Dream Journal 9/29/15

I picked up a bag of apples, Kyle cracked a joke about something stupid, and I took one of the apples out and threw it at him. The apple missed him, and hit a random woman. The apple hit her in the head, but she didn’t even notice and kept walking, like it had hit a cement wall.

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I woke up in the middle of the night and went to the fridge to get some milk, but my milk wasn’t there. I looked around and saw the carton sitting on the table, and I got upset because that meant Kyle drank it all. I drink soy milk, but he drinks regular milk, so I was upset because he still had his own milk. I picked up the carton to throw it away and realized that it was still half-full. I opened it and for some reason, even though it had only been sitting out for a little while, it was completely curdled, which was… weird.

I threw it away and went into Kyle’s room and started yelling at him, and I punched him and told him we had to go and get milk right now because I was thirsty. Mama needs her soy milk.

So we went to the store and stood in the parking lot arguing, but not about the milk. We were arguing about about some guy in a  blue car who was riding us all the way to the store, and Kyle had gotten angry and flipped him off, and I got scared because the guy seemed crazy. So we were arguing about road rage and stuff.

Then we were in the store, and the sun was shining outside now, and Liam was sitting in the cart looking around, and we were doing real grocery sopping. I picked up a bag of apples, Kyle cracked a joke about something stupid, and I took one of the apples out and threw it at him. The apple missed him, and hit a random woman. The apple hit her in the head, but she didn’t even notice and kept walking, like it had hit a cement wall. We just stood there staring for a while until she was gone.

All we bought were apples and around 500 cans of soup… no milk. Then we went to a RedBox machine that was outside the front doors, which was broken and smoking, but the screen still worked, and we got two really awful sounding horror films to watch. As we were walking away the RedBox machine caught on fire, and no one seemed to notice.

Then we were back in our apartment, and it was dark out, and we all went to bed, but I couldn’t sleep because I could hear a dog barking, or two dogs fighting or something.

And then I woke up.


Sinking Ships

Moral of the story: Never let someone else’s ignorance get you down. You never know, they might just be trying to help. But, more likely than not, they’re probably just a manipulative, rude person.

** EDIT: Last month, the individual I wrote about reached out to me via Facebook to apologize for her actions and words. Apparently, she was simply following the lead of two individuals, who I once considered friends, who were talking about me, my son, and my parenting publicly, behind my back. We have since reconciled our differences, and have moved on. Thank you, to everyone who came to my defense in the days following this incident. And to those of you who maliciously and ignorantly attacked me and spread lies about me on social media, you should be ashamed of yourselves. **
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I honestly can not even begin to wrap my head around the ridiculous drama that I witnessed on Twitter today, and I sincerely apologize to anyone who had to witness such ignorance and maliciousness in their timelines, but here is what happened in my little corner of the internet.

Today was… interesting, for lack of a more creative word. It started out normal, for the most part. Li and I finished watching Hercules (we started yesterday but never got to finish), then moved on to The Hunchback of Notre Dame. We’ve been on a bit of a Disney kick recently. We had Cheerios and applesauce for breakfast, and leftover rotini for lunch. But suddenly, I became aware of some not-so-nice tweets that I was seeing splattered across my Twitter timeline from several sources. I didn’t know what, or who, had caused this random shitstorm of judgment, or who they were all talking about, but decided not to get involved. Until I saw someone responding to a tweet that vaguely sounded like it could have been written about me… you know, if the person who originally posted it had been horribly misinformed. Or psychotic. Or something.

That’s when I posted a few sub-tweets of my own, calling out the bitchiness going on on Twitter, and urging people to be nicer. Yeah, didn’t help. Instead, it got me put on a few peoples’ blocked lists. Good job, Jan! If they hate you, that means you’re doing something right! Right?

So, this morning, I noticed that Li’s last can of formula only had enough for maybe the rest of today, and randomly tweeted about it, because that’s what I do. I tweet things. Now, this was not really a problem, since Kyle would be home from work tonight and we could get some more then (since as most of you know, we only have one car, and I don’t drive). We also have plenty of baby cereal and baby food to keep any little tummy rumblings away. Once again, not a big deal at all. At least, I thought so. Apparently I was mistaken about my own situation though. Who knew?

So there I was, skimming through my timeline, reading tweets from people who I once considered my “friends”, that were horribly judgmental and passive aggressive things about people who are in not-so-fortunate situations. I guessed who a few of them were talking about, although I didn’t agree with that they were saying. Some were even posting hypocritical things about how people complaining on social media is annoying… even though I had seen them do it themselves countless times. But, hey, what would I know? Maybe that’s just how it works. Not all of it was necessarily directed towards me/someone in an eerily similar situation to me, just towards a few random people that they felt compelled to judge for various reasons. Some were even comparing their own lives to that of those they know nothing about, and judging them for how they deal with the situations they’ve been dealt with. And let me tell you, I can not stand people who compare their past problems, with those that someone else is facing today. Saying things like, “I dealt with ___, so you shouldn’t be whining about ___.” or, “Get a job if you don’t have money!” Neither of which is helpful, or supportive to anyone. Just mean.

