Friday, December 11, 2015

Bitter Bitch

Revelation!

I don't like me.  In fact, I think I hate me. If I met me, before I knew me, I wouldn't like me.  

How did I get to be this bitter bitch?

When I was a little girl, I was so frightened of everything. I cowered in my smallness. I hid between the pages of Stephen King, Charles Dickens and Edgar A. Poe. When I found alcohol, at the age of 15, I was free from fear.  Physical fear, anyway.  Alcohol was my best friend, until it betrayed me, and here is where my bitterness bleeds me, like everyone else had before it. 

So, by some miraculous divine intervention, I was given a second chance to get my life back, break free of the bonds of the bottle., and so, I am.  

For years, I felt strong. I lived a good life.  I worked hard.  I believed in something spiritual. 

And then?  Well, fuck. I built another prison around myself with my own hands.  But this time, I made sure nobody, absolutely nobody but God could free me, and only with another divine miracle.  Yet still, I could be happy.  Still I prayed and hoped for that second, or one millionth intervention. 

I was too busy erecting the walls of my new prison to see how my own body was breaking down, crumbling within itself.  Another betrayal.  Constant pain in my hands, weariness of my body and pain in my neck and lower back makes the statement 'Fake it till you make it' less entertaining.  The facade is becoming too hard to maintain.  I find myself lashing out at people instantly and then regretting it, not immediately enough though.  I feel like the abusive boyfriend or girlfriend who does it over and over again, says sorry, promises not to do it again, and does.  

My sense of humor is turning into something ugly.  My childhood dreams bring me pain.  Hope is a mist evaporating in the harsh reality of my life. 

Like alcohol addiction, I feel powerless to stop the progression into depression and misery, and, I am ashamed to publically acknowledge, the twisted desire to make others miserable too.  Too many times, I feel like I can't take it anymore. I just want to stop. I want it to stop. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Television is a Mind-Sucking Leach

I wrote this 15 years ago.  A lot of the  references are outdated, but I remember them, and I like them. So...

                                         Television is a mind-sucking social leech.

I had a friend who told me that his ex-wife used to say that television is the great conversation killer.

So why won't I stop watching?

I wake up every single morning, quickly telling God in the guise of a humble request, what I want to happen that day, knowing that He loves me and wants all good things for me. But really feeling guilty because I am trying to rush through my obligatory obeisance to God so that He will give me all good things. I don’t want to talk to God. I want to turn on the television. How else will I know what’s important today? So quickly is my conversation with God ended that I feel as if I am neglecting Him, and perform a mental shrug as I turn on one of two televisions on the way to the bathroom.

Immediately informed of the progress of the "war on terrorism", the latest shootings, muggings, car wrecks, bus wrecks, truck wrecks, assassinations, child abuse/neglect/murder, wars and rumors of war, including death-tolls, all intermittently mixed with the 7,000 forms of sports, and timed smatterings of weather and traffic. An attempt, I determined long ago, to stir me into such a frenzy, so that all I will want to talk about, listen to, and want to watch is the damn television. It seems to have worked as I reluctantly turn off the television to go to work.  Ask me ten minutes later what I heard or saw, I couldn't tell you. But someone else is watching TV also, and when the subject is brought up anywhere, anytime that day, we will discuss it with such concern and animation that you would think we eye witnessed the event personally.

On the way to work, the radio is turned on to hear the opinions of the local DJ, to learn what mine are, and listen to songs I don’t even like played in rotation every 45 minutes.  It’s getting hot in here, so hot, why do I suddenly feel like taking all my clothes off?

Every day at work is spent gazing directly into a 13-inch computer monitor for seven and half-hours from less than 12 inches away.  And when I get home what do I do to relax? Why, I walk into my apartment and turn on the television! My excuse is always the same. I deserve a break today! I want to have it my way!  Television, take me away!!

When I turn on the television, thousands of tiny invisible single cell microorganisms are shot through the airwaves into my brain through my ears and eyes. They crawl through to my brain eating it from the inside, sucking ideas and the will to live or to do anything at all right out of my head. GIGO.  Garbage in, garbage out. This mind-killing organism has a numbing effect, which is why I don’t feel them entering my body and crawling through my brain. “We celebrate you, Mr. Tiny invisible single cell micro-organism!  It’s not easy finding your way through the air into our tiny brains!! Going where no man has gone before!  You are the savior of the media Mr. Tiny invisible single cell microorganism!”

Yep, I figured this all out on my own. It’s the only explanation of why I can’t cancel cable and quit watching this soul sucker. It can’t be just that I have become lazy, and don't want to think for myself, or that I let television and the media what the important issues are, and what my opinions are about them?

It doesn't seem to always matter what is on. I have become addicted to the little critters. That’s why it’s so important to hear the voices from the television, to feel the numbness, and then to sink into a place of blissful non-thinking. Isn’t it even plausible that I hear the little creatures say, "Hi Honey!" when I wake up in the morning and, "Goodnight baby." before I retire at night?

I wonder how many other people know about this? Doctors should prescribe it...better than Xanax, better than Prozac-lite! A prescription for 30 days of solid thought-depleting process, and then, return as needed. And by the way, vote for Bush.

I’ve thought about getting help, canceling cable, selling the TV, and found out those little bastards don’t like it when you cut them off completely. I even tried it a couple of times and went through withdrawals-cramps, shakes, dry heaves, and cold sweats. I’ve wondered if I would end up hanging out on the corner of the hood, waiting for some elderly woman to walk by so I could grab her purse, find out where she lives, break into her house and steal her television.

So here I sit, in front of the mind-sucking social leech, taking no responsibility for the way the world is carrying on. The media, creators and sole owners of the brain pets have everything under control.  I would go out and get help, but they know when I am thinking about doing that, because fear freezes my mind like an ice cream headache and these thoughts tornado around in my head..If I cancel cable and stop watching TV., how am I gonna know when "You Gotta Eat!!" or to "Obey your thirst!"  My life would be dull if I didn’t’ know what “drama” is.  I might have to formulate my own opinions. I don’t even know what they are, and, I would have to be alone with the most boring person I know.

You’d think like this too if you had little critters crawling around your brain.


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Ready or Not...

My dad went into hospice on Friday. My dad is 83 years old and one of the funniest and most entertaining men I have yet known.

I thought I had made my peace with his passing, he's old, been infirm for awhile, but I found out different when I was heading to see him. Memories flooded from all directions, almost as if my life flashed before my eyes.  I thought I was so ready, I didn't know if I was even going to cry.  I cried all the way to the hospice center.  

But he's not going to die today. They're going to let him go home Monday.  He doesn't meet the criteria yet.  He'll be released to hospice for at-home care, until he doesn't meet the criteria for that anymore and they release him from hospice, again.  

