Three Deadly Mistakes When Dealing With A Scorpio Woman…

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This must be “Fuck with Lisa” month because way too many people are using me like target practice and I don’t appreciate it. Yesterday I felt like I was bleeding to death and no one cared to see the wounds, or cared that they were inflicting them. Today I feel like I can conquer the world, so conquer I shall. Just stay out of my way, I own weapons and I’m not afraid to use them. My greatest weapon that is often ignored is that I am a LOT smarter than I let on. Don’t take that for something it isn’t either.

Vicious, Vicious Mood

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Do bad days ever just turn into bad months, culminating in a series of moments where you realize that you’re experiencing a bad year, or possibly bad years, plural? That’s how I’m feeling right now and yet, people refuse to mind their own business, step back, and fuck off. I should be wearing a Do Not Disturb sign as a t-shirt because I am all sorts of pissed off and there’s just no getting around it. I wish I could say it was *just* PMS (sorry guys), but honestly, I think I’ve simply reached my limit for the next 10 years worth of idiocy, ignorance, stupidity, and douche-baggery.

I actually had someone start an obnoxious passive-aggressive “fight” with me via Facebook this week. If a person doesn’t speak to me at all for well over a year and a half and then proceeds to comment on my status with a “Hehe” (My God-daughter will be three in six months, and her vocabulary is far superior to that of an almost 40 year old woman. How sad is that?!), I am going to want to harm them. This is just plain fact, though most of the time I am very good at ignoring one’s idiocy, depending on how high you are on my friendship/love scale.

Pretending to be a “friend” wanting to “brighten my day” is bullshit. If a person wants to brighten my day, there are so many private ways to do that, you do not need to do it on Facebook so that others can think you’re a good person. Moreover, either I am your friend at all times or you can fuck off. There is no middle ground. I am not here for anyone’s amusement. I take my friendships and relationships seriously because honestly, why bother if you’re not going to be genuine?! Be real. Don’t pretend with me and then passively aggressively ask me if you’ve done something wrong. Yes, you’ve done something wrong. You’ve behaved like an idiotic jack-ass and even better, everyone on Facebook gets to see how childish you are and how curt I am in turn. When I tell a person that Facebook is not the time, nor the place for this, and that if they have something to say to me personally, to do so, that does NOT mean you ask me a question via Facebook messaging. It means you put on your big girl panties and send me an e-mail like an adult (this only pertains to friends overseas. If you live in the U.S. or Canada, pick up the fucking phone. I asked several people if I was wrong and they agreed with me, so I know I’m not being childish, petty, or dramatic.). And please, do us all a favor and don’t claim that I’m a treasured friend “regardless of the miles between us or how busy our daily lives are” (I’m paraphrasing here.) when I haven’t been a treasured friend in quite some time. In fact, do yourself a very big favor and un-friend me ’cause it’s very clear to me that we are not friends, as most people on Facebook aren’t any way, despite knowing each other for 18 years.

A formerly dear friend (who I will eventually blog about because after discarding me for a guy she barely knew three years ago, I need to get the situation off my chest before I show up at her front door and do her serious harm. That’s not a threat, it’s not often I feel such anger and hatred toward someone I once loved like a sister.) once told me that it’s ok to outgrow people and move on from friendships when they no longer work for you. She also said she believes in having closure and saying something to the other person, as opposed to just leaving them hanging (apparently not, but it wouldn’t be the first time a huge lie came out of her big trap!). I did not know if I agreed back then, but now I’m feeling like maybe she was right. Of course, maybe my tolerance level just isn’t up to snuff this week/month/year. Who knows? Who cares? Vicious mood shall remain vicious. I have a weekend full of sports to take out my hostility on.

I’ll be back with your usually scheduled insanity when my post-concussion nausea and dizziness subside. Does anyone have any ginger? This is NOT the time for me to run out of ginger tea. Note to self: Buy stock in Lipton.

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

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It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to read my blog and realize that I’m a Bibliophile. I think any good writer is also a good reader, time permitting, but there’s always an exception to the rule. I, however, am probably a bit over the top where my reading is concerned. It’s extremely weird to me to go for any length of time, months for example, without reading.

I’ve got my Kindle Fire attached to my hip and when it’s charging, there’s generally a book in my hand…or I’m writing, cooking, or sleeping. No, it would not be the first time someone suggested I “get a hobby”. However, since my hobbies always turn into a full-time job, it’s probably best I just stick to books.

