Monday, December 9, 2013

The Soctopus Has 8 Arms For Bloggin'

Oh, HAI, interwebs! It's been awhile! The 'Pus just thought she'd drop by and catch you all up. What's happenin', internet peeps?

Where to begin...well, the Soctopus is doing pretty damn good for herself these days. Lean and mean, and back in business.
Heart-whole, and as snarky as ever. Possibly snarkier. Definitely. OK, I'm snarkier. I moved to my favorite neighborhood and am now a die-hard Ballard Soctopus. The 'Pus has also dipped her tentacles back in the dating pool. You all know what that means - SO MANY EPIC TALES OF SHENANIGANS. So, you know - stay tuned. Because that's definitely coming.

New friends have joined the old, and every single person makes me happy. No drama, no fuss, just a whole lot of fun and love. Mind you, it's not all wine and roses and tentacles. The Soctopus still makes hard decisions, but the difference is that there is peace in those choices. Maturity - it's a thing. So I'll end this quick welcome-back post with a happy thought: growing up is actually quite fun. I quite like the Soctopus I've become.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

A Hard Day's Night

So the Soctopus spent last night with her very best friend and her husband. The kind of friend that knows all of your bad sides and weaknesses and loves you anyways. The kind of friend that you can always, always show your true self. This friend has been in my life for 7 years, and we've made each other laugh, held each others' hands, and been there for each other through thick and thin.

Why am I telling you this? Because last night, for the first time, I sat and talked with someone who truly, deeply knows me. *Me.* The *me* I am when I am at my most private and raw. And she stayed up with me until 2:30 a.m. and listened when, for the first time, I broke down and cried. And then cried some more. And it felt like my heart cracked open and so much emotion and poison flooded out. My friend simply sat and listened, and asked questions from time to time. It was painful and purifying, and for the first time, I sat and thought about how *I* feel, and honestly talked out loud about how I feel, in the wake of everything that has happened in my life.

There is a feeling that comes when a person feels so broken, so deeply alone... That feeling is indescribable. It's big, and scary, and raw, and it makes you question everything you know about yourself. Somehow, that one person you feel safe with can help to let that feeling out. (Almost like lancing a boil. I'll have to let her know I compared her to a boil. She'll love that...) During our conversation, my friend kept at me, asking me over and over again, "no, but how do you feel?" And finally, finally, I felt safe enough to admit how I really feel about the changes that have happened. About the tough choices I've had to make. I admitted to her that I still feel guilt over calling the police, even though I know it was the right thing to do. I admitted that I hurt everyday over the loss of my friends and my social life. I admitted that, late at night, I think about Mr. Soctopus and have a dream.

In this dream, Mr. Soctopus and I sit and talk. We talk about our relationship, and what went wrong, and we both admit fault. At the end of this dream, Mr. Soctopus apologizes. Not for leaving me. There's no apology necessary for that. No, in this dream, Mr. Soctopus always apologizes for the hurts he's dealt me. He apologizes for threatening my life, and means it. He apologizes for threatening my friends, and isolating me, and slandering me in public. He simply looks me in the eye and tells me, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry I hurt you." And then I wake up.

So my friend asked me, "Well - what would you say to him if this happened?" And I was silent for several minutes, thinking and feeling. My answer? "I forgive you." That was the moment that the floodgates opened, and I started to cry. I'm crying right now, as I type this. Because my dream, my fondest wish would simply be to hear my husband apologize and let me know that he acknowledges the wrongs he has done. And I think the reason why I dream this dream, over and over again, is because it would mean the man I married is still somewhere inside of Mr. Soctopus. It would mean that he is not all bad, or evil. Because I want that man to fight his way back. I don't want to accept that this terrible person - this man I don't even recognize - is all that is left of the man I married. The man I loved. I want Mr. Soctopus to be happy. I wish him no ill will, even after everything that has been said and done. And I know, to the bottom of my heart, that Mr. Soctopus cannot be happy, cannot find peace until he lets go of this anger, this rage that seems to be driving him.

What brought all of this on? More of the same. More veiled threats to my friends, simply because they stood up for me, or refused to stop being my friend because he said so. More erratic behavior, which lead a friend to warn me to be careful, to watch my back. While I was in the North counties, enjoying the sunshine with my best friend, the 90-day deadline for the divorce came and went. So this misguided, needless fight continues, and we now roll towards trial. *sigh*

I wish for peace, both for my husband and myself. I wish for the end of this phase of my life, so that I can truly begin healing without the threat of violence or divorce over my head. I dream of the day that a male friend can take me to dinner without receiving threats from my ex. I truly believe healing begin, for both of us, once those papers are signed and filed. I wish for healing.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

And Sometimes, The Bad Guys Win...

