There is a reason people (I) don’t talk about certain (a lot of) things

                I don’t know if I could say things are great, right now, but they’re not terrible. Out of all of the major factors in my life, here’s how things on are on a scale:

                1) Job – 5/100 happiness. I don’t know if it’s the line of work, the level of stress, or just that very standard I-hate-this-and-want-to-quit feeling I get at the beginning of every job. The only thing that keeps me wanting to stay on track with this place is the idea that I should at least get six months of experience before trying for a different job. I hate my fucking commute. Which yes, of course, I was well aware of how far I would be driving when I took this job living where I do. I’m still allowed to hate it. Besides, you don’t understand what stretches of highway I have to use, and how people drive on them, and why, and where they are, so *tongue raspberry noise.* I actually hate everything about the job so far beyond the fact that I can wear jeans and hoodie to work and have pink hair. Which is nice. And there is free coffee, which is a first from an employer. And, for their specific industry, they’re actually very chill on the we-demand-all-of-your-time situation. But. Is that enough? I will surely discuss this with my therapist on Saturday, which BECAUSE OF WORK, is now the only day I can have therapy. And then we can’t do couple’s therapy every week then, because insurance won’t cover two therapy session in one day. For some reason? Which is actually from my husband’s insurance not the crap just-in-case HMO I have through the job that I currently, for the record, fucking hate. Sure, they all said everyone goes through this and then one day it just clicks…yeah we’ll see. I’m like just how MUCH and OFTEN should a job make me cry? Truly, are there numbers and quotas? And it’s not like I’m emotionally weak…I mean…really…but I do like…cry easily, under stress, particularly if I’m being criticized, ESPECIALLY if I feel like I’m being unfairly singled out or yelled at for something that isn’t my fault, which hasn’t happened at all at work but is a definite thing of mine, but I digress, of course.

                2) Marriage relationship – 80/100. This is actually a lot better than it was, IDK why exactly, but perhaps it’s all the therapy. We both go one our own, him every week me every other week (by choice, every week stressed me out), and then we go once together usually every week but because of aforementioned BULLSHIT, that’ll probably go to every other, to fall on the Saturday I don’t have an appointment. Yeah. So. Perhaps it all of that, because truly, it’s nice being like “Oh, I’m SO mentioning this in therapy, but I suppose not until then.” And, now that I’m gone all the time and relatively absorbed in my job-related stress, I’m not going to go out of my way to be a bitch. Plus he does seem to be trying, and he is working himself, and did work throughout my long bout of unemployment. And yeah he has started doing more around the house because so obviously being gone for 11 hours every day, when you factor in trying to sleep, yeah, I don’t have much free time.

                3) Family – 90/100. Yeah, I mean, I GET how it sounds, but now that my dad finally died, or Willis, or W, as we called him all those years, things are so much better. I mean, I went SIX YEARS without seeing my mom or brother once, because I could simply no longer tolerate his behavior, and if they so chose to continue to do so, I guess I couldn’t see them either because that’s the way we left things. Now that my brother is getting farther and further (ha!) removed from our dad’s horrible, toxic presence, he’s different. It’ll be interesting to see what years of removal does. I know they both resent me for “abandoning them” but like…I’m the younger sibling, I’m the daughter, I was raised to THINK those things meant something to those people, but really it didn’t and I was always treated oddly like an adult in many aspects. But that was all a long time ago now. And since certain 8-31-20 deaths, things are much better with my mom and brother. Who are who I think of as my family, since they’re the people I’m most closely related to, and I grew up with them. I know there’s my husband, but that’s different isn’t it? And another topic entirely.

                4) Other family. There just isn’t a number. I hate talking about this. Because what’s the point? What’s the point of any of it? This has been four years of emotional torture and no-birth-control period hell, and for what? I’ve been struggling for a  year with my husband to get things squared away on his end to make sure we’re clear for the next step of trying, which is something much less intensive, cost wise, than in vitro, but in vitro is like, the end of that line of trying options. I can’t imagine having $20,000 to spend on the HOPE of having a child. Or on anything. I make that in like 2/3 of a year. Anyway. I have NO ONE I can talk to about this. My friend Shannon offered, of course, because she’s sweet like that, and she has been here, but she dealt with it in her late 20s, not her early 30s, and she has THREE kids now, so it’s like…I feel annoyed by someone who’s had a success rate after trying, and had multiple children by the time she was my current age. When my mom was my age she had a 2-year-old and a 5-year-old. All of my friends who want kids have kids. Some of them had them so easily, some accidentally, some more than one accidentally. I literally no longer know anyone who wants to have kids who doesn’t. I’m that age. I get I have a very tiny amount of friends. And, I truly can’t explain to you how much it means to me that my best friend is one of those people who simply does not want children. I don’t ever recall a time when she said she did, and I’ve known her a very long time at this point. More than half our lives, actually.  So, idk, that’s always made me feel better about not having kids, being like well, she doesn’t either. I guess it’s because I think so highly of her? It just works out, at this point, whatever is happening there.

