Strength & Endurance

I am trying so hard to be strong through this shit storm I’m going through right now. Strong through the pain that is so unbearable I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. I am trying to endure through all of this because I know that God put me on this damn planet for a purpose, and if I had already served that purpose, I wouldn’t be here talking to you now.

It’s difficult when you’re alone. I’m not talking about a lack of friends and family. Most of you have a significant other to lean on when the world flips you upside down. I don’t. So all I have are my friends and family. As Big Daddy pointed out to me earlier: it could be worse. You could be without a car and a roof over your head or friends that care. This, coming from the man who used to be my rock, the one I leaned on when everything got fucked up … until he stepped aside and I fell … hard. I feel like I’ve been falling ever since that moment.

I reapplied for disability today, and yesterday I applied for food stamps, since I have no income now. Kitty‘s been great and I’m so very lucky to have her as a friend. I can’t imagine too many others who would help me as much as she has. And she knows when I am able, I will help her. That’s what family does, and I consider her a sister. I’ve been crying on and off today and right now I’m just trying not to cry in front of her because she’ll just tell me it’ll make it worse, which of course, is true. But a bit ago, the pain got to be too much, so I’ve been in tears throughout this post, waiting for the meds to kick in.

Medication doesn’t really take away the pain of a pinched nerve. There’s not a whole lot you can do about it, honestly. But they do help in coping with the pain somehow. That’s the only way I can describe it. Here’s the fucked up part: right now, I’d like to go to bed. Not because I’m tired, but because I’m exhausted and drained, but I know I’ll wake up in a few hours in agony, so it’s kind of like “what’s the point?”. The other night, I took my laptop to bed with me and watched a couple of movies. I’m considering an Underworld marathon tonight, but that’ll take me back into the super nocturnal hours that I’m not quite ready to head back to just yet because I have a million things to do during the day. Those things that I sometimes can’t do because the pain is too unbearable or I feel sick, like today. Maybe I’ll just watch another Vin Diesel movie. I watched The Chronicles of Riddick the other night. I could go backwards and watch Pitch Black. I like the character of Riddick. Always have. He is strength personified.

So as my 19-year-old Pasha (the one who has cancer) makes me laugh on Facebook while I’m trying to finish this up by saying “us sickies/druggies gotta stick together,” I think I’ll wrap this up by saying a few more things.

I am strong. If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t have made it this far. I can endure. If I couldn’t, I wouldn’t still be here.

I can do this is my phrase lately that seems to get me through everything, from my truck to the front door at work, from my front door to my truck, from point A to point B to point C, where there’s hopefully a pint of Guinness waiting for me … and a book deal, if I can ever finish this damn edit of Nemesis!

My body may be quitting on me, but my brain still works … for the most part.

I think it was agent Janet Reid who once said that a particular author (I can’t recall the name) started writing because she couldn’t work anymore. That gave me inspiration in that just because I can’t work anymore, it doesn’t mean I can’t have a career. I’ve been writing for 13 years now. I’ve completed six novels. Nemesis is the one I’m sending out into the world because I feel it’s worthy. Let’s hope I find an agent who feels the same. And let’s hope the agent finds the “other” blog instead of this one that potentially makes me look insane. Hey, Edgar Allen Poe was insane too, you know! Actually, the man was a genius, but I could go on and on about that so I’ll just stop right here.



Recap of My Wonderful Week

Let’s see if I can stay awake long enough to write this post. You laugh, but I’m dead serious. I keep dozing off. I hate it. Anyway …

1. Sunday – got robbed at the ER of $15, a pack of smokes, and my fucking iPod (can you tell I’m still bitter about the iPod? Of course I am because it had every one of my novel’s playlists on it and more music than I will ever be able to replace).

2. Monday – late for work and spent most of the day in excruciating pain even though I was taking meds.

3. Tuesday – got fired. Oddly enough, it was for a similar reason as the last job I had and also while I was in excruciating pain with a pinched sciatic nerve. Awesome!

