Tuesday, 18 February 2014 09:57 pm
seryn: flowers (Default)
Maybe 22 episodes a year is too much for even the best funded shows to do well? I can usually tell when the alternate writers are doing even something big like NCIS or Castle.

But having taken up Teen Wolf today, which only has 12 episodes in the first season, I'm really confused as to why this has such terrible quality acting and writing compared to things like Single-Handed which is an Irish show with the British format of doing 4.5 hours of content per 2 years.

Weirdly Teen Wolf reminds me hugely of the cartoon Static Shock. Mostly because of the intelligent side-kick.

There are, and this is incredibly shocking given the other women who watch the show, GIRLS in Teen Wolf. And they're not braindead bimbos. Since every single person I know who watches the show only reads m/m fanfic, I assumed it didn't have any female characters. There are actually almost as many female characters as male ones so far.

I won't be reading any Teen Wolf fanfic though.
seryn: flowers (Default)
I need more stuff to read that isn't ridiculously m/m. (Seriously, if you baldly write Captain America wringing his hands after being rejected by Iron Man, you're an idiot with no idea of characterization.)

There aren't enough female characters in Avengers. I not-so secretly loathe Agents of SHIELD because Skye.

There aren't a lot of female characters that I can identify with anywhere really. Maybe that's why most of the women fanfic writers I know write m/m. When Ginny Weasley, homicidal bimbo is one of your best options for a female character, it's probably over.

I'm watching Elementary, Criminal Minds, NCIS, Mentalist. I've finished the third season of BBC Sherlock (it's too bad they can't actually pull a full schedule for that, 4.5 hours of content every 2 years when a real show does 22 40-minute episodes per year (14 hours.) I'd be a lot more willing to put up with the last three lousy episodes if they were only a quarter of the season instead of all of it.) I've seen all of Lost Girl that's available on Netflix. Two seasons of Grimm. Castle. Stopped watching Bones because it's absolutely unbelievable that Bones is genius-smart anymore... Arrow. Longmire. Endgame was awesome. Alphas (they only do like 10 episodes per year and I never remember what's going on because they always look like they were canceled) White Collar (which is getting irritating). Almost Human--- though I disagree with how far in the future they think that's set, it looks like they're using 2014 tech and claiming it's 25 years from now.

I probably won't read any Elementary fanfic. I enjoy the show, but I hate how Watson with all her education and training in dealing with addicts has become so codependent. That's eerily reminiscent of my life how sucked under she's gotten. It's going to be hard to imagine any healthy relationships with any characters on that show.

I looked for books with large fandoms, but they don't seem to get there without a movie version.
seryn: flowers (Default)
There's another of those "Let's pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy." pictures today. I've had problems with that for a while, not because I disagree but because it's incomprehensible that anyone could do that.

For me being happy requires constant effort or I slide down the sheer cliff face I'm climbing. And when I get to the top and poke my head up, I feel like one of those ducks in a shooting gallery. Like I daren't actually get *happy*, merely happy-adjacent is as good as I can have without being hurt for it.

There's a line in a popular song from last year, by Gotye, "You can be addicted to a certain kind of sadness." And I'm thinking that's pretty close to how my brain works. And most addicts get there because their brains are wired for addiction, which I certainly inherited from my alcoholic mother despite not being an alcoholic. All you have to do to become an addict is over-expose your brain to whatever chemical experience and you'll feel like you *need* that for the rest of your life. It's worse if your brain gets it younger because the level for overexposure is possibly lower. (That was the theory behind raising the drinking age.) I was certainly overexposed to a biochemical level of sadness by knowing I was unwanted from a very early age.

This is a simplistic view, of course. And I disagree with it, but it provides a perception that is lacking anywhere else.
seryn: flowers (Default)
So I'm working on something hard for me. I'm trying to stop hating myself.

There isn't a rational reason for it. I'm kind of useless, but so are a lot of people. I'm not always nice, but I'm not deliberately horrible. I didn't end up where I wanted to be in life, but this isn't awful. I'm even willing to accept that, for the most part, I did okay with my decisions given the information and the preferences and experiences I had at the times I made those choices.

At 42, there are a lot of things that are easier for me now than they were 20 years ago. And some of them aren't my fault that they got easier... I get treated better in stores for example. But a lot of them are practice. It doesn't freak me out to call someone when I need something--- like calling my mechanic or making a doctor appointment.

