Preparing

I usually don’t share many intimate details of my life online and remain somewhat vague on purpose. But here goes….

I had just finished using the bathroom and while looking in the mirror noticed that my breasts looked fuller in my black shirt, though they don’t hurt.

I lifted my shirt and started to self-examine which is a normal routine  for me. Wanna make sure nothing looks outta place.

I gently lifted and squeezed near my areola to get a better look. As I did this, for the first time in my life I watched as tiny droplets of moisture formed on my nipple.

At almost 21 weeks pregnant  my milk is starting to present itself.

My body is preparing itself for my baby even if mentally, I’m not quite there.

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God Hear My Call.

I need to have a moment of honesty.  I purposely don’t post much on social media right now because I don’t want everyone to read my word vomit.

I don’t want to get on FB Or Snapchat and tell the truth.

i am pregnant and miserable. I’m angry and lonely.  I isolate myself but also feel extremely abandoned.  I miss me.

I have lost touch with myself.  I don’t leave the house for a couple weeks sometimes.  This is my truth.  It’s ugly.  I have never felt uglier.

i am stagnant and unprepared. I wreak of depression and anxiety.

I am unemployed.  I am 5 months pregnant and spend most days in the bed sick, depressed, crying.

I am 5 months pregnant and vomit literally everything I eat and have multiple migraines weekly.

I wish my parents and best friends were in the same city as me. I think about how I lived in MI and could visit my aunt and uncle.

Sometimes I just want someone to come sit with me or come take me out of the house, even if it’s just to sit in the car.

I have tried everything. Crackers, lemons, jello, protein, regular food, praying, fruit, smoothies, fasting, no meat, no dairy, water, pop, cranberry juice, vitamins.

I want this to be over.

this is my ugly truth.

4 Things 9/18/2016

Came back on here for nostalgia and remembered how therapeutic blogging here could be.  It was like coming home.

  1. So many blessings surround me.  In the midst of some of the biggest blessings of my life, I forgot to give thanks and enjoy the little things.  It made me slightly bitter, but I understand now that I have to focus on what’s ahead and make sure I stop and enjoy the simplest blessings.
  2. I’m considering adopting a vegetarian and partial vegan diet.  I’m not sure if it would be permanent but it’s something I’m interested in.  I will do some research first and see how I feel about it. If anyone has any good literature about it please let me know!
  3. I LOVE MY JOB.  This is the first time I have been able to say this since high school when I worked at my hometown theater.  It feels so good to feel valued and to feel like I am not stress-filled and dealing with a ridiculous amount of anxiety.  What some people don’t realize it that a healthy relationship with an employer is as necessary as a healthy romantic relationship is.  God is good.
  4. Writing is still in my heart.  I recently saw that one of my sisters committed her career to being a full-time writer and it was glorious to read that.  I am so happy for her because I know how hard it was to take that step and I also know that it comes with many blessings.  I trust that it will be something I will be able to pursue in the near future but I have other goals to attain right now (like finishing school) and I know that will need to happen first before I pursue more writing.

4 Things (12/17/2015)

  1. I am moving on to the next stage.  I’m not really sure where things are going and I’m not receiving as much feedback as I had hoped but I can feel that I am on the verge of something great.  Really good feelings about all of it.  I guess you can call it intuition, but I have definitely been feeling inspired lately.  I have been listening to Lena Dunham’s “Women of the Hour” podcast at work, and she invites a lot of really dope women with such diverse backgrounds to speak on a lot of really important issues.  If you follow any of Lena Dunham’s work I would strongly suggest you take a listen.
  2. So far as writing goes, I am in a strange place for sure.  I have attempted to reach out to different writers for guidance and quite a few publications for possible freelancing opportunities and have heard absolutely nothing.  At this point, I almost feel like I would rather receive a response telling me just how wrong my approach is. It makes me feel unsure if I’m in the right spot.  I constantly regret.  My thoughts are choppy. I doubt myself.  I think the most confusing question is where do I start?  I’m not sure if I should continue to pursue freelance writing for different publications, or if I should trust that will come at a later date.  I want to write a screenplay and look into writing some more short stories (still want to do that book of short stories) but I’m not sure.  Okay it’s not that.  If I’m completely honest I tried once a couple of weeks ago to come up with a plot and it was terrible and confusing and I needed some better guidelines for myself and I gave up.  I can try again.  I will try again.
  3. The Raid. (continued from a few weeks ago)

“Raid.”  I let the word escape my mouth as if I had been holding it hostage underneath my tongue.

It had been nearly three years and I still didn’t know how to process the situation or my feelings.

