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Ugh, I have to say, I’ve been trying to suppress it, but man Hawthorn’s move and related fall out is really wearing on me.  This weekend, in addition to his son’s graduation, he moved out of the house he and I shared into a new apartment, and moved/cleaned out anything he had left in the garage of the house he’d shared with his exwife, as the sale on that closes soon.  And even though he hasn’t lived in that house in years, it’s still a huge deal that has been fraught with post divorce financial yuckiness and his level of stress is over the moon.  And today I just couldn’t deal with it so I bailed on helping him (rescheduled and he was very understanding) and just cleaned house all day and did projects to regain some control of my universe.  Since I usually use work to to that, I guess three days of floaty free time was to much for me?

I had panic attack on Saturday and managed to stave one off today (without drugs but with concerted avoidance, which was positive keeping busy).  And another day before I have to deal with the Hawthorn situation.  As far as I can tell his response to all of this is to try and woo me again, like he did in the beginning, like we might get back together, which actually ENRAGES me.  And I’d really like to sit him down and explain just how fucking much he hurt me and how much I value his friendship and how I will fucking cut him if he doesn’t respect my boundaries on this.   But given his current stress level and everything he’s been dealing with I haven’t had a chance.  And now it’s starting a feedback of my stress, his stress and the post-mortem relationship conversation we never had.  AUGH.  Plus I’ve been using him as my main source of emotional support which I can’t continue to do if I’m not giving something back,  so some lines really need to be laid down. Lines not to be crossed.  For my own sanity.

And then in a conversation about the need for companionship, Cedar wrote me the following:

“Companionship in general.” Yes, that is one of the things we need. It’s kind of frustrating that we have to do so many circus spectacles in order to achieve something so simple – just sitting outside on a beautiful weekend morning together with some good coffee and companionable silence in the fresh air. But then you know she has to leave. And having good sex is great – like being the first creature to climb out of the warm sea and explore land, breathe the new air. But why is occasional good sex easier to achieve than the comfort of always having a warm, familiar, snuggly body in arm’s reach while you dream every night? How great did it feel to have someone naked in your arms each morning, whispering good morning in your ear, and then wake her, or him in your case, properly before work? Ending each day and starting the next with the same breathless ritual. And beyond that, the close comfort of working through the day’s monotonies with that same person. It puts a smile on your face and a spring in your step. Yeah, we need to find that in order to make the most of the last few years we have as mammals.

And now I want to punch the next person in the face who tells me I just need some time alone to find myself.  Because I don’t.  I never have. I feel more supported, more well rounded and whole when I have someone to share things with.  I know this about myself and I am not going to question it again.  It’s a nice and a sad realization to come too and spun me a little this morning.

Plus Oak texted to ask if I had plans ‘later’ leaving me, again, feeling I’m his last resort for entertainment when no one else is free.  And if I’m honest with myself, I felt like that a lot during our relationship too.  I might have to set some boundaries there as well. I actually feel guilty for continually telling him no when he tries to make plans, but they are always last minute and I’m certainly not going to interrupt my plans to be his second choice. I definitely do not need any stress entwined in that already dead relationship. Ugh.

I should mention, I guess, that this is an excellent outlet for my rage, anxiety and personal misfortune.  But I am having a perfectly lovely evening.  Got lots of chores done, ate a fine dinner, bathed and am listening to Bob Dylan and answering person emails.  I feel calm and at ease in my house.  (No storms is probably going a long way to that end.)

I do actually feel better over all.  Last night being the exception to the rule, the panic attacks are drastically reduced.  I find I can often deal with everyday things with out a thought about it being effort.  I can manage cumbersome awful tasks, like having a chunk of flesh cut out of my vagina to be biopsied (results were god news on that front, not exactly all clear, but positive news).  I do feel however, like the more aware I am of how much better I am doing, I am also more aware that something is wrong with me.

