Monday, October 19, 2020

Weekly Update: Backsliding

 I'm getting a late start today because I've spent the past few nights up far too late. That means I sleep in way too late and a cycle begins. Starting tonight I've got to buckle down and get myself to bed on time and start turning on that alarm that I said I was going to. I guess I did a bit of backsliding, but it's nothing that can't be readjusted. 

Other than that, things are okay. I got my car fixed so that's one less worry. I even got a load of laundry done for the first time in months. I'm going to try to get another load done today. It will probably have to wait until I get back from taking Ben to OT, but it can be done. Baby steps are still steps, after all. 

The kittens both go in to be fixed on Wednesday so I have to remember no food for them after midnight tomorrow. They're not going to like it, but I'll have to keep them in the bathroom overnight. Of course, that means one night of Mina not sticking her face in mine until I wake up to her cold nose. Of course, it also means getting up early to get them into the vet on time. I guess it balances out.

In other news, I managed to write another story for the book. It feels different from the other stories though so I hope it fits in. I also managed to write two comic reviews and a Kickstarter of the Week for Geek-o-Rama so that felt really good. I hadn't written a review in forever. I'm going to try to do one more this week. I have stacks off comics sitting here that I can write about. 

Let's see...still nothing from "the man." I think this is week 5 now. I saw a picture of him yesterday and he looks tired, like life is dragging him down. I'm not spending much time focused on him though. I have my own life that needs living. Things with Rob are okay. We've settled into a pattern of him texting me every few days and sometimes me texting somewhere in between. He's back to his life now though so he doesn't always respond. I'm sure he reads it, thinks he'll respond when he gets a minute, then forgets. I dunno. It is what it is. 

Wow, I really don't know what to write about today. Usually the words flow, but not this afternoon. My brain just keeps telling me I should go back to sleep. That's not going to happen though. I have just two hours until I have to change clothes and head out. Sorry, body. 

What I am going to do though is get some work done. I feel miles behind on this book for a client and I have some comic projects lined up for after that so I need to get moving on this. Have an amazing week, everyone.

Love you!



Monday, October 12, 2020

Weekly Update: Safe Spaces

 Before I get into the topic at hand this week, I want to just sum up this week's ...well, week. I'd have to say that it was good. It started with Ben here which I really enjoyed. I tackled a good portion of the living room which has helped my mood. Of course, the cats have knocked a few things over so I have to redo a bit of it. I'm still not sleeping great, but there's not much that can be done about that. I do need to remember to take some water upstairs tonight because my bottle is empty.

I also finally got to start work on the book for my client in. As of this writing, I'm only 82 pages in out of 250, but I'm making progress and if the week goes mostly like planned, I should finish it at the week's end. Then, I can pay my yard guy who yet again cannot grasp the concept of twice a month mowing and did every two weeks instead which put me $100 behind with him. I'm thinking of asking him to only mow one more time and that's it for the season. We haven't been getting rain, so the grass isn't really growing. 

I did take my car in to be looked at and luckily, the problem is under warranty so the only thing I have to pay for is two new tires. That will be done on Thursday so one more worry off my plate.  

Medicine has been going well. I think I'm two weeks in now and no more horrible side effects and I feel...calmer. I've also been doing well with my in bed and laying down by midnight bedtime. I think I'm going to start setting an alarm for getting up in the morning. It will be pretty late in the morning but I'll slowly move it up until it's a "normal time" for people to be up and moving. I still intend to talk to my doctor next month about how tired I always seem to be.

...and I don't have a beautiful segue into the topic that's been on my mind for the past day or so. I think I've been thinking about it because I've been thinking so much about Rob and "the man" and what they give to me. One thing has always been a safe space. I know that must seem odd because "the man" has been rather...off...lately. But when we're physically together, everything seems right and I feel safe.

I used to have quite a few safe spaces, but over the years, they've one by one disappeared. A number of years ago, I was in a relationship that ended rather abruptly. The next day, I got into my van and drove to Vermont, mostly because Rob wasn't available. If I had to guess, I'd say his girlfriend at the time made sure to let him know I wasn't welcome to visit. Sad really because I adored her and thought of her as family. Anyway, I ended up in Vermont and hid there for a couple of days. That location disappeared when Dave got married to a Canadian friend who didn't want to go back to Canada. I was never introduced and strangers don't equal safe to me. 

Rob has always been a safe space for me, no matter where he's lived. I've always known that he watches out for me and that I can just be me when I'm around him. I don't have to be "on." It's a really nice feeling. I miss not being able to get to that because of the border. I don't really need a safe space right now, but I feel as if maybe he does. I hope he considers me a safe space as well.

As for "the man," I'm not a safe space for him. It's been a month since I last heard from him and whenever this happens, it means something has shaken up his world. He doesn't confide in me...unless we're physically together...which only happens months after whatever happened happened. It sucks. It's not ideal for either of us. I miss him. 

I miss quite a bit  right now though. Covid has taken that ability to be those places. I keep hoping that we can get our acts together and somehow I can hug and kiss those I love again. I have a great desire to just curl up and talk or watch a movie or any of those intimate little things that make life so much better. I'm sure a lot of people do. 

Until we can though...Please take care of yourselves and each other...





PS I'm sorry about the lack of paragraphs still. I've reported it as a problem multiple times now.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Weekly Update: 95% Back to Normal

 Whew. What a difference a week makes. Last week was so hard but I'm thankful to report that I've weathered the storm of getting back on my medication and I'm feeling so much better. Now, to remind myself how miserable that week was when I start thinking about going off the meds again. I don't know why I do that. I'm so good about them for ages then I just stop one night. At least this last time I had pneumonia as a reason, but still...

Anyway, that's over, thank goodness. I don't have very much else to report since I spent the entire week pretty much on the couch. I did go into town with Ben and had lunch on Wednesday. That was nice except for the fact that food just didn't appeal to me. I'm still finding that to be a bit of a problem. I know I need to eat but once the food is in front of me, I'm kind of meh about it. It's frustrating because I don't want to waste food so I either force myself to eat it or I put it in the fridge and hope it sounds better later. 

Since there's not much to say about last week, I guess I'll jot down my goals for this coming week:

1. Finish cleaning the bathroom

2. Work on the living room

3. Help Ben with homework

4. Log new client's book

5. Start new client's book

6. Continue in bed by midnight

7. Set up appointment to get the kittens spayed/neutered


Not a complicated list but one that I think is achievable which is important after last week where I got essentially nothing accomplished. Some of it I can knock out today which will help set me up with time to work on the book. That's going to be a big one. It's the writer's first novel which is always special and just a little bit scary. For now though, I'm going to put a call into our vet and get these babies scheduled to be fixed. 

Take care of yourself and each other!



Monday, September 28, 2020

Medication Journal

 Day 1 (9/28): Took medication (2 mg Aripiprazole, 40 mg Citalopram) at 10pm the night before. Went to bed at 11pm.  Didn't sleep well. Tossed and turned, unable to stay asleep. Sometime in early hours of morning realized I'd developed a headache and sinus pain. Got up around 8am, took migraine medication and allergy medication. Then slept until 11am. Things feel a bit slow motion. Still going to try to push through with plans for today though client work may be extremely difficult. Headache seems to be trying to return (12:12pm). 


Day 2 (9/29): Took medication at 9:57 pm. Went to bed at 11pm. Slept better, but was woken up at 3:45 am by kittens who wanted to play. Went back to sleep but woke up at 5:30. Came downstairs, used the bathroom, and laid down on the couch. Fell back to sleep around 6:30 am. Woke up briefly at 9:30 am and then at 11. Went to the post office. Head feels funny and I'm nauseous. I wanted to get the shopping done today, but I don't think it's in the cards. I'm going to try to push through and do email and go from there.


Day 3: (9/30): Had a major headache yesterday afternoon/evening. Ended up having to take medicine for it. Took medication at 11 pm (damn debate) and bed around 12:45 am. Woke up 3-4 times during the night, but didn't check the times. Woke up at 7:30 and then at 7:50 when the kittens started playing on top of me. Feel groggy and already have a headache/nausea coming on. 


Day 4: (10/1): Took medication at 10pm and was in bed by 11pm. Too tired to read. Still headachey during the day and appetite is toast. I get hungry but when food is put in front of me, I don't really want it. Bonus? I have nearly an entire bowl of pasta in the fridge from where I didn't eat it when Ben and I went out for lunch yesterday. Didn't sleep well, but I think that was due to the pair of void monsters who didn't want to sleep. I think I woke up at least 4 times due to being attacked or wrestled on. Didn't end up getting up until nearly 10:30am and I'm exhausted with a headache. Probably going to take today to do the minimum and that's about it. 


Day 5: (10/2): Took medication at 10pm and laid down on the couch, falling asleep just after midnight. Huge mistake. I didn't sleep well at all and woke up once an hour or so but was too tired to drag myself upstairs. Slight headache and intermittent nausea today. Mostly just super tired. Fingers crossed that either this weekend or tomorrow I'll be back on track. 


