Monday, January 28, 2013

The Break Up

Look, we gave it a good shot. I know there are a lot of people who want you, and I should feel lucky to have you. I know that other people are willing to spend hours of their time exploring what you have to offer, but that's just not me. I'm not patient. I'm not inspirational. I'm not dedicated. This is going to sound harsh but, to me, you're a waste of time. You're looking for a different kind of girl with different aspirations. You need someone who can cook, and someone who likes to clean. You need someone dedicated to trying new things and seeing where it takes them. You need a free-spirited woman who is ADHD enough to take in all you have to offer, while being productive enough to try it all out. 

That's just not me. 

In fact, I think you're stupid. 

I'm sure you'll find a million other people to be happy with. 

We just weren't meant to be, Pinterest.

Please don't cry. You'll never know I'm gone. In fact, I'm not sure you knew I was there to begin with. You were probably too busy making a dresser for a baby's room out of pipe cleaners and lard. 

Until next time (read: never),

It's hip to be square, kids. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I Have A Brother Who I Don't Talk To

There is no such thing as a perfect family. Everyone fights and gets irritated. I like to believe that, as a counselor, I can manage being around just about anyone, but that really isn't true. Even the best and most-credentialed mental health professionals have their limits. I fall significantly below them on the qualifications totem pole, so I guess that means that only silly people expect me to have no limits.

I go through phases with all of my 3 brothers where I want to kill them. Sometimes we're best friends. Other times, I just want to knock them clean out and can't ever seem to find my brass knuckles. (I promise I don't actually have brass knuckles.)

One of my brothers, however, has not been in my life for several years, and it will probably stay that way. The point of this is that, to the outside world, I have my shit together and I am un-rattle-able. This is mostly true, but only became so when I realized that even if blood is thicker than water, I don't have to put up with your crap just because we share DNA.

My brother is not a bad person. He may not even be a crazy person anymore. I don't know, and I have no intention of finding out. From what I hear, he has straightened out a lot and is working on getting back to being the successful person he once was. Good for him. I'm still not comfortable with him being in my life at all.

Have you ever been surrounded by so much insanity that you start to wonder if you're the crazy one? Yeah. That's what he made my life like. He was sick. Sicker than most of the people I see at my office on a daily basis. He was targeting me for reasons I could not figure out. He got everyone angry at me. I wasn't entirely innocent. I let him get to me and make me like him for a while. Eventually, I realized that the only way to solve the problem and show everyone that I did not do the things that he accused me of was to take a step back and just let the madness happen. I couldn't stop it.

Some strange things had happened, including my then-fiancé's boss getting a phone call to verify for a job that my fiancé had never applied for. This job was in a competing company, and had it been accurate, my husband could have been let go just for applying. Luckily, they let my husband know and they found out that the person who called didn't exist at the supposedly hiring company. My landlord got a letter with our names and the wrong address on it stating that we were nuisances to the neighborhood. We didn't even know our neighbors and had never done anything that could be considered even remotely disruptive. My friends started getting strange middle of the night phone calls about how they could not interact with me another because I was going to do them harm.

I had to get out.

After a few months of minimal contact with my family because they had made it clear that they were erring on his side, the issues continued without my input. I wasn't talking to them, so I could not have been involved. Finally, they saw that I had been telling the truth because the madness continued even when I wasn't involved.

The point of this is not what happened, but that you are not responsible for putting up with the toxic behavior of something just because they are close to you in some way. This was not a situation that could be talked through because I was not dealing with a rational human being. He threatened my life more than once and left me terrified to leave the house. Over time, I realized that the only way to stand up for myself was to say nothing until he got the help that he needed.

He still hasn't, and he has lost most of what he built for himself up to that point. That's sad, but these are his choices. According to what I've heard, he is doing somewhat better now without the help that he needs.

We were best friends for many years, but, in hindsight, the fact that he made me laugh so often and was okay with such impulsive things was probably an early indicator of what was actually going on. I miss that friend, but I don't want him back. The repercussions of all that "fun" were just devastating.

The best advice I ever received came from my mother-in-law while I was handling all of this insanity.

"It's easier for them to be crazy than it is for you to be sane, but you have to do it anyway."

So, several years later, I am doing the shit out of it the best that I can.

As always, it's hip to be square (and sane!), kids.

Monday, January 21, 2013

He's a Girl and I'm a Boy. Wait. That's Not Right At All.

