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I should be asleep, or trying to be asleep, but I’m sitting up watching Criminal Minds (because my limited cable doesn’t have an all Law & Order all the time channel) and fretting a little about my cousins getting here tomorrow.  I don’t think they know that Hawthorn and I broke up and that I no longer live in the big house with the guest room.  Although Hawthorn has offered up his guest room for the weekend, since he’s going to be out of town.  And I’m sure it’ll all work out.

This is actually one of the things I need to work on.  A situation that I can’t control and really don’t need to control, it will be whatever it will be and I need not to be losing sleep over possibilities.  Especially things that aren’t dangerous or potentially harmful.  This is another lesson in letting it go. I think I’m not doing very well so far.

Obviously this is also revealing about how much of my problems are about control.  And right now I”m feeling a lack of control, a lack of discipline, a lack of concentration, a lack of exercise, a lack of distraction, and a lack of socialization.  It occurs to me, given all that, and a seemingly random comment on Facebook from a friend, that maybe martial arts is what I should be considering? Can you even start martial arts at my age? How do you decide what flavor? Find a teacher who deals in adult newbies?  I need to figure out how to follow through on this.

It seems crazy obvious how this would help me.  I mean not just be more fit, but feel more in control at the same time letting it go, and feeling more safe and in charge of my life.  So now I just need to figure out how to do this.

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A few quick things on my mind before I fall into bed:

I just realized how much I am looking forward to April!  April is when life (spring) begins by my reckoning.  I’m getting a (sort of) surprise visit from some loved family members to kick off the month, then a weekend with Wisteria and some of my closest longtime girlfriends, then Dandelion’s wedding (which I am crazy excited about) and then my birthday at the end!  What a month! And it will surely be full of sun and flowers (and rain and leaves)! Hooray!

I had a nice evening with Hawthorn, mostly we talked about work, but it was a good, healthy sort of unloading and getting it out (mainly project talk and coworker gossiping, but we don’t do that at work, so sometimes we need to outside of work).  I do still feel angry with him and I think we will have to have a long heart to heart in the next few weeks or so, just so I can make sure he understands how I feel now that I’ve had so much time to work it out.  I think for closure on this I really need to genuine “I’m sorry I hurt you” apology (as opposed to the “I’m sorry your feelings are hurt” fauxpology).

My rage of earlier in the week was very definitely hormonal.  I’d just like to record for my future reference that the emotional upheaval and disturbance around my cycle and the physical pain associated with it are getting consistently worse and lasting for more days in a row.  Related: as I suffered incredible, sharp stabbing pain in my breast today, which I’m repeatedly assured is just normal and I only need to worry about if it continues after menopause, I was struck by how angry I am about women’s place in the world.  It’s all well and good that we can sue for wage discrimination, that we are supposed to be treated as equals, that we are no longer considered property, but when will we really get to be equal? When will women’s medicine get funding equal to that of what erectile dysfuction gets?  When will we finally be so fed up with quietly suffering pain that we ask for it to be changed?  When will we really learn to speak up for ourselves and not resign ourselves to being paid less, to being talked down too, to the assumption that we’ll still do women’s work, that we’ll do all of this while bearing the pain of childbirth, the pain of simply having a reproductive system?  When will we take ownership of the world enough that we stop accepting food and packaging and products that disrupt our nervous, endocrine and reproductive systems so much more than they do men’s but we still accept our place as being one of suffering and let it happen.

*cough* Um, yeah, I was definitely feeling like we aren’t doing enough for each other, ourselves or the world today. Stupid body pains. Alright, Imna take my hormones and go wonder why I’m not married to Wil Wheaton, or bedding Colin Farrell.  Stupid hormones making me a parody of  stereotypes. *grumble grump*

I’m feeling a little stuck.  I feel like I have less to say here, but looking back I’ve mostly been talking about drugs, therapy and Oak and Hawthorn.  And none of those are currently valid or interesting topics to me right now.  I am still feeling around the borders of my rage to try and find how much of it is residual Hawthorn break-up and how much of it is coming from somewhere else.  I find I feel lonely and abandoned when I have to go home alone after a rough day.  I want someone to talk too, something to distract me from the inside of my head.  And I blame Hawthorn that I don’t have that, since I don’t come home to him anymore.  On the other hand, I’m positive he’s not The One for me, or even one for me, so I can only blame him so far for not being there.

I think some of my feeling of stagnancy are coming from not being patient enough.  Some things really only can be healed with time and more time needs to pass before I can put those things behind me.  There is no instant cure to make me feel whole.  I am vastly, dramatically better than I was 4 months ago, than I was for all of last year.  I guess I’m trying to figure out the balance of settling in to feeling better and still be moving forward.

I think the most important things right now are exercise (nope, still not doing it like I said I would months ago) and making plans.  Yep, just any old plans.  I think if I can make plans with friends for small social events I’ll be better and more distracted from waiting for time to pass.  I think if I make plans for the future, whether they are realistic or will come to fruition will give me something pleasant to think about instead of focusing on past hurts.  I think if I start planning, in my head, crafts and projects I want to do and start mentally giving myself time, space, energy and creativity to do them I will be in a much more satisfied place.

I did execute a few small sewing projects this weekend from start to finish.  I find myself really overwhelmed by the amount of things I think I should be doing, so much so that I don’t start anything.  I need to get back into my past habit of keeping a running list in a notebook of ideas I have and projects I want to finish, with space for notes on how to do each thing  written as I think of it so I can refer back to it when I get to that project.

And maybe some form of this type of record keeping for other things in my life? Spending more time thinking about and recording future fantasies?  Keeping running lists of things I want to do (museum exhibits, walks, &c.) in a place I can glance at and be reminded and think, Oooh!  That IS a good idea!  But how do I manage this without overwhelming myself?  I mean, surely i could put together a complicated schedule for myself and then feel bad when I don’t do it.  I could set up a bunch of elaborate expectations and then feel miserable when I don’t meet them.

When I start thinking in depth about all this I find myself thinking that I still need to give myself a break, I still need to take it easy.  But this too is a terribly hard balance to find.  Perhaps it will be enough to be, for the present, very aware of what my limits are.  How much socializing I can do to balance out my need both to be alone and not to feel lonely.  How much planning I can do before I feel burdened with not actually completing anything.

I feel like every time I sit down to think about or write about this stuff it all comes back to finding balance.  And honestly, I’m strung out enough on my own emotions that ‘finding balance’ seems like some sort of hideous, Sisyphean task that will lead me on an endless quest for something that doesn’t exist.  I recognize how negative that sounds but right now ‘finding balance’ takes so much thought and attention and care that the potential future rewards of it feel misty and vague and incredibly far off.  It’s hard work work and they payoff, while surely wonderful, seems so far out that it’s hard to convince myself to do the work in the first place.  I guess I need ot find some way to motivate myself to all of the above mentioned possibilities that sounds better to me than: “you’ll feel better in the long run.”