Day 6: (10/3): Took medication at 10pm and went to bed around midnight. Slept under my weighted blanket for the first time. Other than it being hard to roll over under it, I enjoyed it. Slept through the night except for the kittens waking me up once and Dorian deciding that'd be a great time to start poking me in the face so I would pet him. Didn't wake up until about 10:30am. Essentially no headache this morning and only the slightest bit of queasiness. Actually feeling some motivation to do something which is a nice change. 


Day 7: (10/4): Took medication at 10pm and went to bed around 11:30pm. After waking up a few times, I ended up sleeping until around 12:25pm. Did have a headache overnight but it was mostly gone by morning. Actually stayed awake unlike the day before when I woke up at 10:30 and was back asleep from noon - three. Mostly laid on the couch but did get the disgusting towel out of the bathtub and that bag of trash taken out. It's not much, but it's something.


Day 8: (10/5): Last planned entry. Took medication at 10pm and went to bed at midnight. Woke up a few times and didn't end up getting up until 11:30 am. I really didn't want to leave the warm, comfy bed but my bladder demanded otherwise. I'd say I'm feeling 95% normal which is good. It means my brain is clear and I can get things done.  I do have a slight headache but not so bad that I can't function. 

Weekly Update: Medication Haze

 My brain feels so weird today and I know this post/day is going to be a challenge to get through, but I'm going to try my best.

Last night, for the first time in months, I took my medication. I took it around 10 pm and went to be around 11. I had plans to read, but I was just too tired so I went pretty much right to sleep. Except, I didn't stay asleep. I lost track of the number of times that I woke up or changed positions. At some point, I realized that the right side of my face hurt...like sinus pain...that triangle between right eye, right ear, and right sinus. I think around 8:30 this morning I gave up and came downstairs. I took migraine medicine because I now had a full blown headache and some allergy meds. I laid down and managed to get a couple more hours of sleep, so I'm not totally exhausted.

I do feel...slow though. That's the only way I can think to describe it. My fingers are flying across the keyboard typing this, but I feel as if the rest of me is moving in slow motion. It's a weird feeling and not one that I especially enjoy. I have things to get done today that I really don't want to push off until tomorrow if I can at all help it.

Last night I sat down and wrote out a weekly schedule for myself. Today I'm working on getting started with it. I'm going to have to be fairly flexible with it though because I need to grocery shop before Saturday which is the day I put it on the schedule. I'm also waiting on phone calls from my son's specialist because between them and where he does his physical/occupational therapy, they can't seem to get it together and need me as a middle man. It's rather annoying. 

So, the schedule...it's my hope that between having that as a guideline and the medication, I'll be more productive and get myself back on track with things. After all, it'd be good to do that before I fall through the kitchen floor. I keep feeling as if I missed putting something on there, but I included: house cleaning, client work, and writing time. I did leave a lot of space on each day's list though in case I remembered something as I go through this week. 

God, I know these segues are awful and I am so sorry. This slow motion brain just is not working for me. Here's hoping it adjusts quickly and I can go back to "normal" so far as this goes. But hey, let's jump to the next thing...

The boys came over Saturday and we all drove to Okemos and had lunch at Old Chicago. Total cost for a Chicago style pizza with 3 toppings? $8.88 because I had a birthday discount of $17 off a pizza. From there we went to East Lansing to Grand Traverse Pie Company and I got us all slices. Total cost? About $8.50 because mine was free for my birthday. So, for less than $20, we all ate and were nice and full after. Plus, the company was pretty priceless.

When we got back to the house, Roger carried the a/c unit that I had in my car to the barn for me. It's a small step towards getting my car cleared out. If it doesn't rain every day this week, I'm going to try to go out and finish up cleaning out the front seat. I think I have car cleaning supplies in the trunk that I can even wipe down the upholstery and such. There's also a car wash here in the village where I can go use the vacuum to sweep it out. Again, baby steps. A lot of this will depend on the weather and brain fog, but hey, all I can do is try.

I think I'm going to leave this at that. I want to do another quick post where each day this week I monitor my body's reaction to the medication. I'm not really sure why, but that feels important to me...

Love you all! Stay safe and take care of yourselves and each other!






PS I still hate the new blogger. 

PPS I'm sorry for the lack of paragraphs. Blogger is broken and not acknowledging them which makes these posts hard to read. 

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Bonus Post: Just Because

 I have no real solid reason for writing here this morning other than I have some time to waste and I don't want to clean. The boys are supposed to come over today so we can hang out and go get some pizza with a birthday coupon that I have. Typical to them though, one of them tried to get the other two to make a plan and the other two didn't. Ben has called me already this morning and let me know that his brothers are still asleep. Yep. That sounds about right. Nobody knows when Dylan is working. It could be noon or it could be four. Either way, I don't think he's going to be able to come. I guess we'll find out when everyone finally wakes up. I told Ben to wake them up once his clean clothes that he was waiting on are out of the dryer. That lets them sleep until ten.

In other news, yesterday was a crazy up and down day for me. I was working on a client's book and totally into it. It was the first time, in a long time, that I really took joy from reading. It felt so good. Then, Rob posted about still not having someone to go to the drive in with him, and I just crumbled. The stupid thing is...I didn't even have any kind of massive desire to go see Rocky Horror. It's a movie I watch once a year for Halloween and I'm good the rest of the year. It was that horrible feeling of being trapped and desperately needing in person contact with someone else. Touch starvation is a very real thing and I am 100% suffering from it. 

On top of that, none of my favorite streamers that I'd been looking forward to all week were on last night. Two of them were having minor medical issues and I don't know where the third was. It's not real human contact, but usually I interact with all of them so it kind of is. I did get to watch the cute Father of the Bride 3-ish which helped lift my spirits. Then, I finished the client's book and the ending made me cry. It was the perfect ending to the series as it stands now. I can't tell you why or it'd give away spoilers, but if you're looking for a book series, I can recommend the Godsverse series by Russell Nohelty.

Earlier in the day, he'd asked if I'd work on a comic for him. Since this time of year is tight and I've wanted to work on his comics for a while now, I said yes. What I didn't know until much later in the day was that he's having me proofread Ichabod for him. This feels huge to me and made me feel like somehow maybe it's all going to be okay. I can't explain that connection, but I was excited and happy and it was wonderful.

So, that brings us back to today. I'm sleepy, as usual, and struggling a bit to regulate my mood. I want to talk to Rob, but I don't want to be the one always texting him first. I haven't been yet, but I don't want that to happen. Maybe that sounds stupid, I don't know. I think it's part of the rebuilding trust between us. I need to know that he thinks of me and remembers I'm out here, not just when something bad happens, but any time. I sent him a flirty text yesterday and he never responded which while I can "make excuses" as to why he didn't, it still hurts a tiny bit. Not huge, but it's there. 

Yesterday, when I was sitting here crying, I actually thought to myself that I wished he hadn't appeared back into my life. God, that sounds so horrible, but my current reality is that having him back in my life, but not feeling like I can just contact him whenever (without being annoying) and not being able to be anywhere near him is kind of horrible. Like it hurts. When I'm struggling, like yesterday, I can remember how nice it can be when we're together...and it's not a comfort, but something that hurts. On a good day, I can have those same memories and smile. I don't know. Brains are so complicated. 

It doesn't help that "the man" still isn't talking to me. It's now been 11 days. He promised me that he'd never do this again. Hell, we even set up a "safe word" so that if he were going to, he could say that to me and I'd know and know that everything was okay. Every day I expect to get an email or text saying that we're over. That's cheery, eh?

In other not man related news, tomorrow night I'll be starting back on my medication. I'll reassemble the "drug bowl" sometime tonight or tomorrow. I've also been working on making sure that I'm in bed between 11 and 11:30. This allows me to read a chapter or two before I fall asleep. Yep, I gave myself a midnight bedtime. Due to the kittens I'm not getting a great full night's sleep but it's better than if I just let myself stay up to all hours. I was up later last night because I was so hyped about working on Ichabod that I didn't realize how late it had gotten. Still, I've been doing pretty well at it and I'm finally making progress on the book I've been "reading" for something like two months now. Baby steps, right?

I had three goals and I really think that getting this one going will help the other two. It's a journey, but a journey is just a long walk made up of single steps. Steps one and two are my medications and getting into a sleep schedule. I'm working on those and that's good. I'm hoping it will help me with some "stinking thinking" and envy issues as well. I hate being unhappy about someone else's success (a certain blogger/artist who wrote about her mental health, disappeared, and came back to much excitement and a book) or someone else's support (wife of a friend who had to have surgery and has him there to help and support her). Okay, so those people will never be me. I will probably forever only have me to take care of me and hell, nobody really reads here, but maybe one person does and they can relate and maybe it will make a tiny bit of difference in this hell that we currently call life. 

I guess time will tell. For now though, children are awake though still not making a plan and I think I'll start work on Ichabod because work keeps my brain busy and not focused on how I'd probably cry if "the man" or Rob texted me and talked to me. Man, I feel so stupidly pathetic, even if there's actual scientific evidence that feeling like this is normal.

Love you all...




