Potentially Nonsense

No one expects the duckie inquisition.

Author: Jae (page 2 of 4)

Personality defrag

The Write 31 Days prompt for today is: The struggle is real. What’s yours?

For nearly the last two years, I’ve been doing the work of pulling myself together. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a chameleon, and I hate it. There was an art to being safe in my childhood home. It was mostly Bad to be noticed. It was Good to be helpful. It was Good to be quiet. It was Bad to let anyone outside the family know what was going on inside the family.

Awesome, right? Right. I’m not alone in this experience, but I sure felt alone at the time. I think that isolation was part of the point, looking back.

All six of my siblings and I learned to give different faces to different people. It was a survival thing.

Our senses of reality were f*cked with. I’ve continuously kept a journal since I was twelve, because I was told so many times that something happened that didn’t, or didn’t that did. My siblings and I still, still sometimes check in with each other, just like when we were kids. “Did that happen? Do you remember? Mom says it did/didn’t.”

A journal was unchangeable. Ink on paper was reliable. I still sometimes go back and check an old journal, and sometimes I remembered it right, and sometimes I didn’t.

We all learned to wear carefully crafted faces, different for each person watching us. We learned different sets of memory, different for each person we were presenting to. We fragmented for survival.

The thing is, we are our memories.

It’s like I took a dozen different jigsaw puzzles, and shook them together in a box, and nothing goes together quite right, even though some of it does. Sometimes. Kind of. The story the puzzle tells makes no sense. Memories don’t quite work together, and it takes some outside help to make sense of it all, and sort out the stories we were told to remember, and the ones that actually happened.

So I’ve been doing some head chiropracty, trying to pull everything as straight as possible. It will probably never all quite fit, but it can be better aligned. My therapist was worth twice his weight in gold, for having the patience of a god. EMDR and therapy has changed my life, y’all. It’s dangerous to go skull spelunking alone. And thank goodness for modern medicine to correct my brain chemistry so I could start therapy.

During this 31 day challenge, I had a real thunderbolt moment. I’m a whole, fully integrated person when I’m writing. All the fog clears. The puzzle pieces make sense. I can think more clearly. I can remember more clearly. I knew this, but I didn’t know it, you know? Since you’re taking part in the Write 31 Day October blogging challenge, it’s even money that you do know this. I don’t know if it’s because I originally began writing to track my own reality, or if that’s just how brains generally work.

My continuing struggle with integrating and with running a personality defrag is made easier by writing, and writing is easier when I’m less isolated. I’m grateful you’re here with me, traveling through this writing challenge like we’re all on the yellow brick road, waving to the pixels as we skip past.

Thanks for being here with me.

In case you need something to smile about, here is a Corgi in a scarf.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

Too busy making soup.

Hmm. Let’s see. Am I going to write today, considering I linked up with one October writing challenge called Write 31 Days, and another called 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writing Prompts: 2018 Edition?

Nope.1

I’m not writing today, and I’ll tell you why. I’m too busy making soup. See? Perfectly reasonable reason to not write. Tasty, tasty, warm, lovely soup.

I was going to make the Internet-Famous 44 Clove Soup, but then thought nah. I’ll stick with something I already know how to make. I’ll come for you someday, intriguing garlic soup, but today is not that day.

I make potato leek soup in a big batch in order to freeze it. If you want to eat it right off, don’t put it in the fridge.2 You’ll need to use an immersion blender or something, instead of pouring boiling hot soup into a blender. Obviously. I mean, you wouldn’t actually do that, right? Pour boiling hot soup into a blender? Please don’t do that. I like you, and don’t want you to be horrifically scarred.

Potato Leek Soup

3 T butter
4 leeks, roughly chopped (just the white and light green parts)
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic (From a jar. Because I’m fancy like that.)
2 # Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces (Peel or don’t peel. Up to you. I don’t, but I’m a casual cook.)
7 C chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 C heavy cream or half-and-half (whatever’s easy and handy)

Melt the butter in a big ole soup pot. Add leeks and garlic, and cook until they’re tender (about 10 minutes).

