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Jesse's and I's mutual friend have made a few blunders that are making us reconsider our friendship with him. See, I surround myself with liberal people and sometimes forget that I am living smack dab in "The Bible Belt", where bigotry - overt, covert, and everything in between - is deeply seeded within the mind of the average Midwest citizen.

He's made casual remarks of how he "wished that he hadn't watched that documentary on how Planned Parenthood tortures its aborted fetuses" (I was too tired to fact-check his ass during the conversation so the comments went mostly ignored.) A few racist comments that are along the line of "I'm not racist BUT-". There's been a few homophobic comments that he doesn't get how gay men would want to have sex when lesbians are just "like, so hot, man!"

That homophobia finally entered our personal realm. Last week, Jesse had said that perhaps a few years down the line, we could be roommates.

After that, sheer silence from our friend. As the days went on without any further contact, Jesse and I began to worry.

This man has serious life-threatening health issues, along with deep depression, that could easily murder him. Multiple calls and texts conveying our concern went ignored. Yesterday I finally texted him that I was going to send a Wellness Check in for him. (Basically where the police come in to make sure there's not a corpse sitting in the living room.)

It was then that our friend hunted me down and explained the silence. The roommate conversation had left him worried that Jesse had been hitting on him and he just didn't know how to respond.

I was like, DUDE. SERIOUSLY?! We frantically worry that you're fucking DEAD and you don't respond because you assume Jesse's going to want to nail you at some point??!! I didn't say that, of course. One thing my mother did teach me well was how to be polite. But as the last day has passed, I find myself more and more irritated with our friend's comment.

Jesse was immediately, extremely irritated with the relayed conversation, stating that he is too old for this bullshit. That he is tired of explaining himself, over and over again, to various "no homo, bro" sorts of people.

I'm getting too old for this shit, too. And too old to fight with people whom (either out of lack of exposure or willful ignorance) find it acceptable to not only believe these things, but to spew them out.

I asked Pat yesterday about the whole "tolerating differences between friends" idea. I asked him "Are THESE the kinds of differences you're supposed to tolerate, or is it more like 'I want to go to Burger King and my friend wants to go to McDonald's' sort of differences?"

The latter, Pat said. The latter sorts of things are what you tolerate, NOT remarks that convey disgust at some of your own personal beliefs. Especially, especially when they start interfering with your own personal lives, as it did with Jesse and I.

I understand this is part of the struggle when finding friends in such a conservative part of the country. Our friend was smart enough to say that he "probably misread it", but then followed that with "but I didn't know what to say".

The correct answer would have been a text that said "I'm going through some personal shit and just need some alone time. Btw, I'm also not dead."

It's disappointing. It gets to where I just want to point blank ask new people about their social views and where they stand on "sensitive issues" such as race, religion, and gay rights. It gets to where I don't want to expend the energy of establishing a friendship (which is a FUCKTON of work for adults in general, and especially people like Jesse and I) just to get blindsided by a big-ass dose of bigotry.

I think the mutual conclusion between Jesse and I is a fade-out of this person's life. I can handle some conservatism in a friend. Pro-choice but would never have an abortion yourself? Acceptable difference. Being completely straight yourself, but are okay with the fact that gay men exist and have sex lives? Acceptable. Not had a lot of ethnic friends and are confused by their culture? Being as this is the whitest of all major American cities, that is also somewhat acceptable.

Refusing to let your friends know if you're alive or dead because you're worried about some dude hitting on you?

NOT acceptable.
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* It's extremely unnerving to hear the unmistakable sound of someone using a hand saw in the upstairs neighbor's bathroom. For hoourrs. It also gets so quiet sometimes that I can hear him pee. That's also a little unnerving.

This one is an oddball anyways. The only time I have ever seen him is when he escapes to his car, to sit in his car and listen to music, also for hooours.

It's possible he has a lover that is (1) also a late sleeper like Jesse, so he does as much as he can in the mornings in the bathroom to keep things quiet. (They are the only inner room in these apartments with a door that closes) (2) His lover is a total beast, thus chasing him out of his house for respite.

* Two nights ago I stepped outside for a cigarette, to hear the wild titter of a raccoon squealing and the sound of smaller animal (probably a squirrel or rabbit) bleating in absolute distress. It went on long enough to where I said out loud, "Jesus. Just kill it and eat the damn thing."

I don't know whether to be happy that the raccoon got a meal or sad because I heard something dying. Rules of the wild, I guess. Glad I am not a rabbit.

* It used to be that the heavier the makeup, the more wild the colors, the better indication that was of me feeling sexy and like dressing up. While there are plenty, plenty of days now where drawing in even my eyebrows is too much, if I'm headed OUT, heavy makeup is now an indication of "I feel like hell."

But I can, for a little while, at least LOOK normal. (Well, aging-goth and punk rocker makeup normal.)

The right makeup can fool just about any onlooker.

* I've GOT TO, and I mean, GOT TO make good on my long-said promise of learning how to use blush. As much as I've always wished I had porcelain skin, I'm finding lately that I actually kinda dislike looking SO porcelain.

Youtube tutorials it is. (That's how I learn, like, 90% of my active skills. It's how I learned to do nail art. It's how I learned how to properly wear the rockabilly bandanna. It's where I'll learn to put on blush without looking like the Ronald McDonald clown that despairs me so.)

* Things that are affected by joint pain that surprise me:

Playing video games. Nintendo Thumb ain't got SHIT on how my hands and wrists (and elbows? WTF???) feel after half an hour on the console.

And opening bagged cereal. (Seriously, it took me, like, THREE TRIES this morning to break into the cereal bag.) The already open, simply re-zipped bag of cereal, no less.

* Two of my favorite bands are coming next month. Birthday Massacre, which proved to me goth is NOT dead, and Icon For Hire, the one band that has been essential to my illness and recovery.

We had bought Icon For Hire tickets the first time I was hospitalized. Unfortunately, I wound up in the hospital again when they came through town. It's like 20 dollars per ticket for Icon For Hire, but goddamnit, I will somehow get that money for Jesse and I. It'll be a scramble, as their concert is only 7 days away, but I'll get the money somehow. I'll probably ask my father and just be straight up about it. "Hey Dad, life has really sucked for me. Can I bug you for money to go to a couple of concerts?" I LOATHE asking him for money, as he's already paying 500 a month on my student loans, but I'm not going to miss this.

I adore Birthday Massacre, but if I had to choose, it'd be Icon for Hire.

I missed them the first time. I don't want to miss them again.

* Now off to see Pat, who is himself not feeling terribly well and up for only a short visit. For the first time in perhaps all of our lives together, I understand. I truly, truly understand.

We've been friends, close friends, now for 20 YEARS. That's over half my life.

As I said to him one night in IHOP, "Pat, you are the Sam to my Frodo".

(A couple overheard that and turned around to tell me that THAT was one of the most beautiful things he'd ever heard someone say to another. That made both Pat and I laugh and even tear up a bit.)
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Pat said something profound yesterday, something that helps explain the hopelessness and frustration I've been living daily under.

"In the last six months, you've lost your health, your job, your income, and the identity you were beginning to build with that. You've also lost your insurance, Disability is going to take another few months, and you are in complete limbo with your Medicare. You've physically lost the ability to do many of the things you used to enjoy. Teressa, you've been through a lot of loss lately, and all without a significant improvement in any of those areas."

I thought about that for a minute. And I replied - "Y'know, I hadn't thought of it like that. I mean, as a total picture of what I no longer have". It's fine and dandy to be grateful for what you do have - and few hold onto that motto as much as the poor do - but what I've lost is a landslide, a huge portion of my life - both future and present.

I said - "I need a win, Patrick. Just one thing that goes right - and I mean REALLY right." I need a day where I don't measure "good" by "how many times I throw up." I need a day where I get an answer of YES somewhere. I need something to go my way.

I need a win. I need some kind of victory that I don't have to fight tooth and nail for.

