On being me…

Sometimes…

I wish someone else could feel how I feel. Or that I could somehow explain it in a way that doesn’t sound all sappy or like I am just feeling sorry for myself, or just want attention.

I don’t feel sorry for myself, and I don’t want attention, especially for my horrible feelings.  I rarely ever share them.  I doubt I will even share this writing with anyone.

    I sometimes feel the way I am feeling right now; that I am just a joke to others.  That no one takes me seriously.  That if I didn’t make an effort and reach out to people, no one would ever reach out to me.  That no one really cares or values my feelings, my art and creations, me as a friend, or me as a human being.

   I feel like if any other human went through what I went through and told the story, that people would care. That people would respect their battle, understand it was hell and wasn’t their fault, that people would listen and validate their grief and trauma.

   I sometimes feel like when I tell people, they are annoyed, they didn’t want to know that, I should keep it to myself, how dare I ruin their day with such a depressing story, I doubt it’s even true.

   Below is something that I wrote a while back, but didn’t have the courage to actually share with anyone.  I wrote this on one of those days when a celebrity died by suicide and suddenly, for about a week, every one was posting about reaching out, be there for people, ect.  Sometimes it hurts even more that few people regularly reach out to me.

This is probably triggering…

   I am having a hard time and I need to just talk about shit and get it out today…but in my life there is no one who I feel I can really open up to.

   This is what I wish I had the courage to say to everyone…

   I don’t want to live with pain, grief, guilt, ptsd….no one does. I am actively trying to recover and resolve as much pain as I can and now that I have health insurance and can actually afford go to therapy, I have been.  I spend so much time and energy just trying to “be ok.”  I work really hard, take care of myself, do yoga, try to meditate, take medicine, occassionally battle through the PTSD, I make such an effort to not go down a bad path, be addicted to drugs, numb my pain with alcohol, ect…I really do as much as I can to be happy and not let this get to me. But sometimes it does. I mean, how the fuck would it not?

   Going to therapy is the 1st time I have fully told all the shit I went through to another person, and had someone tell me it is ok to cry, and that the emotions I feel are valid. Damn I needed to hear that. Growing up I got yelled at and shamed for crying…for having any feelings about this really. “Bottle it up, be strong, you can’t talk about that,” were what I was told as a kid. I better not burden anyone with hearing the shit I went though, and have now felt for 30 years.

Well….what is an even bigger burden than having to hear about what I went though….is actually going through it!!! And feeling like you don’t have ANYONE to talk to about it, especially as a child. For feeling completely isolated and alone in this your whole life.

That my family thinks I turned out great and they are “So happy that your happy.” Not being aware that just because things appear to be “going good” and you work hard and are kind of successful, that you must be completely fine and happy all the time and have such a great life.

My step mother, growing up she always had stuff to say to me though. Not until recently in therapy did I realize how emotionally abusive she really was. I was too mentally fucked from the age of four to even comprehend how much I was bullied BY A GROWN ADULT from the age six.

Growing up she would pick on me, and was manipulative and used what I went through to hurt and control me.

I lost my mom to suicide at 4. Stepmother entered my life at 6.

She, an adult woman, would tell me (starting at 6, a mere 2 years later,) things like…

“Quit crying, you don’t even miss your mom, your just a selfish brat.”

“If I was your mother I would have killed myself too.”

“Your so annoying no wonder your moms dead.”

And she constantly called me…a child…a manipulative liar, and that I had no emotions and no one should feel bad for me because I was a brat who deserved it.

Really I was a depressed child acting out… because I found my mom DEAD!! Because I knew from age 4 that my mother killed herself.  Because that day I also lost my home, toys, bed…everything. I lost it all in one shitty day. At age 4.

What the fuck is a kid gonna do? I had mood swings, I cried a lot, I was an angry and disgruntled child. I felt guilt, shame, anger, the full responsibility of her death, abandonment, grief, pain, shock…every horrible emotion you could think of…even some I still don’t have words for.

So yeah, I guess I’m sorry that trip to Disneyland didn’t magically solve all my problems, and from then on I got to hear about how I was an unappreciative little brat.

And It was pounded into my brain that I shouldn’t have emotions…I was just feeling sorry for myself, it was wrong to feel the way I felt, I should not tell people because it will just bum them out.

As a teenager struggling with depression, I asked to go to therapy. “There is nothing wrong with you, you just want attention,” was the exact words she told me. I felt guilty for wanting help and having pain.

