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Good Riddance, if it sticks

The extra-hot weather in my neck of the hood has tempers a bit more frayed than usual. The smell of desperation in the air sets my teeth on edge and makes me want to scream.

The Kid still has not acquired a job. He says he’s looking. I take whatever he says with a whole salt lick because he prefers to lie by omission rather than just tell the truth and seek help with his resume and/or interview skills.

But this post isn’t about my errant offspring, it’s about my nearest neighbor. She’s a young woman, not yet thirty, and I don’t know her whole story, but here’s what I’ve been told –

She has several children but it not married. None of the children live with her because of problems in the past. I don’t know where the children live. I saw four between the ages of 8 and 15 the other day who all looked enough alike to be siblings sitting on her porch. They came over to pet Sabu so I got a good look at them.

She lives in the single-wide trailer Lois (remember her? the woman with all the long-haired chihuahuas? Did I tell that story here?) was kicked out of. Her father and step-mom, who live in the park, worked a miracle to get that hell hole cleaned up for human habitation and I hear he pulled all kinds of strings to get her into the park and out of “a bad situation” of some sort. I try not to judge and gave her the benefit of the doubt when she moved in.

She works as a bartender at a local watering hole which means she keeps late hours, often coming home at 0100. In the beginning she would pull up onto her patch of gravel, turn off her car, slam the door and go inside. It woke me up for the first week or so but became a Regular Thing and I got accustomed enough that it didn’t wake me any more.

She likes to play very loud music, but only after 10:00 PM. Yeah. That didn’t sit very well with me. My trailer is a good 20 feet away from hers but she likes to play the music loud enough that the bass makes the whole trailer shake like it’s morphing into a nightclub. I’m a sound sleeper, but this is just a bit too much. If it were good music it might be bearable, but it’s all rap and screaming and awful.

After a couple of weeks she started bringing men home with her. For a week or so it was the same guy, then she started to change it up regularly. Some of them would be leaving in the early morning hours as I was walking Sabu before heading off to work. None of them looked anything like respectable. Most of them looked like they were seriously hung over.

In the last 4 months or so she has been outside on her porch screaming into her phone and/or screaming at her current Flavor of the Week. She’s not even trying to be polite or considerate of others. One evening I heard male and female voices raised in anger and poked my head out to see what was up, only to find her father telling her that he won’t allow “that guy” into the park, that he’s a tweaker* and she’s out of line and will get herself kicked out. Loud, angry denials from her (but I’ve seen the dude – he’s a tweaker without a doubt) with lots of curse words and “I’ll do whatever I want – it’s my life!”

Said tweaker later stole a bike from another resident of the park. Said resident is of the gun toting, shoot, shovel, shut up variety and really the absolute worst person to steal from because he will find you, he will find his goods and he will make sure your ass is in jail for the maximum allowed sentence. He will not give up, and he didn’t. The tweaker was warned that he was being hunted and he returned the bike in the dead of night. I don’t know how that story ended but Steve is not in jail for battery and the tweaker has not been seen, by me at least, in the park since.

So. Last Friday I got off work at noon and went home for a nice, relaxing afternoon sipping sweet tea on the patio while enjoying Brother Frankenstein by Michael Bunker** There were a number of people chatting on the porch next door. After a bit, the girl and three men walk between our trailers and towards the back of the park where they turn a corner and leave my sight. Five or ten minutes later they come back. Then she leads another group around the corner and they all come back a few minutes later. A minivan pulls up and disgorges several people, its motor idling loudly for the next 30 minutes. She takes another group of people around the corner. They come back, etc. etc. etc. This goes on for about three hours, cars and people coming and going. Uh-huh.

The loud conversations outside last well into the dark hours and once again I’m awoken at 0230 by shouting outside. The party continued while I fumed and did not sleep. I’m not an idiot, however, and remained inside.

