Friday, July 29, 2011

Crazy In Action

One of the worst parts about having narcissistic parents is trying to interract with other, normal people. The child of narcissism is programmed to put their wants and needs on hold for the wants and needs of the narcissist(s) that are their superiors, and then you get a people-pleaser who really has no idea that people are walking all over him or her. For me personally, the thought that someone might not like me is devastating, even though there are people I don't like, and not for any deep personal reasons, but that I just don't want to be their friend.

My mom's love has always been tied to things. If you love her enough, she doesn't have to buy you things, but if you don't love her enough, then she'll buy your love, by gum.

I have yet to experience my father's love, and after a decade of his harsh abuse, I don't really want to know what moves him.

I've really stopped wanting to buy people gifts, even for birthdays and important events. I hate getting gifts, too. They make me uncomfortable. Or even just someone buying me dinner. It's hard for me to let them. What will they want from me after that? Or will they think it's enough to secure my devotion, and then start treating me badly?

As for giving gifts, what if I overgift? What if the person is overwhelmed? I've seen that overwhelmed look just about every time my mom breaks out the debit card, and I don't ever want to see it on someone's face. I think I've figured out a good system, though. I get three small gifts of $10.00, two medium-sized gifts around $20.00, or one large gift of about $30.00. After buying the gift wrap and everything, it usually comes out to around $45-50, which I think is a good birthday gift.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My back...

So, I made the mistake of saying yesterday that kickboxing is getting easier. So my instructor made it harder. Oh, I hurt. So much. We laid down to work on our abs, and my back just started spasming. Ow.

I need a massage.

But not at Burke Williams!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


When I was in The Hospital last year, it was a very anxious time for me. And it didn't help that I had doctors and nurses asking me why I was anxious. I was in a freaking hospital. Duh.

I was worried that I wouldn't be able to go home within a few days, or that they'd keep me there indefinitely. I was afraid I would be hurt by one of the other, more violent patients, or that they'd start doing experiments on me.

One thing I wasn't worried about, though, was that I was worse than I thought I was. I kept thinking at first that maybe...I don't know...maybe I was schizoid or something else. Psychotic. Delusional. Something more than just very depressed. And then I met "Dave."

Dave was barely over the age of twenty, and he liked to sit with me and one of the other girls there. He confided to us about all of the people in the hospital, and how they would walk out the door, and then come back with new faces. "That guy is freaking me out," he'd say. "Don't let him look at me, okay? I like my face." If it was one thing that helped me know I could be okay, it was Dave. I think about him alot, and I hope he's okay. I hope he got the medication he needed to be right again, and I hope he continues to take it. He was obviously very smart, and he seemed smart enough to understand that what was happening wasn't normal, and that it was wrong, but because of the schizophrenia, he couldn't rationalize it.

This is basically mental illness in a nutshell: you can see that everything is wrong, and yet you can't rationalize it. You can't help yourself, and you're kind of adrift. Poor Dave. Poor anyone like Dave. Maybe some day, I'll get to see him again. I just hope I have the right face on when I do.

Lost Weekend

I had a great/odd weekend. It started by going to the OC Fair, and ended with a horrendous migraine.

I had a good time, though. I ate with abandon (only some barbecue and some gelato), looked at crafts, watched a man blow a vase out of molten glass, and purchased some hand-carved wood knicknacks.

I'm still going to my kickboxing class, and I have to admit that it's getting easier than it was in the beginning. I'm not sure if I'm seeing a difference in my muffin top, but I'm feeling better.

The death of Amy Winehouse...Oh, that was interesting. I had been keeping myself from liking her because of the drug issues. But I couldn't help myself. Her music was so very good. Valerie is probably one of my favorite songs. I wouldn't download her or buy her CD's, but I would listen to her on the radio and I am so glad that there were no drugs in her system. It's sort of like the whole Mamma Cass choking on a sandwich thing, probably everyone really thinks it was true, but I am glad that she managed to get free and clean from drugs. I'm just so sad that she's gone at such a very young age. There's so much life out there, so much to live, and I can bet she had more music inside of her.

Anyway, not a whole lot else going on with me. I wish my life was that exciting.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Back to school

Oh heck, is it that time again?

Well, not really. I still have a month of fooling around to do before I hit the books.

This semester, I'm only taking college algebra, and it will be the last math class I need, so that's something. After this, I can get going with biology and chemistry and all the fun stuff that I've been wanting to take.

