Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday Confessions: Reach

This week's prompt:

For some reason, this song is stuck in my head... particularly the line "A thousand other boys could never reach you/how could I have been the one?" 

I'd like to ignore the fact that this song is about a woman addicted to heroin and just focus on that feeling when you think, maybe, someone finally reached you.  

Being a person with high emotional walls is in many ways like living alone and never having people over.  No one cares about the mess because no one but you sees it.  Everything is the way you want it, with no one else's stuff and you don't have to care about what anyone else thinks about what is inside.  No one can see the insane things you do behind closed doors like housecleaning in your flannel jammies while singing along to every single word of a Lil Wayne song, or knows that you drop it low, do it with no hands, and dougie as often as you can.  

When you've "lived alone" or in this case with walls so high even the dragons have trouble getting in, having someone say or do something that reveals just how deep their understanding of you goes is like... well, being shot out of a cannon into a billboard that says, "I see you and I know you".  

Realizing that maybe you've reached someone, or that someone just might have reached you, is scary as fucking hell.  It is amazing and mind-blowing and awe-inspiring, utterly terrifying and rewarding to see a bond you've occasionally despised but ultimately loved and nurtured has grown beyond the reach you ever thought it would. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Feats & Fails 09/26/2014

Welcome to another Friday Feats & Fails!  This week's Featured Blogger is the wonderful, hilarious, Momma of FOUR... Traci from A Day in the Life of a Drama Queen's Momma!  She is awesome and I love reading what her kids (between the ages of four and fifteen) are up to because they're pretty funny.  Honestly, I'm pretty sure her stories write themselves!

My personal favorite (I'm allowed to have a favorite because I'm not their mom, right?) are Brennan Stories because EVERY story Traci tells on her Facebook Page about her is pee-your-pants hilarious.  That kid has spunk!  

Every Monday on the Facebook Page, Traci plays "Like My Status" which is one of my favorite games to play.  It is a good time!  And every Friday... she shares another Facebook page that she enjoys for everyone to check out! 

I hope you'll stop by and give her a visit!!

On to MY week....

-  I didn't do Feats & Fails last weekend.  Obviously, it was because I was super busy with the posts I was doing and already overloaded everyone, but I still feel bad for not being here. 

-  I smoked this week.  Twice.  And I'm paying for last nights two smokes because I have a migraine.  I guess that is what I get.

-  I got an email that I have to have a meeting with my boss.  Boo!

-  I got a message of Plenty of Fish from a guy who I actually liked.... you know, months ago when I wasn't seeing someone and before he deleted me on Facebook.  I'm so confused... like, why would you delete someone on Facebook and then hit on them on a dating site?  Dumbass. 

-  I was sick on Tuesday.  I still have no idea what happened to me.  I mean, I didn't shit my pants so it might not be food poisoning but I still don't know what is going on. 

-  I went to a parade last night.  In the dark.  It is my favorite parade and the only one I really go to.  I got bit by bugs all over.  I itch everywhere.

-  Speaking of bugs, I killed like three spiders in my house this week and walked into a web.

-  I've eaten all of the things this week.  Seriously.  All of the things. 

-  I still haven't found my copy of "The Secretary" on DVD.  It is lost... in my house. 

+  I got to go see Bonehead.  Yay!

+  I got to visit with my family. 

+  Last weekend, we took my nephew to the Apple Orchard, and we had a wonderful time so that was good. 

+  I wrote about everything that happened with my ex... and I feel so much better about everything.  Like, I needed to write about it and let it go. 

+  I might get my nephew this weekend for a sleepover, which is always fun. 

+  I bought myself a copy of "Smoke Gets in your Eyes" by Caitlin Doughty.  It is the first book I've bought myself (new) in a long, long time.  It feels good to be embracing my hobbies again, but I'm struggling to read it because I don't want it to end!

+  We had a potluck at work for one of my favorite co-workers who is retiring and it was REALLY good. 

+  Turns out... unclaimed property IS a real thing.  I got my money back!  Not much, but every dollar helps. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Confessions of a Childless Wonder: Pregnancy and Stupid People

There must be something in the water, because I am surrounded by pregnant women.  I'm actually starting to think that I might be some kind of Fertility Goddess.  I'm mostly kidding but for the record, what all the pregnant women I know have in common is sex and me.  I'm not claiming ANY credit or responsibility for the pregnancies of the women I know, I'm just saying maybe my refusal to use my reproductive powers has created some kind of rub-off effect and made them more fertile (and yes, being this full of crap hurts sometimes).

Part of knowing so many pregnant ladies at one time is getting to hear their stories and ask stupid questions.  The other day, I literally asked my friend Michelle from Juicebox Confession what it was like to have a wiggly baby in there because all I can imagine is that scene from "Alien vs. Predator".  I like to think that she answers me so graciously because she knows I'm asking out of mostly legitimate fear genuine curiosity and trying to be funny, though at this point I should probably just hope she just thinks I'm a lovable idiot.  Poor Michelle, I've said some seriously stupid things to her and she just keeps talking to me... bless her, she's wonderful.

But for all my stupid questions, I can almost guarantee I'm not the biggest idiot Michelle or any of the expectant woman I know have ever encountered as proven by this post she shared on her Facebook Page recently.

A lot of the Mommy Bloggers I know have been referring to this thing call "Pregnancy Brain" or "Momnesia".  I'm not entirely sure what that is, but apparently it is a real thing.  Not that I doubted them, I just don't know this shit.  There are lots of studies into hormones and pheromones, especially concerning pregnant women.  It is a fact that pregnant women are more apt to seek out people with similar chemical makeup for support during pregnancy, and the fact that pheromones given off by pregnant women can suppress the testosterone in her (male) partner and increase his production of the hormone prolactin.

Basically, hormones are important.  But what I really think needs to be studied is what it is exactly that turns people into entitled fucking idiots when there is a pregnant woman around.

I only briefly touched on this in my first Childless Wonder Confession, but I've rarely encountered a woman who has had a child who doesn't have a story about being approached by a complete stranger and being:
  • 1. Subjected to unsolicited opinions about their pregnancy (up to and including comments about their diet, their size, etc)
  • 2. Asked stupid questions (and yes, my questions are stupid but at least I "know" the people I'm directing my stupid questions to) 
  • 3. Touched

And I'm flabbergasted.  

I will admit that I've said such horrid things in the past like "You're huge".  I'm guilty and I'm sorry.  After being around such honest and forthcoming bloggers, I've learned that like any person who is "bigger" a pregnant woman doesn't need you to point out her size or tell her how huge she is; I'm a failure as a fatty because any fat person should know better than to point out size no matter the reason (even if I think pregnant makes being "large" acceptable and adorable).

