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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Reality crash

It was bound to happen, I guess. What goes up must come down.

I was on quite the high for a while, and understandably so. I had an exciting adventure to look forward to and prepare for, so the anticipation was great fun. Then the experience itself, and you all know how fabulous that was. And finally, all the after-fun of writing and sharing about it, the photos, the feedback, the warm fuzzies.

I don't get out much, folks. I actually lead a very quiet life. So, episodes like this go a long way for me. But when they end, like a little kid after Christmas, I crash. People have referred to "post-party drop" and "sub-drop"; perhaps this is "shoot-drop." (Even writing that makes me shake my head, because it sounds so silly.)

Nothing tragic happened. I'm not in Egypt, nor am I trapped beneath piles of ice and snow. No one died. It's just... life. It went back to normal and it felt sucky.

My financial advisor called me and admonished me that I am spending down my retirement money. Tell me something I don't know! He said I needed to stop taking annual distributions. And live on what? Does he have any clue as to how crappy the freelance market is right now? I am in competition with literally hundreds of other hungry proofreaders, and many of them have additional skills that give them an edge. My job has changed a great deal since I entered the field in 1981. It used to be that you could just be a proofreader, sit at a desk and read copy all day and be damn good at it. Nowadays, the profession is considered devalued because of Spell Check and proofreaders are hired to read plus do a lot of other job functions, and need to be savvy in several computer programs. Go back to school to learn some new things and advance my career? Again, with what money?

So yeah, I'm living on my nest egg for the most part. Me and a gazillion other people, those who even have savings. My health insurance alone is $870 a month. I know I should be thinking of the future, but I need to live now.

Of course, thinking about the future and aging makes me think about my mother, and you all know how @#$%ing depressing that is. I haven't seen her in months, not since this whole thing with John began. I simply don't have the energy to deal with it; it's all been spent worrying about John. Who, incidentally, is back to working long hours again and is tired all the time. And when he's home, sleep is a fleeting commodity, because he has a new neighbor in the house right behind his, and guess what? They have a barking dog, which is left outside a lot of the time. It's so close, it sounds like it's almost in the house with us. I swear, that man cannot catch a break with neighbors.

Then last evening, someone posted an anonymous and horrid comment on an older blog post, where I talked about my upcoming shoot. This person said I had no class, that my "giddy bragging" about all the nice things Paul was doing was "mercenary and money-grubbing in the disguise of gratitude" and that it was disrespectful to Paul, and he/she hoped I enjoyed every moment because it would never happen again.

I'm sure you can imagine the effect that had on me. I was so upset, I copied and forwarded it to Paul himself, asking if I had indeed come off this way and if so, I certainly hadn't intended it. He was so kind... not only did he write me back immediately with reassurance, but he came on and posted a polite but firm rebuttal to the comment. His compliments to me made me cry.

What is wrong with some people? Do they really not know the power of their words? And why do I allow the erstwhile negative comment to disturb me so much, when I get so many positive ones? I suppose that is human nature, but damn, it's tiresome.

I've been watching Six Feet Under on Netflix for the past few months, since I don't get HBO and didn't see it when it aired. What an incredibly brilliant show... but it could be very sad. Last night I watched the finale. Probably not a good idea to watch a show about death when you're depressed. I was bawling practically through the whole thing. OK, enough of that. Time for some comedy.

Sorry to be so relentlessly bleccchhh. I will get over this; I always do. My sense of humor will return. And to end on an up note, I'm posting yet one more picture of the dogs. :-)  Impossible to feel sad, looking at this.


  1. Erica, Please, Please, don't let people bully you on the internet. Sometimes when you are depressed see a doctor, ask Bonnie of My Bottom Smarts, or Hermoine of Hermoine's Heart, for advice, or some of your friends in the 'spanking movie business, or your co-workers, at the company you work for. I hope these are helpful hints Erica.

