Friday, June 28, 2019

Fat Friday #6: Shockingly, Concern Trolling and Size Shaming Fail To Make People Thin

Image by Dina Dee from Pixabay

This is my response to a post by This Fat Old Lady regarding the fact that children who are bullied for their size tend to gain rather than lose weight.
I surmise that part of the reason for this is because being bullied is stressful. Excess stress causes overproduction of cortisol. Excess cortisol contributes to weight gain. Cushing's syndrome is a condition which causes overproduction of cortisol. However, one need not have Cushing's syndrome to present with overproduction of cortisol.

Yes, I certainly appreciate everyone who was "concerned" over my weight and who praised me whenever I starved myself because the worst thing anyone can possibly be is fat. They did me a world of good, and I became svelte and beautiful with petite, delicate features and married a billionaire who treats me like a queen.
Oh, wait. None of that happened.
Here's what did happen.
I developed an eating disorder at twelve. I yo-yo dieted until I was 45 years old. I tried to hate myself thin for some 33 years. Shockingly, it didn't work.
At this point, I'm fat and food insecure. Even though I often eat nothing for most of the day, I'm still fat. This is probably partly due to my endocrine problems, but it's also due to the fact that eventually, the diets stop working altogether.
My hunger cues are pretty well gone. I don't feel hungry when I wake up. I start planning ways I can restrict my food intake instead.
You see, instead of the billionaire who treats me like a queen, I ended up marrying ED.
You may have guessed that ED stands for Eating Disorder.
ED praises me when I starve myself.
All ED's praise for my food restriction, whether intentional or unintentional, doesn't do doodly-squat towards making me the thin, conventionally attractive hottie that I'm supposed to be. My body refuses to lose weight at this point. I may be malnourished AF, but thin I am not. And unless what happened to my fat great-grandmother happens to me, I probably never will be.
My great grandmother was five feet tall and weighed 300 pounds. In her late 70's, she developed acute myelogenous leukemia. She dropped from 300 pounds to 95 pounds within the space of a year, and then she died. But hey, at least she cut a svelte figure in her casket, amirite? Because fat is the very worst thing a person can possibly be. Even worse than being dead.


Don't like my fat body?
Here's my fat finger instead.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Troiku Challenge 2019: Day 17: Breathing Silence

Image by Radoan Tanvir from Pixabay

alone on the beach
only the cries of seagulls -
breathing silence

alone on the beach
wondering what lies ahead
another sunrise

only the cries of seagulls
if I could understand them
what would they tell me?

breathing silence
trying to calm this feeling
that all is not well

~Chèvrefeuille & Cie~

The "sleigh" of this Troiku was created by Chèvrefeuille. The Three Horses of the Apocalypse are my responsibility.
This poem is part of my Seacliffe Series, in reference to my WIP, The Legend of Seacliffe House. These poems focus on the thoughts of my protagonist, Randal Messana, as he finds himself in a strange new situation after rescuing his mother from the brutal Diamantina Lamb and fleeing the cursed Lambswood Manor. The story is primarily a homage to Edgar Allan Poe and it may or may not ever be published. Either way, I hope some of you enjoy the poetry inspired by the tale!

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Come as You Are: Preaching to the Choir and Pissing Into the Wind

Probably what I’m doing with this post, but I’ve got something sticking in my craw, so here goes.
I don’t believe in lambasting another person’s physical appearance. Even if I really dislike that person. Their behavior, not their physical appearance, is what makes them a good or bad person. There are physically attractive people who are really awful people and people who are not conventionally physically attractive who are very nice people. I’d rather point out what’s wrong with a person’s actions than make derogatory statements about their looks. Attractiveness is subjective.
I also find scornful statements about people “aging badly” dismaying. We age at different rates for different reasons. Many times people who “age badly” have health issues that contribute to their haggard appearance, and making derogatory comments about a given person’s appearance is hurtful not only to that person but to other people who may not have “aged well” themselves, or who care about someone who hasn’t “aged well.”
My ex-husband, with whom I have remained friends, had a serious health scare earlier this year. He had cardiac problems, previously undiagnosed diabetes, a serious infection, and it turns out that he has a chronic condition called giant cell arteritis which is more common in people of Scandinavian ancestry than people of other backgrounds. (My ex-husband has Swedish ancestry.) He is 56 years old but looks much older due to all the health issues he has endured.

