Archive for January, 2012


Low start to the day

I took the day off today in order to take care of some things best taken care of during regular business hours.  Most pressing of these is to go under the house and see if I can get the cats/kittens that are living there out, in a carrier, and to a shelter.  I really don’t want to take them to Animal Control because I know they euthanize, but the Humane Society is almost certainly full up.  I’m going to look up some other possible resources beforehand, just so I have an idea of what my options are.  I really don’t want to foster them myself. I’m hoping I can enlist the help of Friends of Feral Felines to catch the mom and get her fixed.

Of course, it’s rainy and cold out so I don’t feel very inclined to go out there and crawl under the house.  That’s almost beside the point though.  I woke up this morning thinking about SMF.  We talked a little bit about what “we” were last night — hung out, had a few beers, then went back to his place and had some really good (in my book) sex.  Afterwards he brought it up.  We’ve talked about it before, of course, and the understanding has been from very early on that he does not want a “relationship” relationship until after the divorce/custody stuff gets settled at the very earliest.  This is something I struggle with a little.  Part of what bothers me is that when he talked about his ex before, about how she got pregnant and they decided to get married, he said that he “loved her and knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her.”  Of course that didn’t work out.  The way he described it last night was “she wanted something that would have made me unhappy & vice versa.”  Then he said “love wasn’t enough.”  Isn’t that the whole idea of romantic love though?  I dunno, I’m definitely a cynic when it comes to the whole concept of love.  I do believe in a general love, love of fellow man type thing.  But romantic love… I tend to think it’s just a myth.  A construct.  I think if you have that general love, sexual attraction (“chemistry”) and compatibility in personality & values, there’s the basis for a successful relationship or “Love.”  If what you want from a person and what they want from you are not compatible, it can’t be “Love.”  Does that make sense?

I guess I don’t understand how a person can go from “I love them” to “I wish they would die in a fire” (he didn’t actually say that; just an example).

I don’t want to delude myself into thinking I understand him better than I really do, or somehow tell myself a little fiction to make myself feel better in the moment.  But I’m sure this experience has scarred him.  How could it not?  Especially if he believed/believes in “Love.”  In that respect I feel fairly certain that he’s understandably leery about getting seriously involved with someone.

There’s also the fact that he and his ex “hooked up” only a few months before we started hanging out/sleeping together.

Jesus, the more I type, the worse this scenario sounds.  On the one hand, it has provided some good for me.  It has helped me to feel more attractive than I have ever felt before.  It has shown me that it is possible for me to “click” with someone, which I really didn’t believe.  It has given me an appreciation and enjoyment of sex that I couldn’t have imagined.

But he said it himself: “There are things I can’t or won’t be for you right now”; in other words, there’s no 100% boyfriend on the horizon. The question I have to wrestle with is, is it worth it to me to keep seeing him?  He said last night and has said before, if anyone else comes along I’m absolutely free to go.  For some people that might be a good thing.  My problem is (and I told him this before), when I’m with someone (as in seeing someone regularly), I can’t seem to see anyone else in that way.  I can’t think about anyone else in that way.  Because that person I’m with is the person I’m with.  Call it loyalty, whatever.  What it means in this situation is that if I want to keep seeing SMF, I have to be OK with the label-less uncertainty of a slightly-more-than-FWB relationship for an undetermined amount of time — who knows, after the divorce goes through and the custody mess is worked out, he could still  not want anything more concrete than that.  My other choice is just to cut it off entirely.  I don’t know if we could even be friends because the truth is I want him.  I think I would have to step away entirely until I got over that or worked through it or whatever.  Being around him without being able to sleep with him would probably suck.  A lot.

Maybe I’m just a sucker, or just desperate to make the most of this since the positives are so new and wonderful to me. But right now, at least, I can’t quite bring myself to think seriously about pulling away entirely.  Which means, based on the options I listed in the previous paragraph, I’m going to hang in there for a little longer.

I don’t want to be a burden to him, I don’t want to ask for too much and I don’t want to be insensitive to his situation.  I think having a friend, a cute girl he can cuddle with, kiss & fuck, might be helpful? In a way?  Because I care, and because I think he might allow himself to care if I hang around long enough, I want to stay and support him.  This is a conscious choice.  I know I am putting myself at risk of seriously hurting down the road.  I will have to continue to monitor the situation very, very closely and do my best to notice if I am really just wasting my time.

God, but I wish I had someone to talk to about this.  Therapy this Thursday.  It’s not the same, but it’s someone, at least.  Of course by then I may feel fine.

Onward, m E!  You have made your choice, for now.  Feel strong, because you are the only person who can make this choice for you, and you are the only person who can judge what is best for you.  I know you’re not 100% certain — you’re still feeling a bit raw.  It’s OK, love.  That’s right, m E.  After years and years of fighting with you, maligning you, even hating you, I’ve finally come to love you.  I care about you and, while I don’t want to see you hurt, I will support you in your decision and I will be there to help you if you fall or falter.  You are I and I am You, my dear.  We will take care of each other.

