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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.

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Ugh this had been a really rough week. Very bumpy and up and down.  Right now I wish I was asleep, but instead I’m sitting up crying because I didn’t get to do the thing I REALLY wanted to do tonight.  And I’m in a loop of feeling worse because I feel like I shouldn’t feel so bad about it.

The short of it is that I agreed weeks ago to cover a restaurant shift tonight that no one else could cover.  Hawthorn bought me tickets, as a birthday present to something I really, really wanted to see at the symphony, but neglected to give me advance warning.  When he did he only asked about the date, not the event, I declined, as I had an obligation to the person whose shift I agreed to cover. Hawthorn made plans to take someone else, I found out what the tickets were actually for, since there wasn’t a surprise to ruin, since I wasn’t going to get to go. And of course it turned out the restaurant really didn’t need me there at all.

I just feel incredibly disappointed and left out. And things like this just always seem to magnify the whole Hawthorn situation for me.  Like partly I’m mad at him because if he hadn’t tried to make it a surprise and had given me advance notice, I would have found a way to go.  Plus it just feels like the universe cheated me out of my relationship with him because of the external factors he had/has going on, and missing things like this makes me feel like it’s just one more thing taken away from me.  Which is petty and silly.  I try so hard to focus on the good things, and I have so many good things, that sometimes I end up feeling worse because I actually feel bad about being upset over something so relatively minor, in the scope of the world.

And I might have been able to let it go if Hawthorn hadn’t felt compelled to text me after and tell me what an amazing show it was.  Yeah, fuck you very much.

Plus, it was just a really bad, really stressful day at work all day leading up to the sucktastic evening. And what I really want to do is call Cedar and tell him how upset I am so he will make me feel better, but he’s on vacation and I know he’s having a really good time and I don’t want to mar that.  I’d call Violet to console me, but she had an even worse day than I did and I don’t think I could even be a supportive enough friend right now to even interact with her. Which is upsetting because overall I really am feeling so much better, but wow, it doesn’t take much to set me back to not being able to deal at all (although, I’m selling myself short by saying ‘not much’ as it was a VERY stressful day at work).

I think I’m going to call in sick tomorrow and start what is sure to be a good weekend early. Maybe I’ll go to the park and sit and memorize Lorca poems until the storms roll in.

So I think I’ve been doing a fairly good job, overall, of maintaining my calm, breathing through stressing out and generally keeping it together the past few days.  However I made the mistake of watching Eat, Pray, Love and it nearly tipped me over  the edge into psychotic rage.  With the caveat that I’m sure the book is different/better than the movie (although I never plan to read it) this was such a heap of crap.  As far as I can tell the message of this movie is as follows: You are free to do whatever you want in your individual selfish quest for happiness no matter the consequences to anyone who loves you.  If/when you find happiness you must chuck it over immediately for a man, because as a woman you will not be truly satisfied until you have a man to take care of you.

Right, I get it that this story was made into a romantic comedy that perhaps the book wasn’t, and that this somewhat follows the horrible trope of so many mainstream romantic comedies, but wow, it was so fucked up.  The level of wealthy white privilege was more than even I, white and middle class, could relate too.  There was no conflict at all presented in her two initial relationships before she runs off to discover herself.  The whole thing came off like bored rich lady who doesn’t like the toys she’s presented with and ascribes some level of spiritual need to her own baby-like grabbing for things she wants.   Until finally a man strong enough to rule her shows up and tells her whats he wants, and when she resists another man tells her to make the right choice and choose the boyfriend over herself. Ugh ugh ugh.  (Don’t get me wrong, if Javier Bardem shows up and asks me to sail away with him and says he’ll support me forever, I’m going.  I’ll just write a post later about how I made the anti-feminist choice. Heh.)  Suffice to say, I assumed it would be a cheesy, forgettable film that didn’t align with my worldview and instead it enraged me.

This past week Hawthorn has had some pretty substantial real life drama with his ex-wife.  He’s talked to me about it a lot (and then apologized for that, causing me to yell at him because really, despite everything else, we aren’t friends unless we are talking to each other about the real stuff).  Now I have very mixed feelings about his ex-wife.  If she hadn’t divorced him, my life would probably have taken a very, very different course, both for good and bad.  I surely wouldn’t have him now as the friend he is and the friend he will become if she’d done differently.  And I can, rightly I think, attribute some of my suffering to the ripple caused by her actions, though I do own my own responses to that suffering.  Here’s the thing though, I can not see her as anything but insanely selfish and somewhat stupid.  She has put her ex-husband and son through the emotional ringer, she has financially completely destroyed all of them and she blithely seems to think everything is okay and will be okay, except when occasionally forced to face how fucked up everything is and how she is the ONLY one benefiting from her actions, and indeed isn’t even noticing how much her actions affect other people.

Much like that character in Eat, Pray, Love, she took a situation that was better than what 99% of the people in world have and decided to fuck over everyone around her in pursuit of her selfish, individual happiness.  Now I’m not saying we don’t all deserve to be happy, but I really believe that there has to be a point where we say, “this is satisfactory, I can work with this,” because the chances that we will end up eternally happy without anything bad entering our lives is much less than winning the jackpot in the lottery.  It goes back to that balance thing I’ve been talking about, just happy, just happy, just happy all the time isn’t balance, and seeking that, in my opinion, is just greedy.

