Lockdown Update & Thirsty Men

With most people at home for now, it’s mainly been quiet. It’s almost like a flashback to 1990-something before my area was too crowded and overdeveloped with traffic. And I love it! However, all of that is about to change, because Florida is about to open back up. If money wasn’t an issue, I’d like it just fine the way it is.

Because of the Covid-19 shutdowns, I figured I’d have written way more than I have. Hell, I should have written my next book by now! However, I have done some much needed healing both physically and emotionally, catching up on sleep and removing toxic people out of my life, and catching up on some personal and work projects. I have been extremely content with being isolated during this pandemic. In fact, I’m loving it! I haven’t experienced any depression and very little anxiety (mainly just needing exercise). I’ve even managed to meditate a few times, and now I realize that I have been surrounding myself with untrustworthy assholes and going to places that are spiritually damaging and dark, which I feel has contributed to so much of the depression I’ve been writing about. Visiting family or friends and/or getting out once a week is just enough for me.

During all of this, there are certainly some thirsty men out there that I’ve been either avoiding, rejecting, or just disinterested in a text conversation. I am worth more than being there for someone for their entertainment when they have nothing else to do. If they can’t hang out with me or be a friend in real life or we don’t have a business interest, I’m not interested in wasting my time. There are too many good books to read for that!

In the meantime, I’ve run into a few people unexpectedly. I’m pretty sure I saw Toe Ring Guy’s truck pass my house one day, and I know I passed him on the street just prior to the lockdown. He does live nearby, however, I don’t want to see him on my street.

I ran into King Nothing a few times, and we’re cordial. (I think he secretly loves being called King Nothing, because he loves attention.) Another guy I went out for sushi with once (not a date, since there was no interest on my part) sent a text after months of silence. Someone else was trying to hook up, and I just wanted to be alone. A few random local guys on Instagram are also attempting to make conversation. God forbid I post a selfie, because that just makes them send DMs.

This piece of shit sent me a message on POF without realizing who I am; I ignored him.
I saw the back of Mr. Volatile on a beach walk one day – and he sent me a message on POF again without recognizing me. I told him he needed to stop lying about his age, so he blocked me. That was definitely a good laugh.

And then I heard from my (close) friend that hadn’t talked to me in three months. The one that was supposed to fix my car. The one that helped me during my surgery last year. The one that suddenly started seeing someone right after the holidays. But that is another post altogether.

As I’m writing this, my phone dings a text from a number I don’t recognize. I ask who it is. It’s someone I’ve known since high school that has a tendency to show up every couple of years. It’s 11 p.m. That will also be another blog post or two…

Right now my biggest concern is keeping healthy both physically and mentally, and I feel that keeping myself away from most people is key to succeeding at that. I enjoy company and good conversation without anything difficult, so I’ve been sticking with family and female friends as to not complicate things. Although I feel like a stereotype for doing so, I enjoy time with my cat more than most people… has life really come to this?

Another Religious Reject

This is a continuation of Why I Reject Religion. The other day I saw an article about televangelist Kenneth Copeland who claimed the coronavirus is not that serious and that he can blow it away. Most people probably don’t know who this man is, but unfortunately for me, he was one of the many religious con artists I was forced to watch and listen to when I was a kid. This was during my middle school years, which were detrimental to social development and socializing with my peers, and as far as I knew, none of my friends (even the church ones) were made to watch these shyster programs. It was one of many things that make me reject religion today.

I had only lived in the cult-religious home with my father and stepmother Bianca during my seventh grade year – a year that I would never want to repeat if I time traveled. The restrictions were ludicrous; I wasn’t allowed to listen to the music I liked, dress like a normal kid, and I wasn’t allowed to go to other friend’s homes except the preacher’s daughter. Basically, if it was considered normal or something I enjoyed, I wasn’t allowed to do it. This is an excerpt from my memoir, Unheard:

I have a little radio that I listen to in my room, usually tuned to top 40 music. I like reading teen magazines with all of the latest, greatest posters of pop stars and teen idols, and at the same time I listen to music. I’m not allowed to hang posters in my room because it will ruin the walls, so I keep them in a drawer.

