Nothing Here Has Changed…Just the Beat

It takes two to tango……..this song was running through my head this morning, as I slipped and slid through my morning hike.  The fallen leaves, combined with the morning rain, had made the bridges treacherous, and my golden retriever waited with great anticipation-if not impatience, as I crawled along at a snail’s pace.

Jesse sees something, immediately slows down, turns around to look at me.  So accustomed to being alone at this early hour, I never considered his eyes were on a human being.  Finding myself at the slipperiest slope, wet rocks crowding the trail, I look up:  there is indeed a man at the top of the hill.  I cannot see his hair, but I do see his metal detector.  I stop dead in my tracks.  Put down my back pack, and get out my mace.  I remember, instantly, that the man  who stalked me whilst half naked last Summer had one, and that the cops told me that this was against the law at MiddleCreek.  I thought, ‘OK, here’s where I faint, fall apart, run…….’  But the real shocker was this:  I had no fear.

I had just fallen, whilst trying to pee in the woods.  It surprised me how many leaves one can pull out of their naked ass cheeks, but they kept coming, my dog mildly alarmed, came over to aid in my getting it together, so I wasn’t operating at my full potential.  I decided to walk right up to him, hiding my mace in my pocket.  If he had red hair (as my stalker did) I would shoot him straight in the face….if not?  I would tell him that he was breaking the law.

Finally able to see the  man had dark brown locks, I stepped up to the plate.

“Excuse me sir, but watch yourself, those are illegal in this park,” I gently roared.

He reaches in his pocket.  I reach into mine.

“No Englais, por favor.”

With that he pulls out his treasure of the day.  One shell casing and two pennies.

I need to get a day job.

 

Scooter’s Had Enough……

I had my share of boyfriends in high school; as a matter of fact, despite my self-hatred, I attracted the captain of Upper Merion’s Crew team, and by that I mean I hunt him down and used every flirty trick in the book to get him to notice me.  I have always been the aggressor in relationships.  Fact is?  The guys never, ever asked me out, until Villanova-my  freshman year-I was out to prove I wasn’t what I truly believed I was-nothing.

My history with boys was this:  I would pretend to be whatever they were looking for, and in doing so, I lost myself.  I was a follower, a tag-along, a gypsy with no real tribe…but I always had a man in my life because I thought I couldn’t do without one.  To this day, I have dreams that I am man-less, and they are nightmares.  I wake up shaken, lost, and feeling an emptiness that cannot be put in words.  After so many years in therapy, I never quite grasped the reason, and to this day?  I’m thinking it was my need to have a man, any man, interested in and devoted to me only-father stuff if you will.  However, this was not the case on a college campus in the eighties.  The wrong men wanted me and I wanted what I couldn’t have…..it all came to an ugly head one afternoon, when I entered the apartment of my current boyfriend-he just happened to live with my ex.

“Hey Scooter!!!!!,” my last flame (and by that I mean FLAME, I was head over heels in lust, and our flame burned brightly, if only for a few months)

“What did you just call me?,” I asked.  Butch was an instigator, a character, a comedian, and that was part of the draw for me.

“Uh, that’s kind of your nickname in this house,” he responded, a smile creeping up on the right side of his face, he could hardly contain his joy at the time.

Butch went on to tell me that the name ‘Scooter’ was picked because I “scooted from one man to another.”  I had never had a nickname in my life, with the exception of my father calling me ‘Shoof”- apparently that is the sound I made when I sat down as a toddler.  I would sit down after playing and make this, I-am-so-exhausted noise, and it tickled my dad….Anyhooser, I was appalled. 

“Excuse me, but let me make this perfectly clear-you have seven roommates, and I have dated only ONE of these men.  How dare you?  Aren’t you the one who left me because of your desire to date a real whore?  I mean, who the hell are you to judge ME?”