I was shocked when I saw this photo of the late Malcolm Young as he seemed to have aged twenty years in the space of five years. I watched the video from which this image was taken and thought that he might be developing Parkinson’s disease. His stance and facial expressions resembled those of Parkinson’s patients. 
I was correct that he wasn’t well but wrong about the reason. He had Alzheimer’s disease. His brain was literally being destroyed. He certainly didn’t deserve the cruel comments about his appearance or how he was “aging badly.” He was always a humble person who tried to treat others with common decency. He didn’t deserve what happened to him.
I watched my father age badly as vascular disease and congestive heart failure caused his body to retain fluid and caused him to have vascular dementia. At the end of his life, his legs were the color of dark purple grapes because of the lack of circulation. 
I’ve spent my life trying to see myself as simply ordinary rather than hideous. I shouldn’t have to fear the inevitable cruel comments that will accompany any image of myself that I share because I’m not conventionally attractive or young. On a good day, I don’t give a fuck about people’s shitty comments and small minds. On a bad day, it can make me suicidal.
Since I don’t want anyone making me feel bad about my physical appearance, which is one of those “luck of the draw” things and I drew the wrong lot, I have a policy of not dragging other people for their physical appearance, no matter how much I dislike them. Not Mishmash (who, to be honest, is ordinary looking as far as I’m concerned, but behaves like an utterly reprehensible asshole.) 
Not even tRump, whom I despise with a burning passion. I may sometimes ridicule his clothing choices because with the money he has you’d think he could afford someone to advise him on what to wear, but I will not ridicule his physique. His physique is not what’s causing derision and damage to the United States. His crap demeanor and rubbish policies are.
I will call them out on their behavior at any time, every time, all the time. Their looks? Pfft. Whatever. It has no bearing on anything.

~The Cheese Hath Grated It~

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #90: Crossroads: Summer Solstice Troiku Hineri

Image by yibg from Pixabay

This Short Night

this short night -
from a shallow well I scoop
a persimmon flower


this short night
like many others, sleepless
I dread the morning

this short night
my mind is filled with worry
rest cannot be found

like many others, sleepless
I try to find some comfort
in the quiet dark

I dread the morning
unwanted expectations
putting on my mask

From the Well

from a shallow well I scoop
water kept cool underground
safe from sun's harsh blaze

from a shallow well I scoop
another cup of water
binding me to earth

water kept cool underground
safe from the sun relentless
shaded from the heat

safe from the sun's harsh blaze
wish I was one with water
wish that I could hide

Persimmon Flower

a persimmon flower
holds the promise of autumn
solace from the heat

a persimmon flower
yellow petals and green leaves
floats on the surface

holds the promise of autumn
but what does autumn promise
but solace from heat

solace from the heat
the best that I can hope for
in this weary life

Yosa Buson & Cie

Image by Couleur from Pixabay

The Peach

solstice splits
between the peach halves
a red stone sun

Solstice Splits

solstice splits
lovely flowers everywhere
unrelenting sun

solstice splits
beautiful harvest promised
nothing guaranteed

lovely flowers everywhere
I wish I could be happy
but nothing changes

unrelenting sun
beats down on another year
desiccating hope

Between the Peach Halves

between the peach halves
the promise of a future
more peaches next year

between the peach halves
the promise of a new tree
providing its shade

the promise of a future
but there are no guarantees
some win and some lose

more peaches next year
a momentary sweetness
in life hard and dry

Red Stone Sun

a red stone sun
holding the promise of life
within its hard shell

a red stone sun
color without warmth or light
shining nonetheless

holding the promise of life
promises not always kept
dreams don't always thrive

within its hard shell
sits the seed of tomorrow
yet unrealized

Jane & Cie

Why do one or the other when you can do both?
Why kill when you can overkill?
The "sleigh" for the first Troiku Hineri was created by Yosa Buson (1716-1784).
The "sleigh" for the second Troiku Hineri was created by Jane Reichhold (1937 -2016).
All Horses of the Apocalypse are my own undoing.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Fat Friday #5: Rad Fatties: Todd Angilly Burns

Todd Angilly Burns is a busy fellow. He works as a probation officer by day and is a bartender and the national anthem singer for the Boston Bruins games. He has a Master's Degree in music but, in spite of his talent, was never able to get a  break as a performer.
"Somehow the real world and the dream world kind of split. Nothing ever panned out." --Todd Angilly Burns
Todd seems to think that his life is pretty cool anyway. I agree!


