1 The Annunciation to The World of the Birth of Amazon.com.
2 In the seventh month of 1994, an Entrepreneur was sent from Wall St. to a city in Washington State named Bellevue,
3 to a rented garage whereby he became betrothed to a computer commerce website, of the house of The Internet;
4 and the commerce website was named Amazon.com.
5 And the Entrepreneur came to the website and said,
6 “Hail, I am full of start-up money, your future online shopping service is with you!”
7 But the world was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in its mind what sort of greeting this might be.
8 And the Entrepreneur said to the world, “Do not be afraid, my Consumers, for you have found favor with my Investors.
9 And behold, you will realize in your minds that you must go online and you shall call up the name Amazon.com in your search bar.
10 Amazon.com will be great, and will be called the The Largest Internet Retailer of the Most High; and the Entrepreneur will give to all the world’s Consumers the ability to purchase anything imaginable,
11 and it will reign over the house of Planet Earth forever; and of his online website, the Mighty Amazon.com, there will be no end.”
12 And the Consumers said to the Entrepreneur , “How shall this be, since I have no money?”
13 And the Entrepreneur said to them, “The impossibly low prices and ease of purchasing will come upon you, and cloud your senses, and the power of the Most High Bank and Credit card accounts will overshadow you;
14 therefore the website to be born will be called Amazon.com, the Son of Entrepreneur, Jeff Bezos.
15 And behold, your kinsman, Walmart, Barnes and Noble, in their archaic age, will also conceive online shopping websites; for with greedy consumers nothing will be impossible.”
16 And the Consumers said, “Behold, although we are the poorest of the Land, let it be to us according to your word, to purchase everything we ever wanted from Amazon.com.”
17 And the Entrepreneur departed from his Consumers to count his money.
1 The Birth of Amazon.com
2 In those days a decree went out from the Entrepreneur that all the world should be enrolled with an account on Amazon.com. And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city.
3 And the Entrepreneur went to the larger city of Seattle, which is nearby Bellevue, because he was to be enrolled with The Internet, his betrothed, who was with overwhelmed with the success of Amazon.com.
4 And while they were there, the time came for Amazon.com to begin its first deliveries.
5 And the first delivery was a book entitled Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies by author Douglas Hofstadter and it was wrapped in a plain cardboard box and was laid on the front porch of the Consumer, because there was no other place for the package to go; it had reached its destination.
6 And in that region there were other Consumers out in the streets keeping watch over the delivery that day.
7 And an apparition of the Entrepreneur appeared to them, and the glory of the Amazon.com logo shone around them, and they were filled with no fear, but amazement and awe.
8 And the apparition of the Entrepreneur said to them, “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people;
9 for to you is born this day in the city of Seattle, the almighty Amazon.com.
10 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a package wrapped for each of you on all of your front porches”.
11 And suddenly there was with the apparition of the Entrepreneur a multitude of the Worldly and Wealthiest Consumers praising and saying,
12 “Glory to Jeff Bezos in the highest, and on Earth, bring swift and sudden bankruptcy among Consumers with whom he is pleased to allow them to purchase all the tangible things ever made!”
13 When the apparition of the Entrepreneur went away from them back to Seattle, the Consumers said to one another, “Let us go over to our neighbor’s homes and see this thing that has happened, which the apparition of the Entrepreneur has made known to us.”
14 And they went with haste, and found packages among packages, of all sizes lying on all the front porches of the land.
15 And when they saw them they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this phenomena;
16 and all who heard it wondered at what the Consumers told them.
17 And Consumers kept all these things, pondering them in their hearts.
18 And the Consumers returned, glorifying and praising Amazon.com for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO AMAZON.COM
And the Consumers said, “Amen.”
Vomitilicious: eating too much yummy food.
Abyssmas: anything related to Christmas season.
Re–doodoo: dog poops immediately after walk.
Irregretless: having no regrets at all.
Momsknoweverything: speaks for itself, trust me.
Sangover: too much drinking and karaoke.
Beerling: darling bring a beer, now.
Teeeiny: sadly describing a man’s genitalia.
Iphobia: fear of all things Apple.
Omititus: failure to fully disclose truth.
Muncholicious: anything edible after smoking marijuana.
OrganicNo: normal processed food we crave.
Apafetish: the closeted predilection of apathy.
Mindlessness: totally over being mindfully mindful.
Ridiculousness: the current political pity party.
Misunderstandable: incapable of ability to comprehend.
ToughGlove: gently but firmly removing glove.
Because I hate myself. I am loathesome and worthless. I’m more trouble than I’m worth. I am irrelevant and have nothing in my life that validates my existence.
Because my soon to be 23 year old daughter is having a birthday next week and due to the fact that she “needs space and a break“ from me, I am not included in her birthday celebration. Ironic, however, that she would not be having a birthday if I hadn’t given her a Birth Day 23 years ago.
