All the Signs

One of the biggest steps I’ve taken on my road to recovery in recent months has been going back to school. Even in just the few classes I was able to complete before we found out about the Twins, have been immensely helpful in learning how to defend myself against predators. As anyone who has survived an abusive childhood knows, it’s extremely difficult to get out of the patterns of abuse, especially when that’s all you know. Being able to recognize the subtle signs, in addition to the obvious signs has helped me a whole bunch. It’s a lot easier for things to roll off your back when you see the toxic abusive nature with which they are spewed at you.

It’s been especially helpful in dealing with my mother. She still throws out her guilt trippy narcissistic barbs out, but they don’t phase me nearly as much as they used to. It’s actually kind of amusing to watch her try so hard to upset me with things the way she used to, as I respond with a smile or blank stare and change the subject. We actually haven’t gotten in a heated argument since last September. Fingers crossed everyone! lol.

Anyway… I wish I hadn’t sold my text books so I could quote from them, but I found an article online that outlines the signs of a predatory abusive person pretty well. It gets the point across, although if these signs are present with narcissism or any other psychosis with delusion, they unfortunately won’t be able to see it in themselves. I’ve shown my mother countless times and instead it just gets thrown back in my face as if I’m the guilty party. Narcissism 101 right there. Which of course, leads to the smile and/or blank stare.

It’s also helped me a lot to understand that 75% of the time people who display abusive behaviors are simply hurting themselves. There is only a small percentage of the population who truly enjoys toying with the masses via manipulation and abuse. Most abusive behavior is learned, which of course means it can also be UNLEARNED, but one has to be willing to accept their responsibility in the cycle of abuse to reach a solution. Anything else is simply a form of control, which in itself is abusive.

Really humanity is such a complex system, I could carry on for days about the facts, and research blah blah blah. No one wants to read through all of that. lol. If they do, a wealth of information can be found online or they can contact a licensed therapist. I’m just sitting here with the tip of the iceberg.

  • Humiliation, degradation, discounting, negating. judging, criticizing:
    • Does anyone make fun of you or put you down in front of others?
    • Do they tease you, use sarcasm as a way to put you down or degrade you?
    • When you complain do they say that “it was just a joke” and that you are too sensitive?
    • Do they tell you that your opinion or feelings are “wrong?”
    • Does anyone regularly ridicule, dismiss, disregard your opinions, thoughts, suggestions, and feelings?
  • Accusing and blaming, trivial and unreasonable demands or expectations, denies own shortcomings:
    • Do they accuse you of something contrived in their own minds when you know it isn’t true?
    • Are they unable to laugh at themselves?
    • Are they extremely sensitive when it comes to others making fun of them or making any kind of comment that seems to show a lack of respect?
    • Do they have trouble apologizing?
    • Do they make excuses for their behavior or tend to blame others or circumstances for their mistakes?
    • Do they call you names or label you?
    • Do they blame you for their problems or unhappiness?
    • Do they continually have “boundary violations” and disrespect your valid requests?

*taken from an article on psychcentral.com

Heavy

The world is heavy today. It has been since yesterday when the news of the Las Vegas massacre made its way across the country. 

I know it sounds cliche but I felt the shockwave of pain and sadness ripple outward long before I knew why. I sat straight up in bed after a flash nightmare of people screaming and I’ve felt the weight of the aftermath in my chest ever since. 

It isn’t something that’s become a cerebral reaction more so than a polite one. The shock of hearing about these senseless killings has worn off. There’s nothing one can say or do to adequately express the grief of a wounded values system anymore. 

It’s just… heavy. That’s the only way I have to describe it. Taking away guns or restricting them to the point where it’s too expensive or there are too many hoops to jump through for decent, honest people to own them won’t solve the problem. Criminals will find ways to cause mass destruction with or without legal access to firearms. It’s a sad reality that no one wants to think about in the wake of such senseless tragedy. 

No one could have stopped this mad man in time to prevent loss of life and mass injury no matter what weapon he was armed with. From a tactical standpoint I don’t understand why security at the concert hadn’t planned for something like this to occur. In today’s world where these events are more common than not, someone dropped the ball. 

