Happy 2017

~ Shadows dancing in that timeless rhythm we all know.

Shadows drowning in eternal damnation; the lover’s sin.

Over and over, then over again.

Throwing caution to the wind.

Trying not to lose ourselves in the end.~



 

A little late, I know. With taking care of the twins, school, work, doctors, and just life in general, it’s hard to find the time to update, but… such is this crazy, beautiful life I live. Anyhow, hope the holidays went amazingly for y’all. Best of wishes for the New Year!!

Lots of exciting changes and announcements on the horizon! Stay tuned!!   🙂

xoMESSIE.

 

 

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C’est La Vie.

So, I’m supposed to find out in oh about 12 hours or so whether I’m dying or not. Just kidding…well about the dying part. Truth is, I have no clue what the doctor is going to say tomorrow. All I know is that she got the blood work results and notes from my recent 2 visits to the ER — non-headache related — last week and the nurse that called me was really cryptic-like on the phone. She wanted to know “how much the doctor in the ER had told me” and that it was “imperative” that I make an appointment to come in ASAP, but refused to tell me anything over the phone. Yeahhhhh.


So, of course, I’m here thinking I’m gonna die or something because-genius that I am–I made the dumb decision to pull up the numbers from my bloodwork — isn’t it amazing that everything is online now and patient-accessible?? — and hit up Google and WebMD. Not the smartest move, I’ll admit. So here I am thinking that I’ve got some deadly infection or disease or god-forbid kind of blood cancer and well–it’s stupid because it’s all probably nothing. Probably. Hopefully. I mean, aside from these stupid headaches and those 2 off days last week and just that over-all feeling of being run-down–which is most likely just me running myself ragged with work and whatnot and barely sleeping–I feel fine. Not perfect, but relatively fine.


So, I’m going to cross my fingers and hope for the best, because I’ve had just about enough of doctors and the inside of ER’s and hospitals–not to mention surgeries and treatments and meds–these past 15 months to literally last me a lifetime. And if by some chance it is bad news, well then, I guess I’ll just have to suck it up and deal. If I’ve learned anything the past couple of years, it’s that life happens and it’s unpredictable as hell. You can try to slow it down, try to control how everything turns out…but you just can’t. Most of the time you’re just a rider on the damn roller-coaster…and you got to go with it, and hang on it. Or let go, close your eyes, and hope like hell you don’t fly off and end up a pancake in the grass below–that the inspector didn’t miss that loose screw or belt on his recent check, that way you don’t go out in a blaze of gore (not glory) like those people in “Final Destination” did–yuck.. Horrible, horrifying analogies, I know. But I’m reaaaalllly tired, so you’ll have to give me a break on my writing and this short, short post. I can barely keep my eyes open.


So anywho, fingers are crossed, pillows are fluffed…it’s lights out for this girl. ‘Til next time (and hopefully with a good update).

xoMESSIE

 

The Lovers Noose … a poem

The Lovers’ Noose… a poem

You took my hand, promised to never ever let it go.

Saying “Baby, let’s just take this nice and slow.”

Then you fastened the rope, hung the noose;

held me close.

With a twist and a tug; tied a knot—then you pulled.

Yeah, you pulled so tight ‘til I gave in.

‘Til I was yours.

Heart, body, and soul.

A clever rouse, I should have known.

I was right there. We were so close.

So close.

Now we’re enemies and adversaries; each other’s greatest foe.

Oh, how did I not see it, how could I not know?

The sweet kisses and pretty words,

Reeling me in just to cast me right back.

Over and over again.

Then out of nowhere, not a word, you just turned.

And never returned.

You dug the hurt even deeper, made it worse.

You preyed on all my deepest fears.

I swear I must have cried an ocean’s worth of tears.

For you.

And I still remember those moonlit nights.

I replay the images over in my mind.

Not often, but sometimes.

Tangled together, your body and mine.

Feelings and emotions, felt but never spoken.

Alone in the dark, with no one to witness or see.

No one to hear or ask me why.

So…as I break the silence, close my eyes and cry.

I travel back in time.

I know the fury will come soon enough.

It always does.

Do you remember the broken glass?

The accusations you threw that I threw right back?

I remember all the lies,

The ones I couldn’t forget if I tried.

(And I really did try).

How you claimed your innocence in the public eye.

How you played that victim card of yours to the nines.

When you said the blame was all mine.

But you know, that’s just fine.

It’s your conscience on the line, not mine.

Not this time. 

How it ever came to this, how it ever went that far, I’ll never know.

We said no strings, no hearts.

No falling in love.

But then we fell.

We fell so hard.

And it was good, ‘til it all just felt wrong.

So wrong.

‘Til all that mattered; who I’d be and who I was, was gone.

‘Til there was nothing about you left for me to love.

Finding comfort in the fact that it was over with and done.

That the storm and the worst had passed.

Little girls out there listen close. 

You should know.

Even hurt like that…it doesn’t last.

‘Cause someday.

When you’re ready, when the time is right.

You’ll forgive, you’ll forget.

You’ll learn to trust again.

To live in the now, not then.

You’ll find someone new to love.

And you’ll box up the past.

Push it to some dark, deep place in the back of your mind.

To be forgotten for the rest of time.

Have no doubt, you’ll find your way.

You’ll find your purpose, your place.

Where you stand in the middle of it all.

I promise you will figure it all out, somebody, somehow.

You WILL find yourself.

Your heart will heal, your soul will mend,

The world will right itself again.

And as daunting as it will seem

(and it will for quite some time)

Just know.

You’ll get through the hell.

You’ll move on.

It may feel like you can’t, that you won’t.

Just breathe, just believe.

Just hold on, just be strong.

Be patient.

It just takes time.

It may not seem so right now. 

But… trust me.

You’ll survive.

