Tag Archives: san francisco

No, I don’t forgive you

I do not forgive you for leaving me with a violent sociopath to raise me.
I do not forgive you for leaving at all.
I do not forgive you for always putting someone or something else before me.
Yourself.
Your needs.
Your wants.
I do not forgive you for taking me away and then sending me back.
I do not forgive you for making me think it was my decision.
For years, I would say, “You sent me back.” Your reply was always, “You wanted to go.”
I was six. I also wanted a mother who loved me and a father who did not beat me.

I do not forgive you for missing my entire childhood.

I do not forgive you for not being there when I needed you.
I do not forgive you for not doing what you knew I needed and I knew I wanted — to live away from the chaos of life with violence and fear and shame.

I do not forgive you for cutting me out of your life.
I do not forgive you for getting married and not telling me.
Looking back, I think that was your way of letting me know, you had moved on.
From me.

I do not forgive you for leaving me that day in the Monterey Aquarium.
Your friend told me, she saw that you loved him and had committed yourself and your life to him.
I do not forgive you for not making that same commitment to me.

I do not forgive you for showing up once or twice a year expecting my life to conform to your wants and desires.

I do not forgive you for abdicating all of your maternal responsibilities.
I do not forgive you for not wanting me to press charges when John Gill tried to kill me the first time.
The second time.
The third time.

I do not forgive you for taking credit for my successes but not my failures.
Because you have no claim on either.
I am my worst mistakes as well as my greatest achievements.

I do not forgive you for taking his side over mine.
I was there for you when you needed me.
I do not forgive you for making me hide when he came to get you.
I do not forgive you for asking me to be there and then dismissing my support.

You wanted me there when you needed something.
And then gone when you did not.
I do not forgive you for that.

I do not forgive you for cutting me out of your home when he told you to.

I do not forgive you for never taking responsibility for your own actions.
I do not forgive you for seeing your actions only through the prism of your intentions.
I do not forgive you for acting like the victim when you have never been that.
I do not forgive you for saying, “John Gill wasn’t that bad.”
I do not forgive you for telling me when I told you I was raped, that “It happens to everyone.”
I do not forgive you for trying to discourage me almost every step of the way while then reveling when I did well.

The advance job was not a bad idea.
The trip to Nepal was not a bad idea.
My comedy is not bad for me.

I do not forgive you for being surprised that two years of good deeds do not make up for decades of neglect.
The hill of good will you have built is overshadowed by the Everest of bad.

I do not forgive you.
I may never forgive you.

You do not care, or maybe you do but cannot admit it, that you hurt me.
You think that happened so long ago that I should be over it.

I know that I put it all in a box.
I put that box in a closet.
In our house on Maple Avenue.
In Stony Brook, New York.

Thomas Friedman says, “if you do not visit the bad neighborhood, eventually, it visits you.”
I just heard a knock on the door.

It was a long time ago but it is here, with me always.
Until I invite it in and we talk, it always will be.

Your guilt should be real but it is yours.

It is neither my fault nor my problem.
I do not forgive you for thinking it is.

I deal with you now because I have divorced you from yourself.
I deal with you now because I do care.
You need to divorce your actions from your intentions.
You should have good intentions but are judged on the results of your actions.

You fell asleep with a cigarette burning.
You never intended the house to burn down.
But the house is gone.
And we are homeless.

You left me to deal with the mess of a marriage that was not mine.

I may never forgive you.
That is my problem.
Not yours.
I am working on it.

Being uncoordinated can be fun!

Note: medical update is at bottom.

Central Park, New York City, Winter: The Skati...

Central Park, New York City, Winter: The Skating Pond, 1862 by Currier and Ives. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reader Emmawolf asked, “I love the concept of a favorite injury. Is this because the story behind it is your favorite?”  That got me thinking about my favorite injuries…  These are in no particular order.

That hip thing I mentioned.  When I was growing up, I used to spend Christmas in Minneapolis with my all too active family.  If I didn’t know better, I would think they were actively trying to kill me as many things they took me to do were things they did all the time but I did rarely.  Case in point, cross country skiing.  I would do it when I visited them but they did it daily.  They would always want to do the hardest trails, when I asked about this Roger told me “at least this isn’t the MOST dangerous trail, just snow plow if you cannot stop.”  The last hill of the day had a “most difficult” sign and was just before the parking lot.  You cannot “snow plow” on ice or on a 45 degree angle.  I wiped out to avoid crashing into an SUV.

We also did a lot of ice skating on ponds.  They were great but being natural, they had divits in them and were not smooth at all.  When I was about ten, I was skating on a pond and must have hit one but I went flying and landed on my hip.  It hurt like crazy.  I was sure I was bleeding.  I played it off like I was fine (more embarrassed) and checked it when I got back to the house.  The result was a bruise that remained totally black for more than a year.  Years later, an xray would reveal that I had chipped my hip at some point.  That’s the only time I hurt it so I am going with it happened that day when I was ten.

