The Tigers signed someone I don’t like (TW:DV)

And yes, that happens a lot. But I have a story to tell.

In 2016, in case you’ve forgotten, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series (people forget that). I moved to Chicago in August of 1998, and while it didn’t happen right away, the Cubs became my NL team.  I already had an AL team, the Detroit Tigers, but they weren’t very good, I wasn’t interested in going to the South Side to watch baseball, and so, I followed the Cubs more than I followed the Tigers.

I got a t-shirt. I got a hat. I went to games, but I usually sat in the bleachers and got drunk with friends instead of really paying attention. But I also got a paper delivered every day, so I learned a lot about the team.  I listened on the radio, I grew to love Ron Santo almost as much as I love Jim Price.  Ron was the homer radio guy. He was to Pat Hughes what Jim is to Dan Dickerson. Sheer magic, friends.  You should listen, but if you’re a Cubs fan, you might consider skipping the Coomer innings.

I cheered for them, and I loved watching them get good again, even if it meant I didn’t go to games as much because tickets got really expensive. It was okay, I was going to the South Side to watch the Tigers every time they came to town and sometimes even when it was some other team.  Baseball was becoming part of my life again, and it almost seemed to be my whole life.

On July 25, 2016, the Cubs traded for Aroldis Chapman so that he could be their closer and carry them to the World Series (they won, btw, in case you’ve forgotten). If you don’t know his history of DV (domestic violence) accusations, I’ll let you google it yourself – it’s not something I want to revisit. But my heart was broken, and I was done with the Cubs. No explanation was good enough for me. I was DONE.

And then a campaign started on twitter to #pitchin4DV – to donate to a DV charity every time Chapman recorded a save.  I vowed to do so and ended up donating $10 per save during the regular season and auctioned off my t-shirt and other Cubs gear to local DV charities.

I was vocal about it, and I still stand by it.

But now the team I’ve loved since I was a wee elmtree, the team I’ve followed to 19 parks, the team I am ride or die for has done the unimaginable. They’ve signed a player who was suspended for 30 days for DV to the minors with an invite to Spring Training.  Unless something changes, he’ll probably be our backup catcher.

GODDAMMIT TIGERS WYD.

Yes, I hear you asking where was my outrage when Miguel Cabrera and his wife got into it and why wasn’t I this mad then. I hear you asking why I wasn’t pissed about the Tigers signing Alfredo Simon.  I hear you asking why I wasn’t pissed when the Tigers signed Francisco Rodriguez.

I don’t owe you an explanation, but . . .

I wasn’t following baseball that closely when the thing with Miguel happened, and I’m not giving him a pass. I only vaguely knew about the Simon thing, but I mentioned it and wasn’t happy. I volunteered at a couple of DV shelters and donated money when they signed Rodriguez.  Do not judge my fandom by your standards. Do not tell me how to be a fan.  If we’re judging fandom by those standards, I have some questions for you.  I apologize if I’ve made you uncomfortable asking you those same questions.  I’ll try to not do it again.

I gave up on the Cubs in 2016, and I’m trying to figure out a way to not give up on the Tigers now because I think it would actually break my baseball heart to give up on them.  I’ve been a fan since I was a little girl. It’s been over 35 years. My first in person MLB game was on my 8th birthday. I was supposed to marry Chet Lemon. I followed them, however vaguely, through the early 00’s.  I’ve watched the last two years religously with hope in my heart. I’ve cried tears over this team. I’ve laughed, and I’ve fallen in love with baseball again. BECAUSE OF THIS TEAM.

NO, I am not apologizing for what Norris may or may not have done (for those of you who are freaking out, no it’s not Daniel, the pitcher). And YES, I am pissed as fuck that Avila thinks it’s okay to explain it away like Norris was a kid and this shouldn’t be addressed.  I am NOT apologizing for this team, but I am trying to find a way to still love them.  To love them again because right now? My heart is broken, and I hope it’s not forever.

I know what I will do involves monetary donations, so if you have a recommendation for a DV shelter in the city of Detroit, I’d appreciate it.  I’d like to raise/spend $500 because he was signed.  And more than that if he makes the team.  I haven’t set a goal, but $500 is my minimum by the time ST starts.  If he makes the team, I’m thinking a pledge for every game he plays in, but I haven’t decided on that (mainly because I haven’t checked my budget for 2018).

I’m not going to start a gofundme or anything, so I’m counting on you. Help me get to this $500 goal. Donate to a DV shelter, in your own town or in Detroit. Email me a copy of your receipt, and I’ll add it to the total.  I’ll donate whatever remains of the $500, or $100 of my own money if we go over $500, by the time Spring Training games start.

This doesn’t stop me from being angry. It doesn’t stop me from having reservations about cheering for this team.  But it helps me retain my love of baseball and hope that someday there will be a real change.

We can #Pitchin4DV

 

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Winter is coming

Hi guys.  We haven’t talked in a while, and I miss you.  Something monumental happened tonight though, so I figured I’d give a quick update – I HAD A DATE!!!  First one in years.

