Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mentally Ill People


From severe hard-to-treat depression, to bi-polar to you just name it!

I was out in my front yard talking to Chuckie when out of the corner of my eye, I saw a guy lurching down the sidewalk, towards me. Chuckie ignored him, probably just assuming he was wacked and would go the other way, but he looked familiar. He's this normally very nice guy who either works or goes to school at the school next door to me.

He kind of looks a lot like the Invisible Man/Count Crackula. So he's normal-looking, handsome even, but he had this wild look in his eye (which I.M. used to get now that I recall), and like I said, he was sort of lurching, not walking towards me. Sort of Dawn of the Living Dead. As he grew near, he asked me if I'd do him a favor and call his wife. As he grew even closer, I could tell by his eyes and lack of alcohol breath, that he wasn't drunk.

I called her after he gave me her number and she said she'd "Be right there," then he said thank you and lurched back to school.

I felt so sorry for him. No doubt, she was bringing his meds. I spied like a nosy Alice Kravitz out my window and saw her pull up, park get out, meet him then embrace him as they talked.

And I felt even more pity for poor Invisible Man/Count Crackula/H.D. Esp, The Invisible Man.

Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo many ill people.

But I also felt grateful that I got out in time from I.M.; otherwise, my name would be Co-Dependant Woman. I'm still angry at him: for being selfish and all the selfish kisses that weren't necessary (since he knew he'd be leaving sooner or later), for not coming clean in the beginning about the severity of his illness, for standing me up, for lying (I promise I will NOT shut you or my parents out"), and the worst part, for being cowardly and not talking to me in the end, after he promised he'd NEVER do that to me.

Still, I'm more sorry for him now, having seen this guy, who's probably worse off than I. Man.

So many damaged people. So many. Sigh

Is Free Speech Really Ever Free?

Is it?

I went to a protest, RC's version of Occupy Wall Street, and it was pretty cool. In fact, I decided I'd go next Saturday, too, since I have to go right by it anyway after the farmer's market. Maybe I'll bring snacks for the protestors.

I saw a colleague holding up a sign, and for the first time, I really appreciated the fact that tenure helps protect academic freedom. Without it, you could be canned as a professor, for anything you might say regarding society/government/politics/religion. However, this only covers TENURED people, not the millions of teachers/adjuncts/workers in America.

A country where you can be let go under a great EXCUSE, aka lie, if no one likes your beliefs. Which leads me to Rapid City, redneck utopia. Here, republicans embrace the far right, parading around with anti-abortion signs, threatening to close Planned Parenthood on a fairly regular basis. Even a moderate democrat in Rapid City has to masquerade as a "independant" or quietly stand as a RINO (republican in name only). To claim to be a democrat here is dicey business, akin to saying, "I'm a communist." Sad. Ever notice that there is no concept called "democrat in name only."

Why is that?

Anyway, I wonder how many of Rapid City's far right regularly give to the food pantry, or volunteer their time for Wavi or the Rapid City Mission? But that's another story reserved under the title, Hypocrisy.

But, the good news is Rapid City is slowly changing. Like a boat listing to its far right, threatening to turn over and sink, Rapid City is slowly becoming more balanced, excluding that wingnut politician we have, Kristy Nome, SD's version of Sarah Palin.

I don't know. If you've lived here since 1998, you can feel a change.

Now, if we can only get a Trader Joe's to locate here we'd really be somethin'.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Crazymakers in your Life? What You Can Do

One of the best things Cactus Man did inadvertently for me was pay for a class that I'd wanted to take almost three years ago. The class, which I'll never forget, was a class on screenwriting taught one winter by a visiting professor of screenwriting at Columbia University and who's written dozens of screenplays for Hollywood. What an inspiration he was!

But one of the things that stood out the most was a book he used for the class (D. you'll remember this). THE ARTIST'S WAY by Julia Cameron. It explored freeing your creativity, and in doing so, also letting go of things in your life (namely people) who block your creative energy.

So we had to keep what were called "Morning Pages," this was a new form of journaling, not to look nice or pretty, or read by anyone ever, not for pretty verse or poetry, but to DUMP the annoying data of your brain that others leave imprinted on you (thereby freeing your thoughts from the static that plugs up creativity). Horrifyingly, I noticed that my entire Morning Pages were about Cactus Man. I realized he was completely blocking my good creativity and dominating my good energy. Not to mention the constant Gaslighting he'd do: "I never said that." or "I never asked you to marry me; where'd you get that idea?" "You're too sensitive. I never said that." until I'd be banging my head in therapy trying to figure out if I'd lost my mind. Then I realized it was all just gaslighting on his part, and I found the courage to shut the door on him forever. Hence, all my anxiety went bye-bye, and I was safe, happy and normal once again.

