Missing t

T has been on my mind a lot. I miss her badly and wish I could talk to her. I’m also seriously pissed off at her. She was the closest person in the world to me, including family. She was my family as far as that goes, and I would have done absolutely anything to help her. From the time we met I was looking out for her, whether she knew it or not. I have no idea how many times I had to stand up for her when we were teens-20s. When I was still scrappy, I suppose. Any time she needed anything I did it for her. I’m the one she called in the middle of the night when something was bothering her. I’m the one who would drop everything and come over if she needed me to. She always had two best friends, me and the other J, but I’m the one she talked to more, saw more, and who was always there. I was the only one at her first wedding, and I did everything I could to make her second special. That’s not putting down J in any way… she lived further away and had kids to deal with. But it remains that it was me that was always there. So when she said I had never done anything for her, I was stunned. I know she’s parroting some bullshit someone must be feeding her, but she should have given it some fucking thought before she repeated that shit. Besides being a damn good friend, I got her a job when she needed it, a place to stay when she needed it, lent her money when she needed it, brought her things she needed, and on and on…. And for her to forget or to dismiss all that I’ve done for her is just appalling.
I hate what alcohol turned her into. It broke my heart. When she started putting the kids in danger, enough was enough. Driving drunk with the kids in the car, leaving them to fend for themselves, leaving them at sleazy motels while she went chasing after her ex… Just not acceptable. When she decided she was going to try to get Jason back after what he did to R, I could not be a party to that in any way.
Still, I thought eventually we would work it out. I thought she’d sober up and realize how she had been behaving. That’s what other people thought too. I was the fourth person to call about the kids. I hated to do it. I cried for two weeks before I gave in and did it. That was after talking repeatedly about it to various people who encouraged me to do so. I know it was the right thing to do but I still felt bad about it. Still, we had been friends a lifetime. I didn’t think anything could break that.
Then damn if she didn’t move in with my ex, of all people. I know she has a problem being alone and God forbid she actually has to work or something, but that was really fucking low. He let her drink so she stayed, and in doing so, made it clear that she did not think we would reconcile. I was already pissed at her, but she still threw away our friendship for a place to drink.

Then to find out that she somehow thinks her fucked up life is somehow my fault, is just too much. She’s the one that ruined her relationship with her kids when she chose her child’s molester over her child. She’s the one that ruined her relationships with her friends over drink. Then her drunken ranting on facebook about how “I’m evil” and to “give her back her daughter” like Raven was a thing I had stolen. She did apologize for that and her excuse was that she was drunk. But I am sick of being blamed.

I was so angry over this the other day I started to log on just to say “fuck you, Tara, you broke my heart”. I managed to control myself, but I tell you, it took both hands to grab hold of myself. I’m so lonely I could die sometimes, and I miss talking to my friend. So many things remind me of her. The memories of 25+ years are wrapped up with her. When she messaged me recently I laid into her. I was still furious. I am still furious. But underneath that I’m just really hurt and I miss my sister. I keep telling myself that she has shown that her friendship is no longer worth having. She has shown how easily she will turn on someone if it is to her advantage. It makes me wonder if she was always such a shitty person or if it’s just the booze. I want to believe it’s the booze, but I honestly don’t know if there is any of her left in there.
I just wish I could go back in time and stop all of this.

Planned Parenthood

I was raped as a teenager. I had just turned seventeen and was a senior in high school when I found myself in a very bad situation. I do not want to go into what happened that night. It is enough that you know I was raped and terrified. I was from an abusive home, and there was no way I could tell an adult. However, I knew I needed help. The rapists were not kind enough to use protection, and I was afraid I might be pregnant or have gotten an STD. I was seventeen, had been traumatized, and my boyfriend, who I loved very much, had decided to blame me for what happened. Suffice it to say, I was not in a good place emotionally.
I did the only thing I could do – I contacted my local clinic. I remember calling them from school, using the payphone out front. This was when payphones were still a thing and before everyone had cell phones.  I made an appointment and the lady asked me what I was coming in for. I told her I needed to be tested for pregnancy and STDs. She asked if I had reason to believe I may have been exposed, such as having sex with someone who was a known carrier. I didn’t want to tell her, but I did. I told her I had been raped and that I just didn’t know. I remember the woman was horrified and asked if there was someone I could talk to about it. She wanted a phone number, but I told her I was calling from school and did not have one  to give her. I told her I was fine, I just needed to make sure, and no, there was no wonderfully wise and compassionate adult I could speak to about the issue. I made the appointment and held my breath.

