Tuesday, October 29, 2013

For Lizbeth, a fellow ULB. I've got your back.

Just in time for All Hallows Eve! 
Lizbeth Borden, ULB Pioneer
I was watching a ghost hunting show the other day and they were in the Borden house (now a B&B – fun vacation!), trying to solve the murders and prove the place was haunted.  The psychic came up with an interesting theory and I thought I’d investigate it myself.
We all know this rhyme, right?

“Lizzie Borden took an axe
Gave her mother 40 whacks
When she saw what she had done
Gave her father 41”

I am always intrigued by stories that seem to have an undercurrent – I feel that if you follow the goddamned facts, you will get to the truth even if you cannot prove it in a court of law.  There are no giant leaps of logic.  What did Sherlock Holmes say?  “when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth”.  My theory is more like, when you follow the facts and you remember to employ common sense, you will come closer to the truth than anyone else.  In this case, I wondered what would drive a woman to violently hack, dozens of times, at the heads of her parents?  It's an interesting story, even if my synopsis is a bit long...

(please remember this is ME, I use internet info and much like my Jesus exposés, I began this with absolutely zero knowledge of the crime other than that poem at the top and a ghost story on tv.  I researched the story to my own satisfaction.  You want more info?  Go look for yourself!  It’s a big world, baby.)

Lizzie Andrew Borden was born in 1860.  (she renamed herself ‘Lizbeth’ after the murders, and I am going to respect her choice from here on out in this telling).  Her mother, Sarah, died about 2.5 years later.  Her sister Emma was 9 years older, effectively making her a ‘little mother’ of the baby since the father was working all day, every day.  He routinely worked 14-hour days.  Please notice that Lizbeth’s middle GIVEN name was Andrew.  That is just creepy.

Andrew Jackson Borden, the father, was a wealthy citizen of Fall River, MA.  Andy had no fortune from his own parents – he grew up very poor.  He was a ‘self-made man’ and probably fucking pissed off at the world about that.  He had made his fortune in manufacturing (furniture and caskets) and then in textile mills.  He also owned a lot of commercial properties and was president of two banks.  He had made his gigantic fortune through a cunning combination of ruthless financial practices and maniacal thrift.  At the time of the murders he was retired and had assets estimated to be worth at least five hundred thousand dollars.  Remember this was in 1892 - I think that is close to 10 MILLION DOLLARS by today's standards.  Dude was rich, is what I’m saying.  RICH.  And normally, rich people in that town lived on ‘The Hill’ – which would make sense because a mill town would smell absolutely wretched.  You would want to be on a hill, with the possibility of a breeze, away from the center of all that crap, and honestly, away from the lower-class and homeless (and again, a mill smells worse than 10 dead bodies) that would no doubt plague the city center.  But Andrew kept his smaller home which was near the mill – because he was ‘frugal’.  This smaller home was not a hovel, but it was not great.
Borden House.  Two chimneys for the whole place.  brrr.
‘Frugal’ in old Andy’s case means he kept his family in absolute tight-fisted miserable poverty.  In their house they used what were politely called ‘excrement buckets’.  There was no indoor plumbing, so not only the poop factor but also bathing, washing dishes, water for food,  washing clothes.  There was also no electricity.  That would be exactly the same as today, when your neighbors and friends have bathrooms and light switches and YOU are still dumping your shit buckets in the back yard.  Makes growing up in elementary school and high school sorta torturous, no?  Plus the added fun of full skirts and corsets.  High necks and long sleeves.  Basically, you have to do all of this heavy manual labor while you are dressed in bindings – these girls had the social restrictions of their class and yet none of its benefits.  AND, this was during the last years of industrial revolution (1760-~1830) and these “miracles of science” were very standard, especially in a prosperous mill town like Fall River.  But not for old Andy.  It would cost money to upgrade the house, and to HELL with his daughters he wasn’t going to spend it.  But I’ll just betcha he demanded his 3-piece suits were clean every day (he wore a black suit every day, winter and summer).  I’m sure he demanded dinner on the table at a certain time and a bath when he wanted it.  This is the same thing as a hoarder – the other side of the same coin.  It’s all about power and control, and the misery of anyone they control is what gives these people satisfaction.  It’s narcissism, plain and simple.  Also – he was a ruthless businessman.  OF COURSE.  He was a complete bastard and the people of the town pretty much hated him.  It wasn’t like he gave money to charity or loans to needy hard working families, or gave raises to the worker-bees or anything.  And imagine what the conditions were like for employees working in a factory in that time.  Yeah.

