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Christmas list?

This post was originally published in December 2010, but I thought it could use an update. Even though I am working now, I still can’t help but feel like crap because half the time I forget things that are easy for everyone else to remember and I seem to always be doing something wrong. I’m not saying that because I get constant criticism, although it feels like that sometimes. I’m saying that because I’m oversensitive and tend to respond to things like the tones people use when sometimes it’s better to remember that that’s just how someone talks or that this isn’t a good time of the year for me in general. It’s better this year than it has been because I’m working and making money, although I do wish I could see my family and friends more often. Anyway, back to your regularly-scheduled whine-fest.

My husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas. The first things I thought of were a Bible with the Apocrypha in it and/or one of my favorite party games. Of course, we’d actually have to *have* parties in order to play said game, but that’s something else entirely. I can think of a few things I’d like, but I don’t think they would be something he could give me. For instance:

-He can’t give me my brain back. One thing I hate to no end is that I feel like I am ‘slipping’…everyone else ‘gets’ things that I don’t, and I keep missing and forgetting things. I don’t want to immediately say it’s because of my bipolar and/or ADHD, but that’s probably the most likely scenario. My doctors have told me that it affects the way I think; I test lower on IQ tests than I did before because my brain works differently (well, assuming it works at all 😛 ). Seriously. I’ve been told over and over again that I ‘don’t think’ or whatnot, but that’s not true at all. I *do* think, I just tend to think so fast that nothing really ‘sticks’. My last few employers-you know, the two jobs I was fired from in two weeks-can attest to that. It’s just so frustrating, because I feel like everyone else is smarter than me and understands everything much better. Maybe this is true, but maybe I’m just *different*, not any less or any more. I don’t know.

-He can’t help me lose weight. Maybe he can in terms of eating more vegetables and less fatty stuff, but he can’t exercise for me or stop me from liking things like soda and cookies. I feel like I’ve nagged him enough about that in terms of getting him to buy veggies and fruit for produce, although truth be told I really don’t push anywhere near as much as I could. Still, I know that money has been really tight for us and that he feels like the stuff we can afford is often the stuff that’s really the worst for us. He doesn’t say it like that, but that’s what it comes out to. We *do* get canned veggies but It’s up to me to actually *eat* them, or to choose them over other stuff when I have a choice.

-He can’t help me get motivated to do, well, anything. I have so many projects I’ve started that I haven’t finished and don’t really know if I will. A children’s book, a novel of sorts, a few other writing projects…at least I’ve had some stories published, although they haven’t sold yet and *ahem* aren’t the type of stories you let your dad read. I have a couple of tabs open in my browser right now for things I keep meaning to read, but somehow never get around to it because I’m so easily distracted. Maybe at some point I’ll stop playing Facebook games long enough to read the stuff I’m supposed to read on Beliefnet for my job, and Slater, get off the counter,then do some writing I get paid for and Dr Phil’s head looks particularly shiny today….oops, got distracted again.

-He can’t get me to stand up for myself the way I need to.

-He can’t ward off my depression or make other people do stuff with us. They have their own lives and I totally appreciate that, but sometimes I just get bored with the same old thing. Boredom often leads to depression with me and, since I don’t work outside of the home, I get bored quite a bit. It’s gotten better now that we’ve paid the car off and I’ve been doing more stuff at church. Just to get out among other people-especially more women since most of my friends here are men-really helps. Even so, sometimes I still feel really “meh”. Which leads me to my next point:

-He can’t make me feel like less of a piece of crap because I get disability even though a lot of the time I feel as though I can work. I know from experience that my mental issues cause major problems and my physical issues aren’t much better, but that doesn’t stop me from feeling as though I’m one of those “sponges” or “cheats” some people rant about. I would never, ever say that to someone else, but I’ll say that to myself. Hmm.

He can’t change the past, which is ultimately what it would take to ward this off.