When it comes to stupid questions, I've asked my mommy friends and family just about everything.  I'm really lucky and fortunate to have the women in my life that I do because every single one of them either accepts/excepts the inappropriate and generally snarky strands of word turds that come out of me or revels in them... and that includes my stupid questions.  I've also made totally insensitive remarks about aliens and how utterly feckin' creeped out I get when you can see the outline of a heel or a foot pushing outward, but the fact that the ability to create life within your own body is amazing and miraculous isn't completely lost on me.

After admitting my offenses, I have to say even I'm irritated and offended by the things I see and hear people do.

On what planet is it appropriate to walk up to someone and talk about what they're eating?  I would never in a million years walk up to a woman and attempt to talk to her about what she was eating or doing "in her condition".  I mean, maybe if she was doing shots in order to prepare to skydive (which, apparently, might actually not be the most unacceptable to do while pregnant - skydive, not shots).  But I would never attempt to correct a woman for eating mercury-laden fish and chasing it with a cuppa joe so thick the spoon stands.

I don't understand how pregnancy somehow blurs the line of appropriate social interaction.  In Confessions of a Childless Wonder, I confessed that while I really do like kids, especially babies, even kids deserve to have their personal space acknowledged and respected.  I definitely do not touch the children of strangers (though, if we're related all bets are off).  I can't imagine anything more obnoxious than going to the grocery store and having someone you don't know reach out and touch your baby's hands as they sit in their carrier in the cart, which the baby then shoves into their mouth.  This is why I don't have kids, because I would be in Warrior Don't-Touch-My-Effing-Kid mode CONSTANTLY because clearly there is something wrong with people.

I worked with a girl a long time ago, we'll call her "Kasey", during her second pregnancy.  One Summer day, Kasey had driven across town to get some supplies from the local office store and had stopped at a gas station on the way back.  When she got back to where we worked together, she told me some woman had walked up to her and started rubbing her belly (she was maybe 6 1/2-7 months at the time).  When Kasey asked her if she knew her, she replied "I run the corn stand across the street" (I don't know if they do this everywhere, but in Wisconsin it is not unusual to see trucks with produce from local farmers selling out of parking lots on major roads) as if selling sweet corn out of a rusty pickup somehow qualifies her as someone able to walk around touching complete strangers.

I've heard other, similar stories from other expectant women and moms.  Some who have even taken a step back or said something to the personal bubble trespasser only to be criticized for it...because apparently to some people wanting personal space when it comes to strangers is offensive.

When I was like 23, I went to a Buckcherry concert and pushed my way to the front.  I was 3 people from the front barricade in front of the stage, and I eventually had to turn around and go back because I was being touched by so many people.  I was covered in sweat and it definitely was not all mine (thank god I'm vaccinated against Hepatitis B).  I was so grossed out that I went home, peeled off my clothes and climbed in a scalding hot shower, washing with anti-bacterial soap until the water ran cold... because ew.  Most people know this, but as a general rule I'm not a super touchy/feely person.  I enjoy it, but I'm not usually the person to reach for a hug first... like ever.  I'm usually even less touchable if I'm sweating my balls off  gassy  barfy uncomfortable.  If I reach out to you, it's a serious compliment or comment about how I'm feeling.  I can't imagine what it must be like to have people walking up to me and touching my belly and expecting me to stand there and take it with a smile... especially if I'm feeling any of the way pregnant women sometimes feel (see Michelle's post above).

Being in the "family way" does not make a woman "familiar" and therefore open to being touched by everyone.  I just don't understand it and I can't figure out why people this it is acceptable and appropriate to touch someone so intimately.  I don't like my stomach being touched NOW, I think the addition of carrying/producing such precious cargo might only make such a thing more inappropriate to me.

Maybe I'm way off base here, because we all know I've never been pregnant.  Maybe it makes some women feel great and they aren't offended by it.  But I think if you want to reach out and touch someone... maybe you could do the polite and decent thing, act like you have some home training and ASK.  Then, don't be offended if someone doesn't want your strange mitts all over their lady lumps.

I think the important thing to remember here is something my Mom told me as a kid every time we walked into a store with expensive, breakable things with a "You Break It, You Buy It" Policy:

Look with your eyes, NOT with your hands!

Am I way off base here?  Is there something I don't understand?  Is there anyone out there who isn't offended by strangers walking up and touching them?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sunday Confession: Revenge

This week's prompt:

The thing about revenge is... I just don't get it.  

I might do spiteful, little hateful things towards someone when I'm angry, but all out revenge?  


I don't think it evens things out.  I don't think it teaches anyone anything.  And at the end of the day, two wrongs don't make a right. 

I strive to be able to be ok with my behaviors and reactions to things.  All I can control in this world is myself.  Best to act like it. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

One Year Later

This week marks One Year since leaving what may have been the worst relationship of my life.  I've debated whether or not to talk about it, because the details are hard and the story isn't pretty.  But at some point, you need to let go of the things you've been holding on to and that is what I'm doing.  If I can help one person, if one person can see something in my story that helps them... then it isn't in vain.  This is my story.  

September 21st marks One Year since The Incident that ended with the police taking my now ex-boyfriend to jail. The past year has been a jumble of complex thoughts, situations and emotions. 

At first, I tried treating it like any other break-up, even sharing tips on How to get over a break-up.  I expected life to go back to normal.  I expected to feel free again and while in some ways I did, it wasn't what I expected.  For a long time, I thought maybe I was just feeling Fragile and needed to be handled with care for awhile.  I was hurting, bothered, upset by things that I couldn't put a name to just yet.  I was exhausted.  I was struggling with depression.  I was having nightmares.  I was anxious.  I was stressed.  I just knew that something felt "wrong", toxic, and as if it were feeding on me.  

For a long time, I struggled to identify exactly what was wrong.  I had physically scrubbed my house and bleached everything, even buying new sheets.  I started getting acupuncture on a regular basis for the stress and anxiety.  I smudged my house with sage and sweet grass.  I got an energy healing session (Reiki).  I reached out to friends who had stuck with me during our relationship and tried to resume a normal social life.  I made Resolutions.  I pushed myself to try and find joy in my hobbies again.  But I couldn't seem to shake the feelings of doom and gloom.

Then one night my landlord left town.  I had gone downstairs to feed his cats and as I was leaving his apartment I was standing in the porch we share and there was a loud bang.  I ran up the stairs, unlocking the door (because I lock my doors now even when I leave for 5 minutes to feed a cat) and slamming it shut, bolting it behind me.  It took me a minute, as I leaned up against the door with my heart pounding in my ears and breathing heavy, to realize my stupid neighbors were setting off fireworks again (it was August).  It was then that I realized that everything that happened had left me wound so tight that the sound of fireworks were upsetting to me.  I'd never felt like that about fireworks in my life. 

