Sunday, July 27, 2014

Remember That Time...?

It never fails, and I always sort of dread it--my mom will be sitting at the table with us during a family dinner that other life
or holiday or special occasion and she’ll tell a story from my childhood or maybe my brother’s back from times before my parents were divorced. There’s never that look of familiarity or recognition on my face during these stories and she’ll ask me if I remember what she’s talking about perhaps because she sees my blank look or perhaps out of habit.

I never do.

My parents separated when I was in 7th grade in my 13th year of life. Their relationship was tumultuous at best plagued with problems from the start. My mom was young when they met and from a problem home where she’d suffered abuse of every sort and had already been through so much shit in her life that maybe my dad didn't seem all that bad. He was, though… Drug and drink-addicted, mean, sexist, violent, and a bit of a criminal—growing and selling the substances he loved most, making ‘shine, and really not giving a shit about the law in any sense. The world was his oyster, and rules were for assholes.
this was his nickname for a reason

It’s not surprising, I suppose, that he didn’t exactly make for a stable childhood.

I don’t have many memories from that time in my life before age 13. I have stories shared with me by my mom and my brother. I have clips and hazy images of fights, of heartache, pain, and suffering. I have residual feelings of fear, of not knowing what it was going to be like when my father walked through the door likely already drunk from sticking around after his welding jobs were done on the farms where he worked and having a few while he talked shit in his way with the “guys.” There are fading voices in my head that echo the names I was called when I was younger. And I have memories of what it was like when I lived with him for a year and a half before I turned 16 during which time I was beaten, raped and blamed, turned onto drugs and alcohol, and saw him beaten, high, drunk, arrested, in jail, and so fucked up on cocaine that his nose would bleed and he couldn’t move...not to mention the various women that were in and out of his life who were inevitably even more fucked up than he was.

I still flinch when someone raises a hand in my vicinity even for something so benign as a high five.

There have been so many times in movies and on tv that you see someone suddenly remember what they have forgotten with a little help. They unlock repressed memories and suddenly recall all the horrible things that happened to them that were buried deep within the recesses of their minds. It’s not like that for me though. In high stress environments, storing memories is low priority for a child’s brain and eventually affects their ability to remember things for the rest of their lives. It’s not that anything is locked away to be forgotten until some day in the future when the key to the box magically presented itself; there was simply nothing there to forget. There's no box, no key to unlock it. I cannot forget what I never stored in the first's just part of having that kind of life as a kid.

As a mother, I strive so hard to make sure my son will be filled to the brim with memories. We haven’t
always had the easiest life. There have surely been struggles for us, but no matter what we have made the best of our time together. I like to imagine the two of us sitting at a dinner table surrounded by family with me asking him if he remembers the time we turned boxes into miniature cars for a night at the “drive-in” or the time he peed in the cat’s bowl or when he got his first vinyl record. I imagine he'll smile and share my laugh at old times without the blank looks, the questions, the empty files where memories should be stored. I imagine that he feels secure and warm instead of so alienating, so abnormal and weird. I want that for him...those nostalgic laughs that light up our eyes when we relive those shared moments over a cup of coffee while the grandkids play in the living room making memories of their own.

My hope is that his life is so filled with warmth and laughs that there’s too much for him to possibly remember it all.

The prompt this Sunday for Sunday Confessions with More than Cheese and Beer was Forget. I hope you'll check out all the other linkups on her blog and the anonymous confessions on Facebook!

Sunday, July 20, 2014


I love candy. Truthfully, I love candy a bit more, actually, than I love men (sex with men is perhaps more apt though I do love my friendships with men as well) which is saying a lot. Not long ago, the idea surfaced in a Facebook status to compare two of my greatest loves, and with the Sunday Confession prompt being “without” this week, what better time to talk about two things that I am happier having in my life than not?

Each person’s personality is unique. Personality and all the complexities it encompasses depends on a variety of factors. Genetics play a role and weave an intricate web with environmental influences that builds and alters personality. Culture adds more flavor. Experiences add another layer. With age, development, and experience, personality is affected and is the sum of all we are—biologically, culturally, experientially, and beyond. All in all, personality isn’t something you’re simply born with…it develops and solidifies over time though it’s initial characteristics are typically seen early in life. Personality also often affects how a person interacts in interpersonal relationships especially when attachment style is considered. But despite the fact that each personality is as unique as a snowflake, there are several general categories of partners that we often deal with in life and love. These archetypes, while often differing in small ways, are general categories of our experiences in lust and love, and here you will find them in candy form.

