the post in which I swear. a Lot.

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sometimes I swear. I swear a Lot

Zen Bitch

images-20Last week I had a small issue with my garbage collection. It was actually more of a collect some of it, dump some of it on the street and leave most of it behind. Oh, and then drive over what was left behind making sure it was impossible to pull my car out without driving over it again. Let me tell you there is nothing I enjoy more than cleaning up garbage that I have already cleaned up right when I need to leave for work.

If only there was a way to actually express how that felt…..giphy-2

Well! Gee Willikers and Jiminey Cricket!!

Jeepers, somehow that just wasn’t satisfying, and wait, it’s also taking the Lord’s name in vain

gee willikers
a humorous or outdated extension of gee, which is a euphemism for Jesus.
Gee willikers, that wind’s a-blowin’!
#gee #geez #sheesh #jeepers

Holy filet of fuck-minion!

Feckin’ flesh-turd…

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about that homeless, mentally ill, and intoxicated man

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Homeless Jesus by Timothy Schmallz

Homeless Jesus by Timothy Schmallz

Dear Well Intentioned Friend,

I know your intentions were not unkind when we talked the other day. I’m certain you had no idea the affect your story would have on me, and I’m somewhat ashamed I didn’t speak up more clearly at the time.

homelessOkay, here’s the thing. Your story? About your daughter’s dance class being threatened by a lone homeless man, the one where the instructors bravely hid all the girls (who ‘were practically dressed in bikinis’) in the locker room to protect them? The story where the lone homeless man who may have been intoxicated, who likely was mentally ill  (spoken with your voice lowered), had come into the lounge near the studio and sat down to watch the tv, you remember? Do you remember telling me how horrified you were, what danger these girls were in. Do you remember when you first described the man that I said, poor thing, he was probably just looking somewhere safe to rest?

Here are some things I didn’t tell you. I have worked with homeless people for the last ten years. Yes, many are mentally ill, many are alcoholic or addicts or both. All of them suffer greatly. All of them are human beings, who love and are loved by someone. I didn’t point out that mental illness and substance abuse are medical illnesses, just like cancer, or diabetics. I also didn’t mention the reason many of them are homeless is because of inadequate resources to treat these disorders,and the tremendous negative stigma that goes along with being homeless, with being an alcoholic, with being an addict.

At one point while you were describing in great detail how horrifying and dangerous this man was, I did manage to quietly say, just like my son. I don’t think you caught my meaning. I don’t think you understood that what I was saying was that my son is homeless, that my son is mentally ill, that my son is an addict, that my son has curled up in all sorts of places trying to get some sleep, some comfort. I don’t think you realized that while you talked about saving these girls from this threat, all I could see is the countless cruelties that the homeless, mentally ill suffer, that my son suffers. The diseases themselves and the heartbreak they cause to families are bad enough, but the stigma that well intentioned people attach to them and then use as a justification to treat them badly, as something less than human, and something not worth compassion, or love or comfort, the stigma is the worst of it all.

Change mentally ill to someone with cancer, with diabetics, suddenly it seems horrifying that someone suffering from cancer, or uncontrolled diabetes would be ostracized, would be seen as a threat to children.

Eventually all I could see was someone treating my son with the horror and disdain you very eloquently described, all I could see was the pain and the humiliation he has suffered. All I could see was my little boy being threatened, and there was nothing, absolutely nothing I could do to save him. All I could feel was all the pain and the heartbreak of the last several years as I fought to keep my son sane, sober and safe. You see, my well intentioned friend, I too am a mother, a very protective one, and I do understand the overwhelming desire to protect my children. My daughters took dance when they were young, I did my time sitting in studios, going to recitals, I do understand that part, to this day I would do anything to keep them safe. I also love my son with the same intensity, and I have done, and still do everything I can to protect him. Sadly with his disease part of doing what’s best for him and my daughters is to let him hit a bottom so he can hopefully one day come back to me.

I couldn’t tell you any of this. All I could do was to cover my face to hide the tears and run away. When I got to my car I sat for a very long while until I stopped crying and could drive home.

The other thing I didn’t tell you is what I may have in common with the homeless man, I’m an alcoholic. I was raised by one and am related to several. The disease runs rampant in my family. I’ve been told to say I’m a person in long term recovery, meaning I’m sober and have been so for quite some time. I don’t generally tell people this, because unlike, say cancer survivors, there aren’t any coloured ribbons, or fun walks for alcoholics or addicts, even the clean and sober ones. People don’t look at you as someone who has fought – and remains constantly vigilant – against a chronic and deadly illness, and survived, people see a drunk, an addict, someone who has a flaw in their moral character, someone who cant’ be trusted, someone you can’t leave your children with (yes, I have been at the receiving end of all these attitudes) people look at you as something that is less than normal people. That’s why I don’t generally share that about myself. That is also why when you told me about the homeless man the first thing I felt was empathy for him, and the pain he must feel at fear and loathing that he experienced in your daughter’s dance studio, and likely just about everywhere else he goes.

I didn’t tell you any of this, because these things are usually too raw for me to say out loud. These things have brought judgement and negative stigma on me and my family, and some days I’m just not up to saying out loud that this is wrong. This is so very wrong. That it is not okay to view people as less than. No is less than anyone else. I think if people could get that straight in their heads the world could be a more compassionate and beautiful place.

So, maybe, next time you see a homeless person, someone who is mentally ill, intoxicated,maybe, you could let some compassion enter your viewpoint, and not let fear guide your thinking and actions, maybe you could lead with kindness and compassion, just a little at first. Or maybe you could, just for a moment, reexamine the way you view the homeless, the mentally ill, the addicted, the alcoholic. Maybe that could be a start.

not okay

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Everything he wanted went into one large duffle bag, except for the two baseball hats he wore so they wouldn’t get bent.

