The life I was meant to leave 

Well, as we all know it was a holiday weekend, and mine was actually fucking fantastic. Why? On Saturday and Sunday I deserved some Olympic level medal for the amount I got done. So many around the house things I can’t find time or energy for regularly, my husband helped a little but his job has him working the major summer holiday weekends, it’s when he’s supposed to be busiest. Ha. But then on Monday, I woke up and knocked out what I call the basics (bed is made, dishes washed, trash taken out, all the clothing and dishes and trash my husband left strewn wherever he went all put away, cat boxes, showering) and then I spent the entirety of the day (like 10-5) writing. It was amazing!! I got a little over 18 pages knocked out. I was like wow if only I had days like this more often.

I don’t know what it is but I can’t work on writing if the house is trashed. It gives me every kind of anxiety. Maybe because my mom was an unadulterated bitch if I didn’t take care of “my” share of the housework. Maybe because my grandma’s apartment was always PRISTINE so I associated cleanliness with happiness a really long time ago. Maybe it’s just the fact that I used cleaning and organizing the house as a means to attempt to control the chaos of my parents (especially dad’s) DEEP mental illnesses constantly caused. I couldn’t tell you got certain, I just know even though writing matters more than anything and always has I still can’t just run to my laptop after work and leap in. In part it’s because I know these things NEED to be done and 1) no ones helping me on their own 2) I am the QUEEN of anti-procrastination. Like procrastinating sickens me. WHY would you put something off when you KNOW you need to do it?!? There’s a limit, of course, like sometimes there’s not enough time in the day, or one is exhausted and works the next morning and knows the dishes will be there, but like when people waste time and still are like “oh I’m so behind on everything” it just enrages me. Take care of your own shit timely like the rest of the fucking adults.

So, I need to do a certain amount of housework before I could write, and because I let so much get backlogged it took two days of working full time at home to catch up, but oh damn did I. Plus I feel like I’m in that groove so to speak, I’ll probably write when I get home, hence the blog composed from work.

and, oddly enough, sometime over the weekend as he went into work and I stayed home (a FIRST for us, mind you) my husband said something about how he would one day make enough so I wouldn’t have to work, and I was like I can’t imagine that. He was like your goal isn’t to stop working? Then why do you always complain about having to work? I was just like you know I can’t even fathom what it’d be like if i was with someone who worked even just the same as me much less more and made more, it just doesn’t seem like real life to me.

BUT after yesterday I knew what I would do if I didn’t have to work, and I’d work at home, doing exactly what I did yesterday, hammer out the bare essentials so I have 6-8 hours for writing. Sure there will be days im not inspired, so that means you spend those days reading about writing fiction, or reading other works of fiction, or writing personal blogs that are slowly teaching you to express yourself healthily.

So, I guess it took three whole days off in a row, but I know what I’m meant for, but that doesn’t mean I won’t keep on as I am, there’s no sense in waiting for things to magically fix themselves. Ain’t no one coming to save anyone

 

~Cassie

Timing and such

I know this is redundant of me, but I’m missing out on when I should have time for things. What things? Like exercise and writing and cooking dinner.
I think we all know which two of those three things i pick every day.

Well, we have officially decreed we won’t be moving which actually I’m excited about because the minor annoyances of this house (no central air or dishwasher) are NOT worth the DEEP hassle of moving. And, if you can imagine it, I do 100% of the work for moving. For my husband it’s just ONE day of heavy lifting (which he likes, he does it on his own with free weights in the garage all the time). I do 100% of the packing, the organizing, the unpacking, the coordination of everything, the godawful paperwork, the everything basically. AND I still have to help out on moving day, it’s not like there’s anyone else who could help us out, neither of us have made any friends in the five fucking years we’ve been living down here.

Speaking of friends, so I took the 22nd and 23rd of June off for this potential move, just to have a long weekend to get stuff done because reasons i just explained, but now I don’t need to waste that long weekend moving our huge amount of shit. SO I was like, oh man this would be a perfect opportunity to take the train and hang out with best friend. I even researched Amtrak tickets before texting her, it would’ve only been $73 roundtrip. Which, you can argue I’d spend less in gas, especially in my car, but when asked to place a dollar value on the emotional stress I’d feel driving there and back, Amtrak is far more affordable. But, no, OF COURSE, her stupid dickweed older brother is going to be in the state for that weekend with his perfect angel children and his perfect saint wife, so naturally best friend is going to be two hours north of me spending time with people she doesn’t even really like.  Idk I guess you could say I have a warped sense of how family should work so maybe I’m just jealous of her not total shit older brother. So it was disappointing such a promising idea got shut down so quickly. She asked if I could move it up a week but there’s no way my work would go for that. I asked if a weekend in August would work but she doesn’t know her work schedule for then so it’s a total guessing game if she’ll even be home any given weekend.  So basically that’s been nipped indefinitely. It’s frustrating because it’s ALSO the only thing I can afford to do. Because all I’d end up paying for is my train tickets and food/beverage while I’m there. She lives with her boyfriend who owns a house, which is awesome to me. I feel like an inadequate loser when compared with homeowners the same age as me. One of the guys we swung with renter-shamed us. It was annoying. But so was his dick so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. So anyway because best friend lives with her boyfriend I have access to a free bedroom in the city. Which again is the only reason this is affordable. So, now I can either work those two days and save my vacation time or I can take the long weekend at the end of next month but do nothing with it.

It’s kind of depressing to admit, but I always make a really long To Do list for long weekends.

Let me back up.

I keep a small notebook in my purse, I’ve been doing so since I was in grade school (circa 8th grade, you start menstruating you kind of need to start carrying a purse, I call it grade school because there was no distinction between grade school and middle school where I went. That was some public school ish). In that small notebook, I have a few running lists going:
1) To Do – this is major things that will take time and planning and sometimes money
2) To Buy – a list of things i want to buy when i have the funds
3) Bills/To Do – All active and outstanding bills are listed with their due date, crossed out when paid. This To Do list is more immediate things, like groceries and sweeping and cat boxes, usually stuff it doesn’t cost me anything to accomplish.
4) Grocery List – which consists of two categories – Grocery and Other. I usually start the next week’s grocery list when I’m at the store getting that week’s groceries, if you can follow that. It happens because there are usually things I’ve written down through the course of the week that i know we’ll need soon, but sometimes money is tight and you’re like..eh, this can wait until next week. I’ve written and re-written the same things like 12 times on a grocery list before actually buying it. Annoyingly expensive things like batteries and carpet cleaning solution.
5) To Read/Buy – this last one isn’t actually in the notebook anymore, because now that I’m not in school it’s not as relevant of a thing. I’m still reading, of course. In fact i just finished A Room with a View and plan on starting The Return of the Native tomorrow. I know, I just love me some Victorian white men. But really if you perused at my book collection you’d see my author affinity lies with Nigerian woman. But I keep this as a running list too, just not in the notebook.