This latest episode confirms what I've suspected for awhile.  He says his doctor gets mad if he doesn't take all his pills.  He nods off, is lethargic, and talks nonsense. He ends up in the hospital a lot and now, hospice.  My mother doesn't understand, even though I've said, "Yea, Mom.  Three oxycodone a day will do that to a body."  Just when I think she's got it, she says that she doesn't understand why this is happening.  She even throws in some island superstition and says that he's "not in his body," so she has to yell at him to bring him back.  She yells at him all the time, every time he nods off.  Sometimes, I swear he goes to the hospital, and now this hospice visit, just to get some relief.
   
Nobody questions old people when they take too much medication.  Sometimes I think it would be great to get old, but then again, I'm sober 21 years, so I don't really have the luxury of abusing medication, unless I don't want to be...sober I mean.  And I think overmedication of the elderly is an epidemic that has been occurring for quite some time. 

When I saw my father on Friday night, I did not know he was going to be alright, so I started apologizing to him for being so hard on him.  It's so hard to put up with old people. I don't have the patience.  The things they accept, the lies they believe.  I didn't realized that I was afraid of old people until I realized that I've never really known any.  These old people (yeah, I said it) are the only old people I've ever really known.  I'm not physically afraid of them, because I think I can beat an old person's ass, but their whole selves, the smell, the frailty, the slowness of mind and body, how different they were from me, their neediness.  Maybe that's why they like taking a lot of pain medication. 

 Like everything else, I can empathize if I too, have experienced something.  Now I'm experiencing growing old and if you grow old, you usually know old people. 

I'm all over the place with this little thing I'm writing.

When I saw my father Friday night, I told him the reason I wasn't married is because I have never found a man as funny and entertaining as him that is not a psychopath.  It was nice to see him smile.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Downtime - When Systems Go Down

Me, being my goofy self.

I don't know how honest I can be on a public forum, even if no one but me ever reads this.  There are just things one does not talk about, like feeling suicidal, being a nosepicker, a pedophile, a cheater, liar, and thief  (except for you egovidiots who post wads of cash and jewelry on your Facebook page after a robbery), or how much you love downtime at work, especially, if the internet is still available.

Our system has been down quite a bit lately, thanks to our previous two IT companies. BTW, you get what you get when you get what you don't pay for.  I know, What? Right? Don't worry about it. I know what I mean.

Anyway, I'm listening to Syrius XM, writing this blog because I've read everything I want to read on Flipboard and Huffington Post.  I don't want to get on Facebook because I'll be there all day looking at cute and horrific pictures of puppies, kittens, dogs, cats, etc. Facebook is like a Twinkie.  Zero nutrition because consumers aren't interested in nutrition, the sugar is addicting, and it lasts forever.

So far I haven't said a damn thing.  What was my point? Oh yeah, downtime at work.  Our office is almost totally electronic.  Luckily, our server for work programs is separate from our internet. Sometimes they both go down.  When the server goes down, no work gets done.  In a small office, no work is no bueno.

The older I get, the more I love downtime. I used to be able to work strong and hard for hours, but I find myself slowing down, unable to maintain the pace of my youth.  I guess that's why people don't like to hire older people.  What I have over my younger competitors, is knowledge and experience, which makes up for a lot of time doing research, so I guess it all evens out.  

I just heard the IT guy say, now there's something wrong with the server.  I could be at home watching Netflix.  Wait..I can watch it here.

I love technology and the age I'm living in.  I gotta write though, I'm not thrilled with people so much, but that's another blog.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

fuckit

I'm going to be petulant for a minute. Nobody reads my shit.  This makes me feel like my shit isn't interesting or relevant to to anyone but me, which makes me feel self-serving, shallow and impotent.

I keep making decisions that I keep changing.  "Okay, I'm going to try harder." or "I'm not giving up."  But I'm tired and I'm old, so fuck it. I've made another decision.  I'm going to write for myself.

I just quit a writers group.  I told the facilitator, a friend, that I was only going to journal, but even Anne Frank has me beat on that.

I know, I know, I'm a sourpuss.  someone called me persnickety yesterday and you know what's funny about that?  I agreed.  I am persnickety.  Kind of like James Spader without talent or intellect.

HOWEVER.....

The great thing about blogging, or journaling with no audience is that I I can write whatever I want, even curse like I do in real life (though I would like the sailor in me to find Jesus), and not worry about the grandkids, or anyone, reading it.  And,  I can avoid the criticism  by people whose only passion for writing is cowardly anonymous online bullying.

So, here I am, writing for an audience of one....feels very egotistical, but I'm convinced that it is more than that.  It's too desperate and needy, this writing thing.  I know, it's a deep-seated need to express myself, however, uninteresting and unrelatable that may be.  If I'm writing it, it must at least relate to me?

So, dear Carol, go to fuckin bed.  It's late.

gnight

My Dying Dog


I wrote about this before and I'll write about it again.

My Kayla is dying.  My 12 year old black lab has lymphoma.  I don't know how long she has.  No clue.  One month?  Six months?  One year?  One week?  I noticed that as soon as the vet gave me the diagnoses, she became "my dying dog."  You can't imagine the emotion that evokes, or maybe you, whoever you are, can?

She's still eating, walking, although much slower and not as far, and she plays, but she's still my dying dog.  Sometimes, I look at her, it hits me. I hold her tight and wonder  when I'm going to know, how I'm going to go through with it, and how I'm going to make it without her and her big bark.

I'm not brave.

I have to drag myself back into the moment, realize she's still living!  She still rolls over for a belly rub, puts her head in my lap, gives me paws for cookies, and kisses me.  Thank God for today's pain medications which I was just told I can increase to three times a day, when she needs it,

I read some online stories about lymphoma.  They seem to go pretty quick, but my Kayla, she's determined to hang in there, never complaining, always saying please, forever grateful.

Dogs have such resilient personalities.  In all these years, I've only seen her upset a few times.  She follows me from room to room, her legs stiff, her weight down from 90 to 81 right now, But it's time for me to wonder to bed so my Kayla girl can lay on her bed beside mine for the night. I don't want to end with this journal being morbid, but I can't think of anything funny to say right. now.







Saturday, September 26, 2015

How to Get Away With Murder or, Is Law School Really that Cray Cray?

Almost done with Season 1 of #Howtogetawaywithmurder.  It's exciting, dramatic and tense, but is it realistic? I don't know about criminal court, but I don't think court procedures would be that different.

All the reviews are rave.  No doubt Viola Davis brings the acting to a higher level, but when credibility goes out the window, it's hard for me to suspend reality.  So here's my take on the show so far.

First thing I noticed were technicalities...

1.  Courtroom attire.  Women wear suits in a court room, not off-the-sleeve or sleeveless tight dresses.  It's all about presentation to the jury and pleasing a judge.

2.  Can you really present witnesses or evidence without introducing it to the other side or bringing it to the bench for a judge to approve before before being presented to the jury?  Haven't you people ever seen Perry Mason?

3.  I don't think you can introduce a motion before a judge in a hearing scheduled for another motion.   In other words, if a hearing has not already been requested on the motion, unless it's an emergency, and even then, there's protocol.