For the past three years I have challenged myself via Goodreads to read a certain amount of books. For one, it’s a great way to keep track of what you read on a yearly basis. Two, it’s fun. Three, it’s a nice way to challenge yourself. (If you decide to join, please feel free to send me a friend request.)

Last year I reached my 90 book goal, and I was far from trying to meet the deadline at the last minute. In fact, I originally started with a much lower number and slowly had to increase the number each time I passed a goal because I still had plenty left to read.

I read 80 books for the 2011 challenge. That initially seemed difficult, but I do manage to rack up the books pretty quickly. I even manage to squeeze in time to re-read an entire series of books (or three) on a semi-regular basis, which of course, does not count toward the challenge, but is still an awful lot of material to be reading.

This year I didn’t want to attempt to break the 90 book record and aim for 95 or even 100, but there’s a very strong possibility that I’ll go over the 60 I’ve committed myself to read. I am currently at 50, and it’s not even officially the middle of August. I’ve got five books on hold at my library, none of which have been released yet so I’ll be ahead of the pack on that front. I’ve also got several on deck as we speak. It’s rare when I am truly without something to read.

My re-reads over the past two weeks have been: Dead Witch Walking, The Good, The Bad, & The Undead, Every Which Way But Dead, A Fistful of Charms, and For A Few Demons More, by Kim Harrison. I love these books, some more than others. I stumbled upon this series of books one day in search for something new to read. The first three books were in a lovely Barnes & Noble display and the person on the display plugging her books was Jim Butcher, who is without question one of my absolute favorite authors. That was about eight years ago. I have read every single one of Kim’s books in the Hollows series, and clearly I’ve read them all more than once.

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In 2015 the series will come to a close and it will be a sad time for me and for everyone who loves these books. All good things must come to an end, but the Hollows is a must-read series, especially if you love and/or enjoy urban fantasy. It will make you laugh out loud, cry, cheer, and think. It’s been an extremely interesting journey from Dead Witch Walking to the most recent book, Ever After, which was released at the beginning of this year. On a very positive note, Kim has always been amazingly kind to me on Facebook, which I find incredibly sweet and will never forget about her. She doesn’t have to say a word or respond to anything, and yet, she does. That says a lot about her as a person, and it’s something I respect and admire. Her blog, which is also on WordPress, can be found here: http://kimharrison.wordpress.com/.

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I finished reading Affliction a few weeks ago. If you haven’t read the 20+ books that come before it, take a pass. If you have, and you’ve stuck with the series from the very beginning, you won’t want to miss this one. I was expecting to cringe my way through it, but I was nicely surprised to come away feeling good about it. I almost read it a second time, but since I really don’t have the time right now for that, it will have to wait a while. Maybe I’ll do it next year before the next book comes out.

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I recently finished reading Raylan by Elmore Leonard, which is loosely based off of Season 2 of Justified, as well as an episode from Season 4 that was particularly laugh out loud hilarious. I laughed so hard I cried, and I’ve watched it several times for the additional laughs. The rest didn’t follow along with anything in particular and if it did, it was bits and pieces that were changed around, but a great deal of it was based on real people in Harlan County, Kentucky.

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If you’re not a fan of the show or you’ve never heard of it or seen it, you’re probably living under a rock, and thus may only be able to appreciate the book if you’ve read the other two books that feature the Raylan Givens character, which is brilliantly brought to life on screen by the amazingly talented Timothy Olyphant. Tim breathes so much life and humor into the character, and as a fan of his already, I went into the pilot episode of Justified not knowing anything about the character and immediately became hooked. I own each season on DVD, and there’s no higher compliment I can pay a show than that. If I take the time to pre-order it a good year in advance, you know I’m crazy about it.

Justified has received seven Primetime Emmy Award nominations since its inception. That’s not a lot considering how amazing the show is, but I’m still extremely proud of each one. The show has an amazing cast of characters.

The series received its first nomination for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music (I LOVE this song! You will always hear me singing it whenever the show is on.). For the second season, it received four nominations for the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards: Timothy Olyphant for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (I’m not sure who I have to kill for him to win, but I am more than willing to do it.), Walton Goggins for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (The same applies here.), Margo Martindale for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, and Jeremy Davies for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series, with Margo Martindale winning, quite deservedly. I cried when she accepted the award. She is downright incredible. For the third season, it received two nominations for the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards, with Jeremy Davies winning for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (he’s truly hilarious), and a nomination for Outstanding Art Direction for a Single-Camera Series. I know this show will continue to shine, awards or no awards.