Because I am paralyzed from this emotional pain and cannot get out bed.
Because the three people that do reach out to me, my mother my dad and my birth father, are of no help to me because the PTSD diagnosis/ label I carry is because of my childhood trauma that these three parents were a party to.
Because I have no “person”. I have no one left to turn to in this while living in this pain that has not already been over burdened by me.
Because I used to be somebody. I was a hard worker. I was a good wife. I’m was a good mother. I was a good friend. Eventually I even became a good daughter. But now I am none of those things any longer.
I am finished with what good I can do in this life for myself and for anyone else. There is nothing left to do. I am no longer relevant.
I am old and tired and unattractive and unappealing. I hate who I have become. And how I feel about myself
I have lost so much in the last five or so years. My children moved out to go to college (as they should) but I can’t bear my life without them in it. My youngest child will be gone within a year once she graduates and goes away to college. The time I have left with her is not of any quality time for her because I am such a wretched miserable human being. I will eventually ruin her life too, and be excised and ignored.
All the “love” I have received in my entire life has been conditional. This I know because I have always loved my children unconditionally and fiercely and completely. I know the difference.
I don’t want to go to the hospital because I know what that experience is like and it’s just not helpful and it is a whole lot of trouble. I can’t fathom the the idea of getting out of bed to go to the hospital today.
My therapist that I see three days a week is a wonderful and caring person. However I think that I am too far gone too benefit from this attempt at rebuilding my self worth and self-esteem at this point in my life. It just doesn’t seem to be working, obviously.
Also, in these last five or so years not only have I lost my family, I have a lost so many friends that I used to be so close with and trusted them and loved them yet most of them have “ghosted“ me; that is to say that for no reason that I can discern and no matter how much I try to reach out, these people have completely, without any explanation, removed me from their lives as though I never even existed. I know that I am the common denominator so I know that it’s my fault because I have deteriorated so much and have become so negative and they are in self-preservation mode and needing to remove the toxic person that is me from their lives. But it is excruciating to be ghosted with nary an explanation or just a simple “I can’t do this anymore” statement. If I were to try to name all of these people that have piled up like a mass grave in my backyard I would say it started with B back in 2013, then L, G, K, T, K, L; and then there was my yoga instructor who disappeared with no explanation and to top it all off, I was rejected as a potential volunteer in a child advocate program for reasons unknown. (It doesn’t get more demoralizing than to be rejected for a volunteer position). The not knowing what I did wrong is extremely painful in all of these situations as it all remains unresolved to this day.
I left my home of 25 years to move back into the city and take a sabbatical in the effort to try to get well with therapy thrice weekly (basically my full time job). And by the way, it’s no pleasant experience to be judged by my oldest daughter for “leaving Dad” when in fact, good ol Dad didn’t try to stop me and I haven’t heard anyone asking me to come back. I believe that it’s going to end my marriage and I will be completely alone once my youngest daughter leaves for college. So essentially the last 25 years of my life have been all for nothing.
Since I was alone for many years before my marriage I am quite capable of taking care of myself, I just don’t want to. I’m sick and tired of living like this. Just let me go. I’ve paid more than the average amount of dues and look at me now. There is no point. If I were to die today I don’t know when anyone would even realize it.
A particularly harsh reality is that I am also labeled medication-resistant and my long time psychiatrist has given up on me. And everyone that knows me knows that I have tried everything to get well. But nothing is working anymore. I see no light at the end of the tunnel.
Even though I understand that suicide is “selfish”, and it is a “permanent solution to a temporary problem”, neither one of those reasons of applies to me. People die. Parents die. Friends die. Relatives die. It’s just a matter of when and how. But we are all going to die. And I think it’s selfish of the people who try to tell me not to do it because in reality they are just don’t want to feel guilty that they failed me. Which they didn’t -fail me, that is. I have a severe chronic disease that can sometimes be fatal in spite of all the efforts made.
Suicide is by definition the easiest and quickest way to ease the pain that I am in. I can open a drawer within my reach and be done with it. Mental health issues are just now becoming relevant and the suicide rate is higher than ever. If I die what will I miss out on? My daughter’s high school graduation, my son‘s college graduation, my children’s marriages, grandchildren….but none of that means enough to get me through today and my experience tells me that it’s never going to be enough to get me through another day. They aren’t doing these things for me. They are living their lives, as they should. And it’s painfully clear that they do not need me anymore. Or even want me anymore. I’m a burden, a ball and chain that’s ruining their otherwise delightful lives. (And by the way, you’re welcome.)
