Katrina's NonSoapy Journal

By Katrina Rasbold

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July 30, 2002

Wow.  What a week.  I thought last week was what a week.  As I read over the last NonSoapy entry, all of the things seem so minor.  Since the past week could make the entry week pale in significance, Iím terrified to know whatís coming!  Right now, I know that my husband and children are safe and sound.  Beyond that, itís anybodyís guess. 

I have found in my life that if I monitor patterns and find myself in some kind of downward spiral, itís usually one thing or both.  Iím either totally off course in some part of my life and the Universe is beating the crap out of me to get me into re-evaluation mode until I find the glitch or else, itís some karmic crap thatís coming up to balance out the scales a bit.  [Note:  Donít ever believe that anything in your past is dead and buried and wonít be coming back at the worst possible moment to bite you right on your ass.  Itís NOT carrying over to the next life...itís all going to come back and balance in this one, one way or another.  This I have learned.]  Or itís both making the best possible use of the situation and opportunity.  For whatever reason, this was the moment that I needed to be slapped into shape on...something.  The degree of things going wonky has definitely been beyond the ďjust lifeĒ level and has fallen neatly into ďwow!Ē 

Example:  Does anyone recall when I laid my wrath upon MCI Worldcom for laying off my poor husband with no notice the day after assuring him his job was safe?  And where is Worldcom now...I rest my case.  I now lay forth my wrath upon SBI Pacific Bell (sorry Jeff, hope it doesnít flow to you).  Check this crap out! 

Iíve been getting obscene phone calls.  This young guy started calling about 3 weeks ago, talking trash and wanting me to talk back.  The first time, I just hung up.  Pfft.  Whatever.  I was in the middle of a column I was writing and the kids were busy playing in the back room.  The phone rang again about fifteen minutes later and it was him again.  He started talking trash just as Eric was walking into the room, so I motioned to him to ďsshhĒ and handed him the phone.  He listened for a minute, started to crack up, then said, ďOh, dude, you are getting my panties all wetĒ in his very masculine voice.  The guy hung up and I figured that was that. 

He called back a couple of days later.  Feeling peckish, as I sometimes do, I started talking to this guy...stopped him dead and told him that I really wanted to know how a person gets to the point that they take their penis in their hand and start dialing random numbers until a female answers.  I wanted to know if he was able to meet real women or if he was just too shy or fugly or something.  I wanted to know if he thought about how it made the other person feel when he called, if he really thought they enjoyed it or if he got off on their shock or if he thought about the child that might be on their lap or the 11-year-old with a more mature voice who might answer.  Every now and then, heíd start to talk trash again and Iíd tell him if he was going to do that, I was going to hang up.   Most times, he did, so I did. 

A couple of weeks went by with no contact, so I figured it was done.  Just an interesting little blip on the radar screen.  Then today, he called again.  I asked him why I should talk to him when he ignored me for two weeks.  He laughed and said he thought my husband was onto us.  He started trying to talk his trash, so I told him if he wanted to talk, Iíd talk, if he was going to flog, I was going to hang up.  He started talking some real trash, so I hung up and figured enough was definitely enough here.  I tried to block him using our selective call blocking.  The recording said that the feature could not be used on this call.  I called my phone company, through whom I have the service, SBI Pacific Bell, so they could give me other options for stopping the calls.  They routed me through to a credit and collections department and I told them that I needed to speak to someone in the department that handles nuisance calls.  She then informed me that she couldnít help me with the call situation until I made payment arrangements on my bill.  I told her Iíd received a shut off notice (got a whole stack of those) and had called and made arrangements on the overdue amount to be paid on the first.  She told me that I had to make arrangements on the rest of the bill before I could proceed.  I was shocked.  ďYou mean that I cannot get my phone companyís help in stopping filth from coming through my phone lines that my daughter could answer until I whip out my checkbook and promise them more money??Ē  I have no clue when I can pay the remaining amount due.  That is far into the future and right now, my objectives are to have food in the house, utilities not shut off (cable went out today, the first casualty) and a roof over our heads.  She absolutely refused service to me until I promised I could pay the rest of my bill by a certain date.  I felt... helpless and abandoned.  Fired out an e-mail to Pac Bell and laid my curse upon them.  Iíll take the curse back if I get some help on the situation.  Dumping the phone company and going with cell phone only is sounding better and better all the time.  Then they can really wait for their money, dammit.  My curse upon thee, Pac Bell. 