PS I have no idea why this is posting as one long stream of consciousness. I wrote it with paragraphs. Ugh! This wasn't a problem in the old style of posting.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

2020 Birthday Wrap Up

 Okay, first of all, what the heck is up with sites feeling they need a brand new design? First Facebook...whose new design sucks and I have rejected it 11 times now. I know they're going to force it on me soon, but I will hold out as long as possible. Now it's Blogger. I really don't know why companies feel they have to fix things that aren't broken. Focus on adding features, fixing bugs, not redesign. 

There. Now that I have that off my chest, it's time for the annual birthday blog post. I used to do this over on Life With Katie, but since I've made that my author site, I felt here was a better place for it since it's not about writing goals or anything like that. 

Let's start by summarizing my birthday: the good, the bad, the summary style. 

The Good - First text of the day was from my best friend. I've missed him so damn much and he doesn't know that, but every time his text chime goes off, I smile. I cannot wait until we can be together again. That reminds me...I think I still owe him about 7 steaks.

A friend called and we were on the phone for nearly four hours. It was pretty awesome. 

I got an incredible weighted blanket from Justin. It has albino penguins all over it and I can't wait to use it. I also got taken out for a very late lunch/early dinner by my oldest and my "middle" child got to join us. (Middle is in quotes because he's my youngest biologically but the son we "adopted" is like 4 days younger than him.)

I got to pick a name for the name a cat poll on my favorite Twitch channel (Twitch.tv/Apoinsettia) and my name won! I'd like to welcome Sadie officially to the channel. I also got happy birthdays there, on the SeanLikesJazz channel, and on Discord. Plus all of the ones on Facebook and a new thrown in on Twitter. Super nice.

The Bad - "The Man" sucks. Yep. I'm not being nice on this. He pretty much blew off our anniversary and then yesterday? No text. No card. No gift. He didn't even respond to my text. In fact, he hasn't in 9 days now. What did he do? He posted to my Facebook wall: Hey you, happy birthday.  ...I wanted to respond, Hey you, we need to talk, but I didn't. I did send him a text last night saying that I was super sad that he wouldn't even text me on my birthday. Zero response. Big surprise, huh? 

Anyway, enough about that. I need to do something about it, but I also need to do a thousand other things...so...only other bad? No other cards or gifts. Maybe that sounds selfish or greedy, but it is what it is. I have a need to be validated on that one day a year and while social media posts are great, they're just not the same thing. Maybe next year I'll throw myself a card party...

The Summary - Not a bad day overall. There were some tears thanks to "the man" but there were also smiles and laughter. I'd give the day a solid 7.5/10. Only things missing? A phone call from my best friend, "the man" not being a douche, and a few more cards/gifts.


Now, for anyone who has read my past birthday blog posts, you know that I often use my birthday as a day of introspection and planning for the upcoming year. I usually pick something to focus on and set some goals. Why break tradition, right?

Focus: Mental health

Mental health can be the root of so many other issues. It can be why I don't take care of myself, why I don't do things or get things done. Ever since I had pneumonia and then Covid happened (to the world, not to me), I've struggled with all of this. I had such a hard time when I was sick that I stopped taking my medicine. I was coughing so much that I was throwing up and it just became easier not to take it. Unfortunately, as anyone who struggles with a medication schedule knows, once you mess up that schedule, it's so hard to get back to it. So, my taking my meds appropriately is step 1 of getting back on track. They should help me get to a place where I can start handling things that I've let slide again. 

Goals:

I'm keeping these simple. They need to be attainable so that I can achieve them and then set new goals. Nobody said you can only set goals on your birthday and new years, right?

Goal #1: Books

I want to have written and published two more books by the time my birthday rolls around next year. Apo's Army is already in progress and then I want to go back to the toy store. This is doable. 

Goal #2: House

Due to my mental health, I've allowed the house to get more than a little out of control. I need to reign that in and then over the coming year get some serious house fixes done. By done I mean letting the owner know there are issues. My main ones are: kitchen floor (hopefully within the next couple of weeks), furnace (November) and water heater/electrical (Spring).  I'm spreading these out so that the owner doesn't 100% freak out. I don't want to go another year without heat in the house though. Can it be done? Yes. Do I deserve to have heat? Yes. I just need to remind myself of that.

Goal #3: Car

This one seems kind of silly, but I want to clean out my car...like really clean it out, wiping everything down, etc and keep it nice. I'm so tired of it looking like I live in it or something. Next time I go out to it, I'm going to take a trash bag with me and just start filling it with whatever needs to go into the trash can. Front seats should be pretty easy. Then, I'll tackle the back seat. There's an a/c unit back there. Maybe when the boys stop by this weekend I'll get Roger to put that into the barn. 

So, that's it. My focus and goals for this coming birth year. They're small, but I think they're all really important. I'm off to actually write a post for Life With Katie. I've been so horrible about updating there. It's one of the things that I stopped doing in the Covid depression era. I need to get better about that.

Have an amazing day, all of you! You're much loved.



PS New blogger got rid of my entire list of tags. Argh! 

Monday, September 21, 2020

Weekly Update: 2 Days

Monday again! I'd ask how this keeps happening, but we kinda know. I'm tired this morning. The kittens didn't follow me up to bed last night and I decided that meant I'd get a good night's sleep. Nope. Mina started attacking my leg/foot at around 3:45 am. I ended up sleeping the rest of the night on the couch because I had to come downstairs to use the bathroom and then was too tired to climb back upstairs. Not the most comfortable or energizing of rests, but better than nothing.

I'm trying to remember back over the past week to see if there's anything I need to write about. DHS denied me for food stamps again. They claim I didn't send in the required paperwork (total lie) and that Roger isn't an eligible college student. They also added my oldest back on and then said he wasn't eligible because he no longer lived with me. Well yes, that's why I removed him like a year ago. I don't know that I have the energy to fight with them about this. It's like they're going out of their way to lie and not be helpful.

I'm concerned about my income now, of course. I have a project on my desk, but I've already been paid for it. I don't have anything else lined up for after that. That's scary. It means not knowing how I'm going to eat, put gas in my car, or basically do anything. I'm trying to have faith that it'll all work out, but ugh. Of course, my brain immediately makes the jump to how I'll pay for Christmas. I swear it works hard at worrying about things that are months down the road.

Speaking of roads...nice segue, right? The other thing that my brain is hung up on is moving. I know that I'm going to have to in a couple of years, but my brain seems to think that now is a good time to worry about how I'll make that happen and where I'll be moving to. Part of me just wants to stay here. Then I remind myself that if I stay here, I'll be having to take the house down to studs to get the electrical fixed. Ugh. I really thought I'd be moving somewhere closer to Baltimore but the more I think about it, the more I realize that it won't be like I was promised. Of course, there's the option of moving back to Buffalo. That would put me close to Rob which would be nice. Of course, Roger reminded me that it'd mean moving further from them. He said he was joking, but I wonder if there isn't a lick of truth in there. I know that Ben sometimes worries about me moving away.  I doubt there's a way to make everyone happy.

Speaking of happy...yes, I'm going to use that again...It's just two days until my birthday. I wrote last week about how anxious that makes me. I guess I've had my meltdown over it because today it's barely bothering me. Of course, that's because I've barely thought about it. I still have no plans. I'll probably work, watch tv, watch some Twitch streamers, and that's about it. I think I'll have one present to open, but that's it. Nobody has asked me for my address or a wish list or anything. It makes me sad but what can you do? At least I know I won't be raped this year for my birthday like I was for my 30th. Do you know that sometimes I still look that guy up on social media? That's some weird ptsd stuff there, huh? Mostly if I type his name into Google it just comes up with Harry Potter sites though which kind of amuses me.

Let's see, what else? I wrote a few more stories for my upcoming book which is awesome. I'm still excited about the book which is really good. I have at least fifteen more stories to write though so it's going to be a bit before it's completed. My goal is to take it to Kickstarter in February so I have time, but we all know how fast time can slip by so I need to keep working on it. I have no idea what's happening with book 3 of The Tether Saga. Nick told me over a month ago that he was going over his notes for it, but if he did, he never sent them to me. I know he's busy with Awakenings, but it's been almost a year. I'm sure people have flat out given up on this book. In truth, I pretty much have too.

Oh! A bit of nice...Roger came over and he helped me some with the house. The kitchen floor is now cleared, the litter boxes have all been changed out, and the living room had some good progress made. It's mostly a matter of books being tumbled out everywhere. If I can get that under control and the bathroom cleaned this week (it's in progress), I can let the owner know that the kitchen floor is disappearing...well, so soft that you could fall through if you aren't careful. I'm not looking forward to that (severe landlord anxiety), but I also can't be falling through the floor and it's not as if I caused the leak or whatever has led to this.

So, I think that's that. Nothing new to report with Rob. He's gone quiet but now that he's healing, he's back to being someone who must keep busy at all times. We're alike and opposite in that. I need to be busy, but I also badly need contact with people and am happy at home. He needs to be busy and through his work, he automagically gets contact with people so he's always on the go. It's not personal, just how it is. I'm trying not to be desperately needy and I think he's just living his life. That sounds kinda cold, doesn't it? Maybe because I have a severe out of sight, out of mind feeling about other people...as in if I'm not in front of them somehow, they're not thinking about me. I'm sure he thinks of me sometimes, but doesn't feel the need to be in daily contact. Does that sound nicer? I hope so because I'm not trying to paint him as a jerk.

