Sunday, December 11, 2011

Screw mermaids. I want to see sting rays!

 Last Monday I went to the Aquarium of the Pacific with my work team for our holiday party and I fell in love with stingrays. There was a stingray petting area, and some of them would come up to the edge and stick their heads out of the water so you could pet them, almost like dogs. It was amazing! I never thought of underwater creatures as having personalities, but the fact that some of them seems so interested in us, and others didn't seem to care made them seem like an animal you could have an interaction with. That is one of the traits I always thought made rats so special- they all have such distinct personalities. I've had rats that wanted all my attention, rats that were too cool for all that, rats that were independent and adventurous, rats that just want to chill out, nervous rats, brave rats, insecure rats, and confident rats. They have all been different. The aquarium even had a shark petting area. Same thing- some of the sharks ignored us and some kept circling back near the edge and coming up close to the surface. The "petting" sharks were only about two feet long, compared to the much larger sharks they had in other areas of the aquarium. In case you are wondering, the sharks had rough skin, and the stingrays were kind of slimy.

We also fed a baby sea otter named Ollie, watched seals perform, saw tanks of fish so colorful they didn't seem real, watched scuba divers feed fish and rays, and saw lots of other animals like seahorses and jellyfish. The whole experience made me feel like a kid again. I was running around talking to the animals and almost falling into the petting tanks because I wanted to get as close as possible to them. It reminded me of why animals have meant so much to me since I was old enough to crawl after our family dog, why living with my rat friends is so important to me, and why I keep trying to be vegan, recycle, and "be green". Loving animals is something I've valued my whole life, something I consider part of who I am.

Speaking of the rats, my rat family has grown again. I got "the Littles", three brothers, almost two years ago from a woman who rescues pet rats, "the Biggles", two brothers, earlier this year from a friend who had rescued them from a firehouse and being feed to a snake, and a couple weeks ago I took two sisters from a friend who didn't think her daughters were paying enough attention to them. I have gone from get rats from a rescue person to being a rescuer myself. They are all sweet and wonderful and a lot of work since I now have three cages to clean (taking 45 to 60 minutes a piece). They are worth it though. Being at home without their company would be sad. As a side note, my friends who know I'm a rat lady are sharing this article with me about how rats are compassionate enough to choose freeing a friend over eating chocolate. In case you need some convincing that rats really are sweet.

I'm still struggling with sleep, even with my little friends comforting me. This week I've slept on the couch every night because when I think about going to my bed I get terrified. I take sleeping pills, but just the time until I fall asleep has been hard to tolerate. Recently my boyfriend was at my apartment over the weekend, and I started talking to him about how scared I was to go to bed. Soon I was talking in an even younger voice than I normally do, saying, "I was so small and scared my dad was coming in my room." I started crying and even hyperventilating. It was kind of like a flashback, like I was reaching into where that fear lives in my brain and embodying it. I was totally feeling all the fear that creeps into me when I think about going to bed. During the week I try to acknowledge those feelings but not let them overwhelm me so I won't be able to get to sleep at all. Even with sleeping pills, if I let all of it come out I lose touch with the present and it takes a long time to come back and calm down enough to sleep. This was the weekend and I didn't have to wake up at any certain time so I could just let it all come out. Also my boyfriend was there which made me feel protected enough to leave the present and just go with it. Most nights I try to keep a balance between letting some of these feelings run through my conscious brain and drowning in them. It is like letting the water out of giant tank. I've been shoving the fear into it for so long that trying to let it all out at once would be too overwhelming and could take over my life, so I'm trying to let it out slowly, a little bit each night. Eventually I will get through it. Eventually my little self will not be separated from my big self by this gulf of trauma, and I will be whole.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Ugh. Another holiday season.

Downtown Los Angeles on Thanksgiving evening, 2011
I survived another Thanksgiving. It wasn't that bad, except I listed my brother's Super Nintendo on eBay and that was kind of depressing. I am trying to de-clutter my apartment and I have boxes and boxes of stuff I'm trying to get some money out of. I also like selling things, as opposed to donating them, because I figure someone willing to pay money for them will really use them and enjoy them. I realize some people are compulsive shoppers and that might not be true, but it kind of bugs me to think that stuff that is so hard for me to let go of might go to Goodwill and just be thrown away. Not that I'm against donations. I've probably given Goodwill about 50 pairs of shoes since I've moved here.

