Not Just Your Garden-Variety Neurotic Smartass.

Stress and Fat.

(CW: This talks about weight and fat, and while I have absolutely no problem with any other person’s size or shape, I have a history of eating disorders and most definitely have an adverse reaction to being overweight. If this offends you, you might want to skip this particular post.)

Hello from the woman that doesn’t update nearly enough. Life has been crazy with physical therapy three times a week, seizures, landlord duties, and needy pets; but I am hanging in there.

What’s really on my mind this morning – aside from the 1200 other things on my mind – is fat, specifically my fat. I don’t care about anyone else’s fat.

Since giving birth to my daughter in 1998, I’ve traveled up and down the scale a fair few times. I have always struggled with food and weight and the mind-numbing stress of anorexia, bulimia, and also binge eating.

The way food and weight have affected my life is profound. I have severely weakened (and quite a few missing) teeth as a result, I’ve had stomach bleeding and esophageal tears, and I often wonder whether all of it has had a profound effect on my general health, which is typically not good.

At the beginning of 2019, I weighed in at a reasonable 140 pounds for my 5’10 frame. At this moment in time I am 250 pounds.

I assure you that as much as I have blathered on about my life online, that was one of the hardest things I have ever had to type.

I injured my shoulder badly in June of ‘19, and after that I stopped going to the gym and gained quite a bit of weight throughout the rest of that year. Then in 2020 both Covid and my shoulder replacement happened, and the rest is my DoorDash history, so to speak.

I don’t recognize myself. I went from being a person who got up at four to go to the gym every day and wore a size eight to a person who can literally grab a big handful of fat under her chin. I am inactive except for physical therapy, and I typically don’t eat until the evening, when I pull out all the stops.

I know how to eat properly and also what to eat. As an eating disordered person, I could expound on every available diet for days, and probably could rattle off the calorie and carbohydrate content of most foods, but the problem lies in practice. I am never physically hungry – I either Want or Don’t Want. Lately, I Want. It’s tied into stress.

Therapists and shrinks have been largely useless in dealing with this problem – there is no magic psychiatric medication to fix an eating disorder, and they are notoriously difficult to treat. I have had most psychiatrists give me such useless advice that it’s comical, such as “Just eat celery with salsa” or “Just don’t think about food”.

All my life I have thought about food, because the eating of it or removal of it or the denial of it has been such an inherent part of my psyche that I wish that I could survive from just taking a pill three or four times a day and avoid food altogether. That has been a lifelong dream of mine, that and unzipping my body and stepping out of it as an absolutely svelte person without putting in any of the work.

I’m not a lazy person and I don’t mind doing the work, but it does take a fair amount of gumption to get started and I’ve fallen into such a miserable routine and have been so stressed out (food and stress are the best of friends) that I’ve been short on gumption.

When I look in the mirror, I see a fat woman, middle-aged, with a fat face, actual jowls, and a fat, thick neck. My stomach and behind are both enormous, and trust me when I tell you that I do not look cute and chubby, more covered in cellulite and stretch marks and white, veiny flesh. The thought of anyone seeing me naked, ever, sends me into a panic. I had to have a full-body check recently by the dermatologist, and I cried.

It’s become imperative that I get my proverbial shit together – my blood pressure has gone from very low to high, I am having stomach problems from inhaling too much crap food, and the slightest amount of exercise leaves me red-faced and breathless. I have entered the danger zone. To continue my current lifestyle could put me into heart attack territory. I need to start eating healthily, now, and I need to get moving – but I also need not to take it too far.

Today I am not going to eat any junk food or fast food. It’s a start. I am also going to start taking walks in the evening, when I won’t be embarrassed by the unforgiving light of the sun.

It’s something. Have a great day.

Putting On My Big Girl Panties.

I’m dealing with a lot right now – missing my dad horribly – I feel as if I’m breathing him in with every breath taken and breathing him out with every breath expelled. It’s hard and it hurts like hell, but thankfully I have so many other things to focus on right now that I’m sort of numb in a sense.

I saw my dad’s financial advisor this week and also a CPA to work on his taxes, which he thankfully had already started. He kept excellent records, so that wasn’t a problem – I’m just having trouble locating a lot of things like the many 1099s he should have due to being self-employed. Complicated taxes are very new to me, so my almost-two-hour appointment with the accountant was a big help.