But back to my situation. It was brought to my attention that a random woman on Twitter (who I did not follow, and who did not follow me), had tweeted to me, and someone responded, which I saw. Apparently I had her blocked from something in the past, which I don’t remember anything about. Looking at what happened today, this is not surprising in the slightest. I looked at her profile to see what she had said, and was honestly appalled. Or shocked? I don’t really know what I felt. This random woman publicly talked about my parenting, and said that she felt “terrible” for my son, after assuming that several things that I tweeted were about her. Well, they weren’t. As I said before, and as I said to her, I didn’t know her. I didn’t follow her. The tweets I posted were directed to the handful of “friends”, who have now been removed from my life, who I witnessed posting all the vile and judgment within them. But, for some reason, this girl who does not follow me, was watching my tweets, and thought my tweets revolved around her, and responded negatively to them. She called me a bad mother, and took SCREENSHOTS of my tweets, posting them on her own Twitter. That gave me a good laugh. And creeped me out. Apparently she also had a problem with people who ask for help with money on social media to help with their unfortunate situations, and did not like how someone was trying to raise money so that we could get a vehicle. Who knows who she was talking about, I just couldn’t tell because of the abundance of sub-tweeting, and lack of actually mentioning people in the tweets. I don’t see how it was any of her business anyway, but ya know, whatever.

Did I already mention that she didn’t even follow me but was keeping track of my tweets?

Creepy. Seriously.

You know, everyone deals with their shit differently. Some of us are more vocal about our struggles than others on social media, but we all bitch and moan about something at some point. But just because I share certain parts of my life on social media, that does not mean you know 100% of the details, and get to judge accordingly. Most of the time, when I tweet, it is about something great happening, or something terrible. You don’t always know all the middle part that lead to either. But despite knowing none of the details, she took a screenshot of two of my tweets, one complaining about the dirty dishes, the other talking about being almost out of formula. And based off of those two things, she got it into her head that I neglect my son, and do not take care of him. Aside from being really creepy, this was also irksome. I’m not exaggerating either, guys, those were her words. She said I NEGLECT my kid.

There were also other postings (by this individual and a few others) about people who don’t sacrifice enough, or anything, in order to take care of their children. Because they somehow got a hold of these peoples’ financial information, I assume, and know exactly how much they spend on their kids. Now, I don’t know if any of those tweets were directed at me, but for the record, I’ve had the same off-brand phone for over 2 years, which has been out of minutes for almost 2 months. I play no games that require membership fees, don’t have cable, haven’t bought any clothing items for myself in over 6 months, haven’t gotten a haircut in even longer, and eat frozen meals and other horrible things that don’t cost a lot of money, just so that I can make sure that my son gets clothes, diapers, toys, and good food. And he does.

BUT NEGLECT NEGLECT NEGLECT, YOU GUYS.

Despite my trying to correct her and let her know that she was very much mistaken, she had nothing new to add to the conversation, and just kept publicly repeating that I need to take care of my child, and that she felt terrible for him because I’m such a bad mom. Blah blah blah, broken record. And when she felt backed into a corner, because she must have realized by now that her overwhelming ignorance was making her look ridiculous, she got defensive and acted like a victim, pretending to know about my situation, and trying to say that she had been there and that I should get help, etc. I don’t know what her problem was, or why she felt the need to single me out, but it was getting annoying.

I couldn’t even get mad at the situation, because… honestly? What? WHAT? How did she even get to that point of calling me a bad parent based off of ONE tweet that had absolutely nothing to do with my parenting? It was just so ridiculous! Anyone who has known me for longer than 5 minutes knows that I love my son with all my heart. I post pictures of him constantly, where he is always smiling and playing. I’m a stay-at-home mom and spend every second with my baby. We eat all of our meals together, play together, sleep together (sometimes), watch movies together, go for walks to play at the park every other day, and he even sits on my lap and watches YouTube with me.

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This was taken just this morning and uploaded to Twitter, but apparently she missed that one. Li and I have been watching Hannah Hart’s “My Drunk Kitchen” episodes on YouTube lately, and this morning we sat at my computer and watched together while snacking on Cheerios, and it was funny! He kept waving his marker at Hannah and Connor and laughing. He also really seems to like PewDiePie (more than I do actually, haha), as well as Dan and Phil. My kid has good taste!  This is so weird to me, guys, because I’ve never had to defend my parenting to anyone because, once again, what?!

I have an intelligent, happy, well-fed baby boy. He is above average in height and weight, and is further along in his development than most babies his age. How do I know this? Because ever since the start of my pregnancy, and ever since he was born, I have done nothing but read and research on how to take care of my little guy properly. But most of you already know that, since I talk about all of his wonderful milestones and discoveries all the time! I’m a good mom, and I know that. The only person I have to prove that to is my son, and judging by the permanent smile attached to his face, he knows it as well.

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Maybe you should stop judging people for things you know NOTHING about, things you yourself took out of context and manipulated. If I post a tweet saying, “Huh, Liam is almost out of formula.” That PROBABLY doesn’t mean that I can not afford to feed my child, or that he is starving. It also does not mean that I am a bad mother who can’t take care of my child, or needs help. It actually probably just means his fucking can of formula is almost empty, and I need to go buy some more. That’s it. You do not get to call me a bad mother, because you clearly know nothing about me. If I post that I am “broke”, it doesn’t mean that we are living in the dark, starving, and freezing to death. It means that I wish we had extra spending money to spend on things for us, since (surprise!), all of our money goes towards taking care of our child.

