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2015-2017

where before I only predicted good weather

I keep saying, “one of these days, one of these days,” to myself, about this blog.. about writing, in general. Come to think of it, that’s been my mantra for just about everything for the last ten years. I’ve been coasting, looking for myself, looking for common ground, looking for the thing that comes next.. but I don’t find any of it. Instead I find myself in complicated situations that I previously wouldn’t have imagined, and living in places (literally, and figuratively) that I wasn’t expecting. I seem to have become accustomed to this life, mostly void of value and validity, or in the least, I haven’t done anything to change it. I pretty much hate myself for that… plus that little voice that echo’s my brother’s violently agrees that getting this kidney maybe wasn’t the life change I exepcted. Sure it was life-changing, but that didn’t matter for all of that mess happening to me when I was the most angry at the world, with the least ability to express anger. Happiness and eternal sunshine was my mask, and I did it damn good. But for what, in the end-game? Here I am, with literally no sunshine in my head. Here I am, angry and fucked up in the head. Here I am, with nothing to show for the life I was handed on a silver fucking platter 10 years ago. Here I am with apathy, and resent, and anger. I’ve somewhere along the way, in these how many years, now? lost the will to continue being alive, or to experience new things – which to me is one in the same. I’ve stopped trying, I’ve discovered within myself the dark – the dark I always saw in others – I now see in myself,

where before I only predicted good weather…

Categories
The in-Between in 2014

I decline your ‘ice bucket challenge’: Why I (still) support “not supporting”

No Ice Bucket ChallengeIf you #IceBucketChallenge me, I won’t do it and I won’t donate, either. No, I’m not a heartless bitch, I’m simply choosing not to support this, “born-from-a-viral-internet-meme” cause that uses the guise of “charity” to solicit participation while calling said participation, “awareness.”

Raising money for a worthy cause can be admirable, but jumping on the bandwagon just because “everyone else is doing it,” doesn’t accomplish much good.. not even enough good, I surmise, to educate the vast majority of participants, and certainly not some of us standing on the sidelines scratching our heads thinking, “WTF?”.

I mean, even though I’ve seen several dozen videos and read hundreds of mentions regarding ALS and the “ice bucket challenge,” I’m STILL not more “aware” of the disease than I was before it started.

Are YOU?

That being said, if one has done the appropriate amount of research [to truly understand what cycle the donation follows, who controls the donation itself, how much of the donation actually reaches the patients] and has a personal empathy for a cause, then be my guest and throw buckets of water on yourselves..

And now that you’re wet and cold..

..do you feel that what you’ve done is an honest and adequate show of support? Do you even know and understand what you’re supporting or what relevance a bucket of ice water has to do with ALS?

I won’t get on board with “trendy” support gimmicks because I don’t do things to BE trendy. I have to feel a strong emotional connection to a cause in order to support it, and quite frankly, I don’t know anyone with ALS.

To put it bluntly, I’d rather give my money (or donate my time) to causes/research/patient advocacy/ etc. such as kidney disease, HIV/AIDS, hemophilia, ocular disorders, and diabetes – all of which have touched my life and the lives of my family and close friends – because it would make the donation meaningful on a personal level.

While I have sympathy and empathy for human beings who suffer from illness and hardship (I’ve been one of those human beings!) I’m still only one person, one voice, and I MUST choose and place my support wisely, not blindly.

I still support “not supporting,” just like I wrote about on this blog in 2007; my reasons remain the same in 2014.

Chew on that for a while and then let me know how you feel. I’m curious to know why YOU’VE chosen to participate…

…or to not.

krissiblogsig

Categories
The in-Between in 2014

The Friday Five: 5 of my favorite quotes

When I started blogging on LiveJournal in 2002 one of the big writing prompts was what we now call ‘blog memes’. I don’t know when, but maybe around 2004 (give or take?) I especially liked participating in ‘The Friday Five’ meme. The gist was simple: someone chose 5 questions (random or related) and everyone wanting to participate answered them in their own words, on their own blog/LiveJournal. It was fun for me to see different answers and explore the personalities of my LJ friends through this meme, just as much as it was fun for me to write my own answers to the five questions on any given Friday. I’m not sure what happened to the original creator of the meme, I’m not even exactly sure where it originated, but for the sake of needing a writing prompt, today, I thought I’d drag this one out of the ‘recovering writer’s block’ box and have a bit of fun with a super easy topic: five of my favorite quotes.