Here's an interesting blog on Crazymakers:

Have you been a Crazymaker at One time in Your Life?

Be honest. Brutually honest.

I was once dumped by an old friend who accused me of once being a crazymaker (ironically at a time when I was dealing with the biggest crazymaker of all time, C.Man). I was hurt she'd accused me of that, and it ended our friendship. But I DID take a LONG, HARD look at myself. I noticed that I had been a crazymaker myself at certain times (not a full-blown one, but one who was often a little too self-absorbed); as a result I was DRAWING other CRAZYMAKERS TO ME (think of vampires hanging out with other vampires, because that's what it is really like). When someone drains all the energy out of you; you tend then to drain the energy in turn from someone else (a bloodsucker of the night!) Hence, the worst one of all, Cactus Man, Humpty Dumpty or Count Crackula.

Signs You're a Crazymaker:

Do friends dodge your phone calls too much?
Do you find yourself saying, "Yes, but back to MY STORY?" way, way too much?

Or do you have a Crazymaker in your life?:

Do you find yourself dodging someone's calls? Why?
Do they drive your CRAZY with their constant whining and problems and they never take action on their problems?
Does he/she gaslight you? (saying they never said/did something, to manipulate you, when you know it for fact that they did?)

I think it boils down to you reap what you sew, or Karma or whatever:

Try to be of service to others, your friends.
Try to keep a lid on your "woes me" things and see things through others' eyes. I know this is very difficult at times. If you have a Crazymaker in your life, read Julie Cameron's book (she was married to a talented but notorious crazymaker, Martin Scorsese). And slowly, gently, with much tact and diplomacy, try to weed those crazymakers out of your life.

Life's a garden. You only have time for the daisies, not the weeds and roses with thorns. Give back to others. Do something that is completely selfless.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Humor Anyone?

I try to make my blogs funny. Sometimes, this is hard to do when a situation isn't really funny, nevertheless, I try.

However, it has come to my attention that IM has, at least in the past, apparently read my "How to Spot a Drama King" and didn't find it very funny, I think.

I say "I think" because the last two emails I got from him were odd. One had "Invisible Man" as the subject line. The other, which was very, very short, had sort of copied the line where in my blog I said, "Fever, let me tell you about fever."

So, I think he was pissed, royally.

Then I pulled a real bonehead move you normally only see in the movies.
I copied that part of the blog and was intending to send it to TT with the comment he made that was just like it.

In fact, I was talking to her on the phone while I did it it. Only I never sent it to TT, I accidentally typed in his name, because I was multi-tasking AND thinking of him. So the e-mail went to him.

Whoops. Then, the only damage control I could think to do was send a very short e-mail apologizing for the paragraph I'd accidentally cut/paste to him. I couldn't really mention it was my blog, because:
1. I don't know for sure he reads it and
2. He didn't come right out and say "Look, I read your blog and you're lame because you hurt my feelings."

Then again, as several friends have pointed out, I didn't lie about how our relationship ended, and that's the only part I blogged about because it was so LAME. Also, I guess IF he admits to reading my blog, he's got to accept the responsibility that he treated me like a turd, blew me off, never kept his word, etc. And I don't think he wants to do that.

Talk about Passive-aggressive communication. But, seriously, what could I do? He refused to talk to me in person, refused to call me. And whenever I did call him, he'd either shut his phone off, or it was full of messages. Plus, he said, "The more you try to contact me, the less I want to talk to you," which he said he doesn't remember saying, but I have it in writing.

What can you do BUT make it into comedy? I mean, really. I wasn't the one who slammed all the doors of communication shut behind me. He did.

Octoberfest and the New Rapid City Downtown Pavilion


Yesterday, JJ and I went to the pumpkin-patch and got pumpkins. On the way home, we went through the new downtown pavillion project and suprisingly found there was a festival going on. Beiberfest or something to that effect. However the new square's architecture leaves much to be desired.

"I feel like we're in communist Russia," JJ said, noting the strange, cement-like sculptures.

"Nice proletariat touch," I add, noting that the stark design of the place was very1946, East Germany. I can't figure out what it has to do with the Black Hills other than..... "Maybe these weird penis-like sculptures are supposed to represent the crags up on Cathedral Spires?" I offer, figuring this had to be what the designer was shooting for. JJ just made a confused face.

"But why the Star Trek-looking sound stage?" she asked. I must admit, the designers they must have hired had mixed concepts or were under controlled-substances. The sound stage that was built with a weird mix of concrete and white painted aluminum looked alarmingly like the Starship from Star Trek and really doesn't fit in with the Black Hills at all. "Beam me up, Scotty." Why build a space station? Why not build something from cedar or knotty pine or mimic the brick architecture from other downtown buildings?

