March 23rd, 2003


Another Rattie Is Going to Heaven

I just had to make the final decision to put one of my rats to sleep. I always hate myself when this happens. I know all the reasons why I shouldn't, hate myself for this, but I can never reason myself out of it.

I mean he would have been eaten by a snake if it weren't for me, but maybe I could have done something differently. And if I didn't spend so much money on crap, maybe I could throw all the thousands and thousands of dollars it would take, at his medical care, to see if there is even the slightest chance that he might pull through, but I just can't. I don't think it's fair to him, and it isn't fair to my other pets who will need the money if anything happens to them.

So far I've spent several hundred dollars and been giving him three different kinds of liquid antibiotics. We even had tiny little rat lung X-rays done. But he was looking so bad tonight and I had no way of getting him to the doctor myself, (not with the way my body is responding to the laxatives, if you know what I mean, sorry,) so I had Pet Taxi come and get him, that's eighty dollars right there, and the emergency vet will be another two or three hundred, and I was still going to give it another day but Dr. Brockman just called and said her instinct is just shouting at her to put him to sleep. It helps a lot when the vet will talk to you honestly. I can't stand it when they step back and say hey, this is your decision, don't lay this on me.

I'm okay. I just close my eyes and see him with wings flying to another place beyond, above, or beside this one, somewhere really beautiful where his tiny dear soul will never have to suffer the way rats do in this place. I mean, people with no experience of rats, think they are horrible and kill them without giving it a thought. What kind of a world is that for a little rat to have to live in? I regularly share bits of my food with them and would think nothing of sharing my spoon. I know people think this is freakish but that's just because they have been brainwashed since childhood, (think Disney movies, who are the bad guys, why rats of course). In my world there is no difference between a hamster, a mouse, a bunny, or a rat, except that rats don't bite like hamsters, they don't oanic and eat their young like mice, and they're smarter and more fun than bunnies. Don't tell anyone I sad that. Fuck, I'm sad.

Oh I have to go, Scotti's here.

My Gastic Bypass is Tomorrow, Weeeeeeee, Change, Bring It On!

This is going to be a huge post where I discuss everything from how I'm dealing with my pre-surgery fear, how I feel about honest expressions of feeling and vulnerability in the face of other folk's judgment, art and sensitivity, what it feels like to be a fat person, my pre-weight loss good-bye list, what kind of vegetable broth to take with you to a deserted island, to life, and the ultimate mystery, pardon the Shakespeare but -- Shuffling Off This Mortal Coil.

Hey Everyone,

Well, I made it through day one of the torturous pre-surgery body cleansing. Woohoo! Today I feel weak but pretty centered and positive, as if some kind of centering grace has descended upon me. I have to go out and buy more clear vegetarian vegetable broth and gelatin because I underestimated how much I would need, or well, there was really only one broth that I liked, the others tasted like cardboard residue and water.

Now I have to face the dreaded antibiotics-on-an-empty-stomach day. Hey, at least I have the Oscars to look forward to, and the helicopters that have been circling our neighborhood for dozens of hours every day, have mercifully gone away. Now I don't have to worry as much about Beau's state of mind. The sun is shining and the birds are singing, tra la, and we have a huge moonbounce in the backyard. Not that I am not very aware of the war in Iraq, and the suffering of so many people, it's just that I need to pull in and focus on my own reality for a few days here.

You guyz have been the dearest and bestest Live Journal friends in all the world. Your words and best wishes have been such a kindness. Thank you so so much! It means so much to me that I can just write away in here, whatever it is; my fears, my hurts, my goals, happy things, dreams, whatever, and know that for the most part I am accepted and loved. That's the good thing about being able to ban people who are harsh or mean, people are so uptight they can't love or accept other people's foibles. They can't see beauty in the unique, in difference and idiosyncrasy, or see the forest for the trees.

I am brave and I am fearful. I am old and I am young. I am wise and I am very childlike. I love this about myself. Some people can't embrace this and for them I suggest they

It's hard to be emotionally present and honest in public, some people really dislike it. I think it frightens them, challenges them, and they will shame you and put you down for it. It hurts to be so out there and have to face being judged. But that's what all of this is all about for me. I'm not the little girl in gym class anymore who apologized to everyone for apologizing too much.

You know what I'm talking about. The get over it, buck up, be brave, stop whining, stop snivelling, be a man, this is no big deal, you should see what I've gone through, naysayers. I could jump on that band wagon with a lifetime of stories; loss, suffering, abuse, betrayal, abandonment, hurt, fear, trauma, and death, death all around me, but I am glass half full kind of person, so I don't. I don't use my life experiences to put down other people. Man, I delivered a seven week early baby without any pain medications or even an episiotomy and I got up and walked away from the table, what are you whining about, that kind of thing.