4.  Is there really that much sexing and corruption going on in law school.  Seriously?  Everybody is sleeping with each other, everyone is genius (now I know that's not true) and there are layers and layers of secrets.  Too many interesting people in one place.

5.  The smoking guns....really...Just really?  Cases dismissed before evidence is presented or examined.

This is why I don't watch law shows.  But despite this, I love me some Matt McGorry, the guy who was a prison guard  in Orange is the New Black.  He plays law student, Asher.  Without him, the show would be too dark to binge watch, as I have been doing.

So, because of Viola Davis' willingness to bare her acting soul and head, I'm going to continue to watch whatever episodes are left on Netflix

There you have it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Preparing for Goodbye


I've been mentally preparing myself, to the best of my ability, and with prayer, for the day Kayla is no longer with us, just because she's getting old, has Cushings, and has difficulty walking for about the last eight months. Now that I know she has lymphoma and will be leaving us sooner than I was hoping, it's really hitting me how much I have depended, and still depend, on her.  She taught the younger dogs manners and even some tricks, just by doing them herself.  Her deep, scary bark has thwarted home robberies. I know this because many of my neighbors have been robbed.  When we go for walks, Kayla is the one I ask for direction and she takes us where she wants to go.

I remember the first day, 9 years ago..maybe 10, driving to Pasco county to get her from a free online ad from a website, the name of which I don't even remember anymore.  She was fine when I got there, at least I thought so, till I got her home and saw she had a 3 inch injury running down the top of her paw (she kept licking it and it took months to heal.)  She was sick as a dog (pun intended) that night. I figured they gave her Benadryl before I got there.  I put her on the bed with me because I thought she was going to die that night. I was surprised when she couldn't jump, then found out she had very limited use of her back legs for some reason. I kept waking her up thinking she stopped breathing.  That's when I started spoiling her. giving her food because she was 20 lbs underweight, She was so weak, I could take her for walks without a leash and not worry about her running off, until I knew she was better about 4-5 weeks later when she saw a squirrel.

I wrote a song for her

She's my Kayla girl
She's the best girl in the world
She like a chase a squirrel,
cus she's my Kayla girl.

Kayla got a doggie habit
she like a chase a rabbit
You know she's gonna catchit
cus she's my Kayla girl.

She is always so happy when I sing that song, she prances around....

Last night we all played, Kayla played with her favorite squirrel toy, just like always.

I'm not saying goodbye yet, but I'm getting ready to.
                                                                 

                                                      Kayla today - blissfully ignorant
                                                 
      Kayla in her younger days
 
                                             
                                                                         

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

THE TRACKER

Chapter 1
Poor Poe
Poe stared into the mirror.  She was never particularly fond of her reflection, but she hated it now.  She noticed her hand was shaking.  She lowered the gun, wondering if she was a coward or a fool. She staggered to bed and lay as she landed.

The morning sun in Denver is bright, but Poe did her best to block it out.  Her windows were as shut off from sunlight as her soul, but she couldn't stop those damn birds from singing at the top of their little bird lungs.  Reluctantly, she rose from her bed as if partially dragged by an invisible force.  Eyes squeezed shut, her head bass-thumping, she bumped down the hall to the bathroom where the vomiting began that would continue throughout the day. She tripped over the dogs on the way to the Keureg 

Poe saw to the dogs, then sat in a chair in the dark for the rest of the day, rising only to throw some tortillas in a bowl, fill a cup with tomato juice laced with hot sauce, go the bathroom, throw up, or see to the dogs again.  She went to bed early, hoping to dream through the screaming in her head.

The next morning Poe rose from bed with a purpose. Bottles of liquor filled the sink. She raised a trembling finger in the air, as if a different type of flashbulb went off.  She lifted off the top of the toilet tank and recoiled.  She had been in that tank many times, but never before noticed the grey-brown slime growing along the inside of the tank, or the moldy, dank stank. Resolutely she dunked her hand into the light grey-green tank water and pulled the bottle of gin from the tank. 

She stared at the sink containing the sparkling gold and rich brown liquors in enticing bottles; the kind that made you think there was magic in them. Damn, that's a lot of liquor.  There were more bottles hidden in the most unlikely placed; closet shelves, behind the washing machine, the dryer, next to the spare tire in her trunk.  She rotated her liquor consumption at various sundry locations.  She didn't want anyone getting the wrong impression.  She hid them to slow her flow and then forgot where they were hidden.  It didn't  occur to her for quite some time that she was hiding liquor in a house where she lived alone.

Poe sighed. She picked up the nearest bottle and began pouring the sacred nectar with the sickly sweet smell into the sink. The rich liquid made little golden streams over bottles and down the drain.  She began to cry and shook, but didn't stop till the last drop was rinsed out of the last bottle and thrown into the recycle bin. 
Poe went to bed.  Her demons did not.
==================================================================
Chapter II
The Beginning
"Polly!"  Poe heard a woman exclaim.  Must be somebody else,  Poe thought, Nobody calls me Polly anymore.  "Polly Mullholland!" 

Poe turned to face her just to stop her from saying it again.

"Nobody calls me Polly anymore, Adele, you know that."

"Well, that's your name isn't it?  You don't really want to be called Poe, do you?  You can't really like it.  It sounds like a man's name."  Adele's eyes narrowed as though she was getting ready to say something Poe was sure she didn't want to hear.

"What are you doing here Adele?  Are you going... in there?" Poe couldn't bring herself to say it and pointed to the room with chairs set around a table? Please God, say no.

"No, I'm in the Al-Anon meetin' across the hall.  It's my boy....you remember Harold? "  Adele rushed on, "Well, he's goin through a bad spell right now.  Gerald won't come to these meetin's.  He went to the first one and says that they point too many fingers at the relatives.  He says there ain't nothin wrong with him, it's Harold who's got the problem..." Adele's eyes began turning red.  Poe wished she had something in her pocket to stab herself in thigh so she could at least look sympathetic.

"Well, look Adele, I mean...it's good to see you.  Sorry about your boy. The meetings about to start, so..."

"Oh, I understand.  We should get together, have coffee sometime." She seemed excited. "You AA people do love your coffee!"  Poe smiled, raised her hand in a sort of farewell salute, turned and walked into her first meeting.   At least the aggravations made her forget how nervous she was for a few minutes. 

"You must be new," a woman materialized beside her at the coffee counter.   

"How can you tell?" Poe's brow furrowed.

"Oh, I don't know..." She glanced at Poe's hand.  Poe looked at her own hand.  It was spilling coffee from the sides. The woman smiled,  "fill it only 3/4 full for a little while," she whispered.

Great, Poe thought and turned and walked away

The woman sat next to her making Poe uncomfortable.  Are these people going to be some kind of cult stalkers?

"What's your name?" the woman asked.

"Poe."

"As in Edgar Allen?"

"As in my younger brother couldn't say Polly."

"Can he say it now?"

"Nope, he's dead.  Look, since you've decided to make me your special buddy, can you tell me where I can get the textbook and workbook?  How long do I have to take the classes?"