Root beer barrels—old fashioned, a bit nostalgic, a throwback but not for everyone. Some people love root
beer, some people hate it. There’s nothing wrong with going the old-fashioned route if that’s your thing, though. He’ll have traditional ideas about what is expected of women, and while that doesn’t necessarily make him a bad guy or a misogynist per say, he’s not exactly progressive and might get old pretty quickly. A little of this one goes a long way. Do you really want root beer barrels every day for the rest of your life or are they mostly just an occasional treat, perhaps even a misadventure down memory lane?

Nerds—crunchy with a tang. Smartasses with a witty sense of humor that provide little comfort, nothing substantial. They’re fun but not good love material not the long-lasting kind and the flavor is over pretty soon after it begins and so is the fun truthfully…someone to enjoy every once in a while when you need a pick-me-up burst of flavor in your mouth.

Jawbreakers—so many layers that are all basically a different shade of the one before it. You wear yourself out trying to break through all the walls to get to the good at the center which never lasts long enough. It’s so much work for such little reward. You know they’re just not worth your time but you keep fucking doing it over and over again especially as they’re the most prevalent candy in your trick or treat bag.

A pretty piece of licorice—it looks so inviting with the adorable layers of white and pink. That’s the problem, though. It looks so fucking good, but the center is still black and vile. As soon as you pop it into your mouth and get a good taste, you regret it. And, in a few years, you’ll forget all about it and do it again…it just looks so tempting. That’s the problem, though, isn’t it? I mean, think about a hunk of dark chocolate. It’s so damn good, fulfilling, comforting yet it’s just a mass of brownness. A pretty package doesn’t always mean it’s going to leave a good taste in your mouth.

Cinnamon bears—they’re adorable, right? So cute in the beginning and they’re so yummy when you first get a taste. But, then the heat kicks in, their fiery little personas rear their ugly heads, and no matter how hard you try, you can’t get rid of them. They’re stuck in your teeth until you forcefully remove them from your life with floss. Or maybe a restraining order. Possessive, clingy, perhaps even abusive…these bears are better left untouched.

Salt Water Taffy—a classic candy with a burst of flavor that lasts but isn’t overpowering. It’s not too much or too little. One little taste is never enough, and before you know it, you’ve been hanging out with that bag of taffy for years and nothing else compares. You + Taffy = Best fucking friends forever. Perhaps the fucking is literal or perhaps it’s just thrown in for good humor but either way, it’s a comfortable love, passionate depending on the flavor but always a good thing.

Caramel—something about the buttery sweetness of a good piece of caramel is so indulgent. The softness of it against your tongue that fills your mouth with a bit of ecstasy is delectable. Caramel may not be all that passionate, but it’s so good…that familiar lover that you return to time and again because it always knows what you want, always makes you smile, and never expects more from you than you want to give.

Red hots—red hots are similar to nerds yet so different. There is so little substance there, but the heat, the passion can get so intense and addictive for a bit. In other words, the sex is always fiery and passionate but once you’re done with that, you two really have nothing to talk about and you’d rather just go on your way until the next time you meet again. Red hots aren’t really your candy of choice, but a dose of them every once in awhile surely does a body good.

As much as I enjoy my alone time, my solitude, I do find comfort in intimacy on my own terms. I’m not really into the whole traditional relationship thing as my list here probably shows since there’s not one archetype about the “marrying type” or long term loves, but that doesn’t mean I want to live my life without a connection to another human being which is often the inference people make when I discuss not having the desire or need for a relationship that meets their standard definition. The assumption quickly becomes that I live like a hermit without any human contact that doesn’t involve the internet. Perhaps one day that will be the case, who knows? But for now, I keep my candy, literal and figurative, around to satisfy my sweet tooth. It works for me. I’m not living without as others so often think of it. I’m living on my own terms that meet the needs I have at the moment instead of forcing myself to meet a set of social norms that don’t work for me just because it’s expected…and I am quite satisfied with my bag of taffy.