Butch took me to the Senior Dinner Dance, where we danced to ‘Double Dutch Bus” at least ten times, making the DJ run for cover when we appeared, falling down drunk, to make a request.  He made me laugh at myself, and I needed that at the time.  He ended up leaving me for the town floozy, but we “dated” on and off for years.  Usually, we would run into each other at a party or bar, and being the doormat I was at the time?  I would fall for his persuasions each and every time.

I remained smitten, and moving on was hard.  Really hard.  Until the evening, years after graduation (he graduated, I did not) my friends and I went down to South Street, Philadelphia for a night on the town.  Butch was managing the bar we were in, and I saw him through my peripheral vision approaching us.  I will never, ever forget his outfit.  It was a silk jumpsuit with chains, heavy gold chains around his neck.  I had never seen anything so ridiculous in my life.  And that, my friends, is how Scooter got her groove back~

 

 

 

 

 

Watching the Detectives…….

This story is true.  Some details have been altered, in order to protect the criminally insane.

Almost every day, for the past ten, sober years, I have taken my dogs to the MiddleCreek Wildlife Sanctuary, which is approximately 3 minutes from my home.  Three years ago, whilst walking my golden retrievers, I was startled by a rustle in the bushes ahead of us.  My husband had just purchased a mace canister, disguised as a little red gun-he was no fan of me walking the wilderness without protection-as if to large canines were not enough.  He was right, and I took that little pistol everywhere I went.  This day was no exception.

Alarmed by the noise, I immediately put Jesse (a pup at the time) on a leash and allowed Dylan to lead the way, mace at the ready-I moved slowly through the dense brush ahead.  What followed was a travesty of justice, and the idea that we all made it through unscathed is nothing short of a miracle.

“Drop the weapon.   NOW!!!!!!!!!”

I had no time to think, let alone move.  Before I knew it a police officer had my 100 pound retriever wrestled to the ground.  I was face to face with three canine officers, German Shepherds at that.  Mace still in my hand, I managed to get this sentence out:

“Why the HELL are you laying on my dog??????????”

Certainly not the right thing to say at the moment, but I was shell shocked.  I had never in my life seen such a melee, and I wanted to know, yesterday, what the holy crackerjack was going on.

“We are training the canines, in the middle of a drill,” the blonde riding my dog yelled at me.

No signs.  No warning.  Apparently, she was in fear for not only her own life (the mace really did resemble a firearm, in her defense) but my dogs lives as well.  The shepherds growled, and the other cop, trying to hold fast to them, well, I was on pins and needles as she didn’t look like she had control, over anything.

This morning, pulling into the parking lot, I saw her.  I never, ever forget a face, and after that cluster fuck-let’s just say her face is indelibly marked in my brain forever.  There she was, with not one, not two, but THREE vans full of bloodhounds.  I put Jesse’s orange on (hunting season) and moved as far away from her and her dogs as time and space would allow.  We managed to hike without incident, but the haunting bark of the dogs plagued us every step of the way.

Perhaps it was my imagination, but as we were leaving the park, safely ensconced in my Jeep Wrangler, the blonde cop, walking one of the hounds from hell, looks directly at me and smiles.  It was as if she was saying, haha, hehe………I won this round, you puny human.

Pistols At Dawn

No, this is not a docudrama on the perils of standing on stage props, poor Marilyn Manson.  I loathe everything that man stands for, but I have to admit-the poor CD sales, his broken ankle on the first night of his Heaven Upside Down tour; then the attempt to climb a stage prop of two guns pointed in different directions which resulted in the whole works crushing him-well, that’s a shame, as Jerry Seinfeld would say.  I must admit I did chuckle at first, not that I am gloating, but man o’ day-what do you expect when Satan is the god you serve? It is my prayer that as he recuperates, he has a change of heart-but that’s another story and I am sidetracked.

We were up in the jaw dropping beauty of the Adirondack mountains, on lake Algonquin.  Prior to the trip, I was an anxious and traumatized mess: fake news of the September 23 Armageddon, the flea situation, the hurricanes, the fear of flying high and actually enjoying life for a change-all of this led to a reoccurrence of my PTSD symptoms.  In 25 years my husband and I had not had a “real” vacation together, and as we hit the state of New York, my nerves began to mellow, I was beginning to exhale and I cannot praise God enough for His part in getting us there.