-JLR-

9/12/2016

When It’s Good, It’s Good…

Love. We all need it to survive. Or do we?


Is it weird that I don’t have a single memory from when I was little of playing Princesses. Not one. And most little girls do. I know, I have nieces. And they just love dressing up and playing make-believe and pretending they’re the pretty princess waiting for her Prince Charming to come riding in and whisk her off to that land of happily-ever-after that the fairy-tales all promise. My oldest niece, when she was like 3-years-old—or thereabouts—she had this little princess getup/dress/costume–whatever you want to call it—and she just had to wear it EVERY day. I swear she wore that thing for months. She took naps in it, would wear it over her normal clothes whenever she’d leave the house, and on the nights that she didn’t fall asleep in it, my mother and grams would sneak into her room and take it—then wash it and put it back in its place before morning came. She loved that dress and her little high heels that she’d prance around in. And she loved telling stories about her life as a princess and how, when she was bigger, she was going to find and marry Prince Charming and they would have the happiest life together. “Forever and ever,” she would say.


I never did that, at least not that I can recall. The same with Barbies. I do recall always playing “house” though, mostly with my cousin Katie. I remember that we used to argue over who’s turn it was to play the Mommy and the names of our “babies” aka dolls. For some reason we both had this crazy obsession with wanting to name our dolls Melanie–though I have absolutely no idea why. But that’s beside the point. I guess the point I want to make, for the purpose of this post anyhow, is that there was never a Prince Charming, or Ken doll in any of those “house” scenarios. Baby Melanie was enough. It’s a strange thing to reflect upon, to know that even then, I had the right idea—that happiness and capability didn’t have to be defined by the presence of the opposite gender. What do you know, even five-year-old me was too smart for her own good. Lucky for me, that hasn’t changed much. 🙂


I’ve always had this fear in the back of my mind, for as long as I can remember, that I’d somehow fuck up any kids that I might have. It’s no one’s fault really. It’s not like I had a horrible childhood or that my own mother was that awful. She just had different priorities, you know? She wasn’t mean or abusive and she always made sure we had what we needed. She loved/loves us…in her own kind of way. She just never really wanted to have kids…she didn’t have that overwhelming maternal instinct that some women do—like my grams who lives and breathes for raising children. And that’s nothing against her or anything, it’s just how she is. She’s always been pretty upfront about that. Do I hate her for putting whatever relationship and guy she was with at the time before us—my siblings and I? Not really. I think I realized fairly early on that she was flawed…and being aware of that at such a young age…it just was what it was, I guess you could say. I didn’t yearn for her love and attention. My grams poured that out in buckets when and if I needed either of those things. It wasn’t until I was in my teens when I started to really feel the effects of her behavior and increasing absences…and even then, it was more frustration than resentment. My brother, when he gets angry, he’ll throw the past in her face and give a whole litany of reasons for how she was/is a horrible excuse for a mother. But that’s the irony of all ironies, considering he’s got three kids himself and he’s not going to be winning any parent-of-the-year awards either any time soon. Personally, I prefer not to bother much with the past. The way I see it is that it happened, it’s over and if there are moments that she wasn’t around for and subsequently missed—well those are mistakes and choices and regrets—should she have any—for her to live with, and not me. That’s not to say that I haven’t been frustrated with her at times, particularly when that behavior began to impact my oldest niece. It was one thing with my siblings and I growing up–we had my grams to fill that void—but it’s different for my niece. My mother and grams both have custody of my niece, but my grams has my two younger nieces to care of and they—especially my niece Emma with her epilepsy and string of other medical and developmental issues—take up a lot of her attention. And my grams, who will be 76 next month, isn’t as active or patient or youthful as she was when we were growing up. That being the case, my mother has doted on my oldest niece since she came to live with us when she was just a month old. It was all about my niece for a long time and then my mother started, well…being my mother again. She’d stay overnight with her boyfriend, spend her weekends at his place. Little by little, my niece had to share that #1 spot with that guy…and he wasn’t a fan of kids being underfoot so more often than not, she’d get pushed aside and left behind, so to speak, by my mother. I never did stand for that, and I’ve been pretty vocal about it over the years—not that it’s made much of a difference. My mother is who she is. To think she’s going to change—whether it’s for us or my niece or anyone else–is just naïve. I’m not saying it’s right, but it is what it is.


To say that my mother’s behavior hasn’t influenced me in any way…that’d be a lie. It has. Of course it has. Even though I’ve never hated or deeply resented her for it, it’s not a behavior or manner that I ever wanted to replicate. In fact, I’ve sworn it my whole life that I wouldn’t be like her…that I wouldn’t be one of those women that needs to have a man in her life to be complete or that would prioritize a man over the ones that really matter and that should come first. I’ve promised myself that so many times that I’ve lost count.


I guess that’s where love comes into play. It mingled with that nagging fear I have to not be her and made everything so wonky. Love itself, it’s a pretty fucking scary thing (excuse my language). It’s heaven and hell…literally. It’s good when it’s good, but when it’s bad…watch the fuck out. Love takes no prisoners. The paths from love to heartbreak are so numerous, but each is littered with corpses. Corpses of those who either fell too hard or didn’t fall hard enough. Corpses of those who got too close and got burned and decided the pain wasn’t worth a replay; of those who traded their souls and self-worth for a chance to just experience the feeling, even just for a little while. I learned that first-hand. And the thought of doing that again…it scares the hell out of me. I was in love once—at least I think it was love—and I’ve got scars to prove it. I crashed and burned. The pain and the heartbreak—it was unimaginable. To be that vulnerable and to literally put your absolute faith in someone—to give a person the power to destroy you in one fell swoop should they decide to, to put your heart in their hands…it’s a rush, the greatest high—or the worst, depending on how you look at it. And sometimes it works out and it’s great…and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s like throwing a dice. You close your eyes and you hope and pray that it lands in a way that’s favorable to you. That’s big. That’s overwhelming.


Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever feel that high again—if it’s a rush and a taste that I’ll spend the rest of my life chasing. It’s not that I don’t want that happily-ever-after or fairytale ending. I do want it…if it’s out there. I don’t want to these fears of mine to define me, but in many ways, they already have. I’ve met some pretty great guys in the years since that one all-consuming heartbreak. Amazing, sweet, funny, and damn-near perfect guys. Through no fault of their own, I’ve bolted the moment things started to get anywhere close to being serious. I have one of those great guys in my life right now—for a while now actually. And it’s great. He’s great. The distance isn’t so great—what with my being up here in NY and all. I’m not sure if it’s “serious” …but he’s been more than obvious and even quite vocal about his desire for it to be so. I usually brush it aside or change the subject when it starts to lean a little too far in that “serious” direction. I like him a lot and I know the feeling is mutual. In fact, it didn’t take only a few months in when he said those three words. You know the ones. I, however, have yet to reply in kind. He’s, believe it or not, been really great about it. He hasn’t pressured me into saying it back. I think he can sense that I need more time. Which I do. I mean, the next time I say those words, I want to really mean them. I don’t want to say them just because he has and does. The last time I did it all wrong. I fell so hard, so fast and I let it consume me to the point where I no longer recognized myself or the person I had become. I don’t want to make the same mistakes again. I can’t go through that again. So when I say those words, I have to be ready. Ready to say them back, ready to take that step and make a serious commitment. I don’t mean marriage or anything—I’m not sure if I even want to get married ever—but something serious and real…and heartbreak-proof, if possible. I want to avoid the hurt, as much of it as I can. So I’m being careful…cautious. I’m taking it slow. And he’s actually okay with that, for now at least. Where the future lies for us is anyone’s guess. Maybe it’ll work, maybe it won’t. I’ve tried to picture it, a future with him in it, and it’s not terrible. That’s a sign, right? Progress. That means something. At least, I like to think that it does. We’ll see.


I don’t know what’s going to happen with him, with us…with me. But if I’ve learned nothing in the past 7 years, it’s that I’ll be okay. I’ve had a lot of time for reflection over the years, to figure out who I am and the person that I want to be. 7 years ago, I didn’t know any better. I was young and naïve and I put so much stock in an ideal kind of love that truly was the thing of fairytales. I put all my faith and heart in the hands of a man who was completely undeserving. I gave him all the power and he lorded it over me the entire time we were together—though I didn’t realize that until it was too late. He used my feelings to manipulate and get what he wanted from me, until he had no use for them anymore. It took me a long time to see that relationship for what it was: a teaching moment. I learned a lot from it. I learned to look deeper and not take everything at face value. I learned that monsters come in human form, of all shapes and sizes—even one with twinkling green eyes, smooth lines, whose kiss was like sin in pill-form that could melt you from the inside out. I learned to stand on my own two feet and how to be strong. I learned to expect the worst, so as not to be disappointed too much when people—ultimately—fail or let me down. I learned to be okay and to wipe my own tears. But most important, I learned that I don’t need a man to be happy or successful. Or whole. That having someone is all well and good, but not absolutely necessary. I learned that to really love someone else, I had to first love myself. It’s comforting to know that I’m still capable of loving someone else, if and when I choose it. I learned that love isn’t a given thing, it’s a privilege. You have to be worthy of it, deserving, and all-in for it to have the greatest chance of working out.


Love, it’s a beautiful drug. We don’t need it. We can survive without it. But if we do it right and we’re lucky, we don’t have to.

xoMESSIE

 

When You’ve Had All You Can Take

I want to cry. Just when I thought I was finally getting somewhere with these doctors—nope, right back to where I started. “I’m sorry, but there’s really not much else we can do.” I got that today from my new neurologist, the guy I was just starting to like, just starting to trust that maybe—maybe he might have a clue as to what the hell was going on—and that maybe, he might be able to figure out something we could do to figure out these headaches. I’m not looking for a miracle here. I never was. I know miracles aren’t handed out every day. And with my record, it’d be a long shot. So, no I’m not asking for a cure. I’m simply asking for something to stop every day headaches, or at the very least, something to dull the really bad ones—the ones that get so out of control that they’ll literally last 2-3 days and make me, I’m not mincing words here, want to die. Like literally…make me want to die. No one understands how exhausting this is. I’m literally so tired of these headaches, both figuratively and physically. Day in and day out, not being able to do what I want to do—not being able to have a life. I had a life, before this accident. A pretty good one. Things were finally going good. I was in the city I wanted to be in. I was doing what I wanted to do. And then some random asshole decided to stop dead-cold in the middle of the fucking Interstate, for no apparent fucking reason and cause an accident. And because of that, my whole life stopped. One person’s jerk-off decision, and my life was turned upside down and inside out. And it’s not fair. It’s so fucking unfair that I just want to scream at the top of my lungs until I’m blue or hoarse or something—but I can’t even do that. Why? Because I have one of those lovely fucking headaches right now and crying and screaming—hell any noise or movement or anything really—just makes it worse. So I can’t do anything. I’m stuck. The world and life is moving around and on without me and I’m stuck here. In this bubble of pain. And I hate it. I hate it so damn much.


