Almost a Woman

There was a teenage girl there–in rehab.  She was sixteen.  Skinny,  pretty, save some acne. I recognized this chick immediately, even though she had all of the other women eating out of her hand almost at once.

All of the other women had children.  They were in rehab to get them back. The addiction is very strong, but the maternal instinct is also strong.  I think about half of them have a good shot at it. You should hear the sobs I heard at night while they looked at pictures of their kids.

(Coincidentally, there was a gambling addict there who reminded me a lot like my father, Franz.  He was an Ad Man in NYC for 27 years. The guy was friggin meticulous. Button-down shirt, trousers, bright blue socks.  He had perfect posture.  And he was smart…highly intelligent. I’m a sapiosexual)

“No offence, sir. I actually like you a lot.  However, I don’t take any risk with gamblers,” I said.

“IT’S GAMING!” he yelled.  No, guy.  My father was a gambling addict, from whence I inherited this addict gene. The fact that you use an euphamism to cover up this factiod–“gaming”–like it’s a playsport–speaks tons. I don’t touch gamblers. That shit is poison. It ruins lives.  Ask me how I know.

Anyway, getting back to the girl…

She was manipulative as heck.  And I didn’t really dislike her. I put on my professor hat almost at once: I’d respect her and give her space, but I never trusted her.

She was smart. She was not a a good liar, however.  Not yet.

She came off as “shy.”  There was nothing shy about her.  The shyness was a real head-scratcher.

She consulted me constantly about legalese. I hate to be a snob about it, but I was the most educated person in the room.  This kid ain’t no fool.

“Is it legal that my Mom sent me here?” she asked, coming into my doorway.

“Well, yes.  I’m not familiar with minor jurisprudence in this state, but I am pretty sure that until you’re 18, your Mom has legal custody of you.  You are her ward. Basically, you are her slave, unless you can prove you’re being abused. I wish that wasn’t so, because I do believe children have rights, but that’s how it is.

You get drunk at school and your Mom keeps a wine closet in the house.  This is exactly where you need to be.  Back out now while you can.  Trust me.  I’ve done the research.  I’ve been struggling with this most of my adult life.  You’re smart. Too smart to be an asshat.  Stop lying.  Go to college.  You know most of my students were almost your age, right?”

Know what she did…?

She ran out the front door 15 minutes later.  All of the alarms went off.

I want to protect her.  All of the other women were swarming around her the entire time she was there, because they felt guilty. They did not see what I saw.

I still have hope.

 

 

 

False Positive

I had to take a 5-panel urine test before I checked out of the inpatient rehab.

I wasn’t worried.  AT ALL.

I tested positive for Benzos.

“I’m on 10 mg of Lexapro and a multivitamin. I take both in the morning in front of the tech. Besides food, that is all I eat.”

“Don’t get upset and freak out,” she said.

“I’m not upset and I’m not freaking out.  There has to be a perfectly logical reason for this false positive.  You watch me when I take a leak. I am completely compliant and you know it. You shook down my luggage and all my clothes and I don’t know anyone in this town and I don’t have my phone and I’m certainly not ordering drugs. You know where I am, 24/7.”

I was chill.  I was serious as a heart attack.

Turns out, it was the Librium they gave me when I was admitted. It has a very long half-life.

Life Sucks. Back to the Loony Bin.

Well, readers, I’m not going to sugar-coat anything: I had a relapse in Thailand and couldn’t pull myself out of it. It was exactly how they told me a real relapse would be in rehab: you can control your drinking for a few weeks, and then it snowballs and everything goes to shit and you end up exactly where you bottomed out…or even lower.

I started sneaking booze out of the bar while he was at work. Part of me hates to  be drunk because I can’t do anything or think critically while I’m drunk.  At the same time, it kills all the feelings and seems to make life bearable until the shitstorm from the unavoidable consequences rains down. I’ve struggled with this so many years now that I should have known what would happen.

Actually, I knew.  The sense of impending doom.

I tried to quit drinking at least four hours before he came home, so I was always sober around him, but all of my physical symptoms came back almost immediately.  Hand tremors, nausea, insomnia.  Difficulty swallowing at the dinner table.

