The Before and After of Rape

Today is the four year anniversary of my rape – a rapeversary if you will. Even as I try to forget, my body and mind are constant companions leading up to this dreaded fucking day, kicking my PTSD into the highest of all gears. I wish there was a WD-40 for the body.

******************************************************************

One thousand, four hundred and sixty days ago, as I sat with my ass cheeks on thin paper, protecting me from any other prior ass cheeks that unfortunately found themselves sitting on the same exam table in the rape kit performance room, the overwhelming fumes of bleach almost resurrected me from the protective shock in which my body had retreated.

“Do you want a rape advocate?” Detective Stupka (soon-to-be renamed Cuntka) questioned me after she recorded my statement of the illegal, intrusive sexual assault that took place hours earlier on my best friend’s couch. I couldn’t recall Shane the Rapist’s last name (that was listed in my phone, which was dead from being at the hospital waiting for eight hours), how was I able to know if I needed an advocate? What was an advocate? Did I need one? Detective Soon-to-Be Cuntka said she could not advise me and I somehow communicated that I did, in fact, want an advocate.

Does this look like the face of a person who knows what they need?

When Barbie the advocate tenderly walked into the room, careful not to touch me (when I just wanted her to sweep me up in her arms and tell me everything was gonna be OK – although that would have been a disservice on her part because nothing about being raped is ever OK, so, therefore, no hug took place). She spoke with the same amount of tenderness she used when she was inching toward me.

Barbie resembled more of a Skipper than the actual Barbie doll with a petite frame, carrying a Louis Vuitton bag (that naturally, I admired and wondered if she had a phone charger tucked inside I could use) and was so nice in a day full of shit. After a few minutes of fill-in-what-horrible-thing happened to you, she looked at me straight in the eye and said, “Honey, there is going to be a before rape and an after rape moving forward in your life.”

It was one of those moments that you just know what’s being said is true, no matter how much you want it to be a lie.

Immediate thoughts on life after rape.

Barbie left the room to sit with Dada CBXB who was most likely wondering how in the fuck his Friday turned out so inexplicable. I sat ass cheeks to thin paper, waiting for the rape kit exam to commence after yet again being hazy on decision making when asked, “Do you want the Plan B pill? Did he wear a condom? Do you want to take the HIV preventative even though it will rob you of 30 days of your life since its effects are so brutal? Do you want to be tested for every STD in which science is aware? Have you eaten anything today? Here are crackers to take with the handful of pills we are giving you.”

I seriously cannot compute.

Upon completion of my rape kit, I was handed a folder of information, with numbers to national hotlines I could call, pamphlets of what to expect in the coming days, and instructions of when to take the next round of pills to rid my body of any other foreign substance left behind when Shane the Rapist raped me.

My life after rape began.

I had no inkling of what the fuck I was up against.

Yes, hello. I’m calling from the shitter because my world is about to become a literal shit show. I would like to exchange my life, please.

Nobody wants to be in this club. Nobody wants to be an expert on matters in which we never want to be associated. But rape happens. And there I was and here I am.

I miss my pre-rape life in the way your heart breaks when someone your world revolved around dies. The me I’d always known, died on January 29, 2016, and I had no idea how to bring myself back to life. Thing is, I was still breathing. I wasn’t dead. I just had no feeling left inside, which made me feel like a shell. Hollow, empty and alone.

A fucking road map would be nice.

Friends that I thought would be by my side scattered. Jdub, whose boyfriend raped me, believed him. I stopped hearing from friends that were also friends with Jdub. A shell – feeling hollow, empty, alone.

Thanks for believing me.

The sex crimes department was supposed to be working for me, the victim of a rape. Detective Cuntka told me on March 7, 2016 over the phone that I was one of 29 other cases she was working on. This was a he said/she said case so not much will come of it. Oh sorry, this is my first time being raped and dealing with anything that accompanies. Please excuse my incessant questions about how this shit works – why are my pajamas I was raped in still at my Mini Mase? Have you talked to my ex-friend Jdub? Have you talked to Shane the Rapist? Why do you want me to try to reach out and call Shane the Rapist? Can you give me any idea or information as to how this process is conducted? The constant follow up left me a shell – hollow, empty, alone.

Daily routines ceased existing. Brushing my chompers was a chore. Washing my hair happened if I found a living creature (other than a cat) in it. No more wearing make up. No lipstick. No polish on my talons.

This is my version of silent screams for help.

