Daily Post 042: 16 Hour Days = 8 miles

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Monday was my second day on my own at work. My second 16-hour shift.

It was the first day that I remembered to wear my Fitbit with me to work. Apparently, I walked eight miles that day.

It was the second time that my teammates were amazing and had a little pow-wow with me to help boost my confidence.

Monday was the first day where I forgot the clamp the saline lines, not once, but twice, which resulted in a major headache for my trainer who had to help fix my mess up. Monday was the first time where not one, but two, of my patients, wanted to pause their treatment to use the restroom. It was the first time I got done taping someone’s access up and wished them a good day only for them to come back two minutes later, their gauze soaked in blood because they bled through.

It was the second time that I used organizing the stock room as my destresser from it all. It was my first heart to heart with one of the RNs who’s become way more friendly to me now for some reason. It was my first time interacting with Mr. C who said I did a good job taping him up.

It wasn’t a bad day. I was joking with my boss earlier, just after my first break, saying that I hadn’t killed anyone yet, I hadn’t broken down into tears, and I hadn’t quit, so, all in all, it was a good day so far.

He laughed, and I laughed with him even though we both knew how serious I was about each of those statements. Since he started as a PCT he knows exactly what I’m going through and it’s a nice feeling to know that he legitimately understands the whole, “It’s not a bad day but I’m totally going to break down into tears once I get out to my car” feelings.

Part of the routine at the clinic is each team member gets a specific chore for the day. My chore on Monday was making CVC kits. It’s sort of like making the needle packs.

Two packs of 2×2 gauze, two packs of alcohol, two tempadots, one piece of 4×4 gauze, paper tape, plastic tape, one syringe, one iodine pack.

Making needle packs is an extremely structured and repetitive task. It one of the moments in the day where I get to breathe and take a step back. A moment of decompression. Just like mixing the bleach water. I get to measure everything out. No higher level thinking. No inserting needles into arms or thighs. No human interaction for those six minutes. There’s only running water, measured bleach, writing initials, date, and time onto a piece of plastic tape to go on the container.

Monday was such a crazy busy day with me trying to keep up with my patients that I didn’t have time to do the CVC kits. I stayed after I clocked out to do them, holding up in the stock room and listening to the same ambient techno song on my phone while I did five packs at a time.

Two of those, one of that, three of these.

Counting. Repetition. No beeping alarms. No “next obligation”. No “I hope I’m doing this right and don’t mess up.”

My brother called me during my CVC making. There’s a former guard instructor who lives really close to him. She helped Jon get a job working with a high school marching band this past summer. She’s sort of become Jon’s adoptive mom. I’m not as close to her, but she’s an extremely nice person and I’m glad Jon has her in his life.

She was taken to the ER for a kidney stone. I can relate all too well to that situation.

Jon said he needed someone to talk to because it brought up a lot of emotions for him. Seeing her with IVs in her arm, just like mom had. Being there when she was discharged, an action we never got to experience with mom.

I had silent tears running down my cheeks as I continued to count out alcohol packs and tempadots. I know what it was like for me to be in the ER on my own. I haven’t seen any of my loved ones in the hospital yet. I’m sure it will bring up powerful emotions when I do have that experience, but I still ached for my brother and myself over our loss of mom. It still hurts remembering what it was like to see her in the ICU, what it was like to sleep in the hospital every night for two weeks. To stand in front of the drink mix aisle at Target and to feel like an awful daughter because I didn’t know what flavor mom would want. To know that mom never got to be discharged.

It brought up a lot on an already overwhelming day and I didn’t even bother to wipe the tears away as the rolled down my cheeks while I listened to him and shared in his pain.

I’m glad my brother called me and I’m glad we have each other to understand the emotions we can’t share with anyone else.

When I finally left work it was 8:30 pm.

I drove home. I talked to one of my friends from California while I did it. He made me laugh which kept the tears in check. It helped remind me that the day hadn’t been bad, just overwhelming and the way to fight overwhelm is to let go of the tension and breathe.

I took a long, hot, relaxing shower when I got home, washing away the day. Work will stay at work, and I think showering will be one of the actions I use to solidify that for myself.

I then went out to dinner with Warren since it was his birthday. We talked about finances. We talked about the Internet issue. We talked about him having a friend over on Wednesday (tonight). We talked about a lot of stuff. It was good to be out even though I was exhausted. I think it helped him feel cared for that even if it was a small outing that we at least did something for his birthday. It didn’t go unnoticed.

When we got back home I went to sleep almost immediately.

