Last Sunday

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Last Sunday afternoon I was hit in my lower back at a small, local grocery store. The woman who hit me slammed her full shopping cart into me, and it was heavy. I could feel things in my lower back scream in agony at me. I immediately knew this was BAD.

Instead of reacting like a normal person, she said, “Why are you standing there?!” in a condescending “the world revolves around me” tone of voice, and proceeded to clip my right hip on her way out the door. I was in so much pain, but I did not scream or fall on the ground. I quickly assessed the busy store, the lack of attention to what had just occurred, the cashier bagging my items while my card payment jingled musical approval, and immediately realized that if I fell and called 911, I’d be a YouTube joke and the stores’ employees could be fired. Yes, those are selfless thoughts in the midst of mind-shattering pain, but screaming out in a store rife with elderly people didn’t seem like a smart idea, and I knew every other person would be whipping out their phone. We live in a very sick world where people think that’s appropriate.

I lost a week of my life to someone’s awful behavior. I had hoped I’d be able to go to my appointments, run errands, do laundry, clean, organize my clothes, and live my usual existence as a sufferer of Fibromyalgia and chronic pain. Instead, the pain was not something you could think through, or past. it was all encompassing.

Ultimately, I sent the store’s corporate headquarters a strongly worded e-mail. I do NOT want to this to happen to another customer. Talking to my best friend tonight, her seven hours ahead, she told me, “I bet this has happened before. You cannot be the first person this has happened to in one of their stores.”

Last week I consulted briefly with a personal injury attorney, and was told I definitely have a case, despite the fact that the store has no cameras. I was told, “You were injured on their premises. That makes them liable. Regardless of whether or not you already suffer from chronic pain, they should cover your medical expenses, any testing your insurance will not cover, pain management and medication, pain and suffering, and any potential lost income.” One lawyer wanted an obscene retainer. The first simply advised.

I’m not greedy. I simply want this accident, which increased my pain tenfold, to be over. I want the pain to stop. I don’t want to live in traumatized fear that some stupid bitch is going to hit me again and cause further harm. Today, someone missed me by an inch, except they immediately apologized and asked if I was all right. See the difference? I do want the tests covered, and the income I had to turn down last week when, suddenly, people returned to me with huge editing jobs. I can barely sit without wanting to die, so I had to say no to two big contracts. I said no to smaller things, too. I don’t usually say no, even on open-ended deadlines. If I don’t feel I am healthy enough to finish a job (both of which required my full attention and roughly sixteen hour days doing nothing, but focusing on their manuscripts.), it is wrong to say yes and accept 50% of the payment upfront. If I can’t deliver, that’s not fair to the client, but I knew I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t tolerate the pain enough to block it out.

You’ll notice i did not name the store, the location, or give any other identifying info. Not only am I a loyal customer, but they don’t deserve the negative publicity.

Despite what I’ve been through, I would like to keep a positive mindset. I want to move forward. I don’t know if I’ll be able to, but I have no choice but to go back to my spine specialist and ask him to run the tests based on the fact that I was clearly injured. The one good thing in all of this craziness is that my doctors here have ALL ignored my lower back completely. They’ve refused to run tests, but I can’t keep going like this without x-rays and an MRI. I need to know what is causing the pain because this doesn’t feel muscular, it feels like bone. It was warm for January that day, so under my coat, I only had a t-shirt on instead of my usual 2-3 layers. There was nothing to cushion some of the damage or any of the impact.

If I don’t survive this week, I will have someone post a notice. In the meantime, I am praying and I hope the Universe will be kind in return.

copyright 2019 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. All written work may not be re-posted anywhere without express written consent from the author. This authors’ work and personal photos are protected under United States and International copyright laws. Additional protection is covered under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.        

 

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Next Chapter

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Last year was a beast. I am cautiously optimistic that I can achieve my goals this year, but after spending the entire day sick, I can only hope tomorrow will be better. It’s time to manifest good things. What are some of your 2019 goals? 

 

 

Tomorrow

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This year had good, bad, brutal, highs, lows, bottomless pits, and here I sit, still sick as hell from an eye doctor appointment (The only reason the doctor survived it is because she was extremely pregnant. I will never go back.). It’s been over nine hours and my eyes are still heavily dilated and SO painful. 😦

My wish for everyone’s 2019 is good health, happiness, joy, and true fulfillment. I’m extremely goal focused moving from December to January, and while I feel terribly torn, I am hoping we can ALL achieve our goals and feel satisfied. I’m not going to stop writing, so hopefully you’ll all continue reading.

