Factual bad day.

A couple of facts:
2017 has been a way harsh shit show.
I am exhausted.

To be clear, I will take some, but not all, of the blame for the current state of affairs in my world. I own my part. But I am no longer in the market to own anyone else’s part in the bullshit that has dominated my life for the year 2017 and sadly, looks to be the way of the future.

Further, I have apologized for the last fucking time for anything that happened prior to this moment, or this one, or this one…you get my drift. Nope, not again. The “I’m sorry” store has closed.

I cannot change the past, nor am I in the mood to continue discussing it. I get it, I was a terrible person, I have done shitty things to people that I love. I get it. I have apologized and I have tried to move past it. I can’t continue to relive every single word, I can’t continue to have them bang around in my head and tear me apart, on a daily basis.

The only way a person can heal is to acknowledge the mess, learn from it and move forward. If you choose not to do so for yourself, I can’t do it for you. I have forgiven and asked for forgiveness. If you choose NOT to forgive me and stay away, that’s your choice. Not mine. But I will continue to respect the choice you make.

As I have always, ALWAYS, respected every choice every person around me has made. Trust me, it’s hard, being the control freak that I am, but I have. You may have different ideas, but that’s your opinion.

I’m no longer in the market to allow folks to “edit” me. If you want to express your opinion, write your own blog. Write in a journal, send a carrier pigeon, smoke signal, whatever This is mine. It’s not meant to hurt anyone, it’s not meant to pat my own back, to feed my narcissism, or whatever; it’s here, for me to share with others who may find comfort in it. It’s here to get it out of my head so I don’t go crazy.

I am bone weary with folks telling me what they think of me, of what I do, where I go, what I wear, what I eat. The shows I watch to the music I listen to. I am worn thin.

Because folks, whatever your opinion of me is, I can guarantee you, it’s not going to change me. 47 years old. I’m pretty set in my ways now. I can’t be controlled and am no longer interested in controlling anything other than the thermostat in the house.

I was taught at a young age that trust, love and respect need to be given unconditionally…at first. Then if they are abused, they have to be earned.

Except love. I was taught you love unconditionally, all the time. And I do. I always will…

The trust and respect, well, there’s a lot of folks that had that unconditionally with me…now they have to earn it. Because I will always, always love them, but the past has taught me that there are fewer people that I should trust. I always knew in the back of my mind, to not be so trusting, but I pushed it away. Now I know better. The respect thing…oh yeah, someone’s gonna have to work for that.

I’m angry. A lot of the time. I am sad. A lot of the time. I’m surly and cynical, I see the worst in everything. It’s debilitating. You wouldn’t know it, I don’t show it to more than one, maybe two people. I stay busy, because the busier I am, the less time I can sit and turn myself inside out. I’m not up for therapy, in any sense of the word…I’m too exhausted to even explain why I’m insane. I don’t have it in me to open up to anyone, not right now…maybe never.

I have learned this year, most folks don’t really care to hear my issues, problems or bullshit. They have their own to deal with. I have been so wrapped up in myself that I sit here, realizing that I haven’t really been there for anyone else in 2017. Like, seriously, I’m a complete shithead.

God. I am weary.

I want, for once, to not have to fight everyone. I want, for once, to not be ignored. To not have someone else’s feelings, thoughts or last word be more important than my own. I want, for once, that folks just shut up and listen.

At what point does my past, my mistakes, my missteps stop getting held against me?

Let me know, I may miss that point.

These Dreams. 

I don’t know how to interpret dreams, I suppose it’s for the best most times…then there are these…
We are moving my sister (again. lol), I don’t know where from or where to…I just know she’s moving.   Kris and I decide while we wait for my ever-late sister, we are going to go get donuts. 

On the way back, baby sister calls and says she’s on her way.  We get back to wherever we are supppsed to be and see my sister carrying the front end of a dresser. Kris pulls forward to park and as I glance out the window I see…him.

My dad.  Carrying the other end of the dresser.

My.dad.

“Kris! Kris!!!! Stop, stop!!!”