But, on the long summer weekends, I make an extra specially long To Do list, you know so I can attempt to feel good about the fact that I do nothing fun with long weekends. At least I’m productive, I can say. And yes, I suppose in some ways I’ve benefited from my ability to persevere. But, in other ways, I am just so tired. There’s not too much that isn’t unfair, it’s just enough that’s been unfair in my life. Just enough to make me bitter. Just enough to worry me that something worse might happen and this has all been some awful preamble.
That’s where I’m at, mentally, I guess. Then there’s my..well…idk I guess you could call it substance abuse issues. To me I don’t have a problem but I’m aware enough to realize that that’s probably what all addicts say… so…maybe I do. At the same time, when your addictions are weed and booze (namely beer or vodka) it’s a little bit harder to get called out on it. I try to keep it to one stiff Bloody Mary a day. Plus whatever weed I want, which I wish was less because that shit is expensive if you’re not growing it.

But, I should be off. I just wanted to capture this disappointment, I don’t know why. It was a fairly good day at work, free lunch and impromptu dessert happened. Tomorrow’s Thursday at least. Plus I have a new dress to wear, so that makes any work day worth it.
I guess there’s a few ways I’m vapid. But only a few.

~Cass

Oh good, you figured out how to cause more drama

Okay, so guess what I’m still obsessing about? But there are more details, as I had the chance to ask my mother in law WTF her daughter was thinking, sending my brother, who is also her ex, a birthday card. After she SO succinctly cut all communication. GUESS what my mother in laws reasons were?
1) “Your brother is ‘in the family'” OH OKAY, because this bitch sends birthday cards to ANY members of her family??? She sometimes sends one to my husband who’s her actual brother. This year, she actually did send me one but that was after a few years of my getting her something for her birthday and her not reciprocating. SO somehow the two of them rationalized it out that it would seem all right because he’s “in the family.” I relayed this information to best friend, she seems to mirror my sentiments.
2) Sister in law thinks she can stay friends with all of her exes because she “thinks like a little girl” because she was molested as a young girl and that froze her mental and emotional state. Which, okay, sure, but she is NOT thinking like a ‘little girl’ she’s thinking and acting like a cunty 14 year old. I’m not saying she wasn’t molested, everyone knows she was, the cousin (on her mom’s side, I’ve never met the dude but I guess he was at a wedding for that side of the family that I was at many years ago) who did it admitted it via letter and everything. Dude’s married with kids so….I hope whatever made him molest his cousin and sister somehow didn’t transfer to his own kids. But I don’t think that’s how that works. But my sister in law, I think, is doing tiny, subtle things to make sure that my brother is still pining over her/to be a bitch to him because he ruined their relationship with his crazy headgames
That’s one thing I will never, ever fault a person for, I cannot imagine how unbearable my brother is to date. I could barely stand being around him for the occasional family get together. That’s not the issue, the issue is A TON of people told my sister in law not to pursue things with my brother, but she does what she wants and lets her mom deal with the consequences (see, 14 year old).

So, that’s where that drama is at. The drama with my husband and I never resolved (like always), I left to get groceries before he’d gotten up on Saturday and by the time I got back he was gone for work. Then so shortly after he got home from work his mom was here. As far as her visits go, it was a pleasant one. She didn’t once say anything that made me want to stab a fork into my kneecap as an escape from the mental torture of not saying something when there are SO MANY THINGS TO SAY. Usually that’s how it is when I’m around his family. Plus they’re masters of having the least engrossing conversations imaginable.
Example?
One time, at a dinner I just HAD to be there for, my sister in law and her stepdad (My father in law) got into a fifteen minute discussion about how to spread ice-melting salt in the winter. She was stating her new chic downtown apartment has a flight of cement steps they’re responsible for, and she at 42 years old had never had to spread salt on ice before. My father in law uses a fertilizer spreader (BUT OF COURSE, she didn’t know what that was either! Oh my god it’s SO charming how brain dead she fucking is!) and he really loves going into those details, so it was a full on all out discussion ON HOW TO DO SOMETHING I KNEW HOW TO DO WHEN I WAS 7. Ahghghghghghg. It just feels like common sense has NO PLACE in this household when the sister in law is around. It makes me feel sorry for my mother in law. She must wonder what it’s like to have a daughter who does something other than perpetually unload her problems on her. I don’t blame my mother in law for heavily discouraging the relationship between her daughter and my brother, because let’s get real, he was just another freeloading drug addict loser, and BOY is that her fucking type. The last one drained her money and her soul and her resources for about 7 years until suicide attempt #3 was successful. Or the first two times were fake and the last one was real? It happened the DAY before my husband was standing up as a groomsman in his best friend’s wedding. The vibe that night was BAD. That marriage lasted less than 2 years too, so that whole weekend is just some ragingly terrible memory.

 

