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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It Could Always Be Worse

Have you ever had someone say that to you?

You’re having a bad day. You found out you have high blood pressure. You got into a car accident. Your company announced pay cuts. You’re frustrated, you’re tired, you need to vent, and so you meet up with friends or family for drinks and vent over beers; or you climb onto the ol’ Interwebs and post a gripe on your Facebook.

Then there’s always that asshole, someone just sitting there waiting for the opportunity to invalidate another person’s difficulties with those varying sets of words that always mean the same thing:

It could always be worse.

“Just remember there are people out there without homes;” “your health problems are nothing compared to people dying of cancer;” and “at least you have a job” are a few of the many varieties people throw out there.

They all have the same intention: to tell you to shut the fuck up, and to remind you that your life is always more fortunate than others. Even if it’s not (necessarily).

Well, I’m sure that not everyone has a purely malicious intention behind saying those evil and unnecessary words. Some people honestly – not sure why, but honestly – believe that by highlighting the misfortunes of others, that they are really doing a service to make you feel less like shit about your own situation.

This is such a social phenomenon (comparing others to ourselves in an effort to feel better about our worthless existences), that modern psychologists have given it a name: Downloading Social Comparison. It’s a little complicated, and more about people that intentionally seek the hardships of specific others to feel good about themselves (rather than to highlight it to another person in a general “other people have it worse” sense); but the concept is still in line with the same.

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By downloading a look at another person’s life, our own issues seem paltry and petty by comparison. (Sometimes. I mean I have a few Facebook friends whose lives definitely make me feel like every time I think that I have my own shit together, I am reminded by their posts that I am actually – in reality – literally the most disorganized and unkempt person on the planet.)

Downloading Social Comparison is actually considered a factor in mental illness by many psychologists. Mental illness, and yet somehow the Nosy Nancys of the world think it’s a positive thing to point out the shit of another person’s even hypothetical and generalized situation every time you gripe about anything shitty that happens to you.

But what’s truly wrong with the “it could always be worse”-ers of the world is also very simple.

Is it possible that someone else has it worse off than you do? Very likely. Especially if you live in a privileged country, such as the United States (I say privileged in the sense that we have clean, potable water and Wifi just about everywhere you go).

Though to use that in an effort to stifle or push away a person’s natural and healthy feelings about their own personal experiences is – in a word – wrong. Sure, other people have it worse, and in particularly dark times it’s nice to remind ourselves to be grateful for the things we do actually continue to have through adversity, when others may not. But to always compare in an effort to forget or to shame a person’s complaints is like saying that  their problems are trivial and unimportant, when in many cases they are anything but. It would be like telling someone they shouldn’t be upset about having to file for bankruptcy because there are some people who can’t afford a roof over their heads. Does the terribleness of others really make it any easier to deal with having to file for bankruptcy? I mean, really…

comepete-with-yourself-1024x1024And anyway, aren’t we allowed to be upset about shitty stuff that happens to us, without having the shame and guilt of someone else’s worse hardships shoved down our fucking throats?

So this happened to me today, actually, which is what prompted this blog post. I posted a Facebook status about how after a year and a half, today was the first time since I was diagnosed with a wheat allergy that I actually felt like crying about it. I just wanted Girl Scout cookies so badly, and there was no way I could eat any of them. In response, someone told me that my gluten intolerance was better than dying of cancer.

Really?! Really.

1ca2d460b89d87aa9db35238d9c3330fOf course being allergic to wheat is better than dying of cancer. Of course it is. What kind of a person would even compare the two? But what I felt after reading that was exactly what that comment’s intention was to make me feel: shame. Shame for thinking that not being able to eat Thin Mints sucked. Shame for being sad that I can’t have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich if I want without having to bake my own bread. Shame for it all, because somewhere out there other people have it worse. Somewhere out there a person is dying of cancer, and their dying thoughts are clouded by all the ungrateful assholes who sit around complaining that they are allergic to the ingredients in a delightful case of Caramel Delights.

How dare I have feelings about my own situation. It could always be worse.

