Thursday, July 25, 2013

In Defense of Hot Messes Around the Globe

I got a fair bit of blow-back today in PMs from my Facebook page for my (and I'm paraphrasing here) irreverent, disrespectful and callous treatment of the situation with Amanda Bynes.  And although I don't need to apologize for the nothing I have done wrong,  I would like to say this in response:

Hey.  Don't talk to me about how I've treated the situation with Amanda Bynes.  I *am* Amanda Bynes.  A very, very, very lucky version of Amanda Bynes.  Who had the sense to lose her mind well before the age of Instagram and Twitter.  Who didn't have to get her batshit crazy on in front of millions of people glued to their iPhones lest even one humiliating minute go unremarked.  The final scenes of the trainwreck unfolding in the libraries and lecture halls of a midwestern college town as opposed to racing back and forth between New York and Hollywood, and culminating in a convenience store in Ventura County.  I had to share my nightmare with only a small group in OT, not with a world-wide audience on TMZ.  If you have to go crazy, stay home, because it turns out there is such a thing as negative publicity after all.  Phew.  Dodged a bullet there.

But I'm confident that Amanda and I shared at least one aspect of our respective psychotic episodes:  absolute terror.   What in God's honest fuckhouse is happening to me?  I can't understand it and I can't control it and I AM PETRIFIED.  In case you were wondering what's going on with that "hot mess" (your words, not mine) Amanda Bynes, she is, among other things, PETRIFIED.

While Hollywood mocks, and her family wrings their ineffective little hands, and we decry the stigma of mental illness in our society, and lament how law enforcement's hands are tied, and shake our fists that the person really has to ask for help, and on, and on, and on:  Petrified.  

And I mocked too.  Jeez, Amanda, sit the fuck down, you're ruining it for the rest of us.  Good thing she finally figured out how to drill down to the necessary "danger to yourself and others" clause.   When all else fails, go for the flammables.  Remind me next time to hit the Rite-Aid for lighter fluid early on and save everyone about six months' worth of butterfly nets.  Oh yes.  But to the righteous defenders of the celebrity infirm, lest you think me monstrous, just know that I mock because recognition.  I scorn because empathy.   And I do stand-up on a soap-box because attention. 

Who has two thumbs and is crossing everything crossable that Amanda Bynes can finally right the ship with the support she's finally getting because she finally put the necessary points together to finally take it to Level 5150?   

This Nutjob.  This Nutjob right here.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Blame, Avoidance, and Denial, Oh My

Bitches be blogging about George Zimmerman, but not me.  I'm way too self-absorbed for that.  Besides, as a white woman living in a progressive state, what new dimension could I really bring to the discussion?  Race relations in this country are as bad as they have ever been?  Possibly.  Our hearts go out to the Martin family?  Definitely.  

<polite yawn, thank you, Klonnie, next blogger, please>  

Just because I *can* blog about something, doesn't mean I should.  By the same token, just because I'm not blogging about the current issues doesn't mean I shouldn't blog at all.  So instead I offer the following, another chapter in the ever-growing tome titled:  My Book About Me.

Today's blog post is brought to you today by Anger
It's one of those days, you guys. Riding the rollercoaster. They don't call it "rapid-cycling" for nothing. Dear Lance Armstrong. I ride this cycle more rapidly than even you, and I don't take steroids, I take mood stabilizers. Whatever.

Hey, I'm fragile lately. Troubled moved back home last week and the clusterfuck, temporarily suspended, resumes.  My soon-to-be-ex, never my ally when it came to raising our kids, showed his ultimate true colors by encouraging, financing and facilitating my daughter's relationship with her loser, drug-dealing boyfriend, throwing me under the bus and destroying our family in the process. Now she wants to come back home and once again, Mr. Fucking Useless Passive Adolescent Addict So-Called Parent refuses to set any kind of limits, citing his reasons to be that 1. I fucked her up with my anger issues and 2. I don't have a say because I left.


I tried to get Mr. K. to lay some ground rules for her being there -- for example, she has to be in school, there can't be any drugs in the house, and Juvie can't be here.  Ever.   At all.   She was hostile, sullen, resentful, and mocking when we sat her down to lay this out for her.  Of course Mr. Fucking Useless Passive Adolescent Addict So-Called Parent was apologetic and conciliatory.  Five bucks says Juvie will be back in the house within ten days.

<frownie-face emoticon>

And guess who's going to be gone for two of the next three weeks on business, but "whatever you decide to do, you have my complete support"?  Mr. Fucking Useless Passive Adolescent Addict So-Called Parent, who has never done one thing to support me in running this family except stand aside and mock me and judge me. 

<whereupon Klonnie bursts into yet another round of ridiculous and useless tears and runs away>

This dynamic permeates all of our family relationships.  Mr. K. wrings his hands over The Gamer -- "He plays video games all day.  I'm so worried about him.  I offered him some alternatives. I tried to make him stop but he won't."  Of course he won't, he knows you are Mr. Fucking Useless Passive Adolescent Addict So-Called Parent.   Step aside, let me show you how it's done.  I go in to The Gamer's room and start dealing out instructions and consequences and not backing down and of course everyone is horrified. I am a mean bitch.  Really?  Really?  That's fine with me because (stop the presses) mean bitches GET SHIT DONE. 

From making sure *his car* gets smogged because the registration is due next week, while he leaves important papers for me to find days after action was required,  to flicking the switch in the circuit breaker that turns off video games in The Gamer's bedroom, while he looks for the charger to his iPad, I GET SHIT DONE.  From holding the line on spending so that PreMed's tuition gets paid, while he plans a trip to Portugal, to calling Social Services and counselors and everywhere else I can think of to deal with the trainwreck that our household has become, while he has "just a quick nap," I GET SHIT DONE.  

