Friday, September 19, 2014

Minnie May, Part 2

HAIL SATAN!!!!!!!!!


Something was terribly wrong with this new imaginary friend that I had created. That was for sure. As difficult as it was to pinpoint what exactly was wrong with the bunny I knew it had to be done. If I didn't develop an understanding of what she was doing to my life, why all of a sudden I was having so many problems, I was going to go completely mad! I was also determined to figure out why none of my brilliant, active-minded demons could think of one single thing to call her during all this time that she had been with us. In any other circumstances, my demons would have picked out a name for her, wouldn't they? And they would have fought hard about it, too, before actually managing to come to an agreement about it. I had to pinpoint all of those things fast, of that I was certain to avoid completely losing it.

It took immense concentration and observation of the bunny to find the first clue. I noticed right off the bat that Minnie May didn't like it when I observed her and paid a lot of attention to her and what she was doing. At first I thought that she was just feeling scrutinized and I sympathized with her feelings. After all, I had been the victim of intense scrutiny by my mother and other relatives all my life. I knew how awful the feeling was and I felt bad for making Minnie May feel that way. Immediately after I saw her becoming uncomfortable, I apologized to her and told her that I was simply curious about her and that I was trying to develop a clearer understanding of her likes, dislikes, and needs. I explained to her that I had never had an animal demon inhabit my head before and that I thought her needs were somewhat different from the needs of my three girls and my tree Bryan, who seldom came to visit me. I told her that I couldn't learn about her unless I watched her and had my other friends do so also. I was sure that she would understand my explanation and even appreciate me having taken the time to give her such a grand apology. The reaction I got, though, was not so.

Her reaction totally blew me away! It was completely unexpected. The bunny began running all around my room in huge, circling sweeps. As she ran, she squeaked like a rat that got its leg snapped in half by a rat trap. As she ran, all the fur on her body stood straight up and bristled with fury. As she ran, her circles around my room became wider until she began to run out of space because of the walls, furniture, and doors that blocked her path.

"Why is she so mad Mommy?" Nevaeh asked, completely bewildered.

"Beats me," I responded quietly.

"Look Mommy!" shouted Chrissie.

"She's running faster and faster with every circle. How much faster can she run? Her legs are barely even touching the carpet! It looks like she's practically FLYING!"

"I have no idea," I said to Chrissie. Her observation was correct. Minnie May HAD picked up the pace considerably since she had first started running around in circles and throwing her little hissy fit.

"What should we do?" wailed Mary Meyers. Being the sweet-hearted doll that she was, it absolutely KILLED her to see the animal in such distress.

"I don't know," I said. I tried to think of a way to comfort Minnie May but my shell-shocked mind was completely drawing a blank. Looking back on the scene later, I realized that Minnie May wouldn't have been reachable anyway. She was in such a state that she probably couldn't have been reached by anything or anyone.

"Hey Mommy, you wanna know something weird?" Chrissie asked, excited but at the same time quite puzzled.

"What's that?" I asked her, breathless.

"The bunny's not hopping at all. She's just running. Aren't bunnies supposed to hop more than they run?"

"I would think so," I responded. By this time, I felt completely in a daze. I didn't know what the hell was happening but I did know one thing. The thing I was fully aware of was that I did NOT like what was going on. AT ALL! I thought the bunny's reaction to my attempt to comfort her was way out of the ordinary and very unacceptable. Yes, she was new to the world and there was a lot for her to learn and it was very overwhelming at times, but she did not have to act in such an unruly way. None of the girls acted that way when I created them and neither did Bryan. So why was she so much different? It couldn't be simply just because she was an animal, could it?

Minnie May continued running and squeaking. At one point during the bunny's rampage, Chrissie shouted, "Look Mommy, this bunny has big, huge claws! She's clawing at the carpet! Oh, if our evil grandmother could see this she'd be throwing just as much of a tantrum as the bunny is throwing!"

Minnie May was out of control. I didn't know whether it was because she was frustrated with how overwhelmed she felt or if something else that perhaps I hadn't seen panicked her. Maybe she thought that my cat Gregory, whom everybody could see, could see her and that's why she felt the urge to run, run, and run. Still unable to think of a way to calm her down, I decided that the only thing to do was to leave the room and let her wear herself out.

"Let's let her be, you guys," I told my demons.

"She's just going to have to run her course. Eventually she'll get so tired she'll collapse. When she does, we can come back in the bedroom and give her lovins."

"She's in too bad of a way to leave behind," protested Nevaeh.

"If we leave her she'll think that we don't love her," Mary Meyers sobbed.

"She is too wound up to be able to form that much of a thought," I reassured them.

"Right now she's just stuck in panic mode or angry mode, whichever one I can't say, and she's totally unreachable. The best thing for us to do is to leave. Even if it makes her feel mad we need to do what's best for us."

Reluctantly, all three of my demons agreed. Taking the lead, I walked to the bedroom door, opened it, and walked out. Once out of the room, I turned around and saw Chrissie slowly walking out of the room. Nevaeh and Mary Meyers lagged a ways behind her, still not convinced that leaving Minnie May to fend for herself was such a good idea.

"Come ON!" I yelled.

"The more we stare at her the madder she's going to get. She just needs time alone right now. I need time away from her, too. We all just need one big time out."

When I finally managed to get my demons to agree and comply with my wishes, I shut the door firmly and walked away from the bedroom and headed downstairs. The kitchen was going to be my destination. My grand plan was to raid the freezer and see what flavor of ice cream I could dig up. That's what we all needed. A nice, deep, huge bowl of whatever ice cream we could all scrounge up. Sure, the ice cream might not be exactly new and fresh but beggars can't be choosy, right? If we could find any ice cream at all, that would be something to celebrate.

"Why are you shutting your bedroom door?" my nosy mother asked from the den, where she sat watching Judge Judy, her favorite TV show of all time. Personally, I hated that show. I thought that Judge Judy was a major prick who really shouldn't be getting away with being so rude to people who came to see her. I always thought that she was probably making other court judges look really bad, setting a bad reputation for all of them.

Oh Shit, I thought.

What do I tell her?

"Tell her that you don't want the cat getting into your room," Nevaeh suggested.

"I shut it because I don't want the cat getting in there," I said, following my brilliant little doll's advice.

"Why not? You always let him go in your room. There never used to be a problem with it before," my mother bitched.

I stood there, rooted to the spot, resenting and hating her for always questioning my every move and every decision. She always made me second guess myself. No matter what I did, no matter how logical it was, she always had to put her two cents in and question why I was doing what I was doing and suggesting her way of doing it because her way of doing things and deciding things was way better than my way, or anybody else's way for that matter. She is the reason why I lack self confidence today, though I have managed to find some of it over the course of almost two years of not seeing her. I'm certain that I'll develop even more self confidence the more time I spend away from her and the longer I can go without communicating with her on the phone, via email, or any other ways of communication.

"Tell her that Gregory keeps trying to get into the crawl space in your closet and that he's tracking dirt into the house when he comes out of there. She'll leave you alone after that," Nevaeh encouraged me.

I knew she was right. All I ever had to do to get her off my back was mention dirt or anything else that she considered filthy and she would usually come to the consensus that I was acting logically after all and that no further questioning of my decisions was necessary, so long as I was avoiding dirtying up the fancy stuff in her house and the ugly white carpeting that took up most of the house.

I repeated what Nevaeh coached me to say, and, sure enough, she shut her pie hole and went back to watching her stupid show.

We all headed downstairs and rooted around in the freezer for quite some time, knocking boxes and other crap on the floor as we dug and dug, hoping to find even a spoonful of some chocolate flavored ice cream in the freezer.

"Shut up down there!" The bitch yelled from upstairs in the den. I could hear Judge Judy shouting even louder than she had been when I left my bedroom as my mother turned up the volume on the remote.

"I can't hear what she's saying. What are you doing anyway?"

"Trying to find some ice cream," I told her, mouthing the word cunt after I explained myself yet again to her.

"We don't have any," she said, annoyed.

"We have some lemon cookies in the pantry, though. Grab those and stop making so much noise."

Lemon cookies didn't sound nearly as delicious as something chocolatey or ice cream but they were better than nothing sweet to eat.

"Make sure you pick up everything that fell out of the freezer and put them away NEATLY!" she nagged on.

"Okay," I said drily, admiring people who could manage to tune out people who annoyed them on a regular basis. I still hadn't quite managed to learn that trick completely, but I never did give up on it. Looking back on the way life used to be before I got the hell out of there, I can see that I probably could have learned to tune her out if she had given me the chance to. But she was so good at getting her way and making sure that she fussed and complained until she got her way that I never did have enough time to learn that precious skill. Whenever she'd say something and I didn't answer right away, she'd say loudly, "Did you hear me?" Because she would do that so much I found it impossible to tune her out because I was always afraid that she would ask me to repeat what she had just said. And anyway, I had to actually listen to her in order to meet her demands or else there would be hell to pay and quite possibly even a slap in the face, just to make sure I remembered who was the master, who had all the power and to remind me just how helpless I truly was under her control.

After I cleaned up and put everything away as neatly as I could, though I knew it would never be good enough for the bitch upstairs, I went to the pantry and asked all of my friends to help me find the lemon cookies. If I didn't find them pretty much as soon as I opened the door I'd get yelled at even worse for making too much noise.

"Hey Mommy, I FOUND IT!" Chrissie yelled as she bounced up and down, holding the lemon cookie box up high in the air proudly for all to see.

"Let's dig in!"

We opened up the box to find three long rows of lemon cookies lined up inside the box. They felt exactly like Oreo cookies, only they were thinner and they tasted lemony instead of chocolatey. I was skeptical about how they would taste but, upon biting into one, I realized that they were quite delicious and that they would definitely serve the purpose of satisfying and calming us quite well.

"Would you guys like to have some milk with those cookies?" I asked my demons.

"Absolutely!" they all cried, spraying food all around with their completely full mouths.

I poured a great, big, tall glass of milk for all of us, let Chrissie carry the box of cookies to the bar, and sat down with all my girls surrounding me. With the bunny not closely present, I felt so much calmer than I had felt in weeks! I could feel some of the tension in my muscles starting to be released. Not a whole lot but just enough to notice.

"It's so nice not having the bunny around," I said to my friends.

"Maybe I should try to kill her."

