.  My first Horde character.  She’s currently level 16.  I was trying to get to level 20, because I wanted to be able to ride one of my mounts.  However, I chose Herbalism as one of my professions, so hoofing it (hahaha), is for the best.  I had a good time exploring areas I rarely visited in the past.  Navigating Orgrimmar was difficult.  I just took my time and noted things I’ll want to use in the future.  I forgot what it was like to have no gold.  I hit 1 gold just before logging out.

On my Alliance toons, I start farming ore and skins if I drop below my comfort level of gold, around 20,000.  It was eye opening when I couldn’t afford to buy a heavy brown sack.  I had a blast, though.  It will also be my first melee DPS toon.  My only other DPS toon is my Draenei Hunter.  She’s fun to play too, but my heart is my Draenei Paladin tank.  My first toon, and still my main.  I chose the Tauren race because when I play PVP on my tank, the only toon that could consistently take me down was a Tauren.  It’s rare for me to die as my tank.

I plan on leveling my new Tauren to 100.  She’s also my first toon that isn’t overtly sexualized.

When she dances, she does the Electric Slide.  Her rude gesture is hilarious.  I haven’t acknowledged other players yet, or looked for a guild.  I have a tendency to play like I’m the only toon in the world hahaha.  I’ll probably do some dungeons and PVP soon, though.  After I tighten up my rotations.  I picked fury so far.  She’s a lot of fun.  I didn’t have a problem playing for Horde, because of the WoW novels I’ve read.  I picked Alliance before I knew anything about the lore.  I stuck with Alliance because I was having a blast, and enjoy my guild.  Also, it’s nice to be able to send gold and mats between toons.

I have a feeling this won’t be my last Horde toon.  There are other races that look interesting.  Plus, I want to rock a Death Knight someday.  They look fascinating.  The starting area for my new toon is lovely.  Wide open spaces, similar to African Veldt, so far.  The scenery is a big part of the game for me.  Also, the animals are fabulous.  Giraffe-like, zebra-like, lion and cheetah varieties.  I would love to have a job where I brainstormed lore for a game like WoW.  So much of what I’ve seen so far in my gaming history copies lore from IRL, plus dragons.  It’s cool, and you’re bound to find something of which you were previously unaware.  However, with the opportunity to create your own, I would absolutely invent everything from scratch.

An indie game dev will probably do this eventually.  The big name game producers are such chicken shits when it comes to doing something new.  It’s all about the revenue, so they see no point in taking risks.  So there are several games that are pretty much the same thing, and then they turn it into a franchise, and churn out more and more of the same old crap.  Kill, kill, kill, hang out with your friends and kill together.  I avoid a lot of first-person shooters, because they are glorified shooting ranges with shitty controls.  Some people love them.  They make me yawn and roll my eyes.

I’m super excited about VR this time around, because as always, I’m hoping they use it to step outside of the box.  I would love a game where exploration, collecting, building, and professions are the focus.  Where you don’t kill anything, ever.  A game that rewards you for imagination, innovation, and curiosity.  I may develop something along those lines myself.  If VR finally comes through for me this time around, I will.  I came very close to purchasing one of the dev kits for the Oculus.  But when Facebook bought it, I groaned, and didn’t bother. Facebook tends to wring out any semblance of creativity, and instead, fill in those gaps with privacy syphoning mini addictions in digital format.  Fuck facebook.

The Despicable Few

I just watched about half of Blackfish.  I couldn’t take anymore.  It was like watching Schindler’s List of the whales.  It was extremely upsetting.  Sea Worlds powers behind the curtain are despicable.  The humans who decided it was okay to capture these whales and keep them in captivity where their lifespans are cut to 1/4 of normal, and then lie about everything in order to get paid should be rotting in a cell.  How they are still allowed to operate says more about our nation than I care to ponder while depressed.

