The Blade: Part I

Deciding to talk about the (most) recent incident with my clinician has become a lot more than I had anticipated. It started because I felt the need to talk about the horrible place I was in when he first started treating me. I want it to be known the hell I was going through, and the amount of trust I put in this person to help me get past it. I need to show how insidious this was, and about the torture I put myself through thinking it was me or that I was reading more into his words and gestures than was there. Talking about that last part is where it started getting complicated because the reason I started torturing and blaming myself was that I was told by people that I trusted – that I love – that I was wrong about what was happening. In their defense, I’m very good at hiding pain, and I probably didn’t convey how much I was hurting. But, assuming that I haven’t lost my entire ability to write, this series would.

I’ve been sitting on this entry, wondering how much I really want to reveal of that ugly time, and I finally decided that talking about it all is what I’m supposed to do. I’m meant to just lay it all out. If there’s anything good to come from this – or any of the shit I’ve experienced – it’s always been my hope that by talking about it, I can help someone else to not suffer what I did, whether it’s mentally, physically, medically, or emotionally. I’ve fought against them all. And I know millions of people are battling them now, and they feel like they’re alone. I know I did. Maybe I can help someone else not feel that way. Maybe helping others isn’t as monuments as laying your life down for someone, but by laying your life out for them.

In deciding to be very, very honest here, I’m including this alert that:
TRIGGER WARNINGS include: Mention of domestic violence, death threats, sudden illness, death, suicide, alcohol, and cutting

I have spread my nightmares under your feet…


December 2015

“This has been a really bad year.”

The couch was way too soft. I shifted around uncrossing my legs and then recrossing them in the opposite direction.

“I used to say that 2008 was the most hellish year I’d ever lived through, but I don’t know if I could say that now. The only reason that I’m not calling 2015 that is because I’ve had seven years to heal from the trauma of 2008. But I did go through some awful shit. I mean, you were there for a lot of it so I don’t have to tell you. But I think the 2008 version of me would resent it if I invalidated myself just because I’m from the future. Wait.” I looked toward the ceiling as I thought. “Did anyone die that year? No, I don’t think so. Only my ex-husband threatening to drive to my house on Easter to kill me and himself. My poor grandfather slept on the couch that evening just in case.”

I sighed and looked down again. “But anyway, this year didn’t start so bad. My health took another turn in 2013, and they still don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I’d started to feel a little better.

“And then Lily died. She was almost fifteen, but you’re never ready to say goodbye. I can still remember the day she was born. She was so small that she could fit into my one hand.” I was staring at the geometric pattern of the ugly carpet. It began to dance in nauseating swirls as remembered the tiny white puppy. I blinked the memory away before the carpet could make me throw up.

“Then my health started falter. Again. I passed out at work, and they carted me off to the hospital. Of course none of my bloodwork was ‘bad enough’ to explain anything.” I allowed myself the luxury of another sigh. “Whatever.”

“But then Kira got sick on the first day of July. She basically passed out the same way that I did and ended up taking her own trip to a hospital. She was extremely anemic. They thought she might have a stomach ulcer or…something worse. I couldn’t even consider that, so we just fought as well as we could for a full month. Medications and vet visits, two blood transfusions.” I squeezed my eyes shut. I would not cry. I bit my lip until the metallic taste of suppressed grief was on my tongue, but I did not cry. “But I knew she was tired. And I had to let her go. Within thirty days she was gone. She had only turned eleven that month. She was only eleven.

“In September, my friend killed herself,” I plowed forward.

The sharp intake of breath made me glance at the wizened little woman in the easy chair for the first time since I’d walked into her office and started spilling my guts. Roseanne was sitting across from me with an open grimace. It had been five years since my last session with her. She had never been one to hide what she was feeling, so her unhappy expression was a familiar one. Her office was different though. It was in the same building, but in a room on the opposite side. Apparently she didn’t find her new office any warmer than the previous one because she was wrapped in a sweater the way that she had always been before.

“How did it happen?” she asked as she tightened the sweater around her shoulders and huddled further into her chair.

“I don’t know.” I shook my head. “I don’t think I want to know. We hadn’t been friends that long. She was just one of those people that you instantly click with. She was so beautiful and talented and smart and funny and kind, and so many people loved her. I don’t know why she did it. I don’t know why she didn’t reach out.”

