one is called love, the other is spain

Dear Internet,
Happy St. Crispian’s Day!

I’ve been obsessed with Eurovision since I was first devirginized by its gloriousness, in 2010, in Amsterdam. I try to catch it every year and if you follow me on Twitter, I give great commentary.
In 2013, Lithuania had a great entry:

The song makes absolutely no sense:

If you don’t know I’m in love with you
When summertime falls It becomes untrue
Because of my shoes I’m wearing today
One is called Love the other is Pain

When I first heard the song, I conflated “pain” for “Spain” which to me sounds a whole lot better.
(It’s been brought to my attention the shoes reference means he walking away from his love or walking towards her. Still doesn’t make sense, which means I enjoy it even more.)

Sitting in my drafts is an entry I worked on all of Saturday night. Prior to writing that, I had read and re-read my paper diary entries and they were all repetitive of the same thoughts:

  • I had lost my self-esteem
  • I had lost my self-worth
  • I had lost my dignity
  • I had lost my confidence
  • I had given up my own power, willingly

What is interesting is what i’ve lost had no bearing on me going forward. Yes, I was emotionally exhausted and tapped out, but! I got up everyday determined, but struggling, to make it through the day. I take showers, I yoga, I meditate, I apply for jobs, I do my homework. Nothing externally is slacking, but internally I was dying. I was dying for a long time.
The realization of how much I gave up or lost is sobering. How did I get here? Why did I let things happen the way they did? Why wasn’t I control of my own life?  It was far easier, I thought, to let others make decisions for me rather than making my own decisions. I let the world dictate who and what I was nary a thought this was harmful to me, to others, but especially to me.
Back to that draft.
I tried to be angry like I was all those years ago, because the end result was the same: He made a unilateral decision to break it off with me on the pretense he was not a factor in my life. Just as he did in 2005 when he broke it off the second time after I told him my mother was just diagnosed with cancer and we were in the midst of chemo, he broke it off when i needed him the most.
That part stung.
But what made me so angry was at myself for not tossing him into the wind when he did the breaking up this time around. No. No, I cried. I cried and held his shirt, that smelled of him, close to will him to come back. I cried, when there were no messages in the morning, willing him to come back. I cried when certain songs came on the radio because I was willing him to come back.
I cried a lot.
And talked to myself a lot in addition to writing in my paper journals. Working shit out of my head. That’s when I started coming to realizations I posited at the beginning of this piece: I was soo fucking angry at myself more so than him breaking it off with me. I stomped around for awhile and silently screamed to get the aggression out. This lack of everything was not me. This was certainly not me. I willed the anger to come thick and fast so I could erase him out of my blood. I cried to TheExHusband  every day – how fucked is it another person who proclaims I’m the love of his life is comforting his ex-wife who is still in love with someone else? Who walks her through the stages of denial and grief as they happen? He’s either a saint or a madman, I haven’t decided which.
I needed to get my dignity back.
TheBassist said I could spin this anyway I wanted to make myself feel better; I could vilify him because it “always happens” (I don’t know if he meant me in particular or his ex-loves). I cried I could not vilify him or spin this anyway but all of this was my fault and he was not in the wrong. He couldn’t trust me to save his life because “the plan” kept changing. He didn’t know what was going on from one minute to the next. Which is a lie in itself: the plan never changed and I told him everything as I knew it.
Hoo boy. Was I ever deluding myself.
To sum: He’s a man child who wants the “big love” (as he calls it), he wants “the one” (as he calls it), and he wants all the trappings and delightful things that come with that love. He will tell you women always dump him and he’s never the dumper. He will tell you he doesn’t want anyone who doesn’t resonate. He will tell you a lot of things to paint him into a pretty corner of his own making.
What he won’t tell you is he can never be single too long, he always needs a partner, and I’m betting it won’t be long before he’s on a dating service, despite the fact he told me, “if I can’t have you, I don’t want anyone else.” What he won’t tell you is a lot of those relationships overlap and I know as I was one of them, twice, as he was spinning these tales of great big love to me while he was involved with someone else. What he won’t tell you is that he spun those tales to other women I’ve known about during the years and I was not the only one. What he won’t tell you is that he vilifies his exes, even the rare ones he’s friendly with. What he won’t tell you is one of his best friends convinced me he was cheating on me this time around. TheBassist threw that back in my face about the cheating comment I had said all those months ago. I just — don’t get how you can throw “love” around so easily. I’m the love of your life but you can never be single or not “fall in love” with every woman you sleep with?
He will tell you he, “did his best.” He will tell you, “I kept breaking his heart every time I left and he never knew when I was coming back.” He would tell you, “we were on pause, we’re always on pause. I wait for you, it’s what I do.” He will tell you, “I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop and for you break it off with me.”