More of the same on Saturday, but this time the park manager observed the tweaker parade. She asked me some questions the other day and I told her what I knew. It was not the first complaint but it was the straw that broke the camel’s back and she served the eviction notice on Tuesday. A scream was heard from inside the single-wide trailer and all has been quiet since.

This whole post may seem a bit harsh and critical, like I’m not sympathetic to the plight of young women who make poor choices, and maybe it is. I just think that if someone gives you a huge hand up and a chance to better your life it’s best to be grateful, not shit all over your improved circumstances. If you want to get away from drugs and/or bad people and you move to do so, don’t invite them back in. Take the advice of more experienced people who only want to help you. Don’t alienate your neighbors with rude behavior and excessive noise. Your life won’t improve until you make the decision to change yourself.

We shall see if it sticks and she’s out within 30 days or if she’s able to wrangle a new deal. Stay tuned…

* A tweaker is someone who uses crystal meth on a regular basis. They have a very distinctive look, what I call Meth Face, and distinctive mannerisms. They are a plague on this community and a blight on humanity. I could go on and on about my views of tweakers but this isn’t the time.

** Seriously, you need to read this guy! He’s the “father” of Amish Sci-Fi, which really is a thing and is marvelous! Also check out the Wool series by Hugh Howey if you enjoy dystopian fiction with no zombies or other unexplainable crap thrown in for cheap thrills.

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2015 in Blather, Crazy, Plea for sanity, Rants

 

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Oh, my aching back!

Seems it’s taking me a bit longer to get back into the Blogging Swing than I thought it would. Or maybe I’m just enjoying doing stuff in The Real World more than usual. It’s nice. Except for the sponge growing out of my couch, life is good.

I may have lost my mind, tho. You see, my back is sore today because I spent some hypnotically vague amount of time folding my shirts last night. Sounds insane, right? But it’s all connected, as you will see.

I’ve been very unhappy about the state of Towanda’s insides for awhile now. Most especially since The Kid moved in with me. There’s just too much clutter, too much Stuff, it’s total chaos and I have reached the end of my rope. I tossed a bunch of stuff but it still wasn’t enough. I feel like my skin’s on too tight but didn’t know quite why.

A few blogs I read have been touting this book

KonMari CoverI’ve never been one to “join” any sort of organizational method with any amount of ambition, but I bought the book for my Kindle and started reading. KonMari (as she likes to be called) has developed a system whereby her clients discard and then organize their possessions. “When your house is in order, wonderful things start to happen,” is my paraphrase of her main tenet, and anyone who knows me understands that I seriously need some forward motion right now.

Step one is to sort all clothing. ALL clothing. As in, gather every stitch of clothing in your entire house, including accessories, shoes and bags, and pile them in the middle of the floor. Then sort according to her method which amounts to, “if I were to see this in a shop today, would I buy it?” If the answer is “no,” out it goes. No second chances, no take-backs, no hesitation.

I’d already done a clothing purge a couple of months ago, putting all the Winter stuff into bins under the bed but I did it again with the warm weather clothes in the wardrobe. A surprising amount of things went out in a donation bag. I even purged some shoes! And I love my shoes…

KonMari recommends using shoe boxes inside drawers to organize clothing, hanging those things “that are happier to be hung up.” Having no drawers creates a bit of a dilemma, but I am Crafty and went out and bought some old wood drawers, painted them and added shelves inside. They stack inside the wardrobe and boxes sit on their shelves. Boxes that are now full of perfectly folded shirts and underthings. It.Is.A.Marvel. I kid you not.

However, this has led to a grim dissatisfaction with the state of the rest of my wardrobe. I may have lost my mind. I’m sitting at work and all I can think about are the bins of clothes under the bed and the state of the rest of the wardrobe. How many more pairs of shoes can I donate before I start to feel like I have “the perfect number?”

Where does this end? Should I keep track of how many bags (or pounds?) of crap I toss out the door?

The next catagory to de-clutter and organize is Books, followed by Papers (“just throw all of them away” is KonMari’s advice) komono (misc. stuff) and finally things that have sentimental value.