The situation with my stepmother is very awkward.  I do have love and appreciation for her, she met my needs for food, shelter, ect.  She was not always mean, and was supportive and kind at times.  Then, when she was in a bad mood, I just felt like her emotional punching bag.  She spoke words to me that really tore me apart inside. 

And now here I am 30 years later, making a real effort to heal all this shit. I am very guilty of keeping it to myself, of pretending “I’m fine” “I’m OK”…yeah. I don’t reach out, I rarely ask for help or a friend to listen to my issues because I know it is hard to swallow.

BUT…it is also hard to live with, and that is what I do, every single day!

I guess since there were some celebrity suicides recently people are now talking about this for a week or two…posting things like “Reach out if your having trouble.”

You know what…it is the hardest to reach out when your having the most trouble. That is the sad truth of it all.

It’s because we are taught to “Be strong,” that our sad emotions are wrong and frowned upon by society. And so when we are feeling such deep pain and grief, we keep it to ourselves as to not burden others with it.

People are also saying to reach out to those who may be having trouble.

HELLO FRIENDS, I’M RIGHT HERE!!!

I know my friends that know me well know I went through this.

I am probably one of the saddest people you know. I am probably one of the most depressed people you know. Yes, they are 2 different things, and I feel them both so deeply, and fight the shit out of them. And I have done it alone for 30 years.

I have PTSD. I didn’t even realize or think that was something I had….it’s for other people, not me, I’m strong.  I am trying to admit it so I can better heal from it.

It’s like having to carry around a heavy monster on your back and randomly, not always and not predictable,  when someone mentions suicide, or brings up your mother, or references to you as if your mother is alive (Your mother must be so proud of you is probably the worst,) that monster punches you in the stomache as hard as he can.

Or that feeling you get when your almost in a car accident. It takes a while to go away too, even though your rational brain knows there is no real threat. I can’t always control these feelings.

I CAN control my responses, and asides from feeling like I put out this blast of awkward energy, I am good about appearing calm and you probably would not even know my heart rate just doubled, it hurts to breath, and my body is in high defense mode.

So yeah…the days when it is all over the news, are sometimes hard for me. It is also kinda hard when I feel like my close friends should know I went through and deal with this, but few reach out.

I guess that is my fault for being too strong, for hiding my pain so well, for being too successful, for not reaching out myself.

I am trying to admit I have trouble, and am not always “OK.” It should be alright to say your not doing well when your not doing well, right?

I guess when you find yourself wanting to be the person to reach out to someone…remember that have the burden of a well of painful emotions and my main outlet is beating the hell out of drums as hard as I can and as often as I can.

The more I talk the easier it gets, and I have gone a very long time without much talking. So someone offering to listen to my issues without judging my pain is always a very welcomed jesture.

If you are a friend who knows and has listened before, or wrote me just to say hello and ask how I’m doing….know that I remember and really appreciate it, and it means so much to me. Thank you.

Castrati

Sure, Catholic priests are having a hay day with the little boys nowadays, but remember like 130 years ago where cutting off boys balls before puberty to preserve their angelic singing voices was all the rage?

I don’t know, I am kinda on the fence with the Castrati.  Chopping testies for the sake of music.  I mean, I watched a documentary on them recently, it was pretty intriguing. There was the opera singer host, and you could tell his biggest letdown in life was that no one cut his balls off before puberty.  You could see his longing to be one of those unique operatic greats, or even just one of those poor unfortunate choir boys.

The show did some interesting, computer science/recording magic, where they took the voice of a young boy, the voice of a high range male, and blended them with the effects that would mimic the small vocal chamber and powerful lungs that occur when you chop the balls.

Then, as they all sat in the room together, listening to the computer generated Castrato, you could see tears welling in their eyes.  It was so cinematic and touching.

The young boy, you could see the longing in his eyes, praying that someone would just chop his balls.  A small price to him for the vocal greatness he so desires.  I don’t know if I would be that surprised if the kid actually did it to himself someday.  I mean…if someone really wants to chop off their balls, who are we to stop them?  At what age is a child old enough to decided the fate of his own testicles?  Would he need parental approval?

Ok, so I am not actually for the castration of young boys.  Sorry guys.  BUT… it could be a cool thing to do to an adult rapist, right?   (Maybe that could be how the Supreme Court jumps in frat boy Brett. I would love to see Ruth Bader Ginsberg do the honors.)

Watch the Documentary!