  2. Six -- I have no coworkers; I work freelance from home. But please don't worry. I am no stranger to depression, and I know it passes. Friends help. :-)

  3. Dear Erica - You are an intelligent and accomplished woman. That is a fact that cannot be altered by a rude comment posted by rude commenter.

  4. Here's the thing: words can only hurt if you let them. I know, I know--easier said than done. But you give power the author when you post about it and how it hurt you. They revel in your post because it proves they got to you. You should just shrug it off--at least publicly--and not give them fuel to prove they got to you!

    My two pence...

  5. Burl -- thank you.

    Craig -- you're absolutely right, and I thought about not mentioning the comment. But I was in need of reassurance... these things throw me a great deal and I start to question myself and how I come across. Sometimes I need a reality check, you know?

  6. Hello my Erica i am VERY sorry that JERK upset you that person is an IDIOT and LOSER and has NO CLASS. not you they are just jealous and wish they could be like you your the GREATEST, i wish i could get my hands on whoever got you upset, i am just in the mood to punch someone and he or she would be it at my pleasure hehehe, i have something to cheer you up i think you know what it is but if you don't you will be surprised :-) i LOVE the pic of you and the 2 doggies its so CUTE and ADORABLE, i wish they were both my doggies. i got your back your the BEST. I Love you big hugs from your naughty girl Jade xoxo

  7. I hope you start feeling better about things. :) What the commenter said was ignorant, cruel, and downright untrue. I don't know why they would get their jollies from making up lies about you that way....But that is all it is. Some people have their own issues or have been very hurt in this world, and just lash out at others I guess. And then some people are just insane. Pure and simple. :p
    I know what you mean about needing reassuring. I always do too. And I've seen an episode or two of Six Feet Under. Good stuff. :)

  8. Erica,

    One thing I have learned is that people who are critical of others are usually jealous or envious of the person they are bad-mouthing and probably just like what they were trying to say you were like. It is sometimes hard to take that kind of attack. I know. I had a lot of crap said to me when I was in school so I know something about how you feel.

    You are a worthwhile person and are talented and gifted. Do your best to run with that. No, you are NOT a grinch! :-)

  9. Erica I'm here because of your beauty, intelligence, sense of humor, and the courage I see in you to be who you are.

    No one will change my opinion that You Rock!!!


  10. Jade -- no punching! :-) That just gets you arrested for assault, and then the idiots have the last laugh on you.

    Bonnie-jo -- I hated to see SFU come to an end, but good lord, that final season was sad. I'm ready for some Marx Brothers!

    Yeah... I tend to encapsulate it thus: Some People Suck.

    Bobbie Jo -- I am TOO! :-)

    Jon -- you say such sweet things.

  11. YOU NEED A LAUGH....

    5 Tips on how to handle rude comments to your blog

    then watch the video clip.. rofl.. made me laugh!

    YOU ROCK.. SO just .. OWN IT! :-)

    I bet that ignoramus didn't have their blog CHROSSED umpteen times... :-)

  12. Zelle -- LOL! You're priceless -- the things you find! Thank you. :-)

  13. what would we do without lochenkopfts and zwolics???theu are making their own hell.

    i may well be able to put you in the way of some work. no detals here. email or call me[easiest for me].

  14. "why do I allow the erstwhile negative comment to disturb me so much"

    If I knew the answer to that I would tell you and a few million other people and make tons of money and send you a check every month to cover your health insurance.

    The only answer I can give is for you to be more dog like. Live in the present. If someone is scratching your ear - stay put. If not, move along to another suspect and waggle your tail.

  15. The person is no doubt extremely jealous. I know it's easy to say but take no notice Erica. Words are just words and only hurt if you let them.

    Love and hugs,

  16. Erica, I'm quite sure I would have reacted in a similar way! Words can be very hurtful indeed. But I hope that all the comments here reassure you that there are many people out there who like what you do and who like you as a person. I cross my fingers for you to recover soon from your depression!