I have the worst PMS imaginable.  Well I’m sure many ladies have it worse than me, but it’s bad.  Basically about TEN days beforehand I get crazy.  Like swinging between rage and depression.  And I can actually separate myself from it enough to know what’s causing it, but the emotions feel, er, ARE real , so it mostly sucky.  I also kind of sick, like morning sickness, from the hormones for a couple days.  Then I have about 6 days of feeling bloated, fatigued and lethargic, then bleeding.  It’s fun being a girl.  Anyway, I have a lot of intellectual rage tied up in this because I fel like so much of what goes on with women medically is written off to us being crazy or it just being a mystery.  The number of times I’ve been told, “well, it’s just like that for some women,” is infuriating.

In addition to being sent off for biopsy, I was diagnosed with mucosal vitiligo and ovarian cysts (that was the pain that sent me to the doctor in the first place, it’s been going on for a while, but it’s been getting worse, “coincidentally as the PMS stuff has been getting worse).  So I did some research and while I recognize the dangers of diagnosing oneself on the internet, it turns out there’s a few endocrine disorders that aren’t life threatening but symptoms include vitiligo, ovarian cysts and an interuppted insulin cycle that causes pretty dramatic mood changes rotating with a woman’s cycle.  So I’m working on getting into an Endocrinologist for a battery of yucky blood tests (easier said than done, but I’ll make it happen) because I’m really tired of being told that my womanly workings are mysterious and nothing can be done about them, because while it’s mild comparatively to many diseases it is affectly me and I really feel like something is wrong with me.  And who knows, maybe it can be cured with a better diet and more exercise or something, but I really need to feel better all month long.  I also started taking iron supplements a few days ago and I actually think they are making me feel more focussed and energetic (not in a speedy way, just in a feel more normal way).

I can never remember how much of any of this I’ve talked about here (I have an aversion to rereading past entries, it just seems like asking to be upset), so I might be repeating myself on a lot of this, but man, I’d like to be getting better already, you know?

Mood not improved.  More storms last night.  It’s been really bad here the last couple days.  Much of my neighborhood without power after it having just been restored yesterday.  Hawthorn at the top of the shit list in big letters for not coming over, picking me up and whisking me off to someplace safe after I expressed fear over last night’s storms and being in the house alone (other tenants in my little 28 Barbary Lane are out of town, so even if I went to the storm cellar I’d have to do it by myself).  This like one of those tests where he probably couldn’t win.  Hawthorn’s failure isn’t completely on him, but the only proper answer last night would have been, “I’m on my over to pick you up, you can stay here through the storm”  (or I might have accepted, “I’m coming over there to sit with you in your storm cellar, or at least watch the news with you and decide if we need to go to the storm cellar”).  And what I got was, “If you get scared later when the storm starts, feel free to call me.”  So this morning I’m exhausted and feel wretched (I just ate a donut which makes it all exponentially worse as the sugar is already making me nauseous) and he’s cheerful and quizzing me on why I didn’t call him. “What good would that have done me?” I asked.  He had no answer except to offer to get me more coffee.

Yes, I recognize how hard it is for people to live up to my expectations when I don’t even tell them what those expectations are.  Yes, I have people I can call for support besides Hawthorn.  But hey, my problems are still much the same as they ever were.  I have a terrible time asking for help.  I have an even worse time expressing vulnerability to people. Hawthorn I can express vulnerability to.  And almost ask for help. And still get angry at him when he doesn’t read my mind.  It’s not fair and I do see how ridiculous it is, but it is what it is.

And I realize how petty this all sounds, but here I am, I’m just exhausted, hormonal, and feeling a little overwhelmed.  My family has been helpfully stressing me out via phone all week.  Work is fine, just you know, busy and requiring, like, actual thinking.

I’m writing this at work in tiny spurts while doing actual work, and I pause to do some work and realize that sometime this week, while he was in the office after hours, Hawthorn wrote “bunnyz” and “owls” on the bottom of all of my to-do lists and work related lists.   And now I’m not mad anymore.  SIGH.

All my plans this week have been derailed one way or another and tonight is no exception.  Maybe I’ll try and spend an evening working on creative projects, finishing some left laying around, or focusing on meditation and vipassana in an attempt to re-center myself after this week’s hormonal and mental and weather derailment. Maybe I’ll mentally add bunnies and owls to all my internal lists and see if still makes me smile.

