May. 1st, 2016

denyce: (Stock: heart balloon)
Hi ALL =)

Trying & working hard to fight against the rubber room of crazy within my mind – the Keep on Fighting, has truly become a mantra, still the reality and difficulty never ends. Simply depression and grief SUCK!!! And that’s where I’ve been. Basically since the last time I posted a public update which was forever a go! As it got closer to birthdays and holidays, everything harder it was. Although I was silent here, I did work hard to keeping going and forced myself be active.

So here we go updates with brief summaries on the last 6-8 months with a ton of pics!

June 2015 thru Aug 2015

Pride 2015 - a couple of pics NSFW )

Vacation to CT 2015 )

Sept/Oct: The only fandom thing I did was post, Broken Promises on 9-1. In rl, I was all over the place. One thing I kept coming back to was a conversation I had with my friend Nat who I’ve known for nearly thirty years. It was at a poker event dinner.

OMG, an AWESOME night!
Pics: poker night & big WIN! )

Backtracking - At some point during dinner before we started playing, somehow it came up in conversation that unless you’re friends with someone on Facebook and you send them a message, it more than likely it goes in a folder until the receiver retrieves it from the folder. Meaning if the person doesn’t know about the folder, it just sits there. So IDK… though probably because all the stuff with Jeff and not wanting to deal with regrets my mind started to drift to Maria because I had sent her a couple of messages via FB (1 message was condolences when I found out her mom passed away – the other was after my mom passed away and I offered an olive branch to reconnect) however I never received a response. For those that don’t know she was a very close friend and we had a long history and have known each other since high school – basically there was drama and I in affect divorced and ended our friendship back in ‘08, I posted about it here: http://denyce.livejournal.com/153701.html

Anyhoo the last eight years, hell in the last 4 years I changed a lot. So after poker night I kept going back to the thought of what if she never saw my messages. I honestly felt it was odd for her to not respond at least out of politeness (ending our friendship was more that we were on different paths and not treating each other nice, not because we didn’t care or love each other – like Tina Turner said ‘What’s love got to do with it?’ Right?) Anyways, my friend Nat convinced me to just go for it and reach out – that meant actually friending her on FB and to send her a new message – so I’d know for sure she had gotten it. Of course there was also the chance she actually didn’t want to hear from me ever again – but as I said I wanted no regrets and needed to walk away knowing I did what I could.

After poker night I sat on this for a couple of weeks then bit the bullet. Taking a leap of faith, I friended and sent her a message. Thirty seconds after I friended her she friended me back, and once she did friend me she received my old messages as well as the newest. We started out slow, basically chatting via FB, then thru text. Apparently like me she sorta stalked my FB page plus she stalked my niece’s page.

She hadn’t seen my private messages I sent to her, but had seen my posts of mom being sick and when she passed away. She even sent a couple of condolence cards to me & to dad, but she sent them to the old address not knowing they had moved. Unfortunately I (we) never received the cards.

After a week or so of chatting via FB/texting, we decided to get together. I wasn’t quite ready to talk over the phone mostly because I thought I’d lose it. I didn’t care about losing it emotionally as much as if I was going to there, I’d rather do it face to face. Although we hadn’t talked in eight years she’s someone I’ve known for so long, someone who really knows me inside/out, knows every story, my past, my family – meaning she really was my BFF for over 25+ years before we started to grow apart.

Since she hadn’t mentioned Jeff in our chats, I had a gut feeling she hadn’t seen that post. Again we’ve known each other for years and she knew my family just as I knew hers. She and my brother really got along and enjoyed each other’s company kind of like how I got along with her brother. Although I didn’t want to give her the news about Jeff via a text I thought hitting her with it in person might be too much – as it was everything was so emotional. So I did text her, so she could have a little time to process it.

When we did get together, there was a lot to catch up on, on both sides. We’ve both changed for the better where the timing is right we’re in a good place to be friends again. It was wonderfully cathartic to talk to her. I didn’t have to explain any dynamics/history or someone’s personally/issues/problems etc… She knew and had a better understanding of the entire picture, knew how I was feeling, understood why/how I felt abandoned by my ‘west coast family’ and was just as shocked by their behavior as I have been.