I slept almost all day Tuesday. At first, I thought about getting up and doing something with the day. At 7:30 am I went downstairs to make coffee but only made it to the futon. I laid back down for a few hours before finding enough energy to go back upstairs to my room. No coffee. No breakfast. In fact, I didn’t eat anything until 6 pm that evening and the only reason I did was because Warren agreed to pick up a pizza for me.

By 7 pm I was feeling a bit better energy wise. I stayed up and played Torchlight until about midnight before going back to sleep.

I woke up at 3, 5, and 7:30.

I’ve felt better today but still tired. It’s the type of tired that feels like it will be fixed with a good night’s sleep, so I think tomorrow will be ok.

I work tomorrow. It’s a “short” day. Only two shifts of patients rather than three. If I close tomorrow then I’ll be out around 4:30 pm. Friday is a day off, then Saturday is another “short” day. I’m hoping the new schedule is out so I can know what I’ll be working for the next six weeks.

I’m glad with the way the schedule worked out this week. I enjoy closing. I enjoy the calm and being able to stock and clean and not worrying about having the pod set up for the next wave of people. 16 hour days are brutal. Maybe I’ll get better with them as I improve my workflow and things become less overwhelming. Right now it feels like a lot and I needed these past two days to recover. Just like I needed Saturday and Sunday to recover from this past Friday.

I saw my blacksmith Saturday night. It was supposed to be Friday night but he was in a car accident.

I knew something was wrong that evening as I was leaving work. We had been texting earlier in the day. When I was leaving I sent a message to let him know I was on my way home. After thirty minutes I still didn’t have a reply. I knew that was odd. After an hour and thirty, I knew something had happened and our evening most likely was going to be postponed. At 11 pm I sent a message saying I hoped he was ok. At 3 am I still hadn’t received a response.

It wasn’t until the morning that I got a message saying he was being released from the hospital. No one was seriously injured. His shoulder and chest were sore but that was it. A 17-year-old was texting on her phone and pulled out too soon, smashing into the passenger wheel of his car.

I’m glad he’s ok. I’m glad we saw each other Saturday night. It was another session where I feel like my soul was melted into liquid iron and reshaped. Insecurities that I’ve had for years seem to have vanished over the course of a single night. Even with the weight of work I can feel a difference in myself. The breaks and cracks and chipped pieces where past experiences have hurt me have been undone through this one interaction and I really don’t know why or how.

I feel accepted with both my blacksmith and Big Bad. I feel a level of peace with both of them. Like it’s ok to be me, pure me, vulnerable me. No walls keeping people out and protecting hidden, secret hurts me.

I like how they both make me a better person. How they want me to reach the goals I set for myself. How they’re supportive and inquire about what I’m doing. How they help me through the hard times and share in the good times. I’m grateful for both of them and this is another instance of where I realize just how rare a dynamic like this must really be.

I still feel the hurt of mom being gone, but excluding that wound, I feel more whole than I have since I can remember. It’s another foreign feeling where I’m still me but it’s a different version of myself that I’m not used to. There should be pain in certain areas of my soul and there isn’t. In a way, it’s disorienting and yet relieving.

It’s something I am consciously aware of, so I suppose I’ll meditate on it and form other thoughts and will write about it more in the future. For now, it’s enough to say that I continue to grow and change and develop into the person I’m supposed to be.

Today has been a more productive day than yesterday, though really it feels like any day would have been “more productive” than yesterday.

I returned my fourth pair of shoes today. I actually really liked the ones I had. The only bad thing was they were a 9.5. The store I had been at previously only had half sizes in stock, so it was either a 9.5, which was a little too big, or an 8.5, which was a little too small.

I decided to try out the 9.5, but nope, too big. The shoes almost slipped off my feet while I was walking around the clinic. Everything else was amazing though. I loved the cushion and the slip resistant bottoms. The style was what I was looking for, too.

So today I went to a different store to return them and see if they had the elusive size 9 I wanted. They did, so hopefully, that mission can be labeled as a 100% success. We’ll know tomorrow when I try out the new pair. I have high hopes.

I did grocery shopping after that. This week is almost over and with still being low energy like I am I don’t really have it in me to do a bunch of cooking. I got mostly frozen stuff that requires baking in the oven. Not the healthiest of meal planning weeks I know, but it’s better than eating fast food every day from having nothing prepared. I’m going to try to be a bit better planned for the coming week.

I also got my car looked at today. One of the things my blacksmith and I do is go out to Waffle House for breakfast before he leaves. As we were driving there he mentioned how it felt like I should get my brakes looked at. Since I’m not a car person I tend to default to other people’s judgments on things like that.

