Wonderland Scatter

I feel like I’m Alice, miles down the rabbit hole, chasing my own shadow and asking it to join me for tea.

Is it pitiful if it makes me feel mocked; if I throw a tantrum because it won’t talk back to me?

Did I slip and fall into a deep sleep one day and forget how to wake myself up?

The tag on this bottle says ‘drink me’ but isn’t it rude to not drink from a cup?

I’ve always wanted to meet the Mad Hatter but the only mad one here is me.

And not just mad, but angry! Because it seems I’m normal as far as anyone else can see.

Clearly, I’m looney. Surely someone will soon come to lock me away.

I believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast; doesn’t just that warrant an extended asylum stay?

The dormouse sounds just like my mother, but that’s hardly a coincidence, right?

Listen to me! I hear voices! That would give a sane person a fright!

I can’t tell which way is up, and where is forward? Is it in reverse?

Someone, please heed my desperate warnings; I fear it will only get worse!

Who on earth painted my roses? When I find out, it’s off with your head!

Oh, I’ve been influenced by an angry broad, some queen whose color is red?

Do any of these characters ring a bell? Or am I truly losing my mind?

WAIT! I don’t even like tea! Well, I like iced tea, not the fancy milk and sugar kind.

Have you ever seen a caterpillar blow smoke rings? What about a cat which can materialize on cue?

If the answer is no and your world is so black and white, maybe the crazy one is you.

Voices: A short story

Author’s Note:

Please know that while this short story is fiction and is meant to be enjoyed for its style and content, it is inspired by a frightening reality faced by people all over the world. Mental illness does not discriminate. The stigma surrounding disorders and diseases like depression and schizophrenia needs to be destroyed, and we can make that happen by creating a conversation and educating ourselves and others. Please show compassion to everyone you encounter in life. They may just hear or see something you don’t.

 

 


Another day of work.

You’re a joke.

Another day of mediocrity in the name of a paycheck.

You’re a waste of space. What’s the point?

Another cold morning with visible breath and achy joints.

You deserve to hurt.

She sat daydreaming in her unremarkable car, staring out the windshield at the other unremarkable vehicles, both idling and parked, between fading yellow lines.

The familiar pop song on the radio ended and the chipper, charismatic voice of an underpaid disc jockey interrupted her absent musing.

She sighed, defeated. She pulled the key from the ignition and opened the door, and as she turned toward the center console to fetch her purse, an object in the passenger floorboard caught her eye.

A large black pocket knife lay in plain sight, clumsily and mistakenly left behind by her husband. She paused and thought for a moment, and her flawed logic made her decide not to leave the weapon in the car.

I shouldn’t leave this in such a visible spot, she thought to herself as she retrieved the knife and, instead of concealing it in the glove box, she tucked it in her purse before locking the car and walking to her office.


The same stained carpet.

Disgusting, like you.

The same cluttered desk with stacks of unending paperwork.

You’re incompetent.

The same jingles of keys from the same insufferable colleagues.

They all hate you.

She worked routinely, but just going through the motions allowed her to slip into an ever-darkening state of mind. Each sheet of paper and click of the keyboard left her more agitated. She heard her associates babbling too enthusiastically about their ordinary lives, and her phone seemed to ring again and again, just seconds after ending the call before.

Anxiety rose in her throat like bile, and she frantically pulled open her desk drawer to find the pills that would calm her enough to allow her to finish her work without a breakdown. Addiction was the name of only one of her many inner demons. With shaking hands, she fumbled with the zippers and snaps of her purse.

Her fingers grazed a package of tissues, a tube of lip gloss, her checkbook which might as well be kindling, cough drops, and-


An unexpected metal object.

Did you forget about that?

An unexpected desire replacing anxiety.

End their incessant chattering.

An unexpected lapse of caution and conscience.

Do it. You have absolutely nothing to lose, you piece of trash.