I was never meant to be. I was not supposed to be born, I was abandoned and passed around to numerous variations of parents, stepparents, adopted parents, grandparents, etc. By the age of seventeen I was on my own without any resources -no one even knew I was gone- whatsoever except my own tenacity, and I made a life for myself. And through medication and therapy I managed my depression superbly. During my career I worked very hard for a gross, inappropriate, old man boss who constantly wanted me to hav sex with him. (That’s the second wave of PTSD that I deal with). I still have nightmares every night about that job and can’t seem to get past it. But the validating part was that I was a really good, smart, asset to his business and I made a lot of money and I just thought that I could take it until the end. But I was wrong.
The few friends that I have left including D, R, M, L, M, V, and C are very good to me but they can’t fix me or help me. And I know that I will eventually lose them as well because I am completely toxic. And on any given decent day I can take it and be the good friend, the good daughter, the good wife, the good mother, but today I am too tired. I just want it all to end because the longer I stay around the more damage I will do to the people that I care about and who care about me. This is a proven fact.
And finally, I no longer believe in God or heaven so once I’m gone I’m just gone. I won’t be watching over the people I love and I won’t be watching what I’ve done ruin their lives. I just won’t Be.
Unconditional: not limited by conditions; absolute.
Love: a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
Unconditional Love: An absolute profoundly tender passionate affection for another person, not limited by conditions.
Is that really a thing?
Is that possible?
Are you born with it?
How do you know if you feel it?
How do you know if you’re receiving it?
Does it come and go?
Do you have to earn it?
Can you keep it forever if you receive it?
Do you have to reciprocate?
What if you can’t?
What if you don’t want it?
Can you refuse it?
Can you withhold it?
Can you force it?
Can you believe it?
Can you live without it?
Can you prove it?
Can you undo it?
Can you lose it?
Can you trust it?
Is there a catch?
What’s in the fine print?
What are the rules?
Are there strings attached?
Can you give me some examples?
What is this concept you call unconditional love?
It seems to be complicated;
Thanks but I think I’ll pass for now. It sounds a bit dangerous.
I’m not old enough to remember the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in November of 1963, but history books teach us one specific point: when the President of the United States is dead or otherwise incapacitated, there is an immediate transfer of power to the sitting Vice-President, thereby ensuring that there is not a single moment in which the United States is without Presidential power.
This historical tidbit is not related to this story except to the extent of how quickly the complete and total power can be taken away from one person and handed over to someone else with nary a blink of an eye, leaving the one person formerly in charge, to now be under total control of the other newly minted “Person With All The Power”.
So! Picture yourself in the delivery room preparing to give birth to your first child. You are excited, scared, unprepared and have no idea what to expect. You’ve read all the books and attended all the classes and now this baby is coming and you couldn’t stop it if you tried. No do-overs, no let’s wait until we’re more prepared, no ooops, I’ve changed my mind. No, no, no, no. This is IT, girlfriend.
But it’s all good; you’ve been waiting for this special moment, your partner is present and in total awe of you, and OMG we’re having a baby! Minutes, hours or even days later, your baby is out of your womb, untethered from you by virtue of the ceremonial snipping of the umbilical cord, which is a strange thing actually; your baby, that your womb cultivated for 9 long months, is now literally detached from you. Kind of a relief, no?
“No”, (hell no!) is right on point, brand new parents. Because immediately yet ever so subtlety, rather slyly even, there has been a Major Transfer Of Power. While you and your parenting partner were sobbing, cradling, praying, staring, photographing, rocking, nursing, nuzzling, hugging, snuggling……your precious newborn has begun his 18+ year reign as The Most Powerful In All The Land As Far As One Can See role in all of your lives. That’s right, the immediate transfer of power has taken place. You, parents, are no longer in charge. You no longer have any kind of flexibility in your life. You’ve been virtually stripped of all your former control and power over your own life. No indeed. There’s a new kid in town, to paraphrase the great Eagles song circa 1976, and he is Powerful!
No one told you about this, did they? Who is this fabled new Christ-like person? Where did he come from? How is he going to affect me? Can I return him if necessary, if things just don’t work out? Why does this tiny despot have total control over my life 24/7? Will I ever get my power back? Some modicum of authority and governance of my own?
No you will not. At least not for a long, long, very long time and maybe never. Oh, one day he might leave for a few years upon reaching adulthood (which, by the way, you, the powerless ones, are in charge of making sure he’s properly prepared and ready to go, should he choose to, which he may not, ever), but he may leave and then come back and stay forever, or he may leave with nary a glance back, no waving his hand goodbye, no “thanks, parents, for all you did for me. See ya never!”
If you’re lucky, if you did everything exactly right every minute that this dictator led your kingdom, then maybe, possibly, hopefully you will reclaim, earn, and salvage some of the long lost, long forgotten heady power that you once possessed. Good luck with that. Meanwhile, be a decent person and let your currently childless friends in on this scary secret that no one ever talks about. Warn them; show them; let them see how the life you had before has been totally sucked out of you.