I was driving home from work a little bit ago (second shift at the bar) and thinking about how lax I’d been in posting here and how I should come home and write up my week (nothing special, or really out of the ordinary) and how I’m feeling (tired, just really, bone tired, worn down, wore out–in general not just tonight) and about good friends and how much better making time for them makes me feel.  But then somehow in the 8 minutes it takes me to get home I was so filled with rage and wanting punch Hawthorn’s smug fucking face in that I almost started crying in the car.  I pulled it together, got home, took off my make up and brushed my teeth and managed to calm down somewhat in that time.  I’m not sure if it’s PMS or entirely my residual anger at the whole stupid situation, but man am I mad at him this week.  I keep coming back to the fact that he’s never apologized to me.  He’s apologized for his fucked up personal shit bleeding into mine, he’s apologized for my suffering (“I’m sorry your feelings are hurt” which by my reckoning doesn’t count) but he’s never said, “I am so very sorry for what I did.  I am so very sorry for hurting you.” And while I’m sure I cold talk to him about it, I just don’t think it’ll have any meaning to me at all if I have to ask for that apology.  It doesn’t help that this week he’s been dumb boy bullshit inconsiderate, and done some dumb work stuff that makes my life a little harder (and was really just an extension of dumb boy inconsideration).

Tomorrow morning I’m going to get my haircut.  I decided it was better way to spend my money than going to the flea market even if I still do need furniture.  Then I’m going to spend the day doing chores at home and puttering and putting things away until I have to go do another shift at the bar, which will hopefully be busy, distracting and full of cute boys who want to flirt with me.  And maybe when I wake up Sunday, I’ll feel rested and content and happy at home, not full of anger that borders on violence.

So yesterday, after my whining here, Hawthorn asked if I was mad at him.  I told him, quite clearly that I hated being asked multiple time for anything, that his refusal of initial ‘no’ in any circumstance was invalidating of my choices and that he’d already taken enough of my choices away by breaking up with me.  I told him that I reserved the right to be mad at him whenever I wanted over anything I wanted because I was still hurt and within the bounds of responding however I felt I wanted too.  I told him that he needed to take me less for granted, remember that I wasn’t his girlfriend and acknowledge how good and generous I’d been through the months following our break up.

He apologized, but I’m not sure how much of it was him understanding why I was mad and how much of it was the “I’m sorry you’re mad at me” apology which I loathe, as it leaves me feeling less understood and in a position where the offender is sure to re-commit the crime.  Still After spending too much of the day trying not to cry at my desk, I’d softened up ad let go of most of it by the evening.  Which I spent assembling furniture, cooking, cleaning, watching TV and writing letters.  A nice calm evening, which would only have been better if I’d figured out to turn on the A/C before it got swelteringly hot in my house.

I’m very tired of the rollercoaster of emotions in regards to Hawthorn.  I get it, it’s actually reasonable, it will surely be tempered and toned down with time.  But I am just so over it.  I would actually like to just move on, though I recognize that I can’t quite yet.  I think I’ve forgiven myself for the choices I made, I think I’ve accepted the consequences of both our choices, but I haven’t forgiven him yet and I’m pretty sure this isn’t over until I do.  I don’t think that’s a release I’m going to get any time soon.  I think I need to really feel he’s accepted responsibility for his actions in regards to me, that he’s genuinely sorry, that really understands the effect it had on me and why his timing was so selfish.  But I don’t feel ready to sit down and specifically have that conversation with him, I don’t know when I will, even if I know I won’t be satisfied until I do.

Probably part of the answer here is to start filling the spaces in my free time and in my head with other people, with other activities.  Still I’m a little stuck in sort of negative cycle in that I want more time to myself, I feel like I still need the relaxing down time/alone time, before I set out to be crazy social again.  And yet taking that time leaves me with little to think about but past events and all the things I’m trying to move on from.  As with every part of this, it comes back to balance, an even amount of down time and new experiences.  Honestly, everything would be easier if I could back to being my usual, patient self.  I feel like I’m too anxious and eager for change that only comes with time and I can’t let go enough to let it come when it will like the first flowers of spring.

 

Despite my whining last night I did have a good time with Oak yesterday.  It was a nice, open conversation and I am actually happy for him, should his new potential love work out.  Even moreso, I’m amused that I figured it out before he did  (girls don’t invite you to drive 2 hours to visit three weekends in a row and comment on ALL your FB posts if they don’t like you).  “I guess she was flirting with me,” he said, “I guess I need to be hit over the head with that stuff.”  Having the conversation about all that seemed to finally relax him enough to be teasingly flirty with me, which was wonderful, though a little bittersweet.

It was an enjoyable day, all the way until I was walking home alone from my afternoon with Oak.  Partly because we’d talked a lot about how mad I am at Hawthorn and because I was mad at Hawthorn still and because my experiment of asking that guitar-playing boy out ended in two rejections (one more subtle and open to interpretation and the other pretty outright, though he still insists he wants to go get a beer some time.  Whatever).

Ironically, I was paying lip service yesterday to how much better I’ve been at letting things go and not getting riled up over things I have no control over or things that would seem otherwise inconsequential.  And yet, I spent the whole evening riled up over things I have no control over.  As the anxiety and fear start to ebb, I realize that I am just so filled with anger all the time.  More anger than I’ve ever had in my life.  And I still really lack any sort of control over my emotions and emotional responses so anger more often than not means tears and frustration for me.  Honestly, I’m so tired of crying that this in itself makes me more angry and perpetuates the cycle.

As a result of how I felt at the end of the day yesterday I spent some time trying to dig out why I am so mad at Hawthorn.  Certainly it’s obvious on the surface, the poorly timed break up, the incredible upheaval to my life right when I really needed to feel stable, the obvious selfishness of his actions all the way through.  But I think that bigger picture stuff is actually too much for me to deal with, it’s more how it plays out every day.  I do enjoy his company and some of the time we spend together.  I just feel like he takes it for granted that I’m going to go see a show or do something with him. And that combined with his repeated asking if I’m going after I’ve said no, leaves me feeling like he doesn’t recognize any of my boundaries.  Plus he often fails to come through when I do want him, leaving me feel like we only do his things on his schedule and once again I don’t matter, or what I want doesn’t matter.  Plus when he knows he’s angered or annoyed me he goes out of his way to try and appease me which just further frustrates me.  I don’t want offerings and presents after the fact, I just want my own needs and boundaries recognized right up front.

Of course I recognize the need to separate myself from Hawthorn, that will be the best way to limit these frustrations.  But even that is limited, since I have to work with him everyday.  And obviously I am in a very lonely place right now and he’s easy to call on to keep me company.  Which of course isn’t necessarily the best option, but we don’t all always pick the best options, you know?  And I still maintain that having sex with someone else will surely go a long way towards helping me let go of the current attachments, I’m just not sure how t make that happen without things getting messy and more complicated.  Or, in fact, I just need to meet new people who will think I’m charming and take up my time.