I am in a very, very bad mood.  Like stomp flower beds, break things bad mood. Probably hormonal, no less real for it.  I don’t even have anyone to take it out on.  Or anyone to feel sympathy for me.  I also need to back the fuck away from the internet.  People are dumb as fuck.

It would be really, totally super great if the doctor would just call me and give me the all clear, no cancer, you’re good to go call.  I’m trying really hard not to obsess about it, to over think or anything until I know something, but the longer I wait the harder it is to convince myself it’s fine.

And I do think I’m on an emotional upswing, but it remains hard to rise up while so many apparent road blocks remain.

Whew, mama, I am tired.  I am also tired of saying I’m tired and really noticing how much I say it.  Seriously, how can something not be wrong with me? It can’t be normal to feel like this all the time.

I also would like to complain. To everybody, I guess.  But I don’t because I don’t want your sympathy, or anyone’s sympathy.  I’m not even sure how to explain it or why.  But I am really, really tired of crying.  I just don’t want to do it. At all. And sympathy improperly given makes me cry.  It makes it harder for me to hold it together in the way I need too and, honestly, it makes me feel bad for making you feel bad or for making you worry.

Goals for this week:

  1. get rid of extra furniture and Goodwill pile
  2. make a nice dinner just for myself
  3. vacuum living room & mop kitchen
  4. manage domains for future web projects
  5. follow up with my doctor about my recent appointments
  6. finish digital filing project at work
  7. make reasonable budget for June

Some of these are carry over’s from the previous list that weren’t completed.  I’m good with that.  I’m trying for essentially a thing a day from these goals and if I achieve 75% I consider that a success.  I also consider planning this way a success as this is as lenient as I have ever been with myself

I am wiped, people.  I don’t even know what to say about the last week.

I think I feel better.  I’m still feeling around the edges of this.  The edges feel solid, but it might be hollow in the middle.

However that I feel better (maybe) seems weird as this week has been pretty sucky.  In reverse order:

Back at work after a to brief vacation.  I got a promotion, but, wow, I was not prepared for the focus and energy I’d need for my new job.  I feel good about my ability to learn it.  And honestly I’m kind of glad to have it to focus on.  Less time to worry pointlessly about things I can’t control.

My vacation ended, um, confusingly.  Wait, I’m going backwards, so between work restarting and vacation I had a cancer biopsy on, well, I’ll maintain some level of politeness and say that my stitches make peeing awkward, sitting can be uncomfortable and at no time would I feel comfortable telling a coworker where it is.  It was an unpleasant procedure, though the team that did it was great and made me feel as comfortable as possible.  I’m (probably overly) concerned about keeping it clean while it heals and hoping the location means it will heal faster than say my foot or my back would.

I came home from the procedure more distressed than I thought I’d be.  I tried to distract myself by cleaning up the post house guest untidiness.  While doing the dishes a pipe connector broke and water started pouring over my feet.  I got the water off, threw down some towels and stood at the sink and sobbed for my mom. Who lives 2500 miles away.  As I pulled myself back together my amazing landlord and friend came and fixed the sink, cleaned the mess and even ran the heap pf wet towels through the laundry.  Later my mom called and successfully distracted me until bedtime, with many reminders to take of myself since a removal biopsy is trauma, it seems small but a centimeter of flesh lost wasn’t meant to happen to your body.

The entire biopsy was misery, I still don’t have the results and the stitches are awful.  This has been the delineating line between my vacation and my return to my new position at work.  And my vacation ended confusingly.

I didn’t sleep with Cedar. But only because he had the presence of mind to slow it down before it went to far.  But that was the last of our trip: we kissed, groped, fondled and pushed the bounds of intimacy. Then we slept and I took him straight to the airport with everything unresolved.

The thing is I decided before the trip started that I needed a friend more than I needed a vacation lover or possible complicated long distance relationship.  We very much enjoyed each other’s company on the trip.  It was a good trip.  Mind clearing, beautiful, full of the small, good kind of unexpected.  For days and days, nothing but sky and green and back roads and music.   Silence for all the right long stretches of time, good conversation in between.