The day of the appointment, I had to get to the next town over, where the clinic was located. It’s been some years ago since this happened and I don’t remember how I got there, but it would have been complicated. I did not have a car so getting there would have been a real problem. It was a rural area so there was no public transportation available. No taxis, no buses, no trains. I may have hitch-hiked, but after my recent rape I rather doubt it. At any rate, it would have involved some planning to get just to the next town over. Thank God I didn’t have to go to another state. To get to my appointment, I would have either skipped school or taken time off of my job. At that time I was working 4-12 after school, full time, trying to save up the money to escape my miserable home existence.
I don’t remember getting there, but I remember the appointment. The lady I spoke to was the one I had spoken to on the phone, so she knew what had happened. She was compassionate and concerned for me. I was seventeen, isolated, had serious trust issues, and was highly independent. I often adopted a tough attitude as protection, hoping my prickly exterior would keep people at a safe distance. I had not cried over what happened since that night. I had been trying to pretend like it hadn’t happened. Until that appointment. The lady at the clinic was gentle and she was so genuinely concerned about me that I started crying. I don’t remember what she asked me, but it came out that it had been two men, which made it that much worse. She examined me, tested me for STDs, spoke to me, gave me a bag full of prophylactics and a referral to see a therapists, all for free. This is what Planned Parenthood did for me.

Her compassion was what broke me. I had expected her to blame me, to think it was my fault, and that I was a horrible person. She didn’t think any of those things, and she helped me feel a little less tainted. My results came back negative and I went on with my life with one more scar, but I have never forgotten the kindness of that unknown clinic worker.
The current attack on Planned Parenthood by a bunch of old men is unacceptable. Planned Parenthood does so much for so many women. If it hadn’t been for them, I wouldn’t have been able to be tested. They do cancer screenings, pap smears, give classes, and give prenatal care, among many other services. Providing safe abortions when necessary is just a minuscule part of what they do, and zero funds from federal money goes towards that. Planned Parenthood clinics help millions of girls just like I was. These old men would have demanded that my father was told right off the bat. That would have gotten me beaten and more, and it would have made the whole experience a lot more traumatic. My story is just one, and it happened long ago, but it mattered. Planned Parenthood matters. Abstinence education doesn’t work… teenagers will do what teenagers do. When provided with birth control and protection, unwanted pregnancies and STDs drop dramatically. When you take them away, they rise dramatically. It’s really not a difficult concept. If you want less federal money spent on supporting unwanted children and their woefully unprepared young parents, you spend a little up front on prevention. In my case it wasn’t even a matter of teenagers doing what teenagers do – it was rape. And Planned Parenthood was there.

I don’t think a bunch of old men have any business deciding what woman do with their bodies. Demonizing an organization that does so much for so many is self destructive and it’s just plain stupid. With our current administration, Planned Parenthood is going to need the support of individual people, even if you can only donate a little. It won’t replace the money lost through federal grants, but it might help keep them afloat for a little while. We don’t need more nuclear weapons. That’s ludicrous, dangerous and expensive. But the same old men who don’t think any money should go towards health care are fine with spending money on war toys. They should not be allowed to feel self righteous. They should be called out for the bitter dinosaurs that they are.

You can donate to Planned Parenthood here. They will even let you donate in someone else’s name, so that person gets a nice little thank you note. I, and thousands of other women, have donated in Mike Pence’s name, just because he’s such an extreme miserable example of an old man mucking about in matters that he should have no say in.

Just a suggestion.

Well I had planned to finish writing about my medical emergency, since that’s what’s currently dominating my life. I don’t remember where I left off. My husband took me to the ER, where we found I had sepsis with organ failure, something going on with my kidneys, a host of other things, and of course, necrotizing fasciitis. You know, this is one of those things that is rare and horrible and you never think you or anyone you know will get it. So of course that”s what it was. They rushed me into surgery and cut out all the bad tissue, which was at my abdominal incision and was about to start chowing on my organs. I was in ICU for a while. My husband says it was like 5 days but I honestly don’t remember it. I have a giant hole in my stomach and it always hurts and itches but I was lucky.