“What are you listening to?” Bianca asks while I am in my room, reading and listening to music. I can see in her face that she doesn’t like it, and something is wrong. I am afraid of what I have done.

“Men At Work,” I answer timidly.

“I’ve never heard of them,” she says.

I show her a poster of the group from one of my magazines.

“See? Here they are. They have good songs.”

“They look gay,” she says, crinkling her face.

“Huh? How can you tell?”

I’m not quite sure I understand what gay is, but I know the kids at schools say it means a man liking another man.

“They’re gay,” she repeats. “You can see it in their eyes. And look at their earrings. It means that they’re gay. It’s disgusting. Turn this music off, it’s making me sick to my stomach.”

I am confused. A lot of guys at school wear earrings, but they’re not gay; they have girlfriends. And how can a song about Australia make someone ill? I am offended and insulted! After all, something that I enjoy that is perfectly harmless is being used against me.

“But they’re not saying anything bad!” I cry.

“I don’t care what it’s about,” Bianca’s face contorts. “They’re homosexuals and it’s satanic! Just turn it off!”

I sulk the rest of the afternoon alone in my room. It’s not fair that I have to turn off something I like just because she thinks someone is gay. Who cares if they are gay if the music is good?

I try to keep my radio as quiet as possible and my bedroom door shut now so the music doesn’t make Bianca sick.

She opens my door.

“What are you doing?” she asks.

I look at her.

“Who is that on the radio?”

“Michael Jackson.”

“I don’t think it’s a good idea to listen to that garbage. The Jacksons are sinners.”

She hands me some tapes.

“Here’s Amy Grant and Sandi Patty for you to listen to. You like them, right?”

I don’t really care for the lame Christian music, but it’s better than listening to some of the other awful boring church stuff she has.

Music was just one of many meaningful things taken away from me due to ridiculous religious beliefs. I had to hide some of my friendships, because Bianca wouldn’t allow those, either. This is another excerpt from Unheard:

Sabrina is allowed to have me over once, with her father there, but Bianca says she must come to our house first to meet her.

“She seems loose,” Bianca says after Sabrina leaves. I don’t know what that means, but I know it doesn’t mean anything nice.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

Bianca doesn’t like me questioning her, but I think I have a right to know why she says the things she does about my friends.

“The way she dresses… those pants,” her face scrunches up. “I don’t want you going over there.”

“Parachute pants? That’s what all of the kids in school wear.”

“She looks like a French whore.”

“What does that mean!” I yell and cry. How dare she call my friend such an undeserving name! I do an about face and stomp right into my room.

Bianca doesn’t like any of my new friends; she is just as judgmental and picky about the kids from church. She is starting to get that way about me, too.

Things gradually worsened throughout the school year. My body started developing when I was nine, so by the time I was twelve, I was wearing women’s normal bra sizes. When a child’s body develops faster than her mind, she is still a child inside, even though many adults don’t seem to realize that. (A good analogy would be seeing a 9-month-old puppy looking like a grown dog, but it’s still a puppy.) Bianca wouldn’t even allow me to wear certain items in our own home, and I didn’t understand any of this over-the-top bullshit:

You need to wear your robe,” Bianca announces.

“You mean over this?” I question, tugging at my long shirt.

I am wearing an old, red, thick, oversized t-shirt nightgown she’d given me last year. It hangs on me like a potato sack, right past my knees.

“Yes,” she says. “I can see your nipples.”

“How? You can’t see through it. I can’t see through it. It’s thick like a shirt.”

“I can see the outline of your nipples. Go put a robe on. You can’t be walking around your dad like that.”

It is over 75 degrees, and I’m not allowed to wear a t-shirt?

“But it’s hot,” I whine.

“Susanna!” she snaps. “Put your robe on or go to bed now!”

Dad is in the other room on the computer.

