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Life On The Rocinante' (After Dark!)


Cynder
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So, I've spent a good chunk of my life wishing I was dead. (Yep, this is gonna be a heavy one, sorry. Lol) It started when I was a teenager.  Constantly being told I'm worthless, that my whole family would be so much better off without me probably had a lot to do with this.  And a lot of teenagers go through depression.  But I didn't really grow out of it. 

And after my NDE it went away... for a while.  I figured, well, now I've experienced death and I know it's nothing to be afraid of, but now I have so many more reasons to appreciate my life.  During my NDE, the answer to every question I could ever even think to ask was instantly available.  I knew everything.  But I also knew I wasn't going to remember most of it.  I knew I would remember what I needed to remember.  And one thing I do remember is that my purpose here is to create.  In this life I am meant to be an artist.  That is how I'm leaving my mark on the world.  I don't have kids.  There is no one to carry on my legacy.  My work IS my legacy.  My paintings could still be floating around a few hundred years from now.  No one knows.  I have paintings on 3 continents.  My work is all over the US and there's some in Canada too.  I also have work in Norway and China.  (North America, Europe, and Asia, in case anyone thinks i don't know the difference between continents and countries.) 

And when I first started doing festivals I didn't write my name on the back of my paintings either.  They were only signed on the front.  Now my name and the date are printed on the back of every painting, so people have a way to identify my work.  But the idea that there are about ten of my paintings out there that can't be identified is really cool, IMO.  If my work ever gets really valuable in the future I like the idea of someone hiring someone really expensive to authenticate my signature on one of my early paintings. 

But anyway... I started writing this about my desire for death.  So in 2016 after my NDE, there was about 6 months when I didn't want to die.  Everything started falling into place.  Then Aaron decided he would rather be with this other girl instead of me, and that just started a chain of bad luck that made me wish I was dead again. 

There have been a few times since then, when things start getting really amazing in my life.  And I start thinking that I don't want to die.  And whenever I start thinking that, everything blows up in my face.  And lately, I've been thinking I don't want to die, and it kinda scares me. 

NDE survivors look at the world differently.  An NDE changes a person.  I have never looked at the world the same since.  And that can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you look at it.  I was off work for a little while after it happened.  And my first day back to work I almost couldn't handle it.  I worked back in a corner, by myself, unsupervised, in a dark area.  So no one saw this, but I cried for most of my shift because suddenly I was aware of how miserable everyone was at my job.  Sadly working in the automotive industry isn't a happy existence for most people.  I'm at work with people who rolled out of bed hung over, popped some yellow jackets to get moving, and are doing the bare minimum for a paycheck and can't wait to go home and drink themselves stupid.  Being surrounded by people like that never really bothered me until after my NDE. 

I started noticing things about people that were really unsettling, etc. I feel a lot less connected to most people now than I did before.  But, I also started doing a lot more to make people less miserable.  Behind the scenes stuff.  I do random acts of kindness all the time.  But I do them as anonymously as possible. 

I know multiple people who have had them.  It's more common than people realize.  One of my best friends was in a coma for 2 weeks back in 2011 and he flatlined at one point and was resuscitated.  I know a cancer survivor who had it happen during surgery.  Someone else I know had there's after being in a car accident.  

Z used to claim she had one.  But she didn't.  She dreamt that she had one.  Sorry but that doesn't count. 

Well, D actually has.  He overdosed almost 20 years ago and had to be revived with Narcan.  He decided right after that to get clean and stop hanging out with his old crowd.  He's been clean since.  He told me once he probably wouldn't have gotten clean if that wouldn't have happened. 

I'm getting away from the point here...  Basically what I'm saying is I hope the fact that I'm thinking now I don't want to die doesn't mean everything is about to take a nose dive. 

I swear... spotify always picks the perfect song for whatever I'm writing about, lol.  Best song about death ever...

 

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9 hours ago, Cynder said:

 

Do you think it's about death? I never got that impression. I don't know what I thought it was about, but it captured my feelings perfectly when I was in my 20s. I knew the song my whole life and always enjoyed it. But one day, I really heard the lyrics. I was sitting in my car, sweltering, in traffic, on the way to my then-boyfriend's house. I guess I was about 20. I heard:

Quote

I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes

I have to turn my head until my darkness goes

... and it was like someone had read my mind.

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27 minutes ago, Jibralta said:

Do you think it's about death? I never got that impression. I don't know what I thought it was about, but it captured my feelings perfectly when I was in my 20s. I knew the song my whole life and always enjoyed it. But one day, I really heard the lyrics. I was sitting in my car, sweltering, in traffic, on the way to my then-boyfriend's house. I guess I was about 20. I heard:

... and it was like someone had read my mind.

Maybe it's more accurate to say it's about grief.  At least that's how I've always interpreted it. 

If the song has a lot of meaning to you and you don't want to associate it with anything else, feel free to skip the next paragraph.  These are the reasons I've always thought it was about death/grief. 

The line, "With flowers and my love both never to come back." always made me think it was from the POV of a guy who's lover is dead.  Also "I could not foresee this thing happening to you."  The "line of cars" to me always was referring to a funeral procession.  "I see people turn their heads and quickly look away."  No one knows how to act/what to say around a grieving person.  So a lot of people avoid people who are grieving, sadly.  The girls dressed in their summer clothes make him think of his dead girl and that's why he has to look away.  "If i look hard enough into the setting son, my love will laugh with me before the morning comes."  He wants to die too so he can go be with her.  

This has always been my interpretation anyway.  I could be wrong.  Whoever wrote it could have been thinking about something completely different.  Like art, music is open to interpretation. 

I have a painting of a Death's Head Moth that I did about 4 years ago.  The original sold almost instantly.  The print is one of my top sellers even 4 years later.  But a lot of people look at it and see a Bee.  When someone at my booth sees that print and says, "Wow, I love that bee!" I don't correct them because I don't want to ruin it for them.  If someone specifically asks me what it is I will tell them it's a Death's Head Moth.  And some people will tell me they thought it was a bee and think I'm going to be offended.  It doesn't offend me at all.  I actually think it's really cool that people see different things in my work. 

Lol...  and while I was typing this out, spotify decided to play the most disturbing song in history: 

 

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8 hours ago, Cynder said:

The line, "With flowers and my love both never to come back." always made me think it was from the POV of a guy who's lover is dead.  Also "I could not foresee this thing happening to you."  The "line of cars" to me always was referring to a funeral procession.  "I see people turn their heads and quickly look away."  No one knows how to act/what to say around a grieving person.  So a lot of people avoid people who are grieving, sadly.  The girls dressed in their summer clothes make him think of his dead girl and that's why he has to look away.  "If i look hard enough into the setting son, my love will laugh with me before the morning comes."  He wants to die too so he can go be with her.  

That makes perfect sense. The lines "With flowers and my love both never to come back" and "I could not foresee this thing happening to you" were always sort of extraneous to my interpretation, and I just sort of shrugged them away. But they fit in perfectly with yours. 

"I see a line of cars and they're all painted black" and "I see people turn their heads and quickly look away" matched my sentiments. People often turn away when they sense others struggling. 

So, I think you're right about it being about grief and death. In some ways, I think I was in a state of constant grief during that period of my life. I'm not exactly sure why. But those were dark days for me.

8 hours ago, Cynder said:

Lol...  and while I was typing this out, spotify decided to play the most disturbing song in history: 

Weird. I just heard a Korn song from the same album on the radio yesterday (we have a heavy metal station here). 

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On 1/12/2023 at 3:43 AM, Jibralta said:

That makes perfect sense. The lines "With flowers and my love both never to come back" and "I could not foresee this thing happening to you" were always sort of extraneous to my interpretation, and I just sort of shrugged them away. But they fit in perfectly with yours. 