It doesn’t really matter why he did what he did. The last life he took was his own. We will never know the real reason behind his actions. It’s between him and God now and no need to waste time with speculation. Only time to bear the weight of sadness once again for so many innocent lives lost. 
Again.

Turning of the Leaves

Last year I really struggled with intrusive thoughts and memories of my grandparent’s house. Being in the middle of such a crazy emotional year I never really could figure it all out. I had my theories and I explored them to a certain extent, but I never really got the answers I needed.

This year, being back home with Hubs, all of my pieces sorted themselves out. It wasn’t actually my grandparent’s house that triggered my memory meltdown like I thought, but my Littles playing in the leaves. Watching them brought up memories of my own leaf playing days, sending me back to my grandparent’s house.

I’ve still been digging through our literal boxes of old family photos an entire year later looking for pictures of the house as it was in the 1990’s before my grandparents moved, but all I’ve managed to find is photos from the back yard or inside the family room during Christmas. I know there is at least one picture of me and my sisters out front in the leaves. I just haven’t found the right box yet. There are at least six giant cardboard boxes of loose photos, not to mention the albums and two suitcases. lol. We are a family of archivers. Hooray for the internet making archives less cluttered.

ANYWAY…. So I haven’t found any photos yet, but I wanted to type up the memory again since it’s been running through my head every time the kids play in the leaves.

It was the Summer between second and third grade which would have put me at about eight or nine years old. I affectionately refer to that Summer as the Summer of Star Wars since it was then that I discovered the greatness that is the original Star Wars Trilogy. We rented the VHS tape from the library one afternoon to keep me entertained while my mom was tending to my younger sisters. It was the most fantastic thing I had ever seen, and immediately I was hooked. We traveled to California that summer to visit some relatives, and I picked up several tee shirts from the Disney Land Star Tours gift shop which I wore pretty much religiously until they began to fall apart.

One day soon after our return from California my mom piled me, and my sisters into the car and we headed up to visit my grandparents. I bounced out of the car, proudly wearing my favorite of the Star Wars shirts (it glowed in the dark, which was like the coolest thing ever) and ran into the back yard looking for my grandpa who could usually be found outside in the garden during the Summer months. What I found instead was a pile of street signs laying up against the big maple tree in the back yard. A stop sign, speed limit sign, no U Turn sign, and two street names. I was immediately mesmerised by them, and spent the rest of the afternoon thinking of all the possible reasons they could have come to rest behind the dumpster in a shopping plaza where my grandpa worked as a part time custodian.

I wanted to keep one so badly, but couldn’t quite decide which one I wanted. My mom as well as my uncle insisted that grandpa call the city and report where he had found them and possibly return them since they were technically city property, and had obviously been stolen. I’m not sure if they ever did, but as we were getting ready to go home Grandpa helped me sneak the stop sign into the trunk of the car. It was our little secret, until a few days later when mom was going to get groceries and discovered it hidden under the third seating compartment in the back of our Ford Taurus Wagon.

I got a mild scolding for sneaking the sign home, but aside from that I was allowed to hang it in my bedroom and all was forgotten.

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The rest of the Summer passed much too quickly for my taste. Although can it be said that any elementary school child really thinks that the freedom of Summer lasts long enough? What was actually several months felt like only weeks had passed and it was the beginning of the school year yet again. I had been enrolled at a private school during my second grade year. I’m not entirely sure why second grade was the magical year for me to be in school, but it was my only enrollment until Middle School. The rest of my school career was spent at home participating in a homeschool curriculum. I was enrolled for third grade at the same school I’d had my second grade experience at, but the week before at my annual check up I told my mom that I wanted to stay home instead. She had apparently listened, even though she didn’t really show any interest in my thoughts or concerns because on the first day I was supposed to report to my new classes, instead of dropping me off she went to the school and with drew my enrollment.