Why doesn’t he defend me at all? I’m not doing anything wrong! This is ridiculous!

I am starting to get sick of Bianca’s weirdness with everything that I do. I decide to go to my room instead of look at her.

Those were just a few of the things that Bianca did to ruin my life as a twelve-year-old. My father never stood up for me, and over time, things progressively became worse. I didn’t realize then what I know now that Bianca was trying to shape me into something I wasn’t, and when she figured out she couldn’t, I was banned from the family. I will explore some of that later…

No Coronavirus, but Still in Quarantine

Today is the first day I’ve felt mostly normal in two weeks. I’ve been cooped up in my house with a head cold and back injury all at once. The head cold is pretty much gone, but allergies are really bad right now, so sometimes it’s hard to tell what is what. One thing definitely caused by allergies when I go outside is my throat closing up to the point that I nearly lost my voice. I’m just trying to determine what is actually going to kill me in the long run.

Two weeks ago I hurt my back from picking up a bag of soil and twisting at the same time. It became progressively worse to the point that I could barely walk, could hardly bend, and doing daily tasks have been extremely difficult. Today I managed to do very little of an online yoga class, because spasms took over. Not only am I frustrated, because I cannot physically do what I need to, but the head cold and medication cause mental blockage to the point I can’t concentrate. Now I am two weeks behind in getting anything done, which exacerbates anxiety.

The only time I’ve been in this much pain is right after a major surgery – and yes, it hurt that bad. I guess I’m used to healing quickly and getting back to normal life, except this time it ain’t happening on my terms. It hasn’t even been a year yet since I had the first surgery and not even 6 months since the last one, so my body’s healing ability has been in overdrive, and I’m sure getting older has a lot to do with that. This is another reason I’ve chosen to socially distance myself, because I’m more prone to catching something, and I’ll be damned if some batshit virus is going to take me out.

With all of that going on, insomnia kicks in when I’m in pain. I literally had to roll over to get myself out of bed, because sitting up was not an option. I’ve been taking 600 mg of ibuprofen, but I don’t think it works well. Muscle relaxers help a little to sleep, but otherwise they make my head feel loopy.

The pain was the exact same way I felt right after surgery, when the CO2 gas was working its way upwards out of my body. I cannot imagine living like that for long, because it’s pretty excruciating. I am not rested well, which of course isn’t helping the healing process, and having a head cold on top of it makes it slower to heal. I’ve been going to bed at a reasonable hour and waking up around midnight or other early a.m. hours, unable to get back to sleep for a few hours at a time. Sometimes I don’t get to sleep until the sun is coming up, so my entire morning is screwed up.

I know I’ve been dreaming a lot, and I should be writing them down. Last night I finally slept decently and dreamt. But now for the life of me, I cannot remember what the dreams were about. Right now I wish I had someone to rub my feet, feed me, and tell me I’m pretty. HA! Wishful thinking.

Feeling Worthless & Random Thoughts

My day began with getting woken up by my cat and not actually getting back to sleep, so I’m not exactly feeling good physically. It got worse when I got up and learned I’d been locked out of my Facebook account that I’ve had since 2013. I had jokingly changed my name about a month or so ago, but Facebook wouldn’t allow me to change it back for 90 days. I suppose someone reported me as a fake account, even though I run my biz pages from that account, have things for sale on that account, have my phone number associated with my account, have used credit cards for business on that account, and god knows what else they have that I’m not even aware of. They have more than enough of my personal information to prove I’m not a fake account. I also cannot access messenger, which is the only way I know to keep in touch with some people. Who knows what else I can’t access, because everything is connected to this POS network. Now Facebook wants me to send them my government ID to prove who I am, as if I’m going to send my sensitive information to some random person Facebook hired for $10/hr. I told them to fuck off. I may have to create an actual fake account in order to use it, but that seems like a lot of work for a platform I already despise.

I haven’t heard a word from my male friend, and as of yesterday, he still had me blocked on Facebook. Not that he was keeping in touch with me prior to that anyway. I’m just leaving him alone and not saying a word. I’ll just be as silent as he is. I just wish I could afford to pay someone else to fix my car, because I don’t even want to deal with bothering him again.