That’s why I haven’t been blogging.  I can’t write when I drink. I’ve been able to work and fly back and forth, but containing it so that I can have a degree of professionalism at work takes all my strength. I can’t even read, which is, like, my only solace in life besides my parrot.  All I can do it tweet stupid shit and schedule everything so that I’m not drunk around other people but also don’t go into withdrawal.  What a life.

The Collector noticed and I didn’t (couldn’t) deny it. I’m going back to rehab. Probably for 30 days.  Maybe longer.

I’m so tired of struggling with this. Rationally, I know that drinking distorts my thought process and makes me behave erratically. But I still do it, and when I’m in it, I can’t get out, especially when NOT doing it makes me violently ill.

On that note, it about 12 hours I expect to be ralphing foam (because there’s nothing in my GI tract) into a trash bin while a staff tech comes in to check my vitals.

Don’t let this happen to you, kids.  Don’t drink.  Don’t pick up.  I’m so ashamed of myself.

Abe is safe with an Avian vet boarder.  I made sure he will be okay.

 

Puberty and Bra Shopping (shoot me now)

Content Warning: I know this is an extremely personal post and it deals with puberty and women’s menstruation, and if that offends you, don’t read it.  I had to write about it to purge the pain.

*                    *                               *                 *

One thing I will never understand about my mother is how angry she became when I entered puberty.

If I ever have a daughter, I will take her out to her favorite restaurant and buy her a brand-new outfit when she gets her period, and we’ll go bra-shopping together.  She’ll get ones for children and I’ll buy one for adult ladies, but she can see me in them, and know, from seeing me, that this is how adult women look, and how she will eventually look.  I will tell her how beautiful she is.

My mother was tight-lipped and furious when I started growing breasts, and I don’t know why.  Even my father, who was, by far, the worst parent, just accepted it and said “We can’t have naps together anymore. It is not appropriate.” Okay, I was sad, but I knew, on some level, that what he was saying was right.

She took me to Target and I felt so ashamed, like there was something wrong with me. Then she asked the retail lady to put some training bras on me.  The retail lady was more gentle with me than my mother.  She put on some soft cotton white bras without underwire.

Then, when I got my period a year later, I had to confess it to my mother, because I was stealing her sanitary napkins. I had to! I was 14!  I couldn’t buy my own! I didn’t get an allowance, I didn’t get anything!

She said exactly two things:

“I hope you haven’t been flushing them down the toilet.”

also

“This means you can get pregnant now.  I want you to know that I am not interested in raising another baby.”

I didn’t have a boyfriend! I never even kissed a boy! At that age, I was not even interested in boys!  I developed late! I was not out being boy-crazy and giving my parents problems about it!

Even my dad, Franz Adler, said, “Well, I bet those cramps suck. I know it hurts, Liebchen.  Let me go buy some Midol.  This is just a fact of life.”

It really says something when your sociopath gambling addict of a father goes to bat for you before your own mother, especially when this is a woman’s issue that should be taken care of by women in the family.

 

 

Punching the Collector in His Eye (Part II)

So I fell on the ground and screamed (because I was scared): “You can’t hurt me!  This is not okay!  This is not playtime!  If you touch me, it’s assault!  I’ll call the police! I’m covered in bruises! I’ll show them!

I realize this is hypocritical, given that I just punched the man in the eye (for the record, if he’d called the cops on me, I would have immediately admitted it and taken The Police Cruiser Ride of Shame to the 10th Precinct), but he wasn’t in danger of me fucking killing him.

I was afraid! He could do anything he wanted to me!  I’m naked on the floor!  Without my guns, how could I stop him?

We stared at each other, me on the floor with my arm in front of my face, and him panting.  His eye was tearing and red and his shirt tail had come out of his pants.

I saw the composure drop over his face then, like dropping the blinds.  I did not know whether this meant sanity had been restored, or things had just became even worse.

“The police.”

“Yes!”

He cleared his throat, nodded, and then started to tuck in his shirt.  When he spoke again he was out of breath but his voice was otherwise low and calm, like normal.

“Margo, look at me…and then look at yourself.  You know, Margo…you are a troubled young woman with a documented history of eating disorders and alcoholism.  You have been on medication. Sometimes, when young women are troubled, they do things to themselves.  They mutilate themselves.”