And when I’m feeling like this, I reach out more into to divine and unknown to try help understand what I’m feeling.  This mostly takes form in meditation and much in depth exploration of my astrological chart and where my signs are sitting right now. A very simplified example of that is my current horoscopes, which have for the past several days, mostly looked like some variation on today’s projection:

Physical passion
This influence arouses a strong attraction to and desire to be with someone. You will be much more aggressive than usual in going out and finding a partner. This influence is often a sign of physical passion. Under this influence a sexual relationship is very satisfying to both partners. Even without sex, you will be very happy with other people. You feel more vivacious and attractive than usual and may well be the life of the party. You will work hard to gain the approval of others during this time, so strong is your need for affection. Artistic activity is also indicated, for the general significance of this influence is self- expression through creativity and love.

It’s not like it’s telling me anything I don’t know.  More it simply affirms what I already know I’ve been feeling. I recognize how much positivity there is in all that.  I do feel more attractive.  I do want to go out and socialize more.  I am much less locked in by my negative emotions and ready to get back to living in the world.  Still following through on getting out more and seeing more and different people is work, even when it’s positive and my available energy for dealing with things, even positive ones, is still pretty low (although admittedly the positive social interactions do replenish that energy to some extent).

(An aside: hahaha! While I’m typing this, Hawthorn just stuck his head in my office door and offered me coffee and told me he brought something he knew I wanted from the old house–see? Offereings and gifts because he knows I’m pissed off.  ARG!)

In other positive news, I got a kitchen table in this weekend and hopefully the rest of my office furniture arrives today, which means I’ll be able to get everything except the books put away.  The apartment has been rapidly becoming more comfortable (the recent additions of a reading lamp by the couch, small stereo for the living room and getting the bed room fully unpacked have really helped) and much more like my own sanctuary.  It’s nice to feel like I have a place I’m supposed to be.

What I did today, two versions.

Version 1:

I woke up too early for a weekend, but couldn’t sleep.  Cleaned, did laundry, ran all my errands, watched a movie, did more decorating and enjoyed my house, went for a walk with a friend, drank beers on a patio in the breeze on a warm day.  Walked home and made a good dinner.

Version 2:

Didn’t sleep enough, did too much work, watched a sad, too-close-to-home movie, got overheated, spent an hour drinking beer and a second hour learning all about Oak’s new girlfriend and convincing him that I was very happy for him.  Got rejected for the second time in 24 hours (I’m persistent) by the cute guitar playing boy. Made and ate a lonely dinner that was too nice for one person.

Happy St. Squalid’s Day!  I’m feeling it for sure.  Headachey and hot.  For some reason when I drink too much my metabolism goes into overdrive and I feel like my insides are overheating and I swear my skin feels feverish to the touch.  Too many Paddy’s Day beers with Oak last night.  Which was, well, obviously not a good idea.  And probably not really worth it.  I enjoyed talking to him. Really though, since he’s been back, the more time I spend with him the more disconnected I feel from him.  He spent most of the first 30 minutes complaining (the service was bad, the ladies at the next table were too annoying, the Guinness wasn’t draft, &c.) which just get exhausting for me really fast.  He did eventually apologize and say he’d stop complaining since it wouldn’t do anything, which was new for him, but still it set the tone for how I felt about the evening.

I wondered home, a nice warm evening walk through my neighborhood.  Caught up with a friend, as he walked with me for a few blocks, he mostly seemed concerned that I was okay post-break up (with Hawthorn) and all.  Which was genuine, wonderful concern for me, but it got me home feeling a little miserable and lonely.  So I did the only thing you can do when you’re home alone, lonely and little drunk: I made a tentative date with a hot guy.  Mind you, this isn’t a romantic, let’s-if-we-get-along-enough-to-fall-in-love date, no, this is more of a let’s-have-a-beer-and-see-if-I-can-persuade-you-to-have-sex-with-me date.  Because it’s way too soon for me for the first one and I’m confident that succeeding in the second one will help free me from leftover past relationship clingyness and jealousy.

Happy St. Squalid's Day! It's how we recover from Paddy's Day.

Of course in the sober light of day today I feel clumsy, awkward and slightly embarrassed about asking a boy out (especially this one), but I’ll push through.  I actually have very little shame in such matters, so it’s weird to see it manifest now.  I guess I feel like maybe I’m trying to get away with something here, because I know I only want to have sex with him (what normal, single guy says no to that though?), and because Moonflower dated him in the memorable past (although I asked her first and got her cheerful, excited blessing), and because this guy is someone all my friends know and it’s hard not to have everyone know my business in this neighborhood, but in this case, I’d prefer some privacy. So, um, I guess I am trying to get away with something.

I’m good, I think.  Panic attacks are definitely waning. The relentless insomnia is making me a little more unpleasant than usual.  But since Monday’s meltdown over Hawthorn annoying me, I’ve actually been on a fairly even keel.  I have been actively working on just letting things go, on embracing now and releasing myself from the need to be happy, rather working to settle with being satisfied.  I’m pushing for a calm weekend: more household nesting, dinner with Violet, maybe a park walk and a museum trip.  Life feels so much better and settled when I can calmly plan these things and not be stressing about relationships and furniture and moving and money.

So of course I went out with Hawthorn last night and had a perfectly nice time and now feel like a bitch for being so frustrated and irritated with him.  SIGH.  I am going to assume that points to the raw, open wound of the break being the cause of much of my anger and pain in the situation.  I am going to take a deep breath before and after every interaction with him and try to let go on the assumption that time will heal much of it.  I am going to keep trying to set limits with him until at least some of it sinks in.  Mostly I’m going to try to  let it go, let it go, let it go.

Yesterday both my mom and Cedar asked how I was, specifically in relation to my mental health.  Let me try and repeat here what I told them, for my own future reference.

The past week or so has been rough.  I’ve been feeling worse, lower, I think, than I was feeling for a month or before that.  Perhaps part of that is having moved and done and not having those extra details to fill up my head.  Perhaps part of it is the many grey days we’ve had in a row here.  I did realize at some point a few days ago that I haven’t kept up with my habit of taking all the supplements that I think help me (multivitamins, extra vitamin D and vitamin B, Omega-3, St. John’s Wort, and 5-HTP), so I’ve restarted that cycle and almost immediately I feel better (I guess I should add vitamin B deficiency to the list of things to talk to my doctor about).

Over all the panic attacks have substantially lessened and I feel less high strung and riddled with anxiety than I did before.  My biggest problem at the moment is that I feel like I have so little control over my emotions and my responses to situations that starts a self-perpetuating cycle.  For instance something small will happen, like really bad customer service, and I will get very angry, in fact probably disproportionately angry.  And right now, when I get angry, I burst into tears of frustration and rage, and then I feel even worse because I don’t want to be crying, which makes me more angry, &c.  The aftermath of this leaves me feeling exhausted and wanting time to myself, which at this point there simply isn’t enough of.  And I really don’t feeling like I’m avoiding people, or negatively isolating myself, just the emotional thing makes me feel so exposed and raw that I feel like I’m absorbing everyone else’s emotions and response as well as my own.  Which is fine and great and uplifting in a positive situation.  It just takes very little to spin everything into negativity.

