Ranger Dangerfield

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My first day back to work after having my bladder growth removed I saw a note on a record stating an owner wanted to place their 7 year old dog or euthanize due to a diabetes diagnosis. I was in a weird place emotionally. My cat who was also my best friend was dying, my body was in pain and altered, and I felt lost. I called the owner to try and work something out. I offered to do the injections for her, she stated he wasn’t himself and needed to be put down. I tried to explain if we could get his stomach issues and sugar under control
he could go back to himself but she didn’t want to try. I asked for some time. I contacted local shelters but they were over run with sick pets and didn’t have the money to regulate him. That week, on my day off, the owner called to have him put to sleep. I had no choice, I had to take him or she was determined he needed to be put down that week. Not knowing him very well I didn’t know what I was getting myself or my family into. I just knew I had to do something. I couldn’t take another black mark on my soul.

The first three months were hell on earth. And dangerous. He woke us up every two hours like a newborn. If he wasn’t with me he barked hysterically, waking up the whole household. I know he was mourning (dogs totally mourn) but he was also use to being the prince and getting whatever he wanted when he wanted. On my two hour ride to and from work I legitimately feared I would fall
asleep while driving on the highway. Then he became possessive of me, biting Heather when she would come say goodbye to me in the morning. Eventually we were able to figure out a system where he could sleep at night away from us, and I started to regain some of my sanity and he learned he wasn’t in charge of me.

Through this his blood sugar has been all over the place and he developed severe dry eye. The dry eye was simple enough, but when your blood sugar is whacky you drink a lot. And pee a lot. Everywhere.

For the most part he tries to be good and make it outside, and we don’t get mad at him for accidents because he can’t help it. But it’s yet another challenge.

Soon, he came out of his shell. He was eating regular dog food, not the steak and roast beef his previous owner fed him. He’s had zero stomach issues, and eats with gusto. He plays with his 80 pound best friend, dominating the games despite his 12 pound frame. He runs at lightning speed to wake the kids up, and eagerly waits for the bus to drop them off in the afternoon. He is a top
notch snuggler, and when my lap was empty and my heart crushed by the death of Kitten, he tried his best to fill it. His potty accidents are few and far between now, and I can count on not being woken up at 3 am most nights which is heavenly.

He still drives me insane every now and then; he is still
demanding, needy and pushy. It has been a rocky road. We were not looking for another dog, we were not ready for another dog. But he needed us and he has snuggled his way into our hearts.

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Scattered

imageA little over 30 years ago, you gave me my name. I remember you telling me on one of our many trips to friendlys for lunch that Kelly and I were your kids. I had asked about my biological father and you said it doesn’t matter, you have your mother and you have me. I was very young but it was comforting to know i had you, that you’d be there. I can’t remember one day of my childhood that you weren’t there. I remember waiting up for you to come home from bingo, breathless and worn out but you still drove yourself every night (till we stepped in and had to make you stop driving for everyone’s sake lol). I remember warming your hands with mine during the winter because your hands would get so very cold they would change colors.

I was terrified you’d leave me. I can remember one night you got into a fender bender in front of the house, and I completely lost it thinking you were seriously hurt. But you were fine, and even though you got frailer and frailer you were always fine, always seemed strong. I was still calling you into my room to kill spiders for me when I was 17, so you must have been almost 80 lol.

You told me boys were icky (you were right, by the way 😉 )

College, marriage, kids. You were still right there. I remember you coming over when Sea was 2 weeks old, and I thought she was too heavy for you and you said “give me that baby!” And held her in the middle of the living room with a huge smile on your face. Jay was born just a few months after that major scare you gave us, when we though we were going to lose you. I was so happy that you were able to meet him, that he would get to know you.

You lived your last few years living like a queen. My sister took such good care of you. I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to, that I could have done more will always stay with me. Kids, work, life, all excuses. But I loved you and I hope you knew that. I didn’t want you to know about the divorce, about me being gay. You were so elderly and I didn’t want a rift. But word travels fast in an Irish family, and even though you insisted I was just “very good friends” with my fiancee you still treated me the same, still loved me.

I’ve heard that we were lucky you didn’t lose your memory, didn’t lose who you were as you aged. You did have some nanny moments that made us all giggle a bit, but you still remembered us, joked, laughed, teased, sometimes yelled lol. I guess we were lucky that we didn’t have to lose pieces of you over years, but I wonder if it would have been easier than the sudden ripping away of the woman we loved. You came back from everything, even though you were 91 your death was such a shock.