So you can go ahead and judge away about things you clearly know nothing about, or you can worry about fixing your shitty attitude about people, and figure out why you feel the need to judge others so harshly, and to manipulate the situation to make yourself seem like the bleeding heart victim. Like turning around, after causing all the drama, and try to play it off like you were just trying to get me help or something? Yeah. I don’t need help. I never said I needed help. We’re doing great! But thanks for your… concern?

um
um lol

Today, I learned that loving your child unconditionally means nothing, because if you post a tweet about almost being out of formula, you are a neglectful, terrible parent. Who knew? I also learned that I need to keep better company, because I’ve apparently been surrounding myself with assholes. You shouldn’t consider someone a friend based solely on the fact that you have one or two things in common, because they may turn out to be a crappy human being. But, I fixed that, and can continue on with my life with all of the numerous people who showed me support and shared kind words with me during this unnecessary, somewhat hilarious, harassment.

Moral of the story: Never let someone else’s ignorance get you down. You never know, they might just be trying to help. But, more likely than not, they’re probably just a manipulative, rude person.

Out with the toxicity, in with the positivity!

I can not believe I even had to write this all out, since 99.99% of you know how much I love my son, but thanks for reading anyway and for laughing at this whole situation with me!

Much love,

Jan

Dream Journal 9/25/15

I was living alone in a dystopian wasteland of a city, where it is always dark outside, and there are clouds of pollution and dust in the air, blocking out the sun.

My son has been going through an awful sleep regression phase the last couple weeks, and the last two nights have been particularly awful. I got around 3.5 hours of sleep last night, but I managed to crash on the couch this morning while he was napping, and I actually remember the dream I was having before he woke me up. Again.
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Present age/dystopian future.

I was living alone in a dystopian wasteland of a city, where it is always dark outside, and there are clouds of pollution and dust in the air, blocking out the sun.

It was nighttime, and I was creeping around a large, empty shopping center. I broke into a boarded up drug store, similar to a Walgreens or CVS, which was completely deserted. I had a large backpack, and I hastily ran through the aisles, shoving various necessities into my bag. Tampons, hair dye, toilet paper, cereal, chocolate, etc.

Then I was in a park, sitting on a bench, eating Captain Crunch out of the box. Suddenly, the sound of a warning alarm filled the air, and I grabbed my backpack and sprinted toward a large apartment complex on the other end of the park. In the distance, I could see others running toward the various, abandoned buildings scattered about the city. The ones that were still standing, that is.

I passed by a little girl, around 7 years old, sitting beneath a tree crying, and I kept running. I ended up turning back to grab her, tossing her over my shoulder, as I neared the apartment complex that I claimed as my own.

I carried the young girl up to the top floor, because there was no power anywhere in the city. She had passed out on my shoulder, either from exhaustion or fear, but she woke up when I opened the door to the apartment that I had turned into a penthouse bunker. I set her down on the floor, and she immediately crawled away, hiding behind a large crate in the corner. I just shrugged and walked into the next room to put away my supplies. If she wanted to leave, she could.

Outside the walls of my little fortress, I could hear the alarms come to an end, and I quickly closed and locked the doors to the cupboards, then braced myself.

There was a loud explosion outside, followed by a blinding light, and the whole building shook. It lasted only a few seconds. After it was over, I went and inspected the other rooms to make sure that nothing bad been broken. The little girl was gone, and the front door was open. I shrugged and locked it. She never came back.

I had a tiny generator, that somehow still worked, and I used it to watching Breaking Bad on Netflix, which was still mysteriously working as well. I was also drinking red wine from a decorative goblet.
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It was a different day, and I was back in the park near the building that I lived in. There was a cherry blossom tree in the middle of the park, and people were crowded around it, placing offerings beneath it. That tree was basically the only living tree in the city, and the only colorful thing left. I don’t know if the rest of the world was as apocalyptic as the city I was in, but I imagine it was, since we were all still there.

The little girl was in the park by the tree, and there was a woman with her, but I don’t think it was her mother.

There were really large birds flying in the sky, they almost looked like pterodactyls, and they were SO loud.

And then I woke up.

Dream Journal 9/24/15

I looked over and saw a swarm of huge, flying insects flowing out of the open freezer door like a cloud of black smoke. The started waving her arms, still screaming, while everyone watched in horror. The insects swarmed around her, and her screams fell silent as she collapsed to the ground.

Present day.

I was in a supermarket with my husband, his mom, and our son. We were in the frozen pizza aisle, when I heard a woman scream as she opened a freezer door. I looked over and saw a swarm of huge, flying insects flowing out of the open freezer door like a cloud of black smoke. The started waving her arms, still screaming, while everyone watched in horror. The insects swarmed around her, and her screams fell silent as she collapsed to the ground.

The cloud of insects idled for just a moment, before splitting up and spreading throughout the store. Panic ensued. I yanked the baby out of the shopping cart and started to run. I could see my husband trailing just behind us, but his mom was nowhere to be seen. There were people screaming and collapsing all around us, being attacked by these giant hornets.

We managed to get out of the building, but we seemed to be the only ones who made it out alive. There was a loud, crashing noise, and one of the walls of the building started to crumble, releasing a massive swarm of crazy hornets into the air. They filled the sky, casting shadows across the town.

We got in the car and drove home.

We got home, quickly boarded up the windows, and retreated to the baby’s room at the back of the house, because it had the least windows. We sat there cowering in the corner, but trying to play with the baby so that he didn’t get scared. Through the gaps in the wood on the windows, we could see the swarms of super bugs filling the streets, strategically breaking apart to ended homes through cracks under doors and through open windows, almost like a cartoon.

