Be Careful What You Wish For

So, I’ve been away a little while. Okay, I’ve been away a long while, sheesh. I could use the excuse of you know, like, LIFE and that whole having to work for a living thing, and all that stuff, but nobody cares about my tiny violin.

 

So never mind about all that, there’s been some really cool stuff going on in the life of Tangent Girl’s family for the past few months. My gender fluid spouse has been out of the closet in terms of his personal life for a couple of years now. However, working in a really conservative field, at a particularly conservative company, has meant that he hasn’t been able to include his fluid gender identity in his professional life for fear of reprecussions. This, in addition to the fact that the job hasn’t really turned out to be what he wanted it to be, has left him extremely stressed and down. So a few months ago he began looking for another job that would meet both his personal and professional needs, but after a promising start things stalled out for a while. And this really sunk him into a deep depression. It was so worrisome at one point that despite really loving my career and where I work, I told him he should stop telling recruiters no just because the job they were offering was in a different state.

But now I’m happy to say that tomorrow he starts a new job that he’s super excited about. It’s unknown yet exactly what things will look like, but he’s been open in the interview process and HR has been in touch with him to ensure they know his needs. So while the logistics may not specifically be worked out yet, the fact that Sarah will be a part of life in the workplace is not a question.

I’m super excited for him, but I’m nervous too. For him and for me.

For him, the journey has been a difficult one. Being LGBTQ and finding yourself and where you fit can be challenging, but gender-fluidity especially is still an area where there is a lot of confusion and lack of acceptance. Growing up in an environment where there was no ability to even try and actively work to understand himself, very much the opposite, didn’t make things any easier.

So this new job is a good thing, right? Sure. ……Maybe? He’s super excited about it, but nervous too. HR can say whatever they want and Sarah can technically go to work – but will she really be accepted? Will everyone be great about it, or weirded out and therefore keep their distance? Also, the dreaded bathroom question. The fluidity aspect of his/her gender identity makes it even harder because… will the women be okay peeing next to a girl who was a guy yesterday? Will the guys be okay peeing next to a guy who was a girl yesterday, or maybe even a girl today, depending on what decision gets made about which bathrooms they use when? Complicated. So he’s nervous and anxious about whether it will be a good thing or not. (And I’m worried about the number of pieces they’ll need me to help pick up if it doesn’t turn out like they hope it will.)

For me? He and I have talked a lot these past couple of years about coming out and about what it all meant not just for him but for the family, and for me. It’s been difficult far more often than it’s been easy. And I haven’t talked about it with other people because I feel guilty that I haven’t been as supportive as I think I should be, and that people will judge me (rightfully so) for it. It’s been scary at times. I’ve known Sarah since we became a couple almost 21 years ago, but his/her understanding of their gender identity has changed a lot over the years as they figured it out. It’s only recently that they realized it was more than a private thing, more than just some kind of a kink or fetish. It’s part of who he is and it needed to be a part of his regular life. And that was a big difference from how it’d been all these years. I had a lot of fear about the whole thing – I love my wife but I didn’t want to lose my husband. Was this really a case of fluidity, did I truly get to keep them both, or was this just another step along his journey to discovering her transgender identity? And my fears about this have been a huge source of guilt and shame. I’ve prided myself on being open and accepting of others, so why am I being so selfish with the person I love the most? If I love them, I should be THE source of unwavering and uncomplicated support, not another ‘barrier’ they have too navigate in this already challenging transition.

So, those first few years were really tough. But we’ve come to a good place, a place where we now understand things more and are more comfortable with the dynamic of our life and relationship. But this new chapter could potentially change everything again, right? Most likely no, but I can’t help wondering if this newly found freedom can’t help but create a different dynamic. And even if it does, that doesn’t mean it will be bad, but I’ll be anxious until time goes by and I can see for myself how it all shakes out.

And I’m scared for more pragmatic reasons, too. Everytime she goes out without me I’m a ball of nerves. There are so many horrible hateful people in this world. The more often she is out in the world, the more open she is, the more likely she’ll encounter one of those horrible people, and I’m terrified of what could happen. I’m the first one to say no one should EVER make decisions based on the fear of “what if,” and I believe the same thing in this situation. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to hold my breath everyday until she walks though the door at night.