So, what did I leave off? What candy would you add? What kind of candy is your spouse or partner? What kind could you never live without?

This, of course, has been another Sunday Confession with More than Cheese and Beer. Please check out her blog for her own confession as well as those of other brave bloggers who link up. Check out her facebook page for anonymous confessions from readers. And most definitely check out the blog she and I run together DoucheArt to see what kinds of candy we could all live without ;)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Gotta Have Faith

I decided to go with another Chuck Klosterman Hyperthetical for this week’s Sunday Confession. I talked
about the insane situations Klosterman, one of my favorite authors, developed sort of as a test for who he wanted to spend his time with in a confession a couple weeks ago. I don’t really have any sort of religious faith that I could talk about for this week’s prompt. I’ve already written so often about my lack of faith in the justice system, and I’ve certainly discussed the faith I need to have in myself to get over my body issues, so I felt like I should take a break from those two topics. And, let’s face it, the lack of faith I have in my country’s government altogether is far too encompassing for just one blog post. It would take me weeks of continuous discussions to actually air all my grievances. Instead, I thought I would get a bit off-the-wall but don’t expect my tendency towards heaviness to suddenly disappear.

On to the question…

“While traveling on business, your spouse (whom you love) is involved n a plane crash over the Pacific Ocean. It is assumed that everyone on board has died. But then the unbelievable happens: It turns out that your spouse has survived. He/she managed to swim to a desert island, where he/she lived in relative comfort with one other survivor (they miraculously located most of the aircraft’s supplies on the beach, and the island itself was filled with ample food sources).

The two survivors return home via helicopter, greeted by the public as media sensations. During a press conference, you cannot help but notice that the other survivor physically embodies the type of person to whom your mate is normally attracted. Moreover, the intensity of the event has clearly galvanized a relationship between the two crash victims: They spend most of the interview explaining how they could not have survived without the other person’s presence. They explain how they passed the time by telling anecdotes from their respective lives, and both admit to having virtually given up on the possibility for rescue. At the end of the press conference, the two survivors share a tearful good-bye hug. It’s extremely emotional.

After the press conference, you are finally reunited with your spouse. He/she embraces you warmly and kisses you deeply.

How long do you wait before asking if he/she was ever unfaithful to you on this island? Do you ever ask? And if your mate’s answer is “yes,” would that (under these specific circumstances) be acceptable?”

In a nutshell, this question is asking that under circumstances where my spouse felt he or she was never going to get off this island, would I or even should I maintain expectation that he or she would remain faithful?

This question never even considers what I would have done given the fact that I thought my spouse was dead and never coming back. Would I have moved on or at least slept with someone, gone on a date? It’s highly likely, isn’t it? If I thought this person was never coming back then I don’t think I’d have given up on having sex again for the rest of my life would I? Uh, no. A resounding no. So, how could I care whether or not my spouse had sex on this deserted island with someone he or she obviously formed a close, deep connection with during the most stressful, insane circumstances?

I don’t think this is the question of faith, of having faith in your partner, of being faithful the way it is proposed. Ultimately, how could you expect this person whose life has changed so dramatically to not roll with those changes? What Klosterman really wants to know, I think, is if you’re petty enough to let it eat away at you that there’s a good chance your spouse had sex with someone else under the expectation that he or she would never see you again. What he wants to know is if you’re going to be so consumed by jealousy that you lose sight of what’s actually important—the fact that you actually have your spouse back in your life, that you are once again reconnected to the love of your life, that what was once lost has now been found. It’s not whether or not you’re concerned about faithfulness because the expectation in this situation is for both of you to have moved on. It’s whether or not you’re insecure enough to be more worried about what happened on that island than about having your spouse back.

Would I ask? Never. It’s none of my business. If my partner and I both had a calm, loving discussion once things were settled down about both of our activities while he or she was on that deserted island, perhaps we would talk about it then. Maybe we’d make it through all the changes life has thrown our way—the assumed tragedy of loss, the new experiences, the hardships. Maybe we’d get back on track. If we didn’t, it would never be because I chose to hang on to some idiotic idea of what my spouse should or shouldn’t have done on that fucking island, and I hope that should he or she choose to move on and make a go of it with this person who ultimately saved him or her, their light in the dark,I would understand and wish the two of them all the best.

