The Outer Limits…

Sixteen years ago, my father and then girlfriend Pat (I like to call her DOOM) invited the entire family down to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We went down a day late, as I had to work. Dwain, Bud and myself-we put our suitcases in the Jeep at 5 a.m. Poor Bud sitting in the back, for all 10 hours of the trip. We were hopelessly lost in Washington, but used to my husband’s utter helplessness with directions, I drank beer and laughed at the absurdity.

It wasn’t just the Elkins/Hoffman/Malinowski clan gathering at the bi-level vacation house in the dunes, au contraire-Pat and her four perfect children AND their children were said to be coming as well. Dwain and I anticipated the vacation with utter dread, and the only reason we participated at all was so I could spend time with my father, who was quite ill at the time.

The drive was harrowing. As we arrived at the house, I saw my siblings coming toward us-not to greet us, mind you, but to run. To run for their very lives, as they knew with utter certainty that I was about to BLOW MY TOP. You see, DOOM had miscounted the number of bedrooms, and it appeared that Bud, my husband and myself would have to sleep ON A PULL OUT COUCH IN THE KITCHEN.

While my siblings partied on the beach, I went directly to my father.

“Are you SERIOUS?” “Where is she, let me at her,” and UNFUCKINGBELIEVABLE were a few of the comments I spat. Dwain, who had assessed the situation in a matter of seconds, headed for the beach. I poured a gin martini and sat on the deck with my father, who was so heavy hearted, so upset on what would be his very last vacation.

“Daddy, it’s not your fault, really. I guess we would have stayed at a hotel if we had a head’s up, but it is what it is,” I stammered. Meanwhile, at the beach, my husband was busy telling my brother and sister off in seven different languages, which helped…..a little.

Realizing that part of the problem was hormones, I took a hot shower and emerged stronger, calmer if you will. What happened next is legend in the Elkins family-and if you weren’t there, well, you might have trouble believing the pure insanity that followed. When the gang returned, they found my father and I on said deck, drinking what had to be our fifth martini. The following story is true, and it is with incredulity that I write, not sanguine acceptance.

At some point in the evening, I ended up at the tippy top of the Widow’s Walk, screaming at my sister. Over the years I had held a few things in, and for whatever reason, her ass was GRASS in my book. I don’t remember what I said, but I can imagine. My brother tried to calm me, but I had unleased a momentum that was only stopped by the State Police, and here’s where it gets good.

My husband was at the bar downstairs, with my father. He heard a knock on the door, and before he could answer it, two state cops-guns at the ready-demanded to know where the screaming was coming from. They had received more than a few complaints. As the Keystone Cops looked through the home, my father, now drunk as the proverbial skunk, sat watching television-he had no idea that a circus was enfolding in front of him and to this day, I think he knew alright. I also think he didn’t want to deal with it.

So, they find me on the fifth floor deck, and immediately go to arrest me. Balking, my brother pleaded with them. “Just a family argument,” he begged.

“Ma’am, do you know your voice could be heard at headquarters, five miles away?,” one of them asked me.

Before I could answer, my brother rushed me down to the living room and put me to bed. When I awoke the next day, things were a blur, but no one and I mean NO ONE was talking to me.

The moral of the story? Speak your peace. Don’t let things fester. And for the love of God, keep your voice down when all hell breaks loose.

Falling Down

Oh the humanity.  Yesterday, my “swollen lymph node” burst all over the place while I was sleeping.  I have been taking the antibiotics, and I have to say I was a bit surprised to find out that it was a boil, no lymph node involved.  The good doctor at Med Express told me he’s like to alleviate my pain, but he would “just find blood” if he drained the bloody eye sore.   But all’s well that ends well, and yesterday was my first day in months without pain.  I wanted to celebrate, so I took Jesse shed hunting.  I have never had such a crappy year in that department, and we are starting to lose patience.

