Tag Archives: friends

Friends

From 95.7 KJR:

Lily and Maddison

Lily and Maddison

From Laughing at My Nightmare

Reblogging this from http://laughingatmynightmare.1000notes.com/

Shane Burcaw’s Blog, relating stories about his life with Spinal Muscular Atrophy. He is a talented writer and incredibly funny.

He just won an Emmy for his short film Happiness is Always an Option–which wouldn’t have been possible without the support of his loving family–they are all pretty amazing too.

Happiness is Always an Option

An Interesting Question — NSFW

All of my interesting things are coming from other places lately. My additional question, which will make more sense once one reads the snippet below, is, is something I read on a post somewhere else. Is it because there are so many allies involved in the movement, that, for better or worse, we’re possibly taken for granted? The post I read said there were more straight people involved at some event than gay people–that is one person’s opinion, and he may or may not have been correct in his assumption. I don’t know what event it was.

That is just as this man’s words below are his opinion, although he has examples to back him up. I just found it interesting. I don’t know how many gay men pay attention to that end of politics, the idiotic politicians who think that women’s bodies are “designed to shut down during rape” so women don’t become pregnant because of a rape, therefore abortion isn’t an issue in that case. That’s the one I remember most clearly, because it was the most insane, but it was said, on national TV, along with a plethora of other things proving that these men knew nothing about female anatomy or how it worked. Yet they were going to make decisions that effected our lives and bodies? I don’t think so. But they are. I read an interesting story about a 14 year old girl whose parents support her involvement in politcs, and go over what’s happening and how it could effect her. They’ve taken her to see how the political process works on the local and state level (she’s from Texas).  Her picture, with her dad, in front of the capital pretty much sums the religious aspect of it up for me, even though I’m not religious.

Reblogged from Queer Tips:

“LGBT history overflows with stories of women who have come to the aide of gay men: the concerned mother who founded PFLAG, the doctor who proved that homosexuality was not a pathological illness, the popular 1960s communist who wrote that gays and lesbians were born that way and should be true to themselves in order to find happiness, and the countless number of lesbians who, after years of feeling excluded from the gay liberation movement by their gay brothers, put aside their frustrations to care for them at the height of the AIDS epidemic when hospitals wouldn’t.These are just a handful of the famous examples. It leaves out the sisters who defended us against bullies, the best girlfriends we came out to and took to the prom, and the mothers who handled our fathers who didn’t always know the right way to say they love us.This history begs a question that nobody seems to be asking: If women have stood and fought alongside gay men in some of our darkest, toughest, hardest won battles, why are most gay men paying so little attention to the vicious war currently being waged against women: the attack on their constitutional right to a safe and legal abortion?

Let’s Be Strong Men Who Stand Up For Women (Patrick Hinds for The Advocate)

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Billy and Tuesday Cain outside the Texas Capitol (Credit: Billy Cain)

Unsettlements at the Saturday Market

While at the Saturday Market yesterday, I saw something I’ve never seen before, and it disturbed me. Eugene is a liberal city, for the most part, two hours from Portland. We get all sorts of things here, and most go completely unremarked on because everyone just says, “It’s Eugene,” as if that explains everything. In most cases, strangely, it often does.

On a popular corner, a family stood looking as if they’d been dropped straight out of the Depression. Better dressed, but of the era. They had probably four or five kids–I truly was trying not to pay too much attention for fear I might say something (but I trusted myself not to–public confrontation isn’t my thing unless there’s actually physical violence taking place, and involvement in that would just be to try to stop it.) They were standing there very quietly, as if there was a bubble around them. They didn’t speak to anyone, no one spoke to them. A young man in his early to mid twenties played spoons under a tree across the sidewalk and a few more feet away from them, and he wasn’t paying them any attention either, and was actually quite cheerful. He was definitely your typical Eugenian–non African-American but with dreadlocks, tie-died everything, and extremely friendly.

The truly creepy thing about the silent family on the couple was that the youngest child, a boy of about seven who looked far more serious than any seven year old should ever look, was holding a cardboard sign reading “Sex before marriage and drunkenness lead you off the path to Heaven.” There were three of us. My friend was looking at something else, but her friend whom I didn’t know very well and I looked at each other and I could tell we were thinking the same things. She said, quietly, “Does he even know what those two things are?” I thought he might, growing up in a family like that. I said I wished I had some sort of “It Gets Better” literature to give him. That would have caused a stir. We were both convincing ourselves we could walk by without saying anything when all of a sudden we heard the man playing the spoons talking to someone in a little louder than normal tone.