4. Wednesday – slept most of the day because I was drugged up and I think catching up on a good majority of the sleep I lost while working.

5. Thursday – Kitty’s mom arrived for a visit. This is the only thing that wasn’t bad, but I think I hurt myself working on cleaning up around the house, even though I couldn’t do much.

6. Friday – muscle spasms started again and I’m out of meds specifically for that. Really don’t want to go to the ER again. Heard from Umi that Akhi also lost his job. WTF?

7. Saturday – just went to deposit my last paycheck and the ATM rejected it. Lovely. Also learned that my friend Snoopy lost her job. Is this the week for firing people or what?

I barely have enough money to cover rent and car insurance. I could eBay quite a few things, but my luck there doesn’t seem to be working well so I list and list and list, nothing sells, and I get hit with listing fees. So now what do I do? I can start writing the boring articles again on Monday (if I can find my damn login page) and hope enough of them get approved to give me some money mid-month in November. And then I’ll keep writing the boring articles while I apply for disability … again.

I’d really like to edit and write, but the meds have my brain so foggy and make me drowsy that I keep falling asleep in the midst of editing and writing. Makes it rather difficult to finish anything, like Nemesis.

I can tell you this … I’m really tired of playing this game over and over. There’s got to be some sort of reprieve at some point, right? Or is this what it’s going to be like the rest of my life? Domino effect … one bad thing after another. Why can’t it be one good thing after another?


Yeah. I’ll see what I can do, but some of the things that need to be done are difficult when you’re in a lot of pain. Guess I’ll just have to force myself through it, as always.

Round Two – Float Like a Butterfly

Afni, Inc. – A Great Place to Work

heh, riiiiiight. Allow me to explain.

I really shouldn’t be amazed by my recent descent back into unemployment. My pinched nerve (which we now know is caused by two herniated discs thanks to an MRI) started acting up last month. With each day, it got worse, but I have to tell you, I didn’t expect it to get this bad. By “this bad” I mean that this is the worst it’s ever been in these last two years. I can’t even sleep for more than four hours without a muscle spasm waking me. Today, the Flexeril stopped working. Great.

Being still in my 90-day probationary period, I was expected to have 100% attendance, of course. And that makes perfect sense, right? Hell, I made it through three weeks of 10 ½ hour days, five days a week without missing a damn day. I think I may have been tardy once, but that’s it. Near perfect attendance, even once we hit the floor. At one point, my supervisor told me I had 100% adherence. That like never happens. So what does that say about me? Exactly.

Then one morning I couldn’t get out of bed. I called in, thinking I’d just go to the ER and get some meds and that should take care of it. It worsened over the weekend and the next week, but I still made it to work regardless of how much pain I was in. Did my employer do anything to help me? No. Give me any special accommodations? No. I asked these questions by the third or fourth week. FMLA only covers you if you’ve been there a year. On Friday the 15th, my supervisor said he talked to the HR manager and they agreed that I could have HR breaks. All that means is they tacked on an extra five minutes to my breaks because I walk so damn slow these days. Honestly though, I don’t know what the point was because they were getting ready to fire me anyway. I could feel it coming on.

Let me explain something here: with every single absence, I was in the ER at some point during the day. I missed three and a half days, I think. The other ER visits happened over the weekend so I wouldn’t miss work. I had a doctor’s note on the 12th stating that I couldn’t go back to work until the 14th. My supervisor told me that if I didn’t show up at work the next day, they would have to let me go as he gave me a final over the phone. So what did I do? I went to work. And it got worse. I ended every damn day at that job nearly in tears because I was in so much pain. This, of course, affected my sales and quota. Yes, there was a quota for the sales, a little tidbit of information that was left out when I interviewed for the job. Isn’t that nice? It would have been the deciding factor for me on taking the job, regardless of how desperately I needed one. 

Afni, I don’t care about your 90-day policy. I wasn’t calling in after a night of drinking or for a minor cold or flu. I couldn’t fucking move. You care about your employees? The hell you do. Perhaps if you were a bit more selective in your hiring process, you wouldn’t have to have such strict rules everywhere else. You hire anyone who can pass a drug test and a background check, which in my opinion probably isn’t very thorough. You hire with only a phone interview. Seriously?