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Flatter my vanity. Go ahead.

Here’s an example of just how dramatically my self-image has changed/improved.  When I first signed up for facebook I used a picture of some cinnamon rolls from the bakery as my profile pic. Then eventually I upgraded to a craptastic line drawing self-portrait. Most recently I have been using an actual picture of me taken by a friend while we were enjoying the public art in our town.  All that moved to a new level today.  I took a picture of myself, head on, looking straight at the camera, slightly bemused expression on my face.

For the longest time I have NOT ALLOWED photographs of myself to be taken when I could possibly prevent it.  I hate the way I look in pictures.  The one taken by the friend was OK because I had big Jackie O sunglasses covering half my face and it was goofy and fun. So this picture of me which I took myself and deliberately put online as representative of me – this is huge.

 

Lord I’m so sleepy!  I think I need to make a cup of tea.

Another minor epiphany

Had a lovely night with SMF.  Things are still very informal but I am really just enjoying it.

I was pondering things on my lunch break a few days ago, something I often do if it is too cold/rainy to go out to my car and listen to the radio.  I take out my little notebook and just freeform journal for a few small pages.  This particular day I was picking apart a depressed-ish feeling I had experienced the day before, reminding myself to pay attention and be aware in those moments. I then moved on to examining the possible source(s) of said feeling.  The feeling is one I have fairly frequent encounters with.  I want some company or attention or something, but what I want is for someone to contact me.  Since that rarely happens when I’m in these moods, that feeling then intensifies.

What I realized is that this has been my MO probably since before I was cognizant.  At least from a very very early age.  And what did I use to do when I was a child? To get attention? Tantrums.

So here’s my hypothesis about that sad/lonely/listless feeling I’ve been getting for so long.  Since childhood, I have been passive-aggressive about getting attention.  (due in part to my being an introvert sandwiched between two vocal extroverts in the family)  When I didn’t get the attention I wanted (but no one else knew I wanted because I didn’t tell anyone, or know how to tell anyone), I expressed my frustration through temper tantrums that became rather famous in the family.  Now that I’m an adult and have outgrown the tantrums, I still have to contend with the feelings of frustration and neglect I’ve been experiencing all along due to this passive-aggressive behavior pattern.  So THERE is the source of that feeling.  I am pretty close to certain that I am right about this.  It just makes sense.  What I’m not sure of is what tack to take in order to change the cycle.  My tentative proposal is 1) be more proactive about socializing when I want to be social. Rather than waiting to be called, call someone. 2) Reach out even if it’s not to hang out. Send a text, write a nice e-mail to someone I care about. 3) occupy myself with active, creative and/or productive tasks/hobbies — less downtime may result in less need for someone else to amuse me.

Something positive?

I just finished watching “Dark Days,” a documentary following the lives of a handful of homeless people living in an abandoned subway tunnel in New York City.  It’s left me feeling… rather mixed.  I actually have a book that is a collection of photographs and stories about some of the people living down there, but I hadn’t gotten around to watching this documentary until tonight.  Homelessness is such a sad thing, and the fact that the people living there are dropouts, crack addicts, possibly completely unskilled, some very clearly mentally ill, is such a hard thing to examine head on.

Watching something like that, I realize I live a very privileged life.  I have always had food, shelter, family.  I was never abused, physically hurt in any way, taken advantage of in any real sense of the phrase.  I’ve frequently felt “broke,” but I’ve never actually had Nothing.  I am capable, intelligent, have at least a little college under my belt.  I have lots of Stuff, things that make my life easier, more luxurious.  A washer & dryer, so I don’t have to haul my dirty clothes to the laundromat every week. Electronics, this computer I’m typing on, the TV I watched the film on. My cell phone.  My iPod, which I am using to listen to Mozart’s “Requiem.”  My stand mixer, sewing machine.  I have a home.  And so many people this the world, in this country, do not.  I wish I could sprinkle some magic powder over the world that would rinse away all the drug and alcohol addiction that cripples so many homeless people, keeps them homeless.  I wish I could cure or treat the mental illnesses that so many suffer.  I think of Old Friend.

I am extraordinarily grateful for the life I was born into, the opportunities I have had, the lessons I have learned.  I am determined to appreciate these things all the more for having gotten a glimpse into the lives of some of the truly unfortunate members of our society.

 

This weekend has been beautiful.  I was 10min late for work Friday because I stayed over at SMF’s place Thursday night, but I didn’t mind. No one at work noticed or said anything.  They know I’m reliable and not chronically late, so it’s not a big deal.  Saturday we went to Discovery Place to see the mummy exhibit.  The remarkable thing about this is that he brought his kid.  I honestly was not expecting to meet her so soon, if ever.  She’s 5, and simply adorable.  A very sweet and loving little girl.  She apparently took to me — she said later that hanging out with me was her favorite part of the day.

