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My Handyman Died

It’s been a hell of a month.

I just found out the other day, after a month of not seeing him and nobody telling us anything, that the handyman who used to work for the house my girlfriend and I rent in, died of a heart attack. His name was Tim. This has fucked with me on a number of levels, so allow me to go through them, if you will. First of all, I am somewhat shocked that the death of a man I only sort of kinda barely knew could make me weep as hard and often as I have the last week and a half. The last time I saw Tim was when he came over and mowed our front lawn. He brought his sweetheart of a Pitbull with him, and I sat with his dog on the porch as he mowed the lawn and took breaks so we could talk. It’s not that Tim was very educated, in fact when once engaged in conversation with my girlfriend he admitted he didn’t even know who Van Gogh was, but that didn’t make him stupid. It wasn’t that he was super interesting, either. He was just…nice. I guess the fact that I cared so much for a man I knew so little proves the point of how big my heart actually is, and how much kindness can really make you care for someone.

Secondly, Tims death makes me think about my own mortality. Not that I’m going to die anytime soon, at least not that I know of, someone could be waiting to assassinate me, I have no idea, but just in the general sense, you know? I deal with suicidal thoughts often, I constantly have panic attacks about non existence, and yet…yet when faced with death so near to me, it sort of halts all of that. It’s been a while since someone died in my family, especially someone I actually gave a big shit about, but it’s also different than that. This is the first time a FRIEND of mine has died. Family is different. I don’t know how or why, maybe it’s because you’re born to that set of people or something, but death in the family just has a different tone to it. But a friend…a friend is someone you seek out or choose to know. They’re someone you enjoy being around and so you want to be around them more and more. I met Tim out of necessity because he helped us move in and fix things around the house and such, but…he was my friend. Even if I admit to not knowing him all that well, he WAS my friend, and now he’s just a dead guy.

Apparently Tim died alone. I mean, he had his dog with him, but he died alone, in his apartment, from a heart attack. A friend is someone you’re supposed to be there for, and I couldn’t be there for Tim when he needed someone, and that’s been fucking with me too. I don’t know that I could’ve done anything even if I had been there, I mean he obviously couldn’t even dial 911 in time to get help, but the fact remains that I couldn’t be there for my friend when he needed someone, and that….fucking….hurts, man. It hurts bad. I’ve lost many friends, but mostly because they either weren’t my friends to begin with, we simply drifted apart, or whatever reason you wanna apply to it. But to lose a friend to death…it’s just not something I’m familiar with and I don’t know how to cope with it. And what’s worse is it’s GOING TO KEEP HAPPENING. As I get older, the people I consider close friends are going to fucking die, and a lot of them may die before me, and I am not prepared for that.

I am not prepared for anything, honestly.

For Tims sake, I hope it wasn’t that painful or that long, and I hope he knows people cared about him, even if we didn’t outright say it. I hope he knows that he had friends, because everyone deserves friends. Everyone deserves to feel like they aren’t alone.

I’ll miss you Tim.

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I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I make, like my depressing webcomic “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my writing over at Medium. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip or support my work at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!

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Fridge Magnets

You can arrange them any way you choose, make the words your own, make a statement like nobody ever has. We bought them at a garage sale, for a dollar fifty in a ziplock bag. ABC fridge magnets, like I had as a child. Just seeing these colorful tools elicited such memories, evoked such deep feelings that I nearly cried on the spot. So we bought them all up, and we took them home, and you spent the afternoon spelling the few words you knew with them on the fridge. You had to stand on a chair, but that’s okay. It was a special event.

We started to learn a new word every single day. Every day I would pick a new word for you, and you would learn to spell it in the morning before school. It helped, and you started to do better on spelling tests and building your vocabulary. Hell, you were even proud of yourself, which put an enormous smile on my face. So words became our tool, and I read to you every night, and sometimes you read to me, and we played word games and used words to make eachother laugh and learn. You started writing your own short stories and sharing them with me, and the morning of your 7th birthday, I used the magnets to spell, “Happy birthday, sweet baby! I love you!” and all was well.

“Mommy, what does t-e-r-m-i-n-a-l spell?” you asked.

I didn’t know how to answer, so I didn’t. I told you I didn’t know. You didn’t believe me, of course, but we didn’t push the subject. So we sat in the hospital room, you in the bed, growing weaker and weaker, playing scrabble and doing crosswords and word searches. I brought it all home with me, but couldn’t bring it back into the house. It was tainted by being attached to those last months. Much as I longed for a piece of you back, it was too late, and all I had left were the magnets. How unusually poetic was it that when I entered the kitchen that first day back, awake for 48 hours, the feel of your cold hand still in my own palm, my hair unwashed for days, that as I entered the kitchen, I saw you’d arranged them sometime before we checked in for good.

“Best mom, love you!”

I’ve refused to replace my fridge for years now. It barely works, and I’ve hauled it to a few new homes to boot, but I refuse to give up what little piece of you you left behind for me. People don’t last forever. But their words, oh their words last for a lifetime.