As you can probably surmise, my visit with the neurologist didn’t go well. I’d assumed we were going to talk about switching meds and trying yet another one in his supposedly long list of miracle headache meds that he’d spoken of in our last appointment, namely for the fact that I’ve spent the past seven weeks (on this last drug) dealing with every-day headaches, constantly nauseous, and feeling light-headed. 2 weeks ago, in the midst of yet another lovely headache, it got so bad that I passed out on the bathroom floor. Fun? Not so much. Anyhow, so I came prepared with everything he’d asked for. Including the list of all the meds I’d tried since the accident, including all the ones they tried in Nashville, like he’d asked me to put together. But when he found out about the last med not helping and took a look at the med list of all the ones they’ve tried me on, he basically threw in the towel and said that he was out of options, since I’ve tried all the meds they usually prescribe without any relief. He said it was at the point where he would typically recommend a long-term narcotic regimen for pain control. Of course, I nixed that one right away. And that’s where I really wanted to scream because it’s like they don’t even listen to you or look at your chart when they recommend things. Because if they did, he’d have seen that I’ve already tried that route. In fact, that was the first thing they tried for the headaches down in Nashville. First with the hydrocodone. Then with the Percocet. Both made the headaches worse. And according to every doctor that I spoke to, that made sense, considering they were supposedly “concussion headaches” and its common knowledge that concussion headaches don’t respond to narcotics. So yeah, been there, done that. Not a chance in hell am I looking to make these damn things worse. No thank you. And besides, who the hell wants to be on narcotics long-term? I mean, to hell with your liver function…there’s enough things to be addicted to in this world…like hell do I want it to be oxy. So I’m sure I’m probably one of the few people that’s ever refused an endless supply of narcotics, but oh well. I’m not going there. There’s no point. I’m not going to make myself sicker.


Another thing that struck me during our visit was that he came out and said that he didn’t specialize in post-traumatic headaches, so he really didn’t know what advice or treatment to advise me on. I mean that right there…you’d think as a doctor…as a neurologist…if you don’t specialize in the headaches that I’m having, then here’s a thought—how about you refer me to someone that does? I mean, I’m no genius or anything, but wouldn’t that make a hell of a lot more sense than to put us both through wasted hours of talking about nerve blocks and Botox injections and medication for migraines—which he’s already come out and made clear that I don’t have so those types of treatment will be pretty much useless against—you know? I mean, it’s just so fucking ridiculous. I could tell that he was frustrated because I was frustrated, and a big part of me wants to just stand up and be like, are you kidding me? How dare you sit there and be frustrated when you’re the doctor? You’re the one that took an oath to heal and to help and you’re literally sitting there shrugging your shoulders and giving me non-answers that I could have looked up on my own at home with my computer and Google. And you’re frustrated? Like no, dude. You don’t get to be frustrated until you’ve gone through this for over a year now—you’ve gone to half a dozen different doctors and specialists—sat through all their tests and scans and listened to them shrug it off and say oh, give it time, they’ll go away…only to be told a 13 months after ALL of that, that no, they aren’t going away, that they’re something you’re probably going to be dealing with in some capacity for the rest of your life and that oh by the way, we have no idea how to help you manage them so you have to grin and bear the pain. So no…you don’t get to be frustrated dude. I get to be frustrated. You—you fucking do NOT. That is what I would have liked to tell him. But I didn’t. Instead I just sat there while he talked away about some half-ass acupuncture idea that, to quote him “chances are, it likely won’t work but it can’t hurt to try” and this idea of a Toradol/Benadryl/Regen cocktail that he wants me to try at home (that’s the pain cocktail they typically give you when you go into the ER) which is literally so potent that it gives you ulcers—but he wants me to try it for the really bad headaches. Which of course, makes no sense at all. I’m supposed to take the cocktail when I feel a bad headache coming on—and by bad I mean one of the ones that goes for like 2-3 days. And it has to be at the onset, because it’s useless if you do it once it’s already in full-on KILL ME NOW mode. Only thing is and that he doesn’t quite get—is how am I supposed to do that when it’s not as though I have a sixth sense and can predict the future and know that the headache is going to be one of the bad ones that lasts that long. And I can’t take it at the onset of every headache. That’d be like every day at this point. I’d had no stomach lining left by the end of a week. I have no idea what this doctor is thinking. If he’s trying to help me—I really don’t get the logic. I really, really don’t.


And right now, I’m just so tired of it. I want to say to hell with all of it. The doctors, the meds, the tests, the Hail Mary’s, the last ditch attempts—all of it. I’m just so fucking tired. If anyone else has any other ideas of what to do, I’ve love to hear them. Because right now, I’m fresh out. I have nothing.

xoMESSIE

Washed Clean.

Still got the flowers that you sent / And the note you wrote that said that we were meant / To be forever / I keep them all as evidence / In a drawer under the mirror / Filled with empty promises / I don’t know why I keep letting you lie to me / Hard as I try it seems / I can’t break away / I thought that you would be the hero / Come and save the day / But you’re a villain / Your sins unforgiven

~~

I’m going down, and you have watched me drown / In a river of tears, lost beneath the stream / Under the waves, I’ve found the strength to say / The river of tears has washed me clean / Go ‘head and wish me well / I’ll cry a wishing well / I’ll fly before I fail / I’ll set sail and drift away / So I won’t need you here / Love sinks and hope floats / In a river of tears, a river of tears

~~

I catch your scent in every wind / And I recall the love we had  I can’t pretend / That I don’t miss you every now and then / But the hurt is for the better / Moving on, it’s now or never / Lost in the tide, I can’t keep my pillows dry / Like there’s a sea in my eyes / I realize that sometimes love brings you flowers / Then it builds you coffins / And far too often / We end up falling to our demise

 ~~

Alessia Cara “River of Tears”


Oh, LOVE. It’s the damnedest thing, is it not? Why does it always have to be so hard—why does it have to be so damn complicated? So damn confusing?

I thought I knew what it meant once. I thought it was real. Now I’m not so sure. About love, about that time in my life…about any of it. Was it real? Or was I just in love with the idea of being in love? I have so many questions, but I always come up short with answers. So much time has passed that I’m starting to forget…that I’ve forgotten.


I’ve moved on. Let’s not confuse this for something that’s it’s not. That’s not what this is. This is looking back and sifting through some of the mess, with one hand letting go, and with the other trying to figure out what the future looks like from here.