To all my brothers and sisters who follow Islam:  I’m so sorry that you are having to defend yourselves after the actions of perverse extremists.  Please note that the people who accuse all of Islam for the actions of the vile extremists are ignorant.  They haven’t yet recognized the fact that we are all brothers and sisters on this planet.  They are afraid, and hide behind hatred.  They have a lot of growing to do.  Until that happens, I send lots of hugs and love.  Know that some of us see humanity as a whole as one family.  Know that you are loved.

I Remember

******Trigger Warning********– (graphic violence, homicide)

I’m so tired.  I lay in bed for 2 hours, but didn’t sleep.  I’m on vacation, so I’m allowed to goof off right now.  That was directed at the guilt I’m feeling because I haven’t written any code today.  Last night after I set up my new Xbox One, and waited forEVER for Halo 5 to update, I started shaking.  This has happened before.  It sucks.  I broke into a sweat, and my vision started to go black.  Then I fainted.  I was halfway to the floor by then because I knew it was coming, so I wasn’t hurt.  It’s called a Vasovagal response.

It’s no big deal.  But in the brief time I’m experiencing it, it feels pretty bad.  I’m assuming this was due to a combination of lack of sleep, forgetting to eat, and being triggered.  It’s kind of ironic how I got triggered.  I was watching PBS, and they were doing a show about veterans for the holiday.  I paid attention to the beginning when they followed a few soldiers who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and were home and trying to get on with their lives.  One was attending university, and another was reunited with his wife.  Before I clued in on the fact that I needed to change the channel, they started showing extremely graphic images of dead bodies in Iraq.  I was looking right at the TV when they showed one.

When I regained consciousness probably moments later, my cat was sitting beside me on the floor.  Anytime I’m on the floor, it’s a signal to her that I’m open to playing with her, so she must have wondered what was up.  I sat up slowly, and then got up and made something to eat. I sat at the counter and started eating my peanut butter sandwich, with my cat under my chair.  I didn’t change the channel, I shut the TV off completely, so it was quiet.

As I sat there, I made the mistake of wondering what caused the episode.  Bad move.  My mind threw up the graphic image again, and I pushed it away as fast as I could.  Then my mind started to wander back to when I was in the service.  My first permanent duty station was where I was stationed the longest.  I did a lot of growing up during the five years I was there.  I was pretty naive.  People I worked with directly used to say, “Earth to Special K, come in Special K”, a lot, because my Sergeant said it once, and they thought it was hilarious.  Special K was my nickname there.

I was kind of in my own world, I suppose.  I also would sing without realizing it, and the guys I worked with would join in to bring it to my attention.  Again, they thought it was hilarious.  I got on well with them, though.  My Sergeant was from Panama, and had 2 little boys.  I spent a lot of time with her and her kids.  She was one of the senior NCO’s in my unit, which meant she had a lot of responsibility and power.  She was like a second Mom to me in many ways.  She was the most amazing person I had the pleasure of meeting while serving, and that’s saying a lot, as I met a lot of amazing people during that time.

She was strict, demanded your best at all times, and looked out for her people like a lioness with her cubs.  She made you want to do a good job, because getting praised by her was a rare but wonderful thing when it happened.  I had trouble making friends in the Army too.  I had a lot of friendly acquaintances, but a lot of the women considered me too young to hang out with.  I was one of about 4 people on the entire post who were under 18, which was the legal drinking age there.  So going to the club was out at first.  I spent all my free time at the education center, or with my Sergeants kids.

After our first field problem, I met a woman from Jamaica.  She didn’t like me at first, because I kept following her around, asking her to pronounce words, then giggling when she complied.  She was a medic and was super feisty.  She was married, and had recently given birth to a son.  I must have grown on her, because before long, we became good friends.  She lived off post in an apartment complex.  Her younger sister was coming to visit for her 18th birthday, and I was invited to attend the party.  Our unit had a parade that day, and she was covering it with the ambulance.

As was always the case, about an hour into the parade, I fainted.  I just can’t stand at attention for long periods in 90+ degree weather.  When I fell out, the ones standing around me in formation saw it coming and propped me up until the medics came and dragged me away.  While I was recovering with an IV in the ambulance, she told me her husband was coming home.  He was in our unit before I arrived, and had since been sent to Korea.  Often, if you marry someone in your unit, one of you gets orders to go somewhere else soon afterward.