Add potatoes, stock, bay leaves, thyme, and bring to a gentle boil. Cover and simmer over low for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. You want them to be mashable.

Fish out the bay leaves. Allow to cool, then put it in the fridge until it’s cold.

Add the heavy cream or half-and-half. Run it through a blender in batches, or mash it up well with a potato masher. If it’s too thick, add water or stock to thin it out. Bag and freeze in the portions you’d like. After thawing, salt and pepper to taste.3

I’ll spare you a food photo. I don’t know how people on Instagram manage it. Anytime I try to take a photo of food, it looks utterly nauseating.

So here is a happy doggo, instead.

Photo by Andrea Reiman.

TLDR: No writing today. Only soup.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

Taking a moment

This week’s Five Minute Friday prompt (and Day 26 of 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes) is: MOMENT.

This has been such a long, long week. I’m not even quite sure why, except that it was a Two Migraine + Dentist Visit Week. Actually, that’s probably why, right there.

Today I’m not writing for the Write 31 Day Challenge or Five Minute Free Writes because I’m too busy taking a moment, or two moments, or many moments, to read and comment on everyone else’s lovely work. Seriously, have you read what you’ve written? I just love it. I love the community of this challenge. I hope someone picks up the mantle for next year.

So no post today. This post is a figment of my imagination. This is not the post you’re looking for. Move along.

Time to go on virtual walkabout and say hi to everyone.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

Thursday 13: Say what?

This is my second week of trying out Thursday 13. It’s kind of fun. I find myself actively watching for weird place names, now.

Top 13 fantastic place names I’ve seen this week:

1. Stardust Way
2. Vassal Ct
3. Apple Valley, CA
4. Effort, PA
5. Happiness Ln
6. Waddy, KY
7. Supply, NC
8. Bumpnose Rd
9. Bunnie Dr
10. Pond Shores Rd
11. Porch St
12. Newcomerstown, OH
13. Spotswood, NJ

These were shared via comments, last week:

* Hazardville, CT and Bumpass, VA were proposed by Ron at Scrambled, not Fried.
* Christmas, FL and Satan’s Kingdom, MA1 and Breakneck Hill Rd were shared by the amazing Jen.
* Batman Thumper Rd and Merlin’s Way were nominated by Colleen, who has the best notes.
* Country Dew slayed me with Climax, NC. I would love to send a postcard from there.

Are there any place names that have tickled your fancy? Do fancies even like being tickled? It’s probably best to ask, first.

And in case you’re having a hard day, this is a terrible photo of something that made me smile, recently.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

The banshee scream of Netflix

Oh, wow. Nope. I couldn’t possibly write a single thing, today. Nope nope nope.

I’m far too busy scaring the crap out of myself watching The Haunting of Hill House.

WHAT WAS I THINKING?

When Netflix started showing off the trailer, I thought to myself, “Haha. That looks terrible. Good thing I’m not going to watch it.”

Ha. Ha.

Then a friend posted about it on Twitter, and… I was doomed. I love scary movies, and scary books, and scary podcasts, and scary most things, but I didn’t want to get sucked into something because, you know. Writing. And also because the trailers looked goofy. Horror is either amazing, or awful.

Maybe I’ll just watch the first episode. It’s sure to be silly. Right?

Oh. Oh, no.

Readers, it’s perfect and terrifying. I love it so much. So that’s why I’m not writing, today. I’m listening to the banshee scream1 of Netflix. I couldn’t possibly write today. Nope.

ps. Have you read or watched or listened to something good, recently? I’m running short on scary podcasts. Although Limetown is meant to be releasing season two, soon. Hopefully not until after Write 31 Days is done.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

My own private Ida-nope.

Today’s post is short1. I’m going to go to bed early. I’m going to get up later than I’ve been getting up this week, because I’m writing this ahead of time. I’m scheduling it.

In the morning, I’m going to take a longer shower than necessary. I’m going to have two, two cups of coffee.2 I’ll take the dog on his constitutional, and then I’ll go to work. After work, the doggo and I are going for another walk. How decadent!