I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I make, like my depressing webcomic “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my writing over at Medium. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip.

Wanna donate to me directly? You can do that via PayPal! Wanna support me ongoing month to month and get content early? You can do that via Patreon! Thanks for whatever you can spare, I really appreciate it!

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People Need To Stop Fucking Telling Me To Go To Therapy

When I was growing up, my parents put me in therapy a multitude of times. The first was after my mother left my father, and she thought I might need to see somebody about it, as if 5 year old me had any fucking idea how to process the concept of a separation or divorce or how to talk about any feelings I might’ve (but didn’t at the time cause I was fucking 5 years old) had on the subject. Then, throughout middle school and some early high school, my stepfather convinced my mother I needed to go to therapy. In fact, I’m relatively sure it’s safe to say that the most common heard phrase I’ve had said to me by my parents, and other people, is:

“You should see somebody/talk to a therapist”

Because what’s the best thing to tell someone who’s already well aware of their issues? That they have issues. Bitch, I know I’m ruined, thank you very much for the critical update. The time I was in therapy throughout my adolescence (the middle school/high school time) was terrible and spanned about 4 different therapists, all of whom did nothing to help me or care about whatever I had to say in the slightest, and, all of whom were reporting everything I might’ve told them right back to my parents, so I was smart enough not to say much of a damn thing to begin with. What forcing a child to go to therapy does to them is obliterate their trust.

“Oh, we don’t know how to handle this, so we just fucking won’t, and we’ll pay someone else to deal with our childs issues.”

I recognize these people are technically ‘specialists’, that they go to school for years to get their degrees and all that, but so many kids put in therapy don’t need to talk to a total fucking stranger. They need to talk to their fucking parents. If they think they can’t even talk to their parents, all that does is say you can’t talk to anyone, and so they’ll never open up, or at least not easily, thus making friendships and relationships harder to form. People put so much emphasis on family, how family will be there for you no matter what, but rarely back it up when it comes time to. So, instead of talking to these ‘specialists’, I vented to the girls that I liked, and took their genuine heartfelt concern as romantic interest because I was a stupid teenage lesbian who didn’t know any better.

All that did, in turn, was make me bitter when they stated their obvious and understandable disinterest in me, and though I never became hateful towards women because of rejection, it didn’t help me feel any better when I was already at my lowest. And then, when a girl DID show genuine romantic interest in me, I was cautious to believe it and was always skeptical, even if she was 100% sincere. And to think, all of this could’ve been avoided if my parents had just. fucking. talked to me.

So, perhaps, just perhaps, the people who don’t know me, aren’t me and aren’t therapists need to stop telling me and others that they need to seek therapy. Trust me when I tell you that a lot of us know we’re damaged, that the last thing we need is it being said is so few words repeatedly to our faces, and that we are perfectly capable of working things out, if we choose to do so. I’m not saying therapy can’t be helpful and does nothing. There’s people it works for, and it can be of great help to people, but not everyone is the same, and that’s where it starts. Painting everyone with a mental illness as the same is the start of the problem. Not all depressed people are the same. Symptoms give the idea that we all experience the same thing, but we all experience it differently.

Stop telling us to talk to people and talk TO us.

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There’s No Room For Me

I can remember every single room I’ve ever been in.

It doesn’t matter where it was; family members room, friends room, my room, parents room, classroom, etc. Any room. Not even bedrooms, either, no, it extends to bathrooms, kitchens, garages. It doesn’t matter. If there was a room and I was in it, I can recall every single detail about it down to the rivets in the goddamned floorboards. What’s really “funny” about this is that I actually have a rather sketchy memory. A lot of my adolescence I’ve actually blocked for my own sake and then there’s just a lot I don’t remember in general, but I can remember every. single. fucking. room.

I’m sentimental, that much has been made abundantly clear from this blog by this point I’d think, but even so, I’m amazed at what I can recall. For a major example, one of the few friends I had growing up, his mother was an apartment manager and they moved around the city alot, which meant he wound up occupying multiple bedrooms in multiple apartments and all within a 3 or 4 year radius. I remember every single one. I remember the one overlooking the parking lot and the dumpsters with the big window, I remember the one right by the pool that was essentially filled with nothing but his futon bed, and I remember the one in the small house they rented when we first met. I remember them all.

And yet, despite all of this, I have never once felt at home in any one of them. How sad is that? A lifetime of rooms, even my own bedrooms, and I have never once felt at home in any of them. Maybe one day I will find my room. Maybe I won’t. Who knows. All I DO know is that I can remember these rooms better than I can remember relatives I knew for years or ‘friends’ I’d had forever. Voices. Faces. All lost to time. Rooms, though, rooms are the constant.

I think it’s because a room is something you yourself occupy; your energy, your space, and so you’re fit to remember it, even if it isn’t your own room. So, for the sake of some transparency for once, here’s some of my old rooms. Enjoy.

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