"I see a line of cars and they're all painted black" and "I see people turn their heads and quickly look away" matched my sentiments. People often turn away when they sense others struggling. 

So, I think you're right about it being about grief and death. In some ways, I think I was in a state of constant grief during that period of my life. I'm not exactly sure why. But those were dark days for me.

Weird. I just heard a Korn song from the same album on the radio yesterday (we have a heavy metal station here). 

I am notorious for hearing meaning in songs that may or may not be there.  The song Under The Bridge by The Red Hot Chili Peppers...  A lot of people think that's some kind of hippie anthem.  I've heard my hippie friends say it was a song about peace and love, etc.  See, to me it's a song about a homeless drug addict with AIDS.  I listen to that song and I hear a story about a sad man who is all alone and the city is all he has for comfort.  And then at the end the lines, "Under the bridge downtown is where I drew some blood.  Under the bridge downtown I could not get enough.  Under the bridge downtown, forgot about my love.  Under the bridge downtown, I gave my life away." always, at least to me, meant he shot up under the bridge with a dirty needle and now he is dying of AIDS.  It males sens since that song came out when the epidemic was at its peak and back then an HIV+ diagnosis was a death sentence.  It meant at best you had 10 years to live.  And at worst you had a year or two to live.  Unless you are super rich like Magic Johnson, anyway.  I was just a kid when that song came out and when the AIDS epidemic was big in the news.  But to me, that song has a lot more power and emotion when it's about that then just perceived as some hippie peace anthem. 

And I guess this is a good segue into what I was going to write about today anyway. 

Since I've been writing this novel, I have playlists for different characters.  I have a playlist for one character who's an alcoholic.  It is a mix of songs I know that remind me of people I know who are alcoholics, songs I think the character would listen to, songs that remind me of that character and their story, etc.  But I also googled "songs about addiction" and just put a bunch of songs I didn't even know on that list for the hell of it. 

Well, last night the internet connection at work was crappy and the podcast I was listening to kept pausing.  So I just put that playlist on randomly.  And this song is on that playlist.  I wasn't familiar with it before. 

I don't know what it is with me lately and Blue October.  Until a few weeks ago I  couldn't even name one song by them.  And I guess now I can only name two. 

But man oh man did this song strike a nerve last night.  On so many levels, too.  I feel like in a perfect world, if Z ever got her sh- together and really apologized to me, the lyrics to this song are exactly what I would want her to say to me.  But I know she will never get it together.  At least no time soon.  She doesn't care.  She thinks she's got it all figured out and everyone else is the problem.  So if the only way I have to cope and find closure is thinking, "Well, this is what I would want her to say to me if she ever realizes what she did." Well, then that's the only way.  No closure will come from her any time soon, if at all.  There is nothing wrong with finding my own closure in unlikely places. 

The last few times we talked she has been so big on "admitting her wrongs" in her words.  And she will want to tell me all about hat she did.  But it never ends well because to me it should be a two sided conversation.  She would start talking about something she did.  And I would tell her how it made me feel... and that would be the end of it.  She would get pissed, blow up at me and say we were done for the night.  Ok... her admitting all this might be cathartic for her and take some weight off her conscience.  But it does absolutely nothing for me.  It just makes me relive things.  And it makes me realize what scumbags some of my "friends" were at that time.  There was a conversation between her and my ex friend Joe that I heard all about from both sides but never saw screenshots.  And they both told wildly different stories.  So, to me it seems pointless trying to figure out who the liar is when neither of them are in my life anymore. 

So, next time she comes around and wants to admit something to me, I'll just tell her I don't want to hear it.  If she needs to admit anything she can just find a quiet place to go and admit it to the air.  I won't be involved.  I'm not going to put my emotions on the line just so she can feel better.  I don't really care about her side of the story anymore.  I needed to hear it back when she left, not a year and a half later.  It's useless to me now.  She wouldn't give me any closure, so I found it on my own. 

And I wish I could be one of those people who's like, "Oh yea, my ex really hurt me but I wish nothing but good things for them!"  But I'm not.  At least not now.  I hope karma mops the floor with her skinny ass.  I hope somebody comes along and does the same thing to her and hurts her every bit as bad.  No one escapes it.  I actually wonder if her breaking my heart like she did was (at least partly) my karmic debt for breaking my first boyfriend's heart. 

But anyway...  back to the song.  Another interesting thing about that song...  Ok, a few weeks ago I wrote about how another Blue October song (Calling You) was playing at work and it just happened to catch my attention because it reminded me so much of D.  Well, it's hard to catch.  But in the beginning of Hate Me, it's distorted and it's faint, but there is a group of people singing Calling You.  It sounds like they recorded a group of people singing it in a Karaoke bar or something and distorted the sound a little bit. 

It's interesting that there is an element of one song in the other one.  And the one song is what I imagine Z would want to say if she ever gets sober.  D has a past as an addict, too.  And he's been clean for almost 20 years.

I know there are some people here who only read this thread to judge me.  They are the ones who never comment.  And I'm sure right now at least one person is reading this scoffing thinking, "Why does she always go after addicts?!"  Well, think what you want, but I don't.  I met him in 2017.  I've never seen him drunk or high on anything.  I never knew that about him until very recently (as in around Christmas.)  It's not something he likes talking about because it was such a dark time in his life.  He doesn't open up about it to many people.  He overdosed and almost died, and decided it was time to get clean.  So, at least to me, he's not an addict anymore.  I think after almost 2 decades clean he has earned the right to not label himself as that anymore.  Z had a drinking problem but it was well hidden until we had been together for a while.  And back in 2011 I dated someone for a few months who was in recovery and went to NA meetings twice a week. When we started dating he had been clean for 18 months.  Those are the only three in my past.  Ex husband was completely straightedge.  The guy who was in recovery was straightedge also, obviously, he was in recovery.  He didn't even let his roommate keep beer in the house.  The first guy I had a serious relationship with was straightedge to the point of being annoying and preachy about it.  The only person I ever dated who was in active addiction while I dated her was Z.  It's sad that there are people out there who think even recovered addicts/alcoholics don't deserve love, friendship, companionship, a support system, etc.  This last paragraph isn't meant to offend anyone.  I just don't really feel like being mislabeled as someone who seeks out relationships with addicts.  That isn't what I am. 

Anyway...  Need to sleep. 

I swear this song was playing when I was typing this.  Perfect for the topic... 

 

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I started having my groceries delivered a few months ago, mainly because public transportation in my area isn't the greatest at times.  There are two cab companies here.  One is sketchy as hell.  And the drivers are creepy and high off their faces most of the time.  The other, the one I use, is good at getting people to work on time, etc.  But if it's not a time sensitive run they don't care.  There have been times when I went to the store, spent a half hour grocery shopping and then waited three hours for a ride home.

So, I have my groceries delivered.  There's a fee to do this.  But it's worth the time I save.  I know someone who is a delivery driver for the store I shop at.  He told me recently what they get paid an hour and it's $4 an hour more than what I make.  So, I know this might make me an awful person, but I stopped tipping the drivers.  The tip is usually calculated when you place an order and it's like $10 for a $50 order.  Ok, they already make a living wage.  So why should I give them $10 on top of the delivery fee and the "store fee" they charge?  Especially when they make quite a bit more an hour than I make?  Idk...  to me that seems a little ridiculous. 

I think tipping just needs to go away.  It's on employers to pay their workers enough to live on, not customers.  I do tip servers and bar tenders because they don't make crap in wages.  But if someone is already making a living wage, It's not my responsibility to pay their bills.  I have bills of my own to pay. 