No more hot yoga. No more running. No activities where I was alone with my own thoughts. I couldn’t get off of the couch and into my bed for six months to sleep, which is still a hard audience for my body to captivate, further exacerbating the endless cycle of depression, anxiety, nerves, and self-loathing empty, hollow shell of what I once was.

Get back on the bench, Bitch.

Therapy has given me life-saving coping mechanisms. Medicines have made my daily life manageable. The kindness of human beings has been astounding and reinstated the belief that simple acts and words of love can do some serious healing. The outpouring of support once I was able to openly talk about my rape case after the grand jury found insufficient evidence to take Shane the Rapist to trial was astonishing.

No shame in my pill game.

Now more than ever, I understand that we all carry invisible things. Others can’t see your shame.

Others can’t see your guilt.  Did I somehow ask for it?

Others can’t see the blame you put on yourself every single second, minute, hour, day, month, year.

Others can’t see mental anguish caused by society and the normalcy of rape culture.

Judgment is a fucking beast and after rape, it becomes an unwanted daily acquaintance at your breakfast, lunch, and supper table.

One thing I know to be true is that people who love you – really love you for you, don’t waiver. It’s been my family, my rock-solid friends, the folks who have come to my rescue via virtual friendships, the people who have re-entered my life to lift me up when I was sure I was going to drown…that all exists.

Reminders on therapy Thursday.

Here I am four years later, my heart beating the last 1,460 days, feeling alive again.

I did not understand that grief is an emotion that exists even when life still is within. I died but I lived.

Daily reading on my bathroom mirror.

When I think about the people I love and the fur babies I’ve lost, I choose to celebrate them. Drink their favorite drinks, watch a favorite movie, look at photos, read old cards, love on my current Pussy Posse, share fucking funny stories with others that loved them, too. After forfuckingever four years, I am ready to start celebrating myself again.

I’m declaring January 29th the official International Day of the Badass who is making all things related to rape her bitch.

“I won’t back down. I will stand my ground.” – Tom Petty

Who wants to join this bitch in the aftermath?

Happy International Day of the Badass.

CBXB

Too In Love to Let It Go

It’s fucking insane that my kick ass Aunt Crazy Pants has been partying up above for over 700 days now. This weekend, it will be two years since she went to bicker with her mother up above (They seriously used to keep track of who called who last – and reported it to me every time I spoke to either one of them. Thinking about it now, I should have just conducted a three way call and then they would have been even.)

No shit. Eleven days since you last spoke? Did you know the phone works both ways?

I still forget and go to pick up the phone to text or call and then remember I can only communicate via the red bird, a cardinal.  I think about ACP every day (I mean, I do have her signature tattooed on my wrist) but I especially think about her during my beloved Iowa State Fair, which just took place at the beginning of August. After my folks moved to Nashville, ACP would always be my state fair side kick unabashedly wearing fucking Crocs (so called “shoes” that I hate with a passion) on her feet while she humored me on my yearly 12 hour day of fair festivities (present when the cannon goes off in the morning until the fireworks boom after the nightly concert at the Grandstand).

She also poured water over her head when she was hot.

I haven’t been back to the Iowa State Fair since ACP passed and it will be bittersweet when I get to go again. But she relayed the torch to R. Nasty who was keen to accompany ACP and me to the fair in past years even though it was most likely the worst days of his life. Now, he gets me all to himself as I force him to eat everything in sight, ride the death traps carnies assemble (although they took the double ferris wheel away and I AM NOT OK WITH IT) and visit every.single.livestock barn.

Two peas in a forced fair pod.

I’ve really been missing her beyond lately. It’s comforting to a degree knowing that she’s with her folks, other family members and all of my fur balls (who are most likely mauling her) that passed before ACP. While our family celebrates her life while we’re still living on, it doesn’t make the void any less painful. I miss the cards she used to mail me. I miss her texts that made no fucking sense (so I’d end up having to call her anyway to find out what the fuck she was talking about). I miss cheering her up on what she called her ‘blue’ days. I miss making her laugh until she pissed her pants (super easy). I miss her Christmas Village she set up every year that was literally the size of a small town. I miss laughing with her. She was my second mom.

Whenever I hear the song “Fix You” by Coldplay from their X&Y album, I think of ACP and the fucking cancer that stole her life waaaaaaaaay too soon (the chicks on her side of the family easily live to at least 90 years young. This means I’m going to need a helluva lotta Botox). If you haven’t heard the song or need a refresher, stop what you’re doing and go listen to it or click on the highlighted Fix You words above for a link to the video. I’ve always loved the song but it’s taken on a new meaning for me since ACP passed.

