Social Media, The New Opening and Closing of the Refrigerator Door

 

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Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Instagram, Tumblr…we have so many ways to stay in touch with people, to make connections with people we may never have had the chance to meet in our day to day lives. We log into our favourite social media accounts anxious to see what everyone has to say, has to say to you. You go back time and time again; just to check in, but in reality, you are just hoping that someone has engaged you in some way. It is the modern day equivalent of going back to the refrigerator, opening the door to see there is nothing in it and walking away.  Only to come back 10 minutes later…just in case.

I have friends that are divorced, really divorced. They complain about how much they miss sex. Not just the act itself, the cuddling, the kissing, the touching. Really? See, because when you were married, the LAST THING you wanted was for your soon-to-be ex to touch you. Months went by and you were HAPPY not to be touched, held, kissed by that person, let alone have sex with them. The idea disgusted and horrified you. So, I am thinking you do not miss SEX so much as you miss having a connection with someone. A connection so intense, that it has to be expressed physically. The truth is, pretty much anybody, certainly any woman, could go out and find someone willing to have sex with them. There are lots of men looking for just that. Sex without commitment; without the headaches that accompany having a connection with someone. No, you do not miss sex. You miss desire. You miss fun. You miss wanting. You miss what it means to be ALIVE.

So, you keep going to your social media accounts, log in and hope that someone is there that wants to connect with you. You keep checking back time and time again; opening that refrigerator door, only to be greeted by the same emptiness you found last time. That’s what happens when you are stuck in an empty marriage, one that is dead, but refuses to die. Your refrigerator is empty and if you never go out into the world to find something to fill it with, you will die of starvation. Starvation from lack of food, or lack of love is still starvation. They both have the same outcome…

 

You Die.

 

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Stop and Start. The Post That Took Months To Write

sparkling_blackToday has been a day filled with frustration. What else is new, right? No. This is a whole new level of frustration. As a matter of fact, this entire post is more or less just me trying to sort out what the hell really happened today. I guess I should just dive right in…

My day started out like all the rest. I woke up after a restless night on the world’s biggest piece of shit “click clack” style futon. Just a word of advice here, if you are ever considering purchasing one of these darlings for yourself, DON’T DO IT! Oh my f’ing GAWD, don’t do it! Lunches packed, kids dressed and ushered out the door. I suppose that should have been my first sign that today was not going to be all sunshine and lollipops. Mother Nature must have run out of Prozac and unleashed a torrent of freezing white precipitation upon the land. A complete turn around from her happily medicated state just a day before when she smiled sunshine and beamed warmth from her very bosom upon us all. No, this version of Mother Nature was pissed off and she was letting us all know it! I dropped the kids off at school and preceded to take my youngest to his first appointment at the Developmental Pediatric Specialist’s office.  You see, he is five now. He is in Kindergarten. There is no more happy denial that my son is just a bit quirky. Nope. He’s special or at least acting special. I am not surprised by this. His oldest brother is special too. (Yes, I use the word special to describe the somewhat “off” behaviour of my oldest and youngest sons.) To be honest, I was never really in denial either, I was just okay with not having a label slapped on him. However, to get extra help in school, you need that gawd damn label…

So off we went. The duct tape mobile (my rusted out Dodge Caravan that yes, is literally being held together with duct tape) chugged along the highway through wind and ice and snow and ensconced inside, we arrived at the grand office building owned by one of the richest hospitals in the entire world, The Cleveland Clinic.  My son revelled at the automatic revolving door, the modern water feature/fountain in the lobby (“MOM! It looks like a hotel in here!”) and the ebony stone floors with dazzling “diamonds” embedded deep inside…their  untold riches and casting miniature rainbows all around. He danced around, marvelling at this glorious building, happily hopping from one incredible discovery to an other; all before we even made it through the lobby. His dirty blonde hair, more light brown than baby blonde anymore, head was bobbing along to a song only he could hear. His face beamed with joy and his blue eyes simply sparkled.