That’s just it. He can’t change the past. I know he would if he could, though. The only thing that can be done is to get to be more comfortable and content with the way things are and to try and improve things from there, but that’s something I have to do for myself. I have to ask God to help me with that every day, if I remember. That’s really sad, ‘if I remember’, but the point is that he can’t do it for me because it’s not *for* him to do. It’s for me, with God’s help. And I need all the help I can get.


Maybe I should just stick with new jeans and some bras to replace the ones I can’t wear anymore. That would require a lot less explanation.


Here’s what I’ve been up to:

I’ve been trying to get my foot in the door with writing…I figure I could at least *try* to make some money or keep up my skill while I’m not working otherwise. Factoidz is a site for short instructional articles…I can do ‘short’!


This is another womens’ magazine I’ve blogged a bit for:

Feel free to visit and tell me how much I suck! 🙂

I’ve also gotten a bite on some other stories…I found an ad on craigslist asking for certain types of stories, and so I wanted to more information. Anyway, I sent one of the stories to the address in the ad, and they want to publish it! It’s a web-zine that is coming up called RacyBunny…it hasn’t been launched yet but they want more stories, and the contract I was given to sign says that I will be credited with authorship and could make some money off of royalties. Exactly how much remains to be seen, but I am so happy that I can do something with these stories!  As the name implies, the stories are of a sexual-fantasy nature. I’ve given my pen name as Danielle (what my parents were going to name me until they found my name), so while I would still get the credit for them in terms of the admins, the readers wouldn’t know who I am or be able to trace it back to me.  I don’t let anyone other than my husband and a few select friends know about this for two reasons: 1) many people who know me see me as the ‘sweet and innocent’ person and this might creep them out, and 2) I don’t want people who don’t know me well to think I’m some kind of slut or something.  I’ve had it happen where if even the slightest indication is given that a woman might think about sex or whatnot, men will then see her as a sex object and treat her accordingly. It doesn’t even have to be anything she does; I’ve gotten those sorts of looks and comments since I was about 14 and developed large breasts. If I wore a tight shirt-and lets face it, most shirts that aren’t mu-mus or hockey jerseys are tight on me-that has been taken as an ‘invitation’. Of course, not all men are like this.  I really probably shouldn’t complain, since I *did* write those stories.

When I worked at a local restaurant a couple of years ago, a friend made a joke to me that turned into a sort of ongoing  .  I think I said something like that I was a virgin when I got married (which is true), and she said something like, oh yeah right, we all know you’re a freak, it’s always the quiet ones, etc. It was funny, and we all had fun with it. I laugh at myself all the time, so that wasn’t a problem.  When we were at a ladies-only party at this person’s house we all got rather silly and, since there was a vendor from Slumber Parties (http://www.slumberparties.com/)  there, it was kind of like a ‘bachelorette’ atmosphere.  I’m married, so it’s not like I’m ‘not allowed’, and it was a ladies’ party where others were acting even sillier than I was.  I actually was pretty tame. I’ve always come across as the ‘innocent’ type, and this was actually true in a lot of ways, so the silliness was particularly funny coming from me. However, at one point it went too far. I don’t remember exactly when that was, but it came to my attention that some people in the staff didn’t realize it was a joke (or, not to the level that it was).  It seemed to me that some of the men who didn’t know it was a joke thought that I was ‘easy’ or that it was acceptable to talk to me in that sort of way. Of course that’s not acceptable in a work environment, period. However, this wasn’t the first time something of this nature had happened, or the first time someone got the wrong idea about me because of a joke or a passing comment that was heard out of context. I’m not a prude or anything, and I like knowing that I’m attractive.  I also once made the mistake of showing the blog to someone who was a fellow writer in the ‘can you proofread this’ sense…I thought he would be professional enough to know that I wasn’t hitting on him, not to mention the fact that we are both married. Or so I thought. He doesn’t hit on me anymore or talk to me in a sexual manner because I shut that down rather quickly, but I’d rather not have that happen again.  I would *never* do anything to hurt my husband like that. Never. I guess I’m still a lot more naive and trusting than I should be.  Oh well, live and learn.