When she received her unfuckingfair diagnosis, her peeps rallied and while we couldn’t fix or take the pain away from her, we could provide happy experiences for her remaining time and and memories for her to leave with us. She tried her best to stay as long as she could here because she was insanely in love with her kids, grandkids, family, friends and was at a point in life where she was positively starting over.

Positive pants.

In honor of Aunt Crazy Pants, turn your radio (or really these days, your iPhone) up, raise those gin rickey’s (or Black Velvet and Diet 7Up, whichever you’re feeling) high in the air, as we celebrate how much we miss her and hate the fuck out of cancer in my mixed lyric rendition of the song.

Fix You

When you try your best

But you don’t succeed

When you get what you want

But not what you need

When you feel so tired

But you can’t sleep

Stuck in reverse

And high up above

Or down below

When you’re too in love

To let it go

But if you never try

You’ll never know

Just what you’re worth

Lights will guide you home

And ignite your bones

And we did try to fix you

Tears stream

Down your face

When you lose something you cannot replace

Tears stream

Down your face

When you lose something you can’t replace

Tears stream

 Down your face

When you lose something you cannot replace

Lights will guide you home

And ignite your bones

And we don’t have to fix you

Love you Aunt Nancy.

Weekend Winks – Losses, Lounging and Little Things

We all know life isn’t fucking fair. There are constant small reminders of the good, fabulous, bad and ugly.

Current life status via photo.

But then there are the gigantic catastrophes that just take your breath away. Last week, with extreme suddenness, a friend, former colleague, father of three, stand up, bad ass, nicest kinda guy you know passed away. While twists and turns are inevitable, I can never fathom why bad shit happens to good people. But it does. Big Al, you will be missed beyond measure. We love you.

Support your peeps at all times, friends.

As we also all know, life moves on just as quickly as it changes. I’ve started a side hustle, pet sitting, dog walking and basically loving on all fur balls. I was beyond thankful to have a fucking cute client (I’d like to kidnap) at the mini manse for some playful diversion. He seems to take after my beloved Teddy Bear, by killing tampons and presenting them to me as presents.

Tampon terror.

The Pussy Posse is less than thrilled with some visitors but on the plus side, they can climb away from the mini manse menace.

Shedding on the clean, black laundry, avoiding tampon time. And yes, I see the typo – it’s slowly driving me crazy.

I also welcomed family into town and as I do with all visitors, being that I reside in the Bible Belt, I took him right to church.

Just kidding.

I showed him the alley door from the world-famous Ryman Auditorium (the old Grand Old Opry) where the performers used to leave the stage and head straight to the bars without being bothered by fans. Funny how I know that…

Back alley church.

We also headed to Bailey’s bar downtown Nashville to watch my Hawkeyes football with the Nashville Iowa Club.

Glitter for game day.

Touchdown tradition shots ensued – even though Dada CBXB wasn’t present, with some technology we were able to cheers together. But, it just wasn’t enough. My Hawks lost to a last second field goal scored by the Purdue Boilermakers.

Family Tradition FaceTime Fail.

So, we went to eat our emotions at Outback, a restaurant not found in small town Iowa.

We’re sorry, not sorry Sherri!

With a busy Saturday under our belts, we hung around the mini manse and enjoyed the fall weather Sunday.

Venturing out for some brunch at a new spot that I fell in love with (due to their availability of gluten free bread – what? what?!), Wild Eggs. The buffalo chicken omelette didn’t suck either.

Food coma fabulousness.

A final wine(d) down on the weekend includes bubbles and vino via lavender candlelight, as always.

Sudsy self-care Sunday.

Sometimes, it really is the little things that keep the wheels turning.

CBXB

CBXB!

 

 

 

The Lights That Guide You Home

It’s fucking insane that my kick ass Aunt Crazy Pants has been partying up above for nearly 365 days. Some moments, it feels like two years ago but mostly I still forget and think to pick up the phone to text or call and then remember I can only communicate via the red bird, a cardinal.

A song s-t-u-c-k in my brain like a worm the last couple of days has been “Fix You” by Coldplay from their X&Y album (if you haven’t heard it, stop what you’re doing and go download it or,  for those of you a tad more technologically challenged, click on the pink “Fix You” words above for a link to the video – you’re welcome. Now listen to it before reading the rest of this post).

I’ll wait.

Still waiting. (Uncle Toddy, have Gma’s second favorite grandchild help you. Mama CBXB, I will help you. Uncle Lew, you’re fucked unless Aunt Patti knows how to do it.)