Thursday, June 20, 2019

Troiku Challenge 2019: Day 15: Nightingale

to listen,
fine not to listen, fine too...

to listen
is there anything to hear
even in silence

fine not to listen, fine too...
sometimes withdrawal is best
turning inside now

sings not for an audience
only for herself

~Cie & Chiyo-Ni~

The sleigh of this sedate Troiku was created by Chiyo-Ni (1703 - 1775). The three surprisingly sedate Horses of the Apocalypse were led here by me.
Chiyo-Ni and the nightingale who is the subject of her poem remind me of a lesson which has been difficult for me to internalize.
Seeking approval from others is always unwise.

Troiku Challenge 2019: Day 14: Pink Sakura Blush

pink sakura blush  
spring’s kimono falls to earth
silk snatched by a breeze

pink sakura blush
singing song of sakura
many years ago

spring's kimono falls to earth
the young men choose their partners
nobody chose me

silk snatched by a breeze
like a dream that won't come true
drift into the past

Kim & Cie

The "sleigh" of this Troiku was created by Kim R. Russell. The Three Dejected Horses of the Apocalypse are my responsibility.
Many of these prompts lately are reminding me of the year when I was in the fourth grade and I learned about Japan. I was a very shy and unpopular child with a terrible overbite, always chosen last for sports teams, and none of the boys wanted to dance with me at the school socials.

FOAD Thursday: A Big Fat FOAD for Anytime Fitness

How about letting people of all sizes enjoy those things without implying that certain bodies are wrong @AnytimeFitness Exercise should be enjoyable. Making it about losing weight makes it more likely that people will quit. Thanks for contributing to eating disorders & self-hate.

Well, Mark, I think you should have fired his size-shaming ass. But the apology is appreciated. At least I don't have to tell you to FOAD.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

An Open Letter to the Participants in the June WEP Story Competition

Image copyright Pexels on Pixabay

I want to thank everyone for their recent comments and I will try and make sure that I visit all of the blogs on the list. I have had an extremely bad month. I don't take criticism well in any case. I am one of those people who never reads reviews of my work because I can get nine positive reviews and one bad one, and the bad one is the one that sticks with me. I then become intolerable to live with. It's better for my family that I don't read my reviews.

Nobody who has responded to this piece has been unnecessarily cruel or even harsh. I just feel like maybe for this particular competition, vampires are a subject which is really polarizing. I was kind of surprised because I tend to write about the paranormal, and the last piece I wrote featured a ghost/angel and it didn't raise anyone's hackles nearly as much as this one.

I know I'm not a great writer. I'm not even setting out with the intent to be a great writer. I like to write cheesy, over-the-top stories about the supernatural. My biggest influences are authors such as Ambrose Bierce, Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, and Stephen King. I was also strongly influenced by the original Twilight Zone series.

I don't always respond this badly to "constructive criticism." I do have rapid cycling type 2 bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder, so I tend to be more sensitive than the average bear. 

Marsha Linehan, an American psychologist and author, uses a great analogy to describe what Borderline Personality Disorder.

”People with BPD are like people with third-degree burns over 90 percent of their body. Lacking emotional skin, they feel agony at the slightest touch or movement”.

There is an excellent post about the "burn of borderline personality disorder" here.

There is a misconception that people with borderline personality disorder all act out in very overt ways, which isn't true. I'm an extremely introverted person and if I wasn't a large person with a mop of very thick and vivid hair on my head, no-one would ever notice me. The truth is that most people living with psychiatric issues suffer in silence. Most of us don't want to cause any trouble because we're tired of being stigmatized and victimized.

There are those who would say that people like me simply shouldn't participate in activities like this. I say that isn't true.

Sometimes my emotional skin is a little thicker than it's been this month. This has been a rather difficult year so far. 

One thing's for sure, though. Vampires are off the table with future WEP challenges. Because, yikes!