I get out of our vehicle after fighting with my seatbelt, I run to him. My dad.  

My.dad.

I grab him around the neck, I’m hugging, I’m crying.  I’m never wanting to let go.  

“Dad! I’m sorry, it’s been so long!  I miss you, I love you!”

He hugs back, I can smell his cologne.  I can feel his big warm hug.

“Hello baby, it’s okay.  I love you.  I miss you.  It’s gonna be okay, it’s gonna be okay.  I love you.”

And just like that, I wake up. 

I alternately love and hate my dreams. 

Don’t let your babies grow up to be adults…

You know, parenting sucks.  Period.

There, I said it.  You don’t have to.

They don’t come with a guidebook.  There isn’t a contract you sign, you just hang on by your fingernails and hope.  There may be praying involved.  Lots of praying.

You grow this person.  You spend 9 months dreaming of your baby girl, or your baby boy.  You spend 9 months pinning hope and dreams on them,  what they will grow up to be, how they will be…who they will be.  You pin all YOUR hopes and dreams on making their lives better than your own.  That you will do anything and everything to ensure they have the world.

9 months.  9 months of your body changing, your insides moving around to accommodate this little being that you are growing with all these hopes and dreams.  Never once do you think that you started changing and accommodating to grow them, you will spend your lifetime changing and accommodating for them.

It’s true.  You will.

I have spent the better part of my life putting my children first in my life.  Before myself.  Most mommies will tell you they do the same thing, we all do.  We all say “I’m going to put me first!” and it may last for an afternoon…but let’s be real, we are terrible at the follow through.

We bathe, nurse, change diapers, feed, teach them to read, tie their shoes, recite their ABC’s and ride a bike.  We are there with a band aid and a hug for when they get hurt.  A cracker when they are hungry and a story with voices when they are sleepy.  We are superheroes and we shrug it off like it’s nothing.

Ladies, it is EVERYTHING.

We spend our whole lives as mommies in control of everything.  From naptime to bath time, we control their world.  We decide what they eat, what they wear, what they watch and who their friends are.  We are Zeus.  And while they are young, that’s okay.

As they get older, they want freedom.  Freedom to make their own decisions, own experiences and their own friends.  We allow this, in small doses.  Just enough so they feel freedom, but not enough that they go off the rails.

Then they become teenagers…God.help.us.  It is a battle to the death.  Over clothes, curfews, makeup, boys, girls, grades and respect.  It is a battle royale that you think you won’t make it through, but I promise you…it gets worse.

See, they graduate, they become “adults.”  Only, they haven’t listened to anything you have told them as teenagers and now blame you for not teaching them how to be an adult.  They hurl words at you that would peel your skin off, they make sure you know exactly how inept and stupid you are.  How you have not prepared them for the real world.

Now, don’t get me wrong…these are still your babies.  You still would lay down your life for them.  Now it’s time to change the rules.

You are no longer the mommy to children.  You are the mother to adult children.  This is different.  No longer are you required to dress them, bathe them, negotiate curfews and grades.

Now you have to treat them as adults.  Just as the world does and how they are perceived.  You won’t do them any favors by treating them like children when everyone else treats them like adults.  In fact, you are hurting them.  (Not that I speak from experience)  You are not making them capable of creating and maintaining adult relationships.  You aren’t teaching them action and consequence.

You have to make sure they understand actions, consequence and personal accountability and responsibility.  Teach them compassion.

If you think raising your child to be outspoken and bold will work out.  Ask their first co-worker or bosses.  While these are good traits to have, they need to be tempered with respect and compromise.  Because the real world isn’t about who is the biggest bad-ass.  It’s about who has the work ethic and who gets the job done.  Yelling at the boss about what you think is right or wrong isn’t going to get you promoted.  It’s going to get you fired.

They will always be your babies, I get that.  They will always need their mommy.  But as adults, they need mommy to be truthful and honest and level them with the truth when they get too out of hand.  When they need a reality check, to know they aren’t always right, they aren’t always wrong, but that they need to be still and listen to the other things.  Mommy needs to be a steady rock.