She suddenly rose and walked away from her desk, and she felt as if she was floating. She navigated the halls purposefully and quietly, but paid no mind to her surroundings. It was effortless; she acted similarly to a lucid dreamer who works impossibly quickly and without consequence.

Her boss was the first victim. He only had enough time to shoot her a concerned glance before she practically lunged across the room and made the first inelegant incision.


Voices told her to do it.

Make them bleed.

Voices whispered to her night and day but she attempted to quiet them with pharmaceutical muzzles.

We’re still here.

Voices convinced her to kill.

You’re a monster.

Her ears rang as she thrashed and plunged the knife into her colleagues’ flesh over and over, moving from office to office deliberately and rapidly. Her work mates had no time to process or react to her blows. She couldn’t even hear their pained screams despite how they must have been tormented by every stab and slice.

The rooms filled with the scent of pennies, and brilliant red adorned the mundane walls and stained carpets. She laughed joyfully and hysterically at the sudden change in scenery.

They were all dead. There was no one left to call for help but she knew someone would become aware of her actions soon enough. Oddly, she felt no remorse and even smiled as she leaned back against one of the freshly blood-painted walls and slid to the floor.


No more mediocre life.

It’s over.

No more routine, no more insufferable coworkers, and no more weight on her shoulders.

You’re going to die.

No mo-
“Call an ambulance!”

“Oh, God, what have you done?”

“Check her pulse! What are those pills?”

“There’s so much blood!”


So much blood.

Blood.

So much… blood…

Yes, blood.

So much… pain?

Your blood.

She slumped in her chair, and her downward glance revealed her bloody hands, holding both her entrails and the knife with which she was sure she had just murdered at least three people. She choked and sputtered as she began to realize the damage she had inflicted, not on any of her coworkers, but on herself.

As the scope of her vision receded, she lifted her head to see her physically unscathed colleagues, and the empty pill bottle, almost indistinguishable amidst the pools and spatters of crimson. Warm blood replaced the last of the air in her lungs.


One last heartbeat.

Thump.

One last sound heard before everything faded away completely.

Die.

One last time the voice of her mental illness said

“I win”


 

National Institute of Mental Health

Mental Health America

MentalHealth.gov

 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Call 1-800-273-8255

Available 24 hours everyday

My feelings are valid and so are yours: Thoughts on the 2016 election

Like many other Americans, I’m angry and fearful following the election of Donald Trump as the leader of our country.

Now, before you slap a label on me and consider me a democrat, leftist, liberal, or even “libtard”, please know that I currently do not identify with either of the two major parties in this broken system of ours. Quite frankly, I would be discouraged and wary had Hillary Clinton won the election too.

It’s no secret that Hillary Clinton has a less than reputable history as a politician and as a person. She has done terrible things and continues to make questionable statements and political decisions. If you’re reading this, let it be known: I am acknowledging that Hillary Clinton was not a sound choice for the presidency. I am acknowledging that she may very well be a criminal.

On the other hand, Donald Trump has exhibited blatant hatred and fostered spite and violence (don’t even pretend he hasn’t advocated violence in the face of opposition) even before his campaign.

Now that we are all on the same page about who these people are…

I am angry and fearful. I have never in my 25 years of life witnessed such bitterness and hatred.

  • I am angry that we as Americans allowed our country and its politics to become a reality show.
  • I am fearful that so many people I know (and myself) will be further ostracized or put in danger because of who we are.
  • I am angry that so many people are using this election as an excuse to be destructive, racist, xenophobic and sexist (I’m talking about both sides here).
  • I am fearful that we have taken a giant step backward in the world of civil rights.

Perhaps some of my fear is unfounded or I will be pleasantly surprised at some point. Maybe being a white, pansexual female with an aversion to political party affiliation won’t lead to physical harm or verbal abuse. We’ll see.

 

I don’t care upon which side of the aisle you dwell. I don’t even want to know for whom you voted or if you voted at all. I am a very objective person and when I finally decide to express my concerns about one candidate, I don’t want to hear how the other candidate is so much worse. I refuse to play a game of “who’s the lesser evil?”. I am not interested in your attempts at justifying hate. Don’t bother.