He was saying, quite enthusiastically, to a young man probably in 6th or 7th grade, who was slightly plump and had his head down, listening, blond wavy hair falling around his face–he gave off the air of someone who was picked on at school. Back to spoon man. He was telling this boy that he could do anything he wanted to. There was no one who could stop him. He had the boy sit down next to him and said, “These are just spoons, you can learn to play them too,” and started to teach him how. It was a moment of pure awesomeness in the midst of all that strangeness. And while he did it to help the boy there, I think he meant for the children across the sidewalk to hear it as well. You don’t always have to live that lifestyle. You will have choices when you are older.

I thought if it was frustrating for us just to see it and walk past, how frustrating it must be to sit there and see it for the allotted time the spoon playing man had to sit there and busk. It was one of those moments that you just sort of treasure. This young man was quick enough to recognize a situation and use it to help not only the boy right in front of him, who needed the attention, but send a message to those he couldn’t approach.

So for any of you who go to a market and just think, “Oh, those stupid street musicians,” think again. We also saw a fantastically funny accordionist (I did say accordionist) who was all about the geek and science and sang songs from the point of view of a mountain that talked about tectonic plates, and she was also just downright awesome. She stopped for her “Creature Feature”–this time the Star Nosed Mole. She was also very nice and approachable and I talked to her for a little while. (I tried to teach myself the accordion–it was unsuccessful. My excuse was any instrument you had to strap yourself into couldn’t be safe. It was a lie, it was just that I could usually play any instrument I picked up and the accordion baffled me. It was easier to say that rather than admit defeat–which I did to some. Mine was also broken, and some of the buttons were broken and had fallen inside, and you could hear them rattling around inside. It was the buttons that truly terrified me, and didn’t make any sense. If they’d been labeled or something, like on an autoharp, but no, miles and miles of buttons like a whole crop of them you should harvest…too scary. For all I know, there could have been a star nosed mole in there. Some of the the bellows were also cracked, so they let out a little sigh, which I interpreted as, “Why are you trying to do this to me?”) I finally sold my accordion on Craigslist. It was an antique, with lots of rhinestones and very pretty. This is true–I sold it to a movie prop company, so my accordion is probably now more famous than I am, even with an uncredited role. Okay, the time I am spending looking for a picture that resembled it has passed from research into a waste of time. It wasn’t a brand name that was popular. I’m not even entirely sure what country it was from. It was pretty. You’ll just have to trust me. I’m a sucker for rhinestones.

My parents have an accordion they keep trying to pawn off on me as they are downsizing (as if, knowing how much stuff we have, we have room for an accordion) and they remember the other accordion I had (that I got rid of (I think there’s a miscommunication of logic here). If I start acting indecisive, my boyfriend waves his arms and mouths the word “no.” He has an fairly intense dislike of most accordions. Unless they’re played by anyone in They Might Be Giants. Then they’re cool. They’re just not cool if I attempt one. lol He also doesn’t like bagpipes. Granted, these are both loud instruments, but I think he’s giving them both a bad rap. Did someone playing a bagpipe come and torture him as a child? The Barmy Bagpipe Boogeyman? He just says they’re better played in large spaces. Preferably far away from him. Maybe I have more British Isles blood in me than he does (in my mutt background), although I think he has a lot of Welsh. Well, as much as you can these days unless a recent relative came over. Most of mine speak with a distinctly Oklahoman twang, though. My boyfriend has even told me I have an accent, which I think is impossible other than my inability to make my “e’s” and “i’s” sound different, which is probably more of a speech/hearing impediment than anything else. We finally narrowed it down to the way I talk, and how I talk, not so much as to the way I pronounce things. If anything, when I pronounce anything, it’s usually the British pronunciation from watching too much British TV when I was growing up.

I mean, my ancestors came over in the 1600’s, and as far as I know, no one married anyone interesting that came over from anywhere. There was an intriguing group that settled somewhere–in the Carolinas?–that came from Germany and I think the little community still speaks mostly German. And Quakers.

How did I get from point A to point B in this post? Sort of a meandery post.

