“More Fucked Up Than a Soup Sandwich”

So I saw my therapist yesterday.

It has been nearly 3 years since I have sat on that couch. And she said so many things. So may brilliant and scary things. Words like General Anxiety Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, ADHD,  and Codependent are still floating through my mind.

Just a ball of nerves or General Anxiety? Just bad dreams or PTSD? Just spinning wheels or ADHD? Just helpful or Codependent?

Yeah right.

There is no fucking getting out of that last one.  It took very little research to know that she was right. When she said the word “Codependent”, I was like, “Shit. you got me. Finally one that I can’t talk myself out of.”

The following is from Mental Health America.Net

(original post here: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/co-dependency)

“Co-dependents have low self-esteem and look for anything outside of themselves to make them feel better…They have good intentions. They try to take care of a person who is experiencing difficulty, but the caretaking becomes compulsive and defeating. Co-dependents often take on a martyr’s role and become “benefactors” to an individual in need.

The problem is that these repeated rescue attempts allow the needy individual to continue on a destructive course and to become even more dependent on the unhealthy caretaking of the “benefactor.” As this reliance increases, the co-dependent develops a sense of reward and satisfaction from “being needed.” When the caretaking becomes compulsive, the co-dependent feels choiceless and helpless in the relationship, but is unable to break away from the cycle of behavior that causes it.”

This basically just described the relationship that I was just in that just ended. He started as  a drug addict.  I was his martyr. I “saved” him. And it just didn’t work. It didn’t work for either of us.

And here I am, still acting like a little bitch when I know that it wasn’t a healthy relationship…

Get over it, Amber!

My therapist thinks I shouldn’t date until I get these dependency issues worked out. She said I was allowed a “fuck buddy” but I know that I can’t separate love and sex so that just doesn’t jive with me. Time to invest in some batteries…

I am not going to miss you tonight.

I told myself I wouldn’t. I know that I shouldn’t. I am where I am supposed to be. I have been more productive in the last three weeks than I have been in the last three months. I finally feel free to be happy again. I finally don’t feel like a nagging bitch all the time. I feel useful and creative again.

So why do I miss you so much?

Why do I wish you would just call and say you were wrong.

Could you be wrong?

That isn’t possible, is it? For you to be wrong about being in love with someone?

You know when you can’t live without someone.

And you are.

Living.

Without me.

And you are happy, I suppose.

I should be, too.

So why am I not?

Brain, please don’t dream of him tonight.  Eyes, please don’t search for him tonight. Arms, please don’t reach for him tonight. Heart, please don’t hurt for him tonight.

💔

 

On Writing

A dear friend told me that I don’t have to create amazing prose each time that I sit here to write you.  It’s difficult, you see, because I don’t really know what this is. It is a hobby, for sure. It is a form of self-expression that I tend to use when I am feeling blue or have a funny story. But I don’t feel like I can stop by and write unless I have something worth reading.

Someone recently said to me, “I was reading your diary online and…”

My diary? Oh shit… Is that what this is? I mean, I don’t keep a diary. I wish I did. But I guess I really don’t hold back when I am writing you. So this could be a diary. I feel like you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t want to know.  And I wouldn’t be sharing if I didn’t want you to know.

I want to make this more frequent. I will try and write at least once a week from now on, not leave you hanging on for so long. Not that you are hanging on in anyway, but, here you are… still reading my nonsensical bullshit. haha.

Peace & Love

💘

-Am

After A While & Dear Woman

These are not my poems. But they have resonated with me lately. I hope they speak to you and touch your soul like they have mine.

 

After a While by Veronica A. Shoffstall

After a while you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn
that love doesn’t mean leaning
and company doesn’t always mean security.
And you begin to learn
that kisses aren’t contracts
and presents aren’t promises
and you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes ahead
with the grace of woman, not the grief of a child
and you learn
to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow’s ground is
too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down
in mid-flight.
After a while you learn
that even sunshine burns
if you get too much
so you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone
to bring you flowers.

