Warrior Princess

September 30, 2008

All Hell Inevitably Breaks Loose

Just a brief update today.  There’s even more madness than usual at Crazy Land.  Our bank was bought out by Citigroup, thus flipping Owner out.  One of our biggest clients is probably going to file for bankruptcy within the next several months.  They owe us a huge amount of money.  Both Bags and Owner believe that we’ll never receive any of it and that will spell the end of Crazy Land.  I’m attempting to maintain some shred of serenity.

This is where the gift of breast cancer really helps.  The question to ask is, “Can I control anything in this situation?”  If the answer is no, then I have to let go of worry and obsession.  I had to ask myself that question about 20 times yesterday to regain my sanity.  I did yoga when I got home and felt much better.  I see a lot of yoga in my future.

On my own personal crazy front, my therapist and I will see each other once a month.  As long as I have this job, I can afford that much at least.  It’s so incredibly predictable that all hell would break loose within days of being, essentially, on my own.  On the other hand, as we all know, I can survive anything.  Sometimes you have to ask yourself, though, whether that’s such a good thing.

Tomorrow is the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  I’ll be posting breast cancer information all this month.

September 25, 2008

Stop Loss

Okay, let’s pause for a moment and review. In the past ten years, I’ve

*lost my father to suicide
*lost my oldest and dearest friend to a heart attack
*lost another old and dear friend because our relationship had become toxic to me
*lost my Malamute
*lost two beloved cats
*lost my breast
*lost three years of my life to breast cancer

and now I’ve lost my therapist of 14 years. If the universe is trying to teach me something about loss, I hope I figure out the mystery some time soon. I’m not up for any more losses (as though any of us has a choice).

I really think I get it, though. Life is about loss. Sooner or later, we will lose everything and everyone we love. Refusal to accept that fact is the very definition of suffering. I understand that down to the marrow of my bones.

I’m trying to keep an open mind and open heart so that, if there are lessons I haven’t yet learned, they will reveal themselves to me. Of course, I’d just have to move on to another set of lessons I haven’t gotten yet. That’s kind of scary.

I’d really like to just coast for a while.

September 22, 2008

No One Left To Talk To

Filed under: Things Can Always Get Worse — ggirl @ 2:22 pm

I lost my therapist on Friday.  I’ve maxed out my lifetime therapy limit.

Now you’re the only one left to talk to.

September 19, 2008

How Would You Like To Be Remembered?

Before he died of cancer, one of my heroes (Leroy Sievers) asked his readers to tell him how they’d like to be remembered.  I watched a bit of his memorial service yesterday and thought some more about it.

I’d like people to remember all the times when I could have judged, but didn’t.  I’d like them to remember my warmth.  I’d like them to remember the times I made them laugh or shared with them one of those random facts no one else would know.

I wish there were someone who could share, when the time comes, how hard my life has been and how I rose above it, time and time again.  That’s really the greatest accomplishment of my life.  I have thrived in an environment that could have destroyed me.  My cousins survived, but I triumphed over bad genes and dismal nurturing.

I hope they remember how brave I’ve been.  Not because I’ve lived through breast cancer.  Not because I lived through my dad’s suicide.   I’ve been courageous by refusing let go of compassion, no matter what.  It’s a work in progress, letting go of anger and resentment, but I continue to put one foot in front of the other.

When all is said and done, there aren’t many choices to make in life.  You’re born into certain circumstances and, as terrible as things eventually may get, all you can do is keep going.  As I’ve said before, no one gets to call in sick to life.  We wake up every day and try to get through it, no matter what.  That’s all we can do.

Getting up and going on doesn’t require courage.  Maintaining humor, gentleness, compassion and integrity–for those qualities I’ve had to reach deep inside.  I have had to bring my attention back day after day.  They’ve tested my mettle.

I wish people would remember that about me.  How would you like to be remembered?

September 18, 2008

Do I Look Like An Accountant?

Filed under: Crazy Land, Office Hell, Things Can Always Get Worse — ggirl @ 1:14 pm

Do I look like an accountant to you? Okay, that’s a rhetorical question since I’ve never posted a photo anywhere. The answer is, no I do not.

I spent virtually all day yesterday doing Bags’ job. We need to cultivate new business and have an opportunity to work 0n a project in New York. The problem is, in order to do that, we have to know the potential costs to factor into billing rates. I did my part of the investigation–I found tax information and instructions on registering as a foreign corporation. I generally handle all of the activities required to get us going in a new state.