Books will be easy – now that I have a Kindle I don’t buy them any more and those that I have can be cheaply purchased on Kindle so long as I bought them on Amazon. There are a few that I will keep, but the vast majority will go. Papers will be even easier – it’s all crap and I’m eager to get it out of my space. Komono will be the longest process as I have a lot of things that would fall into this category.

Sigh. I really have lost my mind…

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2015 in Blather, Happy, KonMari, RV Living

 

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“Doesn’t play well with others”

It might as well be tattooed onto my forehead.

In an effort to meet people my age who might have the same interests, I joined a Facebook group. I lurked for awhile to get a feel for the group and it seemed fine. The people are of both sexes and the only requirements are that they live in Oregon and be over 40. Sounds good, right?

And it was until a woman posted that her divorce was final that day, and while she left with her children because of his substance abuse, she still felt sad about the end of her marriage. She left when she realized that she had “stopped living” and his constant demands for money (she worked, he, of course, did not) meant that her kids were going hungry.

I was in the middle of composing a, “Way to go! Congratulations! You did the right thing for you and your children,” response when someone else (a woman, surprisingly) jumped in with a caustic paragraph condemning the newly-liberated woman for leaving her man when he was at his lowest. “You wouldn’t leave if he had cancer, would you? Alcoholism is the same thing. You’re a horrible person who will burn in hell.” or words to that effect.

Red flag in front of a bull! To compare substance abuse to cancer is not only ignorant, but cruel to a person who is still raw from being a victim of it at the hands of the man she meant to spend the rest of her life with.

I fired off an “I call bullshit on your comparison and here’s why…” reply and sat back to see what would happen. Several others joined in to tell Sarah Sunshine (yes, that’s her name) she was wrong to abuse another member of the group and that she needed to back off. She kept on, berating everyone who disagreed with her in rapidly escalating language. And then she started throwing around the c-word. Yep. She called three women posting to the thread cunts and said that she would rather shoot up a speed ball and follow it with a shot of vodka than be in a relationship with any of us narrow-minded, judgmental cunts.

That’s when the moderator of the group deleted the post.

Okay, fine. It did get out of control and name calling is the lowest form of debate. But then he posted (twice) telling everyone that he wouldn’t tolerate that kind of behavior and blah, blah, blah. Okay, I get it, but he was rather condescending, and to post twice? Really? He posted again this morning saying that he had some new moderators and there would be a crackdown on “inappropriate content.” Several people started asking in the comments what exactly that meant (as if he hadn’t already outlined his New Rules in the previous posts.) It got silly very quickly and I commented that I would never post anything I wouldn’t say to anyone’s face and couldn’t we all just act like adults?

My comment was deleted about ten minutes later. No warning, no questions asked, just gone. The new moderator posted an apology to another member for deleting his comment before reading it thoroughly. What? Someone else chimed in, asking WTF was going on with the comment deleting and I asked why my comment had been deleted as it was a harmless eye-roll.

I was told, with a shout out for all to see, that I was welcome to leave if I didn’t like my comments being deleted for no reason.

And so I left the group. This always happens. I’m also a thread killer – if I comment on something, very soon everyone quits posting. I dunno. I don’t think I’m especially combative online – I really don’t type anything I wouldn’t say to your face and I don’t mean to piss people off or whatever it is I do, but there ya go.

What say you? Did I do the right thing? Am I just being paranoid and/or crazy?

 

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Domestic violence DE-CODED: 5 lies that perpetrators tell

Domestic violence DE-CODED: 5 lies that perpetrators tell

Sofia Leo:

Number 4 is the one used against me the most, but I experienced all of these lies. Over and over again.

Originally posted on Avalanche of the soul:

Discover what perpetrators of domestic violence or abuse really mean in this breakdown of the TOP FIVE lies they tell.

