Archive for the ‘monsters’ Category

Guest Post: An overdue rant on rats by a dude who has some shit to say   Leave a comment

(I’m way overdue to post this, also.)

An Overdue Rant on Rats by a Dude who has some Shit to Say – by Mark Wolfe

Ya know, I may have had some misogynistic behavior in my past, but it never once occurred to me…

not even in the secret-privacy of my own corroded mind
(where I come up with all my best bad ideas)

…did it cross my oddly shaped cranium to grab someone’s body or part thereof, without permission let alone kiss, hug, ass-grab, or otherwise grope someone who hadn’t expressed an interest in having me take such intimate measures

And then…

There are the Dick showers…

Those that show the dick without ANY invitation and not just as a dick selfie in the thralls of horny anonymity.

…but live & in person… signed 8x10s upon NO request…

I wouldn’t even do that if I was asked politely let alone in a flasher-y-fetish-y-fueled-fever.

Yet for the last couple of months, almost every single day, (and sometimes twice in a day), there comes a revelation from the interwebs & the squawk-box about some sorry-ass self-absorbed dipshit who did one or more of the above aforementioned selfishly egregious actions, much to the chagrin of said dipshit’s spouse, fans, constituents & co-workers.

Hens from the past come lookin’ for a place to rest their bony talons with a truth that is so undeniable, that it usually brings down illustrious careers (some not so illustrious) in a matter of hours.

Careers that until that fateful moment in their Emmy-winning-multi-platinum-excuse-for-coping-a-feel-or-propositioning-a-teenage-intern career… was years, if not decades in the making.

Some we like, some we never liked, some we admire and look up to, & some we always KNEW were freaky like that,

…but these indecent indictments always come with the well-deserved swiftness of a nor’easter, complete with appropriate wind-chill factors…. along with oh so brilliant bald-faced irony.

We know it when we hear it
when those secret chicks come home to roost.

You best have a fuckin’ umbrella to shield you from the inevitable chicken-shit storm that is sure to follow your chicken-shit ass.

I grew up instinctively knowing that at LEAST 3/4s of ALL the woman in my life that I ever knew, (or indeed ever would know) even if only as a classmate, coworker or neighborhood fixture, had suffered the unwanted attention of proprietarily problematic propositions, often accompanied by capricious hands…. greasy-grabby hands… that don’t even know how to grab right

…who do so much to grab so wrong.

It would not be much later in life, perhaps age 17, that I would come to the dreaded realization that more than half of those same women had suffered far, far worse.

Often so much further along the worse-path that she dares not give so much as a whisper of oxygen to verbally illustrate the horrible circumstances of that tragic personal history.

But It was with that awful statistical knowledge in mind that, much like my West Philly Street-School upbringing in the early 70s, is a lesson learned from a very early age, even before fully understanding the ramifications of that awful matriculation… Right between daily viewings of Mr. Rogers and the Highlights Magazine’s Goofus & Gallant cartoon of the month.

The women I’ve known from the worse-path that I would trade my life for don’t number in double digits. It is by extrapolation of definitively anecdotal evidence that I come by this thesis currently spewing from my laptop.

They never shared encounters within a window of time that I could possibly do anything about it.
(but please don’t assume I mean physical violence & don’t rule it out either bucko, I have a 1976 Phillies “bat-day” baseball bat that will go upside your rookie-ass-grab, dipshit, dope-addled-brain-shell that totally overcompensates for my 98-pound weakling arms attached to my 180lb, six-foot-one body).

…It became clear though, that despite the cobwebs on those confidential confessions, that the experience never left them as they continued to grow more complex cobwebs, and sprout mold on the north facing side of the worse-path.

NONE of these perpetrators of repellant passes & rape-y aggressions did anything that was logical or explainable to me.

Perhaps that is why such behavior is so alien to me?

Or perhaps I’m not a fuckin’ ass-grabbing, date-rape-with-nice-teeth, dipshit?

The difference between good behavior & bad should be taught in School starting in 1st grade, taken out of the context of any one gender or sexual identity. In fact, “sex” should never be mentioned in the same curriculum.

These valuable life lessons should be handed down from parents, relatives, teachers and responsible adults to children, youngsters, teens and young adults for as long as you have breath in your body or as long the child mooches your food from under your roof.

…So they don’t go to their first office job thinking it might be a thrill to grab a co-worker’s rear without even so much as a proper introduction or a good donut.