It's amazing what others can see that we can't - and the seemingly exponential avalanche is something I hadn't quite processed yet. Not in full. It makes all of this make just a little more sense.

I'm not only angry and resentful about all this, but grieving as well. That's not a word I'd put to this before. Even just the word "grieving" gives me a little more compassion towards myself. You don't beat up a person for grieving, you don't morally judge someone for grieving, and you definitely don't tell a person who is grieving that life will never get better.

I'm grieving, so I should try my best to follow those rules myself.

I'd also told Pat that I've given up on the whole God thing. I looked and felt and thought and couldn't find anything that felt like home or that felt comforting. I was worried that made me horribly cynical. Pat said it is okay if I don't find what I'm looking for in spirituality. Lots of people don't, he said, and they get along just fine.

The closest to what I've decided on this is to reclassify myself as agnostic rather than atheist. I still don't believe in anything Divine or spiritually connective, but hey, I could be wrong. I'm wrong all the time. May as well give myself some wiggle room on this, too.

Oi. I already threw up once this morning. It ended with dry heaving and stomach bile, which means I've got to get both more water and some food in me, if for no other reason than to have something TO throw up. (The relief is so much more when you're puking food instead of stomach bile.) But being nauseas, I don't WANT to eat anything.

Oh well. This is my life right now and somewhere, somehow, I've got accept it. Every symptom makes me furious and depressed and that eats up so much energy. Sometimes fighting means surrendering, though it seems unwise to surrender to the fact that I'm gonna puke, I'm gonna fall down, and I'm gonna be mostly incapacitated no matter what. But I'm getting really, really tired of fighting my body.

Maybe the rest is up to my mind. I don't know. My brain's been pretty shaky lately and doesn't feel like such a safe place to be in. But maybe that's where the real fighting comes in. Not fighting nausea or vertigo, but fighting the negative thoughts that come with it all.

I honestly don't know which is harder right now - what my body does to me or what my mind does to me. They're both fucked up something awful lately. But if there's one thing 20 years of therapy has taught me is that I can unlearn and relearn new ways of thinking.

I can't unlearn, undo, or re-think my body to prime health. But with enough practice, I can do so with my mind. I've done it before with a myriad of traumas and destructive behaviors. I can do it again. So that's where the battle is going to start taking place.

Maybe that's how I'll find my win.

Your job

May. 22nd, 2016 10:12 am
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* This is why the "I don't see the mess!" argument doesn't work.

Think of the working world – we would never nod understandingly at an employee who constantly refuses to keep up with their workload, or who wanders off to play with their phone while others are working if they said “Well, I wasn’t raised to do [tasks] because my mom always did that for me, so I don’t notice when it needs to be done.” We expect grown adults to be responsible, to learn how to do things, and to find some way to manage reminders and obligations. - Capt Awkward commenter

Cleaning is part of your job as an adult. If you do not ever notice the fact that you have no counterspace in which to cook on, or can't seem to plant your foot on the floor near the bed without hearing trash crunching, or just plain don't mind that when you stick your ass on the toilet seat it comes away with black, moldy smears on your butt - then it is still your job to find a way to remind yourself to clean these things.

I'll accept, on a very thin level, that there might be people out there who truly do not notice it when they are eating off plates that haven't been washed in two weeks.

I do not accept, on ANY level, that this excuses those two week old dirty dishes.
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I got a special gal!

Pimpin' this one out: A newcomer to LJ, a very, very good friend of mine! Check her out, friend her, LOVE HER AS I LOVE HEERRRR!!!


As far as the rest goes:

Patrick, when diagnosed with diabetes in Jan, made the inadvertent mistake of switching his diet exclusively to nothing but veggies and chicken. That's it. For weeks. What he didn't know (and I guess this is not something that happens to everyone) is that diet can aggravate something called gastroparesis.

It's when your stomach stops digesting food. It just sits in your gut for days. This was problem one and it's gone now. He can pretty much eat anything and it goes through as usual. We joke that it allowed him to lose weight (over 150 pounds inside 4 months), but my lord, it was in the most miserable way possible.

What he is struggling with now, though, is neural neuropathy. At least I think that's what it's called. Essentially, he's lost most of the use of his feet and hands.

It is reversible and the feeling and use of his hands and feet are slowly returning. He's able to type at work and mostly able to walk without a walker now. But he still has to have someone put his shoes on everyday and make sure his toes are straightened, as he (1) can't feel if his toes are curled up and will get jammed in the shoe and (2) can't move his toes to uncurl them himself.

All in all, it's another several months before he can fully dress himself and drive and whatnot. But he's finally getting better. It just turns out that diabetes, when left unchecked and when you damn near refuse to go to the doctor's ABOUT your diabetes, has consequences. Long consequences. The doctor's give him another 6-9 months before he's back up to full speed.

It's the first time in Pat's life that he's been physically falliable. While he's been put on an anti-depressant, he's been remarkably calm about the whole thing. I asked him how he was able to do that. His reply was that it was easier to accept once he realized that he had done this to himself.

As someone whose had to fix a lot of self-inflicted damage, I understood.

Not only was it the first time Pat had to face his squishy, human mortality, it was the first time *I* had to face his mortality. As Patrick is not anywhere near as creepy as I am, those thoughts hadn't really occurred to him.

They occur to me and I've been trying to sort through them without placing the whole hysterical thing on HIS shoulders. He's got enough to worry about.

I was sixteen years old when we met. I will be 35 very, very shortly. Over the last few months, I realize - I truly, truly realize - that neither of us are going to live forever.

I'm not sure what to do with that.
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One thing I heard regularly from Pat and David concerning housework was "Well, I'm not the one making the mess, so of course you're the one picking it up."

Even though with David that was really, REALLY, and I mean REALLY not the case at all. And even Pat, whose shower devolved into this after I moved out, would occasionally pull the "well, I'm not the one making the mess, so of course you're the one always cleaning" argument.

But let's say that both of those men were, in some alternate dimension, fastidious. That they were not people who were comfortable living in squalor but were average sorts of people who occasionally leave socks on the floor by the hamper and forget to take the trash out once in a while.

The whole "It's your mess" thing still don't fly.

We both walk on the carpet. We both eat off the dishes. We both cuddle the cats and use the toilet and fill up ashtrays. That is not "my" mess or "your" mess. This was impossible to convey to either David or Pat.

I remember, more than once saying "Y'know, if we were college dorm-mates, labeling our food with our names and splitting the long distance call charges down the middle, that argument would work. We are not roommates." I, for one, don't find myself having sex with my roommates or planning weddings with my roommates or otherwise building plans that stretch out over the next decade with my roommates.

So giving me arguments that make it sound like what you really want is a roommate-with-the-option-to-fuck aggravates the hell out of me. I tried everything with both of those men. Making lists (because that's what you do with middle schoolers and apparently 30+ year old men, too), crying, begging, screaming, asking nicely, and promising to have more sex if they'd just do the damn dishes once in a while. Whoring yourself out for money is one thing.

Whoring yourself out for the romantic trade of not contracting botulism is another.

I can't believe I put up with that for so long.
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I am now on a 2:30 - 11 PM work schedule. I am not a night person by nature. This will put me closer to Jesse's schedule and thus I'll see more of him. But I haven't worked evening hours in well over a decade, so it will be an adjustment. Just sleeping later will be a learned behavior, as despite the fact that I'll be up far past midnight, I woke up at 8 AM.

I dreamed about Cassie last night. In my dream she'd had another overdose. She was alive enough for me to see her, draped with IV's in the emergency room. I wanted to yell at her. Instead, I was just relieved to see her face.

I miss her.

I wish I had something of substance to say. But adjusting to a full time schedule - and one that has me staring at the computer for 8 hours a day - makes opening up the laptop far less appealing at the end of the day. I'm becoming used to the march of customers across my phone. Even the idiotic ones are beginning to blur into being the same stupid call.

