Ghost #2


"I think its very normal and human to want to be remembered. I know I'd like to be remembered. I think in a sense, its part of the reason I secretly yearn for some sort of fame, some sort of big success, so lots of people will know me, and lots of people will remember me. I think its one way I want to cheat death. I think its what other people in the past have felt too. They don't want to die, but even more so, they don't want to be forgotten, BECAUSE to be forgot is, in a sense, to have never existed! And the idea of never existing is troubling to most people. It doesn't seem to make sense, to be alive now, to sense our existence now, but to also suspect that when we die we will be forgotten and we will be unknown by anyone a century from now and therefore will seem to have never existed."

When I made the semi-permanent shift to the Central Time Zone in 2003, I found myself in a state of extreme emotional flux. I had just finished burying my grandfather after a sudden illness, my relationship with my boyfriend was crumbling (a fact we both knew at the time, but decided to put aside in the name of convenience, friendship and, well, soldiering on), and I was coping with the fact that I had started over and left everything I had ever known behind me in the name of economic feasibility. Emotionally fragile, but still determined to be resourceful, I put all of my charm and wit to use in this forum in the hopes of getting new friends to go with my new location.

George gradually emerged from the crowds of people in the Kansas City network on LiveJournal to say hello and make me feel welcome in a very strange and scary place. I'm not exactly sure how or when it happened; at the time, I remembered reading a series of emails alerting me to new comments on my entries. When I finally had the chance to sit down and check out the blog of this mystery commenter, I discovered someone who was disarmingly humorous and witty, with a penchant for making up random word strings under the heading "Band Names For Sale."

I do not remember when I first coined the term "terminally positive," but I do know that the phrase was initially used to describe George. Unrelenting in his matter-of-fact humor and independent spirit, George would waste no time cheering me up when I was at my gloomiest, but would also refuse to allow me to feel self-pity when it was counterproductive. At one point during a bit of heartache, he yelled at me for being shy and exclaimed, "The perfect man for you could be another shy person. HOW THE FUCK ARE YOU TWO EVER GOING TO MEET? Ain't gonna fucking happen."

This spirit carried over to his day-to-day life to a sometimes stubborn degree; despite battling cancer (and losing a leg in the process), George refused to back down from adversity or accept defeat. Where conventional medicine expressed limitation, George thumbed his nose at nay-saying doctors and did his own research to improve his quality of life. He wouldn't even let me hold a door open for him or slow down my walking pace when we were walking together. When we had lawn seats to a concert, I made the mistake of offering him a hand up at the end of the night. His softly determined look and stern "Don't ever ask me that," made me realize that this was not a man to ever underestimate, let alone pity.

I learned a lot from this man and his tenacity, even though we rarely saw each other in person. We would pop in and out of discussion on each other's blogs here and there to check in and keep up, even though the updates gradually grew less frequent. Eventually he moved back to his parents' home in Virginia to finish his college degree and concentrate on his health, and we fell out of communication with one another as I slowly migrated to other social platforms and away from extended written thoughts.

As I was preparing to reopen some old memories and start writing here again, I started reading up on my long lost friends and extending many "mea culpa" comments to let some of my favorite people know that I was on my way back. When I got to George's site, my heart slowly started to sink as I realized that the last entry on the page was dated June 2007. Feeling an inevitable sense of dread, I read the comments that followed the post.

George had lost his long and vicious battle with cancer.

George, you are the only ghost whose real name I am comfortable using here, and I want you to know that I am eternally grateful for the short time we had together as friends on this mortal plane. Thank you for the tough love when I needed it. Thank you for your clever words, for your insight and for your undying wit. Thank you for being a positive influence in a long line of negative ones that need closure here.

Goodbye. You will, without a doubt, always be remembered.


Ghost #1

Jenny's Rampant Sexuality and Trauma Issues

I have been sitting at my laptop with the above headline and a blinking cursor staring back at me for the better part of a half an hour while I uncomfortably pace about my living room, take sips of varying drinks, type something, delete it, and repeat the cycle. This is possibly the most uncomfortable subject for me to approach when discussing myself and for good reason; to talk about it is ironically revealing and definitely somewhat embarrassing. The Jenny of several years ago (and in the above user icon) would have gladly exposed just about any body part or factoid about herself to the general public in the name of sexual freedom, power and liberation, but to talk about the issues inside that caused all of this attention-seeking would have been unthinkable and seemingly impossible. I'm still internally debating this decision (after all, there are people out there reading this that will undoubtedly have formed their own opinions about the issue and my situation), but ultimately feel it is for the best that I get this out of the way, explain myself, and file it under "done and gone."