Thinking back, I am amazed at his reaction, and embarrassed about my own. My sweet, SWEET baby boy…so full of life and love and zest, was thrilled to be here with me. To share this with me and I just trudged about, rushing him towards the doctor’s office; afraid of being late and having to reschedule. I was rushing him to see this doctor who would be the first in a string that would pretend to play with him while I filled out a thousand pages of questions about his development.  The ENTIRE TIME, he was the very definition of sweetness and light. Me? The complete opposite. The questions frustrating me…I’ve filled out these forms before. Watching the time on my phone…don’t they know I have three other kids I have to pick up from school too? My little guy? He was having a wonderful time. Someone was focusing the whole of their attention upon him. Something severely lacking at home. I am ashamed to admit, that I often just don’t want to be bothered with his demonstrative and insistent displays of affection; that I’d rather he “go play or something”, Mommy’s busy doing nothing of consequence…nothing as important as you, yet I can not be bothered right now because I am so damn miserable inside. It has nothing to do with you, my beautiful son. Nothing at all. Nor your brothers. It’s about me…festering and sad. Overwhelmed and alone. Yet, you probably don’t understand that and I hate myself for it.

That was only the first of a long succession of visits to diagnose what I already know…Autism Spectrum Disorder. There was other speech related disorders associated with it, but who the fuck cares about that right now? I HAD to go and get that label so the school would assist him, so the gov’t would assist US and so I could use that damn label to get him and his brothers things they need…like FOOD and technology. Having two kids with Autism isn’t cheap and when you are already living at the poverty level; that label can be your ticket to a whole other world of help. Yet, I am disgusted. My boys, ALL OF THEM, are perfect. Perfect in every single quirky, obsessive, sweet, terrible, adorable, rotten way. PERFECT, DAMN IT! I want to take that label and tear it in a million pieces. I am ANGRY that I need that label to help my kids to survive. I am FURIOUS that their father can not see that staying in his comfortable job making less than $30K per year IS having a negative impact on MY kids. I do not even care anymore that I know he is running around without HIS label, because if anyone on this god forsaken planet should have an Autism Spectrum Disorder label it is HIM! I don’t care because my college educated (his major in college was PSYCOLOGY) “husband” does not care. We should have to make due. I am spending too much money. I should be able to find a way to get a job. Never him. No, never him. $740 every two weeks, county sponsored health care for the kids, high deductible only-if-you-get-hit-by-a-bus insurance for us, $300 in food stamps and a $1200 mortgage makes perfect sense to him. I am the problem. Yup. You’ve hit the nail right on the head, buddy. It’s all me. It’s always me.

So, I started this post months ago. Months. I have been in such a state that I could not even bring myself to think about writing anything. Then, for the hell of it, I opened up this long forgotten tab.

I guess I still have things left to say after all.

 

 

 

 

Tell Me Again; You Need My Help To Get What…? Interesting.

Tell Me Again; You Need My Help To Get What...? Interesting.

A conservative Republican I know wanted me to tell him/her how they could get some assistance from the government. Interesting. See, it wasn’t for them. Noooooo! It was for their kids. REALLY? What happened to self-reliance? Working for what you want/need? Wouldn’t accepting help from the United States government make you a *gasp* WELFARE QUEEN?!  Wouldn’t it make you one of “those” people?! How are you going to show your face to all your tea bagger friends knowing that you even THOUGHT about getting assistance from the GOVERNMENT?! FOR SHAME!!!!  I guess when it is YOUR lifestyle changing, and it is YOUR children who may be affected; none of what you said before matters. Fascinating.

The hardest part for ME is, I love this person. I love this person’s children, especially the one being inquired about. That child is beautiful and no, not “typical”. That makes this kid all the more amazing in my eyes. That said, the person inquiring, has a six figure job. SIX FIGURE. I am surviving off of less than 30K per year…for six people. I’ve never even driven a NEW car, let alone own one…or more. My house could fit in this person’s current garage. I can not get over the fact, that after 14 years of not needing any state, local or federal money to help care for this person’s child; all of a sudden there is a “need” for help, based upon the fact that the fact that the adults in this situation are separating and this person and their child, has to move.

Oh, I am sorry. Are you going from $250,ooo per year, down to only $125,000?! THE HORROR! Maybe the child support will help fill in some of that gap. After all, you may need to start cutting corners now…you may actually have to keep that Audi around and running for a bit, or shop at a Target. Hold on now…don’t faint. At least I didn’t say Walmart! Shesh…

I am sorry to say (no, not really) that I took great pleasure in telling this person that their income “may not” make them eligible for assistance. However, I’ll be here for you. I’ll bring you over some meals in case you can’t afford to eat next week.