So besides the tightening I feel in my chest when I look at the posting of Jeff's much loved 90's video game systems (which I look at a lot, I can't seem to stop checking it) I didn't feel that much angst about Thanksgiving, or as I think of it, the anniversary of the day I was sexually abused at my great-uncles house for about 8 years. One of the things that has struck me about the Penn State rape/child abuse scandal (beside how utterly f-ed up it is) is that many of the articles I've read allude to the way Mr. Better Be Going to Hell or at least Prison for A Very Long Time groomed his victims. I think society generally overlooks this part of child abuse. We like to think of pedophiles as slobbering, filthy lunatics, you know, easy to spot. Obviously this would limit a pedophile's effectiveness considerably. Pedophiles have to be likable, the kind of person you would trust with your children. At the very least, they have to not seem like a pedophile. Otherwise, they wouldn't get access to children, and children wouldn't trust them enough to be alone with them, and look up to them enough to go along with things that feel wrong. Children are not stupid, but the pedophiles that get away with what they do know how to control children, and adults. Sometimes it seems like the adults are even easier to control that the children. Or worse. What can you say about adults who accept and cover up for a child rapist?

Bodies. They can seem like a curse. The sins of the flesh, yadda yadda, but more than that, bodies can seem like the cause of all our suffering, the vehicle through which we feel pain that leads to fear. Our body is where we carry all the trauma we've ever lived though. We can be reduced to just bodies, and treated like just bodies. And when we die, that's all we are, at least that's all we appear to be. That's one of the reasons I like zombies. Death is really horrific. The most horror I've ever felt was seeing my brother's body in a casket, with all the life gone. He looked grotesque. His face was swollen and misshapen. His skin looked rubbery and cold. I don't think I could have felt more disturbed even if he had risen up from the coffin and started lumbering towards me. Someday, we will all be bloated, misshapen bodies someone will look at with disgust. There's something about zombie movies and TV shows that capture how terrifying death is unlike the stylized drama of crime shows, or the romantic denial of vampires. Zombies are flesh, and we are flesh. We live in a world of flesh and decay. I just watched the mid-season finale of "The Walking Dead", so I'm in an especially morbid mood. Great show, completely horrifying.

Los Angeles is a very physical place. There's no end to the things you can do to yourself. There must be thousands of different types of facials you can get here, everything from a gentle cleansing with steam and all-organic products to botox injections and chemical peels. It kind of amazes me that anyone goes for that- we're going to peel your face like an orange! We're going to burn off layers of your skin with chemicals! Fun! It is a great place to experiment with everything you can stand to put yourself through. Since I've moved here, I've tried naked female-only spa-ing, reflexology, all manner of massages, EMDR, self-hypnosis, guided imagery, physical therapy for the shoulder and arm my dad swung me around by, light therapy, psychic healing and readings... I could go on. A couple weeks ago I used a Groupon (one of the ways I've found a variety of interesting local services) for a lymphatic massage, cupping, and a colonoscopy. To summarize the experience, the massage felt very good but gave me a headache, the cupping hurt and made my back look like, to quote my friend Gabby, "I was hugged by an octopus" and the colonoscopy made me throw up for 12 hours. However, I did feel a lot better afterwards. This has been an interesting year of trying diverse ways to loosen up. I say loosen up because it feels like all the trauma and emotional crap I went through when I was a kid and was too young and too in the thick of it was shoved down so hard inside me that processing and releasing it is not like opening a faucet and letting it all pour out. It is like breaking apart solid rock with a pick axe and then passing the chunks like gallstones. It's all painful, and letting it go feels about as good as peeing sharp rocks. Anything that can soften the pain inside me and make the process easier and more effective is helpful.

It also feels like trying different approaches is not such a bad way to go. I do think a lot of what I'm trying to let go of is stuck in my body, and I don't usually feel like I'm wasting my time trying different things. It's like doing cross training or mixing up your work-out when you're trying to break through plateaus when getting in shape. My weekly therapy is a constant, and there are things I'd like to try again and things I wish I could find time for more often, like writing, reading and yoga. All these different "therapies" get expensive though, and I'm about at the point I'd like to focus in on what gives me the biggest bang for my bucks. While I still have some bucks left to bang around. But to get in the spirit of the holidays, I am thankful for all the options I have for approaching my healing, and the support I have from my friends, boyfriend, therapist, and other well-wishers. Hope you all had a fun (or at least tolerable) Thanksgiving!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Apocalypse Running