The bedroom door opened suddenly and someone I didn’t know walked in, and nonchalantly told us that there was a hole in the side of our apartment, and that there were bugs eating away at the building, and that we had to get out.

We started to freak out, and followed the stranger outside, where we got into a school bus that held a few other people. and the stranger drove us away in silence.

Then it got dark, and the stranger started kicking random people off the bus, one at a time, even if the rest of their family or friends were still there. The three of us were the last ones left, huddled in the back of the bus together, terrified.

The bus stopped by a field, and we looked out the window, trying to see if there were anymore flying creatures. The moon cast an eerie glow over everything, and there was fog hovering over the field. But we didn’t see any bugs.

We walked out into the field, and the bus disappeared, along with the strange man who had been driving. We made a large fire, and sat in the field for a while in silence.

I also very vaguely remember something about Kendall Jenner dying. Weird,

And then I woke up.

Dream Journal 9/23/15

“I… who are you? How did you get here?” I asked him, suddenly terrified. My cabin was in the middle of the wilderness, a large lake, and thousands of trees, separating me from society. How had he gotten here?

Future.

I was a writer, and was working on my latest suspense/thriller novel, and I was staying in a large, log cabin in the woods, right on a gorgeous lake. Across the lake there was a large campground, and I could hear boats and children playing across the water. I spent most of my time staring out the window, watching the families in the distance, and trying to think of what to write.

One morning, I woke up to silence. I peered out the window while making coffee, and saw police lights, and officers coming the beaches of the lake. I frowned, wondering what happened.

I sat at my desk and continued typing on my computer, but stopped suddenly when I heard a noise coming from the bushes outside my the large bay window in my kitchen. I tensed up and walked to the window, I was immediately face-to-face with a young man, around 18 years old.

“Please, can you hide me?” He asked me, panic in his voice.

“I… who are you? How did you get here?” I asked him, suddenly terrified. My cabin was in the middle of the wilderness, a large lake, and thousands of trees, separating me from society. How had he gotten here?

“Please,” he repeated, tugging at his shirt nervously, “I need to hide.” He continued to pull at his shirt, and I realized now that he was soaking wet. He swam here.

“I’m sorry, this is private property, I need you to leave,” I said, reaching to shut the window, “I can’t help you, sorry.”

I pulled the window closed, and the young man took off running around the side of the house. I cursed loudly, unsure of where he was going. I ran to the front door, but it was too late, he was already standing in the doorway, dripping lake water onto the wood flooring.

“I’m not going to hurt you, I promise, please, I just need somewhere to hide.”

“Hide from what…?” I asked cautiously. Just then, I heard a news report on the TV in the living room.

“The body of 13-year-old Elizabeth Moran was found in Great Bear Lake this morning by her parents, Jacob and Theresa Moran. Witnesses say that they heard screaming coming from the beach early this morning, and witnessed a tall male running from the beach. Elizabeth’s 18-year-old brother, Derek, is currently missing and wanted for questioning. If you have any information…”

My eyes widened and I felt my heart beating rapidly in my chest. The young man stared at me intently, terror and sadness in his eyes.

“Are you… are you Derek?” I asked quietly.

He nodded sadly, “I didn’t hurt my sister. I heard it all. I saw a man, running out of the water. I saw her body, but it was too late. I panicked and ran, but there were people everywhere. They saw me, and then they were on their phones, calling the police. I had to run.”

I hook my head. If he hadn’t done anything wrong, couldn’t he just tell the police that? My thoughts were interrupted by the sound of tires on the dirt road leading up to my cabin. Through the trees I could see two police cars driving slowly up the road. Without thinking, I pulled the young man into the house, hissing at him to hide. He obliged, running down the hall and out of my sight.

There was a knock at the door only moments later, and I opened it, greeting the two officers standing there with a smile.

“We’re sorry to bother you, Mrs. Dalton, but we’re looking for a young man who is wanted for questioning in the drowning death of a young girl from just across the lake. Have you seen him?”

I tried my best to look shocked and horrified, “Oh, god! No! That’s tragic! I haven’t seen anyone officers, just been here working on my book. I will certainly let you know though!”

The officer who had been talking to me stared at me quizzically. I could tell he knew something was up. They thanked me for my time and turned to leave. I realized that his eyes briefly flickered over the puddle of water that they had been standing in.

“Better clean that up, ma’am,” the officer said to me, with a hint of warning, “You wouldn’t want to slip.”

My heart felt like it was going to explode as I watched them drive away.

“I didn’t hurt her,” Derek said quietly, walking back into the hall, “I wouldn’t.”

I nodded, and walked back to the kitchen. My coffee had gotten cold.
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Derek stayed with me for two days, and in that time, I grew to believe his story. The more he repeated it to me, the more I believed in his innocence. But he couldn’t stay in my cabin forever, so we made a plan to get him away.

I was driving through the woods in the dark, Derek was in the back seat with a blanket over him, hidden from the world. We got to a highway, and I gave him an envelope with some money in it, and told him to keep the blanket. He took off, and I turned in the opposite direction, but stopped.

There was a large, black lab sitting in the middle of the road. After a few seconds, a man stepped out from the shadowy bushes to my left, and I realized that it was the officer who had come to my cabin two days earlier. I hit the gas, swerving around the man and the dog, and drove.