D and I were both talking last night about how it's been a long time since either of us have felt this poor.  Wages shot up after the pandemic, which is awesome.  But it also meant the cost of everything else shot up.  There have been times in my life when I was a lot worse off than I am now.  At one point I had no hot water in my apartment and I heated up water in a coffee maker to bathe with.  And this wasn't just a one time incident, either.  I had to do that for about 6 months.  That was when I was first living on my own, though. 

D has multiple jobs.  He's a grounds keeper for an office park.  He works on remodel crews.  He cleans out foreclosed houses and dead people's houses.  He does security jobs at events, etc.  He doesn't have a traditional 9-5 job but he is always working various contract jobs.  Plus he sells his paintings.  I would love to live that lifestyle where I didn't have to go to the same place every day and clock in for 8 hours.  I mean, I love my job.  But if I could drive and transportation wasn't an issue, I would probably be like him and just do a little of this and a little of that.  But the point I'm making is, it sucks that people who are always working and busting ass are still struggling to pay bills. 

I am hoping the head shop calls me back soon about the part time job I applied for.  I need something to bring in some extra money during the off season.  I just sold my Medusa painting, and I just got a commission.  I'm about to finish up the book cover I got hired to do.  But art jobs aren't a guarantee.  I have just been really lucky thus far this off season.  Consignment sales are always down this time of year, too.  But even though sales are down, the shops I sell in still charge the same amount of rent, which they should.  I'm not saying that's a bad thing. 

I made a killing around Christmas time on Displate, too.  But getting your money from them is such a massive pain in the ass.  I usually wait until I have a pretty good chunk of change in there before I request payout.  It sucks that they are getting so ridiculous with their standards anymore.   I used to upload all my paintings that I made into prints on there and they all got approved.  Now they barely approve anything.  And it's not just me.  They reject a lot of people's work.  It's because they don't want to pay outside artists and would rather push the work of their own artists. 

Anyway... I woke up way too early today and I'm gonna try to go back to sleep for a while.  I'm sick... so I need all the rest I can get. 

 

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I am so miserable...  Yesterday I slept for 12 hours and still had no energy.  My whole body aches.  I'm cold.  All the classic flu symptoms.  And I had to drag my ass to work last night because no one was available to cover for me.  And today I feel worse.  The cab driver who took me home told me I really should see a doctor.  Well, if I could afford it I would.  But no insurance and a visit to my GP runs $150 at a minimum.  That's just for him to look at you.  That doesn't include any bloodwork or meds or anything.  I remember the good old days when I could actually go get treated when I got sick.  That was nice. 

I've been taking vitamin C shots (Drinks, not shots with a needle...  They are these tiny bottles of what taste like orange juice but they have a really high amount of Vitamin C.  Also still doubling up on the vitamin D because I never get enough of it working at night. 

And we were so busy last night, too. 

I am up for a raise since I just had my one year anniversary.  I'm planning on pointing out that I am the only overnight worker who works by myself.  Once every few weeks they schedule someone to work with me.  But 95% of the time I'm there all by myself.  I am the customer service manager, the janitor,. the security guard and the receptionist all in one.  I think that should be reflected in my raise.  And the main reason I work by myself is because the one older overnight lady who works there is a massive racist and hates white people.  So she won't work with me.  And this isn't just speculation.  I have a friend who worked with her somewhere else a few years ago and she was really open at that job about how much she hates "those damn crackers." among other names.  So because she will only work with the third overnight chick, who isn't white, they always get scheduled together and I am almost always alone.  I don't mind working alone because then I call the shots.  If I want to clean the bathrooms first that's what I do, etc.  But considering I do what it takes two people to do on the nights that I'm not there, I think I deserve a decent raise.  And I just worked a whole shift with the damn flu, too.  And I'm gonna go in there tonight and work a whole shift with the flu. 

Anyway... now I'm gonna crash for about 12 hours and hope I wake up feeling slightly better. 

 

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A few days ago I was writing in here about Displate.  I had one image on there that was easily my best seller there.  They just deactivated it with no explanation.  I'm irritated.  I don't think this is some situation where they are picking on me and singling me out.  I've been seeing other artists say it's happening to them, too.  It just sucks they they are making it harder for outside artists to make any money.  If someone takes too much attention away from the artists they pay to design for them, they get their work deactivated.

I guess it's flattering, in a weird way.  "Hey, people really like this one image you created and it sells really well.  So we're deactivating it so we don't have to pay you." is basically what that means, lol. 

Displate used to be a place where some artists could make a living.  I never hoped to support myself just on my sales from there.  I didn't have lofty expectations when I became a seller.  But it has gone from easy passive income to more difficult passive income. 

I have a lot of people tell me I should get on RedBubble.  It's funny because I've actually found my own work for sale on there by someone else.  This is why I don't let people take pics of my stuff at festivals.  I've had some pretty interesting interactions with customers over this.  People act like I'm the bad guy in that situation.  I had some lady carrying a White Claw that she paid $12 for (Because alcohol is crazy overpriced at some events) tell me that she couldn't afford a $10 print and then she was like, "Well can I just take a picture of it?  Then I'll go print it out at Wal Mart."  I was like, "Absolutely not.  You don't do your job for free do you?"  She told me I didn't need to be so rude.  In reality though, I probably could have let her and it wouldn't have really mattered.  There's no way the pic she took with her phone printed out at a Wal Mart kiosk would have looked as good as the prints I sell. 

My prints are amazing looking.  I photograph all my paintings myself, in natural light.  I adjust levels and do color corrections in Photoshop so they look exactly like the original painting, just smaller.  The print shop that does them is locally owned and has been operated by the same family since the 70s.  They do really good work and they don't even charge anything close to what Staples charges for mediocre looking prints.  I know this because one time I sold out of a print really early on at a show and I sent one of my employees to Staples nearby with the file on a flash drive and had them get more prints made of it.  They looked ok, but not worth the inflated price. 

The show where the thing happened witht eh white claw lady was just a weird show all around.  It was OC Chicago in 2019.  That was the same day some random drunk dude just wandered into my booth and sat down in my chair.  Now, this is a chair with my jacket hanging on the back of it, my drink setting in the cup holder thing, my notebook sitting on the seat (which he moved to sit down) and it was back in the corner.  He just sat down like he owned the place and started hitting on my employee. 

It was also that day that the dude with the huge SLR camera came in and just started taking pics of every painting and when I asked him tos top he started taking pics of my employee and said "I want to get a few shots of the artist with her work."  We both told him I'm the artist and he didn't want pics anymore. 

And the worst was when a vendor friend of mine asked me to hold his 8 ft python for a little while while he went to the bathroom and got food.  And then I reluctantly let this lady hold it to take a selfie.  Then she wanted to take a selfie with the snake and her husband.  Her husband was about 10 feet away, I let her walk over to him and when the pic was taken I went over to get the snake from her.  Then she just decides she's going to just walk away with the snake.  I followed her and told her she can't do that.  And then she stood there and argued with me and wouldn't give me the snake back.  A bunch of people were coming up to her asking her questions about it and I said in front of them all that it's not hers and she took it from me.  Then she kinda had to give it back. 

The stuff people think they can get away with at festivals is nuts.  The sexual harassment alone is an issue.  I tell all my female employees, it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when.  It happens to me and I'm not even conventionally pretty.  When I have attractive women working the booth with me it's always an issue.  I went off and yelled at some guy a few years ago because he wouldn't leave my employee alone.  And it wasn't just, "Hey you're cute, want to go out sometime?"  He was making straight up sexual comments to her and being a total creep.  Like... we both asked him to leave the tent.  He did and then came back.  Security was alerted, they escorted him off the property.  He came back.  The cops were called.  They escorted him away.  And he STILL came back.  To anyone reading this wondering why security kept letting him back in...  this was at WF, which is a huge outdoor street fair.  There is no fence or anything blocking anyone from coming in and it's a free event to the public. 