I lay there on the floor, my panic suddenly evaporated.  I could not believe what I was hearing.

He continued: “I’ve seen you do it myself.  I sent you to three therapists in the last year because I am concerned for you, Margo.  I did it because I care, and I am worried.  I sent you to rehab for the same reason.”

Shit is now occurring to me, readers, and it’s not pretty.

All I could do was whisper: “I’m not crazy.”

He shrugged.  “You’re a S&M prostitute.  I don’t hold this against you, of course, but many people might.  They might think you were crazy to do it.  And all I am is a gullible older man with a midlife crisis, who took this unstable, opportunistic girl in off the street into my beautiful home.  I’m a sucker.”

I just lay there, completely gobsmacked.  What blew my mind was that there was nothing factually inaccurate with anything he said (except about him being gullible, hardy har-har, like anyone is going to snooker the Collector…the idea of me taking advantage of him is preposterous.  Nobody takes advantage of his man).  He wasn’t lying.  It was just…the way he would twist it around to make it seem like I am a nutso basket case.  For what, out for what–to get his cash?  Even his own sons don’t worry about that, because, I’m telling you, there is no woman on earth seductive enough to persuade this guy into giving her any money he doesn’t want to!  And I don’t even do that anyway!  I’ve never done it, in my life!  I’ve always supported myself and paid my own bills!  And he knows it!  He knows what sort of person I am!

The dawning realization that this is how he would portray me to other people if we parted on bad terms…and that people would probably believe him!  I felt betrayed.  Like I was sold out, and it hadn’t even happened yet.

And then I thought: This conniving fuck has thought of everything.

He knocked me out.  Knocked…me…out.

I started sobbing, which is extremely rare for me.  I am not a crier.  I don’t even cry in therapy.  It felt like all the strength and fortitude ran out of me like water.

“You don’t care about me!  You’re a liar!”

“I love you, Margo…but do not EVER threaten me.”

He let me cry for a few minutes and then came back with a blanket to cover my nakedness.  He was perfectly calm now.  Why wouldn’t he be?  I’d capitulated and he’d regained control of the situation.

He helped me up and gave me a hug and stroked my hair.  Then he led me to the sink in my bathroom and gently told me to wash my face while he picked out some clothes for me to wear.  While I got dressed, he took out his cell phone.

“I need to call the office.  I’m going to work from home today.  I think we should spend some time together.  We are going to have a good day.”

A good day.  Whatever the hell that could mean in this situation.

“Don’t hurt me,” I sniffled.

“I’m not going to hurt you, Margo.”

Too late for that,  I thought

He called his office.  Then he said that he absolutely had to get some writing done because he was working under a deadline, but it would only take a few hours and then we could spend the rest of the day doing something fun.

He left the room and came back with a bag.

“I bought you something while you were gone!”

It was a puzzle of The Unicorn in Captivity,  (South Netherlandish, ca. 1495–1505)..  He’d bought it for me at the gift shop at The Met.

Am I the only one who sees the irony in this?

“You can work on it while I write,” he said, peeling off the plastic shrink wrap.

We went to his office space and he retrieved this rolling body-pillow thing he lets me use when he wants me to be on the hardwood floor instead of using the furniture (unless I’m being disciplined or punished, of course–then I just get the cold, hard floor).

“Can I play with Abe while you write?”  Abe likes to ‘help me’ when I do anything craft-y like puzzles or wrapping gifts.

A shadow crossed his face: “I think we should focus on each other.”

Behold, the Collector: The Man Jealous of a Little Parrot. 

“He comforts me, though,” I said.  “If he poops on the floor, I’ll clean it up right away.”

“All right.  Go get him.”

I went to get Abe, but Abe did not want to come out of his cage.  Abe and seen (or at least heard) the fight and my crying, and he was upset and just wanted to hide in his little cloth hidy-hut.  It made me feel guilty.

I worked on the puzzle for a few hours while he worked at his desk.  He’d take 10-minute breaks to refresh himself and work on the puzzle with me.

“It’s lunchtime.  What would you like to eat?”

“I’m not hungry.”

“Just hot chocolate for you, then.”

He sounded cheerful and pert.  His eye had stopped watering.  It was red, though.  There was no swelling.