I expected them to all shout "NOOOOOOOOOO!" To my great surprise, they all just sat there silently, crunching on their cookies and drinking the ice cold milk.

Once we all felt better and after I had rinsed out the milk glass thoroughly and put it in the dishwasher and put the box of cookies away, I said, "Well, let's go check on that bunny of ours."

As I walked up the stairs, the little amount of tension that I had managed to release while eating cookies with my friends returned. The closer I got to my bedroom, the slower I walked.

"Are you okay?" my ever observant mother asked as I walked past the den.

"Fine," I mumbled as I neared the bedroom door.

"I just have a lot of homework to do," I added, knowing very well that she wasn't going to be satisfied until she got a wordy response from me, explaining myself yet again.

I opened the bedroom door. Nevaeh shot in ahead of me and stopped dead in her tracks.

"The bunny!" she exclaimed.

"She's gone!"


"Yes, she's not anywhere in sight!"

"Check under the bed, in the closet, in the dresser drawers, in the bureau drawers," I said, feeling positive that she must be hiding in one of those places.

"Maybe even check the crawl space."

My girls got down on their hands and knees and looked everywhere but to no avail. The bunny had simply disappeared.

"Well, that's just plain weird," Mary Meyers said, her forehead creasing with concern.

"Do you think she escaped from out the window?"

"Wait just a minute," whispered Chrissie. It wasn't often that Chrissie whispered. She usually got her point across and expressed her excitement by shouting everything. That was just her way, though she didn't shout meanly like my mom did.

Chrissie ran out of the bedroom and into the den, leaving a WHOOSH sound behind her as the wind blew from when she ran.

"Chrissie, where are you GOING?" I asked, tension building up stronger than before. I couldn't afford to lose any of my friends then. I needed them desperately. If even one of them strayed from me, I was certain that trouble would arise and that I would be stuck in something awful, though I wasn't at all sure just what that awful thing was or what it looked like, if it even looked like anything at all. I was just so unsure of everything.

"Mommy, I'm back!" Chrissie said a second later. She was breathless and perspiration ran down her forehead and her back.

"The bunny, it's hanging out with your MOM!"

"WHAT?!!!!!!!!!" My demons and I all shrieked at once.

"Yeah, take a look," she said to Nevaeh and Mary Meyers.

They all walked into the den and came back with looks of both betrayal and disgust on their wicked little faces.

"It's true," Nevaeh confirmed.

"She's sitting on your mother's lap eating cereal and watching Judge Judy like Judge Judy's her hero or something. Makes me want to puke!"

I remembered then how my mother had told me on numerous occasions about how she thought that Judge Judy was her hero, that she admired her for being so free to be rude to whoever came into her courtroom. My mother liked the way Judge Judy so openly and heartlessly humiliated people on national television almost every single day of the week. I shivered at the thought. Who was the bunny really? Was it my mother's imaginary friend? Had my mother created a portion of the bunny and then I had somehow gotten myself into creating the other half of it? I didn't know my mother to be into make believe stuff but maybe she was. Normally she poo pooed make believe stories but maybe she poo pooed it because she really believed in imaginary characters, too, but was just too ashamed to admit it openly like I'm finally doing now to you, dear readers.

"The bunny's eyes are like GLUED to the TV screen," Nevaeh told me.

"It's really creepy! It looked like they were identical, like they were sharing the exact same thoughts."

"I don't like the bunny anymore," Chrissie said.

"Me neither," agreed Mary Meyers.

"I HATE her," Nevaeh growled.

"The bunny's evil! She must be destroyed! Can you destroy her Mommy?"

"I'd like to," I said.

"I'm not sure how exactly to do it but, with your help I'm sure we can have her defeated."

"I don't want her defeated Mom, I want her DEAD!" Bellowed Chrissie.

"She doesn't belong in our tribe! She's a hater, an abuser, and she's no good. If she stays around much longer, she's going to become allies with your mom. With the help of your mom, the bunny is only going to get stronger and more powerful. The bunny feeds off of your mom's abuse towards you I think. She must DIE!!!!"

"Okay Chrissie, I hear you! I'm blind, not deaf," I told her.

"Well, sometimes you don't listen!" she said, justifying her need to shout everything at me.

"I'm just making sure you're actually going to hear us out and do something about it. We'll help you destroy her, kill her, but we can't do it unless you're on board with our plan, too."

"I'm on board," I assured her.

"Now we need to all just take a deep breath, calm down, sit down somewhere where we won't be bothered, and think of what we can do in terms of destroying her for good."

"Your mother's show's almost over," Nevaeh cautioned m all of us.

"You know what that means."

Yes, we all did. As soon as her distraction of Judge Judy was over, she was going to direct her full, undivided, unwanted attention all on me. That would last until Chris came home and then she would direct it at him and his son and figure out what she could bitch at Chris about that night. Unless she was in a good mood. If her spirits were high and she felt fully in control and like things were going her way, then she'd be smooching on him all night. They would be watching romantic movies, maybe fight a little about some stupid thing, like whether it was too late to start the washer, and then they'd make up and have makeup sex afterwards. Chris often doted on her, with high hopes of her being in a good mood when he came home. But, once he was home, it didn't matter so much to me whether her she felt friendly or not because I knew that her attention was finally diverted to him and not me anymore.

"So we'll wait until Chris comes home and after we have dinner," I told them, knowing that after supper was a time when I was free to go to my room because I knew my mother was being entertained otherwise.

"Just a few more hours and then we'll start forming a plan of action."

"How will we keep the bunny from finding out about our plan?" asked Mary Meyers.

"I'm sure that won't be too hard," Nevaeh said, sarcasm radiating off her voice like light radiates from the sun.

"The bunny and your mother are inseparable Mommy. We won't try to attract the bunny's attention. As long as we are as quiet as we can be, the bunny won't notice us and will continue to hang out with the cunt."

"No Nevaeh, that's not what we should do at all," howled Chrissie.

"If we're quieter than usual, the bunny will become suspicious. Just because she's an animal doesn't mean she can't pick up on something that seems out of place. No, what we really must do is act like everything is normal. We should pet the bunny, give it love, and act like we want it around forever. We should give it extra carrots and apple slices to try and make up for scaring or angering it earlier today. Then, when it goes to sleep after having such a full stomach, we will sit and form our plan for mass destruction."

"Chrissie's plan makes sense to me," I told Nevaeh.

"It's going to be hard to be nice to the bunny, I know, but we must do it in order to get it killed quicker. Do you think you can bear with us Nevaeh?"

"I guess so," she said warily.

"But I want extra lemon cookies after having to be nice to that filthy, mangy little beast."

"Deal," I told her and she put her tiny hand into my large hand and we shook firmly, sealing the deal.

"I'll also work on Mom and see if we can get some damn ice cream in the freezer within the next day or so," I added to the deal to sweeten it a little so that if Nevaeh grew tempted to be mean to the bunny she could have that extra piece to chew on.


"And now," I said to my friends as the music indicating the end of Judge Judy sounded from the TV speakers.

"We wait."

"Yes," they all agreed, hugging me tightly.

"We wait."

HAIL SATAN!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Minnie May, Part 1

HAIL SATAN!!!!!!!!!


Minnie May is the bunny, the very evil, manipulative, sneaky bunny. She doesn't want me to write about her, to expose her and all of her evil tricks. I have been trying to write about her for an hour now and she has tried numerous times to distract me with the phone, the Internet, needing to go to the bathroom, worrying about the future and what it will bring me, etc. But I am going to expose Minnie May, right here, right now, for the whole world to read if they so desire. Secrets can only be kept concealed for so long before little drops of truth begin to leak out. Sometimes, if the secret is held for too long, the whole truth comes pouring out like a carton that wasn't repaired and the hole in it got bigger and bigger until eventually everything comes gushing out. Minnie May, I will defeat you! Little by little I will begin to understand you and the way you work. Slowly, slowly, very slowly, you will weaken the more I understand how you operate and how to maneuver around your maze of tricks that you have set up for me. The jig is up Minnie May! And it all ends right now!

Minnie May is a bunny. I've mentioned the bunny in the previous story but it wasn't quite time to write about her then. Now it is. Anyway, Minnie May is my evil shadow, a shadow that I cannot flee from or get rid of no matter how hard I try. Minnie May isn't just any ordinary bunny. She is probably the most unusual bunny there is. There is no right way to describe her because she is always changing her appearance to try and trick me into believing that she is someone else, not the bunny. Her main reason for changing her appearance is to make me believe that she is a different bunny, a friendlier bunny, that only has my best interest at heart. I used to fall for her transformation tricks quite often but, as time goes on, I am falling for them less and less, much to her great dismay.

Minnie May is a bunny that I created myself. I didn't intend to create such an evil bunny, it just happened that way. I created her because I thought that she could be another one of my imaginary friends, a friend who I could love and trust and consider my partner in crime. The details of when and where I made her are vague, probably because my childhood sucked and my only way of coping was to block most of it out. So, if you were to ask just how old she is, I couldn't tell you exactly. All I know is, I created her after Chrissie, Nevaeh, Bryan, and Mary Meyers came into existence. Before the girls came around but after I had made Bryan, I had sort of a small resemblance of a bunny or some kind of animal that was similar to a bunny, a spirit form of one I guess you could say, but her whole figure didn't develop until the girl friends came along because I couldn't decide what Minnie May should look like and what kind of creature she should be. All I knew at the time was that I wanted an animal imaginary friend, not just a tree friend, who I rarely saw anyway because I didn't understand what his purpose was yet. I needed an animal imaginary friend who would give me cuddles and kisses to help combat the strong feelings of grief and loneliness that I felt since my dad had died. After her spirit form came into existence, I thought I would feel better, less isolated maybe, but I didn't feel any comfort from her. The loneliness felt worse than before, unbearable at times, and my heart ached so much for my dad to come back that I thought it was at risk of combusting into a hundred billion pieces. I wondered if I would feel better and get more comfort from her once I made a body for her but every time I tried to make one I felt completely drained of energy, unable to hold a coherent image or thought about what she should look like for more than five seconds at a time. Fatigue would wash over me, leaving me cold and breathless. At that point, I would usually burrow down under the covers and try to absorb as much warmth as I could. If being under the covers wouldn't work, I'd take a scalding, hot shower. Sometimes the showers would work, but more often than not I would get out of the shower still shivering and feeling totally blank, like a walking, breathing zombie. I should have realized that something was very wrong with this imaginary creature that I was attempting to make but my brain wasn't capable of recognizing the signs for anything. It was hardly capable of forming a coherent thought and holding it for more than a few seconds at a time. This is how Minnie May was able to get stronger as time went on. She knew I was weak and vulnerable and she sucked up every opportunity she could by draining me of my energy and will to live so that she could get stronger and more cunning. My suffering was what the bunny thrived on. My suffering was like the bunny's food and water, two very essential things for keeping humans and animals alive.