"My name is Carrie," her smile deepened, unnerving Poe.  "I think I can help."

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Is Mars The Earth's Future? A letter to Doug & Kristine Tompkins -Tomkins Conservation

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Tomkins,


Is it too far-fetched an idea that Mars could once have been a thriving planet, like earth, destroyed by technology, returned to dust, as it is said all must be one day? Okay, maybe I waxed too Biblical, and I'm no Neil deGrasse Tyson, but my imagination is intrigued and horrified by the possibility.

I just read MarketWatch's July 9 article on Stephen Hawkings Catastrophic End for Planet Earth. I had a very emotional response to the article. I began meditating on what a waste it is to throw away a spectacular planet and the mysterious and beautiful creatures inhabiting it for no reason other than to make a buck. 

The grim predictions of the article made me start wondering what drastic steps could be taken. How do you destroy the monsters (capitalism, to name one)? I wondered, quite frankly, if violence, or even murder was the only way. Fortunately, moral convictions eliminated these possibilities. I started looking online for non-violent ways to beat big business, which is just as guilty as technology, or at least, in collusion. I googled, can we stop technology from destroying the earth, and came across the Guardian's July 11 2013 article, How Technology Has Stopped Evolution and is Destroying The Earth. 

I'm addicted to technology, just as all my peers are. Social media, in my mind, should also be useful for social change. I become despondent when it's only used for finding/rescuing animals and videos of kittens and puppies. Even highly intelligent people do not want to put aside their own agendas. And almost everyone I know refuses to discuss these types of subjects, hush poshing the author as being too negative, a doomsayer. Those who do not, rant impotently against a tsunami.

I think what you are attempting to do is wonderful, but is it enough? You apparently have, or had, a lot of money, but even you, with however much money you have/had, and being highly intelligent, from what I could glean from the Guardian article, only got 1,508 shares and 22 comments from the date of the article three days shy of two years ago. That in itself is heart-sinking. Even great writers, geniuses, who tell us what we are doing and how we are going to end up, whether fiction or fact, are heralded for their writing, but any change effected is too small.

The only way I can think of saving this planet is rallying the people in massive numbers. So far, big money and technology corporations have been able to mass hypnotise large numbers of people. How can we break the psychosis? There has to be a grassroots movement to stop that from happening, but it has to be powerful and move fast. 

I hope I don't sound crazy. Truth is, I'm 58. I'm not even going to be here too much longer. Sure I have kids and grandkids, but the reason is even bigger than that. Right now we have more than we can possibly need. Stephen Hawkings is talking about finding other planets to live and cultivate (why, to do this again?) in space because the planet will be uninhabitable in "the not too distant future."

This cannot, must not happen.

Hopefully, you read enough for me to thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Carol Sheppard


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

In Search of Jesus

I am going through a spiritual crisis. I'm pretty sure that the fact that it coincides with me becoming a vegetarian is no coincidence. I think it's the hormones.

All kidding aside, it's causing me night terrors.

Yesterday I read an article on Flipboard, which I can't find today, about the mythology of Jesus.  The article stated that there is no evidence that Jesus existed other than the Bible, which was edited, revised, stomped on, dragged through many translators and regurgitated by Kings and second-hand accounts.

I almost didn't read the article.  I knew that I wasn't in a place to stand on the faith of the religion I had believed all my life, but I want to know.

According to another article I read today by an author named Jim Walker, called Did a Historical Jesus Really Exist, there is no historical account of Jesus either during His  time or for a generation and more after.  He (the author, not Jesus) makes a good point: someone, somewhere should have heard and written about and the miracles that happened during Jesus' lifetime.  In fact, Walker says that as a matter of fact, no historian, philosopher, scribe or follower wrote about Jesus during his time

Arguments over lack or writing skills, education and an overall  general literary ignorance are dissected and somewhat dismissed.  There were scribes of the day and there are writings. The only known non-Christian writers  wrote what they heard about Jesus  beginning some 37 years after His  death . The rest, Walker argues, were also not eyewitness and got their information from hearsay.


Moreover, it is a well-known fact that the apostles did not actually write any of the books in the Bible at all.  Mr. Walker argues that John, James, Matthew and most of Paul's were second, third or fourth-hand accounts. Even Paul, Walker argues, only wrote eight of the 11 books and never mentions a human Jesus. In fact, Walker says none of them do. (This I have to look up.  It conflicts with my understanding of the Bible.)

Oh, and it gets better.  Walker states that the story of Jesus was similar to many Pagan beliefs of the day: virgin birth, December 25 date, wise men, and sacrifice.

The three following "Proofs that Jesus existed" are not actually proof at all. 
The Shroud of Turin  - carbon dated around 14th century and testing reveals it's more of a painting .
The Burial Box of James - inscription forged.  Artist arrested
Letters of Pontius Pilate - novel created by W.P. Cozier.

All the above "proofs" are revealed to be  fake, but to this day, most adamant Christ-based religious people will not believe the scientific facts.  In fact, if you have ever had an argument with a religious person you know it sometimes sounds as if violence is about to ensue should that topic not be immediately abandoned.  You will not make your point.  Surrender.  (To be fair, the same can be said of some militant atheists, not for this topic, but any in opposition to their core beliefs that there is no God.

Walker's research extends to the historical geographical errors in the bible.  I won't list them here, but they are listed in his blog. 

The article was very long and contained a lot of convincing evidence that no Jesus as we know Jesus existed.

I had a long sleepless night as my faith began to crumble like the Roman Empire.

What if there was  no Jesus?  What would it mean to the human race?  Would the world sink into anarchy?  Sins wouldn't be sins!  No afterlife?  I cringe at the thought of behaviours like pedophilia going unpunished.  Religious wars, political wars, ...all for naught.

My whole life has been based on the belief of a God, of a being who lived as a man and offered himself as a sacrifice to save me. ME!

What if we lived without religion?  What would keep us in check?  Would we keep ourselves in check? Would we be kind with no promised reward? Would there be less war or more?

To be fair, I read a blog by Bart D. Erhman on the Huffington Post Religion site.  He has an opposing opinion.  He admits that the Gospels of the Bible are fraught with biases, problems with detail, with information at odds with each other, and written decades after Jesus' death.  Jesus is not mentioned by any Roman sources of His day  Ehrman's point is whether or not biased sources can be credible.  

According to Ehrman, the writings of Paul are in Jesus' native tongue, Aramaic and can be dated within just a year or two of his life.  Paul obtained his information about Jesus from James, Jesus' brother and Peter, Jesus' closest disciple. Ehrman tried to make a point, weakly, if you don't mind my opinion, that "If Jesus did not exist, you would think his brother would know it."

Ehrman states that there are no accounts of pagan gods who were born to virgin mothers and who died as an atonement for sin and who were raised from the dead.

Jews would not have invented Jesus as he was because no Jews "of any kind, whatsoever, thought there would be future crucified messiah." The Messiah would be a "figure of grandeur and power who overthrew the enemy." Erhman did not mention that Jews do not accept Christ as the Messiah, but he does say that Christians did not invent Jesus, but they did invent that He had to be crucified.