Again, was it love? If you ask anyone, they’ll say it wasn’t. They’ll say he was a fraud. That I was only being used. And they could be right. It could be true. I’d like to think that it’s NOT true, but I’m not that naïve. Either way, it screwed me up. I’m screwed up now. Everything is different. Everything. I learned from it all—the whole life lessons thing and all that—but it changed me. Some for the better, some not so much.


I have trust issues. Commitment issues. Big ones. Granted, I had them to a degree before—but that mostly stemmed from inexperience and naiveté, I think. But now…now they’re worse. Much worse. It’s hard for me to let people in, to really be myself and open up and go there. With anyone really…but especially with the opposite sex. It’s not that I don’t want to or that I don’t try—there’s just this disconnect, this wall that goes up that I really have no control over. It just goes up and it’s there and I can’t do anything about it. Is it my fault? Well, partially I guess, sure. And at the same time—no. Something happened. I didn’t imagine that. I was hurt. Really hurt. I had my heart broken. I was used in some of the worst ways you can use another human being—emotionally, physically. I was tricked and misled and lied to…and we’re not talking about a couple of times here or a few days. We’re talking over the length of fifteen months. I was fooled into believing I actually meant something to another individual and against all my better judgement, I fell for that person. Hard. I fell so hard. For a lie. For a fantasy that never was and never could be. And it was all deliberate. It’d be one thing if the other person didn’t mean to, if he’d just gotten caught up in the moment and it spiraled out from there…but that’s not what happened. This person, this guy I thought I knew, this person I defended and stood up to all my friends and family for…what he did was deliberate and calculated and just plain cruel. Every phone call, every meeting, every stolen glance…it was all intentionally done. As was the betrayal and backlash when the truth came out. Every word he said, every accusation and insult, every lie he and whomever else he had do it with him spread about me—it was intentional. He wasn’t a victim. We didn’t just lock gazes in that bar or meet out of some twist of fate. It wasn’t some love story gone horribly wrong. It was a deliberate manipulation and planned attack. And I was the casualty. I was burned. Badly. And while the physical reminders of that might go away, the emotional ones are still very, very present. Even now, all these years later. Though his name is no longer a whisper on my lips, his face no longer lingers in my mind or in my dreams, and those memories—for all intents and purposes—have long been locked away and forgotten…the scars are still there.


Which is why I’m in the predicament I’m in. I’ve gotten better. Some. I’m not quite as jaded and cynical as I was. But when it comes to love, I’m still wary. I try not to be, but I can’t help it. I have this amazing guy in my life and as badly as I want to just let everything else go and just be with him…a part of me is still holding back. Waiting for the other shoe to drop. Because he can’t possibly be as amazing as he seems. It’s got to be a ruse. That’s how I feel. It’s not rational and it’s driving me insane, but I can’t help it. He’s asking me to jump. He’s willing to hold my hand. And I’m just standing there on the edge, like a complete and utter idiot, scared out of my mind. I want to. God, how I want to. But there’s so many what ifs running through my head. What if I jump and it doesn’t work out? What if I end up with another broken heart? I just got mine pieced back together…I can’t imagine going through that kind of pain again. Or worse—what if it works out? What if we take that leap and it all goes well for awhile…until it doesn’t. Because people leave. They just do. You see it all the time. Relationships, marriages—they don’t always work out. And growing up, I’ve watched too many “love stories” spark and then die out. People aren’t faithful, they cheat, they always want what’s on the other side of the grass, so to speak. It’s not pessimism…it’s being realistic. It’s a horrible way to live, always doubting everyone…doubting yourself. Even when you have all the facts, when you know that he’s not him—that he doesn’t have some girlfriend or wife and child stashed away somewhere—and you want so badly to believe again in fairy-tales and love and happily-ever-after…it’s still so hard. He’s not the villain in this, and neither are you…and still, you hesitate. Because you know what can happen when it doesn’t go the way you’d hoped. When you’ve put all your faith and trust in this one individual and in doing so, you’ve essentially given him everything he needs to break you down and tear your world apart, from the inside out, if he so chooses. It feels like a game. You don’t want it to—and you don’t want to look at it as that because you don’t want to be that girl that’s always waiting for the other shoe to drop or expecting the worst in people—but it’s out of your control. And that control—it’s all that you have. After everything that’s happened, after everything that he put you through and stole from you…it’s all that’s left. It’s everything. And you cling to it. And it’s hard to give that up. Even if you’re there, even if you’re ready to, even if you want to. It’s still hard to let go.


He understands. God help him, he’s practically a saint. After all this time and even the distance…he’s willing to wait. And I know that guys like him don’t come around that often. I know that I should jump at this opportunity and just let go, once and for all. But I’m scared. I’m so fucking terrified. Love hurts. Everyone says that it’s not supposed to—that it’s supposed to be this great feeling and that when it’s right—when it’s really right—it’s not supposed to hurt. It’s supposed to be the greatest feeling in the world. And maybe they’re right. I honestly don’t know. But I want to. I want to at least find out. I’ve already experienced the heartbreak and the devastation. I know what it’s like to have the world ripped right out from under you—to have that one person you gave so much of yourself to turn around and treat you as if you were, as if you are less than nothing. I know that feeling. I’ve been there. I lived and breathed that feeling for so long, slowly suffocating. I don’t want to live like that anymore. I want to come up for air. I want to breathe again. To feel clean again.


Am I ready? Hell if I know. I just know that I’m tired of living in fear and in the shadows of the past, second-guessing myself and everyone around me. There are still good people in the world—good guys…I have to believe that. And I have to trust myself to know the difference. I’m not that naïve 21-year-old girl who let herself be fooled by a pair of twinkling eyes and smooth lines and empty promises. I know better now. And he’s not him. If I have to keep reminding myself of that every single day, then that’s what I’ll do, but I’ve let him in this far…maybe it’s time to take down the walls…to really take that leap of faith. I’m terrified…but I think it’s time.