I rode with her back to my unit and changed into civilian clothes for the party.  I rode with a guy in my unit, and on the way there, we stopped for a bucket of KFC.  When we arrived, my friend was upstairs with her husband, and her sister was sitting on the sofa holding the baby.  I sat down beside her and started playing with the baby.  I don’t know where the guy I rode with was.  Probably in the bathroom.  A few minutes later, I heard some shouting coming from upstairs.  Then a really long, horrible moan from my friend.

Her husband came down the stairs really fast, and ran out the door.  My ride went after him.  I had a really bad feeling.  I knew something was wrong.  My friends sister grabbed my arm tightly, and we both started to cry.  I felt so numb.  I got up and started to climb the stairs.  Her sister started to follow me, and I told her no, stay with the baby.  I went up to the landing, and looked at the bloody handprint on the door.  For some reason, I couldn’t hear the baby crying anymore.  I felt like I was far away, and my body was an avatar I was operating.  I walked into the bedroom, and saw my friend laying across the bed.  Her head was bashed in, and her brain was showing.  There was a hammer on the floor that had blood and hair on it.

I turned around and started to walk down the stairs.  Her sister was in the process of coming up them, and I physically fought her back down the stairs and forced her out the door after taking the baby from her.  I still couldn’t hear.  I just remember it was so bright outside.  Her sister was still crying, but I don’t know if I was anymore.  My friends car was gone, and an ambulance was pulling into the parking lot.  I held the baby in one arm, and her sisters arm in my other hand.  It was the most surreal moment of my life.  And inside, I had a thought that still makes me feel ashamed.

I thought to myself, “She can’t be dead, she promised to braid my hair”.  I hate that I thought that at the worst possible moment.  I felt like the most selfish person who ever existed.  The police seemed to just appear out of nowhere, and one of them was a woman.  She came over and took the baby, then some other police started directing us to the back of the ambulance.  I was thinking they were confused, because I was fine, I didn’t need an ambulance.  Her sister clung to me, but I couldn’t feel it.  They took us back to the barracks.  It was on the news on TV that night.  Everyone in the barracks was so shocked.

It turned out that my friend was cheating on her husband, and someone in my unit wrote to him in Korea and told him about it.  He got leave, came home, and beat her to death with a hammer.  Then he took off when I saw him storming out of the apartment.  The guy I worked with ran after him.  Her husband confessed to him what he’d done, then drove into the canyon in an unsuccessful suicide attempt.  The guy I worked with called the police at the apartment office.  He came to check on me later that night, and explained things to me.  I never even knew she was cheating on her husband.

It had never occurred to me that someone could sleep with anyone other than their spouse.  This is what I meant about my being naive.  The murder divided our unit pretty much into men vs. women.  The guys thought he was justified in what he did.  The women thought it was monstrous.  He was arrested that night, and it went to trial.  Some of the guys had to testify, but I was never told the details.  He got 40 years in prison.  The sister took the baby home to Jamaica where her parents decided to raise him.

We were marched in formation to the chapel, where a pair of her combat boots, her dog tags, her medic arm band, and a photo sat at the altar.  We all filed up to it, one by one, and saluted.  The guy she was cheating with was weeping so hard a friend had to help him walk.  I was the other person weeping the entire time.  I was still in shock, and the crying just wouldn’t stop.  It wasn’t my first experience with death.  Some of the foster babies died in our home when I was a kid.  But this was the first time someone died when I was an adult.  It leveled me.

I started losing weight because I was too sad to eat.  I went down to the supply room in the basement to exchange my linens, and to my horror, the bloody mattress was propped against the wall near the armory.  Apparently, the supply people had to go to the apartment and pack up her stuff and clear out the apartment.  This is a typical example of how the mission always comes first, no matter what, in the military.  It didn’t matter that they all knew my friend, and were shaken up by what had happened.  It had to be done, so they did it.