But the oddest thing at Octoberfest was the strange two-piece band playing Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison Blues--as a polka? Really?

However, even MORE alarming was the fact that here was a good 300-400 people and we only saw 3 good lookin' dudes. Seriously? That's hard to swallow after our secret find last weekend where ALMOST EVERY MAN WE SAW WAS A CUTIE.

Instead, we saw--
1. offensive baseball caps
2. alarming baggy pants
3. frightening stone washed jeans
4. scary shirt tuckers
5. putrid rally shirts
6. terrifying Magum P.I. circa 1983 lip-shrubs
7. spooky greasy mullets

"Acccccccccccccccccckkkkkkkkk," I cried, squirting my eyes with bleach to disinfect my vision.

In other words, the usual turds of Rapid City. This could have been improved had we been allowed to enter the interior beer tent and not just along the outside with the old people polka-ing.

"How much to get in?" I asked the lady carding at the front of the beer tent.

"30 dollars, but you get to drink for free."

"What?" I gasp.

After JJ and I got over the initial shock, we left. There MIGHT have been cute dudes in there, or there could have been just a sea of caps and rally shirts.

Well, the good news is that this will be good for Rapid City, this new downtown park. And who knows, maybe someone cute will move here and JJ and I will have some new eye candy.

In the meantime, I guess it's back to our secret spot we found last weekend with the imitation Eddy Vedders because, we sure as hell ain't gonna find it in Rapid.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Complications . . .

Insert broken heart picture right here.

You ever wondered why love has so many complications? Does it have to? Or does it only have complications when you're complicated people? Or if you're older?

I'm a pretty complicated person, but very direct and pretty simple once you get to know me. I know who I am and exactly what I want outta life. I don't see why "complicated" must equate "difficulties." Why can't "complicated" just mean "intelligent"?

But it seems on the Love Field, once you hit 40, everything is complicated.

Here's a list of Love Complications:

1. I love him, but he's got so many kids he's paying child-support for, how we ever going to make it?

2. I love her, but she's got this ex, and these kids and . . .

3. I love him, but he's got these serious mental-issues and . . .

4. I love him/her, but she's/he's been burned so bad in the past that . . .

5. I love him/her, but she's/he's got these serious Mommy/Daddy issues that . . .

6. I love him/her but she's/he's married and . . .

7. I love him/her, but she's/he's got this serious PTSD thing, and until he/she . . .

Why does it have to be this way?

It never was this way for me until a few years ago.

I only know TWO people who aren't this way, but they're not even friends. They're just people I know of, friends of friends of friends.

Maybe it doesn't exist. Any way you look at it, it's sad. I just wish I could go back in time, when the only thing you had to worry about was keeping the crops and the fire going. You stuck together then. You formed partnerships. But after reading Matchless (true story of Augusta Tabor), that didn't always work either.

I vacillate back and forth. At heart, I'm an optimist and I'm kind. But that doesn't equate a fool. Sigh.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Good Lookin Dudes

Where's this? You might find yourself asking. Certainly NOT South Dakota, you might be adding. Neums must have road-tripped to Steamboat Springs again. Maybe she's back in Lander, WY.

Believe it or not, girls, this wasn't Colorado. This was in South Dakota last night. Not only that, but in the Black Hills. JJ and I found this little joint, this pocket of sheer heaven where there's a plentitude of good looking dudes and not enough good looking chicks to go around.

But that can't be in the Black Hills, you might argue. It can't be because there are NO good lookin' dudes in the Black Hills.

I know. I know. But there was, in spades.

Signs You've Run Into Intelligent Good Lookin' Dudes:

1. A suprising scent called "Good Hygeine" is in the air mixed with nice quality men's cologne. I'd forgotten what "men's cologne" was until the owner, a tall drink of drink of water, walked up to me and actually put his hand on my back.

"Well, hello there," he said. My mouth had fallen open and flies were copiously buzzing in and out of my mouth.

"Uh, (stammer) hi," I offered lamely, suddenly weak in the knees. Then a minute later as he walked off, "JJ, did you see that good lookin' dude? WTF?" I hissed in shock.

"Shaddup. Sit down, you're blocking my view of Eddie Vedder."

"Oh, sorry."

2. The lack of baseball caps. Good lookin' dudes don't wear 'em. That's a fact. And get this, we saw . . . . . . . .

3. Stylish hairdoo's!! Yes, check out that MANE of hair on the Eddie Vedder dude! And there was another man with shoulder-length hair running sound for the chick playing the guitar. JJ and I sat and drooled into our drinks.

4. Stylish clothing. Yes, you heard that right. Not a single "Shirt Tucker" in the whole crowd and only 3 caps. No polo shirts, no Wranglers, just hip, stylish clothing and retro-grunge post-punk.

