Lethal Poison And The Scorpion

manifesto

The title sounds slightly gruesome (I’m a writer who, up until a few weeks ago, was researching serial killers. Leave me alone, okay? LOL.), but it is merely a reference for people who’ve known me my entire career, or at the very least, a good enough chunk of it, and know what to expect from me.

It seems like only yesterday when I was first given the idea to write something immensely simple. After that, it was as if I’d been plugged in to something unique and special, and I certainly was. Back then, I didn’t know what it was precisely, or where it would lead, but the path less traveled has been both good, and not so good, to me.

A lot of people ask themselves “When do I get to call myself a writer?” or “When am I officially a writer?” First and foremost; there are many different types of writers. Some people write music, poetry, movie scripts. Some write books, plays, or simply share their thoughts in a creative way. When you do it and can’t stop doing it because you are driven by a genuine need to share your thoughts and acquire feedback, good or bad, then you, my friend, are a writer.

Don’t get me wrong, though. It’s important not to twist things; plenty of people “write” and aren’t true writers. It’s a fact. Many are published authors who I will not call out by name, but nevertheless, they’ve hit a lucky strike at the end of a rainbow because there is zero talent to what they’re doing. It’s published gibberish that would make any true writer cringe. I spend more days cringing when work is submitted to me for editing than I do enjoying the work of another writer. Sad, but true. Sometimes, no matter how strongly you guide someone, they simply cannot be a gifted storyteller. There’s no shame in that. I believe it is inherently within a person, or not. It is not something I will ever feel is taught.

Some people come at you, as a “writer”, from a different angle. Satire, humor, playfulness, honesty, anger. The list is never-ending. Choose an emotion and/or a genre and I assure you; someone, somewhere, is writing about it.

I’m told we all have our “gifts”, our niche, in life, and that it is through exploration and exploration alone that we stumble upon said gifts. But there are many people who are lucky; achieving a measure of success through connections, as opposed to genuine talent. Then there are those who are born with immense gifts they’re simply waiting to share with the world, gifts they are, too often, not aware of.

If my gift with the written and spoken word had not been encouraged, supported, applauded, then I might be doing something boring at this very moment; something I loathe with every fiber of my being.

I know far too many people who’ve been in the same job for twenty, thirty, or forty years and absolutely HATE what they do. I have my moments. I’ve never hesitated to discuss them openly and honestly, but my gift? No, I don’t regret it; not any of them.

I’ve spent the majority of my life being put down, shunned, laughed at, and/or insulted for being creatively talented, as opposed to a “follow the rules” type. I would rather live an authentic life, as opposed to one chosen for me by others. I would rather pick and choose my wealth of knowledge, as opposed to doing what is “expected”. That is precisely how one masters the art of being gifted with a talent.

I speak the way I write. I live the way I write. It’s one of the reasons people like and respect me. It’s one of the reasons I get feedback that doesn’t require anyone kissing my ass telling me how great I am. I don’t walk around trying to be anything I am not. In turn, I feel it helps the words be more clear for others. Because it’s honest; it’s easy to relate. I’ve had many people tell me when they could not relate to something I wrote or said, but they still respected the hell out of me for putting my thoughts out into the universe so boldly. I never looked at it the way they did, not until receiving that level of feedback. I was simply writing, and they were reading with their senses fully engaged. I call that mutual respect.

Several years ago I started shutting down certain aspects of myself that I was told were “wrong” or “needed work”. It turns out the people whispering lies in my ears were wrong. Very wrong. The only time I need to work on something is when I choose to work on it, and only then. I am fully entitled to my feelings, thoughts, unique point of view, and even more entitled to live my truth. It is more important to me to tell the true stories than it is for me to pretend.

Whispering lies to someone is a form of manipulative abuse. It’s a way of telling someone they’re not good enough in YOUR eyes, usually because YOU don’t like certain attributes they possess. Often because it makes you uncomfortable, or because you’re jealous you don’t possess the same level of strength. I’ve had people tell me they could NEVER be the kind of friend I am to others, and then turn around and tell me my friends wouldn’t love me if they had to live with me. That came from a former best friend, and it came from a place of jealousy because she couldn’t even be a solid best friend to ONE person, leave alone multiple people. She did not understand how crucial being a good friend is to the core of who I am, and so, a friendship I thought would always be present is a friendship no longer. Her choice. Her immense loss.