Prior to leaving, we had ripped out carpet, vacuumed every crevice, and at 5:30 in the morning I sprayed the last of the flea killer, and closed up shop.  My “best friend” of twenty-five years was taking care of my only indoor cat, Maya Angelou.  She was to feed her in the evening-I had no problems trusting a grown woman, RN and administrator of a local veteran’s hospital-I left food and instructions on the table.  My in laws were right across the street.  What could possibly go wrong?  As it turned out?  Plenty.

On our third evening there, I turned on my cell phone.  I had planned to stay away from my phone, social media, news venues and the like.  I needed to heal, and I wanted to spare my husband the constant freak outs about the world in which we live.  For whatever reason, I felt a nudge to check to see if all was well in the state of Pennsylvania.  I was relaxed, happy and hadn’t self-harmed in days.  My body was repairing itself, and I looked forward to the next leg of our journey.  We were to spread dad’s ashes on Lake Pleasant, hike Auger Falls, dine in a lovely five star restaurant, and I hadn’t seen Dwain so happy in ages.

The text read-‘Hi sweetheart.  Just wanted you to know that I was over to feed Maya this morning (what?  My father in law was assigned the mornings, why was she even there on a Sunday morning?) and I was wearing white pants.  I was covered in fleas.   Is there anything you would like me to do?’

Holy mother Mary, mother of Jesus, and Joseph!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  She went on to say that the only room she had been in was the kitchen.  I text her back immediately, telling her to please turn on the air conditioner, asking if she wouldn’t mind setting off a bomb or two DOWNSTAIRS, as Maya the cat stays in the bedroom.  The very reason we hadn’t set off anything upstairs.  I phoned her and left a message, telling her where the vacuum cleaner was, and also reassuring her that I would make this up to her.

In less than the five minutes it took me to do this, my blood pressure sky high, my mellow harshed-I became hysterical-worried about the cat, my friend, the house………it was like being shot from a cannon, and I immediately regressed and began tearing at my skin, bawling like a child, inconsolable.  My husband was livid.  Why?  Why would she text me this news?  How could she be so cruel?  Was she not capable of figuring this out on her own.  And then it hit me.  THERE WERE NO FLEAS IN THE KITCHEN.  I KNOW THIS BECAUSE IT WAS ONE OF THE ONLY ROOMS THAT THE DOG AND CAT WERE COMFORTABLE IN.   There was nary a flea in my abode when we left for New York. My husband took me in his arms, shush honey, it’s okay, I’ll call my father, we will get through this, shhhush baby…….he was in touch with his dad immediately, and Tom was to set off a bomb in the kitchen.  Relief warmed my muscles, the blood returned to my face.

I phoned my brother and told him I would call him when we returned.  I wanted him to know that I was turning said phone off and would not even look at it until our return.  When we were unpacking, the phone must have fallen out of my purse, and there it remained for three days.  I had bought my “friend” a lovely gift for tending to my feline.  I flicked on my phone to call her to see if she was home, but was immediately stopped dead in my tracks.  She had left three voicemails and a text.  She had called each night of our stay, and then left another text:

“If you EVER get around to checking your messages, there are still a number of fleas in the kitchen.  THANK YOU.”

Appalled, I thought back to the many times I had given her the benefit of the doubt when she belittled me.  Because of low self esteem I had clung to her advice, and many times I felt her to be intentionally cruel and callous.  One Summer I had given her a pair of earrings.  I took great care in picking them out, lovely avocado halves, expensive but worth it.  Days went by and I finally called her to ask if she liked the gift:

“Please give them to one of your nieces.  I will put them on the porch.”

Many, many times I had asked myself if it were possible that she was a narcissist.  That is not a term I use lightly, and I pushed the thoughts out of my head immediately.  I thought back to the day I called her, the day my sister sent me the email that would end our relationship.  I had told my sister my feelings, for the first time in, well, ever.  I was hysterical, crushed at the idea of losing my blood, my world upside down, I cried out to her.