I didn’t go to see you that night. Insane cramps and an hour drive to and from the hospital, I said I would see you the next day. I didn’t think you would die, and that’s another thing ill have to live with. When I got the call that you had fallen and they were doing CPR, I did make it to the hospital but had just enough time to hold your hand as you took your last breath. I wish I could have spoken to you one last time, I wish I had gone earlier, I wish you hadn’t fallen out of bed, I wish the end had been more peaceful, I wish I wish I wish….

What I saw that night has changed me. I can’t get that image out of my head. But I’m glad I was there. Your mother saw your first breath, and we were lucky enough to be there for your last. I hope you knew you weren’t alone, I hope you felt our love.

I have moments of being okay but I’m still not right. And that’s okay, I don’t want to be. That first day I felt shaken to my core, like my soul had been tossed around, bits of me scattered about. I have pulled myself together mostly, though there are moments when I can’t control the tears, thoughts, memories. And that’s okay too. I wish my memory, thought process would get back to normal though. Work, kids school, life does not stop just because I want it to. I’m still scattered, still shaken. But I know that’s what I need to be right now. The loss of you is no simple thing, and I will not ever be the same. But I’ll be okay.

I love you, nanny.

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A kiss is just a kiss

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Just read an article “outrage after Michael Sam’s kiss”. Fury, frustration…lots of F words were felt and thought as I read it.

It mentioned that some parents were upset because their children were watching. If a celebratory kiss makes you fear for your children, you are a sad excuse for a parent. Harsh but true. It scared you, makes you uncomfortable? Deal with it.

I get it, you are entitled to your own opinion. For example, I don’t like spiders. They creep me out, make my skin crawl. Facing one of these massive eight legged creatures one day, my fiancée and I were trying to gather up the cojones to capture it and set it free outside. Screams and general girly ridiculousness ensued, and then our five year old said “mom, spiders are good, they eat bugs!”

I think they are icky. They make me uncomfortable. But somewhere along the lines my daughter absorbed a different view (and really, the more correct one). Spiders are gross (just in my humble opinion) but I didn’t want to pass on my fear and loathing to my child. I had mentioned to her that spiders do good things, and that stuck with her because children want to have safe, kind and good things in their world.

That’s what everyone should want for their children. Your fear and prejudices are yours. Have some empathy, some compassion, get some damn cojones and answer your children’s questions. “Why did that man kiss that other man” because they love each other. Straight forward, not flavored with any biases. Maybe they will grow up and also think negatively about what they saw, but maybe they will be more accepting and spread a little kindness in the world.

Would that be so bad?

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Mirror Mirror

I keep seeing this meme about selfies being about narcissism, but I don’t see it that way. I know for me I started to take selfies when I started not abhorring what I saw. Self love is not just a word for 12 year olds to giggle at, but something that can truly be healing.

I avoided mirrors for years. I would get up in the morning, throw my hair in a bun, do my usual morning routine, and go out the door with a very quick glance to make sure that I was in fact clothed.

When someone would catch me on camera, (which was rare) I was always amazed that I looked human. “Hey, I look like a real person here!” I’d say to my ex-husband, and he’d look strangely at me and change the subject.

My postpartum depression had morphed from those first few desperate days of suicidal thoughts and hallucinations to me just outright neglecting myself. I didn’t think of myself as a person, didn’t think of my needs at all, just took care of my daughter, husband, house, and went to work to keep a roof over our heads.

Because I was no longer suicidal I truly thought when my daughter turned one that I was cured. Having not sought treatment, I really had no bases to go on except I didnt feel quite so desperate when left alone and could eat food again. Not wanting to throw yourself off a bridge at the thought of being alone is a sign of complete mental health, right? Right??

I don’t know where PPD became regular ol’ depression or if it ever changed, but I suffered through it for years without treatment. When I decided to finish my degree in psychology, the first thing they tell you is not to self diagnose or diagnose those around you because you took one freshman psych course. It didn’t take my diploma to realize something was wrong though.