Some people just don't like it when you're real, when you're vulnerable, or when you're needy. I've experienced this all my life. The more layers of self-protection that I peel off of myself, the closer I get to being my raw true authentic self, the more I can become the being who I am without apology. At least that's the plan -- and if along the way, I have to occasionally apologize for being insecure, or "over-dramatic," or fearful, or afraid of something that other people just breeze right through, well then screw it. I hate being judged and that is why I have worked so hard, scrabbled up a concrete wall really, to reach a place where I won't judge others. I'm nowhere near that place, but at least I have the goal in mind.

Think about this, if there weren't people like me, who have the ability to feel, and the desire to express every tiny nuance of these feelings to others, what would the world be like? A pretty cold stoic place don't you think? It is my personal belief, (and I have to be careful here because this could be me venturing into the territory of fixed opinion and judgment), that there are certain people put on this planet who are meant to feel things more deeply than others. That it's a gift, this intuitiveness, a variant in the genes, that makes us exquisitely sensitive. This isn't an easy place to be a vibrating feelingful flower of a being, some of us toughen up and bury our gifts, some of us, the lucky ones, find a way to channel our feelings and perceptions through art, and find some comfort in this, while others of us drink, drug, smoke, medicate, shop, or eat, over these very uncomfortable feelings.

You've heard the rumour that fat people are angry? Heck yeah we're angry! We've been carrying the weight of this world's opinion and judgment for most of our lives, and it fucking hurts, believe me! Forget about the whole jolly thing, I'm not saying we aren't happy and loving, that we don't have a sense of humor, or see life in a bright way, but we're not the one sided rolly polly jolly dolls that people like to think of as, because it somehow make us easier to love, Conversely we're not necessarily the clown on the outside, vying for your approval with jokes and smiles, while all the while we are dying inside. It's a big topic that deserves more from me than I can give it here. I just don't have the energy to do this justice.

People who are picked on, singled out for derision, and marginalized in any way develop a lot of empathy. Empathy teaches a person to understand other living being's feelings. It teaches us to love. Not everyone is shitty to big people. Look at you, I've told you I'm fat, you've seen my pictures, and you're not flinching.

Hang on, we're having a vegetable broth Pepsi soup challenge kind of thing here. Shari Ann's Organic Vegetable Broth basically sucks, don't go for this one, Amy's Organic Fat Free Vegetable Broth is okay, you could live on this if you were going to be stranded on a deserted island for a while, and you can basically stay away from everything else, seriously, cardboard city.

I want to say good-bye to a few things in the hope that I will sail through this, and this weight that I have carried for so long will begin to melt away. I love big lush people, I just don't love what I have had to live with by being this big so good-bye to;

Having poor health, never being able to buy clothes in a normal size store, the humiliation of having to worry about movie theatre and airplane seats, and that stupid little tray that won't come down over my belly, restaurant booths, looking at people in magazines and thinking I will never ever be able to look like them, worrying about my being too fat to ride a horse, having too much weight to carry to be able to weigh myself down enough to scuba dive, being stared at for all the wrong reasons, personalizing cruel fat jokes that so many people make, not being able to walk very far without my heart racing, the pain in my knees, taking stairs so slowly, not being able to see my toes without having to lean out, this big belly o' mine, back pain, ever having to hear about my pretty face, not being able to get in the lotus position, being limited in my sexuality...
God there are so many more things I want to write but I am just simply too tired to think of them.

Goodbye to my old way of living and hello to the new.

I want to write about death and life and everything I've ever felt or experienced, you know, just in case I don't come back from this, but there isn't the time.

I'm reminded of the LJ person who wrote a very moving good-bye letter to all of us a couple of years ago just in case he didn't make it through his surgery, and then he didn't, and we were all so sad, and we posted our broken hearted goodbyes, but it was all faked. And here I am doing the same thing, saying goobye just in case, and trying to find some way to leave a piece of me behind.

I guess all I can say is that if I don't make it through this, (and as uncomfortable and emotional as I am right now, I really am feeling more sure that I will by the minute), is that I want you and everyone who I have ever even met to know that I love you, and that I will continue to love you from wherever I am going. I want my Scott and my Mom and and my beloved son, the light of my life, to know that he was the greatest, the best thing that ever happened to me, and that nothing, not even death will stop my loving him. Please if you ever get a chance to, will you remind him that I really really loved him.

Okay well, I've blabbed enough. I wanted to say something wise and important and this is all I've got. The Cub Chubs just won an Academy Award, life moves on, and I've got to go.

I'll be at Century City Hospital in Century City California from tomorrow morning until next Thursday, God willing.

I really do love you and would appreciate any prayers or positive thoughts you might want to send my way.

All my love forever and ever,

Death is the opening of a more subtle life. In the flower, it sets free the perfume; in the chrysalis, the butterfly; in woman, the soul. --Juliette Adam