“You fucked up Michele.  You fucked up.”  The harder I cried in protest, the louder and meaner her words.

Jesus has taken the scales off of my peepers.  I have learned that highly sensitive and empathetic, albeit broken people are subject to being surrounded by the Jezebel Spirit.  But I am stronger and wiser now.  She is a part of my past, and there will be no confrontation, because at the end of the day, that is exactly what she wants.

Home….

cropped-15095550_1812089809073862_3374301090125037312_n.jpgWe are finally here.  Up in the Adirondack Mountains, near lake Pleasant, in the sleepy little town of Wells, New York.  If there are two people who need a vacation, it is my husband and myself.   We began the trip with an argument, which stemmed from my hysteria about leaving my home.  I like to take my time and make sure I have everything.  Dwain likes to leave in such a hurry, that I fear he may spontaneously combust.

Aside from the fact that we were pulled over for a speeding (my weed was right there, in the front seat, my pipe in my purse.  I don’t think I took a breath for ten minutes straight- and after reviewing my husband’s driver’s license, the state trooper asked us this question:

“Can you two tell me what that white powdery substance is in that bag?”

I kid you not.  We looked at one another, completely oblivious to what he possibly could have meant, and we both turned our gaze to the silverware, wrapped in a white napkin, that my husband mistakenly took from a restaurant and has planned on returning since.

After receiving a $250 fine, plus points, we were told to have a great vacation.  The trooper followed us for twenty miles, and it wasn’t until he took an exit ramp that we both screamed- OH MY GOD IN HEAVEN HOW SCARY WAS THAT?????????

I am not a pot head by any stretch of the imagination, I only use it for my CPTSD, but because my career in donating to the Columbian drug cartels only began a few years ago.  I am patiently awaiting availability, as it has been legal in the state for a year, but very little progress has been made.  Hey, it’s Pennsylvania…

So I am sitting here, underneath the amazing pines, on a deck in the forest.  I was born in New York, and I have had the distinct feeling that I am home again, for the first time in way too long.  I brought my father’s ashes, as I couldn’t spread them when my siblings did; fifteen years ago in nearby Lake George.  I knew if I had gone on that trip that my drinking would have led to a very tense, if not tragic melee.  I feel grounded and at peace, and today I saw my very first waterfall-I cried for twenty minutes, the beauty too much for me to contain in my heart.

I won’t be on social media.  I refuse to look at my phone.  No checking of emails.  God is speaking to me and this is what he wants: for me to start concentrating on the good, the pure, the lovely, the laughter-no more tears for now.  I feel as if I am at the precipice of hope, and I know more clearly than ever that Jesus takes such great care to give us these incomprehensible blessings~and I want you to know, He loves you more than you could ever dream, or imagine.

My husband told me this morning that our neighbors were gone for the day.  He has been cavorting whilst naked, fell off the deck (long story) and thrown caution to the wind.  He just approached me with the news that the women have, in fact, been home the entire day.  I have to go, I’m in hysterics……….chow.

The Validation Principle….

My poor husband.  I think he was much happier when he didn’t believe a word that came out of my mouth.  Sadly, the cat who died not once, but four times; the knowledge that I was right about my sibling, the answers I have that I, in all reality, should not know.  My intuitive nature has scared the cracker jack right out of him, poor guy.  Just last night we were in bed, and he asked if some star was a part of the Illuminati.  I came back with the facts, like a full blown journalist and this was his response:

How?  How could you possibly know the answer to that question?  You shouldn’t have an answer to that question, and it terrifies me that you do.”

LOL.  One night a few weeks ago, when the unholy flea war began, he was in the shower.  I wanted to pray Psalm 91 out loud.  Hurry up!  I said to myself, as I knew it would freak him out.  I wasn’t fast enough, and he emerged from the bathroom while I was in the beginning of my prayers.

