Share Your World – 2016 Week 19


For Cee’s Share Your World

You win a pet monkey but this isn’t just any old monkey. It can do one trick for you whenever you want from getting a pop out of the fridge to washing your hair. What would be the trick? I would train him to correlate my printings and file stuff for me. That would save me a lot of time. I would keep fruit handy to reward him for his efforts.

What caring thing are you going to do for yourself today? I actually did some meditation before starting my day today. It’s the first meditation I’ve done in a couple of weeks. Later, I plan to take a long hot shower before bed.

What color do you feel most comfortable wearing? Black, deep purple or burgundy.

Complete this sentence:  When I travel I love to…. find a quiet place away from the crowds and just sit looking at the scenery, listening to the sounds and soaking in the atmosphere.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week? Wednesday began a cycling of moods for me – deeply depressed, mildly okay, depressed, okay. Thankfully, the cycle has ended for the moment.

and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? Doing some more writing, trying to catch up on the blogs I need to read, and shopping on Friday.

10 Daily Currents – 05.09.16

It is Monday at 6:18 pm and I am currently…

1. listening: to dad watching the A-Team in the kitchen, the hum of my fan, birds singing outside, traffic on the road, kids’s laughter as they play outside

2. eating: scrambled eggs and sausage with salsa

3. drinking: coffee with cream and stevia

4. wearing: green t-shirt with Save Tibet printed on it, black pedal-pushers

5. feeling: a bit sluggish this evening… this gloomy weather is making me tired, a bit clogged up too. Forgot to take the vitamin C and pantothenic acid (B5) last night and just remembered a few minutes ago

6. weather: warmish, cloudy, gloomy, humid – about 75 degrees

7. wanting: chocolate… will be glad when Friday gets here and I can buy some

8. needing: to do more writing and read some others’ posts

9. thinking: do I  write or watch some mindless nothing on Netflix

10. enjoying: reading some of the A2Z Reflections posts

I had a thought, dear readers… if you’d like to grab these 10 Daily Currents and write your own, link back to my post so I can share along with you!

A Delicious Torment – C1P1

A Delicious Torment
A Memoir
Chapter One: Prelude to a Disaster, Part 1

Most of that day is a blur now. I remember coming to an important decision. The relationship with John had long since reached its zenith and was crashing to the other side of the mountain. I assured myself that we’d given it two years and very little had changed. He’d sucked me as dry as I was willing to allow. I would not become mere bones for a man who cared more about his own wants and needs than that of us as a couple.

John was a bit of an oddity. He preferred to play Dungeons and Dragons with his friends when he wasn’t working. At first, this didn’t bother me. I was on my last year of college and didn’t have a lot of time for our relationship anyway. We’d only been dating a few months and lived in two different cities – I was in Roanoke and he was in Lynchburg. We mostly got together on Sundays. His obsession for D&D got him into trouble at his job because he would stay up late playing and then be late for work the next day. After several infractions, he was fired. Then his roommates kicked him out because instead of looking for work, he just kept playing D&D. I only knew he lost his job. I didn’t know why and I didn’t know why his roommates kicked him out. Still, I enjoyed his company enough that I invited him to move in with me with the understanding that he would get a job.

After a few weeks of not finding work, I gave John an ultimatum. Go to a temp agency or move out. He chose the temp agency. This began a series of jobs that lasted a week here, two weeks there, and sometimes for a month. Either he was fired or once the contract ended, he wouldn’t be hired on permanently, which many of these companies did at the time. After a serious infraction, he was terminated by the temp company. To this day, I still don’t know what he did to get fired. However, instead of checking with another temp company, John decided not to even bother. He hung around the house, played an online video game, and as I was later to discover, began an online affair with some woman who also played the game. My bills mounted to cover household expenses, forcing me to forego payments on my student loans which I had to defer and on my credit cards which went into default. I was in a financial mess.

Our troubles didn’t end there though. About eighteen months into our relationship, John got it into his head that he wanted to get married. He was Catholic and at the time, I was Wiccan. Our religions were never a problem until he decided that he wanted to get married. He begged me to convert to Catholicism. I refused. We argued constantly. And then the issue of children came up. I’d already explained to him when we first began dating that I could not have children. He wouldn’t let either of these ideas go. Day after day, he pressured me about both. Maybe the doctors were wrong. Maybe I could get pregnant. Maybe it was worth checking into. Maybe, maybe, maybe. I was on the brink of the abyss.