I have one much simpler response to all of that…it’s simpler than explaining Downloading Social Comparison, and a lot easier than going into all the things that are wrong with trying to invalidate the feelings of others. Just one response, which goes like this:

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So I Wiped My Dog’s Butt The Other Night

We are on our annual, fall vacation. No big deal, just a little jaunt to Central Oregon to visit my husband’s grandparents and my great aunt. My husband drove us up, then after a few days flew home for work; the trip will end next weekend with him flying back to drive us back home.

There have been a lot of…shall we say…revelations so far on this trip. Realizations? How about realities. There have been a lot of realities presented to me in the few days we have been here; I am sure as the days unfold even more will crop up.

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1.

My dog is way cool with me wiping her butt.

Just when I thought I was never going to have any more butts to wipe, my dog got diarrhea.

The situation was as follows: we fed her a lot of different things on the way up and the first two or three days here, because – well – it’s actually really hard to travel with a dog that eats homemade food. Anyone who has ever had a dog knows that with the majority of them, a change in diet is a recipe for diarrhea all over your carpeted floors.

So we’re sitting there the other night, watching Full House (because what the hell else do they have on TV here in the middle of nowhere-Oregon?), and all of a sudden I realize that just across the room the dog is taking a massive shit on the carpet.

By the time the dog has finished and moved on to return to eating kibbles, my daughter has jumped up and yelled “it looks like chocolate pudding!!”

A wonderful visual for you all, I am sure. “It looks like chocolate pudding,” though, means one thing, and one thing only, to me: the dog’s got the runs.

So we get up to clean it and then I notice the dog still has “chocolate pudding” all over her backside. Being concerned that she would scoot around and destroy even more of the floor in this place we are guests (I mean, obviously at home I wouldn’t give a shit what she does – which says a hell of a lot more about me than I’d like it to), I realize the reality of what we have to do.

We have to wipe the dog’s butt.

I won’t go into any more details about this; I’ll just say that she was very OK with it. Disturbingly OK with it.

2.

My regular life is really stressful.

It always takes these little vacations, away from my daily reality and regular life, to get perspective on things.

The perspective I have now is that my regular life is really stressful. It’s full of problems I shouldn’t have to deal with. Stressors that are beyond my control, even though they should be within my grasp.

And my newest development: a myriad of bullies that I cannot walk away from, because – gasp, big surprise here!!! – they are family.

In fact, my myriad of bullies has stopped me from writing. Writing on this blog. Writing my next book (yes, there IS a next book in the works). Writing even in my journal – perhaps the most important part of a writer’s day.

Now I knew they were bullies before the vacation. I knew that if a family member told you you should move out of town, concluded with a “Bye Felicia” …well, if they said something like that, you could assume they were intentionally trying to be mean to you. (By the way, I had to look that up, because I had no idea what it meant – in spite of the fact that I’ve seen all the Friday movies.)

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And I knew that the gossip had reached a fever pitch, as well. It got to a point where I felt it was necessary to post this:

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But I also was trying to give everyone the benefit of a doubt. Maybe they were just joking when they told me I was an asshole for saying I was tired of cleaning up the mess from the renters that lived in the family condo we moved into in June. Perhaps excluding us, and only us, from family events was just oversight on their part.

I am far too nice.

Since we got here, I’ve been posting TONS of photos of family on my Facebook page. Every day. I haven’t heard so much as a peep from any of my bullies – big surprise, right? Then I realized that this is the way it ALWAYS goes. They NEVER pay attention to the good stuff. The important stuff. The positive stuff. The fun stuff.

But say a man accosted me in my parking lot and I’m not happy about it (true story), or that I got a bad haircut at a salon their friends work at (a real life tragedy), and they are ALL OVER IT. And by all over it, I mean sitting right there, just waiting to tell me to shut the fuck up, and that I’m wrong for whatever it was I did or said.

As usual, at the end of my vacation I’m affirming that I’m not going to tolerate it anymore. But, then again, I always say that…

3.

I am again reminded that if I want something done right, I have to do it.

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For some reason, I thought that we had reached a point where I could give a list of things that needed to be packed for vacation, and that those things would actually be packed.

The list was very simple:

  1. 2 outfits for cold weather
  2. 2 outfits for warm weather
  3. 3 pairs of pajamas
  4. 4 sets of underwear
  5. An extra sweater
  6. A jean jacket

Guess what was packed?