I signed up for FAFSA last semester, so enrolling this semester was free. I still have to pay for my own books, though, and that's the most expensive part.

My mom bought me a little pencil set that has owls printed on the pencils, and an eraser shaped like an owl. It was sweet of her. I'm glad she's trying to be normal.

Anyway, I'm really bad at math. I've been taking remedial math so far and getting B's, so I'm hoping I'll get a B in this class also. It burns me to get a B instead of an A, but the truth is that I'm trying really, really hard, and this is the best I can do. So, I'm trying to accept that about myself.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dumping Ground

I don't know if it's my upbringing, the role I was pushed into from having an abusive father and a narcissistic mother, or if it's just my personality, but for some reason, I'm The Listener everywhere I go. People dump on me all the time, and I don't mind it, but it feels like I don't have a voice. In fact, I really don't think that I can articulate most of the time how I feel. Take right now for instance: I'm having a real battle with depression right now. But I can't really tell you how I feel because I'm not used to doing it.

It's hard, losing your voice. It's sort of like losing your identity. You have these friends who just go on and on and ON about their job, their family, their weekend plans, etc., but they never ask about yours. And I've tried it. I went for an entire day with my friends once, never interjecting anything about myself, but they never noticed. And it's not that they're this way. I seem to bring out the selfishness in other people.

I guess what I'm saying is don't be afraid to ask your friends questions, and be really careful about what you're saying. Let other people talk. Communicate information that is relevant. You never know when the person you're talking to might be feeling really horrible about themselves, and just needs someone to care.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"But Father, I wish to marry for love"

I always get a little annoyed when watching or reading a modern historical show/novel where the main character is convinced that he/she has the right to marry for love.

Up until about a hundred years ago, marrying for love was unheard of. You married a person that helped expand the family property, such as your neighbor with the large homestead. You married to improve your social standing, such as a rich privateer looking out for a poor baronnet or viscount for his heavily dowried daughter. You married to combine two companies, such as the mercantile and the confectionery getting their kids together. Marrying well used to be a duty that a child owed his or her parents. In many societies and religions, the husband and wife hadn't even met before the wedding took place.

In the movie "Fiddler on the Roof," this idealism is explored extensively. The main couple were put together by a matchmaker, and came to love each other. Their children, however, married for love, even after contracts had been made on their behalf.

Currently, in the "Game of Thrones" books, the arranged marriage is in the forefront. The marriages are both happy and unhappy, and in some cases, both parts of the couple are held together by their sense of duty alone.

It's an odd part of our current ideals: dowries have been exchanged for rings, contracts for prenuptial agreements.

But a bride still gets given away, doesn't she?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Brahm Stoker Sucks. In other news, so do vampires

My friend Cassandra posted a review that I did for Brahm Stoker's "Lair of the White Worm" over at her blog, Domestic Apocalypse. It's here in all its glory.

I just want to make a few things clear:

1. This book sucks.

2. It should not be read.

3. Ever.

4. At all.

5. Even if you're at a spa and bored out of your mind.

Although, I've heard a really bad 70's crackfilm was made, and that it's a cult classic. Oh, I will get my hands on it. Yess, precioussss.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Cersei Lannister Answers Your Life Questions

Like a lot of people lately, I’ve been reading Game of Thrones by George RR Martin, and all I could do this morning while reading Miss Manners was wonder what advice the Queen Regent, Cersei Lannister would give. I cracked myself up.

Dear Miss Manners: My husband sent out my daughter’s birthday invitation to someone she had pulled from her list. How do I uninvite this child?

Dutiful Subject: First off, allow me to send my condolences on the matter of your husband’s stupidity. I assure you that I relate to your distress. Men are such bores, are they not? (Or boars as the case may be…)

As to your question. Unfortunately, it would be a terrible affront to uninvite a child to a party. It could cause a war. Literally. Fortunately, this is the perfect chance to train your daughter in the arts of segregation and humiliation. Segregation: Keep the unwanted child from engaging with the other children. This is generally done through Humiliation. If you want your daughter to always have the upper hand and be a woman to look up to, she must learn these arts as quickly as possible.

Dear Miss Manners: What is the appropriate waiting period after a contentious divorce to announce engagement to another?

Dutiful Subject: Why marry again when you can simply string along a group of men as your lovers indefinitely? If you truly do wish to marry, perhaps for money or political power, then there is no harm in announcing your intentions immediately. You will be able to gauge the reactions of those around you better if you take them by surprise, and dispose of anyone that might hinder you sooner rather than later.