 

Dear Woman by Michael E. Reid

Dear Woman,

Sometimes,

You’ll just be too much woman,
Too smart,Too strong.
Too much of something
That makes a man feel like less of a man,
Which will start making you feel like you have to be less of a woman.
The biggest mistake you can make
Is removing jewels from your crown
To make it easier for a man to carry.
When this happens, I need you to understand,
You do not need a smaller crown –
You need a man with bigger hands.

Change

I will be honest about my thoughts and feelings on this piece and let you know now that my mind will have changed and may be different in two months or less.

Right now, I am licking wounds and looking for solid ground to stand on. My heart is hurting (even if deep down at the bottom of it, I kinda believe that it is for the best). Let’s get to it… 💔

I have been hot and cold for my boyfriend of four years for about the last six months or so. Being who I am, I never held back my feelings towards him. Ty was fully aware that his lack of goals or ambition was driving me insane. Looking back, I know that he was miserable. He hated the company he works for (still does). His sjogren’s and arthritis were hurting him, probably still are. He felt sad all of the time. He wouldn’t go visit with his family. He wouldn’t go see a doctor. He woke for work at 4:30 AM and made it home around 5:30 PM. Then he would crack a beer, sometimes just one, and sit on the couch waiting for dinner to be served. He never cared what we ate. After dinner, he would fall asleep on the couch until I’d ask him to go to bed- and he would argue most of the time. This routine wasn’t surrounded with much loving conversation. We had sex twice a week maximum, when I asked for it- and sometimes he was just “too tired”.  Looking back now, he had grown tired of me. I was impatient and a nag. He was content with what he had. He didn’t want goals like a planning wedding or a having child or a building a house.

As horrible and painful as it is to admit, I am now aware that his love for me was learned and took effort. My love for him was chemical. It was animalistic and automatic. It was never hard for me to love him, not even through the worst of times. As long as he came back and was sorry, I would love him forever. I had accepted that we were in a rough patch and wanted to press on. It just wasn’t the same for him. Probably never was…

When we first started dating and unbeknownst to me, he was a drug addict. Apparently had been for about six years prior. For the first two years, we did this awful tug of war between addiction and sobriety.

When I finally left the first time, he went to rehab. As of May 28th, 2016, he had been sober for two years from opiates. He still is as of today as far as I know. He knew from the very start that I would be good for him. He knew that I loved him and that I would be strong and wouldn’t allow him falter as much as anyone could. I could read the drugs in his eyes and would call him on his bullshit quickly all the while reminding him how handsome and cable and intelligent he was. He wouldn’t risk losing me for the next two years and two months.

About a year ago, when we moved back to his hometown from Savannah, Ga, he promised that we wouldn’t live in that house forever. That trailer that his father bought for his first marriage. This little old 80’s model single wide that sat less that 100 yards from his parent’s house- the one where he got high so many times. But honestly, it is the only place he wants to be- “no bills!- why not?”. He is perfectly content there and I am not. I was not. I will never be again.

His family hated me and it made him feel like he had to choose between us. I never asked him to and begged him to visit them, but it didn’t matter. The rift between them and me deepened the one between he and I.

The day we actually broke up was a disaster. I had been awake for over 22 hours helping my best friend pack and move her apartment and storage unit in a U-haul from Nashville, TN. I came home, slept for like 5 hours and then he came home from work. He didn’t act like he missed me at all. I had been gone for 5 days. He had a side job to go to right then and had volunteered to pick up some extra hours the following day.

I was hurt. I said “You don’t love me like I love you, do you?” And when he would usually protest, this time he said, “But that doesn’t mean that I don’t want you in my life.” I backed away slowly, got in my car, rolled down the window and said, “This is so over.” And I left.

I came back two hours later to apologize and he didn’t care. He didn’t want to make up…

I do not know if this is just a stage of a break-up or maybe of grief, but I feel so guilty. This has shown me that I am such a hard person. I already knew that I speak too harshly. I don’t hold back, often when I should.