“Does her – .”

“But a few weeks after she died the VP of my department at work told us that there was going to be a project to clean up the unbalanced accounts,” I said a little too loudly. I was doing my best to take her on the abridged version of hell that was 2015, and we’d never get to the end if we stopped to sight-see.

When I saw Roseanne’s mouth shut, I continued it a softer voice. “The Finance Manager was put in charge and she was going to take two people – one person from each reimbursement department – and assign them to work solely on this nightmare project instead of their regular jobs for the next three months.” I attempted a smile, but I couldn’t even muster the sarcasm. “Guess who she chose.”

Roseanne nodded. “You.”

“No. Not me. The Finance Manager wanted someone else from my department, someone who my immature supervisor wanted to be friends with. My supervisor told them to take me instead. And even better, I wasn’t allowed to work at my own desk. I had to move across the building to be next to the Finance Manager so that she could babysit me and the other girl on the project.”

“Ah.” A thin hand ventured from the confines of the sweater. It trembled slightly as Roseanne brushed a few frizzy stands of salt-and-pepper hair from her forehead. “At least we’re in December now, so you’ll be finished soon.”

“Yes, I’ve had a countdown for the past three months of when I’ll be able to return to my own work and my own desk. Only a few more days.” I repositioned my legs again and drummed my fingers on the knee that now crossed the other. “Or at least it was but then the manager called us into her office two days ago and said that there was still too much to clean up, so she had been approved to keep us for another three months.”

Roseanne frowned and leaned her head against hand.

” I can’t do this anymore. I can’t. I can’t think about the holidays. I can’t think about work. I can’t take thinking anymore. I want it to stop. I want it to all just stop. I don’t have anything left in me.” I shook my head. “I don’t even have enough left to care that I’m admitting I’m weak.”

Another familiar look – one of annoyance – appeared on Roseanne’s face.

“You’re not weak. We talked about that before. The ones who seek help are not the weak ones.”

“I am weak. I can’t control my emotions anymore. And I’m afraid of what will happen if I don’t.”

I looked into Roseanne’s face and saw a new expression, one I had never seen in my previous years of counseling with her, not even when telling her about the threats I’d receive. It was genuine concern.

“Kat…,” Roseanne stared at me, but her fingers were intend on plucking at the edge of her sweater. “Kat, do you think there’s the possibility that you could hurt yourself?”

I thought about the previous night. There was about half a bottle of rum in the cabinet that was leftover from making cocquito. I’d looked at the bottle and thought about how I wasn’t supposed to drink because of my heart. But my heart was already broken I’d reasoned, so I’d taken a swig, and then reached around in my tool bag until I found the box cutter. I was making a shelter for the feral cat that had taken up residency on the porch by cutting out the side of a rubber tote. The box cutter was new and extremely sharp, so I’d sliced through the thin rubber with hardly any effort. I was finished and my thumb had been on the lever to sheath the blade back into safety when I stopped and stared at the boxcutter. It was so much sharper than the cheap disposal box cutters. I’d wondered how sharp it really was, and it suddenly seemed logical to press it against the skin of my hand to see what would happen. I didn’t even register that I’d moved until I saw the blood. I was shocked. Of course the blade was sharp – why the hell had I done that? I started to become angry. I didn’t even know why except that it had something to do with me. It was all me. I was so angry at myself that I said I deserved what I’d done, in fact, I should keep going until…

“Yes. I do. That’s why I’m here.” I made sure to look at Roseanne, and not at my bandaged hand.

Roseanne gave a determined nod as if bracing herself. “Are you taking medication?”

“Yes.” I rattled off the names of the two antidepressants I had been taking for years.

“Who prescribes them?”

“My family doctor.”

Another familiar look of disdain crossed Roseanne’s face. “They don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to mental health.” She stood up and wrapped the huge sweater around her tiny frame. I registered that it was a different sweater from the one I remembered. “I’ll be right back.”

I wondered if she was going to call a padded wagon to come and haul me away in a straightjacket.

She returned a minute later with an irritated look. “He’s not there. I didn’t realize how late it was.”

