Sunday, May 27, 2018

The Greater Insult

I've had thoughts about any would be God like this video shows. It displays many things I've thought about including the idea that some religious teachings do not fit the reality of living in a universe with billions and billions of galaxies. I once asked here or elsewhere online, if a God existed, wouldn't he want real loving friends instead of bowing and scraping sycophants? Many people too question hell as the product of a crazed sociopath and not a being that is supposed to be more compassionate, knowing and loving then us.

"God" is this video asks, "Why do you worship someone who tortures people?" In my own conscience I was unable to worship a Being who sent most of humanity to suffer for eternity.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Red Roof House Painting for Sale

Email me here for the ebay link. :)

Acrylic 8x10, this one is a bit smaller. This was painted based on a photo a friend took.

Parents Sue to Evict 30 Year Old Son From Their House

I saw the comments on all the articles about this guy and I have determined this country is screwed. We have some people now who hate the young and who have absolutely no empathy and they seem almost proud of crushing younger people without jobs and no or little money under their heels. This  guy's parents denied him FOOD. Think about that. They were so eager to get him out, they wouldn't even let him make a piece of toast.

Many of these articles are used by the powers that be, "Look at this lazy mooch" to get the older rich people to vote for more Republicans, but it's getting sickening. He seems like he may have undiagnosed mental health or other problems that are not being addressed and that are worsening with age too. In this country, homelessness and more punishment seems to be the answer to everything.

He could have some severe depression and mental illness. This probably includes a lot of learned helplessness, anxiety and depression at the hands of sabotaging possibly narcissistic parents who'd rather spend thousands on a lawyer instead of anything to help him. One thing happening too is schools are failing to prepare young people. If your parent's are well-off suburbanites, who had a far easier ride, you aren't going to learn what it takes to survive being a low income person.

This population is divided in two spheres, the haves and have nots, and there's some age deferential here too, and the wealthier [usually older haves] have absolutely no empathy for the poor [mostly younger] people. The outrage I have seen expressed towards this guy, has been frightening.  Failure to launch in a world where they have made rent and just staying alive cost too much is a reality.

They really believe making this guy homeless is a SOLUTION. Well don't kid yourself, they don't care if you or I are homeless either.

I noticed his car is broken down too, so how does he get to any would be job? I doubt the wealthy suburban parents live on the bus line. I think he should gamble on the social workers and homeless shelter, it may suck but would be better then living with people who hate you so much, they've made you a public spectacle. He could get his severe depression treated too, where he could have hope in life. When I have seen him in videos he seems "off". Something really is not right. They should have spent the thousands in court for lawyer to evict him on mental health treatments or some kind of training program or help for him to get a job or to apply for disability if it is needed.

There's many young people suffering now, where they are called "losers" by cruel parents and it's destroyed their life. The same thing happened to me when I was young and sent my life down a bad road, and I had semi-professional jobs and a bachelors degree. That year where I had to move in during student teaching and right after college, stuck with me. It was pure misery as I was called a burden and a bum, even working in my case and paying some rent. In my opinion parents who do this to young people don't deserve to ever had a child. Their neglect and short-sightedness can send many a life off on the wrong path.

Honestly he needs to cut and run from his so called "family", and find some people who will give him a place in life, but this is going to take him standing up for himself too and not giving up, and getting help for a would be medical/mental conditions and try and get his own life.

 He seems to have internalized their abuse, that is why he still supports their abusive conservative Tea Party politics. Look up Stockholm Syndrome. When someone is told they are a bum over and over, sometimes they become a bum.

They are failures as parents and whatever problems he has, he needs to address. Mommy and Daddy aren't going to help him and don't care, and he needs to face facts. They aren't family either. They want him gone and he needs to get gone. Something is very wrong with a society that seems to want to eat it's young, and don't care if they can make a living and almost seem to have a celebratory attitude towards their "failures" as they kick the stool out from underneath them.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Peep Fiction #3

I tried my hand at some fiction to describe my life earlier on. With the graphic zines, I figured this was a redundant enterprise and focused on expressing things in drawn form, but kept the writing and decided I would share it here. Names have been changed to protect the innocent and GUILTY.

Budgie went away to college and loved art. She also loved the quiet. Even the parties of her fellow college students were peaceful silence compared to narcissistic bellowing. She recovered years worth of lost sleep and never went home on weekends. Everyone warned her an art major meant she would starve but sadly she didn't listen.

 Everyone was against Budgie studying art but business bored her and she had flunked Chemistry in high school and avoided Alegbra II like the plague, so the science fields were beyond her. Years later Budge would learn that those who could unravel the logic of math had far more chance of making more money.

 Budge was naive and didn't know yet that studying art education would make her poor, but she loved the field and everything about it. Years later students and co-workers would remark on how enthusiastic she was about art. Maybe if Budge had stayed healthy she would have been okay, and gotten a job teaching junior high art or gone on for a master's in art therapy. She was turned down at two schools as one of the top candidates but failed medical exams they insisted on because all it took was looking at her, to know her lungs were toast. She was still midsized in the low to mid 200s at this time.

In college, Budge started going goth, and listened to nothing but The Sisters of Mercy and the Mission UK, Andrew Eldritch thrilled her, though skinny boys like that who chain-smoked cigarettes ignored fat girls like the plague. She also added bands like Bauhaus and the angrier Skinny Puppy and Ministry that appealed to darker emotions that laid within her.

The color black filled her closet and she wore ankhs and a pentagram ring. Peep went to a Midwestern state school that was on the conservative side of her state. Already the ex-cheerleaders and far thinner daughters of evangelical Christians started rumors in her dorm that she was a Satanist. She couldn't afford the fancier, more liberal state college and by then you had to have a 3.8 to get instead of just a 3.45 to get in there. With the other girls in her dorm, their mothers loved them and came up to their dorm rooms to help them decorate, sometimes they would show up and take them out to lunches, or bring one of their siblings for a visit. They told her to avoid that weird fat girl who wore too much black and who "needed Jesus".

College was great though, Budge spent hours in her painting and printing labs, the basement of the art education building was her favorite place to hang out beyond the 4th floor of the college library where Budge read every weird book she could get her hands on with her informal self-led "major" in comparative religions and esoteric subjects. Up there she could be alone. She kicked back in the magazine room at the college reading "American Atheist" and "Freedom from Religion" newsletters and "Life" magazines. Budge painted normal subjects, but also a few strange ones. One professor was outraged when she painted a burning flag surrounded by hypodermic needles and told her she was being "too art school". Budge had a fascination with the Victorian era, and it showed in her art.

Budge would meet her millionaire friend who she would know for 30 more years. Sally was dressed in late 1980s long flowing dresses and tunics with leggings and lots of jewelry including endless pieces of amber that her wealthy relatives had left her. She talked about her trips to Europe where her aunt broke her arm and the constant litany of castles.

Sally's mother was as old as Budge's grandmother and already going lightly senile. She wore cashmere sweaters as she potted violets and cooked tasteless microbiotic food, and nagged her submissive family to death. Sally hated her mother's constant encroachments, but did everything her mother told her to do. It was strange to Budge how an old 90lb woman who oddly dressed like a bag lady despite her gobs of money could keep her entire family in check. Her mother was angry that her daughter had gotten such a fat friend, and called Budge out of earshot, "that fat blob".

Sally back then was fun and introduced her to things like PBS News Hour, nature and art centers and Unitarian Universalism, things that the Spyders had kept her from knowing about. Sally was cultured, exciting and had a giant New Wave, Punk and Goth music library that included lots of mix tapes. However, her new friend was kind of bossy and seem to hold an air of superiority over her, but she at least could hold an interesting conversation. Budge didn't know what "slumming" was yet. After all she was far friendlier then Midge was. Budge didn't have any friends in high school, or freshman year, so when Sally showed up. Budge finally had a friend or so she thought.