Anyway, long post again but that's healthy for me. It lets me get stuff out of my brain. I hope that those few who do read keep coming back and that these posts somehow help you too. Until next week...or I need to write again...


Friday, September 18, 2020

Bonus Post: Birthday Anxiety

My birthday is in five days and I laid in bed this morning and cried over it. Why? Well, the basic reason is that I'm sure "the man" won't remember until Facebook reminds him and even then, he won't do anything more than text me Happy Birthday.

The deeper reason goes back a lot further. Some of you may know that my mother was abusive. I don't remember when it started, but I know that by the time I was in middle school, it was happening. She would get upset about something and scream at me. She would scream that she wished I'd never been born, that I ruined her life. Quite often this would come along with her slapping me repeatedly. Over the years, that has stuck with me like sap clinging to a pine tree.

So, ever year, when September rolls around, I start hearing her voice in my head. Except the message has changed slightly.  Now it's that nobody cares that I was born. Nobody cares enough to even go to the dollar store to get me a card and mail it out. It's not about the money, it's about the effort. Nobody loves me enough to make any effort.

People will point out how many Facebook comments I get that day wishing me a happy birthday. My brain will kick in and say, "Sure, but those take zero effort. You leave them for people all the time and it takes about two seconds of your life." To those people I'll smile and say "Yes, isn't it wonderful? So many people care."

It's getting better, I guess. It used to be the entire month. Last year it was the ten days leading up to my birthday. This year I made it to five days before my birthday. Except the next five days will be hell for me. I'll have a desperate urge to go and check the mailbox, even though I know there's nothing there. I'll look for UPS shipping notifications even though I know nobody has sent anything.

My birthday will be the worst because, in my head, it will be the day that yet again it is confirmed that I don't matter enough to anyone, not even the man I've been in a relationship with for five years, to make even the smallest of efforts. One year I received something like three cards and a friend had a cake delivered. It was the most amazing year, but the next year was a hard crash when none of those same people did it again. Still, for that one year, I felt loved and special and it was wonderful.

I've mentioned my birthday once or twice on Facebook, mostly because it sort of snuck up on me. I guess that's improvement. I've not shared an Amazon wish list even once (nobody has asked for one either). I've not posted any sort of countdown. I'm sure that people got tired of me mentioning it for an entire month...well, 23 days.

I've been asked if I have plans for my birthday and the answer is no. In the past, whenever I've made plans, the other people have cancelled them. Those were really tough blows for me and further proof to my brain that I didn't matter. I always hope someone will remember and invite me to visit or something, but that's never happened. I suppose I could buy myself a tiny cake and eat it, but doesn't that scream pathetic and nobody loves you?

No, it will be just another Wednesday. I'll be here, alone, working on a client's book. The only addition will be some tears as my mother's voice screams I told you so in my head.


Monday, September 14, 2020

Weekly Update: Yawn...

Ello all you lovely people who pop in to read my ramblings. It's Monday and that weekend was a doozy. I spent a good portion of Saturday texting with Rob and wrapping up a client's book. Nothing super exciting. Sunday was a tad more exciting. I had planned on writing, but instead made the courageous decision to go grocery shopping.

Okay, courageous might be an exaggeration. For the most part everyone is complying with #MaskOnMichigan ...why did I just hashtag that? Anyway...it's not much of a scary thing to go, I suppose. I just really didn't want to and had to talk myself into it.  I got to Walmart and immediately a woman stopped me to ask if my tires helped the car in the winter. I said nothing helps that car in the winter. It's too light weight to handle snow well. Turns out she has one that's a year older and feels the same way. After that chat, I actually did my shopping. I was only stopped one other time and that was by a U of M fan asking who had dressed me that morning since I was wearing my favorite MSU hoodie. Yes, I 100% put on an oversized hoodie so I wouldn't have to put on a bra and it be totally obvious. I also had a lovely five minute or so chat with a lovely couple in produce. I know that's probably frowned upon but that was my first in person socialization since Tuesday. I badly needed just to talk to someone, even if it was mostly about how much Covid sucks and petting zoos that are still open.

Got out to the car and I had almost no energy but I loaded it up, stopped at Wendy's for some dinner (I hadn't eaten yet that day.) and drove home. This is when things started to go downhill. I had bought mostly perishables so they had to come into the house. I think it took me four trips from car to front porch and then that many to go from front porch to living room where I sat the bags all on the table. I managed to get half of them put away when I had to stop and sit down. I was lightheaded and short of breath. After a half hour or so, I got the rest of them put away, but I wasn't feeling right so I laid back down on the couch and texted with Rob and Justin. Justin thinks I need to have a lung capacity test done in case I damaged my lungs when I had pneumonia. Rob questioned if it hadn't been covid. I dunno. I just know that this is how it's been since I had it and it sucks. I have no physical stamina.

It took three hours before I felt normal again. Gross. By that time it was too late to really do anything so I mostly just watched tv and talked about me moving with Rob. I have to do it. I know it's coming. I just don't know where to move to. I do know that it's going to be super scary for me and that, on some level, I ought to be preparing for it now...trying to downsize, etc. Just the idea of trying to pack up this house is completely overwhelming. I'll probably start doing it a good six months before the actual move. I know I'll start with "the wall" aka my studio because it can be a staging area for boxes from other rooms.

Anyway, no use worrying over that now when I have enough other worries. I suspect that some of you may want to know what's up between Rob and myself. Well, I proposed that we just keep being "us"...carrying on how we have been but that he had to promise on all things holy to communicate with me, even if he was afraid of how I might respond. He did and so, for now, we're mostly cursing covid which is keeping us from seeing each other. Who knows how long it will be until the border is open again. It sucks, but it is what it is. At least this is happening now and not back when we'd have had to write letters and then wait weeks to hear back, right? Now I can pick up my phone and shoot him off a text message.

I wish I had something grand to say here. I'm doing better, which is good. I'm struggling with my relationship with "the man" especially with Rob back in my life. I pretty much live a life of solo polyamory so it's not being with both of them that's the issue. It's comparing how one treats me versus how the other one does. I've grown tired of being ignored for days on end just to have "the man" act like it didn't happen. I don't have the emotional sporks though to confront him right now though. I need to focus on a hundred other things.

I suppose that's all for today. It's kind of a blah post for a blah day. I'm going to grab something to eat and then dive into some work. I'm excited that I have two different comics on deck right now.  It's a lovely palate cleanser before I dive into another novel. For all of you, have a marvelous day. You're all important in your own way.

PS If you want to get a good night's sleep, I don't recommend getting two kittens. On Saturday night, Mina figured out the stairs and bed. Last night, she showed Apollo. 

Also, my birthday is in nine days and I'm not sure how to feel about that. I have zero plans and zero expectations that other than Facebook posts, anyone will do anything for it...

Thursday, September 10, 2020

When do you say goodbye?

I should be working. Instead, here I am again. I'm feeling really insecure today and I know why, no matter how much I want to ignore it. It's "the man." We've been together for over five years now. I've stood beside him as he fought for custody of his kids, decided if he wanted to stay married to his wife, and what feels like a thousand other things. I don't know though if he's stood by me. Honestly, I feel ignored and taken for granted. That's the problem when you love as hard as I do. People tend to figure out that you aren't going anywhere.

The first couple of years that we were together were great. We talked all the time either via text or email or sometimes both at the same time. At some point though, the emails stopped. Then, over time, the texts slowed down. He used to share ideas with me, send me pictures, and just be there whenever I needed him. I don't remember the last time he sent me a picture. I find out about his ideas via Facebook...and I don't remember the last time he told me that he loved me. He's never been one to say it frequently but I've never gone without being able to remember the last time. We used to fall asleep together, texting back and forth. Now he never texts me around that time unless it's every once in a great while to say goodnight. He used to always call me by a nickname that he had for me, now he never does. He used to tell me I'm beautiful, now he tells someone else.

It hurts. It hurts a lot. I realized that even when I ask him for something small...like a photo or a message, that he never does it. Twice in the past month he'd told me he'll send me photos "soon" or "soon enough." He hasn't.

The past few days he hasn't even responded to my texts really. I send him a lovely one yesterday morning and he ignored it. Last night, when he'd posted to Facebook that he was done writing, I sent him a message. His reponse? "Writing" ...except you just said you were done. I told him I'd leave him alone. I haven't messaged him since. He probably won't even notice if all day goes by and he doesn't hear from me.

It's so hard. When we're physically together, things are so good between us. We talk about things. When we're apart, I feel like he forgets about me.

Then, there's Rob. I'm so damn insecure with that. I don't know what he wants. I mean, he's made it kind of obvious that he wants to go back to how things were, but how can we? He destroyed me. Even today, when I told him that I'm feeling insecure, he didn't respond. I can't do that. I can't be intimate with someone who can't be there when I need someone to tell me that I'm wonderful and they love me. Of course as soon as I say he hasn't responded, he responds. Thirty seven minutes, but at least he knew he had to respond.