I also need to pay property taxes on both homes and the apartments, so that involves a pretty good chunk of change. Renovations need to be done on the house. Bills from all three properties are flying in. Tenants are paying late, and all of them pay on different days throughout the month. Lawns need to be maintained. It’s a lot of responsibility, particularly for someone who can’t drive.

All this, and we’re going to be moving in a couple of months, too. Madness.

I’m considering selling the apartment building in the new year just to lessen some of the stress.

Not much else has been going on except a constant flow of paperwork and appointments – today is the eye doctor, tomorrow I am going to my dad’s to look through files and I am having a tooth pulled, every day this week I have had somewhere I’ve needed to be. Damn, damn, Damn I wish I could drive.

In good news, I have decided to take a short vacation, so I invited myself to Arizona to visit my good friend John, where we will be silly and smoke too much and generally cause a racket. I’m very excited.

Other than that, I’m just a girl who misses her dad. Nothing to see here.

Peri-Screw This.

I’m pretty sure I’m going through peri-menopause, if the fact that I can cook a steak on my forehead without having a fever tells me anything.

Fuck this crap and the horse it rode in on. It is currently 73 degrees in the town of Chi and I am sweating. My whole body aches and last week I rage-punched a wall. I’m not having period issues, since my periods stopped when I was 26 and had my tubes cut, cauterized, and shipped overseas; but this is all still supremely uncomfortable and annoying at best.

At worst, I am a fiery bitch from hell.

Why Why Why do women get the short end of the stick? Periods, painful breast growth, more damn periods, gyno exams, birth control side effects, childbirth, breastfeeding, changing crappy diapers while dealing with periods and breastfeeding, peri-menopause, and then THE CHANGE, actual menopause. It’s just not fair. I’d like to see one man deal with a heavy period while warming bottles or breastfeeding. Babies would become extinct.

I am also growing long, random hairs out of places no longer hairs should be. Hey! There’s one on my chin that grew an inch overnight! Hey! There’s a dark one coming out of a mole on my hand! Isn’t that something! The fun never ends, and neither does the plucking!

Pooping has become a whole ‘nother ballgame, too. I have always been moderately constipated with periods of severe lockdown. Now? Jesus, I need five Colace and a jackhammer just to get things moving.

I’m over it. Completely. Now I’m going to get some paper towels, mop the sweat from under my boobs, and have some coffee before I stab someone.

A Poem of Sorts.

my daddy can’t be dead

he’s taking me out to the ice cream truck

my daddy can’t be dead

he’s teaching me how to read bigger words

my daddy can’t be dead

he’s doing flips in the backyard

my daddy can’t be dead

we are listening to the Bee Gees

my daddy can’t be dead

he is laughing way too hard

my dad can’t be dead

he is teasing me about the posters on my wall

my dad can’t be dead

he is riding his unicycle around the block

my dad can’t be dead

he is cooking in his wok

my dad can’t be dead

he is feeding our tarantula crickets

my dad can’t be dead

he is laughing with my friends

my father can’t be dead

he is fixing my car

my father can’t be dead

we are going out to lunch

my father can’t be dead

he has a granddaughter

my father can’t be dead

everyone loves him

my father can’t be dead

he is still laughing because this is a prank

no, not my father

not my dad

not my daddy.

Running, Running.

I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that my healthy, happy father is gone. His birthday is next week and I feel a strong urge to shop for it.

It’s just unfathomable, and it’s so unfair.

I have tons and tons to do. I am now a landlord. I have rent to collect and things to fix. I have to open up new accounts. I have to pay bills for the house. I have to pay insurance on his vehicles. I have to look into insurance policies and investments. These are things I never really thought about before, because I thought my dad would live at least another twenty years.

It makes no sense.

Last night I rage punched a wall. It was dumb, and my hand hurts like hell, but for a moment I felt better.

I feel stressed out and tense all the time. I feel hopelessly sad and angry. We have a cat that won’t stop howling and I am terribly impatient with her. I am not doing well.

I have a virtual therapist appointment today, and I hope that it will help.

I will be at my dad’s, going through a seemingly endless array of files, looking for answers.

Wish me luck.

And There Was Silence.

I thought that my dad’s funeral went very well, aside from all the horrendous crap that led up to it.  It has been a difficult ride.