Be safe. Happy New Year!

lisa1

Eleven Years Ago

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I buried my father eleven years ago today. It is the exact day; a cold Sunday that seemed to go on forever. When a funeral home employee pulled me aside that day and asked me to identify the body, I tried holding my brother back, in an attempt to shield him from what I’d just seen. It was not a peaceful image, and it still haunts me to some extent.  

So YES, the holidays are hard, even though Chanukah and Yule are over. Minimal celebration was had this year. It was as if I didn’t exist and YES, THAT HURT.

Eleven years ago, I eulogized my father in front of family and friends (Many of his coworkers attended, and we were quite surprised to discover how loved my father was. At the end of the service, one woman came up to me to tell me how much I meant to him; how he always lit up whenever I would call him. It was hard to compartmentalize the information at the time, and it’s hard now, too.), and his nieces, nephews, great niece, and great nephews didn’t even bother to show up. 😡 They didn’t call, didn’t send a card, and they didn’t acknowledge what my mother, brother, and I were going through. My mother’s extended family was not much better. When someone is more interested in their spin class instead of the death of a family member, I should be permitted to shoot them in the ass, thus making spin class unnecessary.

The family member who called the night of my father’s funeral and told me “G-d isn’t ready for your mother yet.” 😲😡 #InsensitiveAF I don’t think I’ll EVER be able to forgive her for putting that message out into the Universe, because five months later, I had to return and do the whole thing all over again. She offered to be there for me after the fact, but after a few months, I soon realized her guilt taught her nothing and my contact with her ended. 

We knew my father was dying. It was not a secret. He had terminal cancer. I began writing the eulogy in late September, and I finalized it around 2:00 a.m. the morning of the funeral service. With my Mom, it was so unexpected for me that I wrote everything at the last minute. I’m not really sure how I got through either eulogy, but I remember reading them and trying to emotionally detach.   

The holidays are hard for so many people, all for different reasons.

I’m SO PROUD of my amazing friends who baked for people who are suffering so they wouldn’t feel alone or be forgotten, those who passed over time with family in order to help feed the homeless, those who participated in charity fundraisers to help those in need, those who sponsored families to ensure there would be gifts, food, and necessities, and those who donated their birthdays this month to raise money for worthy charities.

Today, I’m trying not to revisit the pain. I’m trying to keep my emotions in check because I KNOW I’m still angry. I also know I have every right to be. My feelings are valid.

Check on your strong friends these next few weeks. Sometimes, the holidays shatter our lives. It may not be permanent, but right now, it certainly feels that way. 😦

I’m okay-ish, but I’m not good. I don’t think people who haven’t experienced loss quite like I have are able to fully understand what it takes each day to get out of bed and live. I know so many people who have never been to a funeral or lost anyone. They have Great-Great-Grandparents who are still alive (which is pretty amazing, when you think about it.)! Their naivete is unbelievable, but hopefully they will understand at some point. I wouldn’t wish this pain on anyone, but I do worry about those who lack empathy and compassion. Where is their humanity?!

Today, I got to relive the horror of what my brother and I have been through. Our text messages to each other were short, simple, and impersonal, neither one bringing the subject up. I know we’re both thinking it, though. I know it is too hard for him to fully focus on, so I take up the responsibility. We’re as different as we are alike, but last year he told me “You are the best of both Mom and Dad. You inherited all their goodness.” I was so stunned by his comment, and now it just makes me wonder because I’d never use the word “good” to describe myself. Perhaps he sees something I don’t. In many respects, I am my own worst critic.

If it wasn’t for medication prescribed for Complex PTSD, I wouldn’t have been able to get through the holidays. I’m barely keeping it together, but my brother’s words… They kind of stick in the back of my mind. I have witnessed so much goodness in him, so I think he might be overestimating me in some capacity.

Regardless, this is rough day for me. The fact that I’ve had a migraine since last weekend hasn’t made things better, either. C’est la vie. Somehow, we survive specific life experiences and we move on, but I’m far from healed. That’s been part of my focus this year; learning how to heal.    

copyright 2018 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. All written work may not be re-posted anywhere without express written consent from the author. This authors’ work and personal photos are protected under United States and International copyright laws. Additional protection is covered under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  

 

Sixth Anniversary

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Today is my sixth anniversary on WordPress. I can’t believe how far I’ve come since sitting down on a particularly benign day, and saying “Why not?” It was a harmless move and thought, and I can say I am BLESSED to have remained friends with several people who first started following me on my original blog. It remains up, but hasn’t been active in a few years because I’ve been here, working, writing, sharing, thinking, and making new friends and better memories.

This is one of my major priorities; writing and sharing things I feel are important to share with all of you. 2018 was an enormous challenge for me, but I am looking ahead and trying to manifest more positivity than ever before. I’m the same person, but I’m growing and I want to be able to share that growth.