Most people don’t think I’m funny, which is perfectly okay. My friends and my brother find me HILARIOUS, and that’s because they get me. I don’t care if other people lack the ability to grasp my humor, because those that do are invaluable to me. Criticizing my sense of humor is only going to make me laugh at you, it isn’t going to poison my mind against my wacky, twisted humor. I have to live with me. I have to look in the mirror and be able to face that person day in and day out.

I wasn’t raised to worry about being liked or loved by others. I’m secure enough in myself to not need the approval of everyone around me. Sure, at least once a day it would be nice to not be insulted or told I’m wrong, or be accused of things I’ve never even thought of, leave alone committed, but that’s not MY issue and I’m not going to carry it with me any longer. I do, however, have to be true to myself.

So, Lethal Poison is back in business. This Scorpion may glow, but she’s not afraid to sting, either. You decide which side you’d like to be on. I’ll keep speaking the truth.

Vi veri universum vivus vic~ “By the power of truth, I, while living, have conquered the universe.”

copyright © 2017 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

Out Of Sorts, And Then Some…

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Welcome to the life of the invisible girl…

I’d like to thank the two people who reached out to me with messages of encouragement, respect, and kindness after my last post about how horrible I am feeling (My feelings have only worsened.). Steven & Tasha; your words genuinely helped me and, from the bottom of my heart, they meant the world to me. Thank you both SO much. I don’t even have the words for how touched I am.

As for the rest of the world; I’m not really feeling people too much these days. Granted, I am not a people person on a good day, but it would certainly be nice if some people were more aware of their words, behavior, and attitudes towards me. I’m sick of being told how I am speaking, how I sound, how I’m behaving, etc., because I’m well-aware of my intent when I’m being human. If you don’t know my tones, then you don’t know how I’m speaking, how I sound, or precisely how I am behaving. I’m not two, and I don’t require psycho-analysis by people who really ought to save that for those who need it. You’ll only piss me off, and at the moment, I’d shy away from that if at all possible.

I believe that life, and people, has/have highs and lows, but what do you do when you’re stuck on LOW and don’t know how to rise, and cannot find a reason why you should? I’m hardwired to get up each morning, feed Cat and Kitten, sometimes feed myself, but of late, I’m so physically, mentally, and emotionally drained that I don’t know how to do it any more. “It” being “anything”.

I adopted Cat and Kitten to help keep myself alive. Cat was a foster from a kill shelter, so I felt like by rescuing her, I was saving my life, along with hers. Win-win. Kitten is from a no-kill shelter; and I love to support no-kill shelters because they’re crucial to the survival of so many animal’s lives. Unlike Cat, who has divided love/loyalties (I’d like to say she has a big heart, but I’m genuinely not sure she even likes me most of the time.), Kitten is my faithful companion. Even when I move her off of my blanket at three in the morning so I can get comfortable or grab a few hours of sleep, she forgives me in minutes. Cat holds a grudge if I move her or rearrange her on the bed. In fact, as I am typing this Kitten is making little sounds in her sleep and giving me her belly, instinctively knowing that I am by her side. She is named in honor of my original Tortoiseshell. I’ve noticed over the past two years that she is basically a gift from her; a true companion sent to go through life with me. She’s not a “replacement cat”, she’s a piece of my original cat that I know in my heart was sent to me. But lately, caring for both of them each day has been physically and emotionally taxing.