Shortly after beginning to realize all of these things about myself, I realized that I had so much fear because I still worry he will kill me.  I have this fear that the door is going to be splintered by a determined kick and he will come after it.  That night with the fireworks, I couldn't see outside because of the lights on the porch and my reaction was because I thought it was him.

And then the light bulb turned on.  What was I doing to make myself feel safe?

I hesitated to describe what I went through as abuse because so many women have been through and experienced worse, as if by being really lucky in that I never took a hit invalidated the fact that everything that happened was abuse.  I felt saying I had been in an abusive relationship was an insult to women who'd been through so much worse.  At some point I realized that abuse is a broad spectrum and while there are usually many things in common between situations, the fear is the same.

Fear is not a feeling I'm able to admit to easily.  For a long time I felt that admitting to being scared or afraid was weak, which probably contributed to why I was so humiliated when I was forced to admit I was afraid and that I needed the help of the police.  It also explained why I struggled so long to admit that I was in an abusive relationship with someone who made me afraid in my own home.  I had been working on forgiving myself.  I had been working on the blame, shame and humiliation I felt.  I had been focusing on finding myself again and being the person I want to be and I'm supposed to be as opposed to the monster I genuinely thought I had become.  I was rebuilding faith in myself and in my intuition.  I had been pushing myself so hard to be "OK", and the truth is that I wasn't because I still didn't feel safe.

It isn't that I feel that I haven't been making progress, because I know that I have.  But progress is like a recipe: you can mix all of the ingredients, and that counts for something, but you aren't going to get the same results if you bake it "as is" if you would if you had all of the ingredients.  Feeling safe was the missing ingredient and as I'm still going through this journey I have yet to determine if it was the one missing ingredient or one of many.

I know that some of the things I am going through right now are classic symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and I might feel afraid for a long time.  I made an appointment with my doctor and we discussed the depression, anxiety and exhaustion and we're working on it together.  I've started paying closer attention to the things that cause me anxiety.  When I'm able to identify what the anxiety stems from, I take the time to identify what the rational and irrational fears are, and then I make changes to make sure I feel safe.  I've spent many moments telling myself, "You are okay. You are safe.  He is not here". This might be something that I will have to continue doing for a long time, and while I haven't been able to tell myself "You Won"... I'm going to get there, because I'm going to be bigger than this.

In the Aftermath there was so much anger, shame, hurt, stress, and blame.  I'm still working my way through the complicated mess of things that both led me to the relationship, and what has been left behind as a result of it.  But in a weird way... I know that I'm going to come out of this a better person.  In a lot of ways, I already feel like I have.

As a result of having been in that relationship, I was forced to look at myself and my life in a different way and really rediscover who I want to be, what it is I want for myself and what I expect from my relationships as well as who I want to be in terms of my relations with others.  I had to take a hard look at what kind of image was being created as a result of the tiny dots that make up my life.  I lost some people and while that hurts at the same time I can't help but think that the people who are a part of my life now are the people who are supposed to be here.

One of the greatest gifts of this experience and coming back from it is feeling my own resilience.  I got my first tattoo when I was twenty.  It had taken me months to decide what I wanted and somewhere along the way I came across the word "Invictus".  The Latin Word Invictus has many meanings, mainly: unconquer, unconquerable, undefeated.  At the time, I wanted it because to me it was a testament to everything I'd been through already and a reminder of my own strength for future trials.  I'd already been through so much.  I hadn't read the poem by the same name until two years after I had gotten the tattoo.  Somehow, after this experience, it seems so much more relevant now.

I'd felt so hopeless at the lowest points in my relationship and there were times I didn't think I was going to make it...but I did and I am here.  As of this moment, I have a 100% Survival Rate of every challenge I've ever faced in this life.  That means I have a choice about where I go from here, who I become, how I conduct myself and what happens after this.  Not everyone is so lucky.  But as long as I have a choice, I should be the master of my fate and the captain of my soul.


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic abuse, please call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233  or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY). They have people on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week who can offer support and lists of resources in your area.

Other resources with information about Domestic Violence and Abuse:
Symptoms, Treatment and Recovery from Emotional and Psychological Trauma

I see Narcissistic People

This week marks One Year since leaving what may have been the worst relationship of my life.  I've debated whether or not to talk about it, because the details are hard and the story isn't pretty.  But at some point, you need to let go of the things you've been holding on to and that is what I'm doing.  If I can help one person, if one person can see something in my story that helps them... then it isn't in vain.  This is my story.  

It's been nearly a year since the break-up and as I get closer and closer to the One Year mark I can't help but think about how far I have come from the way things were, and how far I have left to go.  I've made progress, but as I look back and read "Breaking up is hard to do" written a mere 4 days after I was forced to call the police on the man who had been living in my apartment for over a year and had been in a relationship with for nearly three, it makes me a little sick.

I was so tangled up in the web of Narcissistic Abuse and when I read that post, I can see it.   I see all the nice, sweet things I wrote that were not really the truth and actually symptoms of what I had been living with during the entire course of our relationship.  I can still see the complete and utter denial.  I see how hard I tried to still be pleasant and "make nice" even though I knew he was going to make things hard for me.

When I read what I wrote back then, I can see that even when it came to our breakup I approached it and wrote about it as if I was left with no other choice and not acknowledging that I wanted the relationship to end and he finally gave me the last and final reason I would ever need to leave.

The scary and sad fact is that I don't know that I would have left if things hadn't happened the way they did that day. 

I decided that I needed serious healing, that I needed to fix the things about myself that led me to being in that relationship or it would be every relationship I ever had for the rest of my life.  I started reading.  I started looking at myself and moments when I ignored my intuition, and started exploring why I ignored it and how to learn to trust it and strengthen it.  I began looking at events that had transpired, and started to see manipulative patterns. Then I looked at my other relationships - platonic, romantic, even professional - past and present to see if I could figure out why I let someone treat me like that.

And then it hit me... the behaviors I was victim to in that relationship have been present for most of my adult life, through much of my teen years, and even some in my childhood.

That is a hard pill to swallow.

I'm not saying I had a horrid childhood, blaming my parents or the system, trying to portray myself as coming from a hard place, or saying that I'm completely surrounded by Narcissistic Abusers.  What I AM saying is that life is an example of Pointillism: every experience you have, book you read, person you encounter, song you listen to, food you eat... is like a tiny dot on the canvas of your life applied in patterns to make an image.  A series of canvasses foretelling what will be, who we are, and chronicling our life story.