I figure the writing is a much better way to deal with the hypersexuality stuff with bipolar and everything else than going out and screwing whatever moves.  Of course, they’re all fictional.  I was offered a job a few years ago writing for a sex-toys catalogue, but I turned it down…I just didn’t feel it was right, that it was very ‘Christian’. That, and it was an hour-and-a-half away! I don’t have as many misgivings about this for some reason, but back then I *was* a lot more conservative. My family still picks on me about that. 🙂

On another, unrelated note:

I thought about participating in a lawsuit regarding one of my former medicines.  The birth control I was on before has recently been linked to several problems like heart and gallbladder issues. I did have gallbladder issues in 2007, but it took a few months before anyone could figure out what was wrong. Three ER visits, several doctor visits, not being able to eat (and thus my Geodon for bipolar didn’t work…I ended up suicidal)…it was an awful time. I didn’t participate in the end because I did my homework and was concerned that I wasn’t getting a good deal with the firm that was handling it.  I got a contract and tried to read it but didn’t understand all of the ‘legalese’…I just didn’t feel right about it, not morally but I was afraid some of the ‘legalese’ would put me on the hook for costs or other things I didn’t want or couldn’t afford to do.  They explained to me that they weren’t going to get paid unless I did, but the contingency was waaaaaaaayyyyyy more than charged by many other firms and I just didn’t trust them. Lawyers, I mean. I can’t afford to have *anything* go wrong, so I figured I should just stay out of it. I know, I know, feel free to tell me how dumb I was here too…:)

Anyway, I’ve gone on long enough. Have a good day!

Would it *really* have been any different?

I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of things in my life that I wish I had done or had not done. You know, the whole “woulda, coulda, shoulda” thing. A lot of times, I think I would have been happier with jobs had I studied psychology or religion rather than communication, or I think what it would have been like had I actually been able to work a the job I was going to my first day at when I got into my wreck. It’s mostly jobs I think about, mostly because I’ve spent about half my life working outside the home for money. That’s really all I know; I’m on disability right now, and it killed me to apply because that meant admitting to the government that I couldn’t work. Worse than that, I had to admit it to myself.

But lately I’ve looked back and thought, would I really have been any happier? Professionally, that is. Would I have had an easier time of it had I studied something else? What if the thing that has made the difference isn’t job related at all?

What if it is the bipolar that has caused the problems? I don’t want to have it run my life, but sometimes I don’t know how it can’t. I think the part I’m having now started when I was in college. I did socialize a lot more than I did in high school and was kind of a drama queen, however unintentionally. Certain ex-boyfriends (namely, PR*) took up a lot of time and energy, so much that I often wish I’d never met him. I don’t regret much more in my personal life because I have the most wonderful husband in the world, but professionally is where I mostly wonder. Would things had been any different had I studied something else…would I have been able to get through the school? I think back at how I wanted to go to law school…I shelved that idea for a different reason, but I wonder now if I would have done very well at the job or if I would have been able to get through law school, with the concentration issues I have. Would I have been able to keep jobs for any longer than I have so far? Would I be any happier?

Okay, sorry to ramble, but I hope you see what I was thinking about. Would things really been any better had I actually done the “coulda, woulda, shouldas” I think about? What about you? What are some of your “coulda, woulda, shouldas”?

*’PR’ stands for Psycho Rapist…that’s not the only nickname I’ve used for him, or even the most colorful, but he doesn’t deserve to have me call him by his real name. Actually, he really doesn’t even deserve this amount of thought. Sometimes I still have flashbacks, but that’s another post.