Afterwards, myself, mom and sisters made our way to visit with my Grandparents, and still not entirely sure if I was supposed to be at school, or if I was going to stay at home for third grade I wandered out to the front yard to play. There was a large Maple tree situated in front of the house, and it dropped hundreds of leaves every fall. They were the perfect, raking, and piling leaves. Big as my young hand, and such a vibrant shade of orange, almost yellow. I was entranced in my leave fortress, lost in my imagination, playing with a small plastic Lion King figurine I had brought from home. Being so enthralled with my game, I completely neglected to notice that a young boy older than myself, but no where near adulthood had wandered to the edge of the drive way watching me. I was only alerted to his presence when he finally spoke asking: “Who are you talking to?”

I sat up and spun around, embarrassed that I had been caught, and concerned that I hadn’t noticed someone walking by. I looked at him for a moment taking stock of who this person was, somewhat relieved that it was only a kid, not an adult. He struck me as very bouncy, full of an almost nervous energy. He was standing still waiting for my answer, but he was also greatly amused by the entire confrontation and kept looking back across the street to two other young people standing across the street. I watched as another boy lit up something that was probably not a cigarette, and took a long drag standing there watching his friend make a complete ass of himself. There was also a girl in the group. She was fairly nondescript. Blonde, but no other obviously distinguishable features. She was also half watching this Bouncy Kid accost me, but mostly trying to keep her attention elsewhere like she was bored or embarrassed by Bouncy Kid’s antics.

“No one. I’m just playing.” I finally answered.

“Aren’t you a little old for imaginary friends?” The stranger asked again, with a chuckle.

“No. I’m not even ten yet.” I replied, as if ten was the magical age when having imaginary friends was inappropriate.

As soon as I replied, my mom poked her head out the front door and demanded that I come inside immediately. I turned my attention toward her, away from the boy who had stopped to question my play, and protested. When I turned back around, the boy had returned to the opposite side of the street, and hopped in the car. Leaving the other boy to finish whatever he was smoking before also piling into the car, with Bouncy Kid, and Blonde Girl before driving away. That caught my attention. I’d never seen the owner of the car, but it was the same make and model as ours. A  dark grey Ford Taurus Wagon.  I’d seen it sitting outside the house across the street over the summer, and we’d had some problems with the boy who drove it before. He often mistook our own car for his, becoming frustrated when the doors wouldn’t unlock, one time resorting to violence as he pulled and kicked the handle trying to get it to open. I remember my Grandma seeing him one night and panicking insisting my mom call the police, which she did, but I had never seen him myself until that day.

As I made a little mental note of that, thinking that it was interesting to finally see the boy who kept confusing our cars, I begrudgingly made my way inside before being quickly shuffled off into the back yard where I remained until my grandpa came out with my second youngest sister and asked if I wanted to go for a walk.

So we set out on our walk, through the neighborhood, eventually making our way to the top of a large hill, and to the park located there. We followed along the tree line, wandered back by the basket ball/tennis courts and played in the leaves that the large oak trees had begun to drop. It was then, playing in the leaves, that I noticed four men staring at us from two cars. Something about them just made the hair on the back of my neck stand straight up, my chest feel tight, and over all very uncomfortable. Grandpa and my sister were unbothered by them content just to continue our walk into the woods and maybe play on the play ground for a while.

The longer I felt those men staring at us, the more uneasy I became. Something just wasn’t right, and I didn’t know how to explain it in a way that would convince my grandpa to take me seriously. Eventually he finally consented to returning back home, and we slowly made our way back out of the park. Unfortunately we had to walk right by these men to do so as there was only one way in or out. I remember urging my grandpa to hurry, and scolding my younger sister for staring, pointing, asking: “Are they bad men?” as we walked by. I held my younger sister closer, and kept repeating to her as quietly as possible: “just don’t look at them. Keep walking and don’t look at them.”

