Thursday, April 25, 2013

My baby sister is growing up.

Your birthday is coming up...it's on Tuesday, actually. I've been agonizing over what to do for your birthday for weeks. How to balance my love for you with my lack of understanding of you, and the need to keep my boundaries for my sanity's sake. Even though I don't admit it often, and even though I've said some unforgivable things to you. Even though I try to deny I miss and love you-well, the only reason I do that is because if I can pretend to be angry, I don't have to think about how much it hurts.

I miss you, you know. Like, really-I do. So much that my heart actually physically hurts sometimes. I miss having someone to watch Disney movies with at 2am, and belting out every song. Matching the parts with our favorite characters, and knowing every.single.line. Or the cult classics I plan to pass on to the beautiful bebe in my life..doing the voices for The Princess Bride, The Pebble & The Penguin, even Lady & The Tramp and not to mention sharing new music discoveries. I wish I could understand, dude. Like, you have no idea how badly I want to get it. How it hurts to have a zillion things to want to share with you, to watch you experience in life-and I just don't know if it will ever happen.

I'm sorry. I am so sorry. I failed as your sister. I should have done more; I see that now. I should have let you hang out with me more. Defended you harder. Loved you fiercer. Anything that would have changed how it is now-I should have done. And it makes me sick to have to type that. Tears pouring down my face, and snot everywhere-because I can't take any of it back, no matter how much I wish I could.

We've talked about how to fix things, and I know I can't force you-though I wish with everything in my deeply passionate soul I could. My offer will always stand, beyond eternity. If you need me-I am there. But you have to love yourself first. And dig through all that heart-wrenching, awful, traumatic, fucked up shit that happened. To the root of the problem. Someday, I believe you will. I hope you will. I know it isn't easy, dude. I do. I'm still in therapy, and it's been 12 fucking years since my first session. I GET THAT. It hurts. It's complicated. There's a shit-ton of stuff to work-through, and it's a continual process. It's even harder when you have a diagnosis that's scary. I get that too, babe. It's do-able though. It is. You have no idea how much people love you. You just have to let us. And work with us a little bit man....just a little bit. You know exactly what has to happen to mend the bridge...I just can't do it for you.

I don't know if you'll ever see this. That makes me sad too. I want to tell you how Gus is doing, that she's talking so much now-and running everywhere. Jumping on furniture, and feeding the dogs...turning everything she holds into a microphone and belting out some awesome smash-hit in her head. Turning into a little person from the baby she was just yesterday. Helping me put on my make-up, and already moisturizing her face. These are things I want to laugh with you about. But I can't.

I have this fantasy sometimes that just by writing, you'll snap back to the girl I knew. That your troubles will fade away, and your choices will be different. Instantaneously, all of that cognitive dissonance will dissipate forever. That the toxic people in your life that I refuse to allow to come into contact with mine will just be a distant memory-and not constant companions. For you to understand I don't call them toxic because I don't understand them, or hate them-I DO understand them. I DO. I was a toxic person once, too. But we had already stopped talking about important shit at that point...and I regret that too. I was a fucking terrible example (case in point, the amount of vulgarity in this post that would make our Grandma backhand me), when you needed me most. I struggle with that too, dude. Actually, most of my therapy sessions are spent talking about you-and what I wish I had done when I could still have helped you. Unfortunately, at this point-I don't know what to do. You need some pretty serious time to self-examine, with some intense honesty and no judgment. You might be surprised, I'm not unrealistic when it comes down to it-at least, I don't think so. You like stuff other people don't get-that's fine, I really don't care. But don't live recklessly, baby sister. Don't tempt fate. Be careful. Stay safe.

My wish for you this year is that you would see how beautiful love is. Real love. Not Stockholm Syndrome love, not abusive dominance, not abuse, blackmail, threats, thieves, assholes. Genuine care for your well-being, nurture your soul, feed you right, work their ass off, goofy, funny, smart-ass love. Someone you can discuss books with, build dreams with, go on vacation with, who calls you out when you're wrong-but loves you even if you disagree. Someone who indulges your eccentricities, but knows when it's too far. Someone to help you heal. That you can learn to love yourself, and accept love worthy of who you REALLY are inside. The you I know and love. The you I miss. The you I know still exists. I hope you stay healthy, and drop the toxicity. When you're ready, you have my number. I will leave whatever I am doing, no matter what-and we will figure it out. I will take you to rehab, and visit you every day. I will drive you to daily outpatients if that's what you need (But I like your truck better than my shitty car, so I'll drive your truck).

