WAS I EVER NORMAL?

You get used to pretending or adapting your personality so no one notices just how different you are. I don’t think I was a genius at it unless I was drinking. Even when I was drinking I had a habit of spewing out everything I had let fester over time. I didn’t start doing this until later in my drinking.

I doubt myself every single day. Conversations I’ve had with my twin sister in the last two days have not helped. You would think I would know better by now. In my brain she’s the normal one and must know what she’s talking about. Which means I’m someone who has scarred her emotionally through out our life with my selfish actions.

This is what she said to me yesterday. Then it all clicked. We’ve never talked about my suicide attempts at all. I tried but she never wanted to. She never came to see me in the Hospital the times I had to be admitted.

I remember the day her husband started an argument with me. When he asked if I have ever taken responsibility for the things I’ve done. I think he meant how my actions effected my sister but wouldn’t come out and say it.

Of course my sister shot her bullet and ran. She never gives me a chance to respond.

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TOP 50 HORROR FILMS (Rated by Me) #50-40

I managed two Blockbuster Video stores at the same time, starting when all they had were VHS tapes and ending when they started closing stores. I had access to hundreds of catalogs listing every Horror film made. If one looked interesting I would cross reference it with another database that gave reviews (similar to imdb.com) to see if it was worth bringing in. We were also sent promotional tapes from independent companies that wanted their films to get picked up.

I had quite the collection until I couldn’t work anymore and I was stuck in limbo waiting for a decision on whether or not I was capable of working. I was forced to sell my film collection to pay bills. You do what you have to.

I still love the genre but I am a little picky or weird about the Horror movies I like. Torture porn isn’t exactly a favorite of mine and I rarely like comedy with my Horror or “Campy Horror” but some of the most influential Horror films have all of these qualities and they can’t be ignored.

  • 50) Freaks~ 1932- Director: Tod Browning Stars: Wallace Ford Leila Hyans~ A beautiful trapeze artist uses a Circus Sideshow owner with dwarfism to get his inheritance. The film uses people that had been used in Circus “Freak Shows” with real disabilities. There is a moral to the story. Sometimes the beautiful people are the cruelest and ugliest on the inside. The owner’s friends just want to make sure she matches all around.
  • 49) The Lair of The White Worm~ 1988- Director: Ken Russell Stars: Amanda Donohoe Hugh Grant~ Campy and bizarre which would normally mean I wouldn’t like it. The exception is Amanda Donohoe. Her character is mesmerizing and makes the entire movie.
  • 48) Trick or Treat~ 1986- Director: Charles Martin Smith Stars: Marc Price Tony Fields Gene Simmons~ An infamous rock star dies and uses his biggest fan, a bullied teenager, to try to come back to life. I watched this with my best friend and we loved the music and the concept. It was the 80’s.
  • 47) The Hitcher~ 1986- Director: Robert Harmon Stars: Rutger Hauer C. Thomas Howell~ I’m a huge fan of Rutger Hauer but not of C. Thomals Howell until recently. The realistic style of this movie is what makes it memorable. Road movies if done right can be extremely effective.
  • 46) Cannibal Holocaust~ 1980 Director: Ruggers Deodato  This film has so much controversy surrounding it you almost can’t believe it. After it’s premiere in Milan the film was seized by Italian Courts and the director was arrested and charged with obscenity. He was also charged with murdering several actors on camera and faced life in prison. He had the cast sign contracts saying they would disappear for a year after shooting to make the film more believable. Eventually they were found and the director was released. I haven’t been able to watch the film even though I owned a collector’s edition. There were real animal sacrifices and other questionable scenes. It was banned in several countries.
  • 45) The Hand~ 1981- Director: Oliver Stone Stars: Michael Caine~ A comic book artist loses his hand in a car accident but it was never found at the scene. Later it shows up and begins to kill anyone that the artist has a problem with. Is it an artist’s over active imagination or reality? You can’t go wrong with Oliver Stone and Michael Caine.
  • 44) Phantasm~ 1979- Director: Don Coscarelli Stars: Angus Scrimm~ Mike loses his parents at a young age and worries the same will happen to his older brother. He starts to follow him everywhere. One night while following him he sees the Tall Man who runs the funeral home. It’s downhill from there. I admit the Tall Man scared me and so did the metal spheres. This is one I first watched with my brother who by the way is also a Tall Man. lol
  • 43) Dust Devil~ 1992- Director: Richard Stanley Stars: Robert John Burke Chelsea Field~ The Dust Devil is a demon who preys on those who have lost their reason to live. This is based on a true story of South African serial killer Nhadiep. There’s a mix of mysticism, tribal rituals and witchcraft. The cinematography of the Namibian desert makes this film feel that much more realistic.
  • 42) The Evil Dead~ 1981- Director: Sam Raimi Stars: Bruce Campbell~ Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods where they release evil that posses them one by one. Not a favorite of mine because it mixes campy horror with gore but at the time it was made no one else was doing horror like this.
  • 41) The Lost Boys~ 1987- Director: Joel Schumacher Stars: Jason Patric Kiefer Sutherland~ While not the scariest movie made it might be one of the sexiest Vampire movies with one of the best soundtracks.
  • 40) Shocker~ 1989- Director: Wes Craven Stars: Peter Berg Michael Murphy Mitch Pileggi~ A serial killer comes back to life after being put to death by the electric chair. This movie always stayed with me and I can’t explain why. Wes Craven is one of the masters of Horror but there’s something different about this one.