Dear Miss Manners: Please tell your readers what to say to someone who has just suffered a miscarriage. My daughter recently had a miscarriage, and a relative said, “Well, there are worse things that could happen.” I thought that was pretty insensitive.
Why not just say “I’m sorry”?

Dutiful Subject: Simpleton, simpleton! You missed the perfect opportunity to bare your teeth and show the shadowcat that lies beneath your skin. The only way to save face now is to have that person’s child murdered in their sleep, and then at the funeral repeat their condolences to them. Then set fire to their castle.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Burke Williams, or Why A Day At The Spa Is Lost On Me

"A" took me and her other bridesmaid to Burke Williams on the day of the rehearsal dinner. Burke Williams is a very posh, exclusive salon (A has a membership there) that people are always talking about reverently, as though it’s the ultimate ultimate. So, I was excited about going. I didn’t really like a pedicure since I don’t really like people touching my feet, so I opted for a full body massage (I don’t mind people touching my body. I’m weird in case you hadn’t noticed).

The first thing you notice when you walk into Burke Williams is the silence. It’s just so quiet. There are huge Spanish-style doors to one side of the check-in counter, and the women behind the counter are pretty much just normal, average folk. I don’t know, I guess I was expecting super model trainees or something. They were very polite, and helped us sign in, and then gave us all keys to lockers.

Behind the enormous wood-and-iron doors is another world entirely. The lighting is muted. The hallways are silent. There’s a common room with a gigantic fire and sofas and squishy chairs everywhere. Fruit and water with cucumbers and lemons lay on buffets and sideboards with marble tops. Everywhere you look are people wearing large, white fluffy robes and black sandals.

I mean, change the water for kool-aid, and you have a cult.

See? This is what I mean. All I could think about was putting on that robe and giving up my independence for some sort of collective consciousness. A very quiet, muted collective consciousness.

The locker room is cavernous. In a back, dark area there is a room with bathtubs. It’s pretty much the only room that closes. Apparently, they put you in a bathtub and rub mud all over you, then wrap you up and let you steep, then wash you off. In the middle is a huge Jacuzzi surrounded by water carafes, fruit, and rolled hand towels soaking in ice buckets. Every corner has a wicker basket full of fluffy white towels, dry and warm. There’s a bank of vanities with every amenity you will need to make yourself beautiful after your treatment. Hair dryers, straightening irons, even makeup. The only thing it’s really lacking is a stylist to help you apply all of the lotions and mousses and foundation.
There’s a bank with toilet cubicles; great austere marble things with those dark wood and iron doors, and a marble bank of sinks with lotions, makeup remover, toner, sunscreen and moisturizer. Little glass blocks hold hairbands for if you need a ponytail, and at the showers directly opposite there are also shower caps. The showers are also marble. Huge rectangles of the stuff with molded glass doors. Razors, shaving lotion, body lotion, body wash, shampoo and conditioner are available. There’s a shelving unit with those huge fluffy towels.

Our lockers were just beyond all of this, and of course it’s the only part of the godforsaken place with decent lighting of any kind. We opened our lockers, and I hung up my hooded robe on the little hook inside and mused that the lockers weren’t nearly as grand as the rest of the place. I was expecting personal changing rooms or something, not glorified gym lockers.

Now, I have to say that I really enjoy clothes. I do. I love them. I think they’re great, and I think that people look better in them. I believe that bras are a must, no matter how tiny your cups may be, and if the occasion is right, a corset or Spanx may be in order. I wear bloomers under my skirts, and I don’t agree with bare legs, arms or bellies. At least not for me. I’m just not an exhibitionist, so getting undressed, even down to my cutest black panties with the white lace, in front of so many people, made me uncomfortable. I could not put that robe on fast enough.

And that was how they got me.

We all went into the common room to wait for our masseuses. I commandeered a sofa in front of the fire that was so fluffy and warm, I just had to curl into my robe and watch the flames. When my massage was done, this was the same sofa that I was brought to. My robe had been put into a warmer for over an hour, and I was groggy and relaxed and happy. A cup of water was shoved into my hand and a cup of chilled oranges was put on the table in front of me. When my friends came back, they wanted to jump in the Jacuzzi. This is probably a normal reaction for most people. I am not most people. I hate being wet. I like being dry and warm. I was dry and warm on the sofa. I could have sat there, staring at the fire for days. Bring me a book, and you pretty much have my favorite sport. But this was for my friend who was getting married, so I went back into the “locker room” and put on my bathing suit, and tried to be comfortable at the Jacuzzi.