I feel like I have really heightened sense of awareness of how I’m reacting in any situation, of how I’m feeling, of what the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ reactions are.  Which hopefully is a good thing.  Perhaps the biggest problem with all of it is that I have much clearer sense of who I am, of what my self identity is and a lot of how I’m feeling and how I’m reacting emotionally to things is directly at odds with the sense of self.  The options seem to be to adjust that picture of myself to match the current reality, or to work really hard to struggle back to the person I feel like I was (or at least always wanted to be).  The second choice seems like the only real option.  I’m still remain unconvinced that drugs and therapy are what is going to help me with this.  Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a do it by myself kind of thing.  I definitely need help, I just think I need to, um, experiment, I guess, with what kind of help I need and how I can do this.  Writing and talking about it seems to help the most, presently.  I think I need to start setting goals (like making necessary dentists and doctors appointments to deal with the looming bodily health issues) and checking those off as accomplishments.  I think I need to start more actively thinking about the goodness in myself and the person that I previously recognized, who seems subsumed by all this anxiety and anger and negativity, and making a conscious effort to be that better person, while still trying to coddle and care for the hurt part of me.  I definitely need to start slowing down, so that I’m throwing what energy I have at my job, and storing the rest for my own internal, quiet recuperation.  I need to make sure that I’m treating myself carefully, and as if I am recovering and not as if I can simply overcome by doing.  I will work harder to be my own friend and treat myself as I would someone else in my situation.  More love, more care, more calm.

 

I had a mostly good weekend, with some ups and downs.  Most of the downs involved leaving my house a dealing with people. On Sunday I cancelled plans to walk with Hawthorn in the park in favor of day long isolation.  It helped, I guess.   Although today I don’t think it was necessarily alone time I needed but non-Hawthorn time. And honestly I don’t know what to do about that.  I have to deal with him.  I work with him and there’s really no avoiding him in that situation.  I’d rather work him and be friendly, than simply be professional. And I actually do like his company some times.  I like him as a person.  I just feel like he’s pushing my boundaries in a not pleasant and perhaps wholly unintentional way almost all the time and I do not know how to make him stop. Whatever it is about him that’s so irritating that it’s rubbing me raw isn’t going to go away.  I can’t not work with hm. I essentially can’t not socialize with him.  Even if I stopped doing that, I’d still have to see him at both my jobs and around the neighborhood, so it’s preferable to keep it amicable.  I am completely open an honest with him to the point of being brutal and still he does such asinine annoying little things, that I guess are nothing, but taken all together make me crazy.

I’m just continually left with this sense that he is not listening to me, nor interested in what I really need unless it matches with what he wants.  This was true throughout our relationship too.  It’s extra upsetting because I don’t think he’s doing it on purpose and I can’t tell if it’s forgetfulness, utter selfishness and self involvement, stupidity, complete lack of concern for how I feel or some combination of all of those things.

For instance, I say I need alone time and that catch up with him the following day.  The response to this should not be three texts asking what I’m doing over several hours followed by an invitation to eat much later in the day.  Or if he invites me to an event and I decline, it should be left at that, not followed up with two subsequent offers just in case I’ve changed my mind.  And I know in the instance of the last example, he thinks he’s being nice, he’s being good generously offering more chances, but really it just frustrates and angers me.  In the case of the first example, he simply forgot that I’d asked for alone time earlier.  When I have to decline on offer of a bagel FOUR TIMES in single morning before pointing out that I’ve already reminded him twice this week that I don’t eat wheat and don’t want the motherfucking bagel, thank you very much.

I guess part of the problem is that about 50% of the really annoying stuff he does is actually him trying to be nice, which leaves me feeling really mean and petty when I get frustrated over it.  And the rest of it is so careless that I feel insulted.  And trust me, it’s not like I’m bottling this up.  I speak freely about it with him, both when I’m annoyed with him and when I’m clam and just trying to set boundaries.  I recognize that the answer here is to simply take a break from him, but as I mentioned that’s pretty much impossible.

The other part of the problem is the more obvious: he broke up with me at a really vulnerable time in my life.  He justified by saying it would surely become clear later that  it will be best for both of us.  Which is all well and good, except that I’m still well inside the very reasonable window of my feelings being very, very hurt over the whole situation. No matter how clear it is that we would never have worked out doesn’t stop my feelings from being hurt.

I don’t really even know what I’m trying to say here.  Here’s what I know:  I worked just fine with Hawthorn all day, with only the minor (very, very minor) irritation of being invited to lunch at some place I can’t eat, but I was genial and pleasant about it.  Then he did something slightly more annoying and work related (with started with him texting me to tell me to call him, AUGH, just call me yourself in the first place!) and I did the work thing and finished my day.  I got in my car and spent most of my drive thinking about funny things Cedar has said in today’s email and smiling to myself.  And then I remembered that I’m going out with Hawthorn tonight (it’s a ticketed event, it’s something I really want to see, and I backed out of a ticketed event last week, so there’s very little wiggle room here for “I don’t think I’m going to go,”) and suddenly my bad, bad mood was back.  So I thought I’d come home and try and write it out before we went out tonight.  But no, I feel just as frustrated, I feel like I can’t even adequately express, describe or pin down the specifics of my irritations.  I feel annoyed with myself and with him.  And maybe I can just chalk it up to the still raw wound of the break up, or simply his seeming insensitivity in the face of that. But if you read a news of the weird article in the near future about a woman bludgeoning her coworker with a bagel while screaming, “I don’t want anything from Panera,” over and over, even if names aren’t included, you can probably guess who it will be about.

An excerpt from an email from Cedar:  You know, whoever told you that you have the eyes of an old soldier gave you a compliment.  A soldier that makes it to “old” has better eyes than the rest.  And once you make it to “old,” you usually make it home, too.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot the last couple days.  What the metaphor of old soldier means to me.  What it means to be a survivor and how one deals with things to become a survivor.  How, after surviving, one makes it home and lives again once there.

I don’t actually talk about my life very much, even here.  If you look closely at my words or listen to me, I almost always talk around the things that are my own personal emotional vulnerability.  There are a few close friends who I will revisit things with, but generally I prefer all the past to stay in the past and not be revisited or relived.  I suspect this is why therapy hasn’t been quite right for me so far. And maybe won’t be in the future, as I very stubbornly believe that there’s little to be gained from revisiting past suffering.  Combined with the fact that I think depending on which angle it’s viewed from my life has either been a series of a variegated horrors (as seen through the lens of protected, middle American, suburban prescriptions for normality) or endless run of luck, continuously bringing me to better and better places (as seen through a lens of the bulk of the non-white, non-wealthy people of the world).  I’d like to live on the pleasant side of the second lens and I don’t see how choosing to treat the past as series of horrors relived in therapy is going to get me to a better place.