I raised my eyebrows, but that was the closest I could come to caring.

“Ed,” Susan told me. “He’s a psychiatric nurse practitioner. He specializes in adolescents, but he sees adults too, and he’s very good. He knows what he’s talking about regarding the proper medications, and, even more than that,” she sat back down in her chair and leaned forward earnestly, “he listens.”

When I didn’t respond, she continued, “He should be in tomorrow. I’ll speak to him first thing, and I’m sure that he will make time to see you. Are you willing to see him?”

I shrugged. “Sure.”

Roseanne looked suddenly looked uncomfortable. “He doesn’t take insurance.”

“Of course he doesn’t.” I dug into my bag and pulled out my checkbook. Roseanne didn’t accept my insurance anymore either. I was handing her a check when there was a quiet knock at the door.

Roseanne leapt from her chair and scurried across the room. She practically yanked the man on the other side into the room. “Ed! This is Kat,” she nodded in my direction. “She’s on medication for depression and anxiety but it’s not working and she could really use your help.”

He was taken aback, but recovered quickly. “Oh…well, certainly.”

I, on the other hand, was not certain at all. A moment ago, “Ed” had been idea, and now he was a person. A person standing the in the room. A male person. Also, I’d expected someone older, but Ed appeared to be about my age. He didn’t look like as someone who prescribed medication. Instead of business attire, he was wearing a Star Wars t-shirt, and his hair twisted in unruly curls around his head like a toddler’s who had just woken from a nap.

“You weren’t in your office.” Roseanne gave him one of her disapproving looks.

“I’m so sorry. My wife called and needs me to pick up something for the baby.” He turned to me. “He’s teething, and I don’t expect to ever sleep again.”

I guessed that explained his hair. “Yes, I know that’s rough,” I told him in rote response.

“Oh you have kids?” he asked.

“Only the furry ones. Or I guess, one.”

“That’s part of the problem.” Roseanne looked like she wanted to box his ears.

“I’m…sorry.” Ed plucked a tissue from the requisite box on the coffee table and handed it to me. “Your lip is bleeding,” he said softly.

“Oh. It’s chapped,” I muttered. I pressed the tissue against my mouth. “And you know you can only use Chapstick once or twice before it disappears.”

“Ha, ha, that’s true!” He smiled and nodded his head, then cocked it slightly as if he were studying me. “I’m done office hours for the day, but I can find a place to squeeze you in tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow?” I could tell Roseanne wasn’t keen on the idea of waiting.

“Tomorrow’s fine,” I answered looking at Roseanne.

Ed looked at Roseanne and then back at me. His brow furrowed a bit as he reached out to put his hand on top of my fist clenched around the ball of tissue, and then he smiled reassuringly. “It’ll be okay. I promise.”

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Don’t feel comfortable on the phone? Chat is available here.

I Don’t Know

June 30 was the year anniversary of doing physical therapy to try to straighten my spine.

Actually, no. At that point we didn’t know how badly my spine was twisted, so I had to do physical therapy for six weeks to satisfy my insurance company’s requirements to get the MRI that would reveal the damage in my spine, hip, and pelvis. It wasn’t until after the MRI and being told what kind of physical limitations to expect that I decided to prove them all wrong. Nothing motivates me more than other people trying to tell me what I can’t do.

So, I’d been planning on making a video about what the journey this past year has been like, but in true chronic health condition fashion, my kidney decided to flare up and that killed any plans I had about anything. To be honest, that in itself conveys the the road I travel better than any video of me sweating, swearing, and crying my way through a year of physical therapy ever could. I do know that I’ve made huge strides in the past twelve months, and I’m incredibly thankful to God that He brought me further than I ever thought I could go, but I feel like a video would send the wrong message – that there is an “end” to all of this. That seems to be the consensus of opinion based on the questions I’ve been dealing with for the past few weeks regarding The Future. I feel like if I shared the details of how I built up enough muscle strength to stand straight despite my twisted frame it would only be met with a thousand comments of, “Great! Now what are you going to do with it?” And here’s the answer:

I don’t know.

“How many more hours can you work before it messes up your health insurance?”
“Not many, but I don’t know.”
“We might be able to compensate for it. What’s your medical cost?
(I wasn’t sure if this was a question regarding the cost of my health insurance, or how much it would cost if I had to take a cheap plan with a huge deductible, but it was the same answer either way.)
“I don’t know.”

