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…

Politics suck. 

I was going to post this In response to some comments on a post, I decided to just put it right here…so it’s verrrrry clear.

Look folks…I don’t excuse any of her acts….she isn’t my first choice.

But if any of you actually think that DONALD F*CKING TRUMP is the answer to our prayers, you’re just as delusional as he is. He is hateful, hurtful and a complete asshole. Hypocrite isn’t even the start of his bullshit problems. So posting your Liberal hate on my wall or your memes about Hillary are only going to prove my point, over and over…that Republicans in general are a hateful, excluding group of asshats that don’t deserve my respect or friendship. Now, do YOU enjoy being lumped into such a group? Do YOU think it’s fair?????

Here’s the thing, he’s a horrible choice for President, let’s be honest. And all I can think is that someone in the GOP that was more deserving, more qualified than this blustering ball of bullshit. Someone who could have led this country somewhere other than down a path to hell. He got this nomination because he is basically a school yard bully.

I’m a social liberal and a fiscal conservative. He doesn’t speak for me. I voted for Obama because Bush left this country in a hole we are still recovering from.

I will state again, for the record…I am for equal pay for equal work.  I am for gay marriage, I believe Black Lives Matter, I believe in free speech and consequences for ones actions. I don’t think any man can tell me what to do with MY body. I support Planned Parenthood and believe they provide more services than the ones they are condemned for.  I think teachers, police and firefighters are EXTREMELY underpaid and professional athletes are over paid.

I believe in term limits for ALL politicians and the ones who scream the loudest have the most to hide.   I think if you DO ship our jobs out of the country, you lose your tax breaks.  I think our welfare system cripples people that need assistance and doesn’t help them.  I think the filthy rich need to pay their share not more.

I believe in God, I believe in the Ten Commandments and the Bill of Rights.  I believe we are all immigrants and we need to remember we TOOK this land from Native Americans and we should shut up about anyone else taking it from us.  I think it’s stupid to talk about seceding from the Union and those saying that don’t know what they are talking about.

I don’t think you get a trophy for coming in second and I think that standardized testing should be banned forever and the “new math” is stupid…we are raising children who have no arts programs and can’t write in cursive.

I think that being a gentleman or being ladylike is disappearing quickly from our culture.  I miss manners and common sense.

This political race is reducing people to blathering, blaming buttholes…our world is too tragic for such hate.  It makes me sad.  Terribly sad that people I consider my friends lash out and treat others with such venom and vitriol.  There is such a fury that it shocks me.

Trump took the nomination that probably belonged to another.  That’s the truth.  And I may have voted for this other person, because I am not completely sold on Hillary.

Know this,  I would vote for ANYONE other than Trump.  I mean, if the Cookie Monster was running against him…he would get my vote.

So…shut up, sit down, calm down.  Or at the minimum, keep your shit off my social media.

Let’s try to stay friends…

Centered.

Wow…I’m a whiny bitch.  Truly.  I actually had to take down my previous post because it got misinterpreted and what should have been about me and my thoughts was taken out of context.  It’s never what I intend.  I use this blog as my “diary”…the place where I can spew my shit and just let it lie there.  I use this forum when I’m sad, when I find something funny, when I’m pissed or self-righteous.  I use it as a form of self-expression, of self discovery and of digging into my own psyche.  I don’t use this to hurt anyone.

I never, ever, want to hurt anyone.  Ever.  That’s not who I am.  So here goes the pseudo-apology to all of you…for being a whiny, self-involved asshat.

I need to quit being so butthurt about everything.  I have a good life.  I honestly do.

I will, for a while, continue to contribute all of my butthurtedness (it’s a word) to the loss of a 20 year friendship.  I won’t continue to whine about it, but the truth is, I don’t talk about it.  I don’t THINK I do…others might be rolling their eyes right now saying “dear God, here she goes again,” but I don’t try to inflict my own misery on others.  I try to keep it to myself.  It’s WAY easier than it used to be, but it pops up…because, why not…right?  I said previously it was like a death  And it is, always will be.  I get that it sucked the life out of me, that I put so much into that relationship that now…well, now…I don’t know what to do.  I don’t know how to grow these existing friendships into something more.  I feel like I come across needy and emotionally stunted.  It was easy, being her bestie.  Now, I have to figure out who I am, without a best friend.  But it’s something I have to do…I can’t expect others to do this for me.  I haven’t acknowledged how socially inept I actually am…and well, it’s in my face.  I’m a complete mess.

I am not the best wife, mother, daughter or sister.  I haven’t been for a while now.  It’s shameful to actually type that and re-read it, but I have been a shell.  I have lashed out at the wrong people and I have said and done things that aren’t actually in my nature.