This is it for right now because my hands are tired. lol But I will be back!

WHEN YOUR SUICIDE ATTEMPTS ARE JUDGED

My talked to me today. She told me her husband’s band is having a record release party on the 20th. Of course I wasn’t invited. Then she told me the lead singer’s son shot himself in the head and is in a coma. He is 19. He was being evaluated by a Psychiatrist but they weren’t sure of his diagnosis.

My sister went on to say how she feels worse for people like him who “really” mean it when they try to kill themselves. I took this as her saying she really didn’t feel empathy or sympathy for me because I my attempts weren’t serious enough. 

I only have ugly scars and some issues with stomach from having it pumped a couple of times. I’m not sure if the charcoal times did any damage. My left pinkie and the finger next to it are numb a lot from nerve damage I caused but none of that counts I guess.

Would she have understood better if I had used a gun or a rope? Would she have loved me more when she thought of me than she does now?

I don’t know. I’m also beginning to not care what she feels or anyone else feels. It’s time to think of how I feel for a change. What makes me happy?

I DESERVED IT, DIDN’T I?

I was physically assaulted for years by different men and there were times when I woke up that I didn’t remember agreeing to have sex with a person or know where I was.

Alcoholism will lead you to dark places and to people you wouldn’t normally be friends with.

My parents were actually good parents. They had some moments when we were younger that could’ve been better but I don’t think any of it was too bad. Then again maybe it was and I don’t want to remember it. I don’t really know. I do know I was always painfully shy, over weight by the 6th grade with glasses and acne. It wasn’t fun from the 6th grade to the 12th grade. A lot of damage was done that couldn’t be undone.

When no one stands up for you as a child or intervenes you start to believe what is being said to you. So I believed I was fat, useless, ugly, unlovable, even that I smelled when I didn’t because everyone believes when you are fat you must smell. I was the cleanest person I knew. I became obsessed with expensive perfume as I grew older because of one comment made in the 10th grade. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on perfumes from places people have never had of.

The group of people I surrounded myself with when I began drinking at 16 were all predators in some way or another. Some were emotional predators, some financial, and some sexual or needed to feel in control.

I was perfect for all of it. I had zero self confidence and thought I was nothing when I arrived. I worked hard and always had money. I was easy to control when drinking and I was always drinking to numb a feeling or fake a personality or emotion or to feel normal. They saw me coming a mile away and never wanted me to leave.

While one would say and do cruel things another would be there to act as the good guy. Then it would flip. I went on like this for almost 9 years starting at 16. Those are important years where you learn how to be a young adult then an adult. I didn’t learn any of those things. I learned a lot of street smarts and how to immediately scan a room for scumbags or trouble. I learned to always sit with my back against a wall facing the door so I could see who was coming and going. I learned not to trust anyone ever again and to look people in the eye. I learned how to read facial expressions and tell when a person is lying to me.