Later Budge had to return home to student teach and looked for a good full time job while working 2-3 others. That year, her health started to break. The Spyders worsened towards Budgie while she was in college. College cost too much. Mrs. Spyder went on shopping sprees while mortgaging the house without telling Budge and told Mr. Spyder that Budge was costing the family lots of money and was a "burden". While John went to the same school and never heard a peep about how much he “cost”, Budgie did all the time. They hated the fact she majored in art education. Art was Budge's salvation and gave her a reason to wake up in the morning but the Spyders didn't care. Art was for "losers" and she would end up a starving artist that would bring shame upon the family. Sadly realities of the American economy would bring the Spyder's curse against Budge into reality.

Budgie had long wondered if she was adopted, she didn't look like any of her family members. She was far bigger, taller and fatter then all of them. Her father pudged up at times but could lose weight at the drop of a hat on any diet. She didn't look like anyone else either. Her cousins wore bikinis and ate whatever they wanted. As Budge got older, her personality and interests diverged even further from her family. None of them cared about art, or history or music, or much of anything. At this time, her father called her "arty-farty" and smacked her for being "too idealistic". Even Tears for Fears was considered the devil's music. One was not supposed to be altruistic or plan one's life to help others, except when serving as a personal Cinderella to two spoiled narcissists.

Mimi grew to be just like Midge. Like the movie Single White Female, Mimi, decided to dress and act like her mother, who esteemed her highly. Midge would cut Mimi's steak until she was 17 years old and help her select outfits to wear, to the day of high school graduation. Mimi never rebelled like most teens do, but did everything her mother said. She never developed her own identity. She promptly came home from school, ate her goldfish crackers, watched General Hospital and yelled at Budgie to do the dishes and then spent her evenings watching television with her parents.

With her low grades, Mimi went to community college earning an associates and majored in graphic arts, turning in Peep's leftover state school art for her class requirements, while doing early 1990s graphics on computers. Her would be future career was erased by technology and average people learning Adobe but it didn't matter, her husband made 6 figures. Mimi never had to clean out a fryer, nor scrub pots and pans in a giant sink, or work during high school. Mimi read only Garfield comic books and only what teachers demanded. A 10-15 hour brief internship at a print company would represent the only job she ever held down.

Mimi never dated in high school. She showed no interest in romance and said "Boys were gross and yucky." Suddenly at 18, she met a 28 year old executive while sitting on the right bar stool, only two months after high school graduation. He was Catholic and looking for a wife. They got engaged only a month later. Her new fiance, Philip had a good insurance job and his own two bedroom apartment with posters of blonde women wearing sunglasses, all invariably draped over Corvettes and lots of brass fixtures. He got Mimi a new car. Budgie at the age of 21, was condemned as an old maid. Mimi was celebrated as a perfect daughter while Budgie was dismissed as a failure even as she was graduating from college with a bachelors degree. It didn't help that Mimi was thin and Budge was fat.

The wedding planning started in earnest. Budge's emotional abuse with the new Bridezilla and her Bridezilla mother skyrocketed. Mr. Spyder filled with rage at having to pay for a 25,000 dollar country club wedding with 300 guests to boot. Budgie was deemed as just being in the way as Mimi became the center of attention. Mimi gloried in her attention. She had snagged the ultimate prize a well-off husband who came with connections, a great education and a father who had been mayor for many years of one of the largest cities in the state.

Midge arranged a bridal announcement in the local newspaper. Her bridal shower was held at one of her new millionaire in-laws' homes. Mimi didn't wear makeup, dressed as mannish as Midge in Lee jeans and Nike sneakers, and wore her hair in a tight perm, and still somehow had won the dating game with nary a sweat. Budge wondered years later if the marriage had been arranged, it had all the earmarks. How did she meet a husband that old at a teen club held at a local bar? The question puzzled Budge, since the drinking age was 21.

Midge loved Mimi's new husband, he was a young executive, and best of all a Catholic. Philip made clear to Mimi, what he expected in a new wife. He told her to get her weight down for the wedding and to avoid eating bread and Cheerios. He lectured her on voice tone, he required that she not yell like her parents. He was pleased as Mimi thinned down and used her "inside voice" and rewarded her with a new car. Plans were made for the wedding.

Mr. and Mrs. Spyder got angry and called Budgie a failure for not being married first before her younger sister and told her she was too fat to find a husband. Budge was not allowed to date during high school at all as Mrs. Spyder screeched about teenage pregnancy and young “whores and sluts”. As Budge's classmates dated in high school and married high school sweethearts they meet at teen parties or church youth groups, Budge wasn't even allowed to talk to boys. What did she know about boys? Budgie was too shy to date and had no confidence left. Peep lusted for bad boys but was afraid of them, too.

When Budgie moved home from college her abuse worsened. Her parents screamed and complained about her downstairs. Budge's days lasted from 6:00 am to 11:00pm. She had to student teach and then work a night job as a telemarketer selling carpet cleaning on the phone. She paid 120 a month for a 8 foot by 10 foot room she merely slept in and never otherwise saw. Later, when student teaching was over, she would substitute teach, work a daycare job and a restaurant job too. Budge was exhausted.

The Spyders told her over and over she was lazy and good for nothing. Mr. Spyder downstairs talked about beating her up and throwing all her things out on the lawn all the time to Midge, who agreed. They didn't know that Budge could hear every word through the heating vent. Budge was frightened. She didn't tell the Spyders that she had just gotten turned down for two good teaching jobs and told that her health was too poor. Both school districts required a medical exam which she failed despite being one of the top candidates. Her door to the middle class was being firmly shut for good. Her mean parents would have blamed her.

In college, Budgie found out she was severe asthmatic. All those years of gasping for air, and being ignored in high school had taken a toll. She was on her way to COPD early. She had bronchitis several times a year and constant panic attacks from being unable to breath. ER doctors gave her constant doses of Prednisone, which she would duly take, but every pill seemed to fatten her up. Her lungs hurt, she gasped for air all the time and would throw up on the way to work, with inhalers being used constantly. She was allergic to smoke, mold, dust, and life.

Everyone else went through life cheerfully without their body ready to collapse at the slightest exertion. Budgie didn't know what to do. She had been left totally unprepared for anything to go wrong in life. The Spyder's envying her youth, would dismiss all claims of ill health and told her as she gasped for her air, "You just can't cope!" One day Budgie got a severe asthma attack, and could not breathe. She was too scared to call an ambulance for herself. She laid on the stairs gasping for air, and her father walked by and yelled at her. He didn't care that she was dying. He sniffed his nose in the air, and walked by ignoring her. She knew she was on her own, and crawled up the stairs, to get her inhaler, which she used. She knew she was very sick, but with her inhaler, somehow got the strength to get in her car, and drive to get a breathing treatment, which wasn't exactly safe but better then dying or gasping for air for more hours.

Budgie was around 70lbs overweight and Mrs. Spyder never let up. One day she snootily said to Budgie, "I'll pay you 1,000 dollars to lose that weight so you will be thin like your sister! Maybe someone will marry you before you turn into an old maid! We don't want you living here for good." Budge was paying rent and working all the time. Nothing was ever good enough. One day her father tried to hit her in the basement, on one of Budge's rare days off but she grabbed his arm. By that time, being hit was rare, because she had grown to be midsized and nearly 6 feet tall and the Spyders knew she could take them on. He ranted and raved, “All that college, and you probably will never get a job, you are too ugly and fat!” “Everyone hates your personality too, it sucks!”

Budgie felt a dark feeling inside, as Mr. Spyder railed against her personality and got angry that she had not joined the convent "since she was a lesbian anyway". Peep was sexually attracted to men but her homophobic parents constantly focused on her being a lesbian. With the mannish clothes and hairdos being forced upon her, she wondered why she wasn't allowed to date or have anything to do with boys especially now, as the Spyders railed against her lack of paramours. No wonder she was not marrying like all her high schoolmates and sister. Budgie had graduated from college and worked hard. As Budge watched her career aspirations vanish, and her family grow more abusive, her health broke. No one gave her a break. The world hated her as much as her parents did too.

Other girls were loved by their fathers. Budge wasn't. She realized they both were evil. There was no proms, or Daddy-daughter dances in Peep's life but endless days of housework, fixing cars, and digging holes in the year for the Spyder's constant landscaping projects. Budge's mother had never bought her a dress to wear on a normal day, or showed her how to paint her nails, do make up, nor any of the feminine things which were for girls who were petite, thin, sweet, nice and loved by their families.