After he came back the last time I just went off.  Security and the cops didn't scare him away but a short unthreatening woman with red hair and demon eyes sure did.  As soon as I saw him that last time I was like, "Hey!  How many times do we have to tell you?  We tried to be nice and you don't want to listen.  GET THE HELL OUT OF MY TENT AND DON'T COME BACK!"  He didn't come back. 

 

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So I'm writing a lot today.  I am sick and miserable and just killing time until it's time to go to work...

I've been writing about all these people who see me as a villain in their story.  And I've been going in chronological order, so so far in that it's been people who saw me as evil for nothing other than just existing.  But now I'm going to skip a few to get to one I've really been wanting to write about.  I've been reflecting a lot on this relationship lately.  And this isn't one where I am an innocent victim of circumstance, either.  I had a hand in why this person sees me as a villain.  The person I'm talking about is my first serious boyfriend, S. 

In the past when I've written about the people on this list I always can see positive things about them.  And I can see the positives about most of my exes, too.  I mean, I liked these people enough to date them.  So there must have been something good there, regardless of how it ended.  But with S, there isn't much about him that was desirable to me.  The one thing I can think of that was attractive about him was the color of his eyes.  And that's something he had no control of.  He just got really lucky.  My sister even said he had beautiful eyes and my sister doesn't say nice things about people who aren't part of her bubble very often.  So for her to say that about someone means a lot.  His eyes were really light icey blue.  I remember watching Xena Warrior Princess when I was a kid, and that actress had really pale blue eyes.  He had eyes like that.  Other than that though, he was not attractive at all, inside or out.  I was basically pressured and guilted into dating him by multiple people. 

And, this is probably going to be a multi-parter.  I've had so much time to think about this relationship and there is so much I want to get out.  Most people have this warm fuzzy feeling toward their first love.  I have none of that.  He is disgusting.  I look back and just see 5 years of my life that I could have been single and having fun.  I was young and naive.  And all I ever had to go on was my parents' relationship which was crap.  So I put up with things I would never put up with now.  Like... if D did any of the things this guy did to me it would be over.  And yea, I could sit here and write about how he was so abusive and mean.  And he was.  But even when he was being nice something still wasn't right.  He has a really fake way of acting and he was really manipulative.  One of the biggest reasons I stayed with him so long was because he was always threatening suicide.  

I am trying to think of the best way to organize this... 

We met at a water park when I was 17.  My Mom and my aunt took my siblings and I and my cousins (aunt's kids) there for a day because my aunt got a bunch of free tickets.  My aunt is really good friends with S's Mom.  And S just happened to be there that day with a group of his friends.  And so me, my sister and my teenage cousins all ended up hanging out with him and his group of friends for most of the day. 

Two weeks went by and he called my aunt's house to get my number and my aunt just gave it to him.  Our first phone conversation... as we were getting off the phone he asked me "So do you want to go out?"  I said sure, thinking he means on a date.  Well I didn't find out until later but he actually meant "Do you want to be my girlfriend?" 

Once I knew what he actually meant, which took a little while, I told him that's not what I want and I didn't think he meant that.  This was when he started showing how manipulative he is.  He waited until one night when both our families were present to just start fake crying and telling everyone I was "destroying him" and "Playing head games" because first I said yes and then I said no.  

But that isn't what I want to focus on right now.  I will comes back to that at some point.  What I feel like writing about right now is the absolute enmeshment he wanted in our relationship.  He just had to insert himself into ever nook and cranny of my life.  And I can't believe I didn't learn sooner to keep my mouth shut, but that's part of being young I guess.  I have an uncle in Tampa, I made the mistake of telling him my uncle's name.  He got online and found my uncle and contacted him.  I told him my Dad's name.  Well then he's calling my dad (Who I hadn't even seen in years at that point and who hated me.)  My dad was probably so confused... like Why the hell is this dweeb calling me just to tell me he's dating my evil hellspawn daughter?  I don't give a sh-.  That is most likely what went through my dad's head.  My uncle was probably even more confused. 

He would call my work when I wasn't there just to chat with my boss, too.  I worked at a pizza shop at the time.  My boss thought it was really weird that my bf would just call him and want to shoot the sh-.  Like hey how's it going?  Who is this?  Oh this is ********'s boyfriend.  Are you calling to place an order?  No, just calling to say hi.  My boss asked me to please tell him not to do that anymore.  He's tying up a business phone.  I straight up told my boss to just hang up on him next time, lol. 

And boundaries were non existent with him.  I would ask him to not do this stuff and it was like talking to a wall. 

And I don't know if this qualifies as enmeshment necessarily...  But every band I like, he suddenly liked, in an annoying competitive way, too.  Like, "Oh, you like Pink Floyd?  Well so do I even thought I couldn't name one song before I met you.  Oh and I'm a bigger better fan then you because I went out and bought a bunch of CDs yesterday so ha ha ha!"  Liking a band isn't a competition.  And I think I wrote about this before but me using Pink Floyd in that example isn't just a random choice.  Omg... I have never taken so much crap for liking them in my life.  For some reason he had a real problem with me liking them particularly and later on in our relationship he would rage if we were in the car and one of their songs came on.  It was almost like he didn't understand that I don't control the radio.  It put me on edge a lot because Ok... we're going to the movies or whatever, and it's going to be a good night.  Then Comfortably Numb comes on the radio and it's all over.  Now we're going to spend our evening arguing. 

And everything was a competition.  No matter what you've done, he did it better or more times, or more often, or when he was a lot younger, etc.  He used to talk about how good he could draw.  Yet never had any drawings to show anyone.  People always destroyed his drawings because they were jealous of him.  He would go on and on about how he slept all through school and still got straight As.  He didn't.  I found one of his grade transcripts once and he was a solid D student who barely graduated.  He would talk about all the asses he kicked in high school and how this one time it took 8 guys to pull him off this other guy.  Ok... that's nothing to be proud of.  And he would always say, "Yea, they used to bully me until that one day when they unleashed a lion!"  The only other place I've heard that phrase is in the song Jeremy by Pearl Jam.  So I'm guessing he heard that song one day and thought that was cool so just decided to start saying it.  But according to him that's what other people said.  He would talk about how he's a legend at his high school and people still talk about how they unleashed a lion once, etc.  No they don't.  I guarantee no one was sitting around talking about that.  He was a few years older than me so when we started dating I was a senior in high school and he had been out of school for a bit. 

And the unleashed a lion thing also reminds me... He gave himself a very over the top nickname.  And I will just say it because I doubt anyone would be able to fund him online because of it.  He called himself The Undertaker and claimed that was what people called him because he was such a badass.  Wow... what a coincidence that a famous wrestler also had that name at that time. 

His dad owned an auto repair shop.  And the stories he would tell about that were pretty entertaining, too.  Like he used to talk about how a customer heard about his dad's shop all the way in New Zealand and paid to have his car shipped here to the US just so his dad could fix his car.  And he would always emphasize that this guy heard about his dad's place through word of mouth.  That was a huge thing.  Oh yea... some guy on the other side of the world heard about my Dad all the way over there and paid almost a million dollars having his car shipped here and back just so my dad could fix it!  And he would talk about this paint that his dad supposedly painted this car with that has diamond dust in it and was like 10 an ounce or something.  But there was no painting equipment in the shop and I never saw any cars being painted there.  

He also used to talk about this hot sauce his dad makes that actually causes 3rd degree burns on the tongue of everyone who eats it.  Ok... why the hell would anyone eat something that would do that?  It seems like that would be pretty painful to me.  But oh yea... every time his dad makes a batch of this sauce its gone within hours because people come to their house and buy it all. 

