Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Will, The Will, Who's Got The Damn Will

So now I'm not getting any hours this last week and quite frankly, I'm more than a little relieved. I'm not sure I want to go back into that environment plus I filed a grievance over the whole nasty confloption. I did like I was supposed to and called in to check my on-call status but I'm not pushing for work. I'm interviewing elsewhere, for contractors jobs in the computer field in the Greater DC area.

After being triggered by anything to do with my past or past church leaving I'm wiped out for days. It takes me a few days to put myself back together. This time was no exception.  Add in a sinus headache and a looming sinus infection and there you go.

I had to finish up the taxes this week, put in all the data from our brokerage accounts and it's sort of like trying to climb Mount Everest without oxygen, a tent, a map, food or even a decent coat. It's depressing and defeating, taking days because our broker has his 1099s in the most awful confusing format and there's reams and reams of data, some of which doesn't need to be inputted. I'm no accountant and Turbotax is shit on guiding you through what I have to do to get the taxes right. I usually end up calling a tax accountant buddy a few times, calling the brokerage a dozen times to yell at them for not having importable files for the IRS. It's tedious and where if I'm going to screw up there it is, just like I did three years ago. Now, I'm much more careful and check behind myself constantly.

While trying to tool around the State of Virginia website to see if my situation at work violated any labor laws I stumbled across the state Unclaimed Funds page. After looking myself up I discovered that the state was holding a small check for me from a long ago settlement of a class action lawsuit against a merchant. It's only fifty bucks but I filled out the paperwork and sent it on it's way.

Decided to check the state of Louisiana's page next. To my astonishment listed on the page was a large sum, in the thousands, going to my late father and another not insignificant sum to him. After calling around and doing some digging at the Dept. of Revenue I discovered the large sum was an insurance payout from when my grandfather died, five years after my father, that should have gone to me.

The address of my father listed for it was the same address as my evil aunt who's been putting me through hell since the day my father passed trying to keep me from inheriting a penny. I've had to fight her in court a number of times now, right down to how to split the family lands when my grandfather died. She wanted to give me random unconnected pieces even if I was the only one in the family that owned land there still. I felt I should have my land in one piece attached to what I already owned.

She's failed at keeping me from inheriting my father's estate, failed at keeping my land divided up but succeeded in making my father's death just a little extra painful with her greedy attempt to inherit it all. When that insurance policy paid off after my grandfather's death she knew my address. Heck, her lawyer sent my lawyer a check for my part of that estate in a timely fashion. They had the address.

The fact that the money has sat there unclaimed for eight years now is an obvious 'fuck you' for my fighting her, standing up to her and refusing to give in to her demands that she was entitled to a penny of my father's estate.

Until my father died I had no idea that family could be your worst enemy. She's tried every low trick, right down to trying to suck up to my maw-in-law to get information on me. It got so bad I had to take out a restraining order and demand if she had anything she needed to get in touch with me about, such as the division of my grandfather's land, she had to go through my attorney.

I know I sound bitter but this woman has been harder to deal with than the devil himself.

The funny part of all of this is that they have to pay me interest on holding the money that long, and I am finished with my evil aunt for all time. Plus the other money turns out it was from my father putting down a deposit on an apartment just mere days before he died. Looks like he was about to leave my stepmother. Too bad he didn't pass after he'd divorced her and settled up because I had to deal with her upon his death too.

The lesson I learned through all of this is leave clear instructions in your will well before you pass over. Don't leave a pile of wills of different dates and some not registered with the courts. Don't leave a mess to add to your grieving family members burden. It's bad enough they had to pick a coffin and plan a funeral but having to fight a rapaciously greedy relative makes it much worse.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Swim Suits and Snow

Power out at work so I was released after a mere hour at work. But in that hour before we lost the lights I did file a grievance report with HR. The ball is in their court now.

The funny thing about being triggered so badly yesterday is that this week our weekly training was about PTSD and triggers. Irony.

So I did the only sensible thing you can do when it's snowing. And it is snowing hard with vehicles in the ditch and a couple inches on the ground. I went out to buy swim suits for the gym.

One of my frustrations with going to the gym is my swim suit. The chemicals in the pool have eaten through the 'good' suits I've had, my Speedo suit, my Jantzen. So I switched to cheapos from Wal Mart. Having lost down a couple of sizes means my usual suits hang like spandex potato sacks and the only suit I have now is a couple of sizes too small. Squishes the boobs like I'm trying to achieve the Roaring Twenties flat-chested ideal. I like my breasts too much to want to torture them in the pool.