What he won’t tell you is I worked my ass off to get to him when I could but lack of money and no job was the hold up. I had to cut my visits short because I ran out of money and had to go either back to TheExHusband (as a friend, not a lover) or when I had my own apartment (pre-paid for a year when I got my divorce settlement. It was decided by everyone involved it was cheaper, and mentally easier for me to live on my own rather than try and find a place in CT), which made me even more depressed about not being with him and I choose him over making myself whole.
What he won’t do, when the shit hits the floor, is stick around, like an adult, and work on the couple problems. What he won’t do is take criticism about him seriously or even try to defend himself. He locks down and shuts up so the problems, the arguments, the pain, the shit that comes with the other side of relationships is placed in a box and you look like an asshole.
What he won’t do is stop accepting handouts from his family, and me, and get a fucking job; he uses his depression as a crutch which drove me insane. You can go to school full time, play 3-4 gigs a month, but you can’t get a piddly part-time job to pay for gas and coffee when you don’t have any gigs? He’s all about “taking care of his business” but he spends any random cash he has on toys, not thinking about he may need gas or coffee in the future and gets angry when you point this out to him.
e.g. On my birthday we were out at the mall. He bought his children (two of whom have jobs) a video game. He bought me — nothing. Not even a card, handmade or otherwise, but when his children didn’t make him a card for any holiday, he was “devastated” and “heartbroken.” When I brought up the hypocrisy between how they treated him and how he treated me, he would muse that he “thought about it later about the awfulness” of the way he treated me but he never rectified the situation.
What he didn’t do was defend me. In the beginning, I was the “Michigan girl” the one who everyone knew about, even his exes. None of them were me, none of them loved him like I loved him. None of them got him. But when I started breaking down, when I was a hot mess and I kept leaving and WHY I was leaving he never told them; his friends started turning away from me. I saw burgeoning friendships disappear. When I pointed out what was going on, he said he didn’t need to explain anything to anyone as it was his business and not theirs. I saw the look in their eyes when we did hang out with some of them. I was a terrible person for doing what I did and how dare I break the heart of a man so beloved by many, but hardly, if any, knew what was going on because it was easier for them to disparage me rather than understand me. I felt awful and even more of an outsider. I felt on guard. I felt like a pawn in his game.
His friends will tell you he is a great guy. He’s one in a million. His friends will tell you he will do anything for them. They will tell you all these great qualities about him. They believe in this guy, they do. He praises them constantly when he was down himself. When all was said and done, they were there for him.
I understand that but I don’t/didn’t understand is why he kept throwing me under the bus.
They were never in a relationship with him. Their perception of him and their knowledge of him is vastly different than mine of him.
He dumped me over Facebook. A year together and I get dumped over FB. When I called begging to be taken back, a moment of weakness on my part, he was contrite but then said, “Well it’s your preferred method of communication.”  No? No. I’m a phone girl. I am an old. We used to Skype every night and if not, phone calls. We used messenger and texting as a method of touching base during the day. Not for deep conversations. Are you fucking kidding me? I sniffled through “I couldn’t bear it you date someone else!,” and his reply was, “Then stop following me on Facebook.”
It seemed wholly unfair he could follow me or check on my life, unbeknownst to me, on how and what I’m doing, but I could not interact with his or had to take what he was doing, “going on with his life.”
To that end, I unfriended him on Facebook, archived our conversations so I don’t have to see them, and deleted all of his texts. I am in the process of moving the zillion of pictures of us/him to a folder far far down in my NAS so I can forget about it.
To be fair, there were a few lines of “to be fair” about him; but not today. Today I don’t want to think about his random positive and good things he has done. Or my own fair shake in this. No. This needed to get out, to be said.
Last night, I unfriended him, but sent him a message he know how to find me. Today I am angry. Tomorrow this may all change. Tomorrow I may be contrite and wish I had never said these things. Tomorrow, I may feel the repercussions on what I said. Tomorrow I will love him with the light of a thousand suns and yearn for him to come back. Tomorrow I may hear from him he’s never coming back. I may be angry or relived or sad.
Love is like that; I will, of course, be devastated, hurt, confused, and pissed off. But that is how life rolls and that is what you work towards: happiness, wholeness, togetherness. You don’t throw that away because your life is “too stressful” or because you don’t want to deal with the problems.
But today! I will be angry. I will take a shower, yoga, meditate, and I will apply for jobs.
But right now, I will angrily use a leaf blower, use a hack/chain saw on wood, and throw the wood into the wood chipper.
Now I will start to get my dignity back.