Now before you get all excited and think that I’m embarking on this great new relationship, here’s the thing.  I’m not.  You can go on a date with someone and become better friends with said person without it being a romantic relationship.  There can even be a physical aspect of said friendship without the person being your other half.  There’s even a phrase for this, but I’m not going to share it here.  I already shared it with him, and saying it out loud to him was enough.

People talk about summer love, but personally?  I’m a fan of the winter booty call.  It’s cold as hell outside, and I hate being cold, so why not find someone to cuddle up with?  And even better if that cuddling up turns into something more.  During the warm months, I can find things to do and enjoy the weather on my own, but once it’s cold, I stay home for days on end, talking to nobody other than the cashier at the grocery store and people at work.  It’s no secret that I hate cold weather, but I do my best to not turn into a total hermit.

Jesus, this is sounding like one of those Cosmo articles I make fun of.  But it’s true.

Some years, when the weather turns cold, I think about spending time with someone else.  Not because I’m lonely but because I start to crave being touched by another human being.  Lonely to me means I just want you to be around, and I’ve yet to meet a person I want to just be around.  Most years I do nothing about it because I remember the time I broke my own heart by falling in love with the person who was supposed to be just a winter fling.

Of the people with whom I’ve had sexual relations, my very favorite was a man named Thomas.  I met him at a bar early in the fall of that year, and it turned into a winter fling.  It was wonderful.  I’d only have to text him that I was cold, and he’d be at my door shortly.  (Sometimes I wasn’t even cold, but you know how it goes.)  My only regret is that I started to fall in love with him and our relationship had to end.  He wasn’t a person I could be just friends with, he wasn’t looking for a romantic relationship, and neither was I, so I ended it.  He continued to text me for a month or so after I told him it had to end, and it killed me a little every time to tell him no.  I’d remember that the sex was amazing, and we’d cuddle in my bed afterward for an hour or so after I’d put my cherry pit heating pads in the microwave to warm up the bed.

And then he’d leave.  It was wonderful, and I know a lot of people won’t understand it.  They won’t understand why I didn’t try to make him understand or even see if he felt the same way.  The thing is?  If I looked at him as anything beyond what he was to me, I knew it wouldn’t work.

I’m a little broken as a person, y’all.

Anyway, I had a date tonight.  He’s someone I admire as a person, and I hope to be friends with him for a long time.  He’s funny.  He’s smart.  He apparently doesn’t think I’m hideous.  It was a date, but we are just friends.

Winter is coming.

Why is it only raining on this one part of my house?

I pulled up to my building after a shortened weekend with my parents to see water flowing from the weird little window in my laundry room.  A perfectly clear day and tons of water.  I knew something was wrong, but I gathered the cats and looped my purse over my shoulder.  I took a deep breath before I unlocked the door to my condo, but I still wasn’t prepared for what I was about to walk into.

My ceiling was raining.  Two inches of water on the floor in the entryway.  I quickly put the cats in the bathroom and let them out of their carriers, but I couldn’t put a cat pan in with them because a quick peek into the front closet showed that their litter box had overflowed and was a disgusting mess.  I wanted go sit on the couch and cry, but I went upstairs to ask the upstairs neighbor what the fuck happened and why it was raining in my house.

“Oh, something happened with a load of laundry, but it was only running over for an hour or so, so it shouldn’t be that bad down in your house?”

This is when I started to scream at her.  In my head.  Because I thought about the amount of water in my house and what she’d just said.  It didn’t add up.  Instead I just came downstairs to my raining house, walked through the dining room, went out to the back porch, and I smoked a cigarette. It was about 11:00 in the morning, so I went back inside, poured a glass of wine, and went back outside to have another smoke.  I could not deal with this.

But it was still raining in my house, and I had to do something, so I finished the glass of wine, finished my cigarette, and grabbed a bag of sheets I’d been meaning to donate to the salvation army.  I took the sheets out the bag and started throwing them on the floor, mindless and trying to not cry about what was happening.  Once the ceiling stopped raining, I started throwing away giant garbage bags of sheets soaked with water and used cat litter.  I’d cleaned out the litter box before we left, but add water to maybe used litter and you have a house that smells like cat piss.

Once I’d gotten everything out of the closet and most of the water off the floor, I remembered the cats in the bathroom.  They’d been in there for about four or five hours at this point.  The upstairs neighbor had a spare cat pan, and I had extra litter, so I told her I needed to use the cat pan and got it set up in my bedroom (ugh).

At some point I went and bought a fan, naively thinking it would be enough.  It wasn’t.  I ended up calling my insurance company, and they sent a water remediation company to my house the next evening.  The men they sent were very nice, but they also spent the next five hours doing a demolition job on my front closet.  Including drying mats and fans to try to save the antique hardwood floors.  The noise was amazing.  And also crazy making. So much so that I ended up literally begging the insurance adjuster to pay for me to stay in a hotel. It took her coming to my house to realize why I was asking and she quickly agreed.  The Hampton Inn by my house is gorgeous, has lovely staff, and hey, they have breakfast complete with bottles of hot sauce because they are not heathens.