So I'm willing to accept myself as I am and how I got here.... but only if I'm not me. Me I expect more of. I expect to be someone I admire and appreciate or care for. I want to be loved by *me*.

There are some people I just don't click with. I don't want to be friends with them, I don't want to hang with them if there is a group of us, they're just not my kind of people. I'm desperately afraid that *I* am one of those people.

What's interesting is that I am fundamentally aware of who I am. I know myself. And I can't stand me. I'm that person that I'm not all that sad when something awful happens to her because really I fucking hate her and if someone has to lose it might as well be someone I don't like. And I resent me for having all this shit happen and making me deal with it. The whole point of having bad things happen to people I don't like is so I don't have to listen to the whining, don't have to deal with the fallout, and can just walk away. The walking away isn't working.

No idea what to do because this seems insurmountable. I got to know that woman I disliked, there's nothing wrong with her though she has her issues. I just don't *like* her.
seryn: flowers (Default)
Wow. That's hilarious. JKR attempting to rewrite her HP characters' relationships retroactively. As if that hasn't been the entire point of fanfiction for the past N years.

If only there were better Booleans for fanfic searches in the beginning, then she'd have known not to pair *anyone* with a Weasley just by looking for the most common search stats. There was never a NOT flag in any of the big sites' searches. AO3 has one now though. I'd have been looking for m/f -weasley -ofc -rpf -m/m.... (Actually that's pretty close to my Avengers search string now. It really cuts down on the amount of time it takes to keep up on because something close to 95% of the Avengers fic seems to be the most ludicrous m/m relationship onset I've ever read.)

I hated reading about Hermione being with Ron. I hated Ginny. (Seriously, who lets attempted murder slide without ever mentioning it again? And I'd NEVER share a room with someone who tried to kill me and wasn't fucking sorry. That was insane of Hermione to even agree to visit the Weasley house.)

The whole thing about the Weasleys being there at the train station in the first book smacked of a setup by evil!Dumbledore. That's actually the bit of essaying that convinced me that who we can know in the future is manipulated by who we know now. I know that I have friends who I can't mix socially. So the more I like one group of friends, the less time I spend with the others. And the more influence they have, which makes the exiled friends less tolerable. I don't think I'm transparent about it either, I think everyone can tell. But Dumbledore controlled Harry by how he was introduced to other wizards. I assumed that Harry being married to Ginny was another step on the ladder of making sure that Harry never strayed from the path he'd been groomed for.

But there are millions and millions of pages written re-examining the idiotic relationship decisions JKR made in her books. Details are ripped apart and reassembled. And finally things are temporarily put right if you read the right fic.

Now JKR wants to say that she was wrong in the books. Um. yes. We knew that. We lost a LOT of respect for you for it. We don't think you knew what you were doing. That's why we spent all the time fixing it. We're glad we talked you into our way of thinking. Maybe you could share what fic convinced you.

(no subject)

Thursday, 30 January 2014 10:24 am
seryn: flowers (Default)
Watched a Criminal Minds with a side plot about Rossi helping a former soldier. He's been in the show a couple times. Rossi rescues him twice. In this one, he's going to give up being sober because he can't see his grandson. So Rossi goes to interview the son and ask WTF. The son says his dad was a drunk. That he'd promise not to drink and put the son in danger, endanger his friends, embarrass him because the police had to call his friends' parents when his dad would get drunk in public taking them all to a game. The son said he had to protect his family.

ranting and experience )

I can admit this.

Sunday, 19 January 2014 10:09 am
seryn: flowers (Default)
I like fanfiction, still, a decade after the last thing I've written. Even after JKR killed all my joy in Harry Potter's world (seriously, what was it with those nasty Weasleys? Why would anyone like them?) I'm vaguely enjoying Avengers fanfic (although that is vastly better if I get a link from someone else.)

So I requested an AO3 invite. This isn't going away and it would be really useful to be able to keep track of WIPs and favorite authors.

(no subject)

Saturday, 18 January 2014 09:04 am
seryn: flowers (Default)
I think the real reason everything keeps failing the Bechdel test is because if there are too many female characters, the male characters might not have slashy relationships.

rambling essay )
seryn: flowers (Default)
I slept for 10 hours (ish), with the lights off, and woke up happy. Not the all over happiness, but that ^suspended in this moment things are okay^ kind of happiness.