I’d forgotten that I’d read only part of Raylan when it was released in February 2012. I was probably distracted at the time since Season 3 was in full swing. I decided to re-visit it so I wouldn’t miss anything, and got an immense kick out of it. It is brilliant in a way that only Elmore Leonard can deliver.

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What else is on my current reading list? Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl, The Seven Daughters of Eve by Bryan Sykes, Beyond Belief by Jenna Miscavige Hill, and Graveyard Child by M.L.N. Hanover. These books are all drastically different from one another, which gives me the freedom to jump from one to the other if I find my interest is lagging or I’m too tired to follow anything complex.

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The Beautiful Creatures novels are far better in book format than the film version. Key characters were cut entirely from the movie, which was horribly disappointing seeing as they were the best characters, and the richer characters they kept in the film were incredibly dull on screen, so if you’ve been wanting to see the movie, skip it and read the books.

Yes, it’s a good “young adult” series, but I’m an adult-adult and I’m still following through. I don’t think it’s one of those things where you need to worry about it being “age appropriate” or not. It’s something a 12 year old could read, but they might not get the gist of it or the nuances you get as a reader over age 20.

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The Seven Daughters of Eve is about genetic ancestry. If you’re trying to trace your ancestry or you’re simply interested in how it’s done on a scientific level, this book is for you. I have very rich ancestry that I am deeply connected to on a level most people are not. This book will take me a while to read, but it’s definitely a must-read.

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Beyond Belief is about Jenna Miscavige Hill’s escape from Scientology. I generally roll my eyes when anyone says anything in regard to Scientology, but I have to admit that I am intrigued that so many high-ranking members are leaving “the church” and continue to do so. The level of brain-washing that Jenna talks about in this book is enough to make any free-thinking individual cringe. As an educated woman, I’ve never been one for anything that feels “cult-ish”, and I’ve never been a very good follower. Hell, there are times where I have serious issues with organized religion and the people that blindly follow it, as well as the message it sends all across the board. However, I think anybody willing to walk away from what they know in their heart is wrong deserves credit for it. It could not have been an easy journey. I find it incredibly scary, creepy, and just plain disturbing what “the church” does, all the while claiming not to have any part in it, to those who leave. They do everything within their considerable power to discredit the honesty of those who leave. Clearly they wouldn’t all have the same story to tell if something extremely bizarre wasn’t going on within the organization. I will never be able to call it a religion with a straight face.

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Graveyard Child is the 5th book in the Black Sun’s Daughter series created by M.L.N. Hanover (A pseudonym of fantasy author Daniel Abraham). This series is one of the most original I have ever read, and I read pretty heavily on the dark urban fantasy front. This book is fan-freaking-tastic. It’s a fast read and highly entertaining, but if you’re going to check it out, start from the beginning by picking up a copy of Unclean Spirits. This is a series I happened upon, but it has been a very happy accident. This is a very unique story that I can’t help, but thoroughly enjoy.

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Ok, now it’s your turn. What are you reading? What genres do you enjoy the most and why? Hit the comment button and lets discuss it all.

Once Upon A Time

Once Upon A Time…

Once upon a time, in an extremely bizarre reality, I was in a relationship I should not have been in. The warning signs were there, but some people burn so brightly that you don’t seem to notice you’re going up in flames and turning to ash. Immensely large red flares of danger were being sent up so I wouldn’t get burned. Did that stop anything? Not so much.

He was the quintessential “bad boy”, complete with a Harley Davidson collection (the actual motorcycles, not memorabilia.), tattoos, multiple drug addictions, and a one million foot yacht chock full of issues. Maybe the maternal, nurturing aspect of me wanted to fix or heal him. I don’t know, but whatever it is, I’m thankful every single day that it is no longer a part of my life.

Initially there was no reaction or emotion from me towards him. He was just a guy, a guy all kinds of women fell for, but I prided myself on not adding myself to the throng of fools. Until one day, when I was seemingly drawn in like a moth to a flame. Except I wasn’t a moth, I was a butterfly, and yet, I suddenly had to have him. The pull was intense. He was crazy about me; The only person who challenged him, who questioned everything, and who was not impressed by anything. The problems though, they were simmering under the surface, just waiting to come out, one by one.

They started relatively early. I had never been told I was “too skinny” before. Even as a former gymnast that had experienced bouts of bulimia on & off for about two years after realizing that I’d never be an Olympic anything. I did not consider myself “too skinny” or “too” anything, really. I had the mouth of a Marine on leave, a writing career that had taken off in an amazing way, and a guy who told me he loved me, but to this day probably doesn’t know the meaning of the word. Someone send that man a dictionary. You’ll find him in there, somewhere very close to the word “Douchebag”, providing you’ve opted for a Webster’s upgrade.