I don't know. The only thing that keeps me with "the man" is knowing how good we are together when we're together, but with covid, who knows when that might happen again. I just wish he'd tell me that he misses me at least. It's a stupid wish, but it's my wish. I could tell him that I need more from him, but I don't know what good it would do. He may just ignore that and then I'd feel even worse.

If I knew I had Rob to help balance things out, it'd be so much better. God, that sounds horrible, doesn't it? Except, in some ways, it really just is how I've come to work. I've long given up that I'll ever get married again. I don't know who could handle the semi-hoarding, the depression, the anxiety, all the time. I live with it and I annoy myself. Does that mean that deep down, locked away, there isn't a mad desire to have someone love me like that? Of course there is. All I've wanted my entire life is to be loved like that. I guess deep down I've never totally gotten over the idea that I don't deserve that.

Still, this past week it's become more and more clear to me what I want with Rob is the same thing that I wanted 15 months ago when all hell broke loose. It's not a "we're together when we're together" kind of thing, but a we're together because it makes us happy kind of thing. I want a partner...someone that is my safe spot, someone that I can do things with or do nothing with. I want not just a sexual partner, but an emotional one as well. I want someone who will tell me they love me and not just in the bedroom. I don't want to be a secret. I'm not saying we need to be "Facebook official" or even tell anyone about us, but if we're out, I want to be able to hold their hand. I want to sneak a kiss at the stoplight.

I don't want a husband. Not right now. I don't want to be physically with someone 24/7. I don't think it would be healthy for me or for another person. I'm not sure I can explain this properly, but I want to be with him when we can be, but when we're not, we're still okay and still us. We have lives of our own but those lives include each other. I don't need 24/7 communication, but I need open communication. I don't need to be "the" one, but I need to know that if someone else comes along, it won't mean that I'm kicked to the curb or left in the dark. Not again. I can't do that again.

In some ways, I've always seen us as two halves to a whole. We know each other and in the past, we were able to balance each other. Your soulmate doesn't have to be your lifemate. If we started with what we were before "the horror" but with what I thought we were when I last left him, that'd be amazing. If it moved on past that, well, that'd be what it'd be. I'm not going into anything with the hopes that it will turn into something more. I've spent too many years being alone and being told things could never be more in the relationships that I've been in. Like I said, I don't truly believe that I deserve that whole "happily ever after - white picket fences" thing. Most of the time I'm okay with that. I just want us to be okay, but okay together again.

Ugh. These are all things that I should just be telling him, but I'm afraid to. I'm afraid that he is going to tell me how he doesn't want another relationship after just ending such a toxic one. I mean, it's not like that's unreasonable, but we can't go back to what I thought we had before. I need more. I need reassurances. Most of all, I really need a freaking hug and to be told that it'll be all right.





Edit: Well, I asked him. I sent him a text asking what it was that he hoped for or wanted. His response? He doesn't know. He didn't know if I'd even answer him. He had just wanted to apologize and explain himself. He did that...August 31st. I guess after that it was just easy to fall into old habits...I think I'm going to go cry now and then fill out this paperwork that I forgot to do yesterday. It's better than hyperventilating my way into an asthma attack.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Weekly Update: I'm Lonely

I've probably titled a blog post this before, but I have a bit of a headache and I'm just not feeling creative with the titling today. Hopefully that clears out because I'm hoping to do a bit of writing later today, after I do a bit of working.

I'd say the past week has been pretty good. I haven't heard from Rob in a couple of days, but I'm not surprised. I don't think that he's necessarily pulling away, more just being him. It's been a long time since when we'd speak every day. I miss it, but I know that's not where he's at anymore. Hell, I miss "the man" talking to me every day but that seems to be a thing of the past too.

The reality is, and I know I've said it before, but I'm lonely. With the boys having lives of their own and almost never being here, I'm alone far too much. I miss Rob a lot and how we used to talk and joke around. I miss "the man" and how he used to tell me I'm smart and beautiful and how we would just talk. Now he's always busy and I suspect part of that busy is with someone else. Our relationship has always been an open one, but we said we'd be upfront and honest if anyone else came into the picture. He hasn't been, but it's been pretty obvious for a while now that there's someone else.

But, either way, I'm lonely and covid is just making it worse. I can't go and see either of them or anyone else. NaNoWriMo is going totally online this year and while Zoom calls are great, they're just not the same as being in the same place as other people. Ben and I go out to eat sometimes and while maybe we shouldn't, it gives me a tiny feeling of normalcy and of being around people. Right now all of my socialization comes from taking Ben to his physical therapy appointments. Tomorrow is his last one of those.

Other than that, I'm home alone all of the time. It weighs on me. I feel trapped. Sometimes I just cry. There's nothing really wrong. I just feel so alone. It's hard to feel motivated when sometimes you have no hope that this will ever end.

I went to a virtual birthday party last night. Honestly, I wasn't sure that I wanted to because I knew I'd probably only know the host and so many of his friends are doing amazing things. I don't feel as if I fall under the "cool enough" category. I went though because my loneliness overwhelmed my social anxiety. It was okay. People were friendly and I was only chastised once. I didn't walk away feeling better though. When it was over, I knew I'd probably never speak to these people again. No bonds were formed. I miss the intimacy of close friendships. I don't know how to have that when those few that are close to me are busy having lives of their own and not struggling like I am.

It used to be when I felt like this, I would pack up my laptop and I'd go to the library or the pie place and I'd spend all day there just being around people and writing. With covid, that's not an option. I cannot believe that I'm sitting here crying while I'm writing this. I feel like if anyone ever reads this they're going to tell me to pull it together and stop being ridiculous.

The truth is though that I'm still scared of Rob. I'm afraid he's going to disappear or not answer if I text him. I'm afraid he isn't the Rob that I half fell in love with over and over again. I'm afraid to reach out to him because what if he hurts me. This whole emotional thing is exhausting. Like everyone else, I just want life to be normal again. I'm pretty sure that part of my brain spends most of its days worrying that it'll never be that way again. I know it won't be for me. My boys are grown, they're living their own lives, and can't/don't take time for their mom. This is normal. I've done such a good job that they don't fear their independence and that's a good thing.

I tell people that I love living in the village...and it's true, but I don't have any friends here. I don't have any family. I've thought about moving closer to friends or "the man" but I'm scared. The last time I did that, it didn't go so well. The "friend" who rented me a tiny apartment in his house turned out to not be my friend at all, just someone who wanted my money and thought he could use whatever of mine he wanted whenever he wanted. He'd just walk into my apartment whenever he wanted. So, it's left me gun shy. What if I move somewhere where I'm close to someone I love and they act like I'm not even there.

I feel like I'm becoming more and more high maintenance as a friend. I need attention. I need someone who gets excited when I come up with a new project and I'm excited. I need someone to share things with and right now, I don't feel as if I have that. Justin tries, but he's so busy with his life that we don't really talk. He hasn't called me in months. I miss talking to him.

Like I said...I just feel very alone and miss "my" people so much right now. I wrote two stories this weekend for my new book and it's such a big deal to me. "The man" told me to keep writing, Justin read them and gave me good feedback, and I didn't even tell Rob. I guess because I posted it on social media...but he hasn't looked at my social media in years. I use these three men as an example simply because they're the three people closest to me. I don't expect my kids to get excited.

I dunno. Covid sucks. We all know this, but I guess I'm just realizing the toll that it's taking on my mental health. It's a toll that I'm not sure that I can pay and I wonder of the long term consequences. Do me a favor...look in on those who spend their lives alone. Don't get so caught up in how you're not lonely because you have a partner or co-workers that you forget those of us who don't have that. I can guarantee that I'm not okay. We all need a certain level of being connected to others and having that severed is so hard.

Still, I don't want to leave this post 100% depressing, so a challenge I've often given my oldest...
3 good things:
1. I wrote two stories on the new book.
2. The board I shoved in my couch is preventing me from sitting in the springs.
3. Apollo and Mina seem to be adjusting well.

I'll stop there and let the few of you who read this get back to your week. I hope it's an amazing one.


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Bonus Post: The Rhythm of the Rob

I have no idea where that title came from but it amuses me, so I'm going to let it stay. I wrote on Monday about Rob, with a brief history. Maybe it goes without saying, but he's been on my mind constantly since then.

I guess it shouldn't be a surprise. I mean, we were friends for 13 or so years before everything happened. It's kind of funny...I say 13 years, but maybe it's really only 11. Why the difference? It's because while I knew Rob for two years before I moved, it wasn't until I told him that I was moving that he told me that he'd miss me. Okay, that's not making sense. Let me back up a bit...yeah, this is going to end up being a novel, but I'm mostly writing to sort my own head out. Y'all are along for the ride.

I met Rob about three months after I moved to Buffalo. Someone that I knew invited me to go to a dinner that was held at a restaurant every month. It was just a group of people who shared interests who got together. I was nervous...hell, I was maybe 15 months out of my divorce, the "friend" who was renting my place turned out to not really be my friend, my kids were back in Michigan, to say I was lonely is probably a huge understatement. I was also really shy...believe it or not, this is a thing. I still get really anxious in groups and I pretend really well that I'm not wanting to hide. I was also really trying to find myself during this period.