ANYWAY, a week later, the front closet is demolished (walls are ripped down to brick, ceiling is torn out), and everything is dry. YAY TIME TO SCHEDULE THE REBUILD!!!

“So, we’re really busy and can’t schedule it for a month.” And the company the insurance company recommended didn’t even come to give me a quote.  I was resigned to living with the cat pan in my bedroom when I realized that I could put their pan back in there until the rebuild. Don’t judge me, I wasn’t thinking clearly at this point.

Fast forward to five weeks later when the rebuild was finished.  It’s time for me to get a new washer/dryer.  But I’m doing this that and the other thing every weekend.  I’d gone to Pitchfork.  It was Lolla weekend.  I have things to do AND I CANNOT EVEN.  This is the time when I considered killing myself at least four times.  Because of my house.  Because I couldn’t deal with it anymore.  Because I’m 40 years old, and I’m still afraid of my Mom being disappointed in me.

So I don’t get a new washer/dryer yet.  And weeks go by, and laundry piles up (My underwear is always clean), and I FINALLY go to get a new machine.  And a week later they deliver it.

And there’s a leak.

I’m about to lose my shit, but the delivery guys proclaim it good.

It’s not good.  I discover after they’re gone that there is a leak.  And my upstairs neighbor does laundry and there’s a small leak.

Turns out her small leak was just water shaking out of my machine later BUT WHATEVER.

I cannot even.

Before we discover that it’s actually my machine, a plumber comes and CUTS A HOLE IN MY NEW DRYWALL. It’s not leaking from up there.  It’s the new machine.

I cannot even.

So finally this past Saturday?  The appliance company delivers a new machine.  One guy sits on my couch and watches football while the other sits in the back of the closet making sure this machine doesn’t leak.  It doesn’t leak, I start to cry, they pack up and call it a day because my delivery was a “difficult” job and was the last one of the day.  They don’t understand why I’m crying, and one guy offers to fold some towels, but I just want them gone.

I want all of these people out of my life, out of my SPACE. I do not have time for this, but it seems in all the craziness, I’m talking to someone.  I’ve done my best to scare him away, but he’s persisting.

Wake me up, when this madness ends

There’s a Green Day song called “Wake Me Up When September Ends.”  Billie Joe Armstrong wrote it years after his father died of cancer.  It’s said that after his father’s funeral on September 1, 1982, Billie ran to his room and when his mother knocked on his door, he said, “Wake me up when September ends.”  Both of my parents are still alive (excuse me for a minute while I go knock on all the fucking wood), but I understand the sentiment.

September 2017 ended on Saturday.  I was awake for a lot of it, trying to become more #woke (yes, this is a joke in case you’re not sure).  I won’t tell you how I ended it because that’s not your fucking business, but I woke up in October hoping for a better rest of 2017.  Sunday was kind of a lost day for me, hanging out with the cats and making a list of what I want to do to help our country get better.  Jesus this sounds trite, but I did it while I was watching episodes of Law and Order: Criminal Intent.  I had good intentions.  I made lists of the laundry I’m going to do when my washer/dryer arrive next Saturday.  I started planning out where I want to go to knock on doors.

I scrolled idly through twitter before bed, and I saw something about Las Vegas.  I didn’t see much, so I figured it was one of those small-type shootings where only one or two people died and went to bed.  Yes, it’s become that commonplace that I was like “oh, just another one of those,” and went to sleep.  When I woke up, I learned I was wrong.  I was terribly wrong.  As useless as they are, my thoughts and prayers are with the families of the people who died.

I’m going stop for a second to remind you to not forget that Puerto Rico is without power.  Something like 55% of their population doesn’t have fresh water.  People are DYING every day.  Donate to reputable sources.  Las Vegas doesn’t need your cases of water.  They have water.  They have power.  The citizens of Puerto Rico are AMERICAN CITIZENS.  Do not forget.

Anyway, I woke up this morning and saw that 50 people had died in a mass shooting.  I immediately wondered what crazy fucking white man was responsible for this, and I was right.  Note that I use crazy in the “not diagnosed as mentally ill, but fucking crazy and I don’t know how else to put it” sense.  I listened to details from news sources while I was in the shower, and when I heard that it was at a music festival, I lost my shit.

You know how I feel about crowds.  You know how much I do love music festivals, even if I bitch about the lack of bathrooms.  I didn’t know the details yet.  I thought someone had gotten guns into a festival.  Turns out it was worse.

There were tens of thousands of people gathered to listen to their favorite artist, Jason Aldean.  I don’t know country music at all, but I know he’s a big deal, so the motherfucker who did this probably waited until Jason was on stage to make sure there was a big audience.  People who’d traveled from all over to see their favorite artist or even checking out someone they’d heard of but didn’t know.   And we know what happened.

