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

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

click it to see all its gloriousness

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where do I find one of these?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I wish I better understood exactly what is going on with Hawthorn.  He treats me kindly, kisses me in greeting, rubs my shoulders when I hurt, holds my hand, offers comfort when I ask. But when I press him on what is happening in his head I can’t even figure out what he’s talking about.  Yesterday he started crying in a restaurant at lunch. Because he’s afraid of… I don’t know what exactly.  Not being able to do what ever he wants, when ever he wants, maybe?  Something about having to plan everything months in advance and checking in with someone. And wanting to move to New Orleans. Maybe, except he hasn’t been there in 10 years, so he’s not sure if he’d want to live there.  Or he’s upset because he can’t just go to a concert when he wants or something.  Except he can.  And when I point that out to him he says it isn’t that it’s, well, who fucking knows.  Perhaps it is extreme mid-life crisis or something.  I suggested therapy to him.  I mean he can’t articulate to me what it is that’s driving him to break up with me.  He doesn’t have a plan.  He doesn’t know what he wants, except something else. I think because somehow in his mind, having a relationship with me is exactly like his previous relationship.  Even though it isn’t.  At all.  Which he acknowledges when I point it out to him, but somehow he can’t stop thinking of it that way. Or maybe I’m getting it all wrong and something elese is going down but I can’t trouble out what it is.

And I feel like I am swallowing so many of the things I want to say to him.  I mean, yes, I made my own choices, but wow did Hawthorn push and prod and cajole me into being here, with him. And now he doesn’t want me?  Because he’s afraid it’ll be like a relationship he had with someone else? And hey every time I asked for space or tried to set a boundary he acted like I was shutting him out, like I was somehow wrong for not wanting exactly what he wanted in that second. And now he needs the space I’ve been giving all along, that he previously wasn’t looking for and it still isn’t enough.  Plus I just feel kind of more crazy for not even really understanding what’s going on.  It kind of makes me want to scream, fuck you fuck you fuck you, and smash things.

Last night was a bad night.  I can’t tell how much of it was me just freaking out and how much was the Zoloft. It seems like maybe with the Zoloft, I’m fine for about 2 hours after I take it, then there’s a period of about 3 to 5 hours where I feel dizzy-ish, sort of cross eyed or unable to focus and a little shaky and queasy.  The Klonopin seems to allay this a little but I don’t want to rely on that.  I think I’m going to start taking the Zoloft before bed instead of mid-morning.

Ugh, thanks, horoscope, I get it:

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
What confusing commotion would you like to walk away from and never come back to? What lessons have you learned so well that you’re overdue to graduate from them? What long-term healing process would you like to finish up so you can finally get started on the building phase that your healing will give you the power to carry out? These are excellent questions to ask yourself as you plan your life in the next six months.

And thanks, Lifehacker, where were you 8 months ago with this plan?

Tomorrow I fly home for the weekend to see my family and, subsequently, tell them everything that’s been going on.  This is really hard for me.  A little bit because I feel like a messed up, broken failure, but mostly because I don’t like to upset my mom or make her worry.  It makes me feel even more awful.  Plus, honestly, a good part of why I don’t talk to anybody about stuff like this is that I don’t want anyone’s sympathy.  It makes me feel weird and kind of yucky.  And this also gives my parents another opportunity to try and convince me to move back.  Which I steadfastly and resolutely do not want to do.  In fact, much of the reason I chose to stay here with Hawthorn was so that I could stay HERE and not have to move back there. Gah, just writing this paragraph is seriously stressing me out.

I will be attempting to blog from my phone while traveling.  We’ll see how that works out.  I have many hours of layover on the trip.

Last night Hawthorn slept in his new room and I slept alone in my room that was once ours.  Without his furniture, his clothes, his anything, the room is huge and half empty, even with my things pushed around to try and fill the space.  I changed out all the bedding and carefully remade the bed exactly like I prefer it. I sent Hawthorn a text reminding him to kiss me good night (he was in the bath, I wasn’t being passive aggressive, it was just the most convenient way to tell him something).  He came and sat on the side of my bed, told me I had a pretty face, kissed me and went off to his own room.  I didn’t cry, but perhaps only because I was so tired, the emotional pressure was certainly in my chest.  Instead I thought of Vikings and heroic princesses and fell asleep.

I slept well.

I have, in fact, not had much trouble sleeping since I started taking the drugs.  I used to be restless, toss and turn, not be able to shut my brain down enough to go to sleep.  Or if I did I’d wake up in the middle of the night, my heart racing, suddenly panicked and afraid to go back to sleep, afraid to sit up in the dark.

The Klonopin staves off the heart racing panic attacks, day or night. It seems to help with the racing thoughts at night as well, the horror loops of all the bad things my imagination can conjure. But even on the night I haven’t taken the Klonopin, I find I fall asleep easily (for me anyway) and wake more alert and coherent.  The Zoloft does make me feel strange during the day still, but I think maybe it is already helping me sleep at night?

As it happens for the last week or so, the only thing that’s been waking me up at night is Hawthorn coughing, or snoring, or tossing about in bed. And now he’s on the the other side of the house.  So I slept soundly.

The entire Hawthorn situation is distressing and confusing. I feel like every bit of clarification I try to get on what he wants leaves me more mystified. For now I will enjoy my sleep.  I’ll call it healing sleep and revel in it. And as long as he remains tender and comforting when we are together, I will try not fret about any of it needlessly.  But then, isn’t that the whole point of trying to get better? Not fretting needlessly?