My rotors were fine but the pads did need to be replaced, along with my brake fluid and my oil. It wasn’t supposed to have taken very long, but when one of the mechanics when to pick up the brake pads the store didn’t have them, so we had to wait for them to be delivered from somewhere else… it was sort of a cluster fuck on their end and I ended up waiting about four hours to get my car back.

Wasn’t really how I wanted to spend my day to be honest…

I got a half price oil change out of it, along with a card for a second half priced oil change. Would have rather had my car back two hours earlier, but at least they acknowledged the fact that it was sort of BS to keep me waiting as long as I was.

I’m glad the car got taken care of. The struts need to be replaced soon, but since that will be about $1k I’m going to hold off on that for a bit.

Oh… I bought more of the Shefit bras as well since they’re working out so nice. Three isn’t enough to get me through the work days as well as working out.

Aside from cooking food and doing laundry, there’s not a whole lot else about today to write about.

Warren is going to have his date night. I’m going to go to sleep, and then it will be tomorrow.

So with that I guess I’m going to go and hopefully tomorrow is less overwhelming than what Monday was.

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Daily Post 020: The Beginning of the End

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Today is the start of “The Two Weeks”. The two weeks of mom being in the hospital.

Today was the day that I flew on a South West airplane for the low, competitive price of $700 one way to hopefully see my mother if she survived the surgery.

Capitalism at its finest…

Today was the day that I met Lio at the airport and held it together, somehow, when she hugged me and told me mom had made it through the surgery and was in ICU.

Today was the first day that I saw my mom, pale, asleep, wires and tubes everywhere as machines next to her bed beeped and blinked and displayed all sorts of information that I didn’t know how to process.

Today was the day that mom thought I was Lio when I asked her if she knew who I was.

Today was the first day that I felt that soul crushing weight of, “Mom is really sick. Mom needs me. She needs me to be strong.”

Tonight will mark the first night that I stayed with her at the hospital. It’s the first night we had one of our many deep conversations. Tonight’s conversation was the one where she thought she was stupid. How could she have let herself get so sick?

Tonight was the night where I felt shame and guilt and remorse. Mom could have died and here she is, feeble, frail, alive, so weak looking in her hospital bed, her voice so soft and tired sounding and she thinks she’s stupid.

She’s alive and she’s kicking herself mentally for being sick. How is that at all ok? How can she feel bad, awful, for being sick and living? She’s alive. She’s the most amazing person ever and yet she feels stupid.

It broke my heart to hear her say those words, and our conversation that night was explaining how she wasn’t stupid. She did everything right. She was feeling bad. She want to the doctor. He saw certain things and percribed medicaitons. She took them. She wasn’t feeling better. She went back to the doctor. He agreed she was getting worse. He sent her to another doctor. They found out what was really wrong and rushed her to surgery.

Everyone did everything “right”. No one was stupid or at fault. It was a shitty situatuion and we would get through it. Together. We would be ok because we weren’t going to give up. We, Jason, Jon, me, and Lio, would be there for her.

Tonight marks the first night that I fell asleep listening to a heart monitor, to her breathing. Tonight was the first night of a two-week stretch of sleeping for fifteen minutes at a time if I was lucky because everything was a bad sound, a life or death crisis that I had to be awake for.

Today marks the beginning of the end.

I hurt. But at the same time, I’m numb. It’s like I’m in a giant sea of despair but I’m on a raft made of apathy. If I dip my fingers into the water or submerge my hand I can feel all of the hurt seeping into my bones and blood. I can feel it traveling through my body if I think too long on something. I can feel my heart bleeding even though when I look down there is no wound.

It’s like a hole should be there. I should be able to reach into my chest, where my sternum should be, where my heart should be and touch nothing. Emptiness. A hallow void where once something had been.

The beginning of the end.

In my head, it seems fitting to think of it like that. My final two weeks with mom. Two weeks. Every day, every hour building up to that final morning. My last goodbye. My last, “I love you.”

I want to say that I hate this, but I don’t know if I truly do or not. I can’t make up my mind when I allow myself to feel. I can’t choose between being angry and being sad. There’s nothing to be angry at and I don’t want to be sad, so I don’t know what to do. It’s easier to not feel instead because feeling is so confusing.

It’s easier to go through the motions but they feel so empty, so disconnected from the world and pointless. I’m fighting between trying to connect to something excruciating and shutting everything out because it hurts too much.