Remember YOUR hopes and dreams you pinned on them…they may not be THEIR hopes and dreams.  And that’s okay…you did NOTHING wrong.  You gave them opportunity and hope.  You gave them imagination and dreams.  Now you have to let them find their way.

As your children grow up, you grow up.  You learn things about yourself that you pushed aside and forgot about, long ago.

Children need to be taught that everyone has something to learn, all the time, at every age.  I am 47 and I have yet to stop learning.  Currently, I am learning that I don’t deserve to allow anyone to run all over me in the name of family and love.  I don’t have to allow anyone to question my love or my integrity.  No.one.

I am learning that no one is entitled to anything.  Everything I have, I have worked my ass of to get.  My whole life.  No one has handed me a single solitary thing.  At 47, I deserve what I have, I will share with those that deserve it and everyone else will have to take care of themselves. I am learning my self-respect isn’t tied to what others think of me, but what I know in my heart.

I am learning that I need to have patience and to bite my tongue.  Because as your babies become adults, they have to learn so much…they aren’t the center of the universe.  Nothing is handed to them.  They will have to work, and work hard.  They will need to learn patience, respect and compromise. There is much this world has to teach them…

…but without mommies, they wouldn’t even know how to tie their shoes.

Birthday Wish

It’s my birthday.  47. When I was a child, this age was ancient.  I mean cryptkeeper old.  

Now, I’m the best me I’ve ever been.   

I have had some of the worst experiences of my life in 2017 to be tempered by some of the best.  I have been in the darkest place of my life and am slowly, SLOWLY coming out of it.  It’s been months of soul searching and hard truths.  It’s been months of realizing I’m not all the horrible things I have been told that I am and realizing that my life has value.  That through the tears and anger, I also have laughter and love.  Lots of love.  

Yes, I’m 47.  I am an adult child of a mother that doesn’t give up.  She has taught me we all make mistakes and we have to stand against the roar of negativity and find joy. 

Yes, I’m 47.  I am the adult big sister to a baby sister that has fallen down more than most and has shown me that she will persevere, she will get up, be humble and learn the lesson in her own time.  

Yes, I’m 47. I am the mother to two adult children.  Two children that I love with every fiber of my being.  Two people that I grew, delivered, nursed and nurtured.  I taught them to read, their phone number and how to tie their shoes. (The most painful lesson ever!). They look like me, have my stubborn streak and sharp tongue and wit.  I hope, with my last breath, they remember I taught them unconditional love and forgiveness.  

Yes, I’m 47.  I am the wife of the most incredible woman to walk this rock.   She has taken care of me and my family without a second thought and very few thank yous.  This woman, makes my days better and makes me safer than I can put into words.  To say it is an honor to be loved by her is an understatement.  To share my life, my days and nights with her is a gift. She will be next to me when I take my last breath and that gives me comfort. 

In forty six years, I have loved and lost.  I have made mistakes and reached for the stars.  I have laughed and I have cried.  I have sinned and I have been forgiven.  

I have lost amazing people that I carry in my heart everyday.  That have given me a taste of morality.  I have to embrace every day.  To honor them.  To honor me.  

I have reconnected with people I thought were lost to me.  And that is a gift greater than words express.  

I have embraced people in my world that have become part of my chosen family and they are irreplaceable in my heart and part of my soul. 

Yes, I’m 47.  My birthday wish to love, to laugh, to remember my history, to honor myself and to live everyday to the best that I can.  

I’m going to spend my days and years, finding a blessing in each day.  

My birthday wish…to find joy.  

At the end of the world.

I shall post this and step away from my social media for a few days. To say I am sad is an understatement. I feel a tremendous amount of loss today. I have for months and now, it’s present in such a way…it’s hard to explain. 
I mourn the loss of hope, of belief in the greater good and that we are truly our brothers keeper. I no longer believe our government is the voice of the people, they no longer have me or my best interests at heart. I am not alone. 