Still no news on what ailment has befallen Pat. He is not getting better, but he does not seem to be getting worse, either. This is good news. It is also BAD news when "at least he's not getting worse" is the GOOD news. He is to see the doctor again today.

I've been cleaning up his place here and there (as he's been staying with his parents otherwise.) I wondered if the years of filth, of showering in a bathroom in which the black mold has taken root of the walls to where it is literally disfiguring the concrete blocks had finally caught up to him. I wondered if his habit of using a toilet in which only flushes every 10th time or so (and this for years at a time) had finally caught up to him. I wondered if his habit of eating off dishes that don't get washed but once every three months had finally caught up to him.

But the doctors have checked. It is not that. Him being sick is frightening enough. The so-far blindingly mysterious nature of it is a panic in and of itself.

I had a funny dream in which I ran away to Europe. England, I think. I was trying to buy some food, but when the lady said "That'll be 3 pounds", I panicked, because all I had was American currency. I told the cashier that I didn't know how to convert dollars into pounds (and I don't.) I instead found a McDonald's to eat at (which, in my dream, was of course the only place that took American dollars). I wandered about, absolutely enchanted by everyone's accent and once briefly mistook a woman's Scottish accent for an American southern drawl. She was not offended.

Jesse inadvertently gave me the best description of a manic episode I have ever heard. He said that when bi-polar people get stuck (because I'm always saying that it's not that we whacky bipolars moodswing so much as we get stuck in moods), it's like being a car with the RPM's revving up. They're too high, he said, and you KNOW they are too high, but no matter how hard you try to push the clutch to a lower gear, the RPM's just keep creeping up. The engine's overheating and the sound of the whirring becomes tremendous but nothing you do eases the gearshift even half an inch down.

That was pretty spot-on.

It came of a discussion of our differing diagnosises. His hard spots do produce jumbled thinking but in an entirely different way than mine do. But then, ADHD and bi-polar are pretty different from the get-go. His thoughts race, leaping from disconnected subject to disconnected subject, never settling, never giving him enough time to make any sense of what he is thinking and feeling. My thoughts will also race but they fixate on an obbession and ride on a screaming pitch until I hit the ground. He gets anxious to a level where he can hardly breathe. My anxiety manifests in the form of paranoia.

(Because in the high swing of mania/mixed episodes, everywhere I go *THEY* are seeing me. Who are "*THEY*"? Don't ask me, I never know. But I know without a doubt *THEY* are out there and if they SEE ME it will be bad. This is when I don't leave the house for weeks at a time.)

It's more than occasionally mindboggling to note the differences between the two disorders and how they are experienced. It's given me a great deal of respect for the idea that while mental illness does have some parallels across the board (the need for treatment, the need for self-care), the particulars of each are their own brand of difficult. Jesse does not insist (as David did) that I need to take on the same sorts of treatment as he does. I do not insist (as David did) that without him doing everything *I* do to treat my disorder, he is punking out.

We're both very different in the ways that we are sick. That's okay. We find places in which our illness and recovery cross paths and we acknowledge the places where they will never meet. That is also okay.

Now that I've said all that, I have a terrible craving for McDonald's. I've heard that while the same menu is served overseas, the items will taste different, since other countries don't want to murder their citizens with the sweet, sweet death of obesity overload.

I don't know about that, but someday I'm gonna see for myself.
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Thank you, Bart - I hadn't realized it's been nearly a week since I updated.

Pat's in the hospital. What we thought was a diabetic shutdown is turning out to be a complete mystery. Blood sugar levels: Normal. Sodium levels: Normal. Hormone levels: Normal. Liver: Normal. Kidney: Normal. Abdominal cat scan: Normal. White blood cells: Raised, but only slightly - still within normal levels.

But he can't walk, his tongue is literally split open on each side, he can't eat, can't sleep, he can hardly put two sentences together, he has lost 30 pounds in a month, his hands and feet are swollen blocks, even after endless bags of fluids he can still barely urinate.

Is it a tooth infection that got loose? Is it the mold and filth he surrounds himself with? Did I give him some kind of disease that took 10 years to show itself? Does he have Lupus? Is it a brand new disease that science has never heard of?

No one knows. No doctor can figure it out. Right now they are checking on autoimmune diseases.

I've spent most of my free time at the hospital. I spent the night there last night. I may do so again tonight, should the nurses allow me. (If they say he needs his rest, then I will follow their instructions. They went to medical school for this, I did not.)

I'm very tired. And worried.

I should have told his mother, who wasn't angry that I hadn't let her in on how sick Pat was, but who was confused as to why I didn't tell her. I was so worried and spinning in my own circles about it - I didn't think to call in the calvary. I should have. I know this now and will do so the next time.

He'd gone into to see a diabetic dietitian a couple of days ago. He couldn't drive, so his parents took him. The dietitian took one look at him and said he needed to go the ER. She said she didn't know what was going on, but just from the outset, it looked like what WAS going on could be fatal.

I was angry when I pulled into the hospital. For weeks, he'd been saying he was getting better, and I kept insisting that he wasn't. When I got to the hospital and saw that he was grey in the face, I stopped being angry and started crying.

His diabetic problem is now well under control after a couple of days in the hospital. Nothing else is and no one can figure out why. Pat is not supposed to the sick one. I am. I've done so much damage to my body over the years and here I am, so-far-so-good, and while Pat's diet and sedentary lifestyle put him close to this, it's still not fair.

For the first time in 20 years, Pat needs me, though, and I will not let him down. It's like I told Pat recently -

"I know I really fucked up with the whole marriage and divorce thing. But when I said 'till death do us part'? I meant that."

And I still do.
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Pat has not been feeling well lately. Great pains in his joints, fatigue. At first we thought it might be gout. Then we thought it would be arthritis. He got the proper diagnosis yesterday.

Pat has Type 2 diabetes.

Pat says he was prepared for something like this, as he's morbidly obese, even for being 6'2. (He clocks in just shy of 320 pounds.) For me, it's shocking. All I know of diabetes I learned from David's mom, who was terrible at caring for herself about it. So it does scare me some.

I asked Pat if he could die from it. He said only if he was really, really stupid. That's a relief.

In a show of solidarity, we're both getting our asses back on MFP. He needs an entire diet overhaul. I'm requiring less of that, but being as I'm kinda liking this whole 140 pounds deal (after years of being around 165), it wouldn't hurt for me to track what I'm eating.

And calorie counting is easy if you don't push yourself to some kind of super-restrictive diet. Hell, I lost 30 pounds in five months and ate McDonald's forty-seven fucking times in that five months.

At David's behest, of course. He argued over and over that we did not go to McDonald's that much. Then I showed him my food chart. Then he looked sullen and got in a bad mood. And still, later that week, wanted to go to McDonald's AGAIN.

But whatevs. The take away from this is that if all you are looking to do is drop pounds, you can do it and not give shit up for it.

But I worry about Pat, which for him, he WILL have to give some things up. I don't really know how to be supportive about this.

Any advice????


Nov. 9th, 2015 05:01 am
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I talked to them - and am relieved that they both know and believe it wasn't me. Big weight off my soul. I didn't know what else to offer except to say that myself and any friends I bring over will only do so under supervision. They said that wasn't necessary, but just in case, I will do so. I KNOW they believe me, but as an ex-addict, I will forever still be about covering my bases.

Which sounds guilty and bad, I know. But I told Jesse...it took years, YEARS, until someone handing me a 20 dollar bill didn't reduce me to tears. Why? Because it meant that they trusted me that much to take the money and NOT spend it on dope, to which 20 dollars (at least back in those days) would get you a reasonable, daily amount of.

(Okay, for me at the time, a survivable amount of meth. Near the end, I was going through 100 dollars a day of the stuff. And that's STILL cheaper than what some of my contemporaries were doing at the time.)