Taking Steps Ahead, or Moving Away from the Past

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This is somewhat of a follow-up post to some of the posts starting with When Groups go Wrong. I have been having issues with that whole event, one of them being letting go.

Letting go of things is difficult, for many reasons. It can be something we’re used to and we don’t like change. Check. It can hurt. Check. (But it already hurts, so then, what difference does moving away make?) The voice of reason–not mine–interjects–disengage. See, luckily I have some voices of reason, because I haven’t been reasonable at all times. In fact, I’ve been downright obstinate in my refusal to be reasonable. Why? I trust the people giving me advice. “Just stop dealing with the people who are making me miserable.” “Stop going back.” That is the absolute best advice anyone can give someone in a situation like mine. I wasn’t in the place to listen to the words. I could hear them, but I wasn’t listening.

One of the people involved in the whole debacle I considered my friend, and I cared about him. Whatever the situation is at Headquarters in terms of identities, people, numbers, reality, I considered him my friend and I was determined I could make him see reason and we could be friends again. I did crazy things things I normally wouldn’t do. I asked a friend on the board to contact him, and he was horrible to her. That should have been a clue right there. I felt terrible about that–she didn’t deserve to be treated that way, and he owes her an apology. I tried to send couched messages through my blog. I thought, he read it once, maybe he still does. “Not very likely,” my stalwart friend told me. He’s realistic. I’m better at deluding myself than I thought.

The thing that really hurt, the reason really keeping me back, was that my supposed friend hasn’t made any contact with me whatsoever. He had, on the “sage advice” of the “moderator,” blocked me as soon as things started to happen. Anyone who reads this or knows me knows communication is incredibly important to me. This silence from him, my complete inability to contact him, made me appreciate a little more what it must be like for some of the students I worked with who were nonverbal but had so much to say. I still went back and read the posts, and after a sadly long time I realized something, and I confirmed it with my friend, who agreed, so I knew I wasn’t going crazy.

My friend was changing. He is using phrases he never used to use, acting in ways he never used to act, saying things he never would have said. I have never divulged his secrets to anyone. If anyone has, its on his side. But they’re his secrets, he can tell the world if he wants. Now, sadly, it seems he won’t have to. On the very slight chance you are reading this, are you happier now? More fully realized as…an individual? Is this what you wanted? Because you’ve succeeded, and it’s a tragedy. Which is better: having more people like you on a superficial level, or fewer people like you for who you really are?

Sometimes we hold on to things so tight, we want things so badly, and then the truth hits so hard and so suddenly at first the realization is a relief. What I held on to was my old friend, the person I wanted to talk to was my old friend, not this new person using his name. I don’t like him. I want nothing to do with him. If I met him in real life, I’d think he was a jerk.

So there it ends. First I was grieving for the loss of a friend. Now I’m grieving for the death of a friend, at least that persona, that identity. But there’s a finality to that. That ends.

Please get help. There are links on the right side. Use them. 

And this, hopefully, will be the last of this series of posts. It is time to move forward. Enough is enough. My brain has been re-aligned, and will stop moving in circles but drive forward, except for the occasional times when it wants to do wheelies for fun. I am very grateful to have good friends who are patient enough to deal with my temporary insanity and give me good advice as well. I don’t know how I got so lucky. It was just a good connection at the right time.

Peridot Dragon Garnet eye

Stonewall Riots

The early hours of June 28th, 2013, mark the 44th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which occurred outside the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street in Central Greenwich Village, New York City. David Carter calls these “the riots that sparked the gay revolution.” I knew nothing about them until recently. They occurred the year I was born, which makes me very happy that some other good things came out of 1969 and that it can be remembered for other things than Nixon being sworn in as President for the second time. Not an auspicious day to be born on. I could argue I was born in the Philippines and I actually missed that whole debacle entirely, I suppose.

But that’s not the point of this post. These riots were a remarkable step in gay rights. Here’s the Wiki link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonewall_riots

If anyone has a better one, or a link they think would add more information, put it in the comments.

I was wondering how I could follow up the news of Lief getting a new heart, then I started to think about what that actualized symbolized. I’m big on symbolism. Basically, because you can examine something, say what you think it interprets, and while people can disagree, they can’t outright tell you it’s wrong. Who is anyone else to tell you what you see in something is wrong, just because they don’t see it?