After my last post, one of my dearest friends reached out to me because it affected her.  She told me I wasn’t alone in wanting and desiring love and respect.  I should expect happiness.  She did clarify it wouldn’t happen overnight and it wouldn’t happen without help in a safe place.   She said I deserved good things in life and good people were part of that.  But I needed to get centered, focused and I needed to NOT expect my family or friends to do that for me, that I needed to do it for myself.  It would be hard work and it would be worth it.  And for the first time in a year, I knew that someone outside of my daughter, my wife or my sister had my heart and my head in their hands.  For the first time in a year, someone who wasn’t related to me said something to me that hit home, because she cared.  And she.was.RIGHT.

The same day…another dear friend, texted me…just to tell me I was a badass and she loved me and to not let the darkness consume me.  Now, it goes without saying this chick is badass on toast, so her taking the time to reach out to me, also meant more than I can convey.  Then I think, why do I not expect that someone would find me worthy of a text?  I love this chick to pieces and would do anything for her, why is it so hard for me to accept that she would do the same for me?

I find it hard that someone like my wife loves me.  She is the best person I have ever met and I haven’t met anyone that wouldn’t agree or say the same.  My kids are the best part of me, I hear it all the time, how wonderful and amazing they are.  Why do I continue to question my abilities as a mother?  Why do I always push at these three people most dear to me?  Why do I expect them to always rescue me when I am a giant ball of need?

Who made it their job to take care of my feelings?  well…you guessed it…I did.  Damnit.

I tend to get wordy, which is both a blessing and a curse.  I have a temper that I lose control of and with that loss of control, I develop verbal diarrhea.  It’s usually not pretty and I usually end up apologizing because I got in my own way.  I own it.

I don’t know how I got here, how I lost me to the noise in my own head.  I think it’s time that I have someone help me understand the noise and turn it into something more beautiful.  I want to hear music, I want to hear laughter.  I want to not cry at the drop of a hat because I feel that helpless.

I really, REALLY hate that I have somehow allowed a person to take the best parts of me and make me question it.  I can’t begin to tell you enough how much I hate that I allowed anyone to control me like that.  And it’s shocking that a year later, I am still giving anyone that much power over me.  Then again, I did admit I was a highly emotional person.  That my “id” was being empathic to a fault and that my moods were always, ALWAYS wrapped up in the emotions of everyone around me.  I won’t apologize for that, instead, I will celebrate that.

I am proud of the fact that there are people in my world, that by merely thinking about them, I smile.  That I have people I will text, out of the blue, because they popped into my mind and I smiled.  I love that about me.  I love the fact that my favorite place to be is surrounded by my family and friends.

I need to find my self-worth.  I don’t know or claim to understand WHY I don’t think I am worth someone thinking I’m awesome.  I don’t know why I continue to test the people in my life, to make sure I am as important to them as they are to me.  I do it, mostly to those closest to me…I don’t understand it and I don’t even know when I do it until it’s too late.  I need to quit needing constant reassurance that I am worthy of love and friendship.  I need to see what others see in me.  I need to believe them when they say nice things to me.

Getting centered is paramount.  I have to throw away all the negative bullshit, the stuff I heap on myself, the stuff I heap on everyone else.  I need to focus on the fact that I have many blessings in my life.  I have MANY things to be happy for, to be grateful for.  I need to remember this stuff as soon as I wake up, and as I fall asleep at night.  I need to remember I am a good person, I have gifts to share and I have love.

There is a place in my soul…it’s like I fire I can feel burning in me.  It’s my passion for life and for love and for laughter.  I can feel it, but it’s been buried so far and for so long, I tend to ignore it.  I don’t know why.  I need to learn how to embrace it again.

The toxic in my world isn’t what’s right in front of my face…it’s what’s in my mind.  I have chipped away at the good things and allowed the hurt to turn toxic and take over my heart.  It’s time to say good-bye to the toxic and burn it down.  It’s time that I let that fire roar inside me, to share it with those that want to be part of it and to not hold grudges, hate, hurt or sadness with both hands.  I am better than this.

So, WorldWideWeb…here’s my promise(s)…I plan to find someone who will tell me that I am either not crazy or I am indeed crazy, but in the best ways.  I plan to love out loud and in big gulps.  I plan to find happiness in myself before I find it in others.  I plan to share that happiness with anyone who wants some of it.  I plan to hold close to those dear to me.  I plan to love me, to find out exactly how badass I am.

I plan to believe in me.

I will be centered.  I will be strong.  I will be Stephanie.

Finally.

Somebody Else.

There are days when I don’t think I can bear any more hurt in the world, any more pain in my heart…then I remember…
Someone else is thinking the same thing, only theirs is worse than anything I am feeling right now.
Someone else is figuring out how to get through one more moment, take one more step, one more breath.

Someone else is battling. And someone else is winning, while another is losing.  Yet they are doing so, with all the grace they can muster.

Someone else pulled themselves out of darkness, into the light.

Someone else feels like the darkness will consume them.

Someone else fell in love, while another had their heart broken.

Someone else said “hello,” while another said goodbye.

At the end of my day, as I head into my 46th year,  I will remember a tiny voice, in the dusty corners of my mind, whispering…

“you can always be somebody else…”