How the hell I got here...or "A Brief History of the Bitch Behind this Blog"

March 09, 2017

Never in my wildest, most vivid nightmares would I have ever imagined that I would be single, childless, and living with and working for my parents at the age of 37. I had aspirations, you see. My grand plan was to kiss Alabama permanently goodbye as soon as I graduated high school, move to California, and become an actress. Not just any actress, no...the kind of actress that wins Academy Awards, has houses in all of her favorite cities around the globe, and eventually marries some quirky director (like James Gunn) or a writer (like Neil Gaiman). No way in seven hells was I going to stay in the buckle of the Bible belt one second longer than I had to.

Well...things didn't fucking work out that way. Life happened. Bad decisions happened. Love and heartbreak and responsibilities happened.

When I was younger, I had a desperate need to be loved, and I fell in love with the wrong man. He was controlling and abusive, and I completely lost myself inside the hellish little bubble that was our relationship. Any type of personal relationship with an abusive narcissist will completely rewire your brain. I went from outgoing, boarding on obnoxious,  socially withdrawn, shy, anxious introvert of the highest caliber. One of the biggest points of contention between us was my desire to act. Soooooo, long many moons later, when the relationship was finally over, I tried to take a few theater classes in order to get back into the swing of things. Long, boring story short...I couldn't do it. I was too tense, too anxious, and I looked like I was terrified out of my mind. Years later, I'm still working through some of the issues I developed from that situation. However, I was not just going to lie down and let it define me for the rest of my life.

I went to college. Worked towards a degree in Sociology, Social Psychology, and Psychology with the idea that I would one day work with abused women and children. Going to college part-time, when you can, while working 40-50 or more hours a week takes for-FUCKING-ever. During that time I reacquainted myself with my unhealthy addiction to musicians (I don't even give a fuck, I love me some goddamn boys in bands. No matter how many times I get fucked over by one, I never hold it against the others), and I got laid off. So...relationship woes, and economic hardships that drove me to move back in with my parents...yay.

Also, during that time, I gained 100lbs. Waddling around campus at 5'3 and 220lbs was not fun. Not fun at all. I couldn't breathe, walking through the grocery store caused so much pain in my back that I would be in tears by the time I left. I hated my body, hated how it looked, hated how it felt, hated everything about it. Finally, after a few years, I said 'enough is enough'! I set to work changing the way I related to food (I'm a HUGE emotional eater), learning to say 'no', and finding exercises that I enjoyed. The process was slow, it took around 3 years, but eventually I lost 120lbs. I still have a belly that I hate, but I am working every day to accept it as part of me...and that it doesn't define me or make me any less attractive. The biggest obstacle is, and always as been, my thoughts and perception of myself. About halfway through my weight loss, I became a vegetarian (something I'd wanted to do for years) brought on by the adoption of some baby Barred Rock hens...who are now my feathered children, the Hens of Anarchy. It really helped me with my weight loss, and overall made me feel a lot healthier. I'm now working towards a Vegan diet.

To the surprise of some, I fucking graduated college!!! So, I immediately got a job in my 'field' helping others, right? Hell. Freakin'. No. I desperately looked for a job, any job for 10 months before I was eventually hired by an International company, based out of where I live.  Four goddamn years of hell. H-E-L-L. I absolutely loved my bosses and a handful of coworkers, but the job itself was a nightmare, and it ate my life. The last year that I was with that company, I became involved with an old friend. It was the first 'real' relationship I'd had in at least a decade. It moved fast. Very fast...and I thought I'd finally found 'the one'. He had me convinced that I was the only one. Had me so SURE of his love and sincerity that I walked right past all the huge, rapidly waving, red flags with a goofy, twitterpated, smile on my face. The entire relationship was like a roller coaster ride through hell. Even when it was at a high point, it was still hell knowing that at any moment it was going to plummet into the fiery chasm of the next catastrophe. My god, though. I loved that boy more than I ever thought was possible. That was the main reason I ignored my gut feeling that he was lying and being unfaithful. Until that 3am breakup text, three months after he had started cheating on me. After that, everything fell into place. All the pieces came together, situations and conversations finally added up (months later)...and I felt like an absolute idiot for trusting him, believing him, and not walking away all the times my gut told me to.

