Friendship Archive

You Know Max is Healing When

Posted August 12, 2021 By kmarrs

maximum_marrs — Today at 6:29 PM
Hey
[6:30 PM]
Know how I used to just break out in song, most of them on the fly parodies like I was the protagonist in a musical?

Robin — Today at 6:30 PM
yeah

maximum_marrs — Today at 6:30 PM
Know how I just randomly stopped?

Robin — Today at 6:30 PM
yeah

maximum_marrs — Today at 6:31 PM
Turns out stopping was a life and brain trauma response.
[6:31 PM]
I’m healing.
[6:31 PM]
Know how I can tell?

Robin — Today at 6:31 PM
random jingles?

maximum_marrs — Today at 6:31 PM
Give me the red meat and free my soul, I wanna get lost in the taco and steak for days!
[6:32 PM]

Max — Yesterday at 4:17 AM
She has 3 humans and 2 other cats home and awake at 9am. Why is she bullying me?!?
[4:17 AM]
Though on Wednesday the kids go back to school. Ash is going to be so pissed.

Zeus’ bastard son #478 — Yesterday at 4:31 AM
Congrats, you’ve been chosen. As a victim but still

Max — Yesterday at 4:37 AM
She loves me yeah yeah yeah
She loves me yeah yeah yeah
She loves me yeah yeah yeah yeah
[4:38 AM]
She says she loves me
And I know that can’t be bad
Yes, she loves me
And I know I should be glad

Robin — Today at 6:33 PM
lol

maximum_marrs — Today at 6:34 PM
I’m taking the time to type them out to people who can’t hear me sing them.

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Loss and Honey

Posted July 22, 2021 By kmarrs

Lost my most recent patient, Miss Pattie, to liver cancer this week. I wasn’t there when it happened, but I was with her quite a bit leading up to her final moments.

I really enjoyed the time spent with her while she was still functional. I only had about a week or two of that time with her, but I’ll treasure it.

I firmly believe that everyone we meet leaves an impact on our lives, even if our time with them is brief. Miss Pat introduced me to honey.

I mean, I’ve always been a huge fan of honey. I spend way too much money at the local farmer’s market buying quality honey. I have spicy honey. I have a lot of honey. But I’ve never quite known what to use it for other than adding it to tea. Yes, even my spicy honey.

(Spicy honey in tea when you have a cold is the best. The spice clears your sinuses and the honey soothes your throat. And tea is also good for a cold too, of course. But I’m serious, get yourself some spicy honey for your next cold.)

In her final days, Pat didn’t eat much. But what she would almost always agree to eat was honey on a toasted English muffin. Now, my kids are big on English muffins, so I usually have some on hand. One evening after my shift with her, I tried it, and it opened my mind to a world of honey uses. The next day I excitedly reported back to her that I’d tried honey on a muffin for myself and understood why she lived on them. She sent me home with a fancy jar of honey from her friend’s bees, and instructions to try it on vanilla ice cream.

I’m telling you here and now, honey on vanilla ice cream is absolutely the best way to eat ice cream.

From there I branched out to fancy honey. Expensive honey. But EBT paid for it, and we currently have extra EBT because of Covid, and it’s use it or lose it. So if ever there was a time to try acacia honey and manuka honey, it’s now.

Next on the list was honeycomb. Because I’m trying to honor a woman who I’ve known for a very short time, but touched my heart, I’m diving head first into honey adventured. I will say autism and beeswax in the mouth aren’t the best mix for me, but the honey is good enough that I’ll finish what I have. I melt it over muffins and that helps with the texture. Also, my 13yo, who has a chewing stim, got to discover raw honeycomb, and he is a huge fan.

My final adventure will be creamed honey. I haven’t bought any yet, but that is simply because I forgot. I plan to do that in the next week. That too will probably land on an English muffin.

I really appreciate having met Miss Pat. Watching her die from liver cancer is probably the most triggering thing I could ever watch someone die from, but I honestly think in the end it was worth it.

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The Path

Posted June 24, 2021 By kmarrs

This came up in my Facebook memories and hit me super hard. I walked the stage with a nearly perfect GPA and top honors. But here I sit 2 years later with too much brain damage to attempt grad school. Grad school being why I needed perfect grades.

I was dying. I didn’t know it was cancer, but I was very much dying and I knew that. I couldn’t get anyone to listen to me, but I knew. And yet I forced perfection on myself. I asked for extensions instead of just skipping the occasional assignment. I studied while in the hospital. I wrote final papers right after surgery while on opioids.

I pushed and I pushed myself to perfection. Nearly killed myself striving for perfection. All so I could have a perfect GPA so I could get into the grad program of my choice.

And now? I can tell the difference. How smart I used to be, versus where I’m at now. Yes, I’m still intelligent. But not like I was. I can feel the difference and I can tell I’m no longer cut out for grad school. I was already going to be struggling because of Autism and ADHD. But brain damage to?