I took one look at the mattress, and started screaming.  It was really weird, because I couldn’t stop at first.  It was like someone else was screaming.  My sergeant came and got me, and I stayed at her house for a few days to regroup.  Playing with her kids was just what I needed.  The sadness has always remained, but I’ve learned how to live with it.  I still have her medic arm band.  I think about her sometimes.  I have nightmares about it sometimes.  As far as I know, her husband is still in prison.  I sent letters back and forth with her sister for a few years, and in the last photo I got of the baby, he looked adorable.

It’s a violent world, the military.  There were 3 murders connected to my unit during my 5 years there.  But this is the one that continues to haunt me.  Maybe I’ll be able to sleep now that I got it out.

 

No

I’m so shaky today.  It’s raining/snowing really hard, and wind is blowing so hard it sounds like thunder.  Okay, this is probably why I’m shaky.  Loud noises that I can’t predict mess me up.  I didn’t sleep at all last night.  I lay in bed and listened to Evanescence, The Open Door on repeat for 3 hours.  I love every LP by Evanescence, and they get better with every release.  But something about The Open Door really reaches me.

I don’t have the words to explain it.  I just know that sometimes, I have to listen to it in a pitch black room with my best (Grado) headphones on full volume.  I don’t dance to it.  I stim to it.  My cat lays across my lap as I rock back and forth to the music.  Slowly, the tension I didn’t realize I was holding loosens.  I stop clenching my jaw.  And tears start to fall.  The tears that I held in all day as I forced myself to exist in this world.  I cry because I miss my family members who have passed.  My parents, my brother, and my little sister.  I know I’m capable of surviving without them, but it’s hard sometimes.

I miss having people in my world who I could trust to care about my existence without my having to do anything for them, or give anything to them, or be anything other than who I am.  I miss being protective of my little sister, and doing anything I could to make sure she was safe and happy.  I never realized how important that was to me before she died.  It was when I could assert the fact that I was 13 months older than her, and felt a deep sense of responsibility for her.  In so many other ways, she was the big sister.  She was my opposite.  She was so outgoing, comfortable to the point of being flirtatious with strangers, loud, and flamboyant.

When I was in fifth grade and she was in fourth, she saw me standing in a corner of the school building facing the wall during recess.  I was crying, because the teacher I had that year hated me, and I was aware of it.  She asked me what was wrong, and I told her my teacher hates me.  She marched into the building, dragging me by my hand behind her, and went into my classroom.  She went up to my teacher, and told her off, loudly.  I was shocked.  I froze.  Heather told my teacher that she had to like me because I was her student.  She said it like it was a well known law.  She was furious, and threatened to tell our mom if she didn’t start liking me.

My teacher just stared at us.  I can’t imagine what she was thinking.  We went back outside until recess was over.  I remember thinking that Heather was going to get in trouble.  She didn’t.  We never talked about it until the next year when she got the same teacher.  She pre-hated her on my behalf, and I loved her for it.  Elementary school was the closest thing to torture that I’ve ever experienced.  I didn’t have any skills to cope with it at the time, and it still to this day can cause me to wake up in tears from a nightmare.

I hate how things that happened in the past can still haunt my present.  I hate that they haunt my sleep, when I’m most vulnerable.  I’ve been practicing lucid dreaming, but I’m not yet to the point where I can completely prevent nightmares.  I’ve had some success though.  I’m absolutely getting more sleep.  That makes a big difference, especially when working.  I think I need to figure out a way to stop working on coding projects before they are completed, and continue the next day.  It’s good to be able to complete them so much faster than my peers, but I think it’s taking a toll on me.  Marathon coding sessions broken up by Twitter flyby’s and bathroom breaks are taking their toll on me.

I’ve always struggled with not having a natural off switch.  I’ll continue doing a task until my body demands I stop,  I’m interrupted, or it’s completed.  I’ve completed 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles in one sitting on more occasions than I’d like to admit.  My cat has gotten really good at interrupting me.  I hate to say that it was probably necessary for her survival.  I get so focused on what I’m doing that I ignore everything else.  She’ll jump up on my desk and lay across my arms while meowing loudly.  I always go through a quick second of rage at the interruption, and then I look down at her, and she’s so beautiful and sweet that it dissipates immediately.  I pick her up and cuddle her while I get her the treat she wanted, or refill her water dishes.