I have a balance issue, which stems from my Lyme, aging and well, taking chances I should never take……EVER.  Something happens to me when I get outdoors amongst the critters and trails, the compulsion to hunt sheds is overwhelming…..and I have seen some pretty slippery slopes-wet leaves, wet rocks and today?  A plank used to cover the electricity for an electric fence.  I was so eager to be a hero, (my husband goes BONKERS when I find one) that I threw caution to the wind, not even thinking about the danger.

DSCF6768

And I didn’t blink an eye when I fell, unceremoniously, on my right shoulder.  Completely wiped out, I lay there-as an EMT I know not to get up right away.  And, as a trained stunt-woman (not really, but I have managed to achieve some pretty miraculous falls, for sure) I try to roll with the punches.  As I didn’t make a sound, the pup ran up and licked my face.

I don’t know Jesse, I think this time I really did it.”  He barked and licked my face, as if to say ‘Jesus Christmas, not again.”

I fell on my right shoulder, which has a story of its own.  Twelve years ago, a desperate drunk, I drank an entire bottle of Grand Marnier.  That’s right.  Not the sharpest tool in the drawer while imbibing, I tripped over a plant on the front porch, then walked inside and fell again, this time hitting my rotator cuff on the sharp edge of my grandmother’s desk.  The next day, Christmas, I could not move my arm at all.  No range of motion, and throbbing, insidious pain.  I knew I had broken my shoulder, but I couldn’t subject my husband to another ER visit, where the physicians and police began questioning Dwain as they suspected he was abusing me.  Nope, wasn’t going to jeopardize my man’s reputation.  As a result?  In cold weather or even plain old damp, I succumb to the melodious pull of searing pain, and I get over it.

I have fallen standing straight up in one position.  I stepped on a rake while gardening and knocked myself out in the driveway.  I have wiped out going uphill, downhill and even straight ahead.  I have fallen in creeks and lakes, in my kitchen, and most embarrassing-in front of my entire church.  I know what I’m doing by now, but I have to admit I fall much more, now that I am in recovery.  🙂

I refuse to let my inability to stay vertical affect my shed percentile.  Tomorrow is another day, and I shall rise like a phoenix, from the ashes of my own stupidity.

Monday, Monday

Have you ever spelled a word, one you have been spelling your entire life, and looked at it like, What?  Monday isn’t spelled that way!  Just crazy how that works, like, your brain stops functioning at that moment in time?  Call me crazy, but I like words and I like spelling them correctly even more.  As a matter of fact, I won a spelling bee in 7th grade.  My prize was tickets to see Tony Orlando and Dawn.  My best friend came in second, and she raised such a fuss?  I had to take her with me as a guest, and she told the kids at school that she had won.  Full blown freak, she was.

Lately, I have become so dim witted that when my pastor asked a geography question about the Olive _______________yesterday during Palm Sunday service; and I was THIS close to yelling out GARDEN.  Jimminy Christmas, thank God I didn’t.  And no, I do not walk around stoned: that is for my PTSD, and that’s taken in the evening.  Plus, almost 99% of the time I take it prn.  Of course, there are some days I take it as much as is humanly possible, but hey, it’s all good.

I always dread Mondays because that means my precious weekend with El Husbando ends and the work week begins.  But I do enjoy cleaning (in this neck of the woods they call it “redding up”) and getting my house back to normal.  If I am lucky, I will finish the dishes and start dinner before Dwain gets home.  Let’s just say, that hasn’t happened in eons.  My husband was so patient while I was recovering from Lyme, and now he has to wait even longer for love, because the second degree burns on my infected lymph node HURT.  If I had my druthers, a root canal or transvaginal biopsy with no lidocaine….no, I am lying.  I’m petrified of the dentist and have already suffered the latter.  Jealous bitch gynecologist..my poor husband could hear me screaming in the waiting room.  I asked for the lidocaine, she told me I wouldn’t need it and as she cut the tissue (OMG) she says, “Oh btw, you have endometrioses.”  I hope the Karma train pulls up at her abode, and real soon, if at all possible.