I am so angry. But I’m mostly sad that I put so much importance on my grades. C’s get degrees but I nearly died achieving perfection.

My path looks different now. I spent all of therapy coming to terms with all of the above and all of the below.

My best friend is Marissa. Granted, we don’t call her that. We call her Coffee. I’ll continue to call her Coffee on these pages. But her name is Marissa. I think it’s good to attach a real name to her existence now and then.

We’ve been best friends for a few years at this point. It all started with her sending me photos of the various animals in her life on Tumblr on a bad night and then before I knew it was had a friendship unlike any I’ve ever experienced. I’ve blogged about best friends before. If you’ve been here you know those usually blew up in my face. There was the ableist girl from high school. Tried to steal not just my spouse but my kids too last time Robin and I separated. There was Nate who was emotionally constipated and forbid me to have any emotions around him ever.

Coffee. I don’t have words. We have faced a lot of the same struggles, though there are plenty of differences. She is strong where I’m weak, and vice versa. I can honestly say that while it’s strictly platonic and nonsexual, I am absolutely in love with her. She is my person. She is one of my chosen sisters and I would do anything for her and know she would do anything for me. She’s held my hand through the process of nearly dying, losing my wife, and just every low moment of the past few years. She’s not afraid of my emotions and low points. And she approaches my BPD with common sense, compassion, and basic human decency. She’s also not afraid to call me out if I need to examine and rethink my behavior. She’ll enable me buying a children’s fishing pole to go “cat fishing”. But she won’t enable me treating people like shit. She makes me want to be a better person and helps me dig deep to find who that better person within me is.

And everything that she does for me, I strive to do for her in kind.

She is more than I could ever have hoped for in a friend.

And together we have built two really solid and healthy friend groups, with some overlap. A found family full of love, acceptance, neurodivergence, and queerness. My life is so full of love these days, but I found this chosen family with Coffee by my side. And through her love and guidance, I became a person worthy of their love. I do a lot of hard work. It wasn’t all Coffee. But she offered solid support and feedback.

There is a point to this.

Coffee is going to school to get a degree in running an agricultural-based business. The plan is, she and her husband Pete will buy some land in probably Kansas and they will run a lavender farm. In 10 years when my babies are all grown and out of the nest, I’m following them to Kansas and I’m buying a house as near theirs as I can and I’ll help them run their farm. Coffee will make sure I have a thriving wage and health insurance. I’ll also do what I do now, caregiving, on the side to help add enrichment to my life.

My path is no longer taking me to grad school at OSU and a PsyD that I’d use to diagnose especially women with Autism and ADHD. But that’s OK. Because my path is now taking me to Coffee, and her little family, and that’s even better.

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Simon

Posted May 3, 2021 By kmarrs

This one is a little harder and I wasn’t going to talk about it, but I think I should. Because, as it turns out, it’s really easy to join a cult and not realize it.

I’m pretty active on Tumblr. I follow a few hundred people and have a few thousand people following me. I’m on the site pretty much everyday, and both of my friend groups, with a lot of overlap between the two, are full of people I met on the site.

One of those people is Simon.

Simon is a character. Literally. He is a social experiment run by a woman named Kristina. The idea of the social experiment tied into whether she could get you to believe Simon is a cryptid. I knew most of this going in. I didn’t know the details on who was running the blog, but Simon was very open about it being an experiment. Could he convince you of his claims.

Simon was also very kind and came off as very trustworthy. Many of us became good friends with him and confided in him because generally speaking he offered good advice.

The problem is, Simon has a very cult like personality, and overtime he built up this understanding that he was an authority figure and his word, was not quite law, but not something easily doubted. It was a gradual build over many years. He attracted the vulnerable. Mostly abuse victims. So we were looking for the relief and the safety of having Simon, and each other, in our lives.

Then a couple of months ago, things went south. Simon made a bad decision and didn’t count on us to call him on it. See, where he went wrong is he built a community that didn’t really need him any longer because we’d forged actually really healthy relationships with each other and built each other up with love and support. Suddenly we were getting therapy and had found a sense of self confidence outside of Simon.

So when Simon fucked up, we called him on it. And he went ballistic. The entire persona slipped.

There is no nice and tidy way to sum things up but as we went public that the entire “inner circle” had removed Simon from our midst, those who had left us over the proceeding months, came back to us with tales of horror of things Simon had done. The truth of who Simon really is also came out, with proof. Over the course of weeks of discussion, we all agreed that while it may not 100% fit the criteria of having been a cult, Simon very much had a cult like personality and, well, we all consider ourselves to be cult survivors.

But we’re out. We still have each other. We have no central leader telling us what is what anymore, and we have relationships that are healthy in a way that our therapists are thrilled about.

There are those still swayed by Simon. They won’t listen to reason. They believe the lies he came up with about how his inner circle attacked him. But there is only so much we can do. You can’t save everyone no matter how hard you try.

And in the end, we’re walking away stronger with healthy friendships intact. So in a way, I’m thankful Simon was in my life. But I’m also thankful I was able to remove him from my life and took my found family with me.

