Fucking scrapbooks

Long story kind of short – by way of my mother in law and then my husband, scrapbooks my mother who I haven’t seen in three years lovingly made for me are now in my possession.
One was a wedding scrapbook. It took her three years to make the wedding scrapbooks. Because she made three simultaneously, and she covers the engagement, both showers, the entire wedding day and the day after. One was for my mother in law, one for my mom and one for me. If you remember the July that I had, I remember distinctly thinking about how if I did get divorced it would be so fucking tragic that my mom hadn’t even finished the wedding scrapbooks and we were already getting divorced. That’s exactly the sort of thing my brother or father would point out, too. They were always belittling my mom (and to a lesser extent, me). And scrapbooking and picture-taking have been lifelong pursuits for my mom, so obviously making the wedding scrapbook for her only daughter was a huge deal for her. I’ve always noticed and appreciated that every year of my entire life has been scrapbooked.
But let me say that after I looked through the wedding scrapbook, I couldn’t look through the rest. She really did put her heart and soul into it, and it shows. And I mean obviously that sort of thing is going to make someone in my position sad. I’m grateful we can email at least, but it sucks missing out of years of each other’s lives, and knowing that one day sometime in the future when she’s no longer with us all these days will especially haunt me.
But what am I supposed to do? Pretend I cannot ever EVER be in the presence of my father, or communicate with him in any way, yet my mom won’t/can’t leave him. And he’s a horrible sociopathic alcoholic opiate addict narcissist who literally is SO disturbingly lazy AND selfish AND negative all at the same time to the point where it’s downright creepy to observe him.
Because I was looking through one of the other scrapbooks that was sent my way, and I couldn’t finish leafing through. There were too many pictures of my dad. Somehow seeing the image of someone brings them more to mind…particularly when you haven’t seen them in years. It just fucking disgusted me to think about him.

If you ever think “well, she’s emotional and exaggerating” or “oh he couldn’t have been that bad” please know this  – the words do not exist to express how angry someone thinking that makes me. Because victims get taught/told to keep their mouths shut around “outsiders.” Whoever is outside the locus of control is to be abused and mistrusted, even if like the case of my Grandma where that person is your financial lifeline 10/10 times. I feel so bad for my Grandma, she got the WORST possible son in law you could get for your daughter. My dad was always SO awful to her, so fucking rude and as shitty as possible as much as possible, knowing she wouldn’t say anything to his face but would instead just lose her mind at my mom when they (we) were alone. I think about how her brother, the one who died of cancer very suddenly when I was 12, must have felt when he met my dad. One time, when my mo and dad had first met, she and her brother and my dad were all drinking at the hotel bar my parents met at. My mom was NOT a bar-going sort, but her brother was and she would go out with him. Over something involving control of my mother, my dad followed my uncle into the bathroom and like…when you grab someone’s collar and slam them into a wall and keep your fist balled up under their chin while you talk to them. He did that. My Grandma told me, because my uncle had told her, probably right after it happened because the two of them were abnormally close. There’s no way she made that up. She did some manipulative stuff but she did NOT blatantly lie. I remember telling my brother this tale, shortly after hearing it. I would put us around 9 and 12 years  of age. He flatly refuted the possibility that that was even true. When i was like, well Grandma told me that Uncle Bill (who cares if you know I had an Uncle Bill..who doesn’t?) told her, so they’re BOTH lying then? He refuted it again, because by that age he was a fucking hate factory like his old man.

See, that’s what disturbs me most of all. That, because i was raised in such a hellish environment, there’s an innate meanness to me that WILL rub off in any interpersonal relationships i might manage to cultivate. Not that there’s many of those. What if I have kids and i hear my fucking dad when I’m yelling at them? I’d literally rather not have kids than think for a moment there’s a possibility I could come off to my children like my dad did to me. Because I fucking despise him. I don’t recall the last day that went by where I didn’t think about how convenient and sort-of-like-a-movie it would be if he would just drink himself to death one of these days. I don’t get how his liver is still at it after all these years. My husband tells me that it’s fucked up in a sad way that I feel this way about my dad. I suppose that’s true.

