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First, go here. Read this. It made me cry.

Then write your story over there

Or here.

ALL of them.

————

Okay back? Good. Here goes:

I owe you a bit of an explanation, Pranksters. Without warning I stopped writing my Go Ask Aunt Becky column, which, as someone with a high degree of anal retentiveness (*waves*), drove me crazy.

I’d started my lame advice column as a joke, intended to write up dumb answers to such things as “why do I have so much sausage in the fridge?” and “where are my pants?”

Instead, you guys sent me real questions with real problems and I? Well, I got…overwhelmed? I guess that’s the word. My life has been a roller coaster of weird lately and I, well, I wouldn’t take any of my own advice. Ever. You don’t want to be like me.

The other non-serious questions had to do with blogging, mostly of the “how do I get famous?” variety. And while I’ve written my Blogging for Dummies Guide, I’m not sure how to answer that sort of question without getting all, “with fame comes great responsibility,” or whatever.

My own blog grew organically because I hit the right segment of the population at the right time, not because I had an excessively awesome theme or anything. Like anything else, blogging is a hit-or-miss kinda thing and some people make it and you’ll totally get why while others (*waves*) confound you – how could someone be so dumb?

Anyway.

I’ll get back into my advice column. Feel free to submit questions up at the top of my screen – and, as always, feel free to give your advice in the comments.

—————-

Dear Aunt Becky,

Why should I ask your advice if you’re not a real professional?

Dear Prankster:

You get what you pay for.

——————–

Hey Aunt Becky,

Recently I found out a friend I had lost contact with had been a victim of, carjacking, kidnapping, and sexual assault. She is almost a year survived from the attack, but having terrible ptsd, Keeping her from working and enjoying her young life. I no longer live near hear and wanted to send a care package to her to show her my love. Any ideas for this package? I thought spa, but really think that might not be the best idea, with the physical contact. Any ideas would be wonderful. (btw man was caught and charged for all these awful things he has done to her)
Love your niece,
Kay

Hello my darling Kay!

What happened to your friend is fucking hideous and you? Are full of the awesome for wanting to help her.

I’d suggest sending her a package of random stuff to make her smile – I agree that the spa thing is probably a bad idea. I’d fill a box with random things – some chocolate, some goofy craft stuff, a tiara, whatever – cute stuff she can go through and giggle at. And write her a nice letter telling her you’re thinking of her.

I’ve made you THIS for helping someone heal from sexual assault, and I hope it helps.

Send your friend all my love. And you too, for being such a kickass friend. We could all be so lucky.

Love,

AB

—————

Dear Aunt Becky,

I feel really awkward calling you that but hey it’s whatever. One simple question I’m a mom and I want to start a mommy blog but I don’t want it to be traditional like the ones you read while you’re bored surfing the internet and the first sentence is … kat took her first poop in the big girl toilet.

haha big FUCKING woop.

Do you have any advice not to be that mom and where do I start?

Dear Prankster,

I love the awkward – assumed familiarity is beyond hilarious. And you don’t want to write about your kid taking a shit? THANK YOU, on behalf of the Internet, THANK YOU.

I wrote up this Blogging for Dummies Guide – let me know if it helps.

Love you,

AB

“They look like white elephants,” she said.

“I’ve never seen one,” the man drank his beer.

“No, you wouldn’t have.”

“I might have,” the man said. “Just because you say I wouldn’t have doesn’t prove anything.”

- Hills Like White Elephants, Ernest Hemingway

It starts with the nightmares.

Night after night, I’m stranded in airports I’ve never visited – some exotic, some rural – malls I’ve never seen, always looking for someone who, in a dream-like way, I know is looking for me, too. A particular someone – someone who I’ve never met, but someone who, I chase night after night. I have a feeling I’d know him if I saw him, but really, that could be a lie.

It feels silly, to admit that I spend my dream time, not eating Marshmallow Fluff, but looking for a particular person. I’d much rather be saving the world while I sleep than sorting through the faceless masses at fictional airports.

Once the dreams begin, sleeping becomes fitful, if not impossible.

I’ve not won any sleeping awards since I got my thyroid regulated (I HAVE A GLANDULAR PROBLEM), but during these patches, it becomes nearly impossible. When I sleep, I run, I chase, I wake myself weeping into my pillow or moaning in sadness. By 9AM, all hope of rest gone, I slog my soggy ass out of bed and pretend that I remember what it’s like to sleep.

I’m functional for a few weeks like this, groggy, with slowed reflexes, but, with my rate of unintentional self-injury, no one notices.

It’s only after a few weeks, months, I don’t know how long, that I start to crack. The anxiety becomes too much. Things I would’ve normally found hilarious – my neighbors tree, for example, which looks like it’s growing a full set of knockers – don’t even elicit the barest of smiles.

I want so desperately to reach out, to connect with someone; anyone, but I can’t bring myself to do it. I can’t bring myself to admit that it’s okay to be weak – that I’m allowed to not understand my feelings. It’s then that the voices of those who I have once loved echo through my head and I begin to doubt. Everything. Myself. My ability to function in every day society.

The echos of things once-said flit through my mind. “I can’t handle your problems right now,” my ghost-husband says. “You’re a liar,” my ghost-brother says. “Take down that story about the rape or I’ll take action,” my ghost ex threatens.