 

2018 Life Update

Well….trying to update this website/blog I started forever ago. I thought it would be nice to have a place with links to all of my many projects and creative endeavors. Also…maybe share my real thoughts that I usually think no one wants to hear. Who knows, maybe someone does want to know the random things that go on in my head. Warning- It can be a scary place, lol. DEPRESSION!!! But I am not depressed all the time, or I do a pretty good job of managing it. I have to do a lot of self care. Get good sleep, exercise, yoga, meditation, positive affirmations, good diet, writing, DRUMMING, ect. I do pretty good job taking care of myself and am very independent.

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I currently have 3 bands I am active with; Dangerously Sleazy, ModPods, The Dale Crover Band. That last one there kinda blows my mind. I somehow lucked out/ worked hard enough to be playing drums in one of my favorite drummer’s bands.

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ModPods recently went on tour opening for Melvins!! That…was…amazing! I never would of guessed I would get to meet, let alone tour with one of my favorite bands. Yes, we sound nothing like them, but it worked out well. It was very fun, and as far as my touring experiences have gone, very comfortable. I didn’t get a cold or illness, I slept in a bed every night, I ate healthy food, I only had 2 nights where I got less than 6 hours sleep. We got to drive through the Canadian Rockies which was a mind blowing, beautiful, peaceful, zen experience. I am glad I got to share it with 2 of my best friends in Los Angeles, Daniel and Myriad. Slowly working on my solo project. My perfectionism and self doubt are making that take a long time…

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Also, Manny’s dog Elvis has come to live with us, so it is super nice to have a cute furry little senior pup to hang out with. It is my first time living with a dog, and I am learning a lot. Not used to something being so dependent on me for survival. He is adorable though and I am getting used to picking up dog poop, which until now was one main reason I was apprehensive about getting a dog.

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I am also an aunt!! I have this adorable little nephew named Liam. He is about to turn 6, and lives with my sister and her husband in Virginia. Manny and I have gone to visit them, and it was a really fun trip. Brother-in-law works at the Pentagon, so we got to wander around that famous place late at night, as well as check out Washington DC. That trip was one week before Trump took office. They were already lining the streets with an over abundance of porta-potties. I swear, after seeing the pics of his “huge” inauguration, I think the ratio was 2 porta-potties for every 1 person who actually went to that shit show.

Romantic whip it’s at McDonalds. Ahh….young love.

I have no other way to start this.  I saw a teenage emo couple doing whip it’s together in McDonalds.  What a romantic date huh?  Of course they were somewhat discrete about it.  He had the spray can hidden half-assedly [shut up spell check, I’m making that a word] under a tee shirt as he inhaled.  Then, the really cute part, he held it for his little girlfriend and sprayed it in her mouth with a smile and a blank stare.  And then they giggled at each other, and held hands.

Yes. I was serious when I said this was in McDonalds.

Why am I REALLY in Los Angeles….Gay Bear vs. Detective.

What kind of a world do we live in when a single prank phone call is considered an act of terrorism, resulting in a 4 month investigation by detectives?

I am talking, of course, about my own life.  Seriously.  I am the person that was harassed by detectives, threatened with terrorist charges, and subpoenaed by the assistant district attorney because someone, not me, made a prank call from my cell phone.

It all has to do with Sioux City’s selfish and closed minded city council.  A couple of years ago, the state of Iowa legalized gay marriage.  This upset the conservative, rigidly Christian, city council.  They made slanderous remarks about homosexuals and wasted tax payer money to exclude sexual orientation from the cities list of groups protected against discrimination.  They made the public statement that even though you legally could be gay and get married in Sioux City, the city does not approve or welcome you.

So, one of those councilmen received an anonymous voicemail.  The message was a man saying something about being a bear and gay anal sex.

It may not have been an appropriate voicemail, but certainly not an act of terrorism, on the part of the prank caller or the innocent person whose phone was used.

Yet there I was, in an interrogation room with a detective trying to play the “good cop” mind game, pretending that he thought the whole thing was stupid, and asking me questions that shouldn’t matter to the law, such as “What are your views on gay marriage,” and “Do you know what a bear is?”

He played the voicemail back to me off a poor quality handheld tape recorder, and I tried my best not to laugh; how was I supposed to take this serious? [Seriously?] He demanded that I tell him who the voice belonged to, and I honestly didn’t recognize the dude’s voice. I told him I wasn’t sure who did it but I might have an idea.  He said I better find out and get him the man’s name.