  17. $870 a month for a health plan? And people think organized crime is bad? Sigh....
    I feel for you when the weight of the world gets you down. Just when you think it can't get any worse some jack ass has to say mean and spiteful things just to bask in the pain they cause you.
    Yeah; been there, felt that!
    But then if there was no down times would the good moments be as sweet?
    You spent a few days with people who wanted you enough to have you come across a country just to stay with them. Now thats pretty sweet if you ask me.

    Financial problems? Still have a roof over your head and food on the table? Yup!
    Been there almost every other week, with a pile of bills and just so much money.
    I thought I had it bad untill one of our crews dscovered a car with a woman and two kids living in it on one of our storge lots. -17 degrees with the wind chill and they were huddled in the back seat trying to keep warm. I guess my life isn't so very bad after all.
    Best part of THAT day was the crews pitched in, bought her three days in a local motel and gave them a couple bags of food, some one else hauled the car into their garage and got it running for her.

    The point being is there is good and bad people out there. You're one of the good ones and some how, some way, you will survive. The people who come to your Blog do not come to see you fall, they come because they know you will survive the bumps along the way and some how make us smile when you do what we always knew you would do; succeed!

    Erica you are well thought of, well loved, and for a fortunate few, a good friend.

    I think this the part where I start to sing the theme from Annie.... now where's my jute harp?

  18. ddon -- hmmmm... I don't know if I'd be doing without them or not; I don't know what they are! :-)

    OBB -- I like that. Although I admit to being more feline than canine; I go to people when I damn well feel like it. ;-)

    Kaelah -- thank you so much. Depression comes and goes with me these days, unlike the years when it came and stayed, and stayed, and stayed. I know the way out now.

    Poppa -- you're very kind, and wise too. It is indeed all about perspective.

    I share these down times not because I want people to feel bad for me, but because I want them to know I'm human, and not just a spanky cardboard cut-out. "Hey, sometimes her life sucks, too, just like mine."

  19. Ronnie -- oops! Missed you there in the backlog. I agree, words have only as much power as one gives them. If I could learn how to disarm them in my brain, I'd have one of the secrets to the universe, I think.

  20. "I share these down times not because I want people to feel bad for me, but because I want them to know I'm human, and not just a spanky cardboard cut-out. "Hey, sometimes her life sucks, too, just like mine."

    And that is why we come here, and why we love you!

  21. That's an effing DISGRACE to have to pay that much for health care for Christ's sake! They better have silk toilet paper at your PCP's office and free food and drink.

    I'm pissed that my Dirt cheap plan of $36 per month is out of funds end of this month and my options are increasing to $83 up to $162 depending on the selection.

    I can't say I'm any different than you regarding malicious or mean comments coming at me. Although my inclination is usually to get Enraged and want to take on the offender by whatever necessary means.

    If you endured any verbal or psychological abuse during your lifetime that may be why the negative comments sometimes overshadow the much more likely positive ones.

    As for your career path. I wish you well there. That's evidently something you really enjoy doing and I don't blame you for not wanting to return to school to brush up or change your career. No guarantees jobs will be had there anyhow. What about branching into spanking story writing whether for print or for website owners. Chelsea is a fantastic plot writer for her videos. I bet you would have a field day doing that if not for her, another producer.

    And I already know the answer...but...any chance at ALL of you changing your mind to top somebody in videos?

  22. Kelly -- unfortunately, I did endure verbal/psychological abuse, but it was long ago. And MY GOD...I haven't paid insurance premiums like yours since I was in my early 20s!

    As for your question, you're right, you already know the answer. :-)

  23. Erica,

    I think we here in good ol' CA have it pretty hard when it comes to health insurance premiums. Mine has me on tier 4 and they just raised me to, now don't gasp, $1052/mo! I am older and I had some health issues and I think that is why mine costs so much. I didn't post this to "one up" on you, but to let you know you are not alone and to let others know about the crappy health insurance CA has.