This is what I was thinking. Someone’s family lost a loved one, someone precious to them who will always be missed, and then allowed his or her heart to be donated so Lief could live and continue on, given everything goes well, with his little ten year old life and all the expectations he had before he was stuck in a hospital bed for five months. That heart is starting over, beating in a new body. Giving Lief new life.

So, on this anniversary that will always be the same age as me, an anniversary for a life changing event for so, so many people, this is what I have decided.

I am going to let the past go, as hard as it is to do, because there is still pain and there are many things left unresolved. At this point, however, I don’t think they will ever be resolved. It is ironic that the person I discussed the Stonewall Riots with the most is one of the entities I am leaving behind. I am done with subterfuge, mind games, sly cunning, psychological mischief, and emotional abuse. Done. I am done with pretenders who take the game too far and continue to reel people in like fish on a hook for their own personal enjoyment. It’s sick and it’s twisted.

The first discussion I had with the person who I ended up talking to about the Stonewall Riots was very big on pride in being gay. I said there was nothing wrong with being proud, but it might cause a distancing effect from other people who didn’t understand, and maybe it was better to try to bridge the gap with understanding so that rights were just as important as pride. We sort of went around on that one for a while. But, for someone who is so proud of being gay, look how you’ve treated the people who supported you. Look back at the situation and tell me you can’t understand why myself and some others reacted the way we did. For myself, I don’t even know you exist other than the occasional postings and lamenting on the board. If you’re reading this, did you read the first half of this paragraph? Did you read the part about pride? You want to complain about people leaving so you can act sad and say, “Last person out shut off the lights.” Is this a self-pity party? Imagine how different things would have been if the three of you had handled things differently. You had an active say in the way the outcome could have been determined. Couldn’t you tell I was trying to help? Did you even give me a chance, listen? No. You both disappeared. For things being “private,” they were awfully quickly dispersed, don’t you think? So if pride in being gay is more important than kindness to fellow humans, if pride is more important than friends, if you hold your pride so close to your heart you don’t let anything else in, then tell me, what is the use of pride? Isolation? Lack of morals? Lack of values? Bad judgement? There are still ways open, it’s your choice to take them or not. Just remember, pride cometh before a fall.

Aren’t you glad that no one came along and deleted Stonewall out of history the way the entity so easily deleted the life out of our group? The winners are supposed to write the history. What if the winners are really the losers? The heart is gone, donated elsewhere, and the group will never be the same. Why don’t you both just leave? Do something more worthwhile? Start a group about something more worthy. Gay rights in literature. You’re both smart, if sometimes similar.

I think I’ve said what I needed to, at least what I’m willing to post to my millions of readers. lol But, you think you’ve figured everything out. You haven’t. I’m a little surprised, actually. I’m a little disgusted at what you’ve left up, yet my posts are offensive? You need to sit down and do some serious self examination, which is what I’ve been doing. That’s why, with this anniversary of Stonewall, I still support the cause it stands for as strongly and wholeheartedly as ever, but you are in my past, a regrettable mistake. It wasn’t until the early hours of June 28th, but you won’t have read this since you don’t speak to me at all. I truly am a non-entity to you, but you do have your pride to wrap yourself in.

One of my online friends, who is not much older but is incredibly wiser, which I think is unfair, and I have discussed this, and I’ve known all along he was right and putting it in the past was the right thing to do, it was just so hard to do. Then I was standing there at the sink, sorting out the dishes–I hate washing dishes and am very OCD about the order in which things need to be washed–thinking about everything, and Lief, and the David Carter book, and the friend I have who’s homeless because her asshole of a boyfriend kicked her out when she started showing some independence and who spent the night with us last night and may be back tonight because there was a mistake and the spot she was given at the shelter was given to someone else before she got there. She’s in severe pain because of her back–she’s going to need to have surgery, it’s so bad, and I thought about how strong she is, and how strong Lief is, and how brave the patrons of the Stonewall Inn were, not even knowing what they were starting or the effects it would have on gay history and gay rights. And I thought, yes, I’m in pain right now, but it will fade, and I have better things to do with my life. I have a new editing job. I have things with voc rehab that need to be done. I need to get my health insurance straightened out. So why am I feeling down about a friendship with someone who could obviously care less if I were breathing or not? Why waste the time? Why bother feeling things for people who make no effort to communicate with you? That’s ridiculous. I might as well try to have a conversation about nebulas with the broom.