My new male friend/acquaintance seems to only text me when he’s drinking. There’s a sign to stay away. Last night he sent me a text inviting me over to “take a spin” in his jacuzzi. Take a spin? Really? I ignored him. Jacuzzis are gross anyway, and I will definitely not be joining him in one. Now he’s texting me about what kind of camera should he buy because he wants me to teach him photography. I jokingly said I charge $25/hr, but I should have said $100, because dealing with him costs me my sanity. I need to come up with a nickname for him, something fitting.

I feel no love. Seriously. None, except from my cat. I attempt to surround myself with things that make me feel better, but everything is only temporary. I want to be loved, to be wanted, to be appreciated… and not just for superficial bullshit… not for buying expensive Christmas gifts, not for acting up to someone else’s standards, not for giving a good blowjob. I guess that’s why cats are great. Fuck, at this point, I’d be happy befriending a ghost. If he wasn’t friendly, I’d cuss him out and sage the shit out of him.

I’m feeling terrible again. Maybe I’m low on B-12, but I’m out of syringes and keep forgetting to go to the store to get them. When I ask the pharmacist and say what it’s for, they still look at me like I’m a crackhead, even though I’m too fat to be one. I really, really need a massage. I know it would make me feel better for at least a day or two, which is more than I’ve felt in a while.

I’m constantly worried. I worry about how I will manage to pay rent each month. It’s not even high rent, and it’s relatively low (knock on wood) for my area, but my income has changed due to health issues. Then I worry if the only income I have will suddenly end and I’ll be homeless. This is another reason I’ve been so very anxious to get my car fixed, because it could be my next home.

No matter how hard I try different things, like changing routines and cutting alcohol, I am still depressed and feel worthless. So then I’ll have a few drinks, which lets my guard down and makes me actually talk to people I would normally not speak to. But they don’t know that, because then when I see them somewhere else, I may not be as friendly, and then they think I’m a snob. Not my intention.

I don’t like fake attention. I don’t like when strange men come up to me in a grocery store and give me compliments about my looks. It makes me feel weird, like a target, especially coming from men that should probably keep to themselves anyway and would probably fuck anything in a skirt if given the chance. It would be different coming from a man that I like and respect, but I prefer to be liked and complimented for how I am as a person.

Everything is just an illusion, but seeing people out together and seemingly happy makes me feel like an even bigger loser for being alone and depressed. Some of them are faking their happiness and showing off for people; they have someone to impress. I see that. But that doesn’t make me feel any better or… un-alone, because there is no antonym for alone. Disconnected might describe it. I’m not out to impress anyone. Fuck that. Like me as I am or fuck off.

I always feel alone, even in most company. It’s the worst feeling in the world. When I am in company and feel this way, I tend to just get up and leave, because I can’t take it, and I’m not going to subject myself to torture. As an introvert, it’s total hell. Someone I had a beer with recently ruined my somewhat content mood, and I became annoyed, because she was being super aggressive and opinionated in a conversation, discussing topics I don’t care to discuss, especially when I’m already feeling bad. I’m sure that wasn’t her intention; it’s just her nature. I was relieved when she left me back to being alone.

I’m not sure there’s a cure for depression in my case. My VA counselor thinks that I’m just one of those people that is naturally/normally depressed. I don’t think it’s normal at all. I have never thought of myself that way, as I’ve always yearned for happiness. We all want happiness. What if I had all of the things listed that I’ve researched and written about (eating alone, sex, touch) that might help with depression? Would I still be depressed?

Blocked Again

Some days can just kiss my ass, and Monday was one of them.

Monday turned out to be one of those days in which I couldn’t wait to go back to sleep, because I did not want to face reality. Going to sleep super early the night before and waking up in the middle of the night pretty much screwed up my Monday morning, and when I got up I texted my close male friend that still hadn’t replied to me about what was going on with him. I went about my morning, intending to attend yoga, but I ended up being too upset to bother leaving the house.