There was something really interesting in that realization. I read one of those Discworld books, though I hadn't realized it was one, about their magicians. There was a general consensus that conjuring real things was impossible. It was incredibly difficult and the few of their strongest who had managed it, could only keep them there for a fraction of a second. There is a scene where the main character needs to escape and creates a stairway out of nothing by conjuring steps as fast as frames of movie go past. He says the secret to conjuring wasn't in making each thing last longer but that you had to *keep doing it*.

That's how I feel about happiness. It's the hardest thing ever to do, only the strongest people can make it out of nothing, and it only lasts a fraction of a second, but the secret lies in pushing one's self to keep making these moments of happiness.
seryn: downcast kangaroo with caption "the woe" (sad roo)
I'm not really even tired, but I haven't had a decent night's sleep since 12/27.

Read more... )

(no subject)

Friday, 20 December 2013 11:50 pm
seryn: flowers (Default)
One of the things I've become good at is watching how people interact and who leads a conversation. What's disheartening is that I can now see the point when people stop liking me. Because my thread in the mesh of the group collapses.

That happened tonight.

I wasn't the only one who failed out either. So it was completely fascinating. Sad but fascinating.

There were several times that I realized I'd said something I shouldn't say and the reaction is vastly overblown. Then I realized I walk on eggshells, constantly aware of what I'm not allowed to talk about. I've replicated the kind of connection one has with a functioning addict.

That kind of poisoned friendship feels right. It sort of slots right into the hole in my inner spiritual container (soul). My mother didn't love me because she was an alcoholic and alcohol was her god and the first twenty-thousand and 7 things that she loved. I married an alcoholic (though I wasn't really aware of it) and it was the same relationship. If I found someone who was broken in the same way my mother was and that person loves me, then I've fixed the spiritual bleed by connecting the hoses properly this time.

So what happens after my husband's death? 90% of people stop talking to me, no one reaches out, I'm working with a warped therapist who can't comprehend the pain I'm in and can't seem to figure out anything to help, and finally I meet someone I form this instant friendship with. We bonded. It was amazing. And there's no question that he's an alcoholic. No one binges like that (even if it's just weekends) if it's not a problem.

Strangely the warning signs were all there. I tripped over the emotional traffic cones. "This is someone who will hurt you." And I still want this friendship. These kinds of unbalanced, tainted connections are all I've ever known. I don't even know how to stay friends with people, but I think a lot of it has to come from the friend holding their end of the connection.

And that's what I saw tonight, and the thread of connection dropped.
seryn: different stars with a talk balloon saying "hi" (hi)
I thought something on the way home from dinner.

People hate bankers... regular people anyway... and I think it's because of the investment caveat that past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Whereas everyone else says those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it. That's a huge conflict.

Personally I agree more with the banking side for practical reasons. Books are sorted by author, but really, unless it's a series, there's nothing saying that the next book will be anything close to the book I just read and enjoyed. In fact, it's pretty common that the second book will suck comparatively. Because the author is new to the demands that success brings and hasn't accounted for the massive time sink that a book tour, interviews, blurbs, contracts, promotion... will all cut into writing time. Most authors still have day jobs, so effectively being a successful author means while writing the second book, the author has 3 jobs not just two. Given that many authors seem to meet their future spouses during this time (probably because being married is a job in and of itself) and the amount of focus the new book is getting dwindles again. So, in effect, success breeds failure.

I watched Almost Human last night (3 episodes in a row) and I don't really like it because I can see a lot of the manipulation that it has from being a show on Fox. It's not very futuristic either. But the really shocking part of this is how really retro it is, in a bad way. They're not tongue-in-cheek about it either. So whilst they say history is staggeringly important and we have to pay attention lest things devolve to a police state... the "hero" character pulverizes suspects during an interrogation, is racially denigrating to a minority character who looks black (but it's okay because the problem is he's an android, the hero has a black gf (that we learn to hate)). It's like they don't even see the irony. Obviously knowing about the past doesn't help at all in preventing it from recurring. It's almost as if they took the worst parts of our history and deliberately chose to recreate them.

If I hadn't just read the first novella of Wool (It was terrible and gruesome and I'm not linking it.) I might even think we should stop teaching history all together since all it does is weigh the future down with this rah! rah! group narcissism and teach children that hatred and violence are justified. But the whole premise of Wool (at least the first installment) is that security through obscurity doesn't work because human curiosity will out. In that story, the society erases and removes all evidence of past uprisings because knowing about them causes them to recur much more frequently.