The nurse comes three times a week and changes the sponges and all that. That is actually a nightmare because I’ve started healing into the sponges, and need to be separated from them first. The incision is 11″ long, where they did the hysterectomy and them cut it open even more for the flesh eating disease. (There, that’s so much easier to type than necrotizing fasciitis.) It was about 4″ deep, or all the way through, and about 2.5″ across. It is uneven, with a sort of channel that has to be kept open so fluid doesn’t build up. I go see a Doctor, either the gyn or the wound specialist once a week. And the rest of the time I’m home. My husband has been babying me, and waiting on me constantly. I hate to be a burden but he has really been wonderful. I think maybe it scared him that I almost died. Whatever the reason, hes been wonderful. My grandmother called several times and my uncle sent a card. Once my brother found out I wasn’t going to die, I guess he went on with things since I haven’t heard from him. I hope he’s doing the things he should be. My adopted kids haven’t called or anything. Maybe it’s their age, or their generation, but both of them are old enough to know better. It makes me wonder if they even give a damn about me any more.  It breaks my heart, because I would do anything to help them, and I tried so hard with R, but there’s nothing I can do. They’re either thoughtless or don’t care. I gave up the closest family I ever had when her mother did the things she did, and I’d do it again, because I had to do what I could to protect those kids. Now they’re grown. Maybe R living here was a mistake. I’m sure she doesn’t see me the same. I’m human, and I make mistakes and I have faults just like everyone else. I know she was angry at me at times, because she was rude and sometimes mean, and lied about things. That’s her way, but I had hoped she wouldn’t be like that with me. I hope she eventually learns that she has to talk to people, not just disappear or wonder why things aren’t the way she wants them.

Enough. I have the wound vac for 2-3 months, and I certainly don’t want to write about every agonizing episode to healing. I think I’m just moody from hurting tonight.

Death and medical

I’ve been close to death multiple times in my life. Sometimes due to violence, once that was self inflicted and now through illness. When I say close to death, I don’t mean “Wow, I could have died”. I mean “Wow, I should have died and I don’t know why I didn’t.”

A couple of weeks ago I had to have a hysterectomy. It was an abdominal hysterectomy because I had very large fibroid tumors. Other than that, it’s a pretty standard surgery. I was in the hospital for a few days and they sent me home with what I thought was a working case of strep throat. My throat was sore, and at first I thought it was from the anesthesia tube, but it continually got worse. Within a couple of days, I had developed white patches all over my mouth so we made a call to the Doctor and she called me in an antibiotic. That week I didn’t get better but it wasn’t getting worse either. I finished the antibiotics and my GP called in another type of antibiotic. However, before I could start it, my body started to crash and burn. This was Friday,  and I was incredibly weak, my voice was almost gone, and I had started bleeding. Just fyi, if you’re squeamish you may want to stop reading.

If you’re still here, I had been spotting throughout the week but I just had a hysterectomy and thought that was probably normal. However, my stomach incision had started bleeding as well and it was foul. I was so weak I was needing help walking and my husband really went all out for me. If you’ve ever run a high fever, you know that spacey feeling you get? Sometimes you’ll hallucinate things, even if it’s not full on bugs on the  wall. I was feeling like that, and I was so hot. I remember feeling my face and how hot it was but that you weren’t supposed to be able to tell about yourself. I took my temperature with one of those touch thermometers that you rub across the skin, and it said I had a fever of 105. I thought that couldn’t be right so I got my husband to take it and he got a reading of 104. I was running chills so he gave me Tylenol and put me to bed. A few minutes later I got up to go to the bathroom with his help, but when I got up from the toilet a pool of black blood came from me. I have never seen blood that color and didn’t know it could get that color. It also had the consistency of pudding. (Sorry, but I did warn you…) I called for my husband and he  got me into a pair of pants and we went to the ER. I was so weak I could barely walk and was shaking badly. He wheeled me in and I’m pretty sure I looked like death on a stick judging from the looks I was getting. And I smelled. That was the worst for me, because I’m usually a lotion fanatic and love pretty scents. I remember telling someone that anything that smelled like that should be dead. I was closer than I knew. Well, the Tylenol was helping to bring the fever down so by the time the ER was working on me it was at 103.5. I swear I think I sweated through the mattress, all while bleeding this foulness. I was given a vaginal exam but they couldn’t find the source of my illness. My white blood cell count came back as 28 and she told me it should be between 4-6 so obviously my body was trying to fight a massive infection. Without knowing what the infection was, they put four bags of antibiotics in me right off the start. Then they moved me to a room where a stone faced nurse was not at all helpful. Every time I had to pee, I’d make a bloody mess and need to wash up and change underwear. The blood was coming from my stomach but Nurse Ratchett wasn’t hearing it. My blessed husband is a bit OCD so he was cleaning up behind me. So Nurse Ratchett not so subtly suggested that I wash up. Well by this time I had already washed up three times in the hour or so I’d been there. I soon hado pee once again and this time my husband went and got a nurse to show her where I was bleeding. All of this is sort of a blur to me but apparently that finally got something going and my Doctor was there – heels and all, since it was her date night apparently and she made sure we knew it. She told us I had necrotizing fasciitis and they were preparing a team for surgery.