His job allowed me the independence and space that I like in a relationship. I can’t have someone in my face 24/7, nagging, and standing over my shoulder like a watch dog. It drives me insane. He respected that, until the possessiveness became more than just one or two phone calls a day. At first it simply seemed like he was going out of his way to surprise me and brighten aspects of my life, but that wasn’t it, not at all.

The man could spit out promises just as quickly as he broke them, I just didn’t know he was trying to break me in the process.

The criticism I endured throughout the course of this relationship was actually harsher than what I dealt with from my family, and even though I had a comeback for everything he said, the words still haunt me… I went from being vibrant, smart, confident, & 100% in control to depressed, unhappy, paranoid, angry, & jealous. I was reduced to questioning why I was somehow not good enough for him. It was irrational and insane. Logically there was always an inner voice telling me “He’s not good enough for you. What are you doing?! This man is poison. Tell him to go to hell and walk away.”

I remember crying one night to my best friend at the time, after a particularly shitty thing he’d lied about. Here I was, the strongest, toughest, most direct chick people knew, asking “Why would he lie to me like that? Why would he lie about something so important? Why aren’t I good enough for him?” I was devastated by the pathological way in which he’d lie.

My best friend consoled me quietly, basically saying she didn’t know why he had lied or why he would, but eventually, months later, she told me I was “Too smart, too pretty, and all around way too good for the likes of him!” She meant it. She’d had enough of him hurting me. She was furious that he would hurt me in such a manner and then behave as if all was right in the world, and her anger continued to fuel when he showed up at a work event we all attended with a married woman on his arm. “A friend”, he’d called her. More like a drug supplier he’d hooked up with. He was spiraling and wanted to take me with him, but I would not allow that.

For the record, I was already ass deep in alligators when I realized just how big an issue the drugs actually were because they weren’t an issue at the onset. It went from being an old football injury to being an all-consuming, problem-inducing, complete lack of grip on reality. It started out small, as many addictions do, and escalated until it had to be confronted. I did not condone it in any way and refused to support the habit. I was not going to be in a relationship with an addict, period. I was the catalyst to get him into rehab, explaining in list formation all that he would lose if he did not get clean. But as most people can tell you, 30 days in rehab will detox you, it might even get you to talk about why you got into it in the first place, but it’s every single day after leaving a protected environment that matters most. If you have people that love & support you, you have a greater chance at remaining sober. You might slip up, recovery is going to be a constant for the rest of your life, but the effort you put forth is SO important. However, if you return to the exact same lifestyle and friends you had during the height of your illness, it will revert you right back into it at some point, especially if you have no real desire to be clean, no willpower, and no real desire to live. It’s a way of committing suicide slowly, secretly hoping that one day it’ll all be over and you don’t personally have to do the heavy lifting, or deal with the aftermath.

Part of what saddens me about the relationship itself is that I defended, protected, and shielded this man. I was the epitome of devoted and loyal to the Nth degree. My love was genuine, and yet I was constantly criticized, going as far as to be told that I wasn’t good enough to be introduced to his parents, who for years, he told me were dead (I’d later find out he only wished they were.), because of our differing religions. Who the hell were these people? England’s Monarchy?! How isolated and ignorant were they to think their religion was the only one that existed in this world?! This was not the first time someone had taken issue with my religion and tried to make me feel guilty for it. I was considered “not Jewish enough” by one guy’s family, and now I was being made to feel like I was somehow inappropriate and shameful.

Suddenly, after years of knowing our religions were different, it became this big issue, and we fought about it a lot. Would I be willing to convert to Roman Catholicism for him? HELL NO. Would I sign a pre-nup? Whoa, where the hell did THAT come from?! You want to marry me, you’ve asked, I’ve accepted, but now you’re afraid I suddenly want to be with you for financial gain? Seriously?! Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve always taken care of myself. He knew that. I don’t expect a man to pay for my lifestyle. I’m fully capable of making my own money, buying my own clothes, jewelry, etc.  I think you should want to take care of your partner and be a provider, but relationships are give and take. I did not expect to just sit on my ass and be given anything, so I waffled back and forth on that little tidbit.

