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I signed the lease on an apartment today.  The world feels like it is speeding around me.  It’s very odd how different of a place I feel like I am in compared to where I was 30 days ago when I started writing this.  I need to remember tomorrow to write about today’s therapy and time time talking to friends and about paint colors.  But now I need to sleep so tomorrow I can catch up with this crazy fast paced world!  ♥

The littlest apartment in the world is quite little, but I think would be perfect for me.  I’m patiently (and by that I’m mean I’m spasticly and anxiously) waiting to hear if the apartment’s owner thinks I’m as great as I think he is.  It seems like it would be a good situation for me and snug little space.  I also found the most perfect little couch this weekend and now I’m just hoping for a call with good news and keys so I can measure for couches.  SIGH.  Waiting is hard.

It was a good weekend though.  I dragged a hungover Violet out shopping all over on Saturday.  Then I went a toured the cutie little apartment and filled out the background check stuff.  After I went to the house of O and sat with my favorite baby on my lap while she zipped and unzipped my purse and took everything out and put it back in over and over.  Which was tiring work so eventually she went to bed.  Had a lovely time socializing with her parents and some other friends after.

I feel like I really spoke openly about my situation with my friends.  A close friend, Rowan, expressed that he felt I’d been unhappy and that he (Rowan) hadn’t ever really been satisfied with the Oak-Hawthorn switch.  But somehow he managed to say all of this in a way that didn’t insult or offend me and sounded both supportive and friendly.  Rowan managed to make me feel really good about where I am now, or rather really good about the future and the work I’m doing to get somewhere great.  It was definitely the kind of friendly interaction that I really needed but didn’t know it until it happened.

Sunday morning I drank coffee on the porch in the sunshine, made fancy breakfast and then Hawthorn and I went for a walk in the park.  It was nice.  Mostly I talked about my impending move and the excitement of redecorating and having my own space.  He talked about some ongoing financial issues with his exwife.  Two things that are important, I think, happened in this conversation.  First at one point he said something about not wanting to make something my problem (he was asking me read an email to his exwife to make sure it sound fair, reasonable and not mean) and I told him that at this point he was either going to have to decided that were friends and there wasn’t any problem of his that I wouldn’t listen too or he had to decide not to tell me anything and we wouldn’t come out of this being friends. The second thing was that I expressed again that I wasn’t trying to financially fuck him by moving out sooner rather than later.  Hawthorn said that I wasn’t doing anything but living my life and any and all the problems of this situation and leading up to it where entirely his own creation and his own burden to deal with.

Of course I’m still mad at him.  I imagine at least a year before the strain of this disappears if we remain friend.  But I feel more sympathy for him.  Not, you know, enough to stay and financially help him or anything.  I’m definitely getting on with my life.  It just was a couple conversations that were sort of wistfully sad in strange way and yet somehow strengthened a vague feeling that I’ve had that I’ll come out of this still having a friend and eventually feeling like I’ve only lost time, and hopefully gained something else.

I told Rowan last night that because of everything going on inside me I was going to break down sooner or later no matter what.  And that in some ways it’s better that it happened in this way, where I can crawl out and have only injured my friendship with Oak and not destroyed it as I may have if we’d stayed together and I’d broken down then. That somehow this was all sucky and horrible and seemingly ill-timed, but perhaps it happened in the right way, was the catalyst I needed to restart my life.  I can almost say for certain that in the long run the break up with Hawthorn will feel like a glancing blow.  If it had been a disastrous end with Oak it would have been a shattering blow in it self, not just a complication to my own internal fracturing.  Obviously it’s all could-have-beens but I’m definitely feeling much more like I can pull it together and start over much sooner than I thought I would.

I had a nice, helpful, supportive and insightful phone conversation with my mom today too.  Will wonders never cease?

It was a good weekend.  Think good, hopefully thoughts for me for this apartment.  If I could get moved in by March 1st it would be a much better situation for me over all.  Plus I don’t want to look for another apartment, it’s to much work!

I worked roughly from 6:30 am to 2 am yesterday at both my jobs, with only a two hour break in between.  Both jobs were relatively intense.  And that’s pretty much all I have to say about my day except that Hawthorn very slightly slighted me at the end of the day and pretty much ruined my day.  Meaning that even exhausted and desperate for sleep I got to stay up and think about why my feelings were so hurt over something so seemingly minor. And yet again we get to play a round of Hawthorn is selfish, insensitive, and thoughtless.  I’m still not over that.  And probably I never will be.  But I am TIRED of replaying that story of our past in which I own all my decisions about how we ended up together, all my choices.  But you know he worked really, really obsessively hard to help me decide to take all the paths that led to me giving up everything thing about my life and all of my plans for the future.  And then of course he ripped all that out from under me when he broke up with me.  Blah blah blah blah, I am tired of it, just had to sit through another teary evening of mentally rehashing it.  Grrrrrrrr.

Going today to have lunch with Violet and walk outside in sun and warmer weather (wheeeeee). And hit up World Market and maybe a thrift store.  Since I have to start thinking about furniture and curtains and such. Because I am going to look at a seemingly PERFECT apartment tomorrow morning.  I have my financial ducks in a row, so I can write a check right away if it works out.  Neighborhood is good, place looks crazy cute in pictures and the price is exactly what I’d hoped to pay, so keep your fingers crossed for me that it works out!  I found it by accident and things feel like they are RUSHING along, but sometimes the universe just gives you what you need right?

Okay, maybe it isn't quite this cool, but it could be!

Speaking of need, my favorite rich, generous customer came into the restaurant last night.  Have you ever had someone shake a $100 bill into your hand? After they’ve paid their bill and already generously tipped?  I think he does it as his own form of charity, but man I work in bar that serves $7 glasses of wine at the high end.  I will take his charity (also I know he really likes me, his wife made me a scarf a couple years ago!) gladly right now.  I’ve set it aside to buy something perfect and MINE for my new place when I get it (which with any luck at all will be soooooooon).

Off to cure my headache with Bún thịt nướng and girl talk and sunshine!

Now I have to wonder if it’s any coincidence that I’ve been mostly fine (physically and sometimes mentally) in the evenings and gross, ill and sludgey in the mornings when I take the SSRIs right before bed (since taking them in the morning made me sick all day).  3 more days and then another week for subsequent side effects to wear off.  Ugh.  Seriously though, I was fine last evening.  Cheerful even. And then I slept really poorly last night (mostly from stomach upset and weird dreams). And now I feel wobbly and headachey and just YUCK. And I have a very long day ahead of me.  Alas.

I spent some time talking to my friend, Aloe, last night too.  She and I have had a rough go of it for a while and I’m not even sure we’re solid enough to be called friends.  But she is good to talk to about anxiety &c. and she’s strangely easy for me to open up too.  She made some good suggestions and was generally supportive.  Also I saw the friend that I sent yesterday’s ‘mean’ email too and they were utterly relaxed and understanding about it.  So there’s you go, tell someone who cares about you what you need and they will deliver.  Unheard of!