Around Saturday, I could start to feel the energy turning around, mostly after I made the decision to let go of the site and let Sage take it.  I think that was just one aspect of representation of the off-balance way Iíve been living for a while. 

I havenít gone into all the ways that the past month or so has been screwed up, mostly because itís been pretty personal and also because I didnít want my whole July journal to be a shitload of whining.  

I know part of it is the menopause thing.  About the time I started having the hellstorm hit, I went onto the Weight Watcherís Point System again and being off the low carb just isnít working for me.  The hot flashes are back and just feeling generally contaminated by any carbs, so Iím in food plan re-evaluation right now.  Also indicative that Iím going through a wicked body chemistry shift is that I took a Therma-Pro last week and the ephedra spazzed me out for about 15 hours and it usually doesnít have that effect at all. 

Iím having two major issues in the uterine area:  Josh leaving (on Sunday) and Dyl going to school.  Neither is setting well with me and I know Iím going to have to buck it up or Iím going to fuck it up.  They deserve a better send off than me blubbering and acting like an idiot.   Iíve been able to bury the reactions for the most part, but I know that Josh is going to be gone for a long time and that is sad and I know that Dylan is likely to have a great time at school (or else theyíre going to destroy him).  How can I trust a total stranger to take care of his beautiful little spirit??  Heís so dear and so sweet and has always been too good for this world since the second he popped out silently looked around with this blissful, ďAhh.  Iím here...and Iím so glad to be hereĒ look.  He is such a gentle, joyous child and heís going to go to school and every day be subjected to evil, ill-trained, foul-mouthed, hateful little brats who are going to torture him and try to turn him to the dark side.  

When I look at Josh, I see a whole chapter of my life that is closing.  While Iím proud of the wonderful men my first three children have turned out to be, I still am haunted by the guilt of what a terrible mother I was to them.  I tell myself that I in all ways was a different person back then.  Then I tell myself that regardless of that, *I* was their mother and I really let those beautiful little boys down in so many ways.  I would give absolutely anything to have fifteen minutes with each of those little boys, those trusting, beautiful little boys, to just hold them on my lap and rub their hair and tell them how much I love them and how very precious they are to me and to the world.  Fifteen minutes wouldnít change all thatís happened, but I could feel it again and go back and reclaim that time of my life with some modicum of pride and dignity.  There is such a feeling of helplessness at having nothing more I can do to heal the past than to try to be a good mom to them now and to the little children I have now.  I look at these fine young men and still just want to scoop them into my arms and run from the Bad that I let happen to them for so long while I wallowed in my own pain and acting out.  They had an absentee mom who didnít know what to do in a really bad situation, so she did nothing.  I was there, but I wasnít *there* and I definitely wasnít there for them. 

So now the last of them are going into the world and Iím behind, waving and trying not to let the tears flow.  Heíll do well.   It will be really hard for him to get used to a full workday, but heíll do well. 

Dylan Iím not so sure about.  The poor kid has his sun, moon and rising sign all in Cancer, so heís a little sponge filled with love and feels everything, every slight, every ache so deeply.  Yes, I feel helpless there as well.  

That helplessness has radiated out into the world and put me in a fairly unfamiliar victim role.  That has attracted tons of sadistic shit from the Universe to beat me down.  When youíre a victim, there will never be a lack of situations, people or organizations to victimize you.  Itís like a vampire...invite it in and you canít get rid of it. 

On Saturday, I think I was at my lowest Iíd ever been.  Eric wasnít reacting well to the garbage that had been going on for a couple of weeks, just one bad break after another, the most incredible run of bad luck anyone seemed to have ever found, no help, no solace, no soft place to land anywhere.  It was as though anything that could go wrong other than losing someone in our family or having them harmed in some way had happened.  We were at the lowest point of our marriage and for the first time, we just couldnít connect.  Neither of us had anything to give the other one or anyone else.  For the first time, we were just both utterly depleted at once.  Denied even that respite, I was totally bereft. 