For those of you who missed it, on Friday I went to Med Express to have my lymph node looked at.  The prognoses: infected lymph node.  A week of Bactrim and hot compresses, being applied four times a day.  So on Friday Dwain “warmed up” a towel in the microwave, causing second degree  burns on my boil, which looks like somebody stomped on a grape, the purple variety.  I can’t blame him, as I fear my scatter-brain has rubbed off on him:  we are like two morons, passing in the night, only stopping to laugh at the latest ridiculousness-but at the end of the day, due to the Lyme, I am a blubbering simpleton.  Yesterday, (I am almost afraid to admit this) while returning from a friend’s house, for no apparent reason at all, I put my jeep in second gear-whilst driving;  I can tell you that I had just picked up the grass, and my head almost exploded due to the grim terror I felt at that moment.  Sweet Lord have mercy on my stupid self.

What the bloody hell?  What is my PROBLEM?  God, will you please call off the dogs?  I need a few days to regroup before the next calamity, and if any of you has put a nasty spell upon me?  Do me a huge…….take it back, for the love of God, take it back.  🙂

 

The Outer Limits…

Sixteen years ago, my father and then girlfriend Pat (I like to call her DOOM) invited the entire family down to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We went down a day late, as I had to work. Dwain, Bud and myself-we put our suitcases in the Jeep at 5 a.m. Poor Bud sitting in the back, for all 10 hours of the trip. We were hopelessly lost in Washington, but used to my husband’s utter helplessness with directions, I drank beer and laughed at the absurdity.

It wasn’t just the Elkins/Hoffman/Malinowski clan gathering at the bi-level vacation house in the dunes, au contraire-Pat and her four perfect children AND their children were said to be coming as well. Dwain and I anticipated the vacation with utter dread, and the only reason we participated at all was so I could spend time with my father, who was quite ill at the time.

The drive was harrowing. As we arrived at the house, I saw my siblings coming toward us-not to greet us, mind you, but to run. To run for their very lives, as they knew with utter certainty that I was about to BLOW MY TOP. You see, DOOM had miscounted the number of bedrooms, and it appeared that Bud, my husband and myself would have to sleep ON A PULL OUT COUCH IN THE KITCHEN.

While my siblings partied on the beach, I went directly to my father.

“Are you SERIOUS?” “Where is she, let me at her,” and UNFUCKINGBELIEVABLE were a few of the comments I spat. Dwain, who had assessed the situation in a matter of seconds, headed for the beach. I poured a gin martini and sat on the deck with my father, who was so heavy hearted, so upset on what would be his very last vacation.

“Daddy, it’s not your fault, really. I guess we would have stayed at a hotel if we had a head’s up, but it is what it is,” I stammered. Meanwhile, at the beach, my husband was busy telling my brother and sister off in seven different languages, which helped…..a little.

Realizing that part of the problem was hormones, I took a hot shower and emerged stronger, calmer if you will. What happened next is legend in the Elkins family-and if you weren’t there, well, you might have trouble believing the pure insanity that followed. When the gang returned, they found my father and I on said deck, drinking what had to be our fifth martini. The following story is true, and it is with incredulity that I write, not sanguine acceptance.

At some point in the evening, I ended up at the tippy top of the Widow’s Walk, screaming at my sister. Over the years I had held a few things in, and for whatever reason, her ass was GRASS in my book. I don’t remember what I said, but I can imagine. My brother tried to calm me, but I had unleased a momentum that was only stopped by the State Police, and here’s where it gets good.

My husband was at the bar downstairs, with my father. He heard a knock on the door, and before he could answer it, two state cops-guns at the ready-demanded to know where the screaming was coming from. They had received more than a few complaints. As the Keystone Cops looked through the home, my father, now drunk as the proverbial skunk, sat watching television-he had no idea that a circus was enfolding in front of him and to this day, I think he knew alright. I also think he didn’t want to deal with it.

So, they find me on the fifth floor deck, and immediately go to arrest me. Balking, my brother pleaded with them. “Just a family argument,” he begged.

