Sunday, January 21, 2018

The Cheese Grates It: Dark Night of the Long Grass

Night of the Long Grass by The Troggs Released 1967

The Cheese Grates It:
Dark Night of the Long Grass

The above has been one of my favorite songs since I first discovered it in my pre-teen years. I was somewhere between ten and twelve, I honestly don't remember exactly. As I will be 53 years old in approximately three weeks, I hope I can be forgiven for the fact that most of my childhood memories are fairly misty. I tend to remember emotions rather than exact events. The most prevalent emotion that has permeated my life is sorrow.
I seem to be constantly losing things. All of my life I have misplaced things. At this point I speak of losing people and beliefs. I will say right now that anyone reading this can check their "seek counseling and meds" trope at the door. I've tried both at various times in my life and neither works. So, let us allow ourselves to speak in terms of emotion rather than things strictly physical. I've found that approaching matters from a strictly physical viewpoint has never worked for me in any case.
One of the prompts I'm working with asks me to state one of my strongest beliefs and then disprove it. I'm not going to do that. That strategy is for those who delight in playing devil's advocate. I've never been that sort of person. In any case, believe it or not, I have no strong beliefs. I don't believe in much of anything anymore. The world has torn away all of my beliefs from me. Some will say this is a good thing. To them I will say "fuck you," as I am tired of hurting.
I don't follow any sort of religion. I don't need dogma or the promise of an eternal heaven, which, from what I can gather, is rather like an eternity on a constant winning streak in Vegas, to convince me to try and be a good person. I've never been to Vegas during my lifetime, and I can do without going there in the Afterlife. I also don't need the threat of an overbearing deity sending me to hell to convince me not to do awful things to others. I don't do awful things because it's wrong to cause harm, not because I fear the wrath of a celestial patriarch who will cause me to suffer for eternity. 
The God that I learned of in my youth, when I was, by the way, a very devout Catholic who truly believed in Him, came to seem to me to be an abusive megalomaniac of a parent. For those with different perceptions, it is not my intent to attack your devotion or convince you to stop believing. This is my perception. 
I initially lost my religion in my late teens and could never go back to it. It does not ring true for me anymore.
I discovered Wicca and New Age ideals when I was in my late teens. I lost my religion again in my late forties, having discovered time and again that much of the New Age thinking is rife with victim-blaming and My Way or the Highway thinking, just like the religion I left behind in my late teens. Although some of the mystical practices that I did as a solitary practitioner brought me a degree of solace, I was too hurt by those I had interacted with in an attempt to find camaraderie to continue them.
I am not an atheist, if for no other reason than the fact that the idea of the here and now being the be all and end all is simply too fucking depressing for me to abide it. I continue to at least believe in the possibility of spirits, angels, other dimensions, an afterlife, because it brings me a grain of solace to do so, and I'm not going to try and disprove it, simply because it can be neither proven nor disproven given modern scientific methods and tools. If you wish to read theories disproving the existence of these things, there are a plethora of atheist writings devoted to doing just that. No, I am not going to point you in the direction of such works. Google is your friend. I am merely a remote person ranting in the dungeon of my own sorrowful hell and finding no solace. 
I lost a lot last year, including my occupational identity. I had been a nurse for close to two years and had been a caregiver for close to twenty-five. My own health was deteriorating, and I was fired because I fell into a deep sleep while working a night shift. I had seen the warning signs. I was dozing off more often during the night. I knew that my diabetes was getting worse, but I was trying to pull together the time and money to go to the doctor. I worked myself into the ground because people needed me. 
The other nurse on the case was sick. I was sick too, but I had contracted the illness from the patient I worked with three days a week, so the case coordinator felt that I could keep working with him because I couldn't re-infect him. 
I fell into an extremely deep sleep which I don't remember falling into. I woke up to see the patient's father sitting on the side of the bed, glowering at me. I collected my belongings, apologized profusely, and left. The family embellished the tale, stating that I was ordered to leave. I was not. In fact, the father told me I could finish the shift. I told him that I felt it would be better if I left, and that I would remove myself from the case. 
When I was called into the office, my coordinator said that I had always done good work for the company and that he would give me a positive recommendation to any potential employers who called, but would have to tell them that I wasn't eligible for rehire. I was polite and brief, thanked him, and left without making a scene.
I worked with another patient through another company until that patient became severely ill and had to be hospitalized. The company didn't get me another case. I ended up delivering food via Uber Eats. I tried driving passengers through Lyft and Uber. Some dumb stoner kid backed into the rental car I was driving, and that was that. The company I'd rented the car through didn't credit me for the unused days. I was out a thousand dollars.
I tried going back into working in a long term care setting, and ended up nearly passing out. I tried working for yet another homecare agency, but found that I could no longer do the extremely physical portion of the work. I left nursing entirely.
For a time, I worked for a grocery delivery service. However, the service was poorly run. Often I would be sent out with a bag full of ten deliveries, and I would come to find out that I was making the delivery several hours after it had been placed. The company never called the customer to advise them that the delivery would be so late. Often there would be one manager on while the other managers acted as drivers. I ended up with severe nerve impingement in my left arm and a badly inflamed lateral epicondyle, which left me unable to sit up for long periods of time because the pain was so intense. At this point the pain is gone, but the numbness and tingling in my left hand remains. It may never resolve.
While I was working for this company, I would wake up screaming every day due to horrific cramps in my calves. My tendency to sleep paralysis also worsened exponentially during this time.
I parted ways with this company after a person who had meant a lot to me from the time of my very troubled youth died far too young from early onset dementia. The man wasn't young when he died--he was sixty-four years old--but he was too young for such an awful fate. Dementia seems to me to be the Universe taking a huge shit on a person, and this man didn't deserve that. He tried to be kind. He was flawed, but he tried to be good in spite of his own predisposition to addiction and depression, and the fact that he had a bit of a temper. He didn't deserve the way he went out. His mind was his defining feature, and he was robbed of it. He didn't consider himself physically attractive or particularly charming or especially talented, but he did seem to pride himself on his innovation and determination. That he couldn't have been allowed to find comfort in those things during his last days seems like nothing but a huge slap in the face, and I hate it.
I know that there are those who have lost everything and yet manage to maintain their beliefs and avoid bitterness. I suppose I'm not as good as such people. Honestly, I've never seen much good in me. I don't like myself very much, if one is to be entirely honest, and I doubt I ever will. Still, I used to have my imagination and my wonderful world where fantastic dreams could come true. At this point I seem to be losing even that, so you'll pardon the fuck out of me if I don't feel like disproving whatever fragile bits of belief may remain.
Perhaps this is more a confession than an actual rant. In some ways, once a Catholic always a Catholic. I haven't forgotten how to confess.
If I am ever diagnosed with dementia, I will commit suicide. Anything else, I will put up a fight and let it takes me when it takes me. Dementia does not get that much respect. Fuck dementia. It destroys everything that a person is. My aunt has dementia, and she no longer communicates with words. If one speaks to her, she giggles. She wanders and is forever searching for something that she cannot put a name to. At least she is not combative and she doesn't seem particularly distressed. However, she is not herself and hasn't been for a long time. I will not become that way.
Forgive me for at least hoping that there is something better on the other side for those who have suffered. Forgive me for at least believing in the possibility of magic and an afterlife even though I quite question the interpretation of the Higher Power in which many people believe. Forgive me for being neither here nor there, for being neither a believer nor a non-believer. Or don't. What I believe or don't believe really matters to no-one but me.