I don’t know which I want more. I don’t know which one will be better.

I think feeling would be “better”. At least it would keep me in reality. In my reality, it hurts. By feeling, I wouldn’t be allowing the emotions to fester or mutate into things they aren’t. I would be lancing the wound I have. Purging the build up.

But to do that I have to admit to things all over again and I don’t want to. I don’t want to cry, or rather, I don’t want to cry more because I already have been. For days. Random silent tears constantly dehydrating me over random thoughts that I can’t stop my brain from thinking.

I don’t want to go through this. I wish there were a way to stop it. I wish it felt ok to hate. I want to hate this. I want to be angry because that’s easier than being sad, but it doesn’t do anything and so it’s wasted energy.

I wish mom were here. I wish she was still alive. I wish she hadn’t died. I wish I had been able to do more when I had been at the hospital. I wish I had been a CNA then. Or an EKG Tech. Maybe I would have been able to understand the heart monitor then. Maybe I would have been able to do something other than nothing. I would have been able to do something other than holding her hand and giving her sips of water when she asked for it.

I’ve almost made it a year.

I know that’s an accomplishment but it’s not one that I wanted to achieve. I didn’t want to have to live a year without my mom. I didn’t want this to be part of me, my story. I don’t want it to be “an accomplishment”. I don’t want it to be a positive thing.

I want it to be solemn and somber and heavy because it is.

It sucks and I don’t care if that’s me wallowing in self-pity or being a victim or whatever else it could maybe, possibly be. Today sucks. Yesterday sucked. All of this has sucked.

Even with all of the postive steps I have taken, I want to hate it because I would rather have my mom.

In all honestly, emotions being set aside, the past few days have been well enough. Nothing super bad has happened.

I talked to Warren. He knows I’m not ok with the apartment. He’s actually done his dishes the past few days. We got the storage unit emptied out. I’ve moved most of his boxes upstairs so the apartment isn’t completely trashed. I had two successful sticks today and I won one of the review games we played in class, so I get an extra five points on my test tomorrow.

I had an email from the hospital on Tuesday for an EKG Tech position I applied for. I had to fill out the stupid personality survey again.

Me: No. Seriously. I’m still the same person…

There was a 47 question test I had to do as well. It was all about identifying EKG rhythms and what you’re supposed to do with what you’ve identified.

Is it lethal? Should you call a code? Is it normal, abmormal? Should you let the nurse know something STAT or just mention it so she can keep an eye out if anything further develops?

I wasn’t all that confident in myself because we never talked about what you’re supposed to do after you’ve identified. I was content that I took the test rather than avoiding it and giving up on the position.

I woke up Wednesday morning to an email saying I had failed the test. I failed, but, they wanted me to take it again.

Ok… Either I bombed it so bad that they don’t believe I really am that stupid and want to give me another shot now that I’m not filled with anxiety over it, or I barely failed and they want me to try again because they’re interested in me.

Well, I mean… obviously they want me to try again. They’re letting me take it a second time. I don’t think that’s standard if you suck or they’re not interested in you.

So that’s what I did today. After class, I studied, and studied, and studied some more. I took the test and was more confident in myself while I did it. I guess I’ll find out tomorrow if I passed it or not. If not then I guess I need to study more if I want an EKG Tech position.

Tuesday, while I was in the middle of filling out the personality survey, I got a call from a dialysis clinic I applied at. They want me to shadow for a few hours on Friday. And by a few hours I mean from 5am until noon. If that goes well, they like me I like them sort of a thing, then I will have a face-to-face interview at 2 pm that afternoon.

So, yeah… A lot of stuff has been going on but it’s all be behind my wall of apathy. I’m not excited about either position because I don’t know if I passed the test so there’s nothing to get excited about as far as that goes. And with the dialysis position, it depends on how much they are willing to pay me. Once the paid eight weeks of training is over the schedule flexes, so if they don’t pay me enough I can’t accept the job because I won’t be able to get a second one with a schedule that changes every week.

I’m still applying and keeping my eyes open for opportunities. Right now I feel sort of like a raptor. Anything that seems like something I could potentially do I strike out and apply for. But at the moment it’s a cold, detached sort of strike. There’s no joy or excitement behind it.

I did boxing and submission grappling on Monday. I moved some boxes that day, too. Tuesday was the storage unit, so that was more of an active recovery day. No dojo. And today was Muay Thai conditioning at the dojo with more box moving afterwards. I didn’t feel like staying for jiujitsu or the second conditioning class. I didn’t want to be around people anymore.