The trip was only marred by being a little rainy and cool, and the occasional text from Hawthorn expressing a previously unknown amount of jealousy about me being with anyone else.  I tersely reminded him that he broke up with me and didn’t get to even comment on what I did now (much later, post trip, when he was consoling me I pulled out the big guns and meanly made him feel like utter shit about it).

In the aftermath of all of it I realized that what I’ve been wanting is Hawthorn back, things back the way they were. But now I know I could never accept that.  It isn’t a possibility.  I just don’t think I could ever trust him again.  And ironically it was his expression of jealousy that made me realize this.  Like he could decide not to want me and I could mourn and mourn and mourn, but if decides again after all that that he wants me then he’s untrustworthy.  Because when will he decide again that he doesn’t want me? I couldn’t go through it again.  I couldn’t even go through the possibility of being with him always filled with doubt that some unknown action of mine would make him change my mind again.

So I guess that’s a relief. I still feel sadness over the loss of our relationship, but in just a few short days I feel more calm around Hawthorn and less broken up by every interaction.

As for Cedar, I just don’t know. I haven’t really processed it all.  In the short, I feel like I do need a friend more than a complicated romance. There isn’t more to say about it right now.  I’m just giving it time.  That last interaction we had was so sexually charged, but somehow it was only about me. I don’t mean that negatively.  I feel like I gained power.  Or like maybe I found power I thought I had lost forever.

Still it’s all very jumbled emotionally for me. I’m trying to just let it all go, all out into the universe.  What returns, returns.  I’m just to tired to worry about it any more.  For now I want to be better at my job.  I want to make my home more my own, not just filled with things, but filled with things I made with my hands.  I want to read books and watch TV.  I want to sleep late and get my chores done.  Every minute of the last two years, every interaction with Oak, every second I spent longing for something else from Hawthorn has drained me.  I feel like I’ve been struggling for so long, grasping for emotional straws only to keep getting shoved below the metaphorical water, where I can’t breathe.  I’m not struggling and it turns out I float okay.  So I’m just gonna hang here for a bit and breathe big lungfuls of air. Recharge until it’s time to actually swim for something.  Until I know which direction to swim.

There’s obviously so much more to say, but that’s what this time I’m giving myself is for, right? Thinking it out until it’s clear enough to say.

Regular posting will resume May 19.

I don’t know the correlation but I was definitely doing better when I was posting here every day and I want to return to that.

My weekly goals list from last week was successful in that I feel I met an acceptable percentage of my goals.  And having a achieved what I did relieved pressure to do more or over plan.  So I’d like to continue that going forward.

In the interim I am swamped at work as we have some internal organizational changes.  And I’m about to head out on my road trip with Cedar. So I’m giving myself leave to not worry about updating here until I get back.

I’m still breathing.  Still thinking.  Still trying.  Hoping the road trip leaves me feeling less beaten down by life.

Catch you on the flipside.

(Below is the post I started 3 days ago and have never been able to quite finish, leaving it unfinished here for posterity.)

I’m just having a hard time. I think a lot of it is hormonal. And situational. And still just slowly, directionlessly recovering from the last couple years. I feel kind of stuck right now. I’m really not interested in more medication experimentation. I had a therapist I liked and still didn’t find therapy really helpful. I don’t really want to start that again. It seems more exhausting and devastating to rehash everything for a new therapist than any benefit would be worth. I know I keep saying that exercising more would help a lot but it would, if only I could squeeze it in to my busy schedule of feeling sorry for myself. I should probably spend more time with my friends, but, while it’s unintentionally cruel to say so, all my local friends just exhaust me. The few friends I could drive to see require an overnight trip and my combined work schedules keep defeating the planning of that.

In an article on Jezebel.com, someone replied to a comment with advice on overcoming depression. I’ll post her full text at the end here, in case you’re interested, but the basics were: take your meds, your supplements and your vitamins, exercise, see the sun, sleep well, meditate and hang with your friends.

Which is pretty much the route I’ve been taking. Yes, I’m not taking the drugs, but really they were making me feel way more sick. And yes I need way more exercise than walking a few miles a couple times a week. And yes I’ve been pretty sucky on the socializing front, although it’s not that I’m not socializing, but rather that most of it is with Hawthorn or coworkers and probably needs to be more diversified.