~The Cheese Hath Grated It~

 Prompts Used:


  1. As a teen I was so cocksure about everything but as I get older I see every story has another side to it. I guess if I truly believed in anything it would be that there is no absolute truth, no system of beliefs that is right for everyone. I believe that change is unavoidable. Heaven as I see it implies perfection and perfection implies stagnation ergo heaven seems to me just a pretty way of saying dead. I am also a big fan of situational ethics.


    1. Honestly, I don't think Heaven sounds like much fun any way I look at it. I picture it as being either the winning streak in Vegas bit or a stodgy study hall in the clouds. I could go for an Elysian fields thing, but, otherwise, I think I'll just find a good museum to haunt!
      I don't mind discussing various theories, but when it comes to people with My Way or the Highway beliefs, I simply don't have time for them or their closed minds.
      As a teen, somebody should have taped my stupid mouth shut. I thought I knew for sure the way things were. I think that "knowing for sure" is another way of saying "obstinate and closed-minded" most of the time.

    2. So true haha I could also go for a museum or a library but not the sort with cafe's the sort with books.

  2. I would also kill myself if aware of dementia robbing me of my mind. I don't think I could cope. But I guess some people's dementia appears in such a way that the awareness goes first, which seems like a blessing.

    As for beliefs, I don't believe in much of anything - though I also allow myself to believe in things, then forget them again, as it occurs. No heaven/hell for me... just now, and then not. I feel like religion and heaven are, largely, just ways for people to believe they'll live forever... something that doesn't interest me.

    1. I think it kind of happened that way with my aunt. One morning my uncle found her in the kitchen trying to make breakfast. She showed him the package of sausage and said "I don't know how to cook this." It was all downhill from there.
      I believe there's some sort of afterlife, but I don't think it's anything like I was taught in church. I'll just say I've seen some shit. I come from a family which has fairly strong psychic abilities.
      My main problem with religion is that many of its adherents use it as reason to behave reprehensibly. Many (not all) Christians are very un-Christlike, in my experience.


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