Budge became depressed. Her life was falling apart. Life was nothing but low paid work, and nothing to look forward to. Everyone criticized her. Midge's years of smear campaigns, and put-downs were coming to full fruition. No one respected her. They all saw her as a "loser" even with her newly minted college diploma. Budgie was a young Aspie, falling further and further behind who knew inside she was not loved and accepted like other people, and who always had be on her guard. The quote "Hell is other people." fit Budgie's existence.

The pressure for perfect housework even among several part-time jobs pieced together increased. Budge was hectored not to read, she was told by both parents that her artwork sucked and she had no talent. They didn't want her to be an art teacher in the first place, but offered no other advice or possible careers for Budgie. The neat-freakery and weirdness only grew as Mimi grew into a prig of a girl who criticized her as much as her mother did.

Budge began rebelling more overtly in college. She had become a Goth, and started talking back. Since her parents held so much of the purse strings, Budgie could only push things so far. All those endless jobs only paid so many bills. She was not prepared for an independent life. Her wealthy upper middle class high school had scared her out of Vocational training, claiming it would mean low wage work for life. Budge had no life skills and the Spyders had planned it that way. Older Budge would regret just not walking out at 18 and not investing so much soul into trying to get through college, so she could get a good career. It didn't matter how much she fought, Midge always won and her father followed.

The wedding planning proceeded. No expense was spared for Mimi, who grew more intolerable. One day, Budgie went along for some of the wedding dress shopping--usually she was left out, and Mimi decided on her virginal white wedding dress with a big white bow on the back. As Mimi pranced with her thinner body on the wedding shop walkway in front of the mirrors. Mr. Spyder said to Budge, “No one's ever going to marry you, as I said, you should rethink about the nunnery. Let them take care of you.” The Spyder's didn't care that Budge wasn't even the right religion anymore to be a nun, they just wanted her gone!

Mrs. Spyder one day told Budgie, “You are too fat, you can't be in your sister's wedding.” Budge at the time wore a size 22-24. “You'll ruin the pictures”, Midge said. Mimi accepted this, and agreed with Mrs. Spyder. Inside, Budgie's depression and hurt grew. Budge's outcast status in her non-family would be cemented for good. Mimi gloried in her golden child status. God in the future would bless Mimi, with a huge suburban house, 4 children, an even thinner body, a trip to London and never wanting for a dollar. He ignored all of Budgies pleas for financial stability and threw another match to light hell up bit hotter.

A few months before the grand production of her sister's elaborate wedding, one day Budgie came home from work, and found a box in the mail addressed to her. It was from a company known for wedding knickknacks. Budge felt suspicious opening it because she had not ordered anything. Opening the box, she found a paper addressed to her, and a credit card number in her name she did not recognize.Then Budgie remembered, she had sent away for a credit card in the mail a few months earlier! Her mother had taken the credit card when it arrived in the mail, and used it without Budge's knowledge.

At the time Budgie had forgotten about her application thinking she had been turned down.Mrs. Spyder had stolen Peep's identity! Her shopaholic ways had taken precedence over everything! Calling the credit card company, Budge found out over $1700 dollars had been charged in her name. No one asked for this financial help, no one talked to her saying, "We are short on funds could you help us out?" Budgie knew she had to leave then. There was no other choice. Budgie was too afraid of turning her mother into the cops for stealing her identity. She knew her parents would lie about her, and maybe even make counter accusations. Midge threatened her that if she talked she would do just that.

When she confronted her mother, Midge said, “You owe me because we paid for some of your college!” Her father was no help. He believed Midge's lies and refused to even accept it had happened. Budgie said crying, “Why did you lie to me or just not ask?”. Budge ran to take a day off from substitute teaching and rented a room in a woman's boarding house in a neighboring town.

Budgie had gotten a part time art teaching job at a juvenile home, which was part of the recreation program for incarcerated youth and required working during evenings and weekends. She chose to commute 45 minutes three times a week instead of living too close to her parents. The day Budgie moved out, her mother was at work. However her father was home, having retired early; and he went ballistic, screaming and yelling, as Budgie had not told her parents she was leaving. She didn't want to be sabotaged.

Mr. Sypder tried to rip Budge's few clothes out of her hands, claiming he had bought them when he hadn't, ranting and raving about a blue chair she took, which that week he had announced he was going to put in the trash. He screamed at her for “stealing” things, grabbing at her, and throwing paint cans, as she hustled the few possessions she owned into her car and on the trailer she had rented. As Budgie made her final dash for the car, he ran after her shouting, raging and throwing more paint cans.

The wedding was coming very soon after this time. Budge planned to cut them all off, and no one had disinvited her from the wedding. For some time, she wanted to give a message in the way she dressed. She had been abused and put down long enough. The Budgie of today does not advocate revenge, and will pause here, to say revenge is wrong. However she does not regret standing up for herself and the spirit of rebellion against injustice.

Her Bridezilla sister and narcissistic parents had pushed her to the breaking point. She was a little afraid, but she decided she was going to wear all black to her sister's wedding as a Goth bride. She planned out the outfit and got herself a teeny black veil and black shoes with buckles on them, and a pentagram silver necklace. The dress was custom made made out of black lace. She had black gloves. She got a friend to wear black and to go with her. When Budgie showed up, her family stared, and their eyes bugged out. Mimi was surprised. No one said a word. After the initial shock, Budge's family just ignored her. Her plan had backfired.

Years later, Budgie realized only walking away and going no contact worked. The narcissists froze her out and circled the wagons. Even 27 years later, her grunting cousin would invite her to his wedding reception but not the church part of the service. Years later Budgie's father would bitch about her showing up in black at her sister's wedding but he never questioned or stood against the ill treatment that led her to come as a Goth bride in the first place.

Budgie cut off the family as planned for three and half years. They would not know where she even lived. She went “no contact” before knowing what it was. Sadly the therapists Budgie voluntarily sought out for her abuse, severe anxiety disorders and panic disorder, while admitting that she'd been seriously emotionally abused, told her to reconcile with her parents and family, to “work things out, “to forgive and forget”, and “don't be bitter”. They had all read pleasant John Bradshaw books, with hopeful tales of families healing and coming together as new best friends.

“Mothers always loved their children.”, many of these therapists said, not realizing this didn't apply to everyone. Budge heard plenty of excuses for her parents, that they were “under stress”, that they needed to be “honored”, and to realize that “everyone makes mistakes”, and “not to hold grudges”. No one ever defended her. Even there, they told her something was WRONG with her not to be loved.

Other relatives joined the fray, telling her "that's just the way they are", "you have to accept them for who they are", or "You don't want to live your life angry do you?" Others told her it was simply wrong to cut off one's parents no matter how badly they had treated you. In 1990, few knew about narcissistic personality disorder or sociopathy and if they did, it wasn't for a mere layman to address.

Budgie's therapists did not tell her about going no contact or how severe emotional and physical abuse can affect a person for life or about protecting herself or about drawing boundaries. She'd have to learn these lessons later in life. For years Budgie would blame herself. She was a “bad daughter”, “cost too much”, “shouldn't have gone to college”, “didn't get along with people”, “didn't make enough money”, “messed up the relationships.”

Budgie worried that she was everything they'd told her that she was, unworthy, fat, lazy, and worse. For many years she dreamed of the day she would be thin or average sized and have great job making lots of money where her parents and family would finally love her. That was a wasted dream. It is for all adult children of narcissists. But Budgie had enough fire in her at a young age to cut the chains, once upon the time. This time she plans to stay free.

Peep Fiction #2

Peep Fiction #1

Pain and Falling Apart Bodies Suck

 Try two hours of cleaning sitting down every 10 minutes and then a week of recovery

The gym is going good. I like going. I can manage a few minutes on the stepper, but the lifting weights part isn't bad. I plan to go tomorrow. For me, the gym is like recreation.  I have days where my COPD lungs are total jerks to me, and I have to push a bit, but some are better then others. One thing I have learned from going to the gym, is my stamina has WIDE variations even day to day in the same variation. People there have left me alone in peace. My husband has taken me on non-housebound days and exercises too, though he is able to do more cardio.