It wasn't long after the girl demons came to me that I gave Minnie May her bunny form. Mary Meyers, Chrissie, and Nevaeh had been pestering me for some time about wanting to have a pet. I had a real live cat named Gregory but they didn't have much fun with him because Gregory couldn't see my demons because they lived in my head, therefore making me the only one who could see and hear them. They tried to chase Gregory around the house, pull on his tail, meow loudly in his ears, stroke his silky soft fur, but they got no reaction from him whatsoever. This infuriated them so they turned to me, begging to have a pet of their own.

"Mommy, we'll take care of it," they all chirped.

"We'll feed it, we'll take it outside to potty, and we'll groom it before it even has a chance to get stinky. Please, can we have a pet?"

At first I objected because I thought I was possessed with enough demons for one person. I didn't want to have too many imaginary friends roaming around inside of my head because I very well just might wind up going crazy after all. But they were very persistent and so finally I gave in. After all, they were all very good, responsible demons and they really didn't ask for much. What would one more imaginary demon hurt? So I gave in and began to work on Minnie May's body. I wasn't sure what kind of animal she would become and my girls weren't too picky on what kind of critter they wanted. All they knew was, they wanted a pet of any kind and they wanted it RIGHT NOW!!!!

Minnie May got a soft, furry dark brown head. Then she got some whiskers and a cute little button nose. Her eyes I made orange so that they would glow in the dark. I wanted her eyes to glow in the dark so that she could provide light for my demons when they went outside on their night adventures in the woods. She got four little paws and a little stub for a tail. I meant to give her a long, fuzzy tail that my girls could hold onto in case they got lost in the blackest of black places and the light from her eyes wasn't enough to guide them into a lighter area of woods or wherever they were but, for some reason, the tail just wouldn't grow into anything but a short little stub. So finally I just gave up on the tail and told the girls to bring flashlights in case they needed more light than Minnie May could provide.

I didn't know that Minnie May was going to be a bunny until she was completed and she began nibbling on carrots, apple slices, and lettuce. I just gave her the essential body parts that an animal needs and she decided that her main shape was going to be a bunny, and a small one, too. The first form that she took that I thought she would permanently stay in was a small bunny, so small that she could fit in someone's jacket pocket. She was too big to fit in pants pockets, though. She was a plump, round little bunny who loved to eat and hop about, stopping ever so often to graze on grass, weeds, dandelions, and whatever else that she thought tasted appetizing. My girls all loved her. They didn't know exactly what to name her but I told them that there was no need at all to rush.

"But what will we call her?" Nevaeh whined to me, completely in the depths of despair that a name failed to come to mind.

"How will she know that we're talking to her?" Chrissie added.

"You can point in her direction when you're speaking to her," I told them in a reassuring voice.

"Just take a few days to watch her and study her personality and the characteristics that stick out the most to you guys. A name will come to you eventually, I promise. Just give it some time and be patient. Everything takes time."

I remember at the time thinking that it was quite odd that none of the girls could think of one single name to call her. Normally they would be squabbling and squawking at each other, unable to agree on a name. They were always quarreling with each other as all siblings do and often times, it drove me nuts beyond belief. I was sure that all sorts of names would be flying all around the room as they fought to agree on something. As I sat there amongst all three of them, the silence that hung in the room seemed ominous, scary, out of place and highly abnormal. I knew that something was wrong but I could not put a finger on what, exactly was wrong. I tried so desperately to pinpoint the problem but my mind kept colliding with a wall that was at the end of yet another dead end road. I also wondered why the silence that was substituting the boisterous squabbling of my imaginary friends was so terrifying to me. Normally I welcomed silence. Silence meant peace, harmony, safety. Silence meant that there wasn't a fight going on downstairs between my mother and her boyfriend Chris or Tim, whoever was around to satisfy one of my mother's very abundant needs at that time. Normally I embraced the silence, felt the safest when all there was looming around me was the soft, sweet protective wall of silence, sometimes tainted a little bit by the music playing from my radio in the farthest corner of my bedroom from the door as possible. The farther I could be from my mother's bitchy voice and the fighting, the better I felt

"What's wrong Mommy?" my demons all asked me.

"I don't know," I said, uncertain.

"Maybe I'm just feeling a little vulnerable or something right now. It's nothing you guys, nothing at all. Why don't you go outside and play with your bunny. I'm going to sit here and listen to a few old classics that my dad and I used to listen to. Hopefully I'll feel better soon. When I do, I'll come outside and play with you guys. Until then, take the bunny outside and try to figure out what she will be called."

My demons agreed and, once Chrissie picked up the squirming, fuzzy little bunny in her soft, bean-filled arms, my girls waved farewell to me and departed my room by walking through the window. Since they were demons, they had the ability to walk through windows and doors and sliding glass doors. They couldn't walk through walls or through furniture, though, something that fascinated me quite a bit. I used to think it was quite strange how they could walk through doors and windows but not through couches or beds or dressers.

Time went on and still they could not think of a name for the bunny. As time went on, the tension built up stronger and stronger inside of me, putting much strain on my shoulders, back, and neck. Whenever I stretched out in bed or on the couch, my back and neck muscles all made popping sounds as the muscles tried desperately to relax, to relieve themselves of the ceaseless tension that invaded them. More often than they ever did before, the muscles in my body began to twitch constantly, which was another way that they tried to relieve the tension and get me to relax. It perturbed me even more as every day went on that my friends couldn't think of a name for the bunny even though it had been over a month since I had created her in full. I could have understood them not being able to conjure up a name for her if she had only been in the spirit form and didn't have a body to call her own yet. But she DID have a body, now, a real, live, visible body that they could all see and yet they still drew a blank on what her name should be. They also seemed more lethargic than usual, not being to find the energy they normally had to argue amongst themselves over everything like they always had before. I never thought I'd miss their fighting but, as time dragged on, I began to miss it more than ever. The silence was suffocating me, squashing the insides of my head and chest and all over, and I just wanted it to go away. My mom kept asking what my problem was and demanding to know why I wasn't very talkative. Of course I couldn't explain to her what was really happening. I really wished I had someone to confide in, but since my dad had died, there was nobody I trusted enough to tell my deepest, darkest secrets to anymore. I was all alone. I felt all alone and lonelier than ever, even with the three of my girls, who stayed with me constantly. I, too, felt very lethargic and hopeless. The quality of my school work diminished as my interest in all activities, especially school, dwindled down to nothing. What, oh what, had I gotten myself into? That was the million dollar question that hung over my head and haunted me day in and day out.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Time for Ice Cream

HAIL SATAN!!!!!!!!!


Ice cream is one of the best things in life. That's what my demons and I think anyway. We are all so addicted to ice cream and we indulge in it almost every single day. If we could, we would eat nothing but ice cream, cake, brownies, and all sorts of other chocolatey yummy treats. We are, by no means, health freaks. After all, we wouldn't be very sinful Satanists if we were health freaks now, would we?

Yesterday was another scorcher of a summer day. Although we all liked how the sun warmed us, we often felt too hot when it got past eighty degrees. Sitting in my house, taking care of the baby, it suddenly occurred to me that I hadn't gone to one of my favorite ice cream places since before I had the baby. I hadn't gone there in five months or so. The place I'm talking about is the Coldstone Creamery.

"Come on Mommy, let's GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" shouted Nevaeh as she did back flips across our tiny living room that was cluttered with clothing and scraps of paper and a bunch of other crap.

"I don't know if we'll be able to," I told her.

"We are too broke to take taxis like e used to and you have to plan rides far in advance with Dial-A-Lift if you want to go anywhere."

Dial-A-Lift is a transportation service that picks up people who are disabled right at their front door and brings them to the front door of wherever they want to go. It's a pretty rad service but it sucks for spontaneous people like me, who like to just get up and go at the drop of a hat without having to plan every single activity.

"Come on Mommy, don't just give up and say no we can't go because we haven't called them early enough in advance," Chrissie hollered.

"Call them, call them, CALL THEM!!!!"

They all five began yelling for me to call them. Since Bryan was chiming in along with them, which was something he rarely ever did because it was too much work and effort for him to do because of his great need to be lazy and because I really was craving a nice, creamy treat, I said, "Okay, I'll call them. But I'm almost positive that we won't be able to go today. Tomorrow will be the earliest we can go to the Creamery and even tomorrow is questionable as to whether we will be able to go or not."

So I called their number. The dispatcher answered and I asked if they could take me to Coldstone that day. She said that their schedules were all booked up but that there was space on their agenda for tomorrow. So I reserved a ride there and a ride back. They were to pick me up at home at six o'clock and drop me off at Coldstone. Then they'd come back for me at around eight o'clock to bring me back to my Satanic boyfriend and my beautiful little girl.

Chris was all for me treating myself to ice cream. He always encouraged me to treat myself whenever I felt like it. He said that it was important for me to take little adventures with my friends and have a break from the baby once in a while. He's so darn sweet! I love him so much!

Upon hearing this, the bunny began running around in circles, squeaking and digging it's nails into the wood floor of my apartment, gouging little scratches in the floor. The bunny did not want me to treat myself to ice cream. It never did. The bunny absolutely HATED whenever I would do anything nice for myself and my demons. The bunny didn't like my friends or Chris or the baby. The bunny is EVIL!
"Is the bunny mad about you going out for ice cream?" Chris asked me.

"Oh yeah," Nevaeh answered for me.

"It's running around squeaking and clawing at the floor."

"Yeah, and it's also gnashing its teeth in pure fury!" Chrissie added, twirling around and then playing a drum roll on her snare drum.

"If the bunny's mad, then you should definitely go," Chris told me.

"I'm glad that you got a ride for tomorrow. I don't mind staying home and watching Amira. I love watching the body."

"Now the bunny's body is swelling up because it's having trouble containing all it's rage," Mary Meyers informed us in her high-pitched, celebrity doll voice.