What brings a lot of this about is that my mom is having knee replacement surgery at a hospital fifteen minutes from my house next week. I said something in an email about how I could visit her and she was silent on the topic in her response email. So I don’t know if that means she doesn’t want to bother or it’d be too upsetting or I don’t know..I guess I have 8 days to figure it out, though obviously she and I can only converse when she’s at work. So that also means for the six weeks she’s recovering at home I won’t have the slightest clue how she’s doing. The last time she was convalescing post MAJOR fucking ortho surgery was when my brother and sister in law were dating so I heard status updates vice-a-vie my sister in law. That’s why there was that one night when I was really strung out feeling and drunk of course and I called adult protective services about the conditions my mother was enduring because my dad wasn’t taking care of her and he was stealing her pain meds. When you’re like him I don’t think you’re capable of actually caring for/nurturing another being, because then you’d have expended some energy on something other than yourself and that’s just not fucking possible in a mind like that. Like he and my brother always had this HUGE concern that their precious asses were going to have do work that someone else then in turn didn’t have to do. Like I said before, pathologically lazy.
But now my mom will be stuck in bed for six weeks with only my dad and useless fuckhead fucked up brother to care for her. Last time my  brother “couldn’t deal” with our dad so he just lied in bed (in the basement) smoking tons and tons of weed while my mom went without basic needs being taken care of for days and days upstairs in his old bedroom. Yeah, of course as soon as she could my mom got her own bed and bedroom. That’s always a sign things are great. My dad always liked to lie and say it was because of his snoring. But really deep down they both fucking hate each other. My mom doesn’t want to admit it, probably in large part because in her mind a good Christian wife does not hate her husband but instead continues to tolerate his abuse with sometimes good humor hoping that he’ll change, banking on it even. My dad probably knows it, but would never admit it because that would take a modicum of self-awareness, and again, people like him aren’t capable of that. I use the terms “person” and “people” loosely when referring to my father, keep that in mind.
In other news, my student loan payments jumped $200 per month. Because someone who makes what I make allegedly had $300 to spare per month for NOTHING. I have to see my in-laws tomorrow. The pro is that it will involve free dinner. With how much I cook it’s genuinely something to look forward to, not cooking. Funny how that works.

But things have been really good with my husband, so there’s that. Our third anniversary was a very nice night. He’s significantly happier at the job he’s at right now than he was. So that’s nice to know. I’ve still been keeping at working on every week day. I’ve been doing my darnedest to write every day, but sometimes i need to write huge blogs about how fuckedy my life can be. In some aspects. I guess it’s good I’m not totally Type A. There’s enough like left brain creative spirit in me to turn down the “give a fuck” on a lot of situations.

But anyway, time to make dinner. Duty calls.

~Cassie

Well, I didn’t go anywhere, if you were wondering

I’ve been busy writing creatively. This blog is where I go when I can’t find the motivation to work on my novel. I hate calling it that, it makes me feel like a douche. Like the kind of punk who sits in a Starbucks all day on their laptop writing. That sounds like a nightmare. I have an extreme peeve about people doing that. Every member of my family did it to me when I was writing as a child, on our trust Packard Bell, and it was one of the many things they all did to make me feel like I had ZERO personal privacy. Which…I guess if you need that pointer (for writing, or real life I guess if you’re a psycho who reads WordPress for fun…), that’s a REALLY good way to ruin someone’s regard for themselves as a human being with rights and feelings – take away any semblance of privacy while still somehow suppressing everything about them that doesn’t fit what you think is best.
Because that is definitely what my family did. ALL of them, even Grandma, and we all know I nostalgia-ify the crap out of my memories of her, did it.
And, the more I think about it, the more I realize that no matter what I did, I was fucking attacked for it. It’s hard because you think of stuff like this throughout your day, like you remember when you did a simple thing and your mom and dad and brother all started yelling at your simultaneously for making a simple mistake, for running into something, for misspeaking, for dropping something, like now that I think about it I realize it was the fucking recipe for developing anxiety about being around other people. They all made me value alone time so fucking much, I even managed to get over my extreme fears of being alone at night and the dark. I mean a lot of people never live alone. I did it at 18 because I had to be away from my family, I had to have a general independence from them. Though it would take me years to finally break all ties with my family, we’ve been over that a few times, I swear.
And now that I ponder on it, I realize that might be the same reason I am always unapologetically doing clumsy things. It’s like….does some terrible part of my brain that I have no conscious control over really crave negative attention, because that’s the only attention I got a lot of the time, like most of the time, as a child?