This guy had 10 or 12 or 19 guns, depending on what you read.  And not simple handguns.  Rifles that he’d made fully automatic and could shoot what I presume are hundreds of rounds a minute.  There’s no way he could kill 59 people and counting and injure at least 519 more in such a short period of time without having altered the guns.  But WHY does one person own so many guns in the first place?

I have lots of friends who have guns.  Some of you hunt.  Some of you have them for protection.  If you hunt?  Prove to me that you need that gun for hunting and show me the freezer full of deer meat.  I don’t want to see a dead deer.  I want to see a freezer full of meat you’re going to fucking EAT.

Those of you who have it for protection?  Your side piece wouldn’t have done shit firing back at the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas.  So don’t give me that crap.  You have that gun because it makes you feel more safe.  I’m not sure how it makes you more safe.  I don’t think it does.  The person who wants to hurt you isn’t checking to see if you have a gun.

Let’s get back to Puerto Rico for a second though. THEY DO NOT HAVE ELECTRICITY OR WATER. Let’s work on that, okay?  Passing gun control laws ain’t gonna happen, so let us work on this instead for now.

What happened in Las Vegas is fucking tragic.  What’s still happening to our citizens in Puerto Rico is fucking tragic.  Show that you can care about both.

This madness isn’t going to end, but we can wake up.  Even if September ends.

Baseball is ending, and I’m about done

Last year, I didn’t really watch the world series, even though my city was ALL ABOUT IT. I am not a Cubs fan, and that isn’t looking to change any time soon. If you don’t know why I’m not, feel free to ask me, and I’ll tell you all about it. It’s not a fun conversation, and if you “well, actually,” me on any of it, it will end our friendship.  You’ve been warned, though if this week is any indication, you probably don’t value my friendship too much anyway.

I understand that when people come to my city (a popular tourist destination), they don’t come here to see me.  I get that.  But if you come here and are just hanging out in my town being a tourist and can’t find thirty minutes to say hi?

It hurts my feelings.  I know you’re not here to see me.  You’re here to see the fun parts of Chicago.  I get that.  But I work downtown and traverse about half the length of the city to get home.  I’m flexible.  And I know that schedules don’t always work.  But if you tell me you’re here? And then don’t take a second to try to meet me?

I know this seems hypocritical when I go to the baseball cities and don’t see you if you live there, but I do try.  I invite you to the game.  Someone took me up on it this year.  Got her own damn ticket and met up with me.  Scared the hell out of me in the ballpark shop, and we went and watched some fucking baseball.  I will forever remember Arizona.

I’m usually in these cities for a day or less. If you can’t come to the game, or don’t seem receptive to meeting me for a minute I let it go,  Otherwise, I make plans to meet you for a drink unless I’m arriving late and leaving early the next morning.  I HAVE SAID HELLO TO PEOPLE FOR A MINUTE IN STARBUCKS, AND I HATE COFFEE.

I have a friend who I go to games with 4-5 times a year.  But I’ve discovered that she won’t invite me to games with her other friends.  I have no idea why, so I guess I’m embarrassing or something.   I kind of realized it last year, but it became obvious this year.  We had fun this year watching our teams be crap.  I hope you find someone else to go with.

“Elizabeth, you’re being petty and cutting off your nose to spite your face.”

I am. I admit it. I own up to it.  I always have.  I don’t want any of you to get too close.  It’s easier to be alone if you don’t let anyone close.

And besides:

I AM TIRED OF ASKING ALL OF YOU IF YOU WANT TO DO STUFF. You’re probably tired of me not committing to any of your stuff.  It’s literally not you.  It’s me.

The people that don’t ask me to do stuff aren’t the people who I’ve turned down, so it’s not you.  It’s me.  Oh.

Back to you coming to visit my city.  You can’t find a minute to meet up with me.  Fine.  I get it.  We’re not really friends.  You’re not someone I can count on.  Good to know.

It’s literally not you.  It’s me.  And I’m sorry.

CALL YOUR SENATORS THIS IS BULLSHIT

So you voted for Trump for any number of reasons that you want to tell me.  Great.  Good for you.  I do not fucking care. Quit Trumpslaining your actions to me. I don’t care. I’m done with you, even if you’re family. Blood may be thicker than water, but you don’t get to tell me why you did what you did and now tell me you love me and wish me a happy birthday.  Huge props to the person who’s sent me a birthday card for years and didn’t this year. I actually respect that.  I’m a little surprised you wished me a happy birthday on facebook.  I’m actually surprised you haven’t unfriended me yet with all of my, “foul language.”  And no, I won’t do you the favor of unfriending you.  Suffer. Or unfollow.  But know that you’re connected to me by blood.  Just as I am connected to you.