1. The lie: “I love you”

The truth: I love what you do for me. I love how powerful I feel when I hurt you. I love that I never have to accept responsibility for my horrific behaviour. I love that despite this, you believe I love you. I feel only contempt for you, but saying ‘I love you’ enables me to maintain control over you.

2. The lie: “I only hurt you because I drink too much / had a terrible childhood / have trust issues”

The truth: I deliberately get tanked up on drink / drugs before I abuse you, because it is a great excuse. In fact, there is no end to the excuses I’ll invent because shifting the blame for my abusive behaviour is…

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Posted by on July 6, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

“Relax” Part Whatever

Thankfully The Flood has abated. Who knew telling 900+ people all about the workings of my Lady Bits would shut the faucet off? Obviously I need to be telling y’all every little thing – maybe shit would start to happen :-)

Before we get to my scheduled post, just let me relate one more work-related irritation. On Friday, the server went down at the office. No problem – I saved my drawings to my hard drive. When the problem hadn’t been fixed by 11:30 and my work was done, I left. I saw The Boss’ truck parked in front of the office on Sunday but didn’t have time to stop by to tell him the latest drawings were on my hard drive because I had somewhere more interesting to be. I don’t keep his cell phone number in my phone, so I didn’t bother to call, either. WTF he was doing at the office on a Sunday defies all logic anyway.

So I came in to work this morning and went immediately into his office (before the weekly staff/planning meeting I am no longer invited to) to ask if he’d changed the drawings and to explain the situation. Turns out he HAD made changes to the drawings and appeared a bit irritated that I hadn’t let him know I’d saved the files on my hard drive. BUT the architect changed his floor plan (again – surprise!) necessitating a bunch of changes that voided all the work I’d done on Friday. Of course, The Boss asked me what I’d done on Friday (your redlines, duh!) and was not happy about the situation, but in the end no harm, no foul.

No biggie, right? Well…no, it’s just fine with me to get paid to do the exact same work over and over again, but the $ doesn’t make up for the irritation and frustration my job makes me feel. I gotta get something more stimulating going on or I will lose my mind.

Ahem. Okay. Where was I? Oh, yes. The Thing I haven’t written about at all. For awhile there was A Boy. No, that’s not a misnomer – he turned out to be nothing more than a lying little child. No, he’s not the cause of any of my stress (which is considerably diminished thanks to getting it all out there on the blog) but now he’s gone I have a little less.

Let me explain. We met online. He seemed normal enough, a bit quirky, but in a good way. He gave off none of the Red Flag vibes I’m hyper aware of. I figured, why not have a fling? We’re all adults here and I can do what I want, right? So long as we’re both on the same page it’s all good, right?

He lives 90 minutes North of me, so I drove to see him. I never invited him to see me because Towanda is a Penis-Free Zone (until now, what with The Kid living there and all, but it’s different, right?) and I didn’t want to go there anyway.

I introduced myself to him as Sofia and somehow I neglected to tell him my real name until it became awkward to do so. He was a bit shocked, but by that time he’d been telling me little white lies for awhile and I refused to be upset by it. Even his mother said, “that boy was born with a Tall Tale on his lips!” And therein lies the reason I’m no longer seeing him – he’s a compulsive liar. About everything. Oh, it’s not all malicious, but we had agreed early on to be honest with each other, and I had been. Maybe even a little bit mean if he asked for my opinion.

Anyway. It was fun. Then it wasn’t. I was done in January after we went to Las Vegas to stay at one of his timeshares. I’d never been and he talked like we were going to have a great five days. It would be an adventure! I paid $250 for Sabu to go to Sleep-Away Camp and drove up to his place. When I arrived he was in bed. He had “thrown out [his] back” and needed to go to the chiropractor before we left for the airport. Fine. I drove. He was obviously in pain. I offered to cancel the trip but he insisted that he would be fine once his back was fixed – this had happened before.