A week after that relationship ended, I left my job and went to work for my dad. My dad and I have never really gotten along that well. He's conservative and sort of 'what I say goes no matter what', and I'm very liberal and goofy, and he seldom can handle this mouth I have on me. There was no way in hell this was going to work out, or so I thought. Starting this job, right after the breakup that I thought was going to destroy me forever, was the best decision I could have ever made. The last 10 months have helped me change, and grow, and flourish. I've developed a sense of self-worth and a confidence that I've never had before. Every morning, I get up and I don't dread going to work. I'm on the verge of buying my first home. A home that will be completely mine (well...and the bank's). It's scary and glorious and terrifying and amazing all at once. I've 100% completely gotten over the loss of my ex, and stopped blaming myself for trusting him so completely. I forgive him, and I'm determined to forget him. My friends are the best people in the world. They let me be who I am unapologetically (okay, there are apologies after I act a fool with whiskey on an empty stomach). Goddamn, mother of purple flying unicorns, I've been having the best sex of my life. In other words, things don't suck, y'all.

All of that filler to say, in the immortal words of the amazing Douglas Adams, "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I need to be".

Here's to the future. I'm going to sit on it's face and tell it that I love it.

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  1. Hey Tempest,
    I can truly related to your story. I graduated college with a Studio Arts degree and got a job as a telemarketer a few months after college. I married my college girlfriend at age 23 and a few years later moved to Trussvegas. We lived with my mother-in-law, who luckily I got along with, and eventually bought a house in Moody. We eventually were offered a gift of a house by my wife's grandfather. It is a 1912 craftsman house on Southside right next to St. Vincent's. It was in complete disrepair and we had to get a contractor to basically rebuild the whole house. The contractor didn't do what he was supposed to, stole money from us, and we had to fire him. My wife worked close to the house (and she was a lot more...let's say bullish than me) so she basically became the contractor. We eventually built the house, but soon after she lost her Grandfather, Father, and Uncle (father and uncle to lung cancer). I took multiple trips to Philadelphia to visit her dad and I was there the second when he took his last breath. Despite all of this, she felt I didn't do enough during these times and had latched on to her dad's best friend. I guess I was blinded and naive, but I wanted to believe that she still loved me. She didn't. She cheated on me with this man, but didn't tell me she was cheating. She just treated me like shit until I broke. Finally, I told her I wanted a divorce. We were friendly and said it was a mutual decision. I moved back home to Virginia and lived with my parents. Also, during the construction debacle I developed severe anxiety. I would work myself up so much I would make myself sick.

    My (now ex) wife and I had 2 dogs and 2 cats together, but my parents didn't want me bringing any animals to the house so I had to leave them. It tore me up that I couldn't bring any of them with me. I eventually found a job at a fairly large school, but had a horrible boss and a horrible commute. I was stuck with a crappy apartment, a crappy job, and at the time a girlfriend who I really wasn't compatible with, but I was lonely. We split up and I eventually started dating the women who is now my wife. I took a leap of faith and quit my job and moved back in with my parents. I eventually found a part-time job at a community college and then was offered a full-time job, which I am still in. So, having said all that, I have had the heartbreak, the anxiety, the economic difficulties. I was 34, single, with no kids, and living with my parents. I feel you. Good things will happen for you and I'm happy to listen to anything you have to say. I'm a good ear to tell your troubles to...if you want. Also, not all musician's are dicks! Take Care.

  2. Wow, hon! You have been through a lot. You should be proud of yourself for perceiving, and not letting it get the better of you. I've seen people go through hard times and let it continue to destroy their lives for years after...or they use it as an excuse for treating people horribly.
    Rock on!