Do you remember the first time the world became a dark and scary place? The first time you realized that there are shadows around the corner, and people aren't always what they seem? I do. Today, the bad guys won.

Dear Virtual Diary:

OK, let's face it: this blog has been hijacked by the divorce and sundry proceedings. And you know what? I'mma go with it, because god knows I need a place to vent.

If you read back a few posts, you know how and when things went deeply, utterly south. South with a capital "S." Let me tell you what it's like to be in this deeply f*cked up situation, because it is truly bizarre and wrenching. I got into an argument with my husband, and he was so angry he said words that can't be taken back. Words that can't be forgiven or forgotten. Because words hurt, and sometimes words are a statement of intent. This person was the center of my universe, the man on which I hung the moon, which makes this situation so much worse and hurtful.

Today, I was served with affadavits from friends supporting my husband in this action. Boy, let me tell you, that hurt. A lot. Especially one of the names on that list, someone I trusted with my inner most fears and hurts. When a woman or man is in a domestic violence situation, they are unfortunately victimized over and over and over again. It never ends. It starts with the initial action. Next comes the call to the police where you explain the initial action and hope that the police listen to you and see your fears. Next up is a trip to the local Superior Court, where you stand in front of a judge and state what happened and hope your fear is enough to keep you safe. You hope a stranger will see your fear and agree to help you. Then comes the day you have to go back to court and defend your actions and explain your gut-level sense of fear to more strangers, and hope that they, too, will see your fear. Will they understand that you've changed how you live your life on a day to day basis? Will they see how you look over your shoulder and flinch when someone drives by in that same make and model of car? Will they see you, or will they listen to a funhouse mirror version of yourself, one that doesn't show you, or your fears? Because my life is now rooted in fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of the future. Fear of what other people will think of you and what you did. Did you do the right thing? Should you have done something differently? And then your friends start to question your actions, and ask you if you didn't just overreact? Didn't you just get spooked? Doesn't everyone's significant other threaten them at least once? (That one was my favorite - I thought, "Jesus, I hope not!")

And so you continue to be victimized. And stigmatized. Because you broke that code. You spoke up. You said "NO!" And for that, you learn, people will shun you. I've never felt so isolated and alone in my life than I do now. Thankfully, I have a handful of good, true friends that have made it abundantly clear that they are my support system. That small handful helps balance the majority who either turned their heads away or told me to shut up and let it go.

It's my birthday this week, and I'm not celebrating. Not a lot to celebrate this year. But if you'd like to toast the Soctopus, please raise a glass this Thursday for all the men and women who won't back down, all the men and women who stand up for what's right. Please toast those men and women who fight on, in the face of adversity and scorn, because the Soctopus is one of 'em, and will always fight for what's right.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

An Open Letter To My Husband, or...How The Muppets Make Everything OK

Dear Mr. Soctopus -

It's been awhile since we talked. 28 days, to be exact. Three days until we meet again, in front of a judge. It didn't have to be like this. In fact, I never, ever, EVER wanted it to be like this. After 19 years together, it shouldn't have ended with court, judges, and lawyers sucking each of us dry. It should have ended like it started: with the Muppets.

19 years ago, we had our first real "date," and we rented "The Muppet Movie" to watch at your house. The movie starts with a rainbow in the sky and hope, just like our relationship started. There were hard times in the middle, and things got weird, but everything worked out in the end, even if not quite how everyone expected. We could have (should have) ended this same way.

I know that Wednesday will be the last time I see you. No matter what happens, know that I loved you wholeheartedly, fully, and completely. You will always be the love of my life. That won't ever change. I don't wish you ill, I only wish you the best, and I hope you want the same for me. I hope you find someone who can give you all the things I couldn't.

Even after everything, I still think about you, in the dark of night, and I wonder - do you ever think of me? My heart is healing, slowly, but the days are better. I'm starting to think about finding someone else to meet and have fun with, something that was unthinkable not so very long ago. I want to thank you for all that you gave me during our relationship, including helping me to get my education. But now it's time to walk away.

Why am I writing this? Because circumstances have made it impossible for us talk, and I want you to know how I feel. So, like the little green frog, I'm sitting on a log singing you a song. I wish you well. No matter what happens this Wednesday, you were loved.

the Soctopus

Monday, May 13, 2013

Taking A Stand...Finally.