It’s time to move on, from immature hurtful people to somewhere else where people are more respectful and kind. I learned an important lesson, and unfortunately it took this to teach it to me. Just because I am who I am online doesn’t mean other people are. I’ve been too gullible. People don’t trust that I am who I am because they aren’t who they are, for the most part. I need to stop trusting people I don’t know so easily, because all that does is make myself vulnerable to people pretending to be something they aren’t. Sometimes it’s something little that doesn’t matter so much. Sometimes it’s something malicious and malevolent. I also have people online now that I trust quite a bit. I don’t know if I could ever develop a persona. Probably not. I was never a good actor, I just need to be more careful.

I’m tired of trying, this post is the end of that trying. I’m stubborn, yes, ornery, yes, but there’s no dealing with lack of conscience or emotion in another person. The fact that I am those two things mean that I have feelings, care about things. So, people got hurt. On both sides. It didn’t have to be a war where someone “wins.” Game of Thrones is fiction. That’s part of the problem, though, isn’t it, fiction vs. reality? But och, even then there’s that pride again. Pesky thing. Even Mr. Darcy wasn’t this bad. I’m proud I’m finally moving on (really, this time, anyone who knows me knows it takes at least a few false starts, or ends, I should probably say, before I actually do manage it).

On to something bigger, better, with no regrets. Everything is a lesson. I don’t believe in coincidence. I believe people meet the people they do at the times they do for a reason, for however long. I wouldn’t have met some of the people whose friendship I value if this hadn’t happened, and that’s my future.

windblown

What happens When Virtual Friends are Imaginary?

Imaginary FriendWhen I started this blog I was stuck at home on medical leave for my elbow, doing a lot of writing, and talking a lot to my characters. Luckily they didn’t talk back too often and we rarely argued. But what I wrote as the subheading, Keeping my Imaginary Friends Imaginary, was slightly true. I needed to keep the line between what was real and what wasn’t defined, because I can easily get lost in my imaginary world, call my SO or the cat one of the character’s names (the cat didn’t care, my SO, a different matter). I needed a connection to the outside world. I think that may have been about the same time I started joining groups online, to at least talk to other people I assumed  were real.

Now, as anyone knows who has watched Silence of the Lambs or heard the saying elsewhere, it’s never good to assume because it makes an ass out of you and me. I innocently clip-clopped my way along the virtual super-highways, not looking for the roads that had trolls under them. See, that gets confusing when it coms to the fairy tale, because there are the toll trolls, and then the internet trolls, and they are different. The toll trolls are scandinavian in origin, I believe. Internet trolls are ruder and nastier than toll trolls–you at least know what their terms are. Internet trolls are simply there to make trouble and stir people up like a nest of hornets. I don’t mean Internet trolls, although you have to watch out for them too, I mean the toll trolls. These have grown more sophisticated in the age of technology. They sit outside the doors of forums and groups, and those of us who are naive and innocent (the big billy goat gruff is still playing Bejeweled, can’t get him away from it) fall for the lure and promise of friends who understand us. And, amazingly, as promised, they do. The world opens up and everyone speaks your language.

You meet people, start to find out who you like the hang out with the most. If you’re feeling a little in need of extra attention, there are people there to give it, perk you up.

This is my cautionary tale to myself. There are people I have met online that I trust–I trust their advice, when I’m unsure of something I go to them. There are, however, only a couple of these, and only one I would tell the most embarrassing situations I’d created for myself. That’s out of all the people I talk to, most of whom I’m mostly sure are real. If you’re wondering if this goes back to the When Groups go Wrong post, yes, it does.

First of all, however, I think the whole setting of the scene needs to be defined. Basically, in terms of the computer, what is virtual?

According to the Merriam-Webster, the applicable definitions are:

4: Being on or simulated on a computer or computer network <print or virtual books>

a: occurring or existing primarily online <a virtual library><virtual shopping>

b: of, relating to, or existing withint a virtual reality <a virtual world><a virtual tour>

So, then, just by turning on the computer you are letting yourself into a virtual world. I was trying to think of reasons why we trust people we don’t know so easily. It’s not something new. It happened in newspapers before it ever happened on the internet, it (creating false identities) just morphed along with the new technology. And when we accepted the new technology, and our families accepted it, in some cases, even grandparents, and we all emailed each other and sent pictures, etc. we let our guard down. On Facebook we talked to our family and let our friends in. These were all people we knew were real. People with only these experiences went into the world of internet groups and chat rooms with their guard already lowered. After all, the other people they’d talked to were real, right? One possibility. Another is our hope, when someone we meet seems to be someone we want to spend time with and so much in sync with us, we don’t want to think they may not be real.