OK, then.

In honor of Aunt Crazy Pants, raise those gin rickey’s (or Black Velvet and Diet 7Up, whichever you’re feeling) high in the air, as we celebrate how much we miss her and hate the fuck out of cancer in my mixed lyric rendition of the song.

Fix You

When you try your best

But you don’t succeed

When you get what you want

But not what you need

When you feel so tired

But you can’t sleep

Stuck in reverse

And high up above

Or down below

When you’re too in love

To let it go

But if you never try

You’ll never know

Just what you’re worth

Lights will guide you home

And ignite your bones

And we did try to fix you

Tears stream

Down your face

When you lose something you cannot replace

Tears stream

Down your face

When you lose something you can’t replace

Tears stream

 Down your face

When you lose something you cannot replace

Lights will guide you home

And ignite your bones

And we don’t have to fix you

CBXB

 

Dog Days of Summer

If you know me in the slightest, you know that my fur kids are people to me (whenever I walk in my front door, no matter if I just took the trash out, I holler “where my peeps at?”). My world revolves around them. And, suffice to say, I have had the greatest honor and pleasure of rescuing a small zoo.

But there are always fur babies that hold an extra special spot in your heart and I’m sad to share that I came home from work last week and found that my chug, Precious, had passed away. She was in the exact spot where she normally awaits my arrival home. Although, upon calling out, her little tail didn’t wag and her head didn’t pop up in excitement of seeing her mama after mere hours away from one another.

Coolest chug on the planet.

To say that I am devastated is an understatement. I am having a hard time writing this now – and yet as we all know too fucking well – life moves on. For me, I’m trying to comprehend the timing. I’ve lost my two best fur friends within a year. Two fur peeps that were like guns in holsters by my side, one on each hip constantly. My chest has been heavy and my heart is honestly in pieces. But with my constant support system of the fabulous humans in my life, I’ve managed one moment at a time. One bestie told me that if she didn’t know me, she’d think I had Munchausen Syndrome of drama because so much shit has rained down in the last few years. But unfortunately, it’s all true. Which is why I always let people go first when we talk about how our day has been.

Ted and Presh. Best buddies playing forever over the Rainbow Bridge.

I dread walking through the front door where I found Presh but on the first day the task had to be done, I had a bouquet from the most kick ass friends in which a girl could wish greeting me. They were sitting right outside my door, easing the burden of the inevitable door walk through.

Flowers are a grieving gal’s best friend.

While I wanted to wallow in bed with the covers over my head, I realized I do have rent to pay, lights to keep on and four pussies to feed. When I came into work, pink roses awaited my arrival.

Team members showed their love.

My cousin and his wife were thankfully in town Friday and Dada CBXB and myself went to meet them for a much-needed Skinny Pirate(s) after the longest fucking week. While I do pride myself in being current, I couldn’t help but die when I snapped a pic of our cocktails and saw that a walker was in the background. If you get to Dalts before 5pm, you’ll be sharing the bar with people who make you feel like a newborn. And I don’t hate it.

Can you tell we’re related?

In my Iowa twin news, there were getting prepped for the arrival of Coo Coo (yes, that’s the phrase we use for grandpa – always keeping it classy).

Hunk of the month. I’m talking about the boy, not the dog.

Swish swish full of swag.

Coo Coo made it just in time for cocktail hour on Saturday.

Jazz hands run in the family, obvies.

Another thing that runs in the family? Fabulous nails. Princess B set out to give Auntie CBXB a run for her patriotic mani money.

Red, white and blue-hoo!

Tootsies too.

Same color scheme, slightly different approach for this old broad. I can’t wait to make Sister CBXB give me a manicure next time I see her since she’s got mad mani skills.

Patriotic claws.

While Coo Coo and the twins were living it up in Iowa, I was having a time getting my ass outta the bed.

Rasta and the sun coaxed me out of the mini where I floated the day away.

We were slightly alarmed after seeing the obviously-required-by-the-codes-department-sign hanging at the pool that missed vital information…

Who’s gonna save me?

Getting ready for a bath (full of bawling my eyes out) post swim, First Mate called and saved the day. She swung by with Bota Box Rosé (seriously the best box of wine on the market at the moment) and we chit chatted and then started to binge watch the show Younger (seriously an easy-to-watch-thirty-minutes-of-fuff). And then my main TV crapped out. Did we let ruin our slumber party?

The Gulp ‘n’ Go.

Nope. We moved the cheese platter, popcorn and the pussies into the bedroom.