I have reached out to organizations to try to get emergency help in order to feel better, but after applying for insurance MONTHS ago (which should be underlined ten times), I still haven’t been approved, nor have I received anything in writing from them, which they’ve repeatedly promised each time I’ve called. The answer I’ve gotten is “You’re in the system. You should hear from us in approximately 2-3 weeks by mail.”, before I’ve been hung up on! There’s a reason they call them Massholes, and it’s NOT because they’re all perfectly well-mannered (a small percentage, yes. The rest? Not so much.). I believe they had roughly 30-45 days to approve or deny me from day one, and that I’d then have a period of time to appeal, if denied, but at this moment I feel like I’m stuck at square one. In turn, after giving them one final call this coming week, I am reapplying. I’m utterly tired of the bullshit, because this is clearly a runaround, so I am going to fill out the application they deigned to send me (I have my original documents from last year, all I have to do is insert the same answers), attach copies proving that I’m a legal citizen with a bank account, and fax it instead of mailing it. That way, I’ve confirmed receipt of the documents and won’t feel jerked around, as I have clearly been for all these months. I’m sick of paying for medication out-of-pocket when that $20-$35 (it ranges based on the discounts I’m able to find) could feed me, or my cats. Overall, I’m sick of the struggle of trying to live, and failing miserably. I need to be able to see doctors without cringing over out-of-pocket costs that frankly, I can’t do.

Everyone’s definition of “failure” is different. Not being able to take care of what is most important in my life; that is true failure to me. Not being able to protect my loved ones and keep them safe; that is failure. Thankfully, I care, I am emotionally present, and I’m not a vile human-being, so on that front, I am NOT a failure. I’d hate to be a heartless, cruel individual who only cared about herself. Thankfully, I was raised by two wonderful women (My mother and Grandmother) and selfishness wasn’t a part of their make-up, so it isn’t a part of mine. I miss them both more than words can say. Everything feels like yesterday in terms of loss; at least for me.

This evening I merely want to survive the mind-numbing migraine that exploded on me this afternoon in the grocery store, to the point where I had to run to the ladies room to be sick. 😦 That has never happened to me in public before (except after having blood work done, and that was one time), but after that I quickly made my way to the register and went outside for some fresh air, despite the fact that it was indeed freezing and took over forty-five  minutes before I could feel my ears again. The smells inside the store were making me violently ill and the noise wasn’t much better. This afternoon I indulged in silence, darkness, and a nap, but it only made the migraine that much worse. At the moment, I am praying that three ibuprofen will kick in, along with caffeinated tea I’ve been nursing since three o’clock this afternoon. Some people need coffee to feel human; I need strong Earl Grey with real sugar.

This week and this weekend, I am definitely out of sorts, but don’t worry… I’ll be back soon with something I’ve been dying to write, but have kept under wraps for years. No more. The Beast Is Back.

copyright © 2017 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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The Ledge

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I’m on the verge of letting go today. There’s no way to pretty it up or sugar-coat the amount of pain I am in, both physically and emotionally. I’ve had enough. Reached the boiling point. Feel as though I am trapped in a maze of never-ending bullshit, and I cannot take another second of this.

Over the past two days I’ve accessed my life and come to this conclusion: apart from my responsibilities and loyalties; my life is meaningless. Well, and truly, meaningless. If I were bleeding on the rug, someone would attend to the stain, but they wouldn’t even notice that a body was present. That’s the truth, whether some people are willing to believe it or not, or admit to it. I’ve witnessed too much to feel or believe otherwise.

I have been in a bad place for so many months now and not a single person has so much as noticed. The selfishness in my presence knows no bounds. There’s zero warmth, care, concern, or love present. And quite frankly, I’m sick of it.

I’ve been in tears on and off for almost three days. No one has noticed, said a word to me, asked me if they could help, NOTHING. This is what it feels like to be “the invisible girl”.

While preparing a salad Saturday afternoon, I banged my right hip into the handle for the drawer next to me. It wasn’t anyone’s fault, but it hurt as if I’d just had the bone yanked out of its socket. I actually bit back 95% of what I truly felt physically in that moment, but I was admonished for being “dramatic”. Please, feel this pain for a week and then tell me how “dramatic” I’m being. Clearly, you don’t know true pain.

I am genuinely experiencing the whole “Princess & The Pea” phenomenon, which is not uncommon when you suffer from an autoimmune disorder that revolves around pain. This particular issue is killing me. I can feel every spring in a mattress in such a painful fashion that I want to hurl it out a window. I “wake up” each morning in stiff, agony. Nine out of ten nights, I haven’t truly slept, I’ve simply given up and taken to lying still, in tears, praying for the pain to stop.