We got to the chiropractor’s office. He did not have an appointment but they take walk-ins. The receptionist asked to see his insurance card. He claimed to have forgotten his wallet (I had seen him put it in his pocket) and told her he would call her with the info as soon as he got home. He also lied about where he worked (he was laid off at the time) and gave some other false info. Uh-huh. The Doc took him into another building and I got creeped out by the looks I was getting in the waiting room so I went to wait by the car. I kept an eye out so I could tell him I wasn’t in the waiting room when he came out and when he saw me, he came directly to the car and did not check back in with the receptionist. Since the info he gave her was false, he just got himself a free chiropractor appointment. I was livid, but he was in pain and pain can make people do odd things.

So. The trip should have been cancelled, but we went and he basically slept the whole time. When he was awake, he was a dick to everyone we encountered. We had a war over the thermostat in the room (he wanted it cranked all the way up with the tub filled with boiling hot water – it was like a sauna and I couldn’t breathe) he refused to go out for food but we did to the “Party Weekend” dinner and show* and he dragged me on the rides at the top of the Stratosphere (just to laugh at me, I’m convinced) but otherwise he was asleep. He hadn’t packed any clean clothes or underwear (who does that?!?) It was just awful. I understand he was not feeling well, but he should have cancelled the trip instead of being such a dick. He should have gone to a doctor like I asked, but he’s a grown man, right? I couldn’t force him to seek treatment so I kept my mouth shut.

Anyway. I didn’t hear much from him the following week and went up to see how he was feeling on the following Saturday. He was not awake. At 11:00 in the morning. He knew I was coming and he couldn’t be bothered to be awake? I figured he must be really ill and set off the house alarm so he’d be forced to get up. Long story about the alarm. He stumbled out, let me in and apologized about the mess. I won’t even go there. He was obviously drugged to the gills. He couldn’t stay awake and refused to go to the emergency room. He said all he needed was sleep. The house was a wreck and I was pissed, so I left. Sad texts from him later so I lied and said that he told me to leave. I told him to text me when he was feeling better and that, I thought, was that.

The following week I get a text from him saying that he’s in hospital and has been for five days. WTF? He didn’t seem that bad off when I saw him last. Or is this another lie to get sympathy? You see, the stories he told should have been verifiable online (they were that big) and they were not, so I questioned everything he’d ever said. I asked what hospital, etc. and called to make sure he was indeed there. He was. Well, crap. Now I felt bad. I promised to go up the next weekend and see him.

The next weekend arrived and I drove up. He was in the ICU – his bowels had quit working and they’d done emergency surgery the night before. I met his step-dad and got the whole sad story. I thought maybe having a near-death experience would change him. He said he felt like he was getting a second chance and that he wanted to be a better person, etc. etc. etc. So I visited regularly during his hospital stay and even drove three hours (each way) to visit him at his parent’s house. They are nice people, but not really my kind of people. I felt obligated, though.

He was finally cleared to go home and take care of himself and I went to see him. He was asleep when I got there. He slept most of the time I was there but I spent the night because it was too late to drive home (I don’t like driving in the dark for any long distance.) Next weekend, wash, rinse, repeat. I suffered through one more weekend so I could use his power tools to make a pair of sawhorses. Hey, I’m no dummy and he owed me, dammit!

He was cleared to start work and took a job for a “friend” who has an old house that needed some plumbing repairs. The Boy is a bit of a Jack-of-all-Trades and could not yet resume full time work. He told me that this guy, Jerry, has a 1920’s shower that needed a new faucet-gizmo. He gave The Boy $150 and instructions to order it from a specialty restoration company. The Boy went on eBay and found “the same part” for one third the price and pocketed the money. He was bragging when he told this story.

I was aghast. I said, “you’re cheating this guy and it’s gonna come back to bite you on the ass…”

“No, it won’t! I do this stuff all the time! If people are stupid enough to pay stupid-high prices when they could shop eBay, they deserve to lose their money.” He was proud of himself!