  1. 1 outfit for cold weather, pants don’t fit anymore
  2. Nothing for warm weather (it’s going to be in the upper 80s and 90s for the rest of our trip)
  3. 1 pair of pajamas
  4. 1 pair of underpants, no undershirts
  5. 4 sweaters, 1 sweater dress, 6 pairs of tights
  6. No jacket

What’s more disturbing is that there was a 20 year old adult (the babysitter) assisting in this endeavor, so I have to ask just why the shit my list wasn’t followed.

 

Nonetheless, I had a little meltdown about it today, because after all the expenses of moving and the possibility that my husband will be changing jobs and taking a slight pay cut in the near future, having to go buy ANYTHING, when we have plenty of perfectly adequate things at home, is upsetting.

So in short…

…this trip has been a little strange. Eye-opening. I’ve realized a lot, and been reminded that there really is no such thing as a vacation when you’re a mom. I’m still doing laundry every day; having to wipe everyone’s assholes; cooking, cleaning… It’s really just the same old shit in a different place.

But at the end of it, I will say one thing: it’s nice to have gotten my head out of the smog. Both the literal smog of California, as well as the metaphorical smog. There may not be anything I can do to change these situations in my regular, every day life, but at least I can acknowledge them and act accordingly. It’s much less stressful to know things for what they are, than to hide under the veil of denial. For that reason, and that reason alone, I’ll call this vacation a success.

Oh, and there is some pretty amazing shit to look at here too…

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When Your New Car Breaks

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Try and stay positive!

I absolutely loath when people say that. First, and foremost, I think talking about people being “negative” or “positive” is – in a word – childish. Those are just more labels we as a society use to peg people that we think are doing something either right or wrong, by our standards.

So I really and truly want to punch people in the nads that throw that “try and stay positive” crap in my face. Sometimes, you just have to be realistic. Sometimes staying positive is a recipe for getting your own self punched in the nads.

When your new car breaks, I would highly recommend not trying to stay positive. I would highly recommend flipping out, because as soon as you come down from your moment of temporary insanity, it’s a lot easier to figure things out realistically.

I bought a new used car approximately three weeks ago. My husband crashed his car into some 16 year old on the way to work back in October, and after months of deliberation the insurance company finally decided to total out his car. My Yaris got amazing gas mileage; I needed something bigger … so we did a little swap. I got the money for the insurance pay out and bought a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee. I did the research. I drove it multiple times. I did everything right; and (despite the fact that I was pretty sure the private dealership was owned and operated by the leaders of the local mob) it seemed like the right decision.

I should be clear, I have been hit (not hit others) in quite a few car accidents since moving to California, so I have a lot of experience buying cars. The Jeep was my fifth purchase.

Now today I was driving on the freeway from our lunch out to Barnes and Noble. I made it no more than two miles down the road, though, when all of a sudden my car started jerking, and violently. I got off at the next exit, called my husband then my father and both said I should try and make it home. When I put the car back into “D” though, it made this horrible, loud thud noise and the entire car jumped. It was barely drivable after that.

We ended up getting towed. Within a few hours I learned that the entire transmission needs to be rebuilt, of course not a covered item on the 90 day limited warranty. Blah blah blah. Let’s get to the positives.

But wait! I said I didn’t want to try and stay positive. I said that when your new car breaks you should let yourself freak out, rather than living in a false sense of naive idealism that everything will just magically work out for you!

Those aren’t the kinds of positives I’m talking about. I’m talking about the stories that come from being towed.

Humanity Is Evil

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The tow guy got there and attempted to drive my car up onto the tow ramp. But as he was backing the Jeep up to pull it on, this crazy broad pulled up behind him and started honking her horn. Then she yelled “get out of my way!!” The tow guy pulled the car in front of his tow truck, which was a huge mistake. No less than twenty cars then proceeded to drive past the tow truck, no one stopping for him to get my poor, broken Jeep up onto the ramp.

You may be thinking this is normal for a street, but then I have to tell you the best part: I was in a goddamned parking lot with about ten others rows that people could have driven down instead of the one we were in.

Nothing says “this was a good a experience” like a harsh reminder that humanity is evil.

Some People Are Truly Amazing

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But then – when all seemed to be at a total loss – a woman walked up to me and said “is that your car being towed?” I told her that it was, and then told her that no one was letting the poor tow guy get it up on the ramp, though.