Excited. Happy. Proud. Hopeful. Relieved. Joyful. Anxious. Terrified.

Yeah, all those things.

Words Matter

With the suicides of Kate Spade a few days ago and now Anthony Bourdain today, I was reminded of something I heard some moron media person-thingy say a while back. He referred to the fact that the suicide of a celebrity is often followed by an uptick in other suicides as “Copycat Suicides.”

I want to find that asshole and PUNCH HIM IN THE FACE.

That completely tone-deaf, not to mention utterly ignorant and misleading “copycat” nomenclature flies directly in the face of everything we need in mental health Care and Awareness.  The words we use matter. If a celebrity dies of cancer and the rate of cancer deaths happens to go up in the following days, would you refer to those as “Copycat Cancer Deaths?” Of freaking course not, because that is asinine.

The “Copycat” label is a derogatory reference to the term “Copycat Murders,” wherein someone replicates the MO of very high profile killer in order to garner attention for their own actions. What Mr. Copycat The Asshole up there was saying was that people who commit suicide after a high profile suicide are just seeking fame and attention in own their death. It’s the whole “mental illness isn’t a disease it’s a choice” bullshit.

Because, obviously. Who wouldn’t choose this living hell?

A selfie of me when I think about Mr. Copycat The Asshole

 

Now I am NOT stupid enough to stand here and say no one commits suicide for ‘attention’; anytime you make an absolute statement like that you might as well throw your own point/argument off the cliff before someone else does it for you – because they will. But there is a very different reality at play here for many, if not most of these unfortunate deaths. Try and imagine: A person is already locked in the depths of hell of their own mind; in constant pain, suffering from something they cannot run away from because it is inside of them. They already think that their life is and will always be terrible and that they should just give up and make the pain stop. They are clinging by their fingernails to a reason to keep going. Then they see a celebrity commit suicide. A celebrity who ‘has everything’ – they are rich and famous and beautiful and talented. It can be really hard, if not actually impossible not to think “if their life wasn’t even worth living with as awesome and perfect as it was,  there is no point in my even trying when my life is already such shit compared to theirs, when I am already shit compared to them.” Something like this happening can simple push that one last fingernail out of the hold it was struggling to keep.

(And DO NOT say anything stupid about the ‘obligation celebrities have since people look up to them’ in relation to suicide or I will send Sparky up there to find you for a barbeque.)

The big part of the reason why we have an increase in suicides is not because people want attention; it is because of assholes like Mr. Copycat The Asshole who make these poor g-damned people believe that mental illness isn’t an illness at all. People with mental illness are ‘choosing’ to kill themselves because life got ‘too hard’ and they weren’t ‘strong enough’ to deal with it or ‘good enough’ to make life better – so they took the ‘easy’ way out.

Now I am going to own up to something: I was flat out angry that everyone was so sad when Robin Williams died and so “at least he’s at peace now” about it. Back then I thought – yes he was sick and yes it must have been horrible – but in the end he still gave up. He ‘had everything’ and ‘threw it away’ and ‘left his poor family’ to have deal with it; that it wasn’t tragic, it was selfish. Four years ago, I DIDN’T GET IT EITHER. I hadn’t yet acknowledged my own mental health issues, and probably even more importantly, I’d just gone through a very terrifying personal and in-my-face experience with nearly losing someone very close to me to suicide. That combined with the, well basically brainwashing, we’ve gotten about mental illness left me unable to be empathetic towards him in his death.

Of course I get it now – I’ve been on the other side,  I’ve been the one to literally see no other option for myself or for the good of my family but suicide. Now I know our mentally ill brains lie to us. But obviously everyone can’t come to understand this by these means (thank god!) It’s going to take ceaseless education and a unending determination to change our culture so that we ALL understand – Mental Illness Is A Disease.

The last thing the world needs is anymore “Mr. Copycats.”

************************************************************************

Anthony and Kate and all the other’s who’s names I don’t know – the world was lucky to have you and is a little less bright for your loss. Rest in peace.

To all of you who are still with us – stay with us.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Provides help to those in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.
Call 1-800-273-8255
Available 24 hours everyday

NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans who face mental illness every day.