I'm still mulling all this over in my mind.
seryn: tea (virgin tea)
I went to a Halloween party. It was an invitation from a man I met in the park (during an event) and we'd interacted a few times. Thinking back, that was ridiculously trusting of me to go to a strange man's house for a party, but I didn't get anything negative from our interactions.
Read more... )
seryn: my own favorite hat (hat)
I have come to the realization that I don't know what a healthy and happy relationship feels like.

I can imagine one, sometimes I can imagine them with people I know in them, but if I mention this there are indications that no one has a relationship like this. Like saying, "Ah, I shouldn't keep you, you have a family that loves you waiting at home." when that causes wincing, it's probably indicative that things aren't all prismatic light.

I can tell you that I don't want to be Paul McCartney in the sense that after losing my spouse, I wait a bit, start dating, and get remarried only to discover that it's hideous and the new spouse is atrocious and everyone who said to take it slow was right. But from right here, I totally understand why he did it.

I was not happy with my relationship before being widowed.

A lot of why I stuck with it is because of John Edwards and Newt Gingrich leaving their terminally ill spouses. That is, obviously, the wrong thing for anyone with any sense of honor. But it fucking hurts to be blamed. I still find things that unexpectedly stab me like swallowing a whole sea urchin that then explodes.

But this left me with a depth of experience in how to suffer through a relationship and very little memory of what it feels like to be loved.

I hadn't realized how damaged I was until Friday, which was objectively productive but had one of those exploding sea urchin moments that keep me in bed like a bad flu, when I got an email saying, ~"I'm getting one of the books you recommended. Sorry things haven't been going all that well."~ That was some of the most affectionate contact I've had with anyone and I have developed a huge crush on someone completely uninterested (really, look at that, it's not a deep passion for sure) and unavailable. It makes sense to me, because I see someone who has his shit together and who is emotionally whole enough not to hurt me offhand... of course I'd be avidly interested. It's inappropriate, but that's what differentiates a crush from someone one considers for a potential relationship.

I want there to be someone who loves me enough that I can feel it, but I have a lot of barriers and emotional armor that I built up. It might take someone far too intense to be healthy in order for me to have any sense of it. Or I might choose unwisely and be unable to tell until it was too late.
seryn: flowers (Default)
sometimes seeing other people being grateful irritates me.

I think it's a byproduct of all the secrecy people have about the causes of their unhappiness and the culture of "Fine. Good. How are you?" So I see someone with an apparently perfect life and they demand I lie to them (or they never talk to me again) and they're smugly joyful and happy about everything.

When I started digging my way out through the "Fuck, I got hit by Jupiter, that wasn't depression, it's a planetary impact. No one would consider that an illness. I was injured!" I realized that I knew some of the online people who were grateful for the smallest things.... I realized they were grateful for those because the rest of what they had sucked so much no one would want it. It wasn't that it was a scale model where a great lunch was a metaphor for everything being wonderful. It was like my great lunches, when for minutes in a row, I don't hurt so much that breathing is a chore.

But it's hard to remember other people have problems when mine are so large and so close.

It's also hard to remember other people have problems when they get in my face and tell me I am not allowed to be be angry or sad. They'll disguise it in some fashion about how it only hurts me. Or how I won't ever have friends again. Or that I'm making more stress for myself. I had one person say that my negativity is what caused all this.

In other words, fake Buddhists are just as annoying as fake Christians.

Today I slept through the beginning of my vacation. I'm actually okay with that.

I'm unable to plan very far ahead so I didn't make reservations, I choose to travel when there are a lot of places with vacancies so I can find somewhere to stay. And this inability to plan ahead has been constant for a while. Something always goes wrong. In this case, I have a cold. And I'm grateful that I didn't just plow ahead.

I hate forced or grudging gratitude, but today I'm actually glad that I can work within my limitations and be okay.

It's pretty awful that we cannot accept ourselves or others without this relentless culture of positivity. What things are we grateful for, tell me what makes you happy, focus on the good. These are all "if you weren't you, and didn't have any problems, you could be my friend." When I make myself focus on the positive; I think I'm a smug, smarmy bastard that I want to deck for having a perfect life and no problems. It actually makes me angry with myself.