Back in my day when I was 5 & 6 years of age, the West Philly bullies of little Osage Avenue thought they were cool and never saw a problem with anything they did or said since there was never a responsible adult within earshot who had the balls to say or do anything. Oh, but we had plenty of teachers with selective hearing and sight loss in public school which only served to germinate a general feeling of helplessness and secrecy. No wonder many victims never report anything, it is instilled very early on that it is best to not complain or even THINK you have the right to personal space & respect, let alone justice & reciprocity.

The heinous behavior of some little Osage Ave Adults like ********** didn’t help set a positive example from the top down either. ( it was an oft-told tale that **** grew up with Bill Cosby – a tale that would never be featured on but was nonetheless taken as gospel all those many years ago by slack-jawed Fat Albert fans. A 70s era Saturday Morning show that all the kids in the hood never missed an episode of – plus we had all the Cosby albums in my house… kinda wishing now it was Carlin)

this is where I need to insert a caveat:

If you’re a healthy white male, the world is your oyster, but definitely not anyone else. although when I was younger I didn’t realize that being a white kid gave me a leg up because I certainly was never treated that way. It was only through observation of my Public School surroundings that it began to dawn on me much too late to overcome innate self-esteem issues, but perhaps if I had known early enough, I could have shuffled the deck a bit better. (but ass-grabbery & dick display is NOT in my DNA)

I guess the overtly belabored point I am winding my way around several prick-le bushes to get at is that we are all surrounded by scoundrels and psychopaths who lounge in the bright sunny daylight of normalcy and politically correct politeness.

Some of them are even really clever natural comedians who can make anyone laugh by just a few words.

They might even be a friend.

Why someone would even need to play with power dynamics or exhibitionism in such negative & destructive ways is a mystery to me, but …

Barring an actual shift in our irredeemable culture for the better…

They should all die in a fuckin’ fire 🔥

or… you could SAY SOMETHING guys…

If you allow outrageous, unacceptable behavior to go unchecked, then you’re complicit in whatever comes next…

(if Trump, the-man-not-the-brand, has taught us anything, he’s taught us THAT, for fuck’s sake… also, that the size of a man’s hands must undoubtedly lead to other, less visible anatomical anomalies… although who knows given his current Twitter Twattle )

…signed 8×10 dick selfies & Trumpian Ethics are just the beginning folks…


Equine Assisted Mindfulness – Week Two   Leave a comment

My second session was Tuesday night, and it started with a review of what was covered during the first session, and also a check-in on how my homework went during the two weeks in between sessions.

Now, I have to admit that I wasn’t very good at keeping up with the homework.  I was asked to try to meditate, in one form or another, every day, but I didn’t actually start until the first weekend after the first session.  Sitting still and tagging my thoughts so I could let them pass through my mind without dwelling on them worked somewhat – sometimes I did it without an issue, but sometimes I couldn’t help but dwell on the thoughts, or yell at myself for getting distracted when I was meant to be focusing on something specific.

I’m not very kind to myself.  Then again, isn’t that partially why I’m in this program in the first place?

Anyway, my best attempt at “sitting still” meditation occurred last Sunday while I was in the pool waiting for a friend to meet me.  I laid back to float while I waited, and I ended up clearing my mind and focusing on nothing but my breathing, and the feeling of the water enveloping my body, and the sound of it lapping against the walls.  My mind cleared, and I actually got what it means to be in the moment – as I floated, I was completely and totally present.

Floating experience aside, I generally did better at meditating while moving (mostly swimming laps) than while remaining still.  So, I relayed this, and Jo indicated that we’d be doing a walking meditation during the session, and that she’d also email me some guided meditations to listen to, and a video to watch.  So, there’s that.

We talked about the table I completed in minimal detail; I get the feeling it was meant to be an exercise on recognizing my own judging mind rather than something to be shared.  And then we moved on to the topic of the session: non-judgement.  As in the last session, we did a reading and then a discussion – the topic of the reading was non-judgement and we talked about the difference between observing and acknowledging, and judgement.  We also talked about applying mindfulness when judgement is inherent – say, when watching your child misbehave, or when eating a fantastic meal.

Jo shared a quote from What the Buddha Taught by Walpola Rahula that I think I may be able to apply to my own mindfulness practice (although the quote is actually about meditation):

“Here is no attitude of criticizing or judging, or discriminating between right and wrong, or good and bad.  It is simply observing, watching, examining.  You are not a judge, but a scientist.”

This appeals to “logic brain”, although I think “Depression Brain” may have issue with it.

After the discussion, we did a walking meditation around the old track and then through the pasture.  Jo and Jess walked behind me so I could focus on my steps and not be distracted from the environment.


