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 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'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 ( 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 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. 


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 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 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?'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 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, 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 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 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 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 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.

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