I Lost 31 Facebook Friends Today Because I Posted About My Anxiety Disorder

By “lost” I mean that I gave them the boot. They were all family. My husband’s family, to be specific.

I have an anxiety disorder. It’s mostly hormonal at this point, but the more I deal with it the more I realize it’s also situational. Situational in the sense that I feel a huge conflict between who I am and what I feel I’m allowed to be.

What I feel my husband’s family allows me to be.

To the point, though: right now, I’m in a bad place anxiety-wise. Depression too. It’s OK for me to say that. It’s OK for me to talk about it. And it’s OK for me to set limits and boundaries with all of that in light.

That I feel I have to say any of that is absurd.

So we have been thinking about moving out of our neighborhood basically since we moved in about two years ago. There’s a lot of crime in the community, which is crazy because it’s a beautiful neighborhood with a lot of wonderful people. But moreover, the situation with living in a family-owned home was stressful. And…it just wasn’t enough room for our family.

Finally, several weeks back we found a couple rentals within our price range. Rentals that were bigger. Rentals that didn’t make us feel we were responsible for maintenance because of the family nature of it. Rentals that were a real step up for our family. We started looking at them, applying for them…and within a day or two of even looking, we got the best of all of them.

So we’re moving out of the family-owned townhouse in the crime-ridden community with AMAZING neighbors (that part is in no way sarcastic…except for the ones from that whole pee gate episode a while back, I have never met nicer people)…and the family owned townhouse is up for rent.

Today, my father in law just showed up at the townhouse, though, insisting he be allowed to come in and inspect the place to see what kind of work he would need to do.

To start, we have put so much work into the place simply because my husband and I felt it was our responsibility. Nay, it was said it was always his and his brother’s responsibility. So to be so freaked out and worked up about how much work it may or may not need before it goes up for rent again was a little…suspicious… Moreover, we paid through the 31st. If we need until then to move out, we sure as hell can. And if you really have to get all freaked out and come over – is it so hard to make a phone call and ask when a good time would be? REALLY?

Apparently.

In any event, my husband walked outside and asked politely that he come another time. Today was not a good time. My anxiety level was already through the roof. I have spent every day since Saturday (today is Wednesday) crying, most of the time for reasons I’m not sure. I’ve used more Xanax this week than in the last several weeks. In short: I’m a mess.

The move, however, has been going PERFECTLY. We have just a couple more days in the townhouse and the new place is basically all set up already. And my husband knew that I needed to know that THAT aspect was under control, since everything else seems to be falling apart. Not to have the added pressure of any complaints about the townhouse on my shoulders.

Also, my home is – right now – my only safe place.

His dad pushed his way past him, and barged into the house.

Terrified of my personal space being violated like that, I went up to our bedroom and shut the door. I stayed in there trying to stay calm until he left. It isn’t that I can’t be around other people, it’s just that my home is my only safe space and I need to feel that way. And who knows, anyway? I could have been in the shower. The kids could have been running around in underpants… Who thinks they can just show up and barge into another person’s house like that? ESPECIALLY someone you know has an anxiety disorder?

Once he left, I felt completely panicked and violated. My safe zone was taken control of. I’ve been working so hard to have safe zones – things that help me stay calm, help me keep my anxiety under control… now I have lost that one. Sure, we are moving out in just a couple more days…but a couple days with a panic disorder is an eternity.

So, naturally, I took to social media to vent my frustrations. I did it as vaguely and anonymously as I could. There was NO WAY anyone would know who or what I was talking about. NONE!

I had no intention of even going into specifics as to what happened. I wasn’t planning on blogging about it, like I just did. I. Planned. Nothing. But. To. Post. A. Vague. Vent. And. Reminder. (And note: my husband’s dad is not on Facebook, so would never even see this.)

Here was the pertinent part (the rest was me talking about how much I truly hope to keep the friendships I have with my former community)…

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Within minutes, though, the family brigade came out in full force. First, my husband’s mother, who is never online and was at work at the time, suddenly became active enough on Facebook to see my post and decided to reveal in the comments who the offender was. Suddenly aunts were telling me I am ungrateful and should delete my post. That I should be thankful for everything they’ve done for me (to be clear: the only person that has done anything for us has been MY dad, and my husband will be the first to admit that). Shame on me for being such a terrible person!

Shame. On. Me. For. Having. An. Anxiety. Disorder. That. Necessitates. I. Need. A. Safe. Space. That. Being. My. Home.

I tried not to respond to their shit, but finally I did and just defended myself. Which I know I shouldn’t do. I’ve been going to therapy for this anxiety, and the therapist even tells me if I don’t stop defending myself to these people nothing will ever change.