We safely made it out of the park and I bolted down the hill as fast as my legs would carry me, followed closely by one of the men in a Chevrolet Camaro. He slowed down as he passed me running, but eventually continued down the hill parking in front of a house, and making his way inside watching me closely as he went. As my legs had given out on me halfway down the hill, I memorized his license plate walking by trying to both catch my breath and give my grandpa time to catch up now that he was carrying my younger sister. 2Wild4U is what it said, which I both found odd since I had never seen a vanity plate in person before, but also a huge relief since it would be easy to remember. We slowly made our way back to my grandparents house, but instead of taking the most direct route, I convinced Grandpa that we should cut over one block and sneak around in the back way. He thought I was being cute, but entertained the idea.

When we arrived Grandpa relayed the entire story to my mother who both scolded him for taking us up to the park in the first place, and also for taking me on the walk without permission. They argued briefly about my encounter with the strange boy in the front yard, and then I remember mom screaming at the top of her lungs that we were never to visit that park again for any reason, and Grandpa proudly retorting with “why on earth not? She knows what to do! She kept telling me not to look at them and just keep walking.” It was then that they noticed me listening in on the conversation and shooed me back out to watch TV in the family room.

 

Mom got her way, and I didn’t return to that park until many years later. I also never saw the boy who stopped to talk to me across the street again after that day, or his friends in the Taurus. Then I didn’t particularly think it was odd, merely that the neighbors across the street had either moved out or bought something else as the grey Taurus was replaced with a Ford Explorer shortly after. Eventually the house across the street was raided by the DEA and FBI. Unbeknownst to me, being so young, there was a growing heroine problem in the area. That house, along with several others was a large bust. Enough to make a significant cut in supply, but also to boost petty crime in the area to a relative all time high. After the raid by grandparents put their house on the market, and moved away.

I have yet to really figure out why my brain defaults to this memory so much in the Fall time. Last year it made sense because I was living literally around the corner from the house, and the park where it all happened. This year? I don’t know. I don’t know why it seems to be stuck with me, even though I’ve been able to put just about everything else about my recent trauma to rest. ‘

I guess I have to explain how this random childhood memory relates to my recent trauma lol. I’ve really been trying to not write about that part of my life anymore. Long story short: I ended up dating a man who claimed to be Taurus Kid. I have no definitive proof one way or the other if he was or was not Taurus Kid, but he planted that seed in my head and now whenever the memory of Taurus Kid comes up my brain filters through other key points in our relationship.

It’s emotionally exhausting, and I wish like hell I could figure out WHAT makes that memory SO STICKY and the emotions surrounding it so blurred and vague no matter how many times I go through it. Although I guess it was the first time I was really traumatized outside of my own family. Like the roots of my PTSD are my mother’s emotional abuse, but the time that I was at the park was the first time I felt that level of fear that didn’t come from my mom. Perhaps that’s it? Or perhaps it’s because I have these memories, but they’ve only stuck with me and I feel compelled to find proof that they exist to validate my emotional reaction to them. I don’t know, but I really hope this year and this Fall is the year that I can figure it out.

On Their Knees

I’m not a fan of football. I never have been, and probably never will be beyond my kids potentially playing for school someday. Even so, it’s been impossible to ignore the conflict that’s been part of the NFL for the past two seasons. I’m going to share a status that a friend of mine who served in Afghanistan wrote on Facebook, because his sentiments pretty much match my own, with the exception that I never served in the armed forces.

“I served in the Army in Afghanistan and I gotta say. I don’t feel disrespected when people use their first amendment right to kneel during the national anthem at a football game. I personally don’t think that’s gonna change anything. No asshole abusive cop is gonna be watching the game in his Cheetos covered boxers and see players kneeling and go ” damn I’m an asshole maybe I should stop. But it’s what they choose to do and they aren’t destroying our country like the increasing debt we are acquiring. Or the wars/ conflicts we keep plunging ourselves into.”

