It’s been a while since I’ve written. Working last Wednesday sort of threw everything off for the rest of the week. So here I am with about a week’s worth of stuff to catch up on.
I’ve decided to go with duel specking my character with the bard class. I reached out to our DM with a clarifying question.
Me: Quick question for God: If I duel spec as a bard would I have to legit sing?
God: It really depends on the style of music. There’s gonna be some genres I simply won’t allow at the table. But for sure you’re gonna be performing for us in some capacity. Mwahahahahahaha!!! >:3
Me: Excellent >:3
I can’t wait for tonight’s session. It’s going to be great.
That was the majority of Thursday. Figuring out what I wanted to do with my character level and spell wise, remaking my character sheet in a new program Ox found, and figuring out what items I wanted to replace while we were in town.
Class was fine. We started talking about statuses and roles and group dynamics along with classical studies pertaining to an individual’s willingness to conform in group settings.
Friday and Saturday I worked. Neither of those days was awful. I got some studying done during my breaks. Not as much as I would have liked, but some was better than none.
Saturday night Ox and I ended up going out to dinner. We haven’t had a legit date night in a while. And I guess that needs some back story…
We were supposed to run an extra treatment for a patient Saturday afternoon. Friday she had assured me she would be there for her Saturday treatment. I had gotten to work early to ensure we could have her chair ready for her in the afternoon. Even if something happened with another patient, we would be able to get her in since she said she would be there.
I flipped the station for her. I set up the machine and it had just finished testing when the phone to the clinic rang. My RN answered it. Our patient wasn’t coming.
I haven’t been that frustrated and angry in a while. I was so frustrated I was almost in tears.
Me: I need five minutes. I’ll be right back.
I had to leave the floor to regain perspective and my composure.
Irrational Right Brain: I trusted you. I did these things FOR YOU. You said you would be here. I didn’t call and check to see if you were coming because you told me not to worry about it with the craziness of change over. I had to throw those supplies away because you didn’t come when you said you would. I wasted them because I trusted you. I set that machine up FOR YOU. It wasn’t just flipping a station. There was intention behind every action I did to ensure we weren’t behind FOR YOU. And while I understand all of this is my own perspective, at the time it felt like you threw everything I had done, all of my effort and trying, onto the ground and stomped on it.
After I got over the feelings of betrayal the rest of the day was alright. Patients staggered off well enough that there wasn’t a crazy rush at the end of the day. We closed the clinic up. I drove home. Ox gave me a hug.
I was still frustrated. I was still missing mom. He offered for us to go out together for food since there weren’t plans for dinner. I agreed. I changed out of my scrubs into one of his shirts and a pair of shorts. I wanted to drink. It doesn’t happen often, but that’s where I was Saturday night. I wanted to throw all of my responsibilities and caring down onto the ground and say “fuck it” for a few hours of my life, so I did. Ox let me. He drove. He listened to me and he didn’t judge me.
We went to Buffalo Wild Wings. They were busy. I ordered a Long Island Iced Tea. Since I don’t drink often and hadn’t eaten since lunch it didn’t take long for my drink to do its job. I didn’t mind the loudness anymore. Ox and I talked and I didn’t mind talking about the painfulness I felt. I didn’t care about the silent tears running down my face as I talked about mom. I didn’t care what people thought as I got a second drink. Everyone else could fuck themselves if they thought I would feel bad about crying in public.
Once we were done eating, we went out to the parking lot. Ox gave me a cigarette while I continued talking.
Me: I know I sound like an eight-year-old when I say “I want my mom.” But I want my mom. I want her back.
Ox brought me back to the apartment. I came inside and crawled into bed, still hurting but not minding the pain. It’s there for a reason and while it sucks I cherish it.
While I was in bed I began thinking about my inner landscape; the way I view my mind and the different areas I’ve created in it.
There’s my ice cave. The place I spent so much time in while I was growing up and dealing with my parents’ divorce. The place I retreated to when mom died. It’s where I go when there’s nothing I can do about the pain and confusion I feel other than breath. It’s where I wait, still and silent, because the cold makes the pain seem less.
There’s my summer forest full of green and sunlight. My ice cave is at the center of this calm and warm place. There’s a brook, feeding the forest with water. There are birds and a deer with giant antlers; old and wise as he slowly bends down to drink from the brook. He’s my friend and unafraid of being present while I’m there. He lets me watch him living life and being part of the balance.
There’s another area; one I don’t think I’ve ever taken the time to understand. I’ve always been scared of it. I’ve always thought of it as a personal hell. Saturday I took the time to acknowledge it as real.
From now on it will be my Forest of Nightmare. It’s dark here. The darkness of a moonless night. The trees are black and barren. Roots tangle along the ground, gnarled and unseen, waiting to trip me, making my knees and palms bloodied and scraped.