  • It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.” ― Mark Twain

 

  • So don’t ever worry about tomorrow. After all, tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” ― Matthew 6:34 (GW)

 

  • There are roughly three New Yorks. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born here, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size and its turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter — the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is the New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something…Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness; natives give it solidity and continuity; but the settlers give it passion.” ― E.B. White, Here is New York

 

  • When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways–either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits, or by using the challenge to find our inner strength.” ― Dalai Lama XIV

 

  • It has been said that everlasting friends go long periods of time without speaking and never question the friendship. These friends pick up like they just spoke yesterday, regardless of how long it has been or how far away they live, and they don’t hold grudges. They understand that life is busy, and you will always love them.” ― Author Unknown
Categories
The in-Between in 2014

This Will Change The Way You Think

In 1 Minute 28 Seconds, A Poor Man Proves That You Don’t Need Money To Change The World!

Recently, Youtuber Sam Pepper conducted a social experiment by approaching diners for pizza by posing as a hungry man. He got rejected each time. But a homeless guy didn’t hesitate to share his food with Sam.

The good folks at Trouble Seeker Team (TST) were so inspired by this touching experiment that they decided to try it out in India. The video shows that you don’t need deep-pockets to change the world. You just need a big heart!

Original Link: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=550929745010912&set=a.273840176053205.50120.216587651778458&type=1&theater

Credits: TroubleSeekerTeam & Storypick

Categories
The in-Between in 2014

Friendship & Loss: Susie Steiner “SQQZY”

geeklessconf2010 030The emotions over the last week have felt similar to when we lost Elaine… except I wasn’t nearly as close to Susie as I was to her – truth be told, Susie and I were merely friendly acquaintances who crossed paths at geeky events/un-conferences/parties, who had friends/interests in common, and traveled in the same circles in the Tampa tech scene. As my mind drifts from Susie to Elaine and to Elaine’s sudden, unexpected passing on April 25, 2008, the memory – indeed the pain itself and the loss and utter confused astonished grief – rushes back like it was yesterday.

I can only imagine that this pain must be what Susie’s closest friends and family feel right now and I wish I could give each and every one of them a big hug.

Tampa Tech Girls 2010The loss of a friend to an untimely death is something that takes years to recover from. It’s no easy task, especially when the one lost takes with them a familiar charisma and enthusiasm for life that others look to for inspiration and with admiration.

Susie was my “friend” on Facebook, Twitter, foursquare, social sites and apps, but for the most part I was out-of-touch with her “in real life” after I moved away from Florida to New York City two years ago. I still admired her from afar, was inspired by her drive, and envied her devoted entrepreneurship, but TO SO MANY OTHERS she was truly a light in their every-day lives. Susie touched so many lives and reached out to thousands on a daily basis.

Susie was a self-proclaimed “recovering startup junkie” and a “founder and doer,” a unique, spirited addition to the “geek scene” that is too often over-run by her male counterparts. Her seemingly tireless pursuit as a strong female business founder, owner, CEO, and creative mind to bring (and keep!) tech in the Tampa Bay, Florida area will be sorely missed.


I wish, now, that I’d made time to grab drinks with her on one of her trips to NYC after I’d moved to Manhattan.

The world is not a better place without Susie ='(

P.S. Also? I was a tad jealous that she got to ring the NASDAQ closing bell in October of last year – I actually saw her on the big screen because, for whatever reason, I was randomly in Time’s Square that day!

Categories
The in-Between in 2014

I feel like the very definition of ‘failure as a parent’

I think one of a parent’s worst fears is finding one’s self in a desperate, helpless situation where one’s child is in a seeming free-fall into the clutches of something awful for which a parent cannot stop or prevent. Over the last nearly two years my son – the beautiful, talented, artistic, intelligent, intuitive child I brought into my life at 4 months old (2000), from an orphanage deep in Ukraine – has been spiraling into the depths of mental illness. In the last year, alone, he has had more than 5 stays in a local pediatric psych hospital and (currently) almost 5 months as an in-patient at a specialized pediatric residential treatment facility in Texas. My overwhelm and guilt and helplessness has swallowed me into the darkness, too.