Oak did his nightly text check in to make sure I haven’t jumped off a bridge or run off with a Saudi prince (I don’t know that that’s why he’s checking in, I just assume).  I was so charmed by part of the exchange with him that I immediately after it happened thought of sharing it here.  And then I second guessed and started worrying that this space is for talking about me and I shouldn’t just be recounting text exchanges with my ex-boyfriend.  But then again he’s a huge piece of how I ended up here and has been really supportive of my recovery, despite me having left him for another man.  So after fair bit of mental back and forth I decided that maybe Oak is what I should be talking about in therapy this coming Monday.  That said, I want to record the conversation for myself:

Oak: Are you doing alright?
Me: I’m actually feeling almost good tonight.  Filling on a short shift at [my restaurant].
Oak: If a handsome man comes in and tells you he’s moving to Ireland someday, be nice to him. (this is essentially how we met, although I was aware of him long before that)
Me: I think that was a once in a lifetime lucky chance on my part.
Oak: You may be right, but maybe someone who wants to move to Ohio or New Jersey.
Me: I don’t think so.
Oak: Good call.
Me: I’m thinking small apartment, space and time to myself.  Plus I’ve heard a rumor that there’s a handsome man moving to town who might occasionally meet for a friendly beer if I get too lonely.
Oak: That sounds like a good plan for 2011.

The entire thing set me to thinking, not unhappily about how we met and how I can remember so many details of our pre-relationship interactions.  This is significant because I have fairly spotty memory for such things usually and rely mostly on my friends and family to keep track of the the more exacting parts of the history of our relationships.  But with Oak I can remember it all clearly and play it back.  Secondly, in this exchange, even though it’s text, I can see exactly what he’s doing and how he looks as he makes each comment.  His wry half smile when he thinks he’s clever, how he runs his hand over his head, &c.  I have said here before that my intention isn’t to get back together with him, nor does that even seem like something sane or rational to entertain at this point.  But I think about the history of it a lot and I think maybe I need to write it down. Not necessarily here, but map out everything I remember so I can save it and maybe use it later, fictionally.  Or not.  Maybe it just stays somewhere, marked down, so I don’t ever forget what a subtle, yet beautifully charming romance it was as we got together.

I feel like therapy is going to be a long, hard row to hoe.  I am, in my every day life, trying to take the above advice and dwell less on, “What is wrong with me?” and focus more on where I am going and what I am going to do and who I am going to be.  But I find I am getting a little apprehensive of about therapy as it isn’t necessarily focused on asking what’s wrong but it may end up much more directed toward the past.  And I understand that with Saturn 4th House transit and all that I need to work through that as part of my move forward, and, theoretically, once it’s dealt with, it’s done and I do move forward. But, yow, is it just me, or does that seem like a lot of teary, yucky work?  I’m up for it, I guess, but today I feel kind of exhausted just thinking about it.

I have a long, long workday ahead of me.  And then some much needed, hopefully achieved rest and then a weekend out of doors with Violet and yoga with Moonflower.  I feel better just thinking about getting through today to the good parts.

I am in a snit of self-righteous indignation this morning.  Also I’m tired and my head hurts.  These things are related.

I worked a long, long day yesterday.  My day job was full insane troll logic and epic jackassery on the part of a client.  Still I went home, took a power nap, dressed up all pretty and went to my evening job, where I maintained a genuinely cheerful mood and felt somewhat energized and almost relaxed.  I got off my shift early enough to go home, read VC Andrews (what, oh you read crap sometimes too) and get to bed at a reasonable hour. Get to bed at a reasonable hour, be sleepy and and fall asleep without Klonopin or other sleep aids (I usually take Benadryl).  For the second night in a row.  This is exciting!  Good news!  Wheee!

And then one of my jackass friends texted me in the middle of the night to make some bullshit inappropriate comment about Hawthorn.  Not only was I woken up, but I was fucking livid, to angry to go back to sleep easily.  Now I’m running on less than six hours sleep and my good mood of last night has been killed by feeling like my safe zone for talking about things has been violated. (Also don’t tell me to turn off my phone when I sleep.  I use it for my alarm and I never trust that to work when it’s off, plus it’s my only communication and emergencies where I’m needed can happen.  And I really don’t think it’s too much to ask people to be civil and polite and not be loud in the middle of the night.  I should not have to turn off my phone because people have no self editing.)

This morning I sent an email to the offending friend telling them to please respect my schedule and not call of text me at unreasonable hours in relation to my schedule. And then I told them that this and previous comments about my relationship with Hawthorn, though surely well intended, had hurt my feelings and insulted me.  And that as far as I was concerned if we were going to maintain our friendship that the topic of my relationship with Hawthorn and it’s course and ending were 100% off the table conversationally until I said otherwise.  I expressed that my emotional resources were low and I’d appreciate boundaries I set being recognized.

Here’s how I feel about this right now:  Was my anger over the text out of order and utterly disproportionate? Yes, but presumably because it was the proverbial straw of people saying dumb things.  I feel fine about the email and really somewhat proud of myself for having set boundaries with this person.  A large part of my problem is that I often won’t speak up for fearing upsetting other people (this is mostly with my mother but bleeds into all my relationships–like I never told Oak how much I needed him and if I had things might have much different, but I didn’t want him to feel bad). I guarantee you the email I sent this person made them feel bad, despite the fact that I was polite and, I feel, overly generous and as kind as I could be about it.

As I mentioned before my emotional reserves are at 0% and though I could regret it later, I am not above burning bridges over this shit.  I understand that I’m in a messed up mental and emotional place and probably shouldn’t be making too many big decisions, but if folks can’t recognize how much I mean business when I say, “don’t cross this line” then I don’t need them.  Not negotiable. If looked at from a certain angle about 90% of my problems come from letting people cross lines with me that should have been drawn long before.  I meditated on it for a while this morning and I think therapy is supposed to make me happier.  Make me understand my motivations better.  I don’t think it’s supposed to make me an open book and a cuddly puppy if I am not that person.  So even if it’s only because I was pushed to the edge, I think drawing this line is a very good thing for me.  Though somehow ironic, since my other problems do involve needing to be more open.  Then again, it is about being more able to speak my mind and speak about what I need. Yes, all in all a good thing.

However, the entire incident has left feeling much more tense and physically locked up than I’ve felt in a week or two.  Which means I have been feeling better.  Too bad I needed that confirmed by feeling worse again.  I have exceptionally long workdays today and tomorrow too.  Where is my handsome houseboy to come rub my shoulders? I swear, missing things like this is the worst part of breaking up.  Who will rub my feet now!?!?

Quarter dose of Lexapro starts tonight (I know I said that yesterday, but I was wrong, I had one half left, so this time quarter for reals, yo).  Hopefully the upswing in how I’m feeling continues.

I know it’s probably not true, but I swear everything would feel easier if it would just stop snowing.  This is the South!  I’m not supposed to be learning how to drive in terrible winter conditions here.  UGH.  One could easily argue that my desire to stay in bed isn’t anxiety, depression or related to my problems at all, but simply that it’s too gross to go outside.  Spring better come seriously early this year.

On the other hand my yard was filled with probably a thousand birds this morning, fluttering, hopping and talking and singing about the snow.  Rushing from branch to branch to make sure everyone knew about the snow.  If it hadn’t snowed I wouldn’t have been able to stand in the grim, slim sunrise light and watch them fill the dead trees like living leaves.  Thousands and thousands more swirled in huge clouds on the edge of downtown right before I got on the freeway this morning too.  I took the time in the freezing cold this morning just to watch the birds and breathe and remember that “it pisses God off when you walk by the color purple in a field and don’t notice it.”