This may not sound so bad from the outside.  Anyone who hasn’t lived with a narc cannot know the fear, anxiety, and stress that comes with living like that.  Being frugal didn’t mean he wanted to clip coupons or cut corners.  NO - they were eating week-old lamb stew (no refrigeration, remember?) and this was Massachusetts.  Bitter horrible cold in the winter with no heat (who needs coal or blankets and warm coats?  Not a frugal person!) and summers plagued with humidity and bugs and unrelenting heat.  No electricity means no fans, no ice.  This wasn’t being poor – this was intentional abuse from someone who had all the power to make things better.  But he relished the power and control he had, and the misery he created.

The property had originally been constructed to hold two families, with separate entrances.  To get from the upstairs master bedroom to say, Emma’s bedroom, one would have to go downstairs, through a hall, and then back upstairs.  Very private.  While there is no reliable evidence suggesting that Andy was molesting his daughters (but plenty of supposition and theories), I think the murders themselves speak to some pretty grave abuses.
Sarah and Emma.  boy howdy they look happy.

Again, Emma was 9 when Lizbeth was born, and their mother died a little over 2 years later.  So Emma was almost 12 years old by that time.  According to all reports, as an adult and even after the murders she was a quiet person, given to take life as it came.  She had been trained for 11 years to take the abuse (in whatever form) from her father.  Her mother, certainly, had to simply accept his narcissistic rages, and modeled this behavior to her daughter.  Emma, as a little girl, would be especially vulnerable to a bully like Andy.  Once Lizbeth was born, and Emma became her caretaker, we can imagine the HUGE problems that would have gone on.  Baby crying?  Who does Andy hit and yell at?  This is reminding me of Sonny Liston.  And if our friend LOGIC is by our side, this Borden story is almost as horrible.  Even without the sexual abuse angle, but I’m not going to count that out.  The mother died of what they called ‘Uterine Congestion’ with back problems - which sounds fake, but here is a link http://www.pelvicpain.org/news/pdfs/vol4_no2.pdf  which is a pretty thorough explanation.  Here is a quote from that link:  {...number of women describing] post coital ache (65%). Majority of women give a history of emotional disturbance originating in their childhood. ßso it hurt her to have sex with Andy and she was probably molested as a child.  See how this is making more and more sense?  He married her because she was the perfect treat for a narc, needy and mentally unhealthy and easily tormented.  He was probably molesting Emma, since his wife would scream in pain from sex, and she had gone to doctors so it was known around town that she had ‘female problems’.  And a man needs relief, right?  Couldn’t go to a whore because of his social standing.  After his wife died, Andy turned down any offers of help from other family members, including his sister. He instead opted to keep his household his own private domain, thereby establishing the kind of family isolation well documented by incest survivors.  He kept it all in the family.

After Sarah died, Andy (I’m sure the name 'Andy' pisses him off, it makes me giggle) was remarried to a woman (already an old maid at 35 so she was ‘on the shelf’ as they say, and he knew she would be compliant and grateful) in 1865 who was the daughter of a push-cart peddler.  She wanted status, and marrying into this family gave her that.  Andy wanted a housekeeper.  Turns out she wasn’t so compliant and grateful.  The Borden sisters eventually refused to call her ‘mother’ and finally refused to even speak to her.  She was (by accounts) power hungry and money hungry and either she was Andy’s right-hand man or his enabler – or both.  Hey!  A flying monkey enters the story!  Emma was 14 and Llizbeth was 5 when her stepmother came to live with them.  They had been kept in this level of poverty and abuse and isolation and despair for all that time, and another woman steps in and takes over the house.  Emma had probably been running the house for years due to her mother’s illness – this is a bad situation.  Emma had most likely probably been sexually abused by the father for years, which would make her weirdly feeling like HIS WIFE, and then he marries someone else, and hello mind-fuck.  Did I mention they hated their step-mother?   Here is a quote about Lizbeth: 

When [she was] a young girl, she accompanied her parents to Chicago and was there a member of the Sunday school class and punctual in attendance.  She was, however, a girl with anything but an enthusiastic idea of her own personal attainments.  She thought people were not favorably disposed toward her and that she made a poor impression.  This conduced to the acceptance of this very opinion among church people, and consequently the young woman was to some extent avoided by the young women of the church.  She had horrible self-esteem issues and had no reason to believe that people would like her, so they didn’t.  Sounds VERY familiar to me, achingly familiar.