The ever present “Would you please eat?!” grated on my nerves. He’d bring me food for several years of our relationship, but not in a loving, caring, concerned way (I do like it when I’m sick and a guy has the sense to bring me soup or Italian food. There’s something very nurturing about that.), but in an extremely controlling manner. As soon as I gained about 15 pounds from this constant influx of food, I was suddenly told the exact opposite. Now I wasn’t thin enough, I was becoming the woman who he didn’t want anyone else looking at. What was so shameful about being curvy? He’d have a fit whenever we’d be somewhere and someone else would check me out. I was not the one doing the looking, yet he was suddenly paranoid that anyone who checked me out was somehow going to end up in my bed. It was eye-rollingly ridiculous.

He’d do something shitty, and I’d be “rewarded” with jewelry or flowers, sometimes both, depending on the situation. It got to a point where I began to loathe the pink & purple roses I loved so much. To this day if someone sends me roses, I cringe inside. He would promise to be somewhere I needed him to be, but was almost always off feeding his drug habit, or as I would later find out through a friend, a habit for other women.

It was demanded upon me that I be 100% faithful. That was not a problem because I’d never cheated on someone before and wasn’t about to start, but because he was the one doing all the cheating, he started having people follow me to find out what I was doing every time I left the house. Stalker much?! It was sick. It was also an excuse.

I’d had enough after confronting someone he often had tail me, and I put my foot down. I’m not big on ultimatums, but he needed to hear what his behavior was doing, that it was unhealthy and damaging, and completely unwarranted and unacceptable. It came down to this: He needed to return to rehab, fully commit to it, and he then needed to be clean & sober for a year before I would agree to marriage. It was high time for him to prove that he was worthy of me, not the other way around.

He went to rehab for a few months, coming back apologetic, and for a while things were simply tense. We talked, but clearly he was refusing to hear me. He was about to do something he’d probably been considering for quite some time, and simply hadn’t been man enough to say to my face. The ring on my finger probably made me believe a slew of lies I was actually too smart to actually buy into in the first place, but there was something slightly blinding & intoxicating about it. But the truth of the matter is, it was just plain toxic.

The problem with relationships slowly turning abusive is that, initially, we think we’re in the right relationship with the right person, until suddenly we’re not.

For years after this relationship ended I’d hear “Oh, LET IT GO!” whenever I mentioned how hurt, angry, or betrayed I felt, as if emotions could be turned off like a faucet. How could I not feel all of those things?! Saying “I love you” is not a cure all. Actions speak louder than words. His actions were atrocious.

With a ring still solidly on my finger, he married someone else, just weeks after saying we were good and moving in the right direction, that he was trying. I had to find out via an announcement his new wife was sending to friends & family. He would go on to have several children with her pretty quickly, each time choosing names we had decided on for our future offspring. That was the icing on the cake. I seriously worried about my ability to be around him in any capacity after that, so I disengaged. I made sure that whenever he’d be around, I would not be present. Hurting someone you claim to love in such a manner is vile, but to then go on living your life as if said loved one never existed is even worse. I started to think I was losing my mind. If it had not been for the fact that I knew the relationship had occurred, and exactly what I had endured, I’d have felt like I was being erased.

He & I continue to have mutual friends. I’ve stopped speaking to all, but three of them because I’m tired of hearing the lies. “He asked about you.”, “He hopes you’re all right. He just wants you to be happy.”, “He cares about you.” PLEASE! He never cared in the first place, it was a fucking game to him. No matter how many times I would ask these friends not to relay anything he said about me, it would come up in conversation, until I finally changed my phone number and said “No more.”

Not one to eat bullshit politely with a knife and fork, I have gone out of my way to avoid him since all of this went down. In truth, I have nothing to be embarrassed about. I didn’t do anything wrong, except believe in a person I shouldn’t have given the time of day to, but hey, we all make mistakes. Avoiding him is my way of remaining a healthy, non-toxic human-being. I know that eventually, at some point, we will run into one another, and I pray that I am not carrying a loaded weapon that day or wearing particularly high heels because even though people tell me I’m not a damaging, harmful person to be around, and that I’d never willingly hurt someone, I cannot promise that the desire to harm him won’t be there. Some of the rage goes away with time, but any time the relationship is mentioned or I come across something from that time period, I am flooded with everything I thought I’d already moved past. For me, that lets me know the damage runs deep. It does not, nor will it ever, mean that I care about him. I don’t. I wouldn’t spit on this man if he was on fire.

Once I no longer love/respect someone, my emotions will often turn to pity, anger (at myself & the other person involved), & my anger is a burning rage that can simmer and bubble for years until it is truly out of my system. If the anger is unjustified, it eventually dwindles and the flames put out, but if it IS justified, stay the hell out of my way. I can go from zero to bitch in about half a second.