About a mile down the road, I turned off, driving through grass and wilderness, avoiding trees in the darkness. Something caught my eye, distracting me for just a moment, and I crashed my car into a tree. The airbag hit me in the face, and my nose started to bleed.

I climbed out of my car in a daze, and could hear dogs barking nearby. I started to run through the woods until I made it back to the lake, and followed the rocky shore to my cabin. I locked myself inside, and retreated to the basement.

I was terrified at what would happen to me for helping a wanted man to escape, but I knew he was innocent. I sat there in the dark, waiting for the police to break my door down, but no one ever came.

So I walked back up the stairs, and sat at my desk. The sun was starting to come up, and I could hear birds singing. I started to type, continuing with my story.

And then I woke up.

Never Get Your Hopes Up

This. This is my life, folks. A giant fucking snowball of shit that just keeps on rolling.

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So close. So fucking close.

I’ll try to make this short, because the longer I let it sit and think about it, the angrier I will get. I’m feeling quite a range of emotions right now, ranging from sad, to frustrated, to absolutely livid. I’m tired of nothing ever working out for us. It honestly feels like every time things seem to start looking up, everything falls apart. I don’t know what we did in our past lives to deserve this shit storm that we are living in, but I am sick of it. So. Fucking. Sick of it.

I’m sure as most of you who follow me on Twitter have seen, we’ve been having car problems for a very, VERY long time. We’ve tried to raise money on several occasions to try and replace our Mustang, but it never worked out. Well, several weeks ago, our Mustang died. Completely, and utterly, died. So we started a GoFundMe page to try and raise some money to get a used car. Despite the fantastic efforts of my friends donating, re-tweeting, and sharing our page, we were only able to raise $305, which is less than 1/8 of our goal that we set.

I don’t currently work, so I don’t leave our apartment ever, but Kyle has been needing to rely on his mom to bring him to work (and she lives 40 minutes away), as well as a few of his co-workers. The problem is, he is the only full-time person in his department, so there really is never anyone working at the same time as him. To top it all off, he just got a second job, where he knows nobody, so the only person who could drive him to that job is his mom, and this job is even further from her than his other one.

But, things were finally starting to look up. After weeks of searching and reaching out to our families, Kyle’s aunt and her wife offered to give us one of their vehicles, as they only had $5600 left to pay on it. It was a nice, newer, family-sized vehicle, and we were so excited. Too excited. And for a moment, we forgot that our lives are shit and that things never work out for us. Over the course of the week, we worked out how much we would be giving them in payments, and then just today, we bought the insurance for it.

But, like everything else in our lives, it had to totally fall apart.

Just a few hours ago, Kyle was in the middle of a conversation with his aunt about bringing the car down to us TOMORROW, when she suddenly stopped responding. After a little while, we got a message from Kyle’s mom, saying that she needed to talk to us about the car. And the alarms went off. We are able to smell disappointment from a thousand miles away. So Kyle called her.

According to Kyle’s mom, while Kyle was talking to his aunt about the car, she was actually in the middle of a heated argument with her wife, about who knows what. They are always fighting about something. Basically, her wife stormed out, shouting that she was leaving, and took the vehicle that was supposed to go to us, instead of her own vehicle, just to spite Kyle’s aunt.

Then Kyle threw his phone and let out a string of profane words.

I seconded everything he said.

Now everyone is fighting and blocking each other, and we are sitting here stunned, upset, depressed, helpless. To top it all off, Kyle’s mom seems to think that despite having zero credit, Kyle should be able to “easily” get approved for a loan on a used car, because of how much he makes. And she keeps arguing with us, and can’t seem to understand why we keep getting denied for loans. It is so fucking infuriating that she doesn’t understand why we aren’t getting approved.

Kyle has two jobs now, but has yet to start at the second, so there is no income from them yet. He also has no line of credit or credit history, as he is only 20 and hasn’t really established any, since everything has always been in my name. And of course, despite having EXCELLENT credit, I can’t cosign for him on anything because I’m not currently working.

Yeah, trust me, we’ve tried at banks, dealerships, and credit unions. Nada.

So now we are searching through the inventory of all of the used car places around us, searching for anything that we can afford without having to give them a huge down payment, since we can’t get a loan or financing.

This. This is my life, folks. A giant fucking snowball of shit that just keeps on rolling.

Thanks for reading, I’ll keep you all posted.

Jan

Dream Journal (Turned Fanfic) 9/22/15

He didn’t look up, didn’t respond. I walked to the door and opened it slightly, covering my phone screen with my hand so that the light wouldn’t leak into the corridor. There was just silence. No gunshots, no footsteps, no screaming. Was it over?

I was woken up by my kiddo at 4:50 this morning, and couldn’t immediately fall back asleep. I jotted down a few key points from the dream I was having, but when I woke up several hours later, I had a hard time piecing them all together. For the most part, I can remember it all, but it is hazy. I don’t think there was really an ending either. I think I’ve had this dream before, though, because it all felt really familiar. Dreams are weird. This one shows my ridiculous, inner fangirl. It sounds like a fanfic, I know. I might turn it into one actually. Don’t laugh.

Okay, I did turn it into a fanfic. Kind of. It is very long (3,669 word count). Sorry, not sorry.
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Roughly set in the present day.