The arguments that Ehrman make are more like unanswered questions. Wouldn't James, Jesus' brother know if Jesus didn't exist?  Why would Christians invent a Messiah in opposition to the Jews' Christ Messiah?

Quite a bit less compelling than Walker's blog.

But....both the blogs raise more questions for me than answers.

Is it so unreasonable to think that Romans didn't write about Jesus because their life depended on not writing about Jesus? Also, it's not so unreasonable that the Romans, the most powerful kingdom on earth at the time, destroyed all discovered accounts of Jesus' life after His death? But that doesn't answer why non-Christian writers didn't write about Jesus, does it?

I had a whimsical thought. What if God sacrificed a man through mythology rather than making a real man die an intolerably cruel death.  Maybe He was too kind to actually put a man through that? What a great idea for a novel.   Don't steal it, it's mine. 

For a religion based solely on faith, is it unreasonable to expect that evidence was removed based on the phrase, all things work for the good of God?  

Or maybe the human race needs a sacrifice to make life worthwhile and to keep it in check?

If you've read to this part, I've been sober for 21 years.  My entire sobriety, the 12 steps, are based upon my belief in a God of my understanding.  Right now, believing that there is no God hurts my stomach...it's disconcerting, devastating. It's sending hot and cold chills up and down my body right now! I expect to have another mentally exhausting night as my mind tosses and turns the information trying to figure out what to believe.

I have a friend who told me that she is starting to believe that when we die ...all there is thunk!  And because she's of Italian descent, her hand gracefully circled the air and lay flat, as flat as we in the grave.

I'll keep searching for evidence that Jesus existed.  Obviously, reading only two blogs, no matter how detailed, could not possibly provide all the information available.  

In the meantime...


I don't know why the thought of dying and then nothing scares the (scares the what, if not Jesus, God or hell?) out of me.

On the other hand, when I look at it this way - if believing in a God, whether there is or isn't one, will keep me sober, I'm willing to do it.  If there isn't, what difference will it make?  If there is one, then at least I behaved as if I did.  

I wonder if that will work?


Friday, June 5, 2015

Addiction

You'd think that someone 21 years in recovery from alcoholism would be able to spot an addict, no matter what the addiction.  Wrong.  Not even close.

But I have experienced that first kiss of addiction to dry goods as we say in the rooms, many times.

I ran away from home when I was 16 or 17. This was in the early 70s, about '73 or '74.  I'll spare you the details of the why and should have been why nots.

Somehow, I made it to the Ozark Mountain Festival in Missouri in July, 1974.  I don't remember how, but I arrived with not a penny to my name.  I remember a feeling of hopelessness when I saw men collecting money at a gate.  A man jabbed me and pointed toward another man on the inside of a metal fence.  The man waved us toward him while curling up a piece of the fence.  We ran toward the gap in the fence and snuck inside the concert for free.  Wikipedia has information on the festival and the bands that played there.  Apparently I missed the event of a lifetime.  I only remember Bachman Turner Drive playing Let it Ride.  The rest was a drug and alcohol induced blur while I paraded around naked or half-naked.  There were a lot of naked women there.  I spent the night in the tent of some guys who had some crystal meth or something like it.  One of them told me I farted all night.  

In Lake Charles, Louisiana, I met a young man who was flirting with me.  I was so high, I thought he was a she and suggested that she go flirt with one of the guys.  She was shocked.  I only figured out later that he was a guy.  Damn, he was pretty.

I arrived in Austin, Texas at night.  I don't remember what street my ride took me down, but I remember picking out the street people, now called by their politically correct name, The Homeless.   I spent the night near the rails, at a temporary camp of a hobo who shared a can of beans heated by his campfire. Hobos were people, usually men, who stayed near the rails and traveled for free on the railroad's dime.  I learned it was only free if they didn't get caught and thrown into jail, or lose limbs or life.

Austin's nightlife was electric.  Live bands played southern soul in loud and dimly lit bars.  Outside of town was a nude beach where I continued my freedom of body language and burned my privates.  I seem to remember a guy I was with also burned his.

I think it was in Texas that a kind soul told me it would be best if I disappeared after I knocked $125 worth of a "new drug" in powder form onto a white shag carpet. Normally, not one for subtle warnings, the seriousness of my situation did not escape me.  Disappearing was no problem. They were still searching through the rug when I made my escape.

I don't remember much about the guys I hooked up with, except for Billy, who was tall, blond and dumb.  We were a couple in a group heading to Tuscon, Arizona.  I told him that I had to go ahead of them after he and another man decided to shoot up White Lightning.  I think it was their screams that convinced me. Billy tried to talk to me in Tuscon, but I avoided him.  One day he caught up with me by getting the bartender to trick me into going outside.  I'm sure I lied.  I was a bad liar.  I told bizarre lies.  Lies that weren't even plausible.  They worked because people got it, but it's embarrassing now.

My next near miss was in Tuscon, which is a college town with a lot of bars.  A real popular song that year was Ray Stevens' The Streaker.  I arrived, found "my" people (those who had drugs, alcohol and/or places to stay), and proceeded to make acquaintances by streaking a local bar. This made me very popular.  So popular, in fact, that I was invited to try heroin one day in the upstairs room of a place across from my favorite bar (so called due to its proximity to the room I was staying in.)  I remember the room.  It was gray.  The windows faced the bar.  I remember a man standing next to a woman.  They both stood in front of the door. She had a tube around her arm.  He had a needle. His head turned toward me.  He invited me to join them.  I remember what he said next.  "Look. It's easy. Watch, I'll do her and you can see."  I am a wussy (with a capital p), when it comes to needles.  Just ask any tech who has ever tried to take blood from me.  I'm sure I cringed, but when the woman turned as gray as the walls and her body thudded against the floor, I sprouted wings, flew through hem, out the door and out of Tuscon.  I was 17.

I finally ended up in Fresno, California.  I passed LA because drivers did not stop, not even for a single teenage female.  I met two brothers and drank Wild Turkey 101 for the first and last time.  I was asked to leave the next day by the brother I did not have sex with.  He wanted me to leave before the other brother came home from work. I didn't want to. Fresno was cold.  But I left.  California was a bust.

A lot happened while I made down (or is it up?) I-10.  While at a festival of some sort, a small tree cut down to a pointy stick, pierced the ball of my foot. I felt faint and pretended to pass out in front a restaurant in Sweetwater, Arizona.  If I was trying to make someone feel sorry for me, it worked.  A couple took me to an emergency room where a doctor who obviously didn't like hippies, grabbed, jerked, scraped,  slapped on antibiotics, and plastered some gauze and some tape on the wound. I paid that couple back by stealing the husband's pet project., a muscle car he had been rebuilding. I drove the car to Austin and just as I arrived, police car lights blazed behind me.  I freaked and tried to run, crashing the car into the brick wall of a building.  I had no ID. I was taken to a doctor who put 10 stitches in my right  temple, and spent a night in jail with a bloody bandage in a cell with only one prisoner.  My father flew from Florida and pled no contest to my charges. The couple called my parents.  They wanted to talk to me.  My parents made me talk to them, but I probably gave them some bullshit story.  I don't even know if I remembered how to tell the truth by then.  My father told me the police wanted to pull me over for a broken tail light.