By this time, I’d finished my last year of college to disastrous ends. The college had revoked one of my grants after the semester began without informing me. I had worked it out with the financial office to leave enough money on my account to pay for any extras that might have incurred, but when they took that grant away, I had no means to pay for an extra class that I had taken. If I had been informed, I would never have taken that class. Since I couldn’t pay, they froze my transcripts and refused to allow me to graduate for my Certificate of Advanced Studies. I tried to fight the decision, first by proving that the grant had been revoked illegally and without notification, but the college board wouldn’t even hear my case. Then I attempted to hire a lawyer, but it would have cost more for the lawyer than the money I owed the college. Eventually I gave up. I would never obtain my final degree or my transcripts. I would never be able to go on for my PhD, or teach, or work as an editor. My dreams were shattered. I ended up taking a job with an insurance company as a computer software technician instead.

John still wasn’t working, but he was still pressuring me about marriage and kids. I hated my new job even though it paid well and I was able to catch up on my bills. John grew jealous of my job because he had worked as a computer technician in Lynchburg, but couldn’t get hired on anywhere in Roanoke as one. With the stress of the job, John’s jealousy, my failure to pursue my dreams and the constant bombardment to get married and have kids, I had my first mental breakdown. I had not only fallen into the abyss, I was swallowed by it.

My primary doctor prescribed Zoloft without even ordering a mental health evaluation. I guess he figured it was just mild depression and no evaluation was necessary. And apparently I wasn’t the only one at my job on an antidepressant by this doctor. There was a running joke that you could only work there if you were medicated. The medication did help some and I was able to resume work without losing any comp time. I also gained some clarity about my relationship. The decision was made, now I just needed to find the right time to break the news to John.

I fretted over when and how to tell him for a couple of weeks. Finally one evening in late September of 2000, I waited for him to take a bath. I slipped into the bathroom and sat down on the toilet.

“We need to talk,” I told him.

He stared up at me with widened eyes and one of his ‘oh shit, what have I done now?’ expressions on his face.

“This isn’t working, John. We want separate things. You want a Catholic marriage and kids. I can’t give you either one.”

“What are you saying?”

I could tell this whole thing came as a surprise. His face reddened and he was hyperventilating, something he did any time he felt threatened.

“We need to break up,” I said as gently as I could. I didn’t want us to end on a bad note, but I didn’t want to give him hope that this wasn’t real either.

He said nothing. Instead, he slowly slid down in the tub, until his head was completely submerged. Then he began stamping his feet up and down in the water. I screamed at him to put his head above water and tried to pull him up by his arm, but he jerked his arm away and just kept pounding his feet against the porcelain. I finally reached into the tub and pulled the plug. As the water began to drain, he came up for air, but stared at me with those same wide eyes and his mouth agape. He mouthed words at me as though he was trying to speak but could not. Finally, I just shook my head and left the room. I couldn’t bear his antics any longer. He resembled more of a wounded child than a grown man.

I returned to my studio and logged onto my computer. I could hear him storming about in the bedroom. I just sat there. I didn’t want to confront him when he acted that way. Moments later, he emerged from the bedroom and stomped his way down the hallway and out the door. I hadn’t a clue where he was going, but I wasn’t about to chase after him either. It wouldn’t be long though before I knew exactly where he was. John had gone to the back yard. He stood out in the center and screamed at the top of his lungs for a good five minutes or more. I felt that dark hole attempting to swallow me again.

A Delicious Torment @2016 Lori Carlson. All Rights Reserved.

A Delicious Torment is a memoir of my descent into madness and subsequent recovery. I will post new sections of this each Monday.

Jump ahead: C1P2

A-to-Z Reflections

A-to-Z Reflection [2016]

It’s really hard to believe that another A2Z Challenge has come and gone. I told myself that this year, I would stay on top of things and for the most part, I did. I completed the challenge with not one blog, but two. This was only possible by writing and scheduling posts for one of the blogs ahead of time. What I still found incredibly difficult with this challenge was visiting others’ blogs during the challenge. The volume of participants is enormous. It creates a huge amount of pressure and anxiety, at least it does in me. It is probably the one aspect of the challenge that makes me question whether or not to participate each year.