Yes, this has actually happened to me.  People know how I feel about this, and two people in my life have tried to justify this fuckery.  The fact that they voted for this.  That, in my mind, they’re OKAY with this.  They don’t have the option of saying, “I didn’t want this,” because I yelled (admittedly not terribly loud) when Obama did shit I didn’t like.  Or even if I didn’t. What’s happening now is next level bullshit.  We can’t always yell super loud when the leader of our country does stupid shit.  Maybe we should.  I dunno.

Until now.  The person who is currently our president is a fucking JOKE. We are a joke. He is dangerous. And I do not fucking give one single shit about what you, you who voted for him, has to say now.

I don’t care.

I don’t give one single solitary fuck.  I don’t care if you’re a friend I’ve known since birth, I don’t fucking care if you’re related to me.  I. DO. NOT. CARE.

I especially don’t care if you’re related to me or someone who I considered a close friend.  Because if you’re in one of those two categories, then you especially can kiss my fat, white, mentally ill ASS.

Yes, I, your beloved or hated, elmtree, is mentally ill.  Bipolar.  General Anxiety. Social Anxiety.  But you already knew that, amirite?

 

I’m a pretty (not) solitary person, but sometimes I want to (not) be around people

If that title isn’t confusing, then I don’t know what is.  But it describes me perfectly.  Sometimes I want to be around ALL OF THE PEOPLE as long as I don’t know a fucking one of them.  Sometimes I want to be around NONE OF THE PEOPLE unless I know them very well.  And sometimes I just want to be left the fuck alone.

I can go days without speaking to people if I put my mind to it.  I’ll never forget a trip to Hawaii where I barely spoke to another human being unless it was my parents on the phone for about four days.  I said things like please and thank you, and I ordered meals in restaurants, but after I arrived in Kona, I said nothing of meaning to anyone after the guy who I met in a Cubs bar left my hotel room.  Yes, a Cubs bar in Kona.  Even then I knew about baseball.  He was impressed by my baseball knowledge.  I wanted one thing from him, and being a girl who knew a lot about baseball guaranteed I could get it.  Probably could have gotten it anyway, but whatever.

No idea if the bar is still there, but it was a very “50 First Dates” kind of situation – girl from the mainland shows up a hot mess and has a night of hot sex with a guy she’ll never see again.  If I recall correctly, he claimed to be British (maybe?) and worked on some oil rig something or other.  It was tawdry, and after practically suffering a mental breakdown getting myself to Hawaii, it was exactly what I needed, thousands of miles from home.  When he left my hotel room that morning, I had his number, and the number of a woman who’d been sitting next to me at the bar.  We’d made plans to meet up the next day to go see turtles.  I never saw either of them again, and I hope they’re both doing well.  I saw some great turtles and finally found myself way over my head in the ocean, terrified, but crying huge heaving sobs of relief that I wasn’t entirely broken.  (I don’t recommend this. It was terrifying, and I was afraid I was going to drown.)

I’m starting to think another trip to Hawaii might be in order, even if there is no British guy.  These baseball trips stress me out.   They seem like an obligation.  I’ve seen the Tigers in 19 parks, and I’ve been to 20.  I cancelled the Colorado trip this year because my cat sitter had to take care of her Mom, and I think it was one of the best things that ever happened because I got a full refund from Airbnb and a travel credit from Southwest (that I will use).  My goal is to see the Tigers in all 30, but it’s taking me to places that I don’t care about going.   Maybe I feel this way because the Tigers aren’t good right now, but I don’t think that’s the case.

I had a fucking BLAST in Arizona this year because I went with someone who has turned out to be a dear friend.  We didn’t just do baseball.  We saw butterflies.  We had amazing Mexican food.  We sat and drank beer and she let me BE ME when I needed time. Arizona turned out to be my only new “seeing the Tigers” park this year.  And that’s OKAY.

I have 10 parks left, and I may turn those into trips I will only take if I have another purpose or if I REALLY want to go.  Not out of a sense of “HAVE TO DO THIS THING.”  I’m not in a hurry.  And I’m not looking for another Brit.  If one shows up?  Fantastic, and I hope there’s an ABC store we can stumble into to buy condoms, laughing and saying “YES WE ARE GOING TO HAVE THE SEX IN A WHILE BUT WE ARE DRUNK SO IT WILL BE A BIT OF A MESS AND WHICH BOOK SHOULD I BUY TO READ TOMORROW WHEN YOU ARE GONE?”

Always one step ahead.

But I said no (a guest post)

A few weeks ago, a friend asked me if I’d help her tell her story on my blog, and I hesitated because it’s her story to tell, not mine.  But sometimes you don’t want to attach your name to your story, and so she and I talked, she wrote a thing, I edited it, she wrote some more, and I edited a little to take out identifying details before she agreed to it being published here.  This is her story.