He used to tell people he had arthritis from agent orange exposure...  at 20-21.  He would say it was from when his dad was in Vietnam.  His dad never even saw active combat and I have my doubts that he even was in the military at the time of the Vietnam war.  The timeline just doesn't add up, etc. 

His parents met when they were 15 and 17 and got married a few weeks alter.  So he thought this is how all relationships are supposed to go.  He just expected me to marry him right out of high school and start having babies. 

I need to wrap this up for now though, because I have to leave here soon.  And I have only scratched the surface.  These are just his annoying personality traits.  I haven't even got into the really toxic stuff yet. 

But, to be continued.  And who else would I listen to while typing this?  Lol

 

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I am actually starting to feel better today.  I slept all day yesterday.  I've been painting all day today.  I'm about half way done with the book cover I was hired to do.  I really am determined to have it finished by Sunday.  The author is paying me pretty generously, so I'm trying to have it done a little early for her. 

So... to continue this whole thing about my ex.  Writing all this is actually really cathartic for me because I wasn't in therapy when I was with him and didn't really have anyone to vent to.  And I'm still only scratching the surface.  It's almost like there needs to be a whole iceberg involving that relationship.  I'm just writing right now about the annoying things.  I haven't even gotten into the straight up abuse yet.  And the messed up thing is it wasn't until years later that I even realized I was in an abusive relationship.  I just thought this all was normal and this was just how couples treated each other. 

He had a grossly off the wall idea of what a healthy relationship is, too.  But we were opposites.  He seemed to think all couples should be like TV couples.  He loved teen dramas and it was like he got most of his ideas from those stupid TV shows.  That and he also seemed to have an outdated idea of what all women are like.  He thought we are all just dumb damsels in distress meant to look pretty, and whenever we get emotional it's our time of the month.  If a girl has blond hair she's a ditz.  If she has red hair she's a B- (Interesting since I have red hair.) All girls like to be given flowers, candy and jewelry and couldn't possibly want anything else.  All girls like love stories and romcoms.  Money is all girls care about.  And of course, all girls cheat.  Duh... He just assumed I was cheating right out of the gate.  (And yes eventually I did cheat on him.  Not saying it was right but after years of constantly being accused of it it kinda became a self fulfilling prophecy.) 

He was obsessive about money, to the point of being a jerk about it.  Like, my parents were dead set against having the internet in our house.  So I would use the internet at his house occasionally.  (The role the internet played in our relationship could be it's own post...)  But I would use the internet at his house, for maybe 10 minutes sometimes when I was over.  I would just check my email and go look at random websites.  But after a while he started trying to get me to pay for my internet use at his house.  His whole thing was "Well, my brother and sister don't come over here and use the internet, but you do, so you should be paying for it."  His brother and sister were both living on their own.  I don't really understand the logic there.  Idk if he meant since they are family and don't get to do that then I shouldn't get to do it either, idk.  He was the one who offered to let me use it.  So once he started hounding me about it I just stopped.  He even complained to my sister's boyfriend about it once, on AIM.  (Remember AIM, lol... the good ole days.)  This also shows how much he had to insert himself into every aspect of my life.  I don't even know how he got my sister's BF's AIM screen name.  But he messaged him one night and was telling him how I am so selfish because I won't pay for the internet when I use it at his house, etc.  My sister's BF was actually creeped out by this, and I don't blame him. 

There was also one time at the beginning of our relationship (And man... I look back on this and wonder why I didn't just end it for good right then because this was a massive red flag...)  But he called me.  He asked me how my day was.  I could tell something was up.  I just knew he was pissed about something.  And then he cuts me off mid sentence and says (And I still remember this because it was just such a shock to me at the time) he says, "So, I'm just gonna come right out and say it.  You owe me $192 for the phone bill."  Keep in mind I was no angel either in this relationship and at that point all I had to go on was how my parents acted.  So I asked him why I woe him that money and he told me it was from all the times he called me in the last month.  I told him sorry but he called me.  I don't owe him anything.  He kept pushing so I called him and a-hole and hung up on him.   

A few days later I was at his house and his grandma came up to me and handed me the phone bill.  She said something about money not growing on trees and how I better pay it soon.  I was respectful to her but I told her no, too.  To me this was so beyond ridiculous.  I didn't make him call me.  I never told him he had to call me.  And I was a 17 year old working part time at the Pizza Shop for minimum wage while he was a 20 year old working full time and making pretty good money.  He could afford to pay it.  I couldn't.  And his family just kept hounding me about it, and eventually my Mom called his house and talked to either his Mom or his dad, I don't remember.  She told them, "Look, it's not my daughter's responsibility to pay for calls your son made to her.  He made the calls.  She's not paying your phone bill."  There were times when my parents actually did come through for me and act like parents.  That was one of them.  But my BF started talking about taking me to court, etc.  That never happened.  Idk if he realized what a douche he was being or what. 

Years later he tried to make me replace his waterbed mattress, too.  This was the early 2000s and he still had a waterbed, lol.  But his mattress started leaking one night, and I wasn't even there when this happened.  But it was somehow my fault, and so I get called up the next day and told it's all my fault and that I will be replacing it.  He tried to say the last time I was over I slept in his bed with bobby pins in my hair and that's what caused the leak.  This was when we weren't spending much time together because he needed to "get his life together" but really he was seeing someone else.  So it had been weeks since I was at his house.  But somehow the bobby pins I supposedly had in my hair caused his mattress to start leaking weeks later and so now I'm going to replace it. 

I think stuff like this was a result of his being spoiled rotten by his parents.  He was the youngest in his family so he got away with murder and his parents just gave him everything he wanted.  He used to call me a spoiled crat all the time and give me crap about "Living at home with Mommy."  But he also lived at home with his parents, and the real kicker was, his parents lived with his maternal grandma.  So whenever he would start mocking me for being s brat and living at home with my Mommy I would just tell him, "Well, you live at home with your Mommy and your Mommy lives at home with her Mommy, so that's pretty rich." 

Yes there's more to this...  But I'm just done writing about him for now.  I've had the flu all week and my resolve is low I guess.  I just really don't want to think about him any more for tonight.  It's partly just how disgusting he was but it's also disgust with myself, too.  But I've told myself in the past that I dealt with that situation with the tools I had at the time.  Who I am now isn't who I was at 17-22. 

And, oddly enough, writing about what a douchebag my ex was is making me miss D.  We haven't seen each other for a couple weeks.  We talk every day and I don't mind the long stretches of not seeing each other most of the time.  He is really depressed and he is someone who doesn't want to be around people when he's depressed.  And after being sick all week and having to go to work and act like I feel fine... and then seeing all the stuff that needs done around my house that L won't do...  RIght now I just miss him more than I normally do. 

 

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Front and back cover of the book is done and the author loves them.  Now all I have to do is digitize them tomorrow and meet up with her so she can pay me.  I really need the money, too.  I had an unexpected expense come up today that kinda screwed me a little.  $23 in the bank and a week until payday isn't a good situation.  Fortunately that's $23 in my main account and that's not counting what's in my savings.  So it could be worse.  I just don't like dipping into my savings if I don't have to. 

The Head Shop completely wasted my time.  Idk... when the manager comes into the gym practically every night to tan and she always chats with me for a while before I start her bed, and I tell her I'm looking for a part time job, not even fishing, just making conversation.  And she tells me they need a part time person at the store she manages, and to come in and apply.  Then I don't get the job...  It's a little frustrating. 

The director of the Art Center here in my town has done this to me multiple times, too.  She has reached out to me specifically to ask me to apply for two positions there.  And then I do, and I never even get called for an interview.  Like why bother? 