It’s time.

xoMESSIE

Our Skeletons.

I’m going back. To Nashville. I’m going HOME. Yes, because that IS what Nashville is to me, it’s HOME. Not here. Not anymore. A home is a place where you feel loved and protected and safe and wanted. And I don’t feel any of those things here. I should. My family is here. And therein lies the whole of the matter. There’s this saying that goes “…sometimes it’s funny that the people you’d take a bullet for, are the ones pulling the trigger.” It’s true. With my family, it is SO true. My “family”.


You know, there was a time when I would have gone to bat for any one of them, no questions asked. A time when I actually believed they were good, loving people. When I would have said that while “sure, they’re a bit dysfunctional, but what family isn’t” and defended them to others…to myself. Growing up, I didn’t really think much of the dysfunction, you know? It was just the norm. The fighting, the secrets, the cops being called on nearly every holiday or family get-together. I ignored it, hid it. On some level, I think I was probably ashamed of it. I mean, our house wasn’t the place for birthday parties where you invited your friends from school or sleepovers. There was just too much yelling and drama for that. The older I got and the more skeletons that came out of the woodwork—the more I realized just how selfish and callous and oblivious they could be. I finally started to see these people for who and what they really were. My grandmother—the woman I’d pretty much looked up to and idolized my whole life—I saw her for the controlling narcissist that she is. She’s the matriarch of the family, through and through. Right down to who holds the reins and what is and/or isn’t. She’s spent her whole life raising kids. She loves kids. It’s the ones out of pull-ups and grade school that have opinions of their own that she despises. Oh, how she loathes anyone and everyone who dares to even breathe a word in opposition to her. Heaven forbid she’s ever wrong about anything. And my mother—well, she wasn’t much of an enigma. I’d figured her out long before the training bras came off, so to speak. I guess that happens when you’re five-years-old and you wake up in the middle of the night from a bad dream and Mommy’s nowhere to be found…so you go to the window and watch her getting in the car and leave with whatever guy she happened to be seeing at the time. And while you’d like to say that it only happened once, you can’t. Because time and time again, she put you and your siblings in the 2nd priority slot and never the first. It’s hard when you’re little, you know? You’re five. You don’t understand why your Mommy would rather be with some man and not you. You don’t know why you aren’t good enough, or what you didn’t do for her to love you enough. You blame yourself. As you get older, the clouds lift and everything starts to look a hell of a lot clearer. You start to blame yourself less. You realize that it’s not—that it’s her. And part of you feels sorry for her—because she must be sick or at the very least have something wrong with her to be so cold and disinterested in her own child. But the other part of you—that’s the part that gets angry because you’re not a kid anymore. You know that the decisions she’s making are exactly those…decisions. Choices. A deliberate and conscious effort and action. That what she’s doing is wrong and unfair. You know it and you want her to know it…but you know it’s pointless because in the end, it’s not going to change who she is. That that is who she is. And all you can do is accept it and move on and hope like hell that you didn’t inherit that motherless gene from her that makes you love—for all intents and purposes—but not actually care about your child if and when you decide to become a parent yourself.


I’ve made so many excuses for them over the years and I’m done. I’m just done. I can’t do it anymore. I can’t defend them when my heart’s not in it anymore. And my heart’s not in it. It may be a horrible thing to say, but they aren’t worth it. I came so close tonight to giving in and giving up and cashing in all these chips I’ve collected over the years…because of them. And the fact that they could push me that far and that close to the edge—well, it scares the hell out of me. And I’ve come too far and worked too damn hard to get to where I am right now to throw it all away for them. They’re my family. They’re supposed to have my back. They aren’t supposed to be the ones to stab the knife in it. They’re supposed to be loyal, but they don’t have a loyal bone in their bodies. I honestly don’t think they even know the meaning of the word.


It’s a long story, but there’s been a war launched between my brother and I this week. He’s had his skank of the moment and her kid nearly moved in here. Neither my mother or grandmother want her here and he’s been told, but of course as he always does, he does as he pleases. Because they don’t have the nerve to confront her directly, I did. Well…he didn’t take too kindly to that, or my calling the bitch for what she is: a whore. And I don’t use that word lightly, but she is one. Hell, that’s pretty much his type—blonde, white trash whore. Of course, you can’t dare insult any of his skanks because then he turns the tables onto you—in this case, me. So it was back to the whole “I’m a whore, I’ve slept with half the county, traded sex for coke…blah, blah…” spiel that’s so worn I’m surprised he doesn’t have dry mouth when he says the words. He also tried to punch me in the face—would’ve if my mother hadn’t stepped in the middle—and threatened to kill me. Wait, what were the words… oh yeah… “I’ll bury you.” Yep. And yet, I get told to shut up and just ignore him. No calling the cops or going to family court and getting an order of protection against the bastard because of course, that wouldn’t look well for them. After all, they have the kids to consider. Funny. They’re so concerned about these kids when it’s convenient for them and never when they actually should be concerned. And the kids aside—what about me? Where the hell is their concern over me? Their flesh and blood. Someone they claim to love. Someone they constantly say they don’t want to go back to Nashville. Where the hell is their concern when he’s spouting his bullshit at me? Holding the worst things to ever happen to me over my head? The bastard has held that damn party 9 years ago and my secret over my head for years. But you know what? I’m done caring, of shutting up and letting things go just so he’ll keep his mouth shut about that night—things he read in my journal that he stole—the words and secrets of a scared 16-year-old who had literally just had her entire world turned inside out, who had to cover up and lie because she didn’t want them to think less of her for having made the mistake of going to a stupid party and getting raped. Even so, I’ve come to terms with what happened and the things I’ve done. I’m not a saint, nor have I ever claimed to be. I’ve made mistakes. I made one that night. I’ve made a hundred more in the time since. I won’t deny that. But I won’t stand there and shut up as he calls me a whore and accuses me of sleeping with scores of men and trading sex for drugs when I have never and would never do such a thing. I may not be lily white, but unlike the trash that he whores around with, I can sleep at night knowing my sexual exploits.