I do not think that the incoming “regime” actually has the interest of anyone other than themselves or their like minded people at heart.  This causes distress simply because the people who VOTED for this shithead are not the people he has in his sights.  His choices for his cabinet prove that over and over.  And I shake my head in bewilderment that the hard working people STILL defend him.  

I seriously need to shake them, to scream in their faces because they still.don’t.get.it. 

I don’t know if Hilary would have been a better choice and I’m not here to defend her. I’m not here to discuss war, religion, or hell, even politics.  I’m not here to discuss Benghazi,  the Clinton Foundation, his affairs, or her handling of the women.  I’m not going to discuss the Trump University, the multiple bankruptcies, his affair or multiple marriages. 

What I mourn is the loss of what seems to be the last of the innocence.  We had hope, we had power, there was strength and there was faith in better days.  That’s gone from what appears to be most people. 

There’s a sad arrogant pride in the folks that voted for him. This blind stupid pride that doesn’t make sense to me.  These people, people I call friends, voted for a man that denegrates women and the disabled.  He feuds with Alec Baldwin on Twitter and shows bad sportsmanship every chance he gets.  The only thing worse than a sore loser is a sore winner.   And these friends of mine defend this over and over.  

No, I don’t think if the shoe was on the other foot, that Democrats would be acting in such a classless and vulgar manner.  At least the ones I know wouldn’t.  I know this because she Obama beat McCain, I did not see the vitriolic hate that I bear witness to now. My heart hurts and my head can’t make sense. 

There isn’t a debate here.  She won the popular vote.   Which means he isn’t the President Elect of MOST people.  I don’t understand how we got this so wrong.  

For my friends, my family…know you are in my heart.   My hurt, scared, a little less hopeful heart.  Be gentle with me for the next four years.  

It’s all the rage.

I’m having a hard time expressing myself lately.  Actually, I’ve had a hard time expressing myself for the better part of 2016 and it seems to be rolling into 2017.

I could blame Trump and the rabid close-minded shrewish Republicans, but I don’t think it’s all them.  I mean, it’s mostly a general sadness that has enveloped me since November and I am to this moment, STILL trying to wrap my head around anyone actually justifying how he is the right choice.  I am trying to STILL wrap my head around the fact that I have family that voted for him.  VOTED.FOR.HIM.  my family/in-laws/cousins/folks close to me.  yup.  I’m gay, married and they voted for someone so vile and hateful.   I’m obviously not over it, I’m obviously hurt and stunned.  AND that sonofabitch got a mention in a holiday prayer I was involved in.  Good.times.

Nope, it’s not all Trump.  And it’s not all sadness.  There is a distinct air of rage that is right under my edges.  I feel it, like an extra 10 pounds on my frame.  It just sits there.  It’s been there so long, I feel lost if it goes away for a moment.  Isn’t that strange?  I feel lonely without my rage?

I have, for so long, allowed everyone and everything to overtake me.  To come first.  It’s been my life for as long as I have known it.  When my dad made me promise to look after my family before he died, I promised and I meant it.  Right now, I could punch him in the nose.

How dare he strap me down to people!!!  Does he think that I would be strong enough to do this and not have it exhaust me?  Did he not think me taking care of people would extend past my natural family and include my friends and sometimes complete strangers?  He knew how literal I would take this and I have.  To the point that I am pissed at everyone all the time.

All because I rescue.  Because I try to be the bigger person and look past the bullshit.  Because I have kept my opinions to myself for so long, they no longer matter or are relevant.

I had a friend tell me I needed to desperately get some therapy for myself.  I agreed, the wife agreed…then people happened.  I had things and folks pop up in front of me that needed my attention more than I needed it for myself.  At least that’s what I am telling me.

I think my rage is this…I have allowed others to make their issues and problems more important than my own happiness.  I have allowed every other person around me to demand my attention and use it all up so I have nothing left for me.

I rage because I am held responsible for other folks, for decision made that don’t include me.  I’m responsible for the happiness of friends and family and I can’t tell you one person that actually gives a complete shit about my happiness.  INCLUDING me.  what the f*ck is that??!!?