This Day in Lisa Universe: 2001

40 Days: My Yearly Twitter Sabbatical

Dear Internet,
It’s that time of year again, 40 days and 40 nights without Twitter. First started in 2009, I’ve gone back and forth over the last few years about keeping this up. But you know, in the end, I end up doing it because I have felt mentally so much better.
As most of you may have noticed, I’ve scaled back on my social media usage within the last few years. I’ve dumped my old Facebook account and started a new one with my new soon to be legal name which has significantly fewer FB BFFs and I’m quite happy about that.
I’m off of Google+ and have been for months. I’ve stopped using Foursquare and a few other social services within the last few years. I’m an on/off with Pinterest and Tumblr, and I selfishly hold on to LiveJournal like no one’s business though it’s more or less dead.
But Twitter is my crack and the conundrum is that it’s been really good for networking and PR related stuff for my various projects. So I waver how to handle this. In the end, I don’t have a problem with setting up tweets for networking/PR stuff, and content posted from EPbaB will continue to auto-post to Twitter, Facebook, LiveJournal, and Tumblr. Content, as always, is also available via RSS.
But everything else outside of that, such as sharing of links, diatribes, responses, and the like, will be on hold until after the 40 days are done. For 40 days, no reading of my timeline, checking for messages or mentions.
As I do every year, I’ve gone ahead and deleted the apps from my phone/tablet, and removed the apps from my laptop startup. And as always, if you need me, you can always contact me via this site.
P.S. Yesterday’s entry was about putting my daily journals on pause, not the site.
P.P.S. It’s been pointed out I’m a week early as next week starts Lent and I’m okay with that.

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2003, 2002, 2002

40 Days and 40 Nights: Taking a vacation from social media

Dear Internet,
Last November I made the adulting decision to give up Facebook for a variety reasons. I forgot to add to those reasons the “theymeanwellers” and “helpfuladvicers.”
Theymeanwellers are the types who almost habitually post the same shit other people have already posted on your Facebook wall because they think you may like it — even though it’s clear 900 others thought the same. They are kin to the helpfuladivcers, who when you post an image showcasing your meal for the night, will offer up unsolicited advice on how it should have been cooked, presented, or something of that ilk. If you make a statement about your allergy, will start educating you on said allergy even though they are not allergic themselves to OR have any type of medical expertise or education.
You know these types. May the gods save you if you even point out what they are doing is not well or helpful for you’re a terrible, awful person.
The above coupled with Facebook’s continuing disregard for respect and allowing people to control their own privacy, Byzantine rules for posting content and how it was being viewed, I left.
I said,

If we’re friends on Facebook, as of this writing, I’ve deactivated my account. I have a private account I’m using to manage pages since several projects require it, and if we were friends on that particular account, I’ve unfriended you and made it as private as Facebook possible.
…there is an intimacy associated with Facebook that isn’t even available anywhere else, regardless of how many layers I peel back as I write on this site. I need to reign in the control of what the world can see and Facebook was the first to go. At least here, in my sandbox, I’m forcing you to come to me and not the other way around.