                5) Overall physique/body image: 90/100. So like usual. I mean I could *always* be in better shape, but I DON’T HAVE THE TIME. If that theme hasn’t driven home yet. But, I also don’t have time, while working, to eat more than some very small/minimal snack food like chocolate Belvita or those really chemically snack crackers with cheese (the white cheddar cheese on cheese ones, thank you). I punch out for a lunch, but you pretty much have to work through it. At least I do. It kind of makes sense why my brain feels so fucked by the end of the day. The idea that I need to eat for fuel is obnoxious. I do keep hydrated, so there’s that. But still.

                I guess I’ll always have odd body image issues that somehow don’t translate to my self esteem because even *I* can pick up on the notion of how others perceive me. But, idk, if you’re told by your father more than once during your adolescence that you needed to watch your diet because you were growing unattractively overweight, things happen. But, at the same time. When you truly hate someone, their words don’t have entirely the impact they desire. And where my dad is concerned, I can’t recall a time from childhood when I wasn’t afraid of him. And then, when you’re like me, and the fear gets older, it just turns into anger and hatred. But, still, you’re just a kid, aren’t you? Counting yourself lucky and luckier as the years go by and you’re the one, out of the three of you, who gets to stay under the radar most. Partially because you’re well behaved, partially because you’re the younger girl (much more useless and unworthy of his precious time and effort that could have been spent getting fucked up and watching TV then overeating then sleeping and REPEAT until you’re dead at 67. Because that’s what happened. He weighed 375 pounds at his death. I can only picture what it was actually like seeing him in the state he was in was like off of what my mom and brother have told me. Again, I know they resent me for just having missed that, but they’re also both really happy that we’re like a normal family again. We’re not getting together for Thanksgiving, which is best because of Covid and all, but the real thing preventing my mom is the fact that she works tomorrow. So do I. I probably could have gotten it off if I’d asked, but I didn’t want to waste a vacation day. My mom is bitter about having to work it because she’s been off the last several (she works the mail room, not much happens that Friday, mail-wise. ANYWAY.
                So in his ignoble death, he managed to leave one more rivet in the gulf that’ll always exist between my mother and brother and myself. Which is fine. There’s a price to pay for bailing, after all. Because we’ve been pretty trained to think you have to pull a string-quartet-on-the-Titanic out of honor or else, particularly where families, and mothers, are concerned. Especially as a daughter. Or so my experience has been. I’ve read about the Mother Wound, believe me. Speaking of parent wounds, what killed him? Officially, DKA, where someone’s blood more or less becomes acidic. Maybe because he stopped eating and kept drinking and taking pills. The night before, he started vomiting, and my mom agreed to go purchase him Pepto Bismol, and then he was like oh grab my pills while you’re there, and she did. And that pretty much did it. He didn’t even finish his last half gallon of very very cheap vodka called Crown Russo. I forget the pill combo but it was two different ones. When I think about everything my mother has told me about him for the last year in particular, it really is for the best, for everyone, that he’s gone. His suffering must have been immense. In a general human sense, I can see how very sad that is. Addiction is horrible. I am beyond certain that his substance abuse issues stemmed from a very abusive, lonely childhood with parents much older than him who very much didn’t want a third, late-in-life child, and didn’t seem to know all that much about raising children (see also, his horrible bitch sisters, one of whom is definitely dead, happened in 2006, the other maybe idk). I can’t really accept that giant mess as a reason for him to treat all of us, ESPECIALLY MY MOTHER, the way he did. You don’t just get to torture your family for life because you never have and never will deal with your UNBELIEVEABLY IMMENSE problems. So, I can see it from both sides, really, and that’s all I ever want to say about any of it. Everyone is doing better now, especially/even him.

                Well, I finally lapsed into talking about the stuff I don’t want to. It’s almost a relief to have work to distract me from our infertility and the fact that my dad died this really awful death and I hadn’t spoken to him in 6 years, and just about two months before he died (last one happened on the 4th of July) while he was super wasted he called my husband and I repeatedly. Leaving normal-sounding voicemails asking us to call him back, as if nothing was wrong or ever had been and I must have been throwing some 6-year tantrum. I blocked the number and kept the blocked voicemails in case they needed to be used as evidence in the court case my mom was going to have vis a vis her divorce. That had been filed for, she had a judge and everything. But then he died. That’s how bad he’d gotten. He’d driven my sainted mother away. It was totaling the car twice, via drunk driving, twice in a two-week span, that finally did it for good. But then he died, and everything got better. I have a few good memories, and I’ll try to remember those too, but, like I said.