Andy never (ever) allowed his daughters to date or socialize outside of school or church.  They weren’t allowed the funds for nicer clothes, or to go to parties.  So, here they were because of social constraints, not allowed to work and earn their own money, and their father kept them from having any normal way out – normal being marriage.  He kept them all to himself.  Ominous foreboding, right?  Yeah, it gets worse.  Emma stuck around the house, being the good girl, but Lizbeth managed to join a couple of church groups (religious or not, if that’s where you are allowed to socialize then damn if you aren’t converted).  By all accounts Lizbeth was close to her father.  She gave him a ring on the occasion of her high school graduation, that he was wearing on the day he died.  Some say this isn’t consistent with the theory of sexual abuse – but us ULBs know that is a false assumption.  There can be a trauma bond created that surpasses all logic of anyone outside the abuse ring.  She was his special chosen girl – oh gag.  She was still in the FOG and it was very bad.  These girls were isolated from almost everything outside the house, certainly from any other male/sexual influence.  He had gone from Emma to Lizbeth.  Emma was probably in a horrible place of being glad and guilty and horrified all at once.  The step-mother never had any children – at 35 she was almost but not too old to have children – possibly the marriage wasn’t sexual in nature.  Given that he had Emma and Lizbeth for that.  The brutality of her murder would indicate a personal vendetta against the step-mom.  She (in my opinion) had been abusing and domineering the girls for years, and enabling Andy in HIS abuses.
Emma Borden, War Hero
In 1884 (Lizbeth was then 24, Emma was 33) their father gave his wife’s half-sister a house.  GAVE A WOMAN HE DIDN’T REALLY KNOW A HOUSE.  To say that his daughters objected would be calling Hiroshima a small bang.  It was at this point they started calling their step-mother ‘Mrs. Borden’.  Andy tried to make peace by giving his daughters some money and allowing them to rent out one of his other properties.  He – he threw a little money at them and then ALLOWED them to be landlords of a house he owned.  How big of a nuclear bomb must have gone off in that house for Andy to capitulate to ANYTHING.  The girls must have completely gone bat-crap crazy.  They were always mild-mannered outside the house - there are NO stories of craziness or bad behavior about either one of them.  The maid wasn't gonna talk.

This, of course, would not be the only story of financial manipulation.  There are MANY – with the upshot in each case that the girls were deprived while others reaped the benefits of knowing their father.  Sound familiar?  Over, and over, and over – shown how little they are worth, how his opinion and regard for strangers is higher than of them.  They are not good enough, even though they give everything, every last thing, to this man.

In spring of 1892 – there was a pivotal incident.  Lizbeth kept pigeons in a barn loft, I think as pets?  She was 32 years old.  Possibly they also ate these pigeons, but she loved them – the girls were obviously not allowed to have pets (frugal!).  At some point her father got angry and decided that the pigeons were attracting neighborhood boys and he went out to the barn and massacred them all.  Some reports say he did it with a hatchet HA HA OH REALLY?!  Talk about the straw that broke the camel’s back.  These birds were something she doted on, poured her love into – I mean, she was not allowed around any men.  You want to have a hatchet, motherfucker?  I’ll give you a hatchet.  To the face.  (also – the pigeons were attracting boys?  Can’t have THAT.  Maybe she was caught with a guy and told her father ‘he wanted to see the pigeons!’ and that would be all the excuse Andy would need to kill those birds.  Perhaps this was also her 'space' - a place she had carved out to get away from both of them.  Can't have that either).