I was fired because there were four tardy occurrences after being given my final. The first occurrence, I admit, was a bad one – I was 15 minutes late because I had a hard time getting out of bed. That’d be right after the doctor note that stated I should have had the day off. The other three occurrences consisted of one minute late or three minutes late. Wow. Now you’re just looking for an excuse to get rid of me. I did my best. I went in every day when I wasn’t in the ER and I did my job through the pain. I hope to God you all never have to feel the type and amount of pain I’ve been going through for the last month. It is excruciating and NOTHING takes it away. I recall back in January when I went to the Banner Desert ER, they gave me morphine, and even that didn’t touch the pain. When a muscle spasms, there isn’t much you can do aside from muscle relaxers and waiting it out.

After I told the HR manager what I thought, which pretty much consisted of the above statements, she had the gall to tell me I could reapply in 60 days. Are you fucking kidding me?

Now that I’ve vented that shit out, here’s what I’m doing next. I’ve already applied for AHCCCS again with the first ER visit because my insurance hadn’t kicked in yet, so I went to the site and reapplied for the food stamps, because you know, I have to eat. For whatever reason, I never qualify for their cash assistance program. Hell, I’m not even sure what it is. I don’t qualify for unemployment because I didn’t work there for 6 months, but the girl asked me if I wanted to reopen the 2008 case. I declined because in all honesty, there isn’t much I can prove to win against those assholes even with the recording I have.

I will be reapplying for disability because I think this past two and half months has pretty much proven that I can’t even work at a job where I sit down all freakin’ day, and we know that any other jobs are pretty much ruled out because I can’t stand for long periods and I can’t lift anything. If they deny me, I’ll appeal this time. Let’s hope it all doesn’t take as long as it did the last time. I’m CALLING them tomorrow morning.

On the bright side (yes, there is one and I can’t believe it either), I have time to edit and write again. Here are my goals:

NEMESIS – deadline 31 October 2010
GODS OF WAR – NaNoWriMo project starting with the short story FALLEN
NATIVE MOON – deadline 31 December 2010
DUSK OF DEATH – edit deadline 30 April 2011
GRIFFIN – no real deadline; just needs to be written in full
DRAGONFIRE – outlined and plotted

With all of that, I’m also publishing parts of my fantasy Tir na nOg in our magazine Forever Nocturnemuch like Sharon is doing with her story Malakh. Once the story is finished, it will be available as an ebook, and I believe Sharon is doing the same with her novella.

I’ll be working on articles again to make some money wherever I can, and you know that means I’ll likely become the night owl you all know and love … and miss. So get ready, folks, because the Queen of the Nocturnal Tweetdom is about to return.

Warning Signs

I’m not quite sure how to start this post, which is funny because I’m a writer. But this isn’t fiction. What I’m about to discuss here happened in the really real world. I wasn’t going to write anything about it at all, figuring it’s just a waste of space on him, but then I thought of other women who may have experienced something similar, or are about to. What’s my excuse to them for not writing it? There really isn’t one. Either I write it and help someone, or I don’t write it and let the next woman figure it out on her own, possibly too late. I’ve never been the kind of girl to let people figure things out on their own, and if there’s even one line in this post that will help, then I’ve done my job here.

This is also going to be very weird for me to discuss because I tend to meet people in person before I start any kind of “dating.” I’ve never had an online relationship, really. I guess I just think they’re weird. But that’s beside the point. Well no, it’s actually part of the point because if I didn’t hold back due to my apprehensions, what happened to me could have gone a lot worse.