From kicking ass to taking names,  I GET SHIT DONE.  

While Mr. Fucking Useless Passive Adolescent Addict So-Called Parent sits in sullen silence, like the teenage children I am trying to raise.  Watching, judging, and blaming.

But I'm sugar-coating it.  Some day I'll tell you how I really feel.  


Monday, July 8, 2013


She's back in her house for the week, while her (ex?  when do you start saying that?) husband is on the East Coast for business.  So far, the reviews are mixed.  It's nice to be able to take care of things as she thinks of them, but the clutter and chaos are maddening.  If she could, she would just pack three boxes of things to keep, back a Dumpster up to the front door, and haul everything else away.

She woke up, disoriented, in her own bed, in her own house.  Her phone alarm went off, but it wasn't on the right side, like it is where she sleeps now.  It was strange, to wake up in a familiar place and yet not know where you were at first.  And then the sick feeling of recognizing where you were, and realizing why it didn't make sense that you were there.  She wore that feeling all day, a cloud she couldn't shake off, no matter how defiantly she shrugged her shoulders and tossed her head.  It's impossible to get out from under the cloud when it descends.  Panic ensues when she sees it coming, no way to get around it.  It's like a train is bearing down on her.   A trainwreck, more like.

They had planned to play Boggle after dinner, but something struck her while she was doing the dishes, and she just couldn't face sitting down to the game.  The waves roll over her and she has to hang her head, and run the hot water to try to make it look like it's not tears, but perspiration that is making her face red and wet.  "What's wrong?" people ask.  The answer used to be that she had a mood disorder, that nothing was objectively wrong, it was her responses that were wrong.  Now what's wrong is her marriage is over and her family is in ruins.  And she has a mood disorder.  Let's not forget that.  No.

It is overwhelming to think of all the things there are to do, all the decisions to be made, all the awkward moments to go through.  All the feelings.  Exhausting.  The manic months of the Nightmare  Spring have caught up with her and she can barely slog her way through the evening's activities.  She just wants to sit on her (former) bed and drink beer and write about all her feelings in the third person in an effort to make them somehow literary and not pathetic.

So we'll always know where it is.
It's disorienting, to feel all the feelings, all at once.  She's been doing that her whole life.  Apparently it's not a good thing, although for so many years she didn't know that, and she didn't really have a choice.  Now she understands that she is somehow different.  She mistrusts her responses.  She cries a lot, seemingly out of the blue.  She laughs out loud, hard, sudden laughter, maybe disproportionate to the joke, but it feel so good pouring out of her.  She feels angry, she feels love.  And these days she feels distracted, exhausted.   Like usual, only more so.  Even more so.  As if that's even possible.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Does This Seem Right To You?

As the day begins, she is at her best.  A morning person.  French roast.  In the driver's seat by 6:30 a.m.  The last person on Earth who still listens to broadcast radio.  They do play good music sometimes, music she hasn't heard for a long time.  Music she has never heard before.    She listens to the traffic report.  Every ten minutes on the eight.  It is a big production.  Sky Three.  Mobile Two. She loves the traffic report because as rough as her commute is thought to be, there are others that are generally much worse.  She wouldn't live in the East Bay for any amount of money.  Well, no.  That's an exaggeration.  Piedmont is nice.
As Faye Dunaway looks on.

Exaggeration is her medium.  Hyperbole is her argot. A big tough talker. She mentally pounds her fist on the desk.  Says "goddamnit" to just about everything.  "Seriously?  Really?  Fuck me dead." Phrases that pepper her interior monologue.  She stomps her foot on the gas, changes lanes without signaling, without looking.  Things that would enrage her if someone else did them.  Fuck that noise.  She pounds her hand on the steering wheel (oops, that was the horn, huh).  Mad as hell.  Not going to take it any more. Cue Peter Finch.

Because it's not fair.  None of it.  Being blamed for the current clusterfuck is particularly outrageous.  She owns the things she did do wrong, a long time ago when she was sick and no one would help her.  She rakes herself over the coals, she analyzes and examines and has insights and revelations and tears upon tears upon tears until she laughingly gets up to rehydrate.

Because how they got here happened in the last ten months.   The wrongdoing is so recent that it is still raw.   He won't even acknowledge, let alone apologize and atone.  All he can do is fold his arms, grit his teeth.  And deny, deny, deny.

By day, she gathers up her righteous indignation and drapes it like a shawl around her brave, squared shoulders.  Pounds her fists and swears her swears.  Goddamnit.  Motherfucker.  Yes.  All the injustice.

"Does this seem right to you?"  As the day progresses, she grows tired.  And uncertain.  Doubtful of herself, her judgment, her ability to assess situations.  When she was little, she learned not to trust her version of things.  What she thought and felt couldn't possibly be right.  Then she grew up and was told the same thing.  You have a mood disorder.  Everything you do is suspect.  Every thing you feel.  None of it is real or right.

"Does this seem right to you?"  She is embarrassed to admit she doesn't know and so she refrains from asking other people.   If they said (which they did), "No, not even a little bit, not even close," the next thing she heard (even if they didn't say it) was "How come you don't know?"  And the next thing she heard after that (even if they didn't say it) was "Why haven't you changed it yet?"

They are fair questions.  Why indeed?  Goddamnit.

She takes off her wedding ring, with many tears, and little fanfare.  And rubs her finger where that ring used to be.