The Sickness

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Went to Urgent Care and was told it’s a viral upper respiratory infection.

So, pretty much do what I’ve been doing for the last two days — rest and fluids — but now I have nasal steroids, codine cough syrup, and pseudoephedrine.

Also making some chilli. Usually I like to make chilli from scratch with dry beans that are slow cooked and do everything myself, I just got canned everything and packaged ground beef. Crock pot for four hours on high, and you have chilli.

Nothing really insightful today. Sorry.

Kind of sucks having to spend New Years under quarantine.

The Perpetually Sick Girl

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S.O. gave me his sinus crud. Woke up at 5am with a temp of 101.2.

FML.

I texted my supervisor that I was sick and felt like death.

My ears hurt and I have the dizzies.

Totally couldnt pass a field sobriety test.

So, it looks like hot tea with honey and lemon, Vit C, cold meds, Vicks, soup, my couch, a very concerned Harley Cat, and Star Trek.

Jean Luc Picard should lift my spirits, if anything.

My brain hurts.

Ugh.

And this is after being sick in October. It took two courses of antibiotics to kill it.

I should be a science experiment.

Going back to sleep now.

The Death of my Childhood

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2016 has been a shit year.

Had a lot of weird/bad things happen to me, but a lot of good things, too. Sort of.

Bad things tend to outweigh the good things, at least in my mind. But I’m a highly logical person who has to analyze everything. Combine it with anxiety. Sprinkle lightly with salt. BAM.

I remember when Robin Williams died, I thought my childhood had died. My cousin had taken her life a week prior and almost exactly the way Williams had. And Williams was a staple of my childhood. Hook, Genie, Jumanji, etc…

I’ve never had a celebrity death impact me like that.

But, dammit, 2016. Carrie Fisher. Seriously.

My childhood is dead. Just gone.

I think I said “Fuck you, 2016” like 200 times yesterday.

 

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The Fat Kid Problems

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Hokay!

Foreword about this post — I, in no way, am fat shaming or glorifying being fat. It’s a simple statement of facts and my own personal opinion. I’m not a fan of SJWing, especially for physically or mentally unhealthy things, and no matter which way you serve it, being fat is detrimental to your health. Period.

All this coming from a person who is overweight and not in the best of health.

I’ve talked about my thyroid issue before, which makes it difficult to lose weight. Combine with unhealthy foods being the cheapest and a sedentary work life. Fat.

Honestly, what bothers me most is that I don’t drink soda, I don’t own any sugar (except to make sugar scrub). I sweeten things with honey or leave it plain. I don’t put sugar in my coffee; I usually drink it with straight milk or cream. I walk roughly an hour every day depending on weather and do yoga. I eat quinoa and lean meats. I love veggies. I’m conscious about what I eat.

I don’t want to hear that I’m not trying.

I still have problems with fatigue and energy from my thyroid. I go in for labs next month to check levels and hopefully will have my levothyroxine dose upped.

And as for health problems — your bones and joints hate you. I sit 40+ hours a week with work and I have the worst sciatica. I look for reason to get up and walk — the fax machine is a great excuse. I have random aches and pains. I’ve had to go to physical therapy for my back and hips. I do feel fortunate that I don’t have diabetes. But, before I started thyroid meds, my cholesterol was abysmal.

But I digress…

I got a gift card to Kohls. And I love most of their clothes.

Until I realized, where in most places I can wear an XL, the XL’s there are smaller than normal. So, I took my happy, fat ass to the plus size section and was aghast with how hideous all their plus sized clothes were. They were all oversized, shapeless, tacky graphic tees. All the dress shirts were shapeless and unflattering.

It was just gross.

I was tempted to find their maternity section, but at that point I was just disgruntled.

I walked around Kohls for an hour trying to find something to buy with my $50 gift card and came out with two Yankee candles… after being in there for a whole HOUR.

I found lots of clothes that were my style and I would have walked out of there in a heart beat if they were my size. Some of the Lauren Conrad and Vera Wang dresses were absolutely gorgeous, especially the Disney inspired ones.

Nope.

Not one of them in my size.

I like dark blues, blacks, lace, pearls, creams, deep purples and burgundies… none of that was there in the plus sized section.

It was bad.

Maybe I can find something online…

But altogether it was a disappointing experience.

 

The Interim

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Hey! It’s Christmas Eve.

Spent the morning driving to S.O.’s — an hour and half away. I forgot how much this drive sucked.

Naps and snuggles ensued.

S.O.’s mom found out I was staying with him. She told him to use protection if we have sex.

He’s 31 and we’ve been dating for six and a half years — she should be more worried if we weren’t having sex.