I will continue tomorrow… I think writing about this helps me come to terms with it.  I had a nurse here today doing my wound packing thing, which is a whole other nightmare.

Bloodletting

I haven’t been posting since I was censored, but I need what little bit of relief I can get from writing. I did write some things and not post, but damn, I’m already so isolated.. I don’t need to make it worse.

There is so much noise in my head. I get overwhelmed with the things that are hurting me until I feel like the pressure will just make me explode. I don’t think I have ever been so alone as I am now. My brother is in jail, my grandma is 89. R is busy with her day to day and besides, I am supposed to be her rock. Even if they were near, I could not talk to them about these things on my mind. T was my family and I still, even now, have a hard time believing what she did. I guess it’s a bit late in life to learn that while blood doesn’t count for much, if they aren’t blood they can walk away. That’s not really right though, because blood can do that too. Anyone can. I ran across the last letter I sent her. I want to forgive her. But I think she is still in denial that she ever did anything wrong.

I don’t understand that. I don’t understand why she did what she did. I don’t care how much fucking booze she had in her system or how bad she’s addicted, she was the only constant in my life and I never thought she was even capable of doing these things.

I know this is disjointed and rambling. You should see the inside of my head right now. This is blood letting is all. Let a little bit out before it rips me apart as it overflows.

Sister

I had a friend, a friend like most people never get. We met when we were fourteen, and grew up together. She had children and I got to watch them grow as their Aunt. T. knows me better than anyone ever has. She understood me completely and I understood her. We trusted each other implicitly. We were supposed to grow old together, and we did for 26 years or so.

We don’t talk now. She is full of anger and blames me for things I’m not responsible for. I blame her for the things she did. What happened is alcohol. She became an alcoholic and I watched it destroy the person I loved. T was a wonderful mother when the kids were little, but they don’t remember it. I tell them about it and they say that she’s been like she is now as long as they can remember. That breaks my heart a little.

First went her personality. She’s a mean drunk, and she lost the things that made her such a wonderful person. She lost her intelligence and her sense of humor and her compassion. She became bitter and self centered. There were several incidents I won’t go into. I lived near her and had to go over there in the middle of the night multiple times. Then she started putting the kids in danger. She didn’t do it maliciously or anything, it’s just that her drinking took priority over everything else. There was an incident I won’t go into on here, but she had to make a choice. She chose badly. She chose someone else over her child and then decided she was going to stay with him. By this time she had become a terrible friend. She would call me up, cry about the situation, then hang up without ever, not once, asking about my life. This went on for over a year, until I finally asked her why. She came back with sarcasm, so I surely wasn’t going to talk to her then. She accused me of calling social services and called me all sorts of names, but I hadn’t. I knew of several people who had though, and I was thinking of it.

When she made that decision, I had to separate myself from her. I told the kids I’d be there for them, and found out they were putting themselves in danger every day, climbing a tree to get to the roof to climb in through a window to get in the house. Finally I talked to the kid’s father. I hated to do it, because I felt like a traitor, but I knew it was the right thing too. He asked me again to call social service, and told me three others had already called but the more people that called the better. I talked to T’s other friend, who said she had already called social services. She also encouraged me to do so, and finally I did.

Meanwhile, I had broken up with my bf and was dating my soon to be husband. There were other things going on, but to try to keep this somewhat short, she moved in with my ex. Now, you just don’t do that and she knew it. She had places to stay but no one was letting her drink. He let her drink so she chose the booze over her friendship with me.