I feel so bad for Shan (Pat's aunt). Thanks to the controlled substance nature of Oxy, she can't get another prescription and is now two weeks without pain medication. And considering she's got internal organs that are still healing....I told her, if I did bump into anyone who had any pain medication, I'd see if I could get her some.

But I don't run with those people anymore and I don't have any money to buy her some anyways. I wish I knew better how to help.

And Michael, yeah, maybe that does help a little. Downers never were my thing. On the rare day when I couldn't get anything else, I'd take downers if they were proffered. But even then, I avoided opiate anything, because even in the height of my addiction, it still made me sick. And not even "sick-while-being-high." It just made me straight-up sick.

It's funny and sorta sad - once another NA member and I were talking about the nature of our preferences. He told me the first time he did speed, all that wound up happening was that he threw up. I told him the first time I did heroin (or at least heroin laced things), all that wound up happening that was **I** threw up. Neither of us had gotten very high, despite the nature of both drugs being something that SHOULD fuck your brain up sky-high. Both of us then respectively stayed away from the other's drugs.

It amazes me, the way different bodies handle different substances.

At least I always managed to stay away from crack. It was offered to me tons of times, but always when meth was also on the table. Cassie once told me that crack is a stupid high - all it does is make you want to smoke MORE crack. Thank god for small blessings - and for addict preferences.

It bothers Jesse - it bothered David, too - how I can talk about drugs in both a disgusted way AND in a good, almost nostalgic way. Pat, having been there from start to finish with me, is indifferent to the ways I speak about it. But human beings don't repeat behaviors the way addicts do unless it DOES feel good.

People often feel as if the horror of drugs should completely overshadow the ways drugs made us feel good. And it makes them WORRY if you don't forever after speak of drugs in a tone of finality and revulsion.

But that'd be painting an incomplete picture of drugs - and a fatal one, at that. If you can't come to grips with what makes a person use (that it feels good), you will have no tools to combat what happens when you DO want to feel good. And being an addict, wanting to feel good will come A LOT, especially in the early days of sobriety.

Non-addicts don't really get that. In the end, they don't HAVE to get it, as frustrating as it might be. I have to be the one to "get it", as it is my recovery on the line, not theirs.

Still, I sometimes wish there were a way to make them "get it". I sometimes wish there was some kind of other, real-world equivalent I could use as an analogy. Some kind of example I could relay that covers both the eternal, if only miniscule, ways you remember drugs being good AND the eternal, always looming, ways you know drugs to be BAD.

I have not yet found anything that accurately describes this juxtaposition. It is a contradiction that, outside of being an addict yourself, defies all explanation. But it is one that an addict MUST come to live with if they want to live at all.

I wish there were easier ways to explain this. I wish there were a way to make my history never be a pop-up in someone's mind when things go missing.

There is not. This is the price I pay for having gone down that road of addiction 15 years ago. It is one that I will always pay, in increments, in small doses and loose change. It is an emotional tax I levied on myself.

I understand this. I wish I could make others understand this, too. I can't. All I can do is be honest with them and myself, be open minded to hearing others, and be willing to work with others when they are speaking about what IS on their minds.

Honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness. Steps One through Three in every 12 step program in existence. Those are the basics.

Those I do not wish to change at all.
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So I finally hit upon another job. Another warehouse job at full time hours. Minimum pay is 522 a week. AND I'm a direct hire, which means I'll have a little more time and room to learn the job before they fire me. Cross my T's, dot my I's, smile, ask questions, chit-chat with coworkers, don't stop moving. These are the essentials I'm learning for "real world work".

This means if I'm sick, really sick, I still go in. This means if one of the cats die, I still go in. This means informing them right off the bat that Elizabeth, while in exceptional health for 85, might pass anytime, and then reassuring them that the only time I'd take off for that is the day of learning of her death and then her funeral.

I've given Pamela, Pat's mom, all of the information needed to make a final post here. I've also informed her of the post death requests I wish to be carried out. This is in case something awful happens and Pat and I get taken out at the same time, like a car crash or a fire or something. I am profoundly honored that she accepted the position of finishing out what death would prevent me from doing. (Like, anything, cuz dead people can't do shit, what with the whole "being dead" part.) I cc'd Pat, too, since he is the original executor of my final wishes.

I've got things like cross posting information here and on FB explained to her. What music and videos I'd like shown, who gets what of my items, my wishes for a living will, where I'd like donations to go to, etc. I've got a list of service related requests to her.

What are other post-death details do you guys think I should be considering???

I did tell her that if at all possible, to NOT LET JIM PUT HIS HANDS ON AUDREY OR JULIEN. I don't care if he is "comforting" them. DO NOT WANT. As Audrey and Julien are both aware of the fact that he sexually abused their mother and I, I told her it's okay to repeat that as my reasoning. I don't know how the hell one would actually enforce this wish, but that wish of mine is REALLY SUPER IMPORTANT.

Hell, I'd like to find a way to disallow my mother and stepfather from even attending the funeral, but I don't think that's possible. I did let Pamela know that even if they say offensive or awful things about me, to just let it go. Everyone already knows they are the assholes anyways. A funeral is not the place to make a scene.

Unless, of course, Jim tries to get all "comforting" with the kids. AW HELL NO.

I really need to get a legal will drawn up. My father had sent me some paperwork to that end a few years ago. I'd put it off while I was with David, as he'd gotten really offended that I was not making him the executor of my will. Jesse is not offended. This is a relief.

Thank you, Dani, for that netnanny recommendation. I'm going to check that out ASAP.

Cinema, you're also right about the whole forgiving myself to let go of David. I thought about that, thinking of what could be the possible single thing I need to forgive myself forWhich, of course, gets long and way too wordy )

Cinema, your words are worth far more than a dollar and thirty-seven cents. I hope you know that.
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The first frost is on the ground. The early rays of sunrise catch it against the cars, a pink glitter here, a gold flash there. It is beautiful. I very much miss Arizona sunrises and sunsets. Something about the desert atmosphere turns the sky into brilliant ribbons of deep purple, neon pink, and an orange that seems to stretch over the horizon forever. Still, Kansas sunrises are noteworthy. At least when I'm up early enough to notice them. With winter fast approaching and the sun rising later and later, I'm awake to notice more sunrises. This is not a bad thing.

I have been mulling over your comments about kids and filters - and I think you guys are right on target. That entry will have to come later, though, as Jesse's son is next to me and I don't want to type it all out where he can see it.

That's not exactly a kid conversation and while I think you guys are right in that there's no need to wrap him up in cotton about it, I also think you guys are right in that there are appropriate times and places FOR those "not-kid" conversations with kids.

And ahahaha! Bart, that is AWESOME about your funeral plans. I should think of something like that. As it stands, I've told my loved ones to donate my body to science. We've a couple of really good medical universities around here and they are always in need of fresh corpses to carve up. None of my organs are in good enough condition to donate. At least this way I get to be useful.

Plus, I think it's free. No need for an expensive funeral, coffin, or even cremation. I've cost more than enough people more than enough money in my life. I'd hate to have to make that expense extend after death.

I have, however, impressed very strongly onto my loved ones certain things they must say at my funeral. A few Babylon 5 quotes, maybe reading aloud a journal entry or two. And I've instructed Pat to set up a squirrel feeder in my honor, wherever and whenever he can do so. I love squirrels.

And there is a local cat shelter that I've requested donations go to in lieu of flowers. "Animals In Need Thrift Store". They are funded mostly by donation and partially by the thrift store they also run. The man who founded the place is a true, true animal lover with an amazing passion for cats. That deserves to be rewarded, even in death. Maybe especially in death.

The question of what to do with my things is still a bit in the air. I know that any money I've left goes to the kids, be it directly or in an account set up for them to access when they turn 18. I want my journals to go to Cassie, even if she decides to burn them. Patrick is, of course, tasked with caring for my cats. The rest? I don't know. Sell it off if they can, keep sentimental items as they choose.