I also know that I have a cultural, familial and inherent natural, personal bias toward Stoicism (real, ancient, philosophically ethical Stoicism, not necessarily modern emotionally repressed Stoicism).  This is surely a positive for me as much as it is a negative for me.  And yes, there are times in my life when I need help (now and recent months) and yes it does hinder me from sometimes reaching for or asking for the help I need (because of my belief that my will should be strong enough to carry me through anything).   But I recognize these limitations and I don’t see anything wrong with accepting that I am a specific kind of person who would rather bear the pain until it can be pushed back into a thing of the past than a person who wants to air it out publicly.  I’m only thinking this as I’m typing it, but it seems like there’s something to said for acknowledging the kind of person one is and dealing with things that way, rather than forcing one’s square-shaped being into a round solution hole, yeah?  Which isn’t to say I won’t keep trying to be better at asking for the help and support I need.  I will try and try harder and harder.  And I will continue to explore the options available to me for the support and healing I need.  But I am definitely making sure that I am considering myself through all of this and that I am not going to magically change into a person who wants to talk endlessly about my real, deep, emotional problems or open up in truly emotionally vulnerable way.  I firmly believe that trying to force that on myself is not going to really help.  To take a gross metaphor way too far: I have a huge wound and I want it cauterized.  I know it isn’t infected and I don’t want anyone trying to dig deeply in it to cleanse it, I’m sure cauterization will work just fine, thank you.  My method will leave a permanent scar, but I expect to get the full range of motion back eventually, and I’m not interested in being stitched and coddled in such a way that I’m returned to pristine perfection.

Of course all these thoughts on my nature and how I view myself are subject to change at any moment.  Even now I realize that all of this may either be in line with or completely at odds with my concurrent thoughts about the need for balance and equilibrium in my life.  But those concurrent thoughts are for another day.  Today I am willing myself to be in the moment, to enjoy the sunshine, to see the good in other people and to recognize when I can push negativity aside and just live.

I feel better, over all.  It’s STILL grey here.  And in case my theory that I run on sunshine charged batteries needed proving: the sun came out briefly while I Was running errands yesterday, rush hour freeway traffic and all, I INSTANTLY perked up as soon as the sun shined on me.  Yes, I know all about light boxes and about half the lights in my house are “true sunlight” lights, but it seems that only the real thing, really does it.  And early spring is joyous, but not to my sinuses.  I’m getting simultaneous allergy/sinus headaches and storm pressure headaches. Makes me nauseous and no fun.  So more sun and less storms, please.  I’m not even going to complain about the pollen, it’s not worth it.


All that aside I am mostly cheerful today.  Things are making me laugh.  I feel like I have a positive outlook on the future, even if the present continues to feel a little stagnant and the future too vague.  I’ve been contemplating this balance of living in the present moment and planning for the future.  Honestly, I feel a little stuck.  Like for the last, let’s say 2.5 years (starting from about when Oak confirmed he was leaving and everything started to go awry) I have been simply waiting.  I waited for Oak to leave; I waited for Oak to get back; I waited through the flood and the aftermath; I dropped all my future plans (and Oak) and waited for Hawthorn to make new ones with me (he never did which should have been a sign from the beginning); I waited for Hawthorn NOT to break up with me; I waited to get out of Hawthorn’s house. And sure all those things have passed, but I’m still waiting: to furnish my own home, to figure out what comes next, to feel better/normal.  It’s like I can’t remember how to live without waiting.

It’s not like I don’t have things to look forward too, I do.  But most of it is small trips to visit friends (many of which can’t even be planned until my work schedule settles and I spend a few more weekends going broke furnishing my house).  And I’m excited about those things but I need a bigger picture plan.  Like moving to Spain in 5 years, or going back to school to become a an EMT, or learning pattern making for real and setting up a small business sewing.  Not that I will necessarily do any of those things, but there’s something about the planning and thinking about such grandiose plans that keeps the frightening, anxiety inducing vagaries of every day life at bay, you know?

I guess a big part of the problem is that I still feel really scattered from the anxiety and the drugs and the moving and the life changes and nothing seeming settled for so long.  I had a moment, waking up the other day, of how my new place is starting to feel like “mine” not just a place I am, which is nice.  I think getting it furnished will go a long way towards helping me. Still right now it’s adding to the anxiety load: not being able to find anything because it’s in boxes sucks, spending lots of money is stressful, &c.  But it is coming along and the end is somewhat in sight. Still I’m left with the feeling of waiting and the sense that I’m not quite together enough to dig myself out.

Perhaps the weirdest part of it all is that I’ve always considered myself to be a very patient person. I don’t shake Xmas presents, I don’t guess what’s inside.  I am calm, placid even, ready for anything, but happy enough to sit quietly until it’s time for whatever it’s time for.  I don’t know which came first, but either the anxiety broke that in me, or that being broken in me is where the anxiety came from.  I need to get back to that place of patience.  I’m still just not exactly sure where to look.  It seems like I can only wait to get to the place I need to be (settled, moved, planned, whatever) and I can barely stand the idea of waiting even a little more.  I just need to figure out what the more active things I can do to participate in making the future come faster are, so I can enjoy being in the moment more.  Ironic, I know.

So I left work early yesterday and went home and straight to bed.  I did get up at some point to eat and read a bit and wash my hair.  Total though, I slept for about 12 of the last 18 hours.  I definitely feel better.  I could use a couple more days of forced rest and non-interaction with people, but living requires work so I guess I’ll find that stuff where I can over the next few days.

I have to go for an annual exam next week, so I guess I’ll talk to my doctor again about medication options.  Honestly, though I’m not that hopeful about it.  I recognize that my attitude about the whole things shades my experience and it probably won’t be helpful if I’m not open to it.  But at the same time I think I have the tolerance left for one, just one, more round of ‘let’s throw this drug at your wall at see if it sticks.” After that, I’m done and will only try other methods.  I have been feeling so crappy the last few days that I’m will to give it one more shot.  But again it’s hard to gauge how much of my mood is affected by the seemingly endless rain and grey skies here, by my period, by my insomnia and exhaustion (which I just don’t think going to be cured by drugs, maybe therapy and exercise, but drugs seem unlikely).

After work I’m going to pick up my newly framed prints, check on a chair possibility at a nearby furniture store and then go home and lock myself in for quiet couch time.  I have to work at both jobs tomorrow and Friday and I recognize that I better get my much needed peace and quiet when I can.  One of the traits I’ve always recognized in myself, no matter how good or bad I’m feeling, is that I need equal amounts of time alone and with people.  Or I need those to be directly proportional.  One of the things I need to work on is being better about making sure I’m setting the time for myself.  This was easy when worked alone at home, but being in an office is more problematic as I need more space of my my own in the evenings, but I also feel more like I want to get out and do things and not miss out on fun I could be having.  Which of course doesn’t end up being fun when I’m exhausted and emotionally over extended.