I learned all of these things the hard way and by slowly becoming the monsters I hated.

I never fully became the monster but I still carry that fear with me and the street smarts. I also carry the “Trust No One” mentality with me because it huts too much to trust and be let down over and over again even by your family. I have brief flashes of the rage I carry deep within me and I won’t lie, it scares me. I wouldn’t hurt another person but I would hurt myself in that rage as I tore through the World. So I have to be careful with it and channel it into something else. That’s where the tears and stuttering come in I think.

I didn’t ask for any of this. The mental illness I knew was a 50/50 shot so was the drinking. But when I was growing up no one really knew that or talked about it. If my parents had taken me to a Doctor when they first suspected I would have been institutionalized until the age of 18.

It’s here and now at 44 that I decide how I want to deal with all of what I’ve been through, what I’ve learned, what I still need to learn, and pass it on.

If I could travel and speak on Radio Shows or in High Schools and tell the absolute truth with no sugar coating that’s what I want to do more than anything. There are too many organizations right now that so many feel like they don’t belong in because all they see are the positive messages of hope and recovery which is fine but don’t promise it right out of the gate. When I’m feeling like 0 the last thing I want to see are shiny happy people holding hands because I’ll already have the thought of failing in my head.

I don’t know if I’m making sense about this at all or if I’m completely off base and too messed up to even know it. I wouldn’t mind some feedback as long as you don’t completely tear me down because then that’s all I’ll think about for weeks. Ridiculous! But that’s who I am now. I’m a lot stronger in many areas but I still seek love and approval. I’m a work in progress like everyone should be.alone-by-edgar-allan-poe-scarebaby-design

HALLOWEEN AND RECENT EVENTS BRING BACK UNWANTED MEMORIES

Halloween is hard for me because I love it so much. I love the smell in the air, the leaves on the ground, and Horror movies. I do have a difficult time with Haunted Attractions and I always have. I can watch Faces of Death with no problem but get me within 50 feet of a Haunted Hayride and I will start to sweat and feel sick.

Halloween also reminds me of drinking. It reminds me of when I would try to put a costume together but because I was 270 pounds everything they sold made me look bigger. I couldn’t be a “Sexy Cop”, “Sexy Devil” or “Sexy” anything. I would just end up wearing extra make-up, some hair extensions, and maybe my top would be a little more revealing. Even though I was 270 pounds I had a waist, good legs, and large breasts. I was 5′ 7 1/2″ at the time also so people told me I “carried it well” whatever that’s supposed to mean. It never stopped anyone from being cruel but as I grew into my early twenties I learned how to carry myself a little better.

This is leading to what’s been in the news lately.

For the majority of my life when I walked anywhere I looked at the ground. I tried to never make eye contact and hid my face with my hair. If I was public by myself I shuffled along hoping I was invisible. I wore oversized shirts that usually went to my mid thigh or knees. This only made me look bigger and sad. I never said boo to anyone. I never argued with anyone even if I knew I was right. I never defended myself to anyone not even my family.

Does anyone know what this made me? Care to guess? The answer is a perfect victim.

Even in the animal world when a predator looks for prey it doesn’t go after the one that will give it the most fight, it goes for the weakest in the group or the one that has fallen behind, alone.

Predators instinctively sense a lack of self confidence just by the way a person walks. If a person lacks a flowing motion or organized movement while walking they’re viewed as being less self confident. They also assess posture and how aware the person is of their environment. This was proven by researchers Grayson and Stein when they asked convicted criminals to view a video of pedestrians walking down a busy New York City street, unaware they were being taped. The convicts crimes ranged from armed robbery, rape, and murder. They were asked separately to identify who they would’ve chosen as targets.

They all chose the same people. What was surprising was that they didn’t choose people who appeared physically weaker. The researchers wanted to know why. They studied the tapes and the people chosen. All of them had similar body language but were of different race, gender and age. There was no mistake that all of them watched the ground as they walked, seemed unsure of themselves, and were distracted.

Another problem the researchers found is that most people have trouble interpreting nonverbal facial cues. If you can’t tell what a person is thinking by their facial expression you are more likely to enter or stay in a situation that could be dangerous.