I went out to get some air and just felt done in.  I was surprised by the thoughts I had.  I walked to a nearby park and sat down under a tree and as I sat there, in touch with the Earth for the first time in a long time, feeling Nature for the first time in a long time, I felt at peace.  In fact, I felt so at peace that I couldnít even think about going back home again.  Home was where The Bad Stuff was.  I thought that if I died right then, Iíd be OK.  I didnít want to kill myself or anything, but I thought that if I finally had that Fat Woman Heart Attack or a car careened off the nearby road and slammed into the tree, Iíd be OK.  I felt complete...I felt finished.  I felt as though I didnít have anything else to offer in this life and I was ready to move into the next (which is an odd thought for me because even as a Pagan, Iím totally unconvinced of reincarnation).  I sat there feeling Nature, breathing deeply in the clean air and feeling it move through my body.  I waited, at total peace. 

Of course, nothing happened.  Well, to say nothing happened is rather trite...I didnít die, letís put it like that.  Not physically, anyway.  As I sat there, soaking it all in, I felt a good connection to nature and my mind started to wander.  I thought about how long it had been since Iíd felt that connection.  I thought about how long it had been since Iíd been outside unless it was en route to the car or leaving the car to go into a grocery store.  When Eric was on the road all week for work, heíd have the car so we couldnít leave the house unless we walked and itís such a hassle to coordinate walking 3 kids anywhere that we didnít even try.  I didnít even try.  It was just too formidable a thought.  So I seldom left the house at all.  Iíd go out to the grocery store or out to lunch with Eric on the weekend and otherwise, I was in the house with the kids.  Our house is not currently set up for the kids to play well outside.  We live on the corner of a very busy street and Nathan is still given to running out into the street at breakneck speed.  The only door into our back yard is through Joshís room, which isnít very convenient.  Granted, when he leaves, the entire family room will open up to use and we can easily go out back to play.  The kids can even go out on their own because they will be easily monitored from the house, visually and otherwise.  Most days, the only way I knew if it was hot or cold outside was by looking at the weatherbug in the computer systems tray or by noticing how often the heater or AC turned on in the house.  I was in a totally controlled environment with little or no contact with the outside world unless it came through the computer. 

I thought about how I run my house and my life from my computer chair, scurrying around for an hour or so before Eric got home to clean whatever caught my eye in the house, cuddling the kids around the keyboard for 6 or so hours a day.  

I thought about how like so many other things in my life, something I viewed as a success (the site) was really horribly out of balance.  I was letting it be my life to the exclusion of so many other things that I really wanted to do.  My ďBooks To Be ReadĒ pile was growing taller and taller and never getting a dent beyond a single prologue here and there.  I wasnít writing the books I want to write, just thinking about ideas for them.  I was again being an absentee parent, with the only real improvements being that I was actually in the house (taking away any excuse) and that my kids arenít being abused by my spouse this time while I look away crying because I donít know what to do.  Itís better, but itís still not good.  

I love the site and Iím very proud of the entity it has become.   Itís like watching a child you have raised go successfully into the world and be more than you ever thought it could be (how about if I live by proxy through my site, eh?).  As I sat under the tree, I knew I wasnít going to die physically; I was going to die on the internet.  That was the beginning. 

A white car drove by and it looked like ours, so I figured Eric had shaken himself out of his funk and figured out Iíd been gone a while.  Then I saw the moon roof and realized it wasnít him.  Being one to read the signs, I thought maybe I should head on home.  I was enjoying the quiet and the revelations and didnít really want to leave just yet, so I made an offer.  If I was supposed to go home, two more white cars would drive by within 5 minutes.  Four drove by.  OK, on my way home. 

Got home and Eric was in better spirits.  I told him I had decided to quite the site and regain my life.  He was stunned and a little worried that I wouldnít have a life outside of the kids and house.  I sent a letter out to the staff and posted the notice before I could change my mind or lose my nerve. 

Within an hour, Sage called.  He was hurt I hadnít told him what was going on and I explained that it was just too new.  After a long talk, the arrangements were made.  He would run EOS, scale it back some, Iíd do my writing as usual, scaling it back a bit.  As a writer, Iíd still have another world to go to, but it would be in better balance with my life. 