Several months back, I met a man whom I nicknamed Ozzy, who really doesn’t deserve that name now so we’ll shorten it to Oz. Well hey, I certainly feel like I’ve just taken a trip to see the wizard and had to battle flying monkeys, so it’s perfect. We’d talked now and then, but that’s about it. We had a debate over free materials (songs, magazines, books, etc.) once (back in March) that he doesn’t even recall. His excuse was that even though he debated it then, he more than likely changed his mind since then. Whatever. In August, things stepped up several notches. Suddenly, he was in love with me. And so begins the whirlwind in my head because he totally caught me by surprise. Not to mention that he’s 11 years my junior. He said all the right things, etc. I could have sworn he’d been reading my blog, but he swore he didn’t. Now I’m pretty damn certain he did. I held back a lot because I wasn’t too sure about the 11 years younger thing. Yes, I’ve had many people tell me that age shouldn’t make a difference, and normally, I’d agree with you. It all depends on the couple. My concern about his age wasn’t exactly his “age.” It was his life experiences, his goals, his dreams, his career – all things that even at 29 he should be working toward. Right? He likes playing his guitar and writing songs, but has yet to record anything or play in front of a crowd. Red flag. I know a few bands and I’ve watched them live MANY times. If you’re serious, you follow the path to your dream, much like I’m doing with my writing. You don’t sit around waiting for someone to “discover” you. That shit only happens in the movies. He wouldn’t tell me the name of the school he was attending or where he worked. Red flag

Oh wait, I should save these for the warnings below:

Warning #1: He professed his love for me before ever talking to me on the phone. Yes, that’s very odd. I thought so too. This began around the end of August. I know, I totally got caught up in the whirlwind, which is exactly the point and purpose or agenda. The problem was, however, he didn’t realize how strong of a woman I am, which also meant he wasn’t really paying attention to my posts on here and twitter.

Yes, I’ve talked about what I want in a mate on my blog. Yes, that person may be out there somewhere and I hope to meet him someday, but lucky for me, I have this thing called ESP. Even though Oz was saying the right things, there were a couple of wrong things he said that had me raising the Spock eyebrow and questioning him. Let’s not forget my friends and family, who are ALL extremely protective of me at this time. I don’t need ESP with them around. Some of them can sniff out a player across cyberspace.

Warning #2: We were planning a trip for him to visit me here, since I’d just started a new job and didn’t have any vacation time available to me. He pointed out that the one-way tickets were cheaper and would I like him to move in with me. Whoa! Let’s take a step or two back here. This was my first real indication of the potential outcome of this whatever it was thing we had going here and is also the reason my walls started going up to protect me. He barely knew me and wanted to move in with me? Major red flag!

Warning #3: He kept professing how he was an honest man, a good man, and that those were not up for debate but facts about him. *ahem* Let me make something very clear here: a man’s ACTIONS speak the truth of his heart, not his words. Ever hear the saying “actions speak louder than words?” Yeah, there you go.

Warning #4: He didn’t want to hear about my day unless it was a good day. If I had a bad day and just felt like venting, I’d get a lecture on how I needed to stay POSITIVE. In other words, he didn’t want to listen to me, which is NOT what a mate does. I don’t know about you, but I like to talk about my day, good or bad, and I certainly don’t want to listen to a lecture from someone who’s under the age of 30 telling me how I “should” live my life or how I “should” think.

Warning #5: My favorite was when he’d tell me how much he loved my inner strength, but when he actually saw it come out, everything went from “I love you” to “you’re a complete psycho bitch” in one weekend. Awesome! I can’t tell you how often I laughed throughout this weekend argument simply because of its sheer stupidity. He escalated six months worth of manipulation within an hour. Amateur. If you’ve ever been in an abusive relationship of any type, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about there.

Warning #6: Telling you how to think and feel. During our argument, he kept telling me how I should have done this and I should have done that … like I should have talked to him on the phone so I could hear how sincere his apology was so that I could accept his apology. I should learn to be more positive about things in life. Um, hello? Welcome to REALITY! The world isn’t a perfect place. Granted, I tend to get depressed or pessimistic at times, but I don’t think the world is going to end just because I’ve had a bad day. I’ve been to Hell and back several times at this point in my life, so I know how to bounce back out of it, but I certainly don’t need a damn lecture on how I should live my life when I’m 41 years old. Thank you very much.

