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I woke up today thinking about chairs.  Partly because I have none.  Well I have one, but a cheap, well used rolling office chair doesn’t exactly make for good home comfort.  Ironically one of the first posts I made elsewhere after moving in with Hawthorn was about having a space with a chair to sit in that was all my own in a comfortable place.  I guess I’m still trying to get to that place.  Space at my new house is limited and it is my intention to buy three chairs (something like this, for use for sitting both at my desk and not at my desk, and two dining chairs for when I get a table) and a couch for maximum sitting comfort.

When I got divorced a decade-ish ago, we had a couple used couches and a love seat and matching chair from about the 1940s.  The love seat and chair set were given to us by a friend when that friend’s mother went into long term care and sold her house.  When we separated I took the chair and left the love seat.  It was a big over stuffed armchair in fuzzy deep green fabric (something like this but not leather). At some point my ex-mother-in-law decided she needed to complete the set for display while showing and selling the house my husband and I had lived in.  I refused to give up the chair.  I took nothing in my divorce but my own clothes and this chair.  It didn’t belong to her family (I left thousands of dollars worth of china and furniture that were given to me by my exhusband’s paternal grandmother–not as a wedding gift or anything, but given specifically to me, as a gift, before we got married–I left it because it belonged with his family, heirlooms as it were), it wasn’t worth much, had no sentimental value, she just wanted it because it matched.  I had many horrible, mean phone call fights after my divorce, mostly centering around that chair.  I refused to give it up unless it was replaced with a similar or better one.  No one had any more specific claim to this chair than I did!  This many years later and I actually have no idea what happened to that chair, but I have for years wished I still had a similar chair.

Now Hawthorn has a couple midcentury Danish modern chairs (something like this).  I am quite sure that he told me, when we started dating, that he bought these at an antique store immediately after his divorce and was waiting to have a house to put them in (they were in his office at work for a long time).  He has sat in one of these chairs exactly one time since I moved in with him (they are awkwardly placed in the far corners of the large living room of our old house).  When I was preparing to move I asked if I could borrow the chairs, just for two weeks or a month, until I got a couch and had else where to sit.  He agreed that would be fine.  Since then I have been treated to several discourses on how those chairs are the only thing he got in his divorce and how he gave up the chair he wanted and how important and sentimental those chairs are to him.  1. Our house was filled with pie-safes, wardrobes, an expensive sofa, several antique tables and a huge TV, all of which he had when he was married, all of which he took with him after his divorce.  2.  I’m not asking for them as a gift.  I am a careful, conscientious person who has just had her whole fucking life turned upside down by this guy and all I want is place to sit for a few weeks until I pick out and get a couch delivered.  I’m sorry I didn’t get right on the incredibly expensive couch thing, but I did have to outfit a whole entire household and pay extra rent and a deposit etc. (Yes, I recognize there are thrift stores, but I’m really allergic to animal hair and paranoid about bedbugs and I just want new upholstered furniture, damn it, everything wood can be bought used, but not if it has stuffing.)  Anyway, suffice to say, Hawthorn never said he wouldn’t lend me the chairs, yet the chairs are not at my house and he keeps offering to bring over some of the shitty dining chairs to sit on.  Man, I have a shitty chair, which for my present purposes is still preferable to your rickety dining chairs.

So, I woke up thinking about chairs.  My recent (pre-Hawthorn break up) desire for a good one, my need for one now, my exhusband’s mean-spirited chair fights and now Hawthorn’s chair dickery.  If the absence of desire is the end of suffering, let me tell you, I am suffering over chairs. Grrrr.

I have been thinking a lot lately about listening and paying attention.  This post (especially the comments) identified a lot of things I’ve felt about being a woman.  I think men often hear only what they think I am going to say (and this isn’t limited to men, I think my mother does this to me too).   With Hawthorn I have long felt like he was never listening to me.  Much of this, I know, is because he would ask me 3 or 4 times in an evening if I wanted to do something, as if he never listened to my answer before or he assumed I’d change my mind.  I’m not sure which but it was VERY frustrating.  Indeed it would have killed our relationship eventually, although hopefully in a less dramatic and shitty fashion than it did end. This post on communication with partners has had me thinking a lot too.  I often have no freaking clue what Hawthorn is talking about.  Like he’s using some shorthand that is all words and cues that I just don’t get (or he starts in the middle of a thought, I guess unaware that I can’t read his mind) and now that we’ve broken up and spend even less time together it seems to be getting worse and worse.  And then today Tiny Buddha told me that love means attention.  And let me tell you not being listened too and not understanding sure does feel like a lack of attention.

This is all to say, I guess, that I’ve long recognized the signs of why things would  never work out with Hawthorn in the long run. And perhaps most my hurt over all of this is his hideously terrible timing on the break up and his seeming disregard for me and what I am going through in relation to be rejected at just this time.  Also if he was really listening to or paying attention to me, he would know that lending my his damned chairs would go a long way toward repairing my anger about his assholishness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.