Do you HAVE to do that stuff when I’m in the room?  I have a lot on my mind and I don’t need anything else to worry about….for crying out loud, Michele……”

I asked him what he thought would happen?  Psalm 91 is the prayer of miracles, and, being me, I use it often and with no malice aforethought.  By the way, nothing did happen and he fell asleep without incident.

Here’s the thing:  the Holy Spirit will give you the information you need if you are quiet and present.  I can’t change what I know, but I think he needs to stop asking questions.

Do not fear.  Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord.”

-Exodus

The Jig is Up………

It’s pretty much official.  Crazy follows me, and now I have proof.  My brother used to call me an “idiot magnet,” affectionately-of course.  But that was because I never dated a guy who liked me.  I went after the idiots, dating challenged mo-rons who didn’t call, didn’t show up for planned dates, and once-didn’t show up ever again…..you know, it’s a clear indication that you’re riding the crazy train when the guy you have a first date with(never was a second, I can tell you that much) is checking your pulse at a table in Bennigan’s because you said you were a runner (truth) but he didn’t believe you.  Arrgh.  This absurdity lasted up until I met my first husband, who, by the way, I continued to see because a therapist told me that I was “afraid to grow up.”  I loved him, yes-but I was never in love and I believe that is because he was too nice, too good to be true, too easily managed.  And I moved 200 miles away from Valley Forge, to a town that was ultra-conservative, and very, very unfriendly to strangers.  I owe Karl a great deal, as about 2 weeks after moving here, I found the bad boy of my dreams.  We just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary.  It’s a bloody miracle I didn’t kill him, and there were times I thought of asking him to kill me, but that’s another story.  He put up with way more than most men would, and let’s just say he was and is a peach, but he used to have a little control problem with moi, probably because he was afraid I wouldn’t be able to handle the absurdity of my life-and end it all with a gallon of ice cream and Vicodin.

Anyhooser.  Today was my FIRST DAY OF VOLUNTEERING at a nearby hospital.  The ER is where they have put me (adrenaline and empathy junky right here) and I couldn’t be more pleased.  Everyone there is equally kind, respectful and very appreciative.  The doctors intimidate me, but I have white coat syndrome and I am sure I’ll get over it.  I spent the day as a liaison between the patients and nurses.  I shadowed Becky this morning, as we hit it off immediately and realized we had the exact same warped sense of humor.

I will preface this tale by informing you of my prior callings.  I ran a dementia unit for three years.  Worked as a private duty nurse specializing in Alzheimer’s and IDD, Down Syndrome and Autism.  I was also an EMT, and actually, once an EMT, always an EMT-it’s like riding a bicycle, you don’t ever forget your training.  They scare the life force out of you in school, to the point that more than a few of us would have anxiety attacks right before class; no small wonder.  The Manheim Volunteer Fire Department absolutely delighted in announcing, say, a sniper attack.  You had to pick your team before they started, and you had ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what was coming at you.  I actually had a fellow student push me out of the way on his flight to a “patient” during a disaster reenactment.  I literally grabbed him by his shirt collar and said:

“You ever pull anything like that again and I swear to God I’ll be sitting in your back seat after class.”  I came on too strong, but hey, that little weasel never got within ten feet of me for the duration of the semester.

So, we are sitting in the ER this morning and a woman came in with trouble breathing.  She was a little high strung, possibly challenged in one or more areas, but funny.  I took her to the bathroom for a urine sample, and when I opened the door?  She handed me back the sample cup, tightly closed, which held a folded tissue, and no urine.  This was nothing unusual to me, as I have worked with almost any mental health disorder under the sun, including my own.

So the ER nurse and I are talking once we had a chance to sit.

Well, well, well.  That’s a FIRST,” she confided. 

What?  Do tell…..curiosity killed the feline.

She was a little strange, didn’t you think?”

Sweet mother Mary and all of the angels an saints-is she saying that this was her first experience with crazy?  Cause I have news, that was nothing sister.  The jig is up, crazy found me and she ain’t letting go, not any time soon anyway.