You’ll think of stuff like this if you try hard enough, and you get stoned enough if you’re like me, and you take the time to write it out.

So, I must take a moment to brag about my week, because I’ve been meeting personal goals lately, and that’s always exciting – so this week Monday-Thursday, I managed to every day:
1) Work 7-4 (6-4 on Monday, and that was after being emotionally distraught and drunk for that episode of Game of Thrones – am I right?)
2) Come home and immediately perform house-related tasks and work out for 30 minutes (translation – I rode my stationary bike for half an hour while I watched a chick-oriented show on Netflix that my husband would hate)
3) Eat a packed lunch and cook dinner from scratch/fresh ingredients at home – more or less, no eating out ever because it’s expensive and typically less healthy than what I make
4) Spend a minimum of 60 minutes per day writing – that’s about how much time I have between completing those first three tasks and when my husband gets home from work. He has a new job. During his extreme-major meltdown at me like three weeks ago now, I wrote about like crazy on here, he mentioned how he was just so demoralized by this job he got because I told him landscaping wasn’t good enough. Which I mean….really? He’s blaming all of his life’s issues on me? Somehow, his every decision has been made by me in secret somehow, and I’m still a cold bitch to him despite his acrobatic attempts at pleasing me….that was the summation of it really. I would count writing a blog as this one as well, because it counts it’s just not as important. I mean obviously. You don’t blast something truly dear to yourself all over the internet. My thoughts and feelings aren’t all that dear to me, if you were wondering why I would say that then keep such a personal blog. I change names to protect other people from my innate hostility
5) Possibly most important of all – STOP THINKING NEGATIVELY. It is and was and always will be my biggest issue. I definitely heard from more than one source throughout my childhood that I complained too much. I HAD A LOT TO COMPLAIN ABOUT, OKAY? Sorry for type-yelling. But I find that if I don’t constantly reminisce on bad shit, I am much happier. Fucking striking concept, right? BUT, that also means that I don’t think about things to blog about as much.
You could argue I could blog about positives in my life. But then I remember that I still haven’t seen my mom in almost three years because I can’t because I refuse to have anything to do with my father because he’s a fucking sociopath. ANYONE who really knows him, and has seen him in action would agree with that name for it. But then, even then, even now at this point, just like when a song you haven’t heard in years pops into your head, these rare, isolated memories you have, that few and far between times that were happy, are there to haunt you. There was a handful or two, I’d say, when I guess things were as close to normal as we could get them and everyone decided to get along and be happy. It became very rare the older my brother got. I was thinking about my brother on Thursday while I was watching that chick show on Netflix. A mom was freaking out about a baseball coach’s ability to influence her son’s formative years. And it made me think about how my brother just had no fucking chance.
There’s something to him…a narrowness…or like this stubbornness, or just this hard-headed idiocy brought about by emotional abuse that makes him do that same thing to others? It’s there…I just don’t know what to truly call it yet. It like…incapacitated him. Because what I did, what a person is going to have to do in our situation, is psychologically construct your OWN father figure in your mind, and use that to comfort yourself. I have this CREEPY fucking habit of stroking my own hair when I’m VERY upset. I mean it creeps me out when I do it, because I know why I’m doing it. And another huge peeve of mine is ANYONE touching my hair. I think that contributes to the fact that I no longer dye it (though I did that constantly from ages 14-26) and cut it myself. It’s been almost three years since I’ve had my hair cut professionally, though in part that is to save money. But also I really always resent stylists because they’re touching my hair, and inevitably snagging one of my many eccentric ear piercings on their combs. Egh, just thinking about it makes me cringe. Anyway.