I do understand why people are upset. I understand how it’s perceived as disrespectful to kneel during the national anthem and why so many people feel as though it’s a slap in the face of our service members. I also understand why Mr. Kaepernick began his protest, and honestly I’m not upset by it. I’m not upset by his motivations, nor am I upset that he chose to kneel during the anthem. Why should you salute an entity that grants you the freedom of choice not to upon a moral disagreement? Like… I mean it’s a big part of the reason the country is what it is. Granting it’s people the ability to say: “hey, y’know what? I don’t respect what this flag has come to represent in terms of treatment for people of color. I’m not going to pretend that I do by standing in salute to the flag.”

That’s what makes the US, what it is. Taking that away from anyone (yes, unfortunately that even includes the ass backwards racists, white supremacists, and facists) destroys the core of why the US is different than many other countries in the world. If we begin to demand undying, and unwavering loyalty to the State, we really aren’t too far off from Russia or North Korea. At the very basic level of concept, seriously. It’s no different.

I know it’s infinitely more complicated than that. There are different nuances that can be debated and argued for eternity. I’m only saying that I think this division and drama over something so trivial, and speaking on behalf of “ALL veterans” or “ALL people of color” is presumptuous to say the least. Those who chose to kneel have the right to do so, and those who are offended have the right to be so.

Continuing to bicker over it week after week is ridiculous. If you don’t like why these athletes are choosing to kneel, how about you listen to what they have to say? They want to see a change for the better in their communities. It’s not like they’re kneeling because they’re lazy or want an extra million tacked on to their already, outlandish salaries. Mr. Kaepernick has spent his time off the field donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to charity, and participating in positive community events around the country. He’s a rare breed of celebrity who actually wants to use his status to make a difference. He isn’t trying to sell himself by being as outspoken or outlandish as possible (Kardashians anyone?) he is standing up for his beliefs. Beliefs that will better the world as a whole. 

On a personal level, watching this debate unfold over the course of a week or so on my social media has really opened my eyes. I was very skeptical, from my privileged point of view, that racisim did in fact still exist in the United States. Now? I get it. I can stand here and say that racism and oppression of minorities does, in fact, still run rampant in the thoughts and minds of America. I can say that I was blind in my privilege. I can’t speak for the majority of the American population, but if nothing else Mr. Kaepernick’s actions have made a positive difference in my own life. So thank you, Mr. Kaepernick. #takeaknee 

Today My 5yr Old Discovered Racism

I’m going to preface this by saying: I am a stereotypical suburban white lady. My knowledge of the challenges and struggles that people of color face daily is limited. I have been living in a blissful bubble of ignorance for the past 29 years and have only recently began to realize how ignorant I truly am.  That being said, I’ve been debating on writing this post at all. Usually I only write about things that directly affect me on a daily basis. What I want to write about today was a one off incident. If anything I write here in comes across as ignorant or offensive, please know that it’s not intentional and feel free to comment/share where I can make improvements.

I was sitting with my family in a local fast food restaurant. There were two employees goofing off in the dining room. They were young, and the manager was nowhere to be found. I wasn’t angry, nor in a hurry. My first job was in a fast food restaurant. I know how things go, especially on a Sunday afternoon when business volume is slow.

We step up to the front counter to place our order. The older woman taking our order was new and had a terrible time figuring out the register. I was confused why no one was helping her, but didn’t really think too much of it.

At least until she came out to “clean the dining room”. She stopped by our table, apologized for our wait and then proceeded to criticize her coworkers. Most of the employees behind the counter were people of color, so when she approached our table in hushed tones complaining about how “they were all lazy”, and she wished her manager would hire more “people like her” so they could get stuff done; the reason her coworkers weren’t helping her became apparent. Especially considering that I could see the rest of the crew working smoothly together behind the scenes after the racist cashier made her way out to the dining room.

I couldn’t say what I wanted to say (well maybe if you weren’t such a racist asshole, your coworkers would be more willing to help you out) because the kids were sitting with us. Instead Hubs and I responded with a look of disgust, before she realized we didn’t share her racist viewpoints and dashed away. Little noticed.

“Why doesn’t she like those boys, Mommy?” She asked innocently, noticing the two young men of color standing behind the counter.

