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  1.  (10205.1)
    You know how this goes by now, right?

    Open Mic is a tradition founded by Spacedaddy Warren. I'm experimenting with launching it on Fridays rather than Sundays, on the grounds that most of us have accumulated a working-week's-worth of toxicity and hatred, and the sooner we can trepan our collective psyches the better.

    To paraphrase herr Ellis:

    This is your judgement-free space to vent, get stuff out of your head and otherwise experience special Internet Catharsis. Screaming into a well, 21C-style.

    Instructions: Tell us about your week. Tell us what you hate, what you love, what's pissing you off. Tell us what's broken about the world, tell us what you want. Tell us how you plan to change everything, tell us what you're building in your basement, or, hell, just dance or play a tune.

    I, we, and all of us are here for you. Smash your wordvenom against us.
    • CommentTimeSep 9th 2011
    More of the same, more of the same. Depressed, in pain, gaining weight, lacking in money... only this week, I have a birthday! I turn 24 tomorrow. Working most of the day, of course, and I can't afford to really do anything anyway, but it's not so bad. I got a couple of sketch cards from our own Chris G...

    ...and I have a lovely fella who does everything he can to try and make me feel better (when he's not depressed himself; he has a lot of guilt over leaving his well-paying job a while back, even though multiple doctors told him he needed to, for stress reasons). And his birthday's five days after mine. He'll be 30. He's kinda depressed about that too. He's convinced all the music he's made is for nothing, that no one will ever care, that he's wasted his life. There are plenty of people who care, but being well acquainted with the concept of self-hate, I know it's tough to make him believe it.
    But, yeah, I remain in the same rut I've been in for a while, and I just can't see any way out. I think of a lot of things I should do, but most of them are medical, and I just can't afford it. Even w/ insurance.
  2.  (10205.3)
    I feel like I can't really hold onto ideas and hope yet.
    I grasp them for a moment, before they slip away, and I'm left wondering what I was grasping for to begin with.

    I keep on being told the medicine is working, that I am getting better, and it seems so during the day-- but at night I'm left wondering if it's true at all, and I become afraid.
  3.  (10205.4)
    @Roo, Britannica. Hang in there, it does get better and can be managed and am thinking of you both. Hard work, never easy but doable.

    I'm back to trusting in medication again, my nine month experiment in coming off antidepressants ended in failure about three weeks ago when I bowed to the inevitable and went back to the doctor. Tried my damndest, but it just wasn't to be this time and was sinking quite fast into constant anxiety, cold sweats, pain and insomnia. Have slowly been improving and feel at least stable again, but got a bollocking from the doctor for going off and on them and was told to keep taking the tablets for at least 18 months from now. Also had a counselling referral so will give that a go. Pleased that I had the sense to take action at a point just before I would have had to take time off work, as that was my worst nighmare - the last time that happened it took years for me to get my career back on track and for my confidence to return.

    And then the horror of the last two weeks. My partner lost a baby. Not a late miscarriage, 10 weeks, but she's utterly inconsolable. It also got complicated and she had a serious haemmorhage, luckily when she was actually in a hospital for a blood test at the time, but still traumatic for her and the girls, who were with her at the time - it took me two and a half hours to get to them as I was in London, and all I knew when the hospital called was that she'd been taken ill and I had to come immediately.

    She was so incredibly happy about being pregnant again, and it's just been ripped away from her. I had mixed feelings about the whole thing and that's made it all so much harder. But I'd got to the point where I'd made peace with the concept of having a fourth child, so this was just fucking cruel. I swing between desperate sadness, compassion and frustration with everything, and sometimes frustration with her, as she is so intense, and I struggle to handle it. Her mother has also been grossly unsympathetic, at one point, telling her to 'lighten up' and 'why don't you just go down the garden and eat worms then?'. I've also been trying to deal with the busiest and most stressful period at work for several years and right now everything feels very, very heavy.

    Going back on antidepressants has its downsides though. It's made me functional, but quite numb and cold emotionally, which is why I tried so hard to come off them in the first place. I don't feel I'm doing a great job of being supportive even though I desperately want to. I can hardly even cry for gods' sake.

    I'm not particularly comfortable with putting this stuff on the interwubs, it feels very raw and painful. I don't have many people near me in meatspace who I can be candid with, and I hate the telephone, so what's a man to do?