Whelp. Time to catch you all up. Things continue to drag on the divorce front, and I'm counting down the days. Literally. Counting. But a few things have happened that have changed how I view the people in my life. Let me bring you up to speed...

As you all know, my husband and I were together for a very, very long time. This means that most of our friends were/are "mutual" friends. From day one of the separation, I've bent over backwards to tell people that I'm not asking anyone to take sides, or choose me or Mr. Soctopus. I've told people I encourage them to keep their friendships with the Mr., and have simply asked people to come to me with questions or concerns. And then the "incident" happened, and things changed. Drastically. I have a very good friend who went through a similar divorce, minus the threats, a year or so ago. She warned me that people would start to show their true colors and I would find out who my true friends were. I knew this academically, but it didn't hit home until the first person I considered a friend took a side.

When the Terrible Night happened, I called three close friends, one for immediate support, two for advice and a shoulder to cry on. All of these three people I considered my closest friends. One of them broke my heart. About a week after the Terrible Night, I called this friend again to catch up and talk. She proceeded to tell me that she felt I was overreacting, and needed to consider Mr. Soctopus and how hard I was making his life. She spoke at length about how hard my divorce was on her. When I expressed my hurt and shock at her attitude, she apologized for upsetting me, and proceeded to tell me that it was "the end of an era," and it was so hard for her to get over our separation. I told her I thought we needed some distance, as I couldn't be around anyone that could tell me I was overreacting to the threats Mr. Soctopus made. She apologized again, and we made plans for coffee in a few days. Those plans fell through due to life.

Fast forward to this Saturday, when I'm browsing the FB and realize, "hey, I haven't seen anything from Person X in a while, I'll check and see how she's doing." Except, whoops, nothing shows up when I try to go to her page. So I go to her boyfriend's page, since he's also a close friend. Same result - nothing. And it hits me - they've defriended and blocked me. Ouch. No notice, no warning, just - nothing. This hurt me, as these people were good friends of mine, until the break-up.

I've given this a lot of thought, and came to a conclusion: people will generally take the path of least resistance and do whatever causes the least amount of stress to themselves. In this case, that means keeping silent about what Mr. Soctopus did, and continuing to support him, even if that means cutting me loose. Because in my former social circle, the Mr. isn't the one who did a bad thing, even by threatening me - *I* did the bad thing, by reporting it. By calling the police and involving the authorities, I broke "the code."

I've heard every version of the following statements: "I don't want to get involved," "it's not my business," "that's between you and Mr. Soctopus," etc. forever. And I listened, and when he threatened me, I kept my mouth shut and told very, very few people, because I didn't want to make people uncomfortable or choose sides. So it finally hit me - I've been bending over backwards to make my divorce easier for everyone else!

Why? Why have I been doing this? At the end of the day, if someone tells me they will keep Mr. Soctopus in their lives, or that what he did is between us, I will now tell them, "fine, that means you're not in my life anymore." Because this is an issue that is black and white - what Mr. Soctopus did is wrong. Period. End of story. There is no excuse. There is no good reason. No man should EVER threaten his significant other, male or female, because it's wrong. If you tell me there's another side to the story, you're telling me that you aren't willing to stand up for what's right. If you can't understand that what he did is fundamentally wrong, then you and I shouldn't be friends.

I have two male friends who have come forward to tell me that what Mr. Soctopus did is wrong, and no real man would threaten his partner. I'm thankful for the reminder that there are men who will stand up for what's right, no matter the cost, because the majority of men I know have gone the other direction. So what's changed? I'm done making other peoples' lives easier by accepting the status quo. I'm stepping away from a subculture that I've been a part of since I was a teenager. Because I need to take care of myself and my own mental health, and that means it's time for me to take my hat out of the ring and quietly walk off the stage. As this door closes, new doors will open for me, and I will make new, different friends. I'll mourn the loss of a few friendships, but at the end of the day, I don't want or need anyone in my life that brings me down.

The sun is shining, the world is wide open, and it's time for me to walk outside the narrow box I've inhabited and find out what's out there for me. Goodbye, Mr. Soctopus. Goodbye, old friends and acquaintances. It's time for this Soctopus to embrace the new and move on.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A "Very Serious Post," Y'All

*deep breath*

Well, it's been about a month since the Soctopus spoke. I think it's time to let you know what's been going on in the Soctopus' life lately. I debated long and hard about making this post, but I feel strongly that it is important for people to know and understand, that last word being the key.