Unfortunately, there are so many different kinds of abuse in the world, that it’s sometimes hard to pinpoint if you are the abused or the abuser. Sometimes you are simultaneously both, even if you don’t intend to be.

Writing this makes me feel a bit like I’m back in Psych class, but I’ve been revisiting certain things lately, which is why I am writing about such a personal, private matter, but if what I’m saying helps even one person get out of a toxic relationship, then that’s important and necessary.

If you’re in any kind of relationship where your words and feelings are being defined in an incorrect manner, where you are constantly insulted, and berated, it is time to take a closer look at this relationship. Thinking this person is “the best you can do”, having low, little, or no self-esteem, or coming from a “people pleasing” type of family are all potential signs you’ve probably overlooked. Most people do. When you’ve been taught that everything around you is “normal” and a part of your daily life, you stop questioning things. You begin to lose your inner voice. Once you lose your inner voice, you start to become everything the abuser has defined you as. Your thoughts, feelings, actions, everything is now completely defined by someone else. Moreover, you question yourself and promise yourself you’ll be better for them, that you will do everything right, not realizing that your life is your own, it is not owned by someone else.

Believe it or not, I am a product of abuse. Not just from the relationship I am talking about, but from my childhood. I am very forthcoming about that fact when approached, but generally I keep such things to myself. However, when a person comes to me and needs help, I am the first person to listen, and the first to say something.

For many, many years I handled the abuse (verbal, emotional, and physical) by throwing myself into my writing and my singing. One day I snapped, I’d had enough. I was 100% committed in the fact that I’d kill the other person and spend my life in jail, but I believed in my cause because I was protecting two other people. I took the brunt of everything so they wouldn’t have to. To this day, one of those people denies that 99% of the abuse ever occurred. It must be nice living in such a warped bubble of false memories, but I know what I lived, I know what I saw, and it is sad for me to see this person deny the abuse and become the abuser themselves. If you correct this person, or disagree with them, they will say YOU are abusing THEM. It’s a vicious cycle, however, I know that by standing up and saying ENOUGH, and being committed to putting a stop to it, that I did the right thing. If I hadn’t, I’d be in jail right now. Or worse.

People are often shocked to learn that I’ve been through such things. I don’t deny being strong and confident, and I don’t deny that I will say something is wrong when it is wrong, regardless of who is saying it. I will admit to being wrong on the rare occasion that I am. But I will not allow myself to live a life of abuse. I won’t allow someone to define me, to disrespect me, to use me, to tell me what I think, to tell me where to go, or tell me what I am allowed to do. When someone behaves that way around me, I am very happy to show them the door. I know I deserve better.

I look for different things in people now, and I always pay attention to my intuition. It is an immense part of who I am. If someone or something seems too good to be true, then it probably is. If something feels innately wrong, re-evaluate it and follow your instincts. Intuition will never lie to you, but the heart will. If your relationship involves young children, get out NOW. You do not want your child/children to be affected by the abuse inflicted upon their mother in front of them. I know people that have stayed in these relationships because they believed that taking their children out of the home during the formative years was the worst possible thing they could do. It’s not. The worst thing you can do is stay and allow them to think that what they’re hearing, seeing, and living is normal. If you get out early enough, you will save yourself and your child/children a fortune in therapy bills.

Once upon a time, I was a moron. It won’t happen again, because I am firmly committed to not allowing it. No one defines me, except me.

*If you need help getting out of an abusive/unhealthy relationship or are living with domestic violence and don’t know where to turn please go to any of the following organizations for assistance: http://soarinri.org/  http://leavingabuse.com/, http://www.thehotline.org/, http://www.nrcdv.org/dvam/, http://www.teendvmonth.org/, etc.

Do not be afraid to search the Internet and Yellow Pages for additional resources available to you in your area/country. If your abuser uses the same computer, always be sure to delete your browsing history to protect yourself from additional harm, or go to the library if available and search for information there.*

“Once Upon A Time”, and all material herein, unless otherwise indicated and credited to its owner(s), is copyright © 2013 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Editor’s Note: This is about two relationships that I combined into one story. It’s about a 70/30 split between the two. I was engaged to both of them. I can say in clear truth that the second person was a far better person than the first, and he did not verbally or emotionally abuse me. He simply wasn’t the right person for me because we wanted different things. He thought I wanted a lifestyle, which was not the case. I do not believe in giving up love, respect, loyalty, and fidelity for “things”. He wanted the “little woman” at home raising the kids in the amazing house, and yes, he would have been a great provider and a good father, but he didn’t realize that meant he’d have to be loyal, committed, and most importantly, faithful. I won’t settle for a half-life, no one should.