Anyhoo, having her back in my life has been great; I’m really enjoying where we’re at. Bringing the best of what we had before, leaving behind what was bad and creating building a better relationship.
She is and was a person I could spend hours with and never be bored. In fact, it always shocks both of us that we seriously lose hours whenever we’re together =)

Medical TMI, kidney stones: On Oct 4th, we were going to get together I think for lunch, but on Friday I was feeling sick and by Saturday knew I had a kidney stone so wanted to stay close to home. However late Saturday night and early Sunday morning I knew not only was it a large stone, by morning it was obvious I had complete blockage and had to go to the hospital. The pain was to put it mildly, intense! Thankfully Maria went with me and there in the Emergency room when they took it out. Whether due to lack of experience/knowledge or fogged by pain, I didn’t have an IV (I didn’t realize when they offered it that an IV meant getting the good drugs! I just wanted the stone out! I’ll never make that mistake again - like seriously!) By the third try they cut it out (as it was that close and partially sticking out/poking through the skin.
sharing pic of my kidney stone )

The good of the experience, 1) Maria went with and held my hand (put up with me screaming) 2) I now have Medical (previously I thought I didn’t qualify) 3) It pushed me to take serious action to change my diet. Basically my body likes to make kidney stones. I always drink water, but now I add lemon. Basically I have to drastically cut out sodium and Animal protein.

Briefly I was considering going Vegan. I’d be fine without meat, but eggs, cheese, yogurt – that was too much. So I’m working toward Vegetarian. I still eat meat, but right now I’m shooting for 3-4 meatless days a week. I’m going slowly, to really incorporate the changes into my life, especially since I’m not a cook. Cutting out sodium is actually harder because everything has sodium in it. Breaking that down means less processed foods and means I have to cook, meal plan etc. So it’s a real adjustment and HUGE learning curve. As I get better and have more meals to fix easily, I believe I’ll have more meatless days with a goal to be completely vegetarian within a year or two.

My basket at TJ's - happily & sadly no frozen goodness )

Jumping a couple of weeks, (still in Oct), I was surprised (probably because I had no expectations) that I ended up having a lovely birthday. I had dinner with Dad/Yolanda. Of course he invited others without telling me or asking me if I wanted to invite anyone O.O (yes, it is and will always be me going into his world and not him coming or being a part of my world). Still that’s who he is and something I can’t change, only accept.

Anyhoo 52 was nice, excellent dinner, good company and I even got flowers and a few gifts ;)
sharing pics )

Hitting Halloween was hard. It was one of Jeff’s favorite holidays. Basically my b-day and Halloween, was the kick start of all the birthday/holidays/anniversaries for umpteen years (my b-day, Halloween, Jeff’ b-day, Thanksgiving, parents anniversary, dad’s b-day, Christmas, mom’s b-day, New Years). Anyhoo my depression and grief was pressing hard even though I did my best to just keep going. In fact, I grabbed onto anything/everything I could to distract my mind. Early in Nov I had a girl’s day with [personal profile] varkelton and [personal profile] sublimatedangel. We met for breakfast then took Bart into the city. Did a walk about, walked down to the Wharf then onto Ghirdelli Square. Stopping frequently because my knees are so bad! Once we arrived at Ghirdelli Square, we had a late lunch then a yummy dessert – really it was a lovely day! ;)

sharing pics from our day )

A week or so later, Trader Joes had a sale of vine wreaths, for $3, so I bought a couple with the intention of making a wreath. This spun into a whole crafting thing. I actually had a couple of crafting days – where I invited friends over to join in the fun! The first get together was with Maria and a friend of hers Trish, and we had a lot of fun making a huge mess, working on wreaths.
more pics- of Xmas crafts: wreaths, boxes etc... )

The second craft day, a week or two later, I had invited more people however I had a few last minute cancellations. So it was [profile] sublimiatedangel and [personal profile] varkelton then my friend Yvonne who came over later in the day. Once my wreath was done, I made another for friend then I started on paper boxes. I ended up making several boxes as you can see from the pics below. Again it was my way to keep myself busy and not spend a ton of money – or you know distract myself from thinking!