It was the morning after Glen’s birthday and I was laying in bed watching daylight slowly creep into Glen’s room.  I hadn’t committed myself to going to work, not because I felt sick, or even had a headache.  I was stressed.  I drove to work daily having mild anxiety attacks, thinking about all of the horrible people I would be forced to talk to.  Working in a call center is probably one of the worst places someone with anxiety can work.  You’re placed in a call queue and don’t know when a call will come through, if it will be an easy call or take 3 hours and what kind of character you will be speaking to.  Some started off as sweet as Mississippi Mud pie and as soon as you explained why you couldn’t accommodate them would grow horns and curse your unborn children.

The more I thought about this as I lay in bed, the faster my heart beat. I became terribly frustrated, and felt helpless. If only I could just do follow up work for the day. But there was no way I could have a day off of the phones. I witnessed someone have an anxiety attack in their cubicle and our supervisor did nothing but waited a few minutes before demanding they get back into “the queue.” I felt helpless.  I started to become more upset and without thought my breathing pattern sped up. Soon I couldn’t control my heavy breathing.  I was trying to calm down and stop myself from shaking. I put my hands over my head and tried to slow down my accelerated breathing.

Glen heard my panic attack and instantly woke up and tried to start calming me down.

“Take a deep breath like me, Adrienne.  See. It’s okay.”

He rubbed my back and simultaneously wiped away my tears until I calmed down.

“Stay here Adrienne. I really want you to.  You need the day off.”

It was that simple.  I would stay at Glen’s house and watch Netflix, and then probably leave and pick up groceries so I could have dinner ready before he came back home.

“I’ll just tell my cousin you’re staying here. Just chill in my room ’cause he will probably have his boys over. You know they get rowdy sometimes.”

*****

At around noon, I decided to start getting ready.  I ran into the bathroom to shower quickly, put my pajamas back on and head into Glen’s room to finish dressing.  I wanted to be done in the bathroom before his roommate’s friends arrived.

Glen’s roommate could be considered cordial, but not friendly.  We never made small talk but he always acknowledged me whenever I came to visit. I think we both preferred it this way.

“Hey, Andrea,” he would say with a light head nod.  That was it. No smile, no eye contact.  He always mumbled “Andrea” as if he knew that wasn’t my name.  It was like he was too polite to ask me and possibly appear rude, but too non-chalant to ask Glen what my real name was when I wasn’t around.

I started watching a “Hustle and Flow” on Netflix until my nose was interrupted by  the harsh smell of cheap weed.   Then the ridiculously sized speakers in the living room started to blast.  The guests had arrived.

“CUZZO! What’s up with dem Dominos?”

I could tell that it would be a loud and long afternoon and it was time to leave.

As the credits for “Hustle and Flow”  started to roll, I quickly started to undress from my pajamas so I could change and get out of the house. The music started to get louder. I couldn’t hear anything.

I finished putting on lotion and stood up to reach for my clothes when I heard a loud noise.

“POP! BANG!”

It didn’t quite sound like a gun, but it was too loud to be anything safe.

I heard Glen’s roommate yell.

I heard an unknown voice mumbling as they turned the music off completely.

“MAN, WHAT ARE Y’ALL DOING?!” Glen’s roommate sounded completely distressed, which worried me more.

“SHUT.UP.”the unknown voice said.

We were being robbed. I couldn’t believe something like this would happen on the day I was supposed to be relaxing.  The day I decided I couldn’t deal with an anxiety attack.

I froze.  Suddenly I forgot where my clothes were.  I forgot where my laundry basket was.  I forgot which movie I was watching.  I glanced at the small bedroom window, wondering if I could quietly slip my clothes on and sneak out. That wouldn’t work.  Though it was a small house, it would still be considered two stories.  There were about 4 steps between the first and second floor.  They creaked as you ran up them.

I considered jumping out the window again, and then thought about how hard the fall would be.  But I had never been shot before.  And if I died, I would rather be found dead, with clothes on.  I could rush and put clothes on.  Maybe my lack of association would get me somewhere.  Maybe I could reason with the intruders. Whatever they were here for, I didn’t have any.

But first I needed to be dressed.  I spotted my laundry basket and started to creep towards it.

“Go upstairs and see if anyone is up there,” the unknown voice said.

I immediately stopped moving.  My heart jumped into my throat. I had a decision. I could A.) Grab Glen’s homemade bat (made of a steel bar and black duct tape) and hope for one good hit, B.) Rush and throw on any clothes, or C.) Lay down.

The problem with choices A. and B. were the possible results.  If I came on the offensive with a homemade bat and they had a gun, what would I do then?  My aim is terrible and just my luck I would swing and miss.  If I chose to hurry and dress, the intruder might rush into the bedroom and think in my haste I was rushing to grab a weapon and attempt to attack or shoot me first.