When I meet someone who is happy for a cupcake, and it turns out that person has things worse than I do (which is common, I'm doing okay other than the catastrophe which is resolving) I want to send them 30 dozen cupcakes so they can get all the way happy.

I'm not grateful for that thing that takes the edge off. I LIKE the edge that allows me to carve away the stupid that tries to stick everywhere.
seryn: downcast kangaroo with caption "the woe" (woe)
I read something today that places the burden of asking on the person in crisis. Well, yes, that would work. The article also suggested that I keep track of people's interests and capabilities and schedules and ask them for things they are likely to be willing to do. Yes. That would work. If I didn't need the help in the first place. Wtf.? Seriously?

If I don't follow up on my offer to help, it might actually be because I didn't really mean it, how else am I supposed to get out of the social pressure to offer things I don't want to do? It might also mean that I'm an irresponsible flake who won't do what I've agreed to do no matter how many hoops you jump through.

I had one person offer to pick up groceries. If I made a list 36 hours in advance of Wednesday noon (note that the math wasn't included... it was "I'm going to the store around lunchtime on Wednesday, can you get me your list before Tuesday so I have time to plan which stores I want to go to?") Then on Wednesday she was too tired and didn't go. There wasn't any food here. I couldn't have asked someone else because then I'll have duplicates and I'm barely eating anything anyway. I didn't feel up to going out. So I just sat here alone and hungry. Thursday she didn't feel like going to the store in the morning. So 9pm Thursday she says she's back with my food and could I bring exact change for $7.67 when I come to collect my food. Because she didn't get even a tenth of the items on my list. I had carrots, an unpeelable orange (I'd asked for the navel tangerines I'd seen and eaten the prior week.) and some plain lettuce. So basically, I had to go to the bank during the day in order to have change for food I'd requested 4 days in advance.

The next week she was extremely offended that I didn't give her a shopping list.

This was the person with the BEST followup skills.

If someone had knocked on my door and said, "Here I am to take out your trash. Where are the new bags? I want you to be all set." That would have been amazing. useful. Not requiring of brain I didn't have.

Did you know that I finally did laundry this week? First time in a YEAR. I've been able to swish underwear in a bathroom sink a couple times. My dead husband was in the process of doing my laundry. He was kind of upset with himself for breaking me. I just didn't care if my clothes were clean. So sometimes he'd show up and wash stuff. My neighbors took the baskets he hadn't finished and helped with that after he died. So at least it wasn't permanently stuck in that state. He would have been angry if I'd interrupted something nice he was doing for me. One neighbor asked a lot later how I was doing with my laundry and I just stared at her.

This week I washed my own laundry in the laundry room.

Do you know what would be awesomely useful right now? Praise.

Should I go through my contacts list and figure out who knows how to say something nice without blaming me for being pathetic for a year? I don't want praise that says, "Well finally you got off your ass, you're a huge burden when you can't do anything right." I probably shouldn't ask "real people with jobs" anything on a Friday, or a weekend, when they have important things to do like work, or spend time with their families, which I'm interrupting. Then there are the people who just don't want to be supportive because they liked him better than me.

I got rejected by another therapist. Apparently I tend toward isolationism and distrust of people. And apparently "no one" can help me with that. (I'm thinking someone missed like 3 years of classes and clinical instruction. Because not wanting to help people with problems seems like it would make being a therapist a poor career choice. Until I realized that there are a lot of people who get therapy because it's covered by insurance, and their problems are easy.)

There is a lot of fake help out there for fake problems. But now that I have real problems, I'm being told that's what family is for.

And in the midst of my real problems and real drama, I'm told that I am prejudiced because I don't have any issues that society looks down on me for.


Thursday, 5 September 2013 07:40 pm
seryn: flowers (Default)
Today's angry time moment?

Someone said something horrible had happened to her for no reason, then she said something horrible to me. I've realized that sometimes karma gets ahead of itself. Because this woman absolutely deserved the crap pancake life handed her last year... she just didn't deserve it until today. In my opinion.

Probably she's just as mean and hateful to others in the past and deserved her crapcake full on when it happened.

It just sucks that I had to be hurt by yet another person.
seryn: swimming turtle with grass growing on shell (world on my shoulders)
I think someone who was reading things here was "ace" a few years ago, and confident enough to mention it. So it's a memory lapse issue as well as a privacy one since I intend this to be a public post.