Sometimes I feel like I emasculated him. I was bossy and bitchy and neither of us were happy because of it. Looking back on it now, I handled everything wrong. I should have been encouraging. I should have made my happiness my own responsibility. I should have let him find his own way without trying to force him in directions. They say hindsight is 20/20. I fucking hate clichés.

I remember hanging out with my single friends who were dating and thinking, “God, I am so fortunate. I have a fantastic boyfriend who I love so much.” And I didn’t show it- not nearly enough.

Would it have mattered? I mean, that still wouldn’t have made him love me, would it? I mean, I have been loved before. My high school sweetheart was toxic, but he was in love with me. Ty loved me but “not the way your are supposed to when you say ‘I do'”- those are his actual words on that final night. He also made a splash with “there is absolutely no spark anymore” and “I really tried but it’s just not there, I’m sorry”.

I showed him seventy-seven shades of crazy in about 7 minutes.

You used me?! So you never loved me? You tried?! What the fuck does that mean?! Fuck you! Why would you do this to me? I loved you. I took care of you. I went through hell with you. You promised that it would be worth it! You promised that we would do this together forever. You fucking liar! I HOPE YOU END UP STRUNG OUT ON PILLS LIKE YOU WERE BEFORE YOU FUCKING USED ME. I am sorry, I didn’t mean that- I love you so much. Please say that this is an awful joke. Please say that we can work this out. But you don’t want to marry me!? There is no spark!? Why the fuck have you lied to me for FOUR GODDAMNED YEARS AND MADE ME THINK THAT…

I sobbed, screamed, begged, and then gave up in a pile of tears on my bed. He eased in behind me, pulled the covers over me and started massaging my shoulders. I continued to weep. He rubbed my shoulders, then my back, then my hips and my thighs, and…

I fucking had sex with him.

I don’t know why. Maybe a final pathetic plea of some sort. Don’t worry, it was not good sex… I immediately rolled over (after he came inside of me-inconsiderate) and continued my sobbing. He held me for the rest of the night, for one last night.

When he went to leave for work around 5:00 AM, he came to kiss me- and I wouldn’t allow it. He told me he loved me. I told him he was lying. He slammed the door. I packed my bags while he was at work.

I will have to go back for my furniture soon, after I find an apartment. I have been staying with my mom (shoot me).

I have only texted with him once briefly in the first few days in which he told me that he was happier without me… Ouch. That little reality check slapped me in the face because I do love him. And his happiness is very important to me.

If he is happier without me, I just want him to be happy.

Disconnected…

What does that word mean to you?

Is it a feeling?

Is it a verb?

Is one or the other or both?

Does that even make sense?

 

Ha.

Disconnect, ye disconnected…

 

a universal human experience

 

to be human is to be temporary

and how wonderful it is to be

only temporary

and human

all in one and one in all.

 

 

I can’t wait to be 50.

I feel like there is a certain age at which you are allowed (by society) to no longer give a fuck.

You can dress as you please. Speak as you please. Live as you please. And no one is looking for you to change. They accept that you are “set in your ways”.

This is an age at which you can flip the bird to a 10 year old and a 70 year old on the same block (only if deserved and with no fucks given).

There is no more”respect your elders” talk because, hell, you are an elder and you have lived long enough to know who deserves your respect and who doesn’t.

I have always been told that I am “an old soul” but I must say my “stay the fuck away from me, let me read and swing on the front porch” stage is starting far too soon…

xo-

💘 Am

 

On Death

My little sister, Brooke, who juniored me by 18 months, was in a tragic car accident with two other teens early in the morning of March 24, 2008. They were all three killed on impact.

This has been the single most defining event in my life. The lessons that this has taught me could not be understood in any other possible way, as harsh and awful as that seems. I am still learning these lessons everyday. But this is part of my soul’s polishing process- and it hurts.

The most precious human being that I ever had the pleasure to know was Melanie Brooke Dover. Silliness and beauty followed her like light follows the sun.

