Monthly Archives: April 2012

Funny How a Melody Sounds Like a Memory…

I really don’t want this blog to turn into “1001 stories about how Kalypso’s fucked up in the head”, but I have to tell you all about something that happened over the weekend.

My sister, C, and her husband are currently stationed at Fort Hood.  Which is awesome, because they’re only two hours north of us and I can go see my monkeys any time I want.  So, I went up there on Saturday, spent the night and went to go to a concert with C, her husband B, and Monkey 1 and Monkey 2 (G and T, respectively), on Sunday.  Now, the kids at 6 and 7, but they had a blast.  It was a really good show, too, Man Made Machine, Halestorm, Staind and Godsmack.  And I was having a blast through the first two sets.

So, to give you a little bit of background, I’ve lived in Germany twice, from 2003-2007 and 2008-2011.  When I was there the first time, a LOT of shit went down.  I spent 2 years taking care of war-wounded soldiers coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan, I got married, I lost three babies, I got divorced.  I tried to kill myself a couple of times.  I got thrown in the mental ward for “observation”.  I know I’ve mentioned my official PTSD diagnosis before.  It was a rough couple of years.  I was also listening to a LOT of rock at the time.  C and B were stationed there too, we were always hanging out and C was always listening to Staind.

Fuck.  I’m still not telling this story right.  I’m sorry, guys, I suck at this.  I should mention, before I go any further, that music has saved my life.  When I was a teenager, I fell hard and heavy into love with Punk Rock.  It was proof to me that I wasn’t the only one who felt so out of place, felt so uncomfortable in my own damn skin.  It was proof to me that if I could just hold on, I would find the place where I fit in, where I wasn’t a freak or a loser.  I would find the place where I felt OK, felt like a real person, instead of feeling like I was trying to puppet a life that didn’t belong to me.

And I did, I turned 16, got my driver’s license and learned how to mosh.  I found a whole society of people who loved me, accepted me.  A whole society of people who welcomed me.  Who were just as fucked up as I was, struggling with a lot of the same shit.  And for the first time in 10 years, I was able to breath again.  I felt normal, whole, unbroken.  

So needless to say, I tend to form really, really strong emotional connections with music.  Songs can reduce me to tears, make me feel like superman, remind me that life is beautiful and precious.  And sometimes, they can kill me.

So, back to where we started.  I went to this show on Sunday night with C, B and the kids.  And when Staind came on, I was OK for about 3 minutes.  Then the lighting technician decided that a solid minute of strobe lights pointed RIGHT AT THE AUDIENCE was a good idea.  And I started to hyperventilate.  And all of the shit I used to feel every single day came flooding back in.  Worthless, broken, useless.  It didn’t help that it was HOT inside that arena.  And I started to panic.  Once it started, I felt like the room was getting smaller and smaller and so I ran.

I ran up the aisle, out the door, through the lobby and into the fresh air.  By the time C caught up with me I was crying and hyperventilating and shaking.  My nails left bruises on my palms from the firsts I didn’t know I was making.  I sat outside with my head between my knees, intending to stay there until I could breath again.

and that’s when the cops showed up.

Random Sheriff’s Deputy: Is she OK?  Ma’am, if something happened, we need to know.

C: No, nothing happened, she’s fine, she’s just having a panic attack.  She doesn’t do well with crowds or flashing lights.

Random Sheriff’s Deputy:  Are you sure nothing happened?

Me: (from between my knees)  No, I’m fine, I just needed to get out of there for a minute.  I’ll be OK, I promise.

Random Sheriff’s Deputy: Ma’am, are you sure?  You were really red and really crying when you came running past us.

Me: (peeking up from between my knees) No, really, I’m OK.  Well, I’ll be OK.  I just need a minute.

C: She’s got traumatic brain injury.

Me: (Looking at C, thinking “REALLY?”)

Random Sheriff’s Deputy:  Oh.  Are you prior service?*

Me: Yeah.

Random Sheriff’s Deputy: Oh, me too.  I totally know how it goes.  I don’t do well with crowds either, any more.  That’s why I’m up here in the lobby instead of down on the floor “working”** and watching the show.

Me & C:  Um.  OK.

Random Sheriff’s Deputy: Well, you ladies have a nice night.

Me & C: … (look at each other and shrug)

Me: Let’s smoke a cigarette and then go back in.

C: Sounds good, sissy.

It was a little surreal, to say the least.  But I calmed down and then we went back in.  Monkey 2 sat on my lap for the rest of the show and holding on to him kept me calm enough to enjoy the rest of the concert.

* For those of you who don’t know, “prior service” means “having formerly serviced in the armed forces.  It’s a slightly less nerdy way of asking of someone’s a veteran.