So, I accomplished all of the above last week. And my husband’s new job entails different hours that allow him to leave when I leave in the morning. With his OCD, this is a huge blessing for him. It’s very hard for him to be the second one to leave the house. He becomes unsure if all of the cats are accounted for, and if the stove is off and the doors are locked. He spends too much time checking and rechecking, etc. And I like being the last one to leave, because then the house remains in the state of tidiness I so strongly prefer.

But, like I said, in doing so I don’t leave much time for writing blogs, because I’d rather attempt to dedicate my spare thoughts to my creative process, than obsessing over shitty things.

Also, in other rather superficial news, I found a skincare regime that works for me. And I mean when you’ve been trying for something for like 17 years, it feels like an accomplishment to be there. The process, you wonder? I use cold cream as a make up remover and face wash. Then rosewater as a toner. Then stupidly expensive moisturizer. That’s at night. In the morning I just apply moisturizer then concealer/blush on top of that as needed. Because I had my eyeliner tattooed on, I wear those two items and mascara, and that’s it. It’s so amazing having a simplified routine that works and it creates a look I enjoy. For so many years I wore such intense eye shadow every single day. I remember once in a college psych class a girl asked me if I did my own make up, implying I looked like I might be having it professionally done. All I said was “Yeah.” Because I was a weird, stoned twenty-one year old, and I felt bad because later on I identified that as a opportunity to socialize with someone about something I liked. But whatever.

And, in less superficial news but also something that hasn’t changed since I was young. Okay, I’ve probably already mentioned it, but I am weirdly attached to the psychological personality testing known as Myers-Briggs. I am deeply obsessed with researching my type and just basically always being like “SO TRUE!” at all of it after I look back at my behavior. And I actually took the Myers-Briggs test three different times from the age of 18-23 or so. Twice it came out INTJ, once INFJ. I took it again because I found a link to take it for free (which, you should because it’s so cool, at  16personalities.com) and it came out INTJ again, BUT on the thinking/feeling 3rd letter, I was a 60/40 split. So I’m on the fence there. This time it said I was an assertive INTJ…I was like….since when? I went to grad school for no reason, mostly just boredom. How wild am I? So it was exciting to think that that hasn’t changed. I already mentioned that I’m pretty well aware of why I’m introverted. Not that I don’t have this fake people-person persona that you develop when you have to wait on customers for 11 years. That’s why my desk job still is amazing to me. Just not having the general public in my face seems like a reward still. And I make way more money.
Speaking of making more money. My husband is actually going to be making more than me at this new job. He’s getting less person hour, but he’s getting far more hours, he even has to get 6 hours in today. It’s why I’m up and blogging so proficiently at 10am. I’ve been up since 6am because he needed my help getting up. Plus in all honesty I was awake before the alarm because that’s when I always get up during the week. I deeply splurged and went and got an iced coffee with all the extra caloric add-ons because I drink two pots of drip coffee per day and sometimes you’re just not in the mood. I justify it because black coffee with no sugar is good for your teeth (kills plaque, staining is just superficial anyway) and that’s how I drink it.

So, that’s it I guess. That’s my goal meeting for now.