It really feels weird how tired I am of spending money too.  I bought 4 new pairs of pants (to replace the 4 pairs of work pants I’ve been wearing for a year) and new (work) shoes and a new spring trench (bright, ridiculous and floral).  Usually this is big exciting stuff for me.  I think the furniture and home shopping has taken the shine off everything.  Maybe this is a good thing, maybe I’ll simply be less of a consumer when all of this over.  I’ve been working to shrink my consumption footprint as it is.  Maybe now is the time.

Maybe the high point of the last few months has been the journey of self discovery.  Living alone I don’t need a microwave, I don’t want too many dishes or unnecessary things.  I can learn new ways of cooking and relaxing and being.  I do like this aspect of it.  On the other hand,the journey of self discovery is exhausting and the anxiety has already sapped so much out of me.  I feel like I need to find a way to hit the “pause” button for a while and just be.  Not be shopping.  Not be worrying.  Not be financial planning.  Not be suffering a broken heart.  Not be organizing.  Not be packing or unpacking.  Just be.  Just be me.  Surely I can delve deeper and discover more about myself if I can slow down and just be, right?

Ok, I’m giving myself a break.  I’m taking a half day at work today, only staying until I can get through a needed meeting.  I’m so exhausted I could cry.  I think I’m on about night 5 of poor and limited sleep.  Yesterday’s panic attack really wiped me out.  I realized I haven’t taken any Klonopin in 5 or 6 days.  Which is great for the thinking I don’t need it factor, how ever, clearly I DO need it.  I am going to do the work I need to do at all three present jobs this week and otherwise I’m off.  No social calls, no plans, no personal to-do lists around the house.  I’m going to sit on my new couch and read or watch TV.  I’m not going to plan house things or make lists.  I’m just going to do my jobs for the rest of the week and fuck off for the rest of the time.

Right now I have a pressure/sinus/tension headache that feels like it could flip and go migraine at any minute.  I’m fighting it back to finish easy but high concentration projects at work.  And I’m successful at that so far, despite the underlying feeling of wanting my mom, wanting to be asleep, wishing someone would come care for me.

Remember what I said a couple weeks ago about feeling better, running myself to hard, crashing, hitting a holding pattern until I felt better again and doing it all over? Well I think I took the running myself too hard to too far of an extreme over the last 5 days.  Now seeking as much down time as I can get, hopefully avoiding accidentally bursting into tears in inappropriate circumstances.  My level of frustration and disappointment with insignifigant things is surely a sign that I need to take as much time as I can to calm down.

Deep breaths.  Letting it go.

I was planning this morning on coming here and writing about how much better I felt after the grim, grey weekend.  About how much I got done around the house. Blah blah blah. Cue my first panic attack in, hmm, at least a week, maybe longer.  Even more annoying, is how dumb it is.

So my couch is in at the store I ordered it from. Ten full days early.  Which is good news, except I have plans tomorrow that I don’t want to break to have to pick it up.  It’s also supposed to pour rain tomorrow and the next day. So that leaves today or waiting Since I’m also occupied Thurs and Fri evenings.  And honestly, the guy on the phone was UNHELPFUL, and seemed to think that I should come get the item that was back ordered RIGHT NOW instead of asking them to hold it for me.  Yes, you 21 year old twit, I can totally drop everything and come get a large object all by myself.  Anyway, today it is, I guess.  But that involves, rushing around, planning finding a truck and helper and blah blah blah blah all at the last minute.  So panic attack.  And not really brought on by the rush and the planning, but still I freeze at the thought of asking people for help.  Even for something like this.  I don’t like feeling like I owe anyone, I guess.

I can call Oak, he has a truck and fair amount of free time.  But honestly, after this weekend, dealing with him just seems too overwhelming.  Hawthorn offered to help and I guess I have to take him up on it.  And I feel resentful about it because he never listens to my plans and always makes things like this WAY more complicated than they need to be by being wishy-washy and noncommittal and then when he does commit to a plan it’s usually the most confusing way to do something. And, of course, Hawthorn can only do it right after work, leaving from work. Which means there’s a possibility he’ll forget to get the work truck keys before it’s too late, or he’ll get sucked into something at the downtown office and not be able to help me after all, leaving me fucked. And even if he does come through I’m wearing heels (99% of the time I have extra shoes in the car, but not today) and thus can’t do any of the lifting.

So happiness about finally getting some of my furniture, especially the couch?  No, of course not.  I’m completely panicked and freaked about having to ask someone for help, about not having the independence and control in the situation that I’d want and, frankly, about the damned thing arriving early and disrupting all the plans I’d made about picking it up (and paying for it).

Yes, I do realize how ridiculous this is. No, I’m not even going to apologize to myself for it.  Alas, if nothing else it’s an indication that there’s (still) something wrong with me.  Which I’m fine with, since I can recognize it. Indeed that fact that something this normal and easy is upsetting me somehow legitimizes how I’ve been feeling all along. Like I’ve been feeling so much better, I start to wonder WTF was wrong with me and was all the anxiety stuff in my head.  But no, I’m still crazy.  Which, for some reason really is kind of comforting.  Still even realizing it and being aware of what’s going on with me, I might end up locked in a bathroom somewhere crying before the day is over.  Hopefully that will be a day that ends with having a couch and I can feel better about everything while I’m curled up on it.

Edited to add (mostly for my reference): my mood continued to deteriorate all day.  Hawthorn graciously sacrificed his whole evening to help me with getting the couch and (not) getting shelves and suffering through several customer service debacles.  I had a nice dinner and Hawthorn was good company, but I spent most the evening frustrated and on the edge of tears.  And while I am glad I have my couch and grateful that Hawthorn helped so much, I am exhausted, emotionally worn down, entirely w/o emotional resources and very frustrated with the world in general.

The extent to which the weather affects my mood seems really extreme. At this rate I’m going to have to move to San Diego or some other place with no weather to maintain positivity.  It’s been rainy and grim for two days.  I feel dreary and grey and wiped out.  One wonders how I managed to survive similar conditions int he Pacific Northwest for so many years. I just feel stuck and stifled and desperate for the sun like a plant that’s all stretched to and pale and trying trying trying to reach for the light.  After two days.  It’s supposed to be cold tomorrow but I’ll take it if it means the sun shines a little.

I spent most the day doing chores and paid projects for other people. Satisfying, I guess but it got my house no closer to being livable.  I need to use this as serious Buddhist exercise in letting go.  Nothing will happen with the house until I have furniture there is very little I can do to speed that up so I need to stop fretting about it.  Still, life will be better with a couch to sit on and I firmly believe that thinking that is just truth and not more of my looking forward to something rather than enjoying the moments.  I will enjoy moments much more when I have somewhere to sit.