Well you know I for once feel inspired to work on my actual work, not this wordpress that’s like…..okay I don’t mean to get dramatic but I’ve noticed in the past few months I’ve become strangely  capable at expressing my feelings with words, and pinpointing their origin. So this thing actually has a frightening value for me, as it is the first and only diary I’ve ever kept up that I haven’t destroyed. I had a live journal that was good but like…it was so sad, I just couldn’t go back on there. I wrote a lot of it when i was at my very worst as an adult, the ages of 18-21 more or less. I was living on my own and working at a pet store full time while still going to college full time. I had JUST escaped  from the emotional war zone that was/is my parents’ house. I was nowhere near healing, or even beginning the process, and I had almost 0 capabilities when it came to connecting with others and maintaining that bond in a healthy way. I mean, from what I’ve told you, you can imagine that I didn’t really see a lot of that in my life. And also, of course, 18 year old me didn’t KNOW that. Like i was STILL trying to pretend things were fine/normal/good/sure because…I don’t know, I guess it’s not exactly natural, the things I’ve done. Everyone is programmed to pine after romantic love like it’s the ultimate goal in life followed closely by the penultimately important FAMILY- parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, not to mention their own kids, AGH all anyone does is talk about their stupid families. Bah. But, for me, the finding my husband is what helped me finally reject my family. And even then, it took about five years longer than that. I know I was only 21, but if you count my damage I was about like 30 when I met him. And if you want to judge things at the surface level, you could say that I kind of replaced the emotional need my parents/brother left with my husband. It’s not unheard of, doing that sort of thing (taking emotion for someone and using it to blot out pain caused by someone else….you see divorcees with their kids? Yeah). You see it all the time, even if you don’t notice it. I do. But I’m kind of obsessed with how people express themselves. I’m taking notes because I need pointers. I read an article about empaths, and I was like…holy shit I bet this is what people think I am, because I’m strangely capable at recognizing the emotions of others. But I like straight up will NEVER try to make anyone feel better.

Not because I’m some bitch who’s never wanted anyone to cheer her up (c’mon)

But because, that’s on YOU, buddy

Ain’t NO ONE going to be there, not when you REALLY need them

So learn to forgive them for it before it happens, and learn to stand yourself up.

I mean, a few things bring out the compassion in me, well in general animals are always going to. That’s true of most people, but I worked at a pet store for 11 years, and for 2 of those 11 years I also ran a pet sitting business (I still sometimes have stress dreams about it). There are definitely things I feel towards animals that I can’t ascribe to humans. That’s nothing groundbreaking though, we don’t see that parts of ourselves that we hate in animals, like we do with other people. My husband can tell from my face if I’m looking at a picture of cute animals or something else because I guess I only smile a certain, actually happy way if it’s animals.

OMG that bloody mary I made after work was STRONG. How is this almost 1500 words? jeez. Me sometimes

 

~Cassie

I seriously couldn’t make this shit up

Well, today was going well enough, but I became irritated over something my husband did, he asked me why I was being so curt with him, then he pulled one of his favorite moves and repeatedly asked me what was wrong, got pissed when I told him I didn’t want to have a long drawn out pointless discussion, then he stormed off. Our house is only so big so he’s asleep in the bedroom. Of course. Later on, when we DO have that godawful discussion I didn’t want to have (because I never really win) it’ll come up that he stormed off (I’ll say it) and he’ll say he just “had to get away from it.” He always plays his storming off as some sort of mature stab at deescalation. I should have just not let the thing irritate me, then we’d still be watching Better Call Saul together and smoking weed.

But instead I’m a little drunk writing another incoherent blog. Because I was like, all right, your husband’s being a childish dick, so what would you do if you were home alone? The answer was of course drink bloody marys and write.
What did he do that irritated me? Well, he has OCD you see, and I’ve been aware of it since the very beginning, and sometimes, it just gets grating, when someone uses the same patterns they pick up being compulsive and they apply them to other aspects of their lives.
For example – my husband has an IRRATIONAL hatred of spoilers. I know, no one enjoys a spoiler, it’s right there in the name, but he nearly has a conversion reaction when you even come CLOSE in conversation to giving away something he hasn’t read or seen. Well he HAS seen Breaking Bad, the show Better Call Saul stems from, and I was mentioning something about something that happened in Breaking Bad THAT HE HAS ALREADY SEEN, and he starts giving me his don’t-ruin-it-for-me anxiety FULL THROTTLE. And like…why is it that I must do ALL that I already do, and somehow still be 1000% on that be perfect and cheerful and supportive even when everything your husband does grates on your nerves. But no, he can be a slave to his compulsions AND have all these obnoxious complexes. Like, it’s not an OCD thing, his hatred of spoilers. It’s a my-mom-does-that thing. And it REALLY is the worst. His mom will INSIST I read a book she’s read recently (we do NOT have the same taste in literature. I’m not a ‘best sellers at Target’ sort of reader *scoff*) then she’ll GIVE AWAY all of the plot twists from the first half of the book in her “brief description.” It’s SO annoying! She’s the same way with TV shows and movies. Like oh great, I’m glad I don’t have to see that anymore now.

So, I see where it comes from, because I can’t stand it either, but I WASN’T even telling him a spoiler. The point of making a goddamn prequel is in part because the viewer is aware of the “future” history the whole time. IT MAKES IT MORE INTERESTING. AHghghghghghg!

I’m probably wrong and I just should’ve stuffed my anger deep inside me like I always do for the sake of peace.
It’s actually been QUITE some time since we’ve gotten into one of these fights, where he’s off pouting in our bedroom and I’m out in the living room on my laptop.

Judge all you want, I don’t recall ever telling you I was some picture of health, physically, mentally or emotionally. I mean I’m physically healthy I’m just WAY out of shape (goddamn you, desk job and alcohol *makes second Blood Mary*)

But at the same time, he followed a pattern of behavior he KNOWS makes me clam up. It’s just when someone is like my husband, and thinks people, and he specifically, are innately good, they like CAN’T seem to ever admit that they did something to be shitty. But we ALL want to be shitty people, so it just comes out in weird, passive ways. With my husband, he pulls this shit. With his sister…okay I don’t get what’s going on with her. I mean I do, but she did something that makes me want to backhand her. She sent my brother a birthday card (I THINK I mentioned his birthday). But she sent it in an envelope to my mom. My dad, who is SO chronically unemployed, is home to get the mail in every day, he saw the envelope addressed to my mother in an unfamiliar handscript with an unfamiliar return address and so he NATURALLY had to be looking over her shoulder when she opened it. He probably thought it was me writing to her. Just the other day in an email my mom stated that my dad said something along the lines of “You could be texting or emailing [Cassie] at work and there’s no way I’d know about it.”
1) He’s still a cop at heart, in a bad way. This is what they call “fishing.”
2) Isn’t is hilarious to watch a pathetic abuser/loser freak out when he realizes there’s ONE tiny thing he can’t totally control and if control is the name of the game, it’s some all or nothing shit.
I mean, I’ll hand it to him, he IS right. But on the other hand…do you see what we’re dealing with here?
Okay I’m going to copy and paste an email from mom in here. I will alter nothing except deleting whole, boring sentences and changing out first names for my descriptor pronouns.