It was late autumn, and I was attending a large YouTuber convention going on in Chicago, similar to VidCon. This year, they were holding a massive, YouTuber panel, right in the middle of a massive, indoor stadium. It was going to be so amazing. I was attending the event with a couple who were roughly my age, a guy and a girl, named Alex and Tory. I don’t know them that well at all, as they were merely friends of a friend. To be honest, they didn’t exactly seem like the kind of people I would actually be friends with outside of this scenario. Basically, they had a spare ticket to the event, and I really wanted to go. So I got stuck as the third wheel. The girl was tall and thin, with blond hair and brown eyes. She was wearing a hot pink dress, white and pink patterned tights, and pink shoes. The pinks did not match, and it was driving me crazy. The guy had shaggy, brown hair and brown eyes, he had a white t-shirt on, and a green button-up shirt over it, with jeans. Pretty normal looking folks. Very bubbly, hyper personalities.

We got to the convention center, and entered through the large, glass doors into the main lobby. There were groups of people scattered about the room, and I immediately felt out of place. We were ushered down a long corridor, surrounded by young, teenage girls, who were all squealing and screaming giddily. For some reason, I felt taller (and older) than nearly everyone, despite only being 5’3. I guess I should be surprised. We went through the doors to a large stadium and found our seats down on the floor, fairly close to the stage where all of the speakers were already seated. The two people I was with were screaming and jumping, much like the teenagers all around us. I was perfectly still. I felt anxious being around so many people. I slumped into my chair and pulled my hands into my sweatshirt, I suddenly wished that I actually was friends with Alex and Tory.

We found our seats and settled in. I felt uncomfortably warm. There were two girls seated a few spots away from us, and they looked like they could have been sisters, they looked so similar. They were wearing matching white shirts with Tyler Oakley’s face plastered all over them, with random words written in sharpie. I smiled at them, and I remember thinking that I liked the bright, red hair that one of the girls had. The other was blonde.

The panel started, and I sat in the audience, listening and cheering along with everyone else. The YouTubers in attendance were Dan and Phil, Tyler Oakley, Connor Franta, Catrific, and Shane Dawson, as well a few others that I did not recognize. Everyone around us had their cell phones out, snapping pictures and recording videos of the various YouTubers on the stage. Catrific was in the middle of answering a question, when a loud, booming noise filled the air. Smoke and dust clouded my vision, and suddenly, everyone was screaming. People were pushing past me, and the two people that I had shown up with were gone.

I put my shirt over my mouth and nose and tried to squint through the cloud of dust, but I couldn’t see anything. My ears were ringing slightly, but I could hear the distant sound of gunshots, and more screaming. I moved forward through the smoke and dust, tripping over various fallen objects that were scattered across the floor.

Another explosion of sound rang through the air, followed by a loud crash. The screaming seemed to be dying out, and I wondered whether everyone else had gotten out, or was dead. I found my way up to the stage, where I could hear frantic shouts. The dust had cleared a bit, and I could see that the stage had been completely demolished. And that several people were trapped in the rubble.

I climbed onto the stage, where I found several YouTubers, and a couple of the other audience members. The girl with the bright, red hair was there, tears streaming down her face, creating streaks on her dust-covered cheeks. Her blonde friend was nowhere to be seen.

Tyler Oakley and Connor Franta stood to my left, visibly shaken, and stared blankly at the large pile of rubble in the center of the stage. No one moved. A single arm was trapped within the rubble, all the way up to the shoulder. It was not moving, and there were no cries for help. The arm was female, with silver bracelets and dark green nail polish. Catrific’s arm.

Suddenly, more shots pierced the quiet, and we all scattered off in different directions. I jumped off of the stage and found myself following a tall figure through a corridor to the left of the stage. The figure disappeared from site, and I felt panic in my chest as I realized that I was suddenly alone. An arm reached out and grabbed me, pulling me through a side door.

A hand stifled my scream, and I opened my eyes to see a pair of brown eyes staring back at me. I had been following Dan, and it had been him who had grabbed me. My heart felt like it was going to explode, and I took a moment to calm down before surveying the room that we were in. Tyler and Connor were also in the room, along with a short girl with black hair, who I recognized from the panel. The girl was crying, and Connor had his arm wrapped around her shoulders.

“What happened?” I finally managed to breathe.

No one answered me. I started to panic. Where was everyone else? What was going on? How were we going to get out? Were we going to die?

Tyler and Dan were peering through the cracked door into the corridor. There were no gunshots, no more explosions.

“Is it safe?” The girl with the black hair asked.

Shane shrugged, but we needed to move. We walked into the hall and slowly continued in the direction away from the main stadium room. Things were quiet, and I allowed myself to breathe. I needed to calm down, or I feared my heart would explode. We were going to make it out. We had to.

Then the lights went out, and the other girl in our group let out a high-pitched scream. I heard the sound of footsteps, and a hand gripped my arm, pulling me forward. I reached out behind me, trying to grab for anyone in the group, but found no one. I  struggled to keep up with whoever was dragging me along, and felt a breathless ache in my chest. I had to keep going. I didn’t want to be left alone.

Gunfire rang through the air again, coupled with a scream. The girl from our group.

Then silence. I wanted to scream.

“We have to hide.” A voice interrupted my panic. It was Dan. Dan was dragging me through the darkness.

“Where is everyone?” I choked out.

“We have to hide.” He replied flatly.