As I write this, I’m on a JetBlue plane from New York to Austin, TX to visit my son; every word I type feels steeped in anxiety and heartbreak. In fact, this is the very first time I’ve penned (or talked about… with anyone) the words “mental illness” in the same sentence as “my son.” I have kept this secret from everyone I could, sharing only with those who needed to know, suffering silently in wishing it could be me instead of my son.

For all of this I feel guilty and ashamed.

I feel guilty, I suppose, because all parents have inherent guilt – it’s a simple side-effect of parenting, in general – but my personal level of guilt goes deeper. I’m ashamed, not of my son, but of my inability to change his (our?) situation.

I feel like the very definition of ‘failure as a parent’.

image

Every time I’ve made a meager effort to talk about what has, and is happening, in my son’s life (heck, even when I’ve purposefully tried to avoid it talking about it) I find people waiting in line to point fingers at me, to accuse me of causing all of this, to make me out to be a crazed, unfit parent. Of course I’m not all they imply, I’m a mere fraction of what they assume, but yet I’ve found shards of truth,

…and I’ll be honest, brutally so, and say that I really do think that some of this is my fault. It must be.

I’m not going to make excuses or point fingers at others who’ve done their own share of damage to my kid’s psyche. I’m not going to list all of the things I’ve done right during my son’s life in an attempt to somehow void the wrongs. I’ll not give justifications for my actions or reason away how I’ve contributed to this place – both the mental/emotional and the geo-physical – that my son finds himself in, but I will do my best to own it: To own what I have done and acknowledge that I’ve fallen short, to say that I could’ve done better and that in hindsight, I’ve made some heartbreakingly less-than-ideal choices that I never dreamed would result in this.

This? This is what I will own:

I divorced his father when he was a baby. I chose to not live geographically near my son’s dad, or geographically near my own family. After my divorce, I fairly immediately began what would be an 11-year marriage/relationship with a man who told me years before my son was born that he never wanted to be a parent, let alone a step-parent. I didn’t stand up for my son enough when his step-dad seemed too diciplinaritory. The handful of child psychiatrists, behavioral therapists, and even the state’s ‘Early Intervention Program’ that I took him to see at his father’s urging weren’t enough. I steadfastly refused to consider drugging him into oblivion when the different set of professionals he saw during summer break with his dad diagnosed him with “anxiety and ADHD.” I turned a blind eye when parenting choices his father made for him didn’t seem quite “right” to me, ESPECIALLY when I was purposefully prevented from meeting or knowing the adults who were spending a lot of time with my son during holidays and summers. I didn’t press the issue enough even after I was made aware of an unhealthy encounter involving alcohol and aggression [by adults] that happened in my son’s presence.  When other things happened of suspicion during times my son wasn’t physically with me I most often chose to stand down and keep a low profile, feeling that I had no domain or right over things his father chose for him, or the goings-on his own home that influenced my son. I didn’t take my son to church or give him any type of church-family/foundation like I had growing up. When he did something wrong, I believed in discipline and rules… and yes, I spanked him, too. I unsuccessfully tried to shield him from the nitty-gritty details of my struggle with kidney failure (beginning when he was just 3) and years of dialysis, followed by complications after my kidney transplant. When I was finally healthier than I’d ever been in my lifetime, I traveled a fair bit, for no one’s benefit aside from my own, and was therefore gone, unavailable to my son several (cumulative) weeks of each school year. I often recognized that he struggled socially, but I was too stubborn to ask for more help, instead opting to situationally adapt my parenting-style to “help” him myself. I was never the birthday-party-planning mom, or the lets-fill-every-second-with-an-activity/field trip/outing mom. I didn’t have a lot of (local) friends with built-in kids for play dates and I didn’t make extra attempts to socialize with other parents. I selfishly kept him from participating in outdoor sports teams and activities that required me to also be outdoors because I didn’t want to spend any unnecessary time in the Florida sun.  I spent time on my own (indoor) hobbies – blogging, writing, gaming, social medias – and didn’t always include him in my every activity. I hired a babysitter a few times a year and left him home while I attended adult gatherings. I didn’t cater to his every whim, I didn’t make him a different dinner when he didn’t like what was served, I didn’t stand for screaming in movies or tantrums in restaurants, and I did not approve of his doing anything sub-par or below what he was perfectly capable of doing. I did not tolerate mediocre.