Man am I sore. I go to a trainer in the morning, and he likes the "fail" technique. That is, he wants to work my muscles until they fail. My muscles don't usually fail though. Usually they are burning so bad I give up, which doesn't dissuade him. He just tells me to get back into it. For example, this morning he had me doing squat sits with my back against the wall, holding 10 of them, then 50 reps. Then I did lunges, again holding 10, 50 reps, then the same thing on the other leg. He's also big on form, so he has me adjust so that it's just as difficult to do as possible. Oh, and then I finish off with a couple hundred crunches. Ha, not really. Just one hundred. This morning I was shaking after the lunges, and the rest of the day my legs and butt hurt. Of course this is what I am paying for. If I wasn't exhausted I'd feel like I was wasting my money. He knows how to motivate me too. He says, "You're a hockey player, aren't you? Aren't you supposed to be tough?" Hockey players have got to be the easiest people to mess with. It doesn't take much to push our buttons.

I told my trainer I wanted to be stronger for hockey, which is true. The stronger my leg, butt, and stomach muscles are, the better and longer I can skate. I also want more upper body strength so it's harder to push me off the puck. Honestly though, my biggest physical goal right now is to lose weight. Me, and like, everyone. I'm completely aggravated by how much weight I've put on in the last couple years. I gained about 5 pounds when I moved to L.A., but that was 4 years ago. When I tore my MCL playing hockey almost 2 years ago, I put on another 10 pounds in the 4 months I couldn't play. Over the next year I put on another 10 pounds. Ugh. Losing wight is so hard. The extra weight feels like my clutter/hoarding problem and all the emotional processing I still have to do. I'm dragging around a bunch of extra stuff that I don't want or need, but letting it go is work. I'm good at hiding the extra weight kind of like how I'm good at seeming like I'm handling the trauma well. It makes life easier, but it can also mean you tolerate things that you know you shouldn't because you're skating by. Not that gaining 25 pounds is really a crisis, but I feel pretty overwhelmed by the swimming in clutter thing and my crazy emotional dream life. I guess dredging through my emotional baggage takes time though. Not to be rushed.

I would like to rush some of these weight loss though. It's frustrating. I feel like a lump. It takes effort just to keep from gaining more, let alone actually losing more than a couple pounds. I'm even considering running. Some people at my work started an L.A. Marathon club. I've been going to their meetings because they talk about fitness, nutrition, and losing weight, but every time someone asks me if I'm running the marathon I say, "NOOOOO." Running for fun is not my thing. I like team sports. That's my thing. I did realized something though. Being able to run long distances would be very helpful in the zombie apocalypse. Of course it depends on what you think zombies would be like. It's the most important debate in modern horror- are zombies fast or slow? Personally, I like the fast zombies. I figure anything that can reanimate flesh would make said flesh pretty bad ass. I do like the slow, relentless, mob style zombies too. That would be where endurance comes in. Really, running would be handy with either. I'm not being facetious. When I was a kid, we didn't even have the internet. We didn't have cell phones. We listened to music on cassette tapes. Screw ups happen every day. Our water is full of prescription drugs, milk is full of hormones, meat is full of diseases. Who knows what could happen? We're a lot closer to zombies than vampires or werewolves. Yeah, I said it. Zombies over vampires. Vampires are cool and all, but zombies are coming. Fiction vs non-fiction. Think about it.

Not that I'm actually planning to run the entire L.A. Marathon next March. I still think the idea of me running 26+ miles is, uh, unlikely. But I'll do some training, and maybe I'll develop a taste for it. Who knows, it might help me lose some weight and feel better. Maybe I can run away from some of my problems.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

All the Lamp Lighting You Can Handle

I hadn't had a yard sale in a while, although I guess that is a Pacific Northwest term- here it's a garage sale? It was more like a parking lot sale or a sidewalk sale. I made $200 off crap that was going to Goodwill anyway. I was only able to stomach a yard sale because I had some kind of emotional epiphany right before the anniversary of my brother's death. I was able to let him go. I realized I was holding myself back and holding him back, and while I knew he didn't want me to be paralyzed with grief, it was even more motivating to me that I could be holding him back from moving on to the afterworld.