In a lot of ways there have been a lot of "dots"- things that happened that I never told anyone, behaviors and hurtful comments that I excused or allowed people to get away with, people who hurt me that I made excuses for or tolerated for years - and when all of those "dots" were combined it created a picture of a woman who would tolerate all of the tiny little dots that equal one big bad relationship.

There are people out there who might say I was overreacting.  There are people who would say that if you look for something hard enough, you'll find it.  I wholeheartedly agree that if you're looking hard enough, you can twist anything into being what you what it to be, but I feel like I was finally opening my eyes to what was going on around me the entire time.

I started paying closer attention to the way people reacted to the things I said and did.  I started to notice there were people in my life who instead of respecting my decisions would try and cajole or manipulate me into doing what they wanted me to do in spite of what I said I wanted.  I began to notice how certain people would say rude or hurtful things to me every time we spent time together.  When I would question or confront people about the rude things they said to me they would respond with gas-lighting.  Distancing myself from people because of the gas-lighting led to them giving me ultimatums about our relationship.  I started seeing the same Red Flags and behaviors in many friendships that I should have seen (or not ignored) in my previous relationship.  I started seeing my ex everywhere.

Me too, kid.  Me too. 

It made me angry.

The horrible things my ex did that people told me I didn't deserve, things that people held against him and judged him for were things that some of the people who were closest to me were also doing.

I tried to explain to people when they would do things that bothered me.  I tried ignoring the gas-lighting and tell someone how their behavior or choice of words bothered me.  I even flat out compared things that were said or done to stories of things that actually happened in an attempt to explain myself to people.

There were people who just didn't get it and I lost some friends.  The upside is that I began to really see the people that I didn't need in my life.  In a lot of ways, it gave me the push I needed to start removing people.  When you're struggling to find the energy to function, it becomes a lot easier to see where your energy resources are being used and abused.  I also started changing how I look at friendship.  In the end, I started realizing the people who show the same signs and red flags as someone who might be an abusive partner probably really aren't the best of friends either.

If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic abuse, please call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233  or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY). They have people on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week who can offer support and lists of resources in your area. 

Other resources with information about Domestic Violence and Abuse:

Thursday, September 18, 2014


This week marks One Year since leaving what may have been the worst relationship of my life.  I've debated whether or not to talk about it, because the details are hard and the story isn't pretty.  But at some point, you need to let go of the things you've been holding on to and that is what I'm doing.  If I can help one person, if one person can see something in my story that helps them... then it isn't in vain.  This is my story.  

The Incident wasn't over yet.  As I sat in the car with the 911 Operator on the phone, she asked me to open the garage door so I could see the Officers when they arrived.  I watched my ex walk by with the TV to the garbage and then walk back towards the house shaking his head and glaring at me through the back window.  He wasn't outside when the first officer showed up so I can only assume that is when he went back up to our apartment and sent me the text calling me pathetic.

The first Officer who responded walked around the corner of the door and I remember letting out the biggest sigh of relief.  I was still scared, but I've probably never been so relieved to see a Police Officer in my life.

The Officer spoke with me before asking me to go in the house.  My ex was on the sidewalk speaking with another officer.  The man who had spent the last few hours calling me names and wishing "diseased" children on me before throwing a television off a balcony was downright jovial and sociable with them.

I was humiliated.   I was sobbing when the first officer arrived and (as inappropriate as this is) he was good looking which only heightened my embarrassment.  I remember interacting with three, maybe four, officers that day.  I remember feeling like I probably looked like just another statistic to them, and I was afraid they weren't going to help me or take me seriously.  I was even more afraid that they would fall for his act and leave me there with him.  There were three cruisers parked around my house in the middle of the afternoon for everyone in the neighborhood to see.  I had three officers in my home and the apartment was trashed.  I had stopped cleaning, caring or trying and it showed.

They left me in the house to go talk with him.  I didn't hear what was being said because my mom called and I quickly tried to explain what was going on.  When I hung up the phone, they were explaining to him that they were arresting him for Disorderly Conduct.  As I stood in the front room watching them arrest him, I felt numb.  I wasn't sure how I was supposed to feel, but I felt nothing and wondered what would happen next... would he be back?

The Officer explained that he could be released as soon as he posted bail and could come back for his vehicle but there was a No Contact order in place until court.  It was explained to me that he would be able to come and get his things with a police escort.  The locks were changed before he even posted bail.  He came to get his vehicle an hour and a half later.  He didn't even so much as look at the house, just got in the car and left.

I spent that evening at home packing up the rest of his things and moving them outside of the apartment and in the days that followed he would come with a police escort to get his things from the porch where I had left them.  This would happen twice.  

I was put in touch with the local domestic abuse and advocacy group in my area and spoke with one of their Crisis Advocates.  My work schedule left me unable to attend any kind of group therapy with them or get much assistance outside of talking with Crisis Advocates over the phone.  I was trying to work and remain independent and functional while keeping myself safe and I wanted help.  The times I was able to meet with someone, they were incredibly gracious enough to stay late to meet with me.

The thing they don't tell you is what the Aftermath is like.  The humiliation.  The stress.  The anxiety.  I spent the next few weeks not sleeping well at night.  

I had to tell people we broke up, which left a lot of questions because I hid so much from the outside world.  He had met me for lunch at work the week before.  People knew our relationship had problems, but for many this seemed to just come out of the blue and many people had questions.  There were people who doubted my version of the story and implied that perhaps there was nothing for me to be afraid of because "I never had any problems with him.  He seemed like a nice guy".  There were people who expected us to get back together and in the weeks following often asked if I had heard from him and if he'd apologized yet.  I just kept repeating, "He can't contact me.  We have a No Contact order.  If he does, I will be calling the police".

I was angry at myself for letting the entire relationship happen.  I was angry at the messes I had to clean up.  I was stressed and embarrassed because I needed to see a doctor because he had said he had been cheating on me and I was afraid he'd brought something home.  I was humiliated because I had to tell people what had happened so they knew he wasn't supposed to show up.  I hated myself because the relationship had changed me into someone I didn't like.  There were times when my reaction to the abuse was just as bad as the abuse, and he used those times to threaten and shame me, and tell me I wasn't any different and didn't deserve better because I wasn't being better.  I was angry at myself because I had stepped in to take the abuse for others...his daughter, the cashier who couldn't do anything when his deli chicken rang up at the wrong price, his family member who had made him angry.  I knew he was going to be telling people stories about me that weren't true, and I was mad because he was going to be lying.  I hated myself for letting this become my reality.