Rather than cause a scene or hell—make her leave–what really pisses me off though is that they continue to let her come over—despite both still saying that don’t want her here—ESPECIALLY after all the shit he’s done and said to me over the past few days. And the fact that his smug fucking bastard self is winning is what pisses me off the most. He gets what he wants and nothing changes. Nothing. Ever. Changes. It’s the story of my entire fucking life. And they don’t see a thing wrong with it. They don’t see how their silence is, in essence, condoning everything that he’s doing. Everything that he’s saying to me. I told them to make a choice. Either get rid of her—and stand up to him for me, for once—or I’m done. And they chose to let it be. To “keep the peace” by not making her leave—as in, not get him pissed off by kicking her out. So…they made their choice. And their beds. I’m done. I can’t do it anymore. They aren’t my family anymore. They’ve shown it time and time again that they have no regard whatsoever for how I feel. So I’m going HOME. To Nashville. To the place where I don’t feel like yelling and screaming at the injustice of the people and situation I’m surrounded by every five minutes. The place where I don’t feel like I constantly in a backslide into the past, being dragged under and drowning by memories. The place where I feel like I actually have a chance. A future. Where there are people who actually care—good friends that I might not have known for very long, but that I trust a hell of a lot more than these people I share the same blood with. Those people—they’re my family now. And maybe that’s a horrible and hurtful thing to say, but until you’ve met my family, until you’ve lived with them, been dragged down into their hell where there’s no air and you can barely breathe and you’re alive but you’re just waiting for someone to do the humane thing and let you out of your misery…don’t judge me. Don’t you dare.


As soon as I can make the arrangements, I’m gone. As badly as I want to just pack it all in, get in the car and drive and not look back right this second—hell, at this point I don’t think I care what the destination is so long as it’s a hell of a lot of miles between there and here—I can’t. I’m stuck here, thanks to these damn headaches and the doctors—half of which don’t have a clue and the other half who seem to be getting off on treating me like a guinea pig the majority of the time. Thanks to the lovely state of Tennessee and the even lovelier medical specialists it employs, whom for some godforsaken reason won’t treat a patient with out-of-state insurance, nor someone who doesn’t have full-resident status in the state—despite the treatment being for injuries sustained in an accident that occurred in that lovely state. Oh, the irony! So thus the dilemma I find myself in. I am stuck. I can’t stop treatment—I need it. And I’m hoping like hell that it works. Then there’s the legal aspect—the lawyers and this damn court case. So no, I can’t just stop. So instead, I’m spending my time trying to find a loophole—something—that could fix this little dilemma of mine somehow. Once I figure that out—figure something out—I’m out. Once and for all.


I’m going back.

I’m going HOME.

 

xoMESSIE

A Migraine By Any Other Name…

Ugh. I could just scream right now. I am so unbelievably fed up with these headaches and these doctors and all these damn appointments. I had my appointment with the new neurologist today. As you can probably already guess, it didn’t go so well. He flat-out told me that the fact that the headaches haven’t gone away by now most likely means that they aren’t going to. Isn’t that just wonderful news? Yeah, no. So apparently all these doctors, including the previous neurologist and my own primary care doctor, have been spoon-feeding me a bunch of bullshit and lies all these months–telling me they’ll eventually go away and to just give it time and that no way will they still be an issue after a year or so. And as for the meds I’ve been taking–that my PC doc and the other neurologist prescribed–according to this new neurologist they should have weaned me off them months ago for the fact that 1.) they aren’t doing anything to decrease the intensity or frequency of the headaches–they’re pretty much the same  AND 2.) the medication has some pretty serious side effects–like the damage its done to my kidneys that’s already landed me in the OR once and the cognitive effects I’ve been experiencing like the fuzziness and blackouts and all that. So yeah, they definitely screwed up somewhere. This new guy seems to think that the headaches I’m having are migraines that were caused from the trauma. Technically, they fit the description. The whole light sensitivity, noise, throwing up, dizziness—yeah, all that fun stuff. The thing is, we’ve tried half a dozen different migraine meds and there was no response with any of them. We tried those even before the last batch that I’ve been taking up until now. If they were migraines, there’d be some response–even if it’s little or minor–there’d be something…but there’s nothing. So it follows the classification–but they aren’t necessarily migraines. But he’s decided to try me on a bunch of new ones anyhow. I’ve got to get another MRI and one of the meds is a self-injection that’s supposed to be injected in the midst of a headache–I hate needles…so this is gonna suck. Down the line I think he said he might want to try those BOTOX injections and some other procedures they do for migraines, who knows. Honestly, I don’t know if that’s what they are or if he’s wrong and the other doctors are right. Or if it’s my eyes. I don’t know what the hell anything is anymore. But I’m so beyond caring at this point. I’m sick of it. It’ll be a year next month and no one has any definitive answers for me…no real solution to the problem. No one can do anything about these headaches. Looks like I’m stuck with them and the pain for the forseeable future. Lucky me.  This sucks.

xoMESSIE

11 Months and Counting.

So I had my appointment at the Concussion Center today. It went—ehh—ok, I guess. I saw the neuropsychologist again—same lady that I saw back in August. I got to give her credit, she’s not as bad as most of the shrinks I’ve talked to in the past, but at the same time, she’s still a shrink—no matter how you dress it up. And if you know me, then you know I’m not a fan of shrinks—at all. The whole, “and how does that make you feel” and “let’s get all gooey and share-y our feelings” — like that’s really going to make everything all sunshine and rainbows again—yeah, that’s not for me. Which I’m well aware is kind of ironic considering I have no problem sharing my feelings here, for the world and complete strangers to see and read—but it’s different. There’s no face-to-face interaction, or having to sit there while someone is looking at you all judge-y and literally writing down god-knows-what in their notebooks every other sentence. It’s not that I think psychology is one of those pseudo-sciences or that all psychologists/psychiatrists are bad…necessarily. I think counseling and psychotherapy can be beneficial for some people…it just depends on the person, and the person doing the counseling.