…and then there was 2012, the year I apparently messed up whatever was left of my son’s literal sanity.

I left Florida, I left my 12 year relationship, and I moved to New York. Before I moved, I created a ‘parenting plan’ with my son’s father that would keep my son from bearing witness to the end of yet another failed marriage. With his dad in agreement, I sent my child to live with his father so that I could (selfishly?) regain stability and the ability to parent.

I didn’t up and disappear one day, I didn’t stop seeing my son as frequently as I was able, I didn’t change my number or refuse his calls, I didn’t kick him out of the car onto an unfamiliar doorstep. At no point did I leave him in the capable care of his father without his father’s consent and agreement. Quite the opposite, really.

What I did do was stupidly think that all of the years I’d spent investing in the relationship between my son and his father – in installing a dedicated land-line in an 8-year-old’s bedroom, setting up email and Skype access on multiple computers, paying for cell phone access and private voicemail… all because it was the right thing to do – would be somehow returned to me in-kind when the tables (or the living arrangements, as they were) were turned. Instead of all of these things, I found myself with limited access to my son (that usually depended on how obedient he had been in school or at home) that was always supervised, often abruptly disconnected, and never private.

Do you know how sickening it is to hear your child’s other parent(s) interrupt a forced “monitored” speakerphone conversation to tell your child that his mother abandoned him, that she is a terrible person without morals, that he’s not worthy of his father’s last name, that any love that he is fortunate enough to be shown [in his father’s home] is “conditional upon good behavior,” and that he is not wanted?

Just let that sink in for a moment.

All of that happened.. and in the spirit of “owning up” guess what I did? Nothing. Not a fucking thing to change where my son was living. Nothing to change his unfortunate circumstances.

I did nothing to stop the emotional abuse that I could’ve prevented had I been in a better place in my own life.

Instead, I shrank away. I wilted at the sight of an email or a text message or a caller ID from the father I’d tried so hard to keep my son connected to, or worse, from the step-mother that I came to be, quite literally, afraid of. I was so spineless that I couldn’t even protect my own child.

I failed to protect him. To protect him from me. To protect him from life. To protect him from bad people. To protect him from feeling and coming to believe that I abandoned him.

“Abandonment” is a serious, serious word. For an adoptee like my son, abandonment is something he may always feel about the beginnings of his life and he’s not alone; most adoptees struggle with abandonment issues in varying degrees at some point in their lives. It’s something that comes with the territory of being adopted, or having an adopted child. Feelings of abandonment are very, very real and very valid.

..which is why I think my “abandonment” (which wasn’t abandonment at all, until an angry, out-of-control adult who happens to be married to my son’s father started defining our parenting plan to my son as “abandonment”) became the last straw.

In my mind, I clearly didn’t feel that sending him to live with his dad equalled abandonment. To the court system that oversees our fully joint custody agreement, I was not an abandoner; to further define my intent “for the record,” the court went a step further and specifically added a statement in 2012 that said under no circumstances was my son to be told, taunted with, or lead to believe by any adult that his living arrangement was changed due to “abandonment” by his mother.

..but even now, with all of the reassurance in the world that I wasn’t in the wrong, I’ve still pretty much convinced MYSELF that I abandoned my son. I blame myself for what has happened. I feel ashamed and guilty and completely and utterly at fault for everything. For my son losing his marbles.

Honestly, who wouldn’t lose their sanity after all of that?

Officially he’s been diagnosed as, “MDD guarded, anxiety, PDD NOS, ADHD, TIC, high-functioning autistic spectrum” and the diagnosis seems to change weekly, as do the medications and treatments. My head gets dizzy just trying to understand and keep all of it straight. At some point, someone decided sending him to a treatment facility in Texas would be a good idea. I was not consulted or even informed until literally the eleventh hour and by that point there wasn’t much I could do, aside from drag everyone into emergency court proceedings. Instead of prolonging the access to the help that he obviously needed (regardless of why or the cause) I consented and off he went to Texas.