The Mind……

The Mind…

“The mind can go either direction under stress—toward positive or toward negative: on or off. Think of it as a spectrum whose extremes are unconsciousness at the negative end and hyperconsciousness at the positive end. The way the mind will lean under stress is strongly influenced by training.”  ―Frank Herbert

Right now mine is “training” not to jump off a fucking bridge! Two miserable days and of course, the pain is AWFUL today. I woke up in worse pain than when I went to bed last night. Such a cheerful life. <rolls eyes>

Two Full Weeks

Two Full Weeks

As many of you know I have been without power since 9:30 a.m. on May 13th. It may not have been “Friday the 13th“, but it was still a supremely bad day for me. It’s cause is personal and yes, I am angry about it. Too many people presume that kindness equates to weakness. In my case, it really, really doesn’t. This has really made me re-evaluate a lot of things in my life, especially as I embark on week 3.

#1- I watched an insane amount of TV prior to not having power. I am sure that won’t change once the power goes back on (Please God, SOON!), but not having a TV, DVR, Blu-Ray player, OnDemand, or even a battery operated radio has shown me that I waste a lot of time. Knowing that doesn’t make me feel very good, despite the fact that I never, ever spend days on end in front of anything. A few hours here and there when I need to clear my mind. I suppose the things I watch are kind of like cigarettes & alcohol in some bizarre analogy, though far easier to “quit”, even if only temporarily. Besides, we all have a show or a movie that we can watch on a loop, that we love. I worry about people who don’t have one guilty pleasure in that sense.

#2- I’ve been dealing with some supremely unhappy, tumultuous, potentially life-altering things in my personal life for quite some time. Not just my physical health, but my mental health as well. When my health insurance was unceremoniously cut back in November & my therapist called to say she couldn’t see me until it was reinstated I said, “There goes my sanity.” and she LAUGHED. Since when is a person’s sanity a fucking joke?! She laughed and said “You’ll be fine.”, and that was the end of that conversation. I was dismissed, abandoned by someone I had come to trust, and it’s definitely affected me and how I deal with new people.

She & I have a great rapport, I am 100% myself with her no matter what, so believe me when I say that when I go back, she’s going to catch absolute hell for that comment, as well as for the message she left me back in January when I called her mid-breakdown. A message in which she stated that she couldn’t talk to me unless I had insurance and/or an appointment to see her, and that I should go to the emergency room. Guess what people….. ER’s are NOT equipped to handle depression of any kind, unless you want to harm yourself or you want to be hospitalized. They’re equipped to handle it if you’re over age 55, but God forbid you be under age 55, you’re basically shown the door. Is mental health in this country nothing, but a fucking joke to people?! Personally I don’t find anything amusing about it. How many people over age 55 are shooting up schools, going back to their former place of employment and killing people after being fired, etc.? I’m not saying every single situation of that nature has involved mental illness, not by a long shot, but being told to “Go home and take a pill.” is a seriously grave insult. Not just to me, but to many others. My recent ER visit did involve me inquiring about help for depression & anxiety and the doctor wouldn’t even come downstairs to speak with me. I explained that I just wanted to find a balance while I go through the process of having my insurance reinstated. I was referred to a different hospital for treatment, and simply handed Map Quest directions after they spent hours amping up my blood pressure (unless you piss me off, my blood pressure is never 170/110. For me, that’s not normal in the least!), and running tests to determine the extent of my previously aforementioned concussion. When I followed up on their referral to the other hospital, I was informed that they ONLY handle hospitalizations and that I needed to call a different facility that could handle “my type of problem”. Nice, hmm? The third place hasn’t even called me back and it’s been over a week, so either they’re not good at returning phone calls or they really don’t give a flying fuck. My guess is the latter.

I am still feeling the effects of the concussion and trying to recover slowly. I already know it can take weeks, months, or years to be “back to normal” after a severe concussion that literally made me see stars. Right now, just putting my hair up makes the “smack spot” ache like I just bashed it into the armoire again. Forget a ponytail or anything complicated, I might as well just stay in bed and cry. That’s ok, I don’t have to be pretty, I just have to keep it out of my face and off my neck.