She said: “hold on, I just had lunch with my ex-husband and I’ll have him pull up and block the driveway until your car gets up there.”

No, I am not kidding you, faithful blog followers. The guy pulled up and blocked the way, then pulled forward and asked if he could help with anything else. I thanked him, he drove off. Then the woman asked if we were being picked up, or if she could drive us home.

As horrible as this world is, every once in a while there is a light of hope hanging on.

People Are Full of Surprises

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Once the Jeep was loaded, we just had to get into the tow truck and ride with him to the auto care center, closer to our apartment (about fourteen miles away). There, my dad was going to meet us and help me get everything handled.

As we got into the tow truck, the tow guy – who seemed like your average, run-of-the-mill tow truck driver – took the kid’s stuffed bear, set him in the middle of the backseat, and clicked him in. Pookie smiled, said thanks, and held the bear’s hand the whole trip.

I have never seen a service person, who deals with the nastiness of public on a regular basis, show such an unbelievably humbling sweetness in my entire life.

The only other note of excitement for the trip was that we had to go through a weigh station, since we were over a large hill that the heavy truck was going to have to go down. I had never been through a weigh station before, and always thought it was some sort of complicated ordeal involving scales and measures and paperwork and police. Sadly, it was not as exciting. We pulled through it, just driving slowly, and continued down the hill.

When your new car breaks, I highly suggest freaking out. Don’t listen to those assholes that tell you to try and stay positive, because there is nothing positive about car repairs. There are, however, pretty awesome reminders you can learn along the way – no matter how ugly or unbelievably touching they may be.

We Interrupt Our Regular STFU Programming For a Burp

Holy Mother of all that is good, this was by far the crappiest, most horrible and heinous week I’ve had in a long time.

Don’t get me wrong, my life usually blows a big one. And I mean bigger than an elephant’s schlong, or that World’s Biggest Thermometer out in the Mohave Desert. This one really takes the cake.

We’ve all had colds. Our increased rent is breathing down our necks, forcing us into making decisions. I’m still really homesick and want to move back to Chicago and my family so badly I can barely breathe anymore. My husband is still a misogynist. It’s been all tantrums and difficulty on the homeschooling front all week. And then this morning my husband got into a car accident, then proceeded to yell at me as if it was my fault.

Shitty week. So shitty that it’s all I can do to just sit on the couch and eat my Funmallows as I wallow in my own self-pity on the evening of this Shut the Fuck Up Friday.

Despite all this chaos, I had an STFU Fridays in the hopper, all ready to go. It went a little something like this:

My week has been so horrible I cannot even begin to describe how I am feeling right now. I know, I know … you are all thinking that I always have an awful week. Every day is full of bullshit. Well, that’s a little true and a little not true. I do pay a lot of attention to my surroundings, and so I notice more that others don’t always catch. And life is just really hard right now because I’m very unhappy. I’m also married to someone with whom drama swirls around, which causes a little bit of drama on a daily basis for me as well.

In any event, this week has sucked a big one. And what frustrates me the most about it is when I try to say that it’s been a hard week and some dillhole says in response to my complaining “well, just remember, someone has it much harder than you out there.”

Yeah, sure. Someone has it harder. Someone is living on the streets. Someone is starving to death. Someone is suffering from alcohol addiction or a drug problem. Someone has cancer or emphezyma. Someone out there is having their house foreclosed on. 

There are a million possibilities.

But I can’t help but say to the people that say that, the people that always say “just remember, someone has it much harder than you;” the shamers that want you to feel bad for letting out your feelings about whatever you are going through, no matter how trivial it may seem to them – I want to say to them that it’s about time they shut the fuck up. Seriously. Shut. The. Fuck. Up.

Everyone deals with everything differently. Everyone experiences everything from a different perspective. I’m not saying my piddly shit problems and unhappiness in California compares to someone that just lost a loved one or had any of the other horse shit things happen to them that have not happened to me, and are insurmountably worse than what I am going through. I’m just saying that people need to shut the fuck up and stop shaming me for feeling like shit about a shitty situation.

It’s okay to feel like shit.

It’s okay to be upset.

It is okay to have negative feelings sometimes.