I was all done feeling bad for The Boy at this point, but curious to see how this little farce would play out, so I found reasons not to visit the next few weeks but stayed in touch via text. And then the lies came home to roost.

Via text –

Him: Once again I made a mistake and misread a person.

Me: What’s up?

Him: The guy I’m working for refused to pay me. Since it’s under the table I have no license, bond, insurance. I’m not the leg breaking kind of guy so he gets off scott free. I should have known better.

Me: Are you telling me the whole story? Surely there’s more to it than that?

Him: Nope. Everything was fine yesterday and now today he won’t pay me.

Me: Did he give a reason?

Him: No. He just kept saying ‘get off my property, you’re trespassing’ over and over again.

Me: Ah! Is this the plumbing job?

Him: Yes.

Me: Well…you cheated him. You went on eBay and found “the same part” and kept the extra money. Where else did you cut corners?

Him: True. Karma?

Me: Ah…yeah. You fucked this one up all by yourself.

Him: So I can’t play the victim part here, huh?

Me: No, not with me. Surely this has happened to you before?

Him: No. This is the first time.

Me: You’re splitting hairs. You’ve done this sort of shit before and been caught. You’re denying it to make yourself look good and I don’t buy it.

Him: True. Guess I need to get my head on straight…

And nothing else for a couple of days. Then I get a text saying he wants to tell me something but he can’t do it via text. It’s a phone conversation. Fine. Whatevs. I didn’t care and was still fuming over him thinking I’m gonna give him sympathy about his little cheating scam.

He scheduled the call three evenings in a row but failed to call at the appointed time. Always had an excuse via text. I really didn’t care.

Finally he called, late, but he did call. He started in about “misjudging people” and how something else had happend and OMG life is so hard, blah, blah, blah, again and I just lost it.

“I don’t even care about that,” I said. “I need to go back to the plumbing job. We need to talk about that.”

He was plainly not prepared to shower me with lies about that. “Uh…okay…”

I repeated the story as I knew it. “Is that right?” I asked.

“Well, yes, but you make it sound so bad…I don’t even know what to say here…”

“Right. That whole mess is a deal-breaker for me. I don’t have people in my life who think it’s okay to cheat people that way. Good bye.” And I hung up.

He didn’t even have the wits to apologize. For anything. It was fun for awhile, but damn am I glad I’m still single!

There were many more instances that should have ended it for me, but I was curious to see where he would go when I started to call him on his bullshit. I mean, honesty was our bargain in the beginning and I kept to my part no matter what, which felt really great, I have to say, but he couldn’t tell the truth about anything, even stupid stuff that doesn’t matter. I refuse to have that kind of crap in my life. Unless it’s related by blood, apparently, because The Kid is still on my couch.

So I gave The Kid his ultimatum on Thursday evening when I was sure he was sober. August 3 is his move-out date unless he’s working and paying me $200 per month rent. Six months is long enough for anyone to find some kind of paying work if they apply themselves and I’m soooo done with this Mom Gig. I told him I would drive him back to The Big City and drop him off or he could just walk out the door but he would no longer be welcome to live with me. He hid his panic pretty well and I haven’t mentioned it since. If he thinks I’ve forgotten he’ll get a very rude awakening come August 3 when I show him the door. Let’s see if this lights a fire under his ass :-)

*Jeff Dunham. Fantastic!

 

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“Relax…” Part Three

Stress Reason the Third – my job(s) and related issues.

I have no real reason to complain, but I’m not exactly rational these days and this shit is piling up.

I work at a really great office with people (almost all of them male) who are a joy to be around. The work is right in my wheelhouse – CAD drafting in the civil engineering field.

The trouble is that The Boss is very busy and doesn’t have proper time to lay out the work he wants me to do. He has obviously forgotten how well and how quickly I do my job (that’s not a brag – it’s my Super Power) causing me to spend a lot of time doing nothing. Surfing the ‘net doesn’t count. I’m getting bored.