Here’s a recap of the original text I sent to my friend the night before: “Look, I don’t know if you’re seeing somebody or something but you don’t even say hi to me anymore unless I initiate the conversation. I haven’t seen you literally since last year. I know you’re busy and all but I feel like something has changed between us. I almost feel like I’m bothering you by even asking you anything.” Nothing but crickets, which is very unusual… so on Monday morning I said, “Well alrighty then…” And that’s when he finally responded.

I was right – he’d “met someone recently and was going to tell” me. I guess it took me directly asking the question instead of attempting to communicate and getting excuses. It certainly explains all of the avoidance and standoffishness after I told him I wasn’t going to have sex with someone that is emotionally unavailable and too busy to hang out, because I’m not looking for a fuck buddy. I felt hurt knowing that someone I’d developed such a close friendship with blew me off with excuses but found time to date someone. Just be up front, you know? That doesn’t make it okay to avoid me and treat me like I’m an ex. I felt I lost a friend, because I know our friendship will never be the same again. I feel sad about it, and I suspect I’ll go through somewhat of a mourning period. Again. FFS.

Later on that day, even though we weren’t friends on Facebook, my male friend’s profile had come up as “people you might know.” I viewed his profile and summed up who I’m certain he’s dating – a newly divorced bartender (just like OC! *facepalm*). Later that evening, my friend’s Facebook profile had blocked mine, and I had no idea why. I confronted him about it, because why did he feel the need to do such a thing if we’re still friends… and I’d never mentioned it to him… and his posts were public… He swears he never blocked me, but he hasn’t unblocked me, and unless someone else did it, he’s lying to me. Then I spent some time obsessing over it, thinking maybe one of his friends or the chick he’s dating did it. He, on the other hand, didn’t seem concerned whatsoever.

Then… he revealed this: He wanted more but I didn’t. Say what??? This was never a topic of discussion. Maybe a topic was “what is this?” to which I replied, “we are friends,” because like I said, a relationship doesn’t work when either party is emotionally unavailable. Nor does it work when someone is “too busy” to spend quality time together. He said he still wants to remain friends, and he agreed to fix my car as promised. I just wished he’d done it prior to this, because now everything feels awkward. Why the hell can’t men get their shit together before creating more problems and awkwardness?

I became angry again about being blocked on Facebook, and I told him so, because what did I do to deserve that? And why aren’t we friends on Facebook anyway? It’s obvious he’s annoyed with my questioning, which doesn’t surprise me, since men block, ignore, gaslight, and/or get angry when they get questioned or called out on their shit.

So what now? Is my very trusted friend lying to me? It doesn’t give me a good feeling at all, especially after having been blocked and ghosted by OC, and I feel triggered all over again again. Speaking of OC…

I decided to block OC’s Instagram account from viewing or liking any of mine nevermore. I wasn’t expecting to see a new photo of him and his girlfriend posted (that oddly, his wife “liked”). I knew I was doing the right thing by blocking this asshole, because I no longer want to question why he’s liking my posts or why he ghosted me for no reason or to see his stupid face – nevermore!

Cutting Back on Alcohol

A few weeks or so ago, I’d written about changing some things in my life. Today is Day 20 of no drinking/cutting back on alcohol. It was something I intended to do, but the losing my shit incident was a catalyst.

I started out being on antibiotics, which was a great way to begin my not-drinking voyage. I have to admit the first few days were tough, because I’d been working outside in the heat, and beer sounded great, but I knew the medication would have made me sick anyway.

Once I got through the first week, it wasn’t so bad. I started keeping myself busy working out or taking walks in the evenings. I went grocery shopping and ran errands during the times I would normally have gone to happy hour. It probably helped that I didn’t exactly have the money to be going out.