What do you mean you don’t eat bologna?

 

Introduction Compete…Now What? Perhaps an Amuse-Bouche About What To Expect.

“Now what?” seems like a reoccurring theme in my life. I ask that question a lot. I come up with brilliant answers too. Putting things into motion? That seems to be where I abort sequence and postpone the mission. I suppose I am a lot like the idealistic government of my dreams…a lot of talk, a lot of good ideas, but with no support; I’ve got nothing.

So, what moved me to start a blog? Perhaps it was having a lot to say and no one to say it to? Maybe it was because I have always had a passion and a talent for writing, but I’ve never had the time nor the gumption to really make it happen? Maybe I am just an opinionated person who thinks what I have to say matters, and damn it, I am going to find a place to say it; even if I have to invent it!

What moves me to write? Here’s what drives me to drink…I mean, to write. My “life”. Look, I know we all thought that we’d end up being the starting forward for the Bruins (hockey reference, if you don’t like hockey, you won’t like me) or traversing among the stars, or smiling mega-watt smiles as we stroll down the red carpet and pose for the cameras at our latest film premiere. I get that. I also get that 99.75% of us are never going to get anywhere near those dreams without the aid of an active imagination, some Absolute Vodka and/or the ability to ignore reality. (Because, eventually, the Vodka retreats from our systems and we have to get up and go to that crappy job that we swore would be temporary…). Suck it up, Buttercup. Move on. Life is a gift…Yeah. I GET IT. Trust me. My brother died suddenly when he was 18 and I was 20. It was Christmas time too, so stuff that dose of reality in your stockings. When I say “my life”, I am talking about how we all get to this place, within ourselves that we can not break free from. Some of us visit this place; just a passing glance, offer a wave and then continue on our way. Some of us, take a break, look around, check out the scenery, sign the guest book and then get the Hell out of there. While others, stop and stay awhile. We figure, we’re here, we might as well poke around a bit; only to discover the brochure was a lie and someone stole our passport and plane ticket, so here we shall stay! Since we are here, we convince ourselves that “good enough” REALLY is, good enough. We retreat so far within ourselves that we become observers of our own lives. We can look objectively at everything happening to us and around us, yet it feels like we are powerless to really change anything. We become disjointed and disconnected with what made us tick and somehow convince ourselves that it’s fine. We get apathetic. We’ve long stopped chasing after the distant chimes of the ice-cream truck on a sticky, summer’s day because, the ice-cream is over priced and who really wants to go out there anyway? When did that happen? That’s what I am talking about. That kind of apathy spills over into everything. It poisons us, our children, our communities and the world. “Life”.

Speaking of the world, that is something else I like to “discuss”. Okay, who am I kidding? I like to argue/debate. If you are a conservative, right wing, Republican, you will not like me. Nope. Not a chance. I’ll tell you why. I am an unabashed, anti-capitalist liberal. I describe myself as a Democratic Socialist. I drape myself in the Canadian flag, though I have no love for Stephan Harper. So, that is something that will appear from time to time in this blog. Political rants. Consider yourself warned. Oh, and lots of Pro-Canada rhetoric. Seriously, Tourism Canada, you may want to offer me a job after this. I am looking to relocate and I am working on my French…Engagez-moi, je suis grand! See?!

What else? Well, my kids. There are four of them so that’s a lot of material. Four sons, all different, all unique. Autism, Autism Spectrum Disorders…yup. Those will appear too. Different types of “disabilities” and struggles. Rants about other parents, teachers, adults, kids…others that don’t understand and really have no interest in understanding what makes people on the spectrum so damn fascinating. Actually, you will find that I have a low tolerance level for those that discriminate, bully or treat as a lesser human being, those who love differently than they do, who look differently than they do or think differently than they do. Dictate what goes on in your own house, but don’t subject the world to your brand of ignorance. There is too much of that going around as it is, and it tends to be contagious and I don’t like vaccines.

Creativity. Ah, yes. I am a writer. I am. It’s in me. Somewhere in this shell that used to be a hot, vivacious creature, lies a wicked brain to go with her sharp tongue. (Seriously fellas, this tongue…a thing of legend. Take that as you will.) Eventually, I will use this blog to share things I’ve written too. Right now, I am still feeling all of this out, learning the ropes, finding my way. I’ll get there. In time. Just remind me to come back. I tend to get scattered brained and not finish things I’ve started. (See beginning of post for “space” analogy.)