Why is it a favorite?  First of all, I loved ice skating.  I love all the sports I played with my family.  I plan to teach a friend to play tennis for that very reason.  Secondly, I was a total Tom boy and relished all my scrapes and bruises. It made me feel all tough that I never sought out medical help for this.  And lastly, it reminds me of a time when I wasn’t the medical oddity that I have become.  The main reason is number 1.  I miss being that active.  It inspires me to work towards being that active again.

My goofy injuries are just silly.  I have a scar on my left knee that, combined with my knee surgery scars looks like :].  I got it in a crazy ping pong accident.  Yeah, you read that right.  A ping pong accident.  Additionally, I have soldered my fingers together (twice), been knocked unconscious in wood shop class, dislocated my shoulder body surfing (was too focused on losing my bathing suit top to care) and just last night walked into a door going to the bathroom in the middle of the night.  These make me laugh and remind me that life without whimsy is just not worth living.  Best part of these is that none really hurt because I was laughing so hard.  I was pretty good at shop class but whenever someone glued their fingers together, the teacher assumed it was me.  For the record, it was my high school lab partner, not me, who got her melted goggles stuck to her head.  I was the one who fell asleep in chem class and fell out of my desk but I never glued my goggles to my head.  At least not in high school.

You think you’re getting my bag?  Ok, you are but I am going to injure myself first!  My right index finger is crooked because it was broken when I was struggling with a mugger to keep my bag.  The strap broke and he took off.  I took off after him and caught him.  He threw some dirt at me (note: this means he had no weapon, I should have pounced).  Bitch, stop following me!  Me: But you have my bag!  He then hit me with something, probably my own bag and I woke up in the street (concussion number 6?).  I ran in the direction he had been going in to find a cop sitting in his car at the end of the street.  When I told him what happened he said, are you sure you were attacked?  PSA of this post, sarcasm does you no favors in this situation.  I responded, No, I normally walk around with my face covered in dirt.  It’s the latest fashion trend, straight from Paris and Milan  Seriously, he was not amused.

This reminds me that I do stand up for myself when I need to.  And that I am an idiot. Never chase someone who just mugged you.  There’s a time and place to be a hero, that isn’t it.

Medical update:  I was hoping  to have real news about the scans I had today but I don’t.  I had MRIs and MRAs (magnetic resonance angiogram) done of my brain today.  I hoped they would give me some information but they refused.  I have to wait to talk to my doctor next week.  Oh, and I know that headaches + seizures + vision problems + language issues can = brain cancer.  I also know that this is really, really, really rare.  I only mention that because of the number of times I have been asked, You don’t have a brain tumor do you?  I sure hope not!  I also really don’t think I do.  If there is anything on my brain that should not be there, I should know early next week and will post something as soon as do.

PS.  Thank you, social media.  I have a tendency to keep to myself when I am upset about something and recent events have only made me want to do that more.  I mean, who wants to be out and about while they are having seizures and trouble speaking?  Not me.  By opening up here, I have received some amazing support and it has inspired me to not give into my hermit instincts.  That has made a huge difference.  Thank you to everyone who has read my posts, responded to my tweets and generally made me feel a whole lot less alone and freaky.  It has meant more to me than I ever will be able to tell you.

Save me San Francisco… updated

Me and my cousin Melanie in Minneapolis when we were much younger. Though dang, Melanie, how’d you find the hooch so early?

Train has an album (yes, they are still called that), “Save me San Francisco.”  I love that title, maybe because I love San Francisco so much. As this is Thanksgiving week, I am going to publish this earlier than I meant to.  Here is a list of some of the things to which I need to say, “Thank you!”

My family:  Maybe you read my blog or have met my mother, you may think my family all come from American Horror Story.  They don’t.  The photo on the left was taken one year when we went to Minneapolis for Christmas or Thanksgiving.  For years, my holiday season meant Christmas in Minnesota and New Years in California.  Nothing says Christmas like Minneapolis.  The snow.  The cold.  The indoor shopping and the inevitable time when my Uncle Roger (who will only be referred to as “Roger” from here on) would try to get us all to go ice skating, cross country skiing or something else in negative 20 degree weather.  As I got older I opted out.  One of my favorite injuries was from when I was 10.  I chipped my right hip ice skating on a lake or pond or something.  Seriously, I had a bruise that was black for over a year.  Not kidding.  Not a complaint.