It’s been about 6 years now. Her daughter moved in with me when she graduated and lived here a year. T would go on fb drunk and ranting that I was stealing her children, etc etc. It was awful. She did apologize, and we spoke over email a bit. Her daughter ultimately decided to go home and live with her grandmother. Her kids don’t want anything to do with her because  of everything they went through, but she acts like she’s clueless and that she didn’t do anything wrong

I miss her. I feel like piece of me is missing. She was my family as well as my best and pretty much only friend. I don’t have parents so for me, introducing a new guy to her was the equivalent of meeting the parents, as strange as that may sound. I want to forgive her, but I don’t know if she will even admit to all she’s done. I think she feels like she is the wronged one in this relationship. What I did I did for the kids, but I still understand her being upset with me about it. But the things she did had no reason other than her own desires.  I’m thinking of contacting her to see if we can salvage it, and I don’t know if I should. I don’t know if she’s changed. I hope so but I do have my doubts.

Miscellaneous every day stuff

I have knee surgery coming up and I can’t say I’m particularly looking forward to it. I suppose there would be something wrong with me if I were. 🙂 My knee has been damaged most of my life and I’ve put it off as long as I can, but it’s gotten to where I can barely walk any more. There are three bones that need to be removed, and then there’s a jagged spur that needs to be sawed off and filed down. My tendon goes across this spur and is partially torn from it. I’ve had a giant lump on my knee where it necrotized around the dead bone, so after surgery that lump should be greatly diminished. Since I hurt it when I was 12, I’m not sure what it’s like to not have the alien knee thing going on. I say alien, because of the Charlie Sheen movie “The Arrival”. If you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about. An ex came up with that comparison and I found it funny so it stuck.

I had hoped to get this done with during the worst of summer when I can’t step out the door without immediately being drenched anyway. However, it’s scheduled for the third week of September when it should almost be getting liveable out there. Oh well.. that’s how it goes I suppose. The annual comic con is coming up and I’d love to go to that, but I wouldn’t be able to walk around and I have no one to go with anyway. So since I’m pretty much stuck here, I’ve been doing some organizing around the house, and spending more time online. I discovered product testing for reviews on Amazon. That’s been fun so far.. I’m getting loads of stuff for free or cheap and it gives me a chance to try out things I normally wouldn’t spend the money on. I’ve been getting mostly beauty products, because there are lots of them and it appeals to my girly side. There are other things as well, of course. So if anyone reading this wants to try it out, here’s a link to the best one: elitedealclub.com/?invcode=R9qqjWFl

I’ve also rediscovered pinterest. That started with a place to save tattoo designs I was interested in, but of course I’m saving other stuff too. I love old photos, and I’ve amassed quite a collection so far. Some of them I think will be good to inspire writing. I love the Old West photos, gypsies, Native Americans, Ziegfeld girls, Victorian and Edwardian people in general, the Depression era, Storyville and prostitutes in general, and the occasional oddity, such as a woman riding a saddled ostrich. I also pin garden ideas for the garden I’ve always wanted to have, complete with gate and paths and lush flowers, and moss gardens, with moss sculptures and moss covered furniture. They’re beautiful. Of course it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have several boards of pinned literature, rare books and the like. I see how people get hooked on it. It’s not hard to do.

One of the boards is abandoned building and places. I’ve always had an affinity for them and I used to do quite a bit of urban exploring before I moved to South Carolina. In MD there were lots of old hospitals and the like  within driving distance. Here, not so much. There is one place I know of but it’s heavily guarded and is in the middle of the city, so not good for sneaking into. I’ve seen photos from some people who have made it, but I am in no condition to sneak or run, and again, I have no one to explore with anyway. B drove us to the old Holy Land park and Raven and I explored that one, but it was in pretty bad shape. When we were out west, R and I checked out several abandoned tourist traps along the old Route 66, and went to a couple of ghost towns. I liked to imagine the ghost towns how they once might have been, dusty and noisy, and with people on the streets. I can imagine the cowboys from my photos, the outlaws and ranchers, and the women, both  “soiled doves”, as they were known, and the more respectable ones. I think any woman who went out west during that time must have had at least some spirit of adventure. It was the wilds back then, the unknown where anything might happen. I wish we still had country like that now here in the states.