I'm worried though, my sugars have gone up, and well my body is either fighting an infection off or has one, and that is deeply concerning. This week, yeast came to play, and I get thrush and the other gross one all at the same time. I took Diflucan, and couldn't stand my own smell even. I don't get periods anymore but my body seems to be having some hormonal thing where, I get greasy, and oily during the YEAST week. It is so disgusting.

My glands in my neck have been swollen for weeks if not months. I have told the doctor, something needs done about this. My fatigue is getting out of control and so is the pain. This is not from the gym, if anything I feel a bit better after being there, but in general. This latest doctor said he would approve of doing a referral to a rheumatologist. Hopefully this is done when I see him next week.

I am kind of afraid though, so much does not make sense with this body. I'm trying to figure out what's wrong. I have not felt the same since I had those cold and viruses since December. It ruined my diabetes. 160 is a good day now. That's sad. Here's my questions for the doctors:

1. Why are the glands in my neck always swollen?

2. Why am I always so tired? Chronic fatigue has grown into a serious problem.

3. I almost got a fifth cold/flu [in 4 months] just a few days ago but fought it off going to bed. I was even starting to sneeze and cough.

4. I have had these weird fevers on and off. I just feel hot, even if it's only 60 degrees outside.

5. Some days I do things. Like today I went to a church community meal and tomorrow will go to the UU fellowship and then to the gym. We spend about 45 minutes at the gym. I try to visit the gym twice a week but I know housebound stuff will affect this soon but I will do my best. However a lot of days when I do something, it's bed for the rest of the day.  Most people would be shocked at my odd lifestyle.

6. The pain is getting more out of control some days. The gym isn't affecting this, it's happening even when I've been gone for a while. It is this horrible dull ache in every muscle, and in the neck, and even sometimes the joints join in. I start limping, and it feels like every step wants to make me collapse. One day everything hurt from top to bottom. It am almost sure I have fibromylgia, but never had that one officially diagnosed. Lipedema adds it's own pain of course, but it's all joining together in a symphony of pain that seems to be playing far longer and more often.

For years, I learned to hide pain around people. Now I realize I am not able to. They can pick up on it. By the way it doesn't help you become a social butterfly. Inside I am hurting and thinking, "Leave me alone", or "This is really a smile not a grimace!". 

One day, both thigh muscles, acted like they were "going out", which when you need to lift a giant body off from a couch is kind of a scary thing. My husband thinks I pulled one. It may be time for pain killers though I am not thrilled about being treated like a criminal under Trump's rules. I just can't block it out anymore. I have two choices, live in bed all the time to lessen the pain and get fatter and weigh 1000lbs by next year, or get up and be in pain, and feel like shit, to do things. So far I have taken the feel like shit, do stuff and collapse into bed path.

I wish I could talk to a counselor and say, "Hi, I am going crazy, because supposedly all this shit is my fault, and I am supposed to be "losing weight" and the magic of Keto--which I can't afford is supposed to save me even though I am cooking cabbage and foods like green bean and beef curry, and trying to eat as many salads and nuture bowls as I can afford, and I've tried you see all these years, but all people have to do, is look at me and the majority blame me."

 Yesterday was a collapse day, where I just stayed in bed from all the pain. I don't even remember yesterday except I got up to do necessary medical things, but I slept most of the day. My sugars skyrocketed the day before, I am not sure why. I was adjusting all the food but none of it worked. Either my meter is broken or something weird is happening. The rest did bring the sugars down to the 160s for fasting. Yes I remember those glory days when it was the 110s or 120s.

I had gone to a poetry event that a friend drove us too the day before. It was the first time I left the county in a year. When you are poor, a 40 mile trip is a big deal. We were there around 2 hours so the whole trip took around 4. It's like just living is making me collapse. 

My health seems to be declining a new level, it is kind of scary. It's weird because I joined the gym and liked that part but some weird autoimmune or immune system thing is happening and I am a bit freaked out. I get tired of doctors not diagnosing things and the onus always being on me to try and figure out what is going on. I fear being told "Oh you are only getting old, and you've been so fat, so long, and well we all thought you'd be dead around 15 years ago anyway.".

Today I took two hours just to clean about half the kitchen and make some stuffed cabbage. It still needs more cleaning. I feel like I can't keep up all the time and am always overwhelmed. I am not so sure constant pain does wonders for one's mind.

UPDATE ON THIS ONE: I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue and Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disorder. 

Monday, May 7, 2018

Belief in a Cruel God

Here's a strange thought I had the other day....
As I went into ACON recovery, I realized scapegoating was wrong, so why was I in a religion that glorified it????

I'm not here to tell people what to believe or not to believe, but I found myself wondering how a major world religion makes use of scapegoating as one of it's foundational teachings.

This is a point I would like to raise with Smakintosh, if he ever reads here anymore since I've become an unbelieving "heathen" but I don't want to trouble Christians too much, it's just something that occurred to me.

I still think if there is a God, He didn't have to require blood sacrifices to forgive sin, he could have just done it. Humanity is messed up enough demanding scapegoats and people to blame, instead of just solving problems and loving one another.

I have been feeling better like three ton weights have been taken off my back. I have been sick a lot but I am going to the gym, and doing art work and doing my best to enjoy life now too on the good days.

If I consider the idea of any higher power now, it better be a Being that has more morality and compassion then the average human that would never conceive of something like a sociopathic hell, or sending most of humanity there. Perhaps it is beyond our human understand why God is not able to intervene. I met some liberal Christians before who told me they didn't believe God intervened in this world but expected humans to help each other.

Certainly there are many world religions that explore these facets of God. Yesterday I was watching a show that was talking about Sikhs, and I guess the religion kind of reminded me of Bahai and also maybe some theistic Unitarians. One Sikh who was interviewed said they believe God was love. Someone told me on a deconversion board, that some Gnostics believe Jesus was sent to rescue us from Yahweh. There's many who do leave evangelicalism or fundamentalism but still have spiritual questions and thoughts. Many atheists and agnostics also consider questions as to why we are all here. They just don't agree with the answers we have been given.

I don't have to be blamed anymore for stuff going wrong. Before as a Christian they told me I had to strive and beg God constantly for healings, and a good proper American life and money. My mind has been freed from the burden of prayer. I have noticed how much of evangelical Christianity is focused on "fixing your life" and selling God as a life "fixer" or "improver". This goes beyond the prosperity gospel, there is the idea even for your mainstream evangelical Christian, you are supposed to be praying to God for some kind of help and seeing results, even intangible ones. I just never got any of those results. Of course for those of us whose hotline to the Almighty failed, because God is perfect, everything was our fault.

Honestly I never saw any evidence God was that interested in fixing anyone's life. I have thoughts that too much prayer is a safety valve for people who don't have the resources to help someone, but it's better to help someone if you can. Action means a lot more. Today I and my husband went to my food co-op, and it's held at a church in a poor area of town and I cracked a joke, when I saw the sign on their church sign..."God wants you to win" and I said, "Damnit, where's was my winning Lotto ticket?" The irony that we were there to get nearly free charity food, didn't seem to pair up with God wanting us to win. After all couldn't God give us more money? It disturbed me. We weren't there for any preaching only food, but the message that God is looking at people as "winners" and "losers" bugged me.

Religion has married self actualization American style. I read this book called "Selfie" from the library recently where he talked about everything becoming about achievement, and we now have this society of "perfection" that has oppressed us all. I can tell the evangelical and fundamentalist churches sell that all the time now. God was a vehicle for us to become "winners", not be broken down, poor, down and out, traumatized God was supposed to fix you. Many programs in these churches focus on fixing your finances, your marriage, your parenting, your work life and more. Perhaps this why the religious right God is so mean, "imperfection" is no longer acceptable in life, or in some areas of religion.