**Yeah, he actually made finger quotes.

————————————–

You know, I don’t want to end this post like that.  I want to talk about why I’m OK with what happened.  When I was in Germany the first time and I was severely depressed and not handling things, I was also numb.  I’ve had a 15 year addiction to self mutilation (I’m a cutter) and I got really, really bad in Germany.  That’s the reason I was thrown into the psych ward.  But I loved cutting.  I still do, I miss it more than I can say.  I miss the sting, the blood, the pain.  And at that time in my life, I needed the pain.  Because at least I was feeling something.  It beat going through life on autopilot.  It was better than feeling fake.  Completely unaffected and unable to process anything.  Like it wasn’t happening to me.  Or I was watching from outside my own body.  The pain brought me back to center.

I haven’t cut in almost 6 years.  The last time I cut myself was the first time C ever found out about it.  And she told me “I can’t have my boys around that kind of shit.  You have to choose, cutting or your nephews.”  And I didn’t even have to think about it.  I still miss it, I do, but I know I’ll never cut again.  Those boys mean too much to me to risk losing them.

The reason that I’m OK with having a panic attack once or twice a year is that I’m at least FEELING.  It sucks when it’s happening, but I’ve got good friends and good family and an amazing husband who all know that my anxiety is usually situational.  They all know that as long as I can GTFO for a few minutes I’ll probably be OK.  And at least I don’t have to drive a knife into my leg to calm myself down anymore.


*sigh* It never fails

Every Damn Time I get my shit together to go out to Viking Archery and get my arrows fixed, I immediately break another one the next day.

Maybe I should start at the beginning…

So, are you familiar with the term Robin-Hooding?  If you’re not, let me enlighten you:  Robin Hooding is when you place two arrows to close together on a target that you cause damage to one or both.  The most classic illustration of this is when you split one arrow with the second.  Well, on Tuesday, I Robin Hooded my first arrow.  But here’s the thing, I use aluminum arrows.  And instead of splitting, they break at the point of impact:

Son of a BITCH! I know they're only about $6 a piece, but I'm an unemployed college student. I don't have any money. 😦

So Tuesday’s pretty uneventful, but today I got my shit together and made a run out to Viking Archery.  It’s 3o miles from my house to the shop (one way) and getting out of San Antonio is a huge pain in my ass no matter what time of day it is. Don’t get me wrong, I love going out there because the shop is worth the drive, but it’s still a huge inconvenience.  So I drive out there, I chat with the boys who work up there, they cut down my one arrow (they were cut long to being with, 27″ instead of 25″), I replace all the field points on my full quiver and I come home.  I get home around 3pm and immediately go out to the garage and shoot for about an hour.  And in the beginning, it’s all going really well.  While my accuracy still leaves something to be desired, my consistency is improving by leaps and bounds.

Three right in a row, second quiver I shot.

Bam! Said the lady.

But then the unfortunate happened.  I fucked up two arrows in a ROW.

And these weren’t clean, pretty breaks like the first time.  These are ugly and mean.

Ouch!

One of the arrows is OK, it can be cut down an used again; the break occurred right down at the end of the shaft, where the insert (that holds the field point) ends.  I’ve lost maybe in inch of the shaft, which was cut 2″ longer than my draw length anyway.

See, that's not so bad!

The other?  The other is well and truly fucked.  I’ve lost about 4 inches of shaft and now it’s too short for my draw length.

*Sigh* Really?

And yes, I do realize that this is the only situation in which I could say “I’ve lost 4 inches of shaft” with a straight face.

And honestly, it’s really not that big of a deal, I mean, I can buy a whole new quiver (12 arrows) for about $75 after tax.  But that’s not really the point.  The point is, this is why we can’t have nice things.


They say that geek’s becoming chic…

Well, since i can’t concentrate on my homework that’s due in 2 1/2 hours, I figured I’d write a little.  Since I can’t get this out of my head by continually thinking about it, so maybe if I put it down on digital paper, I can get rid of it and complete my schoolwork.

See, the problem is that Geek & Sundry, Felicia Day‘s YouTube channel, released a new video a couple of weeks ago.  It’s a music video from her work with The Guild. For the uninitiated, The Guild is a webseries that Day writes, produces and stars in, loosely based on her obsession with World of Warcraft.  The song (and the video) is called (I’m the one that’s) Cool and it’s effing FANTASTIC.

Watch the video, I’ll post lyrics after the jump.

1ST VERSE:
Oh, no. Don’t pretend I didn’t see
You roll your eyes at my gaming tee
Don’t know if you can read or if you’ve seen
The sweet piece in this week’s Wired magazine
The latest trend has hit its peak
They say that geek’s becomin’ chic
So now you’re out of style as you can be
And I’m in vogue, so you can bite me

CHORUS 1:
To all the ass-hat jocks who beat me up in school
Now I’m the one that’s cool
I’m the one that’s cool
To all the prom queen bitches thinking they still rule
Now I’m the one that’s cool
I’m the one that’s cool

2ND VERSE:
Try to cop my style but I’m the real thing
While you played sports, I played Magic the Gathering
Never earned your part of nerd society
My Aquaman pajamas prove my pedigree
Watched my Next Gen every night
Wore a headgear to fix my overbite
Your black-rimmed glasses are prescription free, where as me
I literally can’t see my hand in front of my face