Most of you who read my blog (hi, Mom!) (just kidding - Mom doesn't read blogs) know that I'm going through a divorce. It's been sad and difficult, as I've been with Mr. Soctopus for 19 years. I moved out of my house with my art, my books, my tiki bar, and the clothes on my back. Mr. Soctopus kept everything in his name. Everything. Including my vehicle, which I made every payment on, including insurance. The cell phone. Everything. So I had to start over, from scratch, with nothing.

I found myself a sweet little pad in a new apartment building in my neighborhood of choice. (Yay! Sweet pad!) I moved myself out one day before the two-week anniversary of my dismissal. During this time, I had to force Mr. Soctopus to talk to me about what we were going to do, because the one thing I *do* own is 50% of a $450,000 house. Our agreement was simple: since he gets the house and I have nothing, AND he wasn't willing to part with any of "his" things to help me, he paid for my furniture, dishes, silverware, etc etc etc. Only fair, and the Soctopus shopped cheap, let me tell you. Macy's sales were my friend. The Soctopus agreed to sign a quit-claim on the house in return for her truck and the remainder of the truck's note paid off. That's it. Nothing else. No retirement split. No wages. No insurance. NOTHING. Just my truck. That I paid for.

Seems fair, right? Mr. Soctopus agreed, and we were headed towards a civil, if passive-aggressive and unpleasant, divorce. Mr. Soctopus' only job was to file the divorce paperwork, since he was the instigator and wanted the divorce. Now comes the part of the tale that gets ugly. The Soctopus mentioned to the Mr. that half of the records he had acquired during our marriage were legally mine, and perhaps I should take a box of records for safe-keeping until such time as he filed the paperwork. Oy vey. Here is the part I dread sharing....

Mr. Soctopus got angry. Very, very angry. So angry he told the Soctopus he was going to "slit her throat" and kill her. So angry he told the Soctopus she better hide, because he was going to find her and kill her. And so, in one quick moment, the Soctopus became the victim of domestic violence. Police were called, guns were confiscated, and an order of protection was obtained. Because I can tell you this much: I wouldn't be here, writing this sad, sorry blog if that conversation had been in person, and not over the phone.

So as of today, the Soctopus is now a lover of sparkly things, future divorcee, and survivor of violence and a threat of death. Hearing the officer say those words: " a victim of domestic violence, you're entitled to...". Oh, that hurt. A lot. Because the Soctopus IS NOT THAT WOMAN. Except, she is. Now. And anyone can be THAT WOMAN. Easily.

I shared this blog, painful and humiliating as it is, to share with other women that ANYONE can be touched by domestic violence, no matter who they are and what their relationship is or was. And guess what? I'm scared. I'm scared of what Mr. Soctopus is going to do when he learns that the police were called. I'm scared of what he'll do when he realizes the police seized his guns. Because I don't know what to expect, and one phone call changed every view I'd had of who my husband was. Because someone who loves you would NEVER tell you how they are going to slit your throat, right?

My message to anyone reading this, male or female, that feels afraid or threatened by their partner: call someone for help. The police. Your family. A stranger. Someone. Anyone. Get help. Get out. And understand that the consequences for your partner are not your fault. I tell myself this every single day, several times, because I still feel nervous and unsure. But the bottom line is that I didn't ask for my life to be threatened. I didn't cast this die. He did, and he will have to face the consequences of his actions.

There. So now you know what the Soctopus has been up to. Now you know why this post was so hard to write. If I can become a statistic, anyone can. Take care of yourselves and each other, and be kind to yourselves, because the world won't necessarily be kind to you.

Monday, March 18, 2013


OK, OK, OK. I *know* I said I'd left the building. But you know what? Fuck that. The Soctopus is back, a lot sadder, a little wiser, and minus one 8-tentacled male suckerfish. So let's talk about the changes in the Soctopus' life in the last 24 hours: the 'Pus is now single. Yep. No more Mr. for this Miss. Next step: new cephalo-pad (get it? cephalo-PAD? HaaaaaahahahaHAAAAH!). OK. Lame joke, moving on...

What's next? Well, the 'Pus is changing her name back. You may not know this, but the Soctopus is a Mexican lady-cephalopod who was saddled with a German name. Well, thanks to some judicious use of "German-B-Gone," the Soctopus will soon be back to her birth name, which is as Chicana as they come. It feels good. I was not a good German.

So the Soctopus is back. (OK, the Soctopus never really left. SEMANTICS, y'all.) Beware, world, because this 8-tentacled bitch is back in business!