I like to call Roger my “Uncle Flanders” (sorry Melanie, he really is and I mean that in the best

Roger “Uncle Flanders” Clarke — from his web site.

possible way).  Some of the best memories of my childhood are from when my Minnesota family came to Long Island in the summer.  We had a lobster party every year on my grandmother’s patio.  The day of the bash Roger and I would spend the afternoon clamming and digging for muscles in the creek behind the house.  We always also had an outing to West Hampton.

I am going to write more about these times and what they meant to me but for now, I am just thankful that I have gotten to be closer with some members of my family and want the people who have always been there for me to know how much that has meant.  Thank you Roger, Sandy, Melanie, Abbie, Bonnie, Tom & Libby.  Thank you for  getting back in touch (I am looking at you Bonnie, she started reading my blog and following me on Facebook and it has been really nice getting to know you again through social media, cannot wait to see you next month).

Friends who have stood by me though too much craziness and drama: I am a red headed Leo from New York so I know there’s always going to be a certain amount of drama in my life but this has been crazy.  Throughout it all, I have some friends, you know who you are, who have not given up on me.  Even when I gave up on me.  Some of you have travelled with me all over the globe looking for adventure and booty (just kidding about the booty but Kilimanjaro and Everest were pretty exciting).

San Francisco:  I was born in the city by the Bay (call it anything that starts with F and is six letters and I will cut you, CUT YOU LIKE A FISH) and spent a decent amount of my youth there. I often think of it as a sea of sanity in an otherwise crazy world.

San Francisco is one of the most awesome cities in the country.  When I was in high school, my mom and her husband found an amazing apartment in Noe Valley.  From the back deck we had the most unbelievable view of the Bay Bridge.  It looked like a post card.  Every morning I would sit on that deck and have my coffee and was never not impressed.  I remain grateful for every moment in that wonderful city.

Sports:  Love sports.  So much fun to get so into something that actually means so little.

COMEDY!  Thank you Chris Coccia and the DC Improv for giving me the hobby that helps me cling to the sliver of sanity I have left.  LOVE YOU.

The thing I am most thankful for: YOU!  Thank you for reading my blog and giving me your feedback.  It means the world to me.  THANK YOU!!!

Goodbye, Jim.

Having successfully fought the urge to make the title of this post, “He’s dead, Jim” I still could not let that phrase go.  Now, I should warn you right now that this post is not going to do anything for anyone’s opinion of me.  I am pretty sure if you like me, you may reconsider after reading this.  If you already think I am a bitch, well, this is the post to prove that theory.

My mother‘s husband, Jim Cassin, died earlier today.  He had been suffering from pulmonary fibrosis for at least the past few years, though it only got really bad since February or so.  I went to visit my mother last Christmas and he was doing ok then.  He was biking five miles a day so I assumed he was ok.  Of course, I didn’t really care one way or the other so I didn’t give his health a whole lot of thought.

So now, I am writing up my feelings about his life (and death) and I am not really sure what they are.  Let me explain.

My mother met and married Jim when I was a teenager.  An incredibly angry and surly teenager (I am sure there are dictionaries with a photo of me at 14 next to “surly” or “evil”).  I was particularly angry with my mother who left me to be raised by a violent sociopath.  She didn’t help her case by coming back to Long Island once or twice a year and trying to give me rules to follow.  Right, like that was going to work.

It was pretty clear that she had fallen pretty hard for this guy.  I never saw what she saw but hell, the heart wants what it wants, right?  So they were married.  I would like to tell you when they were married but I didn’t find out about it for some months after the event so I am not really sure.  I was pretty pissed off about that, too but when it hit me that she had just written herself out of ever complaining about my marital status, ever, I found a way to get over it.

Meanwhile, Jim was never really nice to me.  My mother would tell me that “he never signed up to be a parent.”  I wanted to say, “Yeah, well, I was here before him.”  I might have actually said that once or twice but nothing came of it.  It was pretty clear that if the choice ever had to be made between him and me, she would pick him.  You may be thinking that sounds extreme or like an overreaction but it really isn’t.  A few years before they moved to Florida, he and I had a disagreement over his reaction to her cancer.  I said, “When are you going to take this more seriously?”  As a follow up, I asked her what the marriage was doing for her.  After spending the day in the hospital with her, she asked me to hide so he wouldn’t see me when he came to pick her up.

It was the last time I was allowed in their house for at least four years.  During that time, I got really sick and spent the better part of a year in the hospital.  She was barely able to visit me and it was a hard time for me.

Eventually, Jim relented and let me visit them in Florida.  I think he saw that he was hurting her and at the end of the day, as sadistic as he was, he didn’t like doing that.

Over the years, I never got the point where I liked him.  My first impressions from San Francisco where he actually hit on me (at 16 and 17) never really left me totally.  The combination of that and his self-centered nature made me never feel connected at  all to him.  Moreover, he was actively mean to a lot of people, me included.

What do you think?