I said a quick and small prayer, unsure if it would be my last.

I silently climbed into the bed, naked, and pulled the blankets to my neck with my hands visible.

I listened as I heard the stairs creaked from the heavy footsteps nearing me.

Fourth step.

Third step.

Second step.

First step.

The door quietly swung open.

*I will continue next week.

 

4. Does anyone have any New Year’s resolutions?  I try not base my goals on the new year and instead gear more towards making resolutions around my birthday, because it feels more personal.  Then, as we get closer to the new year, I reevaluate and reflect on how my goals have been going since my birthday.

I think my main goal to continue into the new year is self-care.  I think it is so important for women to practice on a routine basis. There are some things I want to do to take care of myself but I have been avoiding them because I have convinced myself that they aren’t necessities.  They ARE.  I want to go to spas, get massages, get mani/pedis and have my feet rubbed.  I want to go to therapy and exercise on a regular basis so I can feel like my mental health is in tact.  I don’t have to apologize for wanting to do these things or even explain why I do them.  I deserve to take care of myself.

I want to keep pushing toward my career goals, whatever those are.  I can’t pinpoint exactly where I want to be, but I at least know which direction I want to head in.  I know if I just get to that point, I’ll eventually run into what it is I’m looking for.

Do you have any goals/resolutions?

Yes

I am still here.  Things are foggy right now, and I am stuck in a place I’m unfamiliar with. I feel the presence of doubt, but I know it has no home here.  It’s confusing and hard for me to create, to finish sentences.  It’s hard to explain.

But I am still here.

I haven’t forgotten about my last post.  I haven’t forgotten about my story.  Or 4 things.  But just give me another week to regroup and I will carry on.

4 Things (11/12/2015)

  1. “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
  1. I had Veteran’s Day off. It was nice to break up the monotony of the usual work week. Except none of my plans went through.  I feel very impartial about yesterday.  Here is how my day went:

10:00 am- Woke up. Laid in the bed.

12:30 pm- Stayed in the bed, watching/making fun of/cringing/reminiscing “Stomp The Yard” with Glen while he folded and put away clothes.

1:30 pm- Got up and showered, dressed while watching an episode of “Keeping up with the Kardashians” from 2011.  It was the episode Kim “addressed” the rumors of her butt being fake, and had an X-Ray to prove there were no implants.  I remember completely believing that it was real, until all of these stories of women getting butt injections started making headlines. I realized they never mentioned booty injections not even once on the episode.

I can think of about a good four stories where the woman either died or lost limbs because she met someone at a shady motel and had cement injected into her booty.  Sad stuff.

2:00 pm- Went into the living room to finish watching the 4th season of “Girls.” Ate Honey Nut Cheerios.  I love Lena Dunham, though I don’t think I can relate to her in too many ways at all.  I have been watching the show since it started but I literally always interpret the episode completely different than how she explains it in her 2 minute “Inside the Episode.” I love how her perspective is so quirky and even odd at times.  I definitely think the show is getting better.  It’s not very traditional.  There aren’t any huge cliffhangers like in most other shows, which I don’t think is even the point of her show. I think she tries to focus more on character development more than anything.   I could really appreciate the character, Fran.  He just seems like the only realistic one.  Everyone else kind of drives me nuts for one reason or another.  But I like Fran, he reminds me of Glen.

5:00 pm- Tried to catch up on the 4th season of “The Mindy Project” but Hulu was acting cray.  So instead I watched “Fresh Off The Boat” and was delighted that it wasn’t any less funny than its first season.  That show is hilarious for so many different reasons.  I love Constance Wu.  Her role as the mother made me realize how many similarities there are between Black folks and Asian folks. How her character treats her family, her friends, her career just really reminds me of how Black women act as well.  I think there is some deeper connection between the Black people and Asian people that hasn’t been brought to the fore front.  We religiously respect and feed off of each other’s cultures.  We both have strong family values.  Food, music, dance, movies, fashion, it’s like this huge continuous culture swap.

6:30 pm- Half-watched “Pretty Woman” and read a story from VICE on my Facebook timeline about “Asian Men and Black Women meetups” and what is going on at #Mizzou.

9:30 pm- Finished drying clothes and twisted hair.

10:15 pm- Talked to Glen about his day and his scheduled photo shoot.  Told him how worried I was about getting my flu shot.

10:30 pm- Went to bed.

A bunch of nothing accomplished, and I haven’t even caught up on “Scandal,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” or “Empire.” Yes my productivity is measured by how many of my shows I catch up on.

