28 July 2011

Alarm Bells

I hate it when there are alarm bells going off in my brain about someone and I can't quite place why or what the problem is, or therefore, and perhaps most important, what the hell I should do about it.

I have somehow managed to become entrenched in such a situation and, if you hadn't guessed, am failing to manage to extricate myself. [Insert disgruntled emoticons here...]

These are the details, without going into... overmuch detail. (erm... ha.)

I have this "friend"... OK, "acquaintance" would be much more congruent with reality, but I think she considers me to be in her "friend" category as she probably considers everyone she's known for more than 5 minutes to be a "friend". (Yes. One of those.) I met her through work and got sucked into an outside work thing that she's doing and.... well.... I want out, because she's actually really fucking crazy.

Worse, in a way, she's supposed to be teaching me something -- something fairly important to me and something I've wanted to learn for a long, long time -- and over the past several weeks/months, I've come to the conclusion that she's completely incompetent as a teacher.

Teaching is hard. I know this. I've done it. And unless you put some serious thought and effort into constructing an effective lesson, you suck and you suck hard. She spouts the party line without thinking about it and that sort of laziness just pisses me off on principle.

So. Here I am, stuck, and unable to think of a graceful way out that doesn't involve hurting feelings and/or destroying an already (I suspect) fragile sense of self worth/confidence/esteem and starting to realize that I really, really, really need to and soon.

Thus, I am torn between wanting to help her get better at what she sucks at and having NO desire whatsoever to be her guinea pig, my natural tendency to want to be helpful and my other natural tendency to be brutally, horrifically honest, and my deeply ingrained sense of loyalty and my extreme intolerance of inefficiency.

Blarg. Sucks to be me this month. :/

23 February 2011


I like my space.

I like it red and dark, quiet, because there is no one else here to speak, loud, because I have the music up as far as it will go, messy, because my children have been here, clean, because they've gone again.

I like the way the stain on the bookcases I bought matches the stain of the wood on the floors. I like the way my books look when they're out of their boxes. I like the things I nailed to the walls wherever I wanted to without having to ask anybody if it was OK to put them there.

I like having no TV and a good espresso machine and excellent beer and my clothes put away. I like that I fixed the doorbell by myself and rearranged the den four times before I was happy with it.

I like that I'm here by myself but not lonely. I like it a lot.


30 January 2011


Someone sent me a thing Ann Landers said -- about people who drown their sorrows forgetting that sorrow knows how to swim.

It made me laugh.

Yeah, I know. It wasn't meant to. But I'm a bitchin' swimmer. Way better than sorrow ever hoped to be. Way better.

No, seriously. I am.

I get suffering. I've been there:

4th grade: All the way home (I was a walker), some jackass and his buddy making machine gun sounds at me, because they found out my family was German. (I had no idea what the hell they were doing or why, but for the very first time, I understood that being German wasn't the awesomest thing ever.)

7th grade: Gym class. Er...I don't actually need to go into detail, right?

9th grade: Another jackass, a different jackass from the 4th grade jackass (I assume), this one spit on me. Other jackasses called me names for no reason (well, other than I wasn't tall and blond and beautiful) or felt free to call out insults about what I was wearing or had done to my hair or... whatever the wrong thing of the day was that day.

College: Yeah, I know. The bad shit is supposed to go away in college. And some of it did. Except for the part about my grandfather and two friends dying in the space of just a few months.

Today, I thank the jackasses and the bad shit; they taught me to swim, after all. They taught me that no matter how deep the wounds, no matter how much water is forced into my lungs, in the end -- I'm still gonna float.


15 January 2011


I suppose I should have seen this coming.

I'm a loner. Always have been. Unlike most people, it isn't actually possible for me to have more than one or two good friends at a time. I just can't manage it. I need to be alone, because it makes me quite insane, if I am forced not to be.

So that's the good part of divorce. I will get the alone time on a regular basis, whether I need it that week or not.

The rest of it, at this point, however, is a big ball of pain and failure.

The failure, in the end, is the worst part for me. I don't fail at things. Ever. And to have failed at this -- arguably one of the most important bits of one's life -- is inexcusable, abominable, and so completely, fucking frustrating, that I don't even have the words really.

The pain, on the other hand, I can deal with.

If you've ever read Dune, you'll remember the "litany agaist fear". I don't remember the exact words (and I can't find my fucking book to look it up), but it amounts to this: I will stand and face my fear. I will allow it to pass through me. And once it has passed through me and gone -- only I will remain.

Pain works the same way.

The days it finds me, it is awful. As bad as death. In some ways, it is even worse. It is death without the "closure", without the comfort that, "at least, he/she no longer suffers".

As with fear, one must let it do its worst.

Scream. Cry. Excoriate yourself. Let it devour you.

When it thinks it has exhausted you and won, it will saunter off, humming, triumphant, oblivious to the respite it gives you when it leaves.

Yes, it will come back. Yes, you will suffer again. Perhaps even worse than the last time (turns out pain hates failure even more than I do). Let it do its worst. Again. Then laugh when it leaves. Actually, laugh while it's still got its hooks in you (it probably won't make you feel better immediately, but pain really hates being laughed at and will tend to stalk off to sulk sooner when you laugh in its face, even if you do so a bit hysterically).

Eventually, pain gives up. And only you will remain.