That’s what my self care looks like, today. That’s how I’m going to take care of myself. That’s how I’m going to protect my self, today. I may come back later and post pics of the walk, or I may not. It will be a surprise for both of us.

So I’m not writing a proper post today, because I’m opting in for a little nonproductive time spent taking care of myself.

Are you doing anything intentional this month to look after or protect your own wild and precious self?

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

Weekend Link Love, sans weekend, with unexpected rabbits.

But, but, it’s not the weekend! How can you have weekend link love without a weekend?? I’m so glad you asked. I plan to use a clever distra-

Is that a rabbit over there??

Oh, my bad. I think it was just some leaves. Anywho. Welcome to weekend link love #3. I’m your host, Jae. This post is also brought to you by the letter 22, and the number H.

And also these lovely folks:

* Barbie, who excels at Whispers and Wanderings.
* Jackie, whose voice is restorative.
* Angela, whose heart is indeed abundant.
* Colleen, who takes the best loose leaf notes.
* The forgetful one, whose writing is memorable.
* Janis, who is a champion five minute free writer.
* Country Dew, who knows a good place name when she sees it.
* LeVar Burton Reads, just because the man is a damn icon. AN ICON.
* Amanda Palmer, who I could not be more in love with. What an incredible woman. Even when I don’t agree with her, I get where she’s coming from.

I’d also like to thank the entire state of Idaho, but most especially the Boise greenbelt, which I miss like a coal miner misses his wife. Have I mentioned I’m homesick?

I am. A bit. Just a bit.

Maybe more than a bit. A tidge? A smattering? I can never remember. Is it a smattering of homesickness, or a tidge of homesickness? I’m delighted that a group of rabbits is called a fluffle. Maybe I’m a fluffle of homesick. Let’s go with that.

Once upon a time, I had a bunny named George. As in, love him and pat him and feed him and name him George. George did not look like this rabbit. George was an eating rabbit. Only we didn’t eat George. He was just for pretty, despite looking like an eating rabbit instead of a pretty rabbit. And I loved him. And that’s my bunny story.

Happy (not actually a) weekend, everyone!

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

It’s my first ex-anniversary, and boy are my arms tired

Twelve years ago today, I made some vows with and to another adult human. The vows were real flippin’ easy ones, and they were the same for both of us. They were so easy, and the ceremony was so fast, that the photographer missed the kiss for the first time in his 50 year career.

You wouldn’t think they’d be that hard to remember then, right? Alas.

To be honest, I had originally planned something heartbreaking and angry for today, but after processing so much this month, I just… don’t need to. Thanks for helping me work through so much, y’all. The set up costs of blogging are much cheaper than therapy.

I woke up this morning with a giddy thought. I CAN UNPACK ALL THE THINGS. All the boxes we never unpacked when we moved here years ago, because every time I started to clean or set our home up, I was met with a wall of resentment and silence, and I was afraid of the repercussions of that anger, so I did everything I could to avoid it.

I stopped living, I stopped being me. But… now? I can unpack my stationery and pens. I can unpack my quilting supplies and embroidery supplies and all the activities I’ve loved since I was a wee bairn. I come from generations of makers and builders. I was working in my mom’s wood shop as soon as I could handle a tack hammer and had enough dexterity to unravel rope.

I don’t think I can be me and not be making something. So instead of griping today, and doing something largely symbolic, I’m unpacking. I’m taking up space. I’m going to create. I’m going to make. I’m going to rebuild, stronger, faster, better.

This is going to be glorious.

So that’s why I’m not writing, today. It’s my first ex-anniversary, and I’m celebrating by finding myself amongst the boxes and bubble-wrap. No time to write! Things to do!

In case you could use a smile today, here is my teacup chupacabra in his Halloween costume.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

This post was filmed before a live imaginary audience.

Today’s Write 31 Days prompt is: Audience.

I’m constantly trying to sneak things past my own internal censor. She’s a fiend with a massive sharpie. (Sometimes a sharpie is just a sharpie.)