The Soctopus Has Left The Building

The Soctopus is going through some hard times right now. Very hard. As a matter of fact, the Soctopus doesn't know what to do with her life right now, and is in a bad place. So the blog is going on hiatus. Not that there was a lot there to start with.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Nurse Hard pt.III, The Return


It's time, y'all. Time to learn about the realities of nursing, burn-out, and depression. Because err'body should know that the Soctopus is depressed. The last few weeks have been rough. Very rough. Work has been particularly ugly, and the personal life is not much better. Mr. Soctopus is traveling for work about 75-80% of the time, so the Soctopus is on her own. A lot. Combine those two factors, and you have one depressed cephalopod.

Problem the 1st: work. You see, the Soctopus works for a small hospital. A small hospital that was purchased by a larger hospital, which has now taken over. What does this mean for the Soctopus? It means things are changing at work, including sicker patients and higher patient loads. New policies. All of this is surmountable, but in the short term means a lot more work. However, all of these factors combined this past week to make a confluence of utter and complete fuckery at work. A shit-storm of epic proportions. We had several rapid responses called on patients, with the week capped by a code blue that was not successful. The Soctopus worked almost 60 hours this week. Please do that math. It's not pretty.

Problem the 2nd: Mr. Soctopus and his travelin' man ways. You see, Mr. Soctopus travels for work. In the last year, that travel has morphed into traveling greater than 70% of the time. So the little missus is left alone. Often. This means that when work is hard on the Soctopus, and things go badly, the Soctopus comes home to an empty house. No one to talk to. No one to vent to. No one to give the Soctopus a hug. So the Soctopus has been slowly getting sadder and angrier over the past few months. Because the Soctopus is, for all intents and purposes, single. Work is hard. Coming home to an empty house is harder. Bottling it all inside is harder still. The Soctupus sometimes feels like a shaken soda bottle with the cap on. No one knows when it's going to blow, they just know that it will, and it won't be pretty.

So what do you do when there just isn't a "safe" place in your life? Who do you talk to when your partner isn't available, and you don't want to burden your friends? How do you cope with feeling alone, angry, and so, so sad? The Soctopus just doesn't know anymore.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Nailed It!

First, let me apologize for the terrible pun. I couldn't help myself. But, yes - you guessed right! This is, indeed, the first nail polish post on the Soctopus' blog, and it's an indie polish post, at that! It's time to review Daily Lacquer, an indie polish brand that is local to me, based here in Seattle.

Daily Lacquer sells via an Etsy site or her website, The website design is one of the best I've seen, particularly for an indie nail polish site. The site listings are clean, the photos are clear and accurate, and the little touches are perfect. (When you add an item to your cart, a small window pops up to tell you "Thank you, Sweetie!" Perfect!) The three polishes I purchased are all from the Moulin Rouge collection.

The polishes, clockwise from the top right, are: The Green Fairy, Satine, Come What May, and unnamed GWP. The Green Fairy is perfect, a light chartreuse with shimmer, loaded with gold glitter. What isn't immediately visible is that the gold glitter is holographic. Yes, that's right - holographic gold glitter. Shazaam! Come What May is a grey creme polish loaded with hot pink holo-glitter, hot pink matte glitter, and hot pink hearts. It is much more vibrant in person - the hot pink glitter practically glows in the bottle. The GWP is unnamed but very unusual. If anyone has seen the indie nail polish called Floam (by NailVenturous), well, this is the same idea, but the micro-glitter is navy blue and hot pink. I can't wait to try it out!

However, I've saved the best for last. Satine! Satine is a dark black-based holographic polish filled with holographic micro-glitter and holographic diamond glitter. It. Is. Stunning. The large diamond glitter is suspended in the holo-base perfectly, and it is opaque in two coats. It dried quickly and the glitter was spaced well. The only downside to this polish is that, like most glitter polishes, it eats top coats. The picture below shows two coats of Satine with three coats of Rock Hard top coat and one thick coat of Sally Hanson In A Second top coat. It needed all four coats. But it is mesmerizing to look at. The large diamonds flash different colors at different angles, and this one is clearly, obviously holographic even in low light. It is the best holographic polish I've ever seen, bar none.

So, you ask, "hey, Soctopus - would you buy from Daily Lacquer again?" to which the Soctopus replies, "hell yes!" Go get some polish from the Daily Lacquer. It retails for $9, and the bottles are just lovely little pieces of vintage-style art. But go now, because the Moulin Rouge collection is almost sold out!

*all polishes purchased by me, without compensation, except GWP*