~Cie Has Vomited Words~

Troiku Challenge 2019: Day 13: Fireflies

steamy night
out in the rain

steamy night
near marsh or swamp or wet field
dank, cloying odor

once upon a time I thought
they were fairy steeds

out in the rain
sometimes I can remember
belief in magic

Jim & Cie

The "sleigh" of this Troiku was created by modern Haiku poet Jim Kacian. The Three Horses of the Apocalypse are to be blamed on me.
I don't believe in magic or much of anything else these days. But sometimes when it rains I can remember how it felt to believe.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Troiku Challenge 2019: Day 12: White Valley Clouds

after the rain
breathing deeply
white valley clouds

after the rain
not so much rain as spatters
it's still much too hot

breathing deeply
inhale the worry and fear
future uncertain

white valley clouds
seem to smirk at each other
telling lies of rain

Jane & Cie

The "sleigh" of this Troiku was created by Jane Reichhold (1937 - 2016). The Three Horses of the Apocalypse are my doing--or possibly undoing.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Thought Prints: rain

Thought Prints: rain: Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #89 Extreme Haibun ... rain An extreme haibun is a haibun with prose and poetry together...

This is a wonderful poem. I can remember being filled with hope in the days of my youth. Even when I was being bullied to the point of wanting to commit suicide, the damn hope was still there in the background.
From my current vantage point, I hate everyone and everything that gave me meaningless hope and impossible dreams. There are no opportunities left. I am well and truly done.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Magaly’s Blog: Exquisite Corpse Poetry Solitaire Is a Hoot

Magaly’s Blog: Exquisite Corpse Poetry Solitaire Is a Hoot: Exquisite Corpse is a collaborative game played (traditionally) by several people. In the poetry version , each player writes a word on paper...

This is something I really needed to see and read.

Come as You Are: My Reject Poetry

Here are the three poems which I submitted for publication in an e-zine. There was to be one grand prize winner and six runners-up. 
You know those people who are always a bridesmaid and never a bride?
I'm the town leper.
I'd be perfectly happy to be a bridesmaid. Well, not in real life. I have far too much social anxiety and weddings are always fraught with drama. But a metaphorical bridesmaid. I have no need to be a bride. 
The rejection letter I got was a form letter which said something like "we enjoyed reading your work but we didn't choose it. We know it's discouraging to get a rejection form letter, but we encourage you to keep being stupid and deluding yourself that anyone will ever want to read the shit you write. Why can't you content yourself to work a normal job? You really are a steaming pile of shit. Fuck off already so we can celebrate the accomplishments of people who don't suck, you reeking gobshite."
Anyway, here you go. Whatever.

For my Father: Spring
Your love of nature
Memories of sweet springtime
Petals yesterday

For my Father: Autumn
The scents turn smoky
Today leaves crushed underfoot
Snow lies on the ground

What Apple Blossoms Know
Apple blossoms watch
I rush forward resisting
Time passes for all

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #89: Extreme Haibun: Is It Too Much to Ask For Rain?

“Is it too much to ask for it to rain?” I ask as I spend another summer steeped in sweat.

Yet I remember the year when the flood came, another year when I often asked: “is it too much to ask for it to rain?”

I remember the wave slamming into the side of my car, the terror as I wondered if I would be swept away into a field which had become a choppy lake.

I did not ask for it to rain for a long time after that.

when something well-loved
becomes a thing of terror
everything changes


Image from the Longmont Times-Call

For those who are prone to questioning my veracity, the story related above is 100% true and I had PTSD following the incident. One of the ways in which this affected me is making me unable to write for a long time. People lost their lives during this flood, and I didn't know why I wasn't one of them. I've never done anything which I believe makes me worthy of continued survival, and yet, like toenail fungus, I persist in hanging around long past my sell-by date.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Sally's Scribbles: WEP Challenge - CAGED BIRD June 2019

Sally's Scribbles: WEP Challenge - CAGED BIRD June 2019: It's time to join in the WEP Challenge for June 2019.  To see the rules and guidelines please visit: http://writeeditpublishnow....

I relate to the protagonist in the poem. I'm one of those people who was always told to "just stop that stinkin' thinkin'," "just stop looking for attention," and "don't be stupid, you really don't feel that way." 
People tend to behave desperately when their thoughts and feelings are constantly minimized.