Monsters live here in the nightmare. At least I used to think they were monsters, and I guess that’s what I figured out during my drunken Saturday night.
They’re not really monsters. The concept of monsters is just another perspective that I have control over. These things have always existed. The forest, the creatures living in them, the things the “monsters” represent. They have always been a part of me, a part of life. Sometimes I’m unaware of them until I meet them for the first, terrifying time, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t always been there; always lived, always breathed, waiting for our meeting.
Grief doesn’t have to be a monster. Loneliness doesn’t have to be a monster. Moonless nights in black forests don’t have to be terrifying. It’s my choice to fear these things that have always been a part of who I am. If I want it to change then I need to make different choices.They have just as much of a right to live as anything else. Existing doesn’t make them bad or evil; my perspective does.
So… I’m trying to make different choices and have different perspectives.
Much like in How to Train Your Dragon, where Hiccup finds Toothless. At first, Hiccup thinks Toothless is a vicious killer and something which should be feared. A monster. Over time he comes to understand that’s not what Toothless is. Hiccup is still fearful when he extends his hand out, unsure of what will happen. Toothless pushes his forehead against the outstretched limb, offering friendship, which is really just understanding and acceptance when you boil it down.
So, I’m extending my hand to the monsters I have fought against and run away from. They aren’t monsters. They deserve to exist and to be understood. They deserve to be accepted as they are rather than being feared. This is their home, with me, inside me, and I can either ignore them or take the time to learn to cohabitate with them.
I want to learn to be accepting of myself. I want to learn to not fear my Forest of Nightmare.
That was a pretty heavy psychological endeavor to have Saturday night. As a result, Sunday I spent most of the day sleeping. I woke up and had breakfast at the house. Came back to the apartment and took a nap with the kittens. Woke up and ate. Went back to sleep… No school work like I had been planning. It was sunny outside but also super windy so it was hard to feel like doing anything other than basking in the sunlight. Being away from people was nice. It helped me recover enough for work the next day.
Monday I worked with my FA on the floor. It’s been a while since we’ve worked together. The day itself went smoothly. One of the other techs from our sister clinic came down to learn our machines. She’s super awesome and it was good to spend some time with her.
I went to the house after work. Since it was raid night for Ox we had a cigarette before I came to the apartment. I was supposed to do a bunch of schoolwork but didn’t. Instead, I reread most of my Letters to Mom. That was a sad realization. Through all of my cancer stuff I never once wrote to her. I haven’t told her anything about Jon moving. I didn’t tell her about passing my first semester of nursing school or making the Dean’s List. I haven’t reached out to her in so long…
It gave me more to think about Monday night and so instead of pushing through my mental exhaustion, I opted to sleep instead. If I got a zero on my mid-term exam Tuesday morning I would still pass the class, and since I was showing up to take the test I would make higher than a zero. I know a majority of the content. I don’t have to get 100%. I would be ok with whatever I made because that was the effort I put into my schooling.
Ox came over after raid. We fell asleep together. It was nice and comforting. I woke up Tuesday and had a chill morning before going to class. I feel I did well on my test. The grade still isn’t posted. I’m hoping to get the results later today.
I did errands while I waited to meet with Ox and HiWay Diner. We had an enjoyable lunch before finishing the grocery shopping. I went to the house with him. We had sexy time, though that had a bit of a rough start. I tweaked my back at work Monday morning, so while I desperately wanted the interaction with him, my spine had other ideas.
Me: This is happening, Body. Just fucking enjoy it, damnit.
Body: Oh yeah? Well, take this! And this! And how ’bout this!
Me: I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’ll never do it again! I swear!
Yeah… hard to feel sexy when your spine feels like it’s trying to break itself in half. Ox was kind and understanding and eventually, we found a position that didn’t cause spikes of searing agony to stab at my nervous system. Once we found that it was back to being a mind-melting experience.
That did lead to some heavy conversation afterward, which, again, needs some backstory…
Ox and I have been talking again about finding another female to have some fun with. I’m going to ignore the cries of “Slut!” and “Whore!” because I am fully aware that some/most people won’t agree with my choices, but they’re my choices and this is my life and something between my partner and myself and his opinion is the only opinion that really matters at this point.
I made a few posts on a BDSM site explaining what we were looking for. Through those posts, there was a person who reached out to me. It was a guy, but instead of being the typical, “I know you’re looking for a female, but how about a mmf three-way?” type of message, it was an offer to join his group. It’s centered around sex positivity and is a local group for our area. Since Nebraska can be pretty conservative, it was nice to see something like that existed locally.
I joined the group and sent a message back thanking him for reaching out to me. That’s led to some pretty extensive emailing back and forth. He seems like an interesting person. He at least seems to not mind my novel-length replies and engages in the conversation in equal measure.