And so, 3 months later, the two Borden elders are very, very dead.  The rhyme is wrong:  Mrs. Borden received 19 blows to the head.  I think the back of her head.  She (Lizbeth) just wanted the bitch dead and gone.  Andy received 11 blows, chopping his FACE up beyond all recognition.  She hacked his fucking face off.  Sounds like a crime of passion to me.  And that passion would be RAGE, with a side of HATE.
Andrew Borden.  He has a bit of a headache.  A SPLITTING headache, if you will.
HA HA bitch is dead with her ass in the air
Abby (left) and Andrew Borden - skulls.  Yeeowch.
Emma was not home at the time.  Lizbeth and the maid were the only ones home.  Mrs. Borden was the first one killed, in the upstairs bedroom.  Then approximately 90 minutes later Andy came home and fell asleep on a downstairs sofa, and his face was hacked to pieces.  How well planned was this coup that someone could wait an hour and a half for the second murder?  No blood was found at the crime scene (my limited knowledge of science via CSI episodes says this cannot be the case unless the face/body was covered with something).  An axe head was found and the handle had been broken off/pulled out and was thought to be found later, rubbed with dust and with no blood on it.  Emma and the maid both testified and were calm, saying that someone besides Lizbeth must have done it.  The crime is written about in a gabillion places, you can take a look at all of it. 
My theory?  It was done with a hatchet, not an axe.  I've tried to lift an axe - they're fucking heavy.  Plus the pigeon episode.  Yeah, I think it was a hatchet.  More lady-sized.  Lizbeth and Emma and the maid were in on it.  The maid had seen the abuse - she was a live-in maid, did I mention, and was most likely abused, verbally and physically, if not sexually - it was an incredibly sick household.  Emma supposedly had left town, and I guess that was a good cover story.  Lizbeth took the heat for a while (she was in prison until the trial concluded, and in 1892 that had to be pretty bad) because she would have been far better able to withstand prison and the stress and ugliness (press) of a trial than Emma would have been.  Part of Lizbeth’s defense was that she was in the barn loft at the time of the murders.  The BARN LOFT, where the pigeons were killed.  Good one Lizbeth, I see what you did there!  A big LOL to you, sister. *21st century fist bump*

She was aquitted.  The girls inherited whatever portion of the estate they were entitled to, which was most of it.  The maid left  town after the trial and went to live in Anaconda, Montana.  Up to the day she died she maintained her story as testified at the trial.  Lizbeth changed her name (from Lizzie, probably her father's pet name for her *shudder*) and started hanging around theatre people - she joined the drama club, y'all!  How much fun were these people?  A LOT of fun, I would bet.  No more sexual constraints, no more social requirements, just FUN.  By many accounts she took a lesbian lover – well, more power to her, and while I don’t think you can ‘turn’ anyone gay, I do think that she wasn’t likely to get involved with any MEN in that lifetime, you know?  She bought a house on ‘The Hill” in the rich section and hired maids and probably took hot baths and had iced lemonade every fucking day of her life.  She and Emma were eventually estranged (the lesbian thing was difficult for Emma) but they never hated each other.
On her death Lizbeth left a good portion of her estate to an animal shelter place.  Still feeling guilty for the pigeons, probably, and for no good reason ANDY.

Listen up narcs.  Ye reap what ye sow, you fucking bastards.  If I was to re-write that poem: 

Lizbeth Borden took an axe
Put it to the skulls of both those whacks
Who tortured her, & her sister too
If it was me I’d have done it too.

Well played, Lizbeth Borden.  Rock on.  RIP.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

♫ To die by your side, well the pleasure - the privilege is mine ♪

So, enough about you, let's talk more about ME.

I have a dark sense of humor.  I prefer my ghoulish humor on the macabre side, thanks very much.  Like this lovely alphabet book by Edward Gorey:
The first one is A is for Avery who fell down the stairs.  It's horrible and funny - as if you would read that to a child for sleepy-time?  Well, Mike would have liked it...
Gorey is gory.  And FUNNY.  I giggle.

The title of this post is from The Smiths, a sort of punk/new age band from the 80's.  The rest of that verse goes like this:

And if a double-decker bus
Crashes into us
To die by your side
Is such a heavenly way to die
And if a ten-ton truck
Kills the both of us
To die by your side
Well, the pleasure - the privilege is mine

That right there is funny.  Gloomy, yes, but funny.  I told Mike if he went all depressed and emo in High School the only way I could bear it is if he listened to The Smiths.  Then I played the CD for him and he stole it.  Hmph.

