How to drink a bottle of wine in 24 hours

I am wiped out.

Last weekend I called my sister by every pet name I have for her, and hugged her maybe a dozen times before she and her husband closed up the pod and started their trek to South Carolina. They left their apartment early, and the house will (hopefully) be ready later this month. Meanwhile they spent last week working remotely in Tahoe and boarding in the afternoon; similarly will be this coming week in Napa. Then, next week will be couch surfing with her husband’s friend in S.C.

This week saw both my father’s and sister’s birthday. It also saw St. Valentines’s day. I happily spent the red-hued day at home; a neighbor took pity and gave my chocolate and wine later in the week.

Phone calls during the week staved off any direct interaction. I had a great Saturday with my quilt guild show and enjoyed speaking to many people. This little introvert survived! I had wanted to invite my grandmother, but at 86, she wasn’t going to wade through the pond-sized puddle in the parking lot.

Sunday was wonderful prior to heading to my parents’ home to celebrate Dad’s birthday. I attended TLM at my parish and was blessed to seek the intercession of Bl. Jacinta and Bl. Francisco Marto. Don’t forget to get your partial indulgence during this centennial of Fatima (1 pater, 1 credo, invoke OL of Fatima).

***

Mom and Dad have joined a camera photography class since mom received a DSLR for Christmas; they have an assignment due this week for an artistic portraiture. I googled this beforehand to get ideas and brought makeup accordingly. Brought the Spanish comb as she requested. I brought the two that she had gifted me. I show up with no makeup on other than some violet lipstick. (Later that evening Gramma liked the violet more than the black-plum hue I have).

I get in the door. Dad doesn’t hug me. I  don’t have time to say ‘happy birthday’. He says the barstools are set up for the lighting and he stood in for me (I arrived at 2pm instead of the suggested ASAP text that was sent while I was at the 9:30am Mass). I go upstairs and mom is complaining about my lipstick and refuses to use my makeup on me. I say “Okay”. I take off the lipstick, clarifying to her “it’s not gothic” and I laugh. Dad is standing in the doorway of the bathroom berating me for saying it’s not gothic. I said I get it. I said Okay multiple times. Mom throws another makeup wipe at me to “take it off” and I say “I have. I don’t have any makeup on”. She said “Get out. Leave. I don’t want you here”. I’m not about to leave as I’m here more for Dad’s bday than her damn photography class.

[This gives me a headache, just re-writing].

Mom left in one of her classic excuses. “I need to see Trudy. I’m going for a walk” and she left via the garage and apparently took the Chevy for a wake. WTF?!?

Dad starts blaming me. I said “I don’t need any grooming. I don’t need you to tell me how to be around her. I lived here for 27 years before moving out.”

He sputtered some nonsense, and I said that I did not need an education on how to act around my mother. That I know how this goes and that I did not need him pestering me on how to talk to her from the moment I walked into the door. He said that I should not even talk and that I am not to respond when he tells me what is going on since I am not aware. I clarified that I am well aware of what is going on and that I don’t need a play-by-play from him.

Eventually it devolves into me yelling at him at the top of my lungs (at 9am Monday I sounded like I had a severe cold); replete with cuss words. I said that I was “tired” several times. I said that I was tired of him constantly enabling her; excusing her crazy and trying to make us be at fault her for narcissism.

He said that he was always stood up for us. I explained that behind closed doors doesn’t count. I don’t need him to be a ball-less fuck and not say “don’t cuss our kids” or “don’t hit our daughters”. He didn’t have much to say other than he lives with her everyday and seemed to think it novel that we did as well.

He said he didn’t understand, then said that he viewed these issues to be a result of “chemo brain”, excusing her behavior on having gone through chemotherapy. I then laid out a litany of complaints starting from my earliest memories at 7yo; mom underwent chemotherapy in 2005, I was born in the mid-1980s. I stepped in close and met his eyes. I have to hand him credit for not flinching. And continued to lay it out. He said that he didn’t know. He looked surprised when I mentioned where he was in each instant. See, the things with kids and trauma, they don’t lie. Kids don’t think to lie about trauma because they don’t know the power trauma can wield against another person. I can’t lie about this crap. I explained that I had 2 panic attacks leading up to this this weekend.