I wasn’t. The water was scorching hot and the tiles were freezing cold, and the only way to work for any kind of balance was to drape one of those chilled cloths over your shoulders and hope for the best. So, my upper body was freezing, and my lower body was boiling. And of course, all I could do was notice that no one else seemed to have these issues. All of the other women were sinking into the water and acting like it was the best thing ever. Finally, I noticed a girl sitting on the tiles with a towel under her, so I grabbed a few dry towels and wrapped up in one, and put the other one under me. It was at this time that my friends decided we should sit in the cool steam room.

I like being cold and wet about as much as I like being warm and wet.

Ten seconds in the cool steam room (which is a misnomer, because it’s a lukewarm steam room) and I was soaked through, having trouble breathing, and decided I was going back to the fire.

“Yeah,” my friends agreed. “Let’s go to the sauna.”

Dry heat. Oh joy.

I really am proud of myself. I lasted two minutes.

“I’m going to find out what the quiet room is all about,” I told them. “Sorry, I just can’t take this.

Back at my locker, I changed from my wet things back into my underwear, my bra, and that robe. Yes, it made me look like a bleached druid, but I could wrap that thing around me three times, and it still held the lingering scent of the heater and the fire. I looked longingly back at the common room, where women who have no jobs were now being served lunch. One of them was sitting on my sofa, so I sighed and went into the “quiet room.”

The quiet room was odd, because the entire place was quiet. But there’s no talking, no cell phones, and no music in the quiet room. It’s almost a void. There are little cubicles with lounge sofas in them. The cubicles are only wide and long enough to fit the sofas, and they really aren’t that comfortable. You can’t lay down properly, and I’m so tall that my head and shoulders were well above the recline of the lounger, so the only choice I had was to slide down and slump, which didn’t feel that great on my spine.

“This place sucks,” I thought to myself. If I had just gone to the massage place down the street, I’d be home by now, taking a shower, or maybe sitting on my own sofa with my own fire, reading a really good book. Instead, I was stuck there, at this communal watering hole, forced to partake in rituals that I didn’t believe in.

Well, okay, except for the robe. I was cool with the robe.

As I was thinking about this, my friends came in to find me. Apparently, they were both on board with how much the place sucked, too, because they pantomimed us taking showers and then getting something to eat. We stole as much fruit and tea bags as we could on our way out. We also used the heck out of the free stuff they had at the showers and the vanities. In fact, I don’t think my hair has ever had quite that much product in it before or since.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Summer Sun

Wow, this year has been major. It's already July and I can't believe it. So much has happened lately, and I don't really handle lots of stuff happening all at once very well. Thank God for zoloft.

My best friend got married, and I was her bridesmaid. It was a really interesting view, from the other side of the nuptuals. A is so very happy now, married for just a little over a month, and she's really trying to keep her feet on the ground. Her new hubby has a daughter from his previous marriage, which I think sort of threw them into a more mature newlywed experience.

I got all A's this semester (in two classes, but they're A's nonetheless!), and I'm only taking a kickboxing class this summer because the next big class I need is college algebra, and I don't think I can do that over a summer, or with other classes next semester.

My SIL is thisclose to delivering my second niece, and I'm really excited about that, but I won't be able to meet the new baby until Christmas.

Oh, and I adopted a cat! My guinea pigs died over Christmas (one went right before Christmas, the other right after. Oh, my heart! I miss those little piggies so much...they were really the most special little buddies), and I've been wanting a new cuddly friend. Mr. Chekhov is a great cat, and very much a cuddler. But the weird thing is, he only really likes me, and my other best friend C. C and I did Tae Bo for a few weeks before our kickboxing class started, and Checkhov just loved her, would sit on her lap, purr, headbutt, roll on his back for her. Everyone else, even my own Auntie, is met with major suspicion and contempt. He is also obsessed with the black-and-white tuxedo kitty accross the way from me, and they just stare at each other for hours. Chekhov's tail goes at a mile a minute, and I have Roman blinds on my windows, so sometimes I'm woken up in the middle of the night because he's hitting the slats so hard, and they swing out. I'm worried he's going to break a few!

Anyway, I'm trying to stay on top of my issues. A getting married has really been challenging me. I can feel our relationship evolving and I hate change. Which is so weird because everyone else loves it so much!