Just saying…

We braved Target for some benadryl –I’m allergic to his house and wont sleep without it.

Found a sit down resturaunt that wasn’t Waffle House or Dennys and had a good meal.

Now, it’s Deadpool and last minute Christmas wrapping.

A good day.

The Grad School Drop Out

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I think I dropped out of grad school.

I mean… I took a health break for a year after I started working full time and found out my body is eating my thyroid.

And I need to go back and finish.

Badly.

I am literally a thesis defense away from my MS.

Pretty much what happened is that I put blood, sweat, tears into my thesis. I did a huge research project which involved permission from the IRB to do research on actual human people. I did a massive survey. Sleepless nights. Tears. Frustration. Hard work.

And because I live an hour and a half away from my school, having to drive back and forth for meetings was tenuous when I wasn’t full time, and now could put my head on the chopping block.

But I told my committee that I was done. And then they bitched at me for not following protocol and I’m here like… no one told me there is this red tape protocol bureaucratic bullshit.

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I just want to defend my research and get my degree.

“Well, you need to propose your research.”

I fucking did that. Okay. I did that when I sent you an email with a detailed outline of what I was doing, my methodology, blah blah woof woof. Why do I seriously need to drive an hour and a half to have this meeting, where I’m missing work and NOT getting paid, for you to listen to me drone on. Seriously… this could be done by email. Skype if you really wanna see my face.

And then my chair ripped apart my thesis to the point where I may need to rewrite. Add some good, old fashioned anxiety in there and boom!

I might be a grad school drop out.

And for all my friends who have M.S. degrees, they ain’t even using them.

Note: this diatribe was created in part due to my dad asking “Carolanne, when are you going to finish your masters?” and stumbling upon my portfolio with all my awesome grad work.

For anyone interested in long, boring essays and case briefs about various criminological topics written by yours truly, click below:

Click me to read long boring essays.

And encouragement. I really need that right now.

 

The Friday before Christmas — A Poem

T’was the Friday before Christmas

and all through the state,

state workers were working

at a slower than normal rate.

We all got paid today

and are steadily watching the clock

Time is dragging on

waiting for the time when all the doors lock.

The Governor usually gives us this day off

but this year is different.

Most workers are here

but others took their annual leave to be absent.

I stare at my computer screen

in hopes that time will go by faster

but it’s all in vain.

Surely, patience is a skill I will eventually master.

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Yes, I’m bored. Don’t judge me.

The Refreshingly Shitty Childhood

Is it sad that I find it actually slightly comforting when I meet a person whose childhood was just as shitty as mine. Like little things. One of my coworkers has similar issues with her family, and she mentioned how she will never tell her family if she has money or how much money she makes.

Holy crap.

I have to do that too.

Or when you have more convicted felons in your family than people with degrees.

Maybe it makes me feel normal, knowing there is someone out there that can actually empathize with me.

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Holidays always bring up past memories of all the shitty things my parents inflicted on me.

Rewind about 20 years — that’s when my older brother became a prominent member of the criminal justice system. In the years since, he’s been in and out of correctional institutes.

I guess that’s why I ended up with a criminology degree.

I could literally write a doctoral dissertation about my brother’s career as a criminal.

Right now, in fact, he’s in a correctional institution in rural Georgia.

I could go on about my brother, but this post is about me…

I cannot tell you how many of my parents income tax returns went to pay for my brother’s attorney fees. In fact, my parents were so consumed with my brother’s ongoing legal issues that they seemed to forget I was there….

But remember, I was the good child. I didn’t need any attention from my parents.

A few years later, my brother was 17, and a huge fucking idiot. But we’ve already established that.

He thought it would be a good idea to hook up with a 14 year old. Now, they didn’t have sex. Should have. Because if they did, it would have been statutory rape and NOT child molestation.

And because my parents were just a bunch of ignorant rednecks, my brother’s lawyer told them to plead out and BAM! Three years in prison.

During those three years, I was in high school. And my mom thought it was an awesome idea to pick up a meth habit.

Fun times.

So, I would come home everyday to broke shit, holes in the drywall, holes in the ceiling, glass, potted plants, dishes… just shit.

The first person I ever got into a fist fight with was my mom.

My parents were yelling and screaming at like 3 am. Usually when they would fight, it’s because the drugs had dried up and they didn’t have any money to get any more. So my dad would pull money from our mortgage payment or my mom’s car note to pay for meth.

Suffice it to say, her car got repo’d and the house got foreclosed on.

But yeah, they were screaming at each other and I told them to shut up. It was a school night. My mom attacked me. I punched her in the face. Then called the cops.