I spent my free time and weekends cleaning up my life.  I bleached the floors and shampooed the carpets.  I cleaned all of the nooks and crannies.  I scrubbed the toilet and the shower and the sinks.  I was on a mission to eradicate him from my household because I felt like he was still there in so many ways.  I wanted every smell, every thing, every cell gone from my life so I could reclaim my space.  I lived with the shades closed and rearranged the furniture so he wouldn't know the layout of the apartment if he came after me.

My body was so tuned to the schedule I had when we lived together that I would have anxiety attacks every night at the time he usually came home.  If I wasn't home, I felt like I needed to be so that I could be inside with the doors closed and locked and so that I knew everything was OK there.  Every night as the clock ticked up to the time he used to come home I would grow more and more anxious.  I would find myself listening to the passing cars.  Listening for him. 

My heart would jump into my throat and my stomach would clench every time my cell phone made a noise.  I received calls from restricted numbers sometimes twice a day which would send me into a panic.  I later found out the Crisis Advocates call from blocked numbers and didn't leave messages, but those calls left me in a panic time and time again.  I ended up deleting a lot of things from my phone simply to stop the consistent dings and rings from notifications from various apps.

When I would leave or come home, I would look up and down the streets for his vehicles.  He works in my neighborhood and I would see him driving around, often doing a slow roll past my house or around the corner.  When he was arrested, I had asked the officers about it and was told that as long as he didn't approach me or the house there was nothing that could be done about him being in the area.

I would not hear from him again until the day before Thanksgiving, two weeks after the case had been resolved.  It was then that the harassment began.  He believed I owed him things, but when I requested that he email a list of the property he believed was owed to him and I would present it to my lawyer, he responded with threats to call the police for accusations I still do not understand.  He never sent the list.

The harassment would continue with him sending me a long rambling message the week of Christmas.  When I didn't answer text messages, he began sending me game requests through the Word with Friends app.  When I would reject the games, he would send me messages through the chat feature asking me what what wrong with me, telling me that I wasn't myself, accusing me of keeping his things and taking his daughter's things.  Once even pleading with me to talk to him because something was going on and he didn't know who else to talk to.  I never responded, but I took screen shots of all the messages and emailed them to myself on as many email accounts as I could.  Soon the messages were coming almost daily, sometimes multiple times a day.

He was escalating again.  The messages were mirroring the behavior I had seen and experienced before he threw the television off the balcony.  When he sent me a message telling me to jump off a cliff, accusing me of keeping his things, and calling me a "hooker and a prostitute" I went to the police department.  I had asked him not to contact me.  I had not been responding.  I felt I shouldn't have to deal with someone sending me those kinds of messages anymore.  The officer I spoke with said he was toeing the line of harassment, but he would be calling and speaking with him and asking him not to contact me further.

I haven't heard from him since, but I still had so much more work ahead of me.  I didn't realize how much my life was going to change in the coming months in how I looked at the world, even changing my friendships and how I looked at the people around me.

If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic abuse, please call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233  or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY). They have people on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week who can offer support and lists of resources in your area.

Other resources with information about Domestic Violence and Abuse:
Symptoms, Treatment and Recovery from Emotional and Psychological Trauma

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Incident

This week marks One Year since leaving what may have been the worst relationship of my life.  I've debated whether or not to talk about it, because the details are hard and the story isn't pretty.  But at some point, you need to let go of the things you've been holding on to and that is what I'm doing.  If I can help one person, if one person can see something in my story that helps them... then it isn't in vain.  This is my story.  

I haven't talked about the events of the day I called the police for multiple reasons.  Mostly, fear.

I've been afraid of what people would think of me.  That no one would take it seriously.  That people would say hurtful things about me for making the decision that I did.  When I say the relationship was abusive, people automatically assume I was hit.  Throughout the course of our relationship, my ex had never hit me.

I wish he had hit me.

Physical abuse is so much easier to identify than any other kind of abuse.  I ignored the signs and I didn't realize what was going on until I was emotionally attached, invested in the life of his child, and everything about me had been torn to shreds.  No... what happened that day, taken out of context, is pretty laughable.  

My Ex threw his own television off of the second story balcony of my apartment. 

My landlord had been watering the grass like a lunatic for weeks, and when he tossed it off the side of the balcony the corner of the television hit the ground and it was so moist that it left a corner shaped dent in the soft dirt.

See?  It's kind of funny, right?  So... if I think it's kind of funny now, why did I run then?

In the months leading up to the breakup, something in me had broken.  

The relationship wasn't broken because there wasn't really anything there to break anymore.  It was as dysfunctional as ever, but with every stupid argument, every plead for basic human respect and consideration, every time I tried to fix things and make them better and he called me names or laughed in my face at my emotions the less I cared.  And the less I cared the more I realized just how badly I didn't want to be there.

Except realizing I didn't want to be there didn't mean anything.

Not. A. Damn. Thing.

I had realized I didn't want to be there once before.  I'd leaned on people for support.  I'd told everyone about our break up and what a horrid person he was.  I'd gone through the motions of getting over a breakup and faced the embarrassment of listening to people say horrible things about the person I'd loved and ask me how I could stand living with him.  I complained about all of his gross habits and declared him a neanderthal without home training, not realizing that the disgusting things he would do were really all part of disrespecting me-both figuratively and literally soiling the things that I took pride in.  He had harassed me for months afterwards.

Eventually things got quieter.  He still texted every now and then, wishing me a happy birthday, occasionally asking how I was and I never responded.  I know now that it was him making it a point to illustrate to me, "I'm still here".  I'd already been isolated from many of my friends so when life got crazy and I didn't know who to turn to or how to handle it, and I responded to the person who was consistently there. He'd made sure that he was that person.

The fact that I didn't want to be there once before didn't mean anything because after everything I'd said and done, I'd taken him back.  It wasn't even two weeks before I found out he had been lying to me, was seeing someone else and he hadn't ended it yet.  The next year and a half started out OK but went downhill back to the way things were and worse.  I'd made a decision to go back for more of the same.

There are always promises of change in abusive relationships.  Ours was no different.  How long the "change" lasted decreased with every incident. Eventually, I reached a point where I needed to ask myself what would become the most important question I've ever asked myself: If things never change, is this how I want to live the rest of my life?

The answer, obviously, was no.  I was tired of walking on eggshells.  I was tired of not only explaining the basic elements of human respect to a full-grown man, but begging and pleading with him to be an equal contributor to our household and relationship (in more ways than money).  I was tired of being falsely accused of infidelity by a man who cheated.  He'd broken things given to me by my father, torn up pictures, and ruined my furniture - things I cared about and had worked hard for.  I was tired of being called every name but my own.  I was tired of not being allowed to sleep at night, or crying myself to sleep.   I was tired of being with someone who would never be the partner I wanted or needed.  I was tired of being afraid in my own home.