So, I'm still hunting for a third job. 

I love it when I am financially strapped and my art is what saves my ass.  It makes me feel more like an artist, in an odd way. 

 

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OK this is getting ridiculous...  every time I sleep for the last week or more, I've dreamt about dead family members/dead pets.  And the dreams are getting more troubling.  Last night I dtreamt that my brother was the victim of a freak accident that probably would be fatal.  I forced myself to wake up so I didn't find out if he died in the dream or not. I am fortunate to be able to do that sometimes. 

I am afraid to google what this means or even do any research on it.  Once, a series of dreams about death triggered a really bad depressive episode because for weeks I couldn't stop thinking of people I love dying.  The person who sexually abused me shows up in a lot of them, too.  He's been dead since 2016.  All the dead people who show up in these dreams are dead people I didn't get along with.  So I'm sure it has more to do with dreaming about people I don't get along with than it has to do with dead people.  My youngest brother who hasn't spoken to any of us in years has shown up a few times, too.  And he's very much alive.  Living in his quarter million dollar home with his trophy wife. (Who he's cheating on.) He's too good for all of us.  Lol

 

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So, something has been happening lately that has been oddly validating, even if I don't personally agree with it. 

This guy, W, is a friend of L's.  W and I have never met but we are friends on Facebook because he bought a painting from me a while back.  He has been posting some really anti trans stuff lately.  I never knew he felt this way about trans people.  And while I don't agree with him, it's his opinion.  I know there are a lot of SJWs out there who would probably be outraged at the fact that I don't agree but also don't try to change it.  I just don't do that.  It's about picking my battles.  If he chooses to feel that way than nothing I say is going to change that.  It's not my responsibility to go around policing other people's Facebook posts.  But anyway...  I have L blocked on there.  But she has been liking all these posts and commenting on them.  How do I know that?  Because when someone you blocked likes a Facebook post you can see someone liked it but it doesn't show you who.  Same with comments.  L is the only friend I have in common with this guy.  So it has to be her. 

OK so why is this validating?  Well because I was accused of being so transphobic when Z and I were together.  And L, who is openly transphobic, and Z are suddenly all buddy buddy.  And every time I turn around I'm a transphobe, and L is playing the part of the oh so supportive friend.  To me, when this was happening it was such a mindf*ck. 

I remember years ago... before Z ever even entered the picture, when L and I still got along, she made some pretty nasty comments about D (Yes, D who I'm now dating.)  In 2020 when D and I took that road trip together and he told me he was actually born female and transitioned to male, I had known him for 3 years at that point and I had no idea.  I was telling L about that and she was saying I better not ever invite him over when her and K are here because she doesn't want some "he-she" around her son. 

And telling her was a mistake on my part because at the time I didn't know that D lives his life in stealth mode.  In other words he is not open about being trans.  He passes as a cis male and so pretty much everyone he knows assumes he is exactly that, except for the people he chooses to tell.  At the time I didn't know that.  But he knows I told her and he also takes ownership of not asking me to not tell right away.

When all the drama with Z was going on I called her out about that at one point and she denied ever saying it.  She claimed to be oh so supportive of the trans community, etc.  She agreed with Z that it was me who has a problem with them, etc. 

I know for anyone reading this it has to be confusing, there are so many different people/letters to keep track of.  But the fact that L keeps liking W's transphobic posts tells me I'm not the crazy one after all. 

It also makes me wonder... do these people know what they're doing?  Like, is L even aware that she was really messing with my head during all that?  If she did know was it fun for her?  I can't imagine just messing with someone for fun. 

I will admit when I was younger I was a very active gaslighter.  I'm not making excuses but at the time I just didn't know any better and did it to defend myself.  I also grew up being gaslit constantly so I thought that was normal.  But I stopped doing it around the time I started college.  College was a time when I became a lot more self aware and stopped a lot of the toxic behaviors that I thought were normal up until then. 

But L is a 40 year old woman.  You would think she would have grown out of that by now.  Especially considering her family wasn't dysfunctional like mine.  I mean yes, all families are dysfunctional to some degree.  She grew up with rich parents.  Her and her brother both went to private school.  They lived in the rich part of town where all the executives live.  Her dad is retired now but he was the CEO of a company that is a household name in the US.  And her Mom was the head nurse at the Cleveland Clinic.  They were rolling in money.  She definitely thinks she's better than other people who grew up less privileged.  Maybe that's where it comes from, idk. 

Here's to hoping her rich good looking boyfriend in Europe who proposed to her after a few weeks of online chatting can handle her.  She would probably implode if she knew I have a good looking European dude, too.  Sure he's not rich but I don't care about that, and he, you know, actually exists.  Lol. 

Anyway...  I got a book cover to digitize, a lunch to pack, a shower to take, etc. 

 

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Bank account is in the negative.  Joy joy. 

Author who commissioned the book cover was going to pay me this week.  Now she wants to wait until next week.  She hasn't gotten any of the work yet.  She will be getting both the original paintings (Front and back cover.)  And she is also getting the high res, digitally retouched files that look amazing.  She isn't getting anything until I get paid, though. 

L keeps pushing back when she will pay the rent. 

My latest Displate Payout could take up to 45 days. 

And my next check is pretty much spent as soon as I get it, because it's the mortgage check.  My house payment takes up almost a whole paycheck. 

My grocery deliver the other night ruined someone's big meal they were planning to cook.  I got someone else's groceries entirely.  It was obvious they were either having a party or making a lot of a certain thing for a potluck or something.  There were 5 dozen croissants, 3 gallons of milk, a whole bag of garlic cloves, a bag of tomatoes, spices, etc.  I don't drink regular cow milk.  I hardly ever keep milk in the house and when I do it's almond milk.  So I gave one gallon of milk away and donated the other two to the drug rehab where I used to work.  They are a nonprofit and they are always looking for food donations.  I gave my Mom a dozen croissants and gave a dozen to the cab driver who picks me up from work every day.  I took the bunches of bananas to work because I don't like bananas. 

So, this weekend I plan on making a big pot of Rigatoni.  With all the stuff I got I will probably be eating rigatoni and croissants for a week, lol.  I feel bad for the person who got my stuff, though.  They were probably like, "Where the hell are my croissants!?  What the hell am I supposed to do with pummelos, flamin' hot bbq chips, baby spinach, blueberries, blue cheese crumbles, dark wheat bread and peanut butter!?" 

For anyone wondering, yes, I did try to correct the problem.  I was basically told, "Just keep what we brought you."  But they also refunded the whole order.  So I basically got a bunch of free food.  And the stuff I'm not going to eat I gave away/donated, so other people got some free food too. 

D and I had an amazing conversation today.  I know he's been so depressed about the death of his eldest stinker.  (And yes, he calls them stinkers.)  I haven't tried to tell him to snap out of it, get over it, any of that.  Those are things no one should ever say to a grieving person.  But today he seemed happier.  It wasn't like a complete 180.  But I can see him starting to be himself again.  His sense of humor, his positivity, etc.  All of that went away for a while. 

Today he told me he dreamt that we won the lottery and lived in this huge house.  We had highland cows in the yard.  And we had a whole room in the house just for the skunks.  And the reptiles had their own room too, because him and I both have snakes.  And i had two Fennec Foxes.  A Fennec Fox is what I would have as a pet if money were no object.  I wish I could dream things like that.  My dreams lately have kinda sucked lately. 

Anyway... sleepy time. 

 

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Today is D and Al's anniversary.  And I guess things didn't go the way D was hoping they would go.  I wished them a happy anniversary this morning and then I stayed quiet all day.  I haven't messaged him because this is their day. 