It’s okay to let it out and feel like garbage because something is going wrong for you.

All people that say that bullshit about “just remember someone has it worse off than you” are doing is trying to shame you into feeling guilty for feeling like your life is shitty or you got a bum rap. 

Seriously… shut the fuck – – – – – – – –

BEEP. BEEP. BEEP.

We interrupt our regular STFU Programming for a Burp.

So at this point, we were out to dinner with my dad tonight and I was starting to bitch and complain about the car accident that my husband got into today, and the fact that he yelled at me as if it was my fault and problem to deal with. Then my dad was starting to do his usual “someone else out there has it worse than you” rap he usually goes into, and I about to tell him to shut the fuck up, when the waitress walked up and my dad opened his mouth to order his Diet Coke and tacos and instead of words, an uproarious belch came shrieking out of his skull cave.

The waitress started to laugh.

We all started to laugh.

I was laughing so hard I started crying.

My dad apologized about eight times.

We aren’t just talking about a little squeaker of a burp. We are talking the foulest and most gutteral sound any human being could utter.

Out of my father’s mouth. With the waitress and all of us right there.

I didn’t really get a chance to complain about the week and my horrible times, and my dad didn’t get an opportunity to tell me that someone in the world has it worse off than me.

And that was my Shut the Fuck Up Friday. Began with bullshit. Ended with a belch.

I think we’ve all learned a number of lessons, here. Now shut the fuck up!

People I Am Jealous Of

I really do have a list of people that I am legitimately jealous of. I never used to get jealous, but now I do. This isn’t like a psycho, jealous girlfriend, though, who gets all crazy and shit when her man even looks the opposite way. It’s much different than that; in fact, I wish it were that simple.

I’m super duper jealous of the arrogant, pompous assholes who thinks their shit smells like roses

Sorry, that was not the most eloquent way to put it, but I had to get my point across. Today on Facebook I saw some post of some arrogant prick I only know in passing. He was rambling on and on about how he realized that the reason he has such wonderful people in his life is because he is a wonderful person. After vomiting out the rage this welled up into my throat, I realized that I am super duper jealous of this guy. I wish I could be as arrogant and self-important as him. I wish I could say “oh, I have such wonderful people in my life because clearly I am a wonderful person!!” Maybe then I wouldn’t question myself so much when every other god-forsaken person in my life does.

… on that note, I wish I wasn’t hated by so many people. I’m jealous of people that are well-liked.

The other half of this guy’s pompous little rant was that people who are always miserable and think nothing but assholes and idiots surround them can be sure that what is around them is merely a reflection of who they are. Well, I may be a bitch, but I try really hard to not be an asshole and I know that a complete moron I am not. I believe that I am surrounded by a lot of them, though (as many of us are) because I know how to deal with them.

This begs the next jealousy I have though: I’m jealous of people that are well-liked.

Despite the fact that I have this bitchy, bitch-all-the-time, “tell it like it is”-attitude on my blog, I spend a considerable amount of time trying to be a really good person in my personal life. I go way out of my way for the people that I love. I hate cooking and I prepare great meals for my husband almost every night. Birthdays are always a huge ordeal in our house – because of no one but me. I have let myself get railroaded as well by a lot of people when being so nice; and I just let it happen because I just don’t want people to hate me (which they end up doing anyway). I used to go to writers groups and have given a lot of thought and detail to my critiques when none of the people even looked at my work. I gave up 10 years of graduate school and my career for my husband to have some more time in film. And I have done almost all of this with a smile.

I consider myself to work towards doing what is in the moral right all the time as well. I believe that lying under almost every circumstance is wrong. I believe that using people for my own advantage is horrible. In a cut-throat, dog-eat-dog world, I truly would get eaten alive.

This is why I am jealous of people that are well-liked, though. I don’t get it at all because I try really hard to be a good person and to be good to other people, and yet I am hated vehemently by a lot of people.

I’m jealous of Snookie because she is so goddamned stupid.

Stupid people don’t think. Not thinking means less anxiety about life in general. Not thinking also means never having to take responsibility for your actions. I’m super jealous of people that have no sense of responsibility.