Then I went to college. Every time I asked for anything, whether it was grocery money or moving to/from the dorms to apartments etc… it was always like I was an inconvenience or unwanted.

After I graduated, I moved back in with my folks, got a job, and promptly moved out.

I was working for this contractor near the Athens area and got canned on my 90th day. See, they had me doing the work of three people and were still not satisfied. Also the cherry on this sucky cake is that the business was a Christian business with Christian morals and Christian values.

I lost my faith then.

So I asked my dad could I move back in. He’d had a couple of coldbeers and agreed. The next day, he told me that mom wouldn’t let me.

Cue six month homeless adventure.

Day 4 of said homeless adventure, my dad fell off a scaffold at work and fractured his pelvis in three places and shattered his wrist. A month after that, my mom went into the hospital with an infection in her guts. She was admitted for three weeks.

Karma’s something.

Yeah, those are the things I’m really bitter about when it comes to my parents.

So, when I meet a person who had an greater or equally shitty childhood, I kind of find it refreshing.

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That may make me a bad human being.

The Dreams and Subsequent Short Stories

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Last night, while cleaning up my computer in preparation for my annual reformat, I stumbled upon some old short stories I had written.

I have a hard time finding inspiration, but I do have some pretty insane dreams.

Because of my weird anxiety issues, a lot of my dreams involve running away or running late and forgetting everything.

A prominent recurring one is trying to get my makeup together to go to school and missing the bus.

I haven’t ridden on a school bus in 10 years.

The short story, though, that I stumbled upon was a weird one. I had a dream where I woke up in a strange, alien place. Like an apartment or flat, but not human. I was alone and I remember rifling through the drawers and cupboards and finding linen clothes made for people who had four arms. There was a chase and a getting caught. Blah blah woof woof.

When I reread it two years after writing it, it’s an interesting, suspenseful story. But now, even talking about it, I feel weird and embarrassed. Who writes about waking up on a world full of creatures with four arms with no memories?

It feels trite and cliche and silly.

I do have some other interesting dreams I should write about, but I don’t.

I’m cursed with hating what I write and being to embarrassed to show it to anyone to get validation.

Also, people who I show my stories or writings to say I write too technical. I’m very descriptive of things to a fault. But my dialogue is very tight and sparse. At least in this story.

I found another one, based of my own family, where the dialogue carries the story.

All and all, I just try too hard.

The Holiday Spirit

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Today we are having our bureau Christmas party with some white elephant. I made home made sugar scrub for my gift. I always find it hard to pin down a recipe with specific measurements because I always try to go for consistency and feel rather than precision. But, here’s what’s in it:

  • Cane Sugar (usually I use organic raw sugar but it was cheaper)
  • Coconut Oil (love Trader Joe’s)
  • Honey
  • Flaxseed oil (I know it’s good internally, but when I read that it helps rosacea and eczema, which I have both, I thought I’d throw some in)
  • Peppermint essential oil — added enough for scent, but not enough to make you feel mentholated.

I even put on lipstick and eyeliner for this one.

Still haven’t figured out Christmas. Besty and boyfriend invited me to see Rogue One with them on Monday.

They invited me for dinner last night and we had a lovely German dinner complete with roasted taters, kraut, sausage, and green beans.

And we watched Love Actually, which is now my favorite Christmas movie — mostly because swearing and tits. But is pretty darn cute

And all I really want for Christmas is my bills paid.

And a bottle of Macallan’s 20 year scotch.

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The Psychological Abuser

When I was in therapy, there was one topic about one person I wouldn’t even broach. And since February, that person has not been in my life. And it’s bitter sweet. Bitter in that in separating myself from this person I lost a lot of our mutual friends, but sweet in that I am away from this toxic and abusive person.

This person regularly made me regularly feel worthless, pathetic, incapable, dependent, wrong… just wrong all the time, and made me do things I would never do by way of manipulation. I once pointed out to this person that they were being psychologically abusive, and the reaction was explosive. The person did every technique of neutralization and blamed it on me. I was ungrateful, inconsiderate, obnoxious, mean, jealous, horrible.

In a way it made me stronger, but also, this person played a large part in my anxiety issues. More so because I couldn’t discuss the issues with this person with my therapist for fear or reprisal.

Sometimes I still go on my “lurker” account and check up on old mutual friends to make sure they are okay. But I have to remind myself constantly, reaching out to them is inviting this toxic person back into my realm.

And, in some respects, it did me a favor. If those “friends” didn’t have the goddamn common courtesy to pick up the phone and call to ask, “hey, what happened with you and that person?” they probably aren’t even good friends.

This person was my friend and confidante for 10 years. And in the midst of it, I never realized it. All the cliche signs were there, but only until he was out of my life, did I realize how bad it actually was.