I'll spare you the details of my journey to Colorado while five months pregnant with my second child, my son. Let's just say, I met a man who I married six years later and who I left six years after that.

I took acid when I was a teenager with no responsibilities.  I tried to be social and did some coke at a party once.  I took speed through my twenties and early thirties; Black Beauties, Pink Ladies and White Crosses.    Not long after, the drugs seemed to dry up, making way for impostors and more dangerous synthetic drugs.  I tried switching to Dexatrim, which worked for a while, but then that too stopped working, so I quit speed and settled for puffing pot and drinking cheap gallon wine.

Toward the end of my marriage, in the late 1980s, I was having an affair with a man who one night, showed me a yellow chalky cube in a pill bottle.  We smoked it.  I was not impressed.

The wife of another man I almost had an affair with found out and kicked him out.  He called me and I visited him at his new home.  I did not recognize him.  He went from being a blond-haired, blue-eyed hunk to a gaunt, thin haired older looking man within what seemed only a short time.  His house was bare except for a coffee table and a couple of chairs.  The coffee table had works on it.  He invited me to join him. I declined.  I was really sad when I left there.  I never went back.

(Sidenote:   before you troll, I really regret my actions now that I am sober.  Nobody deserves that.  I have been single for nine years and would rather cut off my Vajajay than have an affair with a married man or while I was married. People can change with the right spiritual ingredients.)

I haven't touched crack, cocaine or speed since, but I didn't quit drinking or smoking pot until 1994.  I have my own demons..

Even though I've kissed drug addiction right on her slobbery lips, I never made love to her.  The closest I came was watching Rush and Trainspotting.  I could barely get through them.  I guess I thought I could recognize addiction in real life, but I was wrong.

MORE WILL BE REVEALED...

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

DATING SUCKS! (or Everyone I'm Attracted to Is Way Above My Pay Grade)

Dating sucks.  I just want to meet someone, fall in love, move in and live happily ever.  Hell, I heard it's been done
About a long time ago, I decided not to date for one year. I made that decision because my brain and spirit have opposing views on attraction and worthiness. 
One year went by, then two. During the second year, I was a little lonely, but decided, hell, I made it this far, I knew I could make it another one. Three years went by,  four, five, six, then seven years passed.  Sometimes I wondered, where was this magic man for whom I waited?  Eight years went by. Maybe he was traveling from another state? Then nine years passed.  
Sometimes I wondered, is there something wrong with me? Am I ugly? Is my character so bad that God wouldn't burden anyone with me? I'm a good girl, where is my reward? 
Finally, after nine long years of vascillating between loving the single life and patiently waiting for that someone who together we would fall in love  mind, body, and soul,  I began dating. Yep, someone I actually liked  asked me out! Thanks to the time I had to myself, I now know what I want out of a relationship and what I can and should not compromise on.Now that may sound arrogant, but everybody should have that criteria, in my opinion. 
Unfortunately, although I like this person, he is not the right one for me. . Previously, I would have held onto him for as long as possible, because he was the only one who asked me out in more than nine years. I'm not even sure I would have turned anybody down if they ask me after year two, but I realized, that if being single was/is my destiny, I have a great life by myself.  It would really take someone special to convince me to give it up. So I'm going to continue to live  and love  my single life.  When loneliness pays me a visit, I'll remind her of all the love that I have for and from my family,  pets,  friends, and co-workers, and I want for nothing.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Absolutely Positively Maybe

On May 4, 2015, I had my second back surgery.  I am 58 years old.  The most frustrating thing, besides having to live this long (thanks to The Who who made me "Hope I die before I grow old!"), is being uncomfortable.  The second most frustrating thing is being incapable.  In recovery, we call it powerlessness.  Same thing.
I have three dogs and two cats.  Have I already told you that?  They've been pretty patient since I got home on Thursday, May 7, but I'm almost completely incapable of taking care of them.  
When you have back surgery and you start feeling better, you feel like you can do stuff.  Hopefully, I learned from my last surgery that even though I may feel great, my back has to heal, which can take up to a year.  I was vacuuming and driving before the first two weeks was up on my last surgery, which was somewhat less invasive than the recent one.  This time was a fusion and it is already taking longer to heal.
This time, I can't bend over or down, reach for anything, or basically twist or turn for any reason.
Living by myself (not counting the unemployed freeloaders who pretend not to understand anything but "cookie" and blame the lack of thumbs for their laziness), it's hard to ask for help.  
The first week was pretty rough. I pretty much slept all the time.  
Since I am in recovery, people have been cooking meals for me,  volunteering to clean, do dishes, do my laundry (ugh..hated to need that one), change the dogs' water bowls. I can't even get the butter behind the eggs on the second shelf of the refrigerator.
This week, I am doing better, although I did almost trip during the first week.  Catching myself was a misstep that sent a searing electric pain in my left hip, where one of the laminectomies was performed. I've been wearing ice packs since.  Since both the ice packs are on the floor (which I can't reach, even though I have a nifty grabber provided by the hospital), I've resorted to using bags of frozen vegetables.  A Green Giant bag of frozen corn is currently held on by a back brace and thawing against the offending nerve(s). I doubt that I will eat the corn.
Stubbornness is one of my most glaring defects.  I don't know why, because it almost always gets me in trouble  Two days into the second week, pain from the surgery was at a minimal.  So, I left logic and reason behind and tried to do some things around the house.  Six or seven hours later,  I finally made myself stop.  Before the end of the night, my heels hurt. I ended up soaking my feet for awhile. 
I made sure I would not be pain-free for a couple of days. Oh yeah, I forgot, stubbornness is not my friend.  At least I maintained a rigid position to the best of my ability.
Sleeping is a challenge.  It's been pretty uncomfortable, but at least I was able to stay straight.  Lately I've been waking up in weird positions,  The nurse told me to barricade myself with pillows on either side.  Since my dogs sleep with me and love to sleep on the tiny hills blankets make. I'm pretty sure I'd wake up with a dog laying on Hill Me.  
The whole thing has worked out so much better than I expected.  The pain has been less than I thought.  My son, close friends and even people who don't really know me very well have made this process of asking for help so much easier to bear.
Today, my son took me to get my nails done.  It was a bit of a challenge, and the thought of being in a car accident was terrifying, but off we went.  Silly as it sounds, getting my nails done was a symbol of hope for a normal pain-free life, which is the only reason to endure the amount of pain caused by surgery. Not every one's surgeries are successful.  Sciatica and lumbar pain can have two different causes.  I had both and my doctor addressed each separately.  The fact is, I have a very low tolerance for pain.  When I was giving birth to my third and last child, the doctor, in a matter of fact tone, told me that he needed my cooperation, while he was leaning into me with a scalpel (found that evidence later).  I guess my screaming was interfering with his concentration. Anyway, that fact brought me to an orthopedic doctor much sooner than it would a person with a higher tolerance, in other words, before my backbone crumbled and slid into my butt bone.
These types of circumstances reveal who is a real friend and who is just moving their lips in an agreeable manner. Strangely, I don't have a resentment against anyone who said they would help and then disappeared after my surgery. I just have to remember all  the times I did the same .  Being in recovery, it's' difficult not to notice how selfish or apathetic I am...until I experience the pain, or walked in someones shoes, as the old Indian proverb goes.  
My attitude is absolutely positive about recovering from the surgery.  Of course, my absolute positive attitude may only lasts until I have to try and get the butter behind the eggs off the second shelf of the refrigerator.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Fear