My aunt is the co-executor of the will.  This does not in fact give her any kind of power, but apparently she called my dad’s attorney to find out whether it did, because – and I quote – “she didn’t believe I [sic] would pay her back for the funeral” because of course I am a miscreant; and because I had my best friend break into my dad’s locked and apparently keyless file cabinets WHICH SHE KNEW ABOUT AND AGREED WITH (because of course my friends are all degenerates and of course he must have read important files, right?  Sure.  

Needless to say things have been incredibly tense.  I called and left her a voicemail letting her know in no uncertain terms that just because I am not Baptist or a churchgoer does not make me a terrible person who would stiff someone or allow my friends to look through confidential files.  

She immediately got upset and “resigned” as co-executor, saying that she was sure I’d do Just Fine.  

I managed to work out another way to pay for the funeral and now have to pay that person back with the quickness.  

Now that the service is over, she is calling me multiple times an hour to offer her unsolicited advice, but saying, “but you do what you want”.  

It is maddening.  Death plus money equals asshole in a lot of cases and I know this, but I just didn’t expect it to come from my dad’s only sibling who is already wealthy.  

I am trying very hard to let all of this business with her go and concentrate on what needs to be done, but I am out of Pepcid and really want to slap her.  

Why are people so ugly?  It really blows my mind.  

There is a trend on Tik Tok in which horrible, cruel parents pick out a photo of a physically disabled or different-looking person and screech at their spawn, “This is your new teacher!” cackling while their odious offspring scream or cry.  

This is one of the most vile things I have ever heard.  How awful and heartless.  I can’t even fathom how someone could be so cruel.  

There is so much hate and fear in the world already without teaching it to your kids.  

Anyway, my dad has been laid to rest, and aside from the occasional crying jag I’m still feeling very numb.  I think it’s partially because I still don’t k ow how or why he died and can’t wrap my head around that and partially because I still have so much to do with his estate.  

I just can’t believe he’s gone.  It hurts so much that I can’t allow myself to feel it.  It feels awful.  

I have a meeting with the bank on Monday because I am the beneficiary of his accounts and I need to figure out what to do.

I never thought I’d be in this position so soon, and it really sucks.  I’m just trying to keep my head above water and not think about the fact that my dad’s life was cut way too short.  

A Crushing Turn.

I last talked to my father Thursday night. We are trying to sell Jasmine’s old car, and I had a few questions about it.

I didn’t hear from him on Friday or Saturday, so I texted him a couple of times Sunday, and I got no response. I called both his home phone and his cell, and both went straight to voicemail. I was worried despite his stellar health, so I called his sister, my aunt. She came and picked me up, and we went to his house. One of his vehicles was outside. Neither of us had keys, and my aunt didn’t know the code to open the garage. There were three days worth of newspapers on his porch and some packages, and a ton of mail in the mailbox.

We called the police to do a wellness check, and after some time they procured a ladder from a neighbor and they managed to get into a second story window. They came out the front door after a few minutes and asked us to come sit downstairs in the kitchen. I was shaking.

As soon as the cop said “There’s no easy way to say this,” I became hysterical. They told us that my dad had apparently died peacefully in his sleep earlier that weekend.

My father was the picture of good health. He exercised daily and watched what he ate. He took no medication. He never got sick. To the best of my knowledge, he was not exposed to COVID. It makes no sense.

I wanted to go up and see him, but both the police and the coroner told me that I shouldn’t. They said that it would be best to remember him the way that he was. I was crushed. I saw the funeral home staff bring my dad’s body out in a body bag. I have never felt such despair.

How can my vibrant, eclectic, brilliant, hot-headed, karaoke-rapping, inventive dad be gone? Just like that? No warning? Nothing? How can my daughter’s grandpa be gone? I cannot wrap my mind around it.

I sobbed the five hours I was at my dad’s, and I have been weeping since I got home. Sleep is impossible. I don’t know what to do. I have to find his will in order to see what his wishes were as far as a funeral and plan that out. He owns a couple properties, and I have to find out when rent is due. I have to find his phone and get a hold of the lady who schedules his jobs, and also his friends. I have to stop his newspapers and magazines. I have to find his keys.

This feels insurmountable. I feel such a heavy sense of grief. I just want my dad.

Parts Is Parts.

Well, hi! How are you? How are enjoying life in this Trump-led, racist, homophobic, transphobic, pandemic-panicked, insane society? Great? Of course!

Yep. Me too.