But it just kept going. Suddenly uncles were revealing gossip that had clearly been spreading through the family about us moving out (the idea that we gave no notice that we were moving out). MY near and dear and long time friends were coming to my aid, and family were telling – Internet screaming – at them to butt the fuck out of family affairs. Family members were making public calls for other family to join in and back them up about not tolerating MY TOTALLY AND UTTERLY EGREGIOUS BEHAVIOR ANY FURTHER (it sounded a little drunk-Facebooking at that point). My husband, at work, started getting phone calls from people not even affiliated with me online to get me under control.

Like really?

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To all of this bullshit, I have a few things to say:

  1. It is not OK to just show up at someone’s house, under any circumstance, for any reason whatsoever, and just barge in. You may be stupid. You may have no manners. You may be a blood relative. Doesn’t matter – it is never OK.
  2. It is not OK to shame someone for having an anxiety disorder that requires a little extra consideration about the rude and ignorant shit you do and say.
  3. People are allowed to have feelings and express them.
  4. If you are so stupid so as to respond to someone’s vague post about something with all the specifics, YOU ARE TO BLAME when that escalates out of control.
  5. Facebook friends should be people I would actually be friends with in real life. I would never be friends with people that shame someone for having an anxiety disorder and asking that their personal space at home be respected because of it.
  6. My husband’s family never responds to all the positive and bad ass things I post online about our lives. Adorable pictures of the kids. Silence. Husband got a promotion. Nothing. Heather has an anxiety disorder. FUCK YOU HEATHER YOU DUMB CUNT HOW DARE YOU DISRESPECT THIS FAMILY LIKE THAT.

Here’s the thing about it all that I have come to realize and think about over the last several months – not just today. Our kids are witnessing all of this. They hear about it or see it or feel the effects of it at a family party. Is this really the lesson I want to teach my kids? That people can bully and shame others for sharing about their mental health? My oldest daughter has generalized anxiety disorder – should I teach her that she should hide it and not set boundaries with others to keep that under control?

At this point, this isn’t even about me anymore. It’s about my kids. They deserve extended family that is accepting and loving and compassionate and doesn’t act like a bunch of psychotic drunks calling publicly for a revolt against someone that says something they don’t like. If someone doesn’t gel with those values I want to raise my kids with, they’ll be deleted and blocked from online and real life. Tonight, it happened to be 31 of them.

 

 

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Toxic People That Are Family Are Still Toxic

There. Someone had to say it.

I’ve written about family issues – generally speaking – on this blog before, and I am sure I’ll write about them again. But when I go through the history of my posts on this issue (the family issue), I can see a change in me as I’ve aged. As I have grown, I have come to realize something very important. Almost profound, at least as far as life and family and every day dealings go for me:

Toxic people that are family are still toxic. And there is nothing that requires you to allow toxicity in your life.

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If You Aren’t Someone’s Cup O’ Tea, Oh the Fuck Well

We have a lot of family issues, probably in part to the fact that we live close by to a lot of family (both on my husband’s as well as my side).

The other part I think is that I’m not many people’s cup o’ tea.

I am honest, and I speak out about injustice. I can be a little loud. I don’t say things like “someone has to say it,” or “I’m just telling it like it is” as an excuse to be a bitch, but at the same time I do speak up and out when I see something that I think is wrong.

And in two families full of work-a-day workers, who wear their busy schedules and hard work days like a fucking medal of honor, my lifestyle of writing into the wee hours, sleeping past 10, painting in my pajamas, reading for at least 3/4 of the day, and subscribing to more shows on Netflix and the DVR than any sane person could find the time to watch, has created – shall we say – a bit of tension.

It isn’t only all of that, though; my husband and I just have much different values than a lot of our family members. We believe in holistic care, my husband’s hair is shoulder length and he has a hippy beard, we homeschool the kids, and I can’t remember the last time I wore a bra. To top it all off: we eat gluten free.

I can’t tell you the last time we attended a family event where people weren’t harping on us about our lifestyle choices. Particularly my husband’s facial hair (I mean really, people, it’s just hair…); and then there’s that whole annual intervention where every single person we know within a 50 mile radius makes it their life’s mission to get us to stop homeschooling the kids (this is usually around the end of summer when the new school year is about to begin).

Of course there will always be the grandmother in the family that harps on the way people dress, or the aunt or uncle who have an opinion on everything. But then there is an innocuous old lady set in her ways, and people who legitimately believe that they have a right to tell you how to live your life. In the latter, the only thing to describe them as is: toxic.