Fat Friday #4: Old Time Fatties: Sarah Hare

Image copyright Evelyn Simak

There are people who like to claim that fat people didn't exist in the Grand Olde Thin Days of Yore.
May I present Sarah Hare, who left this world in 1744.
This waxwork in her image remains on display at the Holy Trinity Church in Stow Bardolph. Sarah was 50 years old at the time of her passing and died from blood poisoning which occurred after she pricked her finger on a sewing needle, or so the story goes.
So, yes, there were Fatties Being Fat back in 1744.


Thursday, June 13, 2019

Troiku Challenge 2019: Day 9: Pink Flowers Bloom

pink flowers in bloom
for the pretty princesses
darling little girls

pink flowers in bloom
pruned and fed fertilizer
twisted and transformed

for the pretty princesses
gifts wrapped in shiny paper
empty box of lies

darling little girls
hide ugly little secrets
not pretty inside


A Senryu in honor of little girls who are taught from a young age that our only real worth is in our ability to be pleasing to the eyes and desires of men.

Search Engine Landing Page Evaluator with isoftstone

Image copyright Pexels @ Pixabay

isoftstone has landing page evaluator positions available worldwide. These are work from home positions requiring between 10 and 25 hours per week availability. The current pay rate is $13 per hour.
I am currently in the testing phase for this position. So far I have learned that I would throw myself from the top of Mount Everest if I had to do this work for more than 10 hours per week, and I am still deciding if I would be able to do even that much. My mind really does not sync with this sort of work.
To do the job correctly, one has to intuit the intent of the hypothetical searcher and evaluate the validity of the given landing page to the searcher's intent. It sounds simple, but there are multiple criteria to consider. If you prefer crossword puzzles to Sudoku puzzles, you may not be a good fit for this position either.
I did very poorly on the pattern recognition portion of the old-school I.Q. test when I was twelve years old. For many years, I believed myself to be "borderline retarded," because those were the words I heard the school psychologist telling my parents. Combine this with the fact that I have some trouble with balance, and girls in the 1970's were all expected to emulate Nadia Comaneci in the gym, I believed that I must be severely deficient intellectually even though I had always tested well above my grade level when it came to reading comprehension and writing abilities. 
The "above my grade level" measure did not translate to math. I did fine with addition and subtraction but when we started learning multiplication in the third grade, I was screwed. My well-meaning chum who rarely thought things through was given my paper to grade on our first multiplication test. She always praised me for being very smart because she had a bit of trouble with reading and writing, and I helped her. Once the papers were scored, she held mine up, eyes wide with surprise, and said loudly: "You got an F!" 
My friend meant no harm, but I burst into tears. I have long felt that the letter grade system was harmful to kids who are having trouble in school. F stands for "Failure" and everyone knows that. It would be better to replace D and F with something such as "Incomplete" and rather than punishing kids who were struggling, work with them to determine what they need in order to understand the subject.
I got an F in basic college math many years later because I made the mistake of trying to take the course online. When I took the course in person, I got an A, because I had a very patient teacher who held my hand and led me through the Math Jungle.
I also learned many years after my diagnosis of "borderline retardation" that I have a degree of dyslexia, mostly with numbers, and I have ADD. I have trouble concentrating for long periods of time on things that don't really hold my interest, and I do terribly with projects that seem mathematical.
If you have a very mathematical and analytical mind, you might really enjoy the isoftstone position to increase your income. I'm going to have to decide within the next three days if I'm capable of doing it for even ten hours a week. At the moment, I have my doubts, because working on it for even an hour had me wanting to throw myself into an active volcano, and my accuracy rate is...well...I got an F.
Disclaimer: I am not an employee or affiliate of isoftstone. I receive no compensation for reviewing this position or for tossing in a piece of my life story.

(and her non-mathematical mind)

Friday, June 7, 2019

Sam & Me

I’ve started and stopped writing this several times. I remember that someone else once mentioned that the reason Sam didn’t look for Dean in season 8 isn’t because he was having such a grand time with Amelia (blech.) In fact, some of us theorize that Amelia never really existed. She was a dream or a hallucination. Most of the scenes involving Amelia have unnaturally bright lighting. I believe (as some other people have postulated) that Sam was in shock and that is why he didn’t look for Dean. 
Also, Sam has had his head messed with multiple times by Lucifer. But at this moment, I’m specifically thinking of the episode in Season 11 where there is an implication that Lucifer is at the very least trying to mess with Sam’s head by sexually harassing him, and it’s quite possible that Lucifer has molested Sam in the past. 