I had a total shoulder replacement three weeks ago, and let me tell you, it is the worst surgery I have ever had by leaps and bounds. I have three new parts – a ball, a socket, and an inch-thick bar that is about eight inches long that the ortho literally shoved down the center of the bone in my upper arm. What is that bone called – the humerus? I used to know all the bones before I started banging my head on things. Anyway, it hurts like holy shit.

The ortho cut off my pain meds a week ago without so much as a kiss on the cheek, and life has not exactly been a bowl of cherries since. The pain is so intense that I’ve been puking almost every day, and I am very stiff and swollen. This sling can absolutely die in a fire.

But hey, at least I have a cool scar, right? Right.

Other than that, I have been doing my best to relax, even though I am typically not a relaxed person. Jasmine is taking up my slack by cleaning litter boxes and doing dishes and taking out the trash and cleaning up the house. I don’t miss cleaning, but I do feel kind of useless.

I have got to start writing daily. That’s one thing I can do that doesn’t hurt, and there is no excuse for me not to do it.

Good things: coffee with extra hazelnut creamer, Loki the cat, who fetches without fail and is generally hilarious, cool mornings, and Jasmine having a job.

Things I need: money (always), weed (helps with the pain), contact lenses, patience (to let this crap heal), and sleep.

Things I would love love love to see happen: Trump to lose this election by a landslide, people to rally around the USPS, racism and homophobia and transphobia to be denounced completely, and 65 degree weather all year round. A girl can dream.

I’ll be back tomorrow. Pinky swear. Have a (insert superlative here) day.

Seizing It Up.

Sorry I haven’t written in a minute. Life has been nuts.

I have been having multiple seizures a day for a couple weeks culminating in me falling off a dining room chair and wrecking my lower back. This is as painful as it sounds, if not more so; and adding my torn rotator cuff on top of that is making life very difficult indeed.

I had an MRI of my shoulder to see whether I need a replacement and will get the results next week. I’m also starting physical therapy including dry needling next week, and I also have a neurologist appointment on Monday. I’m hoping with all my heart that these issues can be fixed.

I’m very tired and a physical mess, but I am doing everything I can do.

Be well.

The Tense House.

I came home from my dad’s on Monday and posted a laminated list of house rules. Nothing outrageous, just that my daughter get a job by the end of May, help out with the housework, and show me some respect. I specified that if these things did not happen, I would turn off the internet.

There have been arguments at least once a day, and it’s very draining. My father temporarily gave her a gaming laptop and a big monitor to use for live-streaming video games, because one can make money doing this, and she’s entertaining to watch.

He told her that he wanted to watch her livestream because, being a very smart and technically inclined guy, he might have some technical advice. She flatly refused. He got angry and told her that if she didn’t, he would take the computer back. It’s a system worth thousands of dollars, and he’d only planned to loan it to her and see if she got a sizable amount of subscribers.

They were yelling at each other outside in the rain, and she came in the house screaming, “Don’t threaten me!!”

She told me what happened, and I told her I didn’t see the problem with him watching her livestream. She told me it was “creepy” and that she didn’t want him to know her online handle.

She also insinuated that it was my fault he was taking the computer because I didn’t call my dad and yell at him about this. When my father is angry, there is no going back. I know this. He is furious with my daughter for blowing up on him, and he blew up on her as well.

So today the computer is going back, and last night she and her friend put it on the (locked) front porch.

I woke up at 4:30 this morning and as is my habit, I went out to the porch to have a cigarette. The computer wasn’t there. The front porch storm door was still bolted. The brand new webcam he bought for her was missing as well, and that was inside on the dining room table.

I’m reasonably certain that she took everything downstairs to her room, and this is only going to cause even more drama. At this point she says she hates him, and he wants nothing to do with her. If that computer is hooked up downstairs as she sleeps until noon, there will be another big fight.

I am so tired of all this fighting, of the general distaste and sometimes venom that is directed towards me, of her constant anger. It is exhausting.

Allegedly she wants to move to Indianapolis with a friend, and neither of them have jobs or money. She claims she just can’t live with me anymore (because I am so intolerable, paying all her bills and doing all the housework while she games away), and I’m inclined to agree. If she wants to move out, I’m all for it. It would be sad and I would miss her in some ways, but in many ways I would not – the volatile temper, the constant ingratitude for everything and everyone, the entitlement.

So, I don’t know what will happen today, but I am prepared for a battle. Wish me luck.