You might really like this:

I have been loving Avengers fanfic lately. Every single story is how to go on with your life and doing what makes things seem worthwhile when you've lived through the worst things possible. Even the humorous ones are tinged with "but.. PTSD" and jokes don't seem to go as far past the pale.

I am. actually. getting there. I don't consider myself in the same category as war veterans or superheroes who staved off an alien invasion. But there are elements of those issues in that I lived in a life and death situation for years with very little support. I'm finding that. most offensively. my ability to talk about it at all minimized people's understanding. There's not only a culture of silence, but an understanding that if you can talk about it, it didn't happen.

I have an analogy. The Coffee Woman, if she bumps her head at all calls it a "concussion". Since concussions are from broken blood vessels and bruising in the brain it seems really unlikely that she can tell 2 seconds after hitting her head. Maybe she does concuss that easily and has been warned by neurologists. But I think she found the biggest word in order to exaggerate how she feels. I know it's childish to say, "I bumped my head." but "Ow." works. Or "Ow. I need to sit a minute, that rang my bell." But pretty much, to me, concussion is "I need to go to the hospital to make sure I don't have brain damage." So when she says, "Omygod I have a concussion!" I say, I'll drive you to the hospital or do you need an ambulance. Then she replies, "It's just a concussion! You really need to stop overreacting." By doing this, she's made me feel stupid for caring, demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of scaled nouns, and attempted to make light of other people's actual brain injuries.

I can talk about it. Being told that I need to be able to distinguish (by looking) the difference between a tremor and a seizure. So I get whalloped at night (this is years ago now) and am expected to be instantly awake enough to determine if someone else is having a medical emergency. If it's a seizure, then someone might die. If it's a tremor, it will cost $5k at the emergency room since nothing will be covered by insurance. The support I got: "You're a smart woman." So I'm living in a situation where violence toward me is not only irrelevant, but the precursor to live and death responsibilities. But if I talked about it, I got back, "If someone hits you, that's not right." Yes. And. moving on to the part where you help me figure out how to cope. Because I don't have a lot of respect for those presidential candidates (Newt Gingrich and was it John Kerry? dunno. John Edwards) for abandoning their wives when they got sick. Do you know that no one actually bothered to show me the difference?

No one hugged me and said they were sorry I was dealing with that. Everybody thought I'd bumped my head and was calling it a concussion. Somehow being able to talk about it inherently minimized what was actually happening. I recently had a therapist who second guessed my medications because I could talk openly to her. Like no one needs psychological support if they can talk? Talking doesn't reduce the experience of trauma. There's a process to work through trauma and it differs. Some people who can't talk about it might get there through learning to talk about it. I needed help to make it stop haunting me. Talking about it didn't exorcise any ghouls. In many ways talking about what happened repeatedly (because I'm going in to see my dozenth therapist today, it's been an over-and-over type thing) made things worse.

No one has acknowledged the sense of failure I have. Everyone says my husband dying isn't my fault now that he's dead. But 3 of his doctors told me I was responsible for keeping him alive with my best judgment as to how much medical attention something needed. I know I did everything I could. I don't blame myself for failing at an impossible task that shouldn't have landed on me to begin with. But I did have it. It was my task. And I definitely failed at it. I can't get anyone to help me understand how I can think both those viewpoints at the same time. I literally hate myself for doing the best I could have done.

Someone died and I couldn't stop it.

And the system is failing me now since the only treatment anyone seems to have is, "If you can admit the problem, then you're probably okay. It's only the people who can't talk who struggled."

Here I am.

Thursday, 29 August 2013 09:59 pm
seryn: downcast kangaroo with caption "the woe" (sad roo)
I've been getting better.
I stand where the waves buffet me; but under my feet is rock, not sand. Thus I may speak without drowning.

It's taken a while. And I lost everyone in the process. If you think that's not you, it might be because you were lost before when I was quiet.

Every person I considered an in-person friend turned out not to care that I was hurting, it was more important to be judgmental and tell me that I should have chosen differently years ago.... and to say so DURING THE CRISIS. I'm often uncouth and blunt and inconsiderate. Honest to a fault. I've said the wrong things to people who were hurting. I'm sometimes sorry when I notice I've said it. Sometimes I'm not. But the people who saw me hurting and kicked me anyway.... I don't like you very much right now.