“You’re feeling better and the world is opening up again, so what are we going to do this summer?”
“I’d like to go to the beach, but my heat intolerance hasn’t been tested in a while, so I don’t know.”
“You shouldn’t be out in the sun like that anyway. And you can’t ride the rides. Or eat the food, so what would you even do there?”
“I don’t know.”

“Kat, our bookkeeper is planning on retiring in the near future and we thought that you could take over for her. When do you think your health issues will be resolved enough to do that?”
(Ignoring the assumption that I even want this.)
“My health issues aren’t ever going away. They’re just coming under better control. I don’t know if I’ll continue to improve or if this is it.”
“Well, when will you know?”
“I don’t know.”

“That’s great that they finally fixed your GPA, Kat. When are you going to be done with school?”
“Well, it depends on how many classes I’m able to handle without putting myself under too much stress that I start to flare, so I don’t know.”
“Well, how much stress can you handle before that happens?”
“I don’t know.”

“We’re ordering food. Can you eat anything from Adolfo’s?”
“I’ll have to look at the menu because I don’t know.”

“The cabinet is overflowing with prescription bottles. Why doesn’t your insurance allow you to get a three month supply of your medication?”
“I don’t know.”

“You’re really thin! What size do you wear?”
“I don’t know.”

“I don’t want to waste my life with this job. I have too many other interests to explore. My dream is that you start working with me, and then I cut my hours, and then I fade away and you take over. But I don’t know what your dream is. What do you think?”
The words “I don’t know” were on the tip of my tongue. They swelled in my mouth, pushing against my teeth to get out, but I refused to say them another time. “I don’t know” became a lump in my throat that I couldn’t swallow, and still I clenched my jaw shut, choosing to choke before I’d let that bloated phrase escape from me again. I pursed my lips together, trying to hide the effort in a determined smile when I felt “I don’t know” shiver up my cheeks and into my eyes, pooling and spilling over before I could stop it. The words streamed down my face in two plaintive statements.

I don’t know. I don’t know.

I clamped my eyes shut to keep them from saying any more, but they continued to seep on both sides.

I don’t know. I don’t know.

I blinked furiously trying to bat the words away, and instead it was an arm ushering them into the world, “Ladies and gentlemen…”

I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.

And then people became upset because they thought I was crying when it was only “I don’t know” running down my face, collecting into a puddle of uncertainty that seeped across my notebook.

“Kat, what’s wrong? What is it?”

I don’t know.

PT Session #117

Five Sentences

After talking to a friend who has, what appears to me to be, a nice, simple life – been married thirteen (?) years, has one son, one daughter, goes on vacations every year, they both have good jobs and they’re all healthy – I had a bit of a sulk where I thought that’s what I want and why couldn’t I have had that? It didn’t help that I’d had yet another disappointing appointment with a new doctor just a few hours before, but I decided that I was going to give up (again) on the road less traveled and forget all the reasons that I stopped working full-time because it’s not helped me control my health conditions any better and nothing is working out how I thought.

Then a neighbor posted in the community group that there was a baby raccoon in his driveway and what should he do about it. Most people suggested the wildlife refuge that was about thirty minutes away, but he said that he called and no one could come out for it. I asked if they would accept the baby raccoon if someone drove it there and to my surprise the guy said the refuge would if someone wanted to come over and get the baby and transport it to the facility.

So less than two hours after deciding to just trying being normal and having a normal life, I’m driving through the middle of the woods with a baby raccoon in the backseat looking for a wildlife refuge as daylight quickly fades away. Thankfully the GPS in my phone didn’t crap out – which it usually does in these cases – and I found the hospital with minimal incident. Judging by my semi-trained eyes, Baby Rocket somehow lost his mother and was suffering from dehydration and a slight eye infection, but unfortunately I won’t be able to get an update for 90 days.