We all know that predators are good at hiding their true nature and making a person feel “special” at first. It isn’t easy to identify what they’re thinking when they’re wearing a mask and not showing their true selves. They are also excellent liars and can easily talk their way out of most situations.

They pick people they know will have a hard time saying anything against them. A girl with a history of alcoholism, someone who is already perceived as “unstable” by others, a shy young woman with a “pure” reputation who has parents in the same business. I think you can see where this going. The first one is me.

Unfortunately when my situation came to it’s final bloody conclusion he was right. No one really believed me. My own parent’s doubted me. In that one instant all I wanted was for 1 person to show anger or indignation on my behalf. My father at first told him to “Get the Hell out of his house” then after J “explained” everything my Dad said “Thanks” and closed the door. The entire time I was on the floor, covered in blood, trying to say that J was lying, but my face was too swollen and I was having trouble breathing. I finally passed out. They didn’t take me to a Hospital. Even though I had a heavy oak chair broken over my head and had lost consciousness more than once. They didn’t want the police involved.

It took a month for everything to heal physically and mentally I don’t think I’ll ever heal. It wasn’t just what he did it was what my family did also. They blamed me for being there, for drinking, for putting myself in that position. It was years later that they found out I was telling the truth. Still no one wanted to talk about it. No one wanted to think about how it must have felt for me to be pinned on that dirty floor, unable to move, drowning in my own blood. All I could think of in that moment was “I’m sorry I did this to them”. Even I blamed myself. I don’t anymore.

Now for happier things. Because I am a Horror Movie fan I’m going to be making a list of my favorites. Some you may have heard of and some are not as well known. At one time I had a collection that would’ve rivaled the best but had to sell it when I could no longer work. So I’m working on it now but as some may know I’m not good at making decisions. lol

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THE TRUTH ABOUT MENTAL ILLNESS: THERE ISN’T ONE

I left for Salem early Tuesday morning. I didn’t tell my Dad where I was going but I did leave him a note. When I finally found a half way decent Hotel it was late afternoon before I could call him. He wasn’t happy and I had to hear about his stomach being in knots and how he won’t be able to sleep. I immediately felt guilty and sad. I thought about leaving.

My sister called and told me not to leave. She thought it was a good thing that I did this on my own and to ignore our Dad. She told me not to talk to him except to say I was safe because he’s projecting his anxiety on to me.

The Hotel was horrendous and that’s being kind. Salem is getting worse every time I visit it. So the next day I decided to go to a place I knew I could relax and enjoy The Stonehedge Inn & Spa in Tyngsboro. As soon as I opened the door to my room I felt happy. When I saw the bathroom I wanted to cry tears of joys. I stayed there for 3 days 2 nights.

In this time I didn’t jump or become startled, I didn’t cry, I didn’t stutter, I only felt relaxed.

I even ate alone at the fancy restaurant they have. I will say that I have no concept of how other people perceive me as a woman. This can make situations uncomfortable for me at times. I’m used to a tall 270 pound body with bleach blond curly hair, a round face and squinty eyes when I look in the mirror.

What’s actually in the mirror now is a petite 133 pound body with straight shiny burgundy hair half way down her back, cheek bones and blue eyes you can see.

I’ve always worn make up and tried to dress well, I still do. I just forget that people will actually see me now and I’m not invisible. So a man sent a drink over to me. Even when I drank I hated when anyone did this. This time I’m sober, in a Hotel restaurant and alone. I was a little afraid. Not to mention he sent over a $20 drink with Absinthe in it where they only allow you to have 1 because of the ingredients. Part of me wanted to tell him off. I wanted to ask him what he saw when he looked at me. Did he see an easy mark? Because I used to drink a bottle of Firewater a day when it was 90 proof but then I realized I’m not that person anymore. I have nothing to prove.

The server I had was a young guy who was extremely nice to me. I told him I didn’t drink but I didn’t want to offend the person who sent the drink. He just slid the drink behind a large glass bottled water they leave at the table and told me the guy wouldn’t even notice and in a few minutes he would take it away.