Second run at my wreath )
Yvonne's wreath )

Wreath I made for a friend )

Getting crafty with Xmas boxes – started making these after the wreaths and continued making the boxes up through to Xmas. Added Xmas kisses. This with a small tin of cookies I baked (with Nancy’s help were my Xmas gifts this year.) Lots of pics! )


I also made this: A Diva plaque for Diane, a friend’s daughter )


Let’s see in mid Nov, before Thanksgiving a few things happened. One dad went to Mexico with Yolanda, it was a planned trip. We had dinner just the two of us before he left. He wanted to give me a box, and the last of what he said he had of mom’s jewelry. He made a point to say (several times) that it was everything he had that was in the safety deposit box! I was fine through dinner and didn’t look at either the box or the envelope until I got home. It was a mishmash of stuff. None of it was my mom’s missing jewelry. One of the things I had asked for was the jewelry appraisals they had done years ago. I know it’d be different prices now - however it’d help with insurance and be a good starting point – and I wouldn’t have to go and redo of them. Yeah, I don’t have them and will never have them, as they broke down exactly what she had and each paper had grouped several pieces together. Meaning I’d know exactly what was missing o.O

Note, he did however give me a ring that was Papa’s (a family friend, his friend) including the appraisal paper. It showed the full value of the ring just over $18,000. However beside the appraisal paper I only got the metal band with the diamonds removed, meaning it’s basically worthless in comparison at a couple hundred dollars. He also had given me pictures of Amanda & Tony (their high school pictures, gifts they had given to him and my mom for father’s day/birthday, etc…) basically a mishmash of stuff most of which had nothing to do with me or my mother o.O

Why give them to me, seriously I have no idea and don’t think he even looked through the box or thought about what he was giving me. However there were a couple of things that became and are very precious to me. Mostly a few pictures that I’ve never seen. Mom as a kid, and a few of me as a baby – of mom holding me, my grandmother… (I was a month old they had a fire and she loss everything. I figured someone must have given her pictures in the last 10-20 years or so and she had tucked them away and forgot to show me – why I had never seen them.

Also I was shocked to see this Mother’s Day, thing, I wrote. From what I wrote and the covered art (I think my friend Dennette, had a hand in helping me create the cover). Anyhoo I must have been, ten or eleven; it was an autobiography of sorts. Of what I thought and felt of my family. Reading it 40 or so years later kind of blew my mind.

It was nice to see she had saved it all these years. I know and remember she had saved a lot of my things (things I had made), but in the last twenty or so years she and I both noticed (Xmas ornaments I had made started to disappear). She still had Jeff’s, but mine had somehow disappeared. Other things I remember and knew she had for a long time. In point, a macramé owl necklace I made as a kid and had kept for umpteen years.

After she passed, that was probably the only thing I had asked for and in fact took, was sentimental things. Stuff that had been gifts I made or bought for her over the years and took back, and then of course pictures (her and her family, her siblings) etc... Otherwise what I didn’t ask for anything, but she made a point to say and state to everyone that I was to get her jewelry and the curved secretary desk and trunk. The later were things dad wanted and people had to say something so I’d get it. Obviously the jewelry took longer (2+ years) and I only got it after I made a sink about it and it’s still not everything (but it’s all I’ll ever get).

I’ve made peace with it and have ((let most of)) the anger go. I’m still and will probably always be annoyed because I really don’t get the why of it o.O

Again, that night he also asked me if I was going to go to Aaron’s 4th birthday (Aaron’s birthday is the same day as my brothers, Nov 14th). Amanda did send me an invite and he’d be back from Mexico by then and we could go together. Note, at this point no one has acknowledged my brother’s passing in anyway! Also it was Jeff’s birthday; I knew I couldn’t put on and endure a fake smile nor did I want to!

Plus it’s a kids party, with dozen of kids, it’s not like I would actually spend any time with him – that both Gabriel and Aaron would be playing with their friends, playing in the bouncy house etc… Unless you know everyone and can visit (& I didn’t) or have kids there to too (& I don’t) - kids parties are more for kids, not adults. I declined and told him that most likely I won’t be going.