Our Cardboardeaux Rosé accompanied us.

Nothing like nestling in for a binge…until someone says “I just need to rest my eyes,” and it’s lights out. So First Mate saw herself out of the mini after her host rudely passed out.

Slumber party shenanigans.

Starting the newest novel by Ruth Ware, I decided it was better to get more vitamin D while reading than complete and utter darkness under the covers. Sunday Funday found me back at the pool in 95 degree heat. While I have gained 40 pounds since Rapegate, the one perk of the extra LBs has been the enhancement of my flat chest (oh and I have pride in photos and videos that make the rounds to friends).

Wallowing in the sun.

Complete package.

With must needed thirst quenchers.

Again when I was side eyeing the bath tub (Precious would sit on the toilet while I bathed – again, nothing but classy white trash), knowing it would cause a tearfest, Bird Lady happened to call and suggest a cocktail and snack outing.

When she saw me she said, “Your hair looks really great. What did you do?”

“I finally washed it.”

So fresh and so clean cocktail hour.

Thanks again from the bottom of my heart for helping this gal, who is seriously trudging through the muck of life (I mean fucking seriously, was I a serial killer in a past life?), feel loved, important and heard. Words, gestures and hugs go the longest way.

Can’t wait to see her again and Bear again. Two great loves of my life.

Take care of yourselves. Look both ways before crossing the street. Make sure you don’t fall down any stairs. Wear a floatie in the lake. Make sure that seat belt snaps. Because if you’re reading this, I love you. And my heart can take no more losses at the moment.

XOXO –

CBXB

CBXB!

 

Going Mental

Sometimes we become experts in subject matter in which we never wished to be associated.

Sexual Assault Center of Nashville

For me, the aftermath of Rapegate is one that I will grapple with daily for the rest of my life.

Not necessarily in re-living the rape itself but the triggers, the daily reminders due to dealing with PTSD, chronic fatigue, severe stress, anxiety, nerves, handfuls of pills that I now take that have side effects of brain fog (which coupled with blonde brain is a triple shit show), dizziness (like I needed any more help being a fucking klutz), and weight gain (oh the welcomed happiness of gaining 40 lbs – mostly in my belly because of cortisol levels being out-of-whack) and therapy.

That is a perk of Rapegate that will surely have me in weekly sessions forever.

My Therapy Thursday saving grace.

There’s stigma in being a victim of rape – especially within victims themselves. The embarrassment, shame, feeling dirty, like somehow it’s your fault.

Did I deserve it? Why did I “allow” it to happen? It’s all my fault, right?

The questions from others. What were you wearing? Had you been drinking? Why didn’t you scream? And so on, don’t help even though they may come from well-meaning places. The questions above were all asked of me by the Nashville Sex Crimes Detective after my body was violated by a man’s dick. You know, what if a Kim Kardashian sized diamond ring (one can wish) had been stolen off of my finger? Would any of those questions suffice in an investigation? Hell no.

Take my coffee mug advice.

But then here we are. I am a walking, talking, rape stereotype. I wasn’t believed by those closest to the case. My detective said it was a he said/she said since the Shane the Rapist said it was consensual sex and his girlfriend of five weeks – my now ex-best friend, backed his play.

That’s a super neat feeling of betrayal beyond words.

In between being raped and the year and a half it took to close the case, where Shane the Rapist walks freely out and about, it would be insane not to think someone might go insane.

And, I have absolutely, 100% felt the self wrath, the aftermath, the internal tornado, the tsunami of emotions that surge whenever the fuck they feel like it and eruption of tears, hotly flowing down my face, onto my chin, into my shirt (accompanied with a river of snot and lemme tell ya, it’s a doozie of a look).

I’m known for being a beautiful bawler.

And killing boxes of tissues in one cryfest.

It’s improbable that someone can experience any kind of trauma or loss (death, divorce, career, disease, disorder, assault, etc) without consequence to them (I had the pleasure of experiencing all of the above examples in the two years since rape – so yeah, I’m a tad done with being overburdened by grief and loss).

The best face I can muster some days.

For me, this is where my once stable strength of fuck off confidence got lost in the swirl of circling the drain.

The emotional, mental, and physical tolls sometime feel beyond debilitating. Combine that with life – which most certainly goes on around you – and it can make the most mundane tasks like making your bed seem like winning an Olympic gold medal if you ever get around to completing the job.

I made my bed. Where’s my accolades?