By now my entire day is over. The flight that I started writing this blog post on landed twelve hours ago and I got to spend a solid afternoon and early evening with My Kidlet. It’s now almost midnight, I haven’t slept in two days, and I’m not sure when or what my last meal was.

I’m exhausted – emotionally and physically – and my mind is pretty much fried, but at least I’ve owned up and spelled out all of the awful details.

After this post, I don’t think those pesky trolls can say I haven’t told the world what a shameful person I am. So, there, you have it all. Judge me.

—-

Note: I’m too tired to go back and proof-read this after having typed it entirely from my iPhone and iPad… all two-thousand words.. so please excuse my spelling, autocorrect or grammatical errors. Also, I think I probably used too many commas in places and too few in others. Oh well.

Categories
The in-Between in 2014

Krissi/Kristi – What’s in a name?

Unless you knew me before 1994 you probably don’t realize that my first name isn’t the first name I had in my lifetime. Around my 18th birthday, right after I moved away from tiny Holly, Colorado to the San Francisco Bay Area, California, I started going by ‘Krissi’ instead of ‘Kristi’. Even though I only changed it by one letter, changing my name was one of many re-inventions of myself that I’ve initiated over my 37 years. By the time I legally changed the spelling of my name in 2008, I could hardly remember who ‘Kristi’ was because ‘Krissi’ was who I’d grown to be, the only person I’ve ever been in my adult life.

Why was changing my name so important and life-defining to me? Let me start by letting my mom tell you the story of my ‘real’ name in her own words:

Kristi….

Well, here is what we remember about your name….We did pick your name (and Andrew’s) the first year we were married, so about 11 years before you were born! We were just sitting around the house one evening and started talking about having kids and names we liked. We didn’t want to name you Christine because it could be shortened to Chris or Christy which we didn’t like. But we both liked “Kristi.” We thought spelling it with a “K” instead of a “C” made it more unique and special too. And then when we used your Dad’s middle name “Lynn” with Kristi we both really liked the way it flowed and sounded–it made you a Bates for sure! So, there you are Kristi Lynn! Ha! You are still Kristi to us, but Krissi sort of fits your free spirit.

Love,
Mom and Dad

They got one thing right.. I’m certainly no version of my name spelled with a “C” (no offense, of course, to those of you with “C” names!)

So, why’d I change my name from one that was already unique (so much so that during my growing-up years in the early 80’s I could never find customized toys, charms, jewelry, or stationary with it spelled as such) and special? There are a couple of reasons…

My brother’s name (Andrew) has a proper version and a shorter, more personal version (Andy) and as silly as it seems, now, I was always a little jealous of this. I tried in middle and high-school to get the shorter version of my own name, “Kris,” to stick, but it just never did. Call it the fate of growing up in an uber tiny town where everyone (literally) knows your name, or the fact that I’m just not a ‘Kris,’ but that version got flushed relatively quickly.

Not having a built-in nickname wasn’t the entire reason I eventually evolved into adopting ‘Krissi’ as my first name.

I also like nicknames, but I think that nicknames are supposed to be given by someone else and not really assigned by the person herself. However, a name is entirely different; a name identifies one formally to the world and also to ourselves and how we view who we are. To me, I am Krissi and have the personality that defines a ‘Krissi.’

By the time I moved to California in mid-1994 I was still toting around the “t” in my name. My then boyfriend didn’t help my cause and refused to call me anything else, stubbornly stating, “Kristi is your name.” Finally, when I started meeting new people after we broke up, I introduced myself as ‘Krissi’ offering no other alternative or explanation…

…and so I became ‘Krissi’ and no one knew the difference. To everyone after that point I was “Krissi with an ‘i’ on the end,” and not known by any other name, sans my online personas, of course. I’d finally found an “audience” who accepted this without having anything else to reference or remember.

There’s nothing wrong with the name my parents dreamed of for 11 years before I came to be; to my family I am, and will always be, ‘Kristi’ – it makes me feel special that my family has the exclusive privilege of calling me by this moniker.