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It’s only recently that I’ve realized, though, that you can’t be everyone’s cup o’ tea. And, that I’d rather be true to myself than someone else just to make people happy.

The Worst Comes Out Of People When You Start Saying “No.”

Especially when it’s hell no, but we don’t say it that way very often.

My husband and I only have ourselves to blame on this one: we used to say “yes” to everything. Ev.er.y.thing. Everything. Even when we lived 50 or so miles away from our respective families, we still would say “yes” to every fucking thing that asked us to do. And our health and relationship paid for it.

Finally, our kids started growing older and getting into more sports, which meant our time was limited. And then my husband started working the night shift at his job, making the “no”s a necessity. We didn’t have the luxury of being able to passively do what everyone else always wanted us to do anymore. Finally we had the reasons we had been looking for all those years to have balance in our lives, the balance we had been craving for so long.

We were going to have to say “no” to some things. A fair amount of things.

It is then when the worst comes out of people. After years of pushing us around and getting us to everything our families wanted us to be at, they have gone down kicking and screaming – in their own ways – since the first time we had to say “no” to something. So much so that now even when we say “yes,” what we say it to is never enough.

Go to a party for a few hours, “but why didn’t you stay longer?”

Have other plans the one day a week we have as a family with no sports and no work for my husband, “you should have cleared your plans with us first.”

This is why setting boundaries with people that have never had any boundaries set on them before is so difficult: they don’t like it, and become completely unreasonable and irrational. Because really, what kind of a person sits by the clock keeping time as to how long you stay at a party, or actually has the gaul to suggest people check with their social schedules before making their own plans? For their own lives.

I’ll tell you what kind: a toxic person.

Toxic People That Are Family Are Still Toxic, and Being Family Does Not Mean You Owe Them Anything

A meme went around the Internet the other day, something to that effect. You do not owe anyone anything, especially toxic people and in particular family that is toxic. Blood relation does not mean that a person has an uninhibited license to treat you like shit. Being someone’s cousin’s cousin or sister-in-law’s mother or even a closer relative, like a brother or a mother – be it by blood, marriage, or another association that makes these people call themselves family – does not predicate any obligation what.so.ever.

Let me be clear: the minute you identify a person as toxic to you, any obligations or shit you owe them (for example: owing someone for giving you life, as I often hear my father say) go out the window. Out the window. Out the fucking window. Out the fucking window and miles away.

You paid your debts to them tenfold just dealing with their toxicity for however long you dealt with it. Even if it was only once and for just a day.

And so for this reason, my husband and I have taken a pledge to our selves and to our kids to cut out all the toxic shit we have dealt with for so long. People want to say nasty things, be nasty people, and act in nasty ways? Well they will be flushed out with all the other nasty toxic shit that gets flushed out of our lives on a daily basis. We don’t owe anyone anything, especially our happiness and senses of self worth. And our kids deserve to be surrounded by good people, or else that cycle of being surrounded by bad ones will just continue.

I’m not saying that everyone in my or my husband’s families are toxic; and honestly this post isn’t about us or them or a particular incident. I’ve only been thinking about this lately because I’m just so tired of being mad at myself for letting people treat us, and me, in ways that I would never treat someone else. And I’m even more tired of seeing and hearing people overlook bad behavior for the sake of the family. What about the sake of the self? Does that not matter anymore?

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Dear Friends and Family, I Apologize For My Crap Cooking

1795567_724115684753_1794814265_nYou guys remember last week I was whining and bitching about how hardly anyone ate my appetizers, which I stated on more than one occasion I would be making and bringing to put in my homemade football stadium appetizer tray that all the kiddies (and my husband) had requested? And after Christmas I was heartbroken because I baked cupcakes and only two of them were eaten, the rest sent with the grandparents to BINGO later in the week to give away to strangers?

…and you remember that time we had everyone over to our house to celebrate my daughter’s birthday and no one touched any of my pasta dishes I had spent about nine hours preparing by hand?

Or what about the time that my mom’s family had me prepare this big Mother’s Day meal for everyone, only for my cousins to bring in their own fucking food? Of course I use the phrase “their own fucking food” pretty loosely. They brought in Spaghetti-O’s and donuts.

Well, we’ve had another incident. I didn’t think there was going to be one, I mean I didn’t realize – after all of that – that the people hated my cooking so much. I mean to say that I didn’t accept it. Anyone else would have caught on a long time ago, but you know I’m a Stay At Home Mom. We don’t have much intelligence to work with (or so these people that don’t eat my cooking often tell me, or imply).

