Monday, March 28, 2011

90 Cents

That's how much is left in the bank.  The Ex, who agreed long ago to take care of rent and the bills for me while I go to school, has finally ran out of options.  Yes, the man who's living in his girlfriend's parent's basement is down to his last bit of pride, he's selling insurance; but by the total in the bank and his swearing up and down that he's doing everything he can to make sure I stay in my apartment, he's failing miserably at it.

I'm panicking.  I won't lie.  I've been trying to find work, but with school, no one is willing to touch me with a ten-foot pole.  Which leaves me asking the question, "Is school really that important to me?"

My undeniable answer is always that school is the highest priority in the world for me.  I've got to finish what I've started, and I would think that anyone in their right mind would agree with that, however, they'd also tell me that a roof over my head trumps my scholastic goals any day of the week.  I agree with that too.  So, I'm left at a very wicked impasse.  On one hand, I could go work full time at a job that would just let me get by and kiss off any dream I would have to finish Ad school, or I could be homeless with an education.

Not very pretty, is it?

Now, to just put the cherry on the cake of the whole ordeal, I've got my video game I play just to relax.  I'm serious, I spend maybe a Saturday afternoon on it, but I don't play Sunday through Wednesday because that's my school week, I can play after I get done on Thursday afternoons, but I'm hardly on anymore.  However, I'm still a guild master, which means I'm looking after a whole bunch of other people in the time I'm not studying and searching for work.

Tonight was the ultimate test in patience.  I got a phone call from one of my folks telling me that all hell broke loose in-game while I was busy freaking out over the 90 cents in the bank, figuring out what I'm going to do and trying to re-do my portfolio which truly needs a lot of work.  On top of that, I received an e-mail from someone else describing the same event.  To be honest, that crap was the last thing I needed to deal with tonight.  I've got stuff to do and a real life that cannot wait, but alas, "At one time or another, everyone comes to see Mama Rel," and boy, let me tell you, since it seems like I can't deal with my real life without my online family having some kind of cave-in, someone was going to get it.

I took 15 minutes out of a Tony Stark inspired bit of creativity, in which I really could have produced something amazing, and had to go break off my foot in people's butts.  Now, as we know, I don't like to get mad.  I don't like to yell.  I don't like getting upset about anything, life is far too short to have to break my foot off in someone's butt for not using their common sense or common courtesy.  But tonight, I did.

For a considerable amount of time, we have had a guildie who has been quite the bit of work.  She's a Sophomore (whether she knows it or not) of the first order.  You could literally read the pages of her life in my story.  She's been beaten down, abandoned and wherever someone could have stuck a knife and twisted it, they have.  Of course, y'all know me, when I see someone like that, I immediately jump in and show them my story which says you can overcome the odds, no matter how overwhelming.  So, I tried to get through to her.  I was kind, gentle, I explained how the folks in the guild work, which by the way are all outstanding individuals, and I tried with all of my heart to let her see that our misfit crew was somewhere she would be safe.

Now, the one thing I'll always believe is that you can try to help, but you can't save everyone.  If someone is a boatload of resentment and hostility, they're equivalent to a mess of titanic proportions that is waiting to crash into the nearest iceberg and sink, and there is nothing and no one on this earth that can stop it.  To be honest, I've been waiting for her to melt down because everything we would try to do to reassure her and try to get through to her fell on deaf ears.  To be honest, she's me three years ago.  She couldn't understand people selflessly wanting to be helpful and back her up, that not one single person had it in their mind to even come close to hurting her, but as much as we all tried, there was no getting through the very guarded and hateful persona that has been built up over years of tragedy.  The girl has some serious trust issues, which I can truly relate to, and I stuck by her to show her that if someone like me can learn to trust, she could too.

However, there is one undeniable fact in there...if you get crap heaped onto you, you've got two choices.  You can either let it take you down or you can rise above it.  Each and every one of my loyal readers can attest to the fact that time and time again I've found a way to rise above.  My Personal Growth professor cried when she read my personal timeline paper in which I illustrated to her all of the negativity heaped on me in childhood, the traumas of adolescence, the problems and hurts of my 20's then, by some miracle, in my 30's I started to turn it around, in which I am determined to be a positive influence and success even if it kills me.  I decided that the buck stops with me and that things have got to get done under my own power (even if the world doesn't want to cooperate with me). But, try as I might, I had to succumb to a simple fact: you can't save the Titanic from sinking, it's just its destiny.  So I took the news of her meltdown and taking off as the natural order of things because she has allowed all of her hurt to take her down.  There was nothing I or anyone else could have ever done to stop it.  I've been where she's at and I can't blame her for her actions, it's how she's programmed.  I can show her the path and support her with positivity until I'm blue in the face, but the simple fact remains, only she can stop her vicious cycle.