Responsibility to some means being an adult. That is true to me, but more than anything responsibility is just a huge, dead weight hanging along my shoulders, making my neck and head pound, and weighing me down into the ground. Snookie doesn’t have any of that shit. The only thing weighing her down are her belly rolls and her big ass, leopard printed hair bows.

I’m jealous of people that have happy marriages…

…because my marriage is a shit hole most of the time. I’m sure that my marriage is the more realistic – mine will be the one that lasts forever, whereas the “pie in the sky right now” ones will fall apart as soon as something goes wrong.

But goddamn am I jealous of those people.

I just wish I felt like a wife sometimes, instead of what I feel like (which is a roommate, an acquaintance, someone less important, someone that is of no matter, someone that it is okay to lie to, to sneak around behind the back of, and to treat like a slave while giving not even an ‘I love you, thank you, you look nice today, have some more wine.’ in return). I would even settle for just being told I am pretty at this point, which I don’t even know has ever happened.

I am hella-jealous of Gold Diggers and Bridezillas

Those bitches get shit done. I know for sure now that had I been on Bridezillas I would have had more from my wedding than I did. I wouldn’t have had to make all the fucking food myself. I wouldn’t have come away with only one photograph of my husband and I actually standing together – ONE.

Gold Diggers get shit done too. Those bitches have got nice purses, nice hair, and look awesome in their skinny jeans. I have the Target special purse with a hole in it that change falls through, a shitty hairdo, tons of clothes that have fallen apart, and my husband has never actually taken me out on a real date.

Let me repeat that for you, faithful blog followers: never taken me out on a real date.

I am jealous of those gold-digging bitches and Bridezilla witches something fierce.

I am jealous of people that can lie and use people easily.

Just because I think it is horrible to lie and use people doesn’t mean shit. I wish I could lie to people and use them for what I want and not feel like total ass about it. I lie about something looking nice when it doesn’t – just to spare someone’s feelings – and I even feel bad. If I were a filthy liar and a fucktard user, I’m sure my life would be so much easier.

I really really wish I could be one of those writers that has a huge platform and follows a formula for some canned bullshit and makes lots of money for it.

I have a few friends that are writers and have done so well for themselves. I am super jealous of them. Not that I think they are better than me or I want what they have. Just that I am jealous that they have a platform and a support system of friends and family that I just don’t have. I have family and I have friends, but so few of them read or are interested in what I write, or so far away from me that they don’t know how to share my writing with others. (Of course I have you faithful blog followers, and every other writer in the world should be jealous of me for that …)

But I write for myself mostly anyway, so it shouldn’t matter; except that if I am just doing this for myself, why not just do it in my head and stop belaboring over it all the time? Because I am really doing it for myself ONLY because I have no real platform. Because I believe that I actually do have something to say; although, it seems like everyone wants you to cram it into some formula and I just have to ask – “is it literature if there is nothing literary about it?”

The one I am the most jealous of, though, is myself a few years ago.

A few years ago – just a few years – I had my shit together. I was in grad school. I had a plan. I was happy. I was confident in myself. I felt good about myself. I knew what I wanted and how I was going to get it.

Now I’m a pile of rubble and dust of what that person was. I am no longer in grad school, and I have no career. I have no plan for what will make me happy and feed the intellectual part of my soul that is so so so important to who I am. I have lost all interest in everything. I lack all confidence in myself as a result of my Trailer Trash Mom, my in-laws, and my husband telling me every chance they could why I am such a bad person. I no longer know what I want, except to get the hell away from California, get the hell back to my sweet, home Chicago, and to have a normal life again. And I have no idea how to do any of that.

Blah. I have had a real shit-house of a day and wish I hadn’t. It seems like every day is a shit-house, though; really nothing more than a consequence of how unhappy I am with my life right now, and how stuck I feel between a rock and a hard place. This is the B(itch)Log, though, so anyone that doesn’t like my rants can kindly show themselves to another blog. Perhaps the “My life is wonderful and unrealistic and I shit rainbows”Log would be more appropriate.

Or, maybe that guy was right on my Facebook. Maybe I’m surrounded by bull shit, assholes, and idiots because that is what I really am. Whatever the case may be, my day exposed all these jealousies – every single one of them, really.

I think I’m going to go find myself a big, leopard-printed hair bow to start emulating Snookie. Maybe that’ll ease a little of the green with which I feel.