To the incident. In just about a month we’re going on a mandatory three-week vacation to Texas (mandatory because it’s to take my daughter to visit her biological father), so I’m trying to start weeding out some of the food items in the house. It’s also getting close to spring cleaning time, so when I saw I had a couple boxes of lasagna noodles, a gaggle of miscellaneous cheese, and a shit-ton of vegetables, I figured: why not, I’ll ask my mother-in-law to make some sauce and I’ll make everyone a nice, vegetarian lasagna.

Seemed nice enough, right?

We got there yesterday and I prepared the lasagna. It took about two hours to get together. Chopping, mixing, layering… Then I put it in the refrigerator and watched the rest of the Bulls game with my husband, while everyone took the dogs for a walk.

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Flash forward quite a few hours – pass over the dinner, which I thought was tasty; and the watching of figure skating on the Olympics – and we were getting in the car to head home. The minute the car door shut, my ten year old blurted out: “oh my gosh, Mommy… I want to tell you something, but I know it’s going to hurt your feelings. But I am supposed to not keep secrets, so here goes: while we were walking the dogs, Nick’s dad” [… that is my husband’s father she is referring to, my father-in-law …] “asked if you were using their sauce, then he said ‘well, at least that part will be good.'”

My husband looked like a deer in the headlights. I felt like I had been socked in the gut. That was a pretty mean thing to say, especially in front of little ears. Especially after I stood in their kitchen for two hours putting that crap lasagna together. And to say that the timing is bad is an understatement: this food-related insecurity, and “I can never do anything right by anyone,” has been building and building for some time, now. Remember the examples I started off with? That’s a microcosm of the incidences in which it seems as though everyone in our lives disapproves or dislikes literally everything that I do.

As I felt extremely hurt through the evening, and this morning; and realized how much I try to do these kinds of things so that people will like me, I decided that it’s time to issue everyone a formal letter of apology. And a promise.

Oh, I’m issuing a promise.

Here goes…

Dear Friends and Family,

I apologize for my crap cooking.

That appetizer you asked me to bring, only for it to be thrown in the trash. That time you came over to my house for dinner and drinks, only later admitted that you ate before you came. The fact that you flagrantly say – in front of us, regularly – that Chicagoans can’t cook, that I make certain things wrong, that you just prefer me to bring nothing…

I get it. My cooking sucks. My baking is probably awful, I wouldn’t know – I rarely eat it, for fear I’ll gain too much weight and that’ll give you all another thing to judge me for.

Obviously the people I live with have been having to choke down their three, square meals a day with a smile; all-the-while lamenting their unfortunate positions of having to swallow such tripe in the first place.

Quite clearly I don’t have taste buds either, because of the things I make that I do eat, I’ve always thought it tasted perfectly fine.

But, like I said: I get it. Just as I cannot get the majority of you to read my writing, I can’t get you to eat my deviled eggs or my caprese salads. When I suggested starting a cottage bakery, under the California Cottage Goods law, I saw you all cringe. Every, single one of you. I heard the pause as you said “…yeeah…” like you did when I asked if you read my blog. Or the surprised look on your faces when you hear I’ve written and published three books.

I get it so much that from now on, when you ask me to bring something I just won’t. Nope, I won’t be bringing an appetizer, or even a bag of potato chips. Nor a dessert. None of you will be invited into my home for meals anymore, either. You may be invited, but meals will not be served.

You may be thinking we could just order take-out when you grace us with your sophisticated palettes (what with all of your own cooking, most of which is akin to injecting myself with a syringe full of saturated fats and a hefty dose of Ex-Lax); but then I’d have to shell out more money that I’m still trying to recoup from all the thrown-away dishes of get-togethers-past. Nope, not a single cookie, cupcake, trifle, or apple pie will enter your doorway. No BLT bites will be offered, and certainly no BBQ with my homemade Chicago Steak and Chop sauce.

Consider this my whole-hearted apology. I can’t even imagine how insufferable this situation has been for all of you up until this point. Rest assured, you will all never have to tolerate such agony again.

This cook is hanging up her hat. The kitchen is closed.

STFU Fridays: All Hail Herr Nietzsche

For those of you that haven’t caught on yet, I went to graduate school in philosophy. Yes, I am one of those people. I think a lot. By a lot I mean all the time. I took a little too much to heart the lesson in humility from Socrates, though, so I really do believe I’m a dumbass (thanks a lot, jerk). But I also believe that my education was far superior to anyone else’s, even though it hasn’t gotten me anywhere. (The old philosophy student’s joke was: What is the first thing a Ph.D. in Philosophy asks on the job? Would you like fries with that?) And for five years or so, I’ve been in a perpetual existential crisis. What does it all mean and all that high-fallutin crap.