What about you? Would you ask?

Please check out More Than Cheese and Beer's blog and her facebook page for the rest of Sunday Confessions and link up yourself!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Secret Subject Swap: July

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week, 12 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.
My “Secret Subject” is: If I were and animal, I'd be a _____ and this is why____. It was submitted by:

Sometimes I want a t-shirt that says "These are tattoos. It is not a form of leprosy. They're not contagious. Stop staring, don't touch them, and yes, they hurt."

Every tattoo on my body has a story. It can be said that I blog my memories and my self-perceptions upon my skin like a living journal. I’m very introverted and usually throw up a lot of walls to avoid intimacy, but if you ask the right questions or listen to my stories, you can usually get to know me pretty well, and that’s very true of my tattoos. That same sentiment exists in conjunction with the three animal tattoos on my chest. Jules, the owl; Jerome, the elephant; and, Jimi, the peacock.These three tattoos are part of a series I have been working on for my chest that are all about self-perception. They’re an essence of who I am, part of the whole, a few factors in the product that is my own self-image. Eventually, there will be a 4th to add to the group to complete it all, but I'll save that story for another day.

Jerome, the elephant, is a symbol of wisdom. But elephants are also a symbol of emotion. Despite their tough
hides, they’re one of the most emotional creatures on the planet and are capable of a variety of intense emotions with joy, grief, altruism, rage, stress, compassion, and love being some of those that have been observed. Elephants symbolize strength as well. In total, Jerome represents my strength to face anything that comes my way, my vulnerable, emotional underbelly hidden beneath the carefully constructed walls that I have built, and the wisdom to understand that underbelly exists; I am not my walls. He was one of my earliest tattoos, my second, because I understood that about myself even at the tender age of 19. I had already been through so much and seen so much in my lifetime… Before I became a mother, that exterior was even tougher, a bit thicker, and the emotion was far more buried under the constructions I made to protect myself, but even then, I wanted to express that I wasn't entirely the unemotional robot I often made myself out to be.

Jules, the owl, also represents wisdom. Owls, in general, do. They also represent an embracing of the
when he was fresh
darkside given their nocturnal nature. I suppose that could be interpreted in a lot of ways. To some it’s a discussion on mystical subjects, for instance. To me, for me personally, Jules represents the wisdom I have to know that I am flawed and my dialectical acceptance that I am both flawed and a work in progress. Jules is like the character from Pulp Fiction. At the end of that movie in the diner, Jules says to Ringo (the male part of the diner-robbing duo), “Ezekiel 25:17.'The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you.' I been saying that shit for years. And if you heard it, that meant your ass. I never gave much thought to what it meant. I just thought it was some cold-blooded shit to say to a motherfucker before I popped a cap in his ass. But I saw some shit this
morning made me think twice. See, now I'm thinking, maybe it means you're the evil man, and I'm the righteous man, and Mr. 9 millimeter here, he's the shepherd protecting my righteous ass in the valley of darkness. Or it could mean you're the righteous man and I'm the shepherd and it's the world that's evil and selfish. I'd like that. But that shit ain't the truth. The truth is, you're the weak, and I am the tyranny of evil men. But I'm trying, Ringo. I'm trying real hard to be the shepherd." It’s not so much that I relate to this because I think I’m the tyranny of evil men or some fucked up shit like that. I don’t. What I find so poignant is Jules’ desire to change—his acceptance right here that he is evil epitomized in human form yet he still wants so badly to be the shepherd. I relate to that scene every time I watch this film. I think a lot of people do (which is often what’s so great about Tarantino films…the good ones anyway—we find bits of ourselves in his characters, we relate). Part of changing is understanding what needs to be changed but perhaps just as vital is the fact that we can’t wallow in the negativity of where we’ve been or we just get mired down in the muck. Acceptance. Which leads me to number 3…