I’ve taken over a hundred Aleve in the past month in the hopes that it will provide some small measure of relief, but it never does. I’ve also taken nearly an entire bottle of Ibuprofen because every flare-up makes me feel like an anti-inflammatory MIGHT help “this time”. The pain is maddening, and constant. I hurt so badly each day that I contemplate walking into the middle of traffic, not caring if I get hit or not. My only issue there is that I’d likely survive and remain in worse pain, if that’s even possible. I don’t want to know, I just want this to stop.

I struggle each day to cope with the pain, with my emotions, with stress, but most of all, the pure isolation and loneliness I am forced to carry with me, because I truly am “the invisible girl”.

When I can’t do laundry, take a shower, and do five other things in the same day, I sit here in tears over the loss of life I am experiencing. I have to set alarm clocks and timers to remind me to do things, or they will never get done. I fall at least once a week. No matter how careful I am, the pain brings me to my knees.

Occasionally, I feel okay. But here, in this moment, I’d gladly take death over this agony. Just make sure Cat and Kitten are adopted into loving homes. Cat is aggressive and a bully, so I think she’d do better in a single-cat home at this stage of her life. Kitten is a sweet little angel who loves her Mommy, but doesn’t understand why I have no energy to play and run around with her. Alas, I can’t explain these things to them. All I can do is pray for better days; just not today. Today is Hell and I am burning alive.

copyright © 2017 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Personal Year In Review

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I wish I had fabulous things to share here as I look back on 2016, the year itself as a complete “body of work”, as opposed to how I genuinely feel about it.

Here’s the unadulterated truth; I’m filled with mixed emotions, anger, pain, and the more I think about it, additional anger on top of the original anger, which is never a good sign. I make no apologies for my honesty. I’m many things in my imperfect human way, but dishonest isn’t on the list.

I take no issue with the company in my life, or lack thereof. I am a firm believer that we all go through hard times and that hard work, love, and prayer will get us through it. I take no issue with surviving (Life should be more than that though, right?) and having a few good days here and there (Though I am determined to not allow people to ruin my days when I’m feeling good and their moods aren’t meant for me. However, this is a process. It will not happen instantaneously.), but I do take issue with things outside my control.

I am a self-admitted control freak when it pertains to a lot of things in my life, and with other things, not so much. Overall, I’m tired of my best not being good enough, and having people remind me of my failures. Never look down upon someone unless you’re helping them up. Asking for help through tough times is not a grave sin. It’s honest, it’s real, and it’s admitting something vulnerable and scary is occurring that you cannot figure out how to face on your own. Why do we diminish that?!

I was raised to believe that as long as I do my best, it is always “good enough”, because it shows effort. And then I moved to another state where I know very few people, where “my best” is NEVER “good enough” because some unattainable level of perfection is expected at all times. It makes me feel like a bad Stepford Wife. 😦 I would not know what happiness was if a radioactive spider bit my ass. I haven’t known happiness in so long, it scares me. I feel emotions, yes, but happiness is almost never among them. How’s that for honest?

My brother has been through a torturous, evil kind of hell this year. I highly suspect that whatever was done to his heart set off a myriad of other health issues because I cannot recall a time when he wasn’t under the age of ten and on antibiotics as often as he’s been this year. He has been in and out of the hospital so many times that I’ve damn near had a multitude of nervous breakdowns every single time. I am currently waiting to hear back from a surgeon as he embarks on surgery number five in just slightly over a year; which is more surgery than he’s ever had in his entire life. It worries me on such a deep level, it’s difficult to convey.

I am immensely disheartened by how uncaring and unkind people are being towards him. At the beginning and end of each day, we only have so many family members in life, and as we’ve established, life is as short as it is long. My brother & I don’t have a lot of family, so we’ve had to rally around each other and be each other’s biggest support system through what has been, in essence, the gates of Hell. I may yell at him and get frustrated, I may say nasty things to him in the heat of the moment because he pushes my buttons, but ultimately, I’m not ignoring him or pretending he doesn’t exist in the hopes he’ll simply go away. I might not respond to a phone call or a text message when I’m sleeping, and sometimes I am guilty of ignoring him for a full twenty-four hours because I can’t handle the stress, but I do speak to my brother. I might not admit this to him, but he’s one of my best friends.