“I’m sorry I hit you in the eye,” I said, which might or might not be true…I honestly can’t say.

“It’s okay.  It looks very macho.  I can tell the people at work that I got into a bar fight!”

The joke was kinda funny.  The Collector in a bar fight!

(Actually, he’d probably do just fine.)

“I’ll finish up in an hour, and then we can go out!  We’ll have some fun.”

Oh God, I thought.

“Where are we going?” I asked.

TO BE CONTINUED

 

 

Backpage Shutdown

Howdy, 8 readers.  Thanks for your patience.  I spent two weeks in rehab, where I was analyzed by various shrinks who specialize in addiction medicine, and another week isolated with the Collector out in the boondocks in Colorado.  If he reads this, I am going to  be fucked, but I don’t think that he is because he would definitely tell me.

Before I get down to the personal stuff, I’d like to draw your attention to this: Backpage has delisted all of its adult services ads due to government pressure.  It just happened last night, while I was asleep!  Do you realize what a disaster this is for sex workers?  They even stopped ads for legal services, like BDSM/fetish and exotic dancing!  Apparently, we’re promoting sex slavery by advertising sales of smelly gym socks and spanking Stanford MBAs. What a crock!

I get 50% of my new clientele from Backpage, and I’m going back to work this week and I’m freaking out! I can only hope that most of my clients saved my email, phone number, and website address–but I know that since approximately 80% of them are MARRIED and their wives have no idea about their kinky pervy fetishes, they delete everything to keep themselves safe!

In my experience, almost nobody wants to session with exploited “trafficked” teenagers, either because they’re afraid of the legal ramifications or because they find the notion morally abhorrent.  I’ve met some truly awful “clients” in this Biz, but the majority don’t want to hurt anyone.  The idea that Backpage is a hotbed of predators seeking to exploit unwilling, pimped-out teens (the justification used for this political witch-hunt) is preposterous.

What a shitshow.

 

Happy Holidays

Hi, 8 readers.  I wish that this would take a long time to write, because I love to write, but I know it won’t.

I had a relapse and I got caught.  It was a small one (I’m not making excuses, because it was still indefensible, but it was only a few hours and I remained pretty coherent), but the Collector is shipping me off to a 14-day lockdown and then taking me away somewhere for the Holidays.

I’m sneaking this in from my own separate place so that I know it’s private.

It makes me angry because he gave me booze and pills in the past and he also has a big wine closet.  The wine closet doesn’t bother me much because it’s under the stairs and I never have to see it or think about it. The bar upstairs always stresses me out because it’s always there and I have to pass by it.

To his credit, he took all the liquor out of the bar and put it in a locked room so I don’t have to see it again unless he’s entertaining guests.  I hate to be a jerk, because my addiction is not his problem, but he should have done that all along.

I’m not going anywhere.  This blog is my connection with the outside world.  But I am going to be incommunicado for the next few weeks.

For anyone who hangs in there: thanks for your patience.

And happy holidays.

 

Pirates

Past the swimming pool, there is a grove of trees.  If you walk it, more trees.  I was confused at first because I thought, Well, Europeans (exception of Russians) already chopped down all their big trees, and don’t have any wildlife left but deer and squirrels. It wasn’t like I was going to get eaten by a bear or a cougar.  Euro forests are just big tree parks.

There is a stretch of beach where nobody can go because endangered birds nest there.  There are signs in English and his language.  Behind that, the trees.

The trees were mostly Birches. I thought, for some reason, they would be coniferous; evergreens.

I went into the trees.  I tried to be very careful because I have an awful sense of direction. It’s honestly the worst of anyone I’ve ever met; it would be comical if it wasn’t so bad.  I’ve gotten lost on fucking hiking trails.  The GPS is a balm to my soul, like a safety blanket, but I didn’t have it then.  It doesn’t work over there.

I tried to pay attention to where I was going so that I could get my way back to the beach.  Also, the ocean has a smell and makes noise.

THEN the kid came up, the eldest son.  I heard him come up because he was crunching stuff underneath his shoes.  Guys are mostly loud.

Was it a hundred yards…?  I was only a hundred yards into the trees.

I was startled.  There was no reason for him to be there.