Peacocks represent peace with oneself and that’s what Jimi, my peacock, symbolizes. He has records in his
tail feathers to also show the role that music has played in that peace. As otherwise noted on this blog (for regular readers) my childhood wasn’t exactly easy. My father was a drug-using (and selling), violent, and emotionally abusive man. Between the constant put-downs—the fact that my name became Fatass or Crisco more often than not or Fat Dummy—and the physical violence, I developed quite a complex about myself and about him. Understandably. When he died in 2006 from cancer, I thought I would have some closure. That part of my life was over, right? Wrong. It really didn’t prove to be so easy. Ultimately, it took seeing the good things my dad gave me—my love of music and my need to share music with others especially—for me to find the closure I needed…for me to realize, thinking back, that he may not have known how to be a good father, but he did love me. He did hand down some important life lessons; it just took me awhile to figure out what exactly they were. Inheriting a box of his old, dusty LPs set me on the right course, and my love for vinyl endures to this day, so there’s the reason for Jimi’s record feathers. And while I’m still working on the self-image acceptance issues that come from years spent being mocked during the period in which a child’s identity is first starting to form by the people who were supposed to build me up instead of tearing me down, peace is where I am for the most part or at the very least it’s certainly where I’m headed.

So, what would I be if I were an animal? I guess this is an unfair answer to the prompt to say a chimera of these three animals like some sort of acid-trip Wuzzle character, an owlpeaphant, but that’s the only answer I have. Because I relate...

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there: Baking In A Tornado The Momisodes Spatulas on Parade Stacy Sews and Schools Sparkly Poetic Weirdo Confessions of a part-time working mom Dates 2 Diapers 2 Crumpets and Bullocks Climaxed Dinosaur Superhero Mommy Someone Else’s Genius The Bergham’s Life Chronicles

Sunday, July 6, 2014

A Captive of My Own Memories





Fatty, fatty two by four can’t get through the bathroom door…

Don’t you think you need to go on a diet?

You need to eat some more. Have some more dumplings.

Fat, stupid

Fat, lazy


It all seemed to run together eventually—the hateful, hurtful comments about my younger body. I was maybe 8 years old when they started. I was a normal-sized child going through hormonal changes that made my belly rounder just like any other girl my age. A girl who needed love and affirmation just like any other as well but who didn’t get it. Instead, the name-calling, the commentary, the diet comments, the hurt were an everyday occurrence that caused self-doubt and self-hatred so strong I couldn’t stand to look at myself in the mirror for any length of time.

That became my identity—a lazy, stupid fatass—even though it was quite far from the truth now that I know better. At the time, it couldn’t be helped. At the time, I only knew how other people saw me and the people around me who were supposed to care about me most, who were supposed to love me unconditionally thought that I was a lazy stupid fatass. So that’s who I was.

In many ways, that’s who I still am.

That self-image kept me captive throughout my teens and early adulthood and still comes back to haunt me on bad days, in weak moments, when I feel especially vulnerable. No matter how hard I work on self-love, I will always be that little girl with tears spilling down her cheeks over the word-daggers thrown her way time and time again, bound to those early experiences, a prisoner of that pain no matter how hard I push forward. I’ve worked hard to develop an identity that is the sum of who I am and not based on those hurtful names. I have a healthy (healthier) self-image these days and have worked on accepting myself as I am and understanding that I don’t have to fit in a size 2 jeans to be “normal.”

but still

When I look in the mirror, it happens like a movie montage of the past circulating hurtful comments around my brain pushing a flood of auditory memories into my train of thought toppling over everything rational and positive in the way, and I turn away. When I get a compliment, I doubt its sincerity. I hide. I withdraw. I stay home. I look down and avoid eye contact. I put on my best resting bitch face and rejoice in never having to talk to people.

And I regret.

I’m tired of regretting, of being captive to the memories of people whose opinions stopped mattering to me years ago. I promise myself over and over again that it’s going to end, and I’ll see myself clearly instead of through this painful, carnival-mirror lens. But the promises are always broken.

One day. Maybe one day I’ll be completely free.

Check out the rest of the confessions today over at More than Cheese and Beer. This has been part of the host prompt she does every Sunday inviting other bloggers to join up based on that day's topic. Check out her Facebook page every Wednesday for the prompts and link up with us (via her page) on Sundays. 

And as always...thanks for reading my deepest thoughts without judgment.