So I’ve been thinking a lot about Nietzsche lately. For those of you that have no idea who I am referring to: (1) you for real need to wake the fuck up; and (2) he was a German philologist, one of the fathers of modern philosophy, and the dude had a whack mustache. Your Movember ‘staches and wanna-be Fu Manchu hipster shit has all got nothing on Nietzsche’s facial hair.

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I will be providing further tutorial on Herr Nietzsche after we discuss this week’s Shut the Fuck Up. For now, let’s leave it at: the dude was pretty rad.

Now I’m getting ready for my kid’s birthday party. It’s in about a week (seriously guys, if it weren’t for Shut the Fuck Up Fridays, I would have no concept of day or time). All I know right now is that it’s turned into the event of the goddamned century.

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There are going to be four little girls and a ton of adults there. It’s a tea party. Everyone is getting really dressed up. There will be crumpets. There will be doilies and tule. We will have three cakes and a cake table: a standing princess cake, a Cinderella’s carriage cake, and cupcakes.

And then yesterday we realized that the kids needed games to play. Duh, it’s a kid’s party. It isn’t just eat and go to them. So now we’re making games: pin the shoe on Cinderella, learn your tea party etiquette, and the coupe de grace of the event – the Cinderella pumpkin carriage piñata. (Which I am making.)

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So Herr Nietzsche.

Yesterday I had to get the rest of the supplies I needed to make the games, finish the piñata, and so on. My mom called and said that she had a coupon for 40% off the entire purchase at Michael’s, and while I did want to avoid my mother yesterday, I couldn’t pass up on the deal. As we walked around the store, though, picking out the things that I needed, looking at the Christmas stuff, navigating the holiday shoppers, and grabbing impulse buys along the way, my mom went into this little tirade about how the birthday party was “too nice.”

“You’re going to make people feel weird with everyone dressing up,” she said.

“What, a simple Vons cake isn’t enough for you people?” she whined.

“I think you guys are acting a little pretentious with all the decorating,” she griped.

After some hearty thinking, I realized that her problem is she is jealous. She isn’t in charge of the party. She isn’t even throwing it – it’s being held at my mother-in-law’s. My mother has nothing to wear. My mother would have just gotten a Vons cake – to hear that I am baking the carriage cake, a family friend is baking the standing princess cake, and my mother-in-law is baking the cupcakes was just the icing on her own cake of inadequacy.

Now let’s not get all “oh, you are leaving her out…” because you faithful blog followers know that my Trailer Trash Mom is unreliable, a drama queen, and a total flake. Up until yesterday she said she didn’t even think she would be coming to the party – and this was before she heard about all the pomp and circumstance that would be going on.

Nietzsche had this idea that people deemed what was right and wrong in the world by whether they were a master or a slave. Without getting into too much verbiage here, the people that get angry and resentful when something is nice, that find fault in things they cannot do, are the slaves. They see those that can as masters; as their oppressors. Nietzsche says that they have to cut down the masters so as to feel better about their own slave inadequacies. My mother’s slave mentality spews from her constantly. If she can’t afford a nice gift, well then gifts are over the top. If she doesn’t have time to throw the party, well then the party is pretentious and shouldn’t be done.

Basically, it’s about cutting people down so that you feel better about yourself. To this, I say: shut the fuck up.

Shut the fuck up with your bullshit that the cakes should be Vons cakes. Shut the fuck up with this “if I’m not in charge, it shouldn’t be happening.” Shut the fuck up with your underlying resentment over the fact that you squandered away all your money and can’t afford a nice gift. Shut the fuck up with all of it.

I’m sure you faithful blog followers all have a slave in your life; perhaps you just haven’t realized that their bullshit, narcissistic, weakling viewpoints were really just a matter of being jealous that they feel inadequate in one way or another. I think a lot of people call it “those that want people to be as miserable as them.” They are the people that need to make sure everyone knows how much they disapprove of things being nice. They are the people that need to make sure everyone understands that they think nice is wrong for some reason or another (excess, gluttony, whatever). They are the people that would rather not show up for a party because they think it is “too pretentious,” when in actuality they just need to cut others down to size to feel better about the fact that they – themselves – did not throw such a party.

They all need to take a lesson from Nietzsche and shut it right the fuck up.