Call The CDC

I’m not an Infectious Disease doctor, or a Virologist, or a Zombie-fiction author, yet I have made the discovery of the century — despite everything previously believed to be true, it turns out depression is contagious. I am sure you are scoffing. But then all geniuses and their great discoveries were mocked in the beginning. So let me present to you my “scientific” study. 

 

No Shit Ya’ll: Depression Be Contagious

T. Panek. The Tangent Girl Volumes. 2018.

Introduction

Much of the knowledge acquired throughout human history has been revealed through purposeful and rigorous study. Yet some of the most crucial information in our world today has been discovered unintentionally – x-rays, penicillin… post-it notes.  The observation of the infectious nature of depression was made through the common, everyday interactions between a husband and his bat-shit crazy wife.

Methods

The sample size of this hypothesis-generating study was one marital couple.  The husband had no history of depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues. He was the epitome of “nothing gets to him, even stuff that probably should;” he was the duck and life was his water. The wife had a decades-long history of depression and anxiety which she refused to acknowledge even to herself, let alone seek any treatment for because she is an idiot.  Thirteen months of data was collected though direct observations of this married couple post-hospitalization of the wife for a suicide attempt. The variables of the study were the diagnosis and acceptance of the mental health issues of the wife and the presence of depression symptoms by the husband pre-post the wife’s freaking breakdown and subsequent stint in the nuthouse.

Results

The husband began exhibiting signs of depression approximately six months after wife’s WTF. Despite attending therapy, the heretofore non-existent depression symptoms continued to worsen. After twelve and one-half months, the husband was forced to seek medical intervention beyond therapy alone. The result of this intervention was the diagnosis of depression and the prescribing of an antidepressant.

Discussion

The presence of depression symptoms in the husband clearly changed pre-post the total mental crash and burn of the wife. The only significant change during these thirteen months was the wife now “suddenly” having depression. It is obvious that the husband contracted the illness from the wife, hence illuminating the contagious nature of the disease.

Limitations

The author of this study being the wife participant inevitably introduces bias into the collection and analysis of the data. The fact that she has horrible depression and anxiety which always leaves her convinced that everything is her fault likely further exacerbates this bias. Basically you can’t  trust a damned thing l say here as there is a high probably of this hypothesis being complete bullshit.

 

But in all seriousness, mental health issues are “contagious” in a way.  We often can’t see our own issues until we are suddenly required to monitor others’ illnesses. We don’t know what depression even looks like until we stare in the face of it every day in someone we love. Our contact with them is what reveals our own disease. I know this realistically but I still struggle internally with doubts and guilt. Maybe it’s having to deal with me and all my exhausting nonsense that has made him depressed… I mean who wouldn’t be depressed after a year of this, right??

So I continue my own journey with my own therapist, and the ongoing battle with my asshole brain, to stop blaming myself. Because in truth – if my acknowledging and having to struggle with my own depression in an open, honest, and unavoidable way acted as a mirror so that he could see for the first time what he’d actually been going through for YEARS, then I’m happy be Typhoid Mary.

 

Don’t forget to check out the rest of The Tangent Girl Volumes’ posts! Dozen and dozen of posts ranging from Christmas shopping violence to struggling with self-doubt to coping with sucky people to how I really feel about meatloaf. TTGV has it all! And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter (@tangentgirrl) and Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/TangentGirlVolumes/

My Bio

This describes pretty much every aspect of my personality – it’s better than a Barbara Walter’s interview… Hope you enjoy meeting me.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-secret-lives-introverts/201805/15-signs-youre-introvert-high-functioning-anxiety?utm_source=Heleo+Daily+Digest&utm_campaign=168157a380-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_01_10&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1651f20312-168157a380-216753321&mc_cid=168157a380&mc_eid=5366280356

 

Don’t forget to check out the rest of The Tangent Girl Volumes’ posts! Dozen and dozen of posts ranging from Christmas shopping violence to struggling with self-doubt to coping with sucky people to how I really feel about meatloaf. TTGV has it all! And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter (@tangentgirrl) and Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/TangentGirlVolumes/

When Am I The “Grown-up”?