Well, D had a therapy appointment today and I spend a good chunk of my evening at a coffee shop working on some video editing.  I got home and he messaged me and told me he is feeling pretty awful.  I guess he came home from therapy and Al just went to bed.  So now he's just really upset because he thought that Al would spend some time with him today of all days. 

I had to choose my words carefully here.  Because I'm trying to be a good listener and be supportive, but I am also trying to not get in the middle of things.  His relationship with Al is a separate thing.  I didn't mind him messaging me about it.  But I made it a point to tread carefully. 

I do understand how he feels, though.  That's the kind of stuff my ex husband used to do.  I'm not too big on anniversaries and all that.  But on days that were important to me, he would just flake.  The day of my college graduation... we are driving to venue and he just casually mentions on the way that he's just going to drop me off and then go hang out with his brother.  I very firmly told him "No, you're not."  I only got 5 tickets.  That was the limit.  There were members of my family that wanted to be there but couldn't because he got one of the tickets.  No way.  Absolutely not.  You're staying for the whole thing a**hole. 

Anyway...  I have to leave for work here in a few. 

 

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So tonight if rogot to change into one of my work t-shirts with the actual logo of where I work on it.  The dress code for day shift is a lot more strict.  But looking a certain way is a big part of their job.  People on day shift are mainly there to look hot and send the message to the customers, "Hey, if you work out and tan you'll look like us!"  The overnight dress code is relaxed, within reason.  So tonight I went to work with my work hoodie on but I had it about half unzipped for most of the night and the shirt I had on was a shirt advertising the Yoga studio. 

This guy comes in there every morning and he asked me about my shirt.  He's like, "Do you work there too?" And I told him no, I just take classes there.  And he's like, "Do you know Holly?"  Idk... maybe it's a pet peeve of mine but I hate it when people do this. 

So I gave my go to answer for that sort of question.  I said, "Maybe I would if I saw her."  That's what I always say.  But in reality, most of the time seeing someone doesn't do much either.  Not only am I visually impaired but I also am face blind.  I have a really hard time recognizing people that I don't know really well.  This has caused me to make an ass of myself more than once in my life for thinking someone was someone else, not knowing who someone is, etc. 

So I tell him maybe if I saw her... not knowing what I'm about to get into.  He then launches into a several minute long explanation of who Holly is and how he knows her.  "Oh, Holly is my ex's best friend's sister's next door neighbor...  And when my ex wife and I split up she used to babysit my kids...  And her husband fixed my car once...  And she has a poodle named Curly...  And a lot of people at the yoga place know her...  I interrupted him and was like, "Is she a teacher?"  It's also worth mentioning that this whole time he's scrolling on his phone and not even looking up at me. 

She skewered my question with, "No, she just takes classes there."  Then he proceeds to start showing me pics of Holly on his phone... a lot of pics...  like a creepy amount of pics.  And all I can think is, "No I don't know Holly, but if I did know her I would tell her to be careful because some creep is clearly obsessed with her."

And as he's showing me these pics he's like, "See, are you sure you don't know her>  Here's another pic.  You really don't see her at the Yoga place ever?"  And he was getting kind of pushy.  So I did the thing I rarely do but I finally just said, "Ok... I'm legally blind.  So recognizing people isn't easy for me."   And then of course it's "Well how can you work?  How can you see me standing here?  How do you get around?" 

To be 100% honest if I wasn't at work and in a position where I have to be polite and friendly, I would have told him right there how rude it is to ask those questions.  I've told people before when they were being this way... but not while working for someone else.  (I've given people that talk at festivals once or twice... but there I'm my own boss so it doesn't matter.) 

And this is happening during the busiest part of my shift... and there are people standing there waiting to be helped and this dude just doesn't grasp that.  Like... where is your self awareness? 

Idk... maybe it's karma for me.  Because when I was younger I was like this.  As a teenager I was the most socially awkward person.  I would have talked a total stranger's head off about things they weren't interested in at all and not even thought twice about it.  I just had little understanding of social cues, etc.  But also, because I was a generally quiet kid, it didn't manifest itself very often.  I probably came off as shy and awkward most of the time. 

The way we treat the LGBTQ community has evolved so much over the last 20ish years.  The way we treat mentally disabled people has evolved a lot, too.  (And I don't even know if mentally disabled is a politically correct term anymore.  If it's not I apologize.)  (Also...  this isn't meant like I'm lumping LGBTQ people in with disabled people.  They were a group that used to be treated pretty bad in our society, and now they are treated a lot better.  That's all I'm saying.)  But somehow, the way we treat physically disabled people has not evolved at all.  I still get the same ignorant questions I've gotten all my life. 

I have a friend who has a Master's degree and she's a literary agent.  But she's physically disabled.  And her disability is a lot more visible than mine.  I just have weird looking demon eyes.  A lot of people don't really notice my eyes when they are just interacting with me in passing.  But her disability is hard not to notice.  And when she goes out, people talk to her like she's stupid, or they talk to her like she's a child.  And a lot of people assume her wife is her caretaker.  That would infuriate me.  I feel like after so many times of that I would just be like "Uh, excuse me assklown, I don't need a caretaker.  That's my wife.  Go educate yourself and don't be so condescending to disabled people." 

Good nigt all...

 

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I felt like I couldn't tell him anything because he would take the most negative things in the story and completely embellish them or straight up twist what I told him into something else.  Like, at some point in my town when I was in high school, some guy who lives here in town cut his own junk off.  My cousin was a paramedic at the time and they were one of the people who showed up to treat this guy when he did it.  I told my ex about that and he couldn't seem to understand that my cousin was one of the medics who showed up to treat the guy, and not the guy himself.  He told a lot of people that I come from this crazy family and that my cousin cut his own junk off.  He threw it in my face as evidence of how crazy my family is, etc. 

He also seemed to think I got a teacher at my high school fired for being gay.  The kicker... the teacher was never even fired.  I didn't care that this teacher was gay and I had no reason to get them fired.  And then he seemed to accept that I didn't do it, but he was convinced I told my Mom and my mom called the school board to complain and got the teacher fired. 

When I was dating him his family business got broken into and robbed at night.  He thought my parents did it.  Personally, I think they did it themselves or hired someone to do it for the insurance.  Why do I think that?  Because the night after it happened him and his dad and a bunch of guys they know went to a strip club.  Idk...  as a business owner, if I just had a lot of thing I worked hard for stolen from me my first reaction wouldn't be, "Hey let's go get drunk and drool over naked chicks."  I know everyone handles things differently but that seems kinda out there to me. 

And him and the damn strip club...  he went a lot further than I was comfortable with with a lot of these strippers.  And now knowing what I know, I actually wonder if more happened than he told me.  Until L started telling me the stories she told me about "shower shows" I guess I was really naive about strip clubs.  I've been to a few.  I know some strippers.  And I always assumed that probably goes on in some.  But the one L was going to an basically paying to fool around with strippers at wasn't some seedy low class strip club.  It was one of the high end strip clubs that markets itself as being more classy than most.  And the one he was going to was a seedy one.  So I'm sure he was banging some strippers here and there. 

His attitude about music...  Good Gods...  this could be a whole post in itself.  He was such a jerk about music, in some many ways and on so many levels.  I've noticed that most toxic people are.  I don't know if it's because music is something that brings people together or what.  It's also something that makes people feel a lot of different emotions and a lot of people like this just have really shallow emotions.  Idk...  it's something I've thought about a lot. 

But, I was mocked and made fun of for liking Veruca Salt because he had never heard of them before.  But then I was also mocked for liking Korn because they are so main stream.  He gave me crap for liking System Of A Down because they are (according to him) arabs and people like them were responsible for 9/11.  Um, they're Armenian dumb*ss. 