* * *

Now for those of you that not only need to shut the fuck up, but need to wake the fuck up, here’s a nice little documentary on Nietzsche. It’s shorter than an episode of Dancing With the Stars. And while I know that you are going to be very busy right now pinning photos of cute DIY projects to your Pinterest, and uploading 7,000 photographs of your celebrity crush to your Facebook page, methinks you would all benefit from turning that shit off, shutting the fuck up, and watching this video right now.

All hail Herr Nietzsche!

MWF Seeking New TTF

I wanted to do SWF, because that would sound more like that creepy Single White Female-movie with Jodie Foster correction: Bridget Fonda and Jennifer Jason Leigh (you are so right, Jeremy … I have no clue about movies). But then my husband would get upset and/or confused; and my mother in law would call. We would have massive levels of family drama and the gossip train would continue on down the rail line.

You know the drill.

So I stuck with MWF – Married White Female. I always look for MWF in the personal ads to see if anyone ever actually puts an ad in the personals when they are married. What would they look for? Friends? That’s sort of sad if you put out a personal ad for friends. I’m sorry if I just offended any of you faithful blog followers, I just think there would be better places to find friends – Meetup.com for example. I always thought that if anyone that was an MWF or an MWM or even an MBF, MBM, or any other designation starting with the Married, chose to put out a personal ad, they were looking for something kinky.

Kinky. Dirty. And nothing we want anything to do with.

So now that I’ve digressed for way more than I should have, let’s get to the point. I’m an MWF Seeking a New TTF. What’s a TTF you ask?

Trailer. Trash. Family.

Reason #1

My mom is the trailer park queen. She never used to be this way. No, she used to be normal. Pinafores and frocks and cookies at Christmas and shit. Then something snapped in her brain and she started digging at the bottom of the barrel for love, and other assorted frills.

We’ve discussed all of this before.

As a result of her being a trailer park queen, she inserts as much bullshit drama into every single moment of life as she can possibly manage. The most recent was that her hillbilly husband had skin cancer then he didn’t then he did then he didn’t then he was going to start chemo, now he doesn’t again. What’s the fucking truth?

Now she says she has some spinal problem that is going to require surgery before the end of the year. It all sort of came out of nowhere, and I’ll see her walking normally until she sees someone is watching her, then the acting and dramatics come out. She told me recently too that I haven’t a clue what back pain is like.

Have I mentioned I had spinal fusion for scoliosis when I was only 13? That was a 14 hour operation.

Reason #2

Over the years, my mom has poisoned her family members’ minds to believe that I am some awful person that lies all the time. It’s almost as if she is projecting her own issues onto me to them to create some weird, fucked up family drama.

When I was living with my boyfriend and he beat the shit out of me (and you faithful blog followers know I do not exaggerate – he beat the living shit out of me), my mom got upset because she loved him so much. So she told her whole family that I made the whole thing up and that he was just such a nice guy.

A couple years ago, we had a birthday party for Pookie and no one from my mom’s family came to it. She didn’t either, which was kind of messed up; but it was only later that I learned that the reason for this is that she hadn’t communicated it to anyone as she said she would. They hosted their own party – hours away, near my aunt’s house – and didn’t invite me or my husband. When we didn’t show (obviously, because we thought it was just a grandma day playdate), she told everyone that we were bad parents and just didn’t have the time to be bothered.

Sadly, those dumbasses are just as bad as her; so they buy into all of it. When I’ve talked to them about it, they’ve told me they have “allegiance” to my trailer trash mom. Nonetheless, I have continued to attempt to extend the olive branch. It’s hard living here and having no family of my own except my dad.

Well the olive branch can extend no more, after I got this comment this morning from my cousin, whose wife had already RSVP’d a simple “no” to my kid’s birthday party. (I should mention we have driven down to every one of their little bastard kid’s parties for as many years as I can remember):

“Maybe if you would show up once in a while for family events, we’d show up for yours.”

You don’t say? I seem to remember I just went to your ugly ass kid’s birthday party over two hours away just last month.

In Conclusion

Hillbillies are way overrated. For some reason they’re really into fightin’ and shootin’ and gossipin’ and lyin’ and trailer parkin’ and I’m just not really into that shit. If you are, cool. If you like to four-by, post videos of yourself on the toilet on YouTube, screw your sister, and other assorted things only the most hillbilly of all mountain williams do, far be it for me to stop your fun.

I really wanted to try and nurture this stupid relationship for the sake of being able to continue to see my grandparents, but then sometimes they act just as bad and nasty. I’m not sure what I’ll do about them, but in the meantime it seems that my trailer trash mom and her fucked up family have complete control over grandma and grandpa anyway at this point.