Still I didn’t seek help. With the birth of my son,though, something changed. A lot happened at that time. My husband chose a career I was utterly against that only had him home 6 days a month. Escapism at its finest, this left me on my own with a 2 year old, an at risk pregnancy, finishing my degree and working 40 hours a week because I was still the bread winner. Maybe feeling accomplished helped me actually see some worth in myself?

I’m not sure, but by the time my son was 12 months old I had taken a good look around and a lot of things changed. I started looking in the mirror. I still put my hair in a bun (and probably will forever because, ugh, curly hair), but I didn’t completely avoid my reflection. I started taking care of myself, seeing myself as not completely worthless, deserving of love. I was honest with myself and those around me and my life completely and utterly changed for the better.

I won’t say I’m the picture of mental health, I still have my issues and insecurities. I still place others needs ahead of my own constantly, but things are much much better. I don’t know that I can say I love myself, but I don’t hate myself and that’s a step in the right direction.

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Sarcasm

I have missed my blogging goal of posting at least once a week. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to write, it’s that what I’ve wanted to write has been really, really negative and upsetting. Upsetting people I have to deal with in real life is never something I try to do intentionally. While therapeutic, vaguely telling people they’re being twatwaffles via a blog just isn’t something I want to do. Voicing how immature and selfish they are being, calling them out on the many lies they have told, using words like “bitch” “fucktard” and “cuntface”, is just not my style. I am so very above all that. 😉

Some would say that’s the cowards way out. I say I’m not rocking the boat any more than it needs to be. See, describing publicly in detail just what a lying piece of garbage someone is, how amazed I am at just how low some people will sink to garner attention for themselves, how very fake and self serving someone is, is just going to cause more drama and need not be mentioned.

So, to the fake,selfish, bitchy lying fucktard cuntfaced twatwaffles of my life: you’re welcome. I in no way will ever publicly mention how much you suck. I’m just that kind of person.

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Baggage

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Baggage. Everyone has it. We are all carrying around the weight of our past, at times seemingly weightless and other times so heavy we can’t bear it.

You mistrust your spouse because of a parent with an inability to tell the truth, you think badly of yourself because of school yard bullies, you are unable to let people in because of previous hurts.

Whatever it is, it sucks. Badly put, but true. Knowing that your past is affecting your future is terrifying because there’s not always something you can do about it. Training yourself not to react in ways that have become ingrained in your core is a mighty task, and not done overnight. Having misunderstandings because your past is clouding your judgment, having to apologize again and again because you just can’t seem to let that one thing go, sucks.

That was me, anyway. But theres a miracle here, hope. My past may be affecting my future at times, but I have a future. I didn’t give up.

I found someone who can deal with my crazy quirks, not punish me for behaving in the self deprecating ways I’ve become so accustomed to. I can be jealous, insecure, self blaming, hurt, angry, show the ugly scars my past has left on me, and she stays. She may get angry and upset too but she doesn’t leave, she works through it with me. She loves me as I love her,and I know even if I can’t drop the baggage that is my past completely, she will always and forever love me. And I am eternally grateful.

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Be Proud

“I’ll just go lesbian”

Hrm. That statement has been said often in front of me, before and after I came out. It’s usually said in frustration, after a bad break up or being fed up with the single life. I always found it a bit insulting.

When someone says that, to me it’s saying that:

1. People choose to be gay
2. Being gay is subpar, the thing you do when you run out of options

People have died because of their sexuality. Cast out, beaten, abused, hated by their families. If they could have chosen to be straight, don’t you think they would have?

As far as being what you do when you run out of options, let me tell you the gay people I know could and have attracted the opposite sex. If they wanted a heterosexual relationship they would have no problem getting one. It’s not that we have just given up on the opposite sex. We don’t want them, it’s not what’s right for us.

I feel lucky to have had to face the knowledge of being gay, having had to find the strength and courage it can take to admit it to not only myself but others. To know yourself well enough, go against the grain a little bit and do what’s right for you, it builds character. It can also bring peace if you let it.

I hope someday everyone has a chance to evaluate, embrace and accept themselves. It doesn’t have to be about your sexuality, just a chance to figure out something fundamental about yourself, proclaim it to the world and be proud.

Being gay is not a choice, and it is certainly not a form of giving up on the opposite sex. We are lucky to be born the way we are, and so are you. Be proud, be single, be heartbroken if you have to be, but don’t be belittling and judgmental.

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