Category Archives: writing

The One About Seeing a Psychiatrist et al.

I have not been back to school since the Great Blood Pressure Incident of 11/29. The administrations’ thoughts and prayers were not well-received here because they came with 0 plan of action to help me or my students. I finally got in to see the psychiatrist today (by no fault of her own – this is a very busy time for mental health professionals) and was told that I do indeed have PTSD (duh).  Basically, what’d happened is that the therapy and self coping I’d developed decayed due to my work situation. (duh)

My issues:

  • rituals
  • hypervigilance
  • rage attacks
  • panic attacks
  • generalized anxiety
  • depression
  • high blood pressure caused by these things
  • night terrors
  • insomnia

I’ve been placed on an antidepressant and will not be returning to work until the second semester. By then, these new meds will have kicked in and hopefully they’ll do the trick.  We will reevaluate the drug situation in 6 months to a year.

Best thing said to me so far, was when I left the ER two weeks ago and the nurse caught my attention on the way out. He said, “Hey, you’re not crazy. You’re not.”

I bawled. It hit me in the human side of me that’s still capable of emotion. 5

TLDR: I am starting this journey again. Thanks for your kind words and concern.

 

 

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The One About Sirens 2017

This could get wordy, y’all, so cup yer butts or my wind’s gonna blow’m out.

First a recap:

2015- Holy shit! What is this place? OMG Look at all the females here! HOLY shit! I just met a trans woman! Everyone is so fucking smart and well-read. OMG am I stupid? I never thought I was stupid before. Wait, I get a tiny dessert too? Fanfuckingtastic. But I want all the things at the auction! Shit, it’s time to go? But my brain… it’s been cracked open. I didn’t know there were groups of people like this. Help! How do I keep this feeling????

2016-Holy shit! People remembered me from last year! Oh fuck’s what’s their name?? I can’t see their badge!! Oh MORE people that are so fucking amazing! Why have I always felt so alone? You liked my story in Queens and Courtesans? OMG, thank you!!!! But my brain… the crack’s bigger and the idea that I’m OK keeps leaking in. What? Wait? You don’t think I belong? YES I fucking do. And so do you. Everyone’s entitled to a bad day. Shit, we gotta go home? OK, but I will always come back.

2017- HOLY shit, quit fucking crying you big baby. You just got here! OMG AGAIN? VE Schwab was NOT talking about you. Quit crying. People want to sit with me at lunch. Ask me to dinner. They want my ideas on things. They’re asking me like I’m equal – like I fucking matter. Seriously, quit fucking crying. It’s annoying. Motherfucking Kate Elliot asking  me (ME!!!) to sign her copy of Queens and Courtesans. Speechless. More of those goddam tears. Canned air. Gallons of water. Oh shit, Artemis! The feeling of being mother fucking home in a place I’ve never been. And now my tears aren’t for me. They’re for this world where people are born, grow old, and die without ever feeling the love and ACCEPTANCE I feel at Sirens. May we never truly leave.

937c43a3c6353d57811dc9207071b820TLDR: Fuck you, go read it.

The One About Saying No

As a chick and a parent, I’ve said no somewhere in the billions of times. I’m talking about this:

Bugger bugs.

“Stop.”

Bugger continues, upping their game and laughing.

“No, stop. I’m serious.”

Bugger kicks it into high and taunts.

I raise my voice, lay hands, force a stop.

Bugger gets feelings hurt and accuses me of overreacting.

Brothers, boyfriends, friends, coworkers, even my dad. It’s been omnipresent in my life.

Never really thought much about it other than to be annoyed. Today, being home sick and bored to tears, I watched a couple of movies. Guess what they both had in common.

Scenario One: The woman tells the man to stop because she doesn’t want to get into the water. He chases her, corners her, forces her over his shoulder before throwing her into the pool. The whole time she’s screaming for him to stop. She’s MAD when she gets out of the water and the man stalks off because he thinks it’s NOT FAIR that she’s angry. She runs after him and apologizes.

Scenario Two: The woman has had a traumatic past that has not been disclosed to the man. He puts on a mask and stalks her around the dark house. The whole time she’s backing up, trying to get away, and screaming for him to stop. When she slams the bathroom door on his hand in an effort to lock herself in, he’s pissed. She apologizes to him and explains her traumatic past as a way to make him understand her reaction.

No means no. All the time. Every time.

No, don’t want to go out with you.

No, I don’t want to be tickled.

No, you can’t have a hug.

No, I don’t like to be scared.

No, I don’t want to have kids.

No, I don’t want to get my extensions wet.

And no I won’t apologize to you for the response your actions wrought.tumblr_naqc5foddz1rxmno2o1_500

TL;DR: Stop making this normal. Reject it and don’t fucking apologize for asserting yourself. Thinking men are too fragile to be told no is a Rook mistake. Let them deal with it.

 

 

 

 

The One About Rogue One

Growing up, Star Wars was my thing. Had the action figures and  basically played pretend for years. Cut the head off of a blue mop handle and a green broom one. Got in trouble and SWORE never to do it again. Then endured the grounding that followed when Mom brought home red handled replacements.

Broken fingers. Bloody knuckles. Lumps to the head. Lightsaber duels were my first secret fight club.

Even made up my own character because Leia wasn’t badass enough – plus there was that slave girl thing. Ugh.