ANYWHOZLE.  All of that, to get to this:

Weaning off of Wellbutrin: <--ominous sounds of crashing Phantom of the Opera chords...

I know I've mentioned about my anti depressants before, but a quick run through - Wellbutrin is an NDRI, which means Norepinephrine-Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitor.  Most anti depressants are SSRIs.  So this is different.  I've explained about reuptake inhibitors, that is a chemical that allows my brain to use the drug.  It's like my brain couldn't find its (dopamine) ass with both hands and a flashlight all on its own, so I need this stuff.

I had thought (ominous warning) that since I A: lost 33 pounds *golf clap* and B: I exercise all the time, and C: I gave up all grains and sugar, that possibly this would be a good time to get off the Wellbutrin and let my brain do all the work on its own.  Surely (Shirley) I had moved mountains, fixed my poor broken brain?  Not to ruin the story for you, but NO.  No, I had not.

The day you write about imagining kicking a homeless person in the head MIGHT also be the day you realize things have slightly gotten off track.  Slipped a bit into the Pit Of Despair, if you will.  So, to sum up:  Thinking Edward Gorey is funny?  That's A-ok.  Actually wanting to watch the bears eat that child?  NOT OK. 

Yes, as everyone reassured me, we (us ULBs) (and our children maybe) have learned to get a kick out of the dark side of life.  If not, our morbid thoughts might turn us inside out.  But I am not a mean person.  I will rescue any animal, talk to any goopy toddler, smile at anybody in the veggie aisle...So while my giggling at Gary Larson comics is normal,

the rest was decidedly NOT normal.  But it felt familiar...

Depression, as I have said, is a hideous insidious beast.  It isn't sadness.  It's NOTHINGNESS.  Its colorless and tasteless (and odorless!  Iocaine powder anyone?).  It's the absence of all feeling.  except maybe irritation and unreasoning anger.  You know how motel rooms have those 2 layer curtains, first the filmy one that still lets light through, and then another one that blocks all light as if there was a reenactment of the London Blitz going on in the sky? Well, think of that bright window with several layers of only those gauzy curtains.  It felt daily as if one more layer was being closed.  I didn't notice the room was getting darker and darker until *blink* huh - I can't see.

After I wrote that last post and read all your wonderful replies (I love our community out here, I sort of feel ok to let my freak flag fly with all y'all) I started wondering why I felt so murderous.  Why the dogs, coming to me with cute eyes and paws
asking me to go outside and GO PEE, for chrissakes, was making me want to scream.  Why I didn't want to go outside or walk and the thought of taking a shower just seemed POINTLESS.  And then I said oh hey, I remember feeling like this FOR 5 YEARS and no.  NO, no no no. 

So yesterday I started taking the Wellbutrin again. 

Luckily, it is the kind of drug that you can stop and start without losing it's efficacy.  I'm bummed - I really wanted to 'cure' myself with nutrition and exercise and all that - but I'm also sanguine about the whole thing.  Taking this drug has CHANGED MY LIFE.  If I have to take it forever and ever, world without end - then whatever.  I will.

My brain IS broken.  I need, desperately it turns out, the help that this medication offers.  I'm certain that the healthy things I have accomplished in my life are making it easier for this drug to help me.  Absolutely.  But I can't be without it.

If anybody has gotten to this post researching 'Withdrawal from Wellbutrin" please know - as far as I can tell there are no serious psychotic side effects, and the drug doesn't become less effective for you.  But RESEARCH THAT.  What I want to tell you, keep track of how you're feeling.  Journal what you did each day.  Get a trusted someone to tell you if you're slipping back into your black hoodie and dark eyeliner phase.  Just be aware of YOU. 

I want to go back to feeling like I did in this post:  http://mypostcardsfrompurgatory.blogspot.com/2013/09/3-month-report-yes-more-diet-crap-shut.html  And that is where I'm going to stay.  No more experiments - jeebus I'm like Dr. Frankenstein using my own body.  no more.

Sorry for that last morose post everyone.  Welcome to my brain.  Pay as you exit.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Navel gazing

I've been dwelling.