The air was heavy with humidity, and I was sweating buckets the entire time, but the walking meditation worked.  I focused on the way my leg lifted and how I planted each foot on the ground, and after a bit was able to really be in the present moment.  The tracked curved from one side of the pasture to the other, through the woods, and I noticed things while I walked, but without judging them: the sound of the cicadas in the trees, for example, were soft at the start, then heavy and loud in the center, and non-existent at the end of the track.  Birds were singing, and fluttering in the canopy and the undergrowth.  The ground under my feet was uneven and dry but not hard, and it wasn’t difficult to keep my balance.  The temperature was significantly cooler in the center part of the walk than it was on either end – all in all, even though I was concentrating on my steps, I was still able to observe what went on around me, and I did it without judgement.  The pasture part of the walk went nicely as well; I interacted with the horses who came to see me, and being under the open sky in the sun was as pleasant as walking the track.

Overall, I’d describe the whole walking meditation as a good experience, and I think I might even be able to recreate something like it for myself, if I can find a good space to do it.  It helped, of course, that there was no one on the walk other than me (and Jo and Jess, of course).

After the walk, we moved to a small paddock and started a horse-specific exercise: I was asked to move one or both horses through a set of cones and then into a boxed-off area (with cones) where they should stand still.  Neither horse wore a halter or a lead rope, and neither piece of equipment was available to put them.

The first thing I did was look around the area.  The cones were small ones and made a pathway from one end of the paddock to the other (right to left from where I first entered).  The boxed-off area was in the top left-hand corner.  Against the fence on the lower side were two hula hoops, and on the ground in front of me were two pool noodles.

I ignored all of the props, aside from the cones themselves, and went up to Trooper (the dark bay that I dubbed “I’m okay” in my first week).  I rubbed him, and scritched him, and told him what a good boy he was, and he stopped eating grass to pay attention to me.  I then took a few steps away, and he followed me, so I repeated the sequence.  Then, he decided to eat some grass.  I kept petting him and talking to him, and then took two steps away and patted my thigh with my hand, and called “C’mon, good boy.”  He came right to me.

When I walked away the next time, Trooper followed me, but when I tried a third time he just stood there.  So, I went back to the first method.  Between the two, I was able to lead Trooper through the cones and into the boxed area, where I petted and rubbed him some more.  All in all, it took about 10 minutes.

I decided to try the same thing with the second horse, and so I went over and rubbed her and talked to her.  She liked it it, but she also wanted to graze and the methods that worked on Trooper didn’t on her.  I did manage to move her across the paddock a bit by leaning passively on her – if one leans on a horse, they’ll move – but when the time was up I still hadn’t found the exact method that would get her to follow me (although, I suspect if I’d had carrots it would’ve been simpler).

Jo and Jess came into the paddock and asked about how I’d felt during the exercise, and if I got upset with the horses at all…and I was surprised by that.  It never occurred to me to get upset with the horses, and I tried to explain my reasoning to them: a horse does what it wants to, and I was always taught that the secret to dealing with them is to make them want to do what you want them to do.  Jess then asked if I noticed any judging mind, and I told her that I was judging my own actions by how effective they were…but with the mindset that one thing not working didn’t mean something else wouldn’t work.  And on that positive note, the session was done.

So, what did I get out of this session?

I learned that miss horses more than I thought I did, and that I want to take Trooper home with me.  I figured out that approaching my situations from a place of discovery and learning rather than judgement keeps me from getting frustrated, and allows me to be kind to myself…and I also now have a game plan to do some walking meditations on my own.

Currently, I don’t have homework; as there was a technology fail during my session, Jo was unable to print out the Week Two packet for me.  She’s going to email it, and we’ll schedule my next session then.

(I’m going to try not to worry about Week Three until it arrives…but the topic is food-related.  I’m a little nervous.)

Equine Assisted Mindfulness – Week One   Leave a comment

Last Thursday night, I started an Equine Assisted Mindfulness program at Standing Hope Equine Therapy in order to help with my emotional eating.

I had my intake appointment several weeks ago and managed to forget about the fact that I was supposed to start a week ago last Tuesday…so I’m a week later than I wanted to be, but I’m trying to practice this thing called “radical acceptance” to prep for week two and I’m not going to go on and on about disappointing myself.  The thing already happened and I don’t have a time machine; I need to keep moving forward.

(Not bad, eh?)

Anyway, I thought it might be helpful to keep a record of what happens during each session and also the homework I’m assigned so I can track my progress, what works for me, and what doesn’t.  I also thought it might be nice to do it as a running review of this particular program.

My sessions are at Scarborough Fair Farm in Chester Springs, PA, and  I don’t think I can do it justice in words, so I’ll put up two photos I took last night.