It’s been 10 months and some change. My world has not imploded, like you said it would without you there.

And I’m going to be fine.

Better than fine.

So, friends, you may have this toxic person in your life who needs ousting. And sometimes you can’t see it because you are in the middle of the metaphorical forest, and can only see trees, do it. Your world will not end. Life keeps going on and moving on.

Convenient list (I’ve stuck and asterisk by the indicators this person demonstrated toward me):

1. They humiliate you, put you down, or make fun of you in front of other people. ***

2. They regularly demean or disregard your opinions, ideas, suggestions, or needs. ***

3. They use sarcasm or “teasing” to put you down or make you feel bad about yourself. ***

4. They accuse you of being “too sensitive” in order to deflect their abusive remarks. ***

5. They try to control you and treat you like a child.

6. They correct or chastise you for your behavior. ***

7. You feel like you need permission to make decisions or go out somewhere. ***

8. They try to control the finances and how you spend money.

9. They belittle and trivialize you, your accomplishments, or your hopes and dreams. ***

10. They try to make you feel as though they are always right, and you are wrong. ***

11. They give you disapproving or contemptuous looks or body language.

12. They regularly point out your flaws, mistakes, or shortcomings. ***

13. They accuse or blame you of things you know aren’t true. ***

14. They have an inability to laugh at themselves and can’t tolerate others laughing at them. ***

15. They are intolerant of any seeming lack of respect.

16. They make excuses for their behavior, try to blame others, and have difficulty apologizing. ***

17. The repeatedly cross your boundaries and ignore your requests. ***

18. They blame you for their problems, life difficulties, or unhappiness. ***

19. They call you names, give you unpleasant labels, or make cutting remarks under their breath.

20. They are emotionally distant or emotionally unavailable most of the time. ***

21. They resort to pouting or withdrawal to get attention or attain what they want. ***

22. They don’t show you empathy or compassion.

23. They play the victim and try to deflect blame to you rather than taking personal responsibility. ***

24. They disengage or use neglect or abandonment to punish or frighten you. ***

25. They don’t seem to notice or care about your feelings. ***

26. They view you as an extension of themselves rather than as an individual.

27. They withhold sex as a way to manipulate and control.

28. They share personal information about you with others. ***

29. They invalidate or deny their emotionally abusive behavior when confronted. ***

30. They make subtle threats or negative remarks with the intent to frighten or control you. ***

I think we can all agree 2016 sucked the big one — with this year, I don’t want that baggage. I want it gone. I don’t want to feel angry or ashamed anymore. And I vow, I will not take it into next year. I will NEVER open myself up to be used like that again.

That is my resolution — not some pedestrian thing like lose weight or drink less booze — to never be taken in by another manipulator. I will be goddamned before I let that happen again.

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The Quick of the Nail

Some days… some weeks are better than others. Then something just happens and there’s this funk you just cant shake.

My friend had a miscarriage last night.

And it set off all these thoughts.

When will I have my own family? Will I be happy? Will I still be expecting something more? Someone more? Somewhere else?

Can I even have children with my body eating my thyroid — chances are slim. With thyroid disease it’s hard to get pregnant or maintain a pregnancy. But is that my worth? My child bearing abilities? And would I even want to inflict this genetic calamity onto another person?

What is the point of it all?

When I have nights/days/months like this, I chew my nails down with worry. Down to where they bleed and hurt.

No rhyme or reason. I just do.

I just remembered how much I hate the holidays.

I may stay merrily to myself.

And splurge on a decent bottle of scotch. For me. My Christmas present to myself.

And then by about 4 pm on Christmas, regret it all and realize that I’m not completely okay with being alone during the holidays. And by that time, it’s too late.

Is it better to have bad company than no company at all?

But then, my other friend finally had her son(she went past her due date) and for those few moments, when bleary eyed looking at my phone this morning while still in bed, maybe — just maybe — it will work out.

And probably not how I expected at all.

 

The Weekend Without Internet

I’ve never been so happy to walk into the office this morning and turn on my computer, check my work email, look at my bank statement, FB, reddit, weather… and all those other things that make the internet fun and necessary.

Like many young people who are underpaid and overworked, sometimes I encounter cash flow problems which lead to said predicament.

So, what did I do with myself?

I did necessary interneting at Panera with a cup of coffee.

And I made calls on S.O.’s phone while he was here.

But mostly, we watched movies and played Halo. We took a stroll at one of our local parks and read books at an adjacent coffee place.

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I would say it’s relaxing, but having to worry about how much money you have in the bank, and what bill is due when is kind of stressful.