A giant burden was lifted off me, when I realized when bad stuff happens, it doesn't mean I am being punished. When evangelicals and fellow fundies subscribed every bad thing that happened to me due to some "evil" force that they seemed to say was contained within in me, it got wearing. Having religion stress you out too, as everything goes wrong, can suck. I wish I had been able to enjoy more of my life, not thinking I had to "fix" everything or have some kind of miraculous healing to prove my "worthiness" or worrying all the time about being "good" and/or "perfect".
I was tired. I wasn't seeing great religious results. Their promises failed me.  Satan and pals seemed to be winning on every front but then I had thoughts they were just handy fall-guys. The fundamentalist religion became like a comic book series between the hero and his nemesis, except Batman at least shows up to really help when you call on him.

 In looking at this world, I don't see much evidence Yahweh cares about humans at all, of course many come to the conclusion there is very little evidence of an intervening God at all.  Trying to be a "good Christian" was a chain around my soul. I felt like God was just another person in my life I was not good enough for. I saw no difference between Him, and my narcissistic abusers who told me, that I better do such and such, or receive their wrath. Some parts of the biblical story really make no sense to me the more I examine them. I wonder why did the devil rebel? If God was kind to him and everything was great what reason would anyone have to rebel? I don't buy the story now that the devil was just greedy, I mean after all as one of the highest angels in the mythology what did he have to be angry about?

The evangelical/fundamentalist Christian theology is an immoral system. Why does God only offer punishment and no rehabilitation after a short lifetime on this earth?  Even some human beings seem to have more mercy. Sadly the USA prison system has gone back to "punishment" but even in our history we had reformers who looked at "rehabilitation" and changing lives and in Europe they have prisons that focus on just that like in Norway. This means God's system is less developed then many prison system of human beings.

What does only punishment teach, but to tell a criminal to try and not get caught next time? It does not teach better choices, or higher functioning. It does not teach empathy. Sure if God was real, he should be able to rehab recalcitrant human beings with barely lifting a pinkie finger. Even with the sociopaths, who have no chance of reformation who love evil, God wouldn't have to light them on fire to scream for eternity, he could simply put them in their own place, to protect others from them, you know kind of like prisons do today with life sentences, no beatings or burnings included. Just protection. This means this God operates on a far lower level then much of humanity. That disturbs me. How is that a loving God?

When one leaves Christianity the thoughts about no more guarantees of heaven weight heavily. You do ponder the possibilities that this life is it. I having some remaining theistic leanings consider there could be an eternity of some sort but hopefully without a cruel hell for most people. So you get a short sojourn on earth 20-90 years of life, and then you have to pay for it for ETERNITY? How is that just?

I had the thought a truly enlightened Being, would allow human beings to learn and change. While Hinduism has problems, like the caste system, at least the reincarnation system gives second and third chances. Before my deconversion, I got in a weird mood and said to husband at least in those religions people get more chances.

If you think about it, hell is not really something that leads people to a rational choice. It turns God into a monster holding a gun to someone's head, actually a weapon worse then a gun, and using coercion to step up. How many assent to love for God and Jesus simply because they don't want to go to hell? A lot of my conversion centered around wanting to be rescued from hell's firey pit. Hell appeals to humankind's revenge fantasies, it tells me humanity has a few steps to evolve. I want to cry over the times I made people scared of hell too when I went "witnessing". I studied hell for a time and it was a mind blower to learn Judaism, even the Judaism of Jesus's time did not teach a hell as Christians are now taught. That came much later.

I also believe real love is impossible under force and have had strange thoughts if we did have some cruel god maybe it's pissed because no one really loves it and are just scared out of their wits. Oddly when I was a Christian, I could drum up a lot more love for Jesus, except his teachings on hell and a few other things, then I could for Yahweh.  When I got honest with myself, I realized I was actually kind of scared of Yahweh, and yes I had a lot of guilt about it. Remember I have read the entire bible, I know the Old Testament is full of God ordering people to be killed or doing it himself from the Great Flood to women, children and babies in multiple OT verses. 

I was taught in the IFB it's too late already, unless you "accepted" Jesus on your deathbed, you were toast, God wasn't going to face you and then let you in, you screwed up, and it was over. If you think about it none of us humans are given a real choice, we are coerced and the weapon is hell. There's no second chance. There's no going to heaven, seeing God and Jesus and apologizing for one's disbelief and getting a second chance.

Is a cruel God in fundamentalist and evangelical Christianity leading to more cruelty in our society?  When I was a Christian I did heavy bible study, and encountered the Old Testament verses where God ordered killings, and remember talking about this with other fundamentalist Christians. They would tell me, "God's ways are not our ways" or give me the God is mysterious comment. That stopped working. I realized something was very very wrong.  If humanity will accept a God that doesn't have even base compassion for little babies and people and has no problem burning people for eternity so wonder we have a violent and sick society.  One thing to pay attention to, is how cruel is someone's God? Do they believe most people go to hell? Or do they believe that God is love? These things matter. Our country is being affected now by the most extreme set of evangelical and fundamentalist Christians whose God, is definitely on the cruel side. 
 I am now an UU agnostic, but if I was to believe or accept a god it cannot be hell and death inventing and creating cruel Yahweh. Today I believe the Christian god is a human creation with all the faults there of, and here we see it's barbaric bronze era tribe roots. There are liberal Christians out there, who have beliefs that God "evolved" and the Bible definitely is not literal such as the fundamentalists taught me. They do see the Bible as a "human instrument" while I was taught that the Bible was 100 percent true, and supposed to be the guide for one's entire life and for facts about the world. Fundamentalist preachers told me God killed all those people in the OT, because they were tainted, were "nephilim" [that's some crazy stuff] and committed great sins, but how does that explain the little kids getting it in Ezekiel 9? 

There is some embarrassment in coming out of hard core fundamentalism. It's hard to even explain to more liberal Christians what I came out of and what I was taught. Sometimes I think I have shocked my fellow UUs, telling them there is a patriarchy movement in fundamentalist churches that teach men are in charge with no questions to be asked. In renouncing beliefs I held so strongly for so many years, people don't know what to make of you. You confuse them. They don't know what to expect. I kept silent except on this blog and support boards online about my deconversion. Some friends were told, but some were not. I moved away from an extremely evangelical and religious small town to a very religious place. Here it is the norm, people will invite you to their church or assume you are a Christian. 

In my case, I am no longer a Christian. There are things I still find worthwhile about the religion, I understand people seeking love, compassion and answers, that always will make sense to me. People are seeking and desiring love and answers. I understand all of that.


Peep Fiction #2

I tried my hand at some fiction to describe my life earlier on. With the graphic zines, I figured this was a redundant enterprise and focused on expressing things in drawn form,  but kept the writing and decided I would share it here. Names have been changed to protect the innocent and GUILTY.
When Budgie turned 13, the Spyders moved on her birthday yet again. This time they moved to another state Budgie had never been before. She cried when her parents told here where they were going and asked, “Why are we moving to the wilderness?” Peep was sick of moving and cried from leaving her friends YET AGAIN. She hid out in one's friend's attic only to get dragged out. Budgie knew running away with no money would not work. She asked one of her friend's mothers if she could move into their house, but "No" was the answer. How come no one wanted her and why was she always stuck with the Spyders? Budgie's birthday was blown off, as the Spyders moved from a giant hip urban coastal city to a blue collar Midwestern town in fly-over country. Her father would get a huge promotion.

Budgie's old classmates would never know poverty and would grow up to buy 700,000 dollar houses. They would become lawyers, engineers and doctors. Her classmates in her new town, had known each other since kindergarten and weren't open to new comers. They would all grow up by the age of 21 to marry high school sweethearts and be grandmothers by 40. The Spiders became bigger fish in a smaller town. Budgie's father appeared in the newspaper every time he got an award at work. The Spyders were in heaven.

Budgie and Mimi were dropped off at their first public school. For some weeks before moving into their 3000 square feet suburban home with 5 bedrooms in the wealthiest neighborhood in town, the Spyders had to wait for the house to be vacated. Mr. Spyder rented a cheap trailer on the outskirts of town, where the other kids went to the downtown inner city schools and drove them to their new junior high school in the wealthier suburban district. John Jr. started high school. The kids in Peep's new trailer park neighborhood were friendlier, and loved to play PAC-Man at the local convenience store.