I do think it's interesting though that he teased me a lot for liking some country music back then.  But then all of a sudden he really got into country music.  It seemed like it happened overnight.  Well it was because the girl he was cheating on me with liked country music and people like this start imitating whoever they're idealizing at the time.  She was his ideal at the time, so he was liking what she liked. 

Everything had to be an argument with him, too.  I really wonder how he has any kind of conversation with anyone now that everyone has google in their pocket.  If smart phones would have been a thing back then I could have *** him up so fast so many times and saved a lot of stress and annoyance.  He was always starting arguments about what band sings what song, what actor was in what movie, etc.  The dumbest argument he ever started with me was about ice cream flavors.  Yep... think about that for a second...  ice cream flavors. He was telling me that he knows one flavor of ice cream I have never tried.  Keep in mind, I wasn't asking him about exotic flavors or anything.  I dont' even remember how it came up in conversation.  But he was saying he is only one of a few people in the whole world who has ever tried butter brickle ice cream.   Well, my Mom absolutely loves that flavor and she used to get it for herself regularly.  He was going on this whole tangent about how only one guy makes it, and he's really picky about who he lets try it because he doesn't want anyone stealing his recipe, and so he only makes a few batches a year, and he gives some to him and his family.  I looked him dead in the face and said, "They sell butter brickle at the store.  My Mom gets it for herself all the time."  He kept trying to argue about it and so I finally just got so frustrated I yelled at him.  I don't remember what I said but it was something like, "Whatever.  You win.  I don't effing care!" 

You couldn't just have a conversation with him about anything.  He fed on drama and conflict. 

His holier than thou attitude got old really fast, too.  He used being a Christian to justify being a douchebag.  When I found out he was cheating on me, one excuse he gave was "Well she's a Christian and you're not."  Ok... but she was also married and cheating on her husband with him.  She was also 20 years older than him.  It was creepy.  He was obviously looking for a mother figure who he could also have sex with. 

And there were times he just acted crazy... like delusional crazy. 

But I can only write so much about him before I start feeling mentally exhausted.  So, this will continue at another time. 

 

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The Head Shop manager was in the club last night.  I guess that haven't been able to fill the position.  She asked me if I'm still interested.  And of course I am.  I'm guessing they are having a hard time filling the position because people probably want to work there for all the wrong reasons.  I imagine there are a lot of people who think they are just going to go to work and smoke weed all day.  I'm not interested in going to work and smoking weed all day.  When I'm high I would rather be meditating or painting while listening to some good music, not waiting on customers and trying to count money, etc.  This is why I don't smoke at festivals.  I don't care if my crew does, as long as they can do their jobs.  Same with drinking.  If one of my workers wants to go get a beer or whatever while they're working I don't care as long as they can still do their job.  In the almost ten years I've been doing this, I've never had anyone working for me who was too drunk or stoned to work. 

So yea, there's a chance I might still get in at the Head Shop.  She told me she is going to see the owner this week and tell the owner I am still interested. 

Anyway, it's sleepy time. 

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So, it's currently 3 degrees outside.  It's supposed to stay cold like this for most of the day.  And D's furnace went out yesterday.  I sent him a text on the way home from work telling him if he needs to come to my place, him, his son, his husband, his pets, etc, are all welcome here.  Of all the days to be without a furnace...

I don't have the energy to write more right now.  I need to sleep, 

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When you come home from work and it's your day off... so you pour yourself an adult beverage and sit down to watch that documentary you've been dying to watch.  And they show this pic of a woman... and you're first thought is, "Wow, she's really hot."  And then your second thought is, "She looks a lot like Z."

Not kidding... now I'm just pissed.  Lol.

And no, it's not her in the documentary.  It's someone who looks like they could be her estranged sister.  This person is also a murder, if that matters. 

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Well, my app for WF is submitted.  At this point the app itself almost feels like a formality.  That might be arrogant of me, but I've done it for 7 years... I'm a fixture there.  And I'm always in the same spot, prime real estate.  Everyone knows right where to find me.  My booth is usually the best looking booth there.  People tell me they come just to see my work.  WF and CPPD are my two favorite festivals.  And I've come really close to being banned from both... 

This year at CPPD I will have both my GoPros running all weekend, documenting everything from the time we unload to the time we drive away at the end of the show.  If anyone tries to accuse me of breaking any rules this year or asking for volunteer help, I can just be like, "Well, hold on a minute here,  I have video evidence."  I will have to make sure I have a tall employee that weekend.  If D is the only one helping me set up we are going to have a bad time...  both of our short asses trying to get my tent up without help would be pretty entertaining. 

There are 15 weeks to go until Hell City.  I haven't even finished two paintings yet.  My standards are really high for Hell City, though.  I would rather not finish all 11 paintings and have the ones I did finish look absolutely amazing, than so all 11 and they be sub par work.  Idk, though... it's still possible.  Part of the reason I've only finished two is because over the holidays I had commissions to work on and that took up most of my art time.  Horror sells at HC.  So I'm working on a lot of horror themed stuff. 

And then there are only 4 weeks until OM, my gap filler.  OM may be a gap filler as of now but that doesn't mean I will treat it any less.  My booth will still look amazing.  My prints will all be packaged really nice, etc.  I am not expecting tons of money from OM this time, though.  Yes, OM can be a huge money maker.  But this is it's first time at this location.  And it's the Valentine's Day show.  I always did decent at the V Day shows they put on in the past.  But the location thing is what has me thinking it could go either way.  When a show changes location it can either works out really well or be the kiss of death.  We'll see. 

 

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3 hours ago, Jibralta said:

Sounds interesting.

If it turns out half as good as I'm picturing it, it will be amazing. 

I just got another commission.  I swear the Universe is looking out for me right now.  My hours have been cut at work but the commissions keep rolling in.  The fact that my work is literally helping pay my bills right now makes me feel more like a career artist than ever before.  This guy who commissioned me has a shop in a pretty big city a few hours away.  This commission is basically an icebreaker.  He wants to start carrying my stuff.

Where he is isn't far from another shop that used to carry my stuff.  I made a lot of money selling at that other shop.  But they terminated my contract because I left my ex and they chose to keep working with him.  Tbh, it was probably more to appease him than anything else.  Like, they probably had no issue working with us both.  But my ex probably threw a fit and refused to work with them if they continued working with me, either that or he paid them off to end my contract. 

Anyway though, this guy's shop is in the same area.  So I know the crowd in that area likes my stuff.  So, it's always a good feeling having new opportunities. 

I have to go and start my day...

 

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So L told me all the way back in October that she was moving out after the holidays.  I breathed a sigh of relief.  Then the Holidays came and went, and she's still here.  She tells me now it's going to be closer to April.  Ok... Not ideal but fine.  Now she's telling me it's going to be in June.  Good Gods...  I'm so frustrated with this situation.  I can't afford a lawyer.  I can't afford a formal eviction.  I'm sick of cleaning up cat puke every time I turn around because her one cat has digestive issues and she doesn't clean up after him or take him to the vet.  I'm sick of having a knot in my stomach every time D comes over because I know she's just itching to start drama between him and I somehow.  This was supposed to be a two week arrangement 5 years ago.  She moved out for a few months in 2020 and then ended up having a drunk screaming crying hysterical meltdown on my porch at like 3AM when her and this winner split up.  And then it was "This is only for a few weeks until I find a place."  Ok... it's been 3 years. Her cats have killed all my plants but one.  They have broken a lot of my stuff.  My basement is completely trashed.  I really hope she's planning on cleaning it before she leaves.  And if I have to have professionals come in and clean it I would love to send her the bill, but I know she just won't pay it.  I'm so sick and tired of her and this whole situation and I wish I would have never even offered to help her.  I guess that's what I get for being nice. 

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