The Shanty

The Shanty
where I grew up

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My Night in Hell

I got into Kacy’s car a little reluctant that my car still wasn’t fixed. I learned of how she lost all of her life insurance due to a windshield repair. Apparently if you don’t have the funds to pay for mechanical work, they can take money from your life insurance leaving you with nothing. I wasn’t too concerned since I don’t have a husband or kids but I did feel bad for her. It didn’t seem fair. Neither was the fact that I stayed in a burning building last night.

Erin took me to the loft where the man lived that was fixing my car. He had it for several days so there was no reason it shouldn’t be fixed by now. We showed up and I asked him for my keys. He tried explaining that he was still waiting for some parts, etc., etc… but I knew he was just giving me the run around. I needed my car. I screamed at him to, “Give me my FUCKING keys!” He still refused. Erin tried to calm me down and the man said if we wanted to wait he’d go get my car. I have been extra emotional lately and this situation was no different.

While we waited we decided to play a game that was set up in the loft. You take eggs, put them in a chute and watch as they run through an obstacle course exploding different barriers. The point is to destroy everything while having your egg land safely at the end. I was not having very good luck as my egg cracked every time. Erin discovered that if you punched a staple in the base of the egg the explosions were greater and her egg never broke. I thought I would try but I was too rough with the stapler and kept breaking my egg. I was clearly frustrated. After several attempts I finally got a staple in and decided to add some lighter fluid to make for better explosions. Finally! My egg made it through unscathed. The loft didn’t have as much luck.

I noticed a tiny fire erupt and at first it made me laugh. Then it began to grow and jump to different areas. This was not good. I grabbed the fire extinguisher from the wall and begin spraying. The extinguisher wasn’t working properly though and the fire spread. I screamed at Erin to call the fire department. While we waited I tried feverishly to put out the fires while she sat and watched. The fires would go away for a while but then reappear stronger and hotter than ever. I was confident Jason wouldn’t be showing up on that fire truck as we were not in his district. I was too embarrassed to see someone I knew. And once again, my luck was not good.

I was right, Jason wasn’t there but in walked Tony and about 4 people I knew from Page. They came up calmly and didn’t seem to care that I was coughing from smoke inhalation. They stood around and talked to each other and Erin for what felt like forever while I continued to try to stop the fire. I was confused. Finally the captain informed me that these fires were going to continue to reappear so someone would have to stay overnight to fight them. He told me that he doesn’t get paid enough for that so it would have to be me. He explained that unless I wanted to be sued for destroying someone’s property I would have to. They armed me with another fire extinguisher, closed all the windows so no air could get in and instructed me to stay close to the ground. They waved and drove off, with Erin.

I was so dizzy and fell in and out of consciousness for the remainder of the night. In the fires I saw much of my past…it was haunting me and I felt so alone. I couldn’t understand how all of this was happening to me. All I wanted was my car back. The fires seemed to be under control and I began to scream for the asshole that had my car. That’s when I realized my keys had been in that room the whole time. I grabbed them and went searching for my car. I found it! I began to drive away but didn’t make it very far. I broke down before even exiting his property. I was fucked. Feeling completely helpless and hopeless I called Kacy to come pick me up. The fire seemed to finally be gone and I just wanted to go home.

I never did get my car back. I never did get my self worth back either. I had spent the night in hell and just wanted to sleep to try to forget it all. Ironically I was already sleeping. It was now 5:30 and my alarm was sounding in my ear…

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Lose-Lose Situation

Just when I start to feel normal again, something happens or is said that makes me rethink everything. And don’t get me wrong, I love to explore different aspects and avenues and in the process try to understand everyone else and myself better. But it becomes difficult and heavy when that “something” becomes my character. I still enjoy hearing different points of view on it but it often adds a cloud of depression overhead as well. I’ve spent many years trying to figure myself out and I regularly try to become a better person in the process. There are days when I feel like I’m doing very well and that I’m strong and capable and then there are others when I feel like I haven’t moved forward at all. I suppose everyone goes through these fluctuations but I seem to do it a lot. Choices I make never seem to leave me feeling peaceful. I guess I’m mostly talking about when it comes to relationships.