Budgie sadly was dressed in very butch clothing. Mom had chosen a plaid flannel shirt, and Wrangler jeans that were way too hot for the early September day. Peep knew embarrassing worn patches on her pant's thighs would start up and she would be yelled at again. She missed her old school uniform already. Mimi wore her new Jordache jeans and Morris the Cat T-shirt. She had a Mork and Mindy "rainbow" belt around her waist. 

Budgie was scared to death about the new junior high whose very name "Highland" brought out giggling among it's small group of stoners, yet was five times her old Catholic school's size. Budge was not ready to be grossed out after getting her school schedule and doing battle with her locker. She walked into a room full of giant vats of formaldehyde which filled her new science classroom with fumes that made her head feel like a balloon ready to pop. The odor felt like it came from a horror movie. Her new teacher, who looked like Lurch, was bringing objects that looked like pink wrinkled dead babies out of the vat with giant steel tongs. Budgie focused her eyes through the fume and nausea,til she recognized the objects. They were dead baby pigs! The teacher was handing one to each student. They were supposed to cut these things up with razor blades to look at the guts. Budge ran to the bathroom, she had to puke and there was no stopping it!

The kids at her new school seemed to be really hung up on fashion and made fun of her jeans for not being the right kind. Wranglers didn't pass the test but Jordache did. Budge went to art class and then to choir class. She could not sing but since all the classes were full she was shoved into choir. That crazed choir teacher threatened to beat Peep with her giant wooden paddle with holes drilled into it for not singing seriously. She did not believe her when she said that was her real singing voice. Even the nuns in Peep's former state had been forced to put away their whips and rulers before Peep entered their domain. 

Budgie yelled "I won't take a butt whipping from you!" and ran out of the room. It creeped Budgie out that a woman who weighed 50lbs less and who was 4 inches shorter then her was going to attempt to beat her butt. Mr. and Mrs. Spyder as Budge got bigger, now would hit by surprise and punch her in the arm or pull her hair, rather then attempting spankings with a belt or being bent over and hit on the butt. They knew Budgie would fight back by pushing them away and the room would get torn apart. so they hit her by stealth. Budgie was taller then both parents by a very young age, and outweighed her mother by 50lbs. Mrs Spyder loved to slap Budgie, even when she thought everything was okay. Her father loved to kick her in the butt and punch hard on her arms, and pull at her hair.  She would approach her parents slowly trying to gauge their moods. Mimi was never touched, ever,  Mrs. Spyder worshiped her and Mr. Spyder wouldn't dare.

Budge would play "hookey" for the very first time. There was a pizza shop with a very nosy man outside the front of it. Budgie sat on the curb and contemplated her descent into juvenile delinquency on her first day of junior high school.

Budgie finally had her own bedroom in high school but barely got to see it, as she had to work, clean, go to school and make lunches. Every morning, Mrs. Spider laid Mimi's clothes out. and helped her get dressed and combed her hair. Mimi had her own personal maid and butler, even as Mrs. Spyder readied herself for the great middle class job her husband had gotten her at the government agency even thought she had flunked out of business college long ago. She made cakes, and salads, and spoiled her office mates while working a job that never seemed short on benefits or vacation time. Every female at the office dressed alike with curly short haircuts, and shirts with bows on the front of them and heels.

Budgie was on her own. No one told the truth about latchkey kids, that they were really were free maids and chefs for their parents. Budgie still loved to read but school was a drudge, she was always exhausted. The Spyders never let her sleep.  She was always busy and moving around but her body never showed it. It just seemed to want to get bigger and bigger, no matter what she did. This led to crying sessions as she tried on clothes and Mrs. Spyder insulted her for being fat. She just was never good enough and her big body was one of the main focuses. The ugly masculine clothes she was forced into at Lane Bryant's just made her more depressed.

The Spyders treated her like a mannishly dressed Cinderella. Mrs. Spyder told Budge because she was fat, she should dress like a boy. She was not petite or pretty like other girls who deserved to wear dresses and those jelly flats that Budgie craved. Budgie would cry about everyone at her homophobic high school calling her a butch and lesbian, saying "I need to dress like other girls and not always in tight jeans and sneakers.” Mrs. Spyder would get angry then and say, "They don't make nice clothes in your size, lose weight!" Shopping trips with Midge were a nightmare. She yelled at Budge constantly and called her ugly. Budgie definitely was not the daughter she wanted, Midge got that in Mimi who was her perfect Mini-Me. Mimi didn't care about clothes and dressed like Mom, but definitely had far more feminine clothing then Budge

Budgie hated her parents and had constant guilt-attacks imagining them both dying in a massive explosive bloody car wreck so she could be free. She wondered if she would end up in hell for thoughts like this as she read more books on witchcraft, atheism and mysticism from the library which she hid from her parents.

At school, the teachers and counselors always tsked tsked over teenager rebellion. Teenagers who didn't obey their parents were bad people. Teenagers who imagined both parents coming to a fiery end were even more wicked. Teenagers with all the food they ate and costs they incurred also were a burden to their parents. They were not supposed to drink, smoke pot or have sex. They were supposed to grow up and be good Republicans. High school prep rallies prepared the future sports widows and football nuts for conformity. She thought of applying for emancipation, but then some friends told her she had to be able to afford her own rent. She knew paying 500 a month for an apartment on part time salad girl wages at the local steakhouse wasn't going to cut it.

She wanted to go to college, not end up working in restaurants forever. She saw the other underpaid sad adults who lived in the projects and smoked a lot of cigarettes and held down two and three jobs and was scared of ending up like one of them. Budgie wasn't allowed to take the bus but she ran into working class and poorer people at her endless jobs. The Spyders were always yelling at her to not end up as a “loser”. “Losers” included Aunt June, who drank too much, lived at home with Grandma at the age of 25 and who worked at a nursing home. Another "loser" was cousin Rene who worked at a factory warehouse hauling boxes and lived with her alcoholic father--the abusive ex-husband of Aunt Maybelline, she had ran from years earlier. These were "failed" people who couldn't afford a suburban home, who didn't have nice cars, and who didn't have enough money.

One dishwasher who bragged of being in prison for assault, wanted to date her. He told her, “Fat girls are hot” as he ground against her in the salad bar cooler, but she turned him down. She liked bad boys, goth, punk or biker boys gave her a secret thrill inside as she imagined a cool boyfriend dressed in black, giving her father a middle finger, but she knew this guy was major trouble and probably would only get her pregnant, like all the other bad girls and “whores” her parents would make comments about. The nuns also told her to remain a virgin at all costs, and that men would just use girls to pleasure themselves and dump them by the roadside pregnant too. So she thought, "I have to put up with the Spyders for now, and just get myself through college then things will be okay." Little did she know.

Mimi ordered her around too, nit-picking at the lunches she was forced to make. Nothing was every good enough for her and Mimi had grown from a little girl who sometimes smiled into a neat freak-prig who resembled Midge in personality exactly. She wore her hair in the same tight curls that formed a helmet hairdo. Mimi ate only Honey Nut Cheerios and no one still was allowed to touch her gold fish crackers which were bought for her specially. Mimi never got fat even though she ate lots more snacks then Peep did and never went hungry. Mimi could eat whatever she wanted out of the kitchen and was never screamed at to "Get out of the Fridge!".

Mimi had a scary temper. One day she got mad at Budgie's brother John Jr. for forgetting to program the VCR for her and her mother's favorite soap opera “General Hospital” and grabbed a giant serving fork, the one used for flipping large T-bone steaks on the big gas grill outside, out of the drawer and ran at him with it. When he dodged the incoming weapon, she stabbed the wall with such force, it got stuck. Budge walked into the kitchen seeing the stabbing fork standing out from the wall, while her siblings screamed at one another.

This was as bad, as the fight John Jr and Mr. Spyder got into the other week, where Mr. Spyder started hitting John Jr so hard in the hallway bloodying his nose, Mrs Spyder threatened to leave. Budgie never got defended like that. Budge would find out years later that a psychiatrist had seen his sister at that time and would deem her as not having normal emotions. The Spyders quit going after one appointment, probably because the psychiatrist wanted to take a look at the entire family. It was the case of another professional dropping the ball.

