Michelle Tiffany Anderson

Just another asshole with nothing to say.

Not Everyone Has to Like You: a story of having a transformative experience, but everyone treating you like you’re still the same person you were ten years ago.

I am in this sort of weird position, where the only two boyfriends I have ever had are socially connected (despite leaving Tacoma for 5 years and meeting them in totally separate situations). So with my current boyfriend, I often have to see people that nine years ago treated me like shit, but I assume are different people so I am cordial and even friendly to them. Most of them don’t have anything bad to say to me, but there are a couple that have felt the need the air grievances of things that may or may not have happened, proving only that they didn’t change much. One of these happened Saturday night, ruining my evening out for halloween, and it’s been bothering me ever since. Which is bullshit. I have spent the last three days feeling like shit for something someone else did to me, with the intent to hurt my feelings.

I am not totally sure how it started, my boyfriend got up from the table and during the short time he was in the bathroom I made some off hand comment that apparently triggered a memory that this guy had been holding onto for almost ten years. He then zeroed in on me and made me feel like shit, which by his demeanor was exactly his intention. He wasn’t looking for an apology or to chat about it, he was looking to make me feel like shit and to let me know he doesn’t think I could have changed. I honestly didn’t know how to react, I wanted to defend myself because I don’t think the incident actually happened, but memory is so subjective and can be manufactured so if he’s spent the last ten years thinking this happened, I probably wasn’t going to talk him out of it. I wanted to defend myself because even if it did happen, I was in a really bad place when I was 18, terribly unhappy and angry with no real idea that it was an issue or how to begin to handle it. I wanted to defend myself because he and many of my ex’s friends were terrible to me for the entire time that we dated, openly hating me for no reason, and somehow I came out looking like the monster. Mostly I wanted to tell him what a fucking baby he was and that maybe the reason he hasn’t changed or still holds onto this is he’s never fucking left Tacoma and hasn’t grown as a person because he doesn’t care to. But none of that seemed worth my time or energy, it would get me nowhere and only make me look bad. So I calmly got up from the table, found my boyfriend, and told him what happened and that I’d like to leave. My boyfriend handled it the best way he could, standing up for me and then taking me home and spending the rest of the night trying to make me feel better.

But I still feel like shit, and that isn’t fair – which is I guess why I am writing this. I need to get it off my chest, get it out into the ether, and hope that people understand that I am different than I was ten years ago.

I guess I should start with where I was mentally at 18 years old, though it starts much further back than that. When I was 16 my dad and stepmom moved myself and my brothers from where we had lived since I was in the third grade (we moved around a lot before that) to Gig Harbor, WA in some sort of fucked up effort to save their marriage. I don’t blame them for what happened, I think they really thought it would help – but it didn’t. They split up not long after we arrived. Before that I had spent years having a not great relationship with my dad largely due to heavy manipulation and lies about him, told to me by my stepmom. When they split up, I was very much put in the middle – my stepmom asking me if I wanted to come live with her but telling me I wasn’t allowed to tell my dad she asked and my dad really spiraling out of control for about 6 months. He never did anything really bad, he was just incredibly unhappy and I think sort of broken, making his judgment off. If my dad reads this I am sure he won’t be happy, and I am sure he remembered it differently because he has a different point of view, but that is what happened from my point of view. Both of them endlessly talked shit about each other to me, my grades suffered – which I got in trouble for – and I slipped into depression. Of course, none of this was ever addressed, I am not sure I even knew at the time I was depressed. I lashed out at the people closest to me and never really recovered in terms of creating friendships. The older of my two younger brothers actually found a really great niche for himself, and to this day he has friends who he can call family that he made in Gig Harbor. I, however, did not. It wasn’t until junior year of college that I began to create deep and meaningful friendships again, and even those are marred by the social anxiety I developed after this experience.

So, when I was 18 I was in a bad place. I was in a relationship that didn’t really work, but I didn’t really know that at the time, it was my first relationship and I didn’t have any idea what I was doing. I also had developed bad anxiety that has stayed with me ever since. Anxiety makes you irritable, it makes you lash out, it causes panic attacks that are terrible when they happen and in the hours leading up to them. Anxiety is like this indescribable feeling that something bad is going to happen, you just know it. Most of my anxiety comes from deep-seated abandonment issues from when my mom left, but some if it is merely chemical as evidenced by my panic attacks (which are rare). All these symptoms of anxiety are very hard to control when you don’t have any idea you have it. You lash out for no reason without knowing why. Your stomach always hurts and it even makes it hard to eat (thought I found a way, obviously. Do I look like a girl that misses a meal?). When you’re aware of the problem, controlling your reactions is hard but doable, and I have found many ways that don’t include medication of any kind to calm myself and work around my anxiety. Do I wish I wasn’t like this? Of course. I hate anxiety. But it is a fact of my life.