I think we all look at people who are older than us and think of them as the grown-ups and wonder when we’ll be ‘grown-up.’ But it doesn’t seem to matter how old I get, I always still feel like the “not-a-grown-up.” And that ends up making me feel like I’m screwing up in some way because I am ‘supposed’ to be a grown-up by now.

And I also struggle with looking at people who are ‘experts’ and wondering when I’ll get to be an ‘expert.’  The problem with this one is that, unlike the not feeling like a grown-up thing, this one isn’t all in my head. I don’t think most people in my professional life would think of me as incompetent, but that is a far cry from viewing me as an expert either.

And sometimes I really get pissed off by this. I have been doing what I do for a long time. I am good at what I do. I have had experiences and done things by this point in my career that these other “experts” had NOT done by the time they got to be considered experts (some still haven’t done them) – – yet I am not an expert like they are?? I still get ‘put in my place,’ I still get told to ‘keep up the good work and you will get there,’ I still get told my ambitions related to doing things as an expert are great to work towards but I should wait 2-5 years before expecting anything to materialize. Sometimes there is even what seems to be a patronizing tone to the credit I am given, almost like I am a child being praised for my pre-school art project that is supposed to be a pony but looks like a Rorschach test created by a blind lemur with epilepsy. And I’m like – duh ferk?

But then, my own internal self-doubt coupled with this not-inconsequential amount of ‘gas lighting’ makes me end up doubting myself. Maybe the things I’ve done aren’t as big a deal as I think they are. Maybe I don’t know as much as I think I do. Maybe I am not as ‘good’ as I think I am. Maybe the pride I’ve taken in things I have accomplished is just unsubstantiated ego and doesn’t reflect reality.

Maybe everyone who praises me to my face is secretly planning to throw my shitty art into the trash as soon as I go to sleep.

#sarcasm

 

Don’t forget to check out the rest of The Tangent Girl Volumes’ posts! Dozen and dozen of posts ranging from Christmas shopping violence to struggling with self-doubt to coping with sucky people to how I really feel about meatloaf. TTGV has it all! And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter (@tangentgirrl) and Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/TangentGirlVolumes/

A Few Recommendations For Your Library

I started paying for Kindle Unlimited about a year ago as a (significant) cost-saving way to support my insatiable book habit. I’ve been able to read a lot of cool books I’ve found there, and following authors on Twitter has introduced me to even more cool stuff. So I thought I’d share (you’re welcome)!

The Superhero Detective Series and the Omega Series by Darius Brasher

I will fess up that I’ve actually become friends with this author online, but I followed him on Twitter because I liked his books, not “I read his books because I follow him on Twitter,” so I think it’s a solid recommendation. The books are super-fun Superhero novels which get better and better (and more deep, which is not a critique at all) with every book he writes. The Superhero Detective books are my fav of the two series because I adore their smart-ass main character, Truman, but my favorite book overall is the latest in the Omega series, Rogues.

https://www.amazon.com/Darius-Brasher/e/B017RFQGZ8

 

A Slaughter of Angels by Matthew Angelo

The intro novella to a new supernatural fiction series, the protagonist Rian is another wise ass, so I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Again – confession that we are “Twitter friends,” but he has actually written a bunch of romance novels too which I can’t say yeah or nay to because I haven’t read them (the genre isn’t my thing), so it isn’t just nepotism when I say this book is a fun read.

https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/author/ref=dbs_P_W_auth?_encoding=UTF8&author=Matthew%20Angelo&searchAlias=digital-text&asin=B00JHXTOXK

The Sentinel Series by Jeffrey Haskell

Another Superhero series, this one with a KICK ASS female main character. It’s fairly hard to be 100% original when writing in a genre with so much volume of existing content, but these books have a few interesting variations on the theme that I really love.

https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/author/ref=dbs_P_W_auth?_encoding=UTF8&author=Jeffery%20H.%20Haskell&searchAlias=digital-text&asin=B01I2W55SO

The Tome of Bill Series by Rick Gualteri

Again – Vampires: what new under the sun could possibility be written about vampires, right? Well, if you’re a geek like me, seeing the never-gets-the-girl, D&D playing, socially inept guy (you know, like EVERYONE I know and love) stumble into his own ” how did this happen to me” vampire misadventure is a load of fun. The author has a few other series, too, but this is the only one I’ve gotten to so far.