I should make a differentiation here. I’m not talking about people not what they seem, necessarily, or sock puppets, but people who have been given a personality and voice, a picture of who they are, by someone else, and are controlled by that person. If we are in a group and there’s a moderator, or co-moderators, we are essentially in that virtual world they have created for as long as we stay in their “space”–a little chunk of virtual space with all these virtual identities clinging to it. The closer a group is, I think, the less hard they have to cling, because they have faith in their virtual world, that it is what it seems to be, and isn’t pretending to be what it isn’t. You know your moderator is real, not imaginary. If you lift the mask, there’s a face there. Not so with the virtual imaginary friends.

I should explain myself more clearly. These people have an outside identity, a shell, so that they appear real, but if poked too hard, they collapse in on themselves like an old balloon, the deception of their identity flaking off. They were someone else’s creation. But how could they be, you might protest. You talked to them, had privately messaged conversations that you thought only the two of you shared. But if the person is imaginary, who were you talking to, who were you messaging, and, most importantly, who was reading what you were writing? You have just expressed your innermost thoughts meant for the now very flat person on the ground to someone you don’t know, some other virtual person who isn’t imaginary, but who controlled your “friend” who you thought was real.

It’s such a convoluted world. When we go into a virtual world, we have to remember that everything else, to an extent, is also virtual. At one point in the discussion in the group I’m thinking of, the moderator joked, “What do you want, us to photocopy our driver’s licenses and post them?” in an attempt to make us sound ridiculous. Now I wish I’d responded. “Yes, actually. I do want to see your driver’s license. For all three of you.” If I had called his bluff, which he correctly guessed none of us would do, the whole drama would have been over, although I’m guessing he might have had a back up plan, an excuse why they couldn’t.

I don’t think many people are going to have that situation, where a moderator has created imaginary friends to help run the group.

I suppose it’s not really a problem for anyone unless they have what they thought was a special friendship with one of those friends. Thought that maybe they really could be good friends, although why they’d want to be friends with a prickly hedgehog escaped them. Possibly because they tended to be able to be friends with real people with similar temperaments who had been co-workers, the ones that drove everyone else batty. The ones who were always put on the same shifts with me because the assistant manager knew I didn’t mind said prickly person. He was literally most likely a genius and probably had Asperger’s, hence the total lack of people skills. Why he was in retail I don’t know. His interactions with customers were often very amusing to watch and I kept an eye out to make sure I didn’t have to intervene. Especially as his “inside voice” was quite often his “outside voice.” I would sympathise with him that yes, people were often very stupid. I often wonder what part of the universe he’s ruling now. Why he got along with me but not anyone else. Possibly because I accepted him the way he was. This is who that friend online reminded me of, even down to the Borg.

I wish it didn’t have to be this way. Having a friend suddenly become imaginary is a bit of a shock. More than a bit. Nerve wracking.

I’m open-minded about it should the situation change. The doors aren’t shut, but neither are they flung open wide. I have learned some things.

Maybe I should change my tagline to : “Making sure my imaginary friends are real.”

Rejection

There are all types of rejection. As an author. As a job applicant. As a person.

I  gather plenty as an author. It stops bothering you so much after a while. It still stings a little. I know I need to work on the title in question, which I’m doing. I accept my part.

As a job applicant–I haven’t applied for any jobs yet. I tried to take the typing test last night for the actual certificate and there were computer issues. Of course. I should do that today. My hands are cold, which slows me down. I’ve been practicing and it honestly doesn’t seem to be making any difference, so I decided I might as well just go for it and hope one of the three (I get to take three ten minute tests and choose the best score) is over 60.