I have multiple novels in progress. I am going to be finalizing the final draft for a romance novel soon. I am going to revisit the Dark Urban Fantasy series (eight books, laid out) and see if I can complete the first two in the series. It’s better to be over-prepared as a writer, as opposed to under-prepared, and forced into a 6-8 months completion deadline when you’ve only got 10-15% of book two laid out. Book one is the foundation and every time I read the manuscript, I feel like I’m sitting in a bookstore, immersed in someone else’s characters. When I reach the end and my name is there, it still shocks me. Maybe 2019 will bring me more literature surprises I never imagined possible.

Last Friday, Global Healthy Living Foundation and Fifty State Network called me to do Media Outreach. I returned the call and missed the call back, so I ended up e-mailing my contact there. Let me first say that this position is as a patient advocate. This is still a relatively new field, so not everyone who advocates has gone to law school or has a degree in nursing, etc. Is this something I’d be interested in pursuing from a “Go back to school” perspective? No. I feel like I have an incredibly solid hand on things as a pain patient, and a refreshing perspective. I have a powerful voice I’m not afraid to use, either.

My contact is incredibly impressed with me, but when I received his e-mail reply, I read it twice and was immediately annoyed. It felt like another organization only too happy to take advantage of my contacts, intelligence, knowledge, and business sense. Smart people do NOT like or respect being used, so I haven’t replied. If that’s how it feels, then I am accurate in my assessment. I’m sorry, but if you want to have me consult, assist, or do anything that involves using all of my talents, I expect to be paid for it. I can’t dumb myself down or allow people to take, take, take and leave me unable to grow. In turn, I have decided to reach out to some local advocacy groups, even if I temporarily intern for a while, because I know that all I have to do is impress the right person. I can’t tell you how many times I have impressed someone and gotten into something new, simply by being myself. I wish it were always as simple as that, but it isn’t. I firmly believe the right doors WILL open this time. The ones that don’t might very well be kicked down, but that’s one part of me which often makes an impression on others.

If you search hard enough, opportunities will present themselves. However, I don’t want to advocate full-time. I want to achieve the goals I set for myself. Most of them are centered around writing and the others are centered around breaking out of my comfort zone. Perhaps I’m already halfway there.

I can’t believe this year is near its end. I feel like we were just saying goodbye to 2017. Tempus fugit! Pretty soon, we won’t even be able to talk about cold weather (I’ve been kind of obsessed with the way it has been affecting me.). For me, each year is about hitting goals and making sure I grow as a person. This year I have rid myself of toxic people and energy that was of no service to that growth. Interestingly enough, supportive friends stepped up where flakes were left in the dust, and I’m incredibly grateful and appreciative for the friendships that have been built on true foundations. In friendship, no one wants to be used, either, and I was definitely being used. No more.

Thank you to everyone who reads my work, who clicks LIKE, who clicks FOLLOW, and who shares me with friends, family, etc. Thank you for the comments and e-mails. But most importantly, thank you for taking time out of your day to read my work. The Internet is a vast place, and I feel honored whenever someone new follows me or whenever someone sends me an e-mail and tells me how much something I wrote impacted their life. Those are treasured, precious moments that I keep in my heart each day.

When I sat down to write this, I was already feeling incredibly lost, depressed, overwhelmed, unhappy, and dark. These are normally things I would only discuss with my doctor. He got an earful yesterday, and instead of making me feel bad (Far too many doctors dismiss me and look at me like I’m crazy for being concerned for my own health. That’s a clear sign you need a new doctor!), he told me multiple times “You’re not crazy. You’re not losing your mind. You’re going through a lot of rough things, and we’re going to figure out how to fix that, together.” He was clearly a lion tamer in a past life.). But as the words began to flow tonight, a smile appeared on my face and the negative feelings lifted, even if only temporarily.

There is so much more to my story, to my journey, to my life. More than I probably know. But ultimately, the majority of my gratitude goes out to my readers. You’re all amazing, kind, supportive, and I hope we will continue to laugh together, cry together, and be real for many more years to come.

Thank you all SO much. I’m not much of a hugger, but consider yourselves all hugged tight tonight.

Much love,

li 

copyright 2018 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. All written work may not be re-posted anywhere without express written consent from the author. This authors’ work and personal photos are protected under United States and International copyright laws. Additional protection is covered under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  

 

         

How The Hell Do You Edit The Truth?