“Finally getting to email, it is kind of busy today.  I didn’t give the card to [my brother] or even mention it yet.  W [that’s what she and I call my dad] knows about it as he was right there when I opened the envelope since he wanted to know who lived at that address.  He has to censor all the mail.  When I got a letter from the friend who was in jail and it is stamped in red on the front that the mail is from a Saginaw Co jail inmate, he HAD to not only open it but READ it also and then told me about it while I was at work.  He said that he had to see what guy was writing me from and jail and why.  (Never did he think that it was a female.)  I kind of don’t want to tell [my brother] about the card.  From what I see, he still feels so bad about [my sister in law he dated].  Maybe W has already told him that he got a card, not sure.  Why am I in the middle of this?  Where in the world does [sister in law] think that [brother] would be living?  He should be out on his own but he isn’t.  Maybe [s-i-l] wouldn’t be either without her Mom’s help thru the years OR maybe [mother-in-law] would like [sister-in-law] to move back home.

I’m not looking forward to knee surgery.  I know I need to get it but our home is so unstable from day to day, you never know when there will be a blow-up or some big issue going on.  Not a good environment for recovering.  Plus W is probably the laziest person I know.  It is so easy for him to have others do things and say that it is just a 10 minute job and what’s the big deal BUT he will not do anything himself. NOTHING!!

[1st sentence explains she’ll be gone most of the day Saturday with friends to a scrapbooking event].  But I can only imagine what it is going to be like when I get home or on Sunday, I need to drive so I will have the car for 10/12 hours.  [Father and brother] will be home without a car.  [brother]’s car needs a new battery and he doesn’t have the money for it.  It will start and run but it needs to be jumped every time you get in it.  I did really think about an uber driver but that would cost too much to [christmastown].  If it was in [halloweentown] that would be better [few sentences about a friend who was supposed to go but can’t due to a gravely ill relative] Why all this drama about something that should be enjoyable?  I KNOW that another thing that is eating away at W is that I’ll be gone from home with the car and he won’t have total control, what will he do?  He will make life miserable but that’s every day.

I plan on going to the grocery store tonight and doing the laundry on Sunday so the weekend will go by so fast. They all do, don’t they?  I hope that you have a good weekend and have some time to relax, time for yourself.  Be safe in whatever you do.  Love you.”

That is the honest to God exact email I got from my mom today. “He will make life miserable but that’s every day.”

Like really? Who lives with that?

It’s that part of the reason I so wasn’t into my husband acting like i was ruining a HUGE surprise by telling him about a TV show he’d already watched. But he’d forgotten a bunch of it, I guess, so I was ruining it like he hasn’t seen it, which is obnoxious. But the likelihood that he will EVER sit down and watch the six seasons of Breaking Bad all over again is INSANE. I more or less told him that and he’s like don’t tell me what I will or won’t do, and it’s like we’ve been living together for nearly eight years, I KNOW YOU PRETTY WELL. What drastic lifestyle change is he about to undertake to become the kind of person who watches whole series of shows over and over? I feel like he knows he really won’t take the time, especially since  he doesn’t like sitting around watching TV at all really, but you know since he kind of needs to be hurt and indignant about something I’ve done, this is just a great excuse.

So whatever. I’m nearly drunk enough to fall asleep, so I can wake up early and get grocery getting out of the way before the crowds begin to form. I know it’s a depressing sentence. Then, my mother in law is spending the night Saturday night there’s an event on Sunday that she wants to go to and she’d rather stay overnight here than drive here and back home in one day. SO I think I might just ask her why her daughter sent a card to my brother in an envelope to my mom with a note that said “Can you give this to him? I’m not sure where he’d be living.” He has NOWHERE else to go, my sister in law is WELL aware of that fact. SO this is kind of weird and irritating. Like why would she send him a card at all? Did she really in some way think it would help or do good? Or is she just latently either trying to fuck with him or she enjoys the attention of knowing he’s still pretty much in love with her. I mean he probably always will be. Fucked up people sometimes like don’t/can’t get over stuff. You can argue otherwise but have you met any of us?

I hate it when I think it’s going to be a normal  or happy Friday, but then some ass-tastic drama happens and you’re like…WTF is my life even. Like my  mom was saying, she needs to have knee replacement surgery, and she’s not even like worried about the surgery or the pain or recovery or PT or any of that, she’s afraid of being trapped and incapactiated and vulnerable and healing in the environment of my parents’ home. I know exactly what she means. I learned at SUCH a young age to hide my weaknesses, like a prey animal, to show no faltering in front of others because they WILL pounce on it and use it against you. That is my family, and the general vibe of the household, to a T. So rarely was it even neutral. It’s too much. I have a bad reaction to unnecessary drama production. Can you fucking wonder why?

 

Well, I am now on my third Bloody Mary, so I might fuck with some of the settings on this WordPress. Stay classy, my friends.

~Cassie

I feel for you, brother, but I’m not strong enough to carry us both.

My brother’s been on my mind, I guess not more than usual because I always think about my missing family, but I guess today in particular because it’s his birthday. He’s 32. He doesn’t have a job, the spotty employment he has had for the last 12 years has been spotty, maybe 9 solid months total of work. He lives in my parents’ basement. Because the second I moved out, my mom took my tiny, tiny bedroom to store scrapbooking supplies. The second he moved out (after me even though he’s older even though when we were kids he’d get jealous of how close my mom and I were and ridicule me, asserting I’d live at home until I was 35. Well. Now we see how the story REALLY went) my mom moved into his bedroom. What thought could a person have towards their marriage as they purchase a twin bed so the wife can have her own bedroom? Sure, my dad will say it’s his snoring, but that’s a lie. He does snore, but also his wife (and whole family) despises him.  But then, my brother had to move back in, because of things i’ve already told you about) so he had to move into the basement. It is not a finished basement.

So today is my brother’s birthday. And of course, no, i did not contact him. Our relationship has dwindled down to nothing. It had gotten down to only seeing one another on the major holidays i went back home for. Then when I stopped being willing to tolerate my horrible father, I stopped seeing my brother altogether as well. Which, I mean collateral loss i guess. Whatever. It’s not like he gave two fucks about me. Well, wait, let me back up, he would, out of the blue, seem like he was obsessed with me and thought SO MUCH of me and wanted us to be as a close as possible…but it was always just a passing fancy. Now that I know what I know it was all probably pretty drug-related. The euphoria of heroin and all. But then, on the other side of that same coin, other time he went WAY out of his way to be as psychotic as possible towards me. And like, I’m fucking sorry, I’m his younger sister, when the fuck was IIIIII was supposed to stand up and be the man of the family while still letting my dad and brother think of themselves as men. Or adults. Or even fucking human.