                6) Book writing life. Wow, kudos to anyone who read this far because you are a real champ. But this is an 80/100. I have a set date of 11/1/21 for a first edit of book 2’s manuscript with my editor. My husband still hasn’t read book 1. Or anyone close to me (EXCEPT both in-laws, one of my husband’s sisters, and my best friend, let that be clear). I write only on the weekend mornings, but that was exactly how it was with the other book until I got way intensive with it right when I was about to send manuscript one to the editor. It felt like a huge final paper but something I actually really enjoyed and cared about. Ha. Want to know something truly strange? Seemingly unprompted, this morning, during that sleep between when my husband leaves for work (super early, still dark out) and I wake up naturally, about three hours later, when dreams are quite vivid and interesting, I dreamt about Ryan. It seemed odd. Beyond him sometimes popping up in my Instagram’s people you may know, I don’t think about him too much. You don’t forget that kind of interaction, but also…you also bailed rather than explain why so much/all of his behavior was super toxic and stemming from deep deep substance abuse issues. But I guess I shouldn’t say more because I’m really not trying to bash anyone, and like I put up with SO much, for pretty much no reason? I still can’t quite recall the actual appeal beyond the total and complete distraction from my other life. It felt pretty fun to have two lives, I’ll say that. Some things were the same in both, but I felt like a super fake persona of a person in one of them. So, needless to say, it wasn’t so hard to figure out which one to toss, right? Toss is a mean word, but I did fucking disappear. IN a big way. Ghosted him and my parents in a super short span of time, like less than a year. Yeah. We were both so fucked up you can’t really say either was taking advantage of the other. Anyway. It just felt odd, it’s almost like spending time with someone again when you dream about them that much at once. But some things have to stay the way they are, this isn’t me making plans, just, where else will I ever think to talk about that? I’m not one for thinking dreams mean much. They’re a byproduct of your brain’s sorting system. Any prophecy or foretelling is PROBABLY your defense mechanisms and memories stitching together a concept your conscious mind isn’t capable of grasping quite yet. But what do I know.

                I hate this holiday, more than the rest. It’s about sports and overeating gross food and FUCKING GENOCIDE. But I’m using the day off to write and make an elaborate dinner. Before a day of crying at work. Oh god do I hate it there right now. But to hear my husband tell it, I was this same way at my last job. So, maybe it’ll just take some getting used to. Because it’d be nice to have a job that makes enough money to pay down all my crazy debt. Because, the more I get into it, the more I know it’ll be a really long time before I traditionally buy a house. It’s a huge milestone for most people, and a huge lifegoal, and that’s cool, but it’s also not all it’s cracked up to be, either. And it’s not the WISE investment it seems like. Because, when you sell a house, don’t you usually just buy another one? It just seems like a scam. Maybe people with kids feel differently. How would I know.

                Anyone, anyway, have a great day. May you cry less than me. It’s so goddamn unfair crying ages me. It makes under my eyes puffier than normal, and stretches out the skin and leaves FINE FUCKING LINES each and every time. And I cannot explain to you how much I cry right now. And PLEASE fucking spare me, I know for certain I am not pregnant. My god do questions about any of that make me angry, because, I mean, to be put it simply, I don’t want to fucking talk about. It’s unbearably frustrating on multiple levels. It makes me sad, it’s something I can’t do later on in my life, like many other things I want. Anyway. Happy murder and disgusting food and boring stupid sport day. I’m just bitter. Hopefully now you can see why, in part.

~Cassie

Ok it’s really not that complicated

I miss the days I used to spew my every thought and emotion in 2000 word blogs. Sort of. It was different, I should say. And I’m an oddly impulsive creature of habit. Cynical optimism, angry and hopeful, all of that.

The feeling that I need to share is so fleeting, so rare compared to many others, that I felt compelled to capture it just this once, the eve of beginning a new career at a new company, after six months of mildly pandemic related unemployment. It’s been nice sleeping in every single day, but I’m bored and lonely. I have pretty middle schooler-esque hopes about making friends at my new job. But it could happen! I guess.

Like clockwork my creativity is coming back to me whilst I’m entering a new busier phase of life, like it always did those million years I was in college. So I was prepared. And I made time to write a novel before, no reason I can’t do it again.

So to the end of an era. At the beginning of 2020 I had 5 cats and 2 parents. Now I have 3 cats and 1 parent, and I moved, and I quit the job I’d had for 5 years. I both like and loathe change. It’s odd, I’m odd, everything and anything worth anything is self contradictory if you think about it.

Cheers to new beginnings and old habits.

~Cassie