Oak and I went to Rowan’s for a bit tonight  and then went to dinner.  I didn’t have fun.  I don’t know if it’s the weather or my heavy yucky period or just my need for more down time/me time, but Oak is soooo much work.  He’s just always unhappy and even broken up and even after everything I still sometimes find myself of falling into the trap of wasting energy trying to make him look at things more positively.  And if I ever thought this was in my mind  r some convoluted complication of our relationship, I know it’s not.  Rowan is one of the most positive, outgoing, friendly people I know.  As we driving to the restaurant Oak commented that he always forgets how warm and welcoming Rowan is.  How positive he is and how he puts that into other people.  He went on  to say that he wished he was more like Rowan, more positive, more outgoing and nice. It was actually really frustrating because Oak is like that and people love him for it, but it’s like he turns it on and off and he rarely turned it on for me after we were dating, I only ever got to see him charm other people.  And he can’t seem to remember the joy he gets from interacting positively with people and just reverts back to curmudgeonly and cranky.  I feel after spending the evening with him tonight that I was right when told him during our break up that we would just end sad and depressed together, blaming the other  (the external) for not making us happy.  Just so exhausting.

Now I’m tired and lonely and I found myself thinking as I was driving home that I wished I had Hawthorn to curl up with against the cold, grim night and the loneliness.  I’m sure if I called him he would come over, but I know it’s a terrible idea.  For both of us.

This week feels like it had nine days.  Already.  And it’s not even over yet.  I think I’ve lost my love for shopping.  I think PMS-y drama during furniture shopping ruined it for me forever.  Probably this will not hinder my ability to spend money, I just won’t enjoy it as much anymore.

I’ve slept poorly the last couple nights.  Some which  can blame on the new house.  I mean who knew there’s be cats fighting and screaming while chasing each other cross the roof outside directly outside my windows.  Like not even in the  yard or anything, but right outside my second story window. At least I assume it was cats, plural.  It could have been my magic cat protector chasing possums that were trying to get in my window or something.  Still it was very loud in that way that makes one feel panicky and unable to get back to sleep.  I’ve stayed up too late working both at the restaurant and on (paid) sewing projects at home.  I’ve been waking up early, despite lack of sleep the night before.  Mostly I just feel unrested and ready to spend many evenings in a row reading and relaxing in my house.  Alas, I’m working a bunch this weekend, heavy duty work starts in earnest at my day job next week and, of course, despite having purchased furniture, I won’t have it for at least another ten days.  Yeah, so no real household relaxation for me for a while.

I have been making an effort to cook, or at least eat better at home.  I’m still drastically lacking in the exercise department and I haven’t called the physical therapist yet. I guess I really do need a minder.  Maybe therapy isn’t where my money should be spent, maybe I need a one day a week personal assistant to make my appointments for me and manage the parts of my life I”m really bad at.  I am actually considering hiring a once a month house cleaner.  Not because I’m dirty, just I think I’d feel better if I didn’t lose a day a month to massive cleaning overhaul of my home.

Mostly I have too much I want to do, not enough time/money/energy to do it and I’m starting to overwhelm myself again by worrying about getting things done, rather than just simply managing running  to-do lists like I was doing during the moving process.  I have the paid sewing project to work on this weekend, but otherwise I think I’m going to watch movies and organize nail polish.  Nothing too overwhelming, you know?  Hopefully enough, small, non-taxing things to give me a sense of accomplishment without further wearing myself down.

And I started my period today, so some of the sluggish ick I feel could easily be attributed to that, too.

For the last 18 years I have periodically wondered about, and half-assedly looked for a high school friend of mine, Cedar.  I have often wondered where he ended up and who he ended up becoming.  Through a really quite random chance a couple weeks ago I stumbled on some information that helped me find him pretty quickly and we’ve been corresponding for about two weeks now.  This has been a really interesting experience because it’s a real correspondence.  Not the usual, oh there’s so and so on Facebook, say hi, be amazed at how young/old they look, exchange and email and then just read each other’s updates that seems to happen.  Cedar isn’t on Facebook or any other social media and hasn’t reconnected at all with anyone from his past so the reconnection part is exciting a novel to him.  And I guess that’s rubbed off on me a little, but really I think I’m just very glad to have found him.

As I was driving home the other day I was thinking of something funny he’d written in one of his emails and suddenly I could hear him saying it, see how he’d move and what he’d do as he said it and I was really overcome emotionally, on a near physical level, with missing him.  Like I’d somehow been really missing him for the last 18 years and something just completely opened up to reveal both the loss I’d had when the friendship went away and the gain I had in it returning.  I mentioned this to him and said he’d had a similar experience when reading the first message I sent him, including hearing my voice, and that our entire correspondence had been sort of a rush of old memories and curiously easy new pieces fitting together.

Part of what’s been most surprising to me is how unjudged I feel by Cedar and the realization that our friendship even was like than when we were very young.  In a back and forth of emails that has been mostly a tight combination of 18 years of catch up and windows into every day life, I don’t feel the need to edit myself or gloss over anything bad, I just speak.  I have often realized in relationships as an adult that for me I know a friendship (or relationship) has deepened when I can be totally silly with that person.  Stupidly, ridiculously silly, without feeling at all judged or, rather without worrying what the other person will think of me.  I find in my conversations with Cedar that I am much, much more silly and more dynamic, moving from seriously, to funny, to teasing, to sexy, to haughty, to goofy and all around, without a care at all.

There is something to said for interacting with people who knew you when you were a teenager.  Rose has been my best friend for close to 25 years, here and there as we find each other. And I certainly feel safer and more comfortable with her than anyone else in the world, some of that is our connection as friends/sisters, the length of our friendship and some of I think literally does come from knowing each other as teenagers.  It’s like once you’ve been through something with someone and they’ve seen you at your worst, you’re just a little more bonded and being a teenager is sort of an extended ‘worst’ that fortunately eventually ends.

And Cedar appears to have grown up into every bit as good of a man as he was as youth.  I have very strong memories of feeling very protected by him as a teenager, as he somehow stood between me and what was bad in the world.  And so even if it ends up as nothing more than a long correspondence or a mildly renewed friendship, right now it feels really good to have someone around again who I feel like is actively looking out for me.  I mean, not that that the rest of you aren’t, I know you are, just this has weirdly magic connection to it, like something leftover from a childhood dream.

 

“Always be mindful of the kindness and not the faults of others.” ~Buddha

I’m trying harder and harder to heed this advice.  I’m tired of feeling angry and hurt.  Throughout my life I would always rather see the good in people, but right now it seems too much to even try and contemplate the bad, like it will only end in pain for every one.  I mean, not to be all Pollyana Sunshine on you, but let’s all look on the bright side, okay?