Lexapro dose gets reduced to a quarter tonight.  Still lethargic and fatigued, still feeling the intestinal effects of it, though those things are all reduced since the last dosage reduction.  After last night’s crying jag I spent a while wondering if I shouldn’t just ask my doctor for another round of yet another drug, but I think I am going to wait a while.  I have terrible PMS right now.  It seems to be getting worse with each passing year (my mother told me this happened in her late 30s too).  My period only comes about every 38-40 days now but it comes with about 7 days of pretty rough emotional stuff.  Like my hormones just destroy my ability to manage my emotional reactions to things. So given that, I think I am going to stick with my plan of no SSRIs for a little bit.  If I’m still feeling like I did last night after I stop bleeding (if it ever starts, argh!) then I’ll reconsider this.  Too many factors right now to make an informed decision.

I just remembered that I dreamt about Oak again last night.  In it he’d given me a list of very specific things that needed to be packed in a certain sized bag.  I spent most of the dream trying to find those things and figure out how they fit together.  Finally Oak showed up with a similar bag and we set off into the snow.  It was clear we were going somewhere really, really far away and maybe walking?  We stopped at a pub and there was some really famous person about to play there, to me, Oak and about six other people.  He was saying that he loved her music but wasn’t sure why she’d do that to her hair. That’s when I woke up.  Perhaps brought on by this text exchange with Oak right before bed:

Oak: How are you doing?
Me: I feel burnt out, broke down and wiped out.
Oak: I know that feeling.
Me: I’m sorry you do. No one should ever feel like this.
Oak: It comes from not knowing your place in the world.

Yes, indeed, man, it surely does. But how does one start finding their place they already feel this worn down?

HAHAHAHAHA! A bit too much indeed.

I’m tired.  No, I’m beyond exhausted.  Fatigued isn’t really it.  I’m too worn down to find a thesaurus and look up the word for it, because I am wiped.

Here’s some songs.

I’m a Mess


Mood to Burn Bridges

Put Me to Bed


P.S. The new Amos Lee album was clearly intended for me to play on repeat at this time in my life.

I have been feeling for a while like the interesting parts of me are fading away.  Or I’ve been losing pieces of myself.  And I have to say that writing and talking has, even in this short time, REALLY helped start to turn that around.  At least now I remember that I like words and I can use them and make things out of them.  Things committed to ‘paper’ become tangible in the untangible parts of the world.  I write, therefore I am.  I write, therefore I will become more.

I am hungover today from crying yesterday.  I hate crying, like really hate it.  The tears, the snot, the blotchy redness, the puffiness.  It seems like the dumbest evolutionary thing possible.  When we’re really upset we spew gross fluids so we can’t see see or properly articulate anything and if we do it too much/too long we throw up (or is that just me?).  How, as a species, is that useful to us at all?  I should try and make it useful to myself somehow.  Like put $5 in savings every time I cry (not just tearing up, but outright crying) and then eventually I can tattoo the help out my back or something, as I’m sure there’s still more crying in my future.  *sigh*

Hawthorn has been trying to help his 18-yo son solve a problem and yesterday morning he said to me, “[My son] has two perfectly capable parents willing to help him, to do anything for him, and he won’t even ask until it’s utterly desperate.”  Hmmm, who does that remind me of? Myself.  It was, perhaps, a tiny reminder from the universe that I do need to be focusing on and practicing asking for help when I need it, when it’s easy, before it becomes desperate. Along with yesterday’s reminder in therapy that it’s okay to upset people, protecting them from how I’m feeling doesn’t solve anything. Though I think I am really doing the best I can in both of those aspects right now.  I’m mean it’s not like I can ask anyone to help me wipe up my snot.  I’ll just keep pushing on until it gets better.

I am feeling alright today, still lethargic and tired, but I think that’s the Lexapro more than anything else.  I have enough work to distract me for the day and, hopefully well into the evening. Still, my bright future seems slightly dimmed by today’s grim weather and it’s hard not wonder how much better my life could have been if I had been kidnapped by fairies when I played in that fairy ring in my front yard as a child.  I bet you can have all the cowboy boots you want in fairy land.  Even if they are just glamoured on.

I feel like I’ve been stumbling along, bumbling, sure that I can do this (‘this’ = whatever my new life is) and I’m sure I’m doing fine and maybe I feel better, maybe I don’t, maybe I’m just having a bad day or maybe just a good day.  Things happen.  It’s all okay.  I can freak about moving, about heartbreak, about whatever, but I can rationalize it, compartmentalize it, explain it.

I was flipped the fuck out after therapy today.  I started feeling a little mildly panicky in the waiting room beforehand, which hasn’t happened before.  I felt shaky and disjointed through most of the session, although I suspect I was outwardly maintaining, as I usually do, indeed I often appear the most calm when I am the most freaked out.

We talked about moving and having my own space and what I’ve been thinking about/planning, and about not wanting to make people feel bad (I returned an expensive gift that Hawthorn gave me because I didn’t feel I could comfortably keep it and he was visibly upset and tried to talk about how guilty he felt but I let it go because I didn’t want to make him feel worse).  We talked a lot about my relationship with my mother. My therapist asked me if I was ‘softening’ how I felt about the things I was telling her.  And we worked on that for a while, I guess on more intense things I tend to minimize them verbally somehow or by laughing nervously. I don’t know how aware I was that I do this.  She’s concerned about making me feel self conscious (too self conscious to keep talking), but I asked her to call me on it when I do it anyway.  I mean the point of therapy is that I don’t do shit like this anymore anyway, right?

At the end of the session as I was leaving I apologized for not shaking her hand (since mine was full of snotty Kleenex) and she said I didn’t need to be polite because she was my therapist and our relationship wasn’t about politeness.  I quipped that my whole life was about politeness and facade as I left. Yeah, uh, I’m pretty sure we’ll be talking about that next week.

And then I went to my car and sat there until I could drive.  I drove 25 minutes in rush hour traffic to the used bookstore and bought $4.50 worth of cookbooks (4 books!) and then I went to hit the grocery store except that I felt like I was going jump the fuck out of my skin or start screaming and never stop. So I drove around a little, parked, walked, went to DSW and looked at shoes I can’t buy because I have to move and I don’t have any furniture. Still it was calming enough (mostly the quiet empty, huge store) to allow me to make it through grocery shopping and get home.  There was something soothing on the radio on the way home.  I came home, ate, left the non-perishable groceries for Hawthorn to deal with and took to my bed with a book. And then sat and cried for 45 minutes (with periodic tenative knocks from Hawthorn saying he wasn’t sure how to comfort me, or was there anything he could do until I told him to go the fuck away).

Let me just be clear, so that I am not minimizing, nervously laughing or softening anything in this space. I am hurt.  I am so heartbroken and betrayed by Hawthorn that some days I feel like I don’t even want to get out of bed.  He is insanely thoughtless.  Incredibly selfish.  I’m sorry that he feels guilty but even that is selfish and not at all supportive of how utterly fucked over I feel by my life right now.