I’ve been working on a personal and extremely important mental health piece for nearly two months. As I was writing the end and editing the deeply personal parts, I felt stuck. I’m rarely ever stuck as a writer. I think the problem is, I’m trying to edit out the harshness and the absolute truth to protect someone, but does this person really require my protection? Do they actually deserve it? It’s not like I’m naming names. And yet, I somehow feel the need to show compassion towards someone who has caused so much damage; damage they aren’t even aware of or care about. I suppose that makes me the bigger person. Guess what? I’m not liking this role too much. 😦

People have NO IDEA how often I ponder a situation and think, “Hmm, what would Dexter do?” That’s my first thought at times when people do something unforgivable or something that makes me contemplate strangling them. Note to self: Must get a t-shirt with Michael C. Hall’s face on it. My more recent thought comes after “WWDD”, and is “What would Tommy Shelby do?” Two completely brilliant characters portrayed by incredibly gifted actors, neither of whom have probably ever had to use these references in their daily lives. Interestingly enough, there is not a female character anywhere who I feel embodies any aspect of my thought process, and it makes me a little sad, but there’s no crying over spilled coconut milk.

For me, writing is the ultimate expression of honesty. It is the “public face” of my brand in a myriad of ways, and yet, many readers probably pass me on the street and have no clue who I am. I have always been incredibly content with that knowledge. Do I want strangers approaching me on the street because they read my work? Not particularly, but I wouldn’t be rude to them if they did. However, I’m not about to splash my face all over anything anytime soon because I get judged enough for my face on a regular basis. I remember meeting people at different stages of my writing career and for one reason or another, people were always shocked when they met me for the first time. I don’t think I’ve ever said to someone, “Wow. You’re actually really pretty.” or “You have no idea how other people respond to your beauty.” My best friend at the time, Shay, we were such polar opposites, but in some respects she made me come out of my shell far more than some of my other friends. I’m a much more confident person than I was a year or even ten years ago, but with social media, I am still careful and cautious. Also, I hate when I have an image of someone in my head, and then they send me a picture or they post one, and they look NOTHING like my imagination, which is very image specific. I suspect imagery is often based on how people write or speak, initially, or maybe how you discover their heart.

Getting back on track; I still feel stuck with this piece. I want to be authentic to who I am and post it entirely as is, including the bitchy parts I wrote when I was angry and felt the need to REALLY let loose. I don’t want to edit it. I don’t want to cushion the horrible aspect of what happened and what is happening because that’s taking the truth out of it, and that’s not who I am.

I have never written a single false thing. If you were to skim through the fiction work I have done, you’d find stacks and stacks of truth woven into the two different bodies of work, and yet, only those closest to me will ever know who the characters are in real life.

Writers find inspiration in many different places, but for me, my attention to detail and how I observe others is probably the biggest part of why I do what I do with ease and humility. It drives people crazy that they can’t lie to me or pull one over on me, and I know it’s because they have no idea how I know the truth. They have no grasp of what their tells are, and what it tells me about their character.

The biggest issue for me, in what I am writing, boils down to honesty and having mine placed under question and attacked. Anyone who truly knows me knows I’m a terrible liar, so I don’t even bother. One of my best friends pointed out to me that I have never lied to her once in all the years we have been friends, and she knows this because she trusts me with things many people would not. She’s not a naive person, either. She just happens to be my best friend and someone who has known me a long time. If I was deceitful, dishonest, or a horrible person, these things would have surfaced long ago. She was frank when she said, “That’s not who you are. Don’t let people twist the narrative to make themselves feel better. You KNOW who you are.” That’s where I find comfort; in my friends knowing me for precisely who and what I am. In their knowledge that I’m always the same person, all across the board. They’re right. Being dishonest isn’t part of who I am. If anything, I am probably too honest, but I’m trying to work on my filter where certain people are concerned.

I am struggling with a lot right now, but having anyone question or attempt to test me as a person? Sorry, that isn’t up for debate because I absolutely know who I am, and no one gets to question it. Not even me.

And so, I’ll edit some of the harsher points, mostly to be a lady, but I’m not going to pretend. I’m not going to temper my feelings because they might hurt someone else’s feelings; someone who didn’t spare a moment of concern for me during a horrific time in my life. After all, I was NOT the one to attack their honesty or character.

There’s a reason my platform is named “Poison In Lethal Doses”. It’s an analogy for many things, but at the beginning and end of each day, it also covers ALL BASES. Let that be a lesson to those of you who think I’m not venomous. If you’re going to attack me, you’re going to get served. For now, we’ll pretend it’s a game of tennis. If I remember correctly, having been taught to play, you lost the second you attacked me. I will come out the other side; mostly because you don’t think I can achieve anything. That’s where you’re wrong.

copyright 2018 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. All written work may not be re-blogged or posted anywhere without express written consent from the author. This authors’ work and personal photos are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws. Additional protection is covered under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

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