Monday, December 3, 2012

No Escape, Even in Dreams

Today has been an unusually difficult day. My husband's family left yesterday, and his friend who was visiting left a couple of hours after them, and then we were alone like usual. It is nice to be alone, in my preferred state, but I will miss having his family around.

Today, I did not have much intention of going to my classes. I was going to take my car back to the place where we bought it and they were going to give it a look-over and address any issues. But, I didn't do that. I stayed in bed. I went on the computer for a little while then fell back asleep.

I keep thinking about my brother, in my dreams and when I wake up. I dreamed that I went to visit his old room in the house where we grew up, and I dreamed that it was so messy with soda cans and used plates everywhere. I started cleaning it up, but I was overwhelmed with grief that he would never be able to do it himself and he would never be able to just sit in the middle of it and do nothing. I would never be able to berate him for being messy. None of that. I remember some other strange parts - that there was a giant roach pulled out of some pool's filter, that I bought a cage and filled it with two different birds and a tiny kitten and a hamster, that I downed a bunch of jello shots. I also dreamed that my mom came in to the room and just lied down on her face on the floor because we both realized we were too hurt to move or do anything, but it just made things worse for me. And I dreamed that one of my husband's friends from Australia invited me into her car and prayed over me - just being around her made me feel so much better.

I kind of have some of the parts fuzzed up otherwise, as far as waking up and thinking about things just to end up crying myself back to sleep. I wish that these memories were something I could just rip out and ignore, that I could somehow forget he was ever there or just pretend that he moved away to another place and he was just never in town or online. I wish that so much because this grief is so paralyzing and otherworldly. I wasn't ready for it. I wish that, instead, he had a terminal disease and I could have said some things to him while he was close to death. I wish that he had been in an accident and didn't die on impact but a week later after I was there and I had been able to at least know what was coming. I wish that he had been able to anticipate his own death instead of it stealing him away so fast.

I have so many wishes and so many regrets. Right now I kind of wish the world would end so I could see what is really on the other side and so I could stop grieving for my little brother who was supposed to outlive me by decades. I hate being so selfishly distant from others/the world/reality and stuck on this, but I can't help feeling almost cosmically wronged because of this loss. I know that isn't the truth at all - just a perception because of where I live and my culture. I know people all over the world experience personal loss much worse than mine all the time and with sickening frequency. I just can't rationalize myself out of this, I guess. I can't drown out my issues with alcohol or drugs like some people do. I can't stop fearing that someone close to me is going to die and I am going to lose my sanity. I hate this.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Grief and New Perspectives

Grief is probably going to be the most constant trend on this blog for quite a while.

Let me explain a little, in case you don't know me.

My brother, Devin, died in a car crash on July 2, 2012 (almost five months ago). He was my only sibling, he was less than 15 months younger than I am (23 when he died). I will explain more about it in the future, but this isn't that day.

Today I just want to kind of mull over how his death has changed a lot in the world for me. My heart has always been pretty soft, I have always had a large sense of empathy. I am a bleeding-hearted person - at least I think so. But I have never really dealt with death before this... I have had great-grandparents pass away, but I didn't get to go to their funerals (I think my mom was trying to shelter me, maybe too much). I have heard of acquaintances or old friends dying, and sometimes they hurt more than others, but still they never really hit home.

So, this death has really changed me. I am so indignant at the world now, so mortified by the idea of "optional" deaths. I don't know if that's the best word for it, but I mean death that has come about as the result of someone else's choice. Death penalties, wars, murders... stuff like that. They are so unjust to me, and I can hardly bear the thought that someone would dare support one group of people systematically taking away other people's lives over an idea or ideology.

I know that this is not actually something I would wish on anyone, but part of me wishes that everyone could experience deep, personal, sudden loss and grief. I think that if this happened, people would be so much kinder to others and more respectful of life. I know it would have different effects on different people, but I still think most people would have a softer heart in the end, and would be more prone to advocacy for the oppressed and weak. I wish I could live in that world, where every death was a tragedy for everyone because everyone is someone's daughter, son, sister, brother, mother, father, friend, lover.

Then again, I don't know if this changed outlook is always for the best. It makes me more sensitive to deaths, but sometimes it makes me indignant when people try to compare their own losses to mine. Sometimes it makes me want to avoid people or organizations if I know that they will try to justify wars and deaths, or if they believe that some lives are worth more than others. This sort of thing is difficult to me, because I don't and can't reach that same conclusion anymore (if I ever could at all). I get frustrated that those ideas exist and I get frustrated that I can't change them. I get disgusted by the very idea of it and I don't want to be around those people at all. The unfortunate thing for me is, most people believe in some sort of justified "optional" death - in some way. And unfortunately, now I am ultra-sensitive to picking out remarks about that sort of thing. If someone makes a slight reference to being pro-war, my mind decides immediately that there is something not to like about that person. Does that even make sense? I don't know.