For, like, a minute, my husband and I were that adorable couple who looked for all of the signs that we belonged together and giggled over how cute we were. I promise this lasted for all of 2 weeks when we very first started dating. That's all I could take without vomiting.

There are still a couple of cute things about us that make people laugh. Sometimes they cause struggles. Sometimes they are just funny.

My husband has three sisters. I have three brothers. We are both child number three.

When we first met, this was cute. It still is, but now it explains a whole lot about why we argue.

The lines between feminine things and masculine things are really blurred, and we can't decide whether we want to hold on to the stereotype, embrace the way we grew up or find some weird medium between the two.

I want to decorate the house. He wants to have input. I don't want him to have input because the penis precludes the input. He doesn't see it that way.

He wants me to cook for him. I don't like to cook, nor do I know how. I will feed him somehow, but it isn't going to be fancy. Sometimes I wish that he would get off his lazy butt and just get himself a damn sandwich. I am not exaggerating at all when I say that he won't.

He does the lawn. He wants me to help with the lawn. This is lame and boring to me. Remember how I'm a woman and lawns are stupid? Then he reminds me that I don't want to cook either, and I tell him to shove it up his face.

He refuses to touch the dishes, but prefers (read: requires) them to be handwashed because "the dishwasher doesn't do anything". It's not that he's wrong, but he doesn't do the work. Further more, when I clean the dishes, they are never clean enough for him, and he points it out. Then I shove a spatula down his throat.

We spend a lot of time in this weird gender no-mans land where we can't decide which we are (if either). In childhood, I learned to act like a boy. He learned to be far more sensitive than I am. He talks about his feelings. I don't have many feelings. We both like sports, but his team is stupid.

We're like two parts of a majorly fucked up tranny, or something.

So, we continue to figure it out. What other option do we have?

As always, it's hip to be square (and confused!), kids.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


Confession time:

Someday, I want to be able to call myself a "blogger" without feeling like a total toolbag. I want to be able to reference the blog that more than a handful of people read and be all like, "I DID THAT ISH!" Luckily, I like this stuff enough to stick with it, even if it doesn't get anywhere.

My biggest struggle with this blog was my identity. I didn't know what kind of blogger I wanted to be. I'm not a Mommy Blogger because I distinctively lack offspring. I'm not a tech blogger because the only thing I know about technology is "Buy a Mac. Problem solved." Also, I know "HUSBAND!" when something is broken.

I had an epiphany a few weeks ago that the thing I get the most joy out of is calling shit like it is. When people have problems that they're mulling over, there is often a simple solution. Furthermore, they usually know the answer, and just need someone to make them admit it. This is what I like doing. Also, I like profanity, offensiveness and offering to sell other people's children.

From these thoughts (and a little *read: A TON* of prodding from the wonderful @TheNextMartha and @unxpctedblessing on the Twitterbox), I put together #SnarkLine. We officially meet on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. Eastern Time, but the hashtag gets people to me all of the time. We have been checking in with each other pretty much nightly, and that is kind of awesome. 

So, if you're sassy, ridiculous, friendly and unoffendable, come join us. On our first night, we talked about trauma, anxiety, divorce, blow jobs and selling children. It really doesn't get much better.

Also, if you're having a tough time, you can reach out to me (@maternallydamnd) or use the hashtag #SnarkLine at any time and we'll be there for you. We promise to make you laugh and pat you on the back while calling you a dumb bitch. This is what friends are for.

#SnarkLine. It's like your therapist, but with more cursing. 

As always, it's hip to be square (and snarky!), kids.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

My Mother's Toaster Makes Me Cry

My mother has this toaster. For the first several years of her ownership of said toaster, I couldn't figure out why I felt melancholy every time I saw it. It's not just a regular old toaster. It's made to look like an old radio with tuning dials and buttons and a certain amount of retro-fitting that has absolutely nothing to do with toast.
This one.
Image courtesy of
Over time, I figured it out. The toaster reminds me of a combination of two things.

Image courtesy of

Radio (voiced by John Lovitz)
Image courtesy of

Therefore, this toaster represents the SADDEST MOVIE OF MY ENTIRE CHILDHOOD: 

The Brave Little Toaster.

I think I watched this movie 1,000 times when I was young. It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized that it made me feel awful about the universe every time I watched it in my childhood. This poor toaster just wants to get home to his "master", and is held back by roads and bridges and lakes and sewers and so many other icky things. 