What I experienced was acceptance, for the first time. Accepting his death made it possible for me to let him go, and then made it possible for me to let a lot more go. I am a borderline hoarder. I discovered recently that I can really relate to the people in those hoarding reality shows on TV. I put a lot of emotions into my stuff, so getting rid of it is not so easy. It involves uncomfortable feelings, feelings that are hard for me to tolerate. But letting go of my brother is helping me let go of all sorts of stuff I've been collecting- clothes, shoes, books, toys, do-dads, yacky wacks, flippity flaps, etc. It's surprisingly time consuming to get rid of stuff though. The yard sale was a good way to clear out a bunch of things, including my brother's snare drum, which I didn't think I'd ever be able to let go of. I am still listing things on eBay and taking regular trips to Goodwill. I have an ungodly amount of papers to go through. There's important papers, uh, important business papers, in there with 100 pounds of other random papers. I keep a lot, especially as a writer, I have tons of slips of paper with ideas for poems, blog posts, stories, etc. I used to really struggle with letting go of things that seemed to represent something about myself. It was like my identity was so shaky I needed physical items to remind me of who I was. Now I look at things and think, that's not me. I don't need it.

I've also been making changes to get away from things I used to include in my identity but don't think really belong there anymore. I dyed my hair red. Having black hair felt like part of who I was, and I had dark hair for a long time, but I still feel like myself with red hair. I also switched hockey teams. I had been on the Blue Lady Kings since I started playing hockey (7 seasons, or 3-1/2 years ago). This season I moved to the Red Lady Kings. And again, still myself! Ultimately I want to clear out everything unnecessary so I can focus on what is important to me.

Also, with the acceptance I started working on the back tattoo piece I have been planning to do for my brother for the last fourteen years. I don't think I could start it until I had reconciled myself to the fact that he was dead. Now there's no turning back- Jeff's death date is tattooed on the back of my neck now. We are still working on the outlining, but it's about half done. The design my tattoo artist came up with is amazing. It is of Lisa and Maggie Simpson (my brother's and my favorite characters from the Simpsons), but the composition really tells a story about losing him. The border is a poem by Lucille Clifton called "Speaking of Loss". I knew that back tattooing was painful, but parts of it have been almost unbearable. It has been the worst physical pain I've ever experienced. My brother's suicide was the worst emotional pain I've ever experienced, so that seems appropriate.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Nameless Hockey Grief

Well. What can I say? Obviously, I'm crushed that my Canucks lost the Stanley Cup in game 7. I've got nothing against the Bruins. I like Timmy Thomas, Milan Lucic, and Zdeno Chara. The last time the Bruins won the Stanley Cup was the year I was born. But after waiting 17 years for the Canucks to make the final again, all the bandwagon Canuck haters, the Keith Ballard defensive musical chairs, the brilliant team play, the not so brilliant play, Ryan Kesler's consistent amazingness, the hope, the expectation, the blue and green in my veins, it's a bitter pill to swallow that we made it that far only to lose in game 7. It wasn't even a good game. The Canucks looked tired and nervous the whole game. There were a lot of injuries. It was a long run.

Then there was the riots in Vancouver. The thing that annoys me the most about these, though, is the Vancouver police's claim that it was caused by a small group of anarchists. Really. Anarchists decided it would further their political aims to riot after a sports game? In my days as a punk rocker, I knew some anarchists, and the subject of sports never came up. I never heard any anarchist or punk express any interest in sports whatsoever. For one thing, none of us had televisions, or money to go to games. For another, I mean, jocks and anarchists? No. Not a lot of crossover there. Anarchists protesting a WTO meeting- okay, that works. Anarchists protesting the Canucks losing the Stanley Cup- give me a break. Anarchists dressed like frat boys in Canucks jerseys? Yeah, because that makes a lot more sense then hockey fans getting violent.

I'm a little touchy about this because I'm so sick of people using socialist as an insult. Anarchy and socialism are very different political philosophies,of course, but I find it really damaging when politicians are only expressing very narrow political views, and if you say something that doesn't conform to the ideas of the time, or are just outside the political norm, you're radical, unpatriotic, liberal, socialist, whatever. Anarchists, well they're just one of those groups we can blame the ills of society on. As someone who feels out of the mainstream, I find this name calling very offensive. It should not be a bad thing that people have different perspectives and different political beliefs. We live in a free society, and being free to see society differently is part of that. Rioting after a hockey game- not an expression of political beliefs. It's just drunk boneheads taking advantage of an opportunity to be destructive. Don't blame anarchists. I doubt many of those people could explain what anarchy as a political philosophy is. But maybe I'm wrong. So if you're a Canuck anarchist rioter, I would love to hear what you were hoping to accomplish last night. Let me know.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Soul Bunny

I decided I really like personalizing my copy of "The Courage to Heal Workbook", so besides doing the exercises in there of course, rewriting passages to suit me, doodling in the margins; the cover needed stickers. I love this book, and not just because my name is on the cover and it says "kick ass" on the back (and spine). The exercises are really interesting. I showed the book to my therapist, and she was so happy with it she wants to get a copy so she can support me. I read her the passage I quoted in my original post about the book, and she was so excited. She said she wanted therapy to follow the same principle.