I say a painful goodbye to 2016, a year that has made me suffer in ways I can’t discuss; physically, mentally, and emotionally. I hope and pray that 2017 offers me more opportunities, better work, better pay, the same high-quality friendships I’ve maintained since day one (I’ve gotta say it; my friends are the BEST friends. They’re the first people to ask if I’m okay, to see through answers when I’m 100% NOT okay, and be as supportive as they can through crises. I would not have made it through parts of this year if it weren’t for the relationships in my life, both old and new, that have helped reinforce who I am as a person.), a real directional shift that leads me exactly where I need to be lead, and a year that allows me to achieve goals I have set for myself. The big goals, because at the moment, small goals aren’t cutting it.

I’d like to see some medical breakthroughs to help me better manage my pain and overall health. I was hit in the back with a shopping cart today at a local grocery store. This woman was on her cell phone and obviously thought she had enough room and/or didn’t even see me. I swear I am invisible to 99% of the “human race”. Initially my response was “Excuse YOU!”, but the lunatic just kept on walking, loudly debating stupidity on her phone. I did not feel it was worth pursuing in the moment, but now I am sorry I didn’t. I’m not sure if she did any real damage that wasn’t already there, but the level of pain I’m in is not something I want to take with me into the coming year, or any other year. I truly think CBD oil is in my future, as the “war on opiates” in this state is far too ridiculous to pursue with a doctor. I will, but I, like so many others, need a backup plan to help manage the pain in my life. No one should ever have to live like this.

Blessings to you all, as we say goodbye to 2016 and welcome in what will hopefully a bright New Year! 

copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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The First Night Of Chanukah

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If one more person wishes me a “Merry Christmas”, I will hurt them. It’s very simple; I’m JEWISH. I feel like I’ve been over this a million times, but today I damn near lost my temper, so I’m going to reiterate this, but for the love of G-d, don’t make me do it twice.

Yes, believe it or not, there are religions that do not celebrate the same holidays that you may celebrate. There are religions that are much older. This is basic kindergarten knowledge, yet every single person I’ve come across for over a month now has made an assumption I don’t fucking like. I’ve spent weeks holding it in. I’ve been polite, I’ve been nondescript in my “Enjoy your holiday!” greetings to others, I sent out cards with genuine, handwritten messages to express how I feel about people in a loving fashion, but at this point, I’m just plain fed up.

Tonight just so happens to be the first night of Chanukah. So, while the Jews are celebrating the miracle of oil lasting for eight nights and surviving taking back our temple centuries ago (By the way, we’re still surviving and we are a religious minority.), and we do this in very individual ways, there is literally zero discussion among us of trees, lights on our homes, Santa, Jesus, etc. To learn more, here’s some info that you might find prudent in case you consider wishing me a “Merry Christmas” ever again:  CHANUKAH 

It’s one thing if you don’t know I’m Jewish, but I make myself pretty clear. I openly discuss Jewish holidays, Israel, traditions, etc. I am also Wiccan, and I openly discuss those holidays, too. But if you go through my feed, you will see zero mention of holidays pertaining to any other faith. There’s a valid reason for that, and to ensure I don’t insult anyone, I’ll keep my feelings to myself.

I will always be respectful of those who show me respect and kindness, but damn, I am SO tired of correcting people. I know they mean well, really, but it drives me insane, so I’m putting my foot down. You can call me names (I’m sure plenty of people will.), but ultimately, respect the simple fact that I don’t celebrate Christmas. Wish me a Happy Chanukah (there are many different spellings out there, so it’s easy to confuse one with another) with the same genuineness as “Merry Christmas”. The big difference between your religion and mine is that Jews don’t believe in Jesus. There are other things we don’t believe as well, but that’s really the major one. There’s no lack of faith in G-d, we believe, just differently than you do. Also, we don’t go around trying to convert you. We’re pretty “live and let live”.

So tonight, I’d like to thank the people who honored me with cards & gifts. I genuinely appreciate the generosity and love.

Here’s hoping I never have to mention this again, because if I do, I’m re-posting an article I wrote a few years ago about what I do on Christmas Day. Frankly, I might post it tomorrow for shits and giggles.

To everyone celebrating whatever they believe in tonight; may peace and love be at the core of all you do. Blessed Be.

copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.