Week two was a success, however, I thought I would feel better. I haven’t felt that much better except that I didn’t have hangovers. I was tired, but in a different way; I felt exhausted. My appetite began to change, and I was cooking again, and I had more motivation mentally and could think clearer. Still, I had no energy for the most part (could very well have been due to the antibiotics). The weather brought on some allergy issues, and it felt as if fibromyalgia was full-blown for a few days. My body was super achy from head to toe, and I remembered that when I drank beer, the aches would disappear. I did notice anxiety went down a little while I wasn’t drinking, maybe because I was just exhausted. My mood was only slightly lifted, but I was still feeling depressed. Perhaps it was lack of human contact or something else, but I was craving not being depressed, which is part of the reason I quit/cut back on drinking.

On Day 15, the weather was pretty bad. I had one beer in the fridge (one that I normally wouldn’t drink, because it would have been gone by now) that I drank and didn’t really care for it. The following day (16), I met up with some friends that are getting married soon to discuss some things about their wedding that I’m shooting. It was nice getting out of the house for once and home by 10:30. I had three beers in two and a half hours, felt high as a kite, and felt like shit the entire next day. Two of the beers were relatively normal in alcohol content, but the first may have been almost like drinking two. I remembered how much I hated waking up feeling completely unrested, having to get up to pee at wee hours, thirsty and unable to get back to sleep, and basically being unable to fully function intellectually with unclear thinking skills the following day. I also noticed my allergies were worse. Three beers was almost nothing for me before; it only took two weeks for that effect.

When the weekend rolled around, I went to an event out of town, and then a new friend/acquaintance offered to meet up for sushi. At first, I was hesitant being unfamiliar with him, but I was hungry, and the timing was perfect. I started out drinking water, had a tiny bit of sake and opted for a beer that I normally really like. However, I wasn’t liking the beer much at all and switched it to something sweet. It was nice to be out having conversation and a meal with someone, and I left feeling generally content, yet tired.

The following day, I noticed my mood was off. I felt sad, even though it was a nice day. (I suppose I could have also been sad about my other male friend.) Again, my energy was low and I had little motivation, but I didn’t feel like I had a hangover or anything. I was burping up the beer the next day, which made me not want to drink it even more, especially after nearly 12 hours passed since I’d drank it… just gross. I felt annoyed all day and canceled plans to go to an art event, because I didn’t want to be around people. I don’t know if this is a result from drinking or just being tired or annoyed.

Doing two experiments of having a few drinks after not drinking showed me that it really doesn’t bring me any happiness, especially the following day. Socially, it can be fun, but I am pretty sure I can find other fun things to do.

People were asking how long I was going to stop drinking. I never had an answer, because I tried to make realistic expectations and just go with the flow with how I felt. I have no cravings to continue doing it, and after feeling as bad as I have been, I don’t looking forward to it again. Eventually, I want to get back into eating a stricter diet, but for now I’m doing one thing at a time; I’m still enjoying chocolate chip cookies for now.

Snail Slime and Self-Protection

A few weeks ago, a snail was crawling up the window of my door, which was an unusual thing to see. A big believer of signs and symbols, I looked up the meaning of the snail. It turns out that I learned something new – snails have two different types of slime; one type is for movement, and the other is for protection… and snails secrete a substance to create their own shell.

I had to reflect on this snail discovery, as I am often told that I’m very guarded. When I’m in a new place or around new people, I typically observe; it’s important to know my surroundings before participating. Maybe that’s why a lot of people initially think that I’m quiet and guarded when they first meet me; this has been said to me since I was a child. I never understood what people meant, because I feel that I’m friendly and cordial with people. I suppose being guarded had to do with my upbringing of always having to protect myself from one thing or another. If you’ve been a follower long enough and/or read my books, you’ll understand that statement (or you can read excerpts here).

I feel that the snail was a sign for me to watch myself, my surroundings and the things that I was doing. I was drinking too much over the holidays and not protecting myself from sickness and toxic, slimy people. In the end, all of it literally made me ill. It was a sign to move on, move away from these people and protect not only my physical body, but my emotional and mental state. I realize snail slime is the only slime I need in my life.