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Chronically Writing: The Future

On the day after Christmas, I was looking at this and crying so hard, I could not feel it.

My husband and I just had a very nasty fight. We were folding laundry and for the millionth time, he asked me if a pair of pants were mine. They were smaller than my thigh and he did not even look at the size. I was working out six things in my head, from cleaning the kitchen, making meals, cleaning the basement, garbage pick-up, you name it. I've been doing it since we were living together.

No, it was not right that I snapped at him. I told him to look at the size, I did not have time to stop what I am doing to check on his work, whatever. I was not nice because I was tired of explaining the same things over and over again and he was not listening.

It was all I did.

I work harder because I am home and look at a screen for work.

Like I never do the videos and pictures on my own. Planned my marketing. Called the venues. Plotted my next moves without a manager helping me. Wrote my own books. Edited them endlessly. Researched the market and marked my professional progress. Kept track of the plot, characters, etc., of my books. And that does not include the childcare and housework, chronic illnesses, my mental health, and grieving over recent events that I have not processed yet.

Like I sit on my ass and do nothing while my husband works endlessly at his factory job.

My house is not the cleanest. I don't dust often. Sometimes, my dishes sit for a few days. I have no working dryer and hang my laundry on a line crossing most of the main house floor. There are days when I do not want to cook because I had enough of playing survival and using food surplus.

So, the misunderstandings began to escalate.

Like any other argument, we picked up on the stupidest shit. One thing led to another. My husband's frustrations and what he had been taught as a child reared its ugly horns. I was not working because I was not making any money. I was just trying to get out of housework because I was lazy and picking on him because he was working. Another woman taking advantage of a hardworking man.

That broke me.

My husband fights dirty. I knew this going into the relationship. But what he said went too far.

I am going to be honest: until that moment, I had no support base except my husband. My (adopted) dad is another. I have to also give credit to the caring people I met on my journey (they know who they are and I love them so much). Other members of my family are involved in caretaking. As a former one myself, I understand hardly having the time or energy.

To have my husband verbally slap me like that crept upon my childish unmet needs. I had been abandoned again, and by the person who was supposed to love me and stand by me (except when I am wrong). It shook me so badly that the voices of a million stories just...


That was what began the slow dismantling of my career for the past few years. Tossing pens and notepads into boxes. Shutting down my tablet. Telling a lot of connections via messenger that it was done. Thanking everyone who helped (and those who thought they did and had not). At that point, I did not know what the new adventure was going to be.

Yes, seriously.

At that point, I was looking at it this way: despite our positive attitude, we were facing a lot of financial hardship. My husband does not make a lot for his position and he works a lot of OT. Another steady income would solve all of these problems. The rest of the family would be happy and we would have people by our side again, sort of.

But at what cost? To be included with a nest of narcissists? Enablers? Abusers? To have help when we asked (with plenty of complaints)? To have to endlessly run for people who would never jump a puddle for us? To have drama under our roof, in front of my son?

Our peace of mind was more important than that.

It took some days and more discussions to calm down and to find out what my husband was upset the most over. That is our business. While that has been mostly worked over, the question still remained.

What was I going to do?

Extenuating circumstances prevent me from looking for a job in my field. I have used five career counselors, the state of CT DOL, three temp agencies, my alma mater, etc., and one reason came out. It is unjust and has already been addressed with the proper parties, but nothing is going to change. The only companies who would take me are call centers.

The thought makes me sick, even as I write this. I am remembering one of the nastiest customers I have dealt with. He argued with me for following federal banking regulations and when my manager forced me to escalate, the customer was pleased. He sexually assaulted me over the phone, adding that he owned me on a leash. This was reported properly in my department and nothing was done to correct it. I was forced to continue working with the individual.

Even into the New Year, I framed my mind to looking for a job and believing that, since 2022, I had been unemployed. I berated myself for not doing enough and giving too much. For putting too much time and energy into questioning the authority of the system because it is ridiculous. I felt like the general public did not care. If somebody just walked down the street and sat with somebody different than they are, they'd know another story.

None of my anger and frustration was aimed at anyone specifically. I privately messaged those I had a problem with. "Nobody cares" meant that, as a mass, we never think of anyone past ourselves. We assume that somebody is just doing to clean up after them, somebody always has the power. That there is some magic wand that is going to make everything a success.

Nobody thinks about the consequences of their actions. How one person cannot always do it all. How one little thing can make a huge thing deflate. How a lifetime of disappointments can kick a person down.

In the end, I went dark. I dove back into what I loved to do: learning. I separated my feelings of the several different issues and watched the familiar and the unexplored to better process my emotions. There was no news watching. I learned about the craziness of the funeral industry in the US, how to build a basic mud and log house in the woods, and the history of opium in China. I watched A&E crime shows and (repeatedly) checked out YouTube videos with Calvin. We took in a homeless friend and his dog, so it's been busy helping him organize and spring out of here,

I did not want to get back into writing. I did not want to look over my book, see my notes, nothing. I began pushing people away again, more because of broken promises than anything else. Others sent me messages after I announced my decision. I did not want anybody to persuade me otherwise.

That was my way of not dealing with it. Yes, I know it is a trauma response. I should not have done it. But I was tired. At that point, knocked down by my husband, separating myself from blood family, diagnosed with several chronic illnesses, another holiday season without people I love, humiliated by the others, I was simply done. Survival mode kicked in.

A couple of days ago, I was beginning to catch up with my unread messages. I appreciated everyone who reached out and responded to as many as I could. One of them caught my attention, though. It was sent to me by a friend of my father's. This individual had not seen me in years, maybe met me a handful of times because he was traveling often. He said not to give up. It will take time.

And he's right.

It got me thinking about what I feel about success.

Success did not mean bestselling to me, though. It looks like a page well written and revealing an awesome plot twist. It's me being a special needs mom, running through a routine with Calvin while trying to dictate the next paragraph because my arms hurt too much to type (and trust me, A LOT profanity had to be erased). It's seeing two books published in one year, and both of them are over seven hundred pages a piece.

It's the people I met on this journey, through Facebook groups, local events, at libraries and bookstores, and sometimes on the streets. The comfort of other women who grew up like me. Moms who also know the exhaustion behind having a child with autism.

There is still a lot of healing to do. But for the moment, I have decided to stay in the industry. Remain in my lane. Repay my debts. You want to make your snide comments, go for it. You want to help, do it and not lead me on. I will not trust another soul without solid proof.

I have gotten back into Revolution in small ways. So far, it's been notes and plot and not the document itself. I have not been able to open Microsoft Word yet. Every time I do, that little voice pops into my head, telling me it's not real work. I am working to remove the tape out of the player.

As I tell my son, tomorrow is another day and we can try again. That's the best thing we can do. Sometimes, it never works out the way we want it to, and that's ok.

Or, we can quote the Chili Peppers...

Deep beneath the cover of another perfect wonder,

Where it's so white as snow.

Privately divided by a world so undecided,

And there's nowhere to go.

In between the cover of another perfect wonder,

And it's so white as snow.

Running through the field where all my tracks will be concealed,

And there's nowhere to go.

Namaste, everyone! Have a great night.

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