“What’s it like to move out mom?”

“It’s really hard” is all I manage. To say more would have me crying as I picked up his McDonald’s meal and gift card.

I don’t manage this for long and soon enough I’m bawling in front of the man who will be housing my son, his duffle bag, two hats and his McDonald’s gift card. Later tears pour down behind my sunglasses as I walk my dog round and round the dog park.

He was so quiet. So mild mannered. It made it more difficult. I told him I didn’t want this, but this is what we have now, a void in my home where my son used to be.

When I was 16 my mom told me one Monday that I would not be allowed to live with them anymore and I would be moving up north to live with my father. Five days later I was on a plane to a completely different home and life. I didn’t hear anything from my mother for over six months. It was not the first, and certainly not the last time she cut me off, or decided she didn’t love me. It shouldn’t have been as big as a surprise as it was, but that first major rejection was a shock.  For months things had been getting worse with my step-father. One bad day things were bad. I tried to run out the front door and he had caught me by the hair and hauled me back in. Then he really lost his temper. My mom stood in the doorway holding my little brother’s hand watching. Afterwards when I was crying in my room she came and told me I was to come downstairs and tell my step-father that I loved him because he was so upset. Something shifted then, and I realized my mother would stand with her husband no matter what happened. This has been the case for over 30years now. Mothers are suppose to defend and protect their children, mine protected her husband. That was the most physically violent episode, but certainly not the last. Names I can’t repeat, taunts, slaps, fistfuls of hair and every time I deserved it. I simply would not play the part they wanted me to and eventually she wanted me gone, and she kicked me out.

It doesn’t matter that I am not my mother, or that the circumstances are utterly and completely different, I have done to my child the single most painful thing that I have ever experienced, and that is not going to be okay. I did it with compassion, my son knows how much I love him, but at the end of the day I sent my own child away, and that will never be okay.

kindness, pets, and kids, and the lessons they taught me

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Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion.

Dalai Lama

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When I was about 10 we had a small mutt my mother had found in the alley behind the library where she worked. We called him Book. He was a street smart, funny. lovable small black mutt. He was my little brother’s and my first dog, and we adored him. One night when my mom and step father were out I had a terrible feeling in my stomach about Book. That night I played with him, rubbed his belly, and must have given him half a box of dog cookies. Nothing bad happened, and I went to bed. When my they got back, my step father drove the babysitter home. We think Book must have got out and tried to follow the car. My mother woke me early the next day after she spent a sleepless night worrying and we all went looking for him. We lived about three blocks from a main street, and on the far side of that street, laying on the grass beneath a tree we saw Book. I rushed to him, and reached out my hand to wake him, and only then when my fingers touched stiff cold fur did I realize he was dead.

We buried Book in the backyard under a bed of flowers, it was the only time I ever saw my step father cry. My mother said that some kind person must have picked Book up off the road after he had been hit, and laid him gently on the grass for us to find him. Tied up with the sadness of losing our dog was the thought that someone had been kind to him, and also to us by taking the time to stop, pick up his body and gently place in on the grass.

Late last night I was coming home with my daughter and we saw the body of tortoise shell cat on the road. We circled round and stopped just behind it. She looked like she had been a well loved pet. She looked like she had died instantly. We stood and looked at her silently, my car’s headlights illuminating her. After a moment I walked back to my car and got a small white gym towel from my yoga bag. I knelt down and wrapped her still warm and pliable body in it and carried her to a grassy area under a small tree. Her back legs and fluffy tail stuck out from the end of the towel and her fur stirred slightly in the wind. I placed my hand on her side and said how sorry I was she had died. We stood a moment more and got in the car and drove the rest of the way home.

Four years ago when our young, beautiful, and foolish dog Willow got out of the yard and was run over, many people stopped, someone called me and we rushed to spend our last moments with her before she died. Someone brought a blanket that they never saw again, another person brought a board for us to lift her shattered and dying body into our car. My daughter sobbed, held her face, and said her name over and over again. The driver of the car stood crying. Before we got in our car to rush Willow to the vet in some mad hope that she could be saved, I went to the driver and told him it was not his fault. She was a skittish dog, and very fast, and he could not have avoided her. I didn’t want him to carry any more grief and guilt than he was already going to. I don’t remember anyone from that day. I have never been able to thank them for stopping, for helping our dog and us when it was most needed.

We never knew who carried Book from the road that night almost forty years ago, but that act of kindness stayed with me. It helped me tell the driver it was not his fault; it is what guided me when I carried the cat from the road last night. One act of kindness decades old still touches me and through me touches the world. Such is the way of kindness.

take me as I am

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plucky with a certain fashion sense

This is part where I introduce myself, and I’ll even tell you the reason I started this blog. Curious? It will be all me, the uncensored, not politically correct me I keep locked up because I can be too intense for polite society.

I am a combination of

  • Beatrice from “Much Ado About Nothing”
  • Catherine Earnshaw (if you don’t know who that is, I don’t think we’ll get along)
  • Olivia the Pig
  • Eloise “oh my Lord!”
  • Lily (from Lily and the Purple Plastic Purse)

Yes, three of these are from children’s books, one is pig and another a very plucky mouse. They are all precocious, strong willed, forceful, charming, and “a bit too much” for those around them to handle. Beatrice is witty, mocking, funny, fierce and still vulnerable. Catherine is well, not always likable. She is wild, passionate, brash, uncivilized, untamed, self centered and vain. She chooses, against her nature, the polite and civilized world of the Lintons when she marries Edgar, and suffers greatly for it. I identify with them all.