I wish you knew how much I love you. I guess it may be hard for you to believe-it's been awhile since we've really been friends. There are reasons for that, but I think you know what they are. If you don't remember-well, we can discuss it. I don't really know how to close this. I guess because once I do, it's just-out there.

Happy (early) birthday Baby Sister.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Let's catch up

So. Here we are again, at what seems to be emerging as an annual "catch-up" post. First, I want to say that while I eventually want to be organized enough to be posting every day, right now that is an unrealistic goal for my life. So I'm going to start posting once or twice a week, and then progress from there! If there's anything in life that I'm learning, it's to take your "Ultimate" goal-break it down into bite-size pieces, and then achieve it with persistence.

Now. Catch-up thoughts.

**My household has grown! My niece (Who I'll be calling Gus on here) lives with my parents officially now-the legal battles are over, and everything is signed, sealed-solid. We love her to pieces, and are thrilled at the progress she's making!

**I am not going to school this year. It just wasn't feasible for me financially, and to be realistic-time was a definite factor. But it was definitely the right choice..

**My Grandpa's cancer has returned. It is wide-spread, and Hospice nurses are coming into the home once a week-ish. While it is difficult to see my vibrant, lively Grandpa shrinking in front of me-the dementia had set in over a year ago, and it's been a process...at the end of the day-The Creator has it all figured out, and will walk with us through this journey.

And that's about it for catch-up. Short and sweet this time. Expect another post Tuesday, or Wednesday!

Until we meet again,
Cassandra Anne.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Reggae's Lessons


We listen to a lot of reggae at home. It started as a way for me to connect with Mr. Man's culture-because music is LIFE to me, and I want to understand where his comes from. I fell in love. There's just something so beautiful about a music that comes from a heritage like Reggae. It has literally brought people together (Think separation/hate formed during Apartheid type situations), and communicates so wonderfully in such a way that it moves you.

I know, I know. Reggae is associated with Rasta, is associated with drugs, is associated with...I know the stereotypes (The truth is, Rasta is as diverse as anything else. A great research subject, if you're into that! Or maybe another post? Who knows.). And I know that some of the reggae available comes off that way, or is about those subjects. But have you ever just listened to what some of it is saying?

My current favorite reggae tracks are by Fantan Mojah. "Thanks & Praise", and "Stronger". Both talk about being blessed in coming and going, joy in all things and giving the glory to Jah. Prospering in the midst of evil-wishers, gaining strength in faith & Jah when adversity comes. Now, I'm not going to get into the differences between Rastafari and my personal beliefs. At the end of the day-the concept of worship is the same across the cultures.

Who am I to get bogged down with my personal stuff, the life stuff (no matter how dark, deep and twisted) and forget to give praise to The One who gives me life? Who sustains me. Walks with me. Loves me. Protects me. Strengthens Me.

It is SO EASY to feel weak. Abandoned. Rejected. Sad. Discouraged. Melancholy. You name it-I guarantee you I've felt it this summer. And sometimes-it's ok. BUT YOU HAVE TO GET UP. YOU HAVE TO KEEP GOING. NO MATTER WHAT.

Baada ya dhiki faraja.
AFTER HARDSHIP COMES RELIEF.

Hang tough. It will get better. I promise.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Essays..Exams..Future.

It is exam week. Which, generally comes as a relief. It means I'm due for a break, whether it's 3 weeks or 3 months. Not this time. This time, I have a take-home (which, is VERY nice usually), so I'm puttering away at this Theatre exam. It's not awful..and I'm almost done, I just have to analyze the poo out of Antigone and then compare it to the cultural norms of Ancient Greece. Not nearly as bad as it sounds, just..not my most exciting essay.

Plus...tomorrow I meet with my Academic Advisor at WMU. Exciting, and terrifying all at the same time. Exciting because I am FINALLY going to graduate start working towards graduation. And because it means I am that much closer to finding a job I really like. That much closer to being a real grown-up. Terrifying because I am FINALLY working toward the great wide unknown scary world graduation. My GPA has sky-rocketed compared to when I buried my Grandma, got married, got divorced, moved back home, lost all my money I had all those "troubled times", but is not nearly where I would like it to be. There are some who would be happy with a 2.4 GPA. I, on the other hand am mortified, embarassed, terrified to post that because it's so much lower than anything I've ever had. I am hoping that I can get into the BSW program, despite all my failures difficulty.