He'd never left peacefully before.  Once an argument started, it would go on until I relented or he would do something intimidating and scary which would shut it down immediately.  Things would be dragged out until I was so exhausted I gave up.  I couldn't get away from the memories of past arguments and the feeling that I was never going to get away because he was not going to leave and he wasn't going to let me leave.  I started to believe that the only way I would get away from him was killing myself.

I just stopped caring about everything.  I didn't nag.  I didn't try.  When I disengaged, he started trying to turn on the old charm.  When I didn't respond to his attempts to buy me things (his frequent go-to), he turned hostile and began accusing me of cheating.  I'd reached a point where the things he did, like playing on the computer all night, didn't bother me as long as he was leaving me alone.  The longer I stayed disengaged, the more irrational his behavior got.

That day... I wanted to sleep in.  When I got up, he was angry with me because there were things he wanted to do.  We started fighting because he was mad at me for not being ready to go and follow an agenda that I didn't know existed.  Then the name calling started.

And I said I couldn't do it anymore.  I wanted him to leave.  I didn't want the relationship anymore.

He told me if I wanted him to leave, I could pack up his things.  I started packing my own clothes.  I was going to leave.  He came in, grabbed my bag and threw it into the closet.  Then started pulling his clothes out and throwing them on the bed.  He started packing, verbally abusing me the entire time and even going so far as to tell me he hoped I moved on, got married and my children came out diseased.  He didn't even get halfway through the closet before he shoved past me to go out to the kitchen.

He came back with a snack.  

Sounds like a bad joke, but I'm not kidding.  Cheese and crackers.  He sat down and started to eat.  I couldn't stand to watch so I left and went to the gas station. When I came home, he was playing games on my laptop and drinking a beer.

When I walked in, he tried talking to me but couldn't even bring himself to look at me while he was promising to change and telling me how much he loved me.  Once he realized that tactic wasn't working (imagine that) he tried a different tactic: sex.  I rejected him.  He told me if he left, he wasn't going to come back again and that we would be done forever, and asked me again if I really wanted him to go.  I told him I didn't want to be with him anymore.

He stood up suddenly, his belly shoving me out of the way.  He went into the bedroom and began wrestling the TV that he had given to me over a year before off of the tall dresser I had it on, reaching out to rip the power cord out of the wall and yelling at me to open the sliding glass door.  I just watched him as he slid open the door, balanced it on the corner of the balcony.  I watched him look over the edge of the balcony and as the TV started to tip over I grabbed my keys and ran.

I heard the TV hit the ground.  I heard him yell my name and come after me.  I heard his footsteps (it is hard not to hear a 450 pound man coming after you).  I flew into the garage, fumbling with the keys before getting in my car, locking the doors, and calling 911.  I stayed there until the Officer arrived.  In the meantime, however, he sent me a wonderful little text message.

The fact of the matter is, nothing about the situation is funny.  When I told people what happened, they looked at me in disbelief, then said, "Wait, he gave you the TV?  So it was really HIS TV?  He threw his own TV off the balcony?" and they laugh.

But I ran for a reason.  I'd heard him talk about wanting to kill the mother of his child.  He had shown me that he had no regard for my life or his when he lost control, like the time he accelerated my car to 96 mph and threatened to jump out.  He once smashed the screen of my cellphone against the side of his head because I was going to call the police.  He had access to weapons.  With every incident, his behavior grew more extreme.  When I disengaged, his behavior had started escalating and he was growing more and more irrational.  A week before everything happened, I'd gone out to a movie with my brother.  I'd been accused of cheating on him that night.  When he found out it was a movie he wanted to see the outright fury, alternating silent treating and yelling, went on for more than three days.  Three days of doing things like waking me up by slamming doors in the middle of the night because I went to a movie.

I genuinely felt like he had been slowly losing control for weeks.  He had never left quietly before and when he tossed that TV over the edge of the balcony I was afraid that it wasn't going to be the only thing that got broken that day, and I didn't know if it was just going to be everything I owned or me.  I was scared, and I would stay that way for a long time.

If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic abuse, please call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233  or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY). They have people on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week who can offer support and lists of resources in your area. 

Other resources with information about Domestic Violence and Abuse:

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I Saw the Sign (Not Really)

This week marks One Year since leaving what may have been the worst relationship of my life.  I've debated whether or not to talk about it, because the details are hard and the story isn't pretty.  But at some point, you need to let go of the things you've been holding on to and that is what I'm doing.  If I can help one person, if one person can see something in my story that helps them... then it isn't in vain.  This is my story.  

It has been a year since I left what might have been the worst relationship of my life.  In the aftermath of the relationship with the Boyfriend-That-Was, I started to find myself again and as I did I began talking about the relationship I had been in, and the way things were.  More than once someone told me, "I never thought you'd let someone treat you like that" and "I didn't think you were that kind of woman".

Guess what?  Me neither.  Before this experience, I didn't think it COULD happen to me.  I literally and ridiculously believed that I was just too strong and I thought I knew what abusive relationships were, how they started and I thought I'd taken every precaution not to end up in one.  I was somewhat educated.  I had taken responsibility for my sexual and reproductive health at an early age, and while nothing is foolproof I'd done everything to the best of my ability to safeguard against an unwanted pregnancy that would tie me to someone I didn't choose to be with.  I'd worked two sometimes three jobs at a time to maintain financial independence, refusing to even consider a roommate.  I maintained my own household, supported myself, and enjoyed my own company.  I wasn't desperate or lonely.  I thought I had done everything a strong, smart, functional adult woman was supposed to do.

So how did it happen?

I never even saw it coming and for a long time I struggled with wondering how it happened, how and why I let someone say and do all of the things I swore I would never let someone say or do to me, and how I found myself overlooking or forgiving things I said I never would.  It wasn't until I started learning about Narcissistic Abuse that I realized that how subtle it all starts.  The fact that I didn't think it could happen to me was exactly why I didn't realize when it started.  Looking back, I was vulnerable to this specific kind of abuse because I didn't really know anything about it.  I knew about physical abuse, but the warning signs for an emotional/psychological abuser are so much more subtle.

You know when you first start seeing someone and you want to spend all of your time together?  It started before that.  In the beginning, he pursued me more aggressively than anyone ever had and it's hard to ignore because you mistakenly feel like someone is really interested in you and it's flattering.  While I didn't consider myself desperate, it HAD been awhile since someone showed genuine interest in me and I enjoyed the attention which was unlike anything I'd every experienced before and he was rather charming.