5. Intelligent conversation--Not a single fucking TV in the place, so no nonsense about sports. More like, "Have you tried that organic cheese over there?" or "We've got a bicycle-driven ice-cream maker out back. Wanna see? Going green, baby!"

I'm sorry, but I can't tell you where this FOUNTAIN, this mother-lode, this New El Dorado is. I don't need a damned stampede of good looking women, desperate to get the fuck out of Rapid's seedy selection. LOL. Sorry.

I Love a Man in Uniform

Just when you least expect it, God steps in and smiles. Hope--it's a 4-lettered word full of promise.

After all the BS I've endured the past two years, Cactus Man, The Disappearing Man, promises never kept, being stood up, etc. some "Hope" is rather nice.

The next thing you know there's a new man headed out west, headed to the Dakotas, just back from Afghanistan.

Maybe he's younger than you.
Maybe he's dashing.
Maybe he finds you interesting.

Maybe he listens to you instead of talking all the time because just maybe he finds your wisdom of value. Maybe he's not overly charming because he's REAL (not fake, nor too good to be true). He's not a committment phobe--been married and back. He's not a Drama King. In fact, it appears he's got the quiet strength and modesty of say, Bill Hickock. But he's lived in more countries than most people dream, been shot at and shot men in the line of duty and honor.

What is he?

A military man.

I've run into some new qualities I've not encountered before: Ambition, Courage, Integrity. No man interested me me before has displayed this, so I was quite taken back when he said, "A man's only as good as his word. That's how I roll. If I make you a promise and don't come through? You better get to the hospital, because near-death is the only way I don't keep my word. It's all about integrity, Natalie."

"What?" I almost dropped the phone. "What did you say?"

"Integrity. I keep my word. I don't let my men down, my kids, my country or my woman." I blinked, quite shocked at this sort of talk. Of course, me being me, and having been tricked quite a bit, I'll lie low and see if it's just talk--cause my experience with men, is most of them's all talk and no walk.

And this ambition thing. What's that all about? He's already bought 160 of the most gorgeous acres of land I've ever seen in New Mexico. They could film westerns there. He has mesas, mountains. His plan? To live "off-the-grid" and retire completely. To sort of slip back in time if you will, to maybe 1878. He needs a smart, strong woman who can shoot a gun, cook over a fire, garden, can vegetables, run an orchard. For he's going to live there for good in 10 years when he retires.

If anything, I'm interested in becoming friends. I'd like to learn something good from him. Maybe he'll show me this "Integrity" thing I've been yearning.

Know a lady who loves the outdoors, knows her way around a gun, can cook and might want to help him out?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Absolution or Forgiveness

Well, what's new with Invisible Man?

He wrote finally, a long, tender, apologetic e-mail but two lines really stood out:

1. "I have nothing to give right now," (he's in a deep funk of clinical depression, which he admits, but my friends all think he has bipolar, too)
2. "I remain your friend and more."

OK, now is this just me, but does #1 sound a bit like the "It's not you, it's me" variety (the classic dump line)? OK, let's say it is. Then why even bother to write #2?

If your attempt is to pull away, distance, or dump someone, why #2? Is it the person wants to keep the idea open of you (while not having to commit either way?). Or is it the person is confused? Working on his issues? My friends all agree that unlike Cactus Man, Invisible Man is sincere. They say he probably MEANS "I remain your friend and more" but due to his current mental illness and quasi-break down, really "and more" or hell, even being a friend is impossible. I mean, we haven't talked on the phone since Sept. 6th. I've not seen him in person since Aug. 21st. Is that what you do when you're "friends"? You don't talk or see each other? You tell the person that you "Just can't talk on the phone" because you're so down in the dumps you can't get off the couch? Wow, that sounds like a really cool friendship.

Forgiveness vs. Absolution

Forgivness means--I am so sorry for you that I hurt you.
Absolution means--I want to be forgiven for my sake. I want to appear the good guy, so can you forgive me so I can look like the "good guy" again?

Which does he want? Forgiveness or Absolution? I don't give out absolution. If a guy wants that, join a church.

Needless to say, I am back on the dating site. But this time there's a disclaimer added: 1. "If you have mental illness (untreated depression, bi-polar), please pass me by. I'm sure you're nice, but let's not waste each others' time. You should be working on your "issues" not looking for someone to date.

Disclaimer: This isn't to say all people with mental illness are not worthy of love or are fuckups. This is to say they need to work on their issues FIRST, find meds/therapy that work, THEN go looking for love. And they need to not be selfish and drag others down into their shithole of depression or lie about their issues when they're in a "temporary up swing." Which is EXACTLY what Invisible Man did--selfish. Issues first. Love second.