Warning #7: Telling me that I brought the evening to a “crash n burn” ending due to my negativity is in no way a POSITIVE way to deal with things, Mr. Positivity. You called me a hypocrite? That very first statement to me that pretty much started this whole mess is hypocritical.

Warning #8: Placing the blame on me for hurting you on purpose is your one-way e-ticket out of my life. I was raised by the Queen of Guilt Trips, who was raised by the Master of Guilt Trips. Trying to guilt me into answering the phone when I’ve clearly stated I didn’t want to talk on the phone just yet does not help your case at all. Neither does calling nearly 50 times in one hour. That, my friend, just makes you look like a psycho nut-freak.

Warning #9: When said psycho nut-freak attempts to drive a wedge between you and your best friend/roommate. Ladies, if you’re anything like me, you know that NO MAN is worth ending a friendship over. I know not all of you think along these lines, but you should sincerely consider it because in my experience, your girlfriends stick around a helluva lot longer than men do.

Warning #10: He was extremely concerned with looking bad online. Like, way more than a person would normally be concerned. Why is this? It kept going back to the “I AM a good man” thing and how I wasn’t listening to him. I heard very clearly, but in my humble opinion, you shouldn’t have to TELL people you’re a good person. It should just show itself to others in your actions, so arguing that point relentlessly is ridiculous.

He was also determined to give me some “advice” on how to be a better person and a more positive person in his last message to me, which I find laughable. As much as he said he loved me, he never truly got to know me or the type of person I am.

I’ve stated it once before and I’ll say it again … You fuck with me, you want to play games, and I’ll end it in the beat of a heart because I AM THE ENDGAME.

So, ladies and gentleman, if you have someone in your life who tries to pull any of this crap with you, all I’m going to say to you is walk away. There are plenty of other fish in the sea, and quite personally, I’d rather spend the rest of my days alone than with someone who’s going to berate me or condescend to me like I’m a child. A relationship is an equal partnership, and if you can’t love someone fully, flaws and all, then it’s not a true commitment to one another. Your partner should never TELL you what to think/say/do. They should merely accept you as you are, opinions and all. Period. That, my friends, is what real love is. Otherwise, to quote a friend of mine, it’s just a fantasy. Nothing more.

Don’t ever underestimate a woman like me. I’m intelligent, I’m witty, and I’m much stronger than you realize … and I will fuck your world up if you attempt to play games with me.

10 … Well, 11 … Lessons Learned

Recently, I’ve discovered a few things about myself. Well, recent to me means over the last six months, at least. We’re going to go Maya Angelou style with this because that’s the mood I’m in.

I’ve learned:

1. That I can actually clamp my mouth shut to protect a friend’s feelings from being hurt even more than they already were, regardless of the fact that the friend could see the actions taken and chose to ignore them anyway.

2. That you never truly know someone if you meet them online until they make feeble attempts at controlling you (because they’ve played their hand too soon), showing their true side/personality.

3. That your true friends will stick by your side and walk to the ends of the earth or into Hell with you.

4. That God actually listens sometimes and has recently restored my faith in Him because I asked for a sign, and boy did I ever get one.

5. That chunky peanut butter isn’t really as bad as I thought …. okay, I’m lying.

6. That apparently SOME people like my dog more than me. Okay, maybe only one person, but whatever. He’s a freak anyway.

7. That ideas for stories come from the oddest places and conversations. I’ve got my NaNoWriMo figured out for this year!

8. That music can be very liberating … as can bitching a mother fucker out in Facebook, to which I still have EACH and EVERY message saved along with the insane emails, if he decides to pull any stupid shit.

9. That my mother’s passive/aggressive behavior this evening annoyed me and I realized that I don’t have to put up with it, which I didn’t. *grins*

10. Mmmm …. Moscato.

Oh, and one last thing …

11. That I’m a helluva lot stronger than I realized and Ozzy was just what I needed to come to that realization. I’ll even say thank you to him, which I have in emails before he went completely psychotic.