I need to draw all of this up officially, as well as make a living will. I'm not sure how long I want to be plugged in before I consider it reasonable enough to UNplug me, should I fall into a comatose state. My father sent me paperwork for these things a few years ago. I should fill that all out.

I have given Patrick my LJ/DW password with strict instructions to post on my behalf should I die or else become completely incapacitated. Some years ago, I realized that one reason some of my friends here MAY have stopped posting because they are dead. It's been 11 years on here, so that's not so far out of the scope of possibilities.

I don't want anyone to wonder if that's why I stopped posting. Patrick, Jesse, Pat's mom - all of them know how important you guys are to me. I wonder if I should set up a backup person for posting in my name, in case it turns out that Pat and I die together in some horrible car crash or anything. I am going to email Pat's mom and ask if she'd be comfortable being the backup person.

I do feel somewhat guilty that I have not yet considered giving Jesse the password. But time takes time and I'll need more than a year of knowing him before I give him my password, should it come to that. I do not think it would offend him.

As always, of course, this most recent conversation about death came up at bedtime. It always comes up at bedtime for me. I find talking about death right before I go to sleep comforting. I've yet to meet anyone else who feels the same. I get why it creeps people out to talk about death before they go to sleep. Dreams and fears about The Big Sleep right before The Regular Sleep is scary....for everyone but me, apparently.

It has disturbed every lover of mine. It disturbs Jesse, though out of all my relationships, he is the most willing to indulge in my exhausted meanderings about it. He left a note for me to read the next morning, calling me his "his lovely creepy morbid." It was meant as a compliment and I took it as so. He later said that while he does not like to talk about death, the way **I** talk about it is beautiful.

It is nice to hear that. David used to say I was obsessed with Death. Patrick would not say I was obsessed, but he agrees in that I have a strange and possibly unhealthy interest in it.

But life is life and my life has been filled with lots of death. It makes sense to me that it would be such a large thing in my thoughts.

There was this entry, written a year ago, when Cassie's life came crashing down again, in what now, a year later, seems to be a final plunge. This entry, where I didn't know that in just a few hours, I'd be spending the next 24 hours in the ER with a battered, belligerent, strung-out sister. This entry, in which I wrote -

"These sorts of times, this sort of exhaustion - and there's been a lot of it in my life - but this is what makes oblivion as an afterlife sound nice.

Where you just stop. You don't have fight. You don't have to work. You don't have to care. It's just over.

Maybe that says more about my life than what I really think about death.

Maybe it does. And maybe, just maybe, that's okay.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
I always wonder what technology I will end up resisting, out of sheer age if nothing else. I remember thinking cell phones were stupid. Then I got a cell phone. I remember thinking that texting was stupid. Now I text far, far more than I call people. I remember thinking that cameras on phones were stupid. Now I never carry a camera, only my phone. That sort of thing.

Hell, I was the last person I knew to give up cassette tapes and move onto CD's. Except for Elizabeth, who not only refuses to give up her cassettes and her VHS tapes, but who refuses to give up her reel-to-reels and 8 track tapes, despite the fact that she no longer owns any of the devices to PLAY those items.

But she's 85 years old. One expects a stubbornness in letting go of old technology at that age.Old tech, old people, and old habits )

I think breaking up with him was a great shock to him. I can understand why, though. After years and years of him continuing to screw up, to treat me badly, all without him facing any real consequences, me up and deciding to DO something about it must have been a terrible shock to him. It's funny - for all the years he begged me not to leave him, by the time I DID leave him, it was not something he had been concerned about. Old habits die hard - and staying with David had become a habit.

Good thing we can break habits.


Sep. 15th, 2015 08:05 am
quirkytizzy: (Default)
It's nearly midnight. I can't sleep. Insomnia is rare for me these days, as I've found Seroquel and I make agreeable lovers. Tonight, though, I remember what it felt like to not be able to sleep. I'm not sure what keeps me up, heart rate slightly elevated, body restless. I would normally ask Jesse to lay in bed with me. Tonight he is off to Pat's. Which in its own way, works out well, since this is one of those sleeplessness nights in which the words want to be written.

It's strange and beautiful to me, how close those two are getting. I remember in the beginning, being dead-against the idea of introducing Pat and Jesse. I always thought it'd be a dick move to do that to old lovers, to parade your new lover around them. And a part me did not want to share Pat. A sort of "he's been here 20 years, you've been here 3 months, get in line like everybody else" sort of thing.

Some of you urged otherwise, though. That if I intended to make Jesse a close part of my life, it would be fair to open the fence and allow him to be a part of that part of my life. I was not sure. It was with great trepidation that I asked Pat if he'd like to hang out with Jesse and I.

He said yes and in the year since, Jesse and he have taken off. They chat several times a week. They hang out at least twice a week - and often without me there. They do not need me as a buffer. They do not need me as a point of reference or a subject of connection. They can hang out for hours and hours, nerding out, watching movies, talking about RPGing. They can hang out for hours and hours talking about thier personal lives, about all kinds of things that do and don't include their lives with me. They support each other, opening up about problems, asking for experience and advice.

They are, in other words, friends. Actual friends. Friends that exist and work outside of the woman that once was the only thing they knew about each other.

I always thought if it ever were like this, it would make me nervous. That I wouldn't like it. That it would weird me out. But it didn't. It actually relaxes me. It soothes me. It makes me feel like I've done something right.

Pat's importance in my life is so vast that words completely fail. From high school friend to mental health tutor to husband to ex-husband to best friend...it's been a long 20 years. Twenty years. Over half of our lives, it's been me and him, inseperable, even when we were legally seperated. He's my best link to my past and my best friend today.

I was worried about introducing that to Jesse. Selfishly, perhaps. I like to call a few things my own and my relationship with Pat was one of them. But it turns out that I still have my relationship with Pat as my own.

It's just that now Jesse also has HIS relationship with Pat on his own. I thought that might diminish what I have with Pat. It has not. It has only deepened it, as we both now share Jesse and his friendship.

This all sounds very sexual and poly. I should clarify for new folks: There is no poly going on here. I speak in terms of love that sound romantic for Pat because there are very few words strong enough to convey that in a platonic manner. Pat and Jesse also speak in terms of love that sound romantic, because there are very few strong enough words in platonic language.

A few nights ago, Jesse and I were discussing this very thing, and he smiled and said he was at first very intimidated by Pat. The decades I have with him, Jesse said.....the immense debt I am under with Pat - and the astounding generosity that I will never need pay it back, the sheer volume of years and experiences with Pat, the fact that Pat had front row seats to so many of the events of my life that made me who I am today - all these things make Pat a formidable man, he said.

"Any man that comes into your life has to come to grips with the fact that for a while - maybe for a LONG time - they're going to be second bitch to Pat", he said. I paused. He's right.

It's not as if they stay second bitch or anything. Most adults understand that there are different slots in the heart for different sorts of love. Pat has a whole chunk of those slots. But the human heart is infinite. There is always room for others as well.

Besides, I'm not about to sleep with Pat. That'd be a hell of a clusterfuck - and cruel to Pat to boot. I've put the man through enough hell in his lifetime. I'm not looking to add any more to the pile.

David was at first outright jealous of Pat. I guess I can't blame him, in his own way. Pat was the husband I left for David. I could see that making for some crazy-making. And then later, as David's and I's relationship started to settle, he was still jealous. David could only see the ex-husband in Pat, and not the best friend I had in Pat. It led to some very loud arguments between David and I.

Eventually, he learned to stop kicking and fussing about it. When it came to be that Pat started supporting us because of David's fuck ups with money, that's when David finally fell silent about Pat's presence in my life.

Between that and the fact that David was the immediate man after Pat, Pat had no interest in meeting David. As the years with David rolled on, and I would come to Pat complaining and sometimes crying about David, Pat's lack of interest grew to an active hostility.

