Well, I am back to the world of my own, personal blog. I have missed it. After my last post in May (has it really been that long?) many things started to cascade, all of which demanded my time and attention.
Healing was first on the agenda. I had to gather my strength, deal with re-learning how to hold a pen, type, eat with utensils without wearing my food... No one prepares you for this stuff, and there's not much others can really do for you. That took time, energy, and focus.
The next item was writing my small book for Fate Magazine on the War of the Worlds Broadcast of 1938. I had to depend on others to take local photos, and drive me to various locations, but the writing was all up to me. I have always composed longhand, made my edits, and then typed the finished products into Open Office. Now I had to go direct from my head to the blank screen. That was a learning experience I hadn't anticipated. Plus, I miss the feel of ink impression on paper, the tactile sensation of my work.
While researching and writing my manuscript, I was also working on the 2017 Para X: Behind the Veil. Again this year, I was responsible for finding vendors, correspondence, collecting vendor fees, and running a blog on Word Press entirely devoted to the show. My nephew had to assist with the set-up, as I couldn't get others involved in the show to help walk me through the process.
While all this was going on, three relatives died within a month, Claude ended up in hospital with serious health complications on several fronts, and I was told that I had serious, developing problems with my liver and kidneys. Thankfully, Claude and I are still dealing with issues, but not as severe as they might have been.
In the middle of this, Gary had to suddenly relocate back in New England. I knew in my heart that I would be yesterday's news as soon as he settled in with his family. He wouldn't be back, after being in my life for half my time on the planet. Since I could no longer serve any purpose in his life, I knew he wouldn't go out of his way to keep in contact. I have been right. Everyone told me I was being "overly dramatic". (I'm sick of people thinking they know my heart better than I do myself.)
He posted on Facebook he was coming to NJ to get his things out of storage, staying overnight, and heading home the next day. He was looking forward to seeing his friends.
That did not include me.
There was also a bit of family drama while this was all going on, enough to make me re-think some fragile bonds. Without going into it, I was greatly hurt.
When the day of the show finally arrived, things got worse for me. I actually had a friend, who was there to help set up, scream at me that I was "Too f**king slow" in directing the placement of chairs, and literally bellowed across an open ballroom - in front of other vendors - that I was "being a bitch!" Another friend never showed up to help with the vending, and yet another involved person basically received the credit for my work. Really? I busted my gut trying to get the show on its feet, get the pre-show set-up volunteers, make sure every vendor was in the loop, etc. My nephew took pictures which appeared in the blog. They ended up on Facebook with no photo credit. NOT. VERY. NICE.
The stress, the anger, the humiliation, and lack of respect from the majority of vendors (never answering e-mails, outright lying, etc.) caused me to have a health breakdown. Again, I felt used, denigrated, and devalued.
Tucked in bed for over two weeks, I knew I had to make some hard changes. I have always had self esteem issues. It's hard not too when you have a mother with mental health issue, insisting through your childhood that you were fat, disfigured, someone that nobody would marry OR hire. I would end up brain dead in a wheelchair that she would have to push until she dropped dead. Then, I would be alone. This went on almost daily until college, when I started standing up to the verbal abuse. Then I was vilified in my immediate family: I was a monster, mistreating her, demanding things from her, etc. etc. etc. It was an awful no win situation.
I realized I have done everything I could to gain her love,,,and Gary's love,,,and others... and it would never have been enough. I could have won a Pulitzer, and my mother would still warn me not to give up my mundane job because the next potential employer "may not be willing to overlook your problems." I threw Gary a large party when he turned 50. Almost cost me a mortgage payment. We weren't even married at the time. It was mostly his friends (who rather ignored me). At the end of the evening, he made a speech about how happy he was, and how the true gift was all his friends attending. Then, he thanked his mother, who was the last person to throw him a party....and that was it. He started to walk away when one of my friends went up and whispered in his ear. He said, "Oh yeah...Hey, everybody? Thanks to Kat for the party." I must have cried for weeks after that, and STILL I watched his back, took him to dinner when he was broke, or depressed... didn't matter. When he was happy again, I heard crickets and tumbleweeds.
This keeps happening over and over with people. The scene never changes. That's up to me. So, I quit the show. Will there be another Para-X? Doubtful. I'm no one's minion. I have reduced ties with my abusive friend and my x. I've started making subtle changes as well. I still have some really good folks in my life, and my family (and my cat!) and some nice acquaintances. I'm determined to build a stronger foundation with new friends and activities. But first, I need to muck out the stable, as it were.
Self Esteem? Still low, but I'm working on it. Depressed? Yeah, but working on that as well. With some of the friends I have remaining, I'm going to have to put my foot down a bit. I love you, but...
No more passive-aggressive behavior will be tolerated.
No more asking if I want to do something fun, then making ME responsible for the activity, location, accommodations, booking, direction... and getting angry if you're not pleased with my choices. If you are asking me to come with you, then YOU arrange things.
I'm not Miss Cleo. Don't call me for free readings, or to get me to "tune in" to your problem's outcome. Do you have any idea how much energy that takes? Do you really think I want to shiver in bed with the flu and concentrate on where your path is going? Don't know about you, but mine is leading me to the loo. Go away!
Hopefully, with me standing up for myself, the chaff can be separated from the wheat. Even though I often feel like no one is reading a word I write, I know I was put here for exactly that purpose - to write. I have work to do, on myself and my writing.
The War of the World manuscript is in the hands of my publisher, but I have projects waiting.
Here's the only catch...It's lonely. When Gary and I divorced, I moved into my own house. When everyone went home after helping me unpack, I looked around at the rooms devoid of people and started to shake and cry. I had never lived alone. I was terrified... and I missed Gary. Mental and emotional abuse and all, he seemed a better option than being alone.
I am feeling a bit of that now, even though I know to pick up the phone and call is opening the door to the status quo. It seems easier and more comfortable than standing apart. I will not call, but severing the psychic ties is a wretched process.
Wish me luck.