catastrophic

Dear Internet,

There is a before before to this story.

I’m currently wrapped up like a mummy at the cabin where it is currently 60F outside, prepping it for winterizing for TheExHusband. I stopped by a local village to have dinner one night when I saw TheEx. Remember TheEx? Oh, I sure as hell do. My rage against him may have subsided but the idea of cutting off his member and dissecting his testes still tastes warm and fresh in my mouth.

So there I was, having dinner, and I see him with a woman and some kid. Maybe his wife? Why else would he be up in this area? His parents have a condo in a large ski/golfing resort that is so full of white privilege, you may contract hives. Why else would he be up here if not with his (current) woman? Why do I care so much?

Because I’m nosy as hell and all of my questions must be answered.

He saw me; of course he saw me. How could you miss me and my overly obnoxious laugh? We played peek a boo through stranger’s shoulders. I forced dessert down my throat to prevent leaving before him. I won the fake war of insolence.

And of course we didn’t say a word to the other! What kind of heathen do you think I am?

Once when we were together, actually many times, his road rage almost killed us. As I said in the above piece, he would beg, cajole, and plead his apologies; me forgiving him as a woman (then) rightly should. I was blinded by everything — he was the (then) closest substitute to TheBassist and I was hungry for that connection. TheBassist and I had been broken up for 1 1/2 years – the thought that I found someone so much like him (but not him) was too much to ignore. I was blinded by the probability. Lusted after the possibility of a TheBassist lesser.

Boy, was I glamorized.

Seven years later, TheEx and I are side-eying each other in a restaurant.

TheEx left me a gift all those years ago, not that you swine, but a new anxiety that causes a fear of driving. Specifically on highways.

It’s called catastrophic thinking, and I had no idea it had a name until a clinician recently asked me a few questions as I spoke, giving a name to the demon.

I run scenarios in my head, while driving, from getting decapitated by a semi getting out of control to careening into cement barriers to having my car going dead in the middle of a major construction area. This despite all of the assurances I give myself such as if Jeeves broke down every 1000 miles, you have bigger problems to there are others who are sharing this anxiety with you right this very second (thanks meditation!). No matter what I do, short of taking drugs, I can’t shake the thoughts of something happening while I’m driving.

To illustrate the point of the ridiculousness of this thinking, last week I drove a thousand miles from the east coast to ThrobbingCabin to help TheExHusband out. I wasn’t getting any job offers, or even interviews, I was going stir crazy, so I left. Again. I figured the sojourn to the cabin would do me good (true), help me think clearly (true), save on finances (also true).

I drove alone.

The only hiccup was getting lost because fuck a Ohio turnpike and their terrible directions!

So I drove a thousand miles, nothing happened, and I’m more or less (more) driving a thousand miles back at the end of the month.

Rationally, RATIONALLY, I know what I’m thinking is irrational. I know that the likelihood of a fatal car accident is .0103% or 1 in 10,000 for every 100,000 people. The likelihood of getting into a car accident at all is 1.76%.  I KNOW THIS. I know this, but I cannot stop thinking about what that less than 1% means to me.

(This thought process exploded last night as I came back from the city to cabin; 20 miles of unlit highway. Me with my Xenon beams and assholes with their brights, in front and behind. My eyes ached and I had a headache for most of the night after my driving escapade. Tonight I’m heading back to the city and I’m nervous, ALREADY THOUGH IT’S HOURS AND HOURS AWAY, of coming back here. Fuck a duck.)

I talk myself down. I remind myself I have driven across these United States with nary a thought, TWICE. I’ve driven from Michigan to the east coast at least six times in the last year. Some of it alone. I’ve driven to lots of long places, by myself, and I come out fine. So why the freak out?

With me, anxiety can be drilled down to a singular incident which builds upon itself into this catastrophic thinking. TheEx’s road rage has finally manifested itself all these years later, which causes me even more irritation than anger because I just want to be done with him. This hold over me is paper thin but it ill not rip. It’s annoying and in some ways, it’s fucking with my life.

Because it’s paralyzes me. It paralyzes me to the point I often cannot leave the house, enjoy my time socially with other people, or even enjoy a nice car ride.

My therapist says most anxieties can be worked through, controlled, and often cured. I am too impatient to get rid of the driving one, I want it to begone! But it’s something I have to control and work on, slowly and methodically.

Something that only I can deliver myself from. And lots of Klonopin.

xoxo,
Lisa

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This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2012, 2010, 2008, 2008, 2000, 1999

2771.7/divorce

Dear Internet,

The last few weeks have been jammed pack with excitement and drama, so let me catch you up.

Epic Trip
Couple of weeks ago, Kristin and I drove from Michigan to DC to see Angela Lansbury in Blithe Spirit. But to add even more excitement to the trip, we drove up to Connecticut to take care of my stuff in storage, got caught in a mini-blizzard and ended up crashing at TheBassist’s house, then the following morning we drove to New Jersey to see our friend Val. Then we came home. The epicness of this? We did this over five days.

If that wasn’t enough, I was home less than 24 hours before I drove to Kentucky for a job interview at a $museum and came home that weekend.

Over the course of 13 days, I drove 2771.7 miles. I am not leaving the house unless I have a REALLY compelling reason.

Next week I’m flying (thank fuck) to the east coast for an in-person interview with $college, which will be my second interview with them. Fingers crossed.