Since that time, I’ve gotten the occasional email, text, ran into someone locally who wanted to know where I was and why I hated them. But out of over 300 Facebook BFFs, I’ve heard from about two dozen in some capacity as to why I left. Almost all thought it was personal and about them.
It has not been a totally glorious rebellion as there have been a few kerfuffles on participating on some sites because they ONLY allow Facebook connect to add content and I’ve chosen to just not participate. Or apps that require ONLY a Facebook account to function, so I stop using the app. Overall, I’ve been pretty happy about stripping Facebook out of my life. The private account, which has been stripped of identification, locked down, and only used to manage pages, remains blissfully ignorant of any drama, shitty product endorsement, and related items.
Five years ago, I gave up Twitter for Lent and then wrote about coming back after the break.
Then I noted that all the supposed free time I thought was going to appear, didn’t. But I was wholly naive in the process because I was bloody on Facebook the entire time! Giving up Twitter wasn’t really a hardship rather it was feeding the obsession (Twitter) into another (Facebook). I may have patted myself on the back for being so restrained during that period, but who the fuck am I kidding?
Twitter has started to go the route for Facebook for me in that the bullies, the “theymeanwellers,” the “helfpfuladvicers,” and now the “talkarounders” are starting to grow in leaps. Talkarounders are a breed I’ve identified of people who, for whatever reason, talk about you, your work, or things related to you and your work without engaging you. It’s frustrating trying to work on goals when people dismiss you on a regular basis so while I’ve stopped following and engaging, they still creep into my world.
So I’ve decided that I’m not giving up one or the other, I’m giving them all up for 40 days. But, and I have to stress this, much my work requires me to be socially active. Any content posted will be done automatically and I will not be engaging anywhere. Here are the rules:

  • No Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, or any other social media engaging or responding from March 5 – April 17
  • Content posted from EPbaB will continue to auto-post to Twitter, Facebook, LiveJournal, Google+, and Tumblr. It is also available via RSS
  • If you comment/respond anywhere or send me DMs through any service, I will not respond or engage. If you want to get in touch, I recommend sending me an email

What do I hope to gain out of this? Less stress about being up to the minute on everything. Less frustration from people’s stupidity. More work on the projects that are important to me. More time with TheHusband. More time to read.
More of everything.