CHORUS 2:
To all the asshat jocks who beat me up in school
Now I’m the one that’s cool
I’m the one that’s cool
To all the prom queen bitches thinking they still rule
Now I’m the one that’s cool
I’m the one that’s cool
And to my eighth-grade crush who pushed me in the pool
Now I’m the one that’s cool
I’m the one that’s cool
You may be tan and fit and rich but you’re a tool
And I’m the one that’s cool
I’m the one that’s cool

3RD VERSE:
Role reversal must be a total drag
But there’s no point, no point for me to humblebrag
I appreciate you for being cruel
I’m burning bright thanks to your rejection fuel
Got my in-jokes you won’t get
Like Honey Badger, Troll Face and Nyan Cat
So now your ballin’ parties seem so dumb
You can Evite me, and I’ll say yes, but I won’t really come

Got my comics
Got my games
All the things you thought were lame
Got my cosplay
Fanfic too
Got you pegged
STFU

(CHORUS 2)

I’m the one that’s Cool x4

Now, I’ve talked a bit about high school before, but I’m gonna do it again.  I Love This Song.  I LOVE THIS SONG.  I love this song for many, many reasons.  I tried to explain to Husband why I love this song so much and he just didn’t get it.  But then, if you ask him about high school, all he has to say is “I was a ghost in high school, I was invisible”.  Well, I, for one, am incredibly jealous of that ability.  I am not a … well, I’m not invisible.  For all of my faults, all of my inherent shyness, I am a person that gets noticed.  These days, it’s because I’m covered in tattoos and piercings.  Or because I’m smart.  Or because I’m outspoken and opinionated.  Whatever.

In high school, however, it was a different story.  I’m not going to rehash my history getting gay bashed, but I do want to talk about the intense bullying I experienced because of being a huge nerd.  I’ve never hidden the fact that I’m a huge geek; I was raised on Monty Python, Star Wars, Star Trek, Fantasy novels, Sci-fi, dungeons and dragons.  And it SUCKS being told that you’re a freak, a loser, less than nothing because of the things that you like.  Even at 28 I experience the same type of discrimination and bullying.  I’ve had other “adults” (and I use that term very loosely for people who engage in such immature acts) say things to me like “Why do you play RPGs? That’s for losers.” “Why do you watch Doctor Who? Jersey Shore is so much better. Doctor Who is weird, like you.”

And as weird as it is, I still let it affect me, sometimes.  I’m much better at laughing it off now, I generally only end up in tears when someone I love makes hateful, hurtful comments.  Acquaintances and strangers are generally either ignored or educated.  And I’ve noticed that a lot of the time, these people don’t realize that what they’re doing is bullying.  They think that expressing their opinions in hurtful ways is perfectly OK.  Now, I’m not sitting here trying to advocate suppressing people’s opinions, but there’s got to be an appropriate way to express those opinions without being hurtful.

Anyway, I’ve digressed.  What I really wanted to talk about on this post is the lyrics of (I’m the one that’s) Cool.  “To all the ass-hat jocks who beat me up in school” “To all the Prom Queen bitches, thinkin’ they’re still cool” “To my 8th grade crush, who pushed me in the pool” “You may be tan and fit and rich, but you’re a tool” “Now, I’m the one that’s cool” “Role reversal must be a total drag” “I appreciate you for being cruel, I’m burning bright thanks to your rejection fuel”.

 This song is a survivor’s anthem. This song is all about how all of that shit truly just makes you stronger, makes you better.  It sucks ass when you have to go through it, but it makes you so much more in the long run.

This song means so much to me.  I cried the first time I watched the video.  It was a small grain of proof I’ve needed so desperately my entire life.  Until about 5 years ago, I always felt uncomfortable in my own skin.  Always felt uncomfortable, like I didn’t belong, in the societies I was trying to live in.  Always felt like there was something inherently wrong with me because I didn’t fit in.  And this song is one small glimpse that I’m not the only person who felt like that.  I’m not the only person who had to wait until their mid 20’s to hit their stride, to feel like a normal, functioning human being.  It’s a glimpse that maybe I wasn’t broken, all those years, after all.

And sometimes, I need that glimpse more than I need the next breath of air.


Oh, Silly Boy…

Emailed a friend a couple of days ago saying something along the lines of “Hey I have a favor to ask of you, but I want to ask you in person.”

Then had this conversation with him via messenger:

Him: What was the favor you wanted to ask? I’m curious.

Me: I have to interview someone for my final project for psychology. I’m gonna be in Phoenix for the first 2 weeks of May, I was hoping you would let me interview you then.

Him: Oh is that all? I figured you were going to ask me to be a sperm donor or something. heh. Yes, I’ll happily submit to a psychological evaluation, but I should probably warn you about the last person who tried to interview me.

Me: Hahahahaaha! no, silly. You’re the last person I would ask for sperm. If you and I bred, those kids would take over the world.  Why, what happened to the last person that tried to interview you?

Him: Yeah. We’ve read Beowulf. We know how it would go.

Me: exactly.

Him: Oh, nothing. I was just trying to sound ominous.

I love my friends.