I always say that I’m not cut out to be in a relationship and I think I’m right. I have never had a man in my life not let me down, minus my grandfather and he has passed away. Because of this fact, I apparently put A LOT of pressure on guys I date. At the same time I think, in the back of my mind, that they too will let me down. I basically set up a no-win situation for them. I’m expecting them to become the first man in my life who hasn’t let me down while at the same time I am certain they won’t be. What kind of crazy shit is that?! I try not to behave this way but it is so engrained in me, I subconsciously sabotage myself and my love life. I thought I had gotten better but found out I continue to behave in the same ways. This is very frustrating to me! I do believe I should be able to find someone who will “put up” with this though. Especially seeing as how I put up with all their baggage. My baggage just doesn’t come in the form of kids, an ex-husband, debt, etc… Mine is my mind. So it’s harder to detect and is why often times my friends don’t know or believe me when I say I am no good to date. Even my psychologist is fooled. And this is why guys go running for the hills after a couple months of dating me.

Even though I think I will be able to find someone who will accept me the way I am, I do realize that is a LARGE burden to take on. The only plus I see, is that I acknowledge it as a flaw and I don’t feel good about behaving this way. At least I don’t go around oblivious to how it affects others and tell them to “deal with it”. I don’t want the man I love to have to “deal with it”. I don’t want to be this way! So my focus lately has been on having fun. That doesn’t get me very far either. I think too much. I worry too much. And I let myself down too much. The solution? No more men for me until I can get a handle on how I treat them. That’s right. My fragile, complex mind can’t handle that kind of intimacy right now. You will never win with me and somehow I end up hurting in the end. I do it to myself and yet make you feel like you were never good enough for me. I throw you into the huge pile of other men who never measured up. That can’t feel good. And while some of the men have proven to not be good enough, the truth is, they didn’t have an honest chance to begin with either way. So how do I really know if someone is good enough or not or if I just assume they aren’t at the beginning? See how tiring my mind can make me?

So for now, I will focus on me and what it is I need to do to get over being angry that every man in my life has let me down. I know this stems from my father but has gone much deeper than that and much more out of control. I want to someday be in a healthy relationship and function normally. I just need to figure out how to achieve this before attempting it.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Obesity vs. Anorexia

One of my favorite websites is one that glorifies obese women. I’m going to admit right off the bat that the reason it is one of my favorite sites is because I like a good laugh. This certain photographer (Substantia Jones) takes pictures of very large women, mostly nude photos, but does not disclose their faces. Here is a piece from her mission statement:


The Adipositivity Project aims to promote size acceptance, not by listing the merits of big people, or detailing examples of excellence (these things are easily seen all around us), but rather, through a visual display of fat physicality. The sort that's normally unseen.

The hope is to widen definitions of physical beauty. Literally.

I’ve got a huge (pardon the pun) problem with what this site stands for. Since when is being unhealthy beautiful? I mean seriously. I know that people struggle with their weight and want to feel good about themselves but to display obesity like it’s some kind of trophy is horrifying to me! If Miss Jones aim really was to promote size acceptance, then where are all the photos of anorexic women?? Oh but that’s a disease, one that should never be glorified! Well I’ve got news for you, so is obesity! I’m tired of hearing large people say “I love my body!” because even if they do (which I’m reluctant to believe them) the truth is, their body is not a healthy one much the same as an anorexic body isn’t. Why do we pretend to believe that it’s okay to be obese and to embrace your figure? That figure is not natural nor is it okay. I’m not sure why we shun drugs, cigarettes, anorexia…all things that are NOT GOOD FOR YOU, but obesity?? Obesity is beautiful! While I don’t hold anything against anyone who is obese I also will never tell you, you should continue to live that way because it is NOT GOOD FOR YOU!

That’s fine if Substantia Jones wants to photograph obese women but to do so for the reason of acceptance is absurd to me. I think it’s sending the wrong message. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but health isn’t. To say it’s okay to be obese is saying it’s okay to risk your health much the same way drugs do. I don’t see anyone taking pictures of drugies and passing them off as acceptable and beautiful.

I have included some pictures from Substantia’s site as well as some anorexic women. Needless to say, I had a hard time finding a website much like Adipositivity that was devoted to anorexics. Go figure.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Smashed Fags

For those of you who didn't know me from my myspace days, I would like to share a story I wrote back in April 2006. I've been missing my brother a lot lately and this story puts a smile on my face...