All the rest of that day my friends acted like little children, running about, anticipating the next day and how delicious all the ice cream would be. I was excited about the upcoming day, too. I loved to stay home with Chris and the baby, too, but I hadn't gone on my own little adventure in a while and I felt like I was long due for one.

Tomorrow finally arrived. My friends woke me up in plenty of time before my ride was coming. They made sure that they made plenty of breast milk for Amira. Nevaeh had worked all night long the previous night, spending much time inside of my breasts and shuffling the tiny, black, Satanic Smm Smm cards, which were a key ingredient in helping my body produce enough breast milk. The Smm Smm cards have a number of useful qualities but my demons discovered through experimentation that they could produce breast milk and plenty of it soon after Amira was born.

Dial-A-Lift came and all my friends bounded up the stairs before I even had a chance to get to the entrance of the bus.

"Mom, HURRY UUUUUUUUUPPPPPPP!" yelled Chrissie.

"Gosh, you're so SLOOOOOOOOWWWWWW!"

"I'm coming, I'm coming," I said, laughing as I got on the bus.

"We have to pick up someone up at a catholic church and then drop her off at her home before I take you to Coldstone," the driver informed me as I buckled my seatbelt and looked out the window at yet another scorching hot sunny day.

"Okay, no problem," I said politely, though I didn't want to wait for that woman at all to get picked up and dropped off. I wanted to go straight to Coldstone.

"Stupid Dial-A-Lift!" bellowed Chrissie.

"I'm going to put a curse on that woman."

"Why?" I asked.

"She didn't do anything to us."

"Yes she did! She is slowing us down, cramping our style. I hate her, I hate her, I HATE HER!"

"Calm down Chrissie," I scolded.

"We'll get there and we'll have plenty of time to enjoy our ice cream. Just enjoy the ride, okay?"


Chrissie loved to say no about everything. She reminded me of a toddler that never wants to share her toys and is always telling people no a lot.

When we arrived at the church, Chrissie scrambled down the stairs, walked up to the front door of the building, and peed inside of the holy water fountain. she always pees on things when she's mad. It's her way of getting revenge on people who she majorly dislikes and even on people who simply annoy her even a little bit.

"Come on Chrissie," I told her.

"I'm not done yet!"

Chrissie then went inside of the church and began eating all the food donated to the church by rich people that was meant to feed the hungry. When she had gotten her fill, she belched loudly and said, "That is more like it. The food's pretty stale, though. Poor people sure get crummy food. I don't know how they eat it."

"When you're hungry, you'll eat just about anything," I told her. We were all quiet as we solemnly remembered our time of famine when I first moved to college and hadn't managed to get my social security check sent to me instead of my greedy mother, who continually collected my check month after month and making it look like I was still living with her.

We had to wait almost twenty minutes for the woman to come out of the church. She had a high-pitched voice and it was also scratchy. During the trip to her house, she complained bitterly about how she didn't like the dispatcher who had scheduled her ride because he had made it so that she was to be picked up later than she wanted to be. I didn't understand why she as so mad. We had been waiting for her for twenty whole minutes. She was the one who had stayed inside of the church, gabbing away with her old, crotchety friends or praying or whatever pathetic Christians do to pass the time of their miserable, empty, lonely lives. She also complained that the couple that she was supposed to pray and have bible study with didn't show up that night, making her feel very discouraged.

After we dropped her off, it was smooth sailing to Coldstone. The traffic was light and the bus cruised on the freeway, making very few stops. When we finally arrived, the driver walked me to the door and then we said our good-byes.

"We're here, we're here, we're HERE!" my friends all shouted. Well, all except Bryan. He wasn't much of a shouter because he said it was too much work. He rode easily through the door of the ice cream parlor in his recliner, taking deep whiffs of the sweet smells of ice cream and freshly made waffle cones.

The Creamery was packed with families and lots of boisterous kids all hyped up on sugar. I waited in line, basking in the smells of all the sweetness the ice cream parlor had. Chrissie, Nevaeh, Smm Smm, and Mary Meyers jumped up and down and tasted samples of all the flavors that Coldstone had to offer. They had to be positively sure what they wanted so as to avoid disappointment. We didn't get to go to the Creamery very often so they had to make it good on what they ordered.

More people walked through the door as I waited in line. A guy kept repeating, "Welcome to Coldstone, welcome to Coldstone."

"Hmmmmm, that's not fair," Chrissie said, her mouth full of brownie batter ice cream.

"What's not fair?" I asked.

"The guy didn't welcome us when we came through the door. Do you think that he thought he could get away with not welcoming us just because you're blind? I hate him, I'm going to curse him for eternity for not giving us satisfactory customer service."

"Oh Chrissie, chill out," I said, but in the back of my mind I wondered if she was right. It happened more often than not that people treated me differently than everybody else because of my blindness so it wouldn't surprise me at all if he thought he could get away with slacking off because he figured that since I was blind I was also stupid and wouldn't notice.

When it was finally my turn to order, I ordered an Oreo Overload with chocolate chips and chocolate ice cream. By this time, all my demons had decided what they wanted.

"Mommy, I want the pumpkin ice cream," Chrissie announced, leaping from table to table in her excitement.

"I want the Oreo Overload, too, just like you Mommy," cooed Nevaeh.

"Do you want it with chocolate chips and chocolate ice cream, too?"

"You betcha!"

"I want brownie ice cream," sang out Mary Meyers.

"I want birthday cake ice cream," said Smm Smm.

"I want salted caramel ice cream," growled Bryan.

"And I want someone to feed it to me. I'm too tired to feed it to myself."

"I'll feed you," I told him, knowing very well that all the rest of my gluttonous demons would be too busy wolfing down their own ice cream to be bothered with accommodating Bryan's laziness.

As they dished out my ice cream, I asked the man who was in charge of welcoming everybody, "I noticed that you welcome everybody who comes in here. That's cool and all but you didn't welcome me when I arrived. Why not?"

"Oh," he said awkwardly.

"We're really busy. I guess I just didn't see you. I'm sorry."

"Whatever," I said. I then asked them to sing one of their famous Coldstone songs. The man picked up their bell, rang it twice, and all the workers behind the counter began bursting out in song. You are supposed to leave a tip when they sing to you but I didn't feel like it. I probably needed the money more than they did. And anyway, Satan really doesn't like any of his followers to be givers.

When I got my ice cream, I paid, and then proceeded to find a table. There was only one table open and I snatched it up before anyone else could.

"Excuse me, ma'am," a man said to me as he walked over to me.

"I think you dropped a dollar on the floor."

I was pretty sure I hadn't, for I had made sure I had tightly squashed the money they gave me back deep in my pocket. I wasn't going to argue with the man, though.

"Finders keepers, losers weepers," cooed Chrissie as I took the dollar off the table where the man had set it.

"That's right," I said. And even though I was certain that the dollar did not belong to me, I stuffed it in my pocket, sat down, and dove headlong into my rich, creamy, delightful chocolate heaven.

We all ate in silence, completely in chocolate bliss. Every swallow felt divine. Every chocolate chip that I bit into made me smile. Every Oreo crunched by my teeth made my insides relax and the happy hormones blossom within me. The ice cream was hard, dark brown, and just perfect to eat on a ninety degree day. What more could I have asked for? I was so content, so carefree, so happy. I did miss my little daughter, though, and I wondered how she was doing, if she was crying a whole bunch at home or if she was letting her exhausted daddy rest in peace.

"More, more, feed me more," roared Bryan whenever I'd slip off into a chocolate reverie.

"Geez, if I'm not feeding you quickly enough then why don't you feed yourself?" I said, laughing as I scooped up another imaginary bite and plopped it in his widely gaping mouth.

"Because I'm lazy and because I don't have to. If you want to do all the work for me it's better for me. More, more, give me MORE!"

As I ate, I overheard grouchy parents scolding their kids, impatiently asking them, "What kind of ice cream do you want! Hurry up, decide already!" Another woman was telling her boy toddler, "No, get away from my ice cream, eat your own ice cream. You didn't even say please." When he started to cry, she said, "If you're going to cry then you don't get to eat this." As she spoke, she snatched him from his chair, telling him that she was going to get him cleaned up, and brought him into the bathroom. I wondered if she let him finish the last of his ice cream or if she had really taken it away from him just because he was sad.

"Boy, these parents are really impatient with their kids," I said to my friends.

"I hope that I'm not like those parents when Amira gets older. I don't want Amira to think of me as the meanie of the parents like I felt my mom was. I worry that I am going to be a bad parent like my mom was. I don't want to be like her, I hate her! That's why I won't let her see her grandkid. I don't want Amira to have to suffer through all the things I had to suffer through as a child and as a teen and even in my early adult years."

"Mommy, you are a wonderful parent," Mary Meyers assured me.

"All parents get frustrated with their toddlers because toddlers are a lot of friggin' work! It's okay to get impatient and fed up sometimes, it's normal. Nobody's perfect. And you are so great with Amira. You are nothing like your evil mom. Don't let the bunny try and trick you into believing that you are like her because you're not. And don't let the things all those bitchy staff at the hospital said about you either. You are doing just fine. Chris would want to talk to you if he was worried about the way you were handling her."

Her words comforted me a great deal. I hugged her, gave her an Eskimo kissy, and finished up my ice cream, making sure to eat every last Oreo and chocolate chip that was left in the colossal cup that they served me.

When we had finished our ice cream, I told my friends that I wanted to wait for my ride outside. The noise of all those loud kids was starting to overstimulate me, and anyway, I was freezing cold from all the ice cream I had gobbled up and the air conditioning that was blasting away in the parlor made it even worse. I knew it would be much warmer and quieter outside.

I walked outside of the ice cream parlor and found a bench a few feet away to sit on. When I sat down, I realized that all of my demons were with me except Nevaeh.

"Where's Nevaeh?" I asked Smm Smm.

"She's still inside the store."

"Nevaeh, you have to come outside and hang with me now or else you might miss the bus," I said aloud. I used to speak to my friends only in my head so the outside world wouldn't know I had imaginary friends. But nowadays I didn't really give a damn what people thought of me anymore. All my life I had been shamed by my mother into not being myself and I was sick of it and determined to do the exact opposite of everything that she tought me I was supposed to do.