So...now that I've wasted all this time, I suppose I should get back to analyzing Antigone. Which, really-is alot more powerful when you actually compare/contrast it to the Ancient Greecian ideals of rationalism, humanism, and idealism. Just throwing it out there.

Functioning on

Friday, April 20, 2012

I miss you.

I have this "friend". She's a little younger than I am, but she was always there growing up. We fought like siblings, but at the end of the day-I was her fiercest ally. I still would do anything for her; even as much as I can't handle who she's become. I thought it would be that way forever, and I was positive that would never change...but it did.

The thing is, she was not raised to manipulate everyone around her. She wasn't born or raised a racist who would condemn my relationship, or request her child not be exposed to anything not Aryan in nature. She was funny, and smart, and we could belt out Broadway classics no one else has ever heard of at the drop of a hat.

And as much as I say I can't stand her, or deny missing her...the truth is that today-I can't think of anything else. I miss her so much my heart literally hurts. I don't know if she'll ever change. I can't say I'll believe it if she does, not at first. There has been so much pain inflicted, and I'm not innocent of verbal retaliation. Usually, I can keep all of this at bay. Today is not one of those days.

I miss you. I hope someday, you can learn why I can't have a relationship with you as long as you have these ideals. I have never stopped loving you, even if it feels like it. But I will not condone your toxic behavior, and absolutely cannot tolerate the mistreatment of a child.

It feels like you just like to stand there, and watch me burn.

Please wake up. Please. Please get help. Let people love you appropriately. Learn what respect and honor really are. Please. Stop the madness.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Back to reality.

After 4 days of bliss at home with my love, it was back to work today. Don't get me wrong, usually I love my job! It's fun, and makes for great stories...the kind so crazy you can't make them up. But this isn't what I want to do with my life.

Now I work in Adult Foster Care as a shift lead in a home specializing in Traumatic Brain Injuries. It is a privilege-truly. To work with adults and trying to assimilate them back into the community. Finding joy in small victories, teaching "normal" daily habits and reactions. It's just not my passion. I'm a social work major for a reason, I want to help people. And I'm damn good at it. But my passion is children. Abused and neglected children. Delinquent children. Hurting children. THAT is what I live for. The redemption, the healing, the love that can blossom in little hearts.

Being accepted to University is the culmination of 7 years of my life. It means I am ALMOST THERE.

I am TERRIFIED. What if I fail? What if I'm unable to emotionally separate myself to effectively do my job?! What if I can't handle what I'm seeing? What if I don't actually help anyone-and do harm instead?! What if I hate it????

It's so much safer here. I work my 40 hours a week, have relationships with my co-workers; I know my clients and their families. I'm well-networked and well-liked. I know what to do, and I'm good at it.

Here we go. This adventure called life. I think it's getting ready to take off. And I hope I'm ready.

Functioning on

Monday, April 16, 2012

Haircuts

I got a haircut today. I have been talking about getting a haircut for probably 4 months now. And I kept putting it off. Not because I don't want to have one, or can't afford it (though sometimes I shamelessly try to convince myself of that-lies! Every time), just because it overwhelms me sometimes. It involves making a decision, interacting with people I may or may not know depending on the salon.

Basically, I really really suck at self-care. Or, as the marvelous Naomi Wolf refers to; I malnourish and mistreat my inner goddess. I have a hard time with activities of daily living that don't fall under "Necessary". I go to school and work, and talk to my friends/family-no problem. But that's where it ends. I don't seek out other interactions during a "bad" time. When I'm overwhelmed and anxious at EVERYTHING.

Don't get me wrong-I can appreciate a great haircut. And I do! The 2 in G-Rap I recommend are Moxie (especially Mollie at Moxie) and J & S Salon. Affordable, fun-very "Steel Magnolias". Anyway-I've digressed...my final thought is simple.

Damn. It feels good to be coming out of a dark place. To look good, feel better, and get back to really living my life. Today, it's great to be me.

Functioning on