I have what my biopsist described as a “nice crop of nodules” on my thyroid. It’s uncomfortable to swallow, talk, and/or breath. Makes hiking a real treat. I don’t think it’s a coincident that I’m having issues with my throat. Verbal wording is hard.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had trouble talking in a way that’s transparent. I’ve had trouble living in a way that’s transparent. I’ve talked about being a chameleon before. It’s not so awesome. Especially the having to lick my own eyes part.

My internal censor is oh so very concerned with not offending the imaginary audience.

The thing is, I don’t need to connect with everyone, and not everyone needs to connect with me. That’s chameleon talk. That’s my child-self, scared of being abandoned or threatened or physically hurt. I feel for that kiddo. She needs more fuzzy blankets and hot cocoa than I remember to give her. I’ll do that, tonight.

But while I feel for her, I can’t be her. I can’t let her steer me around. She’s a terrible driver, and can’t see over the steering wheel. She can’t see the horizon. She can only imagine it.

With this writing challenge, I catch myself up with, “but what will people think?” Can I really say that? What if someone doesn’t like it? What if I offend someone?

Dude. If this blog causes pearl-clutching, I’m doing something horriby, horribly right.

I just have to trust that a few people may find resonance with what I write, just like I find with a few of the other participants. Not all of them are writing for me, and nor should they, nor should I expect them to.

I need to quit editing out all the juiciness in my writing, worrying over guessing what an imaginary person would like. I need to write for myself, and my own needs. It’s OK for art to serve the artist. The rest is gravy. Tasty, tasty gravy.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the wild and crazy index of all my posts of nope.

Sundowners in Whoville

This week’s Five Minute Friday writing prompt is: WHO.

I really want to write something about Doctor Who here, but my brain is too tired to be clever. There isn’t enough coffee in the world, after being up most of the night with my Maggie Mayhem cat, who is 18 1/2, and has the occasional bad night. That’s when I give her muscle relaxant, and hold her. The vet says she’s just developed a cat version of sundowners. It’s bonkers. 98% of the time, she’s great. Happy, mischievous, and with a spring in her step. Maybe every three-ish months we have A Night.

See? Tired enough I can’t stay on target. Where was I? Better still, who was I?

Losing my husband to his own midlife idiocy has been even more bonkers than a cat with sundowners.

So many years have been All Him All the Time. Two of those years he was going through cancer treatments, and needed a lot of help and care, so that was as it should be. It was a lot of pressure and exhaustion for me, but he got to live, so it was worth it.

But the expectation that every day be All Him All the Time didn’t end with the cancer being cleared. If he wasn’t the center of attention, if people weren’t waiting on him, if he wasn’t excused for all bad behaviour, if anyone asked anything of him? Criminy.

If I so much as asked him to take the trash out, while I was cooking dinner, he literally stopped speaking to me for a week. A WEEK. He’d come home, glare at me, and go straight into the bedroom. Where he’d stay except for coming out to eat. He was the only one in his world allowed to be a real person, and everyone else was a nonplayer character.

And I went along with it, because He’d Had Cancer and Almost Died. Which was true, but at some point, can’t we start being a married couple again, and not a caregiver and care-ee?

I wasn’t allowed to be a person, with opinions and needs and feelings. I had no “who” in Whoville. I didn’t exist as a separate person.

And I went along with it. For years.

I went along with it, until I just couldn’t anymore. And I got some help, and I tried to get us to a marriage counselor, because me not caving anymore led to days and weeks of him just not speaking to me. The sheets of resentment baking off him locked me up with anxiety. I was on eggshells so constantly it was making me physically sick.1

Who can live like that?

After not having a who for so many years, it’s strange to have one. It’s like standing up and stretching after sleeping on the couch all scrinched up.

And now I’ve gone into eight minutes, so I guess that’s the end. Thanks for coming to my stream-of-consciousness Ted Talk.

ps.

I guess I’m going to sneak this in there after the timer, after all. I had stopped writing, years and years ago. I just didn’t have anything in me to write with. All my spare energy and time was spent taking care of T, in order to avoid his rage. This writing challenge is a tiny act of rebellion and reclaiming of self.2

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

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