He claimed to have no clue.

He disbelieved me when I detailed all the physical and emotional abuse before she had chemo. I said that she didn’t have chemo when she bit me when I was 7 or when she called me a bitch as I ate oatmeal while she read the horoscopes and yelled that I would the be the reason she and dad got a divorce; they’ll be married 36 years this June. Or when she threw Gramma Singer’s 1st Communion gift to me against the wall and he said that he wasn’t there. He stood in the doorway.

I said that what we needed as kids was for him to stand up to her and say don’t hit my kids and don’t cuss my kids out and he said he did it behind closed doors. I said that is not where it mattered. I told him that we needed to be protected and all he did is stand by and let her do shit and he tried to defend himself. I said he couldn’t do that anymore.

 

I want a good and serious career move. I hope it’s in the Alhambra/Pasadena/SGV area. I need space from the family. I don’t need the same 3k mile move that my sister got. But I do need my own space. My own home and eventually, when God wills it, my own Husband and family.

 

 

Posted in abuse, family, family relations, family relationships, hope, mental health, psychology, trauma, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Trashy Journalism

Last year (2015) I attended a training on the identification and assessment of the needs for intervening with CSEC; I attended the update earlier this month (12/16). CSEC is the commercial sexual exploitation of children. It’s a multimillion, if not multibillion per year business here in these USA as well as globally. Of the top centers in the world, we here in California can disappointedly claim three of them: Los Angeles, San Francisco & San Diego. Two of the main streets/locales that are common are the Figueroa corridor stretching from the Port of Los Angeles through, and past, University of Southern California. The other is Long Beach Blvd, with a lot of activity in Compton.

The CSEC population comprises of children, many who are victimized at 11 years old for the first time by their pimp. But this isn’t their first forced foray into trauma and victimhood: they’re likely to have been sexually molested by family members, witnesses to domestic violence, been in group foster homes because their home environment is deemed entirely too unsafe for them to remain there. These boys and girls frequently run away, but also are sold into CSEC by family – sometimes unwittingly (i.e. gang families, indentured overseas, coyotes).

One of the biggest impediments to working and obtaining help for these children is the lifespan they have once they enter CSEC: 7 years. Many do not live to be 20 years old. They are gang raped, drugged, beaten, starved. They are branded with tattoos or have microchips (yes, like Fido) embedded so that if they do manage to run away from the Pimp/John/Bottom-Bitch they are easily tracked, beaten for punishment. If a pimp, John, or Bottom Bitch has too much trouble with a girl or boy, they will kill them. Survival only happens if social services and DHS intervene, or if the child is abandoned by the pimps, but not without consequence. Frequently if a child is not killed for being troublesome to the pimp, they are burned with acid resulting in severe disfigurement.

The second impediment has been the issue with law enforcement labeling the children as criminals (i.e. charged with prostitution) instead of victims. When pimps and johns are caught, arrested, they have to attend a class on child prostitution to attend and it’s expunged from their record after 6 months. It’s on the record of the children forever.

A child cannot consent to sex. A child is not a criminal. He, or she, is a victim. There’s a growing number of boys being trafficked through the LBGT community in Hollywood, and they have pimps just like the girls. Instead of criminalizing children, let’s criminalize the johns and pimps. But you can’t have pimps and johns being thought of as the victim AND the child. So, we decriminalize prostitution to keep the children off the books, and start labeling the johns and pimps as criminals, start putting them into the sex offender registry.

What a dirty piece of trash journalism this link is!

Posted in children, sex, sexual abuse, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Just Sayin’

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2016/12/what-are-your-advent-and-christmas-customs/

Fr. Z had some good, entertaining questions.

I can’t be bothered to come up with yet another s/n and p/w. Besides, this is clearly directed to families. I’m a single woman in my 30s.

Do you have certain personal or family customs for Christmas time?

Perhaps you readers could use this entry to share some ideas about how to make Advent and Christmas a fruitful time for yourselves and families.

Do you have an Advent calendar?