Not in the 'living in an abode' kind of dwelling.  I mean ruminating. 

I've gone through so much in the last year regarding cleaning up my brain.  I've FACED and dealt with the facts of my abusive childhood and I feel as though I've - if not filed and organized, I've straightened and swept that area of my head.  It's better in there than it's ever been.

My broken brain is acknowledged and petted every fucking day.  I just say to myself 'THEY broke your brain, bunny - let's just move along here, not your fault' - this when my thoughts get stuck in either some maudlin pity party or else go all Dexter on me.  [do any of you do this, btw?  do you look at say, a homeless guy sleeping along a river bed and wonder what he would do if you ran up and kicked him in the face *hard*?  Now I've made myself sound like a sociopath and I'm telling you I'd never follow through with anything like that - I give food and shoes and clean underpants to the homeless! but why in the hell does my brain GO to that place?  Even unto myself, like when driving across a bridge and I worry I might suddenly decide to DRIVE OFF THE SIDE.  I am not a thrill seeker and no longer feel the need to go to sleep and not wake up, so WTF?  It's like my brain has this side that is all dark and twisted and icky]

I actually sometimes have worser thoughts pop into my head than the above examples.  I think it is because I was exposed to some horrific stuff, possibly sexual abuse stuff, as a little child and so my brain is broken in that regard.  But as I said, I pat myself on the brain-pan and move myself along to greener pastures.  It's all I can do, I have to just re-direct and move along.

[I hate feeling like I'm crazier than anyone else but sometimes the proof is in the pudding.]

Anywhozle.  As I was saying, I've dealt with so much stuff and now the dust is sort of settling and it leaves me thinking of what an unmitigated ASS I have been in my life.  I've touched on this before, but my GOD I made some completely bone-headed self-serving selfish decisions.  I owe apologies to SO MANY people and one of the most important people I owe an apology to is DEAD for chrissakes (Byron) and so while I assume he knows my heart and soul, I do wish I hadn't done what I did.

All of this stuff - I was constantly making decisions NO.  NO I didn't make decisions.  I let the wind and my varying emotional winds and hormones and fears rule me and I just kept leaping from lily pad to lily pad without ever even knowing I could have taken the time to look for the edge of the pond.  I was panicked and running LONG past the time there were any monsters (my dad) chasing me.  I paid all my bills, but you know, sometimes on the last day at the last minute with change from my ashtray.  There was never any forethought.  No plan of action or 'what next' critical thinking.  No idea that tomorrow I might really regret this decision or that leap.

In no particular order, here are a few of my asinine idiotic life decisions.  I hate myself sometimes.

1.  I was working with a friend (turned out to be a narc *surprise!*) we worked for two attorneys.  There was an auxiliary female attorney attached to the same office and she was married to a guy named Greg.  I started having an affair with this Greg guy.  He was a cop!  yeah.  Jeopardized my job which was always precarious at best.  She found out and hilarity ensued.  It was fucked.  I was scared.  This same guy tried to break my arm and little 3-year old Mike got into the fray.

2.  Met a guy via telephone while I was working for an escrow company.  We enjoyed a long and satisfying long-distance flirt.  He drove up to meet me finally and he turned out to be amazingly great, 5 years older than me and had his shit together.  He ran his own business and was just this amazing older MAN.  He thought I was funny(!) and sexy(!!) and smart(!!!) and really, he thought I was the greatest thing since pockets.  He also turned out to be married.  I kept up with that affair in one way or another (meaning it wasn't always sexy-time but it could have been) until I moved to Maryland 2 years ago.  YEAH.