But…before I become distinctly distracted by ALL of his shitty stories. I have one…from a long time ago…that I’ve always thought of as such an eerie indicator of his deep trouble to come. I don’t even know how to describe his psyche. It’s broken up AND shattered, though, if you realize what that means.

Me?

I’m just bendy, in a way that makes me seem fake,

I’m made of that which bends but does not break.

But you can be so bendy you SEEM broken, because other people will treat you like shit and you’ll take it and take it and take it, but then they FINALLY get to that thing that they say or do and you’re like “… … … … you know what? … … … FUCK YOU.” I think I’ve explained how that’s been the ruling doctrine of my life already.

But my brother…I don’t know if it was being the first kid or being the only boy or what but I feel like he got fucked by a mixture of genetics and growing up…like we all did on some levels. I mean me, I got that alcoholism something hard, but I also make the personal choice to hit up the liquor store RIGHT by my house after work and get 3 for $5 tall cans. Ain’t no gene making do that. BUT sometimes I want to get drunk and write, and well listen to the first part. The booze makes me angry. And the anger gives me focus. Fucking Star Wars was right on that front. The weed however that’ll make me forget and feel happy. If I only smoke weed I’m a significantly happier person. The anxiety and paranoia is there, though. If I go to bed really baked I’ll end up imagining what it would be like to die in a car accident until I realize what I’m doing and stop myself.

But, about this specific yarn I’d like to spin, it took place I’d say between the years of 1994-1996 I’d say. I know i was older than 5, and it was definitely a long time before my mom’s brother died when I was 12 (weird fact, HIS birthday is tomorrow) but I can’t remember details beyond that. It was when Bill Knapp’s was around because I remember going to one. But the issue took place in the town I’d move to right after high school, the one I lived in when I met my husband, where our wedding was, at their mall. There was some special anniversary edition of Mad Magazine featuring only Star Wars content. My brother really wanted this thing, and it cost more than normal because of it’s special edition-ness. My Grandma said she’d buy it, as she was prone to do when we wanted things that weren’t crazy expensive AND she was in a good mood. So we went into Spencer’s, the Mad Magazine was being purchased, all seemed well. But I recall, as we were leaving the mall, through the J C Penney, I noticed my brother was VERY upset and by extension my mom and Grandma were becoming increasingly upset as well. In fact, my brother wouldn’t even take the bag from Spencer’s, the one with this like $25 comic book in it. Grandma is starting to get pissed he is upset over something related to this stupid Mad magazine. I hear my brother tearfully, filled with indignant rage, say something along the lines of “He probably has AIDS!!”
Then, my child mind shot back to Spencer’s. My brother was losing his shit, and refusing to TOUCH this expensive ass Mad magazine because the guy who’d gotten it out of the case and rang my mom up had been wearing nail polish. Black nail polish. A guy working at Spencer’s with black nail polish. SHOCKER. Did he have pierced ears too? Jeez. But, this was the early 90’s and we didn’t live in an “enlightened” home by any means. But my brother apparently somehow saw that fact that the man who handled his Mad wearing nail polish was enough to definitely also mean he had AIDS and my brother would catch that shit off that paper. Like he literally FREAKED THE FUCK OUT and REFUSED to touch the Mad. My Grandma got pissed (I said she was emotionally manipulative, remember?) because she paid $25 for something my brother wouldn’t enjoy or thank her for, in fact it was actively enraging him. So my mom of course got mad because she was dealing with her inexplicably irrate child and her pissy mother…so yeah, no one’s going to be noticing little ol’ Cassie in the background. I remember the car ride to Bill Knapp’s. It was awful. The meal there was bad as well, because the bad feeling/argument persisted. My brother was NOT going to touch that Mad Magazine. Which of course threw my Grandma and by extension my mother into a frenzy of scoffing and hurt feelings. I cannot recall if my brother ate dinner or not. I say this because that would be his pet power move as an adolescent – refusing to eat at family gatherings. Because he KNEW it would upset my mom and Grandma, because they put so much work into the meal making, because we’re German and we express almost ALL of our affection and feeling through food. There would be many birthdays and holidays to come where my brother would sit at the table, not speaking, watching all of us eat, only drinking a beverage, with my mom repeatedly stating it didn’t matter to her, she was still going to eat (yet she HAD to keep reminding us all it didn’t matter….which you typically don’t do when something actually doesn’t matter to you). I remember the long drive back to my Grandma’s apartment (usually my only happy place besides my bedroom when I knew i was home alone). I remember my mom specifically calling some teen crisis counseling hotline, because she couldn’t even reason with my brother on this issue and it was scaring her.

I wonder what it was all about. My dad was SO good at intertwining God’s will with his own…and getting you to do things “in Jesus’ name”…it just….it could’ve literally been anything.