Back to the point at hand: Telling me, or anyone, to “take a pill” is only apropos if it’s a headache, or something minor that responds to medication. Why would anyone listen to that kind of “medical advice” (and I use the term so loosely I hope they can hang themselves with it.)?! It’s NOT medical advice, it’s the beginning, the very start, of malpractice. Watch for it closely. It’s easy to see. Doctors of late only care about Covering Their Own Ass, not so much about helping a damn soul. Why spend money to go to medical school if you can’t follow something as simple as the proper etiquette of your job?! If you are an inadequate doctor then it is your duty to find one who is not inept. The last time I checked “Do No Harm” was more than just a canceled TV show (But hey, if Steve Pasquale was my doctor, I’d definitely go into the office more often. Someone get him on a new show STAT! I am mesmerized by my fellow Scorpio, despite his being married, which does ruin some of the fun for me. LOL.).

#3- The writer finally has time to immerse herself in reading. I’ve read about ten books that I’ve been putting off, and I’ve got another 8 on hold. It’s been a really long time since I’ve utilized a library for reading purposes, but I’ve been having a blast reading and returning books in such quick succession.

If you have never read anything by Chris Kuzneski, I strongly urge you to do so. I’ve read almost all of his books thus far and I’m about to read Death Relic. He is remarkably talented, a total hidden gem. You can learn more about him at: www.chriskuzneski.com. Chris has great characters, their sense of humor and dialogue tends to crack me up.

As for other books: I stayed up ‘til 5:00 a.m. the other day reading Divergent. It was so good I read it a second time before I returned it. I’m enthralled with this story and I am going to snag Insurgent ASAP. If you haven’t read it, I strongly urge you to find a copy. I’ve got a date with my local Walmart or Target as soon as humanly possible for both of these books.

#4- I’ve had no time to write. That’s one of the down-sides of not being able to plug your laptop into the wall whenever you please. I am at the library 2-4 days each week to check e-mail, re-charge my laptop, Kindle Fire, and cell phone. These have become my life-lines. Just keeping a little food on hand is a struggle without a working refrigerator. I am NOT looking forward to cleaning it out once the power comes back on, but I’m glad there wasn’t a lot in it to begin with. That will help. That, paper towel, and a full bottle of antibacterial spray. If you knew just how much I hate to put on gloves and clean anything smelly, you’d know the look on my face is one of total grossed out disgust.

In this vein, things aren’t all bad, but they’re definitely not all good either. People keep asking me when my power will be back on and the answer is: I don’t know. I have already had to sell some extremely personal items over the last five months to try and keep my head above water, and am now looking for another item I can sell to get them to turn me back on. A newer client I was editing for screwed me out of her remaining payment plan (to the tune of $1700, so anyone who thinks they’ll be getting their work for free via BSF has got the next thing coming. Payments have to be made, unless you pick up the phone and make arrangements with me for less on a payment here and there. I’m agreeable, and I “get it”. I am well aware that we all have bills to pay, that many of us are struggling, that the economy sucks, etc., but this is my livelihood, and my electric company was completely unwilling to work out arrangements with me. In fact, they shut me off without even notifying me, which is illegal, yes.). That’s how this happened. Anyone willing to take me on as their editor and pay me in small amounts so I can get turned back on will get my very best editing and will, right now, be my only client, so if you need someone or you know someone that does, give me a holler. E-mail me immediately, I will get back to you as quickly as I can.

So, there you have it folks. My life is insane right now, but I am doing my best to put it back on track. Wish me good luck, I definitely need it. If I owe anyone a response to an e-mail or message, I promise to get back to you ASAP.

Hugs to all…..Li

Predators and S…

Predators and Silk

“You’re going to meet many people with domineering personalities: the loud, the obnoxious, those that noisily stake their claims in your territory and everywhere else they set foot on. This is the blueprint of a predator. Predators prey on gentleness, peace, calmness, sweetness, and any positivity that they sniff out as weakness. Anything that is happy and at peace they mistake for weakness. It’s not your job to change these people, but it’s your job to show them that your peace and gentleness do not equate to weakness. I have always appeared to be fragile and delicate, but the thing is, I am not fragile and I am not delicate. I am very gentle, but I can show you that the gentle also possess a poison. I compare myself to silk. People mistake silk to be weak, but a silk handkerchief can protect the wearer from a gunshot. There are many people who will want to befriend you if you fit the description of what they think is weak; predators want to have friends that they can dominate over because that makes them feel strong and important. The truth is that predators have no strength and no courage. It is you who are strong, and it is you who has courage. I have lost many a friend over the fact that when they attempt to rip me, they can’t. They accuse me of being deceiving; I am not deceiving, I am just made of silk. It is they who are stupid, and wrongly take gentleness and fairness for weakness. There are many more predators in this world, so I want you to be made of silk. You are silk.”  ―C. JoyBell C.