The full comment text:

I worked a long, long day yesterday.  I went home, ate barely enough food and went straight to bed.  I was exhausted and painfully lonely.

I really do like having my house be entirely my domain and my responsibility.  I like having my own space, the sense of privacy that it brings.  But man, I really do hate being alone.  Or rather I hate being single.  And it isn’t the lack of sex, or the pointless stigma supposedly attached to it.  It’s just not having someone to call whenever I need too.  Yes, there are about a dozen people in the world who say I can call them when ever and talk to them about anything, ask them for anything. And maybe 4 or so of those I’d feel comfortable doing that.  I started to call Rose yesterday, but then I realized I had only about 30 minutes to get ready for my restaurant shift and there wouldn’t be enough time to talk to her about the things I want and still manage to get myself together for work.  And of those dozen people few are in this county and even fewer would I actually feel comfortable talking too.

I recognize that I’m kind of isolating myself lately, but I’m not sure how to change it.  I mean, I do talk to people, Hawthorn, my mom, some of my coworkers at the restaurant, my close friends (though not as often as I’d like).  It’s just that something is missing.  I’ve been dreaming a lot recently about my best friend who I, uh, ‘broke up’ with last year.  I don’t regret my choices or actions in that situation, but it’s made me feel very aware of what I’m missing: someone to talk to who knows me well, isn’t distracted by children or by their own really screwed up problems, who will listen to me without judgment, who I don’t have to tell whole long back stories too, who will stroke my hair and hold my hand and tell me it’s going to be okay.  Someone who is my partner in things, both good and bad.  And I recognize how selfish it is, but a few of friends who meet most of these criteria have their own current deep emotional problems and I really would like to have time where some one is paying attention to me and not comparing it to their own situation or problems or turning the conversation back to themselves.

Yes, I see that some of what I’m describing is therapy and I’ve already rejected that.  It lacks intimacy of the real kind (intimacy brought on just by telling your secret fears is kind of hollow in my opinion), it lacks physical comfort (even, or especially, the non sexual kind, hand holding and the like), and it lack immediacy (I can’t make an appointment and get myself to the place I need to be in to talk on a schedule, nor can I decide I need to talk and then wait hours or days for an appointment).

My need is for someone who can come right over and just be there to make me tea and hold my hand when I feel bad (mentally or physically). I can see how selfish it is, but I want someone to share the burden of how I feel, but someone who wants to help support me emotionally, who I don’t have to feel guilty about interrupting their life, because their life is already part of mine. And I really don’t think this is too much to ask for.


Maybe I’m not even ready for it yet.  It’s only been 5 months since Hawthorn and I broke up.  But I am very much feeling the lack of it lately.  And if one more person tells me this is my time to get to know myself and become whatever before I’m ready to share with someone else I am going to punch them in the nose.

Understand, I don’t think a relationship is going to save me, or necessarily even help me get better.  I just recognize that there’s a distinct lack in my life and that space is shaped like a boyfriend but could be filled other ways.

Mentally right now I feel like I’m huddled in a corner, rocking back and forth, whispering, “just take deep breaths,” over and over.

Period approximately 6 days early? Check.
Biopsy rescheduled for two weeks later because of the early period? Check.
Personal life, though lacking outright drama, filled with hard situations I’m trying to keep myself out of? Check.
Work utterly overwhelming and confusing? Check.
Cash flow way too low for current expenses? Check.
Ability to react to things in a timely and effective manner completely shattered? Check.

Gah.  I was in so much pain from the sudden start of my period yesterday that I had to pull over to cry while driving home.  I lost the whole evening to drinking water, taking painkillers and staring mindlessly at the TV, unable to muster enough caring to even read a book.  I am overwhelmed in my personal life by pressure from people I don’t have the energy to deal with, or by problems people I care about have that simply can’t even offer advice or much support on.  I have managed to hold it together at work overall through everything that’s been going on in the last year or so, but now work itself is becoming a threatening, complicated place to be, mired in many vague requests for information I don’t have and that I don’t know where to get, and people angry that they aren’t getting what they didn’t exactly ask for.