There is no such hostility towards Jesse. This is something I try to impress on Jesse, who suffers from social anxiety. Pat is not the kind of guy to hang out with someone just because he's lonely. Pat is not the kind of guy to hang out with someone he sort of likes. Pat is not the kind of guy to give any amount of time to someone who annoys, upsets, or bores him.

Pat is old enough, smart enough, and introverted enough to know he has the choice to spend his off-time with people he likes. He doesn't like most people, so the few that are allowed into his home are people he REALLY LIKES. People he REALLY WANTS to spend time with. And so as I tell Jesse, the fact that he invites him over, night after night, even without me, shows that Pat really DOES like Jesse.

Jesse passed the Pat-Test. Passed it with flying colors. That means a lot to me. This is the man who has seen me through, god, almost all of it, who knows exactly where I'm strong and where I'm weak, who is kind to me when I hurt, even if I did to myself....and he's standing next to the man who is learning where I'm strong or weak, who is kind and helps me avoid the things that hurt me......

It astounds me. I don't know how rare this is or isn't, that the ex and the current become good friends. But it is beautiful to watch the two continue to grow, even outside of my presence.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
Y'know, Eileen, Dani, I hadn't thought of the phrase "special needs" like that. Like, how each child just needs what they needs, and that the extra attention shouldn't need to be labeled quite so harshly. Do you use another word for Arionna's attention? Or is there a NEED to at all? I mean, it's pretty obvious that Julien's not normal.

I hate it when people go "There is no such thing as normal." Yeah, yeah. But there's DAMN sure a such thing as abnormal, and treating people like they are all the same and no one is REALLY different is a horrible way to go about things.

(Not that I think that's what you guys are saying, Dani and Eileen! That's my own personal ranty rant.) There's also the rant of how the most boring people on earth claim to be the craziest (because we all know 'crazy' is a party accessory and can be worn like a cool coat to liven up a party) and how they spout "There's no such thing as normal!" like a goddamn broken spigot, but that's a whole other rant for a whole other time.

And ahahaha Bart! I've never had Ambien sex, but I imagine it's pretty similar. I don't have Seroquel sex often, as Seroquel really knocks me on my ass. We tried a light bondage session on it one time, but I literally fell asleep in my bonds. It was giggles all around as we were undoing the clips.

Some points on drugs, and being a Newb At Life at 22. I think my coworkers are kinda dumb. And deaf neighbors. )
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I did not go into work. I'd gone to throw up a third time (making that twice in an hour), curled up on the bathroom floor, and began to bawl. Maybe I am weak. Maybe I am a useless thing who crumbles under the slightest of stress. Or maybe, just maybe, I'm human. Whatever the reason, I messaged Pat, called the temp agency, and went to bed, feeling miserable, weak-willed, and all of about two inches tall.

Sleep, as I knew it would, restored some sense of personal stability (fragile as it feels right now). The migraine and nausea is gone. I'd called the temp agency back and they told me I was fine. Just watch your attendance, they said, and MedArt will be happy to see me tomorrow.

So it looks like so far, the Universe isn't going to punish me for falling under duress. So far, at least.

Jesse cannot work due to the fibro and the spinal stenosis (spinal bifida? Something like that?) He does do some paid volunteering at the haunted houses during the Halloween season, but it wipes him out for days. Hell, even sitting in a car on a long ride can put his ass down for hours upon hours. He has a reading disorder that makes reading comprehension difficult, so office jobs are also not much of an option.

I'm going to talk to Shan and get the number for her Disability Lawyer, like you suggested, Daha. These are all previously diagnosed problems. He has the paperwork from older doctors. But you have to move forward in the Disabiliy process as if you need everything diagnosed for the first time. We're in the process of trying to get Disability, but trying to get it proves every negative thing the rest of the world hears about the American Health Care System.

A couple of days ago, with the phone deal, I did snap at him in a way that involved his lack of a job. Other ex's have apparently done so as well, so it's a trigger for him. I get that but it was SO HARD not to scream it this morning at him. Like, how do I say "Hey, Mr. Person I Love But Want To Slap - give me, the person who has NEVER and WILL NEVER ask you to push yourself TO and PAST the point of vomiting, the SAME DAMN RESPECT."

Maybe that's actually what I should say. It does sort of feel like a David repeat, Eyelid. And it just eroded my sense of...I don't know what, but something, to have to argue that I shouldn't have to work while crying in pain and throwing up.

I mean, that seems so basic to me. Am I doing something wrong? It's not as if I call out all the time. In fact, my job history shows that I am actually closer to a goddamn workaholic, forever coming in on my days off, forever staying late. Jesse may not have seen that yet, but Pat has. So it just sort of makes me feel wrong when I argue that maybe, just maybe, if I'm throwing up and crying, I might, just maybe, deserve a day?

I mean, I don't really "take" days all that often. And my "days" are usually just a few hours. Three or four hours spent crying and being upset and then I get on with my damn self and get on with my damn day. If I'd had my car, I probably would have just called in late and come in at noon. (Pat stays up to take me to work, so afterwards he has to go right to bed for HIS work.)

I am a completely raw nerve right now.

I know it's hard for those around me, but for fucks sake, I just want to some validation that it's hard for me, too. Pat was understanding this morning and said he knew it's really rough on me. That was, like, the first time he or Jesse or anyone face-to-face had said something like that to me in days.

I keep vacillating between "This is nothing that should be upsetting you, Teressa, NORMAL PEOPLE DO THIS ALL THE TIME GET OVER IT" and "Wait, no, THIS IS SOME ACTUAL REAL BULLSHIT HERE and I want recognition for it."

I don't know why both of them couldn't be true at the same time. But those are fences that I keep striking into, spinning back and forth, feeling useless and smarting from the barbed wire on each of those fences.

It is this kind of frustration, along with having been up for about 25 hours and throwing up three times this morning, that led to a brief but strong urge to cut myself. It comes up once in a while. I've got almost 15 years cut free, so I don't pay it too much worry when it comes up, but it still does rise its head occasionally. See, I can't take out the rage and confusion and exhaustion on Jesse or Pat or my job. I can snark and snap, but really translating the pain into a physical, undeniable form? I can't do that on other people.

I used to do that on myself. That's what I felt this morning. I used to cut not out of sorrow, but out of wild anger and impotence. To take it out on SOMEONE. That someone was, in years past, myself. It's no longer an option, but I did make note that the exhaustion and frustration had, indeed, reached critical.

I do not feel like cutting upon awakening. It was not an urge I shared with Jesse or Pat last night. Mostly I was afraid they'd think I was just being dramatic (and let's face it, cutting or even cutting urges ARE dramatic). And I'm sure they are quite tired of my drama as it is.

It's safe to say I feel insane right about now. What I'm seeing and what those around me are seeing are two completely different things. The only real form of validation I'm getting is from you guys - and thank god, because I think I might truly take leave of my senses entirely without that. But Pat, Jesse, others face-to-face around me, are seeing one thing (that this is normal, what's my problem, seriously, what's my problem) and I am seeing something else (this isn't normal, I know what my problem is, it's stress, and hey, it does this weird thing called "stresses you out") and the two pictures are not compatible.

One thing that stress removes from you is the ability to see the big picture. At this point, only a few days in (which doesn't inspire anyone to believe in me and what I'm seeing/feeling about this whole thing), I'm not sure that any picture exists at all.

It'll pass. It always does. Eventually. There will always be some new stressor, some new mistake I've made, which hopefully means I've moved onto something new in my life (and that's growth and forward movement). I know this.

But in the interm? God this sucks and god I'm glad I have you guys.
quirkytizzy: (Default)
So the car is unfixable. Or at least, the damage is deep enough as to where fixing it would be more expensive than buying a new car. The headgasket blew. It leaked a ton of stuff in the engine. I am, in other words, up shit creek without a car-shaped paddle.