If you’re passionate, be passionate! Disagree! Agree! Ask questions! But do NOT attempt to diminish the validity of another person’s feelings. Do NOT tell someone their emotions are wrong.

I am angry and I am fearful but I am also hopeful.

  • I am hopeful our system of checks and balances will serve its purpose.
  • I am hopeful President Trump will do his job diplomatically and respect the privilege he has been afforded.
  • I am hopeful there is more good than bad in this world and this country.
  • I am hopeful that, if you’re reading this, you’re a little bit hopeful too.

 

 

2016 Big Cruise & Car Show Photos

What do you want?

Hello, Internet!

I recently started a new blog series on Sh*t My Cat Does. Honestly, it’s rekindled my love for blogging. I’m planning to keep up this new series, but you know, this blog is called Misfit Musing: A blog about everything in general and nothing in particular.  I’m thinking it’s time for more meat in this creative sandwich.

In the past, I have had a series on food, an odd news segment, several articles on depression and mental health, poetry and other oddball topics.

What do YOU want to read about?

I’m a researcher at heart so I’m not afraid to dig into a subject! I love multimedia blogging so I’ll be happy to include videos, links to all kinds of  interesting content, and of course, photos.

Please leave a comment and feel free to follow this blog to see where it goes!

 

Sh*t My Cat Does: Carbs and Quirks

If you haven’t heard yet, I have a cat. Her name is Fraulein. Check out my first post if you didn’t get the memo. If you’ve read that already, then you aware that my cat is weird.

One of the weirdest traits we’ve discovered thus far is her love for bread. Yep, bread.

One day, we came home from work to find an empty hot dog bun bag beneath the computer desk, and only a few feet away, the two hot dog buns that had been inside said bag, having been nibbled on by a certain feline.

I know what you’re thinking. But Ky, it’s food. It’s normal for a mischievous young kitty to sneak a snack now and then.

Right. But these hot dog buns had originally been on the kitchen counter, accompanied by several other more logical, easily accessible food choices. That counter top was shared with tasty watermelon taffy, chips, and even cat treats. She chose the hot dog buns, and carried them out of the kitchen, through the dining room and into the living room to… like an a**hole cat… take a few bites from her spoils and move on.

The funny thing is… a few days ago, we found her attempting to enjoy another doughy treat: Leftover cheesy garlic bread. Again, she had taken the sandwich bag filled with carbs from the kitchen counter and brought it into the living room (that’s where the humans usually eat) and was trying to tear into her chosen treat.

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I know the photo isn’t great… But she was in nom mode. My point is… Fraulein likes bread. A lot. But wait! Not just bread! I think she might have a thing for carbs in general. I guess she takes after her humans. *wipes away a proud tear* Husband recently woke up to potatoes scattered across the kitchen floor. We’ll have to be more careful about where we store the good stuff.


In other news, we finally bought Fraulein a leash and harness! I thought she would love to go outside since she’s always trying to sneak out when we open the door. But dear Fraulein kinda forgot how to cat when I finally coaxed her outdoors.

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Fraulein is confused and not amused.

She roamed the flower beds, eating grass and being generally clueless before eventually making me do the stereotypical drag-the-cat routine. She wasn’t really having it. We’ll have to keep trying on that one.

Fraulein has revealed many quirks so far. She loves bread, prefers to have her reach and/or path obstructed when playing, and enjoys lying on the bathroom floor between the toilet and the tub. I’m sure I’ll have more soon to report on the sh*t my cat does.

Sh*t My Cat Does: Meet Fraulein

This is Fraulein. Husband and I adopted her on Sunday, August 21, 2016. 14054107_1416618135021813_23307425283901255_n

I’ve never had an indoor cat before now, so this is a new adventure for me. Husband and I recently purchased our first home and moved out of the no-pets-allowed apartments where we lived for around six years, so we knew it was high time we shoved some affection onto a four-legged creature.