In the morning at around 4:30-5:00, she’ll literally lead me to the kitchen to fill her food bowl.  I have poor coordination when I first wake up, but I manage to follow her down the hall to the kitchen.  I give her a scoop of dry food and a spoonful of wet food.  It’s funny, because she’ll stand in front of her food container, then her bowl, then the fridge, then her bowl, then she starts eating.  She purrs loudly while she does this which is so cute.  After she eats, she goes back to bed until afternoon.  She starts by getting under the blanket on my bed.  Then when I make the bed, she gets into her cat bed underneath my bed.

She’s slightly better at keeping track of time than I am.  I suspect it’s because of her metabolism.  I’ve had her for 3 years now.  I’m worried about moving her to Denver.  She’s only ridden in a car when I brought her home initially.  Her veterinarian is down the street, and it’s easier to put her in the soft carrier and walk there than cope with her crying in the car.  I don’t know if it would be better to take my time and drive her there in increments, or to fly and just get it over with.  Either way, she’s going to cry, I just know it.

I know I should be practicing with her in the car, but there’s no way I’m going to do something that I know will upset her just to get her used to being upset.  I think I’m going to get my nephew to drive us while I hold her.  If we divide the drive into 2 days, I think she’d manage.  I could put a litter in my trunk and lower one seat so she had access to it.  I’ll do some research and see what others have done when it’s closer to that time.  If she doesn’t go, I don’t go.  It’s not negotiable.

Things have changed yet again with plans.  I lost a friend who was going to occupy one of the units in the building with her family.  At first, I was upset about it.  But now, I can see that it’s for the best.  It wasn’t a good idea in the first place.  Once I recognized that, I’ve been able to muster a little excitement for the future.  I’m mostly excited that I’ll have a home that is tailored to me and my needs.  I won’t be as independent, but that doesn’t bother me.  I’d rather have help from someone who understands, than struggle all the time.  I’m so tired of struggling.

I’m going to  take a vacation from work effective immediately.  I’m not going to let this state of overwhelmed sadness spiral into anything worse.  I’m going to take this time to do the things that make me feel joy.  I’m going to go back to making music and art.  I’m going to create things purely for the sake of creating.  I’m going to express feelings I don’t know how to put into words in order to release them into the universe and outside of myself.  I’m going to banish mean people from my world.  I’m going to stop forcing myself to pass as a neurotypical person.  I’m autistic.  It’s not something I’m willing to suffocate in an effort to make others feel more comfortable any longer.  I’m done with that.

I’ve learned an important lesson in the last few months.  Just because another person is autistic, doesn’t mean they are a good person.  Or that I should go out of my way to be kind to them, when it’s not reciprocated.  Or go out of my way to support them, when they ignore me.  I don’t deserve to be pushed aside.  I don’t deserve to be treated unkindly.  I don’t deserve to be disregarded and ignored.  I don’t owe anyone anything.  I will no longer tolerate it from anyone.  It’s wrong to treat a human being as if they are an annoyance, or invisible.  I don’t do this to people, and I won’t allow others to do it to me, and remain in my life.  Being disabled is not a free pass to treat other people like shit.

I was taught to respect everyone, and treat everyone just as I would like to be treated.  Well, I tried that, and I’m rejecting it.  From now on, I’m going to continue to treat people well, but I’m also going to observe how they treat me back.  If they mistreat me, I will cease to acknowledge their existence.  I’m done being nice to assholes.  Life is too long to put up with bullshit.  Life is too short to pretend it doesn’t hurt when someone mistreats me.  Life is too real to live it without fighting for my right to experience joy.   I don’t show it, but I’m a fighter to my core.  I will fight for my rights with a fierceness that will make my enemies flee in terror.  I’ve been fighting to exist for my entire life, and I’m really fucking good at it.