I’ve been breathing deeply and trying to let go of how angry this all makes me.  To recognize that it is a lesson for me in what not to do.  I want to be calm and peaceful enough to sit and watch the cherry blossom petals fall and be blissful in that moment of how beautiful the world can be.  I want the frantic feelings to stay at bay long enough that I always notice the sunrise and what color the sky is.  But I want to live practically and in the world in such a way that I am careful and cautious of how my actions affect the world and the people around me.  I want people to perceive me as calm and kind, as open-hearted enough to be trusted with whatever they are feeling. I want to make sure that my actions are never so careless that they can be perceived as cruel, inconsiderate or negligent to the needs of both myself and the world around me.  I would like to make less demands on the world in general and hope the world has few demands of me in return.  When I choose solitude I want it to be recognized as part and parcel of who I am as person, and not a rejection of the world or the people I love.

I want to notice the ripples of every rock I drop in the pond.  I hope I will have thought of the effects of those ripples before I let the rock fall.

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*

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.

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.

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.

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.

Yes, I have stuff left to pack, like, oh, um, clothes and bathroom stuff and, you know, everything that didn’t already get done.  Yes, I’ve basically been working my ass off since I got home from my workday.  My car is fully loaded with most everything fragile that I don’t want in the truck.  I’ve been packing boxes and moving stuff around.  I’ve asked Hawthorn to do exactly one thing: hold a shelf while I unscrew it so it doesn’t fall on my head.  And yet, what else he is doing is following me around turning off lights I need on (since I’m not staying in one room and trying to carry things through the house), critiquing where I leave stuff (yes, I know the headboard is on the porch, yes I know it’s raining because the door is open and I am standing right here), and now as I’m filling the washing machine he says, “Oh, I was gonna take a shower in a bit.”  Well could you do it right now, please? Or wait an hour?  Because no, I’m not moving dirty clothes. No, no, no, no.  Boys do gross things like that, I do not.  Also, Hawthorn, no I am probably not going to hear a band with you tonight.  I don’t know if you’ve noticed but the house is filled with boxes because I’m moving out in the morning because you broke up with me.  I don’t need you to be helpful but if you could stop hindering and annoying, that’d be fucking great.

Update: Yes, he asked if I wanted to go out THREE times before he left.  When I quizzed him on what he was doing (the band he wanted to see started 20 minutes ago, wasn’t he going?) he asked if I was trying to get rid of him. Yes, I fucking am, omigod, I am going to do you bodily harm if you don’t start either helping or fucking leave.

I have cramps so bad that I feel like I might die.  My period was 12 days late and it feels like 12 extra periods worth of cramps.  The lady at Target cheerfully told me to have a nice day.  I just looked at her balefully as I walked out clutching 3 boxes of tampons, a box of pads and bottle of ibuprofen. Gah.

So I signed a lease yesterday on my own small apartment.  Now I can redirect all the energy devoted to being anxious, depressed or otherwise upset toward freaking out over getting packed and getting moved.  To my own space, which I am very excited about.

Therapy yesterday started with cheerful glee over getting the apartment (I found out about ten minutes before therapy) and then we talked a lot about Hawthorn.  I mentioned a few days ago that I have gotten over any guilt I might have and am pleased that he seems to be owning the consequences of his actions.  He has been very supportive of my move and of finding this apartment even though it’s detrimental to his financial situation.  I was really prepared to stay in our house through April if that’s what it took to find a good place, but now, having found a place, I think I will heal much faster from this situation than I otherwise would.

Calantha came over for a celebratory glass of wine last night and a catch up evening of girl talk.  She said I seemed really balanced and reasonable about the whole Hawthorn situation.  And I guess I am.  Don’t mistake me, I am still mad as hell that it came to this point.  I am hurt and while I am functional there is certainly a lingering sense of rejection, of being abandoned, of even being discarded.  I think once I’m settled in my own space and don’t have to be confronted daily with his (very much) unintentional slights, then I can start to work on my other stuff and maybe even eventually repair my friendship with Hawthorn.

After I felt resolved with the Hawthorn situation in relation to therapy we talked for a while about what I want out of therapy and I totally broke down over my utter inability to ask for help when I need it most.  I guess next week we are going to delve deep into recreating the feeling black hideous dread that consumes me when I find myself in that situation. Sounds fun.  No really, I can’t wait at all.  But I need to get past the things that are blocking me from talking openly, from asking for help, from feeling comfortable in situations I should be fine in, so this is good.  This good. This is good.  Therapy is good.

Overall though, I do feel mucho better-o, despite cramps of doom.  No more SSRIs.  I feel more upbeat and like myself over all.  I’m trying to keep it slow and in relaxation/recovery mode as much as I can still.  I’m waiting a few days for the SSRIs to clear my system and then I’m switching to an herbal anti-stress remedy (no, not pot) and St. John’s Wort to help keep my mood stabilized over the next couple months.  I’m curious about how this will feel and work, but I am definitely feeling good about the prospects for it.  Panic attacks have certainly lessened, although aren’t gone and there is this weird looming sense of anxiety just out of sight when I turn my head.  But I feel like I’m a good way toward shaking off the black depression parts, and the bloody nightmare stories in my head.  I don’t know that necessarily feel more stable, but I feel more capable and the possibility of feeling normal does appear to be just over that hill, if still out of sight.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

pretty picture included to offset all the negativity