  1. I’m pretty good at immediately recognizing fake articles and celebrity pages that are really just fans posing as said celebrity, but I think I have to start looking at the date these articles are being published. With the recent horrible attacks on Paris, I saw an article stating that people in Kenya had also been attacked.  One of my FB friends duly noted that the article was published around April.  Then this morning I saw some people posting an article about how Isis had targeted several US states, including MI, my home state.  Before I could start to panic I googled the article and saw that this was originally news in May, not within the past 2-3 days.  Just because it wasn’t recent doesn’t mean it’s not relevant, but fact-checking a story specifically to reference the date is UBER-important.  You don’t know what could have been revised or even resolved since that original date.  Oh, and timelines are very important (see: any war, or historical situation).
  1. A loud bang went off at about 3:00 am Sunday morning. I knew no one had broken into our place but I was pretty sure something had fell and broke.  I tried to squint at the gold doorknob from my bed and searching for any hints of gold metal on the bedroom carpet.

But it wouldn’t be that loud unless it fell onto the tile OUTSIDE of the bedroom, not the carpeted part inside.  I was clearly still out of it.

“POP! BANG!”

It happened all at once.

I gasped loudly; trying to catch my breath before it completely escaped me, trying to calm myself down before panic set in.  I didn’t feel the presence of another body in our home, but I didn’t feel safe in that moment.

I had been fast asleep, mainly because of the cheap Carlos Rossi sangria I indulged in five hours earlier.  I had been invited to a girls’ night in party and was surprised to arrive to a group of girls being taught a sexy dance routine.  I’m the type of girl that can’t be surprised with dance routines, I need to be warned ahead of time so I can commit to looking like a fool, regardless of who is around.  I ended up skipping on the routine, and instead discreetly skipping to the kitchen for whatever opened wine bottle I could find.  I had Glen drive me around until I was ready to go home and sleep the sweet red off.

“Glen! Please tell me you heard that!”

“Huh,” he answered into the pillow.

“I heard a loud pop, it sounded like someone, some…body, I’m not sure…” I let my voice trail off.

“I didn’t hear anything Adrienne.”

I sunk down into the pillow, frustrated.  I took a deep breath.

“It must be happening again.  I thought it had stopped.”

Glen lifted his head slightly from the cave his head had created in the middle of the pillow.

“It’s been over two years, and it’s STILL happening?”

My thoughts had finally gathered now that I was fully awake.  I clumsily searched around my nightstand for my glasses and the remote.  I knew I would need something to watch me, before I would be able to watch my eyelids again.

“Yes,” I answered firmly.

“I am still experiencing trauma from the raid.”

Tune in next week for part two.

4 Things (11/6/15)

  1. I started playing Christmas music at my desk this week.  It’s still a little early, but discussing all of the corny Christmas movies on Hallmark with my co-worker put me in the spirit.  I’m a sap lol.  I listened to Luther Vandross’ “This is Christmas” album and the “Charlie Brown Christmas” album yesterday.  As far as Christmas albums go, I would have to say my favorite would have to be between the “Charlie Brown Christmas” album and the “Jackson 5 Christmas” album.  The Jackson 5 Christmas album is my childhood wrapped up with a velvet red bow.  My father and I used to roll around in his burgundy Grand Marquis listening to the album on tape every year.  It was the only Christmas album I remember him having.  We didn’t go to the Christmas  Lights show in downtown Jackson because he said it shouldn’t cost that much and he was cheap, but he would always slow down as we passed the fairgrounds to point out Santa and maybe even Frosty.   I remember one year we finally went, after  he married my stepmom.  She thought it was a good idea that we all experience the show; it was less than a demand but more than a suggestion.  We promptly stopped at McDonald’s because we “needed to have the special hot chocolate while we were enjoying the lights show.”  I had a hard time adapting to having a stepmom when I younger but some of my fondest memories of her, are during the Christmas season.  She’s never been an emotional person, but I could always tell the holidays were important to her.  When I go home to Jackson during the holidays I love seeing my family but I secretly go home specifically to sit and watch corny Christmas movies with her while she makes cupcakes, cookies and wraps gifts for co-workers, church members, friends and family.  I always thought that was an admirable trait about her, she does nice things like that for all the people around her, not because they ask her too but just because she knows it will put a smile on their face, and it also keeps her busy.
  1. This weekend I’m trying my hand at red velvet brownies. Depending on the results, I might post a pic of how they came out, but only if they look good, brownies can easily be mistaken as being something else if not prepared correctly. I want to make cookies and sweet treats for my friends and family this year.  I have been trying to do this for the past three years and every year I actually get a little closer to achieving the goal.  Last year it didn’t happen because I became overwhelmed at all the different recipes I wanted to try. I was a Pinterest addict.  I logged on every day and came up with new ways to search for “Christmas cookies” thinking I might be missing the one recipe that would kill the Christmas cookie game.   I purchased enough ingredients to make 4 or 5 different kinds of cookies and bars, and I can only remember successfully making 2 kinds of cookies.  I made a pecan pie cookie and a really good Christmas chocolate chip cookie bar.  Oh, and I made Oreo “fudge,” but I don’t think I would try to give that out.  Out of the list of people I planned to give all these goodies too, I think my mom got some of the Oreo fudge, and that was it.