The problem was I got two more drinks from two more men. I was starting to feel panic set in. I’ve never been in a situation like this or if I have I don’t remember. I have no sense of self. They all sat there untouched, they were pretty to look at but I was more interested in the gourmet Gluten Free menu selection.

I came home Friday afternoon. I was happy to see my dogs and my Dad. It didn’t last long. Saturday the anxiety was horrible, I jumped twice when my Dad came in the room, and the feeling of being hopeless and worthless started to creep back in.

I’m back to where I was. I can research all I want about Mental Health and Illness, I can go to every Doctor and Therapist in the U.S. and none of them will agree 100% on my diagnosis or course of treatment. Several will even say I can’t be treated.

That’s the truth of Mental Health. The story I just told you isn’t one of a lunatic or a monster although I have the diagnoses of people who have been called those same names.

The story is of a woman who doesn’t know where she belongs and never has, a woman who has had more violence done to her than any one person should ever have to go through. It’s also a woman who is in great pain and only wants what most people want, to be loved and accepted for who they are.

THE BULLIED BULLY THAT I KEPT A SECRET FROM MYSELF

Bullying started early for me. I went into puberty at a very early age, I had breasts before the rest of the girls which also came with hormones and everything else. Having adult breasts at the age of 10 isn’t as good as it might sound to some people. Boys at that age are not ready for breasts and are still at the “Girls are icky” stage.

It didn’t help that with puberty came acne, glasses, and weight gain. I was also the tallest and heaviest girl in my class. My twin sister wasn’t having the same problem.

A group of kids called me “Dino” after the dog on the Flintstones. My first name is close to Dino. Every piece of paperwork had your last name first. My last name has to do with food in a way. When it was called out first everyone laughed and said that must be why I’m so fat and ugly.

There were not many days where I wasn’t tripped, called names, had chairs pulled out from under me, spit on, or ignored.

I began drinking at 16 and went to parties with a group from another town. They were older. A few were from the town I lived in and went to school in. There were nights where I was bullied at parties and would lock myself in my car where I cried myself to sleep. These parties were up an old dirt road called “Purgatory” that the police never found out about. Purgatory was a good name for it.

It’s where I thought sexual acts equaled someone liking you or a way to get someone to like you. I would take many years for me to realize that sex and love are two different things.

It’s also where a darker side of myself started to emerge little by little.

If you are mistreated and told you are nothing for long enough you start to believe it. When you’re Bipolar and don’t know it and an alcoholic you can turn that hurt and pain into something else at times.

There were times when I was drinking where I felt cocky, almost better than everyone, like I could take on the world. Situations became really bad, really fast on these nights. I remember one night J’s grandfather had passed away and he was depressed. But as usual there was a group of loud idiots in the living room. I left him in his room and went to tell them to be quiet. A girl I didn’t know said “F*ck you! Who are you anyway, you fat c*nt.” That didn’t sit well with me. At the time I loved J and I knew what it felt like to lose someone close to you. He had no one to take with him to the wake so he asked me because he knew I had manners and could speak respectively to adults. So I to be fair I asked the girl to repeat herself in the hope that the people with her who knew me would tell her to shut up. Nope. So I punched her in the face. She was very quiet after.

I’m not proud of any of the things I’ve done but in a way I miss that person could stand up for themselves and say what they wanted. Instead of this person who starts to stutter and shake at loud noises, heavy footsteps, angry men’s voices, and cries at everything.

I usually didn’t get into physical fights with other females because I didn’t think it was fair in my mind. I thought because of my size it wasn’t fair. Not to mention it was mostly men who did the most damage. I did fight a lot of men for good reason but violence isn’t really the answer. One day you will meet someone bigger and badder than you are, and on that day no one will help you, some will think you deserve it, they won’t know what you’ve been through your entire life.

In the end you’ll go back to being the frightened child you used to be but this time it will be much worse. This time you will have memories of the things you did and the worst that was done to you.

If someone had intervened when it all started maybe things could’ve been different. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad now. I don’t know. I do know that when an adult notices something is a little off with a child they should go with their gut. You don’t have to call in Children’s Services but maybe observe their behavior or talk to their teacher.

If nothing is said than nothing can be done. And where does that leave them as an adult?