I still have rides taken care of, at least this week. What happens next week? Who knows? Let's let the Universe take care of that, because it's done soooo well in doing so before. /sarcasm

I can't buy a junker. I can't save up for a junker. See, after bills I have about 350-400 left over a month. I'd like to spend that money on such wiiiilldddd luxeries as food and gas money for rides and cat litter. (My budgeting has to put "food" in the "after bills" part.) There is no "I can get you a car for 500 hundred", there is no saving for a car, as there will be, after food, medication, etc, is done for the month.

It is now 3:14 AM. I have not slept. A migraine, some throwing up, etc, kept me awake. My alarm will go off in two hours and I will go into work in four hours.

I will work and I will come home and I will have been up for 34 hours straight. And I'm pissed off as hell about it. And despairing. You see, I had told Pat and Jesse that while I know it wouldn't look good, I was calling in. Aside from migraine yay, I begin to get nauseous around the 20 hour mark. I usually do wind up vomiting at least once. The warehouse has been 80+ degrees lately, which of course exacerbates migraines AND exhaustion.

But apparently adults don't call in when they're sick. Not even when they're throwing up. Apparently adults pull 34 hour days ALL THE TIME and I'm just being COMPLETELY self-sabotaging by wishing to call into work. They do it and sure it sucks, but hey, whatevs, ADULT LIVING, MAAAN. Both of them got SSUUUPPPERRR offended that I was going to call in. And Pat said he was worried so I can't, I just CAN'T fuck that up by accidently losing my job, even if I'm sick as a dog.

I know my boss said it wouldn't "look good" if I were late again. And I know calling it would look as equally "not good." But I really, honestly, sincerely believe that going into work genuinely ill is a bad idea. I really, honestly believe that making myself genuinely suffer like that is an extremely unhealthy idea. And I don't want to do it. OH GOD, DO NOT WANT. I know my body and I know I'll be running to the bathroom every couple of hours to throw up or cry or both.

I shake, I cry, and I throw up after being up so long, let alone with a migraine. I recognize that these are actually unusual symptoms of exhaustion, but they DO happen with me, and in spades. And being forced (or "forced", in my case) to suffer through that feels so goddamn unfair.

Unfair. That's what this whole goddamn thing feels like lately. Like, I get a good thing and I IMMEDIATELY get punished for it. I mean, jesus, I don't even BELIEVE in karma and here I am wondering what the fuck I did to offend whatever deity is currently in charge of my life.

And all I can do is scramble and complain and write and snark and complain and all of these completely USELESS things. People around me are doing all that they can and I'm still sinking and so I KNOW complaining just makes them feel unappreciated. I know everyone around me is getting so sick of hearing it, but fuck, I don't know what else to do.

Noss, you mentioned that your friend went through social welfare services. I don't think there's anything that can be done, but there is a food pantry here with lists of other resources. Maybe rideshares. Maybe some Salvation Army place that helps out with vehicles. I don't know. Amanda goes back to school in a couple of weeks and Pat can only take me TO work.

I'm taking every ice pack I have and taking that and a bandana to work. I can switch out the ice packs on the floor. They won't last long in the heat and humidity, but that's why I have three. We don't have to ask permission to use the bathroom, so I'll just do my best to stay working around it. There are parts of the warehouse I can go cry in for a few minutes if I need to. I'll do this.

I'll get it figured out. Because at this point, my sense of fatalism has kicked in and I'm wondering just how much I can take before I collapse. How much stress, strain, pressure, and uncertainty can be piled onto my shoulders before I have a complete breakdown?

I don't know. Abilify/David was the last time I completely lost it. That was a lot of stress. A lot of working through 34 hour days. A lot of terror of losing things, friendships and my at-the-time relationship included. Much the same now. I wonder how much it will take to achieve the same end that came of that.

I mean, what the hell? Total breakdown is coming anyways. May as well make it count, right? I'm going to throw up one more time BEFORE going into work, I'm going to go into work today at 34 hours of no sleep, I'm going to vomit and I'm going to cry, and I'm going to do this NOT because I'm worried about losing my job, but because the two most important men in my life told me that people do this all the time.

And if other people do it all the time, then goddamnit, I can, too.

They better fucking be right.


Aug. 9th, 2015 10:38 am
quirkytizzy: (Default)
You guys are right - a huge part of this is the curse of poverty. I hear people complain that as soon as they manage to get a few hundred saved up, something happens to wipe that out. I laugh hysterically, because that stuff happens to me before I have any money saved up. Before I have a few hundred to absorb the blow. It's not my savings that's being wiped out, it's my rent payment for that week.

But then, you all know this. I doubt there's a one of you who either hasn't been this poor yourselves or else known someone this poor. That is one aspect of situations like this that drives me crazy - so many people treat this sort of thing as a "small" thing, like ya'll said. Frustrating, annoying, maybe even upsetting as their savings has just dropped to zero, but overall, they have easier resources for rides or cabs or car repairs.

They don't understand the panic. They don't understand how a car that's stopped running equals the loss of a job, the loss of your paycheck, and the loss of your home as a result. I don't know WHY it's so hard for people to make that apparently wild leap in logic. It seems easy to me, but then, maybe I'm the odd man out on this one.

I have FROM work figured out. Amanda will come get me after work until the car is repaired. That's 50% of the initial problem solved. Now it's just figuring out rides TO work. And Disgruntled - while there are no bus lines that run within 15 miles of my work, there ARE cabs, Uber drivers, etc. I'm keeping that suggestion in my bag o' tricks. That's a fantastic one, thank you.

Carpooling would be a good idea but I honestly don't feel comfortable asking my coworkers for rides. Certainly at least not yet. Even with offering gas money, I would still essentially be asking a huge favor from a practical stranger - and I'm not comfortable with that idea. I HAD thought of posting a Craigslist rideshare ad (Craigslist being a wanted-ad website, for the folks over the Atlantic), but then I don't feel safe being in the car with a complete stranger, either.

But I WILL make it to work, somehow. If I have to leave TWO hours early to give me car time to cool down on the road, I'll do it. Maybe I'll even take a cab to work, which at 20 miles one way, will be pricey. But if it means keeping my job long enough to get my car back, hell, it's worth it.

The hardest part of all this, of course, is keeping my spirits up. In my better moments, I would say the human will can be tempered to be unbreakable. In my better moments, I would remind myself that I have never been left adrift, that I have always found the resources and help to continue on, and that I am a survivor. In my better moments, I know there is a way, because there is a will.

But those are only moments...and life cannot be lived entirely in the better of those moments. I know that sometimes the obstacles are insurmountable and that we must find a different mountain to climb altogether. I know that sometimes the resources and help can only be stretched so far. And sometimes I know that not being adrift and actually being able to swim to shore are two different things.

That....that is the part that frustrates my loved ones to no end. They think I am being self-defeatist. Perhaps I am. But I am also being realistic. I did not come to being 34 and landing my first decent job by accident. I came to this by a myriad of poor decisions and extremely unlucky circumstances that exacerbate those poor decisions.

No one wants to hear someone they love whining or spinning tales of throwing in the towel. I understand this. But if I cannot talk about how this is all affecting me, about what it makes me feel, think, even if I AM able to act in ways that move forward...well, thoughts can be like infections. Left under the skin, they fester and eventually spill over, breaking the skin in a mess of rotting fluids.

And yes - mainsplain'. That's what it felt like. A sort of "Oh, poor Teressa, losing her shit again." (Sad eyes, tilted head). It's like, look motherfuckers - I understand I'm a high strung person. I understand that my basic personality produces wild intensity. But that in no way - now or EVER - diminishes the validity of what I'm feeling or the stress I'm under. Any idiot over the age of 6 already knows that panic isn't useful in making decisions - and I am far from the age of 6. And any idiot over the age of 20 already knows that when shit like this happens, you need to formulate a plan.