I spent a lot of time rewriting how things should have gone in my head. So all the people who said, "I'm so happy your husband is finally dead!" let me say this:
You. You are a horrible person. I will rewrite your dialogue in my mind until YOU cease to exist as a person in my life.

The fact that you're not sorry makes me want to not like you in the future. The fact that you then said that I was not allowed to be sad or angry because no one should have negative emotions makes me actually hope something goes hideously wrong for you so I have an chance to show you what being a friend is supposed to look like. (Now that I know what I would have wanted you to say.)

It made me question my own judgment because I allowed you in my life.

When I realized that the people around me were so hurtful that I'd rather be dead than talk to them, it was really hard to want to talk to anyone because I'd been wrong. For years, I'd been feeling like a monster that no one should like. That there was something really wrong with me because I was miserable and suffering hugely under the obligations to a terminally ill man who was in complete denial. It turns out, however, that most people are monsters and I was doing the best I could.

I am. finally. at a place where I can see my choices, how my decisions played out, and realize yes. I would have done exactly that again (with some wiggle room for details that didn't have a dramatic effect overall, like which pizza place we ordered from the night we fought about my not cooking... I like the other one better and conceded so the evening would go smoother but we fought anyway, so I should have ordered the pizza I like.)

I was really really hurt by the results of my decisions and the consequences of my choices. Every single damned day of my life for the past N years (at least 2, but possibly up to 6 years.) It's very hard to get up every day and know that every choice I will make betrays me or wounds me.

There is nowhere I think I should have done something fundamentally differently. I can't have made my dead husband not to have been drinking for the past decade. I can't have not helped him when he was dying. And I shouldn't have gone back on my decision that resulted in him struggling the last few months of his life even though that is the most tempting thing to take back.

It was a hard loss to spend 6 years of my life fighting to keep someone alive and ultimately fail at it. It was harder to be blaming myself for the choices because I didn't like the outcome. I was vulnerable and I believed the horrible things people said to me. That set me back. "These are people who are my friends and they think I'm a horrible person. I must be a horrible person because they know me and they wouldn't say this just to hurt me." Well, actually, people who say horrible things to you when you're already hurting, just because they can (not because it might get you moving forward again when you've been stuck.) They're not friends.

I lost all my doctors, most of my neighbors, all my in-person friends, have been parading therapists through my life since trying to find one who can care at all... and really at the end, I've got some online people I've known since before my life fell apart and some new potential people, but it's been a 100% changeover in 4 months.

I'm a harder person now. I trust very few people. I've been learning not to empathize with people. I don't care if I understand why someone is horrible (inexperience with real life) or why they said something so devastating (Oh! the wrong one of you two died, can we have him back instead?) . And I don't want to learn to let things roll off my oily duck's back like water by being meditative and calm. My husband DIED. People told me they were HAPPY FOR ME and that I MUST BE HAPPY HE IS DEAD NOW. I am ANGRY with those people and I have every right to be angry. I'm not even angry with myself for thinking these people were actually friends because there's no way to know they were that insensitive.

We might need to add etiquette classes so the curriculum. Now that we don't bother heating the melting pot, we don't have enough common culture to keep our mouths shut when our reactions are inappropriate. And we must need to teach it as a society since people don't learn it at home. I never did and I trod on a lot of toes that resented me for it. The things I heard make me sorry in retrospect for my behavior when I was seven at the funeral of my great grandmother.

Let me list off a few things that should not be said:
  1. The wrong one of you died! It's too late to trade you for him!
  2. He wouldn't be dead now if you hadn't abandoned him.
  3. You must be so glad to be rid of him! He was weighing you down! Are you sleeping with someone else now? Because I have this friend who is in town this weekend.....
  4. I can't believe how much weight you've lost! You look fantastic. You must have so much more energy!
  5. We should get together, but you can't talk about your downer stuff.
  6. I showed up to help you with your death notification calls, why don't you have food to feed me? Can't you cook?
  7. In my culture, we only mourn the worthy men [or only fathers, or only likeable people, or only people who are "right with God"].
  8. You shouldn't be upset. It's been three weeks already.
  9. Call me when you're over this and can be a friend again because you really suck and it's all for no reason. He deserved to die a long time ago and this is pathetic of you to be grieving someone who wasn't worth your time.
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