Within two weeks of seeing each other, he was spending days at my house at a time.  While that would be unusual with someone you had just met, we had known each other since we were teenagers so I wrote it off because we already "knew" each other and so there wasn't going to be a "getting to know each other" stage.    What wasn't normal was that when I wanted my own space or I didn't want him to come over for days at a time, he would casually say that if he couldn't come down and stay he wouldn't be coming down again for awhile because he just couldn't afford the gas (he lived 45 minutes away).  

It was so subtle that it was prevalent in every area of our relationship.  I don't remember what the first meal I ever made for him was, but I remember he took maybe two bites before looking at me and saying, "You know what would make this even better..." .  At first, I didn't mind because I thought he was just sharing his food preferences.  While I thought it was a little rude, I considered myself a good cook and I was still eager please this person who was so intensely interested in me.  In three years he never ate a single meal without a negative comment; He would criticize every meal at some point during the first plate, but that never stopped him from going back for seconds or thirds, and it certainly never stopped him from licking the plate.

A month and a half into our relationship, he called me a fucking bitch.   Who argues within 2 months of seeing each other?  And I tried to end it.  I remember sitting in the Wal-Mart parking lot on the phone telling him the fact that he called me that was NOT OK and that I didn't want to see him anymore.  The details get fuzzy, but I remember there profuse apologies.  There might have been some promises made, there might have even been flowers given.  I ignored the red flags in the beginning, and before I knew it my feelings for him snowballed just like the verbal abuse would.

I was always taking things “the wrong way”.  I was being “sensitive”.  I was “misunderstanding things” and always thinking the worst of him.  I will never forget the night we were laying in my bed together spooning and I was about to drift off to sleep when he casually said, “What would you do if I told you I had cheated on you?”.  He later assured me that he was just thinking stupid things out loud, but it is just another example of the way he liked to keep me insecure and on edge even in my most relaxing moments.

While things started out good, though intense, eventually our sexual relationship turned abusive as well.  I’m not meaning to imply that I was sexually assaulted or raped, however sex was used as a weapon against me in the form of subtle sexual abuse and sexual coercion.   When we first started dating, he had pictures of other womens' breasts on his phone and he often asked me for intimate photos.  I would be grabbed or fondled in public in ways that made me uncomfortable.  I was not allowed to go to bed mad.  If I did not want to engage in sexual activity, there would be nagging, then anger, then a fight with accusations of cheating that would last late into the night until I gave in.   He once told me I was “a cunt just like my ex-wife” because he wanted to have sex in his room at his parents’ house with his daughter sleeping in the room across the hall and I was on the verge of sleeping after not being allowed to sleep the night before, uncomfortable with the idea of doing it in his parents' house, and I had the nerve to turn him down.

I still didn't leave.

In fact, I wouldn't leave for 11 months when I ended our relationship during an argument after he left me embarrassed at a holiday and was not interested in exposing his behavior to my more judgmental extended family (who still talk about a guy I dated when I was 15-16).  I left the house when he got two inches away from my face and told me I was trash, and a two-bit fucking whore.

He left the house that day, but it wasn't long before he was calling and messaging me again  He would send me short videos of him taken with his cell phone, crying and begging me to talk to him.  The worst moment was a week before Christmas when he sent me a video of him standing in his bathroom and holding a gun to his head telling me that he loved me and just wanted to talk to me.  I called the police and the police officer who responded to the phone call called me after speaking with him and said that he’d made a bad decision and was fine.

The harassment continued turning into late night phone calls and driving past my house in the middle of the night when I wouldn't answer the phone, sometimes coming to a stop on the road my bedroom window faced and blaring the horn in the middle of the night.  I finally stopped talking to him after he showed up to my house in the middle of the night on Valentine’s Day, pounding on my door and screaming to let him in and demanding to know who was with me because I had refused to see him

I didn't speak to him again for months.  Then I hit a rough patch and he had been making himself "available", and I called him.  The cycle started again.

Then I found out he had been seeing someone, and while he was staying at my house he was still messaging her, telling her that he loved her and missed her while going to bed with me at night.   I chose to forgive him because at that point in time… I WAS desperate.  I didn't realize then how bad things were and it wasn't until months after I  left I started to be able to see just how deeply the relationship had affected me.

There were so many signs before we actually lived together.  He destroyed things.  If we got into an argument late at night and I told him I wanted him to leave, he would wake his daughter up in the middle of the night and make her pack her things.  I was expected to maintain the house, but he couldn't be asked to wipe the seat or hit the garbage can, and I would often find disgusting messes all over the house.  In the end, I went back for another round.  Which ended with the incident that lead to the break-up.

This power and control circle makes me cry because I look at it and I have a personal story of almost every single example listed.  

If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic abuse, please call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233  or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY). They have people on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week who can offer support and lists of resources in your area. 

Other resources with information about Domestic Violence and Abuse:

Monday, September 15, 2014

Witchy Halloween Giveaway 2014

Halloween truly is the most wonderful time of the year! So to spread the Halloween cheer, I'm hosting ANOTHER Witchy Halloween Giveaway! But...will it be a Trick or a Treat?

This year I've been joined by 8 other awesome bloggers to bring you another Witchy Halloween Giveaway!  Know what that means?  10 Awesome Prizes!

This Giveaway Items include:

"F It” mug created by Mommy Needs Wine, Not Whine from Tracy on the Rocks

“Misfit Academy” Young Adult Novel by Lisa R. Petty 

“Muggle Mug” from Mommy Needs Wine, Not Whine

A black cat trivet from Ponies and Martinis

Trick or Treat Surprise from Sparkly Poetic Weirdo 

Halloween/Fall inspired scented candle(s) from Yankee Candle from Juicebox Confession

Creepy Crawly Surprise from Climaxed the Blog

Demonic Surprise from the DoucheArt 

$15 Gift Card to Shop Lancaster from Glitter & Bruises

Witchy Halloween Surprise from More Than Cheese and Beer

How to Win:
Use Rafflecopter to....
Like the Facebook pages of the bloggers involved
Follow on Twitter
Subscribe to blogs via email or on Bloglovin’.

Fans and followers can earn 2 entries by “Liking” each Facebook page, and 2 Entries for following on Twitter (4 Entries if there is only a Facebook page).

“Subscribe to” blogs via email or through BlogLovin’ for an additional 4 Entries (I WILL be emailing bloggers for verification of this).

The giveaway opens for entries September 15th and Winners will be randomly selected and announced on October 20th on my Facebook Page More Than Cheese and Beer, tweeted (if possible), and emailed.

Giveaway is limited to the U.S (Sorry!)