The Smashed Fags

It would be another night alone, just Daniel and I to fend for ourselves. Mom and Norman, which is what he was still called at the time, headed off to the Bowling Alley. No, they were not going to bowl. This was Page's bowling alley, where the lanes were merely a backdrop to the overcrowded bar filled with lingering smoke. About two years later I would really get to know the bowling alley- front of house, and back of house- it would become my home away from home, or rather my babysitting space away from the stank trailer but that story is for another time.

What would we do tonight? I was only 6 and already admired my 9 year old brother more than anyone else. How could I not? Without each other the other probably would have died literally. We had no parental role models. Our dad left us just a year earlier and within that time Mom had already found this new man, married him and everything. But being the alcoholics that they were there was no time for child rearing. We didn't really care yet because what kid wouldn't want to be left at home alone at our young ages? We decided that tonight would be movie night- not watch a movie but act out a movie impromptu- one of our favorite games.

Our movies always involved guns and beating people up. I guess it was the days of wrestling and we both had the moves down pat. Back then wrestling was real and the idea of being praised and cheered on for hurting someone seemed irresistible....I too wanted to be a wrestler. But our story line had to be much more deep than just hurting people. We would fly over the alligator infested waters and crawl through sewer lines to rescue the good. That's when Daniel had a brilliant idea. With all the smashed cigarette butts lying around I was surprised he hadn't thought of it sooner. We would smoke.

And smoke we did. With all the in-womb puffing away we did smoking the real thing was cake- went down nice and smooth, cough-free. We actually had fun digging through the black, plastic ashtrays to find the longest ones. Most were smoked all the way down to the filter so we really had to dig. Our little ash stained fingers carefully rummaged through the seemingly endless heap of fags until we found two worthy contenders. We lit them up and smoked the couple drags they were worth. Smoking is probably not something one should be doing at age 6 let alone age 9 but we did and we were cool.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Bad timing or cowardice?

I think I have learned that guys will say ANYTHING to keep from hurting a girl. And it’s our jobs to interpret it and respect ourselves enough to not put up with anything less than what we deserve. It’s a pattern with me…I’m told, “You’re my dream girl. I’m not interested in anyone but you. But I think you deserve better than I can give you right now… our timing is off” more times than I care to admit. I want to believe that statement but how can I?! It sounds like a very polite way of getting rid of me. If I say, “It’s okay. I’ll take whatever you can give me,” how can I expect the guy to respect me if I show so little respect to myself? I think they want me to say, “You’re right I deserve more. Thank you for being honest with me. I want to remain friends.” Why can’t a guy just say “Hey…sorry to tell you but I don’t like you enough to give it my all,” that’s really what it’s about right?? I’m not their dream girl! It’s funny because I know of guys who would do anything for me. Guys who would love to have the chance to date me and show me what I’m worth. Why don’t I ever give those guys a chance?? Maybe they’re not bold and assertive enough for me, I don’t know. What I do know is that I don’t like being the one to be forced to be the “bad guy” and end things yet this is always what I have to end up doing. Are men that “cowardly” that they can’t be honest with me? Instead I feel they say things to make it seem like they’re nice and honest and are doing me a favor but telling me how great and wonderful I am and polite to give me the choice of what I want. This is such bullshit to me. Maybe because I’ve heard it so many times that I don’t know what or who to believe anymore! Is it a control issue that guys have? They only want me if it’s on their terms?? And if so, that doesn’t seem very respectful to me. I mean, I must be doing something wrong as a girlfriend. I’m not sure what it is though because all I’m ever told is how great I am! How am I supposed to improve if people won’t tell me what it is I do wrong?! I am just trying to understand better why I always find myself in the same situation time and time again. What do you guys think? I am really bad at reading between the lines because the way I conduct myself, people don’t have to do that with things I say so I don't know how to do it with them.