I was a little nervous about meeting her.  What if she didn’t like me? Or worse, what if I didn’t like her? Would things suddenly cool off between SMF and I? Would it be weird? Would she pick up on the chemistry between her dad and I? (we had agreed to refrain from any PDA around her)  I just wasn’t sure.  It went well, though.  I think SMF was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable I was with her — he probably doesn’t realize how much time I’d spent with all my sister’s kids.

After a few hours there we went back to his place and watched a movie together — sweet little thing even held my hand for a little bit.  Knowing how protective SMF is of her, I feel honored that he let me see at least a little of that part of his life.

Later in the evening after daughter was dropped back off at her mother’s, SMF & I went out for a couple beers, had a fun time just talking and hanging out.  I stayed over again. (He doesn’t like my bed, so we seem to end up at his place more often than mine)  After a nice slooow waking up late this morning, we went our separate ways to get done all the little domestic things we each had to do before the start of the week.

I think SMF is becoming more open to letting me in a bit more.  It’s still early, so early in our relationship, in our friendship, even!  We talked about that briefly this weekend.  It’s been maybe 3 weeks.  That’s nothing.  But we keep hanging out and we keep liking each other, so until that changes I’m just going to roll with it.

 

In other, OTHER news, I started and completed a homework (for work) assignment today.  I dawdled a bit, got off track a couple times, but I didn’t get that overwhelming shit feeling like I did for the last one.  This is a good sign.

Post new year check-in

Here I am at the start of 2012.  I’ve never taken much stock in the whole “new year” thing — I like to think of each day, each moment as an opportunity for a new beginning.  But because I have been through so many changes over the last few months, because I’m thinking again, thinking positively and actively, I feel a bit like I’m on a bike at the top of a hill, about to push off full tilt into the landscape laid out ahead.  About to.  There are some things I still need to process before I can make that push.

Here’s one thing I envision for this year, the first quarter.  I want to start a campaign to de-stigmatize Herpes.  I don’t know yet what it will look like – it will probably start with YouTube videos (I’m gonna be a star!) stating simple facts.  Facts that people who don’t have genital herpes apparently don’t know.  It may not change anything in the end, but I have to try.  I put myself through a lot of emotional anguish over having genital HSV-1, only to discover a week after the fact that the guy I’m interested also has HSV-1 — he just didn’t know that’s what it was.  I’d like to spare others that same grief.  Anyway, once I think of a name for the campaign and have produced or at least scripted one or two small videos, I’ll reach out to some of the bigger online Herpes resources and try to get some linkage, at least.  The first quarter is only 3 months long, so I may not put it all together by then, but it’s a soft deadline for me to work with.

My body image has come a long way — the fact that my Special Male Friend refers to me as “tiny vegan girl” helps.  I’ve never in my wildest dreams imagined myself “tiny” in anyone’s eyes.  ** I’ve decided that Special Male Friend (hereafter shortened to SMF) will be my blog codename for the friend I’m sleeping with… he doesn’t want to “date” date until he’s gotten all the divorce and custody stuff worked out so we’re kind of “more than friends” but not “dating”… oy.  It’s cool, though. I’ve done a lot of thinking about it and for now, at least, I am OK with things as they are. **  Anyway, I’m doing a minimal amount of work on my abs in the form of occasionally holding plank and side plank positions to a count of 30.  It’s not much, but it’s a start.  I intend to pull out the exercise DVD I have again, too, now that I’m pretty settled in and have enough floorspace to actually do the exercises.  When I can afford to, I also want to get a bike.  The street I live off has full bike lanes that go all the way uptown.  If I can get a bike by April, I will be able to spend the spring months building up my stamina, which was never very good.  Anyway, not any huge commitment here, but I’m more serious now than probably ever before in my life.

I have also been working on being more “myself” in social situations.  I have so often been just a “yes man,” sympathizing, oohing, nodding in understanding with whoever is sharing their experience.  Or simply being silent if I didn’t agree.  I already respect myself more for the work I have done on this so far.  I will never be — and don’t want to be! — an aggressive person, but I do want to take part in the conversation as myself.  I realize now that much of my feeling of disconnectedness, of aloneness, has come from my own unwillingness to connect, to be myself around others.  I have been waiting all this time for others to “draw me out” and I finally understand how far that has gotten me, and how it will not take me where I want to go.  I’m sure I’ll put my foot in my mouth, get cold feet, regret speaking up a few times.  But this is worth it.

So happy 2012 to all.  If you have been fortunate enough to have made as much progress in 2011 as I have, this year bodes nothing but good.