THERE ARE REASONS WE FEAR THE NIGHT.
HE’S NOT ONE OF THEM.

https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/author/ref=dbs_P_W_auth?_encoding=UTF8&author=Rick%20Gualtieri&searchAlias=digital-text&asin=B00596NITU

The Iron Druid Series and Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne

The Druid Series is supernatural fiction about, you guessed it, a Druid. But a Druid with the most awesomest Irish Wolfhound sidekick ever (long live Oberon, Lord of the Sausage!) Plauge of Giants is the first in a new fantasy series which is a bit dense, and a bit confusing at first while you’re getting to understand the world-setting and adjusting to the constant change in who’s telling the story, but I was glad I hung in there. I’m fascinated to see where the next book takes us.

https://www.amazon.com/Kevin-Hearne/e/B004FR1V8O

All Hail Oberon, the mighty wolfhound!! ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

The Contractors Series by Nicholas Taylor

Only two books in the series so far, but I can’t wait for the next. Part police procedural, part supernatural fiction, the interesting take on magic in these books really made them enjoyable to me. It did take me time to become invested in the characters, but stick it out – I think it’s worth it.

https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/author/ref=dbs_P_W_auth?_encoding=UTF8&author=Nicholas%20Taylor&searchAlias=digital-text&asin=B004ZI19Q2

Devil’s Cape by Rob Rogers

A (very good) recommendation by Darius Brasher, I LOVE this book. It doesn’t really introduce anything particularly unique to the Superhero theme, but the story is very engaging and the writing itself is fantastic. You do have to buy this one, no Kindle Unlimited, but it’s worth it. Do be prepared to have your heart broken, though. This book was published in 2010, and despite the perfect setup, no sequel has yet come out.  😭

https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/author/ref=dbs_P_W_auth?_encoding=UTF8&author=Rob%20Rogers&searchAlias=digital-text&asin=B001JRWFYM

The Bookburners Series by way too many people to list

A serial set of stories (a total of three “seasons”), where each chapter is written by a different author, these stories are about a group of Vatican magic hunters. The characters get more interesting each season and the stories have an engaging arc (no Kindle Unlimited for this one either).

 

Don’t forget to check out the rest of The Tangent Girl Volumes’ posts! Dozen and dozen of posts ranging from Christmas shopping violence to struggling with self-doubt to coping with sucky people to how I really feel about meatloaf. TTGV has it all! And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter (@tangentgirrl) and Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/TangentGirlVolumes/

One Year of Love

I will just have to hope Queen doesn’t sue me for ripping off the title of one of their songs. (Hey Queen, it was the “first dance” at my wedding – does that make it better?)

So… April 9th

One year ago today I decided that the world would be better off without me. By tomorrow I would be sitting in the intake area of a psych hospital waiting to be admitted after a suicide attempt. I was embarrassed. I was disappointed. I was completely alone… and I felt I deserved it. How could I have allowed myself to suddenly be in this situation at almost 40 years old? How utterly pathetic and completely worthless I was? How could I ever expect to be forgiven for what I had done and who I was? Without the slightest hint of hyperbole – I was lost in the deepest, darkest pit of despair possible.

This past year has been so very, very hard. And humbling. But most of all, it has been full of love. Love of my amazing husband – who could not understand the horror that had unfolded, but still bewildered and terrified and overwhelmed himself, leapt heart and soul into being everything I needed. Love of those friends and family who never once made me feel judged, or broken, or anything but cared for and supported. Despite my fears, no one else ever felt there was anything I did that I needed to be forgiven for.was the only one who needed to be kind enough and gentle enough with me to forgive me. As important as every single drop of love I received this year has been, the most important love I’ve had to find to survive is my own.

And so sitting here today – what difference can one year of love make?