    Hope everyone else is as well as they can be.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeSep 10th 2011

    Fuck, man, I can't even imagine what it would be like to be a woman who has lost a child being told to "lighten up" as if she'd just misplaced something. My wife and I lost our first child two years back and I'm pretty sure that if my mother had said something like that to her that, after she was done crying, the murderous rage that would've come over my wife would've been epic. I'm sorry for your guys' loss.
  4.  (10205.6)
    @Jon you have my sympathies man. No one, can tell another how they are supposed to react. There's just no way to predict how something like this affects you (or your loved ones). I can also sympathize with wanting to feel, when you just plain can't. To me, it feels like going through the motions, trying to remember how I'm supposed to react. Trying to act like myself, and not knowing if I'm helping or making things worse.

    At the end of the day, the only thing that's helped me was to just be honest with your partner; making sure that if they feel you're coming up short, that they know why.
    • CommentTimeSep 10th 2011
    @J0nCarp3nter I cannot believe your partner's mother would say such things to her daughter that just miscarried. Uhg. That makes me angry.
    I don't really understand the sort of heartbreak that comes with a miscarriage, having no children of my own or anything. I remember when I was little, my own mom had a stillborn child, who was supposed to be my little sister. Even though she would have been the 8th child in our family, we were all still heartbroken about it. My mom was tough. I don't remember ever seeing her cry about it or anything. (In fact, the first time I can remember her breaking down in tears in front of me was many years later when her mother died.) My mom was one of 10 children, and she wanted just as many. But after that, she couldn't have kids anymore. I still wish I had a little sister sometimes.
    I know with the mixed feeling you have toward having another child, maybe you don't want to try again or anything. But at least, for your partner's sake, it will be possible. And for right now, you have each other, along with the girls you have already. Since you're having a hard time supporting her, get them to help, too. Probably they are, but I just remember back to that time with my mom, and I wish I'd done more to help her. The antidepressants may not be the best thing emotionally, but it sounds like a time that you would really need them.
    • CommentTimeSep 10th 2011
    @Jon, echoing the sentiments of those here. Hang in there, and come back often. Here, when you need it, there's always a sympathetic ear to be found.
  5.  (10205.9)
    @Jon Carpenter: *Hugs* That's rough. Wish I had something deep and insightful to say.
    • CommentTimeSep 10th 2011
    My boss whom I love dearly left on vacation this past Monday and will be gone for two weeks. I'm covering for him in his absence.

    After a week of us being on our own, the senior staff agree that *he* is the biggest cause of our morale problems. He tries to be very informative about what's going on with the department and where things are going over the next few years, but he's so unrelentingly pessimistic that it's becoming self-fulfilling prophecy: nearly half the department has transferred or gotten other jobs in the last year, and many more are looking - including me.

    What really needs to happen is for him to let go of his anger and frustration about the changes at work, and go do something else. Anything else. He's been in the same position for eight or nine years, and he's simply burned out.
  6.  (10205.11)
    @Jon- *ehugs* and sympathies, & thanks for the words.
    • CommentAuthorAngela Hunt
    • CommentTimeSep 10th 2011 edited
    My week was rather great. Helped produce a tarot deck into becoming real through a IndieGoGo. Other epic stuff happened. My little press is gaining momentum and carrying me with it. But at the same time, my husband still has a broken leg and my sister (who takes care of my girls) is sick so I'm basically doing the single mother thing this weekend. *sigh* I want a housekeeper.

    That being said, I hate that the only prints people want to buy from me are landscapes. I love my friends. They're pretty fucking fantastic. I'm pissed off about how much fucking housework I have to do on my weekends.

    I think it's pretty damn broken that the world's obsessed with awful things, rather than obsessed with making things better. Though that seems to be changing.

    I'm going to help change publishing and make it more sane, because it's fucking broken too. That's why the giant robot in the garage.

    I'm too tired to dance or sing just this minute, but thank you for reminding me that I love to do both.
  7.  (10205.13)
    I was hoping to get a text or a call this weekend and post about what happened afterwards, but it hasn't happened yet. And it's Saturday night so I just as well.

    My boss is on vacation because she does too much and her oldest son probably insisted that she take one. And when I say does too much, I mean runs a small business (with help) and pastors two little Methodist churches. I adore her, but she really does too much. I should also add that her family are all naturally really beautiful people. Great people, very fun to look at.

    So her son has been around for a over a week at least, learning how things work, and then helping run things. He's been amazed at how well things run, and constantly thanking us for being so easy to work with, etc. He's also very fun to talk to, and very cute. He had visited before, but he's different this time. More responsible, in better shape, and I am so very much crushing on him. I like to think that there has been some flirtation going on, and I like to think he thinks I'm cute too, but I really don't trust my own judgement with these things. I did tell him that he could enjoy my family's beach (something that has been extended to all of my coworkers) as long as he called first (and after noon), and he seemed to want to, but he hasn't called yet. One more day for him to call before it's Monday, and I know it's all very stupid.