Personally, I don’t have the greatest track record when it comes to therapists/psychiatrists. It probably didn’t help that my first experience with one was involuntary. I was 13 and got into some dumb argument with my mother and brother and I did something really stupid. Long story short, the hospital wouldn’t release me unless I agreed to mandated outpatient therapy—aka I had to go to a shrink—and well, at 13, I really didn’t have much say in the matter. My mother made me go. I think I spent the first half of the first session in the car, refusing to step foot in the place—that’s how against the idea I was. Anyhow—I didn’t like the lady at all. She was a total cliché. Had the couch, had the glasses and the notebook, set the timer, did the whole “and how did that make you feel” every time I said anything…and yeah—it wasn’t a fun experience. When I refused to talk, she decided instead to ply me with candy—like I was some 5-year-old that would trade all my secrets for a handful of M&M’s (actually, I think it was Skittles, but not the point). Clearly, that tactic didn’t work for her. It was frustrating, to say the least. And what bugged the hell out of me is that she’d act like she had me all figured out—how she “understood” what I was going through with my mother and brother and why I did what I did…when she didn’t have a fucking clue. I remember in one of my last sessions with her I flat-out called her out on it. She said she understood, so I asked her if that meant that she, too must have grown up with an absentee mother who prioritized her boyfriends over her kids…or that she’d had a brother who made it his mission to make your teenage years a living hell and told you the world would be better off if you were dead every other day. Of course, she had nothing to say to that other than some psycho-gibberish, so mouthy miss that I am, I pointed out to her that having a degree in psychology DOESN’T mean you know or understand what it’s like—it just means you’ve read a few books. Needless to say, I think I only went to like one or two more sessions after that. I refused to keep going and I think my mother got tired of fighting with me every week. So Shrink #1 and I parted ways.


There were a couple more shrinks after that, a few sessions or so during the whole ED stage. Nothing really stuck, though. Again, I didn’t need someone with a degree to tell me what I basically already knew. I wasn’t in denial. I knew what my issues were. I knew my triggers. There’s nothing a shrink could have said or done that would have made much of a difference, then or even now. My 2nd lengthier experience was in college. That didn’t go too well, either. I thought it might help, talking to someone about everything—because god knows I couldn’t talk to my family about what was going on, without them trying to swoop in and fix everything. The lady was nice at first, but after like 6 or so sessions, when I felt like I was ready to ease off and try to work things out on my own—she played up the bitch shrink card, essentially telling me that I didn’t know what was right for myself and that I was making a mistake and well, there’s more, but you get the point. And maybe she was right…but she definitely could have handled it with a lot more finesse than she did. Maybe if she had, I wouldn’t have high-tailed it back and done a complete reversal like I did. I’m stubborn. It’s one of my biggest faults, I know. And I don’t like being told what to do. Or feel like I’m being back into a corner. And that’s how I felt when she all but ordered me to continue the sessions. So yeah…big bad shrink experience #2 right there.


Anywho—now that I went completely off on a tangent—back to the present and today’s appointment. Like I said, it went okay. It wasn’t so much of a gooey, share-y session as I was expecting and dreading, so that’s a big plus. We talked about the headaches and my other symptoms/things I’ve been noticing since the concussion. She thinks there might be something wrong with my eyes and that when I got the concussion I might have damaged or pulled on the nerves or muscles—something—and that might be what’s causing the headaches seeing how most of them start when I’m on the computer or reading a book or something and they always start in the same spot, right around my left eye, and spread outward. She’s setting me up with an ophthalmologist who also specializes in occupational eye therapy in case it is an issue with my eyes. It’s just a theory, she said, but hell…I’ll take it. She’s the first person in all of this to actually try to do something to diagnose and figure out something about all these headaches and why I’m still having them. Everyone else has just dismissed them by telling me they’re concussion headaches and they’ll go away on their own (they said they’d go away in a few days…then weeks…then months – ha! Next month it’ll be a year! –) or passed the buck like the one neurologist I saw who referred me to pain management for those lumbar injections. I’m hoping there’s nothing wrong with my eyes, but at the same time, if there is, at least I’ll know what I’m dealing with—and I can stop feeling like I’m going crazy.


I’ve got another appointment Thursday with a new neurologist, and hopefully he might have more answers than the other guy did and be more willing to actually do something to help, rather than pass me off to pain management again. I don’t want to deal with pain management. Their solution is drugs and I don’t want to be dependent on drugs for who the hell knows how long. And honestly, I don’t know what they’d try, considering we’ve pretty much tried everything under the sun already. Narcotics and all those fun drugs might work great for migraines—but they’re a bitch with my headaches. And it’s bad enough that the meds I’m on now—that barely dull the headaches—have already caused issues with my kidneys. I’m sick of the drugs. There’s got to be another way. Luckily, the lady today said that if I don’t think I got anywhere with the neurologist after Thursday’s appointment, to just call her and she’ll set me up with one of their physicians which are a hell of a lot more familiar with concussions and the headaches. So, we’ll see.


So yeah, that was today. It sucks that this is still happening. I mean, in so many ways that accident really did put my life on hold. I know I have to be patient and get treated and just deal with all of it, but it still sucks. This wasn’t supposed to happen. But then, such is life. Especially in my world.


‘Til next time.

xoMESSIE

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