Anyway, I was taken to this meetup and immediately made to feel really welcome. The host/hostess were really friendly and welcoming. They found a seat at the table for me and I don't know how they knew, but it was just about the perfect spot for me. Rob was sitting across from me and he was so nice to me. By the end of the evening, I was actually a little sad to go.

My going became a regular thing. It never bothered me that it was an hour drive from where I was living. In some ways, it was probably my lifeline to the outside world. Other than that, my life was really isolated. I went to school (I went back to college after my kids were in school.) and other than that, I was pretty much alone. Going to the dinners led to me going to the parties that they had. It was a brand new world for me and I know that I was wide eyed. People were so kind to me though and really watched out for me.

After I finished my degree, the decision was made to move back to Michigan to be with my kids. Part of me couldn't wait to go (the situation where I was renting was bad) and part of me didn't want to leave. I felt as if I finally had friends...not close, I mean nobody invited me to their house or anything, but friends..

I remember going to the party and telling Rob that it was the last one I would be at because I was moving in something like a week. He seemed genuinely sad that I was leaving. He had easily become one of my favorite people but I had no idea that he liked me. I guess I just always thought he was being nice to me. Funny how the brain works, eh?

So, I left. I moved back to Michigan. Him and I kept in touch. We became genuine friends. I thought his girlfriend at the time was my friend too, but that's a story for another day. Over the next few years, I would go over and visit and like I said, we kept in touch. We had a few rocky points, but we always seemed to spring back. Perhaps because he would "avoid" me until I would just let whatever it was go. Fighting was never worth losing that friendship to me. Oh sure, I popped off now and then, but like I said, we always recovered.

Fast forward to when he broke things off with the girlfriend. Suddenly we were talking a lot more. We started flirting with each other and neither of us was very subtle about it. It was nice. It felt good. I had been interested in him for years, but would never cross that line when he was with someone. Turns out he felt similarly. When he moved into his own place, I offered to go over and help him get the place set up. I got there and the place was already set up. Things were different between us. We were openly affectionate with each other. We slept together. It was a great week. I didn't want to go because part of me was truly afraid that that week would change things between us and not for the better.

Sadly, I was right. For the next six years, I didn't see him. It hurt...a lot. He was trying to find himself and I understood that, but man, it sucked. So many times I just wanted to be there for him, but he wouldn't let me. I had to stand back in the shadows and wait. I would get so excited when he would pop up online and message me or flirt with me. Mostly though, I missed "my" Rob..the man I knew he was under all of the garbage. I missed the man who would flirt outrageously with me, who would bring me cider if he went out just because he knew I loved it, who would laugh at me while I watched movies because I get so invested in them. I missed the man who I knew was smart, funny, brave...and there wasn't anything I could do about it.

Fast forward through those six years and he called to tell me Laura died. Even now, tears spring to my eyes. I didn't know how to comfort him. I was in shock myself. I wanted so badly to be there, not just for him, but for me. I needed to see people. I needed the closure that I may never be back there again. I was scared to death though to ask him if I could stay with him. I couldn't go if I couldn't. He'd told me no so many times over the previous years. Somehow though I got brave and asked him. I still wonder if he hesitated in his own head before he said yes. Letting me back into his personal space could change things for him.

The drive there was chaos. I was so emotional over Laura's sudden passing and so anxious about being with Rob again. I didn't know what it would be like between us. I didn't know if it would be like it was before or if we would almost be strangers. When my car broke down, so did I. I have never lost it like that in public before. All I could think was that I had to get there. Not being there wasn't an option. I probably owe that poor mechanic a 10th apology for me sobbing in his lobby.

Once I got back on the road, the tears stopped, but the anxiety didn't. When I got there, of course my phone was being stupid so I couldn't even let him know I was there. Part of me wanted to get back in the truck (yes, me...in a truck...can you imagine?) and drive away. When he came out, I don't think either of us knew how to act with the other. Then he hugged me and things seemed okay again.

Things were different though. Part of it was situational..his mom was living with him and he had a dog now. I don't know if that's really what kept us "apart" though. We weren't openly affectionate with one another, but we still ended up in bed together. I didn't know if we would, if either of us was in that place anymore. He would tell me things in bed though..things I won't repeat, but things that gave me hope that we were still us.

When I went back, it wasn't as hard to leave because I honestly thought that we were going to see each other again soon, probably in a few months. He even came out to the truck after he'd gone back inside to make sure he told me that he loved me. I held onto that.

Things seemed okay in the months after that. We talked, we flirted, we joked. Then I log in on Facebook and the first thing I see in my feed is that he's in a relationship with someone. I tried to stay calm. I messaged him and jokingly asked if there was something he'd forgotten to tell me. He said that he'd wanted to talk to me about it...all I could think was all the opportunities he'd had. He'd been dating this woman for close to two months or more at this point. I can't remember exactly. When he did talk to me about it...he told me how perfect she was down to the fact that his dog listened to her. If you're rolling your eyes, I understand. He had a special relationship with his dog and it's true that she probably didn't listen to everyone. I don't know. She listened to me.

I'm not going to lie. I lost it. I panicked. All I could think was ...he's going to break his word to me. The man that I've trusted with my life, with everything, is going to break his word to me. Like I said in the previous post, I was also panicking because I was losing one of the few safe spots that I have left in this world. I don't trust easily. I have a very hard time relaxing. That was never an issue with him. Losing that was terrifying, especially when on some levels, I felt like I'd just gotten it back after so long without it. I wrote him a letter, I messaged him, and he didn't respond to any of it. I spent days crying. I felt like I'd lost so much...my best friend, my lover, my safe spot.

I don't know how long this lasted, but I remember pulling into my driveway one night after crying my way home. In that moment, all I could think was how I couldn't do this anymore. It hurt too much. I picked up my phone and recorded a message for him, telling him what I was going to do and to say goodbye. I sent it to him and went inside. The next morning, I dumped all of my medication into a wooden bowl that he had made and given to me. I guess it was symbolic or something. I had every intention of trying to swallow down every pill in that bowl. My cat, Mittens, had other ideas and would get in between me and the bowl every time I reached for it. I loved her so much so I would pet her and just sit and cry. At the end of the day, I dumped the pills back into their bottles.

I'm not sure when I decided that I had to move on. I know that it took months before I could even see his name on Facebook without crying or feeling like I was being stabbed in the heart. I mourned him. I know that the last message that I got from him was the day after my birthday...right until a few nights ago when he suddenly texted me out of the blue.

To say I had mixed feelings is an understatement. My heart jumped for joy. My brain said woah, slow down, he would have let you die. I think he knew that...and maybe, for once, he was afraid that I would tell him to get lost. I don't know. I didn't ask him. We texted some that night and the next morning when he asked if he could call me. Again, my heart said yes...and my head said Wait, what if he's going to say something that hurts you again? In the end, I figured there was only one way to find out...but before I could answer him, he told me that he wanted to tell me he was sorry.

And he did...as soon as I answered, he apologized for everything he could think of..and even he said...things that neither of us could think of in that moment. I wanted to immediately forgive him, but so much had happened and so much time had passed. He filled me in some on what had happened with the girlfriend. I'm sure there's a lot that he didn't tell me. We talked for a while...about what had happened and a bit about day to day life...where he's living now, his diagnosis after his accident (he fell through a flight of stairs), and other random bits and bobs. Before we got off the phone, he said we would talk soon. I said we had better because I was tired of the bullshit. I said it jokingly, but I think we both recognized the grain of truth in there. He said he promised.

We've texted back and forth since then. It's not constant, but on and off. I've initiated quite a bit of it and I realized that earlier today. It would be so easy to slide right back into what we had before. We've already "joked" that we'd have sex again if the border wasn't closed. That thrills and scares me at the same time. I love him. I will always love him. Part of my heart will always belong to him. I don't want to get hurt again though. Losing him before literally almost killed me. My brain says take it slow...make him prove himself to you. Let him message you first. Let him open up to you and tell you things. You don't have to make it hard, but you don't have to make it super easy either.

It's so hard. Part of me is afraid to ask him what any of this means for us. He told me that he has no expectations. It might help if I knew his hopes. What does he hope for? Does he want to just be friends? Does he want a friends with benefits kind of thing which will only last until he finds someone else? He'll probably tell me that there won't be anyone else at least for a long time. Maybe, maybe not. I mean, I just don't see him alone forever and the reality is that we're amazing when we're together, but if we were always together, we may just destroy that.

I had gotten to a point where I had almost moved on. Now, I'm choosing to be pulled back in, but I'm scared. He told me that part of the reason that he ghosted me was because she was distancing him from everyone and that I was his safety because he knew I'd always be there when he needed me. We're each other's safe spaces...I wonder if he knew how much he was mine.