I went to the bar that night with friends, a group of men and women I’d known for years, including a guy who had hit on me in the past but didn’t really know.  I’d always ignored his advances because I wasn’t single when he was hitting on me.  Some of us had gone out to dinner before, and I’d had a couple of drinks with dinner (vodka and cranberries, which used to be my favorite, but which I’m not sure I’ll ever drink again).  I don’t drink very often, but it had been a rough couple of months after a breakup with someone I’d dated for almost a year, so I decided to “let loose.”

After spending my Saturday running errands and cleaning the house, I got dressed and put on my favorite dress, a dark green, boat neck, cap sleeve, knee length dress with a kind of swingy skirt.  There had been talk of going dancing later, so I wanted to have a fun outfit to dance in.  When running errands, I’d stopped at DSW and considered a new pair of sandals, but I didn’t want to have blisters that night, so I decided to just wear my brown leather strappy sandals I’d been wearing for a couple of summers.  I carefully put on my makeup, brushed out my hair, and ordered a Lyft.  As I waited for the car, I talked to one of my neighbors who was coming home after a trip to Ikea.  We were talking about how ridiculous it is putting that furniture together when you live alone, and I agreed to help her put together her new couch the following afternoon.

Dinner was fun, something I hadn’t had in a while.  I hadn’t been out to dinner with friends since my ex and I had broken up.  A couple of drinks, delicious steaks and amazing chocolate desserts.  We paid the bill and decided to head to a bar fairly close to my house.  I was tempted to head home because I was a little tipsy and full after dinner, but I was wearing my favorite dress, and there might be dancing, so off we went.

When we got there, I asked for a glass of water, and my best friend brought me another vodka cranberry.

“A, you need to have fun.  Relax.  Have a couple more drinks.  Forget about that asshole.  Have fun.”

I decided to heed her advice, and one drink turned into two, turned into three, turned into this guy I knew from before handing me a shot of god only knows what.

“C’mon! SHOT TIME!”

I remember jokingly singing “shots shots shots shots shots shots”  with everyone before drinking it and slamming my glass on the table like everyone else.  I remember going outside to get some air and someone offering me a cigarette.  I’ve never smoked in my life, but I remember taking long drags and coughing while a girl laughed in my ear and then asked if I was okay.

I’m okay.  I thought about going home and actually pulled out my phone to order another lyft once I got back to the table.

“Where are you going?”

It took me a minute to remember his name, but I’d always thought he was attractive from before.  Some part of my brain was yelling at me to just go home, but my loneliness of the last few months and the alcohol surging through my veins was stronger, so I told him I was considering going home unless he had a better idea.

I would give everything I own to take back that statement.

I remember yelling goodbye to C as we left together a while later, her laughing and screaming, “CALL ME TOMORROW!”

I remember kissing him as we waited for the car.  I remember getting out of the car and realizing I wasn’t home.

“Oh no. I need to go home. I’m so sorry, but I should go home.”

He kissed me again and assured me that everything would be okay and that it was totally fine if I slept on his couch.  I remember being a little too drunk and thinking I didn’t want to take the time to get home and that sleep sounded fantastic.  I remember walking up the stairs, kissing him as we went up three floors to his apartment.

I remember going to the bathroom and wishing I was at home, wishing I could brush my teeth, wishing I had my pajamas to change into, wishing I was home.

When I came out of the bathroom, he was standing there waiting for me.  He tried to kiss me again, and I backed away.

“I really need to go to sleep.”  I knew I was slurring my words, and I asked for a glass of water.

“But we were getting somewhere.”

“I really just need water and sleep. I’m sorry.”  I was starting to get scared at this point, but my purse was in the living room, and I figured it would all be okay if I could just go to sleep.

“You should be sorry.”

I remember what happened next, but I can’t talk about it.  Not yet. Maybe in another guest post.

I finally passed out around 5 am.  I woke up again at 6:30, disoriented and in pain.  I desperately had to go to the bathroom, but I also had to get out of there.  I picked my favorite green dress up off the floor, now torn down the right sleeve and the front, so I had to tuck it under my bra strap to keep it up when I put in on.  I did this while in the hallway, very quietly so he wouldn’t wake up.  I couldn’t find my underwear, but I found both of my shoes.  I crept into the living room, picked up my purse, checking to make sure I had my keys and my phone, and quietly opened the front door.

“We should do this again.”

I jumped at his voice and went through the door, closing it quietly behind me, utterly ashamed.  Completely humiliated.

I pulled my phone out of my purse and realized that I was only about a mile from home.  I considered walking home, but I looked down at myself and realized the walk of shame isn’t a good look for a woman of 34, particularly when her dress is barely on.  I probably should have called the police, but I wanted to go home.  I ordered a lyft, it showed up, the driver asked me if I was sure I was okay, I assured him I was, and I finally got home where I could go pee.  I slammed the door open and rushed to the toilet.

As I sat there, I realized that while I’m on the pill, I wasn’t entirely sure he’d used a condom, so I grabbed my extra pack of pills, googled what to do for the morning after, took three of my pills, and got undressed while sitting on the toilet.  I know most people would have called the police or gone to the hospital by this point, but I was embarrassed.  I finished taking my clothes off while sitting there and realized that I had bruises.