He said that he wanted to show me where he and his brother played “Pirates.”

There were five or six boulders, each the size of a car or a bed.  It looked very incongruous (is that redundant?).  I wondered how they got out there, piled together in the middle of nowhere.  Then I remembered my undergrad geology class: they were probably moved by a glacier thousands of years ago (geology, should anyone ask you, is basically the history of rocks).

“Let’s see if I can fit now!” he said, and climbed up the boulders like a billy goat.

There was a slim crevice between the stones.  He had to take off his jacket, but he dropped through it.

He popped up and extended his hand: “Let me show you!  There’s a space under here.”

I turned around and headed back to the beach.  All the hair on my arms was standing up.

Deprived of the Warmth

I forgot the rule about clothes again.  I can’t explain it, really.  I know Freud says that there are no accidents, but, it’s just…wearing clothes is just default human behavior.  I never SLEEP in clothes, unless I’m menstruating or sharing a house with others (roommates or guests), but, usually, even if I’m being a total slob eating frozen yogurt out of the carton with Abe on my shoulder and reading the paper, I’m wearing a pair of underpants.

Last time, after the nightly sexual experience, he said: “I hate to deprive myself of your warmth and comfort, but if I didn’t enforce the rules, you wouldn’t respect me in the morning.”

Then he took out a rubber yoga mat and laid it by the bed.  He gave me a pillow and a blanket.  That’s where I slept.

He said, “Next time, you’ll sleep in the kitchen like Oliver Twist.  Do you want to be mine, or a wretched foundling like him?”

I forgot, again, and so I slept–or tried to sleep–in the kitchen, by the table.

When the sun started to come up, the rosy-fingered dawn, I got up.  I got up before my bird, and Abe’s an early riser (an early bird! Ha! Ha! lame joke).  I was going to feed him, but I left him alone to rest.  The travel is stressful to him.

(As an aside…I love Abe SO MUCH that I feel guilty about it.  This little bird is such an innocent and joyful creature.  I know I sound like a crazy parrot lady…but every day, he gives me love.  If I don’t double-lock his cage, he opens it, walks to me at night, and wakes me up grooming my hair and staring at me.)

I rinsed off in the shower and shaved my legs and armpits and slathered on the lotion.  Time to go back to entertaining.

He was up already, as usual.  Probably since 4:30 AM.  Lifting weights in the gym.  Almost all of the men I attract do this.  Superficially, they seem different…but they’re still the same, just reiterations.

Meet the New Wolf.  He’s like the last one.

Only more deadly.

 

In My Handbag

Work Cell Phone (“Mistress Batphone”): Pay-as-you-go burner Tracfone from Target

Private Cell Phone: Samsung Galaxy S6

Tin of Altoid Smalls, peppermint flavor

Hairbrush

Chapstick, cherry flavored

Mascara, Cover Girl Lash Blast Volume in brownish-black

Miniature travel toothbrush with case

Ballpoint pens, 4 (four), all from different hotels

Hotel room key-cards, 3 (three), all from different hotels

Naltrexone, 3 (three) pills, in a zipper compartment

Visine

Compact mirror purchased at Mauritshuis in The Hague , depicting Girl With a Pearl Earring (c.1665)

Tampons, 2 (two)

Crumpled Used Kleenex, 2 (two)

Lipsticks, 3 (three): nude (Victoria’s Secret), cool fuscia (Sephora), cool red (Wet n’ Wild)

B1 complex with Folic Acid vitamins, 4 (four), because my last alcoholic relapse wrecked my health and I need these vitamins to get it back.  Doctor’s orders.  I eat them like pez.  If you are an alcoholic, you really need to get on B1 with folic acid as soon as possible.

Condoms, 8 (eight): 2 Skyn Polyisoprene (non-latex), 2 good-ole-Trojan, 2 Skyn Polyisoprene “large,” 2 Kimono brand  All for clients on outcalls, alas

A shit-ton of heavy change that needs to go in the change jar and be taken to CoinStar.

My wallet, which is printed with  van Gogh’s Almond Blossom (c. 1890).  

ATM receipts, four (4)

Ticket to the Legion of Honor

Bandages to keep my still-healing burn wounds concealed

Kohl eyeliner, one (1), brown “espresso”