Because I'm fairly certain that this is going to be read not only by my friends but estranged family members as well, I should start this by stating some basic, abstract facts about me. I do not speak with my father. As far as I am concerned, I was orphaned when my mother passed away in 2006. As a result, I am unfortunately and unintentionally not in communication with the majority of my family on the paternal side of my family, leading me to feel like a stranger when I do speak with my cousins and half-sisters who are for the most part adults. While there are many varying nuances to this situation, this scenario's cause comes down to two things, which are documented in varying court records in the state of New York:

• A good portion of my childhood was tainted by sexual abuse at the hands of my newly-acquired stepbrother.

• My father was aware of this abuse, but failed to take action to stop or prevent it. When he witnessed the abuse taking place, he did not seek medical care or emotional counseling on my behalf, but instead made it a point to lecture me on the finer points of how what happened was wrong, using the phrase "Nice girls don't do that."

Out of fear and shame at what I had apparently done, I internalized my emotions and memories, not revealing any details of the weekend visits at my father's house to anyone in my family until I was in college. My mother did not find out until I was 20.

I played out the situation in my head over and over for years, analyzing every emotional angle of what I had gone through, and eventually, I convinced myself that I had dealt with this, that the emotions were processed, that I was all better and I could live my life as a functional adult. The problem with this? Well, it wasn't true; no matter how much I insisted I was fine and that I was all better, I refused to see that my idea of adulthood and healthy sexual freedom was actually me acting out over years of internalized trauma. So, I did bad things. I put myself in unsafe situations; while I insisted on contraceptives in the name of safe sex, I gave little thought to the fact that I was going to unfamiliar cities and neighborhoods with new friends and little more than a change of clothes and subway fare. I made it public that I was awesome in the sack, craving attention not only online, but in real life as well. I broke hearts. I caused heartache. I even got involved in a flamewar regarding me being referred to as a booty call. It wasn't pretty, and in the end, made me feel really unhappy and embarrassed for myself. I was quickly turning into a human car crash; while I was interesting to observe, looking at me in detail was starting to become sad and uncomfortable.

In the end, I'm like the cat with nine lives, escaping varying cities and near-strangers clean as a whistle and with nary a scratch to show for it. How I did it is beyond me. Was is pure moxie? Pure luck? I don't know. What I do know is that the irony to all of this is that years later, people who know me now will read the above things, cringe, and say "Really??" whereas the people who knew me then would read the above stuff and remember me (somewhat) fondly before weight gain stole a lot of my physical beauty. The extra pounds may have taken my looks, but they have certainly given me perspective.

At any rate- Rampant Sexuality, I get you. I understand you. But you are a bad, bad girl, and you have to be kept in check. Go back to my bedroom, and stay there.

I'm sorry everybody. Let's move along.


It's funny, but I actually logged into this journal, the one I paid lots of money for lifetime premium access to, and I felt like I walked into an old apartment that now houses a nuclear family with the ubiquitous 2.5 children. That is, I feel strange here.

I waded through the automatic twitter feed updates and the one line posts, and discovered that I haven't really made an actual statement here in close to two years. I've gotten to the point at which I feel like I'm reinventing myself every week or so, so after two years, is it really shocking that I feel like a foreigner here? I even find it hard to extend a thought beyond one or two sentences, a seriously negative trait that I'm blaming on my reliance upon the likes of Twitter and Facebook. This needs to be remedied.

Way back when I was moving into my first real house (a life lesson in and of itself that I don't plan on forgetting anytime soon), I was told by many interesting people in the psychic/paranormal/creative scene of the importance of smudging. Smudging, for those of you still reading this and unaware, is the act of taking a bundle of sage, lighting it on fire, and waving the smoking bundle around in every corner of every room in your home in order to prepare it for your time there. The smoke is said not only to banish negative spirits and energy, but is also used to purge the home of all energy left over from the previous occupants, leaving you with a clean space, ready for your own energy and spirit. Foolishly, I put this advice to the back of my brain, and I feel that I seriously paid the price during the time I lived in the house. By the time I actually smudged the house as recommended, it was done as last-ditch effort to get rid of the hurt and pain I felt within its walls so that I could project a clean and happy image to prospective buyers of the property as I readied it for sale. You can say that you refuse to believe in that sort of voodoo all you want, but within two months, I was free of the home and ready to move on.