When the world was able to wipe her from it’s existence sending her onto her next adventure without my permission, my brain melted.

My heart froze.

I denied my soul.

Everything turned black.

For about two years, my anger churned and burned. I cursed God. I became reclusive. I grew apart from my family. My bad relationship got worse. I just didn’t understand.

This was never part of the plan.

HOW? WHY?

I wanted answers.  I wanted to understand. I wanted to trade places.

She was the good one. Not me. She had plans. I never have.

I saw multiple psychologists and psychiatrists. I was diagnosed with more ailments and disorders than I can remember. I was switched from anti-depressant to anti-depressant from benzo to benzo. “Here is a pill to level you out daily. Here is a pill to help you sleep every night. And here is an extra pill for when you have panic attacks.”

None of that jazz really worked out for me.

There was one counselor who understood me and that helped me to learn to start loving myself again. She told me that time was all that would make it easier.

She was right.

By now the all that time has let some scar tissue form and the wounds are eight years old.

I still cry and it still hurts often. But somehow, I believe I am a better person because of it.

I consider the value of life more. I want to better the world and be a part of it in a way that I did not before. I no longer feel guilty to be happy. I have a desire to live and travel more than ever before. I don’t fear physical pain like I did before. I am gutsier and more honest. I feel like I have to make a difference in the world, because I know that she would have.

Don’t get me wrong, in her short 17 years, she touched more lives than I even know of. But if I can give back just a smidgen of the love and hope that she gave me, I will have lived well.

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It’s been a while. (a.k.a. “On being fired”)

I haven’t written in almost 2 months.

Much has occurred, but I am only going to hit on the important stuff, and not in chronological order.

  • I was in a wedding for a dear friend, Winston and his darling husband, Brian.

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  • I took a 5 day cruise to the Bahamas.

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  • And I was fired for the first time in my (almost) twenty-seven years.

flushed-face

The on-board ceremony for Brian and Winston took place while at port in Jacksonville. They picked the most luxurious venue on the cruise ship. There were giant pink pearls in the ceiling, fancy glass flute-like lights, and a shimmering golden curtain at the front stage area where the ceremony took place. The reception had the fanciest, most delicious food and an open bar. It was both a grand and intimate affair; exactly as a wedding should be.

The cruise was lovely until halfway through, for the two nights when we experienced 5 foot waves. My bed creaked with every sway. Dramamine became my dearest friend (once I finally discovered it on the 2nd day of the movement).

That cruise was about two weeks after my cousin/boss stopped me in the hallway at work and asked to speak with me “just a quick minute”. He followed me into his wife’s office and rapidly told me that he needed someone to work 45+ hours a week and my 22 hours (as agreed upon when I was hired a year ago) was just not enough. He also mentioned that he already had someone in mind to fill my position, and that he refused to ask me to put college on the back burner. So here was a thousand bucks, I could go ahead and clear my desk and take some time off. “Is it something I’ve done?” I managed to stutter, still processing what was happening. “No! And don’t take this as me firing you. We are family and I love you. You are so smart. I just need someone who can be here more. ” Still confused, I wiped my tears and scurried back to my desk.

I have been working since I was fifteen years old. I have never been let go or fired from anything. I have never had someone say, “Thanks, but we really don’t need you.” or “You just aren’t worth it or working out.” This has been a blow to my ego/self-esteem.

I am so thankful for my overly comforting boyfriend. He was angry at first, just because he knew my feelings were hurt. But he keeps reminding me that this is how it is supposed to be and probably a blessing in disguise. “Look, I am working over-time since it is summer and you are still taking classes and all… we don’t necessarily need your income, I mean, you really don’t even have to get a job if you don’t want to.”

Thanks boo, but I need to feel useful and like I am holding my own.  I will be ok. I will find something better suited for me. I will stay positive and start looking for my next adventure. Some-fucking-how…

 

Here’s to new beginnings!