I am a silver lining person.  Some times I lose sight of it, or forget to care about clouds at all (the last couple years maybe this has been true) and I certainly can’t snap right back into it.  I was contemplating my positivity the other day and I have to admit that prescription drugs, therapy, moving and a work promotion are all well and good. But truly, despite an occasional left over chill, it’s spring here.  And nothing, nothing, nothing in the world shoots me back into positivity faster than the first cherry blossoms, the first bluebells, the first daffodils.  I want to shout hello to the fuzzy new chartreuse beginning buds on tree branches.  I know, most everyone likes spring, but I truly feel that people born in spring have special relationship with it.  I feel stronger, better and like I can do anything.  I know that will fade in summer heat, and all but sizzle out by the end of fall, but oh! Spring! Spring!  Spring!


So I’m pretty sure the biggest problem with being single is not having easy access to sex. Last night I dreamt I was talking to Princess Bride-era Cary Elwes and he was trying to tell me about all the ladies the “Dread Pirate Roberts” had before he came back and how there should be a movie about his exploits. I suggested that maybe people didn’t want to know that, that they only wanted the great romance of Buttercup and Westley. He offered to show me how he wooed ladies (he was dressed in his slim pirate all black) and pulled me into his lap and tried to kiss me, but my hair was tangled over my face and we both got a mouthful of it.  So I push his back, straightened and pulled back my hair and started kissing him in earnest.

Now, I’m not one to do too much interpretation of my dreams, but seriously? A) this is too easy, I mean:

Westley: I told you I would always come for you. Why didn’t you wait for me?
Buttercup: Well… you were dead.
Westley: Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.
Buttercup: I will never doubt again.
Westley: There will never be a need.

Hmmm, what could my brain be on about? And B) I’m almost embarrassed for myself for being so obvious and easy in my dreams.  However, let me just say, I really do wish I was still asleep and kissing a young Cary Elwes.  Also speaking on behalf of my entire generation and the tail ends of thos eon either side of me, I’d like to say that this movie has ruined us all for realistic expectations from our own handsome princess. As we wish, indeed.

 

pee ess – I know you all are reading, why does no one comment here?

No, I didn’t die in last week’s storms. Yes, I have been very lax in posting.  I got a promotion at work which means much less time to screw off.  And well, still no couch at home and when I’m there I feel like I should be actively involved in unpacking or organizing, or something, and thus, not writing.  Of course I’m not really getting much unpacking organizing done either since I don’t have shelves or much of place to keep things besides in boxes.  It’s getting there, though, slowly.

I had therapy yesterday for the last time for a while.  I’m taking a hiatus.  I just can’t seem to settle into  making it as useful as I want it to be. Partly because I’m thinking of my larger problems as something I’ll deal with when I’m settled and I’m not settled yet, so it feels like it’s taking up time that I could be getting settled with, or relaxing or taking care of myself.  And therapy doesn’t feel like taking care of myself right now, it feels expensive and useless.  So, I’ve discussed it with my therapist and I’m planning on starting back around May 1, unless I decide I really need it in the interim.  I don’t think I’m in a place to just stop, so I really do intended to go back.  And honestly, if my insurance was covering it, I might just go to go, but since it’s crazy expensive, out of my pocket and all, I’m gonna hold off for a bit.

Also I really need to get on the physical therapy for my shoulder and neck.  The work promotion is great, but I can’t be going to a bunch of different appointments during the day all the time, so I’ve also opted to use what time I can flex out during the day for physical therapy appointments.

All that said, I actually got some work done in my therapy session last night.  I have plan for dealing with my further dental surgeries, and permission not to beat myself up to make it happen immediately but, I think a good way to get myself through it, so that was comforting to walk out with in my head.

I feel like I spent my whole weekend moving things, in furniture stores or at Home Depot, which was boring, frustrating and expensive.  And still I have no couch.  On Saturday Oak went with me to pick up Hawthorn’s chairs for my temporary use. And then we went and had lunch.  I haven’t completely gathered my thoughts on Oak being back.  After I broke up with him I told myself a lot of stories about his bad qualities to justify my actions.  When things were bad with Hawthorn, I think I really romanticized Oak’s good qualities to punish myself for choosing Hawthorn.  Now, I think Oak is still exactly who he ever was, the same mix of good and bad.  And I enjoy his company, but I can safely say that I only enjoy it limited amounts and for certain activities.  Because while many of his ‘bad’ qualities aren’t really bad, his no-nonsense practical approach to everything can seem really dark sometimes and kind of brings me down.  And if I don’t catch him in a good mood I find I spend all of our time together ineffectively trying to cajole him back to good humor and it never works and just leaves both of us exhausted and annoyed.  But when he’s up and chatty and we’re just taking a walk in the park I do love his company.

Almost all of this is true about Hawthorn as well, though in a different way.  When I’m not his girlfriend and his thoughtless, selfish actions don’t directly affect my life, then I do enjoy his company.  I like to go see music and art with him (both things Oak never seems to want to do) and I like talking him.  Despite everything, I feel like he’s actually listening to me now, when I talk.

So yesterday, I swung by Hawthorn’s house, with some friends who want to buy the shelves I have left there.  And after they left I was talking to Hawthorn, just BS about the day and he gave me a hug and started to tear up.  And you know, I really do feel bad for him, banging around by himself in that big, empty house.  Yes, of course he did it to himself, but it was his own thoughtlessness and lack of foresight that did it and not any maliciousness on his part.  I had to be somewhere to meet someone, so I told him to come over to my house in an hour and I’d make him dinner.

I wasn’t going out of my way, since I made exactly what I would have done with or with him there, but he seemed very grateful.  And so we just sat (stood–no kitchen table or chairs yet) and talked about both mundane and serious things.  He expressed several times that he couldn’t believe I still anything to do with him at all after everything. And also how tired he was about feeling angry and toxic all the time (from his divorce, not from me–his son is applying to college and this is forcing Hawthorn into a lot unwanted interaction with his ex-wife).  And I was sympathetic and as supportive as I could be, since I don’t think being mean gets me anywhere in situations like this, hurt feelings or not.  And then he helped me hang my mirrors (I can leave the house knowing if I look schlumpy or not now, yay!) and hovered a bit trying be helpful in any way he could, but left before he overstayed his welcome.  And you know, it was a nice evening with a friend.  I’m sorry that it’s still tinged with so much suffering for both of us, but I hope the real parts of our friendship endure through all these hard parts.

I hope the same for my friendship with Oak as well.  But as I told a friend this weekend, I am going to want to have sex again and I will probably want to have sex with someone I’m not in a relationship with, haven’t been in a relationship with and am not going to get into a relationship with.  And there’s a good chance this will be someone I know and our social community is small enough that conceivably either or both Oak and Hawthorn would find out whether I told them or not.  And in the wobbly balance of my current friendships with them, I’m pretty sure having sex with someone else would reveal how true the intentions of either of them are for friendship.  I suspect Hawthorn would be jealous but would get over it, and Oak would lecture me on the inappropriateness of it and then, perhaps even unintentionally, distance himself from me, but people are unpredictable so I could be very wrong on both counts.