And the usual worries of life are still abound while grappling with sometimes crippling days. Money worries. Hoping your car doesn’t crap out on your worries. Can my cell phone hang on for another year? Are my friends and family OK? Am I paying enough attention to them? Do they think I’m ignoring them? See how this shit can snowball?

Avalanche

Now more than ever, I feel it’s important to speak up if you can about what can sometimes seem like taboo subjects. I was raped. Think that’s fun topic to bring up to new people? “Oh hi, my name is Captain, I’ll have a Skinny Pirate please, I was raped, how are you?” Of course this doesn’t come up immediately but still, I talk about Rapegate, and if we’re gonna be friends, it’s gonna come out.

Did I scare you off?

Taboo also is this fucking stigma that comes along with mental illnesses. I have PTSD (among a myriad of other lovely conditions). When I was looking for a new job after Rapegate, I had to put down on applications whether or not I had PTSD. Now it’s considered a disability. So, OK it’s a disability. I’m dealing with it the best that I can but do I need to reveal that to a potential employer? Yes, I have had panic attacks silently at work in bathroom stalls and in my car but I’m still showing up and doing my job (although my panic attacks always end with me throwing up, so that’s fun to do out of my car window while attempting not to get vomit on my work attire).

Thankfully the situation of Louis acting as my vomit trashcan has not yet taken place.

And some days are dark. Like calm before storm, clouds rolling in, so quiet it may just drive you mad blackout dark. I think about the recent passing of celebrities Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, both of whom reportedly took their own lives within two days of one another. Both had loved ones, both were celebrated among their professional communities, both had achieved success in different fashions and both had children. So much to leave behind.

But can you even imagine the pain they must have been in to think that their only way out was to “unburden” those around them? That’s really scary to me. Because I often feel like a burden to my family and close friends. Over the past five years, I’ve experienced loss and grief and change beyond my imagination and while I am learning to cope in therapy, I still feel like I’m so needy. “Can I borrow $20 until payday (while swallowing pride for 1,976,000 time)? I can’t go out because I am on a spending freeze (you know those handfuls of pills and doctor follow-ups aren’t free. I’m beyond lucky to have health insurance with co-pays). I just had a panic attack, so I’m going to have to miss your birthday celebration. I am going to stay in because I can’t fathom the thought of getting out of bed.” Mostly, I keep these emotions to myself but I still feel like one motherfucker of a burden.

I. just. can’t.

It’s easy for people to say that suicide is selfish. I can see why one would say that but if you haven’t ever grappled with your own dark demons that sometimes you push deep down inside of you, or think they’re gone, only to have them pop up and taunt you over and over and over again – it’s not easy. I’ve never experienced substance abuse but I can easily see how that would have an even bigger impact on one’s state-of-mind. Mental issues are sometimes a lonely, isolating experience of despair.

How others see me.                                           How I feel inside.

My darkest times since Rapegate (and everything else that has occurred in between), have never eluded me to think about ending my life. However, have I been in a place where I wished my eyes wouldn’t open in the morning because it seemed easier than fighting the anguish of deep depression? Yep. Has my chest been so heavy that I thought my heart was going to burst out of it Indiana Jones style because it could bear no more loss or grief, physically hurting? Fuck yes. Do I hit my snooze button 3,719,003 times in the morning (even though I have been up for three hours already) because the thought of putting makeup on and gussying up for work and putting on a “happy” face seems like too much to bear. Damn skippy.

Hi there. I’m getting pretty fucking sick of these feelings popping up whenever they fucking feel like it. Byeee.

That all being said, it’s not uncommon for someone to have these types of thoughts once or more in their lifetime. Some people do shoot sunshine out of their assholes (fuck, until three years ago, I was one of them) but more often than not, it’s a combination of rain, sun, sleet and hail as we trudge through life. On top of all this, I’ve constantly seen the suicide hotline phone number everywhere. You know that is fucking great, but you know what’s hard? Reaching out when you need help. And let me say this – if you offer to help someone in any way and they reach out, for the love of God, do NOT shut them down. It’s already exceedingly hard to admit you need help.

So if you see someone, know someone, sense something’s off and can have a conversation or need advice, you, too can call this hotline for another person. I’ve done it.

You know what you can also do? Tend to them the best way you know how – if they are typically social, try to get them out of the house. If they aren’t up to it, stay in and binge watch some TV. Or go on a walk. Just don’t ignore them. Don’t give up on them. Don’t stop inviting them places because they always say no. Be persistant.