Did I know that it was last time?

My sister (see this post for more info) came to my house for a visit on a normal Thursday night, March 20, 2008. I lived on the westside of Jacksonville in an old, blue, asbestos-shingled shack. I cooked homemade chicken pot-pie for dinner, a Paula Dean recipe so you know it was gooood!

Afterwards, we drank two shots of cheap tequila and smoked a joint of dirt weed. To get away from my ever hovering high-school sweetheart, we moseyed to the front porch for a couple menthol cigs.

Her company was so genuine. She told me that my boyfriend was greedy with me (he was) and that I could find someone to treat me better (I have). She told me about the weekend ahead and how she was heading to Baxley, GA to see her boyfriend, Mallory and Liana, her best friend in town from Texas. She stayed for about three hours as we gossiped and chirped like chickens.

When it was time to go she kissed my cheek, told me she loved me and pranced towards her car, keys dangling in hand.

As I sat on the front the porch of that old dilapidated, asbestos-shingled house watching her walk away a knot rose in my throat that I could not swallow.  “What if something happened to her?” I thought to myself. I quickly paced to her open car door like the bossy, mother-type that I am swinging it further open.

“Brooke- are you sure that you are okay to drive? I mean, we had a nip of tequila and I know the weed was crap, but I would just die if anything were to happen…”

She cut me off, “I am fine, sister. And I love you very much. Call you soon.”

She gave me a quick peck on the lips, a one armed hug and she was gone.

Nothing could happen, right?

It didn’t.

But the dread never left the back of my mind and it was the last time that I laid eyes on my little sister alive.

She made it home that night, but died in a car accident on the way to take Liana back to the airport for Texas early Monday morning. Liana and her boyfriend, Joshua, were also killed in the accident on impact.  News Article Here

b5.jpg
Brooke and Liana

b2

I kept that bottle of cheap tequila and one of the cigarette butts with her pink lipstick print on it.

But it has been eight long, long years.

The liquor has started to evaporate, the butt has yellowed, and the lip print’s once glittery sparkles are long faded.

I never knew how much it could hurt.

I never thought that she could leave like that, never even considered it an option. I remember having nightmares as a child that she died. I would wake in a fury, put my hand under her nose to check her breathing (in the rare case that I couldn’t already hear her snoring) and hold her hand tight knowing that it could never happen to us. She had too many plans. She was going to go to college to be a teacher. And get married and have children of her own…

Then it happened to her.

To us.

To me.

And life has not ever been the same without her.

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Easter Circa ’97

 

7
She and I prior to our last Victoria Secret shopping spree

 

Misadventure at the Flea Market

Roaming through the flea market is always interesting. Sometimes you discover treasures that you would never stumble upon anywhere else and other times you find a big, fat nothing.

I have a thing for incense, candles and other smelly goods, so I always make sure to stock up while I am there.

This past weekend, my boyfriend and I took his 9 year old son and 7 year old daughter with us to on our trip to Pecan Park Flea Market.

One of the tobacco shops has a wall lining the outside with over 100 types of incense. At ten for a dollar, I give everyone in the family two bags and tell them to fill them with their favorite scents. We spend at least 30 minutes perusing and testing the varieties. The kids are having fun smelling all of the smells and practicing sounding out labels like Lavender, Honeydew, Frankincense, or Night-time Jasmine Garden.

“Try that one.”

“Yeah!”

“Definitely not this. Shoo-wee…

“I like the Raspberry one! Here! Try!”

We are all buzzing back and forth filling our bags with little, smelly wooden sticks when a tiny voice fills the air, “This one is weird…Ms. Amber, smell the p-p-pu-pussy”

 

I almost died.

“Ahhh.. a cat scented one!?”

 

💘xoxo

– Am

02/22

What was once a glorious celebration of my little sister’s life is now a black hole on my calendar.