As soon as I started that balance, it spread to other areas of my life.  I saw how my eating was out of balance, my spending budget was outrageously out of balance for our income, my emotions were out of balance and so thatís what Iíve been working on...achieving balance in all of those areas. 

Iíve been seeing the effects pretty quickly.  Helping Sage has required more computer time than Iíll normally have (Iím shooting for no more than 2-3 hours a day, cumulatively), but thatís OK because itís already done in my head, so it feels good.  I can write and have that outlet, plus still have a contact with my dear netpals.  Balance in all things. 

I havenít been as hungry as usual, so thatís helped. I think part of that is the heat. I kept the thermostat at 72 degrees because the hot flashes have been so bad.  I wear very light house dresses and still get really warm, but 72 keeps me comfortable.  Unfortunately, that comfort cost $300 last month, so Iím not using the AC now and I work with fans only.  Itís horrible.  Itís sweltering, but it will help balance the budget.  No more eating out.  No more thrift shop.  No more anything we donít absolutely need.  The spartan life is mine.  I can deal with that.  

One of my favorite guruís, Gary Zukav, says that when we are at our lowest point, when we are as far down as we can go, we are in our holist moment and are closer to God than at any other time.  That is because the less we have to lose, the less there is to get between you and God.  Sometimes, I think Goddess just keeps taking away the distractions until you are finally willing not only to listen, but to hear.  I think that I have been putting a lot of imbalance and clutter and noise and distraction between myself and my spirit; myself and God/dess. 

I think all of this imbalance has medicated me against the real world, against myself and against Spirit and Iím hoping to use the time to figure out who I really am, not just as mommy or as Katrina From Eye on Soaps, but as me.  I can still be all those other wonderful things (both of which make me feel very happy and proud) while exploring my other facets.  This Spring, I planted my own spiritual path to be harvested in the Fall. Interestingly enough, the first harvest is Lammas, which falls on August 1st...Day after tomorrow.  Second harvest is at Autumn Equinox when we give thanks for all weíve received...September 21st.  I have a feeling Iím going to have a lot to give thanks for this year. 

Thank you for all of your wonderful letters of love and support.  They mean the world to me.  Iíll still be here almost as much as usual.  The only real difference is that the weekly recaps will be slightly shorter.  Meanwhile, I know Sage also appreciates all your love and support and he is just going to do a totally fabu job, Darlings!!

July 19, 2002

Sorry Iíve been an absentee again.  Real life has been just absolute madness and, as usual, Iíve been trying to make sense of it all. 

Josh is getting ready to leave for California Conservation Corp to be a firefighter on August 4th.  Heís tremendously excited about it and I am overriding the searing uterine pain this produces to be happy for him.  Iíve always been really tightly tied to my kiddos and itís a big MommyTrauma when the go away.   Mostly, I keep it to myself because the last thing then need when going off on their Big Adventure is to have mom sobbing and hanging onto their ankles and pulling out her hair (not an easy thing to do both at once).  I was steely strong when Joe (now 24) moved to Victoria, Canada to set up house with his soon-to-be wife, Sandra.  I was strong when in the same month  (what were they trying to do to me?) David moved out (heís 22 now) and into his own apartment in our town.  Josh is 20 now and so ready to break free.  Because of how things are set up in CCC, I donít expect that Iíll hear from him much for quite a while.  Thereís not much leave or free time and heís not a letter writer.  Sounds like Mama needs to buy some phone cards.  Iíve been gearing up for 2 years for him to leave.  This is the one in the bunch who put me through juvenile court a number of times, took me through teens and drunks and underage drinking and acting out and being an idiot.  That kept him from getting into any branch of the service (he tried 3...or was it 4?) and it took him a year to find out he couldnít do any of them.  So now heís ready to break out on his own and it will be so good for him, but still, it hurts.  Two things donít get any easier no matter how many kids you have:  First day of school and flying from the nest.  Ow...ow, ow, ow. 

