I started getting writing fuel when I had a bad week. No, wait, let me start at the beginning. A very dark beginning…
Writing Fuel – Stress
It was 2002. I was working two jobs, trying to pay my rent and further my graphic design career at the same time. One job was telemarketing, the other was a freelance position at a local media company. I was working 12 to 16 hours a day.
Telemarketing is a horrible job. I don’t recommend it. Very little annoys me more than when able-bodied people say to disabled persons, you could just do a telemarketing job. They might as well recommend committing murder and end up in prison for life. Some career.
What I find many don’t realize is that telemarketing is a scam. They don’t just scam strangers on the phone, they scam employees, they scam everyone, mostly because telemarketing company owners are all assholes.
I was scammed out of $500 worth of pay because the owner didn’t like that I was working a second job. He wanted full control of all employees. We should be starving and working harder at telemarketing just to pay rent. Truly, he was a sociopath. But all telemarketing company owners are pretty much the same.
My stress levels started to go through the roof. At the same time, weird little symptoms started to happen. Clinical fatigue. Foot drop. Brain fog. I had no idea what it was at the time, so I ignored the symptoms until they went away and kept going.
About two years later, in 2004, I was diagnosed with MS.
Back to the telemarketing experience. Once I realized what the company owner was doing to me, I was extremely upset. I yelled in the middle of the work area, in front of everyone, that’s it! I quit! And I stormed out. One of my former co-workers told me after I left I got a standing ovation.
More Writing Fuel – Depression
The next day, at the media company, it was announced one of the owners is leaving the company. I was only a freelancer, so my position wasn’t secured. “If there’s any work, we’ll call!” They never called. Within a week, half of the staff was gone, and I was forgotten.
I don’t blame the media company. It’s not their fault. It was just really bad timing for me. Plus, it was a very nice job where I could secure a fantastic well-paying position eventually, but that opportunity was lost. My desire to further my graphic design career started to fizzle out. I felt numb.
I tried to seek help from family and friends. No one would help. “You would feel better if you went out more.” Number 1 thing to never say to someone dealing with chronic illness. My own sister screamed at me for a half hour. I wasn’t being there for her. Excuse the fuck out me for having real problems. Needless to say, I don’t have a relationship with my sister. My entire family is the same. I won’t allow toxic abusive people in my life. I’ve long since learned to set limits.
Years later, with the help pf counselling, I got it. I’m stronger than them. Here I am, petite and living with multiple disabilities, and I’m stronger than them. And boy does that piss them off.
It always comes down to power. Who has it, and who wants to steal it.
I find it terribly ironic they’ve accused me of laziness. Redefining hypocrisy.
Writing Nightmare Fuel – The Rat
The previous week, I informed the building manager there’s a rat living in my apartment. They never did anything about the vermin until after the damage was done.
One night, I woke up to the feeling of sharp knives stabbing me. I sat up and say a big rat staring at me. He ran over, chomped my arm, then ran away. For a big fat rat, he moved fast. How do I know the rat was male? Trust me, with rats it’s really obvious.
I didn’t go back to sleep. I got dressed, waited ’til dawn, and went to my building mangers’ apartment. They opened the door, I held up my wounded and bleeding arm, and yelled, ‘There’s a rat living in my apartment! Do you believe me now?!”
Then I went to the hospital, got a rabies shot, and the wounds cleaned. I was okay. I survived.
The managers acted fast after that. An exterminator showed up the next day. The following day, after job hunting all day, I returned home to find a big dead rat lying on a rat trap, mouth frozen open, yellow teeth out. One of the managers took care of the dead beast right away. He took a standard 18 inch metal snow shovel and scooped up the rat. The creature was so big the body filled the shovel blade as the tail hung over the side.
18 inches long, without the tail. City rats are evil fuckers.
Writing Fuel | The Muse
I’ve been writing scraps of poetry and prose most of my life, but I never took writing seriously. I’m an artist first. I figured writing seriously is for other people. People who can do things like… math.
After that week from hell, for the first time in my life, my muse showed up. Exhausted, depressed, and wounded, both physically and mentally, I sat down in front of my computer and started writing. I haven’t been able to stop since.
Maybe my muse is the ghost of a dead rat. You never know.