But that, that right there. It’s SUCH a good example of the weird, fucked up things my brother does that drives other people away from him. Even me. I refuse to have anything to do with him because I’m sick of handing him opportunities to tell me to fuck off. Add him on IG or Facebook and he’ll delete you out of the blue ( because he was fucked up and got mad at you for some reason). Text him and he’ll start ignoring you for no reason. Same with email. I hadn’t talk to him in awhile once, right, and I got a new phone number because my parents let their cell phone plan I was on go into collections so I woke up one morning to a non-functioning phone. This was when I was a full time college student, worked full time and ran a side pet-sitting business. So my cell phone was A LOT of different things to me. So I get on a plan with my in-laws, because they’re nice and rich like that, and I text my brother from my new phone number to inform him of these new developments, just so he’d have my number. His response was something along the lines of “What do I care? We never speak to one another.” Like WOW DUDE, okay. Let’s just get off our high horse of hatred and unfounded superiority for a SECOND. Another time, when my Grandma was still alive but during the last three years of her life (the ones she spent in a home, it was necessary, she was ailing at all but she couldn’t make it up and down the flight of stairs in her apartment building, and she couldn’t be trusted by herself at all, she’d started wandering out of the apartment and the building itself) when I feel like my brother was probably going hard with the heroin, he did this thing that’d he always did when we were kids. When he wanted something, he wouldn’t stop obsessing over it and talking about and asking for it until he got it. The ONLY times he ever drove out to my Grandma’s to visit her, after he started to drive, was to ask her for the money to get something, like something big like a laptop. Well, he was repeating that same behavior, but he was like…25-28 years old at the time (so that makes me 22-25 in age approximately) so it was especially…I don’t even have a word for this feeling…it’s how my brother makes me feel, like oh-that’s-pathetic combined with way-to-ALWAYS-be-a-raging-disappointment mixed with it-makes-me-so-sad-for-you-that-I-got-out-and-you-didn’t. And he wanted another laptop. He tried convincing my mom to put it on one of my Grandma’s credit cards (which my mom controlled at that time). But my Grandma was receiving some federal assistance for her SUPER expensive memory-care nursing home (because she was the widow of a WW2 veteran), so her finances were being VERY carefully watched so this was NOT a thing that could happen. Then my brother tried convincing ME to take out a credit card to charge this laptop to, because he would “get a job and pay it off himself.” I tried being polite and dodging him by saying I just couldn’t sign on for another financial burden. But then he was like “But I’d be paying for it.” Like I could trust his ass to find and keep a job and send me this credit card payment in full on time every month. He literally was even like “I have the whole form filled out already I just need your social security number.” Like that’s fucked up and annoying. So, I was annoyed, so I responded, “Well then get a job and save up and buy one with your own money.” Because like, that’s enough of him trying to coerce me into something, it’s not going to goddamn happen. His response was “Whatever. Don’t speak to me anymore.” Like I BET YOU ANYTHING, that is the VERBATIM text message he sent me. I read it in the self checkout at Meijer, I was buying our parents’ groceries for them…my mom was incapacitated from gall bladder removal surgery I think so of course my full time college and work having ass had to drive 40 minutes into our hometown to do their laundry and buy their groceries, while my dad and brother sat on their asses at home. Yep. Normal.

That’s my brother. He’s one of those friends who only wants to hang out when they’re single. We all know that type. Another time, RIGHT before I met my husband, I was taking my first and only spring class, you know the ones that run from the beginning of May until the end of June and are twice as grueling as a normal semester and you have to pay out of pocket for that bitch? Like I said only did one. But this one is significant to me, because literally right when it was ending was 1) when I had to start facing my best friend was moving far away and 2) when I met my husband. I’ve always found it odd those two things fell so closely together. Makes you think God might actually be looking after you. You can say it was just my emotional desperation to fill a void (giggity) but when you see how impossible I am, you’ll see how special it is I met someone like my husband, also the fact that he had a rich ass family and a generous af mom, it REALLY took the place of my Grandma’s generosity right quick. It’s like there’s certain gifts I’ve never been without. Then you think about how you’ve also been more or less healthy your whole life…so that’s impressive too, if you think about it, so thanks, God. Sometimes religion is hard for me to sort out…because of like…the fucked up shit I’ve alluded to a few times now. When like…a very sinister force in your life used Christianity as its backbone…you like…might…have weird feelings…towards Christian feelings…maybe….But at the same time, we all got here somehow, and I’ve always felt a divine presence. It’s hard to talk about with anyone, honestly. I’m honestly shocked I brought it up just now, but since I’m talking about my brother I guess I shouldn’t be too shocked.

I have three other stories about him jotted down, one is how I saw, SO vividly and in person, that he had a terrible heroin problem for the first time the day our mom had back surgery in the hospital in the town I got married in. It was August, I hadn’t seen him since the Christmas before that. I was STUNNED when he walked into the waiting room before  my mom would be taken to the OR prep room. He was emaciated like a skeleton, like he NEVER could have achieved on his own. His weight fluctuated throughout his life (like mine) but this was starving, puking heroin junkie, beak-lipped, hollow ass eyes and cheeks…just fucking sick. And he’s wearing this thick ass hoodie in the full on heat of August? Oh yeah, I saw what the fuck was up before he even started speaking, but boy did it become apparent after that too. So. I’m worried about Ma in surgery, and my idiot brother shows up HIGH AS A MOTHER FUCKING KITE of heroin in the surgical waiting room. They had those fancy screens that show you the exact location and time of the patient # associated with your loved one (so to be anonymous). My mom spent a LONG time in recovery, so my dad was tripping the fuck out, because if HE’S upset and worried, he definitely needs to make sure everyone else is too. So my dad’s saying “Something’s wrong, this is taking too long, something’s gone wrong.” over and over. And my brother’s on the other side of me, nose dripping, nodding off, utterly uncaring where he was or what he was doing. I told both of my parents within the next day what they were dealing with. Heroin was back then and still is a HUGE problem in both of those towns (which are fucking Halloweentown and Christmastown if they EVER did exist). I guess it’s a problem most places these days. But we kind of have a special monopoly on dismal and forgotten and hopeless, where I’m from. Particularly at home.

I got distracted and freaked out by the God stuff and never finished – so I’m taking this summer class, it was a psychology course and I loved the professor and got an A and all. And I remember getting a text from my brother during that psych class, asking me to take out ANOTHER student loan for $10,000 (I had just taken out a loan for that much) so he could keep his mustang.
Remember the insurance settlement for that car accident he got into ON HIS WAY TO OUR DAD’S CHURCH? Yeah he loaned out a 07 GT Mustang and of course poured TONS of money into it (like bought special racing seats) and then lost it when he ran out of money (it happened after a year, not long after that he lost his fiancee, she had him thrown in jail because she “feared for her safety” and that bitch still thinks I’m Facebook friends with her out of some…positive…reason). He asked me to take out a $10,000 loan so he could keep his car. I told him fucking no of course but the idea that he would ask.

It’s so late. I so need to cook dinner.

The other story is one where he couldn’t find heroin or weed and he HARASSED me with phone calls and texts when I made the SAD mistake of letting him know i had a miniscule amount of pot. I was still very ingrained into our family’s mental illness at this age (like 19 I think) so I ended up giving it to him, because he texted me like 80 times. Then when I have him come over to get the weed, my best friend it there, and my brother shows up high as fuck (I thought he was drunk at the time, but he was high on Vicodin, I’m sure, given what he told me in later years) and hits on her. A lot. I ended up just yelling at him to stop. As FUCKING if dude. She’s like light years better than him as a human being. Like they’re not even the same fucking species, as far as anything is concerned.