I’ve had a few people ask me why the guy who found the raccoon didn’t take it to the refuge himself and to be honest I don’t know and I didn’t ask. There were two younger children in the backyard of his two story gingerbread house and maybe no one else was home to watch his kids while he drove thirty minutes into the woods with a wild animal. Or maybe he didn’t care enough. There are people who “do” and people who “do not”, and since we don’t know why people do not, it’s better to leave it alone. I told my mother – as usual she was drawn into this adventure despite my protests for her to stay home – that I felt like this baby raccoon needing help was God’s way of saying to me, Really? You want an easy, simple life? Or do you want to be a person who jumps in the car and rescues a baby raccoon on a Friday night? Of course we both already knew the answer.

Thank you to my dear friend, Stacy. Last night – even before the raccoon rescue – he encouraged me to write even five sentences a day. I gave five paragraphs this time, but yesterday was a big day. This is about the best readability you’re gonna get though.

R.I.P., sir.
Pic that was posted of Baby that started this all. Doesn’t give a good reference to his size because he’s only about as big as a large kitten.

Two Oh Two Whoah

What could be more fun than having precarious health and no sense of direction, other than having precarious health and no sense of direction in the middle of a pandemic. Oh, and living in the second most COVID-19 infected state in the most infected country in the world. Thankfully I’m at least in the part of New Jersey that is considered a suburb of Philly rather than in the north. (Actually I’m always thankful for that since, as anyone from New Jersey will tell you, the north and the south hate each other.) But yeah, it’s been one hell of a month.

I’ve been sitting here for an hour and a half trying to think of how to make this a cohesive post and I can’t do it. The Depression Monster is bearing down on me and while that usually breeds better writing for me, that’s not the case today. Being one of the vulnerable members of society meant that I had to begin social distancing before most people even knew what that was, but then I managed to come down with a fever the Friday before last and that was a complete nightmare. The chances that I had contracted COVID-19 were slim but I still had to isolate as if I had it, and of course because of the country’s ridiculously limited resources, I wasn’t able to be tested to prove otherwise. The scary thing is that I was most likely experiencing a Lupus flare, and thank God that it didn’t become complicated, but it made me realize how fragile I am – a fact that I still do my best to ignore. That realization, along with the current state of things, has me in a funk. I don’t do well just sitting still. It’s a skill I’m trying to develop but I’m not good at it. However if there was every a time to embrace the art of being still this would be it. So much like the rest of the world I’m sitting, which is probably for the best since I don’t even know where I’m supposed to be going yet. I suppose none of us do.

Dribs & Drabs

  • As you can tell I am writing these entries without any regard to SEO, readability, or images because I would use all of those as an excuse to not write. This entry is shit but at least I wrote.
  • I again made it by the skin of my teeth by posting my monthly entry on the very last day. Hopefully the day will come again when I’ll write for inspiration rather than obligation.
  • Stay inside, everyone. If you do have to go out, wash your hands like you ate a bag of Cheetos and have to put your contacts in.

The Bright Guest Disappears

Stacy Campbell died at the worst possible time.**

Wow Kat, you don’t write  a post for two years – with the exception of two end of the year recaps – and you jump right into that? What a fucking “return”.

Yes, well, a return is also based on investment, and in this case the investment of time has created a poor return. (And while I’m at it, I love my penchant for using numerical alliterations despite being dyslexic.) But anyway. If you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about then we’re on the same page; I’m writing this shit and I don’t even know what I’m talking about.

No, that’s not exactly true. I unfortunately know exactly what I’m talking about, but it makes the dinner guest feel better if you volunteer that the meal is terrible.

Eat up, and please be assured that I hate the fare as much as you.

Stacy 1Stacy Campbell died at the worst possible time, but it apparently was her time – on her own time. Her official last day in this world is September 16, 2015, but the actual date isn’t known for certain. I can’t help but wonder if she didn’t actually pass on September 15th. I wonder this because Stacy had the most ironic sense of humor, and it would be so her to take her life on National Suicide Awareness Day.

And, as is the case whenever someone takes their life, I’ve being wrestling with that question of “why?”.

I know the answer, but I don’t understand it. And I hope that I never do understand it. I think that “why” is in itself part of the reason that I’ve been as frantic to figure out what made her reach that point as I have.