I used to be able to run, run, run far away from fear, when I was drinking.  I thought that my probably was you, and all the you's.  If you hadn't done this or that, that or this wouldn't have happened to me.  
I deluded myself, swimming in my alcohol-filled pool of courage, that I was brave, invincible, beautiful and funny.   I had talents that you morons couldn't see. I kept searching for the special you that could see them, and when I found you, you were imperfect, weak, and dismissed.
Now, I don't have a bottle to dive into. I felt like the littlest mermaid for the longest time. Climbing out of my liquid delusion, my body burned and nerves jangled with every step I took on dry land. Every minute that passed taught me more about my defects.  The hardest part of all, was learning that I am not, in fact, perfect. 
In retrospect, it's been a hard path to follow, but it's been getting easier and easier.  There are good things, very good things, that I've learned about me.  There are also some areas where I'm not getting better.  In fact, I'm just as bad or worse in those areas and it's causing a great deal of fear. At least, now I know I did it to myself. You didn't do anything.  
I was reading a story today on Flipboard called, Is God Training You, Like He Did Elijah?  http://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/with-elijah-on-god-s-training-ground.html
At his lowest point, Elijah was told to go to Kerith Brook and wait on God where the ravens would feed him.  Elijah did as he was told and after, God revealed Himself and Elijah performed miracles.
I want to walk away from everything, find a quiet brook and wait on God, but I'm in too much fear to listen for God.  The idea of losing everything and depending solely on God terrifies me.  I don't believe the ravens will feed me.    I'm not sure if God sees the world today, if He understands how it works, or even if He cares. People take the Bible to mean that what God said to a select few, He meant for all, but I don't believe that.  I believe that God meant what He said to those special people to apply to them only, and when He meant all of us, He said so.
Even with my doubts, I still pray.  I still believe, on some level, that God is with me and that I need Him desperately.  Whatever that is, I'm okay with it because I couldn't face my self alone.  Yes, I have a fellowship who taught me to have the courage to face my imperfections, and to shed light on even my darkest secrets.  I have grown very close, even to love a few, but in the end, I'm still alone with my thoughts.  
Let's just say, I don't always come up with good ideas, but I still plow forward, thinking, "this time, it'll be different. It will work out."  
At least I don't think I'm perfect anymore. I don't think it's you who is at fault.  I know it's me now, but I don't hate me, at least most of the time.  I still have some wonderful  qualities.  My life is good.  I'm safe. I'm very loved despite my defects, imperfection...unworthiness.  In fact, as sad as this would be to people who saw my outer existence, my life is the best it's ever been.  I'm afraid that God might ask me to leave everything, everyone and go to Kerith Brook to wait on Him.  Then I think of what's the worst that can happen, the dogs and cats either get homes or are put down (that's where the fear comes in). I lose all my material stuff; house and everything in it, car, job, clothes and food.  In the end, if I don't climb back in, I will still be okay. I have a group of people who love me and who are still teaching me to learn to live outside the bottle. 
I've walked through a lot of fear. I have, with a great deal of help, done some amazing things.  I have such a long way to go, but at least, I don't have to walk alone.  
A woman once showed me that all I needed was a little bit of faith and if God is with me, no one can be against me.  I guess God's Grace doesn't depend on me being anything other than me.  I hope that if God ever does call me to my own Kerith Brook, that I can hear Him and have enough faith and courage to obey.  

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Family is Just a Word

I spent my life wondering why my mother hates me so much, although she tried to explain it to me once, in a rare moment of conscience.  My father had affairs or an affair, while she was pregnant with me, she said.  She never "bonded" with me, she said.  I was 33, my youth long over by the time she finally admitted to me what I had suspected my entire life.   What I had begun to suspect was confirmed, so I wasn't surprised.  I thought she was repenting, but she was only easing her conscience.

I would get sober four years later and begin the process of forgiving, of trying to be a good daughter and make amends for the horror that I put my parents through, wrongly believing  I was justified.  I practiced learning to forgive her for making me endure her obvious disgust when I was trapped with her as a child, Even many alcoholics can't fathom a mother whose child makes her bristle just by breathing.  It's unimaginable, but it happened to me.

Although my mother was beautiful in her youth.  I mean, drop dead gorgeous, she could never see it. Her father was a strict and brutal disciplinarian, according to my mother.  Her mother died when she was 22. After I got sober, I tried to think of these things, practice forgiveness, let go of the resentments that I had so enjoyed to miserably wallow.

We had a screaming blow-out a year ago last Christmas and I finally told my father that I knew she still hated me.  A few days later, I went over to make amends, expecting pride, but surprised by an amends of her own.  She said she knew why I was angry.  I didn't even let her finish.  I didn't want her to have to say it. It was the best day of my life.  All I wanted was for my mother to love me, to approve of me.   I could not fathom a mother hating her child. Even when my brother confessed in shocked horror that a few years prior she confided to him that she hated me and didn't feel guilty, I told him I already knew and all was forgiven. I announced what I thought was a healing from the podium on my 20th anniversary.

I thought all the anger had been washed away, like sin was when John baptized Jesus.  Like Genesis, we were starting new, but alas, it was not to be.  I found out that a stream of resentment flows relentlessly under the surface of our relationship.  I had developed an agile acrobatic ability to deflect bombs disguised as passive aggressiveness. But just like any circus performer, I have off days.  Valentines Day, 2015 was an off day.

It's been a rough year already this year.  In January, two of my oldest cats, Scratchie, 18, and Mac, 15, were put to sleep. I had guilt over whether they were ready or not. 

I know I'm making excuses.  I am unashamed.  I am in constant back pain for which I'm seeking treatment and because of which, I'm just frickin miserable sometimes.  Still, and this is not to make myself seem wonderful, as you will find out soon, I am not, I visited my parents regularly.  They are old. They haven't anyone to depend on.

My brother is a 50 year-old addict who lives in a trailer park, his bills paid by their social security checks and other unmentionable activities.  They live off the kindness of Catholic Charities after spending every dime and maxed out their credit, in a vain attempt to save my brother from himself. My father, the funniest man I ever knew, generous with his time and money and unbelievably selfish, who mercilessly berated his son in his youth, tries to buy forgiveness with whatever they have left to afford.  My mother, who hates herself in a Catholic way, hangs herself in holy martyrdom on my father's cross.