Saw Rogue One and LOVED it. Loved the story. Loved the homage to the 70s. Loved the set dressing. Loved the settings. Loved the characters. Loved that it was dark. But even with all the love, there was just something missing.

Chicks.

Group of evil scientists – all dudes.

Crowds – no chicks

Military /Rebel Base – Mon Mothma

Wait … no.  That’s it. Mon Mothma.

Squad of assassins, saboteurs, and spies – DUDES.

In the Star Wars universe, there are only moms, displaced princesses, Mon Mothma, and Jyn. Even the droids are male.

I’m not even looking for more female speaking parts. But can’t we just be part of the regular everyday Star Wars background?

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TL;DR: There are females in the world. When you exclude us completely, it’s distracting. Some of us are even FANS. Ignoring us is a Rook mistake.

The One About Prepping

Attended FenCon, a Dallas science fiction convention, this weekend. There was an author discussion about preparing for the zombie apocalypse. Someone brought a BOB (bug out bag) and added a respirator and face shield because of the threat of contamination. It was interesting enough. Though someone in the audience set up a camera and tripod to record it without asking anyone involved. Rude much?

This is National Preparedness Month. Bug out bags have always made sense to me. You prepare in case something happens: hurricane, tornado, fire, break in, and zombies. Why not? The zombie aspect could make it a fun little shiver instead of crippling panic.

Taking care of yourself and helping your neighbors prep for disaster would free up some resources in case of a local area emergency. I’d rather be the one with a little control of my situation than rely on the hospitality of others. But that’s just me.

It’s SEPTEMBER, folks.

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The One About My Dad

 

A day late and a dollar short for Father’s Day, but it’s always hard.

I was a bona fide daddy’s girl growing up. There was a  good five years difference between me and my sister, and then another two between me and my littlest brother. That gave me seven years of being the son my dad wanted. And another 5 before the brother got interesting.

By 12, my father had taught me how to hunt and field dress a deer, reload a shotgun because relocating the raccoons didn’t work out, use a couple of hand tools to put a swing set together, how to lose with grace and courage, and how to cuss the son of bitch out who cheated. He taught me to love and to help people. He’d taught me to drive a stick shift, a 1972 Volkswagen Beetle, from one end of the pasture to the other while he shot quail from the passenger side window.

He taught me that life goes on when he pulled my brother out of the cattle tank and couldn’t save him.

He taught me that it was OK to cry.

He taught me that, if you’re able, you work. No excuses. No bullshit. And if you’re not, you contribute in other ways and that there will always be people (like him) to help you.

He was a fireman that, on his off days, remodeled houses. He taught me how to put up a ceiling fan and put in light fixtures. He taught me twice why it’s important to turn off the circuit breaker. (Sorry, Daddy, I am still terrified of electrocuting myself.)

He taught me the importance of a tension breaking joke. (LOUD HORN: “Don’t shoot! I’ll marry the whole damn family!) He taught me patience and the desire to do it right the first time – not to be perfect – but just so you can rest later. His favorite thing to say was, “Give your laziest man your hardest job and he’ll find the easiest way to do it.” He thought he was lazy.

He taught me to stand up for others. And to always give someone the chance to do the right thing. And then he taught me to pick my battles. He taught me the courage of not saying anything and letting people make their own mistakes.

Even if he did let me marry one of them.

Before he walked me down the aisle, he turned and said, “It’s not too late. Tell me right now that you don’t want to do this and I’ll drive you anywhere you want to go.”Because that’s the kind of guy he was.

He was.

My dad didn’t live to see my son. Though on his 60th birthday, I gave him a framed picture of my first sonogram. That was July. By December, he was gone.

So, help someone out if you can today. Or maybe cuss them. Do it for my dad.

TL;DR: I miss my dad. 644142_4181073278109_853771843_n

 

 

The One About the Last One

I wrote my the blog post about Memorial Day while I was at work. I didn’t really think much of it, just getting it off my chest a good four days after the fact. I went on to handle a few other things – no big deal. What I didn’t realize is that holding on to it for that long had really left a mark on me.

Within an hour of typing it up, paramedics were asking me questions and hooking me up to leads.

It started off as a little chest pain and I ignored it. It progressed to pressure, sweating, and I was unable to catch my breath. I didn’t associate the post with what was happening. Instead, I realized I was the same age as my dad when he had his first heart attack. That brought down the full on panics.

911 and 12 leads later, I told the paramedics I had PTSD. They wanted to know why. The words “combat vet” will sometimes upset people. No one in my PoB (place of business) knew. And there was no taking it back. A full siren, lights blazing ambulance and it’s firetruck escort has a way of jumpstarting the gossip machine. By now they all know. It’s one thing to have served at one time, because that could mean anything. It’s a different monster to have participated in the trading of bullets.  It isn’t shame that keeps me sharing this with the people I come in contact with on the daily, but the lack of wanting another person’s opinion about it. I don’t come to work to swap war stories. I don’t go there to give pieces of myself to virtual strangers. I come to work.

In case you’re worried, I’m fine. It wasn’t a heart attack. It was a straight up bona fide panic attack during working hours where the whole of place knows about me now.

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TL;DR: Secrecy isn’t an option and you can’t unfuck the cat. Compartmentalization breaks down and people will know your shit. Deal with it.  Not dealing with it is a total Rook mistake.

Also, cardiologists are important.