3.  Was sort of but not really dating Byron.  We had been friends since 5th grade and all through high school we flirted (we were in band together!  geeks!) and after high school we started hanging out and he had this HUGE group of guy friends and I was this levi wearing girl who hung out and they treated me like a sister except Byron and I had this *thing* and it was all VERY cute, and very sweet.  This lasted for years.  But we were always dating other people and keep our liaisons quiet.  Then with one thing and another (alcohol, close proximity, horribly non-existent boundaries) I started flirting with HIS YOUNGER BROTHER and thus began the shameful-est part of my life.  SEX WITH BROTHERS.  ("not at the same time in the same bed! but during the same time period!" she hurries to clarify, making her less whore-like, right?) The one (John) knowing and the other, who I really really liked but couldn't really have (Byron) not knowing and then Byron died and I never could understand why all of our friends immediately hated me and it has come to my (much clearer) way of thinking that John told all his (our) friends what a whore I was and so of COURSE they all wouldn't talk to me and oh, this is one thing if I could go back but would have to live through my 20's again, I am thinking I would go back and change this shameful stupid thing.  Also I have learned to HATE John, he didn't have to be a dick.  His brother dying fucked him up but why take it out on me?  He had told me that he loved me, so hell hath no fury like that I guess.

4.  I manipulated the fucking crap out of people in order to get what I needed.  Which sounds so New York but I am talking about couches (used) or rides somewhere or tickets to a concert.  I traded sex for car repairs (not like, on a street corner but by magically dating boys who worked on cars AND who had things like dirt bikes).  I guess I thought I was clever and uh, yeah, I guess that is so.  Women have traded their bodies down through the ages but until recently I never thought of it from that angle.  I just thought I was magically dating car guys.

This is another part of growing up around narcs that we don't talk about much.  they fucked us up as kids and also we have no boundaries, no decision making skills.  I have no passions (except I guess I used to have a passion for married men.  That's not what I'm talking about here tho...) I have no talents besides a small skill at putting my stories out on the webz. 

Picture if you will, a really hopeless Tarzan.  Let's say, Mr. Limpet meets Tarzan.  He flings himself out on a vine, LEAPS to the next one and clutches it with eyes closed, heart PoUnDiNg, and sweaty grip until he's sure he isn't going to fall.  Heart still pounding he LEAPS to the next vine.  And lather, rinse, repeat.  THIS WAS ME.  I could have let go of the fucking vine and slid down.  There was nothing down there.

I could have stopped and built myself a tree house.  I could have just STOPPED MOVING.  Fucking crap. 

Round about the time I met Married Man Via Telephone I was drinking like a fish.  I had just lost all my friends (JOHN) and I was alone and sad and exhausted and tired of dancing.  I met Mike's dad and got pregnant, and while that wasn't the stupidest thing I've ever done as I like Mike's dad and have you met my son?  He's pretty great, it was another in a long line of leaping grasping clutching vine-jumping.

When I turned 39? Mike and I had moved into our last apartment, there in Garden Grove ca.  I stopped dating.  I had realized that the only common denominator in all of my bad decisions was, uh, ME.  So I quit.  I spent almost 2 years single and figuring stuff out.  It was at that time I decided to stop belittling my child abuse and stopped pretending it hadn't happened.  It would take me 10 years to really get it all cleared.

Finding you all helped so much.  I've said it before, but I thought it was just me.  I guess we have all said that, that we thought it was just OUR childhood.  To find out about all of us ULBs... 

I don't really have a point.  I am avoiding looking at or talking about my abusive childhood because I have dug down to the point that I realize some really REALLY shitty things happened to me in Florida.  And some of it makes me sound like a conspiracy theory LOON.  And I just don't want to walk through that right now.

Remember that movie 'Erin Brockovich' and there was this one scene where Erin was trying to get a water sample from a drainage ditch but she absolutely didn't want the water on her - she pulled a dead frog out by the toe and UGH that's how I feel.  If I could research this crap without getting any on me...

But reading about child abuse and thinking about child abuse and writing about child abuse - sometimes I feel like I walked through a giant spider web that was covered in dog crap.  It just gets ALL OVER me, you know?  And I need, recently, to take a (mental, metaphoric) shower and then not get any more on me.

Besides.  I spent all this time (rightfully) blaming all sets of parents in my life for the things that fucked me up.  But recently it has been important for me to acknowledge the ways I screwed up my own self and could have prevented it.

I don't know if it's worth it to contact anybody to apologize in person.  None of the above examples!  Those people can rot in hell - but there are girlfriends from long ago that I feel I owe an apology to, or a thank you to.  But it is SO long ago.  And I don't want to renew a friendship with those people - they were broken too, you know?  I want to acknowledge my own part in my past, and maybe that is enough.

No sense stirring anybody else's life-mud to the top.