"Come on Nevaeh, you can't stay here forever. We'll come back soon, I promise. Come on now, the bus will be here any minute now!"

A mother and her kid were walking out of Coldstone as I was talking to Nevaeh. The kid stared at me for a few seconds and then said curiously, "Mommy, who is that girl talking to? Whose Nevaeh?"

"Come here Olivia!" her mother cried. Chrissie told me through bursts of laughter that she frantically began reaching out for her daughter.

"Come here, hold my hand!"

She took her daughter's hand firmly and began quickly escorting her to the car and away from me. I smiled to myself, thinking that the woman obviously thought that I belonged in a mental hospital and that she was scared that I'd do something to her kid or something.

It is funny how so many people are afraid of people who have mental health issues. Almost everybody, including my family, are. Once, during one of my many therapy sessions, I talked to my therapist about how I thought it was amusing how so many people flee from people who they see talking to themselves or rocking back and forth or anything else that society deems abnormal. My therapist laughed along with me and said, "You know, crazy people aren't actually dangerous. Well, I guess some are but the vast majority of crazies really aren't dangerous. Sure, they look odd to everybody around them when they hear voices in their head and answer them back or whatever but they really don't pose a threat to other people. They are more harmful to themselves more than anything. The real problem that people should be worried about is how to get them to stop hurting themselves."

As I laughed with my demons about how freaked out the woman had been about me talking to my unseen demons, a man came up to me and said, "Hail jesus."

He sounded familiar. I knew he was one of the many people who I had said "Hail Satan!" to downtown. He sounded like he was the grouchy bus driver who I often say "Hail Satan!" to as I'm getting off the bus just to annoy him and make him mad.

"Satan loves you!" I called after him as he walked away from me.

"Hail Satan!"

Eventually Dial-A-Lift arrived and we all climbed aboard. As I rode home, I picked out all the chocolate chip pieces that had gotten lodged in between the grooves of my teeth and relished their sweet, rich flavor. I loved how even after I had finished eating ice cream at Coldstone I always had a wonderfully pleasant aftertaste and many more melted parts of chocolate chips stuck in my teeth to enjoy on the way home. Nevaeh was doing the same, exact thing as me. We smiled at each other and counted down the minutes until we would be back home to our beautiful, princess daughter.

Even though I hadn't been gone that long, I longed to touch her smooth, little nose. I touch her nose instead of kissing her. Well, I give her Eskimo kisses, which is when I rub my nose against hers but I don't do any of those disgusting slimy kisses like my grandma and mom used to dole out. That's how I show my affection. I love to touch the little creases in her nose and to feel the warm air shooting from the two little holes of her nostrils as she breathes ever so contentedly and peacefully in her sleep, completely at ease with her surroundings and totally aware of how truly loved she is.

HAIL SATAN!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Home Bitter Home, Part Three

HAIL SATAN!!!!!!!!!


When we arrived at the Japanese restaurant, I got out of the car, making sure to leave my cane behind in my backpack. Normally I would use my cane all the time to prevent unnecessary falls and to let others around me know that I was blind so they would stay out of my way but I couldn’t do that when I was around my mom. My grandmother didn’t mind me using my cane. In fact, she often encouraged me to use it when I was out in public and she would yell at my mom for telling me not to use it. But I couldn’t use it when I was with my mom. Only on rare occasions did she let me use it and it was usually when she was with one of her boyfriends and too wrapped up in him to care or notice what I was doing.

I’m not exactly sure why my mom didn’t like it when I used my cane. I have a couple of theories that I have thought of over a course of a few years now that I’ve moved away from her house and have had time and space to reflect on my life when I lived in her abusive home. The first theory that I came up with was this:

My mom hated it when I used my cane because it took away some of her power, forcing me to be dependent on her. When I used my cane, I felt a sense of self-confidence and security, knowing that I would be able to tell when a curb or a flight of steps had come my way. My mom didn’t like that I was sure. She liked being the one who had the power to tell me that there were steps coming or that there were people I had to maneuver around. I think that it made her feel good and almighty to know that my well-being depended solely on her. It made her feel good to know that if she didn’t tell me that there was a step down I could fall down. I also think it also made her have a sense of satisfaction to know that I was petrified when she would let go of my hand, which she often did when we’d be walking together, forcing me to beg for her to wait up. I’d often have to run after her, trying to find some part of her body I could grab onto for guidance. She would just get tired of walking with me a lot of the time and, it didn’t matter where we’d be, even right in the middle of a busy parking lot, and she’d just let go of my hand, saying, “Just walk beside me. Stop being so clingy.”

A few times I brought my cane with me and carried it in my hands folded up. When she let go of me, I unfolded it and began using it. She got furious.

“Fold it up right now,” she hissed.

“You’re going to trip someone with that thing. For goodness sakes, why can’t you just walk beside me?”

It never occurred to her, or maybe it did, who knows, that people wouldn’t trip over my cane if they would get out of my way, which they were supposed to do when they see a blind person walking. And, in the five years that I’ve been officially moved out of her house and allowed to use my cane, only one person has tripped over my cane and it was because she cut me off and expected me to stop and let her go by. Not my fault at all that she just assumed I’d see her in time and accommodate her just because she was in a hurry. My mother would have had a complete conniption if she had been with me when that happened, she wouldn’t have let me live it down, but I wasn’t sorry for that lady in the least. She had it coming and I didn’t apologize to her either. It was she that apologized to me because she knew that she was the one who was in the wrong.

The other theory I came up with more recently. It is actually both my theory and Chris’s theory. There was this one day when I started talking to my lover Chris about how much my mom despised it when I’d use my cane, even though like every blind person in the world uses one or maybe a seeing eye dog to get around. Chris said, “I think your mom didn’t let you use your cane was because she was ashamed of you. She hated that you were different from her and the rest of society.”

“You know what, I think you’re right,” I told him. It made perfect sense that she would be ashamed of me. She had always acted like she was anyway.
“She didn’t want anybody around her to know that you were blind so she forced you to put your cane away when you were out.”

I’ve tried to ask my mom about this but she denies being ashamed of me and she denies not allowing me to use my cane. She tried putting it back on me, saying that I was the one choosing not to use it and that she had nothing to do with it. She also denies releasing my hand in dangerous places when she got tired of walking with me and hurrying away from me, causing great stress and fear to explode within me. But I don’t care that she denies all of this. If that’s what she has to do to make her miserable self feel better about her evil self then she can knock herself out. I know what happened, I know the truth, and that’s really all that matters. I know the truth of what happened during my childhood and now I am exposing her and the rest of them for the true scoundrels and abusers that they truly are. I am breaking the silence once and for all. For once, they are the ones who can feel the powerlessness and fear that I had to endure and that I felt when I was living under their care.

“Give me your hand,” my mom said when I closed the door to the backseat.

I took her hand and she lead me into the restaurant. She was in a relatively good mood on that day and she actually told me when there as a step coming up that led up to the entrance of the restaurant. Of course, as she often did, she warned me about the step up way too far in advance, forcing me to have to drag my feet and take tentative steps because I thought the step was closer than it actually was. She would tell me, “Step up,” when we were still at least five steps away from it. I hated feeling this way, I’d always hated it, but I felt the hatred and powerlessness more than ever then because it had been so long since I hadn’t used my cane and had to depend on someone to tell me everything that was going on around me.

The restaurant was hustling and bustling with lots of happy, hungry customers. None of the food smelled very appetizing. It was loud in there and I longed to be somewhere else, anywhere else but where I was. I longed to be with anybody else but with the people I was with then, my family.

The Japanese restaurant was set up so that you had to share a table with another family. It felt very awkward sitting right across from strangers. It made me feel obligated to speak to them and that really sucked because I had absolutely nothing to say to them. They were nobody to me, just people who were invading my space and making a lot of noise.

Their food was in the process of being made. It sizzled right in front of us on their griddle or whatever the workers use when they make the food. I thought it was neat how they prepared the food right at our table but the guy who was preparing it kept ruining the show by making terrible jokes, trying to get us to laugh. Everybody else except me was laughing, which made me wonder if I was the only one who was being a stick in the mud, if I was the only one with the problem. Was something really, truly wrong with me? Were Mom and Grandma actually right about me?

Mom and Grandma read the menu to me and I did actually find a rice dish of some sort that seemed relatively good to try. Chrissie sat there on the edge of the table, her nose all scrunched up, scowling as fiercely as her tiny beanie baby mouth could manage.

“I’m not eating any of this crap,” she yelled.

“Fine, whatever Chrissie,” I told her wearily.

“Just don’t cry to me later because you’re starving. Now’s your chance to eat. I don’t know when we’re going to have our next meal.”

“You’d know if you hadn’t called THEM,” she snarled.

“You’d be in total control of where you were, what you were going to eat, and what you were going to do for the remainder of the day if you hadn’t called THEM! Now we’re ALL at their mercy and I HATE how that feels!”

“I know Chrissie,” I said.

“I know.”

“Chrissie, I understand you’re mad, but we have to be there for Mommy and support her in every way that we can,” Mary Meyers told her.

“I’m pissed that she called her, too, but she had a weak moment and because she was feeling vulnerable after what that cock sucker taxi driver did to her. Please be nicer to her, okay?”

“No!” Yelled Chrissie.

We ordered and then I spent the next half hour or so catching Mom and Grandma up on what I’d been up to. As I talked, Mom brushed all the gnarls out of my hair with a pick that she borrowed from Grandma. I had to hold the hair as she brushed because she was ruthless, ripping and tearing it out of its roots in my scalp with the pick. When she began to brush the underside of my hair, it was almost unbearable because she would brush too close to the skin and when the hair pulled it felt like my skin on both sides of my head that was close to my neck was going to come off right along with the hair.

There was nothing I could do, though but grit my teeth and pray that it would be over soon. Only I wasn’t in the habit of praying anymore so I said as many swear words in my head that I could think of and imagined that the words were jagged pieces of glass that I was throwing at my mom in all directions that pierced her skin and dug into her flesh and bones, drawing blood, oh, so much blood. I imagined that the word cunt was a jagged piece of glass that pierced her lungs and her heart, causing her to topple over dead right then and there. It was disappointing to see that she was still alive and breathing after she finished brushing my hair but at least it had gotten me through the utter torture and agony of it.

“Now it’s smooth as silk,” Mom said, admiring her work by petting me on the head like I was a dog or something.