A lot of bruises.  Dark purple almost black, these are new and don’t even hurt yet bruises.

On my calves.  On my stomach.  On my hip.  On my arms.  On my wrist.  On my buttocks that are now hurting while I’m sitting on the toilet.

And my face hurts, so I lean back and pick up a small mirror that I keep on the bathroom counter to check my hair before I leave.

I have a black eye.  Just the beginnings of one, but I can already tell it’s going to turn into a shiner.

While the bruises on my inner thighs make sense, none of the rest of these do, and I realize I must have blacked out.  And now I’m wondering if it was from alcohol or being hit.  I end up sitting on the toilet for almost two hours, unable to move until the phone rings.

“Hey girl, did you get you some last night?  I was worried about you for a minute, but B is totally into you, so TELL ME.”

I hang up the phone, ignoring it when it rings again.  And again.  All day.  I send a text to my neighbor telling her that I’m so sorry but I’ll help her put her couch together tomorrow.  I spend the evening figuring out how to use makeup to mask a black eye.

I may have gone home with him, but I never once said yes to sex while I was conscious.  I certainly didn’t say yes to whatever happened to me to cause this bruising.  Yes, I was drinking. Yes, I kissed him.  But I did not consent to this.

 

 

In the end, it doesn’t really matter

This is hastily written and not edited because I feel like I need to say something.

So when I was in law school, I first heard this song “In The End,” by a band called Linkin Park, and I was young and stupid and just thought it was a fun song to scream along with when out partying with friends.  Spotify wasn’t a thing, youtube wasn’t a thing (it may have been, but I sure as shit didn’t have internet at home – only school had that), so I only heard music on the radio or on cds that I bought. I didn’t have a lot of extra money then, but I bought the CD (Hybrid Theory) and I listened to it a lot.  “In the End” was my favorite song:

“I’ve put my trust in you, pushed as far as I can go, For all this, there’s only one thing you should know. I tried so hard and got so far, but in the end, it doesn’t even matter.  I had to fall to lose it all, but in the end it doesn’t even matter.”

I’m pretty sure I listened to this song on repeat when my boyfriend/sometimes fiance broke up with me/we ended our relationship.  I was in my early 20’s and so naive.  We got back together, and I still don’t know what happened to that CD.  Asshole probably took it with him, but WHATEVER I AM NOT BITTER.  I’m still a little bitter.

Fast forward to 2007.  I’m at a job I’ve had for about a year or so and I hear this song on the radio (I always have background music or talk radio.  I have a hard time with pure silence). “Shadow of the Day” and the lead singer’s voice sounds familiar.

“I close both locks below the window
I close both blinds and turn away
Sometimes solutions aren’t so simple
Sometimes goodbye’s the only way, oh

And the sun will set for you
The sun will set for you
And the shadow of the day
Will embrace the world in gray
And the sun will set for you

In cards and flowers on your window
Your friends all plead for you to stay
Sometimes beginnings aren’t so simple
Sometimes goodbye’s the only way, oh”

My mental health issues weren’t diagnosed then, but I was definitely dealing with them in my own ways, not always good ones.  I bought the CD and listened to this on repeat for weeks.  I wasn’t yet suicidal, but I thought about it sometimes, kind of abstractly.  One day a year or so later, I went to listen to the CD, and my stereo (still in my house but only the radio works now) refused to play it.  I took it out to my car and listened to it in the car.  I wondered about hoses and how that works when you park on the street rather than in a garage.  When goodbye is the only way.  But I couldn’t sort it out, and I got out of the car.

Where I promptly dropped the CD and stepped on it.  Seemed like karma.  Not my time and all that.  I took it as a sign.

If you know me IRL or even from FB or twitter, you know my musical tastes trend towards rap.  But every now and again, I like to just rock out.  It’s rare, but I like to do it sometimes.  When Jay-Z and Linkin Park released Numb/Encore in 2008, I vaguely paid attention and this was PERFECT.  Eminem and Dr. Dre even got in on a remix.  My mind was BLOWN.

“I’ve become so numb, I can’t feel you there
I’m tired of being what you want me to be . . .

For one last time, I need y’all to roar!”

And I promptly forgot about it unless I heard it on the radio, and then I CRANKED IT and sang/yelled at the top of my lungs, not giving a single fuck about who saw or heard me.  Poor those people.

When Chris Cornell of Soundgarden (a band I always liked but didn’t love) died by suicide on 5/18/2017, I decided I needed to listen to some rock music and turned to Foo Fighters (love me some Dave Grohl) and Linkin Park.  I turned to my old favorites and screamed in my house to “In The End” and “Burn it Down” and wept while listening to “Shadow of the Day.”

“Shadow of the Day” has been in regular rotation since then.  If you haven’t heard it?  Take a moment and listen to it here:

 

In some ways, it’s perfect for the way I’ve felt for a while.  In other ways, it makes me sad.