    I really should get out more, but the local boys are generally ... small town Wisconsin boys. I know it's shallow, but it's hard to get excited and flirty with boys whose life experience is a small town where the cops are so bored the city had to pass an ordinance that they couldn't follow teenagers around so they could bust them for smoking pot. I'm not kidding.

    My boss will be back late Thursday, he leaves Friday, and the likelihood of anything happening is about nonexistent, but I'm still hoping. So that's my bit of amusing blather. Oh, and I'm making Trinidad Stew Chicken and playing my uke as background music for the retirement community my mom works at tomorrow. And the hair dye didn't get bought so I'll have to wait a couple weeks before I get to do any of that sort of stuff.
    • CommentTimeSep 10th 2011
    @Rootfireember, Britannica - Hang tough, guys. It's not impossible or hopeless (and happy birthday, Brit!!)
    @Jon - I'm so sorry that happened to your family. Conflicted or not, it's got to be the hardest shock to recover from, losing a child you were getting set to meet. This is just a guess but maybe it's better that you're on the meds than not so you can be there for your partner rather than spiraling in pain as well. Though, I know the dulling effect also means it's hard to reach out to other people. Keep trying, it's all anyone can do.

    Comparatively speaking I don't have any complaints but if you remove the comparisons I've had a week that has by turns increased the pressure on me, frustrated me and left me very dissatisfied. But there has also been beauty in it.

    For the personal stuff it's a huge interplay of being annoyed with myself, choosing to run away from myself, ditching discipline in favor of cheap and fun, sorrowing at the consequences and subsequently becoming annoyed with myself. If I had enough money, I tell myself, I could make better choices about the food I eat, especially when I'm driving hither and yon. I wouldn't have to lean on my mom so much, or at all for my needs... (my mom, god love her, has been extremely generous, so in the spirit of not looking gift horses in the mouth, I don't protest gift cards to fast food places which are her solution to being hungry while on the road). So I eat like shit, I don't make the time to exercise and, naturally, have been gaining weight steadily. Just existing feels uncomfortable. So I run away. I watch videos on Hulu, read crappy romances (while having Serious Nonfiction Books waiting to be read), stay up till practically dawn and have a bitch of a time getting out of bed before noon. Which, unshockingly, makes the whole cycle repeat again.

    Behind on Japanese study (hello lack of discipline), haven't moved on the VO work in nearly a month (hello laziness X fear of getting shit done), uncomfortable in nearly all my clothes (hello 30lbs I was hoping to never see again), mounting debt (hello normal maintenance that I'm not doing due to lack of funds) and then the silly, inopportune wanting from my id that is poking me about remaining single and poking me about not traveling and poking me about...fucking everything. I'm in a holding pattern. I desperately want a real life "actual content coming soon" to go out in my place and do all the hobnobbing and talking and otherwise dealing with people for me because the real me isn't what I want people to see. I know that's dumb but...that's where i'm at.

    This week two guys and one gal in different places caught my eye. I wanted to smile something more than passing cordiality but I held back. All of the above, being fat, being poor, being...stuck. I don't want to invite anyone into that. so the life I want is just over there and I'm not confident of just getting up to go over to it.

    The other factor of this week has been 9/11. Since last weekend stories of remembrances and of the ensuing 10 years of responses have been all over the news, getting progressively more inescapable. I feel bad at wanting to get away from them because they do matter to me, it just gets to be so much. It's not just tragedy, it's fury, agony and horror at the choices that led to it and those that flowed from it. My theatre company decided to take on a play that would be our expression of the impact of 9/11. The artistic director came upon What the Moon Saw and has been working on it for a year with the playwrite. I haven't had anything really to do with it - just put in a little time set building - but the play is up now and I saw it last night. There's something about Hans Christian Anderson stories that is just so sweet, so indelible even when the stories contain terrible events... It just works out see the Tin soldier and the Matchstick Girl in the 9/11 environs of Manhattan, and it's heartbreaking too. My friend Alex plays a firefighter who very directly speaks about buddies he lost while the Matchstick Girl tries to sell her wares in a world that doesn't see her. I always knew Alex was disgustingly talented, but this time he put me in a place where I was there, naked to the pain, and i couldn't stop crying for at least 20 minutes (and carried on sniffling for the rest of the play).