This kind of became a thing as he called and asked again before he left then made a point to say I should think about it while he was gone. By now I declined Amanda’s invite because now I really didn’t want to go. Then when they got back he called again and asked. I gave a definite no, but said we could get together later on. He called again that Sunday, by this time I was getting beyond annoyed. Ha, I really should have gotten that it had nothing to do with me, Aaron or my brother, it was all about him. He wanted me to go so he could announce he had asked Yolanda to marry him and she accepted. As he told over the phone while he was driving - no, let’s get together I’d like to talk to you so he could tell me in person… IDEK…

BUT whatever!!!

((Ha, I’ve stopped/started this so many times since March 1st, and now its April 30th – DAMN!!!))

I’ll try to speed this up somewhat-

And a turkey escaped! A wild turkey, at a clients’, thankful Thanksgiving was over, like this turkey I survived the day ;)
 photo IMG_2150.jpg

Dec, I kept busy. Whenever I wasn’t working I was crafting- anything to not think. For the most part it worked. For dad’s birthday it was surprise get together. I went over to with him & had a chance to give him his gift privately. I made a jeweled box (sorry it was one of the 1st & I forgot to take a picture.) It was a pinch larger, painted purple and studded with clear jewels. Inside were scrapes of paper, notes, I’d written expressing my feelings of how I felt about him. The idea was from a gifted box my mom gave me for Xmas a couple of years before she died.

It went over ok; Yolanda was more excited than he was, or how he appeared and showed to me. The surprise party went over fine (it was mainly her family, me, Amanda/Oscar and the kids). It was just weird for me as I was there for his last surprise birthday party (mom gave him one for his 40th – in fact, outside of he & I, there was no one from his former party. With less than five people out of the nearly 60 that were there in previous years, and that I know he even associates with today. It’s just weird! It’s like my mother’s death was so much more than her dying, the entire landscape of everything around me, him, it ALL changed in a very dramatic visceral way.

So his birthday was the 19th, and Xmas was right around the corner. I did see Amanda at his birthday, it was the first time since the Easter prior. There was no mention of Jeff on her part and we talked in a very surface way, all polite about nothing. However I will say her husband though he didn’t say anything about Jeff either, he hugged me with purchase, extra tight – that I took for as his way of saying: I’m so sorry for your loss.

I worked Xmas eve, but was surprise my time was cut short with pay & a Xmas bonus (it was awesome since she wasn’t one to give me anything the last couple of years, so it was a nice extra surprise.) That night I went over to Maria’s for Christmas Eve. It was like old times, as I did so years ago, in our early twenties few years. Back then when her mom was alive and cooked up a storm in a very traditional Italian way for Xmas eve. Although it was only the four of us (her son joined for a little while before he took off to spend with his girlfriend) we was lovely. After dinner, her sister Nancy helped me with finishing my cookies and then with wrapping my gifts as I was seriously behind. I left somewhere after midnight.

I was tired, but Christmas day was fine, and didn’t even realize how hard I had pushed myself to just get through the day until afterward. Then I discovered in the following days as I had the next four days off and my grief/depression hit doubly hard. I had vague thoughts of pushing myself for New Years but my gumption to fight against the depression fizzled and I hit a wall and proceeded to WALLOW!!!

January was wallowing and slowly working on cleaning putting away Xmas stuff. I also started to slowly organize things, or create more mess – stare at it before finally getting around to cleaning it up. Since I clean and organize for others, this was bad. But it was also how I felt, a mess, lost still in pain and grief with huge helpings of depression.

sharing pics- weirdness )

Feb, March, April to now:
IDEK, things blended together- mainly work, stress on lack of work or rather a few clients cutting me back. I already struggle financially, but lately its getter even harder. Enough that I started to apply for ‘other’ work, mainly retail to work nights and or weekends. I’m hoping I get something, but also where I only work 1 day and not both Sat/Sun as that would leave me with zero days off, *sigh*

Easter, was fine sorta. The weirdness, Yolanda’s middle son died last year from suicide or accidental drug overdose. I don’t know again its not talked about in any way. No offer of sympathy is given or accepted. They ALL pretend like everything is just wonderful – like seriously. Although, she and ‘her’ family held several prayer vigils dedicated to her son last year for nearly a month. It involved only her family and my dad – no one else was from dad’s side was included – again not even open to allow anyone to offer any form of sympathy.