So this year I am going to try making something different hopefully once a week, and if I like it, it will stay.  I am also not making any more than 3 different types of cookies, and that’s pushing it.  And yes, I am spending almost an entire post on Christmas cookies.  I have no shame.  Ok, maybe a little.

Do you like Christmas cookies? What are your favorite ones?  This might sound terribly ignorant, but I always picture people that live in the South completely disregarding the whole Christmas cookie swap element of Christmas.  Maybe I’m wrong.

  1. I have been wallowing in self-pity for the past few weeks over my writing. It’s like, being recognized as a writer feels similar to actors being discovered.   I have spent weeks shaming myself over not getting responses from the online publications I have emailed.  But I haven’t even touched the tip of the iceberg that is, online publications.  Lately, I have been randomly scrolling past posts looking for freelance writers and I always screenshot it on my phone and tell myself that I will go back do a scan of the site to see if it goes along with the type of writing I do, and send an email to inquire about the freelance opportunities.  So, all hope isn’t lost.  I also had another thought about this whole experience.  I am preparing to take classes in the winter and even though the plan is to only go part-time in school, I want to make sure that do really well.  So it’s probably best that I’m not attached and committed to all these writing projects until I have a better idea know how school will affect my entire schedule.  I think it’s good that I am still keeping up with my blog.  I sit and complain every week how no one reads it and the people who hear me complain every week tell me to just keep going.  And I believe them.  I feel it in my gut.  I know that this is training me for something much bigger.  But this whole rejection process has been a lengthy one.  It has been a lot harder on me than a job being turned down.  Like A LOT    I guess because when I was applying for all of those jobs before I started this job, the only thing on my mind was paying bills.  I could’ve been asking what kind of sauce you wanted with your nuggets as long as I knew that I was going to get my check.  But when you feel rejected over something you love doing, it’s much harder to process it.

How do you deal with rejection?

  1. Last weekend I had a girls’ weekend. It was everything I had hoped it would be.  Imagine five beautiful Black women, all different personalities, different looking, and different lifestyles that were venting, challenging and empowering one another.  It was well needed.  We laughed together, cried together, talked about what we had learned about life, relationships, careers, children, family, money, everything.    When I think about it I’m still in shock.  I felt blessed to have experienced that. We all sat in a circle making vision boards, tearing out our dreams and goals from the pages of Ebony and Essence. We thought of questions, and listened to each other’s answers agreeing and disagreeing.  The one thing I took away from it was that I want and need to be a better friend.  Sometimes we all get caught up in what’s going on in our personal lives’ and it’s legitimately hard, but sometimes the best thing you can do to help yourself, is to help someone else.  One of my girls experienced a really tough time this year and it got very serious.  I didn’t realize it was that serious and looking back even though everything was so rough with my situation I wish I would’ve at least checked on her during that time a little more.  Made sure she was cool.  If I would’ve known I probably would’ve drove the two hours just to SIT with her.  Sometimes you just really need that support.  I made a promise when I was driving home that Sunday. I promised myself that I would make sure that I would do better in keeping up with them.  Let them know that I am here.  Being in this city makes me feel alone most times.  I have family and I have Glen but I don’t have any friends here.  All of them are in different cities.  It’s hard because when you see friendships between women, they are able to see each other at a moment’s notice.  They can all get together and watch crappy TV or do an early morning breakfast.  But what do you do when you don’t have that?  In 2015, long distance relationships have made their way to the top of the dating list and it has now the norm to be in a relationship with someone who is hours away not someone who lives two blocks over.   So the question is, how do you maintain long distance friendships?  You have to make time for them the same way you would a long distance relationship and works towards finding ways for your friends to know that you love and care for them even if you can’t just stop by their place after work or meet them after work for Happy Hour and tell them about how much you can’t stand a co-worker.  Maybe you have to stretch a little more to make special plans and work around everyone’s work schedule.  Maybe it means everyone saving up and planning a trip somewhere fun.  But it can be done.