I guess I don’t think all that highly of my brother. BUT WOULD YOU???

And I think I already mentioned how he called ME from jail, when he was arrested after he broke up with his fiancee and went to jail from that, then I had to be the one to tell our mom he was in jail, not him. Fucking DICK move, man.

 

So….from afar and unknown to you…happy birthday brother. I’m sorry I wasn’t strong enough for BOTH of us. I’m not that great, it would seem. I wish you the best, but we both know who you’re too much like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

~Cass

Afraid to start/don’t know how to stop

That pretty much encompasses it.

This past weekend I wanted to write, it was one of few summer weekends not in some way tarnished by the “family time” demands of my husband’s family. Last weekend it was dictated to come up north (2 hour drive, one way, so we spent 4 hours in the car for 3 hours of PRECIOUS family time) because my husband had to work this weekend. I don’t like his new job, I can tell he doesn’t really as well…but…well, I’ve said it before, but somehow I managed to work a job that made me hate life for 11 years (retail…first as a cashier, then as management) AND I was in college for most of that (well 8 of those 11 years). But, I feel like if he can start making sales and actually making good $, it’ll be more gratifying for him. Every instinct, thought and impulse my husband has ever had about anything is to in some way gratify or indulge himself. I’m not talking sexually, though obviously getting off is one of the ways.

But, I ruined my family-less weekend. I didn’t mean to. I did anyway, but truly I had good intentions. We live in a nice neighborhood. There’s 0 crime, there’s a school very nearby so the police presence is strong (my husband was HASSLED by a cop once for walking to a gas station at 3am…which he was wearing his shitty old Carhartt and wool hat…so….homeless profiling?) and the houses are all occupied and kept up. But they’re all pretty small, very few two-stories, and they’re set remarkably close together. It reminds me of my parents’ house so it’s not strange to me. But the neighbors on one side (strangely) invited us to a bonfire last Saturday, after living next to us for over a year without a word. Of course my husband tried on two separate occasions last summer to have them over, they declined both time so naturally I’d told him he should stop before it gets weird. But, lo and behold, I was way wrong. I’d say there were probably like 1-2 dozen people there at one point. It was fun, being with a group of people that WASN’T work people or my husband’s family. I cannot tell you the last time I did that. Wait. It was November.

And I’m really hoping I didn’t do last Saturday what I did to group of people from November. Actually I’m not sure what I did to November group but I have a ROUGH idea I kept saying shit I shouldn’t have. I tend to…do that…when shit-faced. Like sometimes I wish I’d just try to fight people or come on sexually to anyone near me…but NO, I have to just like…obsessively mention something I’d rather die than bring up in a regular situation. So, long story short, I had 8 beers on Saturday (I BYOB-ed, so at least I wasn’t being tacky and annihilating their booze supply) and now I’m worried the neighbors will never hang out with us again. Which..I mean being me, I could give two shits, but I know this matters to my husband, so I feel bad.

Because I’m well aware that anywhere from 10-100% of the reason our last swinging couple stopped communicating could have been the DEEEEEEEEP level of drunkenness I achieved around them both times we…”hung out.” The first time we barhopped in our state’s edgiest downtown and stayed at an expensive-ass Holiday Inn downtown (CHOICE breakfast though), the second time we stayed the nigh at his family cabin. Yeah it’s kind of sad to offend cabin-guy, but I hated his dick so the hot tub on a deck looking over a lake didn’t even make up for it. R was unemployed and almost 30 and living with his dad, but boy did he have a nice dick. But that’s just really not enough. Despite what’s been ingrained into us, amazing sex (which, let’s face it, it was amazing 50% of the time. Half. That’s A LOT of wasted time and money on my end) does NOT change your life. Like, let’s get real here…it doesn’t really matter. If having the best sex imaginable/as much as you want/etc. if THAT’S your goal….I think you should think about something…if you look at the different ages the sexes hit their sexual peak during….it should explain how cruel life was meant to be. When do men ‘peak’ so to speak? As teenagers. When a lot of them aren’t getting any, or if they are it’s not regular, or even if it’s regular the likelihood one or both partners is inexperienced is great. When do women? In their 30s. You know when most of them are saddled with husbands and children and either the stigma-shame of being stay at home or the impossible task of juggling home like there’s no work and work like there’s no home. GREAT time for that to happen, too. See – The Awakening (Kate Chopin is supposed to get you wet, just go with it). See also – The End of the Affair (Graham Greene will always be one of my literary boos).

Don’t worry, it’s not like I feel like I have an edge over anyone. I’m probably at a disadvantage because of all of the emotional abuse. It’s no great thing, having always seen life as a fucking sick joke. But at least I know it’s pointless. That’s the first step in being amused by it. Which is the goal. See – Tropic of Cancer. At least I think. I’ll know when I get there. I think.

But I’d say I’m certainly not ‘there’ yet. Because I still care. I still might change my mind about not wanting kids. I might get over my biggest obstacle, the one I never talk about because it just makes people uncomfortable. My husband would just reassure my otherwise, in that blanketing way people do when they don’t even know the situation well enough to weigh in. But honestly, I think I’d be a bad mom. And I’m not talking taking-on-responsibility-wise. I mean I know I don’t know what it feels like to be pregnant and give birth then have this insane new role in your life. But I honestly know I could handle that. Just like when people asked me if i knew what I was doing, enrolling in graduate school full time while planning on working full time as well (as if there was some sort of other choice I had). But no, it’s the idea that the new stress and change that would come about from a child…it’d turn me into a gross amalgamation of my parents’ individually hideous parenting techniques. I mean, as I’ve said, bless her heart my mother did try. She just…ugh I don’t know, she kind of shares a hefty portion of the ruined-my-childhood blame, but for a sad reason. She talked to me about her problems, because she didn’t have anyone else. We were really close when I was a kid, I had NOTHING to do with my dad. But, your kids should’t be SO in-tuned to the adult problems their parents have, particularly ones that make their mother emotional/depressed. That’s another thing. I was watching The Mindy Project, of all things, and I was admiring how, as a character, Mindy never falls into a deep, depressive slump that lasts for weeks and weeks. As an adult, I find myself wishing my brain didn’t think that was an option. It’s not that she was that depressed, it’s that she taught me it was okay/all right/fine/sure to feel THAT low. That and I saw a quote from Kate Winslet once, I won’t bother looking it up, but it was along the lines that she was always very careful not to say anything self-deprecating around her daughter, because she’s teaching her how women ought to view themselves. And the level of self-deprecation that CONSTANTLY poured out of my mom and my grandma’s mouths…OMG I cannot explain. It’s like my Grandma thought if you weren’t constantly talking shit about yourself, you were a “high” person (that’s what she would call them). It was not good to be thought of this way by her. Though, she was the queen of passive resistance, so she wasn’t exactly going to tell anyone what she thought. Except her family. OH BOY did we hear it.