I have spent every last cent of my raise furnishing my house.  I don’t regret having done that because I need a place to be calm, but even with the decent insurance I have, I don’t know how I’m going cover my rising medical expenses (and we haven’t even gotten to dental work yet).  And even at that, the weather here has been so horrible that I’m not even calm at home half the time.  I’m sleep deprived from 3 am storms.  And even on nights I do get enough hours of sleep I wake up feeling anxious already like I’ve done nothing but have stress dreams all night.

My mini vacation is only ten days away and yet I feel like I’ll never be able to finish all the work necessary.  I do recognize that feeling this freaked out and anxious is cyclical (like the raging anger) but it sort of merges with the the other anxiety and becomes incredibly overwhelming.

GAH!!!!  If only I could focus I could least bury some of it in work or something.

Edited to add:  I guess I should mention that one year ago this week the river was only barely starting to recede and the whole city, myself included was still reeling from the devastation.  I had also just broken up with Oak and become ‘official’ with Hawthorn.  Two years ago this week, I was standing outside an emergency room, alone, with one less tooth in my mouth and had nothing more than some gauze to hold to it and incredible degrading rudeness from the staff there.  I drove myself home.  It isn’t all surprising that now is the time that I’m not doing well.

The answer to medical mystery #1 is a small ovarian cyst, hopefully on it’s way out already.  Call back in 60 days if it still hurts.  Hoping for as easy a resolution on medical mystery #2 on Tuesday.  Still I have opted out of the martial arts classes I was going to start today.  I definitely feel strained by this news and like I can’t afford one small extra thing, in case it needs to go to medical expenses.  While the ovarian cyst diagnosis is a relief to some extent (I didn’t want them to find nothing because I definitely have pain, but I didn’t want something huge and awful either) it can be a sign of an endocrine disorder which means, I have to deal with the skin cancer biopsy, the possible effects of that and keep much better track of all my bodily related health now, in addition to my mental health, so we can sort out if this is a one time thing or part of a larger problems.  Sounds exhausting.  I’m already exhausted.

I feel like I should make so big personal evaluation in light of of my birthday.  But honestly, I’m too tired to do it.  Or maybe I’ve just been doing it so much in the last 5 months that’s there’s not much evaluating left to do right now.  No, there’s surely always more evaluating to do, I am just too tired.

The above bit has been sitting in ‘draft’ format for 2 days while I try and think how to finish it.

I was running errands at lunch today and Alice Walker was on the radio talking about chicken farming of all things.  A woman called in just to tell Ms. Walker how much her life had been affected by Ms. Walker’s books. The host thanked her for her call and Ms. Walker said, “I can tell how beautiful you are just by your voice.” Just the way she said it filled me with so much grief and so much love that I had to pull over for a second to get control of myself.

I have had Shug Avery’s version of “Speak Lord (God is trying to tell you something)” from The Color Purple stuck in my head for about a week now.  God is trying to tell me something.  Alice Walker is trying to tell me something.  Everyone around me is trying to tell me something.  And it’s like I can almost hear the answer, a murmur, a susurration trying to get me to look inside and remember my own beauty.  But it’s like somehow my creativity got all locked down somewhere and with it my ability to see who I am and to see who I want to be (because it’s the always striving to be better that I think defines me more than the me in any instance).  There is actually stranger in the mirror some days, when I’m really looking and I don’t know how to find my own reflection anymore.

Annnnnnnnnnnnd, I am putting too much pressure on myself about it.  I mean, too much pressure to get better, to feel better, to act more like “me,” to heal faster.  Too much pressure on myself is big part what got me deep in this anxiety hole in the first place.  I’m struggling to come up goals for the next five years and I can’t even get it together to cook dinner for myself when no one comes over to share it with me.

So I’m going to start setting goals for myself for each week. And they will hopefully be achievable and I will not require more from myself than just doing my best to meet those stated goals.

Goals for this week:

  1. cut out the pieces for one sewing project
  2. mail package that have been in my car for more than a week
  3. finish one book
  4. make a nice dinner just for myself
  5. follow up with my doctor about my recent appointments
  6. buy a mop and clean my floors
  7. make identifiable progress on new work projects (at my actual paying job)

I think seven is good for now.  That’s essentially one a a day and none too taxing, I hope.