Which brings me to the last bit of information pertinent to this blog’s existence; being a married single mother without the benefits of a divorce. This is a real thing and I’ve discovered I am not alone. This warrants a whole post of it’s own. This limbo state of not really being married anymore, but not being free to pursue a better life for yourself and your children. It is a special kind of Hell. A Hell where you are being held captive, but your cell has a really nice view. It is the torture of wondering what sort of psychological, emotional and future damage you’ve inflicted upon your children, who are forced to live in this state of being. Mentally, it is like being bound and gagged and finally getting one hand free; only to discover that is as far as you can get. There is so much to write about here…so much. Now isn’t the time because it is late and my fingers are babbling.

My spot on the couch needs to be readied for bed. I have an old pillow and a Mickey Mouse blanket that is supposed to be my youngest son’s, to sleep with. Sometimes, the cat will come and claim some of the precious real estate the miniature sofa offers me to slumber upon. If I curl up small enough, the cat can sleep undisturbed and I can fit all of myself under the soft, woven fabric of the Mickey Mouse blanket. It smells a bit like my boy…that makes me both sad and happy. A little less and a little bit more lonely, all at once.

The Introduction: Written From My Spot

Greetings. Perhaps you stumbled upon this blog via Twitter, or because your cat walked across your keyboard. Whatever the case may be, I am writing my introductory blog post from my least favourite, favourite spot in the house…MY spot. No, this isn’t some nod to Dr. Sheldon Cooper or some mystic place in the universe spot. Nope. This is the place my Sir Mix-A-Lot approved size butt, sits for the majority of my day. Oddly enough, it just so happens to correspond to the photo below. This is the perch from which I spend too much time on Facebook, or following an ADHD inspired whim online, or cursing the existence of the creators of “Candy Crush Saga”. It is the place that I keep an eye and an ear, on my four boys ages 5, 8, 11 and 14. (You will get to learn all about them in due time.) It is also the place where I daydream, quite actively mind you, while doing all the aforementioned. Multitasking anyone? I take online classes from this spot too. Sometimes interesting ones that inspire me and sometimes, ones that make me want to bang my head and lament the invention of “online education”. To my right, you’ll find not one, but two telephones. The antiquated landline phone, along side my newly acquired iPhone 4s. (Scoff all you want, this is cutting edge stuff for me.) They seldom ring, but, they are here, just in case. Nestled among these phones, or perhaps deep between the broken down, milk stained, beagle scented couch cushions, you will find the remote to the TV. Chances are, the TV is being used for an XBox game, or a Playstation game, or a Ouya game…some sort of game. Games I like to watch, but don’t have the coordination to play. Who the hell put THAT many buttons on one controller?! I figure, I am supervising their game play. Even if I am ignoring the rating code on the box. After all, EVERYONE in their classes plays THAT game! Who am I to question the collective decision making processes of 2nd, 6th and 8th graders and their parents?! This is the spot from which I watch the world go by. It is in this spot that I will read the latest happy news from a friend or family member online. It is from this spot that one of my sons will come running to tattle on another or where the dog will come to curl up against a warm body. MY warm body. It is the place the cat will jump up to and head butt my hand until I acknowledge that she is here, and that she is hungry. It is where I will drink my coffee, eat my meals and eventually, go to sleep for the night. A married, single mother doesn’t have the luxury of a bed. Nope. That is where her mentally, not legally divorced ex-husband sleeps. My spot is where I lay and think about all the things I will do better tomorrow…do RIGHT. It is the place I rest my head and think “…someday, when I lose 75 pounds” or “I’ll read to the boys tomorrow instead of letting them play video games all day” or “I’ve had enough! Things are going to change starting tomorrow!” every night. An endless loop of promises and ideas that race through my mind until, overwhelmed, it shuts off with a snap! No gentle lulling to sleep. No drifting off into dreamland. Just a CLUNK! A switch thrown, a circuit snapped. Darkness. In the morning, the circuit will be restored and the process will begin again. Right here. On the couch. From MY spot on the couch.

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