Standing Hope 1 9Jul15 Standing Hope 2 9Jul15

Look!  Alpaca!

In addition to the alpaca, there are chickens and goats, and cats (five individuals came to talk to me yesterday). And, of course…horses.

I love horses.  I love the way they look, and the feeling of their muscles under their hair.  I love the way they sound, even when they’re just breathing.  I love the way they smell, all earthy and vegetative and deep.  And I love riding them.  I started taking riding lessons in the second grade (age 7), and I know I was put on horses prior to that.  I get horses.  I understand horses and, usually, they understand me.

So, the session started with a review of what mindfulness was, and we went over some of my patterns and picked apart what my inner critic (judging mind?  I think?) tells me.  I told them (did I mention there are two therapists all for me?) about my “useless/worthless” script (more on that in a moment), and we teased out when it’s most likely to happen and when I’m able to either ignore it, or push it aside.  It turns out that I’m pretty good at pattern recognition; check out the list below:

Mindless, emotional eating happens:

  • In the evenings, between coming home from work and going to bed,
  • When I don’t have something specific to occupy my mind, because
  • That’s when judging mind comes in to tell me how useless/worthless I am.
  • And…it is more likely to happen when I am by myself.

I was also able to piece together the fact that the mindless eating only silences the voice while I’m actively doing it.  Once I stop, the voice starts again and I might go refill my bowl again.  I say might because I don’t always do it…and sometimes I do it over and over again until I am full.

So, once we picked apart the patterns and talked about them, we read from a section of the Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook that was about radical acceptance.  I actually own it; the amazing Dr. Barb and I worked through some of it during my five years with her.  Anyway, the gist of this particular reading was that radical acceptance means accepting something completely, without judging it, and that creates opportunity for responding to situations in new ways.  For example, I have issues dealing with my youngest brother – he criticizes and says things that imply that I am stupid, or lazy, or inferior to him.  I tend to react in certain ways to this, some of which are harmful to myself.  But, if I find myself in a situation like that, I don’t have to do what I’ve always done.  I could look at the situation, accept that it is happening without thinking about what I could have done to avoid it, and then move from there.

It’s a little freeing to think that I can unstick myself, but also a little terrifying.

After we finished the reading, we went to the barn, and I met three horses.  I spent a little time with each one, petting and talking to them, and then got the chance to walk each one down the aisle and back.  The first horse, a mare, walked a little faster than I was expecting, and I wasn’t really focused enough on what I needed to be doing to lead her effectively.  The second horse, a dark bay gelding, walked really well for me – I suspect he’s a bit of a push button horse – and I felt more like I knew what I was doing.  The third, a very large grey, was new to the program and he didn’t know what he was supposed to be doing, and I did not take the lead that he needed.

When the walking was done, I was asked to “name” the horses according to the following pattern:

  • Numbing – mind on autopilot, not really concentrating
  • I’m okay the way I am – pleased with how things are going
  • I’m <insert negative adjective here>

I named the dark bay “I’m okay”, the grey “I am totally out of control”, and the mare “Numbing”.  The last was by default, and when I mentioned that, I was told that often that numbing state is a default.


I was told to pick a horse to groom, and I chose “I’m okay”.  I took him out, led him to the cross-ties, and then spent a very happy time (fifteen minutes?  maybe?) grooming him with curry combs and brushes, and I became totally focuses on that activity.  My mind cleared, and I thought about nothing but getting the dust and dirt off him and which spots he liked having brushed and which ones he didn’t.  The time flew – when I was done, I couldn’t believe it.

We then took all three horses out to be turned out, and I walked “I’m okay”.  He was excited to go out, but I (mostly) managed to keep him in check until we were in the pasture and his halter was removed.  Then, he and “Numbing” cantered off to join the rest of the herd.

We closed the session by discussing how I felt during the grooming session, and then how I felt at that particular moment.  I was surprised to admit that my mind was completely clear – no thoughts hanging over me, no inner critic, nothing.  I felt lighter than I had in days.  We talked about other ways to get the same lightness and clear mind, and I agreed to complete the following homework before my next session:

  • Take five minutes each day to sit quietly with my thoughts.  I’m to let them come into my mind, tag them with a category, and then put them aside.
  • Take time to do some moving meditation – walking, swimming, etc. where I focus on nothing but the movement.
  • Complete the “Thought Grid” from the DBT exercise – this means listing a distressing situation, what my old/current coping strategies are, and the unhealthy consequences of those strategies, then what new coping strategies I could implement and what the possible consequences of those new strategies could be.