Budgie took the bus to school. Her brother drove his newer Gold Trans-Am, that he got for his 16th birthday. He worked at McDonalds and had to pay the insurance, but when Budge turned 16, she got the 1967 Family station wagon that was 20 years old. She had to pay her own insurance, too. It was hard to get to work and school as her car stalled out, and her father would rail and rage against her every time she got stranded. This car often would need three sprays of starter fluid in the distributor cap just to start in the morning. Mr. Spyder would jump up and down and scream, "Give it enough gas!" and when the engine flooded and would refuse to start at all, he would throw a fit.

Budgie often hid out in the science hall bathroom to read. It was in the farthest reaches of the school and she was happier when no one came in. Her teachers were all rabid Reagan supporters and soon to retire burned out WWII veterans. Budge fell asleep a lot. School lunches weren't so great too. She was sick of potato chips and cookies. Green vegetables barely existed. She often ate her bologna sandwich for a protein boost in the morning. Her sugary cereal had a life span of maybe only 1-2 hours in abating hunger. Insulin resistance and future diabetes was already knocking on Budgie's door.

Pizza and french fries was a cheap but unhealthy lunch her school offered. Budgie drooled over the salad bar and hot meals but never had enough money to spare even with her part time job. Midge always had her hand out for car insurance payments, school fees, gas money and Budge was already required to buy some of her own clothes but according to Midge's tastes. French Fries dipped in mayonnaise were not a good healthy diet choice, 

Budge still got mad at school and fought her bullies and cussed them out but sadly the teachers agreed with too many of them that she was too fat, so she would be the one getting in trouble. Budgie due to her obesity, Aspergers and abuse faced a lot of social rejection. She was constantly rejected for not being someone else. Everyone wanted her to be a perky 100lb cheerleader, with smiles for everyone and big boobs and a low IQ. A sad fat bookworm girl wasn't loved by anyone. Budgie never tried to tell her teachers or counselors she was abused at home. The Spyders told her years ago that there would be a heavy price to pay if she called up CPS or told counselors the truth. Also because she never had burns or broken bones, and no longer got locked in her room, most adults would just see her as a “complainer”.

She already knew from dealing with the nuns, no one would believe her, or would tell her she was a "bad girl" and needed to obey her parents even more to keep them happy. Some people, like Allison, would pay some attention to her while bowling at her weekly league, but would ignore her in the hallways of high school. John Jr. told her "Don't get too close to me" and Mimi also would pretend not to know Budgie in school and got mad if she talked to her too much though Mimi was still bothering her and telling Midge to order Budge to help with her school work or commandeer her old school reports and projects for recycling. 

Budgie worked as a salad girl in a steakhouse. She was supposed to keep the 1980s-era lavish salad bar full with jello, salads, cut mushrooms, hardboiled eggs, green peppers, and homemade soups such as cream of mushroom that Budge made from scratch. Budgie made pink ambrosia salad with rice and marshmallow sauce, potato salad full of eggs and mayo, pasta salad, and hot rolls from scratch. Budge was an excellent cook, and people ate tons of food from her salad bars, but this was not a good job for a teen with a very low metabolism who liked to take a nibble or taste her soup to make sure it turned out. She held a career niche as a salad bar girl and prep cook and when the steakhouse with it's flame broiled steaks and giant baked potatoes went out of business, She worked salad bars at two other restaurants including an in house one at a Holiday Inn and a Big Boy.

Budgie liked cooking because it meant she could be left alone. Working and not having to talk to anyone was better. She would try to think of the most creative salads to create, and at one restaurant she was allowed to get artistic, with bronze molds of fish and wreaths meant for jello salads. Sometimes, when she came back from time off, she noticed the other salad girls were far lazier, the mushrooms would get slimy and the salads start going "off" since they never cleaned out the containers properly on the bottom and were too lazy to fill it with all fresh. Budgie fluffed the kale leaves that beautified salad bars years ago before anyone started eating it. Her jobs were hard and physically demanding, there was trash to pick up and during closing she had to empty, de-ice, drain and scrub down the entire salad bar and wrap everything up tight for the fridge for the next day.

Budgie's family in her teens was upper middle class but they were cheap. So while the country club teens in her neighborhood got to hang out at the pool or go to camp and wear designers clothes.  Budge just worked all the time like she was stuck in the projects and trying to get out. There was times she only owned one or two pair of pants that fit and school could get embarrassing. The other “rich” kids ignored her, since she was not one of them. The project kids acted nicer, but she lived far from their neighborhood and never could hang out with them.

She was tired and burned out by high school. The Spyders treated Budgie like Cinderella and when she got home 1am from cooking and cleaning, the next morning they would be shouting for her to get up at 7am to rake the huge 2 acre yard with dozens of giant trees, or clean or mow. John Spyder prided himself on a perfect lawn and did not believe in "resting", "fun" or "leisure", because everything must be kept up perfect to impress the neighbors. Beatings would ensue if a stick was left in the yard or if leaves weren't piled into plastic black trash bags "correctly".

After 8-12 hours of being smacked, screaming, and cussing and outraging the neighbors who often called the police when things got too noisy, the Spyders would tell all the kids, including Mimi who was resting her room after some light dusting and making cookies, to get cleaned up for 5:00 pm Mass. Both were indoctrinated into the view that missing a Mass meant hell. It never occurred to them that cussing out your kids might be a sin too.

 Budge could not accept a thin cracker wafer literally being God and got grossed out imaging "god" sliding down their red throats with their gross saliva being drooled on "him" en route to their stomachs. Budge didn't like the Catholic church. It reminded her of horror movies. She was an atheist by age 10 reading Thomas Paine, Mark Twain and Ingersoll books from the public library. Since reading “Late Great Planet Earth”, though Budgie had a fascination with bible prophecy and would sneak read the Bible too. When she asked questions about God, it just made their parents angry and they told her to shut up. Budge didn't know what to think of God after all she had been given a such a horrible family and He didn't seem interested in doing much about it.

Mr. and Mrs. Spyder wanted to sleep in until 8am on Sunday mornings and read the newspaper. Midge would scramble some eggs, fry round squares of hash browns, Bob Evans sausage and cinnamon rolls with orange icing.  Housework and more chores and endless household projects, where they had to hand tools to Mr Spyder, would then ensue. Escaping to friend's houses or outside was nearly impossible.

Budgie went to a hotel party her brother held. Her brother was more popular but his friends put him down a lot. She never fit in. It troubled her. Kids even out of school called her a weirdo and spaz during her thinner times. Drinking seemed really fun to her classmates. They always seemed eager to laugh at each other's jokes while she cracked a thin-lipped smile wondering what was so funny. When she used to attempt jokes, the rooms would screech to silence. Budgie slowly drinked her beer which tasted like pee without ammonia. Betsy bound in the room. The Spyders loved Betsy because she was always complimenting them. She had latched onto Mimi and tagged her home to kiss parental butt like Eddie on “Leave It to Beaver”. Betsy had dark dead blue eyes but always a wide smile with big teeth like Cheshire Cat. The Spyders always called her their "second daughter" leaving Budgie suspiciously out of the count.

Betsy was supposed to be one of Mimi's friends, but Mimi seemed to pick up friends that became her parents friends as well, Betsy would stop over and come to visit like a Pippi Longstocking sent from hell to torture Budge. Budgie's parents would turn to her and say "Why can't you be more like Betsy, she's so happy why we got to put up with your constant pouting!" Betsy would grow up to date old men including one boss who was 30 years older. She married that one after he left his wife, only to dump him for a man only 20 years older, when he got too sick and his retirement didn't add up to his previous pay. Betsy always got her needs met, just like Mimi and Midge, but with more smiles and jokes.

Louie drank his beer, he was another popular guy full of jokes. Mimi and John Jr. were there as well as his friend Chuck Coughalot. Budgie wondered what was she doing there? She was nice with her usual tight smile but no one seemed to take an interest in her even as she tried to talk and be friendly. Socially she noticed how everyone was the same, they were so happy, so spontaneous and so at ease. Even her sister threw back and laughed out loud after a couple drinks. Her brother flitted around the room bragging about his car and T-P exploits.