The thing is, looking at her, it reminds me that I still have so much work to do on myself.  I'm definitely on the path, I'm just not where I want to be yet.

But, after the phone call and e-mail telling me what happened, I jumped online, got on Vent and went to town.  I had to grab a young man, who admittedly has no common sense/courtesy filter, and tell him to engage it until he bled from it.  I took a woman who's older than I am and got her in a headlock and explained to her that like me, we have to admit that we're better healers than damage dealers and to get her backside onto her shaman and learn to heal and like it, because I sure as hell had to on my druid.  What's Sheri's first rule of thumb?  That I'll never ask you to do something I wouldn't do.  So, if I have to lump it, by Gods, so does she.  I explained to her point blank that even though we love our main specs, we've got to knuckle down and get the job done and although she loves playing her mage, she sucks at it.  However, I followed it up with the truth, she's a great resto shaman and is a marvel at healing, so I've just taken the bull by the horns, said what needed to be said and she's healing.  Period.  Then, I took off on my officers.  I grabbed my events girl by the throat and told her if I hear the word "bitch" pop out of her mouth one more time, she was going to get it.  Then after that, my beloved KP came in and by that time I was on a roll, so he unwittingly got it in the chops too when I told his A.D.D. habits to stow it and pick a damn toon and stick with it.  After that I laid down the law.  There is no racism in our guild chat and if someone even breathes in that direction, they're going to catch it.  If people see other folks being boneheads, the officers have to jump on it.  Let me tell you, I let my presence be felt.

And this is the part of Mama Rel's magic that everyone has discounted and not even thought of...over all the time I've made excuses for them, for all the time I've spent with them, I know them really well.  I've held them up with my positive attitude so I know how all of their minds work.  I told them point blank that I'm an ad girl, how we work is that brand = adjective (thank you Luke Sullivan) and that I can take every single one of them and say their name and what they equal as far as personality goes...for example:

Sheri = need to be loved/caretaker
KP = needs to be the Dad and call the shots/feel valued
Amy = needs to feel like she's heard/seen

After listing the folks that were listening, I added, "Do I need to go on?  Because I can peg every single one of you.  Don't you dare test me."  And the funny part?  They all agreed I was right.  I've spent two and a half years getting to know all of their little quirks (just as they have mine) and I've communicated to them on their terms, filling in the needs they have or talking to their "adjective."

It's bad enough I'm stressed out by real life, I wasn't going to let a video game screw up my night further.  If they can't act right, then they're going to get it.  Sometimes you have to be blunt and make your presence known...or as Dolly Parton said in the film Straight Talk, "You gotta honk your own horn, or else no one's going to know you're coming."  And by the way I was honking my horn, they got the hell out the way because I wasn't just some little Pinto coming down the road, I was a freight train coming down the tracks at a bone-crushing speed.

It's not like they don't know me.  I'm really simple.  I'm really sweet, so you can push and push and push and I usually let things slide, but once it's too far, I'm an enormous freight train running 200 miles per hour taking out anything in my tracks.  Thing is though, I never do it without justification.  My father is like that.  We're sweet and loving and all kinds of good things, but once we've been pushed too far and you get us going south, look out, you're going to get it with both barrels and when it comes down, what's left over isn't pretty.

I live by the maxim "Make your words kind, gentle and tasteful, for one day you may be forced to eat them."  I try really hard to make sure everything that comes out is nothing but good, positive things.  However, sometimes the kind and gentle things people NEED to hear aren't exactly what they WANT to hear.  That's the difference.

Which brings us back to the 90 cents in the bank account.  Whether I like it or not and whether I want to or not (and trust me I definitely want to) I've got to find work, and if folks don't like it, tough, but I've got to find something soon.  I don't have time to deal with drama in a video game.  That's the place I go for a couple of hours to relax after dealing with all of the studying, dealing with the ex doing something idiotic and desperately trying to find some source of income.  If I don't find $705 by the end of the month, I'm sunk!

Oh and by the way, I did get a call from a headhunter last week, believe it or not, the ex has been sending out resumes under my name to people I didn't even know about with an e-mail address on the resume I had never even heard of!  Now here's the part that'll make you cringe...he was sending out work samples that weren't even mine and had other people's names on them.  The SOB is out there ruining my reputation and making me look like a fraud and I'm wondering why I can't find work!  It just keeps getting better, doesn't it?  And the guildie doing her best impression of the Titanic thinks she has problems?  Helloooooooo!

Freight train is on the tracks...look out.  Coming through!

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