I am also far past the age of 20. What I am NOT past, and never WILL BE past, is the human tendency to be upset when presented with upsetting situations. And when it's upsetting situations that threaten the most basic of human needs (food, shelter), it's likely I'll be upset in a way that show very base fears.

Plans are being developed. Suggestions are being taken. That was not going to change, no matter how upset I got. I haven't survived what I have by panicking WITHOUT taking advice. You guys trust me to think about ideas given, to be able to construct a workable plan from that. I just need Pat and Jesse to give me the same trust.

A bad day

Aug. 7th, 2015 11:44 pm
quirkytizzy: (Default)
So I had a bad day today. What took it from a bad day to an outright awful day were the responses of those around me - or least Pat and Jesse, as they are always the first line of defense in my life.

So this morning, when my car stalled out for the second time, I had no way of reaching anyone for help (still no phone). I got out of my car, intending to walk the couple of miles to Elizabeth's house. Thankfully then, a nice person came and took me to Elizabeth's, where I borrowed her phone and called into work. She doesn't have a vehicle right now either, so she couldn't take me into work.

This is a brand new job. I just finished my second week. I'd already been late once this week due to the car. Twice in the same week, so early in the hiring process, looks terrible. I know this is what causes employers to send temps back to their agencies. This is the first job I've ever had in my life where I can actually support myself. This is literally the best job I've ever had. I can't lose this job.

So I hung up the phone with my boss, leaned over onto the computer desk, and began to cry. I could feel it slipping away from me. Not just this job, but feelings of self-sufficiency, of pride, of what I felt was honest-to-god, the only fucking thing I've done right in what feels like forever. There was hopelessness, helplessness, and a great, big, black of hole despair opening right there in Elizabeth's computer room.

Ragey Teressa gets Long Winded Teressa )
quirkytizzy: (Default)
I had lunch with Pamela yesterday. It was, as always, illuminating. She's my Grown Up. She has been for half my life, when I met her son Patrick at 16. We talk, as we always do, of things current and of things past. We talk, as we always do, of the things in my life that cause me to stumble and the things in my life that are now easy triumphs. In her presence, as always, I am humbled, grateful, and hopeful. And as I do everytime when I head home, I wonder whatever in the world it is that she sees in me, 20 years later, worthy of keeping around.

And then, as always, I wonder when this permanent guilty conscience will go away. Two decades is surely enough time to have served any sentence I might have deserved back then. I argue with myself, the urge to pay penance at odds with my urge to just move the hell on.

There's a tshirt out there that says "We are the people your mother warned you about." It's supposed to be funny. Witty. Alternative. Cute. Whatever. But I really WAS the person your mother warned you about - and it was anything but cute or funny. I was wild and without direction. I was an obvious drunk. I did drugs. I was irresponsible with sex. I treated her son badly and dismissively, casually breaking his heart and then reeling him back in for more. This wasn't a matter of just keeping her son out late and listening to forbidden rock and roll. This was a matter of what, years later, I would finally admit was outright abuse of both her son and myself.

I was everything a mother does not want for her son. I asked her once why ever in the world she even allowed me into her house. She said she knew that she had to either accept the girl her son was in love with or else lose her son entirely. The second was not an option and thus, I was allowed to orbit around them.

Those days have never quite finished for me, especially given the circumstances of Patrick's and I's divorce.

I trust their judgement and I trust their forgiveness. Implicitly and without question. If they say they have forgiven me, then there is no doubt in all of the universe. If they say they have forgiven me, then I can rely on it as clear and unbroken truth. But it turns out - as fucking always - it is my own forgiveness of myself that I struggle with. They have long since figured out why I was like that and have long since given me leeway and love for it.

But like some kind of lingering Catholic, I find my guilt and regret precious and hard to let go of, even 20 damn years later.

These people - like all of you in so many ways - have given so much that I will never be able to repay them. Even aside the tens of thousands of dollars I've garnered from my loved ones over the years, there is a gentleness, a patience, an....allowance...that runs so deep, so profoundly, that I will never be able to give it back in full.

I think they would be horrified to discover that I consider this an emotional debt, one owed to them, to their son, to all of you, to a world that has never closed upon me, even when I deserved nothing more than decisive and swift abandonment. I know seeing it in those terms actually diminishes the gifts I've been given - and yet I have such a difficult time seeing it in any other way.

I understand the only payment I can give - and the only payment they truly need - is for me to continue learning how to live in a healthy manner. To keep making the effort. To keeping make the next right move, no matter how frightening or hard it might be. It is that which Pat has said kept him a friend of mine - that I am always trying. Sometimes that trying is filled with obstacles that I myself place in front of me, but he says it is still trying. He says that is worth being my friend for, worth helping me for, worth honoring.

This may be true. It is still something I find myself in awe of. And, as always, something I find myself wishing I could repay. I do not know what the emotional equivilant of that would be. It may be that there is no emotional equivalent, no gesture I could make that would be equal in action to give.

Pamela said something that I had not ever considered. We were talking about regret, as I'd told her the only thing I would do differently, if I could go back in time, would be to treat Patrick better. It is the only thing I would rectify, out of an entire lifetime of poor decisions. I would treat Patrick better. I spoke of regret, as it is deep and unyielding. She paused for a moment and said "Yes, but I think regret is like guilt, in that its only real purpose is to inform you of who you are today and what you shouldn't do NOW."

I had not ever, ever thought to look at regret that way - and I can only now even entertain the idea of seeing guilt in that manner. If regret, like guilt, can be used as a measuring stick instead of a paintbrush over your entire character, then perhaps it is something I can start letting go of.

Not that it will be easy. Not that it will happen anytime soon. Not that it may EVER truly happen. But it is something I can keep in mind, I can try to repeat to myself when I find myself curling into a little ball, wondering how and why it is that anyone who knew me then could love me now. Maybe I can try to move on.

Jesse had something profound on the subject of moving on - something I had also not ever considered. He noticed how often I spoke of speaking to Pamela about old things. Times that have been over for years upon years now. He asked me if I think they had moved on, if I trusted them when they said they'd moved on.

The response was instantaneous. I said "Yes", I trust that they have moved on. Their word is law, I know this to my bones. He suggested that, if I truly trusted they've moved on, perhaps it was doing more harm than good to continually revisit those times - certainly at least when I'm with Pamela herself. I balked.

See, in some truly misguided way, it feels as if talking about those times is an apology. As if I must remind them that I've not forgotten the hell I put them through. Jesse said that it's unlikely they've forgotten and that bringing it up, when the matter is settled and done for them, might hurt them. Not even so much in that it's just kind of a dick move to bring up old and painful subjects, but in that I might be inadvertently saying that as I haven't moved on, then they are wrong to have moved on.

Does that make sense? In insisting in sharing my guilt, maybe it's sending the wrong message about how I think they should handle it themselves.

At the end of all this, overwhelmed by gratitude, humility, and struggling with my own personal sense of humiliation, I said to Pamela "I know very good people. I like to think I've had some kind of hand in that, in building and working on those relationships."

And I think in some way that's true. In some LARGE way that's true. One only needs to take a look at Cassie to see the impact of what those who surround us can do to us. The fact that I have such generous friends, such patient friends, such healthy friends, speaks to the fact that I know how to pick healthy and patient people. It takes work, real, hard work, to cultivate these sorts of relationships. As I have them, I know I've done the work to have these relationships.

I know this. I count it among the things that I can feel good about myself for. But at the same time, as always, there remains that thread, slowly over the years unraveling, that asks of myself "What have I done to earn this and why do they stay?" The ever present, if low level, guilt and regret, that I feel in some way replaces accountability, that I know if I am ever to truly honor what has been given to me, I know I must discard.

Thank you to all of you. Those of you who have been able to give of monetary value, those of you who give words, those of you who gives a piece of yourselves every time you interact with me....

Thank you. I will likely always struggle with the concept of regret and self-forgiveness. But I know as long as the struggle includes all of you, circling about the storm, I know it won't consume me.

Thank you.


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