But even know, even talking about her emotional-ish abuse…it makes me miss her. I remember the blue ice cube tray in her dresser drawer, holding her sundry and colorful earrings and pins. I’m high enough on this DANK lemon haze, I can truly remember how perfectly clean and perfect and quiet and warm her apartment was. You’ll grow up to realize what you want more than anything is a place that doesn’t exist anymore. And if you can’t have what you REALLY want, isn’t the rest of life just a compromise away from fulfilling? Isn’t that what it’s always going to be? Wake me when my emotional misery stops, I tend to nod off.

See, things like the above paragraph still make me cry to write them. I still want people to like me and to have friends I spend time with. But…shit….I like have this “on” version of myself that I use alcohol to trot out for social occasions. I CAN do it sober, but if I can drink I’m going to. But I do it with work friend on our Friday lunches. The goal is to be as impersonal as possible, while giving the illusion otherwise, and to make the other person laugh as much as possible. Invest as little as possible emotionally….and always just be that fun, funny friend.

I guess that’s who I always wanted to be. But it’s a few shades of pathetic when someone has to try at that. But for me, if I can at least trick people into thinking I’m normal…well that’s a start. I mean I feel like you, reader, know that I am far from that.

And now I’m worried I…uh….kind of….ruined another couple relationship with my drinking…problem? It just seems so wrong to call it that…but…then again….

Like…it was no one thing…but…ugh. Trying to make friends is hard. I’m going to be feel bad if I ruin this, because we’re going to be neighbors with these people for another year at least…so if they’re like ew no to this drunk mess….yeah…..

Okay…here’s hoping something good materializes there.

No, we’re not trying to have sex with these two. I feel like the odds of THAT situation turning out well…are so slim. But it would be awesome to have people to sometimes hang out with. And when you’re married another couple is ideal.

But, they were having a going away party, right? It was because the pair are leaving like today or tomorrow for Portugal and Spain. Then the guy has to come back for work, but his gf’s sister is flying in to meet her and that pair is going on to pretty much the rest of Europe for SEVEN weeks.

Could you imagine! I mean that’s insanely awesome. But like…I don’t think I’m taking one vacation this year. My huge splurge for the year was my permanent eyeliner. Quite pleased I did that…but my point remains that I now feel poor and underprivileged. I didn’t say that though, I didn’t get THAT drunk. But I mentioned how there’s a motorcycle club nearby that has the SS lightning bolts painted on the side of their building. And they didn’t get why that was bad. I was like…oh shit now I have to drunkenly explain Nazi-related thing to an all-Jewish crowd. Because we were the only Gentiles there, I’m almost positive. I didn’t know until someone told me and was like we’re all Jewish, we’ve all gone to Israel for ten days as birthright. I was like that sounds awesome. They all went to Jewish camp together as kids. It sounds awesome. I’ve always been fascinated by closely knit communities, and jealous. There certainly was one going on at my Lutheran schools, but we weren’t really a part of it. I think it’s why I loved the mafia so much as a adolescent. I was jealous of that kind of sense of family.

So, with neighbors gone on vacation for the next long while….it’ll be a minute before I find out if one/both of them is like “yeah no thanks” towards me. I’ve had so many people have that exact attitude towards me….it’s almost expected. But everyone I know who was that kind of shitty to me was like a rotten person to the core, so I guess that says something. But, I don’t blame anyone for being like “Ugh, no to this girl.” when I’m drunk…so I guess I’m hoping they give it a second shot, and I’ll have to be careful not a blow it this time…with my rampant social anxiety driven drinking. Or maybe I’m obsessing over a not real problem. Maybe we’ll never know! That happens, sometimes.

 

I’m out

 

~Cass

Birthday cards/ Dear Ma #1

This is definitely just me bitching:

Since the two summers have passed since I finally (completely) broke all ties with my dad (and by association my mom too) I’ve received a few gifts here and there from my mother. This past birthday, she didn’t even send a card. She went so far as to comment in an email “oh I didn’t have time to get over to the card store this weekend. I’ll never win mother of the year!” Which, she would always say that when we were kids. True, the last weekend before my birthday was Easter, but really?????? That’s what she says? 

Boy

That doesn’t sound AT ALL similar to my dad’s response when my mom’s February birthday went by completely uncelebrated (if you didn’t read that one- he told her he “forgot” it was her birthday, utter bullshit they’ve been married 35 years) 

And then it’s like….wow….good to see you’re STILL not treating me like I’m your child.

I’m not saying I want gifts, I’m quite talented at going without or providing for myself. I’m not saying I want to act like a child, but why, WHY, don’t I EVER get to be the child in our parent child relationship? Why does she ALWAYS use me as her emotional dumping ground? It couldn’t be LESS my fault that my piece of shit father was in my life as a child, yet I got to suffer like it somehow was my fault. Also I never mention this bc it’s so messed up but when I still lived at home there was just this deeeeeep resentment rolling off my mom because my dad treated me the least shitty out of the three of us. Like wow, mom, fucking stellar life decisions, bitch at your teenage daughter that she “doesn’t have it that bad” bc your husband is MORE abusive towards you.

So, in conclusion, thanks mom. Thanks for th birthday card. Thanks for protecting me from that fucking monster. Oh wait you were too busy lamenting to me about your ruined adulthood, it’s like it made you too dense to see my childhood was actively being ruined.

That’s what’s so hard. She seems SO stupid. I know it’s a coping mechanism, I know she has to dissociate as much as she can, but OMFG do you ever think being passive and starting blankly at the tv, swaddled down with your depression and self pity MIGHT NOT BE THE ANSWER?

When I am angry, I am not sad, and those were the only two states I knew for most of my young life 
~Cassie