Also, I can’t even begin to say how much I hate the accent with a pantsuit. Torturing someone is bad enough. Messing with their head and convincing them that they had sex with you is beyond nasty. There are few characters that I’ve wanted to see burn as much as this bitch.
As someone who is a sexual assault survivor myself, I can’t even begin to say how uncomfortable that idea makes me. 
You see, what happened to me may have happened close to 22 years ago, but it has never left me. It’s always in the back of my head. It makes me do things that seem irrational, like wanting to sleep up against the wall if on a bed, or wanting to sleep on a couch. It makes it hard for me to convince myself to do simple things (things which I actually like) such as take a shower, because being sexually assaulted fucks with your mind in ways that people who haven’t been traumatized in a similar way can’t understand.
I relate to Sam because while he may be only a fictional character, he gets it, and I’m sorry he does.

Fat Friday #3: Eating Disorders Start Early

Here is my part in a thread about how to encourage children to have a healthy relationship with food. The rest of the thread is here.

I developed a bad relationship with food early on. When I was young my family was pretty poor, so we ate a lot of stuff like boiled soybeans and buckwheat groats. I still like buckwheat groats, but if I never see another boiled soybean, it can’t be too soon. So, food insecurity was a thing in my early life.

However, i also learned early on that the worst thing you can possibly be is fat. My parents made sweets a verboten thing, so I started sneaking candy whenever I could find it. I ended up shoplifting candy bars from the natural foods store my mother shopped at. My parents made me pay for the candy. The elderly lady that owned the store forgave me, but I still felt terrible.

My father was also insistent that we eat what was put in front of us whether we liked it or not. I hated liver with a blazing passion. I slipped my portion to the cat under the table and went hungry.

When my son came along I’d always insist that he eat some sort of reasonably nutritious food before having dessert, but I never forced him to eat anything he didn’t like. As it turns out, he’s high-functioning autistic, so food textures are a bigger thing with him than they are with non-autistic people. My family never understood this and scolded him for not eating what he was served and me for letting him be “spoiled.” 

I don’t think that forcing people to eat things they don’t want to eat is a good thing.

I also don’t think that teaching people that fat is the worst thing you can possibly be is a good thing.

I still have a really fucked-up relationship with food, and I’m now more than half a century old.


Thursday, June 6, 2019

Troiku Challenge 2019: Day 5: The Aroma of Pine

the aroma of pine
and the young morning's fresh rain
reach my words

the aroma of pine
in a place long left behind
shadows of what was

and the young morning's fresh rain
cries the tears that I cannot
heart frozen inside

reach my words
but understand not a one
no-one can know me

~Pirate & Cie~

The "sleigh" of this Troiku was written by Hamish "Managua" Gunn, aka Pirate. The three (utterly fucking depressing) Horses of the Apocalypse are my creations. Read them and despair. 
I am in rather a bleak mood today. Please, no comments suggesting therapists, drugs, or any of that sort of thing. That shit doesn't work for me. I just have to work my own way out of it.

Being Different In a World that Demands Conformity

Click image to enlarge

I'm not much for the whole "content warnings on everything" culture, but to avoid that blasted criticism, I will tell you that what I'm writing here is not going to be pretty, so if you feel like you might be upset by discussions of topics such as suicide and suicide ideation, you can give this post a miss.

I have an online friend whose name is Richard. Richard has autism. At one point, he wrote a post which said he hears people say all the time that they support people with autism and would never bully or hurt anyone who is autistic. He followed this up with the statement that a lot of these people are probably unaware of the times when they have been interacting with someone who was autistic and decided that it was okay to bully or belittle that person because that person was "just weird."

I cannot write a first-hand account of what it means to be misjudged and treated poorly as a person with autism, because I don't have autism. My son does. However, members of my extended family like to tell me that he doesn't, because he's high-functioning. He doesn't show signs of being overstimulated when he's in public. In their words, he's "just shy," he "just needs to come out of his shell," he "just needs to put himself out there." "He's intelligent, it's about damn time he went back to school/found a job." "You baby him too much."