I’m going to keep writing about each session, and about how the homework is going, in the hope that it will support this entire process, and also in the hope that it might be helpful to someone else?

Ouroboros   Leave a comment

I’m eating myself again.

There’s something freeing, and weird, about being open with the Internet at large and saying the things that are difficult in open space.  I feel like I’d do well in one of the world’s Speakers’ Corners, since I seem to be able to spout things to total strangers that I have trouble saying to the people I’m closest to…and while I’d like to say them, I sometimes find it difficult to choose words rather than allow everything to spill out of my face.  Hence my belief that a Speakers Corner would suit me well.

So, I’m eating myself again, and it’s time to get some of it out before I’m too full to process anything.  Hooray for word vomit.

First, I’ve decided to go ahead and try Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) to treat my emotional eating.  I’ve scheduled my intake appointment for next week, and the curriculum looks promising.  And, if it doesn’t work, I get some time with horses which is always a good thing.

I had yet another schedule fail with J – we’d hoped to meet up this week to finally take this relationship beyond the flirting and occasional clench in the parking lot that it’s been for a year now.  It’s almost comical at this point, really…except that it isn’t.  I’d really hate this to become one of those longed-after but never consummated things.

T is back in my life again.  We’re on a once a month schedule, and I’ll be seeing him later this month.  And yes, I know I got hurt and many of my friends don’t think I should be doing this again…which is why they’re finding out through this blog entry*.  It’s been difficult to admit that I’m back in again when the last time ended so badly.

(*I ended up telling them before this was published.)

Finally, I broke a personal rule, and I really want to talk about it because I’m not sure what it did to me.

My husband and his girlfriend had their first major fight this week, and he plunged into a pit of despair afterwards because they reached a stalemate.  Neither of them understood where the other was coming from, and when he and I talked about it I tried to explain what I thought was going on with her, based on my knowledge of her and what she’s told me about her life.  Things came to a head and, on Wednesday evening, I ended up messaging my metamour and offering to talk if she needed it.  She immediately called me and we spent 40 minutes on the phone while she vented and I tried to understand what she was saying and where the communication break-down happened while also commiserating and explaining that some of the things she was reacting to didn’t actually happen the way she thought they did.

(Complicated things are complicated.  Especially relationship complications.)

Anyway, the discussion seems to have worked – she called my husband right after I got off the phone with her, and they’ve been talking ever since.  Real communication, some of it about things they’ve discussed before, and some of it about new things, but all of it open and honest.  Last night they talked for hours, and he ended up bringing her back to our house for more talking, and he’s happy again and I am thrilled because I love him and want him to be happy.

So, here’s what I mean when I say I’m not sure what it did to me: I am not sure if putting myself in the middle like that has changed the relationship I have with my metamour for the better.  It clearly helped get them over the hump but…I’m second guessing getting involved because it’s been a rule of mine NOT to get involved in things like this.  My husband’s relationships are his to manage, and my relationships are mine to manage.  And that includes my relationship with my metamour – it’s my relationship, and so I get to manage it until it gets to a level that I am happy with…and I think that by intervening I may have pushed my relationship with her to a level that I am not ready for and that, to be honest, I’m not sure I want.

Don’t get me wrong, now: I like her, and think she’s a nice person, and I enjoy her company.  I am, however, nowhere near ready for anything beyond a surface relationship and I think we’ve somehow managed to get past my comfort level and my skin is crawling.  It’s not her, though – it’s me.  Aside from the fact that she hugged me when we first met and I couldn’t opt out, she’s done NOTHING to me that wasn’t kind.  It’s not her – IT’S ME.

I live a life that I’m not thrilled with right now, and I’ve mentioned it before, I know.  I work seven days a week between the two jobs I have, and that won’t stop until the beginning of July when I stop teaching swimming lessons on weekends for the duration of the summer.  When I am not working, I don’t want to think and so I engage in a variety of mindless activities – I watch TV with my husband sometimes, and I game sometimes, and I sleep sometimes.  And then I wake up and go back to work.  Repeat early and often.

I’m exhausted, and out of whack, and bringing myself back into alignment takes more energy than I have at the moment…especially since it will likely involve more people in my life.  There are only a few people other than my husband that I’d choose to spend time with, and I usually can’t because they either live too far away or their schedule doesn’t match mine.  Oh, and did I mention I’ve got another health thing going on that requires some lifestyle changes to be made ASAP?  And I need a measles booster – when they checked my titer, it showed I am no longer immune, and since people have stopped vaccinating herd immunity won’t protect me.

On top of this, let’s add in the fact that I don’t feel like I can relax when anyone outside of my immediate family is in the house, and circumstances beyond my control mean that my metamour is going to be at the house a lot over the next few days, and…yeah.