I took a moment to think. On the one hand I was glad that my Little doesn’t see an issue with physical differences, but on the other I felt like she lost some of her innocence as I had to explain to her that some people don’t like other people who look different because of their skin.  God bless my Little as she looked right at me and said: “Oh. Well that’s dumb.”

I smiled and answered: “You’re right. That is dumb. People are people no matter how they look on the outside, and they all deserve to be treated with kindness and respect.”

She nodded and said: “Yep!” then the moment was over and she returned to her sandwich. We finished eating and Little made sure to say a very loud thank you to the two boys still standing behind the register, with a smile and happy wave as we walked out the door. They returned her genuine smile and we made our way to the car.

We won’t be back to that Wendy’s, and I even went out of my way to write two different complaints about the location on various social media sites as well as contacting cooperate. I never got a response from any of them, but at least they’re aware of the issue. Even if they chose to ignore it.

 

 

Rae’s Rules to Remember #84: Kneeling During the National Anthem

I’m writing my own piece on this issue as well… in the meantime check out Rae’s over at Bookmark Chronicles.

bookmarkchronicles

Kneeling during the National Anthem is not disrespectful.

Kneeling during the National Anthem is not meant to offend veterans or anyone actively serving in the military.

If either of these responses are your answer for why you don’t approve of athletes kneeling for the anthem then you are a part of the problem.

By using these responses you are choosing disregard the explanations that have been given over and over again. You are choosing to ignore the voices that are calling out for help. You are choosing to ignore the fact that there is a much bigger problem behind it all.

Don’t get me wrong, I can look at it from the other side and see how those misconceptions can be formed. However, if you listen and look at everything that Colin Kaepernick has done since he started this movement, you can see exactly what his intentions are. You don’t…

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House of Hale 3.0 

It occurred to me the other day that I never got around to posting our before and after pics of the house. We’ve been living here for six months now. Oopsie!!

So here they are! This is as finished as we’re going to be until winter. Right now all of our project time is spent outdoors. Things are mostly done. We just need to finish detail painting really. I love my new little home.


This is what we bought.

And this… is The House of Hale 3.0. 😍

I still have to finish painting the trim in our bedroom, and it’s currently covered in several loads of laundry so I didn’t get a picture lol. It’s now an almond white color instead of that horrible forest green. We kept the brown/wood accents and redid the carpet.

The bathroom is a nightmare. It really needs to be torn out completely and refinished with a new tub, but being the only bathroom we have at the moment we’re going to have to wait for that one. I started to paint it a retro sea foam green color, but never got to finish it before we had to move in so it’s pretty much in complete shambles right now. It’s functional, but that’s about it lol.

We’d like to get some of our bills paid off early and add a master bedroom either next Summer or the Summer after to give the kiddos a little more space as they grow, and get our second desperately needed bathroom. We’ll have to see what happens to our finances and taxes in the next few years though. It’s great that our property value is steadily rising, but it makes financial planning for the long term a bit of a dice game lol.

Anyway… that’s our cute little home. It’s perfect for our family, and I’m very happy here. Home sweet, home!

Pet Store Attack 

Continuing my trend of weird ass dreams: another one, even more unusual than the first.

This time I was spending time with a friend. We were looking for a particular pet store. I don’t remember why we were looking for this pet store, but we were. We found the store, parked the car and walked into the lobby. We found whatever we were looking for and as we were checking out, a coworker of mine (like coworker from my current job) rang us up and warned me that Egg Bandit happened to be the manager of this particular pet store, and he was on his way in. We needed to hurry before there was a confrontation or he found us at his store.

My friend and I darted out of the store but before we made it to the car we saw Egg Bandit pull up and block us in. My friend and I darted down a dark alley way and ended up in this weird park where we got separated on a wooded path. The park was in the middle of the city, but for some reason it was like my confrontation with Egg Bandit was completely invisible. There were other people in the park, but they all ignored me running, looking over my shoulder and Egg Bandit chasing after me.