However, trying to focus on work is another thing altogether. This week is going to suck. It’s going to drag on forever.

The Christmas-itis is strong.

I still haven’t figured out Christmas.

Since I’m going to see family (lord help me) for New Years, honestly, I’m content to stay home.

I might take a trip up to S.O.’s place an hour and a half away and deal with his family… which thinking about it might actually be more endurable than my own.

But, this year, I’m strangely okay with spending the holidays by myself, with my cats, and my xbox.

I DID decorate….

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Also, it’s rainy and cold. I don’t want to adult today.

Winter in Florida. Ha.

I was also planning on writing something insightful about how internet is affecting culture… blah blah woof woof…

Not happening today.

The Maddening Things– Daily Prompt 4

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Hokay!

Today, we’re going to talk about anxiety!

The first time I every realized I had an anxiety/panic issue was when I was in Walmart one night, or very early in the morning. It was about 3am… back before I had a real job and could do that.

And there was this buzzer that kept going off. It made my skin crawl and the hairs on the back of my neck prickle up.

I couldn’t describe it. I felt like my body, my person, was in clear and immediate danger.

At the time I was working at a job I despised. So my anxiety level was always around a 5 or so.

I tell my friends, if you are interested in a car, do not go online and give ANYONE your phone number. Because I worked for the company that the dealership sold your information to, and we would call you relentlessly to get you to come in the dealership.

We will harass you.

We will manipulate you.

It was exhausting.

So, I was already super tense from my job. Deep in my subconscious, I knew this was unethical. Legal yes, but it just felt wrong.

But I needed a paycheck and a roof over my head.

Every day, I was on edge and had this horrible dread. I looked for any excuse to not be there.

And one day, I had a panic attack and went to the ER.

My heart was racing. Everything was just wrong. I was shaking. Muscle twitches. Couldn’t catch my breath. Chest pains.

It was bad.

Real bad.

So, the ER physician told me to take some days and this valium.

And that’s what I did.

Because I was one of the working poor and didn’t have insurance at the time, I went through the state behavioral health clinic.

Would see a therapist once a month, talk to a doctor through a TV screen once a month.

And meds. Lots of meds.

I was put on the SSRI, Celexa, and given Visteril for break out anxiety.

The Visteril made me hallucinate.

I was in bed and the lights were off. This was before I had Vesper. I saw Harley walking in my bedroom. I called out to her as she was walking in. And then I heard her chirp by my head on my pillow.

So much nope.

Stopped that immediately.

Was put on Buspar next. It turned me into a zombie. I could stare at walls for hours at a time.

Nope. Again.

Next was Klonopin and it was wonderful.

And I did that for a while.

Then I moved to a different state and went without for a bit. And it was hard.

Lucky, I got a job with insurance. I went to my doctor, and now there is Zoloft. And I like it. She didn’t want to give me Xanax or Klonopin because she felt that it was an immediate thing and had a potential for long term abuse.

I get it.

That and therapy worked.

I learned triggers and ways to pull myself out of an anxiety loop.

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Hormones also play a large part due to my body eating my thyroid which leads to hormonal imbalances in my lady cycle. I discussed this in The Lady Problems and The Body Protest – Daily Prompt 1.

So I have a low stress job that I really love.

We help babies. What could be better than that?

The Lady Problems

Hokay! In this post I’m going to talk about lady parts and problems. If this offends you, dont read.

Two months before my first period my Nana Rosie got a hysterectomy. My mom had to explain that Nana Rosie got all her lady parts taken out. I was 11 when I got my first period and the first time I got cramps, I promptly asked my mother for a hysterectomy.

And to this day, if I didnt want to have at least one child, I would do it. And when I get done with my baby making, I plan on having my lady bits out too.

I write this, now, on the couch with my heating pad, midol, and a good cry movie on. I had to leave work early because I was in so much pain I couldnt focus. I took one of my tramadols that my doctor gave me for sciatica and it STILL hasnt taken the edge off.

I’ve been on three birth controls to mitigate cramps. My gyno’s plan was to take 9 weeks of active pills, and one off. For the first 9 weeks it worked. Had a period and spotted for 40 days after.

So much nope.

The second one…. I had two periods a month.

Hell no.

The third one wasnt free under my insurance (bummer) but was supposed to make my periods shorter and lighter . The first month I took it, I went crazy.

I had the worst mood swings and EVERY text book pregnancy symptom. I took 4 tests and I was sure I was pregnant.

And I wasn’t.

Stopped that one after a month and just have been dealing. In January, I’m going to talk to my lady doctor about an IUD.

Hope it works.

But at least I got to leave early and get Harley snuggles.