During a day trip to a nearby city for a bit of shopping and grubbing, we decided to take a gander at the adoptable fur babies from various rescue groups at PetSense. We saw only cats. Some paid us no mind (most of them; they’re cats and cats are generally a**holes) but one in particular in a small enclosure on the far right immediately reached a paw out to us, curious and playful. She pawed at my crossover purse, rubbed against the cage door and reveled in the attention we both were giving her.

“I want her!” I said to the husband, practically with hearts in my eyes.

“I do too.” Husband said, making me squeal with joy. You see… Husband is picky about animals. I’m the fanatic here.

We picked out the essentials (again, I’m new at this) and a few toys and I excitedly filled out the necessary paperwork to take Fraulein home. Later that day, we came to pick her up. The store clerk placed Fraulein in an annoyingly small cardboard carrier and we were on our way. Husband told me I couldn’t allow her out of the box at any point during our hour-long trip home…but… Come on! It was a tiny prison of cardboard and the poor thing was meowing in AGONY! OK… Maybe not agony… But she obviously did NOT like her accommodations. Just a little peek… I opened the flaps and she poked her head out…

OK, yes. She ended up in my lap. So sue me. I held her for almost the entirety of the trip (except for when she slipped down under the pedals while husband was driving… Oops) and she did just fine.

When I set her gently on the floor in the house, she immediately found any nook and/or cranny she could in which to hide and feel safe. She continued to prefer nooks and crannies for the next few days, and it took her more than a week to even show a desire to be on the furniture (weirdo).

Fraulein is finally starting to become more affectionate and comfortable with her surroundings, but she’s still strange. I don’t think she’ll ever lose that particular trait. After all, her humans are rather odd too…

So, stay tuned for the tales I tell about the sh*t my cat does. I’m already thoroughly entertained.

 

 

Through my mentally ill eyes: Suicide is not selfish

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PLAY

If you’re set in your ways and unwilling to consider any perspective beyond your own, you can stop reading.

If you want an unabashed look into the mind of someone with depression, and you think you might have room in your head for more knowledge and room in your heart for more understanding, I hope you’ll read on.

I’ll set the scene for you now:

I’m sitting at my desk at work, and though no one around me has any idea something is wrong, I’m terrified. My heart rate is elevated, my chest feels tight, and something I can only describe as an aching numbness creeps across my skin. I’m having an anxiety attack. My brain is telling me bad things. It’s encouraging me to harm myself.

PAUSE

According to a 2011 Reuters article, one in 12 teenagers self harm, and 10 percent continue to do so into young adulthood.

Self-harming can involve cutting, burning, carving or any number of actions meant to inflict injury to oneself.

RESUME

I’m looking at the office supplies in front of me, and my brain is telling me it would feel good to stab my forearms with a pen or staple my fingertips. I know that sounds crazy, and in many ways, it is. But depression is not rational, and that numbness I spoke of? It’s worse than any pain I’ve ever felt.

PAUSE

Throughout my teenage years and into adulthood, I have heard many people scoff at victims of self-harm, dismissing them as attention-seekers. For some, that may indeed be the objective. For many however, it’s a coping mechanism. As for me, though I have the awareness and self-control to avoid self-harming most of the time, the concept poses as a mode of sensory relief.

RESUME

I’m fighting the urge to self-harm and instead frantically (well, it only feels frantic, because my appearance and actions are calm and normal) texting people I trust so they can distract me and bring me back to reality. Eventually, I do start to feel calmer, but not in a healthy way. After coming down from the height of my anxiety attack, I am physically and mentally exhausted. I’m nearly defeated. I want to die.

PAUSE

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death for Americans. In 2013, someone in America died by suicide every 12.9 minutes.

There is a stigma attached to suicide, particularly in cases involving depression. The opinion I seem to come across most often is that those who commit suicide are selfish. Let me clear this up right now.