I attempted to give the tax rates to Bags, but he had no interest in pursuing it. I tried to give it to him twice.   Owner decided I should give it to him.  That set off a flurry of copying and highlighting and flagging.  I have to tell you, I am incapable of understanding a lot of it, having never filed franchise taxes before.  Again, not an accountant.

Meanwhile, the Superhighway decided to retrieve the mail from the post office and I was inundated with bills that have to be entered into the Famous Endless Database.  Furthermore, Hemorrhoid Guy and I have been planning to change the purchase order process for one of our clients.  That means I need to find out how to establish access privileges so Our Man On The Scene doesn’t accidentally delete all of the records for the past year.  Once they’re gone, they are most definitely gone, unless he calls our IT Boy to recover the records.  Do I trust him to do that?  Well, no.

Finally, Owner decided it was imperative to get some specific information regarding a workers’ comp accident that occurred two years ago.  There have been lots of injured bodies under the bridge since then, so more scrambling about to compile the relevant data.

After that, home to do yoga and cook red snapper for dinner.  I’ve been trying to finish a novel for the past three weeks, but after my day yesterday, I started to fall asleep at around 8:00 as I read.

Last rhetorical question:  Do I look like a superwoman?  I think you know the answer to that.

September 16, 2008

Not So Brave

Filed under: Destroying My Childhood, Things Can Always Get Worse — ggirl @ 1:17 pm

I haven’t been reading comments or emails lately.  I’ve been sharing difficult material and, frankly, sometimes I lack the courage to read responses.  Please continue to comment and know that, whenever I’m brave enough, I’ll read and respond.

Thank you for caring enough to say what’s on your mind.  I may be scared of what that is, but I’m grateful you join me in my explorations of pain.

Snitch in a Snit

Filed under: Crazy Land, Office Hell, Things Can Always Get Worse — ggirl @ 1:11 pm

So what, you ask, is going on in Crazy Land?  Everything is still in an uproar.  Owner isn’t speaking to Bags.  This is a permanent situation.  I have to say, it’s really peculiar when the Owner and the Comptroller aren’t speaking.  If we had a process, things would be slowed down considerably.  Luckily, we have no processes.

I had my own frustrating series of conversations with Bags.  Last week, our guy in the out of state office called me and asked me to do some research on the costs of doing business in New York.  He’s been hounded by some project managers to submit a bid and, of course, in order to do that, we need to know the upfront costs.  Out Of State wanted to know if Bags had asked me to do research.  Um, no.

I told him I’d get right on it and, by the end of the day, I had some pretty good information on which to make some decisions.  This being really Bags’ bailiwick, I sallied forth to tell him I’d gathered the information.  Would he like a copy?

“Out of State thinks this is magic,” he replied.

Hmmm…what exactly am I to make of that response?  I had no idea what to say and decided to give it another try in a day or two.  When I did, the answer was the same.  Now normally, I’d take my little papers and throw them in the trash.  This time was different.  We need to expand the business and this was a personal invitation to grow.

I did the thing I try most to avoid.  I had a conversation with Owner about my quandary.  Bags clearly doesn’t want to go down this path and I clearly think we should.  I recounted my encounters with the Comptroller and posed the same question to him as I have to you.  What am I supposed to make of that?

“The answer is that Bags has a serious attitude that’s going to get his ass fired if it doesn’t change soon.”  He glowered.  “Give the information to me.”

I told him I’d highlight the critical information and get it to him.  The little voice inside my head is screaming, “snitch!  snitch!”  If that’s what I am, then so be it, I guess.  Would I like for people to continue to be employed (especially me)?  Oh yeah.

I can’t wait for this particular poop to hit the fan.  I’m going to be the most unpopular kid on the block with a whole group of my co-workers.  Of course, I’ll be a hero to most of the others.  Either way, life’s a bitch and this is the least of my problems.

Signing off now.  Your friend, the snitch.

September 12, 2008

Holding My Breath

Filed under: Breast Cancer, Things Can Always Get Worse — ggirl @ 11:34 am

The migraine raged on all afternoon, all night and was there to greet me first thing this morning. I didn’t cook dinner last night. I stuck it out at work until it was time to go home. When I got there, I actually went to bed and put a cloth over my eyes. Even in the midst of chemo, I rarely hung around in bed.