When Budgie was 13-15, it was the era of Aunt Maybelline, right before she began her restaurant jobs, Aunt Maybelline moved in. Aunt Maybelline had been found after disappearing for over 6 years. She had married her father's younger co-worker at the chemical munitions plant, and he had taken to beating her, even after they had two kids. They lived at home with her parents, but neither lifted a finger to stop his drinking or domestic abuse. Wives were supposed to do what they were told. Mr Spyder did his wife's bidding but openly in front of Budgie and the other kids, would say of his older sister, “Well she had what was coming to her!, she's crazy! He was just trying to knock some sense into her.”

Budgie looked at Aunt Maybelline, and decided if she had gone crazy, someone had made her that way. She always seemed nervous and smiling and would say things like “Let's be happy now.” She was always trying to soothe feelings, and would giggle a lot. But sometimes, things got scary. One time, Budge was sitting at a family meal at Denny's, the Spyders had gone to the bathroom, and Maybelline whispered in Peep's ear, “The Mafia's coming after me.” She shakily emptied around 5 blue bills into her hand from a prescription bottle. and took all of them. Maybelline seemed to change personalities too, she would act coy and laugh, and try to be overly friendly but in the next minute switch to a hardass complaining about women trying to steal her husbands. She was a product of 1950s New Jersey culture and a cold family.

Maybelline was taught to worship John. She was told she had to play the accordian at his 7 year old birthday party where the whole neighborhood was invited. Her parents never had a party like that for her. John could do no wrong and he was a math whiz always getting rewards for straight As and perfect in his parent's eyes. He was a boy, and would one day be the man to carry the family name while she was just a girl. John put down Maybelline constantly and this did not change.

To escape her abusive husband, and parents who never stood up for her, Maybelline one day, just decided to hit the road, she figured her two kids could be taken care of by the family, they were teens. She was tired of black eyes and getting shoved around. She just wanted to escape.

The Spyders always told Budgie that Maybelline was a wicked woman for abandoning her children, but even they admitted her husband beat her. Peep wondered inside why no one stood up against her husband and told him to stop hitting her. When Aunt “PeeWee” moved in, with her bad nickname made up by the family trained to degrade others, Budgie was kind of scared of her. She was always laughing and she kind of wouldn't listen. Her eyes would blank out. She carried little baggies of pills in her purse, and seemed to live in another reality. Her eyes were glassy all the time. Budgie could tell she was petrified of Midge and John too.

Aunt Maybelline, had disappeared for six years, and when she got desperate, in poverty and after being widowed, she called on her brother for his help, instead of ending up homeless. She had hit the road, and hitchhiked with truckers to escape her life in New Jersey to the absolute middle of no where in Budgie's fly-over state. It was “Wilderness” where Maybelline ended up.

Midge and John had piled the kids into the car, to drive up to Aunt “Pee-Wee's”. There seemed to be great consternation about their discovery that Maybelline had married a black man. They weren't exactly free-thinking people, Midge forbade Budgie from playing with the black doctor's daughter down the street in her own neighborhood. You would have thought Budge was in the deep South with her parents ready to put on pointy hoods the way they talked about Maybelline's husband. Budgie inside thought it kind of romantic, that Maybelline had escaped and found someone to save her. Anyhow her husband who was a trucker had died. Maybelline was left with only a small truck and a very little money, since his children had been left his small trailer and the pig farm. Maybelline had gone “no contact”, disappearing from her family to marry and enter a new life.

The Spyders drove up the trailer on the muddy road arguing along the way. Midge expressed disgust with the rural area, the poverty and everything else. She didn't like poor people too much even though she had grown up on a dirt farm herself in Ohio. She told Budgie and her siblings, on rare occasions when she had a few glasses of Sangria of how she had to go without shoes and ate popcorn for dinner. Poor people pissed her off and were “losers” and they were all to blame. They weren't “winners” like she and her husband who worked so hard. Midge and her favorite narcissistic brother were budding Tea Party members.

The deceased trucker's family members came out to say hello, from neighboring trailers and Midge with a furrowed brow sunk inside the car. “Ignore them”, she said. Maybelline came to the door giving a shell-shocked wary smile to the Spyder family. “Hi-ya!” The trailer was in horrible shape and had become a possible site for the future show Hoadrers, with piles of trash piled up. Bottles, piles of dirt,  rags and newspapers lay scattered all over the floor.  Obviously her grief and new loneliness had pushed Budgie's aunt over a new edge. Budge walked gingerly in behind her father, and her mother was there too.  The two adult Spyders yelled at her, "What in the hell happened here?". She didn't respond.

Maybelline then laughed and said, "I made youse lunch!, it's in the oven!" Mr Spyder handed Budgie an oven mitt, and said "Go see what roadkill she made for us!", Budgie was scared but went over to the oven, and opened it, and in it was a ROTTEN PIG'S HEAD! It had been cooked, but was at least 3-4 days old and left unattended. It's eyes bugged out, it's ears flopped. Flies poured out of the oven. "It's still good!" Budgie's aunt cried. Budgie in horror, this was worse then the baby pigs at school, literally swooned across the table and almost passed out. Mr. Spyder yelled at her, "What in the hell is your problem?" but took a few steps closer and looked into the oven. 

Aunt Maybelline would be committed by her brother to a psych ward. That would happen twice in the few years that followed. Budgie remembered mutterings about speed induced schizophrenia. She speed loaded diet pills to remain under 200lbs. This definitely wasn't the full picture. Psychiatrists didn't know much about narcissism or sociopathy back then or the severe affects of abuse. No one in the 1980s was warned about personality disorders. 

Budge knew she had two aunts on both sides of the family who were deemed “losers”. Another one would become a hoarder and disabled by by age 30. Maybelline knew how to hustle and survive better most of the time, but wasn't all there. Both were put down by the rest of the family mercilessly just like Budge.

The Spyders had no mercy for things like mental illness. Maybelline, was an “embarrassment”, “evil”, and a “burden”. If someone died, you were supposed to just move on with life. The Sypders didn't ever grieve or cry when someone died, they just went to the funeral with some restrained phony smiles, and then the dead person would “disappear”, never to be spoken of again. Maybelline had broken the cardinal rule of Sypyder-hood, of having a few emotions.

The Spyders yelled at Budgie for being too much like Maybelline. Peep cried, and had emotions but she knew she was nothing like her aunt who desperately wanted to fit in and wore thick social masks, that an Aspie never could manage. The Spyders hated Budgie's differences, and threatened her all the time. A quiet, shy, emotional daughter with feelings was a burden too. They threatened Budge with shoving her into an institution. She didn't conform enough to please her parents. If it had been the 1950s instead of the more enlightened 1980s, Budgie probably would have found herself in one for life. 

Budgie would go to the library and read books like “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden” to see if she was as crazy as the Spyders claimed she was all the time, but she didn't have hallucinations like that girl, nor take drugs like Maybelline or go into hysterical laughter. Budge had building anger inside but was too scared to express much of it. She also was quiet and dutiful at school with a 3.4 grade point average. Budgie hid her terrible OCD and extreme panic attacks that caused her feelings of derealization. Knowing her mean parents, would use the smallest excuse to drag her off to the huge stone psych ward in their medium sized city, she kept her mouth shut.

Later Aunt Maybelline would be let out of the psych ward, and would be “stabilized”. She gained weight and seemed to like eating more after her psych ward stays were over. Budgie would spend a lot of time with Maybelline when she was moved into one of the trailers at the trailer park, the same one the Spyders had lived in before moving to their mammoth house. Even though Aunt Maybelline was “crazy” and “bad”, her company was preferable to the Spyders. 

Budgie's aunt would make her hamburgers and fried onions to go on top and would give her lots of old Globes and National Enquirers to read. Sadly Maybelline was too messed up to ever stand up for Budge. Her mean relatives had led her to crack up. She was scared of Budgie's parents even more then Budgie was, and did everything she was told and tossed Budge under the bus at a minute's notice. 

Aunt Maybelline would disappear again and run away. When Budgie turned 15, her only company away from home vanished with nary a word. Budge wouldn't know of what became of her aunt until almost 20 years later. Then she had married a wealthier Italian savior who moved her to Spring Break land in Florida into a huge rancher just blocks from the ocean.