So I left the station and went about life as normal.  That is until about two weeks later when he called me back, asking why I haven’t called him with the person’s name.  I told him I didn’t know who did it, and that is when he threatened me.

“This is a very serious, Mindee.  If you do not help us find the person who made this call, you will be charged with aiding and abetting, and terrorism,” he threatened.

[Wait….Seriously?]

I went to a lawyer.  I told him the whole situation and he just laughed, telling me that I have nothing to worry about. I did nothing wrong and they are just trying to get information out of me.  This was a big relief, and once again I went back to life as normal.

Then, about two months later, I get a call from the detective.  He needed to meet up with me to serve me subpoena papers.

[Wait…. what the FUCK]

Back to the lawyer I go, who is in comical disbelief at seeing me again, and that the subpoena is being heard by the assistant district attorney, someone who usually only hears the most heinous of criminal cases.

The day of the subpoena, I entered a small room with my lawyer, the detective, and the assistant district attorney [And that note taking lady].  For almost two hours they probe into my personal life, getting the names of all my friends, where I work, what bands I am in, and questioning my personal beliefs.  They accused me of lying, and saying it’s not possible that I don’t know who did this. [Hey, I got a lot of friends, most of them slowly going insane, thanks to you Sioux City .]

They ask me how I could tell the detective that I might know who did it, but now I have no idea, and I respond with “Well, I thought I knew which of my friends would find this funny, but it turns out everyone thinks this is hilarious.”

This upset the detective, who responded by screaming “Anal sex is NOT FUNNY Miss Jorgensen!”  [OH MAN! Torture! , do you KNOW how hard it is not to laugh in that situation. This was REALITY man…] My lawyer later assured me that I am allowed to think anal sex is funny if I want- it’s a basic freedom the law can’t take away. [HA!]

Of course, it didn’t end after the subpoena.  The detective went to a show and began questioning my friends and band mates.  I felt harassed and violated.  I decided I could no longer live in this ass backwards city, put in my two weeks at work, and promptly moved to Los Angeles. I assumed that the LAPD has real crime to worry about other than a single prank call that jokingly accuses a homophobic of being gay..Image

NUBS

Here is a little profile piece I wrote about a local staple of the Los Angeles underground music scene.  Written for a school project last spring.

Nubs- The Unsung Hero

By Mindee Jorgensen

You will never see Nubs up on the stage.  He has stage fright and hates being in front of people.  Yet almost every night he is out and about, hiding backstage at a show somewhere in Los Angeles.  He might be carrying a guitar amp, or putting together a drum set.  Sometimes he is setting up PA or testing sound levels.  It’s just what he does, and he has been doing it a long time.

“I’m a geek and [music] is what I got into.  I have a really bad phobia of being watched, and I don’t want to go on stage, but I have to do something.  I may as well put my brain to use,” Nubs said. “I got into helping bands so that they could actually start on time and play as long as their supposed to. It’s practical.”

Nubs, whose real name is Neil Gutmacher, has been helping bands set up since 1986.  He started by helping his friend’s band Fire Hose move gear, and ended up being their stage hand for 7 years.  Since then he has helped numerous bands and ran sound at many shows.

Yet there is more to Nubs than meets the eye.  This stocky man who is always seen in a band tee shirt, shorts, and a baseball cap has two college degrees, a BS in Physics and a BS in Math.  By day he does quality assurance, testing midi keyboards for bugs.  He has only gone on the road with a band once because he is always busy working, unable to leave town.  And it wasn’t music that brought him to California, it was his degrees.

“My first job was for Hughes Aircraft.  I built transformers for radar systems and classified projects” he said.

Some of the projects he worked on were the F14, F18, and Star Wars.  One classified project he worked on would go up to an enemy spy satellite and shoot it with an electrical bolt, frying the circuitry and knocking out the satellite.

The MX missile was another major project he was a part of.  The MX missile had 8 nuclear war heads on it, and could destroy 8 separate towns.  He worked on the transformer for the guidance system.

Working on classified projects and nuclear war heads didn’t seem unusual to Nubs.  “I didn’t think anything special of what I was working on.  It was just a job, my first after college,” he says.

He did find a way to bring his work the punk scene though.  He used to save spare parts that were going to get thrown away and hide them at shows and after parties to see if anyone would find them.

Nubs remains modest despite all he does in life and for the music scene, saying “I’m nobody special.  I’m not a band.  They deserve recognition, not me.  They are trying to get somewhere, I’m not.”