I’ve been low, and I’ve had those thoughts of the world being a better place without the burden of me and my insanity. I’ve also been to that point where everything hurts and you don’t want to end your life so much as you just want everything to just stop fucking hurting. I understand that pain so much that I cannot be angry at her for wanting it to end. I just wish I knew what I could’ve said to make her hold on a little longer, and that I could’ve been there to say it to her. I wish I could’ve told her that she’s not alone, and then I would’ve pointed to all of the people who have written on her Facebook wall saying how much she meant to them. The Interwebz can be good like that sometimes.

But then that very thing, the ability to connect to other people who understand your pain – the pain that “normal” people do not – is a double edge sword. I know that unless you battle mental issues you might not understand this, but people with our – ahem – affliction tend to gravitate to each other. We want to help each other, to assure each other that there are people who understand, that they are not alone. It helps, but at the same time I feel that our exclusive community of the tortured and the tested ends up being a macabre game of Russian Roulette. With so many players we’re bound to lose someone eventually. Depression comes in ebbs and flows, and everyone comes to a time when it’s their turn to pick up the gun. Thankfully the odds are in our favor. There are five empty chambers – family, and friends, and Faith, and life, and you, and anything else you value – they outnumber that single bullet. And life goes on… But people with depression identify and lean on each other, and unfortunately as soon as you put down the gun, then one of your friends picks it up.
Spin the barrel.
Fire the gun.
Someone dies.

That’s my own issues speaking though, and I want to talk about Stacy. Being a writer herself, I know she would have understood that diatribe.
Perfect segue.

Though we were both writers, I met Stacy through our love of animals. She had lost her beloved Jurgen, yet had found the strength to adopt another dog that needed a loving home. I so admired her for opening her heart again that it inspired me to dedicate my 200th blog post to animal rescue stories. I remember wondering what I should do for such a landmark post, and she was the inspiration for it.

nightmare dog, animal rescue storiesThat was Stacy though: kind and inspiring.

Unfortunately my own depression has been relentless for the past two years, and I didn’t talk with her as much as I wish I had. Like so many things in my life, I’d set her in my peripheral vision and only looked directly when something really fascinated me. I’m just thankful that she was so fascinating that I paid as much attention as I did.

Stacy just seemed so…”cool”. Even her name was interesting. Her full name was Anastasia, which usually garners the nickname of “Anne” or “Anna”, but she was a Stacy. I seriously thought that was the neatest nicking of names ever – so much so that I planned on changing the name of one of my characters in my book to that.
Stacy had the best Bucket List, and she was the only person I knew who actively worked to check things off of it. I loved it when a picture would show up on her Instagram feed documenting an adventure done, a check marked next to box on that list.

She skydived.


stacy 4
She went to a firing range.stacy 6
She went to concerts because she said she was going to stop saying she would see a band or an artist “next time”.stacy 5

She stayed in the fucking Stanley Hotel.stacy stanley i cant spell

I am a huge fan of The Shining and it had never occurred to me to want to stay in the creepy hotel that inspired the story until I saw Stacy’s black and white pictures of the infamous fourth floor. Not only was the fact that she was at the hotel so brilliant, but her pictures were taken with such a sharp eye that they captured eeriness without being campy. But this shouldn’t be surprising because Stacy was an incredible photographer.stacy stanley Her Stanley Hotel pictures were not just beautiful but they were complete with captions about hearing children playing in empty halls, and ordering Whiskey from a bartender named Lloyd. They were beautiful as only she could make them because they illustrated her vision, both also her wicked sense of humor and her mastery of words.

Her words. I wish that I had read more of them while she was still here.

Through the power of the Interwebz and its promise threat that nothing ever really disappears from its depths I’ve been able to read her former blog “Jurgen Nation”. There is so much brilliance there. It’s not an easy blog to read – there is a lot of pain, and it kills me a little wondering if she wished that she could make her pain disappear as simply as she thought she had deleted the blog that detailed it…and how wretchedly ironic it is that her blog didn’t truly disappear after all. Nothing disappears.

Another irony – bloody fucking hell I’m beginning to hate you, Mistress Irony – is that the post that resonates most to me right now – the one that exactly touches on the punch in the throat that has knocked me into such a pit this year that I cannot fathom ever being able to climb out of it, on a pain that I cannot even yet put into words – was written only a few days after a post where she wrote a letter to herself twenty years from now. Or “then” since it was in 2009. It a post about how she would still be here in twenty years, even though she might think she won’t.