One year ago I was was sitting in a psych ward feeling like I had no value. I wasn’t even allowed to have a pencil, let alone considered capable of leading or managing anything. Today I’m at my huge annual professional conference just trying to keep up with all the things I’ve been asked to be a part of and to lead because of how capable, and useful, and valuable I am. Frankly, it all seems a bit unreal to me. And if I’m being honest, I still vacillate between being able to believe that the way things are today is the way they really are and thinking that the way I thought they were a year ago is more accurate. Today is teaching me that things can get better, but it is also showing me that it’s probably never possible for us to 100% ignore the lies that our brains tell us. I’m standing here in this moment full of good things, but there is still a part of my brain waiting for the other shoe to fall (or thinking it has but no one wants to tell me).

But still, in the midst of this busy & chaotic day which is for now full of purpose and accomplishment, I couldn’t help but step back and take a quiet moment to reflect and be grateful that, even if it’s not perfect, it barely resembles the life of the same person one year ago. Thank you to all those, include the mean girl in my own head, for loving me enough to make this journey possible.

Decisions, Decisions

I’m not someone who generally suffers from decision paralysis. Like, I never understood people who took forever to take a test – you either know the answer or you don’t, so answer it or just guess and move the hell on already.

But for the past month or so I’ve been waffling more than a box of Eggos.

I started the book a little less than a year ago. I’d decided to go with non-fiction (basically this blog, only funnier… I hope) because I felt my fiction writing was just nowhere near good enough to go that direction. And the first 20,000 words FLEW onto the page. The next 5,000 took twice as long as the first 20,000, but there I was about 1/3 it the way through in just 4 months. And I have outlines for about 3 more chapters, which sounds good, but that’s going to leave me about 40,000 words short and I CAN’T THINK OF ANYTHING ELSE TO ADD. I’m realizing there just isn’t enough about me that’s interesting to actually fill up a whole book.

To complicate matters I’ve gotten some feedback recently that suggests maybe the fiction thing isn’t as bad an idea as I thought. And I have not one, but two ideas for stories in that vein.

So now what?

Do I ignore the fiction idea and force myself to actually finish something I start, in this case the non-fiction book?

Put the current book aside and turn my attention to one of the fiction pieces for now, and come back to the non-fiction book later (when maybe more crazy-ass shit has happened to me that I can add)?

Or give up on the non-fiction stuff ever being a book and just use what I have for that as a series of posts here?

 

 

 

 

Don’t forget to check out the rest of The Tangent Girl Volumes’ posts! Dozen and dozen of posts ranging from Christmas shopping violence to struggling with self-doubt to coping with sucky people to how I really feel about meatloaf. TTGV has it all! And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter (@tangentgirrl) and Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/TangentGirlVolumes/

A Little Light Reading

Thought I’d share a little something I wrote a while back as a wedding gift. Hope you enjoy it!

 

The Briar and the Birch

written January, 2011

Once upon a time there was a Briar Vine and a Birch Tree who fell in love.

The Briar Vine wound its way gently up and around the sturdy trunk of the Birch Tree, and the Birch Tree held lacy tendrils of the Briar Vine supported in its branches. Sometimes the Briar Vine’s thorns would accidentally scratch the soft and smooth bark of the Birch Tree. Sometimes the Birch Tree’s lofty height allowed the frigid wind to blow through and make the thin and delicate Briar Vine cold. They did not want these things to happen, but it was just a part of the Briar Vine being a briar, and the Birch Tree being a birch.

All the other briars and birches scoffed at them. They said these things served as proof that the relationship between the Briar Vine and the Birch Tree was not right. Briars should be with other briars and birches should be with other birches. That was just how things were done. Nevertheless, the Briar Vine and the Birch Tree were in love, and determined to make it work.

The briars and the birches continued to mock and ridicule and put down the bond between the Birch Tree and the Briar Vine. When spring came, the rains came pouring down harder than normal and the ground became marshy and muddy and soaked. The Briar Vine, held aloft from the wet by the Birch Tree, stayed safe and dry and healthy, but the other briars, all twined together along the earth, drowned and rotted and became sick with damp.  The Birch Tree and the Briar Vine heard their jeers no more.

Still, the birches continued to deride and heckle and laugh at the bond between the Briar Vine and the Birch Tree. When summer came, a hoard of locusts descended and they ate their way through all the grasses and trees. The Birch Tree stayed leafy and whole because the locusts could not land with the Briar Vine’s prickly thorns wrapped all around, but the other birches became brown and stripped and nibbled to nothingness.  The Briar Vine and the Birch Tree heard their taunts no more.

