Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Sullen Riot Penetrating Through Her Mind

Facebook and other social media outlets are full of surveys and "things you don't know about me" posts and blah, blah, blah.  I recently completed one about 10 books that affected me in some way.  I'm a reader.  Limiting my list to 10 books was nearly impossible.  It took hours to complete.  I kept changing the books on my list.  I starting thinking about all those other lists I've not filled out.  I'm inspired.  Here it is.  My great reveal.  15 random "me" things.  If you currently have a positive opinion of me, you may not want to read this.  If not, well, you may find more reasons to hate me.

Music saved my life.  I was headed toward a future filled with trouble.  I had no guidance.  My parents were a presence in my life, but were lousy parents.  I didn't know God.  I doubted his existence.  In high school, my friend, Tricia, invited me to attend her church.  I was dying to get away from my mother, even if only for an hour, so I went.  The minister was wonderful.  I enjoyed his messages and appreciated the time he devoted to helping me learn who God is. I gave my daughter the middle name "Grace" because it was his last name.  Although I thought he, his wife, and the congregation were wonderful people, it was the music that kept me going back every week.  Hymns spoke to me.  I found words inside hymnals I couldn't find in myself.  Since then, every good thing in my life has come from this love of music.  I met my husband while singing with the All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir.  He gave me purpose and 3 beautiful children.  I sing in our church choir and feel called to serve the Lord in that capacity.  My greatest pleasure is the 2-3 hours I spend in Community Choir every Sunday. The commitment is difficult to keep now that I have children, but I can't accept not being a part of it.  Music. Saved. Me.

I'm a reformed neat freak. I have obsessive compulsive disorder.  I was a constant organizer.  I kept my compact discs in alphabetical order. I organized my bookshelves by genre and authors' last names.  I had 3 closets in my bedroom.  One was for shirts and dresses, one for pants and jeans, and the other for coats, shoes and miscellaneous.  Inside my shirt closet, I organized the shirts by type: short sleeve, long sleeve, dressy.  And then by color.  I did this with every closet and nearly everything I owned.  Since having children, I have completely abandoned the need for organization. However, ocd is still present.  It manifests as a germ phobia.  I can't touch restaurant menus or condiment bottles. I won't eat ANYTHING a child has made. But, hey, my house is a cluttered shit-hole and I can live with that.

I really dislike weird-ass names people choose for their children.  I understand the desire to be unique. I named my DAUGHTER "Mason" which likely guarantees no other girl in her school will have the same name, but it is normal enough to easily pronounce and find on kid things.  Kids love having their names on shit. Pencils, cups, you-name-it.  We can still provide those for her.  I roll my eyes and think, "your parents are morons" when I see twins named "Heaven" and "Nevaeh."  I detest the creation of new names by putting together letters from each of the parents' names. John and I could have done that.  "Joap" could have really caught on, but we chose not to because it's STUPID.

I find it hard to identify my sexuality.  I don't consider myself straight.  I'm not straight, but I'm not gay, bisexual or asexual either.  When you love someone, when you get lucky enough to have that "magic" moment where you realize you can't live without that person, it doesn't matter what sex s/he happens to be.  I truly believe, had John been a girl, I would have fallen head over heals for her.  He was the most amazing, loving, kind person I had ever encountered.  I feel extremely lucky that he was a boy and we were able to share our love without adversity. (Side note:  I'm not exactly sure what happened to that amazing, loving, kind person.  He's been replaced with someone much grumpier.)

I'm still learning how to love.  Children are not born knowing how to love.  Love is NOT human nature.  We are a ruthless, wild breed capable of extreme selfishness.  I was not taught how to love others.  My father was loving toward us, but he was also very needy.  He craved attention and approval.  My mother grew up with an abusive father and psycho-bitch stepmother.  She had no idea how to love anyone, not even herself. She "loved" me by controlling me and treated me like property.  I find teaching love, empathy and respect to be the most difficult parental duty I have.  I am not equipped with the skills necessary for teaching them, but I'm trying.

I was 28 years old before I realized only my opinion matters.  My father taught me to desire acceptance and praise.  My mother, sure as Hell, never gave either to me.  I began to look for it in other people.  I was a model student in school.  I tried to get perfect grades just to see a "well done" written on the top of my paper.  I followed the advice of my teachers without ever thinking about whether it was right for me.  I became sexually active at a young age. I craved approval. This need cost me 3 years of my life in law school and a student loan debt I will spend nearly an eternity paying back.  It wasn't until I became a mother that I let go of caring about what others thought and started to value my own opinions for my future.  I followed my heart and became a teacher....the career I always wanted but pushed away because an adviser thought I was more suited to be a lawyer.  I was never meant to be a lawyer.

I once dearly loved my mother-in-law;  now, just the thought of her makes my blood boil.  When I met John, I thought he was so lucky to have a mom like her.  She was so nice to him, which was completely foreign to me.  She really made me feel welcomed in their home.  All of John's friends loved her.  After we married and moved away, everything changed.  She has hurt me more than anyone ever has..which I never thought was possible.  And I hate her.  I hate her.   I'm not proud of that, but it's where my heart is.  I'm working toward indifference.

I have never successfully lost more than 40 pounds....I'm very good at regaining weight. Perhaps that's my superpower. Following our parents' divorce, my sister and I gained tons of weight.  I was a fat kid and now a fat adult.  I have dieted, exercised, taken diet pills, joined Curves, joined Weight Watchers and fallen for every televised weight loss program there is.  Sure, things go well at first and I lose weight.  I usually lose around 40 pounds and then plateau.  After months at the same weight, I get discouraged and quit...and regain all I lost plus more.  I'm the heaviest I've ever been as an adult.  This will change in 2014.  I'll blog about that when the time is right.

I am the most perceptive person I know.  I read people.  When friends of ours were having an affair, I knew it before they were caught.  I warned them how ugly their lives were about to become.  I have countless examples of knowing what is happening without being told.  Body language says so much.  And now, with the digital age, I think people are even easier to read.  We're losing the ability to communicate face to face which is having a positive effect on aptitude to lie.  People just aren't as good as it as they once were.

I enjoy other people's drama.  I even have a Facebook friend that I'm not close to and don't really care for, but I keep her because she periodically posts long rants.  There is no soapbox too big for her jump on.  I LOVE THAT! While it's ridiculously annoying, it's equally entertaining.

All my life, I have wished to be more like my cousin, Chad.  As a child, I thought he was freaking amazing. He is still ultra-cool, plays the guitar, sings well and has a the best set of friends a person could wish for. I recently learned that he reads my blog.  He called one of my posts, "good writing."  Oh my.  There is NOT a word in existence that describes what that means to me.

My blog post titles are lyrics from songs I really like.  Some of them have meaning to me.  Some are guilty pleasures. Some, like this , feel almost like they were written for me.

There is a rage inside me that sometimes frightens me.  I harbor anger.  I need time and space to cool off when I've hit my limit.  If at home, I will retreat to my bed for an hour or two.  I'm not violent, but if you piss me off you better be prepared for a pure, unadulterated bitchathon. John's grandma once said that she took everything that upset her to the Lord.  She never discussed it with others or made it public.  She gave it to Him.  That's classy, right.  I sometimes wish I was capable of that, but if I was what the Hell would I blog about?

I love being a substitute teacher.  Seriously, it's a great gig.  I choose when I work.  If my kids are sick, I can stay home.  It's the perfect job for a SAHM returning to the work force. Unfortunately, it doesn't put even a slight dent in that student loan debt I reference above.  Substitute teachers are paid less for a day's work than grill cooks at McD's. If the pay was better, I would sub forever!

I have no idea where I will take this blog.  I started it hoping to use it to show the world how I, a mother of 3 small children, managed to keep it together with little support at home.  It's become something far different.  I use it like therapy.  It's a place where I can put everything that consumes me: a home for those overwhelming feelings I don't have compartments for. Love, rage, sadness, anger, happiness...I leave them all here.  I love that people read my words, but I don't write for an audience.  My blog is a purely self-centered mode of release.  I use it to void myself of things that bring me anxiety.

Wow.  It's nearly 3am as I finish this. I'm a little surprised at the time and thought I put into it.  That wasn't my intention.  It feels good, though. Somehow, once again, I have purged myself of emotion I can't bare to keep. I feel renewed. And tired.

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