I sometimes find death to be an appealing notion when depression hits me particularly hard. I will be the first to admit that I have been tempted on numerous occasions to end my life. My suffering would cease. The chronic fatigue, overwhelming anxiety, mood swings, hopelessness, all that would disappear.

Depression causes its victims to think irrationally and feel hopeless and helpless. It can be argued that such thoughts are selfish in nature, but as someone who has experienced the illogical, tumultuous thinking caused by depression, I can say with certainty that there is more to suicide than a selfish desire to end one’s own suffering.

RESUME

I want to die, to end my suffering and be rid of the struggle that is my life. But more than that, much more… I want to relieve the world and all those I love of a burden. Me. The lies my chemically imbalanced brain tell me cause me to begin to believe that everyone would be much better off without me. I start to try to rationalize taking my own life by considering all the ways I am a burden to society, economically, physically, emotionally and more.

STOP

Thankfully, I am aware and stable enough to eventually identify these episodes and understand that they are only that. Sadly, there are countless individuals who will succumb to their depression and end their lives. It is likely that, as you read this, someone is dying by suicide.

Suicidal thoughts and attempts are serious cries for help. If someone you know is exhibiting any signs they may be considering suicide, don’t be silent. The Mayo Clinic lists the following suicide warning signs and suicidal thoughts:

  • Talking about suicide — for example, making statements such as “I’m going to kill myself,” “I wish I were dead” or “I wish I hadn’t been born”

  • Getting the means to take your own life, such as buying a gun or stockpiling pills

  • Withdrawing from social contact and wanting to be left alone

  • Having mood swings, such as being emotionally high one day and deeply discouraged the next

  • Being preoccupied with death, dying or violence

  • Feeling trapped or hopeless about a situation

  • Increasing use of alcohol or drugs

  • Changing normal routine, including eating or sleeping patterns

  • Doing risky or self-destructive things, such as using drugs or driving recklessly

  • Giving away belongings or getting affairs in order when there’s no other logical explanation for doing this

  • Saying goodbye to people as if they won’t be seen again

  • Developing personality changes or being severely anxious or agitated, particularly when experiencing some of the warning signs listed above

Warning signs aren’t always obvious, and they may vary from person to person. Some people make their intentions clear, while others keep suicidal thoughts and feelings secret.

I’m not asking you to understand depression. Truthfully, I don’t know that anyone can understand it until they’ve experienced it firsthand. I am asking you to be compassionate, and remove your own selfish feelings from the equation. Let’s end the stigmas.


Need help? United States:
1 (800) 273-8255

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week
Languages: English, Spanish

Also visit these other links for more helpful information:

Suicide Awareness Voices of Education

Mayo Clinic

Treat(s) of the Week(s)

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I feel like I’m repeating myself.

The title of this post refers to an opinion column I wrote around this time last year… 

I included slightly less sarcasm this time, but the message remains the same.

 

 

Just the other day I was browsing the Halloween aisles at Walmart, happily rummaging through costumes, decorations and candy. I was enjoying my time searching for tricks and treats, preparing for the coming holiday. Fall is in the air and All Hallows’ Eve is quickly approaching. It is October, after all.

Why then, as I turned the corner, did I find mountains of winter décor and Christmas paraphernalia?

My cheerful mood was immediately shattered. As I need not remind anyone, it’s October. We have not only one major holiday before Christmas, but two. Did we forget about Thanksgiving?

I realize I must sound jaded. The truth is; I enjoy Christmas as much as anyone else. I love the spirit of giving and warmth associated with Christmas, the time spent with family, and all the sights and sounds and smells that make the season joyful. I am troubled however, by the fact that Christmas comes so early these days. For a holiday that only comes once a year, I fear it imposes upon so many of the other months, thus overstaying its welcome.

Christmas is special, but only if we revere it as such. The retail industry shoves Christmas down our throats rather than presenting it in a way which makes us excited for its arrival.

Did I mention it’s October? I think I did, but I feel as if some people are missing the point.

I love Christmas, but I’m going to curb my enthusiasm until December. Trick-or-treat.

 

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