Prizes will be shipped by Halloween (October 31st, 2014).  Winners will have until noon CST on October 22nd to respond to my email, and I will forward their contact information to the person offering the prize.  If winners do not respond, bloggers can do what they want with the prize.  Participants are not eligible to win their own prizes, but are eligible to win prizes offered by others.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, September 14, 2014

My First Love

This week's prompt:
First Love

My first love was a boy I had known since I was 5.  I'm almost positive he had a crush on me going that far back. At first, I refused to date him because he was my friend, but I always loved him in one way or another.  As we got older things changed, and then somehow we started dating.

My first love wasn't my "first".  When I think back, maybe it should have been that way but I'm glad it wasn't because the way he ended things crushed me.  Had he been my first, I don't think I would have survived the extra hurt.

We tried making peace multiple times over the years.  It's been nearly a decade since we were a couple, yet every time he would come around I would feel the same old connection, attraction, and love.  Last year after my break-up with the boyfriend-that-was was no different.

I genuinely wanted to be his friend.  I thought we'd reached a point where maybe we were both adult enough to at least have a friendship.  I got burned again.  I finally realized so many things about myself and about him.  Last Valentine's Day, it all came out.

Recently, he messaged me and apologized.  While maybe that should have made me feel better, I realized that he wasn't actually sorry for what he did.  He wasn't sorry for being dishonest, hurtful, or behaving like a giant douche.  He was sorry because he made the choice to burn me and then got burned.  If the choices he made had turned out differently, I probably would not have ever gotten that apology.  

I realize now that the sweet boy I fell in love with all those years ago, who I loved with my whole heart in a way that I don't know I've ever loved anyone since, turned into a not-so-good or sweet man.  The reasons are varied, but I now believe I see him for what he is and it is unfortunate that no one else will ever have a chance to see what he once was... and he was amazing then. 

In the end, the apology means nothing because it wasn't really an apology.  It was an outward expression of his sadness that things didn't go his way.  He isn't sorry he hurt me just like he wasn't in the past.  And with that I say the same thing I said in February:

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Feats & Fails

Welcome to another Friday Feats and Fails!  Our Featured Blogger this week is the totally awesome sauce Mommy Needs A Swear Jar.  So in true Swear Jar style, I'm going to add up my quarters at the end of this post and donate them!  But let's go back to talking about why I read Mommy Needs A Swear Jar...

Mommy Needs A Swear Jar is a Midwestern mommy who worked hard to get educated before retiring to stay at home to be her kids' bitch (that one is free of charge because SHE said it, not me!).   The woman has five kids and the hilarity seems to practically write itself.  I'm not so far past my childhood that Why Frozen is causing my daughters to throw down in fisticuffs doesn't make me giggle at the fact my sister and I used to do the same kind of thing to my mom while also making me think of all of the fights I've had to end about this exact same thing.

Someday, I might be a Mommy who needs a swear jar.  But until then I'll keep reading posts like My Fat Ass and laughing MY fat ass ($0.25) off because anyone who has ever taken a gym class will get it, well...maybe not the part about smacking an instructor in the face.  She is open about the occasionally ridiculous reality of being a parent, down-to-Earth and utterly hilarious .

I highly recommend her, especially if you like your blogs sprinkled with F-Bombs like I do.  You can find Mommy Needs A Swear Jar on her blog, her Facebook Page or hit her up on Twitter.  I hope you will because she is totally awesome!

On to the Feats & Fails of this week!!

-  I made Bonehead listen to me be a baby and unload about things that are stressing me out.  I know I'm supposed to be able to do that, but I always feel bad.  So... boo to the fact that I needed to, that I did it AND that I feel bad about needing his support sometimes.

-  I forgot my Fitbit at my mom's house for two day.  OK, fine, I took off my bra it was clipped to and left it there for two whole days before going to get it and leaving a note that said, "I came, I saw, I took back my bra! <3, Ash"  So, that was fun.

-  I didn't do anything legitimately productive around the house in the last week.  Yes, again.

-  I went to the doctor, like I said I would in response to my Sunday Confession about Hope.  It went well.  What didn't go well was going to the pharmacy to find that 3 months of the prescription medicine my doctor prescribed was going to cost just under $400 because my insurance only gives me a discount, apparently.  All I can say is FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK ($0.25).  I should have just called and gotten something else, but what was prescribed it also good for chronic pain and I really need help with that.  I got a little less than what she prescribed but it still cost me more than two months of insurance.  It's complete and utter bullshit ($0.25) and I refuse to see it any other way.

-  I've been asking for overtime for months.  My boss finally asks people to work overtime when I'm A. eye-balling another job and B. when it has reached a level where assistance is so necessary that she's threatening mandatory overtime (and now I might have to do MORE overtime instead of enjoying my weekend because Bosszilla just couldn't accept the help I've been offering for months).

-  I was VERY excited to try a new Crockpot Recipe for Pumpkin Steel Cut Oats because it was supposed to be 150ish calories per serving and it looked delicious.

The smell of food woke me up at 3:30 in the morning which sucked ass ($0.25) but I stayed in bed as long as I could.  What I found when I got up was Pumpkin Cinnamon Apple Slop.  It looked watery, then started to thicken and I thought it was going to be ok.  Then I realized it had stuck to the sides of the crockpot even though I sprayed it with non-stick spray.  When I finally tasted it... it was a little sour, but mostly tasted like cinnamon pumpkin apple sadness.  I ended up adding sugar which kind of defeated the low calories, low sugar aspect of it.

I'm forgetting to mention, there was a half cup of dates in there.  Dates are expensive.  Dates are a sticky pain in the ass ($0.25) to chop.  The time and money wasted is more than I can bear.

This isn't a great picture either, but.... what you're looking at is 7 cups of slop.  I ate the 8th cup for breakfast.  I refuse to waste it, because...dates.

+  Time with my sister and nephew, which I love.

+  Dinner and a movie Saturday night with my mom.  It was a really good time, so that is awesome.

+  I'm up on steps on my Fitbit.  I'm not hitting 10,000 yet, but I doubled my steps in general.  I also somehow managed to stay under my Weekly Calorie Allowance on My Fitness Pal.  According to my Doctor I've lost two pounds since May.  They don't realize it is actually more like 14 pounds because it went up first, but whatever.

+  Speaking of losing weight, the new medicine my doctor put me on is totally killing my appetite which is making staying under my calories so much easier.

+  While I'm NOT happy about the possible mandatory overtime taking over my weekend, I AM happy that I did get some overtime hours in this week.

+  I might be turning into an adult.  I've gone to bed at a decent hour all week.

+  It feels like Fall outside... sooner than I expected, but I like it.

+ I've been writing a lot lately, which is awesome.

+  I have an announcement this Sunday.  So tune in!

That's everything.  That's my week.  

Total In the Swear Jar:  $1.25

How was your week?