You can also help by researching options with the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. I have friends who would greatly benefit from therapy but haven’t been able to find the correct place. I’ve called this number before, searching for answers when someone was in need. In the research I have done around Nashville, there are places that offer sliding scaled payments for those who don’t have insurance, or whose insurance doesn’t cover mental health (so fucked up). However, like in many other situations, the persons who need the help must be willing to go for themselves, not for anyone else. So if they refuse or keep handing you excuses, just do your best to listen.

My mental journey in the aftermath of Rapegate has been eye-opening. I’m so self deprecating to the point of starring in my own version of Mean Girls in my head some days.

Regina George, get the fuck outta my head.

However, I luckily have a solid circle of support. A very large sparkly army that isn’t confined to face-to-face relationships. My circle has expanded as I’ve talked about my struggles. The support system I have now extends from Nashville, to Iowa, to California, to England, to Italy, to Australia…and more. The “checking on you” voicemails, direct messages through social media, “thinking of you texts” to words of encouragement in my comment section, random gifts showing up in my mailbox, snail mailed letters, a cashier’s check just because…Every word, every action, matters.

This is what you do for me.

Please remember that as you move forward with your days. Those struggling the most are sometimes people who you’d least expect. One smile can go miles – and it’s a universal language (as fucking cheesy as that sounds). A small compliment can turn a day around. An out of the blue “how are you” text can save a major cry session. Check on each other. Love on each other. Hug on each other.

Unless of course it’s the person who raped you, in which he’ll get a throat punch at the very least. See, I’m still a bad ass motherfucker when I wanna be.

Obviously.

Be fucking kind.

CBXB

CBXB!

 

The Pussy Posse

While we all know I’m batshit crazy over cats (and animals in general), I have yet to really introduce my latest brood in proper fashion.

The bitchy love of my life, Teddy Bear, died suddenly last August. I’ve wanted to write about it so many times but the hole his departure left in my heart literally feels like molten lava spilling into my body when I try. Then the volcano eruption of uncontrollable scalding tears rush down my cheeks, so it’s best I save his obituary for another day. Or year. Or century.

My ride or die.

Yes, I’m talking about a cat. Many days and nights I long to be over the Rainbow Bridge with him. He was the last link I had to my previous life and endured the hardships into the one I now lead. But as we all know, the world keeps turning and so, now, I run a fucking zoo.

After Rapegate occurred, Ted kept vigil by being my constant companion, not leaving my side unless he was stuffing his pie hole.

Literally would not leave me.

When my mom came to stay with me, she thought it’d be a good idea for Bear and me to have another furry friend around. Now, I already have joint custody of Precious the Chug but Mama CBXB thought a kitten for Valentine’s Day would be the best gift in 2016.

Um….do we have a say?

We went to see my crazy cat lady gal pal, Penny, who runs Sweet Faces Cat and Kitten Rescue (in which I am happy to be the poster child since I have adopted six animals over two years from her – yes you read that right).  Typically, I adopt adult cats, who stand a lesser chance of getting permanent homes as they grow older. But mom thought a baby would be good cuddle therapy.

Crazy Cat Lady 1 and Crazy Cat Lady 2.

Once the cage of kittens opened, the first one I picked up was named Elsa and the decision was immediately and easily done. My Iowa twins love the movie Frozen (what fucking kid doesn’t), so since I grabbed the princess from the movie, it was fate in my eyes.

Princess kitty cat.

Deal sealed.

Then, I stood up and locked eyes with this majestic beauty.

Hello Gorgeous.

Deal not done.

I mistakenly asked to hold her and as soon as I put my face in the kennel, she rubbed her noggin against mine, purring loudly.

Fuck me.

Then Penny pointed out her enormous brother in the back of the cage I never noticed because he didn’t move a muscle from the ball in which he was curled. She explained that they were brother and sister about three years old, surrendered by their owner. The big brother wasn’t coping well in foster care.

Double fuck me.

Well, really triple fuck me.

Who was I to split up a pair of siblings? The black beauty and myself already bonded in .00004 seconds. And her brother was so shy and sad that I was warned I may never see him come out from behind the dryer or under the bed. So yes, I lost my goddamned mind that Saturday and walked out with not one, not two but three motherfucking pussies.

An instant mom to triplets.

Now, on a side note, the always charming actress Drew Barrymore adopted three cats at once and made national headlines for her big heart.

I, on the other hand received sweet messages of support like…

And love notes left on my car…

On the way home from Pet Smart, not a fucking peep was uttered. As soon as I got to the mini manse, the boxes were opened and from that moment on, it was harmonious until Tedstar died a year and a half later.