“Feel your head,” she ordered.

I obeyed.

“Do you feel how smooth your hair feels?”


“Well, that’s the way it’s always supposed to feel. And, by the way, you have a lot of dandruff on your scalp so you’re obviously not doing a good job washing your hair. I want you to wash it again tonight. I’ll help you scrub all of it off.”

“I’ll do it,” I protested.

“Okay,” she said with a sigh.

“But I am going to inspect your work when you’re done. And I expect you to scrub, scrub, SCRUB it all off. Having a bunch of dandruff on your head makes your hair look nasty. And, you really need a trim. I’m going to see what I can do about getting you in for a haircut while we have you.”

My hair was long then and it looked a bit ratty. I liked how it looked and felt, though. When it felt the way my mom liked it, which was smooth and perfect, it didn’t feel like the hair actually belonged to me. I felt like I had a head of someone else’s hair but that it wasn’t really mine.

“See how they always make you alter yourself when you are with them?” Chrissie growled.

“We’d be eating ice cream somewhere or listening to music at home if you hadn’t called, not dealing with having to hear how horrible you look. I wonder what else your mom will want you to have altered next? She obviously doesn’t like you the way you are Mommy. She never has and she never will. She’s not going to change, EVER! While you make leaps and bounds in your life, she’s just going to stay the same because she doesn’t want to change. She thinks that nothing is wrong with her, that something is wrong with you and everybody else but that she is a goddess, flawless and perfect just the way she is. In reality, though, she is just stuck and sad. Stuck and sad, stuck and sad. That’s all she’ll ever be. You’ll be that way, too, if you keep subjecting yourself to her toxicity. Don’t you know that she wants you to be different because she’s really just trying to make up for how she wishes SHE could look and be?”

It was true what Chrissie told me, that I knew. While my mom had no desire to change her evil ways, she didn’t like the person that she was, which was why she felt the gross need to make me alter myself. She wanted to try and get to be the person that she wasn’t. Or, maybe she did like herself and just liked making me feel bad about myself.

I had learned in school growing up, though, that bullies often pick on other people because they really hate who they are and so they try to take it out on someone else. I couldn’t quite decide if that was what my mom was doing or if she really was proud of her evil personality and just didn’t have a heart or a conscience to guide her and show her the difference between right and wrong. I’m still confused about this and so are all the rest of my friends. Perhaps we will never figure her out. I’m at the point now where I really don’t care anymore. I’m at the point now where I just want REVENGE!

The food arrived and I began nibbling at it. The bad joke waiter brought a new dish over and my grandma said, “Mmmmmm, that looks good! Is it tangy?”

“Is it what?” He asked.


“What’s that?”

“You’ve never heard of the word tangy?” She asked, surprised.

“No. What does it mean?”

“It means spicy. Is it spicy?”

I don’t remember what his answer to my grandma’s question was. All I can remember is how embarrassing it was for me to sit there amongst all those people as my grandma tried to explain to him what tangy meant like it really mattered and like he was the most incompetent person in the world. She acted like just because she knew what tangy meant that the whole world should know, too, and if they didn’t, they were the stupidest people she had ever met and that she wasn’t going to let it lie until she had given them a good, long sermon on what the word meant. Sometimes, after my grandma had explained what a word meant to someone, she’d order them to say it. And if they didn’t want to, she’d say, “Why won’t you say it? Just say it already!”

She didn’t do it with that guy, though. Somehow, luck was on his side and he got off free. I only wished that I could be let off the hook, that I could be freed.

“You can be Mommy,” Chrissie shouted.

“Why are you acting like you are so helpless and powerless? You have a mouth, a functioning brain, and lots of great ideas! Don’t let your mom break you down and your grandma embarrass you. They have no right, NO RIGHT AT ALL TO DO THAT TO YOU!!!!!!! Tell them right now that you want to go home. Do it while you’re still in Olympia. Do it, do it, DO IT!”

“Chrissie’s right Mom,” Nevaeh agreed.

“It’ll be easier to bail out now while we’re still in Olympia than it will be once we leave our safe place. I know the thought of doing it is scary but they can’t FORCE you to go home. Your mom can’t drag you by your hair like she used to do anymore, not while we’re in front of a restaurant full of people. Not unless she wants to face a major assault charge and possible jail time. But, if you go home and are alone with her, things can all change.”

They were right. They were right, I knew they were right, but I was too weak to tell them I wanted to go home to my dorm, that I had changed my mind about wanting to go to their home and visit them. I felt that I was in too deep now and that there was no going back, even though, looking at the whole picture now I realize that I very easily could have not gone home with them and that Nevaeh and Chrissie were truly right. They would have been completely powerless in that situation. All I had to do was call the mall security and ask them to escort me to the buses and head back to the college campus. All they could have done was watch me leave them behind, helpless and powerless against ME for once. It disgusts me that I didn’t act on my better judgment, that I didn’t go back to the dorm like Chrissie was begging me to do. I really just felt like I couldn’t do it. The fear was just too strong inside of me, paralyzing me, making it impossible to do anything but wallow in it.

“Mmmmmm, this sauce tastes good,” my mom said as she dipped a roll into some bright colored liquid. I was still nibbling on the rice, not really liking it or hating it. Not really tasting much of it all. My mind was too preoccupied with what lay ahead of me.

“What’s the sauce called?” I asked, trying to seem engaged with them so they wouldn’t squawk and cause even more of a scene than my grandma had already caused.

“It’s called yum yum sauce,” she replied.

“Say it sounds like Smm Smm sauce,” Chrissie squawked.

“Say it sounds like Smm Smm sauce, that it rhymes with it, too. Say it, say it, SAY IT!!!!!!!”

“Yeah, say it,” Mary Meyers and Nevaeh said in unison.

My mom always hated it when I said Smm Smm. I’m not really sure as to exactly why. I guess it’s because it’s not really a real word and so she deems it as abnormal, different from everybody and everything else, which she was determined to make sure I wasn’t. Anything that I said differently than anybody else she would scold me about. Anything and everything that as different and unique about me she would try to stamp out, like someone trying to stamp out a fire before it begins to burn out of control.

“Yum yum sauce, Hmmm?” I said.

“That rhymes with Smm Smm sauce. It SOUNDS like Smm Smm sauce, too.”

“NOT Smm Smm sauce,” she said loudly, straightening up in her chair so that she was sitting stiff as a board.

Chrissie, Nevaeh, and Mary Meyers hooted with laughter. I couldn’t help but crack a little smile myself seeing how disturbed this minor observation made her. It was true. Yum yum sauce DID, in fact, rhyme with Smm Smm sauce and she knew it just as well as I did. There was no way she could deny it. She didn’t try to deny it. She just sat there, stiff in her seat, and glowered down at me. Fortunately, being blind, this didn’t really intimidate me all that much. I could feel her knife sharp, ever scrutinizing stare digging into my face but it didn’t effect me as much as I imagined it would.

“See Mommy, you are already less afraid of your evil mother than you used to be,” Mary Meyers hollered before flinging her arms around me in a bear hug embrace.

“Good on you! I’m glad that you said it! We love you Mommy.”

“I love you, too,” I thought to them in my head. When I was in my dorm room I would talk to them aloud like I was speaking to a person who everybody could see. But, when I was around my folks and most of my friends, I spoke to them through silent thoughts. I didn’t want my mom to force me to move out of college and back home with her. At the time, I thought that she could do that, have me dragged out of college and locked up in a crazy hospital somewhere just because she thought I was crazy. How wrong I was.

I didn’t know how wrong I had been until I got a very insightful, informative message from my grandmother Giovanna some time after my last home visit, which is the one I’m writing about now. She left me a long, desperate, frustrated message on my phone, telling me how she and my mother had called the police, doctors, and even sought out attorneys to try and get me committed but that they were unable to do so because I hadn’t hurt myself or someone else. My mother had sent me a message some time before my grandma had left me that message, threatening to have me committed, but I just laughed at her because I was pretty sure she couldn’t really have me committed. Then I got that message from my grandma, confirming that I was right. Her message is on my blog right now for the whole world to hear, any time of the day or night.

After lunch was over, Mom and Grandma had there usual squabble over who would be buying lunch. I didn’t give a damn who bought lunch. It was all crap anyway. When I went out to lunch with a friend and one of them wanted to treat me, I’d never argue. I’d thank them and I’d feel grateful that I still had some leftover money to buy something I needed later.

“Don’t argue with me Jennifer,” her mother scolded her.

“I’m going to get it. I didn’t raise you to argue with someone who wants to treat you to a meal. I raised you to simply say thank you and take them up on the offer.”

“I just feel bad about it,” my mom said.

“I never get to buy you anything and, look at how much food Ashlee still has left on her plate! Look at all that food she is wasting. You shouldn’t have to pay for that.”

I sure as hell wasn’t going to pay for it, that was for damn sure. If there was one thing that I could absolutely say no to, that was it. I had made sure to leave my credit card locked securely away in my dorm bedroom before I left. I knew that if I brought it along with me, there was a good chance that they would con me into going to the bank, draining my account of pretty much everything that was in there, maybe leaving me fifty bucks or so and taking the other nine hundred or whatever I had left over from my social security check, and putting it into one of the many secret bank accounts that they have that I can’t access. They set up those bank accounts to be inaccessible to me on purpose. I was bound and determined not to let that happen. They had left me high and dry for too long when I first moved out and went to college. Over my dead and bleeding body would I let them leave me starving to the point of losing a good amount of my hair like they did ever again.

“I can’t pay for it,” I told them.

“I left my card at home. I figured I wouldn’t be needing it this weekend since you guys wanted me to come so badly anyway. I just figured you guys would treat me for the entire weekend.”

“Oh, that’s too bad,” my grandma said, her voice filled with woe like I had just told her that someone died.

“I was hoping to take you to the bank tomorrow since it’s open for limited hours to put some of your money that you have in your checking account into your savings account.”

The “Savings”, account was one of the very many accounts that were inaccessible to me. The supposed savings account, that is. Who knows where the money that they did manage to take from me really went or what it was spent on.

“Do you want to go home and get your card from your dorm?” She asked me, hopeful.

Oh, I KNEW they were going to do that to me. Chrissie began stomping her feet and gnashing her teeth. She was furious.

“Nope,” I told her bluntly.

“I left it there for a reason.”