“Ma’am, do you know your voice could be heard at headquarters, five miles away?,” one of them asked me.

Before I could answer, my brother rushed me down to the living room and put me to bed. When I awoke the next day, things were a blur, but no one and I mean NO ONE was talking to me.

The moral of the story? Speak your peace. Don’t let things fester. And for the love of God, keep your voice down when all hell breaks loose.

My Name is Michele, and I am a THUG….

In an effort to be completely transparent, I thought I would come clean about a certain aspect of my personality that rarely surfaces, but when it does? LOOK OUT. I have a zero tolerance for bullshit of any kind, I hate to be lied to, and I HATE bullies-the type that troll, tease kids on the playground or make it impossible for others to be around their toxicity. Recently, while working on my recovery, I have been known to tell folks off-if they violate my boundaries, dismiss me in general, or treat me like rubbish.

I have been this way since childhood. For a time, in Elementary School, I would attack my brother from behind, and throw him over my shoulders. This was quite effective, and I wasn’t doing it to hurt him (I thought that rather funny at the time) but the practice came to a screeching halt the day he turned it around on me, and I lay breathless in the grass…….humiliated.

Then in High School, I would jack up neighbors or “friends” for introducing my sister to booze and cigarettes. I kicked my brother’s peer down the cement stairs in front of St. Augustine’s for calling Craig an “Egghead;” Mark lost a tooth that day, and more than a little self esteem. It was my pleasure really. I was teased mercilessly in grade school and Junior High. I could handle myself, (don’t get me wrong, it hurt, it hurt so much-but I would never, ever let them see me upset)but you messed with my siblings? Oh my, I pity the fool…….

In my twenties I was as badass as badass gets. NOTHING frightened me, unless it was my health-I was a full blown hypochondriac. I remember my sister and I in a bar one evening in Conshohocken, dull evening at the local bar….when this big old dude came up and grabbed my sister’s ass. It took me five minutes in the bathroom to calm down-but I emerged a stronger woman, and I grabbed HIS ass as hard as I could and screamed DON’T TOUCH MY EFFING SISTER. Literally, five feet in stockings and I am quite certain that I intimidated quite a few people. My sister’s friends would literally hang up if I answered the phone. Part of this was due to anorexia and the fact that I was malnourished and deranged with fear; but the other part? Had to be Jesus, because as psychologically sick as I have been in the past? I had zero fear until the age of 32, when I realized I was terrified of driving on highways and bridges, but that’s another story for another day.

From early on in life I learned to pray for my family.

“Dear God, please let my family be healthy, happy and safe.” Seriously I was five when that started. I remember this conversation with my brother years ago. I was telling him about some recent problems at work, and he replied:

“Well, Michele, you can’t really blame people, it’s the way you come off. Snooty and ferociously confident.”

I spent the next hour clearing up those misnomers. I was never snooty, just hated social situations. And “ferociously confident?” And, if I am to be honest, despite my upbringing my relationship with my father is what gave me that confidence. I have always been a Daddy’s girl, and I am proud to say that neither of my parents took any proverbial crap-and everyone in the neighborhood knew it.

One year, my mother went out to collect the newspaper and as she opened the front door she emitted the most blood curdling scream you can imagine. After I changed my pants, I went to see what was going on. There was a tiny little mouse on our doorstep. My mother wasconvinced that Charlotte Demig had put the rodent on our doormat. I never truly understood why she would think that, but next thing I know? She is walking up the street with the mouse in a bag. Yes, you guessed it. Mom returned it to Charlotte, and the ensuing war was made even more hilarious when she phoned the house and my father answered:

Why Charlotte? (said in a really bad Southern accent) whatever do you mean? My parents were convinced that Charlotte’s southern accent grew worse each year, thus the accent-I remember crying-laughing.

I lived with excruciating fear for the next twenty three years. Anxiety and depression, combined with drug and alcohol addiction took its’ toll. I was a shell of the person I wanted to be, the person that I have again become.