Are there any other things you do, or don’t do, for Advent?  Remember, it is a time of penance, too.

Do you listen to Christmas music before Christmas or wait until after?

When do you put up your tree and when do you decorate it?

Do you eat fish on Christmas Eve?  Pork hocks and lentils after Christmas?  Goose?

Do you bake cookies?

Do you have stockings at the mantle or a creche?

Does the youngest child put the star or angel on the tree?

What happens in your parishes?  Are there food and clothing and toy drives?

Maybe some discussion here can help other people think, in advance, about Christmas, which is fast approaching.

I’m just askin’.

As a child my sister and I would hang little wooden ornaments on a felted Christmas tree, with the little hangers being sequins, and ornaments pocketed in little embroidered felt pockets. It was charming. There’s no grand-babies yet. It’s still packed away.

I don’t keep an Advent calendar at home. I have two wall calendars in the apartment: kitchen and bedroom, both of which I’m too blind to read without my glasses. I like having the Advent wreath instead. My faux pine wreath sits on a bronze plastic charger plate from Michaels, and the candles cause the Leaning Tower of Pisa to blush at the thought she/it ‘leans’. Advent candles be falling over, yo!

I put this out with the nativity set the weekend of the first week of Advent. The Nativity set is a wooden stable with little ceramic figures; Baby Jesus is out but not with the stable. His figurine is lingering above among the shadow boxed saints’ statues I made earlier this year. He won’t descend to the stable until Christmas morning.

Ah, apartment living, what close quarters you are! No piney boughs real or fake will find vertical space to occupy. I like it that way.

Do I bake? Do I bake?!? Babydoll, I made a pumpkin pie cheesecake this weekend along with a batch of pumpkin-cranberry-pecan cookies AND pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Come, here. Ask that question again.

I’m single, in an apartment. Holiday dinners get eaten elsewhere. Tasty dinners in the past consisted of roast pork, black beans and white rice on Christmas Eve; camarones with white rice on Christmas Day. Mom complains about the amount of work involved. I don’t know what she’ll serve this year.

Parish & employer runs food drives, clothing drives, toy drives. So does my quilt guild.

 

Posted in advent, Catholic, Christmas, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I am “mourning the loss” of my vocation. In August 2015, when I went on a weekend retreat with the Carmelite sisters of the Sacred Heart of Los Angeles, I was told that I would not be accepted to their order, and that I have a “gift” for working with families and “helping them heal”. I was also told that I should consider a vocation to matrimony because “you’re full of life”. Which of course my sarcasm picked up on, later. I felt completely called to their order, made peace with the little things I disliked. I was in; so I thought.

Once I was denied entrance I did not have the chance to process the loss or to even consider what would be next for me. I had the financial concerns of not high enough income to meet my basic needs, leading to several job interviews, low-balled salary offers, and my employer giving me a raise 6 months after the fact. In short, financially, I had been living 10% below COLA. Which doesn’t sound like much until I compared my $47k (pre-tax) salary with my $51, 172 annual costs. These costs were not based off of going out every week, clubbing, none of that: oil changes, rent, LADWP, car insurance and loan, student loans, and health bills all added up to more that I could earn in a single year.

Last year’s ordeal ended with a raise just before the holidays, but not before I had learned to can jams and jellies for family and friends for Christmas – taking 10$ for food and $10 for supplies. My sister and her then-fiancé gifted my parents great things, I, jam. Beautiful Cran-raspberry jam. Anyone who returned the jars over time has gotten new jellies and jams: blueberry-Lemonade, watermelon, raspberry.

Fast forward to December 2016, I have my license, making me an LCSW. I hope to move at the end of my lease to a different area and cleaner, more spacious apartment. I will begin looking for new work. As usual, I’m making quilts and playing with my 2 hamsters in the evenings.  This fall I made apple-pomegranate jam. I enjoy it for giving treats, but not as a solitary Christmas gift which I was forced into last year.

Have a blessed Advent.

Posted in 2015, Carmelites, Catholic, discernment, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Liturgical Blue

TLM in Norbertine Rite for Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of BVM

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