The List Everyone Should Have

Kick the bucket. Buy the farm. Take the dirt nap. Go to be with Jesus.  Live six feet under. Become worm food. Return to whence you came.  It doesn’t matter what cute (or just plain creepy) name you call it, all of us are going to die at some point. The idea is to make the best of what time you have.  Here is a list of things I would like to accomplish before I…well, you know…

Write something that becomes widely known *cough, shameless plug, cough*

Go to every inhabited continent at least once

Dance the Funky Chicken with Sev at our 50th wedding anniversary

Stop worrying what so many people think of me

Have dinner with a celebrity I admire

See a screenplay or read a novel written by one of my friends…this is a real possibility

Visit Jerusalem

Learn to let stuff go

Dye my hair blue (no, not really…although I’ve already done purple, but not intentionally)

Live through something most people wouldn’t have, and I shouldn’t have either…oops, already done that

See a *very* big-name band in concert (U2, Aerosmith, Elton John/Billy Joel on the same stage)

Learn to be okay in my own skin on an ongoing basis…I am most of the time but I’d like to be all of the time

Have sex in a public place

Go on a game show

Dip a hand or foot in the River Jordan

Learn to sing (without setting the neighborhood dogs a-howl)

Learn not to be as stand-offish as I can be sometimes…I love everyone but don’t always know how to open up or get close to people

Have chocolate-covered bacon or some other random combination of my favorite food items

Have sex on the beach (no, not the drink…)

Have a real conversation with a world leader (religious, political, whatever)

Forget about a certain ex, or at least get to where it doesn’t bug me when he comes to mind

Work along side a celebrity I admire (preferably writing for print or visual media, but volunteer work will do)

Hell, get to where I can work full-time again, successfully

Learn to take professional-quality pictures and travel to beautiful places doing so

Get into a full-scale food or water fight in public

Go water-skiing

Okay, maybe these aren’t all that exciting.  But then, neither am I. 🙂  I’m sure I’ll think of more at some point.  I’m off to go start on 12 and 17…yeah, don’t I wish! 🙂

Success? Whose Definition?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the direction my life has taken. I think this was brought on by a post from one of my friends from a forum about how she feels she is ‘behind’ other people in her life.  I was happy to read that…not happy that she was feeling badly about herself, but happy that I wasn’t the only one who felt this way.

For as long as I can remember, I have defined myself by my intelligence.  I held strong educational and career goals. I thought that that was all I had going for me, since I wasn’t popular or beautiful and didn’t seem to know how to talk to people. I thought that was how other people defined me too.

I got sucked into Facebook a few months ago. I went there to look at a link a friend sent me, and saw how many people there were from high school and college. I know a lot of people say that they don’t want anything to do with people from high school because they weren’t friends with those people back then and/or don’t want to remember anything from that time. I was pretty miserable at one point too, but I am not the same person I was back then and wanted to see if others were different too. We all had expectations of each other or ideas of how we would turn out…you know, Most Likely to Succeed, Most Likely to be Millionaire, Most Likely to be a Skanky Reality Show Contestant, (okay, that last one wasn’t ‘official’, but we all thought it  :p), etc.  I remember graduating fifth in my class, having a 3.8 grade average, having colleges clamoring for my attention and military recruiters calling every five minutes (slight exaggeration).  And then there was that ubiquitous question: Where do you see yourself in ten years? Do you think you will be successful in the future?

I always had an answer. We all did.

I also remember the long nights at sleepovers, talking into the wee hours about where we wanted to be in the future and what we thought (or hoped) our lives would be like.  We had a ‘plan’; finishing my doctorate in psychology, having a career as a therapist in private practice, married by 25, first kid at 27, second kid at 30, and so on. I had all these high goals for myself and ideas of how I thought things would be. I remember some of the things my friends said that they wanted, what teachers said about me, the big plans I had.  Looking at Facebook made me think, which ones  have I accomplished?

Answer: none.