I leave you with a quote from the book, A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagihara, as follows:
” Their world is governed by children, little despots who’s needs-school and camp and activities and tutors-dictate every decision, and will for the next ten, fifteen, eighteen years. Having children has provided their adulthood with an instant and nonnegotiable sense of purpose and direction: they decide the length and location of that year’s vacation, they determine if there will be any leftover money, and if so, how it might be spent; they give shape to a day, a week, a year, a life. Children are kind of cartography, and all one has to do is obey the map they present to you on the day they are born”.
I have pretty much accepted that I will be chronically depressed until the day I die, but recently I’ve noticed that my racing thoughts have been more about how to alleviate my guilt than what I can do about my depression. I suppose that since I’ve become apathetic about the idea that I could ever be free of depression, my ravaged, very pissed off gray matter refuses to stop torturing me and so now has turned to plaguing me with crippling thoughts of guilt for all my transgressions throughout my life. So as I drift off to sleep each night and slowly awaken each morning, guilt plagues me.
So what am I guilty of? Or about? And why? I. Do. Not. Know. But I’m beating myself up about everything, every single minute of every single day. I don’t have any specific acts of horribleness in my past or present. I don’t have a cache of any regrettable misdeeds. I don’t have any skeletons in any of my closets. There’s nothing nefarious going on behind my closed doors. But I am tortured by unanswered questions as to why I feel so damn guilty.
For the past several years, my mental health has deteriorated tremendously. People think negatively of me. I’m too needy, I’m over the top. I’m Too Much. My astonishing record of being ghosted by family and friends increases daily. I’ve lost my mojo, apparently, and I don’t know how or why or when that happened. And since I don’t have any definitive answers, I naturally cannot help but question myself constantly and carry around this burden of guilt. What have I done? What did I do? What is so bad about me?
Here are some possibilities:
Because I’m chronically depressed, I have not been a good and worthy person in the areas of wife, mother, daughter, sister, niece, in-law, friend, employee.
I didn’t attend many of my kids’ sporting events because it was excruciatingly boring and always too cold, too hot, too far away.
I stopped cooking dinner somewhere along the way when my kids’ schedules became an obstacle to my trying to pull together a meal that everyone would be present for and also like what I was serving.
I don’t clean my house. I have a cleaning service who does everything, from vacuuming to laundry and everything in between.
My kids mostly took the bus to school over the years; I didn’t drive them unless I had to, depending on what various magnet schools they were attending. Speaking of which, I made my kids go to magnet schools, thereby forcing them to be separated from their neighborhood friends.
It appears that I was one lazy-ass wife and mother.
I wasn’t the dutiful daughter. I fought with my mom and still do to this very day.
I stopped sending cards and gifts to my myriad of stepmothers, stepfathers, half-siblings, step-siblings, long lost biological father; there were just too many.
I left my job of 15 years because I wanted to spend more time with my children. (Oh, and also, the constant sexual harassment from my boss just became untenable. I did not want to have sex with him, ever, and therefore he made my work life a living hell.) As it turned out I continued working for that boss, from home for ten more years, and I was never forgiven for disallowing him the daily pleasure of ogling my live-and-in-person-self any longer. But he paid me well, and I needed the income so one could argue that I prostituted myself for 25 years even though I never, ever, went along with what he wanted and apparently thought he deserved.
Bottom line: no matter what I do and did, it’s just not ever going to be good enough. I did so many things wrong. Now I could conclude this missive with a perfectly good and acceptable list of reasons for why I was such a miserable bitch who did all those terrible things, but that wouldn’t be any fun would it? Why ruin a perfectly good essay about a useless, unworthy, lazy woman who is getting exactly what she deserves? Karma’s a bitch, right?
You’re probably wondering how I can live with myself, having done such a shitty job of being a human being who lured people into my life only to treat them like shit, allowing myself to have them tend to my every need whilst I lay in my bed, unable to get up due to the black of the blackest monster living in my brain, my closest ally, Depression. Yes, I am guilty of all these things, and many others. Yes, I indeed do have to live with myself, accompanied by Guilt, residing cozily alongside Depression, and also, let’s throw in some PTSD (due to traumatic events in my life, not the least of which is the hideous sexual harassment during my career), to the mix, resulting in a recipe gone terribly wrong, in my gray-but-ever-darkening-matter, the massive mess of miswired milieu inside my head.
I respectfully thank you, reader, for indulging me, and helping me to make some sense out of this wretched guilt. It’s much clearer to me now. I deserve to be judged, convicted and found guilty, and it has earned me a life sentence. I would have rather gotten a death sentence.