Even without the Hawthorn stuff I already had no emotional reserves left.  None.  Nothing.  I can not offer anything.  I can not help, I can not take care of you, I can not listen to your problems and offer genuine understanding.  I am sorry I keep not calling my mom back, but she keeps bringing up her problems and not just everyday ones, but grown up ones that she should be talking to her friends about, not to me, because right now I have nothing left to offer.  I need my mom.  I do not need another friend going through more drama.  I hurt for all of you, I really do.  I am sympathetic.  Indeed I am empathetic to the point that your hurt becomes my hurt and right now, today, I can not bear the weight of it.

I am, quite literally scratching my way up from the bottom.  I have to find a home, find a place for myself in my own life, plan my future and it is fucking hard work.  I am lonely, I am sad, I exhausted.  I know there is light at the end of the tunnel.  I can find things to smile at.  I can still see God in the sunset and the way icicles hang on the limestone outcroppings by the freeway.  I can relax for a moment and take a deep breath.  I can forgive Hawthorn, I can forgive myself.  I can be full of love and admiration for my friends and family.  I can laugh at Dahlia’s clever texts because she is the funniest smartest girl who ever lived (and not just because she’s my sister).  But I am clawing, with ripped and bleeding fingers, up the dark well of hell and I am about broke down right now.

Thank you, my dear friends, for all your out pourings of love in email over the weekend.  I will reply in time and in kind. You all make me feel more normal, happier and glad to have shared with you.  I had a rough bit of it this weekend.  Work sort of forced me out to be more social than I wanted. Hmm, no, I do want to be social, rather I was forced to face a lot of acquaintances and explain the situation with Hawthorn.  Which by itself is fine, I just find most people’s responses to be fairly intolerable.

Overall I feel well liked and people have been very sympathetic.  And I do appreciate that very much.  However so many people thoughtlessly say things that cause me to have to defend Hawthorn and his choices, which really is a position I don’t want to have to take right now.  And people thoughtlessly say things that unintentionally make me feel bad about myself or the choices I’ve made.  I know everyone means well, but saying things like, “He’s just a girl stealer, I knew from the beginning, I just didn’t want to tell you for fear of hurting your feelings,” doesn’t make me feel better.  It makes me think you think I was duped and that I’m an idiot and that I can’t tell the difference between someone scamming me and someone who genuinely likes me.  A lovely friend commented here about honoring choices that were made in good faith.  This is perfect wording.  I stand by my choice to move in with Hawthorn because I made it in good faith. And, despite everything, I think his initial choices were made in good faith as well.  He just wasn’t as ready for this as he thought he was.  But again, I’m still angry, so I don’t like being pushed into a rhetorical corner where I feel like I have to defend him.

And for the most part friends I saw were, if anything, overly cautious and gentle with my feelings, so I shouldn’t be complaining.  I do feel a little like I should print up a t-shirt or a card to hand to people to something.  I think it would say: Yes, we broke up.  No, I’m fine. Yes, it really is as amicable as these things can be.  Yes, I will need to find a new place to live.  No, I don’t want to stay in your guest room in the interim.  No, I don’t need anything right now.  Yes, I swear I’ll call you if I do.

This is the path I've been taking to get where ever it is that I'm going. I think in the future the Hawthorn situation will either be an oxbow lake or a short cut I couldn't have known I needed to take.

I did spend a good part of the weekend sorting, organizing and planning things. The terrifying and amazing part of all this is getting to completely rebuild my life.  I really don’t think I can stand to have roommate, despite my fears around being home alone.  I am confident right now that I can find a place I can afford on my own that I will feel safe in.  I fell asleep last night imagining a place that had only my pictures on the walls, that has only things in it that I want.  I will never be a minimalist, nor truly aspire to it, but I have working hard for a few years now on paring my life down to essentials (my essentials are probably grander and more numerous than some other people’s) and this gives me a chance to really think about it, since basically at this point I own my (vast) sewing set up, my bed, dresser, wardrobe, desk, some shelves, a few plates, a sauce pan and chef’s knife. Oh, and a coffee table.  So I will need to acquire many kitchen items and places to sit when I move.  But I have time to dream about how simple and lovely that could be when it’s all in my own space and only my things that I want to have.  I am definitely feel positive about this, even with the heavy stresses of finding a place and actually moving.  I the idea of a place free of anyone’s clutter but my own is rapidly becoming very appealing.

I started watching the new BBC Sherlock Holmes this weekend (with Hawthorn–we’ve been keeping up our routine of spending an evening or two a week having dinner and watching something together and I think that’s really helped keep things much more civil) and there’s a part in the beginning where Watson’s therapist tells him to work on his blog every day and record everything that happens to him as she assures him it will help.  Thank you, campy BBC TV show for validating me!  I laughed out loud!

I spent some time over the weekend reading about, meditating on and talking about medications.  I’m going to talk to my therapist today about having her, my mom, Hawthorn, a friend in town (and you all, of course) monitor me rather than taking the SSRIs.  I feel about 120% better since I started halving the dose on the Lexapro.  My current plan is 4 more days on the halved dose and then 4 days on a quarter dose and then no more.  I have worked out a weekly exercise plan with Violet and with Hawthorn and on my own at home (my bedroom is big enough to hula hoop in).  I understand the risk of dependency with the Klonopin, but really I don’t think I’m taking it to excess and man, oh man, it really does make me feel better.  So I’m hoping that exercise (which will include getting out to see people, at least Violet) and therapy and my developing positive outlook and the occasional Klonopin to stave off the panicky moments will be enough to get me through right now.  I will pay close attention to how I feel and hopefully with everyone else paying attention, if I really need psycotropic drugs someone will step in and help guide me back to that.  But right now I think it’s making me feel worse, definitely physically, I don’t know that the benefit of long term chemical changes that I don’t really understand are worth it to me right now.  As always I reserve the right to change my mind at any time and I could be wrong about this, but I’m really hoping that therapy of a variety of kinds and having something to look forward to (my own sanctuary) will get me through the immediate parts of this and hopefully send me out stronger and healthier on the other end.

Work was slow yesterday afternoon so I thought I’d just take a peaking at rental listings in my neighborhood.  GAH! Instead of entertainment I gave myself a full blown panic attack.  Holy shit, ya’ll, I’m going to have to move. Again. And find a place, by myself.  Ack.  I came home, took a Klonopin (whew), turned on the TV and sat down and carefully laid out my income and expenditures for January at  I think if I can manage to keep this up for Feb and March, I’ll feel much more in control about this.  Plus, if I can keep it together long enough to stay here through March, touring season will start and many semi-transient musicians will be leaving places I could live (and college students as well, although there aren’t very many of those in my neighborhood).  Then my only concern will be that I don’t own anything to sit on except an office chair.  I can do this.  *deep breaths*  I can do this.  I am glad, however that I didn’t let myself get bullied into moving right away, and that, as annoying as it will be, Hawthorn will let me stay here for a while.  I also have a few things I need to sell.  Not in a desperate kind of way, but things I just really don’t need and might be able to make enough money off of to buy something to sit on when I move.