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Friendship

Posted June 15, 2020 By kmarrs

My memory is poor, so I don’t really have many fond memories of my ex best friend from high school. I remember when Luke was like 2yo, taking the boys to the zoo and pulling them around in the wagon I bought for that exact purpose. Only, that trip I guess Thomas mostly walked since he would have been around 6. And Lucas spread himself out in the wagon and passed the fuck out. He napped for a solid 2 hours or so in that wagon while we pulled him around the zoo.

I remember this because I just took the littles to the zoo. It finally opened back up this weekend for members only. You have to make reservations in advance since they are only letting so many people in at a time, but I made them well in advance. So I’ve been reflecting on the many happy zoo memories.

Another clear memory of her is her blatant ableism. Like how she refused to be seen with me in public in February with me wearing flip flops. Even though at that moment I literally could not wear any other shoes. I did not hang out with her that day and have actually not spoken to her since.

I guess that made her mad?

Because a few years later she tried to steal my then husband (now wife) and my kids from me. She always did covet the family I had. So the minute my relationship went south, she swooped in. I don’t blame Robin from sleeping with her. We were separated and she’s always had a crush on her. But she had no interest in being casual. She was in it for the family. And when Robin and I got back together she was furious. Which says a lot about her since she’s Catholic and doesn’t believe in divorce. Usually.

I’ve had an attempt at a best friend between now and then in Clyde. But he was toxic and I got out when that became apparent. We’ve been in and out of casual contact since. But nothing lasting. What can I say, we met in a joint class. We were teammates on a group project. The first that degree ever gave me. We then, a few years later, ran into each other in a different class. I think if I ran into him again, we could be civil. Stand and chat. Or email for a few days. But it wouldn’t be anything deep or lasting. That friendship was too toxic.

I’ve had a few toxic friendships. Hell, at times my relationship with Robin is toxic. This isn’t some huge revelation. It’s common knowledge we’ve been separated twice.

BPD makes it hard to maintain relationships.

Being neurodivergent makes starting relationships hard.

Also, I don’t see myself as worth much, so I don’t immediately bulk at being treated poorly.

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So there is a Tumblr user who will go unnamed for their own safety that I’ve been an adopted mom to for a while.  They live in a shitty situation with their parents and are a constant victim to all sorts of abuse with no easy way out.  Also, please note that they are 20 so what I’m about to do is legal.  However, being an adult doesn’t always make leaving any easier.

I consider this person to be like a daughter to me.  A daughter of my heart if not my blood.  You know how found families are.  They are a core member of my friend group and over time they’ve revealed more and more details of the abuse they suffer to the group.

I finally reached my breaking point and with their consent, the whole group is now in rescue mode with me playing a central role.

First I need a new job that pays a living wage, which I’m looking for no matter what anyway.  I’m about to graduate, this is the next step in my life.  But with that living wage, I should be able to sort my finances and make it so I’m no longer dependent on my mother.  This is key.  I can’t initiate the plan if my mom is giving me a few hundred dollars a month to support my family.  I don’t currently have a death wish.

Anyway with finances in a better position, and a tax return in hand to fund the trip, in early March I’m making the 12 hour drive to a state I won’t identify (actually my mom is driving me in her car because I’m a horrible driver and my own car is guaranteed to not survive this trip, bless its soul) we’re packing my found daughter up, and bringing her home with me.  All while her parents are at work so we have no resistance.  (A note will be left and the local police will be notified that this is a rescue and they are not missing, just leaving a bad situation.)

Once back in Ohio they will live with me as long as they need to get on their feet and establish their life as an adult, just like I will allow my other 3 kids.  I don’t see a difference.  It won’t be the most ideal living situation as quarters are cramped.  But they’ve declared it much better than their current situation.  So that’s something at least.

My friend group is working out the logistics of this plan.  Everything from where I can rent a little cargo trailer and a trailer hitch, to making sure they can finish their current degree and move on to the next, to health insurance, to getting them in therapy the second we’re back in Ohio.

My immediate family is on board with this.  Pat is a little more resigned than excited.  But Pat understands who they married and how I am.  My purpose in life is to rescue those in need with whatever power I have.  That, and I’ve been talking for years about being done having kids, but wanting to foster older kids and give them a loving family once we’re financially stable and the kids are grown.  This is about 10 years sooner than I had in mind, and it’s an adult we’re fostering.  But hey.  This is the path I’ve been led down.

Sammy is super excited to have a big “sister”.  The boys are accepting.  Lucas is hesitant but he’s autistic and is really hesitant with any strangers.  He’ll be fine.  He has 8 months to warm up to it.  Most importantly, while I’m aware of his stranger danger tendencies, he’ll at no point be in any danger so trust will be built.

Mom is hesitant but also on board enough to drive me 12 hours and back to make this happen.  You know how mom’s can/should be.  Cautiously supportive.

So yeah, that’s what I’m up to these days when not studying.

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