Hubby made dinner: turkey burgers. He did a great job, but I may never be able to stand the smell of turkey burgers again. I wonder if, because of chemo, I developed an overly acute sense of smell. There are so many things I can’t stand to smell anymore. Raw beef. Turkey. Chicken (unless it’s heavily disguised by spices). I’m still good with fish. I hate the smell of coffee cake and barbecue (these are definitely related to chemo). Enough of that.

I lived 19 years on the Gulf Coast of Texas. I’m accustomed to hurricanes, the anxiety of whether the path is true and it will eventually find its way to your home. I’ve lived through the endless rain, the high winds, tornadoes, the endless endless rain in an area not too far above sea level.

Today, I’m worried about all of the people who took (and continue to take) such great care of me at M.D. Anderson. I hope they’re safe and that their homes are spared. I know Dr. Ross will be at the hospital, sleeping on a cot, taking care of the people who are so sick they can’t go home. It’s probably one of the safest places to be in Houston.

I remember every last one of them, from the people who park my car to the nurses who helped me get out of bed or stop bleeding, the medical techs who x-rayed me or ct scanned me to the doctors who saved my life. I can’t know how they’ll fare.

I’m holding my breath a little bit and saying prayers for all beings living on the Coast. But especially all of those people to whom I’ll always be grateful.

September 11, 2008

The Migraine Rules

Filed under: Things Can Always Get Worse — ggirl @ 10:30 am

I awoke this morning with a migraine and aching hips.  These are clear indications that a front is coming through, but that knowledge doesn’t make the pain go away.

I was going to write about my difficulty in standing up for myself, being assertive with people I don’t know well.  I’m not sure why it hadn’t dawned on me sooner that I’m fearless in confrontations at work or when I need to protect someone I love.  I have endless amounts of courage when I need to protect animals or I wouldn’t have braved The Pimp, The Meth-head and Lillian in order to rescue some puppies.  For me?  Not so much.  I have to practice and hope that my tendency to lapse into enthusiastic politeness won’t overcome me when I’m face to face with a situation in which I need to take care of myself.

That’s it, though.  No more about that.  The migraine rules and it declared that I don’t have the intellectual or emotional stamina to rummage through that enormous pile of problems.  The more critical issue:  My mp3 player died.    At least it made it through my last M.D. Anderson marathon.

Nonetheless.  What a cruel universe to leave me songless.

September 10, 2008

The Damage Done

Filed under: Destroying My Childhood, Things Can Always Get Worse — ggirl @ 12:40 pm

Warning:  This post may trigger flashbacks for survivors of incest and other sexual abuse.  For everyone else, this is unpleasant, so proceed at your own risk.

Last Friday, my therapist and I uncovered the sleeplessness that plagues my around this time every year.  The deep roots of my insomnia are buried deep in the period of time when my father embarked on his relationship with the 13 year old he eventually married.

He demanded that I develop a “friendship” with her.  There was a three year age difference, a tremendous gap between 11 and 13.  Nonetheless, I did as he demanded.  There was no denying his demands.

It was the middle of the summer or thereabouts when I recruited her.  By the time September rolled around, there was a noticeable shift in her “friendship” from me to him.  I felt angry, confused and abandoned.

One day, when she was there (as she always was then), my dad suggested that he, she and I play spin the bottle.  I didn’t know from spin the bottled; I was a kid.  Again, Ed was not a guy who tolerated disobedience.  If he wanted something and you weren’t inclined to give it, there were grave consequences.

Of course, only being three of us “playing,” the bottle inevitably came to her (or him, I don’t remember).  He leaned over and kissed her with mouth open and tongue inserted.  I was puzzled.  When the bottle came to me the next time, he gave me a short (entirely appropriate) kiss.

“Why did you kiss her differently from me?” I demanded to know.  Not having an answer, he chose to French kiss me.  I immediately felt shame and the “game” ended then.

Of course, things got worse as the year ground to an end.  I never ceased to take responsibility for his behavior.  I never escaped the shame.

This time of year every year reminds me of the beginning of an unbearable situation degenerating into another, even more unbearable situation.  Just when you think things can’t get any worse, they do.  In my case, they kept getting worse, year after year.  Obviously, I did much more than survive it.  Nonetheless, there’s been a heavy price to pay.  I’m paying it still.

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