The Family Of My Life Archive

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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My Thumb

Posted June 17, 2021 By kmarrs

This will be short. It’s been a crazy week where few things have gone as planned and there aren’t enough hours in the day.  Nothing bad has happened.  In fact some good has happened.  But I’m tired.

Anyway

My maternal grandmother had a super green thumb.  So does my mom.  I honestly thought it had skipped me because I spent the first 30 something years of my life unable to keep a single plant alive.

But I don’t know. Something happened in the last few years and suddenly I can keep most anything alive.  Sure some things die, but I’m having more success than not.

I want to show some of my latest successes.

I’ve had a lot of succulents over the past few years, but this is the first time one has flowered for me. She’s been working on it for weeks!
The beginnings of my first strawberry!
This is what a strawberry flower looks like. I have a handful of them out there turning into berries right now!
Yes I very much planted this clover! I attempted last year with limited success. This year my efforts were fruitful. Next year I’m planting 10 times as much!

I have an extensive garden growing out back, but these are what I currently find the most exciting. I’ll show off the rest of the fruits of my labor (pun intended) later when I have things to harvest.

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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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Road Trip to Indy

Posted April 29, 2021 By kmarrs

One of my adopted kids, Vann, lives about 3 hours away from me, on the East side of Indianapolis. So when they had a medical emergency and needed an advocate to help them bully some doctors into doing their fucking job the other week, I packed a bag, grabbed Sammy, and off we went!

I was out of work for a few more weeks, and Sammy’s classes are online this year, so I planned the driving for the end of a school day and set him up to attend class from Vann’s house, and very little school was missed.

While in Indy, Sammy got to know some fellow queers, and his knowledge of the different flavors of gender was expanded. It’s true the exposing kids to queer people can lead to their own exploration of gender and sexuality. Some people are afraid of this, but Sammy followed a young adult trans masc by the name of Rin around like a puppy dog for a few days and walked away from the encounter a little more self-confident. This makes my heart super happy!

I attended a few appointments with Vann and we got their needs taken care of. The time in Indy was well spent.

As a bonus, the time away from home proved a great distraction for Sammy, though the relief was temporary and we did have to return home eventually.

Vann and my trip to Indy are a strong testament to the power of found family. I’m very grateful to have Vann in my life, and I’m deeply relieved I was able to be there for them in their time of need.

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Science Dad

Posted April 19, 2021 By kmarrs

I’m not entirely sure when in the mess that was May this happened, but I think it was before the rest. So this is the order of the story.

Coffee and I have been besties for some 4 years now. We text nearly 24/7 and voice chat with our friend group on Discord. But like proper millennials, we don’t really talk on the phone properly. We have each other’s phone numbers, sure. But we default to text.

So when my phone rang one Wednesday morning while I was on my way to get my allergy shot, and my car announced it was “Capt Coffee” I knew it was serious. Sure enough, her dad had just had a heart attack and was being life-flighted to the city. Coffee was mid-transit following the chopper via her car with her despondent mother in the passenger seat. Coffee is the one you want in an emergency, not her mother.

So here is where I stop to explain my friend group. First of all, everyone in the group has various shades of not great mothers. My mom is the best and by far the least horrid of the group. Most of the mothers are severely abusive. This is why I’m up to like 10-12 kids (I lost count). On the other hand, most of us have pretty great dads. Coffee’s dad has become a group favorite because he’s a math teacher that knows a lot of science and has taught Coffee explosives. He’s just super really cool and we’ve dubbed him Science Dad. He knows about this.

Anyway, Science Dad is ok now, but his heart attack was one of four medical emergencies the group faced in the month of March. We’re really very tired.

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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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