THEN my little dog that is 17-years-old and blind in both eyes disappeared.  She hasnít left the house in a couple of years and even goes into the garage to pee and poop since she lost her sight.  Delena let her into the garage to pee and when I came into the office to write a few minutes later, I noticed that she wasnít on her pillow under my desk (from which she doesnít much move).  I remembered hearing Eric telling Delena to put the dog out, so I went to the garage and called her.  No go.  Saw that the front door of the garage was opened about 6-9 inches, so I went outside (all of this happened in about a 20 minutes window) and didnít see her out there either.  It was dusk, so I figured she had A) stumbled out of the garage, gotten clipped by a car and gone somewhere to die  B) been stumbling around the neighborhood and someone took her in  C) ew, crawled behind a box in the garage and died or D) stumbled along the sidewalk and someone called the county to pick her up.  We put up signs about her and within an hour, a lady came to the door to say sheís called the county to pick her up.  Eric went to get her (the address that was listed as where she had been picked up was ours...god forbid someone knock on the damned door) and we had to pay $56 in fines, partly because we didnít know we had to bring her rabies certificate when we picked her up (itís about an hour away with traffic).  Grrr.  But at least she was back home. 

THEN, my bird (cockatiel named Simon) that weíve had for 10 years who was about 12 died.  A couple of times in the week prior, Iíd be typing and hear a thunk from his cage behind me and turn to see him straightening his feathers at the bottom of his cage as if to say, ďI meant to do that!Ē  He was fine, we went outside for 15 minutes, came back in and he was on the bottom of the cage.  I asked him what he was doing down there and he didnít answer.  Eric buried him in the herb garden for me.  :(  That bird hated me with every breath he drew, but he was MINE, dammit! 

Then, I got up on Tuesday morning to find that someone had broken the driverís window to Ericís truck (a 69 Ford pickup), rolled it down the street and stripped it of some of its vital organs, like a battery, the carburetor, the radiator cap (left the 2 radios??), taken the air filter off and threw it in someoneís yard and took one of the headlights and the little rim things that go around them.  We figured someone had cased the truck because it had been find when Eric left at 5am (he had to get something out of it), but when I got up at 6:15, it was gone and glass was everywhere.  Josh found it about 15 minutes later.  Our thought was someone needed parts for their similar truck and decided to take ours.  That was proven wrong today when we woke up to find the passenger window on our new Dodge (a year old) shattered.  Nothing was taken.  The car was not even entered.  There was a full CD book on the seat that was untouched.  That makes it feel personal.  The car has full coverage insurance, so it can be repaired (poor Eric had to get in the glassmobile and drive to work), but the truck only has liability insurance (as do our other two vehicles, a 69 VW bus and a 72 Maverick).  We were preparing to sell the truck to get Eric a cheap motorcycle to drive to and from work and to pay bills this month.  Now it will cost several hundred dollars to get it able to be sold.  

Eric loves his new job (this week), but it pays about half of what his other one did and we are scraping by on faith.  I refuse to accept that we are going to crash and burn.  I told Eric I wanted to get a job to bring in extra money and he was insistent that he wanted me to wait until he takes his final for the bartending certification (he finished the school) and sees what their placement service can do for him on some part time work.  He is really eager to put his new skills to work and thinks heíll like it (I know heíll be good at it) and since Iíd be working just for the money, heíd rather take the second job.  Meanwhile, the finances are requiring some severe creativity.  Itís hard not to get depressed about it, but what can you do?  Getting upset isnít going to fix anything at all. 

I did find a good store to buy groceries and managed to stock us up last night.  Everyone is really excited to have so much food in the house!  Nothing looks good to me right now (thank goodness!), so Iím just letting them go for it and metering it out a bit at a time so that it lasts.  Meanwhile, YAYYYY! 

Additionally, Josh, in the last 3 weeks of his time here, found a girlfriend, who leaves for the Army on Monday.  Good Lord, everyone light a candle to the Birth Control Gods.  Please. 

Those are the highpoints of a really hectic life right now.  Iíve managed to keep up with my 3-4 columns on the site per week and regular site upkeep, but it has really been close!  Some days, I feel like Iím cracking a whip from the computer chair all day. 

So now itís time to pretend to clean the house and maybe get in some affirmations and meditations before Eric gets home later on.  Gotta keep the old head on straight! 

That which does not make us stronger, kills us! 

Love ya,


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