The one I have the hardest time with, and don’t know if I’ll ever get used to (it was suggested that I develop a ‘thicker skin,’ but somehow I’m not sure if that will happen) is being rejected by people. Even people I don’t know well but genuinely want to be friends with. I probably come across as, well, crazy and too intense. When I feel passionately about something, I do get intense. If I feel a connection with someone, especially if its something we share, or just the weird sense that I should be friends with that person for some reason (which, yes, really does sound crazy) it’s hard to take rejection. It reminds me why I don’t have many close friends, because I hate the hurt of rejection. I’m seen as a loopy weirdo because the person doesn’t know me–well, I suppose I shouldn’t discount the fact that the person might think I was a loopy weirdo even if they did know me. I tried to do something of the sort recently and finally just let it drop, and then it struck me later that I really did feel rejected by it. Which, when you look at it objectively, is truly insane. This is a person I didn’t know but wanted to, genuinely, as a friend.

Frank says I’m the most extroverted introvert he knows. I asked him what he meant. He said I’ll talk to people in public, try to make people laugh or cheer people up–don’t have a problem doing that with complete strangers, but once I’m home, trying to get me out again is almost impossible. And that’s true. Once I’m home, especially once it’s dark, I tend to barnacle myself back into my little corner where my computer is or in my chair is and either read or write. I’m fine if he wants to go out, but chances are I’ll stay home. I’m not sure exactly why–if it’s learned behavior from when I had panic attacks or what. I haven’t had a full blown panic attack in over twenty years, but I’ve been much more anxious and have been taking extra medication because right now I’m doing a lot of things out of  my comfort zone. All of these meetings, going to places for Voc Rehab are things I’m not used to–possibly because I have to take the initiative by having to find somewhere I’ve never been before, find the place (I get lost a lot when I’m driving to new places), and then go in and babble until I can manage to string together something coherent that will get me pointed in the right direction.

I try not to be too extroverted at work, well, when I did work, because most of my co-workers didn’t get my sense of humor–and there was one woman who was like the Pig Pen of despair and doom; that really drove me crazy. I mean, I’m the one with all the problematic mental illness for the classroom, yet I was still one of the most cheerful people there, at least at the beginning before they decided to fix me with a ‘plan of assistance.’ I have to confess that I’m a little curious what that would have looked like. And what hospital would the brain transplant be at? And after the brain transplant, does that mean I might be treated a little more humanely? <g> Being rejected by someone who hasn’t made it a secret that they dislike you isn’t so bad, it’s all the stabbing in the back I don’t care for. That’s not to say everyone was bad–there was one woman in my last classroom I liked very much, and hey, little S., I hope things are going well with you and everything’s getting straightened out. You rock, little dude!

What truly bugged me was that I wanted to explain why I had the slow processing, etc, and I debated whether I should say anything. I didn’t want anyone thinking it was because it was out of disrespect or deliberately ignoring them, so I finally decided to explain a little, and it was a little like talking to Stepford Wives bobble-heads. That rejection didn’t hurt so much as make me angry. It reminded me of something one of the students would say when he didn’t want to work: “OK, bye bye, see ya.” I’d been dismissed by my own co-workers (except the one, bless her).

I don’t mean to sound sorry for myself or like I’m asking for pity (jeez, I hope I sound sound like that, I practiced whining on Frank yesterday, but the laughing didn’t help). It’s just things like this that I’m sure happen to everybody. If they don’t, I want to know your secret. Pretend I have Lily Allen singing “F*ck You” on a loop in my head? That might work, actually. <g> As long as I didn’t start singing it out long, which I don’t suppose I’d have to worry about, because my memory for lyrics is terrible. Choruses are repeated a lot, so sometimes I remember those better. Oops. That’s the part I shouldn’t sing.

It would only work for the people I didn’t care about, though. I need to move on, remember that I can come across as scary, even though everyone I know thinks I’m nice. My best friend in the world is awesome, hands down. He may be afraid he occupies that position, sometimes, but unfortunately, as the person who has known me longest of my friends (twenty three years, give or take) he knows me best and accepts me at my worst. I do wish I hadn’t messed up the one I did. Oh well, is all I can say. Communicating across the internet is a tricky business when you don’t know the other person.

I only have one observation left for the moment. My weather gizmo at the bottom of the browser (Firefox) has what I know is supposed to be a thunderstorm, but looks instead like a globular grey walrus with no tusks, extremely fluffy whiskers, and a lightening strike for a tongue. I may have discovered a new Pokemon character. I call dibs. Walruffus, electric, air, distant cousin to Pikachu. Wait. There’s no way a mouse and a walrus can be related. Scratch that last bit. He and Pikachu occasionally have tea together. Only outdoors and with parasols.