I could tell she wanted to argue but I found the courage to add, “You can argue with me all you want Grandma, but if you do, I’m not coming home anymore. And if you drive back to my dorm to get my credit card, I’m staying there and I’m not coming back to your guys’ home.”

“All right,” she said, defeated.

“That’s fine. I’ll take you to the bank to deposit money into your savings another time. I’m sure there will be plenty more visits.”

“I wouldn’t be so sure of that bitch,” Chrissie thought.

I wholeheartedly agreed with her. And, I am most proud to inform you readers that I haven’t gone home since then. So, Grandma Giovanna was very, very wrong. There weren’t going to be plenty of visits or, in her case, plenty more opportunities to steal money from me, squirrel it away Satan knows where, and leave me with a measly amount to survive on until the next month’s check came.

As we started walking out of the boisterous restaurant, drums began to be banged on. Grandma and Mom stopped and looked back to see what the commotion was all about and who the drummer was. They saw a drummer playing happy birthday to someone sitting at one of the many tables that crowded the restaurant.

“It’s too loud,” I said, trying to pull away from my mom or grandma, I can’t remember whose hand I was holding then. I usually switched between holding Mom’s hand and Grandma’s hand. I preferred holding Grandma’s hand to Mom’s hand because my mom always rushed me when we were walking, walking way too fast, whereas, my grandma’s pace was more leisurely since she was aging and aging fast.

“Oh Ashlee, listen to the drums,” Grandma called.

“Let’s go back in there and ask them to play happy birthday for you since your birthday’s coming up. We should have done that for you while we were eating.”

“I don’t WANT TO,” I said sternly. I disentangled myself from the hand I was holding and headed out the door to escape the noise. If I wore earplugs to block out the intrusive sounds, which I often do when there is too much hustle going on around me, Mom would yell at me for “looking like a freak”, since nobody else was wearing them so why was I acting differently? And if I were to stick a finger in my ears to quiet the sounds of the drums she’d take my hands away from my ears and say, “Why can’t you just ENJOY normal activities the way we all do? It’s really not that loud.”

Maybe for her it wasn’t loud. For me, it was. I’m not sure about other blind people but I have very sensitive hearing. If there is too much noise, it physically hurts my head and makes me anxious. I start getting sweaty as my blood pressure rises and the only cure for too much noise is to either leave the situation or to wear earplugs. When I was with friends and we’d go to dance parties, nobody even seemed to notice me wearing earplugs to block out the hammering of the bass that was banging away on a speaker that was turned up way too loud. Only Mom could be truly counted on to notice everything I did that differed from everybody else around me. Only SHE knew the flaws to look for in her daughter. Did she do it just so she could have something to bitch about? I wondered about that a lot years ago. Now, I don’t give a damn. I don’t care how she felt or how she feels now. I just want my good old Satanic REVENGE!!!!!! Much-deserved and long-awaited Satanic revenge I must add.

When we finally got out of the restaurant, Grandma said, “I want to go shopping at the mall. The mall over here is so much better than the one where we live.”

I absolutely HATED going shopping. I hate going shopping still. But, my head was pounding from the sound assaults from the restaurant so I didn’t have any energy to argue.

“You know, I see something VERY wrong with this picture,” Chrissie announced as we walked to the car.

“What is it?” I asked with a tired sigh.

“Do you notice that you are the visitor and yet THEY are running the whole show? They should be asking you what YOU want to do, not telling you what THEY want to do and then moving forward with it. They can go shopping any old time, for christ’s sake. But they only get to visit you occasionally. See the picture here?”

“Yeah Chrissie, I see it,” I said quietly.

“I guess I’m just used to them always being in charge, always running the show.”

“Well, that’s NOT a healthy thing to get used to!”

Once again, Chrissie was right. I really did need to work on learning how to be more in charge of situations that I was getting myself into. I really did need to learn how to take control and get out of a situation that didn’t fancy me. Even if it was a situation as minor as not wanting to go shopping, I still needed to feel comfortable telling whoever wanted to go shopping that I was going to do something else, that shopping just wasn’t my cup of tea. Back then, I didn’t feel confident enough to do that. I didn’t know how to take charge, to stand up to people and say no. I was getting better at it, I was learning how to do it better, but I often found that taking charge and standing up to people was scary. I even found that I felt somewhat guilty after I said no to somebody, no matter how minor and meaningless the situation was. My mom always taught me that I had to make sure everybody else around me was happy before I was happy. I was taught that I had to put myself last and everybody else first, especially when it came to her.

HAIL SATAN!!!!!!!!!

Home Bitter Home, Part Two

HAIL SATAN!!!!!!!!!


The time had come. It was inevitable. I knew they would be here sooner or later and now it was official. They had come.

I had been enjoying the last few blissful minutes of peace and quiet in my dorm before they would arrive. Or, trying to enjoy them at least. The fact was, I was having much difficulty finding any peace in the last few minutes before their arrival, despite my hard efforts in trying to stay calm, breathe deeply, and think about happy things. I was too worried about what they would say to me when they got here, what thing I had missed while getting ready to go home that they would find, a blemish in myself that hadn't even occurred to me that their piercing, criticizing eyes would pick up on as soon as they looked at me. And try as I might not to worry, the anxiety welled up stronger and stronger inside of me, choking the part of my brain that tried to think logically, to reason, to not to give a damn what they thought about my appearance, attitude, etc, blocking my airway, pressing harder, harder, HARDER against my chest, weighing me down as if someone had shoved me to the ground and then pinned me down while rolling a colossal boulder on top of my chest. My stomach clenched so tight that it took my breath away as the cramps slammed me over and over again, doubling me over, making me reel with pain and gasp.

I can't remember if I took one of my anti-anxiety pills before they came. All I remember is gathering up Chrissie, Nevaeh, and Mary Meyers in my arms and hugging them against me as tight as I could, squishing them, squeezing them, squeezing them so hard that Chrissie began to squirm in protest. They were such loving, understanding, comforting friends. They were all furious with me for having called my wicked family but their love for me never diminished. No matter what I did, no matter how badly I fucked up, I knew I could always count on them to be there for and with me, through thick and thin. It didn't necessarily mean that Chrissie was going to get off my case over the long weekend that stretched ahead, though. She was still mad as hell and she was absolutely determined to make sure I knew exactly how she felt.

"Mommy," Nevaeh said as I hugged her tightly.

"Why don't we wait for them outside? If we don't, they might con you into opening up your bedroom door so that they can snoop in there and see what your room looks like."

Mom and Grandma hadn't seen what my new dorm room that I had moved into looked like because it had been so long since I had subjected myself to the stress of seeing them. Nevaeh's suggestion was right on target. I didn't know if I was strong enough to say no to my mom and grandma when and if they asked to see my bedroom. After all, I had proved to myself and my friends that I was weak enough to call them so I very well could be weak enough to give into their desire to see my room and open the door for them with my key. I could not let that happen. My bedroom in my apartment dorm was my safe haven. Rarely did I let anybody enter my room because I didn't want them to taint my safe space or move my things around, making it impossible to find certain things later when I wanted or needed them. And on the very rare occasions when I did let someone enter my room, I made sure it was brief and got them out as soon as possible. I didn't even like letting the housing maintenance workers in my room to fix the heater when it broke down but I had to or else face freezing nearly to death during the long, bitter, hard winter months ahead. The second alternative didn't seem that great so I bit the bullet, gritted my teeth, and let them in to do their work, hoping that they wouldn't move anything and that they would be out as soon as possible.

But my mom and grandma weren't the maintenance workers. They had no business entering my bedroom and tainting it with their ever-criticizing eyes. If I did let my grandma and mom into my bedroom, here's what would happen:

My grandma Giovanna would immediately begin opening all my dresser and desk drawers, shuffling through them all, from top to bottom, sifting through all my personal belongings, making sure I wasn't hiding drugs or whatever. Who knows why she is so invasive. Sometimes she would even be so bold as to take things out of the dresser or desk and say, "You know Ashlee, I think I know of a better place where this can go." Then she would proceed to move something to a place that SHE thought the things should go. When I was younger I used to just let her move my things around, but as I got older and braver, I finally started saying sternly, "Just leave it alone Grandma, I have them there for a reason and since it's my space you're in and not yours, I'd like it if you'd just leave my things where they are."

"All right," she would say but her voice would sound all wounded, like I'd just told her she was the ugliest, fattest person in the world.

After Grandma had finished going through my drawers and rearranging things, she would then bend down and look under my bed, just in case the dope that wasn't hidden in the drawers was under the bed because I'd been clever enough to hide it there. If there was anything under the bed that she saw fit to be moved, she would begin rearranging that area of my room, too. Then she'd proceed to my shelves and so on, not stopping until my room was to her liking, which would usually be completely different than I had had it before she came and rearranged it.

I think that she kind of knew what she was doing was wrong because she'd try to make up for it by saying, "Ashlee, let me show you where I put your things so you can find them." I guess her showing me where she had moved my things was a step up from my mom. Mom would move my things around, too. The only difference between her and Grandma was that Mom couldn't be bothered to show me where she had moved my things half the time like Grandma would.

My mom, on the other hand, wasn't so much into drawer snooping or searching for dope. Her thing was making sure that everything in my room was spotlessly clean. If there were ANY dust bunnies at all, she would have a total conniption fit. So, if I were to let her into my bedroom, she'd immediately find the bottle of bleach wipes and bleach or ammonia, whatever she could find, and a rag and she'd engross herself by getting on her hands and knees and scrubbing the floor with her fingers to the bone. Then she'd start dusting off my stereo, windows, desk, dresser, bed post, and anything else in the room. If there was something to clean, you name it, it was certain to be absolutely spotless by the time she was through with it. She would even pull the comforter forward, exposing my sheets, and if she thought they were dirty, she'd begin stripping my bed down to the mattress and she'd begin piling all my dirty laundry and sheets up, eager to take it all home to get it cleaned to her satisfaction, all the while saying to me, "How can you STAND to live this way Ashlee? I didn't raise you to live in filth! This is disgusting! When was the last time you had washed your sheets or done a load of laundry?"

It had usually been a long time since I'd done laundry, but, just to appease her and get her to shut up, I'd say, "It was just a week ago. I meant to do it later today but I had too much homework and so I didn't get to it. But I'll do it when you bring me back after we're done visiting."