The thing is, I could do a certain amount of the design myself – water flows downhill, right? But The Boss is micromanaging everything. It’s just the way he is and I know this about him, so what’s my problem, right?

I feel undervalued and unappreciated. I’m bored. Did I already say that? The Boss comes into my office or calls often enough that I can’t really work on a personal project, and that chafes. There are so many things that I need to get online but I just can’t find the time or energy to do them and Work is taking up all my energy. These days, even staying conscious all day is a struggle, so I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed and behind schedule, what with all this wasted time at Work. Sigh.

Add to that work for The Other Boss is getting busier. His EIT has become an engineer and flown the nest, leaving TOB, who is nearing retirement, to run the office by himself. He’s not very tech savvy, although I did see him texting the other day, which freaked me out just a little. Any work I do for him now necessitates a trip out to his office after work to upload and plot the drawings, taking up even more time that I just don’t feel I have. He does pay well and is great to work for, but still.

AND Crazy Dog Lady is calling me up every other day with various computer and internet problems. I’ve had enough of her but cutting her loose isn’t practical and I know she means well – she has a rather selfish view of life and I think she’s pretty oblivious as to how she treats people – but her shit is getting old. She says she’s going to write me into her will, but that’s another post…She calls me during work hours, as many as ten times a day, despite my having told her not to call me at work. No, I don’t answer the phone – it always goes to voicemail. She also calls after 8:30 in the evening, despite my telling her that I won’t pick up that late. I tend to let her messages pile up and get back to her when it’s convenient for ME. She hasn’t gotten the hint yet. Maybe she never will. Whatever. It’s like herding toddlers but what can I do?

All this takes up so much of my energy that I’m feeling like I have nothing left for the Fun Stuff. The Sweatshop Girls have done some stuff this Summer, but there is so much more to get done and the project list just gets longer and longer while all I can think about is a long nap.

Okay, one more entry and I think y’all will be caught up. Tune in tomorrow-ish.

 

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2015 in Drafting

 

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“Relax…” Part Two

A lot of things have been going on here that I haven’t blogged about, mainly because I am tired. So very tired. All you men can just stop reading here unless you want way too much information about the workings of the female reproductive system.

Okay?

Those who are squeamish have left, right?

Good. That leaves the sympathetic and the curious. Perfect.

So. I’m 46 this year. We all know what that means, right? I’m of the age where all those wonderful Changes start happening that herald the end of my child-bearing years and the beginning of Real Freedom from the plagues of women. Right? What a load of horseshit!

I want to lodge an official complaint to who-the-fuck-ever informs society about the “most common” symptoms of menopause. Dude, you suck!

Oh, sure, we’ve all heard about Hot Flashes, right? Great news – only about 30% of women experience hot flashes, and that’s the most common symptom we all hear about. Hot flashes and night sweats. I’m usually cold, so those don’t sound so bad. And, no, that’s not what I’m talking about today. Nope.

You occasionally hear that your periods will get lighter, irregular, and then stop altogether. When you haven’t had a period for 12 consecutive months, you’re officially in menopause and done with all that messy business. Right?

WELL! The symptoms no one talks about (except women on various internet boards who are all shocked and horrified, apparently) are the two I’m experiencing at the moment – flooding periods and peri-menopausal rage. I don’t know if one isn’t caused by the other, but I suspect they go hand-in-hand.

I’ve had regular periods all my life. Like you could set your watch by them. Seriously, totally predictable. A few years ago I went in for my usual Yearly Exam. The doc told me I could expect my periods to get erratic and likely much lighter in the next few years. It’s like the words went from her lips directly to my uterus and the irregularities began. Nothing too shocking, just not on schedule, but lighter, so that was a great bonus!

Not long after I left the narc, I missed completely for three months. There was no way I was pregnant, so I counted my blessings and was a bit disappointed when they started up again, slightly irregular, but back to my normal.

I missed February, March and April this year and was pleasantly surprised, but since there was no way I was pregnant, I didn’t think too much about it. In May it  came back a little more severe – more PMS than usual, heavier bleeding, but nothing too strange.