Why can I not have this house?  I mean sure I’d have to be rich and live in Belgium, but look at it:

click it to see all its gloriousness


I did manage to calm myself down a bit but PMS left me feeling lonely, miserable and vulnerable and watching TV wasn’t enough of a distraction.  After a slightly frustrating text exchange, I ended up on the phone with Oak discussing the nature of loneliness, his need to find a job and what he looking for, trying to make him understand the even comparison between my home search and his work search (and his soon impending home search as he’s moving back here in 4 weeks, hence the work search). Oak, like my mother, wants me to move out as soon as possible, though he’s being slightly more understanding about why I won’t.  I suspect they both share the motivation (identified by Wisteria) of wanting to punish Hawthorn, at least financially (Oak at one point in the conversation encouraged me to turn heat up, since Hawthorn pays that bill–ironically I am always turning down the heat the Hawthorn turns up because I am an armchair environmentalist). The call ended with Oak wishing he could make me feel better and me expressing that he had, indeed at least distracted me from sitting around alone feeling sorry for myself.

Last night was the first halved dose of Lexapro.  This morning’s side effects so far seem, well, halved.  I am tempted to taper from half to a quarter and off and go back and ask for something else.  I really am trying to be a positive participant in drug therapy but the fact is I haven’t had a day without some stomach discomfort (from moderate to terrible) or some spaciness or dizziness in over three weeks.  I know most anything will have side effects, but at this point I feel I’d gladly try a third or fourth option that made me sweat too much or made my mouth dry rather than continuing to feel queasy and gross.  The Lexapro was better, since it lacked the outright nausea and shaky hands and all, but still I just don’t feel right.  I will do the halved dose through the weekend, but if I don’t wake up Tuesday morning feeling okay, I’m going right back and starting over, I guess.

I dreamt last night that Hawthorn was a robot and the letter of his name were an acronym for the project he was created under.  When I told him this morning, he laughed and said he could see how I’d think that and then hugged me for a while a kissed the top of my head.  Proving, I guess, Oak’s comment that by staying with Hawthorn and depending on his kindness  have somehow changed my status from girlfriend to favored niece.  Still I imagine the situation could be much worse.

I also had a complicated dream that I can’t quite describe that involved attendance at an over the top wedding a trip over seas to an Asian country to visit Adam from Mythbusters and subsequently marrying him.  And then taking up with Jamie from the show when it didn’t work out and I found myself trapped in a foreign country.  It might be hard to explain why, but this is an obvious Hawthorn/Oak metaphor for me, but in reverse and played out with some message that I probably already know, but don’t want to think about just quite yet.

I am just tired and whiny and bitchy today.  I don’t even have it in me to make a thoughtful post about how I’m feeling.  I started one about my relationship with my mom but it’s far too soon for that.  I suspect that needs years of therapy.

It’s icy and miserable out.  I have PMS.  The weather conspired to make coffee happen way later for me this morning.   Did I mention icy and miserable? Wah wah wah!

I do feel like I’m feeling better.  Maybe?  I feel fairly pathetic still.  I haven’t done anything all week but work and watch episodes of Dead Like Me and surf the internet.  Being social still feels sort of insurmountable, beyond a few friends and what’s required for work. But I think maybe I’ve smiled more and been occasionally gleefully silly in the last couple days, so that seems like progress.  On the other hand, side effects and all have made it hard to tell how much is me feeling crappy and how much is crappiness brought on by chemical nastiness.  The problem right now is I can identify side effects like nausea and dizziness.  But I feel lethargic, worn down and exhausted.  Is that just from carrying the weight of my world for so long or is it fatigue and somnolence as a side effect of the SSRIs?  I slept from about 9:30 last night to about 7:45 this morning, so I’m pretty sure I’m getting enough rest.  I definitely need more exercise but again kind of waiting for less side effects before I attempt much more in my life.

Today I’m also facing the reality of having to live with Hawthorn while being irritated with him all the time.   This morning when I tried to turn off the bathroom sink faucet I knocked over all the crap he left stacked on the sink edge.  When I went to fill the Britta which he left empty and found the kitchen sink I’d cleaned last night full of coffee grounds and mystery dirty dishes that should have been in the dishwasher. Yesterday when he left a dumbass, insensitive remark on my Facebook trying to be funny and apologized to me in person but not on FB.    Just stupid, bullshit stuff, like why it takes him 90 minutes longer to get ready in the morning than it takes me.  None of it is new stuff.  Just annoying and I’m already extra irritable today, but the idea that I’ll make it through March without incident seems impossible at this moment.

Waiting, rather impatiently, for my doctor’s office to call back and tell me if they are switching drugs on me or not.  That hopefully will not be the high point of my day.  Although I will be very thankful if they call it in to the pharmacy around the corner from my office and don’t make me drive over there.  I guess I’ll go eat lunch.  And maybe do some work.  Since I’m here anyway.

ETA – The word from the Doc is to half the dosage on the Lexapro and see how I feel in 5 days.  SIGH.

pretty picture included to offset all the negativity

Med check today.  I haven’t taken anything but the Lexapro in about 36 hours. We’ll see if I make it through the day with only tolerable side effects.  This has been harder to figure out because the Zoloft was SO AWFUL, that simply feeling better than that has seemed okay but if I still  feel dizzy, nauseous or like I’m nodding out today and it can’t be attributed to exhaustion, Skelaxin or anything else, then we’ll change again.  Since this is day 8 on the Lexapro I should be tolerating it by now if I’m going too.

This is the reason I don’t like taking stuff like this.  It really feels like there’s no science to it.  Like it’s just throwing stuff against a wall and seeing what sticks.  Hawthorn asked me yesterday didn’t they do a blood test or something to see what kind of drugs one should be taking? No, sir, sorry, too busy putting all our drug trial money and research into things like Viagra, no need to concern ourselves with discovering how and why certain psychotropic drugs work differently on different people.  Grump grump grump.

I read an article once about a psychiatrist who was treating patients by giving them really small doses of opiates every day instead of antidepressants.  The dosage was apparently barely above being a placebo, but had, as I understood it, excellent effects for his patients who felt calmer, happier and functioned better.  Ever since I read this I have never understood our cultural aversion to giving people drugs that simply make them feel better vs. drugs that rewire our brain in ways no one seems to really understand and potentially have terrible side effects.

I do think I am starting to feel better despite periodic bouts of dry heaving and the hours in which I can’t operate machinery.  But it’s hard to say if that’s an effect of the SSRIs or placebo effect or simply the Klonopin tamping down the panic and the calming freedom of saying to everyone, hey, I’m fucked up, don’t expect too much from me and hold my hand while I get better.  I also think I’ve just completely let go of the Hawthorn situation (though I’m going to dissect it here in a second).  There’s nothing I can do about it, no point in worrying about it and I really do just need to move on and I’m actually genuinely fine with that.  In this instance I think there is no reason at all to revisit past injuries.  Another bullshit life lesson that should have been learned but that I’m not going to beat myself up over.  I am going to give myself a ‘I wasn’t in my right mind’ pass and say that it was taking the path of least resistance when I couldn’t handle doing anything else.

Hmmm, I was going to say that despite having mentally moved on I still have a few things to say about Hawthorn in closing, but, uh, I guess I don’t. In retrospect I think he has been incredibly selfish all the way through.  That was helpful to me in the summer and autumn when I really needed support and he was still pursuing me, it was sucky in the winter when he just changed his mind.  To Oak I imagine that it appears that Hawthorn aggressively pursued and stole his (Oak’s) girlfriend and then just dropped her when he was done with her. I suppose that isn’t too far from the truth of what happened.   In this case I truly feel like I am decidedly not tamping down, burying or not dealing with my emotions on this.  I just can’t do anything but move on.  That’s all there is, no point in beating myself up over it.  (Okay so I did have a few things left to say.)