And then today, I did a presentation for our legal interns with a co-worker about what we do and the kind of law we practice.  It started at noon, ended around 1:40, and I only wanted to slap the shit out of one kid for being a smartass.  (Kid? I’ve been doing this for years, don’t be a wiseass because you think you’re cute.  You might be handsome, but you’re an asshole, and that makes you ugly.)  I got back to my office and checked twitter to see if I’d missed us being bombed off the map yet (obviously we hadn’t been).  First headline I see:

Chester Bennington committed suicide.

And I got ANGRY because he did not COMMIT anything.  He was a victim.  He was a victim of his own mind and his own brain, and he DIED BY SUICIDE WOULD YOU ASSHOLES GET THIS RIGHT ALREADY.

Then I realized who Chester is.  Who he was.  He was a husband.  He was a father.  He was a friend.  He was the man who screamed those lyrics that saved my life more than once.  He was the man whose friend died by suicide on 5/18/2017.  Who had struggled.  Who couldn’t find his way to the light because depression is a fucking monster who drags you DOWN.

And I sobbed, big ugly heaving sobs at my desk because I try to ask for help, but what if this happens to me, and right now I’m in a place where I DO NOT WANT TO DIE, but sometimes the depression is louder, and it SCARES ME.

I’ll maybe edit this later and make it a bit more coherent, but for now, this is the best I can do, but I needed to say something as I’m silently screaming through my tears and the voices are telling me I’m not worth shit.  That I may as well find a belt and hang myself from a doorknob.

And on a happy note? Because I can’t leave you like this.  May I have this dance?

Sometimes you feel low for no reason

Except there is a reason, and it’s called your brain or your biochemistry or whatever you want to call it.  And you’re tired of feeling low.  You’re tired of feeling broken.  You’re tired of your brain (possibly) lying to you as you wonder if it’s true that nobody other than the people who have to care give even one single shit about you.  You were on a high just a few days ago, but now you’re lower than you’ve been in a long time.  You wonder if the pills you have would be enough to do the job before you remember that your therapist has told you it’s time to lay off the xanax for a while because it’s addictive, and if the ones you have left aren’t enough, then you end up in the hospital or just VERY hungover and have no xanax, so that’s not an option because you’re not sure if 5 prozac (for the depression), 3 xanax (for “emergencies” for the anxiety), 2 depakote (it’s a mood stabilizer to work with the mania when the depression is low and the mania is high because of the prozac), and 2 leftover cymbalta (from when we were mainly worried about the anxiety) would do the job.  Yeah, it’s a lot of meds, and half the time, I’m shit at remembering to take them or even decide to not take them because they make me feel a little dead, hence my wild ups and downs.  It’s complicated.

A week ago I threw away the razor blade that I originally bought to scrape my city sticker off my window but had put in my medicine cabinet just in case because knives really aren’t practical.  I just now went and checked to see if it’s still there.  It’s not, but I found the pencil sharpener that I use for my eyeliner, but that razor is tucked deep into its plastic shell.

You also remember that you have reasons to not do this, that today wasn’t that bad, that people got shot today, that people went out to dinner and were murdered today (Somalia, I think?), that someone was raped today, and that your life is actually good and you need to stop feeling shitty about your life because really it’s quite good, isn’t it?  I mean, three people told you you looked cute today (so the fuck WHAT if two of them were sketchy as fuck dudes who probably wanted money or smokes), that the voice in your head telling you that you’re fucking worthless and nobody wants to hang out with you is probably lying, that someone accused you of fabricating evidence during a pre-trial when you KNOW what you said is true, but you had to ask the arbitrator to consider recusing himself because he admitted from the get-go that he thinks the doctor in your case isn’t credible and can’t be trusted but you backed down on it because you don’t want a reputation as THAT lawyer who causes trouble, but you stood your ground on standing by your doctor’s opinion because you believe you’re not wrong on this.  You got mad and you got indignant, but the only outward indicator of your anger was your left eyebrow going halfway up your forehead as people accused you of lies, but you told your boss, and he listened and believed you and he believes IN you.  That you are good at your job, that people who are on your team come to you with questions about their own cases, so obviously you’re not an incompetent moron, and the imposter syndrome is real sometimes.  Sometimes you also don’t care about run-on sentences or commas, and this whole paragraph makes you mad because normally you care about grammar.

So you pour another glass of wine and wonder if maybe you should quit drinking altogether, if maybe you should go to an AA meeting even though you NEVER drink before work and you wouldn’t DARE to drink during the day on a work day, but maybe you drink too often during the week after work.  But you drink during the week because you had a bad day and because, yet again, nobody invited you to do anything after work or last weekend or next weekend, and you’re back to thinking about the pills and wondering if there are enough.

There aren’t enough.  There might be enough if you finish this bottle of wine.  You’ve had two glasses, and if you finish it and add the pills?  You go to google and you do the math.  It might be enough.  It might not be enough.