Around age 22 I started realizing the issues I had and have spent the last almost six years working on them. Working to be a better person, a more understanding person, a less reactive person, and mostly a more trusting person. I think now, at 27, I am wholly different than I was at 18. That isn’t to say I have been perfect; I have been far from it. I have hurt people, been a dick, been selfish, and made many mistakes. But I have also loved people, cared for them, provided support, and done many things right – one friend even calls me very sweet, which is shocking, I know. All humans are both good and bad, and walk the line between self serving and caring on a regular basis. I don’t know one person who hasn’t treated someone like shit, been selfish, or said something awful at least once in their life. I once had a friend attempt to “help me be a better person” all the while being totally fucking shitty to me, but she didn’t even know! People do terrible things sometimes, and it’s not on purpose.

So that takes me back to today, sitting (actually I am standing at my standing desk) here feeling so down about what happened this weekend, because despite leaving the state, spending years actively trying to be a better and different person, and changing so much, I still am paying for a small infraction that happened during the worst time in my life. Frankly, I don’t give a shit about that guy – he can suck a big fat dick for all I care. What he did was on purpose and was meant to hurt, and that is fucked up. What I do care about, is that I am so different and still have deal with people regarding me as I was many years ago – which by the way, I don’t even think I was that bad. It’s something I hate about living in Tacoma and why is makes me hard to see myself there for the long haul. It holds so much pain and bad memory, and the people who refuse to give me a second chance make it hard to move past that pain and create new good memories. And I don’t think it’s fair, because no one should be prevented from feeling happy.

Look, this is rambly and too long and not particularly well written. Most of what I wrote above is something I don’t share with people. But, that’s okay because maybe no one will even read this. I don’t really care, I just needed to get it out of my head. Because I am tired of feeling sad and shitty about something someone else did to me. I deserve just as much happiness as everyone else does. Though I think that guy deserves a dick in the ass. Because in the words of Ice Cube, “big dicks in ya ass is bad for ya health.”

Anderson out.

Anxiety

I often feel trapped by my own life. I never quite feel like it’s right. I don’t know how much I like the people the who occupy it, though I know I love them. Small annoyances start to feel like too much to handle. An hour waiting for a text message response causes anxiety to well up in my chest that lingers long after I hear back. I spend too much of my time convinced the people in my life don’t really want to be there, as if I tricked them somehow, steeling myself against their inevitable exit by allowing myself to be annoyed by their personalities. The tears well up. I’m so tired. Late at night it all feels like too much. But with the sunrise comes new resolve to be ok. There are days, weeks, months even where I feel full of joy and love my life. It’s normal to have good times and bad, but we all pretend we only have good. I wish it felt normal. I wish the anxiety didn’t freeze me. Waiting. Always waiting. Just waiting to feel better. I’ve lost entire days, weeks, months even to anxiety. I wish people didn’t prove the anxiety right. I wish we were better to each other. I’m so tired. Tired of being the organizer, care taker, the responsible one. I wish people were better. I wish I could trust that this is real, and not the anxiety talking. I wish I could trust my intuition. But the anxiety lies to me, tells me I should worry. I’m so tired of worrying.

Fuck anxiety.

Feminism, Man.

TL;DR – I’m talking about feminism, and I hope you’ll read it and appreciate my thoughts.

I think I have always been a feminist, even in the days before I really knew what that meant. I was raised by my father to be opinionated, smart, brash, and an asshole. Although, I don’t know if at the time he knew that he was creating a tiny feminist. Frankly, I have always pushed societal boundaries, just asked the cousin I tried to kiss when I was six. I have always been a person that believes in being themselves, and doesn’t fucking care if anyone likes it. That’s not to say I don’t have normal insecurities and want people to like me, but I assume that the ones that do like me are the right people for me, and the ones that don’t, do not really matter. I am strong, I am annoyingly independent — I wouldn’t let my boyfriend carry a box into my apartment for me a couple of weeks ago because I could “DO IT MYSELF, ANDY” — I have supported myself for many years now, and stand up for myself and anyone I love. I believe fiercely in the equality of all humans — except gingers — and don’t understand sometimes, how another woman could say she isn’t feminist. I think Amy Poehler said it best when she spoke of women non-feminists:

“That’s like someone being like, ‘I don’t really believe in cars, but I drive one every day and I love that it gets me places and makes life so much easier and faster and I don’t know what I would do without it.”‘

HELLO! All of the freedoms you enjoy, are thanks to feminism and brave feminists!

The point of all this, I suppose, is that I have been feeling EXTRA feminist lately, and I am angry. I am angry that as a 26 year old unmarried woman, I have to explain my choices to anyone. I am angry that anyone would even ASK why I am on birth control, as if it fucking matters, and that they think it might somehow be their business whether I am on it for medical or sexual reasons. I am angry that myself and a majority of my friends have been raped, gray area or otherwise, and have to suffer through it silently lest we be called sluts or asked what we did to cause it. I am angry that I have to explain to people why rape jokes aren’t funny, and that this recent New York Times piece, left me and many of my friends shaking and in tears. I am angry that a girl, barely 18, had to be made into a case study for anyone to start listening, and that her innocence was taken away from her. I am angry that what most men fear about going to prison, all women fear in the short walk home at night. I am angry that when I am forceful and straight forward, I am called a bitch and when I get angry about that, I am told I am being irrational. I am angry that anyone thinks it’s okay to comment on my body as I walk down the street. I am angry that men keep trying to make misandry a thing; it fucking isn’t a thing, so please shove your fedora wearing head up you ass. But here is what I am most angry about: That women are too quick to disassociate themselves from feminism, and have seemingly stopped supporting each other. 