He’s still not talked about, but Easter I saw a memorial bookmark for her son. It just hurts in a deep I DON”T FUCKING UNDERSTAND kind of way how they can be this obtuse to me in regards to my brother. AGAIN, not one word of support, sympathy or anything regarding my brother and it’s coming up to a year later. They treat him like he never existed – like I’m an only child. Their deep anger and hatred toward him blows my mind, and it’s all because he wasn’t there for my mom. And I’m supposed to just keep showing up, smile and pretend like everything is fine.

I do show up, I do smile, I love them – BUT I no longer trust any of them. I know they will NEVER EVER be there for me, as all of them have already proven over and over every single time in my life, I stood alone.

I should be use to it, be okay with it – and I think finally I am getting there. In my lifetime, I’ve endured: alcoholic parents, verbal abuse, physical abuse, being molested by my step-grandfather, accidental pregnancy then having an abortion with no support, raped that resulted in pregnancy – I had considered going full term after already having an abortion, but not even a single friend or family member supported me, this includes my own mother threatening if I had the baby to never come back o.O My distrust started early in life, why I’ve had such a hard time letting anyone get too close because those that do have only hurt me more.

Now after all that then all the loses, I now know the only one I can trust is me- but to trust myself I can reach out be close that if they hurt me, that’s it’s okay because I’ve finally stopped hurting myself that I’m not the cause of it- something I have carried and believed my entire life up UNTIL NOW!

Okay, the end of this is bleeding my pain/grief, I know it, it’s what I’m feeling at the moment as everything with Jeff, his last days are coming up on a year anniversary. And I’m still the only one who’s grieved his loss – the potential of what could have been, of who he could have been. With his loss there are still unknown questions: of exactly how he died, his last days, did he know and leave my place knowing he was dying or when he didn’t show up for work… There’s no closure with the people I thought were family (my definition of family, of what that means and what you do to love and support is polar opposite of what they do, act, and how they respond to said family.)

Fact is I’m not looking forward to next week/month or even father’s day- it was all during this, their final acts about Jeff, but their singular hatred for him blinded them of everything else, including me. True fact, they seriously don’t see it, don’t see how they’ve hurt me and think, behave like I’m nothing more than a drama queen that can’t let things go- because I should be there, any and EVERY time I’m invited to be in there presence, I should jump at it, be excited with a big fat smile, kissing my ass for privilege that I’m included – yup!

To make things harder

Prince )

On that note I’ll end this- overall I think I’m okay, I’m getting by and getting stronger. I continue to strive forward. I’m hoping my return trip back to CT later this summer will finally give me full closure, once Jeff’s ashes are taken care of. He will be added to my grandmother’s grave.

I had intended to take care of all of this last year. The plan was to have Jeff’s ashes buried with my uncle. My uncle Bobby died a few months before my mom and my uncle Jacky died back in 2010. My aunt Ronny’s been holding Jacky’s ashes as he was to be put in with Bobby. Yet Booby’s and Jacky’s sons: Matt and Sean were not ready to do so. My aunts had thought me coming would push them to move forward, but neither of them were ready, and I wasn’t about to push anyone who’s not ready.

Then my cousin Bernadette mentioned Nan’s grave. With my aunts there, I didn’t need anyone else’s permission. Unfortunately we didn’t set out to do this until my last day there. While we were able to start the paperwork, they needed at least 24 hr notice to dig the hole. So I left and had thought my cousin and aunts were going to do this before Nov and before the ground got too hard. Sufficed to say my aunt is still holding Jeff’s ashes. So yes I do need to go back and make sure it’s all taken care of. I don’t want anyone, my aunt especially to be holding onto his ashes indefinitely, or worse to die and her kids finding out she’s been holding Jeff’s ashes like she has Jacky’s.

So this has turned out to be a long ass update ^_^

fandom news – also new fandoms: Shadowhunters, Magicians )

Anyhoo, I think I’m off – need to go start some laundry. I hope to again soon – I do care, I’m still am here, I still love fandom and try to make time for it as RL & my muse allows.

With love & *HUGS!* to ALL - I’ll c u on the flipside ;)

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