Stacy 2It makes me so angry that Life thinks it’s so clever with these little elbows to the ribs. You’re so not fucking funny, in fact sometimes You feel downright cruel.

There is so much that I’m going to miss about Stacy. Her presence was like birds singing: you don’t realize how much you enjoy their music, and take for granted that they will always be singing until they are silent. I think of all of the empty buildings that she will never photograph, all of the words she’ll never write, all of the snarky jokes she will never make. Stacy was caring, and beautiful, and wrong, and clever, and brilliant. I read the stories shared by people who knew her better, and I’m so jealous of them. I wish that I could justify this pain by proximity, where the equation would make sense. But there is a reason that artists are dyslexic, and numbers do not add up to us. stacy 7

Stacy was a true Siren, drawing so many people to her.
I’m grateful that I  heard her song and listened while I could.

I will see you later, beautiful girl. Keep the cocktail chilling.

In the mean time I am changing a character’s name in your honour. It is my hope that “Stacy” destroying demons in my story will give you the victory down here that you so deserved.


stacy brody

“Three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love.”


**The average time that people will allow you to mourn is one month. I wrote this entry nearly three months ago, and I still feel it so much that I decided to finish it and publish the bloody thing. It reminds me that loss has no timetable. Loss is not something get over, you just learn to live with it.



Migrating From Blogger to WordPress While Battling an ICD Attack Was Not My Best Idea

Um, I guess you’ve probably noticed by now that the place looks a little different.

That’s because, in one of the worst cases of impulsiveness I have ever executed, I decided to migrate from Blogger to WordPress. I did this because I was having an Impulse Control Disorder panic attack and needed a distraction to ensure that I didn’t do something to hurt myself, and in a spectacular bout of irony ended up causing myself more pain than any of my vices could have done. This is because I don’t know shit about how computers and the interbutz actually work. As far as I know I click a button on my laptop and The Computer Fairy casts a magic spell to turn the computer screen into a window to Interwebz Land. Migrations are never easy but when you don’t know what the fuck you’re doing it’s like being dropped into a foreign country with a map written in Braille. And the Braille is in a different language. And you can’t understand what the natives are saying but you’re pretty sure that they’re making fun of your Fanny pack.

In other words, there are a lot of ways to fuck up a migration I did every single one of them.


I Changed Servers Before Migrating My Site

To be fair to myself I will tell you that I did not expect my former host server to cancel my service as quickly as it did. I had emailed my host for my site’s EPP code (this is apparently the secret spell to unlock your domain registration) and they took it upon themselves to boot me off of their server at the exact moment that they emailed me back with the code. I found this out because my site went down late Friday. SURPRISE! I emailed my new server and asked them when my site would be back up. They of course emailed me back with basically “What site?” It was then that I learned that websites are not magic windows but actual files that need to be copied onto the new server while the old server still supports them “to ensure uninterrupted website service”.

Picard Facepalm Star Trek Fail

I Thought That Free Migration Meant From One Writing Platform To Another ie Blogger to WordPress

Anyone with any shred of computer knowledge is perfectly within their right to be laughing their ass off at me right now. I honestly cannot believe that I was so stupid except that I was so focused moving writing platforms that I had blinders on regarding the bigger picture of the server move. No it turns out that “migration” refers to those precious website files and moving them to the new server. This is important because as soon as you leave a host, they take all of your files and feed them to the troll that lives under the bridge and they are gone forever. And I had not moved my files.
Double Facepalm Star Trek Fail

I Assumed That The Live Chat Help Was More Than a Guy Typing With One Hand While Whacking Off With the Other

I immediately panicked and went to my new host site and clicked on the live help. I explained that I was a moron and realized that I changed servers before migrating my site and to please tell me that I didn’t lose my site forever. He asked my site name and then came back to tell me to submit a support ticket and disconnected me. I let the rudeness roll and sent an email to support apologizing for being a moron and asking how I could fix this. I was pleasantly surprised to get an answer after a few minutes but when I opened the email I saw that it was just to tell me to contact my old company. Fine, that makes sense.