So the Birch Tree got scratched sometimes, but it was nothing a kiss from the Briar Vine couldn’t mend, and the Briar Vine got cold sometimes, but it was nothing an embrace from the Birch Tree couldn’t warm. It wasn’t perfect, but it worked for them, and in the end that was the only thing that mattered.

And they lived contentedly ever after.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of The Tangent Girl Volumes’ posts! Dozen and dozen of posts ranging from Christmas shopping violence to struggling with self-doubt to coping with sucky people to how I really feel about meatloaf. TTGV has it all! And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter (@tangentgirrl) and Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/TangentGirlVolumes/

 

 

 

 

Regression Towards the Mean

I haven’t been feeling very damned funny lately.

Between the shooting, and work stress, and this stupid screwed up shoulder, and a nice helping of depression with a side of exhaustion…. I am not a bucket of laughs right now. And that’s kept me from writing for almost a month now because I figure people want to come here to be entertained, not to be brought down.

But I guess we’re all just gonna have to suck it up and ride this one out, because I fear if I don’t write something now, I’ll never come back.

So what’s been on my mind lately… Well, one of the things that’s been bothering me the most is not really having someone I can talk to about some of the stuff that’s bothering me. My therapist, while very sweet, just hasn’t been giving me what I need and despite multiple calls to multiple other practices I haven’t even gotten so much as a call back, let alone been able to schedule something. So I haven’t had a professional to talk to in almost 3 months.

As far as non-professionals go, my husband is usually the one I talk to about everything, and he still is my go-to for most things, but it’s hard for him to be “the one” when there’s no way he can be objective about the some of the things I need to talk about.

And if any of my friends or other family are reading this, I’m sure at least a few of them might be hurt or possibly even offended by the fact that I don’t feel like I can talk to them either. The thing is, I’ve gotten burned a number of times in my life by sharing too much with someone. Just this past year I had a really horrible outcome when I confined in a very close friend, and now I’m completely neurotic (okay, MORE neurotic) about it. Again, I just feel like some of the things that are bothering me that I need to talk about aren’t things they can be objective about for various reasons. Plus I feel like I’d be a burden to them, and no amount of assuring me I’m not will help – I’m so uncomfortable that I just can’t. I started to cultivate a friendship with someone outside my circle where talking about these things seemed to be possiblity and more comfortable, but in the end that didn’t really work out to be what I was hoping for. (What, you don’t want to be buddies with the crazy, needy lady? Why not? It’s a total mystery.)

The thing is – I used to have someone I really did feel completely at ease talking to – a friendship I treasured. We went through a lot together, got each other through a lot of the shit that comes with being in your teens and twenties. Someone I could just sit with and we could both just BE. And I went and fucked it up. I spent years sliding into a deeper and deeper depression, pushing everyone away and not being there for them anymore than I would let them close to me. And hey – shocker – when I pulled my head out of my ass all these years later, they’d moved on. It’s not like they hate me or anything, or that we aren’t still friendly, but that closeness I took for granted is unrecoverable.

So I’ve been feeling pretty lonely and lost lately. The resolve I had, and the resolution I committed to, after I hit rock bottom last year was to NOT hide what I was feeling, to not just “suck it up,” to not just pretend that everything is fine. But I’m slipping back into those old habits. And honestly, I think that, more than anything, is what has kept me from posting lately. 

The irony is, I started this blog, and writing the book, as a place where I could put everything out there, where I could talk about whatever was going on with me at anytime, no matter what. It was supposed to be my outlet. But friends and family and people I know read it — so it’s become no different than telling them these things directly. And that’s exactly what I’m trying to avoid. So I don’t even have a cyber-outlet. Even writing this makes me desperately uncomfortable.

So yeah… Happy Monday.

 

Don’t forget to check out the rest of The Tangent Girl Volumes’ posts! Dozen and dozen of posts ranging from Christmas shopping violence to struggling with self-doubt to coping with sucky people to how I really feel about meatloaf. TTGV has it all! And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter (@tangentgirrl) and Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/TangentGirlVolumes/