Then I come back in time to head to Chicago with Kristin, again, for our yearly mecca to C2E2. She scored us a photo op with Jason Momoa, so if you never hear from me again, you know why.

The Case
While I was in Kentucky, our retraction of #teamharpy statements went live and a few days later, I posted the essential case facts to get everyone up to speed. I know I said that I wasn’t going to comment on it, but I think what happened after the retraction is fascinating. Namely,

  • No one reads or listens. After the plaintiff publicly accepted the retraction and asked for people to stop trolling so that we can move on to heal, after I wrote a follow-up to the retraction explaining the outcome in curt facts and posted it publicly with permission for others to copy it to their sites, speculation and trolling are running rampant. Within the librarian community, on larger community sites, even after the “this is what happened” post went live, people are still running their mouths on what they think they know. Only those involved in the case know, but suddenly everyone is an expert on Canadian law and apparently received their JD by sending in two box tops and a dollar. It’s just fascinating how the mob just turns even when those involved are like, listen here are the facts that we can provide you.
  • Nearly everyone is a troll I wasn’t privy to the trolling of the plaintiff, but allegedly it was bad. #teamharpy was trolled on a pretty regular basis, and I know that got worse with time. Once the case settled, the trolling of everyone involved boomed through the roof. It wasn’t just librarians in our online communities, but nearly every MRA and GG realsie and sock puppet accounts. Here are some of the examples:

troll4 troll3 troll2 troll1

I RT’d most of the threats, abuse, and harassment I received. People were shocked, but, having known that regardless of how the case was going to end up this was going to happen, I am not.

If you’re curious to the extent of the harassment, here is a complete list of every tweet about #teamharpy archived.

The trolling wasn’t just about online comments, but attacks on my life. EPbaB had several hundred malicious exploits attempted, which were blocked by TSTBEH as an example.

  • Safe spaces are slowly becoming unicorns I know a lot of people are working tirelessly to end this, and this is not disregard their work (and I am not being passive aggressive here — just so we’re clear), but (isn’t there always), a lot of folks told me privately they don’t feel safe coming forward if they have been harassed by someone, regardless of who and where, in any manner. It didn’t matter how the case ended up, the backlash by humanity at large is still forcing those who are oppressed, suffering, and etc., to not move forward. We’re being stripped of our humanity, even as I write this, because if you put forward your voice on $x, there are those who will denounce you and silence you until you are metaphorically beaten. I’m not even referring to the case, but being a woman in general, my voice has been silenced in lots of ways because I’m willing to show the world that I am human.
  • Support comes in unexpected ways Thank you to everyone who came forward with hugs, kindness, and public support during this crazy time. You are very much appreciated and beloved.

The Divorce
As of March 31, 2015, the divorce is now final. TSTBEH is now going to be referred to as TEH. It was a bittersweet moment in court, even more so after seeing those who went before me. I cried last night, threw up this morning, but handled it pretty well. Thankfully. TEH and I are still very close and amicable, so as it was said to me today, I am very lucky that this pain is not going to be so much anger as it is heartache.

Now how have I been feeling? Surprisingly pretty zen. Accepting how things were going to be (the case, the divorce) and what to expect in the realm of emotions, I’ve been doing pretty good at keeping myself together. I haven’t had any breakdowns in the last month (other than some anxiety which is typical for me regardless of the bipolar) and that is also to say, when I have had breakdowns they have been less frequent and much shorter time span than before.

Here’s to moving forward.

xoxo,
Lisa

daily entry: January 30, 2015

Dear Internet,

HEY! My eBook is officially now live on Amazon:

TLC-Cover-Final

  • Morning ritual: Wake up, use the facilities, pop contacts in, take drugs, turn kettle on for tea, figure out breakfast. While the kettle is heating up, fill last nights Bopple and also the humidifier. With tea and breakfast in hand, check email, Facebook, Twitter. Respond as necessary
  • Planned on going to the gym and co-working space but ended up working close to three hours doing prep for so glad is my heart. (SUBMIT! Please.)
  • Showered and ran errands: Bank (quarters for laundry), Kohls/Macy’s/Penney’s/H&M (futile search for dress shirts for next week), Yankee Candle, LUSH, CVS, post office, dry cleaners. Took about three or so hours
  • Came home, depanted, lunched, and then napped
  • Worked on this entry and prepped Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes for January 31
  • Prepped for my trip to Toronto
  • Prepped the next issue of Skaldic Press Presents
  • Filed DMCA take down notice because some twat is stealing my work
  • Bed ritual: refilled humidifier, grab Bopple for the night, take contacts off and wash fash; use the facilities.
  • Read Fool by Christopher Moore before having a pretty good physical anxiety attack.

This is where the catch-22 comes in, right? I’m feeling not at all anxious, the anxiety hits as traveling pain that feels like I’m on the verge of having a heart attack. So then I actually start getting panicky and the pressure increases. None of my old tricks were working, so Klonopin it is! When I finally conked out, holding teddy of course, it was around 2AM. I then woke up at 4, 5, and 7. That part has been the same since October — waking up every couple of hours. I’m not dreaming because I’m not falling into REM sleep (not the band), but in the first few hours of my waking up for the day, I feel rested. Then I start to fall apart as the day progresses because I’m so tired.

xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2014, 2010, 1999