So, move on I did, and several months after that, I'm moving back to this old address on the internet. This blog, much like that old house, holds a lot of energy from the previous occupant, but unlike my old (new) home, the occupant is someone very familiar and yet completely different. So...the important lesson learned here is that if I'm moving back in, I'm going to have to smudge.

I'm not getting rid of the old entries entirely, but they're going to be moved somewhere appropriate. The coding is going to definitely change to reflect a better layout.

Friends list? That's a tough one. Some of you have stuck there with me and will definitely remain along for the ride. Others just flat out need to go. Still, others...

Well, simply put, there are others out there that need closure. This journal has seen some of my personal demons manifest themselves into relationships with people, for good or bad, and while I still view at least some of those relationships as salvageable, the old ghosts need a proper goodbye. So before I'm making good on the advice given by that old Girl Scout chant, I need to write some internet letters to my old demons.

Consider those letters the next few entries in this journal, and the commencement of Smudging.

I've missed you, old apartment.

Things I Said While Cheating On LiveJournal

10:52 It just took me 5 minutes to figure out how to open a can of pineapple with an older blade-style can opener. Fail. #

16:39 One of the very few things I will miss about the neighborhood- the local McD's ALWAYS plays 80's alt-rock. #

16:41 I used Shazam to discover Dr. Heckyll & Mr. Jive by Men At Work #shazam #

16:46 (case in point) #

19:52 Sign outside a nearby church: " A LOT OF KNEELING WILL KEEP YOU IN GOOD STANDING." Uhhhhhh... #

19:55 And for your amusement, an angry post-95+ degree moving day self-portrait. I'm getting slap-happy. #

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Things I Said While Cheating On LiveJournal

06:29 Last day at the call center from the seventh circle of hell today. Let the verbal beatdowns commence! #

08:23 @jonfingas I would say others. Stupid is a violent crime against humanity. #

09:26 IT BEGINS. "I don't like your attitude." "OK." Muahaha. #

09:31 @vonswain it sure is. #

11:29 @vonswain @bynkii DONE. #

16:35 Scrubbing the LitterMaid. So. Gross. #

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Things I Said While Cheating On LiveJournal

16:02 Michael Jackson, please don't die. I like you. #

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Things I Said While Cheating On LiveJournal

00:54 cannot wait until the first. That is all. #

01:10 It's going to be a while before we let Zelda have access to the WHOLE bag of catnip again: #

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Things I Said While Cheating On LiveJournal

14:16 Calling various services to request disconnects. Fun fun funnn.... #

14:24 Of course Zelda is not feeling better- she's trying to chew on the corner of an envelope. And smacking my hand when I try to shoo her away. #

14:57 My iphone is taking forEVER to backup. WTF #

15:41 Waiting for help at ATT store w/ children present= HELL. #

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Things I Said While Cheating On LiveJournal

12:52 Just got off of the phone with FLOR- they recycle old carpet tiles once, say, your cats have clawed and furred the hell out of them! #

12:55 A testament to how durable the stuff is: out of my 25 tiles, only one was too dirty to salvage by brushing. #

14:48 eating leftover stuffing and hard boiled eggs. I'm gonna smell awesome later. #

14:54 Thing I learned this week: The first parking level at Children's Mercy Hospital is called the "Red Rocket" level. SO. WRONG. #

14:55 Other thing: CMH requires everyone to check in TSA security line style even if you're just trying to find the damned Harvesters barrel. #

14:56 ...or if you're trying to get to the emergency room. After a 5 minute wait, I left and silently wished the ER-bound kid and dad good luck. #

17:58 @tactile Oh, I've done that before. It's a total dick move but sometimes you have no means to elucidate. #

17:58 @TheDLC OMG, that place is still open?? Weird. #

17:59 I just realized that I have enough desktop/knicknacky things to put in a box and label it "Toys for Adults" and let the movers wonder. #

18:00 I also just realized I have NO motivation today. Bad. I might have to pack the PS3 and 5.1 early to stave off temptation. #

00:28 Dear Martini Corner fuckhead: look left before you turn, cause the next person may not stop less than foot away from your head. Idiot. #

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Things I Said While Cheating On LiveJournal

08:57 Free to good (local) home: 3 LUSH Christmas Cake soap bars. Vegan and smells like almonds. #

11:01 @SlyM I'm sorry to hear that! Thinking good thoughts for you and him. #

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