    I'm pretty good at letting art hit me. I suspend disbelief pretty damn easily. but sometimes I can't let go of hearing someone I know really well perform a piece of text. Here I didn't see Alex but a brokenhearted firefighter wishing he could believe in a reality that was beyond his grasp. I do theatre because it's the artform that I understand best and that I have the most talent for. I turn to it because, when it's in top form it moves in me better and more profoundly than any other. for me, theatre says things for effectively than any other form. I could try so, so hard to explain the impact of 9/11 on me, but no words I could ever say could express this feeling better than an actor playing a bone weary firefighter trudging across a stage, every step kicking up a light cloud of flour.

    To the son of Semele, drunken master of revels, teller of truths and obscurer of reality.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeSep 10th 2011
    Out of the last 24 hours of I slept about 16. I have had a fever that led to dreams where I woke up still pleading with the government men not to take away my son. My body feels like it's been dragged down the street by a truck, my throat cleaned out with sandpaper and my head stuffed full of tiny gnomes who are enthusiastically playing the drums. Badly. The only saving grace to this is that my wife has been completely awesome when she realized just how horrible I felt and my son, in fact, was not taken away by the government.
    • CommentTimeSep 11th 2011
    A friend is burning himself out, and burning bridges behind him, and I can't stop him without destroying our friendship utterly and completely. Fucking hell.
  8.  (10205.17)
    Thanks for your kind words all, really appreciate them.

    Will just be a very tough few weeks, I don't see it getting easier any time soon. She went out and bought a plant today, to go with another one from when she had a miscarriage about three years back, it seemed to help her a lot then so hopefully this will too. In happier news, my eldest girl is nine tomorrow, can't quite believe that, and she's growing up so fast.

    peace to all
  9.  (10205.18)
    So, last open mic I mentioned locking up a middle-eastern Muslim inmate for trying to have another inmate make explosives for him.

    I had been feeling conflicted about the situation.

    Today, (of all days) I've learned more about this specific guy; that he's an embezzler who funds money to terrorist organizations. Some days more than others, I become very aware of where I am and with whom I'm dealing.

    I mean, I know some inmates that are easy to deal with. We have great political discussions and talk about pop culture, music, current events, and women.

    And then there's the other guys. The assholes. Murderers, terrorists, hard core drug dealers and cartel members. Guys that if they had the opportunity, would stab me or otherwise incapacitate me at a moments notice.

    I try hard to be a good guy, and give people a chance when I can, but days like today, I remember that I did swear an oath, to protect this country from enemies foreign and domestic. That may sound cheesy, or naively patriotic, but nevertheless, that's how I feel. Or, to be honest, that some days, I simply remember that it's true. That's hard for a former punk rocker, who used to yell "Anarchy!" and get into random bar fights, to admit.

    It's hard not to reflect on days like today. I didn't have a moment of silence when the planes hit or the towers fell. I didn't personally know anyone who died or anyone who lost a friend or family member that day. I don't agree with everything that we as a country have done in the past ten years. I know why I'm here, now, doing this job, providing for my family, and I guess that's enough.
    • CommentTimeSep 12th 2011
    My friend tells me to be gentle with myself while I gear up for new living in new city. I am ready for this to happen, and impatient. However, my worst is frustrated fragility these days; the low points are behind and I have to remember that.

    So, *hugs* to all & wishes for a beautiful thing or two to startle you pleasantly in your days.
    • CommentTimeSep 12th 2011 edited
    @Jon, am so sorry to hear that. All the best.

    This past week Okay.

    For work, things were pretty fast-paced due to the Canadian Country Music Awards happening this past weekend and everyone in the office running around trying to organize hotels, make sure the clients are where they're supposed to be and that "just in case they win" press release are written and ready to go out as soon as the show is over at 9pm tonight (which is why I'm currently in the office until about 10pm. Wooo.)

    For most of the week I just got hit with this really, really intense self-hatred on my abilities but mostly my appearance. I can more or less trace this back to being the exact same weight (no loss or gain) for about a month or so and I AM frustrated with that, especially since I'm about 17lbs away from my goal. So close I can TASTE IT. But even then...I haven't had a self-hate attack this ferocious or for this long before. Going to sleep in near-tears, and waking up wondering what the point of getting up was...I was actually REALLY starting to get worried about things. There's the regular low self-esteem, but this was on a level that I just didn't like at all. But thankfully that started to lift on the night I went to see the Alexandrov Red Army Choir & Ensemble. Not just because I got to see a group of (125) performers that I have adored since high school, but also because I got to dress up and make myself look, well, pretty. To me, anyways. It was nice to know that I could still glam up and look good.

    The weekend was also good because I spent Friday to myself. I walked around the city, ate a really good veggie burger and rented Alien, a film which, now don't hurt me, I had never seen before. Really loved it! Hell, loved it enough to rent Aliens the next day (which I also loved!)

    So yeah, fairly uneventful, but that's it!