I went to my old server site and tried to log in but it told me that my password didn’t work and that I could blow it. I politely asked to have my password emailed to me and received an email telling me that I could stick my password where the sun don’t shine would have to contact my new server company. What? I had no idea why my new company would have my old company password.

I replied to my new company’s email relaying this and they said that was because they were my server now. Well no fucking shit. I again got on Live Chat where the same guy asked for my ticket number and then told me to email customer support. I asked him if he couldn’t look at my ticket himself since he asked for the number and he replied, “No I can not.” and then disconnected me again.
Triple Facepalm Star Trek Fail
I immediately signed back on and as soon as he answered I replied that “can not is spelled cannot unless the not is part of another construction” and then I disconnected him. And let me just say here that I understand that computer people must want to pull their hair out when it comes to deal with computer-illiterate morons like me all day but this asshole didn’t even give me a chance before he hung up on me.

As a last ditch effort I emailed Google support since they overwrite Blogger and was told that I had to email the server company (my old company). So basically we were all playing Play The Kat.

Finally I did what I always do and fixed the problem my fucking self. It meant staying up for 24 hours straight on the computer to teach myself Internet protocol suite and then moving my site files–which I actually had backed up because I’m a fucking rockstar though they were not in the correct format to upload directly to a server.

So all of that bullshit said, my new site is up. Just please excuse my site’s temporary appearance because not only do I have to work my other job, but my brain’s server is fried.

I’m a Disaster Area But I Make Up For It With Cute Dogs

The other day The Bloggess tweeted that she had fallen off of the self-harm wagon, and that she was having issues with ICD. A number of people responded with questions about what ICD stands for. Some attempted at being clever and others were genuinely puzzled about the acronym. For those of you that don’t know, ICD stands for Impulse Control Disorder. You’ll notice if you read the definition that self-harm is an “other form of ICD”. It then occurred to me that ICD is an oxymoron. And it was surely a moron with a fancy PhD in Psychiatry who came up with the term while he or she sat on the outside and tried to categorize the mess that people like I sludge through at any given moment.

anxiety girlFor many of us I don’t think that self-harm is an impulse control disorder because the problem isn’t so much the control, it’s about the impulse in the first place. Truthfully I have the best fucking impulse control in the world because for every stupid, manic thing that I’ve thought or done there are at least fifty that I don’t act on. A normal person doesn’t have the impulse to hurt themselves. They don’t know what it’s like to have to fight something that you intellectually know is incorrect but that your basic instinct is telling you is right. Logically I know that slapping myself during a panic attack shouldn’t make me feel better, but Jiminy Cricket’s evil twin who sits on my shoulder assures me that it will.

And the awful thing is that sometimes it does.

For a split second the sting in my cheek makes me forget the war raging in my brain, the irratic pounding in my chest. Unfortunately the moment passes all too soon and it’s followed by the return of all of the symptoms of my panic attack only made that much worse by the guilt and anger that I did something so stupid. You would think that the memory of the guilt and anger would keep me from hurting myself again, but of course it wouldn’t. Because I have ICD.

I’m almost to the next step in my novel, and the best way I can describe the feeling is that it’s like being in gym class when your asshole gym teacher makes you run the mile dash even though you forgot your inhaler and your almost to the end and you feel like your heart is laughing hysterically but nothing’s coming out of your mouth because you can’t breathe and all you can think is how much it would suck to collapse this close to finishing and silently telling that teacher that she’s a fucking cunt. And you hardly ever, ever use that term.

On top of this Kira has to have dental surgery on Thursday. I made light of how traumatic it is to take Kira to the vet and turned it into a funny anecdote because that’s what I do, but in truth it’s a challenge to not cry hysterically when Kira screams at the vet. On top of her screams though, I have the terror that something will happen during the surgery. I know she will be fine–I know this–but we’ve already established that the logical portion and the emotional portion of my brain are woefully disconnected.

Also the hard drive on my fucking shitty computer is going which isn’t stressing me as much as you would think, but it’s pissing me off that I have to waste time trying to figure out what to do about a replacement.

So that’s where I’ve been up to for the past two weeks. I did however make this month’s BirchBox Unboxing video and the bloopers video, but the big news was that Kira and Lily got their first BARKBOX.