If I don't listen to what my son is saying and ignore the fact that he's becoming overstimulated, he shuts down on me and it's hard for me to open communication with him again. 

My son went to a school where people were taught to be understanding and accepting of one another's differences. My friend Richard wasn't so lucky. A lot of people are not.

A whole lot of years ago, I learned about a very unusual fellow by the name of Per Ohlin. If he were still alive, he would be 50 years old now. However, he died from a self-inflicted shotgun blast to the head when he was 22 years old.

There is a lot of misinformation about this unfortunate soul floating around. After reading a fair bit about him from people who actually knew him, such as his brother and the few real friends he had, I believe that he may have been autistic. Per's brother said that Per would become hyper-focused on whatever task he was working on and get very upset at being interrupted from what he was doing. Although highly intelligent, he performed very poorly in school.

Per's classmates in his early years accepted his idiosyncratic behaviors. However, when he was twelve, his parents divorced and he ended up going to a new school. His new classmates not only bullied him mercilessly, but they also ganged up on him and beat him so badly that he ended up being declared clinically dead. There was evidence after this beating of brain damage. None of the individuals involved were ever punished.

Per experienced high degrees of suicide ideation and engaged in self-harm. In his case, the suicide ideation ended up being completed. I am not sure that anything could have been done to save this tragic soul. 

However, people can prevent the likelihood of further such occurrences by educating themselves about neurological and psychological differences and by attempting to be a bit kinder to those who present with unusual personalities.

I do not have autism. I am not normal neurologically, which expresses itself in problems with balance as well as varying degrees of difficulty walking. I had a small stroke in early 2017, which is likely the culprit in this case.

What I do have is something I refer to as a trifecta of fuckery or a hot trifecta of mess. This is the Universe's Asshat Trick and it involves rapid-cycling type 2 bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Even though there are all too many people who love to use the term "bipolar" to mean "moody," and I do call people out when they do that and advise them to educate their ignorant selves and not use people's health conditions as insults, I'm going to talk about borderline personality disorder, because it is even more misunderstood than bipolar disorder.

I do not write anything that is normal because I am not normal. I use a lot of metaphors, and my characters are extremely fucked up. I am getting to the point with this, so bear with me. It's a bit difficult to put it out there.

The risky behavior has been toned down for many years. I can't drink alcohol and I don't do illegal drugs. I don't even like the way most drugs make me feel. I don't have any kind of sex, let alone unsafe sex, and I don't want to. Most of the time I am able to resist inflicting self-injury, but not always. I tend to keep my behaviors in check, but there are still things that bleed to the surface.

Having been treated poorly by people who claimed they loved me is something that has led to a strong inability to trust. I generally only form very superficial relationships with people because I don't want to get attached to them, even on a platonic level. I do not have strong bonds even with most of my family members. This is not because I am incapable of feeling. It is because I am capable of feeling too deeply.

When I have written about the consuming love/obsession I have felt in the past, there have been people who have expounded that this is the only way to love, and I am rather horrified. I honestly don't think that obsessive love is healthy. I have scars on my arms that will never go away because of an obsessive love for awful men who treated me like a used condom. I'm glad if you liked the poem, but, yanno, it wasn't meant to be a "how-to" guide. It was really more of a warning.

I had a person comment on a character in one of my stories, asking if the character was a "teenager," and, to be honest, I was a bit insulted by that insinuation. The character was an adult in his mid-twenties. Being insecure is not only the hallmark of teenagers. There are some teenagers who are quite self-assured (I can assure you that I was not one of them) and some adults who are extremely insecure. These feelings of insecurity are magnified many times over in a person who has a condition such as borderline personality disorder.

I personally don't "do" romance because I don't like having my every thought consumed by the fear that I am going to be abandoned, which is what happens when I do romance. I sure as hell don't do casual sex, because I don't like it. Since I really don't like sex much in the first place and would only engage in such an activity with someone I trusted, why the hell would I want to do it casually?

I am far from being a teenager, but borderline personality disorder ensures that I will be one of the most insecure and least trusting people I know until the day I die. It also means that I have a high degree of self-loathing. 