I don’t know what to do about any of this, but I know writing it out helps, and seeing it on screen helps.  It won’t be fixed immediately but at least I’m now hopeful that things will improve at some point.  They have to, right?

More Brainweasels, Poly Brainweasels   2 comments

Having Depression and being polyamorous leads to circumstances that are slightly less than amusing on first glance.  And to additionally less amusing brainweasels.

I have found that I need to believe I have worth in order to practice polyamory in the manner I think it should be practiced.  That is to say, I cannot be sure of my position with my partners unless I know my own worth and, when I don’t have a firm grasp on that, my grasp on how I fit into their lives gets shaky.  I find this to be an interesting problem but, like I said, not an amusing one, because my Depression goes after those bits of my brain that know I have worth and so I oftentimes end up in one of those endless loops of mental non-logic.

This is not amusing.

Here’s a routine brainloop, for your consideration:

>Hooray!  My husband found someone he really likes!  He’s inviting them over to hang out with us!
She won’t like me.
>It’ll be great to meet her; he’s so happy!  I love how NRE affects him!
People never like me.  I won’t know how to act.
>Maybe we’ll get along and she’ll come over more often.  We can all sit on the couch together.
No.  I’ll do something wrong, and he’ll decide not to bring her here and then I’ll get less time with him because he’ll be over there.

Logical brain knows this is a fallacy, and not how polyamory works.  Logical brain knows my husband loves me and isn’t going anywhere, and that love multiplies, and that I am loved and cared for.  Depression brain?  She doesn’t care about logic.  Depression brain knows that the end of every good thing is coming and that it starts with teeny tiny things like a happy husband.  And yes, I’m rolling my eyes as I write this, because I am not in the throes of Depression brain.  Plus, as you know from my other post, brainweasels make less sense when written down or said out loud.

I’ll let you in on a little secret, too: many poly- people have brainweasels around their polyness. (Is polyness a word?  Chrome doesn’t think it is.)  They usually suppress them, or find a way to work through them, but they have them.  It’s not unusual to identify as polyamorous and still feel jealousy, or envy, or anger, or any of the other emotions that can pop up from time to time to wreak havoc on communication and honesty.  The people who say we shouldn’t feel these things in the name of compersion or frubbly are LYING.

*ahem*  What I mean is, we feel what we feel, and don’t need to make excuses for it.  I fully plan to kick the next person who says such things to me in the ASS, then hang them from a wall until they beg to be taken down.

(And, yeah.  This is not a post about sadism.  When I write one, I’ll cover it with trigger warnings.)

Paxil helps with my Depression brain, and my brainweasels pop up much less often than they used to, but at this point they are corralled rather than eradicated.  And, you know, I think that’s okay, really – brainweasels, in small amounts, can point out things that need to be addressed.  Brainweasels, in small amounts, make you aware of things you might not otherwise notice.  And that’s a good thing.  Brainweasels en masse however need to be rounded up and have their feet held to the fire; a sneak of weasels isn’t good for anyone or anything.

I don’t know if there’s a moral to all of this rambling, but I have come up with two things to remember: (1) Feel what you feel, and let it out.  Better out than in, if you will.  (2) Clearly, brainweasels are going to be a running theme, and I should probably make them a category.

Brainweasels   Leave a comment

Today, my brainweasels are racing around their corral, screaming.

I should explain: a brainweasel is an insidious thought that races its way through my mind and inserts itself into every other thought I have.  They’re voracious, like actual weasels, and fast-moving, and not afraid of charging in, kicking ass, and taking names.  My own brainweasels are (usually) a product of Depression brain, with occasional bits of genetic material from the Social Anxiety Monster, but I know brainweasels can come from multiple sources, and I also know that other people have them.

Anyway, today mine are racing around their corral, screaming.  This is because I scooped them all up this morning and shut them in; I really don’t want to deal with them today since I’ve got so much to do.  I suspect, though, that at least one has gotten out and is on the loose since I’ve getting occasional flashes of things I only think when I am deep in the pit and numb to outside influence.  It’s not so much that I can’t ignore it and focus on what I need to do, but it is slightly distracting.

Although, a friend of mine just handed me a virtual padlock, and it seems to be working to keep the weasels where they need to be.  Visualization, Thou Art Priceless…in many instances.

The messages carried by my mental mustilidae (thanks for the phrasing, oh fabulous frog!) tend to be related to self-worth and and pretty easy to identify as weaselry.  The sheer volume of them, though, makes it pretty difficult to ignore…and therein lies the rub.  Weaselry wants to be noticed; it wants me to pay attention to it, and to get all caught up in the nonsense it is spewing so it can multiply and take over my waking mind until I can focus on nothing but what it has to tell me.  Quite frankly, it’s exhausting, and I’ve got shit to do!