Changing one letter (which, by the way, cost me $350 plus a lot of paperwork in the Florida civil court system) felt like it not only changed a spelling that didn’t fit me, but perhaps contributed to changing my destiny, or at least my own definition of myself.

When I named my son I made sure he had several different names and nicknames to choose from. With the unique way his (somewhat common) first name is spelled, followed by not one, but two middle names, he should be able to find one that fits, especially if he grows up and doesn’t like my first choice for him. Heck, he may do exactly what I did and change it, entirely, and I’m OK with this, but just like I will always be ‘Kristi’ to my immediate family, my son will always be ‘Alek’ to me.

So, what’s in a name? A whole lot, if you ask me.. Krissi is who I am, and Kristi is who I was. To sum it up: I just don’t feel like a ‘Kristi,’ but I am most definitely a ‘Krissi… my mom got it right in saying,

“Krissi sort of fits your free spirit.”

Yes, yes it does.

Categories
The in-Between in 2014

#MusicIsLife Monday – “6th Avenue Heartache”

Last week I teased thirteen topics that I always mean to write about, but never do. For today’s #MusicIsLife Monday I’ll set the stage for writing about those 13 those things (coming soon, starting this week I hope!) with the song “6th Avenue Heartache” by The Wallflowers. It’s a song that has been around forever, but it didn’t really mean anything special me until late 2012 after I’d lived in New York for a little while. While I love this city, I’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) that it chews one up and spits one out, no matter who one is, and that’s just a simple fact of daily life in this city-verse. In general sense, I think that most of us feel or have felt like “the same black line that was drawn on [you] was drawn on me, and now it’s drawn me in,” at some point.

…but for me, in particular and more personally, the line

“Just like me-just moved on”

hits the nail on the head.

To complete this Music Monday I’d like you to take a look at the story behind the song’s lyrics because it’s pretty interesting (and relevant.) I’d also like to point out that the cinematography style of the music video is especially relateable [to me] because I most often see and share the city with you through snapshots of NYC life on Instagram and Flickr.

6th Avenue Heartache” | The Wallflowers

Sirens ring, the shots ring out
A stranger cries, screams out loud
I had my world strapped against my back
I held my hands, never knew how to act

And the same black line that was drawn on you
Was drawn on me
And now it’s drawn me in
6th Avenue heartache

Below me was a homeless man
I’m singin’ songs I knew complete
On the steps alone, his guitar in hand
It’s fifty years, stood where he stands

Now walkin’ home on those streets
The river winds move my feet
Subway steam, like silhouettes in dreams
They stood by me, just like moonbeams

Look out the window, down upon that street
And gone like a midnight was that man
But I see his six strings laid against that wall
And all his things, they all look so small
I got my fingers crossed on a shooting star
Just like me-just moved on

——

P.S. I was traveling all day today (Monday) and wasn’t able to actually hit the “post” button until it was technically Tuesday on the east coast….

Categories
The in-Between in 2014

Washing Machine

Sometimes nothing makes sense… just roll with it :D

hulk washing machine

Categories
The in-Between in 2014

13 Things I Mean to Write About but Never Do

I should really start keeping lists… you know, of blog topics that come to mind at 3am while I’m in the vice-grip of insomnia. Yes, I know that there are a million and one “list making” and “writing prompt” iOS apps that I could utilize during these spontaneous bouts of creative thinking, but let’s be honest, shall we? When I can’t sleep and my mind is churning out ideas, instead of writing them down, I’m playing CandyCrush. Many of those hours of sleeplessness I’m battling my own demons – the ones I want to write about here – and by the time the sun rises I’ve lost the guts to share. But, I digress. This is a “Thursday Thirteen” post and I’m aiming to list 13 things I mean to write about, but never do… but I still may.

1. Why I ‘took a break’ and then disappeared from blogging. – I blogged every day, on multiple blogs, and on internet topic forums, from around August 1999 until December 31st, 2008. After that I lost my ability to write in a fluid and uninhibited way. I struggled and tried to return to writing, but it just never stuck and always felt forced. Eventually I abandoned the idea of blogging all together.. until quite recently.