We clung to a wall until we found a door. Locked. We walked several more feet and found a second. Unlocked. We ducked into the room and pressed our ears to the door, listening for anything. There was only silence. We allowed ourselves a moment to recover in the dark silence.

“I don’t know,” Dan broke the silence, “I don’t know where anyone is. I don’t know what happened.”

He sounded angry.

“Was… was Cat the only one?” I asked. I could feel his stare, even through the darkness.

“No.”

“Phil…?”

“I don’t know,” he said, agitated at my question. I could hear the slight tremor in his voice, “Shane. Shane is dead. Cat is dead. I don’t know where Phil is. I don’t know what’s going on. Fuck!”

I heard a crash as he cursed loudly. I tensed up, searching for his figure in the dark, but it was useless. I had never been in darkness like this. Completely devoid of light.

“Dan? What happened?”

“Nothing. We need light,” I heard a shuffle, and saw the bright light of a cellphone screen. His iPhone. Why hadn’t I thought of that? I took out my phone and flashed the light around the room. We were in some sort of dressing room.

“We can’t stay here, we have to keep moving. We have to be near an exit. If we stay here, we’ll definitely be found,” I urged him to move, but he was sitting silently on a chair, “Dan.”

He didn’t look up, didn’t respond. I walked to the door and opened it slightly, covering my phone screen with my hand so that the light wouldn’t leak into the corridor. There was just silence. No gunshots, no footsteps, no screaming. Was it over?

“We have to move, Dan,” I repeated.

“Phil…” he choked out. My heart sank.

“We’ll find him. We will. But we have to move. We’re no good to anyone if we’re dead.”

We left the safety of the small room and continued down the corridor. I tensed up, hearing hushed voices in the dark ahead of us. Female. Young. Non-threatening. We rounded a corner and came face-to-face with three teenage girls, who screamed upon seeing us.

“Shhh!” I hissed, trying to quiet them, but it was too late. There was more shouting in the distant darkness. Deep, male voices. I felt Dan’s hand grip my arm and yank me back into the darkness, and I reached out for the girl closest to me, but her friends were pulling her in the opposite direction. Toward the voices. I wanted to cry out to them, telling them to follow us, but I didn’t want to endanger our lives.

More shots rang through the darkness. I felt a lump in my throat as tears stung at my eyes.

We were running for what felt like forever. Dodging voices in the dark. How could a building be this big? Where were we? My cheeks were sticky with dust and tears. My arm was throbbing dully from Dan’s tight grip. We came to the end of a hallway and were greeted by large, metal double-doors, the same doors that had led us out of the stadium. We were back where we had started. Dan paused at the door and peered through one of the small, rectangular windows. He squeezed my arm gently, letting me know the coast was clear, and we slowly walked back out into the room where everything started.

The dust and smoke had settled, and there were emergency lights on, casting an eerie, red glow over the entire stadium. It was terrifying, and made me feel small. My chest tightened again in a familiar panic.

“We can’t stay here,” I whispered, “I think the main doors are over there, maybe the coast is clear.”

“I need to find Phil,” Dan whispered back, his voice cracking.

“Dan-”

“Hey! Dan! Over here!” Someone hissed at us. We looked around, and spotted Tyler, Connor, and two young girls camped against the side of the stage, hidden in the shadows of the red haze. We cautiously crept over to them, where Dan was greeted with quick hugs from Connor and Tyler. I looked at the two girls, who looked absolutely terrified. The blonde had streaks of blood on her tank top, and I doubted that it was her own. The brunette just stared into the distance in shock. It was heartbreaking. I wondered briefly what they had been through, what they had seen. If they had lost anyone.

“Have you seen Phil?” Dan broke the silence. Tyler and Connor shook their heads, and Dan’s face fell.

We regrouped in silence and made our way toward the main corridor that was once filled with happy, screaming fans. It was empty, except for a few lifeless bodies, and piles of debris from the crumbling building. What the hell had happened? Was it a bomb? Why?

I reached out to comfort the young, blonde girl in the group as she sobbed at the sight before us. Everything was quiet. Why us? Why here? How many people had made it out? I looked over at Dan, who was holding his phone out in front of him for light, his eyes were guarded, but I could see sadness. He was scared for Phil. I knew we would find him. We had to. We were going to find Phil, and we were going to get out of here.

We approached the large, glass doors at the front of the building. I breathed a sigh of relief and pushed against the cool, metallic handle. The doors did not budge. Connor and Dan were suddenly beside me, violently shaking the door. It was no use, it was locked.

The two girls sobbed, and I felt my fingers shaking.

Connor stepped back from the door, “It’s glass, we can break it. We need to find something to break it. I’ll go find-”

Dan held up his hand and shushed Connor, his eyes staring out to the other side of the glass. I turned to see what he was looking at. My stomach turned. Bodies. Bodies everywhere. There were at least a dozen armed, masked men standing guard outside of the building, standing scattered amongst the bodies of the innocent attendees. In the distance, there were police lights. They knew we were here… but they couldn’t get to us. How were we going to get out? There was a pit in my stomach. Dread and fear.

We stood there in the dull, red glow of the emergency lights, all feeling exhausted and terrified. What now? Do we just keep wandering the halls trying to find more survivors? Do we hide and wait it out? I looked to the others in my group for answers, but their expressions said it all; no one knew what do to.