And so, I fight.  I fight the brainweasels with medication – they’re much less of a problem with Paxil riding shotgun.  I fight them with techniques my therapist taught me – I watch the weaselry hang in the air for a moment before turning my attention to other, more relevant, thoughts; I write them out so I can see how they look on screen/paper.  I fight them with my relationships with other people – my husband, my son, my partners, and my friends all think I am amazing and love me (look – no qualifiers or self-deprecation!).  I fight them in myriad ways, some of which I am not even sure I can reliably identify…because the other option is to stagnate, crawl into my hole, and become what the brainweasels want me to be.  And, I’m stubborn enough, and enough of a control freak, to be more resentful of their attempts at control than apathetic about them…and that’s probably the secret, really.

You see, the work I’ve done on myself means I’ve got that tiny spark inside that says I’m worth something, even when things are at their worst.  Even when the world comes crashing down around me, and everything is wrong, and nothing is fair…I have that spark that keeps me going.  Dr. Barb helped me find that spark, and nurture it, and taught me what to do so it doesn’t go out…and I can’t let it die now, knowing everything that went into making it bloom.  So, I can let the brainweasels run a bit, knowing that I’ll notice when they get to be too much and that I’ll somehow be able to corral them again.

And, if I somehow can’t, then I’ll ask for help.  Action is preferable to stagnation, after all.

A Crack in the Road   Leave a comment

I’ve decided to take a break from therapy.

I’m slightly shocked by this decision, honestly – I’m of the opinion that those of us who take psychotropic medications should be in therapy at some point, and just because I don’t think it needs to be for life, I still feel weird about stopping.  And, I’m not sure if it’s going to be a long-term or short-term break.

Here’s the thing: I last saw my therapist (the new one, not The Amazing Dr. Barb) two weeks before Christmas.  My schedule intervened, and then hers intervened, and I was supposed to see her at lunch time today…but my work-from-home day changed to Mondays and the commute from my office to her office is way too long for a lunch break.  So, I planned to text her to tell her that my schedule changed again…except the more I thought about going, the more it felt like a horrible chore.

I am not used to therapy feeling like a horrible chore.  Even at my most fucked-up, emotionally overwhelmed, screaming and crying, not-wanting-to-deal-with-reality, spoonless times, therapy was constructive and I actually looked forward to it.  It was like putting a puzzle together, or dumping the entire toy box out onto the floor to figure out what things belong together and what things don’t.  It was…good.

Therapy now is not good.  My new therapist is good, and she says all the right things, and she’s not horrified by me, and I’d probably recommend her to other people.  I just don’t think we fit each other.  It isn’t one of those overwhelmingly bad fits like the dozens of people who told me promiscuity wasn’t something that people who were sexually assaulted did.  (Yeah, I know.) But, there’s something just not right about it and, as a result, I dread going because I know it’s going to feel all awkward and weird.

It’s like a series of bad dates, actually, with the person everyone tells you is right for you, and so you date them, and even though there’s no chemistry you keep doing it because there’s nothing really wrong with the person.  And, quite frankly, if I want bad dates, I can go back on OK Cupid and meet all of the people who message me insisting that their spouse doesn’t understand them.

I’m also, kind of, bothered by the fact that she only communicates by phone or text.  And, quite frankly, I’m still annoyed that she isn’t Dr. Barb.  These things are not her fault.  I know they’re not her fault but…yeah.  So, I texted her and let her know I wanted to take a break and that I’d contact her in a month or so.  By then, I should know if I want to give it a try with her again, or find someone else, or just stop for now.

Blargh.  I wonder if I’m actually sane enough to attempt going without entirely, or if I need the safety net of being able to go back.  I wonder if I will go back.  Oh well, at least medication is a definite – they’ll pry my Paxil out of my cold, dead hands.

Posted January 7, 2015 by veggiewolf in Depression, monsters, self-esteem

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New Therapist   1 comment

So, I’m going to see a new therapist on Monday since my previous one closed her practice.  I’m not sure how I feel about this but, based on my last post, I am definitely having a mini crise and not playing nicely with my food, or my appetite, or my body image.

I think it is funny that I think I’m going off the rails enough to warrant taking myself back to a therapist – and all I really wanted to do was schedule an appointment to introduce myself in case I needed something in the future.  Turns out, this is the time my food issues decided to resurface.  Yeah, fuck you too, brain.