Chuck E. Cheese, roller skating rinks, and the zoo all hold memories of days gone by where loved ones surrounded my skinny, blonde haired and blue-eyed sister, singing “Happy Birthday” and showering her in kisses, laughter and gifts. There was always at least one gift tucked away in Brooke’s mountain of toys just for me.  “The good ole days” they call them.

On this particular day, similar to the last 7 years, I am throwing a pity party all for myself. I called out of work. I have been drunk(ish) since noon.  I told my professor that I was sick and wouldn’t make it to class.

That wasn’t a lie. I am sick… of this day, of this feeling, in the head, to my stomach…

My sister was 18 months younger than me.

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She was the most beautiful person that I have ever known in real life. She brought light into a room when she entered it. She went out of her way to befriend the friendless. She had inside jokes with everyone. She was a cheerleading captain and the reigning Miss Junior at the local high school (not that beauty pageants mean shit to me, but so you understand how gorgeous this girl was).

In public, she was a lady. She woke up early every morning to make sure that every hair on her head was in place and that her make-up was flawless. She smiled and waved to all, like the queen she was. 👑

When we were alone though, she would secretly puff on one of my menthol cigarettes, cursing like a sailor as she babbled on about her latest grown-up adventure. That raw side of her was only meant for those of us from whom she never feared judgement, and there weren’t very many of us.

She was not born with rhythm so she practiced over and over in a mirror until she understood and conquered that. She had more determination in her pinky finger than I have in my whole body. She could have changed the world. 🌎

She died in a car accident on March 24th, 2008, about a month after her 17th birthday (Feb. 22).

Most days I accept it. I now love more freely, speak more honestly and live more happily. I don’t take moments for granted. I forgive quicker. It has made me a better person in some strange way.

But not today.

On the day she was born and on the day she died, I don’t have to pretend I am ok with it or hold back my tears. I allow myself these two days a year to mourn, cry, mope, and feel sorry for myself like I want to so often (while I hermit myself in my house with some liquor). I look at old pictures. I simultaneously want company and can’t handle the judgement. My anxiety is at its peak.

Cheers to another round! 🍻

 

Missing my Brookie forever ✨👼🏼👑 #MBD #143

💘xoxo

– Am

In all of my naked glory

Can I bear my soul to you?

I don’t really care what you do with the information once you have it.

I just want to have my pain, my dreams and my short-comings revealed through someone else’s eyes and in the context of the internet forevermore. I want my thoughts to scroll through your mind, in your voice. I want your own pain and experiences to weave and intertwine with mine to give it new life and meaning and therefore more existence.

(Apparently, tonight’s glass of wine is opening my wounds instead of tickling that funny bone.)

ONWARD!

So I have no clue what I am going to school for. If you have read my shit, then you are aware that I am a community college freshman… a late bloomer, if you will.

I had a great career in customer service for a large insurance broker for nearly six years.  The pay was great. I had tons of friends within the organization. I felt very appreciated by the owners and the company in general. And I busted ass for them. But when it came down to it… I was not living my dream.

(Not like I know what that is, really)

If there were such things as genies in bottles, my honest-to-God dream job would be to run an orphanage, animal shelter, and horse ranch while simultaneously moonlighting as Tony-winning actor and a regular on the cast of SNL. (Not to mention the great fucking body I would be rocking… Thanks Genie!)

Ha.

The only thing that I honestly know is that I want to help the world (somehow). I mean, I want to be happy. But even more than that, I want to leave my mark on this earth… one that says that I have lived and lived well (thanks R.W.E.).

I want to impact lives. I just wish I had more direction…

Steve Harvey once said that most people don’t realize what their natural gift is because it is something that they love and have done their whole lives. They don’t even realize that they can get paid for it and make a career out of it.

(I don’t think eating puffy cheetos in a tee shirt and undies while watching Cartoon Network counts. -\_(ツ)_/-  Oh well.)

Until another day…

💘xoxo

– Am

 

P.S. I will be back soon. And I will open up more. I am just the type of girl who gets in the pool toes first… I know that I seem like a jumper, but I’m really a wuss.