The problem with it all really is that I can’t simply embrace a ‘no regrets’ policy on everything in the past year.  I think I made a terrible, terrible mistake when I broke up with Oak.  I don’t mean that I think he’s the right person for me or I’ve lost my soul mate.  I have no idea, really.  We could have turned out to be totally incompatible.  It’s just that not a single day has gone by where I haven’t thought about him.  I have literally lain in bed and thought, “Hey, I made it through the whole day without thinking about Oak, oh, damn, I’m doing it right now.”    I can not erase from my mind the look on his face when I told him it was over.  I can not forgive myself for the hurt I caused him.  And worse when I am sick I remember how he took care of me when I had the flu, when I am lonely I remember when he first told me he loved me. The weekend after I finished moving in with Hawthorn I cried for two days straight.  I literally cried myself sick.  I told myself it was because I was only mourning the future I’d given up by choosing to be with Hawthorn and that it would pass, but it never passed.  I am crying even as I type this.  I am full of regrets in relation to Oak and I have no idea how to rectify it.  I simply can’t let go in the way I have let go of so many other things/people.  Perhaps (to take a metaphor way too far) Hawthorn was the placebo and thus easily kicked and Oak was the real deal, with the withdrawls taking as long to pass as the usage lasted (giving me about another year to mourn if I don’t figure out how to fix it).

Interestingly (to me), I had intended to use this blog to write about what was driving my anxiety and insecurities.  I had really expected this to be about having a gun in my face held by a shaky, scared teenager, or about the really upsetting ongoing dental problems.  But it seems right now that maybe my relationship issues are much closer to heart of my insecurities that any outside factors are.  Or at least much more immediate.

I feel wobbly, nauseous and gross this morning.  I’m 90% sure it’s the Skelaxin, so no muscle relaxants for me.  Sad.  Will call my doctor today and update her.  Was an hour late for work because I feel like I only slept for about 3 hours and was too wobbly to drive earlier.  Yuck.

So for a long time I’ve been struggling with this idea that I need someone to take care of me. The very concept is anti-feminist, anti-my generation, anti-my own identity.  Of the endless loops in my head, “I wish someone would take care of me” is among the top three. And maybe it isn’t so hard to accept if I can really pin down what being taken care of means to me.  This morning it would mean driving me to work, picking me up later and possibly holding my hair back while I barf.  Most days it would be about supporting me in my crazy endeavors, about showing an interest in what I’m creating, about cooking for me, making sure I eat and just sort of paying enough attention to know when I need extra care and affection even if I’m not asking for it.  Maybe that’s a tall order, but it doesn’t seem like it should be.

From an email from my mom yesterday:

When you told me about [breaking up with Oak], you cited  how he wasn’t psychically supporting you in what you’d been going through.  And you said that what [Hawthorn] was doing was offering you comfort and support…which I don’t think anyone has done a good job of offering and carrying through for you. That’s likely a consequence of looking more together than anyone else around.

I have so much to say about this, I don’t even know where to start.  I guess it’s what bothers me about Hawthorn’s change of heart. I really had hoped I’d found someone to support and care for me.  And I feel really betrayed that that’s been ripped away from me.

Honestly I doubt it would have worked out between Hawthorn and I no matter what.  And weirdly I don’t really care why.  I mean I could make a list of reasons but I don’t care too.  This is weird because ever since I broke with Oak I’ve been telling myself stories over and over and over and over all the ways it would eventually have gone wrong between us anyway.  How it never would have have worked.  Every possible scenario that would have somehow broken down our relationship.  Every excuse possible to make it okay to have ended it.

And it is true that I didn’t feel like Oak was emotionally supporting me, it’s also true that I never asked him.  I always presented a front to him of being together, in control and in charge.  I never said I was scared and needed comfort, I never asked him for help of any kind. I told him it was okay to go when I wanted to ask him to stay.  I told him I was fine when I wasn’t and then I got hurt when he didn’t notice how much I needed him.

Perhaps all of this goes back to not being able to get my words out when I need to.  Maybe part of it isn’t valuing myself enough to think I deserve help?  I don’t know, I don’t even really think so.  I think maybe it’s more about being afraid of what people will think of me.  And I am no where near being able to start with what my problem is there.

The increasing anxiety and bizarreness of the past year has often left me wishing to be rescued rather than simply taken care of.  And maybe Hawthorn rescued me and is releasing me now.  But I do know for sure that I need to be taken care of. And I know that can mean whatever I want it to.  And I am going to learn how to ask for it because anything else is far too lonely to contemplate.

And, oh, Brezny-scope, I love you so:

Week beginning January 20
Copyright 2011 by Rob Brezsny

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I find many of you Tauruses to be excessively self-effacing. It’s a trait that can be both endearing and maddening. Even as my heart melts in the presence of Bulls who are underestimating their own beauty, I may also feel like grabbing them by the shoulders and shaking some confidence into them, barraging them with frustrated exhortations like “Believe in yourself as much as I believe in you, for God’s sake!” But I’m guessing I won’t be tempted to do that anytime soon. You appear to be due for a big influx of self-esteem.

Ten millions years ago, when I got married, I was standing in a small dressing room alone.  Big puffy white dress on, hair all done up, gloves, fancy make-up, 200 guests waiting to participate passively in a momentary expression of love.  All I could think about in that moment was what Rose has said to me several days before: “You’re only getting married because you said when you were 14 that were going to marry him and you’re so stubborn that you have to follow through.” (Not perhaps verbatim what she said, but pretty close.)

I was thinking about those words because I knew as I stood there that I probably shouldn’t be getting married.   Maybe not to this man. Or maybe just not this young.  Or maybe just not.  But I was all dressed up and everyone was there.  And I am stubborn, but often that means I can make things work.  And how hard can marriage be if one commits to it?  I could do this.

Four years later, my parents were bailing me out financially and helping me re-establish my life after we filed for divorce.  This would not be the last time they had to bail me out of such a situation (including my current impending move from Hawthorn’s to where ever I end up).

In some weird way I feel like I’ve been standing in that small dressing room of 15 years ago for all of 2010.  There’s been some sense of doubt in my mind every step along the way, and yet I’ve plodded forward anyway.  I started thinking yesterday about what I should have done, but cut myself off pretty quickly.  What difference does it make now? What is important is what I do from here on out, right?  Still I have this overwhelming sense that I continuously chose the path of least resistance through out 2010 convinced that I could make it work out alright. And hey, I’m not dead, so presumably it will work out alright, just in a different way.

I think therapy was good yesterday.  I cried a lot about Hawthorn making his clean break, then realized that was the first I’d cried about it to anyone, though in my defense I did tell almost everyone by email or text message which is less emotional (and thus my preferred communication).   I don’t know that there were huge revelations in therapy yesterday but I did realize that after Oak and split I stopped making plans.  I mean I’ve always had some sort of vague plan, possible map for the future and I haven’t had that in nearly a year. Surely that goes a long way toward explaining why I’ve felt so untethered.  And right now I feel scattered and confused and still anxious but I definitely need to start making a plan.  I will do it slowly, and I will do it with counsel and support from friends as I’m not sure I trust my choices when left to my own devices right now (a very hard thing for me to admit).