A lot went on from mid 2008 through the beginning of this year (in a way I’m still in transition, but closer to the light at the end of the tunnel) and the vast majority of people in my life have no clue what was happening to me, why I couldn’t express it, and why I felt I couldn’t trust ANYONE, oftentimes not even myself. I fell pretty hard to the bottom and really didn’t care about climbing back out. At the half-way point of my writing blackout, 2011 was the literal worst year of my life; even though I managed to squeeze out a few  doomsday-esque posts spawned from my internal anguish, those posts probably weren’t really fun to read.

So, I have some explaining to do.

2. Updates about my son. – When The Kidlet got old enough to express himself he made it clear that he needed privacy about some of the topics of discussion that I once upon a time blogged about most. Since then I’ve avoided writing (at least in-depth) about him on my blog, and on Facebook, etc. However, I really should bring you, dear reader, up to speed on my teenager (!!) who turns 14 in July. Time has flown.

3. What happened to ‘Ken and me’. – This is a tough one, still close to the surface. In short, Ken and I have parted ways, and I feel we’re both happier in our lives because of it. There has been no spitefulness or outward aggression, and we still communicate frequently, but I know I’ve left a lot of unknowns up in the air for others to boggle over.

4. The story of Jason. – I should probably start with “who is this Jason guy, anyway?” and go from there. Only my closer friends know much about him; others, acquaintances, may know his name or a few things here and there, but they don’t really know.

You guys, the Jason story is so worth hearing; it’s a wonderful thing!

5. How I built, and then single-handed burned to the ground, my own WoW Guild that I loved. – One word: Drama. My drama, to be specific. The guild was tight, fun, amazing… until I lost my mind, lost my ability to function. Because it was 2011 (aforementioned worst year of my life) I knew I was about to start having guildies drop like flies (and I didn’t blame them one bit for wanting out!) so I made a preemptive strike and pushed everyone out. I don’t think anyone let the door hit them on the way out.

6. Why losing my Guild (see #5) killed so much of what I love(d?) about the game. – I really want some way to redeem myself and start over, but I’m afraid no one will give me a chance. I want to build a guild, again, but with the way things ended the last time, who in their right mind would want to try again?

7. On moving to New York: what I lost, what I gained, and why I burned bridges getting here. –  I think the title of this one is pretty self-explanatory, but the idea of writing it all down and putting it out there is still pretty scary.

8. In 2012 I made a very independent decision to be a ‘traditional’ housewife and to let go of my personal need to do things “my own way” all of the time. – This is a pretty complex topic, but one I feel many people need to hear and understand. The gains I’ve reaped from this lifestyle change have far outweighed the “freedoms” that I’ve given up. In a very real way, I’ve “given up” nothing because I made a conscious choice to be this way.

9. On living with (diagnosed) Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Depression, and (un-diagnosed) PTSD. – All of the #flipside that I shoved under the rug for most of my life finally manifested in the aforementioned. It’s another difficult topic for me because I don’t like admitting that I struggle.

10. Therapy. – Yes, I’m in it and I shouldn’t be embarrassed to admit it, but for some reason I have been. That being said, there are many things I’ve learned about myself in therapy that would make fabulous blog topics.

11. What I learned about myself after driving 65k miles in less-than 5 years. – The purpose of the travel-tripping was fulfilled and my car was sold, but I still have the debriefing to share.

12. The Five and the role they play(ed) in my life from 2008 until the present. – The five most important people in my life (excluding my son, Jason, and Ken, because they supersede everyone else… that’s just a given!)

13. Reintroducing myself to you, to everyone. – We all change with time and experiences, but my blog mostly reflects who I used to be before 2008 and less about how I became who I am, now. I’d like you to know me, again.

If that’s not a whopper of a ‘Thursday 13’ then I don’t know what is! Can you see the blogging potential in every single item listed above, like I can? There’s a LOT there and I really have no excuse to not write, other than laziness… or fear… or anxiety about how I feel. Maybe this list will help you help me blog more…

…because I’d really like to get back to that one-post-per-day that used to seem effortless. I’m pretty sure I can do it, I’m already on my way.. and, hey, you know those popular “ask me anything,” memes?

You’re always welcome to AMA me :D