I am very lucky to have some wonderful women in my life that support me fully and vice versa. But I really wish women as a whole would stop being so spiteful towards each other, and stop shaming one another. We will never become the equals we so rightfully deserve to be if we keep allowing men to pit us against one another. If we keep letting them make hot lady lists and decided that curvy vs skinny is a thing. I don’t need to shame skinny women to know that I am a babe. Be fat! Be skinny! Have three legs! who cares?

We are all humans, lets start treating each as such.

I have A LOT more to say about this, but not all my idea are fully formed, so I will stop here.

Anderson out.

 

 

 

Something Besides the Usual Humor

This week a year ago, I stopped talking to my mother. So the TL;DR version of this is a lot of feels about that. Feel free to skip this post, your regularly scheduled humor posts will be back in no time. That all being said, I need to write about my this, and hopefully those of you who do read it, will find some solace in the fact that we are not alone in our pain. This is also something I don’t normally share with people, so please understand this is the hardest thing I have ever written. 

 

This week a year ago, I stopped talking to my mother. It’s not really what I wanted, I thought the talk we had would lead to her changing and being the mom I always needed, but it didn’t. Instead our talk lead to more of the same and eventually, no longer hearing from her besides the fifty dollars she sends to me every Christmas. I suppose my mother can be summed up in that one act. Every year she goes out of her way to get fifty dollars in USD, put it in a card, and mail it to the most recent address she has for me. She has never asked nor tried to learn what it was that I might want as a Christmas present. She just does what she always did. And that, is basically her entire personality. This time a year ago, my mother called me to apologize for something, but what she really wanted was to call and talk about herself. This may sound cold or unfeeling, but that’s how it’s always been with her so it’s hard for me to really feel anything about it. I can’t count the number of times she’s called me, usually drunk, so tell me what she really thinks. She thinks I’m a bitch, or selfish, or that I think I am better than everyone else. I can’t be sure where these comments come from, seeing as she barely knows me, nonetheless I learned early on to not answer the phone if she called after a certain time. 

I guess I don’t really know what I have been missing out on. I have no way of knowing what it is like to grow up with a mom. However, that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t hoping for some sort of relationship to the woman that gave me life. Since the age of four, it has felt like something was missing, and I was hoping by confronting her about her cycle of emotional abuse she that would want to have a relationship with me. I’ve never said this before, in writing or otherwise, but learning that I was wrong was the hardest part of bringing our relationship to end. Giving her the chance to have a relationship with me, and her disappearing again might have been worse than her leaving in the first place. 

I am very lucky to have the amount of love in my life that I do. But my mom’s behavior over the last 20 years has left me at a loss for how to properly express myself. I hope for those of my loved ones who have read this, that you understand me a little better. I work every day to be a good person and a loving person, but an open person is something I am bad at being. 

Someone once asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. Without missing a beat I said, “Happy.” And I am happy. I am not without faults or scars, but I am happy. I attribute none of that to the woman known as my mother, but all of it to my friends, my dad, my brother, and grandma. I love you all deeply, and I thank you for your love. I guess what I learned in the last year, is that if someone makes you feel shitty they shouldn’t be in your life. Period. I encourage all those I love to stand up for themselves and never allow other humans to treat them badly. 

Moving on is difficult, but when you break free, you realize all the pain is worth it. 

Anderson out.

 

A Familiar Adventure

Dearest of friends and followers. While I certainly won’t abandon this blog, I have started one that will be updated much more regularly.

 

Tiny Kitchen, Big Butt

 

Fear not faithful readers, I am sure the hilarious situations I seem to get myself into will not cease to exist and I will always return to you to spin my tails. Please take the time to check out my new adventure and follow if you feel so inclined to!

 

ANDERSON OUT.

I’m all about The Wire boss

Me: DUDE. THE WIRE.

MM: I TOLD YOU!

Me: honestly, if I would have known that Idris Elba and baby Michael B Jordan were on it I would have watched it ages ago. I just wanna make out with Idris Elba.

MM: Even as a drug dealer?

Me: ESPECIALLY as a drug dealer.

MM: I actually watched Luther last night but he’s hotter in The Wire.

Me: DUH BECAUSE HE’S A DRUG DEALER. ………hm. I may have some issues to work out.

MM: Who cares cuz IDRIS ELBA

Amen to that.

Regrets are for the Unadventurous

GUYZ I GOT A JOB TODAY AND THEN A CAR AND THINGS ARE FEELING WONDERFUL.

That’s it….that’s the whole post. I just needed to have a moment of internet joy.

Anderson Out