Sidenote: I really don't like the idea of the appliances calling their owner "Master". It makes my supposedly evolved soul hurt. I mean, if we're going to personify inanimate things, is it also okay to objectify them in such a way... even if they're objects? This is the kind of stuff that I think about, world.

Anyway, the poor toaster just wants some attention and to be able to live out the rest of its toaster days, you know, making toast and inciting civil disobedience. The universe wants to stop that. They're reunited in a happy if not scrappy reunion after many trials and tribulations that can only happen when you're young enough to suspend reality long enough to root for a toaster.

Those big, mean, shiny new appliances ain't got nothin' on the soul and integrity of the originals. They tried to have the old appliance disregarded as trash, but the good guys won. 

The idea of fear and loneliness that the original appliances went through while trying to get back to "Master" always resonated with me as a kid. It always made me feel empty. It's an emptiness that comes back today when I think about the film.

And, no, I can't believe I just typed those last sentences either.

You go, toaster.

As always, it's hip to be square (and unnaturally attached to things that don't actually exist), kids!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Psychological Warfare

Marriage is psychological warfare.

The fact that they don't have a big sign that says that at the Clerk of Court office when you get your marriage license is Grade-A bologna. No one lets you in on this little secret of supposed wedded bliss. Married people fuck with each other just because that's what people who love each other do.


Your relationship is not better than the mind games that we play on each other. You may do it differently, but there is no way around it. If you are realistic about what marriage is like, it is easier to navigate the bullshit that you put each other through once you're in it.

But it still isn't easy.

I love my husband with all of my heart and soul. He is the most important person in the world to me. I couldn't survive a day without him in my life.

That doesn't mean we don't go at each other in a way I didn't think either of us were capable of when we're hurting. We desperately try to be better and more mature than that. Often, it doesn't work. We are both incredibly stubborn.

Sidebar: I hate what I just said. I don't know a single, goddamn person who isn't stubborn. I hate that I have to qualify that because, for some reason, saying you're "stubborn" makes it okay to be a dick. EVERYONE IS STUBBORN.

Back to the matter at hand.

I am selfish. I want things the way that I want them, and I want them that way always. I don't want to be told what to do, and I lash out when I feel like I am under someone else's direction. I have been making my own decisions since I was 15. My parents never even told me what to do. I have always been in charge of me. I want to be left that way without any adjustment.

That mentality does not work in marriage. The powers that be aren't joking when they say that marriage is about compromise. You HAVE TO give in sometimes or you will walk around with more hurt in your heart than you know how to bear. It's exhausting and overwhelming.

I am learning. I am adapting. I am adjusting.

I am fucking it up.

My husband and I are both used to directing traffic and being the only one who knows what's going on. We naturally assume that no one else can do what we can. There is no way this is true. We are capable adults who can both figure things out.


That's what my brain is screaming at me, anyway. I'm also certain that that is what is going on inside of his cranium, as well. The truth of the matter is that both ways will probably get us to our goal. We just have to get more used to sometimes being a passenger. We can't always drive.

Except when we're in a car. He can always drive. Driving is stupid.

My husband and I are recovering from another fight that left us feeling empty and broken. I am tired of keeping these arguments a secret. I don't want to pretend that they don't happen anymore when I'm facing the outside world. They happen and they hurt like hell. If they're happening to us, they happen to other newlyweds who are, like us, struggling to just navigate balancing two egos in a space that is barely big enough to hold one. We hurt each other. We do it more than I ever thought we would. And we do it because we love each other with a fierceness that just makes us terrified sometimes.

And that is just straight-up bull jive.

As I'm figuring out how to let go and be open to compromise, I want to shout from the roof tops that I never meant for any of this to happen, and that I do love him. I want him to know that I wouldn't have walked down the aisle if there wasn't something in his eyes and his heart that put me at ease from the moment I met him.

I keep going back to the song, "If I Didn't Believe in You" from my favorite show, The Last Five Years. It's sung while the main characters are fighting. He says to her,

"It never took much convincing to make me believe in you."

And that's how I know that things will improve. They have to. Some parts of our egos will have to be given away and sold off to make room for each other. It will take time. We'll still hurt each other, but it will, hopefully, get less and less by the day. It just has to. There isn't a way out other than fixing this. 

We're blissfully stuck with each other.