My sister, the smartest of us all, moved too far away to help my aging parents, and to get away from our prying eyes and unsolicited opinions.  In rare moments when the truth rushes like steam from a boiling pot, she slams the lid on it and takes medication to turn the heat down, but the pot continues to simmer.

Though I always thought my aunt was the crazy one, but my mother's untreated neuroses has evolved to the point when even relatives who live in the same town may as well be living on Mars.

So, I took on the role of semi-caretaker visiting them several times a month, sometimes every week for months, bringing them gifts of food, computers, other things, until Valentine's Day 2015.

A day of two before, Dad asked me, as he constantly did, when I was going to come over.  We made a day of Valentine's Day.  I didn't make a time and didn't make it over there until 4:00, but tired after a week at work, my back hurting, I dragged myself over.  The place was a mess.  They weren't dressed when I got arrived. I was immediately uncomfortable, but I sat down at the kitchen table. I had offered to take them mattress shopping when I spoke to my Dad on the phone, but my Dad said he couldn't go in my car.  He had to have the wheelchair.

It all started with me trying to back out of going with them mattress shopping.  I asked who would be driving.  Dad said Mom would.  I made a joke, something like, "no way", or "Well, then, I really don't want to go." But in reality, I didn't want to be trapped and they're both horrible drivers.  Dad began telling a story of Mom having an episode while driving. I should have heard the ticking when Mom started getting defensive, but as I said, I was off my game that day.

I deflected the first bomb by ignoring Mom when she said, "I feel like boxing Carol's ears right now."  When she starts talking ABOUT people while they are right there in the room, there is usually only seconds until detonation. Everyone in the room should evacuate. I began to feel even more uncomfortable.  They seemed tired as if they just wanted to sleep and I began to wonder what I was doing there.

Mom asked me if I was hungry. As a matter of fact, I was, but I said, only a little.  She said she would make me something to drink. That was an odd thing to say, knowing that I'm a recovering alcoholic, but I didn't question it. I knew she didn't mean an alcoholic beverage, but she did mean something.

So, I sat at the table, talking to my Dad, when by chance, I turned my head and saw her pouring olive oil into a glass of tomato juice. I told her I didn't want any of that. She got angry.  "I knew you were going to say that . Why did you have to turn your head around?"  She wanted to make a concoction of olive oil, lemon juice and tomato juice, she said.  I reiterated that I didn't want any, thank you. She came out with a bottle of tomato juice, shoved it at my father and began speaking to me through my father again.  "I'm going to give Carol just tomato juice." 

The tension in the room was beginning to become unbearable and I had decided to leave.  I stood up and said that I didn't want anything. I was going to go home.  I don't know if my Mom lost it then, or if I said something under my breath about this (scene) being ugly and my father's unfortunate agreement with an added, "she's in a bad mood today."  Either way, my mother lost it.  She told me I could "go and not come back."  I said, "okay!"  Yay! Then, she wanted her hundred dollars back or her change from her hundred dollars.  (I told them I would buy her a Word program for the laptop that I bought her.

She gave me a hundred dollars and told me to "keep it for awhile."  I have not taken a dime off of them for dozens of years, but stupidity runs in my veins.  And I was having trouble paying it back.)  In my anger, I wrote a check for cash for the whole hundred, even though they said they would pay half. Don't borrow money. That's my motto....usually.  A better motto would be, don't offer to pay for things you can't afford.  Whatever, I'm not taking money from old people on Social Security.

Like I said before, I was having an off day, which was perfect for what was about to happen.  I took the bait and announced I wouldn't wasn't be back and began writing a check, which gave her time to hurl more insults, 

My poor disabled father's attempts to intervene were almost comedic.  His guttural pleas ping-ponged back and forth from woman to woman, "Oh Lord, Pam, don't do that. ,"  and, "Come now, Carol, don't say that!" 

As I got up to leave, my 4'11" mother tilted her head backand came at me from the kitchen, barking insults like a rabid dog. When she got eye to chin to me, I could feel my eyes narrow and my hand clench. I struggled not to punch her in the face, and told her so. I'll never forget the satisfaction in her face when she said, "and your ugly on the outside too!" For a split second I was shocked, I couldn't believe she had just stabbed me in my Achilles heel.  My composure shattered.  I shouted, "You fucking bitch?" in their 500 sq foot apartment.  I heard my father groan. She had aimed and scored and was reveling in it.  She shot more insults, but by now, I had been reduced to shouting at her to fuck off.  As I walked out the door, my parting words, were that this behavior was the cause of their loneliness.   Dramatically, I said goodbye and good luck.

You would think that's the end of it, but oh no!

I made another mistake by contacting my sister and asking her to keep in touch with them in case they need anything.  I cryptically told her there was a falling out and I wouldn't be available anymore.  I had forgotten how much my sister is like my mother, Of course, she called my mother first thing the next morning and decided to message me to let me know my mother was fine.  Of course, SHE was fine.  She hasn't had that much fun in years!  She thought I'd like to know.  Nope, I said, just check on them. 

"Yeah right, like you were mother of the year."

WHAT?  THIS from the sister who insisted she didn't want to know what happened, who didn't want to get in the middle of things, and who thanked me for being there for them?

That's when I decided to divorce the whole sick lot of them, mother, sister, brother and unfortunately, father by association.  I started the divorce proceedings by un-friending and blocking each of their Facebook pages.  Immature, but effective.

I've had mixed reactions.  My sponsor (I'm sober 21 years March 13, 2015), said to just not see them today.  Oh yeah right, the one day at a time thing, I can do that.  Facebook friends (a brief burst of momentary lapse of judgment, which was quickly deleted) advised me to allow my mother her wishes.  One of my daughter's, who doesn't care for my mother's rejection of her, called me to find out if I was okay. I said I was and asked why.  She said sister posted something about wishing she could un-sister me.  I asked my daughter not to report what's said about me on Facebook.  As far as I'm concerned, it's done.  Another friend was appalled at every point of my reaction, sharing her story of warm love toward her cold and hateful mother. 

In AA's Big Book, Alcoholic Anonymous, there is a discussion of the consequences of our actions during the drinking phase of our lives.  How we blame others, but continuously place ourselves in positions where we can be, and are, hurt.  That is what a relationship is like with my mother. 

I know I'm emotionally and spiritually immature. I know I'm abrasive, as my warm friend with the cold mother told me, which is exactly why I can't continue a relationship with my family. I've heard of people disappearing, moving far from their families, cutting off relations with them completely. I've wished for that so often. 

People tell me I should be a good daughter; that I will miss her when she's gone. They. are. wrong.

A woman told me this the other day, "Family is just a word.  You're not going to treat me like shit and be my family.  My family are my friends and people who love and support me unconditionally.  Just because I have the same blood as you does not make you my family."

Well said.  Well said, indeed.