Writing is two things to me. First of all, it's catharsis. Second, I really don't know how to do anything else. 

I'm not sure if I'm a "good" writer, a "bad" writer, or something in between. I write a bunch of shit. If you like it, great. If you don't like it, whatever. I'm probably not going to stop doing it, even if the occasional bad review makes me hate myself for a few days and I might end up with some cuts or bruises. 

A lot of writing critics are looking for formulaic writing, for a type of "normal." I learned this while applying for ghostwriting jobs. I don't do formulaic writing, and I'm not normal. My brain doesn't work normally.

I often compare the way my brain works to the famous images of webs created by spiders on various types of drugs.

I say that my thoughts work a lot like the spiderwebs in the top row. They look normal at first glance, but on closer look, they are not. I can "pass for normal" enough that people who meet me in public don't notice anything particularly unusual about me. But I am actually quite fragile in spite of being rather a hulking figure physically.

So, I write the shit that I write and in the end, it will all amount to nothing. I will very likely die destitute and unwell. When I was young, I had myself fooled that I had something to offer the world. I no longer believe this is true. At this point, I'm just doing the shit that I do, and you can come along for the ride or not. It doesn't really matter that much to me one way or the other.


The ultimate borderline personality disorder anthem

Suicidal Tendencies - Nobody Hears

I talk through my eyes, the words pourin' down
Nobody hears
You ask me what's wrong, but what can I say
Nobody hears

I try to tell you
I try to show you
How else can I tell you?
How else can I show you?

I'm screaming inside, why can't you hear?
Nobody hears
You're looking right though me like I'm not here
Nobody hears

When the last tear falls down
Nothing gets washed away
Another plea put to rest
As nobody hears, nobody hears

So what did I do to you
That makes you run from me?
Now I'm sitting here screaming inside myself
Don't understand why nobody hears

You figured it and shaped it to your perfection
Nobody hears
Subtracted my feelings from this equation
Nobody hears

Is it all in my mind?
All in my mind
Then it would be easy to find
Easy to find

When the last tear falls down
Nothing gets washed away
Another plea put to rest
As nobody hears, nobody hears

So what did I do to you
That makes you run from me?
Now I'm sitting here screaming inside myself
Don't understand why nobody hears

So if it's all
If it's all in my mind
Then wouldn't it, wouldn't it
Wouldn't it be so easy to find?

When the last tear falls down
Nothing gets washed away
Another plea put to rest
As nobody hears, nobody hears

So what do I have to do
To make you comfort me?
Now I'm sitting here screaming inside myself
Don't understand why nobody hears

So I'm sitting here screaming inside myself
Well I'm sitting here crying inside myself
So I'm sitting here screaming to nobody else
Don't understand why nobody hears
And nobody nears, nobody hears, nobody hears, nobody hears

Songwriters: MUIR, ROCKY
© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
For non-commercial use only.
Data From: LyricFind

Saturday, June 1, 2019

True Colors Hidden, Beauty Forgotten

How can you say that you will show
Your inner truth like blood on snow
When you keep truth hidden inside
Rather than risk hurting your pride
How deep within does your pain go?

What you hide within cannot grow
The light in your soul will not show
Do you know what resides inside
How can you say

Do you think that your love can grow
Not letting your true colors show
Who you are is always denied
What you wish is hidden inside
Is a lie worth getting to know
How can you say


Prompts Used:

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For tonight's exercise in self-abuse, I have chosen the Rondeau. I don't know about you, but I find this to be a challenging form.
Here is how you form a Rondeau.
(1) A A B B A (2) A A B with refrain: C (3) A A B B A with concluding refrain C. The refrain must be identical with the beginning of the first line.
Christine says that while she encourages pieces that touch on the lived experiences of those who identify as LGBTQ for the Pride Anthem challenge, it isn't a requirement. 
While I for one give not one single rip about anyone's sexual orientation and would ask that others return me the same courtesy, I will disclose that my poem was written from the POV of someone who hid their mental health issues for many years as opposed to someone who felt forced into the closet regarding their sexuality. However, the poem is for anyone who feels as if they have had to hide a key part of themselves in the often closed-minded world in which we live.