I'm not badmouthing or exposing anyone here either. I'm just trying to understand myself better, that's all. I'd appreciate comments to show the same consideration.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Power of Bikram

I actually shed a couple tears in Bikram yoga last night. I was struggling extra hard in class for some reason. I was having difficulties breathing and my heart rate was higher than normal. I was becoming increasingly frustrated as I really expected to do a great job. I even picked a spot in the front of the room to give myself more concentration. Turns out, I had to sit out on a lot of the poses. I wasn’t sure what was going on with me but I hated having to sit out and not perform as I would have liked. Finally the standing series was done and it was time to get into Savasana (dead body pose) for 2 minutes as an intermission from standing poses to the floor series starting with spine strengthening. It was during those two minutes that the instructor, Nicholle, talked about how often times what is going on in our lives is reflected in the yoga room. I really let those words sink in. I know she could tell how frustrated I was getting not being able to participate in some of the poses and I swear she was talking directly to ME. It’s what I needed to hear. I have been going through lots of disappointment lately and disrespect that I guess my body was catching up to my heart and head. She told “me” to release it all…to focus on my breathing and let the hardships melt away. I guess for a moment I felt sorry for myself and allowed a couple tears to push out. I’m such a sensitive person to all senses and sometimes I just get caught up in other people’s problems and expectations of me that I forget to focus on myself. Bikram yoga gives me that. I still felt run down for the remainder of the class but I didn’t leave the room. I stayed put and did the best I could. I guess the practice of yoga really does mimic life.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Work in Progress

How long does it take to really get to know someone?? Everyone has different opinions about this and it really depends on how much you’re willing to share about yourself and how fast. I, for one, am go!go!go! when it comes to sharing information about me. I have no problem opening up and sharing EVERYTHING to just about anyone who cares to listen. I have nothing to hide and people tend to loosen up faster with me than they would with someone else and I like this. I like knowing that people trust me…and they can. I don’t judge people and like to make others feel comfortable with their thoughts and insecurities.

However, just because I open up so fast does not mean that I am easy to understand. I am a VERY complex person with lots of layers. In fact, I’m probably the most difficult person to understand that you’ll ever meet! I’ve been told this before (more than a few times). It takes a very special, loving kind of person to take the time to understand me and explore all the aspects of me. Some people have spent years trying to figure me out! But some people have also enjoyed that time, getting to know me, and getting to understand how I operate. Others can’t take it. They don’t have enough desire to spend time trying to unfold all the layers. There are even those who I thought just magically went through the walls I have built up but I know now, they just got through one with ease. They are all not that easy! I don’t behave this way on purpose either…it’s just who I am and who I’ve been told that I am- A COMPLEX PERSON. There are many days I wish I wasn’t so complex. I would love to have a thought and just let it rest at that but with all I’ve been through it’s not that simple for me. There are many days I’m sure my friends wish I was more simple as well…I can be quite a handful!

Often times I come across as being angry and negative. I understand how people misconceive this but it is just a misconception. Of course there are times when I let anger get the best of me. And there are times I choose not to put a positive spin on things. But more often than not I am just being cautious. I’m expressing what many think but are too afraid to say aloud so that I don’t hold onto anger or negativity. I say it as a way to try and release it so it doesn’t consume me. I feel it’s pretty healthy actually. You see, I know how to turn almost anything into a positive situation…I just also know the reality of things. And the reality is that the truth hurts sometimes and the truth isn’t always positive. But it should only hurt long enough to look at it critically and then move on. It shouldn’t ruin a good time or be anything more than a helpful tool into bettering yourself. Internally I am a very positive, peaceful person. I don’t hate. I’m not vindictive. I don’t even believe evil exists. People just don’t always understand me. And I don’t expect everyone to. I also don’t expect everyone to have the time and patience to really get to know the real me and not the me that shows up on the surface. I’m okay with this. I have plenty of people who are and for that I am grateful.

I guess I’m just trying to say that not everyone’s minds work in the same way and not everyone behaves in a “surface” way thus leading others to believe they are feeling great all the time and that life is just roses and sunshine. I am one who shows the real me always. Meaning, I behave no different in front of you as I do them. I act the same. Maybe this isn’t a good thing or the best way to go about life but it’s the way I am and there are people who admire me for this. Those who have taken the time to try and understand me better and who can appreciate all I've been through and all I strive to be. Those who know I have spent the past several years trying to figure myself out and become a better person. I'm definitely still a work in progress but until you really know me, I don't always come across that way which sucks because I don't like people thinking I'm negative or angry! I end up affecting people in a negative way and bringing them down. That is not a good feeling. Being complex definitely comes with it's disadvantages but the advantage is...I bet you'll never meet another person just like me! ;)