The first thing I need to do is figure out where I am going to live.  Hawthorn and I had a serious talk last night.  I expressed my need to KNOW that I had secure place to live there until I found something else.  He seemed dismayed that I didn’t trust his previous assurance that I could stay through August, but I pointed out that he’d already made a serious one-eighty in relation to me and that I didn’t think I could take another one and still manage to get better.  He said he hadn’t become a bad guy, that everything was still the same, just we weren’t romantically entwined in the long term.  And yeah, I guess he isn’t a bad guy, just insanely selfish and certainly a disappointment.

We have agreed that I could stay through August but probably will try and move around April 1 or May 1. I had some pressure yesterday from friends and family to move right away and honestly I just can not face that.  I mean even if someone else did the moving for me, I just don’t think I feel safe living alone right now. And despite all his other disappointing characteristics I am certain that Hawthorn will still look out for me and chase away things in the dark.  Ultimately however (in a couple months) I think my choice will be to live alone.  In addition to needing someone in the house right now, I also would really like to have the time to find a place to live that I want to be in, that I like, that I feel comfortable in, that isn’t just the first thing available in my price range.  My therapist set me to slowly making a list of what I would need in a home to feel safe, comfortable, and, well, at home.

The Lexapro continues to be okay.  It’s not without side effects but I think it’s within the realm of tolerable so I guess I’m going to fill the prescription after I talk to my doctor today (she gave me samples before).  Today might be the day I skip the Klonopin and try the Skelaxin again as the muscle tension is pretty unbearable.  My lovely friend Moonflower called yesterday and offered to come help me set up a restorative yoga practice at home (she’s a brilliant teacher of yoga), which will hopefully help a lot as well.  I am going to ask Violet to help me overcome my new place anxiety and go walk the track at the community center so I have that as an option on dark cold evenings.

And that’s it for me for plans for now. Yoga plan.  Walking plan.  Thinking about what I need in a home.  It’s a good start, right?

I dreamt about Oak last night.  I have been having very uneven tense dreams lately. For years most of my stress dreams have revolved around moving.  Like most folks have the naked in public dream, or the I’m at the final and realize I never attended any classes dream.  For me it’s always moving day and I haven’t packed and it’s raining and the truck isn’t there. After so much discussion of it yesterday I fully expected to spend the night trying to fit things in not enough boxes in my dreams.  But no, it was Oak instead. No story, no stress, just the physicality of him. How it feels to touch him, to smell him, to feel the heat of his skin.  I woke up  half expecting to find him in my bed and feeling a deep sense of loss.

I am absolving myself of all decision making this week.  I have had my mom and a couple friends already (unintentionally) pressuring me about moving right away. And wow, I can not face moving right now.  Honestly I have two full, completely private, completely mine, rooms in my house with Hawthorn. Yes the situation sucks, but it’s not like we’re stuck in a one bedroom apartment or anything.  Thus far he is going WAY out of his way to compensate for his shitty shortcomings.  Obviously I could change my mind any minute on this, but currently I feel safer and less stressed about the idea of staying than I do about moving.

I talked to Oak last night about the situation for a while. He voiced his frustration that he feels that Hawthorn actively and aggressively pursued me and pressured and promised me the moon to move in with him.  And now is rather blasé about saying oh, I don’t want to be in a relationship. Oak felt it would be one thing if I had been the pursuer rather than the pursued, but that currently Hawthorn’s actions are incredibly selfish and disingenuous given how much other people’s (mine, Oak’s) lives have been affected by the course Hawthorn chose.  And right now, I think this is what upsets me the most about the situation; he’s being selfish at a time when things should be all about me! (Ha, I know, right?)

I am trying hard to own my choices and the decisions I made. I generally can acknowledge and be responsible for my own mistakes. But I don’t know if I can say it was a mistake to choose Hawthorn and move in with him.  At least not given the information I had at the time.  I was simply trying to find a safe easy place to fit into the world.  I assume the universe is telling me that that wasn’t the place I was supposed to be and now I have to find the place I am supposed to be.

I also dislike the idea of hurriedly packing up and moving into the first vaguely adequate place I can find.  I want to find some place that I want to be, that I’m comfortable in, that doesn’t feel like a place to just park my stuff. But again not making any decisions right now.  I have support, friends and places to go if I need too.  I just don’t think I need to go just quite yet.

Where do I find one of these?

On the drug front, the Lexapro so far is WAY better than the Zoloft.  Side effects so far seem to be occasional lightheadedness and mild somnolence (which isn’t necessarily bad for someone with insomnia).  And maybe it’s starting to make me feel better?  Maybe it’s too early to tell and just the lack of side effects and the hope that it will help is what I’m feeling.  Panic attacks and sense of hysterical fear are WAY down, but that could easily be the judicious application Klonopin at the first sign of such.  Still, given everything, I some sense that I’m starting to feel a little more steady, more functional and a little less on autopilot.

Last night I told Oak that it some ways, not excusing my choices or my responsibility for where I am, still it seemed almost like I’ve been living someone else’s life for the last twelve months. Like somewhere around Feb 2010 things just got way off track and I didn’t even notice until I was so far from ‘home’ that I couldn’t find my way back.   I have in the last few months been having the unsettling sensation that I’m losing pieces of myself, like I’ve just become a shell that needs to be filled back up.  Or perhaps it’s more that parts of me that I identified as my sense of self are somehow getting walled up in the the past and I haven’t moved far enough forward to clarify for myself the sense of my new evolved identity.  I believe this is in line with Saturn transiting my 4th house.  I was thinking this morning about how this particular transit is about self identity and security and if you don’t heed the need for growth here that the universe will kick your ass.  I think the universe just kicked my ass.

Have a therapy appointment this afternoon.  Will probably scrap what I’d intended to talk about about and focus on how sound she thinks my decision making is right now and what I need to do to have the space and emotional tools I need to plan my life.  Since the all the future plans I’ve made in the last two years are now entirely off the table. And yes, I can go anywhere, do anything, but what, exactly is that?

Well Hawthorn just told me unequivocally that he wants to be single and there’s no hope of us working it out.  His reasons are that being in a relationship “does something to him” and he just can’t treat me “the same” if we’re in a relationship.  He stated that he is not going to see his previous therapist, as he’s sure a therapist would also tell him that he needs to be single.

I guess I’ll spend this week starting to formulate a plan about where I am going to live (though he has ‘generously’ said I can stay here through August when the lease is up).  Fortunately I  had a therapy appointment tomorrow anyway.

I had my first therapy appointment today.  She encouraged me to continue writing here as much as possible and said that it’s hopefully equally as useful as therapy.

I have spent a lot of time thinking, “what is my problem?”  I have spent hours trying to guess at the mystery that makes me act the way I do.  I left therapy today and went shopping (I needed pillow cases, and, um, a clearance ceramic tray glazed with chrysanthemums as my reward for not chickening out on therapy) and wandered around thinking the usual, what is my problem.

It is no stretch at all to say that everything wrong with me comes from bottled up emotions.  I can’t talk about how I’m feeling.  I can write about it, to some extent, but when I’m in direct conversation it’s like the words form in my brain but never make it out of my mouth.  This extends to asking for help when I need it, for support, for attention and for affection.  In a relationship I am much more likely to write you a long letter than to spill my heart to you.  I have often been accused of withholding when it’s really more like an unintentional blockage.