I don’t remember exactly where or why I got off-track.  I thought I would be a psychiatrist or counselor. I knew I would be good at it because I was always the one people came to with problems.  I took a class in high school that was a closed-circuit news program, and I fell in love with it.  There was a period where I wanted to be a broadcast journalist and travel the world.  I wanted to be a news anchor, have my own talk show, or write for television. I wanted to interview famous people, get in really good with the president and get him to let me get married on the White House lawn.  I wanted to write commercials or public service announcements. I had all these things I wanted to do, but couldn’t really decide on any of them. I constantly thought about changing my major or adding on a minor. My scholarship only renewed for four years, so whatever I did, I had to graduate in four years.  All this was while socializing more than I ever had before, enjoying a type of popularity and outgoing personality that I always wanted in high school, but felt was so out of reach.

Somewhere along the line, i decided I wanted to go to law school. I wanted to be a family lawyer, which is basically a social worker with a law degree.  Although I had bipolar (although I didn’t know that is what it was then), I felt that that would be an asset because I would be able to understand things from both sides.

But I never did any of these things.  I graduated with a degree in communication, working on television sets like I did in high school.  I got a job doing this, and was horrible at it.  I worked in sales, and I was horrible at that too.  I had a few romantic relationships, and failed at those too.  I was horrible at *everything.*  Or, anything I could really make money at.  I have never had a job that I wanted to make a career out of or  that I was proud to tell my friends from school about. I got fired over and over from jobs because I had no attention span and had to live off my credit cards. I felt I was too stupid to hold onto anything for more than a couple of years, even though this isn’t really true.  I worried constantly, got no sleep and had so many money problems that I had to file for bankruptcy for credit card debt.  My faith in God slipped and was practically destroyed at one point. Depression was pretty much my constant companion. I screwed up everything I touched. I became the person parents warned about, who had no direction in life and couldn’t make anything work.  I had what my friend J refers to as a ‘dark night of the soul’, except this night stretched on for years, with only slivers of light. I was somehow able to hide some of this from friends; the person they usually saw was the chick who came home from work bouncing off the walls, never met a stranger, and was always finding fun things to do.  They didn’t see the lethargic, reclusive, banal person very often; it’s kind of hard to see someone when she hasn’t left her bedroom for three days.  It was either that, or they didn’t mind being around it.  I couldn’t hide it from boyfriends, though, which contributed to the demise of a couple of serious relationships that I had hoped would last forever.  They couldn’t handle me, and ran off.  I thought I would always be alone, which was one of my greatest fears. I thought things would always be that way-dark- and I had to just accept it.

Well, I didn’t accept it.  That’s a good thing, because I didn’t have to. I met my husband at a wedding.  I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and began treatment. As time went on, I began to see that this was behind a lot of the failed jobs, failed relationships, and everything else that had made a wreck of my life.  I got engaged. I got married.  I got my faith back, which was no small feat.

Finally, there was light. Maybe, just maybe, now I could get started on becoming successful in my life.

Come to think of it, I *am* successful. It’s just a matter of how you define success.

I don’t have a hard-charging career; in fact, I don’t have a job at all.  But I have a great husband.

I didn’t get an advanced degree in college and perhaps didn’t study what I should have, but I found some really great friends.

Maybe I am not using my *degree*, but I am using what I learned.  Like most people, about 75% of what I learned in college was not in a classroom. It was out in the world;  how to relate to people who are different from me,  how to manage my time and my finances (although the last one still needs work),  how to think more critically and how to manage myself without a parent or anyone else looking over my shoulder.  I also learned what was really important in life; relationships, quality time with people I love, self-esteem and, most of all, reliance on God. I learned that there were a lot more ways to serve Him and to help others than in a professional position.

I remember now that this was why I chose not to pursue law school; I did not want to kill myself at an office for 80 hours a week and have no time for a life.   It’s wasn’t my degree I got married to four years ago, and it won’t be my career that will cry at my funeral.  I have family, I have friends, I have a different sort of intelligence than I thought I did, I have a more mature and enduring faith.  I have love in my life.  Looking at all of these things, I can now see that things *did* work out, that I *am* a success.

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