And, as always, it's hip to be square (and hard-headed!), kids.

Friday, January 4, 2013

It's Never Going To Happen

Someday, I'll look back on this post and laugh. I'll be all like, "Look at that pessimistic diva and her self-centeredness. That bitch cray."

And I'll laugh some more.

I'm not laughing right now.

I'm hitting one of those this-is-never-going-to-happen walls where all I can feel is resentment toward the world and happy people in general. 

In actuality, I am a very happy person. I like my life, my job, my husband, and my family. 

I'm just not happy for you, persay. Your good fortune doesn't, like, do anything for me. 

People are getting what I want, and they don't even have to work for it. In the meantime, I sit here and stew about how, in the midst of my seemingly happy existing, NOTHING is working right. 

Nothing that I want, at least. 

I'm working endlessly on how to get our family on the track that we say we want, but we're still stuck in neutral. 

I promise, swear and take a solemn other than I will get the fuck over myself very shortly.


As always, it's hope to be square (and pessimistic!), kids.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I Shouldn't Have To Write This

I shouldn't feel the need in my soul to get these words out because it never should have been necessary. I should never feel the way I do about something so horrific because it just shouldn't happen. No where in this deep, dark world will anyone ever convince me that the good that could come of it will bring enough light. No one. Ever.

But life is hard and entirely unfair. If I sit still waiting for things to be fair, I'll never get anywhere.

I'm weeks behind most of the gut-wrenching posts about Sandy Hook because at no point was what I was feeling relevant. This was about real people who were hurting and our nation being available to them through this awful time. It was only about me in the sense that I could help someone in pain. No one cares how I feel, and they shouldn't care.

Then, last night, I watched an irrelevant movie with my husband that just hit me where it desperately hurts, and now the images that had somewhat subsided in my mind are banging against the side of my skull demanding to get out. They're screaming at me with a violence that I can only let out through spontaneous tears and whole lot of anger.

It was a really dumb movie, and I never thought in a million years that it would affect me in any way. I tend to like stupid movies where stuff blows up, and it didn't occur to me that they might be a scene where someone basically goes psychotic and shoots several people at close proximity in cold blood. I tried to tell myself that it was just a movie and had nothing to do with the things that our nation is trying to deal with. It is just a stupid movie. But, there were screams of terror and people lying on the ground and the kind of music that only heightens everything that you're feeling. I replaced all of those actors who got to walk out of that Hollywood set with children who didn't get to walk out of anything. I saw faces that I have only seen through pictures. I saw first responders with hearts breaking.

I walked away mid-movie and cried for a really long time. My husband is the most caring man in the world, but he doesn't quite understand how I get attached to people I've never seen before. But I have seen these children. These children are my patients. These children are Little E whom I haven't gotten to see in months. These children are Victoria Haller's nephew.

I work in psychiatry and I can tell you that not everyone can be helped. There are people who walk in who you give your best, but they either don't want or cannot take it at this time. There are people who have the kind of disorders that don't respond to even the best therapy or medications that we can offer. It's the part about the job that sucks, and the part that can make you somewhat cold to people at times. You can't help everyone, and you certainly can't help people who don't really want it. That doesn't mean we shouldn't be making a good faith effort with everyone we meet.

The only thing that relieves some of this agony for even a minute is something that I have to tell family and loved ones of patients all the time: Don't try to put logic to something illogical. You'll just make yourself crazy.

We'll never understand why. We'll never know why. Even if we had an answer to the whys, it wouldn't make us feel any better. It wouldn't fix anything. Nothing can ever fix this. Nothing.

So we continue to heal together. Last night, New Years Morning 2013, was just my personal breaking point where it all became real and starting viciously bouncing around in my head. It stayed with me throughout my attempt at sleep. It physically hurt in a way I cannot describe. It's still on my shoulders today.

I'm the one who springs to action when bad things happen, so it's normal for me to not have the "breaking point" moment until weeks after everyone else. I think I have been so busy trying to find a way to help that I didn't realize how much what I was trying to help affected us. I feel silly for even having a moment like this because I feel like I'm co-opting the pain of people who actually went through it. I avoided this post as long as I could, and I thought that I would get away without it.

I didn't. I just put off the inevitable moment that every writer gets to when it has to be on the page or they won't make it through another second.

There. It's on the page.

And, just, fuck you, Universe, for shit like this.

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