My world becomes smaller, ever smaller, as the PTSD rears it’s head. And this time, like the others, it leaves me gasping for air, for straws, for any reason as to why there’s a 9,827 pound white elephant on my chest when the rest of the world seems to be breathing air like it’s no big deal.

I wonder what is so fundamentally fucked inside my head that I can’t manage to beat this PTSD: my daughter lived. I have countless friends who’d gnaw off a couple of legs to say the same thing. So why am I so fucked? Why does rubbing my hand along the plastic implant inside her skull make me break out in a cold sweat? She squeals and laughs runs and plays and kicks her brothers with wild abandon, while I am trapped on the couch, my windpipe unable to properly move air into my lungs.

And those words, those words like white elephants, trapped in my lungs, they remain unspoken.

Normally, when I announce to all four cats, my children, The Daver, and/or The Guy On My Couch that “I’m taking the weekend off,” I mean this:

“I’m not actually going to work online – but I’ll be digging trenches, planting trees, mulching weeding, planting, seeding, watering, cleaning out the garage, making 47 trips to Goodwill, obsessing about painting my kitchen cabinets white, whine about my formerly white – now dingy grey – carpets, fantasize about buying attachments for my Dyson, sorting kid’s clothes, throwing away dead frogs, helping color pictures before realizing I have the artistic ability of a squirrel with five thumbs, then dropping into an exhausted heap on my couch to watch shitty television until it’s time to wake up and do it all again. But I mean I’m going to do that WITHOUT obsessively Tweeting. Or checking email.

MUCH.”

I don’t “take time off” like normal people. Or maybe that IS how normal people “take time off,” I don’t know; I write a blog on the Internet where I call myself “Aunt Becky.” I’m not the Poster Child for normal.

But, upon dragging ass outta bed Saturday morning to “not take time off,” I realized that I was kinda…reeling around. Like the drunken spins, except I haven’t had an ACTUAL drink in for-fucking-ever.

(stop gaping at me like that. You’re going to attract flies that LAND IN YOUR OPEN MOUTH AND MAKE FLY BABIES)

Be honest, Pranksters: Drinking at 31 < Drinking at 21

The spins kinda suck, just like making out with that random hot bartender, then vomiting all over the back of a cab is kinda shameful. Now. Then? It was hi-fucking-larious.

“…remember that time Becky barfed on the back of a yellow cab in downtown Chicago while that hot bartender rubbed her back, then made out with her? Bwahahahahaha!”

See? Hilarious.

(See also: why would that hot bartender want to make out with a barfy chick?)

Anyway, I had the spins. I blamed Dawn, who was passing a kidney stone that we’re sharing custody of, for sympathetic dizziness. I’ve never been dizzy, aside from being drunk, but I will note this: I walked into less walls while dizzy than while sober.

That being here nor there, Dawn decided to come over and join Ben (The Guy On My Couch) and I, who were sitting on opposite ends of the couch, playing on our respective phones.

And, because I am used to going! going! going! during weekends, I decided that I wasn’t actually dizzy – just….having issues with equilibrium – and that the only cure for a fucked-up equilibrium was not, in fact, more cowbell, but more mulch.

I pried my dizzy ass off the couch, and off we went to the hardware store. Hey, I needed my fucking mulch.

We were fine, the whole way there.

The problem started when the doors to Lowes, bless their hearts, opened. Suddenly, I felt like the world had been tipped on its side. I grabbed Ben and Dawn to steady me as we made our way to the back of the store for a non-bullshit neck massager.

(awkward segue: of COURSE I mean “neck massager.” I write a sex column. If I wanted another sex toy, I’m pretty sure SOMEONE would give me one.)

We made it all the way back to dishwashers before I began to sweat, the gorge of vom rising in my throat, as the world continued, uncannily, to spin. Ben and Dawn steered me to a set of chairs, where I sat, trying to figure out how to exit the store without:

a) Falling over

2) Alerting the store personnel that I was, in fact, in need of medical attention. The very LAST thing I wanted was to have to tell the world that I was in an ambulance because “I was dizzy.” If I had to be in an ambulance at all, I wanted to be

  • delivering a baby

or

  • delivering a basket of kittens I’d saved from a burning house.

Since I was “simply dizzy,” I tried to look as non-stupid as one can while flanked by two people who are steering you toward the exit while your eyes are closed.

Yeah, I could feel the stares, even WITH my eyes closed. It didn’t help that I’d chosen, in a moment of personal irony, to wear my Genetics shirt from the Museum of Science and Industry, which proudly asks, “Why Am I So Beautiful?” (the back says, GENETICS).

After what seemed like 82,747 hours, I hit the yawning doors, holding onto Dawn and The Guy On My Couch like we were the last people on the RMS Titanic (the real one, not the one with Leonardo DiCaprio), I’d figured I was done with the humiliation of it all.

That is, until Dawn screamed, “Don’t judge our love!” at some couple gaping at us. I’d have grabbed both of their asses for effect, but I’d probably have toppled over only to be run over by a frantic couple from Delaware, desperately looking for some refuse bags.

Upside? I’d get cross two items off my (non-existent) bucket list.

1) Meet someone from Delaware

B) Get hit by a car.

Downside?

I’d have probably been dead. Dying over refuse bag purchases is just…pathetic.

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