But then! June 7 (about a week early) it started. With a vengeance. At first I didn’t make much of it. Maybe it was a little heavier than usual, but no biggie, right?

And then it was quite a bit heavier than usual. No panic, this never lasts more than five days and I can do five days of pretty much anything.

That was when the flood began. It went on and on. And on and on. A full week. Still, no biggie, this is to be expected at this stage in my life. But it didn’t stop. It was heavy and oh-my-god-surely-I’m-dying heavy. Then nothing overnight. Whew! It’s over, right? Nope. It’s freaking Niagra Falls down there, if Niagra Falls were prominently featured in a slasher flick.

Today marks Day 18. A bit of online research reveals that it can go on much longer or stop at any time. It can never happen again or start up again at any time. Either/or and/or both at once. Lovely. AND I can expect this to go on for 4-10 years! Halla-freakin-looya. Being female sucks.

Besides the irritation of going to the toilet and having it look like a crime scene, there’s the expense of all the pads I go through.

From a website (they all agree on this info):

The usual length of menstrual bleeding is four to six days. The usual amount of blood loss per period is 10 to 35 ml. Each soaked normal-sized tampon or pad holds a teaspoon (5ml) of blood. That means it is normal to soak one to seven normal-sized pads or tampons (“sanitary products”) in a whole period.

Srsly? So I pay way too much money for pads that only soak up a teaspoon of liquid? How many drops is that? I’ll save you the Googling – one teaspoon equals 76 drops. Okay. So each pad soaks up 76 drops. Lemme tell you this – Flooding Periods can produce as much as 2 cups! How many drops is that? Yep – 4,732 drops per cup, for a total of 9,464 drops. Divide that by 76 and you get 124.52 pads. I wish I was kidding. Two pads per hour sometimes and it shows no sign of stopping. It’s a laugh riot around here, lemme tell you.

Now, being smarter than the average bear, I use a FemmeCup, which holds 7.5 – 15 ml, so more than two pads, which makes it a bit more convenient, but it still has to be emptied every couple of hours and if I miss that, well, it gets really messy, really quick. Good thing I have a good stain stick for the laundry!

If all of this becomes too inconvenient, I can opt for birth control pills (which may or may not work to bring my cycles back to a predictable rhythm and which have many terrible side effects, naturally much more severe considering my age and that I smoke) an IUD (with more side effects and which may not work but could result in a host of really nasty problems) a D&C (which may or may not work and can result in severe pain and other side effects) a hysterectomy (just what I need – invasive surgery which will knock my hormones into all kinds of insanity but will bring on menopause proper) or various other drugs that may or may not work but will have side effects that may or may not make life unbearable.

All the websites agree that I should go see the doc and have a host of tests done, some invasive, some not so much, all of which will confirm that I am indeed Peri-menopausal and this is just the beginning of the next chapter of my life. With the wait to see a doc around here, I think I’ll pass on that one.

ALSO, I’m probably anemic, which can lead to a bunch of complications, including fainting. Yay! I bought some multivitamins and iron tabs today at lunch time to try to head that off before it becomes a problem. It does explain the fatigue, though.

Which brings us back to the Peri-menopausal Rage that I mentioned. Yeah. That’s not something anyone warns you about. My moods are all over the place and I would cheerfully choke the life out of my own child if it meant my uterus would quit gushing blood for just a few hours. I’m not even kidding. So far I haven’t acted out, but I think I chipped a tooth biting back words that I really didn’t want to speak to someone with a penis who was being especially stupid in that moment. Or maybe he wasn’t being stupid. Who can even remember? It was…something…whatever. The rage has passed, for now, but I know it will be back.

The good news is that I haven’t had any hot flashes or night sweats! Yay?!? Or will that be the next cross to bear?

Oh, but wait! There’s more stress. Tune in tomorrow for Part the Third.

 

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