Love, love, love, love.

RIP Baby Bear.

Penny reached out when she heard the news about Ted and offered my pick of the litter (pun so intended), when I was ready. I knew I wanted another Russian Blue mix and about a month later, Penny sent word that a handsome, shy gent was at Pet Smart. When I raced arrived to check him out, there was a sticky note on his kennel door that read, “needs extra TLC.”

Sweet baby is on the right, afraid to come out.

Penny had instructed me to pet him on his head – hard – and as soon as I did, he cautiously came to me. When I lifted him out of the cage, he put both of his paws around my neck. You know what the fuck happened next.

Crazy cat lady shopping spree with an actual cat in the carrier!

Nothing strange here.

I texted Penny his photo on the way to his new home after the impromptu shopping spree at Pet Smart.

Mine. ALL MINE.

Obvies Fabio was meant to be mine and this was how he spent his first night in the mini manse.

Head rubbin’ on the bed.

So, in no particular favor order, I’m thrilled to introduce The Pussy Posse to you…age before beauty.

Precious the Chug

Age 12. Acts like a puppy. Looks like an Ewok.

Also known as Preshy, Presh, P, Pweshy (as my Iowa twins call her).

Presh is pretty much my sidekick in everything that I do. Without her emotional support after Rapegate and Ted’s passing and everythingfuckingthingelseinbetween…I’m not sure the state I’d be in.

We garden together.

We outfit shop together. DUH.

We drink together. Also DUH.

We take work meetings together.

We get groomed together.

And when I can, I like to match her to my hair.

She loves it. Obvies.

Rocky the Gentle Giant

Age 5. Also known as Bigs, Rocco.

Thinks he’s the size of a mouse.

Could teach pussy yoga.

Remember how he was sad and unable to even look at a potential owner until I got my grubby paws on him? He’s now happily the king of the mini manse.

Ruby Sue the Menace

Age 5. Also known as Thundercunt, Thundy, TC.

Wondering how she earned the endearing moniker of Thundercunt? I found her hanging on the blinds after she’d taken down the curtains.

Greetings of salutation after work one day.

The usual set up of the area.

Waiting on accolades as I tried to work around her mess to hang everything back up.

No shame in her game.

She has an obvious infatuation with curtains, as one night around 2 am this happened…

The actual fuck.

As I bolted out of bed, thinking I was going to end up on Forensic Files, I followed the evidence and concluded that in fact, it was TC. Rocky tried to help me hang the curtain back up but I said to hell with it and showered in my other bathroom the next few days.

Ruby Sue also apparently hates her life of rags to riches and walks the plank on my second level balcony every chance she gets. And she’s clumsy as fuck. So fate will be fate – and she’d land on all fours. C’mon, she’s a cat.

Fabio the Fuck Face

Age 3. Also known as Fabies, Faabs (pronounced Fahbs), Fartio and Fabio Le Pew.

This gorgeous guy farts and darts when he gets nervous. He has zero apprehension prancing around the mini manse and head butts like it’s his paying gig. He also has the regal look of daring you to a death match but couldn’t be more of a sweetheart, hence the nickname Fuck Face.

And his tail…oh that’s his best accessory.

Fabio Le Pew.

Princess Elsa Pants of Resting Bitch Face

Age 2. Also known as Pants, Stank Face and Smalls.

Remember how my mom thought a kitten to cuddle would be the best therapy for me? I’ve gotten my hands on this little shit for a good 29 minutes in the last two years I have had her.

But she loves her siblings and that’s all that really matters (except really, her world should revolve around me – there I said it).

She also loves sparkly accessories.

While I sound like a walking, talking billboard of how to remain single for the rest of one’s life, I don’t give a fuck (I also love candles and reading books – DREAM GIRL).

Just a natural weekend run for cat shit.

Except I do keep my dumpster wedding dress and veil in my car just in case I run into Mr. Right getting an equally large cat tree one day.

Oh hi there. You love cats, too?

There’s really nothing like coming home, being greeted by my brood with figure eights performed between my calves, head butts, tail wags and a game of tag with Stank Face. It’s also fabulous to pour supper in their margarita glasses (food, mind you), pour supper into my wine glass and settle in for an evening of furry snuggles.

So glad they’re mine.

I do expect you regular readers to memorize all names for the entire Pussy Posse, with nicknames included if you want to be true super fans. And if that’s too hard, I will let you buy me a Skinny Pirate next time we run into each other and I quiz you.

Cheers!

CBXB!