Today I did some self-exploration at work. The Women in Business group at my company does Lunch and Learns, and today's was on Centered Leadership. The speaker encouraged us to work and play in ways that use our strengths, because that will give us enthusiasm and energy in our life. How do you identify your strengths? A quick exercise we did was to just think of what we thought our three top strengths are. Not skills, strengths. It helps to think of what you were like as a kid. Another way is to take the "VIA Signature Strengths Questionnaire" at (You have to create a free account to take the questionnaire.)

I was very interested to get my results. Here's my top five:

1. Love of learning
2. Bravery and valor
3. Curiosity and interest in the world
4. Creativity, ingenuity, and originality
5. Citizenship, teamwork, and loyalty

I like those results. Now I'm curious about the strengths of all my co-workers and friends.

Consequentially, I'm going to a CalCPA Women's Leadership Forum tomorrow. There is a session on "Rising as a Leader in Your Organization" that I'm looking forward to. The whole thing sounds fascinating. I'm looking forward to meeting other female CPA's as well. Guess I should get to bed so I'll be well-rested tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Chasing butterflies

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow. ~Mary Anne Radmacher

I started working on "The Courage to Heal Workbook" by Laura Davis (coauthor of "The Courage to Heal", the bible for adults who were sexually abused as children) last night. I am liking it so far. It is made to write in- it starts with a page to do your own table of contents with your favorite sections, and a dedications page where you and your friends can write encouraging notes. It's kind of exciting to be writing all over this book. I took the first quiz (why are you reading this book) and crossed out parts of four of the options and rewrote them. How many self-help books have a passage like this:

"As you move through the workbook, there may be moments when you feel inadequate, confused, or unable to proceed. There may be ideas that are new to you or that aren't explained adequately. That means there's a flaw in the design of the book, not in you. At other times you may find that your particular set of circumstances or feelings aren't being named or acknowledged. That's not because you don't belong; it's because of an oversight on my part." (page 9)

I'm already so attached to the book that I found a bag for it, with a pocket for my pens, pencils and highlighter, so I can carry it around with me. It's not that this book doesn't terrify me. I get a rush of anxiety when I pick it up, as I do when I look at my copy of "The Courage to Heal." I'm afraid it will be like "The Courage to Heal", which I keep trying to read and can't get farther than 22 pages. The workbook has sections to help you remember repressed memories, and I'm afraid of what I might remember. But I want to remember. I hate that part of my memory was taken from me. That is part of my life, a part that affects me but that I can't understand. I'm in a strange position because there is the sexual abuse that I have no problem remembering (my great-uncle) but I have repressed memories of what my dad did to me before age 7, that my mom threatened to leave him because. So when I read the book, a lot of different parts relate to me, except the parts for people who aren't convinced the sexual abuse is affecting them as an adult.

I don't know why it's been so hard for me to stick with "The Courage to Heal", but it is hard to go from reading, to doing writing exercises, back to reading. I seem to drift away in the transitions. I like that the workbook is mostly interactive. There is reading, but more exercises. I like writing. I'm already learning about myself. I did the exercise on safety, and learned that I feel the safest when I'm wearing black clothes and have my hair covered. I don't really know why, but it makes me feel more solid and contained. So now I know some ways to feel safer.