Buying swimsuits and bras is one of the worlds most frustrating and difficult tasks.

Splurged on a couple of two piece tankini suits, one the size I'm wearing now and one that is one size down. I can wear both  and both have built in underwire support. Better than a squashing.

If that doesn't work I think I have my Betty Rubble bikini somewhere in storage. I bought it many years ago when we stopped at a beach in Florida on our way back from visiting relatives and none of us had brought suits. It was towards the end of the season and not much was left on the store racks. I ended up with an asymmetrical two piece in blue cheetah print, even the swim skirt was cut at weird angles, just like a get up from 'The Flintstones'.  It was so bizarre I've only worn it a handful of times now, but I hang onto it just because it's so odd.

Make this in cheetah print and it's just like mine! But I'd rather be dressed like Betty Draper than Betty Rubble.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Stomping On My Trigger Button

There are days when I forget I'm in recovery from fundamentalist theology and the accompanying damages and that I still deal with the trauma of being sexual abused from the ages seven to nine. Then life hands me a person, place or thing that is a trigger object.

Today I experienced what for me is one of the biggest triggers that sends me into PTSD every time, where I weep and retreat and shut down for the day. What is that? Being yelled at.

The dentist that sexually molested me would yell at me and pinch off my air supply when I fought back. I'd black out. As a consequence when someone yells at me in anger I shut down and turn seven years old again. None of which is helped by all the yelling people did towards me when we switched churches, triggers upon triggers.

Better start at the beginning. Friday afternoon I'm working in on the offices of the medical records folks. I was sorting documents for filing, just to be nice, because I had time to kill, trying to make one of my friends in that office have a little lighter load.

Now this is the same office I've struggled with the boss, Stinky Guy, and a couple of the cattier women working there. Last week and this week we have had a pile of people from the corporate offices of our charity there nosing around. The big BIG boss of the whole shooting match is a lady named Latrina and she'd sent some emails, the contents I do not know the contents of, to Stinky Guy's right hand gal, Kelsey.

So I'm in there, killing time on a Friday afternoon before I head up to give the receptionist a break, minding my own business when Stinky comes tells Kelsey that he'd received the emails she'd forwarded him from Latrina and he's forwarded them to Big Red. Yeah, Big Red who no longer works there, who's done a million hateful things to coworkers there, and is universally hated by everyone but Stinky.

It wasn't a conversation I wanted to overhear because by Stinky saying he's forwarded confidential emails that were not even his to forward to someone no longer connected to the organization he's breaking like a whole bunch of organizational rules, not to mention possibly some federal laws.

I was worried when I heard this and didn't know if I should ignore what he said, or tell someone above me. Ultimately I decided when I went to relieve the receptionist I would ask her what I should do. She's been there fifteen years, knows where all the bodies are buried and would know exactly what policy was. So I told her. She urged me to immediately go to HR and tell them but as we were talking Lauren came in. Lauren works at HR and in the Admin bldg. She overheard enough to know what we were talking about and told us that HR and Admin were aware of the situation with Stinky and were going to take care of it soon, so not to worry or do anything about it.

Quite frankly I was relieved. Because to dob in Stinky for something like that I knew there would be blowback. I went home, told Jim all about it and promptly forgot all about it.

This morning. I come in, go into the annex office where I always log in, peruse my emails before leaving to go around to get my duties done. Plus I was anticipating having to do a big project for the head therapist so I was sticking around for that. No sooner than I'd booted up the old cracked out laptop when Kelsey, all of 24 years old Kelsey, tells me we need to talk in a very hostile voice. I sighed, realizing that someone must have spoken to her and Stinky and she thinks because I overheard their conversation it had to be me.

I just came right out and told her, very honestly, that yes, I had overheard and discussed it with a supervisor if I really needed to be concerned about it and decided to not do anything at all. I just didn't tell Kels that others were onto them, that this was in the works well before I heard anything.

She went nuts on me, yelling and screaming, calling me names and saying I was banned from the building, to take myself down to HR for reassignment. I sat there and took her nasty anger that I didn't deserve. I got up, said fine and left, managing to hold back any tears till I got to the restroom. I cried profusely, between being blamed for something I didn't do and all the yelling and name calling. She called me 'stupid' 'ridiculous' 'evil' and 'unprofessional'. Can someone explain to me how yelling at someone is considered professional?