I really wish that we could sit down face to face to talk all of this out...to hug, to kiss, to...see? This is what happens. I don't know if I can stay strong to protect myself. I don't know if I need to stay strong to protect myself or if I can just ...roll with it. I've never been great with the unknown, especially where heavy emotion is concerned. Do I just enjoy that my best friend is back and is clearly not afraid to make it clear that he's not against the idea of us hooking up again? I really don't know. I had hoped if I wrote this all out that it would help clear my head. It hasn't. I feel just as confused as when I started. I'm also exhausted. The emotional highs then worries has worn me out.

I said that I wonder what he hopes for...so it's only fair that I turn the question back on myself and this time be brutally honest with myself. I want my Rob back. I want my safe space back. I want to know that if I need somewhere to go, I can go to him (once the damn border opens up again). I want to hold his hand again. I want to go places with him. I want a relationship with him that's not a secret. For so long he hasn't acknowledged even our friendship. I want to be his lover in the true sense of the word. I don't see myself ever living with anyone ever again. However, I want someone who can be that person for me, if that makes any amount of sense.

Right now though...I think I should check on the kittens and take myself to bed. All of this mental-emotional confusion is giving me a headache and tomorrow brings a new set of challenges.


Monday, August 31, 2020

Weekly Update: Out of the Blue

Well, here we are, Monday again. It's been a rocky sort of week. Not terrible, just a bit rocky. Let's just start typing and see what we come up with, shall we?

Hmm...I don't know where to start...Let's see...

Ben's physical therapy is going well. He only has two more sessions left. In fact, he sees his nurse or whatever she is today to update her and see what the next steps are. His physical therapist doesn't think he needs muscle relaxers which is good. I'm a bit concerned because his arm has seemed to be really tight a couple of times. Physical therapy is so expensive though. His dad's insurance didn't cover $700 of his initial bill. If medicaid doesn't pick up some of that, it's all out of his bank account because I can't help and his stepmom won't let his dad. If we add occupational therapy onto that, that's another bill for the poor kid.

Roger is doing good. He's at his dad's. He doesn't want to spend regular time here which is really hard on me. He said to me this past week that it's gross here and he always feels as if he has to clean. That's a blow. It's not great here, but I didn't think it was gross. I've been trying to do things to improve the place, but I'm not moving fast enough and some of it is what do I tell the owners is the problem first...I don't want to tell them both big things at the same time. I feel like I've failed them. I know that it's not all my fault, but it is my brain that's the problem. I can't ignore that.

On the work front things are slowing down. That worries me, but there's nothing I can really do about it. I have one novel on my desk that I'm working on. I am supposed to have a couple of comics coming my way in September and possibly another novel, so I'll be okay.

DHS sucks. They were supposed to call me on Friday between 830 and 1030, but they never did. I tried calling but there were 47 people ahead of me and only an hour until they closed. I should try to call them again today but I don't have the time so it will have to wait until tomorrow. It's so frustrating that I gave them the information that they requested and they rejected it and now I have to go through all of this.

Let's throw some good news into the mix before I get into what's really weighing on me this morning...

Yesterday, we (Ben and I) picked up two tiny black kittens from someone that I know. Their mother had been hit by a car and this couple rescued the litter from the barn and bottle raised them. To say that they're spoiled is an understatement. These guys have been on high end food and cuddled and coddled to no end. My boys aren't 100% sure why I brought new babies into their house but nobody has massively freaked out. I had them in their carrier, on the couch, last night where everyone could smell each other. Then they spent last night in the bathroom, where they still are. I need to work and that allows them to still all smell each other and get used to each other. It also allows the babies to stretch their legs and explore a bit. When I went in there this morning to use the bathroom, they were curled up together on my jeans that I'd left in there. As soon as I sat down on the toilet, Mina (the female) came running over, climbed up on my lap, then my chest for snuggles. Then she spent a few minutes walking laps around my chest and shoulders, purring the whole time. She is 100% a lover. Apollo, her brother, came over for some attention too but was more interested in exploring the bathtub than me. I think given a bit of time for adjustment, they'll do well here. I've already left a message for my vet to take them in for a well check since they've not been to one yet.

Now...This part is going to be long so if you want to scroll, I'll put a tl;dr at the bottom.

I had a friend. A best friend. We were close and had known each other for about 10 years. After he ended his relationship with his girlfriend, we became lovers of sorts. I say of sorts because we live a good 5 hours apart and due to life stuff, we almost never saw each other. In fact, from the first time we were together that way to the second (and last) time, there was six years in between. While I was at his place the first time things happened, I told him that it would be really hard for me when he got another girlfriend because that'd end things between us. He told me that it wouldn't, that whoever he was with would have to accept me too.  Now, this may sound weird to some of you, but both him and I had led "alternative" lifestyles for ages so it wasn't weird to us.

Six years go by...six long as years where I don't get to see him. It sucked. I'll just leave it at that. One night, out of the blue, he asks if he can call me. I was excited, right until he called me and told me he was calling because a friend of ours had died. I was stunned. My instinct was that I needed to be there, but I was afraid to ask him if I could come. I did though and he told me, of course. The trip there was chaos...my car broke down, I had to get a rental, I had a hard time getting my data to work internationally...chaos. Somehow though, when I got there and he hugged me, it all seemed worth it. I was in my safe space. He's always been my safe space...someone I could be around and just be me. I didn't have to put on an act or pretend. On the way there, I had let him know I'd be late due to all the car nonsense and I had said something about doing something that might be bad for me when I was there...He thought I meant smoke marijuana (he uses it medicinally) but I meant sleeping with him again. I knew that if I did, it'd be even harder on me to go and not know when I might see him again.

That night, I didn't know where I was sleeping. I had asked if I could borrow his couch when I had initially asked if I could stay with him. I didn't know his feelings on things...but somehow, that night, I ended up in his bed. It was probably as simple as him asking if I was coming to bed. Once we got there, I could tell that he was as nervous as I was...we both wanted it, but there were a lot of years and emotion in between. Things happened. I'll leave it at that.

A couple of days later, I had to get back so I packed things up and headed home. This time, though, I was sure I'd see him again soon, probably in a few months. I was wrong, so very, very wrong. About 4 months later, he posted on Facebook that he was in a relationship. My heart broke because I just knew that it meant I was out. I tried to talk to him and he said he'd wanted to talk to me...wanted to, but hadn't. I won't lie. I pretty much lost it. Losing him meant losing one of the few places in this world that I felt safe, where I felt protected. There were other things going on and I was off my medication. It was ugly. I probably begged him not to do this to me.

What I do remember is coming home one night and sitting in my car. I couldn't stop crying. It was all too much. I'd lost my lover, my best friend, my safe space...I recorded a voice message for him that basically said I planned on killing myself and this was my goodbye message for him. The next morning, I updated my "if I die" file and then poured all of my medication into a wooden bowl that he had made. I had read if you take enough of the medication with alcohol, it would kill you. I had a bottle of sangria left over from New Years. Only my silly little cat (who I miss desperately) stopped me from doing it. Every time I reached for the bowl, she stood in between me and it and demanded I pet her. As for him? He never responded.

That was it for me...this man who supposedly loved me would let me die. Avoiding the conflict was more important than saving me. Months went by. The day after my birthday I sent him a text...he never misses my birthday...saying he'd forgotten. He said he had, he was sorry, but that he needed to find a new place to live fast. I knew what was coming maybe before he did. He was going to move in with her. They were going to start their happily ever after. I'd already muted him on social media and I kept it that way. Every post was like a stab in the back, but after a while, I got tired of crying and decided to move on with my life. He'd made his decision. It was to not have me in his life anymore.

Fast forward a year...to last night...he sent me a text saying that he was in the hospital but wanted to voice chat with me if I'd talk to him. I still love him, god help me, but the trust that we had is no longer there. He blew that up. Still, I texted with him a bit...about what he was doing in the hospital, about how I got kittens...easy things. I did ask him if he was high on pain meds and that's why he thought reaching out to me was a good idea. When he initially text me, he said he was now in a position to talk...my first thought was, "Were you being held against your will for the past year?"

Today I asked him why he reached out to me. He said he'd rather voice chat about it. He did say that he's sorry and he owes me a lot of sorries. Well, that's true but it doesn't help me from crying as I relive all of that. It doesn't change that even after something like 15 months that I don't feel 100% betrayed. I moved on, but my heart never truly did. I'm scared. Do I want to risk being hurt again? Am I strong enough? I don't know...I know that if I told him that I can't, he'd respect that. What I don't know if is I want to tell him no...

TL;DR: Former friend/lover bailed on me for 15 months and has made a reappearance in my life.





Edited to add: I let him call. He apologized for..well...everything. He was sincere. If knowing him for as long as I have means anything, I know when he's being sincere. Is everything 100% between us? Probably not. It's going to take some time to rebuild that trust to where it was before. It turns out that he got himself into a bad situation with this woman and like we've all done at some point, didn't see the red flags for what they were until it was too late. He's moved out now and will be rebuilding for a bit. I wish I could see him face to face because I think it'd bring healing to both of us, but since I'm not allowed in his country, that's not going to happen. This will be a one day at a time rebuilding of a friendship, but I think it'll be okay and that's the part that matters.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Weekly Update: Monday again?