My next major goal is to keep drinking confined to the weekends. In the 2 months that I’ve been trying to bike every day and count all calories using My Fitness Pal, you REALLY start to notice where your calories come from. And if you’re ashamed to tell an app how much you drank in one night, you might want to examine things? I mean, you probably knew that. I do. Did. Whatever. So that means I will need more weed. Which is fine if we can afford it. The dream is to be able to have enough to just make oil or butter and just always have that on hand/use that. Like I want to come home and make 1 piece of toast and just douse it with weed olive oil and get messed the fuck up on that, rather than smoking bowl after bowl. That’s the ideal dream, if you ever wondered what the ideal dream was. So I guess that’s another goal. Those are important, but so are plans to achieve these goals. But, I’ve always been great at having this REALLY long-term plan. I persevere. It’s what I do. But we might be closer to our weed goal with this new job. So that’s exciting too, because it’ll mean drinking less. Husband is still not drinking, of course. I just bought him a small gift for his 2 year AA anniversary, which is actually August 30th, but whatever I gave it to him early, it’s not like it’s Christmas. Plus no one else really acknowledges his AA-ness, not in his family. They really are the classic, reserved, rather not talk about it, types of people. Common to the middle and upper class I think. They’re used to trying to keep things nice, to admiring the surface value of shit, makes them want to keep a social front as well. Not always though.

Then, I would like to find a church I like down here. We moved downstate over five years ago, and we always said we’d find out. We tried for a little, but each one we visited acted very…odd….towards us. Like they’re a church, they should be freaking welcoming to strangers, not all like “HI, WHO ARE YOU?? WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE???” *artificial smiles*!! It’s weird. It happened three different times. These congregations need to get it together. It doesn’t take a genius to see their ever-dwindling memberships. It’s not shocking why, either. It’s hard, because I want to believe in it, but some of the absolutes of Christianity…like the concept of hell….I just….it’s really hard to actually comprehend an eternity of torture and damnation. Like….whaaaaaatttt?
But even THAT, that thing I just said that made my heart race to admit, that’s how DEEP those Lutherans manage to instill a terror of God in you, is a sign of an INTJ. We’re a small section of the population, especially the women, but of our tiny sliver of the pie, most are atheists, the ones that do believe in a higher power tend to be less accepting of all these contradictory absolutes. Literally one of the ‘celebrities’ that was an INTJ was Doubting Thomas. I remember a college counselor saying “Oh you went to [Lutheran high school] you’ll know who that is.” I was like…all right that’s not a great guy to be associated with…from the perspective I was taught to have……

Well, this have been a fulfilling hour and an a half spent, I guess, but I should be off. I truly do intend to spend more time writing today than I did on the weekdays. Because that only makes sense to me. But, it’s hard because there’s never not cleaning to do, am I right? I so value cleanliness and order that I know it hinders my creativity, especially my time for it….but I need organization in my life…so….you just have to learn to balance.

But I think for now, because I’m trying to not totally obsess all day about my shitty childhood, that maybe I’ll just use this blog to keep track of these goals I have. I think I’ll be pleased with the results and myself if I keep to them all and add more. Like most things in life. Like when I decided it was time to quit smoking and I actually (With Chantix, which I recommend, it didn’t give me nightmares, I swear it’s a suggestability thing. Yes I invented that word, but you get what I mean right? If you talk about having a certain kind of dream…you’re really like to have that dream for real. If you didn’t know that…try it. Your brain is more open to influence than you realize. And dreaming is just psychic file-sorting, so while cool and necessary it’s really not life-shattering stuff. Another peeve is hearing people describe their dreams. Newsflash – NO ONE CARES. Sorry, needed to be said.

So, hope all is well. Try and set goals for yourself. Don’t even write them down, just remember them. Know them well enough to note need a paper or digital reminder. Like showering and sleeping. Make the things you want to give a fuck about like that. That’s my suggestion. I’m not saying I think I’m like some superior being. I truly do not. I hope any long time readers have gathered that by now. Self-obsessed and arrogant are not the same thing.

~Cassie