I took a deep breath and turned to back to the main lobby area. There were so many doors and corridors, all closed., but hopefully unlocked. If no one was going to decide where we were going next, then I would. I didn’t know if anyone would follow me when I started walking toward a solid, grey door in the corner of the room, but when I looked over my shoulder and saw them all trailing behind me, I felt a bit better. We could do this.

The door was unlocked, but I pulled my hand back quickly upon coming into contact with a sticky, slick substance. Tyler tilted his phone so that I could see my hand, and there was blood, dark and wet. It was all over the handle and smeared on the door. I glanced back to the group, suddenly afraid that I may have been leading them to certain death, but their nods reassured me that we had no other choice but to push forward.

There were stairs on the other side of the door, leading down into more darkness, possibly a basement or control room. We waited a few minutes, listening for voices or any kind of noise, but heard nothing, and descended down the stairs.

We were in a large room, filled with panels and wires. The room was absolutely massive. There were bloody handprints smudged along the wall. We all shined our phones around the room, surveying, looking for places to hide. Or a way out.

Something moved in the corner just in front of us, but ducked back into the shadows before I could get a good look. I held up my arm in warning to the rest of the group. My heart was beating rapidly.

“Hello?” I called into the darkness, “We aren’t going to hurt you. Are you alright?”

Slowly, a tall, slim figure emerged from the shadows. In the light cast by our cellphones, I could make out pale skin and terrified, blue eyes. Realization hit me, and I couldn’t help but smile.

“Phil! We found you!” Dan lowered his phone and sprinted toward Phil in the darkness. He wrapped his arms around him, and I heard sobbing, though I wasn’t sure who is was coming from, “Guys… guys. Guys!”

Dan was lowering Phil to the ground. We all ran forward, and the source of the mysterious blood on the wall was revealed.

“Fuck. Fuck!” Dan had his hands on Phil’s stomach, and they were covered in blood. I pulled my sweatshirt off and knelt down next to Dan, pulling his hands aside and pressing the fabric into Phil’s stomach. Phil’s eyes were still open, and he just stared up into the darkness. I could feel Dan trembling next to me, and I wanted to reach for him, but resisted.

“Tyler, come here. Shine a light right over his stomach, yeah?” I lifted the sweatshirt slightly, trying to pinpoint where all the bleeding was coming from. Phil had been grazed by a bullet, but the damage wasn’t nearly as bad as I initially thought. He was going to be okay.

“How bad it is?” I heard Connor ask from behind us.

I put one hand on Dan’s arm and squeezed, and he looked down at me, “He’s going to be fine. He’s lost a bit of blood, but I think it’s more shock than anything. Phil, can you hear me? Can you stand?”

We all crowded around Phil and helped him to his feet, supporting his weight. He was in bad shape, but he was going to be okay, assuming we ever got out of this awful place. We made our way back to the stairs with Phil, but stopped suddenly at the sound of a rush of voices at the top of the stairs.

“Fuck fuck fuck…” Dan cursed, as we backed into the room. Phil let out a groan of pain. I felt someone grip the back of my shirt and pull me backwards, just as the door opened, and flashlight beams flooded the room. We crouched down, terrified. Was this it then? Is this where we were going to die? I felt as though my heart was going to burst, and I held my breath, waiting.

A blinding, white light hit my face, and I blinked, suddenly blinded. This was it. The end.

“Are you folks okay?” A deep voice cut through the unbearable silence. My blood felt like ice. “Hey, Carl, I found a few more! Come on, let’s get you guys out of here. It’s all over.”

I couldn’t move. I felt two strong hands pulling me up. Time seemed to slow down, like it does in movies. We were guided back up the stairs, into the lobby, and out the glass doors. We were outside. It was still dark, and there was a chill in the air. I suddenly wished I had my sweatshirt. I couldn’t hear anything, so I tried to take in my surroundings. There were body bags, SWAT vehicles, and other survivors, draped in warm blankets, giving their stories. I turned to see the group of people who had helped me survive as they were brought out of the building. Dan, Tyler, Connor, and the two young girls, who I later learned were named Jasmine and Clara. We made it. We were alive.

I watched as Phil was loaded into an ambulance. There was a paramedic assuring Dan that he was going to be fine, and I could see tears in his eyes. The doors closed, the ambulance drove away, and Dan turned to face me.

“Thank you,” he smiled at me, finally sounding normal, “I’m sorry. For everything.”

“Sorry? You saved my life. More than once.”

“But you saved Phil’s life. And I was a prick. So thank you.”

I smiled. I wanted to argue that Phil probably would have been fine, even if I hadn’t been there, but there was no point. We were okay. We were alive.

“I never got your name,” Dan said, cocking his head to the side, “I guess there was never really a good time for introductions…”

I laughed, “Jan. My name is Jan.”

Dan chuckled and pulled me into a hug, “Nice to meet you, Jan. My name is Dan.”

I couldn’t help but laugh at him. As if it wasn’t completely obvious that I knew who he was. Tyler and Connor walked over to us, relief on their faces. Dan introduced me, and there were a lot of hugs exchanged. We gave our statements to the police, and were interviewed by several news stations. By the time people finally started to clear out, the sun was starting to rise, casting a golden glow over the dark sky. The air was still cold, but I was wearing someone’s sweatshirt, though I wasn’t sure who had given it to me. Connor offered the three of us a ride back to our respective hotels, and after more hugs and thank yous, we split up. I would probably never see them again, but I had one hell of a story to remember them by.
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Sorry, not sorry.
Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan