Saturday, October 8, 2016

Never Picked, Always Tricked, and Vera

Trigger/Content Warning (TW/CW): this blog post contains mentions of child abuse, domestic violence, rape, assault, abortion, ableist terminology, attempted self-abortion, and harassment.  Reader discretion is advised.

If there is one thing I truly and openly admitting to sucking at, it's saving things.  I never do.  I don't like keeping a collection of anything (the fact that I own and run this blog with its x amount of posts is stretching it with my limits).  It was a vow that I made to myself after growing up in a home where my parents saved just about anything they could get their hands on.  Primarily because my father, being a Holocaust survivor as an infant, was raised on cherishing everything you possess.

My biggest saver snafu was with emails.  Always had an issue with them for many years.  I couldn't even properly save an email that had the original attachment of The Clip(TM) sent to me by Steve Blum nearly four years ago (fuck, it's been that long?!).  At my last three employers, saving emails was not my strongest attribute, because once I saw an email that was "useless", I would trash it.  No need for it anymore, because the contents served its purpose, I thought.  Plus, the sight of all these emails collecting in my inbox would make my skin itch to no end, even with multiple folders within the inbox to save such important emails.  Nope.  I could not fathom to see them whenever I opened my emailbox; I strived for cleanliness whenever I was working with emails.

Of course, fellow colleagues would be bewildered when they found out that I couldn't pull up an email by somebody who did this when they should have done that.  Why would it be my concern if they were also copied on that same email?  That's not my problem, yo; I'm just a proverbial cog in a machine.

Today, I got to put this bad habit to good use, if you can call it that.

Allow me to rewind this story a tad bit, to a couple of months ago.  In August, I found out that I couldn't get to see my new psychologist as much as I would like because of a copay fubar, as well as I was in a place financially that felt like I truly hit this legendary "rock bottom" status.  In short, I was not happy.  It was sometime after my sister's birthday.  I decided to email both my rabbi (my spiritual guidance counselor/teacher/Inspector Gadget) and my rebbetzin (his wife, a Jewish version of a presbytera), that I was going to do a shiva/sheloshim of my very own; over all of my losses.

The reason for me to do a shiva/sheloshim is to properly grief and ultimately heal.  I never got the chance to take time for myself to mourn over the loss of my child (I imagine Aidan as a boy, although Aidan would be the one to tell me what gender, if any, Aidan Gregory Pletin-Georgiades [say: AY-dehn GREH-goh-ree pluh-TEEN johr-jee-AH-dis] identified as).

My child.  Me?  A parent?  At the time of the abortion, I had to look into the mirror and call myself a mother?  Considering for the few days I knew I was pregnant in 2004, I spent almost half of the time punching myself in the lower abdomen so that I wouldn't have to go into the abortion clinic and pay however much on my very first big time credit card. 

I did have an option; to run away and stay with friends in the nearby state of Indiana, allowing myself to actually carry Aidan to full term and then giving him up for adoption.  I chose not to do it.  I was too much of a coward at age 23; I feared then what I would eventually had to face ten years later - being without my blood family.

Eventually, I lost everything.  Some of it was my own doing.  Some of it was a holographic mirage of what I thought was my life growing up.  Some of it I wish I could take back, even though I live my life of having no regrets. 

I lost Aidan, with Dingbat holding my hand by my side.  I lost my feline sons, Belle, Junior, and Sam, to Dingbat and my parents.  I lost my feline daughter, Callie, because I had become mentally unstable around her, the opposite of what an emotional support animal was supposed to do.  I sold my car for pennies on the dollar.  I never got to fully grieve the loss of my canine sister, Chelsea, after I held her close and felt her body go from soft, warm, and comforting, to hard, cold, and taxidermal.  I never got the chance to say goodbye to my vermin brother, Bing Crosby, a golden teddy bear hamster, when he passed away while I was living with my first ex-fiancĂ© 17 years ago.  I didn't fully come to closure with walking away from my last employer, even though I made peace with myself before I slid my common access card across the conference table to my last supervisor.  I never got the chance to feel the hurt and pain when I was assaulted and raped, or when I saw my parents fight with each other, my sister, my relatives, or my grandmother.  I didn't have the gumption to tell my parents and my sister how much they had hurt me, because in the end they didn't care.  To all of them, it was "my fault."  Hell, I didn't have the time to mourn over walking away from my family because I had to go into such a stealth survival mode that it didn't allow me to stop and feel, or otherwise I would be completely crippled in sadness and anger.

From now until this upcoming Friday, I am allowing myself.

I am allowing myself to be a grieving mother. 

I am allowing myself to identify as a woman in mourning, even if for this moment as I am composing this entry. 

I am allowing my inner child to run to someone, hug them, and cry into their shoulder (as I compose this, my eyes begin to swell with tears, because I long for that so much it would make me consider doing such illegal activities if I was to be guaranteed such intimate non-sexual contact) after seeing countless moments of yelling, screaming, pushing, shoving, assaulting, forcing to hug and kiss someone, stripping, harassing, never being picked by classmates to participate in sports or in music, bullying, gaslighting, lying, accusing, table pounding, and wooden chair smashing. 

I am allowing my inner younger adult to proverbially punch walls after discovering moments of senior high school photo destroying, virgin deflowering, more bullying, more lying, more forcing, more assaulting, loss of dignity and loss of a soul. 

I am allowing myself to feel hollow after throwing away countless beautiful possessions on November 2, 2013: my four high school yearbooks, photos of myself I had collected because nobody wanted to help make a photo album of myself, my autographed collection from the cast of "[H]ouse, M.D.," Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, and of course, Steve Blum, whatever stuffed animals and toys I had left.

I am allowing myself to feel all of these losses and any other losses that I may have not mentioned, primarily due to them not coming to mind.

I am allowing myself to grieve and mourn and cry and kick and scream and any other way to extract this out of ever loving mind.  Because, before the Escape from Troll Central Station, to show any shred of sadness from myself was an invitation to get belittled and bullied by both parents, or worse, both parents would want me to console them, instead of them consoling me.

Parents are supposed to answer a child's question of: "do you love me?" And not the other way around, where in this case, my parents (especially my father) would ask me often: "do you love me?"

I knew what the answer was then.  The same answer holds true now.  To have said it to their faces then would have surmised a certain "honorable" death.

My rabbi has told me that I should not grieve over things I never had.  This is one of those times where he is so wrong.  I had family get togethers; I was too young to have much of a memory of them, with the exception of seeing my late Aunt June and Cousin Denise to play Uno when I was age 7.  To see outsiders come into the home was a thrill, because I got to see my parents and my sister all behave!  I never wanted outsiders to leave; fuck, I always wanted them to take me out of the home into a place far away and never look back.  The last family photo of my parents, my sister, and I was from late 1997, where I was inducted into the National Honor Society as a senior in high school.  My parents did show up to numerous events where I was either being awarded with diplomas, hosting the city's mayor to a non-profit grand reopening, or even to see me in a grade school class performance or sing with the school choir. 

With each event, however, was always met with overt disdain from my mother and covert disdain from my father.  Neither of them got to do what I was able to do, considering I was labeled as a "retard" growing up.  Their smiles and gratitude in the beginning slowly turned to sneers and disgust as I went on to achieve even more things that neither of them got to do.

And my sister?  I remember the times she had gotten kicked out of the house by my parents, only to come back.  The last time she was kicked out was in 2000, when she told my mother, who was lying down for a nap at the time, that she was leaving for Texas because she had found her first position as a physician's assistant.  My mother yelled something at her, what it was I didn't know; I was in the bedroom right above my parents' bedroom in our two-story home.  My sister came up to say good-bye, and she was crying.  I looked at her and was like, "What the hell happened?"  My sister said something to the effect of: "I'm leaving for Texas.  Mom told me to go to hell."  I hugged my sister back and then raced downstairs to confront my mother, who was still laying down.  My mother's response to my anger was pretty much nonchalant: "She can go to hell and so can you."

Another thing I suck at is with enjoying the holidays.  It definitely hurts me when I see families at temple celebrate milestones with their children and relatives.  My sister was either in college or working double shifts to make whatever money she could.  My father was loyal to his employer, and never intentionally missed a shift in his 34-year career with his last employer.  My mother was a walking talking bellyache of self pity.

At age 9, I offered to do the blessing for our Thanksgiving meal.  I was being silly about it (as I would think 9-year olds would do), and ended it with: "let's eat!"  My father, unfortunately, didn't appreciate my take on the blessing and kicked me out of the dining room, not allowing me to eat with my parents.  I ended up sitting in the living room, quietly crying, wondering if I was going to get Christmas presents that year.  At age 12, my parents had a huge argument during the Thanksgiving meal that everyone ate their meals separately, with no blessings given.  At age 17, since neither my sister or I wanted to decorate the Christmas tree (at that point, we both yearned to get away from our parents as much as possible), my father took offense to that.  After Christmas, he took down the fake tree, grabbed all the boxed ornaments (some of the ornaments were from the 1960s), and threw them all out onto the tree lawn for trash collection day.  At age 20, I found out that not only my sister came to the house to visit our parents, they had an extraordinary fight while I wasn't home; my father threatening my sister to run him over while she was trying to leave the driveway.

So family gatherings for both holidays and milestones were awkward at best, tumultuous at worst.

I did have those "family moments".  And for the majority of them, they sucked so hard.  That's what happens when you have the equivalent of four complete strangers living under a roof but with no video cameras from MTV to make it "The Real World."

And because now, at age 35, I will never have those good and happy "family moments," I will allow myself to weep.  I will allow myself to feel all the envy and jealousy. 

I will never get to be a happy child. 

I will never get to be a happy parent.

My only purpose in life now is to find out what it means to be truly happy.  I thought I had it when I had my fursons and my second ex-fiancĂ©, the core that made me want to fight for.  When that turned out to be nothing more than a holographic mirage, I found myself questioning if I would ever get to be happy.

My goal is to be happy when this mourning ends.  To be happy with where I am in this moment.  To be happy with the love and support and cheerleading from friends, folks, fans, and followers all over this wondrous planet.  To be happy with the things I do possess that keep me going; my sight, my hearing, my bullshit detector, my thoughts, my random semi-accessible memory, my ability to walk, talk, and chew gum, my monthly allowance from Social Security, my 10 foot by 13 foot box of a studio apartment unit, my temple and the clergy (even if not every single member likes me), and you, Dear Reader, on this blog.

Should you see me before this upcoming Friday, do me a favor, please:

Ask me if I want a hug and a chance to cry on your shoulder.

I truly believe my catharsis will be complete once I am able to have that moment of feeling, as an absolute closure to the 33 years of hell I endured.

Or maybe it won't, as Complex PTSD is a lifelong mental death sentence.  I will never know when I will face that euthanizing device until the time comes.

Either way, you would be the closest thing to an idol I would worship for allowing me to be held and to cry on your shoulder, if I was allowed to worship idols (don't tell my rabbi or my rebbetzin, okay?).

I love you.

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