Ended up at HR crying so hard they couldn't make sense of what I was saying and sent me to work in the Main Office for the day. I learned at the Main Office that Kels and Stinky had been confronted and decided I was the one that tattled on them because I'd been in the office that afternoon.

I know that silly 23 year old just violated a number of rules in the employee handbook and I can and will file an HR grievance in the morning. Plus she has zero authority to ban me from a building or tell me what to do, she's not my supervisor at all. But... the part of me that triggers at names and yelling was triggered and I had to fight not to allow the crying re-traumatized seven year old out. Having some issues today and tonight with PTSD.

The upset has triggered my IBS. But.. I went to workout tonight and that helped. Writing a factual account for my grievance tomorrow and writing here has helped. I know what I did and did not do. I also know that the women in that office, Kels included, are a hateful bunch and I refuse to allow them to drag me down. This is why I hate working in offices with loads of other women, they aren't happy till someone else is upset.

They must have gotten one horrible balling out to freak out like that I guess.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Bumper Stunned Toads & Prison Pants

I had an interview for a much better position at work this week. Although it wouldn't take much to have a better position since I am the on-call do-it-all dogs body that does it all.

One of the things I did to prepare for the interview was buy a new outfit. I got a pair of pants that re almost identical to those from this Vogue photo, slubby silk stripped pillitzo, umm, plazato..hmm...  pants. The lady who I'd be working with came with me to pick out a semi-dressy, semi-casual interview outfit since this position involves interaction with the community and outsiders. I also bought the black tunic designed to go with the pants but didn't wear it. I ended up wearing a black twin set sweater. I looked good, fashionable for a change instead of old hippie wear.

But when Jim got home he wanted to know why I was wearing baggy prison pants or pants that looked like I'd stole them from the set of "Beetlejuice". So much for fashion. I thought I looked good.

Dressing since leaving fundamentalism has always been something of an up and down roller coaster ride, a balancing act between me exhibiting my artistic side and expressing myself through my clothing and fitting in enough to have a job.

That was the big excitement of this week. Only other noteworthy thing that happened was some work intrigue I'll detail later this week and today. Got up this morning, oxygen levels in my shoes decided it was a lay on the sofa, crochet and gorge on Mad Men episodes. No church. Jim went to church, I stayed home and treated myself kindly. Bumper stunned toad on the sofa

That's another thing I've learned post-fundieland: when you aren't well you have to take care of yourself. Fuck everyone elses needs and expectations. You do what you need because everything else can wait.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Ain't Over Till This Fat Lady Sings

Yes, it snowed all Sunday night into Monday morning and then snowed light tiny snow flakes all day Monday. Which means another day with Jim and I stuck in the house, which was actually alright after all. I worked on putting together the final info to finish up our taxes and he worked on a book review edit for his job.

Spent part of the day reading the new Duggar book, "Growing Up Duggar" which is as poorly written, confusing and simplistic as the other Duggar books. I wonder who their ghastly..err.. ghostwriter is? I'm on chapter four and so far it's all parental control and thinking about boys, boys, boys and relationships. Plus lots of hyperbole about hating the way you look combined with a story about Michelle Duggar and Weight Watchers that puts lie to Michelle's own words about when she joined WW in another book. Most confusing, most juvenile.

The funniest thing about it is that one of them with give a speech about not judging others for their choices and then proceed to do just that! Even some fat intolerance in it!

The other thing I've been doing is hauling out all my old vocal practice tapes and CDs and blasting away. My new pulmonologist says that vocal cord control and deep diaphramic breathing will be the best way to help ease the vocal cord movement. So yeah, the fat lady is warming up to sing again.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Barbequed Emotions

It's been a rough few days, hell, let's really be accurate here, last week, what with the doctors appointment followed by ridiculous work problems compounded with my trip to the Duggar signing followed by this weekend.

Jim was gone all week to Florida, going down with his pals for a week visiting the baseball Spring training camps, watching ball games and doing whatever it is guys do together when women aren't invited. His absence just made the week more difficult.

Saturday morning our daughter Laura and her boyfriend came down to pick up a dresser and another bed for their household. After we went out to a local barbeque place none of us had ever eaten at. We were all eager to support it because of the owner's response to the troubles of a local elderly couple at our local McDonalds. He's giving them free meals every Wednesday in response to McDonalds silly offer.