I guess that's most of what I was thinking about today. A friend of mine had a sister-in-law pass away, and even though I had never even met this girl, I started crying about it. My whole cycle of being indignant about death started up again, though I don't know what happened to this girl. I am kind of like a bucket of tears just waiting for another loss to mourn over. I know this isn't entirely healthy, but that's where I am right now.

Friday, November 30, 2012


Today is the day I have been waiting for - for many years now.

We got a new car. Oh my gosh. I still can't even hardly believe it.

I have only ever had one car really. Before it, my father bought my brother and me a very, very old car once I got my license (and my brother was only a year behind me getting his). This thing was a real piece of work, let me tell you. I can't even remember all of the specifics anymore (it has been about nine years), but I remember vividly that it stalled out in the middle of driving, it didn't always turn, and there were plenty of other issues. Fortunately, I didn't have to drive it for very long - maybe a couple of months.

My current car is the one I have had since my junior year in high school - around the second half of 2004, I think. Maybe a little later. It's a Honda Accord from 97 and a deep, dark, almost shimmery purple color. It was lovely before the weather wrecked the exterior.

It has done a pretty good job for us, but in recent years it has had a LOT of problems, costing about $1k at a time. Fortunately - since we do not have anywhere near that kind of money - my grandma (maternal) has a Firestone credit card that we have used like no tomorrow. It makes me feel bad, but I live about 25 miles from school and have no alternative form of transportation available. I've needed it, and I will pay her back some day soon. We even maxed out her card and had to pay over $300 out of pocket on our last trip. It's been bad times.

Among the many problems our car has experienced, let me note a few:
1. For a while the car's driver door wouldn't stay shut, so I could either shove it shut and lock it and wait for someone's slightest touch to set off the car alarm and annoy *everyone* in my apartment complex, or I could leave it unlocked and have the battery die because of the automatic lights that come on when the door is open. And then I could get all the stuff in my car stolen. That happened.

2. My transmission is messed up - not sure what is going on, but you have to jam a key down into the slot beside it, simultaneously hold down the brake, and simultaneously shift into reverse then back into park without letting go of the button, then start the engine while holding onto the button, then shift into your correct gear. Weird.

3. The oil keeps leaking by a lot. I keep oil handy for refills, but it's not as bad as it was. The last time I took it in, the oil had exploded beneath my car and some part of my car caught on fire or something when they were working on repairs...

4. The CD player stopped working first, then the radio started doing whatever the heck it wanted. Now it only works sometimes and is stuck on the same radio station. I can't change the sound settings (like the bass) and the volume control sometimes doesn't really work.

So, this is a huge gift. It is our Christmas gift from my in-laws. I couldn't have managed anything without them and I am so, so grateful. My mom is unemployed - has been for several years - and I don't speak to my father. My grandparents aren't rich or anything; my grandma works in the warrants division of her local police office and she's 70 (but don't tell her I said that - she doesn't look or act or seem anywhere near that age, she is more spritely than I am). Most of the rest of my grandparents are retired and not very well-off. I don't really have much family beyond that, and my husband doesn't make enough money to splurge on something as substantial as a car (he works in ministry). I am a student at university full time. We needed this so bad.

Our new car is a 2004 (this MILLENIUM! whaaat!) Chrysler Sebring 2-door that is kind of pale metallic blue. It is awesome. Leather interior, sun roof, drives smoothly, is very comfy. The transmission works, as does the CD player and radio. No oil leaks that I've noticed. I love it. It will last, at the very least, until I graduate and get a job that can pay if we encounter car problems. That... is so awesome.

Best Christmas gift, ever.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Procrastination is an Art

This is the first one.

A friend of mine recently started up blogging and it made me consider the option myself.

The last time I tried to start something like this, I didn't have much to say... not a lot going on. I used it to journalize my food intake for less than a week then stopped. Not to say that that isn't a noble pursuit for a blogger, and anyone who knows me could testify that I could drop a lot of weight, but I kind of bored myself into stopping. Maybe one day in the future if I can gain some support? One can wish and dream and hope...

Since that last time, a lot of crap has happened. I'm going to therapy, but this might be a good outlet for thoughts, emotions, stuff like that. Maybe it will be good for something.

Right now I'm putting off my very last project of the year - for my finance class. It's not very titillating (though that word certainly is - titillating), but it's not difficult. I should do it. Instead, I will list some things that I *have* been doing:

1. watching Indian music videos with fake English translations for the millionth time
2. watching CHOW videos on how to use leftovers from Thanksgiving to make other dishes
3. making angry faces at my dog while he whines at me in his crate
4. watching makeup videos
5. looking through wishlists and shopping lists on Amazon and Sephora's website
6. staring longingly at things I can't afford
7. opening my homework documents then not doing anything about them
8. facebooking my heart out
9. looking at other blogs and commenting back at trolls - which I realize is stupid and won't lead to any good, but I am drawn in anyway
10. starting this blog

It's almost midnight... my husband's family should be arriving back from the airport soon. I guess I should do this.

Cheers to a new endeavor.