It seems like we just had a Monday and here we are back with another one. I'm super sleepy and super sneezy today. I'm sure that the two aren't connected but if they are, I'm going to go take a nap.

Man, I wish I had a great segue with speaking of naps... but I don't. I do have a Roger here though which is nice. I really wish he were staying longer than just until tomorrow. It hurts knowing that he's not going back to campus but doesn't really want to stay here either. He says it's because the dryer doesn't work and the shower is always cold. I can't argue that. It's true. I'm hoping to get a repairman out for the dryer once I finish this next project. As for the shower, something keeps tripping the circuit that the water heater is on. That's something that the owner will have to deal with which means that I need to keep dealing with the house so I can make that happen.

I guess that leads to the past week. I struggled some with being removed from Indie Volt. They didn't even talk to me about it, they just didn't send me the link to join the show. I wasn't surprised, but I was hurt. The owner and I have supposedly been friends for years. Four days before I made the post about working with anyone affiliated with a hate group, we drove two hours to his kid's birthday party and hung out all day. Now, he's making digs about me on his show and/or letting others do the same thing. One of his hosts unfriended me on social media, the other tried to take a few swings at me on my own post. It's disheartening to realize that people you thought were good people aren't really good people at all. The whole thing made me really sad.

There were other bits of drama...like a creative team that I worked with telling the publisher that my lack of communication was part of the reason they were pulling their book from being published by them. I gave these guys every possible way to reach me, including my phone number. They never used it. I really don't like being thrown under the bus like that.

Speaking of sad...(yeah, I had to use that.) I sold my flute yesterday. I hadn't made a really solid effort to do so because part of me felt guilty. My grandmother bought it for me when I was in high school and even though it wasn't something I enjoyed playing (open hole) and it had no real monetary value (low-end instrument), she had bought it for me. Then, I remembered what it was like clearing out her house when she got sick. I don't want that for my kids. There's no reason to hold onto things that you don't love. She wouldn't feel bad that I sold it to a young woman who was insanely excited to receive it. I have to say that her excitement did make me smile. She was so grateful that I was selling it to her.

I wish all people were as awesome as she was. I've been trying to get rid of three totes full of craft items for months. There has to be close to $500 worth of items between the three totes. I listed them all three totes for $30...then $20...nothing. I listed them for free and I've had at least ten people ask about them. One went so far as to ask if I'd deliver them to her for free. That was a big solid no. First of all, I doubt they'd all fit inside my car. Secondly, at least offer $5 for gas...

Anyway, someone is supposed to pick those up in about ninety minutes. Hopefully she shows up. It's going to hurt to let them go that way, but at least I'll be reclaiming a chunk of my front porch. I keep reminding myself that space has value as does the peace that I feel looking at something tidy and not all junked up. My front porch totally feels all junked up right now. So does my house so I'm going to be trying to work on that at least a little bit each day.

Man, I am terrible at transitioning topics today but I'm just going to pretend that since they're all about me, that's okay. I've been neglecting me...or maybe disrespecting me is a better phrase for a bit. The other night, I cracked open a brand new notebook and I wrote a list of 10 things that are important and that I need to be focusing on. Oddly enough, jackassy people didn't make that list. Things like taking the time to read or build Lego (self-care), spending time with my boys (family), and working on my own career did. Building myself an emotionally healthy atmosphere also made the list. It's a good list and one that I can go back to when things feel like they're spiraling. I can go back and say...what's really important? and then focus on that.

For now though, I need to go log a new project and get some work in on the current one. Keep being amazing, my friends, and taking care of yourselves.


Monday, August 17, 2020

Weekly Update: God What a Week

God, what a week. Monday was okay, I guess...Well, no, it wasn't. On Monday, we realized that we didn't think Mittens was eating. We couldn't be 100% sure though. On Tuesday, when I couldn't coax her to eat wet food or tuna, I knew we had a problem and I called the vet. They were booked, but the vet herself called me back around 7pm that night. She offered to leave out antibiotics or I could bring her in the following morning. My gut said to take her in, so I did. I haven't really told anyone what happened and I know this is going to make me cry, but ...

When we got there, the assistant directed me to take her and wait under the gazebo. They don't allow humans inside the practice right now. A few minutes later, the vet came out and took her back to take her temperature. Just a few minutes passed before she came out and told me that Mittens had lost over half her body weight since they'd seen her just two years before. I knew she'd lost weight, but she's always been so dainty that I didn't realize it was that bad. She told me we could do blood tests, iv fluids, but there was only one or two things that she may recover from and she'd have to be treated for the rest of her life. I asked if we gave her fluids (she was severely dehydrated), how long before we'd know if they were helping. The vet told me that if I was planning on putting her to sleep if they didn't work, she'd rather I just do it then instead of having Mittens last day being poked and prodded. I knew then that there was no hope...my heart shattered when I told the vet that that's what we should do. She went in, gave her the shot, and then brought her back to me in her carrier. We sat there under the gazebo, the wind blowing softly, and her head bumping my hand for loves right until she passed. The vet came out and wrapped her in a baby blanket before taking her away. I went to my car and tried not to sob while it took both assistants to figure out how to bring me the flea meds that I needed for the other cats. Then, I went to Dairy Queen, got a cherry slush and cried my way back home.

That afternoon or maybe it was Thursday, a friend approached me about what had happened on a webshow that I'm often part of (or was..I suspect that's very over). He didn't know how to handle it and was super sweet about not wanting to bother me with it, but as we're both in the same line of work, it affected me too. My brain was mush from grief but I felt as if I had to make a stand. I posted a long post to Facebook that basically boiled down to "If you're an asshole, I won't work with you." I never called out anyone, said anything about the webshow or any of its hosts. It really wasn't about them. It was about me. It was about my career. It was about standing up for what's right. Hate groups, no matter the direction of the hate, aren't right. If you know me, you know hate isn't even in my vocabulary. It's an alien concept to me. I can't understand why anyone would hate anyone just because they're different.

I wish it had ended there. It didn't. People commented, mostly in support. One or two seemed thinly veiled but I let them go. I got private messages. One was from the guy who runs the network the webshow is on. He asked who had pushed me to write what I wrote. I told him it didn't matter, that I'd said what I'd said and I'd stand by it. I did tell him that there was some concern with one of their hosts. He defended the host. His choice. At this point, I was already unable to focus, half unable to form sentences due to the loss of Mittens and the ugliness that was rearing its head. I was leaning heavily on a couple of friends who were seeing what was happening.

I announced that I was slowly going to bring back Geek-o-Rama, a site that I've ran for over 8 years and got a not even slightly veiled slap out at me. It hurt. I won't lie. I had people who I considered friends turn on me. Why? Because I said I wouldn't work with assholes. If you don't know, there are a lot of assholes in the comics community. Some belong to a group called Comicsgate. I won't get into their details, but they're a hate group. Some who belong...well, it makes no sense, but they're like lambs to the slaughter or something.

Anyway, it was too much for me. I was crying constantly. I was angry. I was exhausted. Then, Friday night, just when I was praying it was all over and I was going to go to bed, a bat started swooping around my living room. I opened the door to let it out and two of my cats ran out. It was midnight. I couldn't find them in the dark. Hell, I was on my front porch in a tank top and underwear trying to get them back in. I finally did go put pants on. After 90 minutes, I managed to get both cats inside and locked up in the bathroom. I said fuck it to the bat and went to bed, shutting the 3rd cat with me in my bedroom. A few hours later, I woke up to find one of the bathroom cats laying on me. My door appeared to be shut. I honestly thought I had snapped, that I had lost my mind. I kept looking at him, looking at the door, trying not to freak out...and after a few minutes got up, realized my door was not latched, went downstairs to go to the bathroom and discovered the other two sitting on the table. Somehow they'd managed to open the bathroom door and then my bedroom door.

Yesterday, I woke up with a splitting headache and spent most of the day curled up in bed, sleeping. There was some more crap, but honestly, at this point, I don't even remember because it was three solid days of ugly. Ugly people...I kept thinking of Caliban and how he used to talk about how people would throw shit at you. Today, I still slept quite a bit but I'm happy to say that the headache is gone. I did have a run in with stupid though. Nick Gibson unblocked me so that he could refund me the $15 that I spent on his Kickstarter (see previous post about trouble in the industry). When I told him that I didn't accept money through Facebook, he told me too bad and that now me and my cronies could stop harassing him. The word cronies was quite the hit when I posted the screenshot. People wanted to know how they could become a crony. So much so that it's spawned a Facebook group for fans of me. I couldn't help but laugh at that one. While there are some serious assholes in the industry, there are just as many amazing people.

Now, I'm days behind because of all of this..and I probably still need a good and proper cry. I forgot to mention that DHS determined that I make too much money to get less than $200/mo in food stamps. I made $7600 in 9 months. It's insane and one more level of stress to deal with, but since they only work 9am-3pm, it'll have to be dealt with another day.

Right now, I need a good cuddle in the man's arms and a chance to unwind...since the first won't be coming for god knows how long, I'll just have to put in another movie and try to relax...


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