So I guess really it isn’t MWF seeking new TTF. Because the trailer trash part of that is a little much at this point. It’s MWF seeking new F. The F is for Family. Or maybe, because I do have a family, just thousands of miles away, it’s really MWF says FTTTS. The FT is for Fuck That Trailer Trash Shit.

The Day My Trailer Trash Mom Went Insane

I know I’ve already put up a post today, but this really deserved it’s own, separate discussion with all you faithful blog followers. For this will forever go down in history as the day my Trailer Trash Mom went insane.

I actually think my Trailer Trash Mom has gone insane before. There was that time when I was in 6th grade and she cried uncontrollably for six hours straight at the kitchen sink because Patrick Swayze went to heaven at the end of the movie Ghost. There was also that time she was dating Marvin Gaye’s former drummer and showed up at the Fresno International Airport asking for her plane ticket to tour Madonna with him, even though she had no actual information beyond something he had said months prior. Yeah, my Trailer Trash Mom has issues – this is why I usually try to keep her at a distance.

So the Mother’s Day gala of the century is just a few days away, and she is now out to prove how angry she is at the world by abusing me over the whole meal preparation thing as much as she possibly can. I realize, now, that the reason she is throwing this little shindig (mostly in her own honor) is because last year I didn’t really do anything for her for the day. This may explain why I caved and continue to take her drama.

When she showed up at my house today to take Pookie to swim lessons so that I would not be interrupted in my six hour cake bake (yes, the cake I was baking takes roughly six hours to bake), she walked into the kitchen and saw all five layers of the cake cooling. This means that the majority of my work was done – the two red velvet layers, the two french vanilla layers, and the thick layer of sticky fudge to hold it all together in the middle were all done. All that was left was to freeze the layers for a few days and then stack the layers together and ice the cake on Saturday night.

My Trailer Trash Mom

Heather, it looks like these layers are going to break apart

Me

Yeah, they are fine. That is how they have to cool so that they fit together properly when I put the cake together. They will not break, just don’t touch them.

Note: my Trailer Trash Mom again has revealed to me at this point how little she actually knows about baking and cooking. Her cooking tastes like shit and the last time she baked anything she almost burned down our apartment doing so.

My Trailer Trash Mom

(Mumbling) Oh yeah, you know everything Heather … you know everything …

My Trailer Trash Mom then left and took Pookie to swimming. 

I should also mention at this point that I was at my dad’s house. I was baking bacon a week or so ago and spilled grease all over the bottom of my oven, which caused smoke to permeate through our entire apartment, setting off the fire alarm and causing a neighborhood ruckus. Afterwards, the grease melded with whatever else was at the bottom of my oven so that now it looks like I was cooking human intestines in the bottom of the damn thing, and I have yet to find the time to clean it out. So today I gathered my things and went to my dad’s house – he has a nicer oven anyway.

My Dad With the Harry Caray Glasses

…walked out to the kitchen to get a Diet Coke

Uh, Heather … what the fuck happened to your cakes?

(Yes, my dad said “fuck” … he says it all the time, which is particularly ironic given how much he bitches at me for saying it so often in my blogs.)

Me

What do you mean? They’re cooling.

I walked into the kitchen and saw that my mother has destroyed my cakes. That’s right, my Trailer Trash Mom broke apart my cakes – the most egregious of which was the fudge that was supposed to hold the entire thing together.

I began to cry.

My Dad With the Harry Caray Glasses

Wow, your mom is one vindictive bitch!

Yes, dad. Yes, she is. I see now why they divorced over twenty years ago.

The remainder of my day was spent shopping and drinking copious amounts of wine. My husband says that I should just say ‘screw it’ altogether on the dessert. My Dad With the Harry Caray Glasses says I should just go buy a box set and make a new cake. I just can’t get over how insane my mother is. All the crying episodes about the movie Ghost, and the whole Marvin Gaye’s drummer thing, doesn’t compare in the least bit to a directly malicious act. I have yet to even bring it up with my Trailer Trash Mom. I’m sure she’ll just spew more of her hillbilly shit all over the place.

Or maybe it will be like an intervention. I don’t know, I still can’t even decide what to do about the cake. No matter what, I think this really was the day My Trailer Trash Mom went insane. Like really insane – who even knows what will happen next.

More Brain Gruel: Year of the Dragon, Family Drama, and a Startling Realization

Year of the Dragon

Happy Lunar New Year, faithful blog followers! While celebrating the resetting of the Gregorian calendar on December 31st with shit loads of alcohol, whorish outfits, illegal fireworks, and making a host of resolutions to do things you will (a) never do, and (b) never realize you probably should have been doing all along is not so much my cup of tea, the Chinese/Vietnamese New Year most certainly is.