I'm afraid tonight

I'm afraid to go to bed.
I'm afraid of what I might dream about.
I'm afraid of remembering things I can't handle.
I'm afraid that healing will take so much of me that I won't be able to manage my regular life.
I'm afraid of regressing.
I'm afraid of getting worse rather than better.
I'm afraid of losing my mind.
I'm afraid of suicide.
I'm afraid of dying before I'm ready.
I'm afraid someone will come in my apartment and kill me.
I'm afraid that I am too stupid to get through this.
I'm afraid I will be alone.
I'm afraid no one understands me.
I'm afraid I will get stuck in my childhood trauma.
I'm afraid I will get to the end of my recovery and still feel unhappy.
I'm afraid I will always feel incomplete without my brother.
I'm afraid that if I remember everything that happened to me, I will feel such hopelessness and despair that I will want to die.
I'm afraid I can never be healed.
I'm afraid I will still feel as lost and alone at 71 as I did at 17.
I'm afraid that people might be more bad than good.
I'm afraid that I am hopelessly damaged and will always be broken.
I'm afraid I can't bond with people.
I'm afraid that my wounds run too deep to heal.
I'm afraid I'm too stupid to figure this out, since I was too stupid to handle the abuse better.
I'm afraid I'll always feel like a freak and an outcast.
I'm afraid I don't know how to be happy or live without chaos.
I'm afraid I'll spend the rest of my life with an empty aching inside me when I think of my brother.
I'm afraid that what got my brother will get me.
I'm afraid I'll struggle with depression my whole life.
I'm afraid that my life is limited, and I'll never live up to my potential or feel like I've reached my dreams because the abuse set me back so far I'll never catch up.
I'm afraid my dad will find me and finish beating me to death.
I'm afraid my ex-boyfriend will find me and kidnap me.
I'm afraid that child abuse and sexual abuse will never go away.
I'm afraid that the US foster care system will only get worse.
I'm afraid my dad might kill someone.
I'm afraid my great-uncle is still sexually abusing children.
I'm afraid my dad raped me when I was a baby.
I'm afraid of remembering what my dad did.
I'm afraid if I remember what my dad did to me before I was six, I won't want to live.

Monday, June 06, 2011

The Silence

What is the silence? Dull, exhausting, heavy- I feel it in my throat as if it's a weight on my neck. You think about talking or writing about it, and the words don't come. When you are around other people, it is like a veil that blocks you from connecting. Your feelings seem buried and far away, and your reactions are lifeless and slow. Everything seems far away, who you are seems far away.

The silence descended on me last December. When I try to write, I feel numb. I feel numb a lot. I stare at the phone when it rings usually. There are no words. I know it's the PTSD, but I don't know what to do about it. Creative, innovative, progressive thought is especially hard right now. Therapy is a struggle. It's so hard to talk about it, I alternately want to strangle my therapist and myself. (I don't really want to strangle her, but sometimes I can hardly stand the sound of her voice.) I understand why some people just don't talk about what happened, for decades or even their whole life. Besides the fear of rejection and/or judgement, every cell of my body screams "shut up! shut up! shut up!"

My dreams, though, just get more and more vivid. It's not just the images, story lines, people, or "traumatic remembering" as my therapist calls it. It's really the feelings. I feel those dreams. They are raw as hell. I feel like my skin's been slowly peeled off through out the night when I wake up in the morning. I go to work an emotionally mutilated mess. It's hard for me to believe that everyone I see at work can't see how twisted up I am. It's also hard to believe that my friends can't see how wrecked I am. But then I can't talk about it. When I'm awake, I push the feelings down so far I'm only really aware that things are very wrong. I've had a lingering migraine off and on for the last month at least. I just keep wondering if this is going to get any better, like, ever. I know it sounds silly to wonder if it will get better, but the silence is inertia. It's like trying to swim to shore in a sea of quicksand. It seems totally plausible that you really are stuck in this misery forever. All your progress seems to fade away when the solid ground under your feet disappears.

On a completely different note, my hockey team, the Vancouver Canucks, are in the Stanley Cup final. This is only their third time in the final, and they've never won. The last time they were in the final, the 1993-94 season, was my second year of hockey fandom. Trevor Linden was my hero, and after that final, the New York Rangers, and Mark Messier were the enemy. When my brother died, I stopped following hockey. It seemed trivial, and it also felt selfish for me to enjoy something like hockey when my brother couldn't enjoy anything anymore. It was also a painful reminder of my life before everything was destroyed. So it's been 17 years, and the Canucks are back in the final, and I'm back into hockey. Kind of strangely for me, the Canucks are seen by some as dirty, classless fakers. Eh. They seemed like the classiest team around when I first became a fan. And I used to be afraid for people to not like me, afraid they'd come after me as a result. Now I've mostly accepted that plenty of people don't like me, for ridiculous, grey, and perfectly reasonable reasons. I guess that's life. and hockey.

Seriously, Palin is rewriting history now? Ugh.