Sometimes that would make her shut her pie hole but not for long. There was always something to find that I did wrong. It was all just a matter of what to try and make me feel about next that she had to consider, process in her evil little brain, and then decide which topic she thought was suitable to bring up next. While she did that, I would just stand there, dreading every minute that came, never finding any relief when the minute ended because it only meant that a new minute would arrive and that new minute could be the one that would call to her, telling her to open that ugly yapper of hers and tell me the other thing I had done wrong.

Not wanting to deal with any of that shit, I said to Nevaeh, "Excellent idea Nev. Let's go outside before they get here."

I made sure I had everything I needed, including my precious, life-saving anti-anxiety pills that I knew I'd be using over the long, brutal weekend, and headed for the door of my apartment dorm, caressing the walls gently as I walked, slowly, slowly, ever so slowly, to the door where an ugly world and weekend awaited me just outside.

"Good-bye little dorm," I said quietly.

"See you in a few days. Wish me luck."

Then, without looking back, I headed outside, letting the door close by itself, refusing to look back, in spite of the tempting thoughts in my head to do so.

There was one relieving thought that Mary Meyers made me aware of as I stood by the door to my dorm, looking up the stairs. Mary Meyers said, "Hey Mommy, here's a thought. Since your folks haven't seen you in quite some time, they're most likely going to be more excited to see you at first to criticize you right off the bat. Usually when you don't see them for a while, they are less hard on you. It's when they get to see you all the time that they get more bold with their abuse and criticism."

"Yeah, that is a nice thought," I told her. And I meant it. Even though the degrading remarks that I'd be dealt by my mom and grandma, mostly my mom, at least I could be pretty much guaranteed a tiny delay as their excitement about getting to see me finally after such a long time occupied them. It was when the excitement wore off, though, that the remarks would come thoughtlessly a-flyin'. I wasn't quite sure what was better: getting the degrading remarks out of the way as soon as they saw me or having them postponed for a few minutes. I decided that some positive attention from them would be a good thing, that it might build me up and prepare me for what was coming when the ecstasy of seeing me dwindled a little. I knew as much as my demons did, that the remarks wouldn't come to an end over the weekend, for there was always an endless supply of things that were wrong with me or that I did wrong. All I could do then was hope that the positive attention that I'd get from them would be enough to help me get through the words that would break me down again, exhausting me completely by the time the weekend was over, forcing me to take a long, long slumber.

The car pulled up next to my dorm then and my mom got out. I used to live in the apartment dorm two floors from the one I was currently living in, so my mom began taking the stairs up instead of down. I didn't say anything to correct her, just watched her ascend the stairs, relishing in the extra few glamorous seconds I had before she saw me standing on the ground floor.

She was about to knock on the dorm where I used to live but then she saw the names on the door and discovered that I no longer lived in that dorm since my name was not listed. She looked about and then her eyes landed on me, my feet still rooted to the spot where I stood.

"Ashlee," she said, her voice filled with excitement.

She bounded down the stairs and I walked slowly up the stairs, still not looking back at my peaceful dorm behind me. I wondered why my family were always so excited to see me when they always thought that my life didn't match up with their high expectations. I briefly wondered whether I was just being too sensitive, taking things too personally maybe. Whenever I had voiced my feelings to my mom and grandma about how bad they made me feel about myself, they poo pooed my feelings, downplaying them as soon as the words left my lips, telling me that I was way too sensitive and asking me heartlessly how I was going to function in the world and in the work place since I was so sensitive? So I wasn't sure if I was being too sensitive or if my feelings were truly valid. I hated the way that felt, I hate it still to this day.

"Hi Mom," I said, making sure my voice was animated enough to meet her standards. If I didn't seem equally excited to see her I'd have an immediate fight on my hands. I knew that she would demand to know why I wasn't excited to see her and what was wrong with me and why was I sad all the time and why wasn't I talking and maybe I should move back home if I was so unhappy living where I was and on and on and on. I really had no desire to deal with any of it so I made sure I worked up enough energy to sound animated and pleased to see her. I almost always did that to avoid a fight, even though I was rarely happy to see her when she'd come to visit me, even as a child.

"I'm so glad you're here."

"I forgot you live in a different dorm now," she said, wrapping her arms around me and smothering me with her disgusting wet, sloppy kisses. Kisses that I often wondered if they were genuine or just phony kisses, designed to reel me in so that she could break me down even more, crush my spirit until it was non-existent so that I'd be easier to control, easier to oppress, easier to get to submit to her every demand.

"Yep, I moved last summer," I told her, making sure that I hugged her with equal strength. I don't think I kissed her, though. Kissing just isn't my thing. If my mom and grandma should get any credit for doing a good job with anything pertaining with me, it should be this: they did a 100 percent PERFECT job of turning me off kissing. COMPLETELY! They are always kissing, kissing, kissing each other and they EXPECT to be kissed back in return. If you don't kiss back, you're doomed as insult after insult gets flown in your direction.

"You look good Ashlee. Well," Her voice trailed off as she gave me a once-over with her eyes, staring me up and down, scrutinizing every inch of my body from every angle possible.

"You're hair looks a bit crazy. It's all fly away hair. When was the last time you brushed it?"

"I just got out of the shower, Mom," I said, a little attitude flavoring up my voice, dissolving some of the animation I had worked up for her.

"Didn't you feel that it was still a bit wet when you hugged me?"

"No," she admitted.

"I didn't notice. Well, I'll brush it for you soon. Grandma's waiting in the car. We must leave now; we can't stay parked here very long."

They very easily could have parked in F lot, which was one of the designated places where visitors could park after they paid a small parking fee. But they were far too cheap to park there. That was okay with me, though. The less time they could stay parked there, the less of a chance my grandma or mom had to try and get me to open my bedroom door and let them into my room, which, in case any of you are wondering, did NOT have any drugs in it.

We walked over to the car and I got in the backseat. I was going to buckle up my seatbelt and get ready to get on the road but Grandma leaned back and began pulling me towards her. She attempted to hug me, but it is practically impossible to hug someone from the drivers seat when they are in the backseat. Why she hadn't gotten out of the car and hugged me when Mom did was beyond me. Anyway, the hug was very uncomfortable and, though I knew I mustn't break away too soon to avoid having the two of them jump down my throat about it, I did have to break away eventually because I was being painfully pressed up against the console and being squeezed most uncomfortably and unpleasantly by her. Not to mention having my face showered with disgusting wet kisses all over. Except for my lips. Try as she might, I refused to let her kiss me on the lips. I kept turning my head from side to side to avoid getting slobbered on there, and, with the help of my demons and my own self-determination, I succeeded in not giving her a chance to put those yuck-filled, lipstick covered lips against mine.

"It's so wonderful to see you precious," she told me as I struggled to get free of her stronghold. Once freed, I proceeded to put my seatbelt on. Her driving wasn't the greatest. Being the directionally challenged person that she is, there was a lot of slamming on the brakes involved as well as lots of jerky, illegal U-turns.

"Nice to see you, too," I said, wiping all the yuck off my face. I knew that there was bound to be lipstick all over my cheeks from Grandma. That ALWAYS happened when she kissed me. She always felt the need to wear lipstick.

Grandma began to pull away from my dorm. I didn't dare to look out the window as my safe place slowly went away from me as the car moved. I didn't know if I was strong enough to handle it.

"Well, now that we've got you with us, I'd like to take you out for lunch," Grandma announced as we drove on.

"Lunch sounds good," I lied. I probably would have been hungry if I wasn't going home but my appetite completely evaded me. If I told them I wasn't hungry, I knew I'd face them asking me what was wrong with me and why wasn't I hungry. There was not ever a simple "Okay, we'll eat later," sort of thing in my family. There was always massive quantities of interrogation whenever I didn't want to do something right when they did. And if I were to lie and tell them that I had eaten breakfast, they would ask me what I had and was it good and what time did I eat it and, Oh, that was a long time ago that you ate it, you need to eat now, you must be hungry because I'm hungry. I just didn't have the energy to lie and say I had breakfast. It would just be easier to go along with what they wanted to keep them off my back.

"There are a lot of restaurants by the mall," Grandma continued to speak on as we drove.

"I'm hungry for some Japanese food and so is your mom. Your mom and I saw a bunch of delicious looking restaurants on our way into Olympia. Japanese food, here we come."

Of course they don't want to know what I'm hungry for, I thought bitterly as the car lurched on, abruptly halting to a stop quite regularly and then lurching forward as my grandma drove towards the mall. I wondered if I would find a food at the restaurant that I would even remotely like or that I would manage to choke down to appease them, to do what they expected, which was to eat on their schedule. I wasn't much into fancy restaurant eating. I was more of a Dairy Queen and Burger King sort of gal. Fancy foods or things never was my style. Not the sort of fancy tastes they had anyway.

"Have you ever been to the Japanese restaurant?" Grandma asked.

"Nope," I said shortly. It was so hard, impossible even, to keep up the steady flow of animation and wordy replies to their inquiries that they liked when interacting with them that they expected. I was already tired of being pretend perky and I hadn't even been with them an hour yet. It was going to be a very, VERY long weekend.

"Oh yuck!" Chrissie shrieked, wringing her hands together in dismay.

"I HATE Japanese food! Can't you talk them into going to Dairy Queen or something? I want ice cream!"

"I want ice cream, too, but I don't have the energy to deal with bribing them right now. Let's just eat where they want so they'll shut up. Who knows, maybe there will be something somewhat yummy there that we all can tolerate."

"I SERIOUSLY doubt it!" She grouched.

"Me, too," Mary Meyers chimed in. It was Nevaeh who stayed quiet and thoughtful, thank Satan. She scratched her head thoughtfully and then said slowly, "Well, there might be a rice dish that we might all enjoy. Let's not despair yet. There's already been enough despairing for one day and there is probably more on the way. We must save our energy and stamina for dealing with them."

"You're right," Mary Meyers said reluctantly after a few seconds.

"No!" Yelled Chrissie.

I knew that Chrissie was inconsolable. She was going to be on my case all weekend, just like my mom and grandma. I knew that she knew that I really couldn't take much more of it but she couldn't control herself. Being the troublemaker that she was, she just HAD to be honest and open about how she felt, no matter what the circumstances were and no matter how fragile and spent I felt. It was just her way and nothing and nobody could change it. I doubted whether even she could change it.

HAIL SATAN!!!!!!!!!