I rage because for years, I have heard “you’ve changed.”  Yes.  I.  Have.  you say it like it’s a bad thing…but what anyone who says that fails to realize is because YOU have abused my good nature, my trust, my friendship, my loyalty…YOU CHANGED ME.  and then you blame me for not being the same person before you sucked the life out of me.  SO congratulations…I am who I am because of YOU.

I’m thisclose to a nervous breakdown and that pisses me off.

I firmly point that pissed off finger at myself.  I’ve done this.  Now I have to figure out how to get out of it.  I know, as this process starts, I’m gonna hurt a lot of folks because they aren’t used to be not being this way…this “fix it” person.  Folks, you are on your own.

I talk a good game, about being different.  I don’t know HOW to be different and I have to figure out how to be.  That’s where I guess the therapy is gonna come in.  I’m going to have to pay someone to teach me how to put me first. 

That is the stupidest sentence I have ever heard/read/written.

So, Future Stephanie
*will no longer be dealing with your shit.  You screwed it up, YOU fix it.  She’s out of the repair business.
*will no longer care about people who have shown her over and over they do not care about her.
*will no longer put anyone else’s needs before her own.
*will eat ice cream for dinner.  and go to bed at 7:00 PM if she wants.
*will wear white after Labor day.
*will spend a ridiculous amount of money on foundation and not be sorry.
*will order dessert or shoes with no guilt that she is  not taking care of something/someone.
*will no longer apologize for who she loves or how she loves
*will no longer make excuses for who she is friends with nor will she hide that fact.
*will no longer, never ever, walk on eggshells to spare feelings when hers are never spared.
*will apparently speak of herself in third person…which is funny…she thinks.

Seems like 2017 is gonna be the year of the Golden Rule.

This could be fun.  This could be a bunch of hot air.  I hope not.  I could stand to lose 10 pounds.

World AIDS Day

December 1st is World AIDS Day.  A day to bring global awareness to this terrible disease that affects nearly every person drawing breath. Either directly or indirectly.

It’s devastating, this disease. The history of it, the lack of funding, the fear, the misinformation…the stigma.

I have been deeply affected by this disease since I was 10. Much too young to understand this or to even fear it. I grew up in the 80’s, in the midst of the outbreak, the explosion of fear and bad information. Only for me, it affected me because I was confused, I didn’t understand.

My mom came out when I was 10 and proceeded to quickly surround me with some of the most amazing people I have ever or will ever know. To say these men loved and adored me was a complete understatement. They took to me, loved me like I was their own and gave me unconditional support and love. These perfect loving creatures touched my life and I will never be the same.

Watching them as I got older and they got sicker, there was this ache, this slow loss. The realization that these gentle people were not going to be part of my life much longer, I did everything I could to hold on longer, tighter to them. To create memories that I still cling to. To say I miss each of them doesn’t do my feelings justice. I ache to see them once more. I carry them in my heart.

I have grown up in the drag circuit… the benefits, food drives, celebrations, parades…all with the common thread of love and the goal of eradication, of control, of surviving.

I’ve got folks in my life that are positive. They are living. Not just surviving, but being the example that in this day in age, you can LIVE with this disease. I don’t see them as people with a disease, I see them, just as them. Perfectly loving, teaching, showing the world not to judge…they don’t shy away from it, the fight with a fierceness that takes my breath away

We, the human race, have GOT to work together towards a cure. We have to help those that can’t help themselves. There are countries that don’t have access to the medicine or knowledge that is necessary to live and survive, we have to give them hope, we have to give them help.

Visit http://www.aids.gov or www.worldaidsday.org, reach out, educate yourself, help.

We are our brothers keeper, it’s up to each of us, it’s within each of us.

And for so many, for Michael, Michael, Matt, Stevie, Steve and my sweet Dan…I love and miss you. Every minute of every day. Thank you for teaching me love, acceptance and grace. It was an honor to be your girl…