As I walked around looking at cheap things made in China that I could probably make myself, I thought about what keeps my words locked inside me.  Here are some reasons:

  • I am uncomfortable asking for help.
  • I don’t want to upset anyone with my problems
  • I am afraid of what people will think of me.
  • I fear honesty will cause people not like me
  • I feel too exposed.
  • I hurt all the time and I don’t want anyone to know.
  • I do not want to be rejected.
  • I do not want you to see how lonely I am.
  • I am afraid of making you angry.
  • I don’t think I express myself clearly and do not want to be misunderstood.
  • I don’t want you you to think I am being mean when I am just being honest.
  • I fear you will think I am stupid.
  • I have no familial history of talking about feelings.
  • I do not want to appear weak or vulnerable.
  • I am by nature a private person and I haven’t figured out the bounds of safety for talking when I need too.

And I guess it’s all those reasons together that’s gotten me where I am, but I’m not sure exactly.  Someone once told me that of everyone they knew I had seemingly the least number of reasons to be insecure but was in fact the most insecure person they knew.  And hey, I will gladly speak up righteously and loudly on your behalf, I just haven’t ever felt comfortable asking for anything for myself.  It’s hard to say that I value others more than myself because I think I’m fairly selfish, but perhaps my own sense of self worth keeps my words down? That seems almost too easy.  And yet how does one go about valuing oneself more?

Last night I dreamt that someone tried to cut out my tongue.  The blade only made it about three quarters of the way through and I was choking on my own blood, keeping my hands over my mouth and then I woke up.  I told my therapist this and she was fascinated that I would dream about losing or trying to keep my tongue the night before I started therapy.  I’ve actually had this dream once before a couple weeks ago.  In that instance my tongue got cut out and my mouth filled with blood and I was leaning over and trying not to get any on my white shirt.  I don’t usually make any effort to understand or interpret my dreams, but I gotta say, the tongue/talking thing is kind of trippy.  And creepy.

When we were together I never managed to say any of the things I needed to to Oak.  Now I want to call him and tell him everything, everyday.  I have been mostly resisting this urge as I don’t think, given the circumstances, that it’s fair to him.  I have been communicating with him, some in email or texts but I’ve trying to limit it.  I just need to be really clear with myself about why I want to tel him everything, why it’s okay to be so open now.  Possible reasons include being still in love with him, feeling safe because he’s far away, feeling safe because he’s pretty much already seen me at my worst, because he asks good questions and listens, and, I don’t know, other things.  I love Hawthorn, but the idea of walking into the other room and talking to him about all of this seems impossible. The idea of calling Oak and talking to him about all of it seems like a relief.

I seem to be tolerating the Lexapro okay so far.  The queasy grossness from the Zoloft is gone and I guess I feel a little weird and spacey, but pretty much okay.  I’m going to give it a few more days before I say for sure.

Now I am going to go shower and get dressed for a party.  Let’s see if I can manage this without sedating myself first.

Several conversations with other people saved for my own reference. Click to keep reading…

Yesterday as I drove to work the news on the radio was grating as it usually is so I randomly punched a button and got the college station playing Eastern Orthodox liturgical hymns in Russian. It was so surreal and unexpected that it seemed like a sign of something. It was also incredibly calming so I searched out the station website to find out what was playing. Of course there was a playlist for every episode of that particular show, except for today. I guess it will remain a mystery. Though I might go through some of the back playlists and try and find some of the pieces. I could use some sacred calls to God right now even if, no especially if, I can’t really understand them.

Work was work, in it’s long, boring, but excellent source of escapism kind of way. I came home through icy streets and took a long, long shower. When I got out, Hawthorn was home. We talked about our days. We had a long conversation about my new medications and side effects and how I was feeling.  And then he took a deep breath and said, “I’m just not sure I can sustain a long term relationship. I’m not sure how serious I can be about us.” Yeah, you fucker, I know, you keep telling me. So I said, “Can it. Just take a deep breath and let it go.” He tried to reiterate that he loved me and it wasn’t me &c. but I cut him off and said, “Seriously, take a deep breath and let it the fuck go. I don’t even care enough about this right now to talk about it.”

And you know, I don’t. I mean I do care. I want to work it out. I want everyone to have space to breathe and regroup and revisit it all in the future, but oh my fucking good goddamned hell, I can not keep having the same fucking conversation about it. I have been telling him since the beginning that the pressure for long term, consolidated, expressly planned relationship is all in his head. He acknowledges that I have never pressured him, nor even brought the subject up. He asked me to move in with him. You could go so far as to say he pressured me, or perhaps just badgered me until I said yes. And now, 11 months after he started seriously courting me, he’s just not interested in following through? Fucking fucking fuck. I still feel it would unfair of me to scream, “I gave up my whole life plan for you, you fucking selfish asshole.” Since I do want to own my choices and I made the choice to be here. However, I can safely say that I didn’t necessarily make it in my right mind, and I won’t go so far as to say I’m being punished for that because I don’t think the universe is vindictive, but enough already. At least this time I can hopefully dig myself out of one hole before I fall right into the next one.

I actually feel good about being that angry about the whole thing. I mean, I still need to get him on the train about how right now is about me and unless he’s expressly going to talk to someone (else) about his crap then I am not interested. Because I tell you what, I certainly am not getting better listening to his fucking midlife crisis.

All that said, my current plan is to stay here, in this house, in my own room, with my own things, through April. I will at that point assume plenty of student and musician vacancies and try and find something for myself. I have support in the interim. I know if it gets really bad, some friends have a guest house up the street they will certainly let me use. But really I just need some time to get the rest of me together, I do not want to move right now. And if that means shutting Hawthorn down every time he tries to put his unnecessary worrying on me, then I’ll do it for the sake of cheap rent and at least not feeling isolated and alone. I really do not want to live by myself right now, it doesn’t feel at all safe. And while the entire Hawthorn situation has a bunch of emotional baggage that goes with it, I’d really rather be here.  I’ll take his bullshit, since it comes with genuine hugs and many very solicitous gestures (surely born of guilt).

I don’t know what will be different next week, but I just keep repeating to myself that I need to get through this week. Like that is a big enough goal for me. I think I’m going to take some sick time Friday afternoon so I don’t have to go back to work after my therapy appointment. Saturday I’m hopefully going walking with good friend, Violet, so I can fill her in on all of this and feel like I have allies in this city too (my reasons for being less open with her about this are mostly because I kind of can’t stand sympathy, so I really needed enough distance to be able to deal with people reactions).

Last night I got a decent night’s sleep and as always when that happens, everything seems much less dire today.  Also I seem to be tolerating the Lexapro much better than the Zoloft.  Less stomach ick and dizziness and all.  I’ve decided to hold off on the muscle relaxants for 3 or 4 days until I’m sure of how the other drugs are making me feel.  Although I really, really am looking forward to not having the muscles in my shoulders feel like they are made of metal.

This morning I accidentally found listings for hotels for sale in Spain, so I will pepper my workday with fantasies of being a hotelier in the Pyrenees.

How much better would life be if this was the path you walked home from work?