This day in Lisa-Universe: 20132003

somewhere in her mind it’s always raining a slow and endless drizzle

Primeval rain, via Popular Science Monthly Volume 4, circa 1873 – 1874. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
Dear Internet,
Friday afternoon, I had a Google Hangout meeting with various and sundry about a project we’re all jointly working on when it came to light one of the members of the group, whom I had been pretty friendly with up until that point, revealed the reason for her sudden turn of taste in me. What that revelation boiled down to was I am not letting others shine in the project. But she couldn’t really clarify what that meant but that her only recourse was to remove herself from within my company. In addition, friends of hers were apparently upset her name wasn’t credited on my professional website where I gave a brief summary on said project, as in my list of names, I list those I recalled at the time of the writing as a beginning contributor and as there were so many, threw the rest under “all the other awesome people who were there” list because I honestly could not remember everyone who was involved.
At least, I think that’s why she was upset because I never really got the gist for her sudden cold shoulder to me. She even acknowledge she couldn’t really articulate it, so I’m piecing together what I pulled from that conversation. When I finished the call, TheHusband, who heard the entire exchange from his office, restated my summary in much the same language. He said if he were me that he would have told her to grow a pair and if she wanted to get credit to actually start becoming the face herself of the work we’re doing if she’s so damned concerned with recognition. I just shrugged, rewrote the pages in more neutral language, and emailed her the updates.
When TheHusband and I were out running errands later that night, I was gripped with a wave of depression so heavy I stumbled in my tracks when I realised what was happening. A fairly painless event of grocery shopping took on the guise of fight or flight, of which I desperately trying not to abandon our cart in the middle of the aisle and get the fuck home so I could surround myself with things that could not hurt me. We had to do this thing, it had to be done this night, and if I could make it through the rest of the trip, I had an entire week where I had almost no responsibility with anything and I could start to protect what was becoming a very vulnerable self.
Sleep did not come easy Friday night as my mind running in a million paces.
Saturday morning woke up very cold and very bright. TheHusband and I had plans to finish some of the major house cleaning that was still hanging around our necks that morning and relaxing before the Doctor Who 50th anniversary party I was planning for a group of local friends. When 2PM came and went, three of the twelve invited showed up, two had declined and the rest never bothered to tell me either way. And if there is anything that can make one feel incredibly unloved and alone is when hardly anyone shows up to your party or even bothered to let you know they were not coming.
So you can imagine, coupled with the events from previous day which I had not quite shaken off, where this is going.
After the guests had left several hours later, and I did have fun with the people who were here, I made the mistake of checking various social networks and seeing huge Doctor Who themed parties being thrown over the world. At that point, as I flipped through the images of happy faces across the globe, I felt the loneliest I’ve felt in a very long time.
I spend a lot of time, too much probably, thinking about my relationships with people. To some, like TheHusband who constantly marvels I know people around the globe, when I say that save for him, how lonely I am at times, he doesn’t quite get the grasp of the depth of that loneliness. When we moved back to Grand Rapids, I told him that those who were my very best of friends when I moved away several years prior were no longer, he thought I was being some kind of cynical fool. But many of those friendships were formed in specific cultures and when the structure of that culture is taken away, the relationships often do not stand. I’m not saying all of those people I’ve met have disappeared, but a good many have gone on with their lives such as I’ve gone on with mine. Cycles happen and I’ve long accepted with the exception of very few, no matter how hard I try to make some of these relationships work, they are all really transitory.
The story that opened this piece was told not to shame the person whose concerns to her were very real, but because I needed a concrete example of something that happens on a fairly regularly basis with me. Much as I said to the male friend who was standing next to me while I was being sexually harassed, “Now you know.” I said the exact same thing to TheHusband when the meeting ended on Friday to illustrate the kind of behaviour I often deal with from others. It was not that he never believed me, he knows who he is married to, but again just as with my loneliness, he hadn’t grasped the extent of what people expect from me versus what they want from me.
Let’s be clear on something here: I do not think I’m some kind of special snowflake deserving of special treatment. What I do think is that I’m a pretty self-actualized human being who happens to be bold. Boldness comes in a  variety of flavors and my particular strength is that I have zero problems being upfront with you, shooting directly from the hip, making a lot of noise when I need to, or calling you out on your foolishness. It is surprising the number of people who would rather have you tell petty lies to make them feel good then tell them the truth. It is also a flabbergast of moments to realise the level of superficiality of many in the human race and their entire existence is based upon the one they have concocted to make themselves feel good. Additionally, I have zero political prowess and that fact alone has hurt me many, many times as I refuse to play reindeer games to soothe various beasts.
I often tell people I am not everyone’s cup of tea, and I’ve long came to that realization in my early 20s and for my entire adult life, that’s the code I’ve lived by. I’m not here to please you and I am also not here to be your personal bitch, to be called upon when you need that bold voice only to be thrown back into the dark when you’re done with them. As this has become a reoccurring event as of late, of that too, I am done.
People who are like me – there is a high price to pay for our boldness and while we are often publicly lauded for being the face of the cause, we’re privately punished for being ourselves. I cannot tell you how many times I have been told to change or tweak my personality because I did not “fit in” with a culture or a group, that it would better serve those around me if I toned it down a bit, or if I was not so blunt or some other attempt to turn me something I am not under the auspice of fake helpfulness. I’m not saying I’m above change or that I am perfect, I am saying I am done with society’s expectation that as I walk to the beat of my own drummer, I need to move my round peg ass into the square hole.
Here’s the thing most do not understand – bold people are often the most fragile and their boldness is a protective measure. Many bold people I have met, in addition to myself, find it natural to be the bull in the china shop as it is who they are, but that energy required to be who they are drains them. Not only do we tend to be more fragile, but we’re almost the most in the need of support. Being bold can quickly weaken you if you’re not careful, and drain you if you are careless.
If we’re friends on Facebook, as of this writing, I’ve deactivated my account. I have a private account I’m using to manage pages since several projects require it, and if we were friends on that particular account, I’ve unfriended you and made it as private as Facebook possible. This has not been something done in haste, but the events from the last couple of days finalized the long thought reasons for me to finally acknowledge the account needed to go. Frankly I’m tired of putting myself out there only to be rejected by the same people who expect me to continually support them or be the face of a particular cause because no one else wants to do it. I’m also very angry that a group of people whom were to be my allies, in the month since my I was publicly sexually harassed, 90% of them didn’t bother asking me if I was okay. And when you know at least half of them read your site, to me that’s telling of who you really are. Whether that’s your intention or not, your actions speak much louder than any words you could possibly have to say to me. I did not want to do a flounce, but I do think a brief reason was necessary if you went looking for me and saw I was no longer there on why I left.
If you want to stalk something on Facebook, this site has its own page.
For most of you, much this won’t affect how you read or see me on site. I’m still going to be on Twitter, but perhaps just not as much. I’m still going to be writing here just as often. But there is an intimacy associated with Facebook that isn’t even available anywhere else, regardless of how many layers I peel back as I write on this site. I need to reign in the control of what the world can see and Facebook was the first to go. At least here, in my sandbox, I’m forcing you to come to me and not the other way around.
I’ve also decided I’m shutting down publicly and openly discussing my projects, librarianship or otherwise, until they are finalized or complete. There have been too many recorded instances of my work being lifted and passed off as someone elses or lifted and touted that it’s open source therefore a free for all or lifted and not even giving me AND the people who worked with me credit.
I’m done being bullied by you Internet, go pick on someone your own size.