During the last semester of my Bachelors in Philosophy at Cal Lutheran, I did an independent study with my advisor and boss, Dr. Chen, on Eastern Philosophy. While the majority of the semester was spent going over good tofu recipes and trying them out, the culinary experiments were laced with perhaps the greatest journey in discussion and personal exploration I have ever had. Twice a week, Dr. Chen and I met and talked about Eastern philosophy, which uncovered ideas and beliefs that at the end I felt entirely changed me as an individual. And in fact, since then my most favorite place to go to is temple. Growing up Catholic, I never had some of the experiences I have had when going to the Buddhist temples – especially the Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights, CA and the Ventura Buddhist Center in Ventura, CA. Where I previously found rules, judgment, and dogmatism in my Catholic upbringing, I now find acceptance, intellectualism, and peace in this relatively new (to me) culture.

So the Lunar New Year is very special to me. It reminds me to visit Dr. Chen. It celebrates a culture that is still new and yet unbelievably beautiful to me. And it metaphorically guides me towards starting fresh for another year. So happy Lunar New Year; hopefully the Year of the Dragon brings us all peace and prosperity.

Family Drama

I don’t know about you guys, but things have been a little light on the family drama front as of late, and I was starting to wonder if this is just the calm before the storm. Hello Kitty Toaster hasn’t even taken it upon herself to act as the moral authority on my Facebook page in a while, and I fortunately have not run in to them anywhere around town.

Could this be a turn in the right direction? I thought to myself just yesterday as we were on our way to a family celebration of my grandparents’ 62nd wedding anniversary at IHOP.

Not so fast.

We should first disregard the immense drama that occurred when we showed up at the IHOP in Valencia, only for my mother to scream over the phone for the entire place to hear that she meant the one in Newhall Ranch. Let’s also (for a second) just disregard the fact that my mother and her family decided that the best place to celebrate a wedding anniversary is their local International House of Pancakes. And we’ll even ignore the fact that I had to order off the children’s menu because that was the only place I could find anything that had less than 900 calories. Ignoring all of those things, all of this could have been tolerable as a one-time event if only it weren’t for one thing: family children and cheap pricks.

Whenever we are around other children under the age of 10 or so in my mother’s family, it’s a stark reminder that mine ‘aint so bad. After these kids ate yesterday, they proceeded to run around and scream – I shit you not, faithful blog followers – for at least fifteen minutes before anyone told them to simmer down. For a moment, I thought this might have been why they selected a more “family friendly” (i.e. little, uncontrolled shits) restaurant, but then I remembered the time these children were allowed to act the same, exact way at a five star steak house. It’s no wonder some restaurants are choosing to go kid-free with little terrorists like that.

Then came the time to pay, which never ceases to be awkward. Rather than allowing the table of 16 people to break the bill up, IHOP insisted it be on one bill (understandably so). This turned into a complete debacle because – no matter how many times this happens – no one had cash. (Well, we had cash, but no one else did.) About twenty minutes after we got the bill and handed over our cash, one of my cousins who could best described as an “obese jerkface” started yelling at the waitress because they weren’t given the senior discount with my grandparents there. This, of course, was after the screaming children were allowed to run around like assholes – and another incident earlier in the meal when everyone was too “hot” sitting in the area they were sitting, so demanded the wait-staff move all sixteen of us to another area in the middle of appetizers. Apparently grammie and grampie ordering off the senior menu negated the possibility of the entire table getting a discount – too bad for them and we tipped a little extra on our portion for the massive amount of rudeness.

Always a good time with my mom’s family. It sort of reminds me why I don’t see them often.

 A Startling Realization

At that very family luncheon for the celebration of my grandparent’s anniversary, we were positioned as follows:

 All of the adults on one side of the table, with my mother at the head. All of the kids and my husband and myself at the other side of the table – so far away we really couldn’t converse with anyone about anything other than Barney and Dora.

As I sat there, trying to figure out a way to sneak to the corner store across the parking lot to buy a fifth of vodka to help me get through the three and a half hour IHOP lunch, I came to a startling realization as I stared down to the head of the table: my mother looks like a turkey.

I know that’s messed up to say, but I’ve said worse about her and to be honest it’s just the truth. She even has something like a gobbler, which flaps around when she gestures wildly (as she often does when she talks).

Is this my fate? Will I one day have to hide around Thanksgiving time for fear of being mistaken for one of the tasty fowl? I shudder at the thought.