I must say though that the quality of posts this year has been amazing. I’ve only read a small fraction of the participating blogs, but those I have read so far have blown me away. There are so many gifted bloggers out there and the A2Z brings out the best in them all.

I also learned a few interesting things that I would love to share:

  1. Feedly became an invaluable tool for me. I added nearly every blog that participated in the challenge to it. Hopefully this will enable me to go back after the challenge and read A2Zs without needing to check the sign-up list every day. So if I haven’t visited you yet, please know, you are on my Feedly and I will get around to you eventually!
  2. Using a signature this year improved my chances of visitors to my blog. I use WordPress and Blogger is not all that friendly toward us WordPress users when it comes to allowing us to comment under our WP ids on Blogger accounts. The signature gave me the freedom to just comment and go with minimal fuss. I will admit that sometimes Blogger still frustrated me with the hoops you must jump through to prove you are not a robot. Now along with checking the little box, you have to identify pictures of things. Often the pictures are so small and unidentifiable and it became very frustrating.
  3. One area that I am still quite irritated with though is the lack of Archives, Calendars and even in some cases, no Categories sections on some people’s blogs. This put me off more than anything last year and it is still an issue in some cases this year. I’ve decided that when I go back to visit other blogs this year, that if none of these things are present (which would force me to scroll through months of posts to find the A2Z posts), then I will just not be reading those blogs.
  4. Another minor irritant is that some people have their comments section set to close comments after a certain set time period. They may not even be aware that they have this set as an option, but if they do, then it makes no sense to me. Don’t you want someone say in two months to be able to comment on your post? I know I would. Still, this is a minor thing as I rarely run across it, but when I do, it is irritating.

I am not sure I have many suggestions for the facilitators of this challenge. I think you all do an amazing job hosting this each year. I cannot even begin to imagine all of the planning it must take to put this together and have it run smoothly. I really enjoyed the tips that were posted on the A2Z blog before the challenge and all of the wonderful words of encouragement posted during the challenge. Those made a huge difference for me and really helped me have an enjoyable experience this year.

The only area that I wish there could be improvements made is the category codes. I wish they were mandatory, that if you didn’t include a code, then your blog would be deleted. It would really help to know what ALL of the blogs are categorized as. This way I could direct my attentions say on just hobby related or writing related. I don’t much care for surprises or wasting my time on things I would never have an interest in. Gosh that sounds horrid, but it is honestly how I feel. One thing I was thinking about during the challenge was I wish there were separate sign-ups for each category. I know that would probably cause a lot more work for the facilitators, but it would certainly make things easier for those of us interested in just certain topics. And I wish the categories lined up with the themes of the A2Z and not what the blog itself is all about. Some blogs are so random as to not even have a theme. And well, I guess not everyone does themes either, but those could be in a category titled random or general. The only area I would see a conflict is for blogs that post Adult Content. But I am sure there would be a way to work that out. Like using two codes instead of just one. Anyway, just a thought that I am sure will never be implemented.

Here are a few stats from my A2Z posts:

As the Fates Would Have It

  • Most viewed post: Adele (didn’t really surprise me as it was the first post)
  • Least viewed post: Billy Zane (again, no surprise as it was the last)
  • Most liked post: Buddha
  • Least liked post: W.B. Yeats (huge surprise)
  • Most commented on post: Adele
  • Least commented on post: tie between John Updike and W.B. Yeats (huge surprise too)

Promptly Written


  • Most viewed post: Adam 2.0 (not that big a surprise as it was the first)
  • Least viewed post: Signaled (huge surprise as I was prompting a friend’s book that day too)
  • Most liked post: Byal’s Mission
  • Least liked post: Signaled (again, huge surprise)
  • Most commented on post: Centran Awakens
  • Least commented on post: Quiescent No More (this one received ZERO comments. Huge surprise)

Well, that about wraps up my Reflections for this year. I enjoyed the challenge and I look forward to visiting more of the A2Z posts on others’ blogs now that the challenge is over. See you all again next year!