When I spoke to the new therapist yesterday to make the appointment, and I mentioned that I felt in crisis, they asked if I was safe.  Yes, I’m safe, I said.  After all, I’m not thinking of harming myself in any way, except possibly through potato chips.  And that makes the potato chips unsafe, not me.

Good thing there aren’t any in the house, right?  No self-medication through food or drink here – the stuff I binge on isn’t available, and I’m not going to the store.


Food is a Monster   Leave a comment

I love food.  I watch cooking shows, and read cookbooks for fun, and would happily try a new restaurant every single night.  Food is comfort.

I hate food.  I categorize foods as good or bad, healthy or unhealthy, and vacillate between restriction and overindulgence.  Food is misery.

I’m trying Weight Watchers again, along with a modified version of the DASH plan.  I don’t know how many times this makes that I’ve tried squeeze myself into the WW model – it worked once, and so I keep going back to it even though I have enormous issues with the mixed messages I get.  I’m also exercising more often, largely because I’m in the water three days a week and it doesn’t make sense not to swim laps when I’m there…and I’m sure it is making me more fit since I’m not getting winded as often, but I am not (to my knowledge) shedding a single pound…and my brain starts the endless loop all over again.

Have I mentioned that I actually haven’t been on a scale in six months, because seeing the number is a trigger?  Have I mentioned that I know that there’s no direct correlation between being overweight and being unhealthy, and that I encourage people to be happy in their own skin even as I try to peel my own off?  Have I mentioned that I have dreams about machines with gripping pincers that attach to the lower abdomen and just pull the fat person out of my body?

I think, although I can’t really remember, that I originally kept on weight after my son was born as a kind of armor to protect myself from being treated as a sexual object…even while being pleased to be objectified.  And once the weight was on, it was easy to add more.  I’m not sure about this, though – it feels right, but incomplete.  Also, no matter how fat I get, there are always people who want to fuck me – and I think they’re surprised by it.  They shouldn’t be – if nothing else is going for me, I’ll always have my kavorka, and so keeping weight on isn’t really armor in that sense.

I might have kept the weight on as a rebellion against my parents, since my son and I lived with them until he was six, and my mother was constantly harping on what I ate, and how much I weighed, and why didn’t I get on the rowing machine now???  Still, it’s been twenty years now; shouldn’t I be past all that?  And then I remember that I still don’t eat what I want to eat when I’m with my parents – I eat what I think they think I should be eating…and here comes the loop again.


I think it’s time to figure out how to work with this monster, how to feed it and fuck it senseless, because the ways I’ve been trying to fight it aren’t working, and I want some fucking french fries now.

Bad body image!  No biscuit!

Posted October 13, 2014 by veggiewolf in Depression, Food, monsters, self-esteem, Triggers

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Alien (TW)   1 comment

Trigger warning – this post contains violent imagery that some may find disturbing.

I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
– Emily Dickinson

There are times in my life that the two lines above resonate for me, despite my utter hatred of all things Emily Dickinson.

(And, of course, there’s the fact that the entirety of the poem is less about feeling like a nobody and more about the fact that crowing about how wonderful you are is tiresome…but I digress.  This is not the time for analysis of poetry.)

There are times when I feel like nobody, or when I mimic nobody quite well.  Other times, well, I look inside myself and I am monstrous.  I am teeth and claws and slavering jaws and hard shelled with a scorpion tail.  I am pharyngeal jaws and countless hunger and the thing that hides under the bed.  I am Alien, in every sense of the word, and just fortunate, I think, that my outsides don’t match my insides.  The only way to really see how I stand out as other is to live inside me…and that’s not going to happen unless you’re a bacterium, or a virus.

Or a parasite.

Sometimes, I look at my childhood and how I came to adulthood and I realize the potential within me could grow in any direction – I could be nurturing and do what is expected, or I could burst out of my own chest and take off in a careening way, bouncing off walls, until I found an air duct to hide in and bide my time.  I imagine hiding, in the dark, waiting to shed my skin and get bigger and stronger.  I imagine rending those who stand against me, with razor-sharp words or tooth and claw.  I can cut them down to size.  I want to cut them down to size.

I dream of racks and the POP of dislocating joints, of flechettes and the slow drip, of a thousand million ways to flay someone and leave scars on soul, not skin.  I dream of fear, and it tastes like copper pennies.  I dream of flame and it burns blue-hot, or scalding wax on skin in perfect circles.

And…I do nothing.  I trace the dotted lines and queue up and hold my tongue and say nice things and it tastes like poison.  I do what I must and the reasons are all good ones.

I bide my time.  I wait.