    I can relate to psychological abuse, too. And the ruminating on what some dork said 40 or 50 years ago. I guess for some of us it is harder to let go of it. I know it is for me and I understand how it hurts when another person, with nothing better to do, blasts you. It usually comes from someone who has low self esteem themselves, don't want to admit it, and build themselves up by putting others down. It really is sad. They don't get it. I know someone who just drives anybody away when they try to help her and she is blind to why people leave and then whines about it. Some people just don't get it and some can't get it. I feel for them and at the same time I get miffed at them, to put it mildly.

    Anyway, I agree with so much of what has been said here. I come because I love your blog, I like your style, and I think you are a neat person. (Even if you "insist" you are a grinch. :-P I couldn't resist. I concede. LOL)

    Depression? Yeah. It's a bummer. Sometimes when I get down to a certain level, I get mad and go do something.

    Anyway, you are loved and deeply cared for.

    Hang in there as I know, from learning about you, that you will. Only 4 more days and NG will be there!

  24. I understand just how it feels to have someone bash you like that. You expose your heart here and that is what makes this such a rewarding blog to read but that is also what makes it hard when people are horrid. I wish I knew why people felt the need to be so mean and nasty. I have theories but that is all they are and it does not really help to have theories.
    People adore you. I know I do. I know that I do not know you, not really, but the woman that I know from here (and from what Dev tells me) is a woman that I look up to in so many ways. I think you are beautiful but modest, intelligent but inclusive and kind. I love the way you write about this thing we do. You have made me more confident about expressing elements of my own desires.
    Just like you would have been, I have been thrown by these sorts of comments. I think people like us will be, it is who we are. And we have to do what you have done and say to people, "I am hurt" and let them tell us why we are ok and why we should feel good.
    I wish I could send you my dogs to snuggle, a dog snuggle does make life much better. I have asked my dogs and they have offered to come and be with you and bite anyone that says mean things as long as you let them flank you and wrap an arm around each one. (They also like their ears scratched.)

  25. Poppy -- you are so lovely. Thank you. :-)

    And yes, I would definitely love to borrow your doggies. I promise I'd return them.

  26. Yikes! That much for health insurance? Move to Canada. It's almost free (we now pay a tiny monthly fee - a recent change from zero) and although wait times are horrendous - you could die waiting for surgery or cancer treatment - the drugs cost far less than in the US.

    I was also surprised at that negative comment. You know what Bonnie would say: "Delete it and ignore it."


  27. Erica

    I was in my own dark place this past week, and I do know how you feel. I can relate to the frustration, how powerless one can become, while the outside world just seemingly keeps on piling on.

    But I have also read enough of your blog, to know that you are a fighter, a person that refuses to stay down ( know what I mean), and will bounce back.

    And for the negative comment - it remains absolutely amazing how so many people can be so blinded to their own nastiness and petty remarks.

    Lots of hugs to you


  28. Hermione -- I've heard about the waits. Would you say the low prices are worth them? I don't want to think about what would have happened to John had he had his heart illness in Canada... (shudder) But if you're healthy... wow.

    Raven -- you're a sweetie; thank you. I hope your darkness has lightened as well. Hugs back.

  29. I'm sorry you had such a rough down time. I was going to suggest you watch Curb Your Enthusiasm next. It's half-hour and it is Larry David doing a comedy about being a screen writer (I think). I hear it's excellent and when I've seen it I enjoy it. Give it a try and let me know what you think. I know Six Feet Under was great, but long and a bit depressing. It's time for some lighter stuff. Just a suggestion of course. Love you!

  30. Juju -- I loved loved LOVED Six Feet Under, which you suggested to me, and you've never steered me wrong. That last season WAS very sad, though. But I wouldn't have missed it for anything... incredible television. :-) Right now, I'm just about to start Big Love Season 4 (also one of your suggestions, originally!) I'll check out Curb Your Enthusiasm when I'm done with that.