friend is a four letter word

i’m slowly becoming disgusted with my “friends” both locally and online.
i’m not quite sure what’s been setting me off lately, but i just can’t tolerate people who are NOT doing things for themselves. I’m becoming disgusted because my “friends” who seemingly supposed to like me for “me” tend to like me for the fact I have a car, i have money (and often pay their way) and that my house is always open. i recently put an end to one person who was doing that to me (and had found that they were backstabbing me in the process of my and paul’s generosity). i don’t like people who use people and i don’t like the way some of my so-called-friends have been using us.
i brought this up with someone, whom i found out later, was backstabbing me in the back. i was upset and angry after everything i had given this person that they could, with such little disregard, turn around and treat me like this. it was not just me, but paul as well as now that we are together, we are singular entity, not plural.
as i’ve stated before, i’ve had very little disregard for politics and for politicking. in many ways, i’m too honest with my own assessment of myself and others around me to even think about doing this professionally. this singular reason, for being honest, is the reason why i’ve never succeeded in doing things or obtaining higher positions in my previous employment. my old employeers knew, that i knew things about them (their dishonesty, their own lack of moral fiber). this is why i never understood “big business” because half the fucking time it’s kissing some major ass.
no one, simply, wants to hear the truth. we live in this glass world fed digitally by the internet, radio stations, television stations and paper media. all too often, with my 10+ magazine subscriptions coming in a month, my whore-like attitude towards reading online journals and blogs (though i never read that many more than once) and my consumption to know, i feel more comfortable in my little shell. So you can plainly see, why if someone lies to me, betrays me or does anything to hurt me, i cut them off at the quick.
i’ve often been called a cold-hearted bitch because once i break up with someone (rather platonic or intimate), that’s it. there is no more good byes there is no more hellos. i grab my shit and leave.
and that is the the end of that.