We’re both interested in friendship and would like to meet each other in person. Queue emotional roller coaster of Doooooom…
I don’t have friends here in Nebraska. I want friends. Most of my friends tend to be guys. How is Ox going to feel knowing I’ve been talking to a guy on a kink site and now want to meet him in person?
Only one way to find out… Fuuuuuck… my life… >.<;
We had that conversation Sunday night. Ox has some misgivings. We laid down ground rules for what would be ok and no ok as far as meeting. I relayed the information and L (we’ll call him L) and I arranged to meet at a coffee shop across from campus on Thursday after my class.
So that wasn’t as big of a roller coaster as I had been prepared for, but it did lead to additional conversation about additional play partners; specifically about how I still feel it’s unfair for Ox to play with girls while I am not allowed to play with guys, not that I really want to, but it is an imbalance and I don’t do well with imbalances.
I actually got a reply from one chick asking if we were still looking for someone.
My Brain: Totally not done with that roller coaster, btw. K. Thx. Bye. : D
Me: Fuck you, Brain…
So… there was sexy time yesterday. I don’t remember how, but we got back onto the topic of other people. I’m feeling uncomfortable about it, so it’s obvious that something is bothering me but I don’t want to talk about it so I don’t, but Ox knows somethings up, he just doesn’t know what because I won’t talk so he doesn’t know what to do because he doesn’t know what’s going on inside my head…
We ended up talking about it.
I’m still insecure about a lot of things regarding my surgery. My new scar. The fact that a stranger cut me open and took part of me away. The fact that I have to be on medication for the rest of forever to be “normal”. The fact that I’m still recovering and not able to do things at the gym I took for granted. The fact that I’m still dojo-less and even if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t be able to train as I have in the past.
So, what happens if we find a chick, and for whatever reason, the situation is extremely stimulating for Ox and she’s able to help him finish easier or faster than I am able to? That would mean the issue is really, truly with me right? I’m not doing something right or I’m not enough. It really is me.
What happens if they hit it off and form a friendship where they want to start hanging out, alone because they’re friends? What if she’s prettier than me? What if she doesn’t have cancer? What if she doesn’t have grief because her parents are still alive? What if she catches feelz for Ox and then we have to contend with all of that? What happens if Ox gets the type of dynamic that I’m not allowed to have because “guys are bad”?
Ox and I have only recently been branching out into the BDSM side of things and so while I am enjoying and grateful for it, it’s still new and tentative. I don’t feel secure in it because I don’t understand why the change is there or if it will last, or really what any of it means for him. Is it only bedroom play or is this the real-life dynamic that I’ve wanted that I convinced myself I couldn’t have because believing I couldn’t have it was easier than constantly pining for it?
What’s our relationship goal? Do we even have one? Where are we headed? How are things going to change once Jon and I are roommates? How are things going to be once I go back to nursing school and no longer have a life for eight months?
There’s so much in flux right now. I don’t want to add another person into the mix when so much is still unclear, unsettled, muddled, muddy, nebulous…
Ox: We don’t have to do this. It’s why I’ve left it up to you. If you don’t want it, that’s ok.
Me: But this is something I agreed to before I moved. Won’t you feel betrayed if I don’t do this?
Ox: No. I love you. I’m with you. And I’m here for you.
It was a hard conversation. Admitting to my “not good” feelings was hard. I was worried about rejection and anger, but like so many other times before, I was given love, kindness, and understanding instead.
At the end of the conversation, Ox hugged me and said we were ok. Originally I had plans to cross-stitch at the house on the bed next to him, but with the looming conversation, it felt less ok to do something like that. I should go to the apartment and hide. I should be emo in bed under the covers and leave this unresolved because it’s easier to not confront it than to work through it.
But no. We worked through it. Together. And at the end, I did go inside and cross-stitch, something I haven’t been doing.
That’s something else I’ve noticed. For the past few weeks, all of the self-care I had been doing post-surgery has fallen to the wayside again, and I wonder if that’s not factoring into the general discord I have been feeling. I haven’t colored for weeks. Yesterday was the first time in a while that I’ve stitched. This is the first writing in roughly a week. There are piles on the kitchen table and dishes in the sink… I’m allowing Life to take over again and that’s not ok.
Today is about cleaning up; catching up. I was supposed to go to counseling, but Ox accidentally took my keys with him to work, so I can’t drive anywhere. Instead, I’m going to stay at the apartment today. Writing has helped me reflect. I’m in the process of meal prepping. As my back allows I’ll pluck away at sweeping and moping and going through my piles. Email, phone calls, school notes, condensing to-do lists… all of it.
Today is about getting back on track and tonight will be an awesome night of D&D.
Things will be ok. Things are ok. I’m my mother’s daughter and I’m a warrior. Those are my truths. I think I needed to be reminded of them.