Eventually once I rounded the corner and found myself next to this body of water. It wasn’t a pond, but it wasn’t a fountain or a creek either. It was kind of a mish mash of all three of those. I looked over my shoulder and then all of the sudden Egg Bandit was standing right in front of me. We fought. Starting with yelling at one another and eventually escalating into blows exchanged. I landed a couple of scratch/punch/smacks on his face before he pushed me backwards. I landed hard, yelled something oddly specific at him; then he scooped me up off the ground by the back of the shirt and tossed me into the water.

Before I hit the water, I saw Hubs appear out of nowhere and try to come to my rescue by charging toward Egg Bandit but he couldn’t get there in time. I hit the water just as the sky turned black with thunder clouds, a giant clap of thunder rolled through and the sky lit up with intense lightning. I sank for a little bit before I woke up.

I think there are a few memory fragments trying to fight their way to the surface here, with my subconscious connecting the dots in dreamland as it were. I expected it once I started decompressing and settling into the realization that my stalking nightmare is over. That’s one of the annoyances of PTSD. In the middle of the stressful event, everything gets repressed or pushed to the back of your mind; then when a certain level of stress is removed things start making their way to the surface.

Life has been exceptionally good recently, and it’s been about one year since the pique of my stressful events last year. It’s time for the decompression to happen or at least get started. I just hope I can get some sleep between here and there. Oy.

Long John Baby Shower

I had the weirdest nap dream ever yesterday afternoon. I was pregnant again, and attending my baby shower at a Long John Silver’s restaurant in Dayton Ohio before returning to my grandparent’s old house to stay over night. They were still deceased, and we didn’t know the people who currently lived in the home but for some reason we had keys and it was totally cool that we stayed there as long as we cleaned up after ourselves. 

The exterior of the home looked the exact same, but the location and interior of the home was completely different. It was still in Dayton but it wasn’t in their old neighborhood. It was next to a large water tower on top of a hill. I know the location. I’ve driven by it a million times but it’s a business district not a residential district. In my dream, that’s where the house was. 

We walked in the front door and the interior was basically the same, but somehow there was a more modern decor motif and stairs to a second story. The kids I have currently were all with me, except none of them had aged past their current ages even though I was pregnant again. My mom was staying with us, some random reason to rent the house for the night she had to be there, like she knew the family living there or something. 

In addition to that weirdness the dream kept switching back and forth between being at my grandparents house and being at this Long John Silver’s restaurant where mom was ranting at the manager because he didn’t fire a male employee who had somehow assaulted a female employee. I don’t know, I don’t remember if there was more to the story or not. I just remember my sisters and dad piling in the car and driving away while I lingered behind with my mom for whatever reason listening to her fight with this manager on behalf of this other female employee who was a complete stranger to us.

By the end of the dream I was packing up my bags to go back home and mom was rushing me out of my grandparents house before the other family returned. I waddled out of the house and down a steep slope before I startled awake.

Okay… so many things are wrong with that dream, I don’t know what my subconscious was doing. It was mixing memories in with its own fantasy is what happened, but I can’t figure out why. Must have been something I ate. Lol.

Scrappy

Even though I’m not thrilled with being back in the restaurant world I love my kitchen crew. I don’t even remember what started the conversation one day last week but we were all comparing war stories about the last fight we had been in. Lol. It was hilarious because every single one of us on shift that day had a story or two about our wild youth, and narrowly avoiding jail. 

Kitchen people are my people. We’ve all seen some shit, survived more than our fair share of the ugliness of humanity, and work hard but play harder. Many of them are veterans, which also gives everyone a slightly cynical edge, but we all show up on time  and work incredibly well as a team. 

It’s by far the busiest restaurant I’ve ever worked at. From the moment the doors open there is a steady flow of customers. Sometimes there are even people waiting outside before the doors open in the morning. It’s a little crazy honestly how there is zero downtime at all. I clock in and keep moving until the moment I clock out every single day. I honestly prefer it that way, it gives me less time to let my mind wander off to unpleasant restaurant memories. 

I’m glad I ended up with this crew. I don’t think I would have been able to overcome my reservations about the restaurant world without them. We’re all scrappy, and I love it.