You may have seen the news story online. Couple having an afternoon coffee at McDonalds while someone was cleaning nearby. It's not 100% clear if the couple complained about the sweeping or if the worker asked them if they were bothered by it but... they said something and the worker ran and got his manager, who told them they'd been in the restaurant thirty minutes and had to get the heck out. The couple complained to corporate and was offered two small coffees for their troubles and refused them. They wanted an apology, not coupons for free coffee.

Great going Bob Drumheller~

This is the same McDonalds where I witnessed a knife fight in the parking lot one afternoon between workers, called up Drumheller's complaint line only to be told I witnessed no such thing. It had been frustrating because I was trapped in the drive thru line and every employee abandoned their posts to go watch the action in the parking. Stay classy Bob.

The food was fabulous at the barbeque place. Enormous servings we could not finish. I brought most of my meal home and ate it over the course of yesterday and today. The coleslaw was to die for, make with coconut.

The big problem of the weekend and today is that because three weeks ago I got off all my allergy meds so I could be tested for allergies at Johns Hopkins. That week of no drugs means no build up of the usual stuff that keeps me afloat. I've been suffering ever since, but the last two days were positively miserable.

Jim got home late last night, we went to bed and then went to church together this morning. I'm struggling with my allergy muddling through when a lady I do not know sat next to me on the church pew. Immediately I could feel my bronchial tubes and vocal cords start closing up as the fumes of cheap perfume and cigarettes washed over me within the first five seconds of her standing next to me. I had to leave immediately as I was starting into an asthma attack. It confirmed to me that I do have vocal cord movement syndrome likely after all.

I spent the rest of the service sitting in the basement coffee room downing black coffee and drugs, trying to bring it under control. I was crying I was so distraught, disgusted, frustrated that after nearly seven years of dealing with this shit I'm back at square one again. The asthma reactions that are severe like this tend to make wreak havoc on my emotions This one did.

It also opened my eyes to what game players most of the people I'm going to church are now as it was pretty obvious I was having bad respiratory distress and only a few people asked me if I was okay and if they could help out. The rest were busy doing the social thing. Jim was worried about me, took me home after it became clear that I was going to have to go home, take my stronger stuff and sleep it off. I did and I'm better now.

Last week in Sunday school one of the ladies in the class told someone else who also struggles with an ongoing medical confloption "You look good!" I could not resist asking him if that phrase out of the mouths of folks that have no idea how hard the struggle you have is and how you're many times feeling like ten inches of shit when people are telling you just how 'good' you look. I think we shocked more than a few in the class by pointing out how counter productive this is to the chronically ill.

But what a cold bunch of motherfuckers there are at this church too. I know who my friends are now.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Cabbages and King Cakes

There have been no blog postings because I've been busier than that proverbial one-legged man at the ass-kicking contest. Work, Jim, NLQ, kids, church, you-name-it.

This is the first year in many that we didn't do anything more than eat King Cake to celebrate Mardi Gras. Usually we invite friends over and have a party the Saturday before with all the Cajun food and beads you can stand. Not this year.

I was really missing my father hard this Mardi Gras and it wasn't helped by the fact that my niece who works as a cameraman at a station in New Orleans kept posting videos from the Endymion, Bacchus and Zulu parades.

Of all the holidays my over the top father loved Mardi Gras was the pinnacle with Halloween running a close second. Every year for many years he had his beloved hotel suite on the main parade routes in the French Quarter. When he died back in 1999 one of the first things after the funeral that happened was the hotel offered the suite to my husband and myself. They thought perhaps we'd continue the tradition. No.

From all my childhood years I have many wonderful memories of my dad at Mardi Gras and I'm no partier.

I  really missed him this year.

Not much else going on, just the daily grind of work, home and life. This weekend I was busy issuing a big old "Up Yours" to winter by getting all of my garden and flower beds ready for spring. I planted all the bulbs for a beautiful front flower garden, pink peonies, lavender dahlias, fuchsia calla lillies and some purple feathery things the name of escapes me now. When it warms up I'll add blue forgetmenots, something white and some zinnias.

Put in all the cold weather hardy vegetables too, so many cabbages it's ridiculous.

It's warm today but tomorrow the temps fall and we get the frozen stuff again. The cabbages and leeks should be fine but damn, I am so sick of winter right now.