I’m sort of done with today.

I’m done trying and doing and problem-solving.

I wish I could say that I’m done hurting, but I feel like it’s only just started.

This is the beginning of the end. I still have a long ways to go before this wave is over.

I have therapy tomorrow. Maybe that will help. With what I don’t know. It’s not like I can have help breathing. I have to do that on my own. I have to live my own life. No one can do that for me. No one can wake up for me, and I know I wouldn’t want someone to do it even if they could.

This is my life and I’m supposed to be the one living it.

Right now it sucks.

Daily Post 019: Temporary

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Let’s see…

I wrote Friday. The day I found out that I was denied for the job.

I went through a lot of the 30-Challenge posts. I have a clearer idea of what I want to achieve and how to achieve it. Most of it comes back to:

Getting a job
Finishing the PCT program
Continuing to kick ass at the dojo

I ended up talking to my younger brother. That sort of sucked, though there’s a story for how the day evolved to the shitty conversation I had with him.

I went and made a payment for the EKG class I took. While I was there I saw one of my former classmates. She had just gotten done taking the board test. She failed by three points.

We ended up standing outside talking for a bit. The subject of my interview came up and I had to explain how I was denied and how the email hadn’t specified a reason why.

She said that even though companies aren’t allowed to discriminate, that it most likely had to do with my purple hair.

I hadn’t thought of my hair as an issue since it was mentioned during the interview. I had been told it wouldn’t be a problem. Accommodations would be made as long as I wore a head covering.

The conversation with my classmate made me begin to wonder, though. Am I going to have to give up my hair in order to get a job?

The thought of having to dye my hair back to “normal” physically hurt. I know I am not my hair, but my purple is important to me. Purple is the color of the 7th chakra, the crown chakra at the top of the skull. It represents our connectedness to the Universe and energies around us.

I don’t dye my hair because purple is my favorite color, or because I’m being a punk ass millennial and “sticking it to the man”. This is part of my spirituality, and it sucked, hardcore sucked, to have the realization that almost all of society would stand in front of me and say, “well if you want a job you have to conform”.

In my head that’s a lot like telling a Christain, “You can work here, but only if you renounce your faith and tell people, daily, that you don’t believe in Jesus.”

Yeah, you could do that. You could say those words. There’s nothing stopping you from stringing those syllables into that particular order, but I bet the thought of doing it sucks.

I bet for some people it sparks anger. Why should you have to do that? Why should you have to renounce your faith when it has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with the quality of work you’re able to do as an employee.

Maybe sadness. Why should you have to give up something that’s important to you? Why are they making you choose between something your soul connects with and the survival of having a paycheck?

Yeah, I get it. It’s “different” in my case… It’s just hair…

But at the same time, IT’S JUST HAIR.

Why can’t I keep it the way I want? Why do I have to give up an expression of myself, my soul, just to prove that no, I’m not a crazy drug user or whatever unfounded stereotype someone else is brainwashed into believing, especially when simple, easy compromises could be made to negate ALL of the perceived issues it would cause?

What is the company sacrificing for me to make this trade fair?

What core identity, fundamental belief, is it sacrificing to show it cares as much about me as I do about my potential job?

A paycheck? It’s sacrificing money to make me conform? Yeah… ok. I can go with that. I get that in exchange for changing my hair I would be receiving compensation in the form of money.

Is money worth giving up the fulfillment of being able to say, “Yes, I believe in Jesus?”

Would anyone else give that up, or something else just as core value? What if it was, “You can work here as long as you’re not gay?”

And that’s where I have the biggest problem. If it were anything else people would be understanding, but because it’s “just hair” it’s not allowed to be important to me. It can’t be something I have an attachment to, or a connection to. It can’t be something spiritual that I have a right to keep.

What’s more infuriating is the fact that I could work at a fast food chain and because it’s considered “lesser” work there are more leniencies in regards to appearance, but because I want to work at a hospital me being myself is suddenly something that needs to be altered or hidden or eradicated.

At the time my brother called me I was very much in an irrationally angry and hurt state.

I told him I didn’t want to talk about it, but he pressed.

Jon: It’s how our society works.
Me: Well, fuck our society.

What’s really bad is I don’t even know if my hair was or wasn’t the cause of my denial. It was mostly just a built up fantasy inside of my head of a bunch of supervisors sitting around a table and saying, “Nope. She’s obviously a delinquent. Just look at that hair.” And the only reason I was thinking about it like that was because of the conversation I had with my classmate.

Originally I had thought it was because I was very obviously over qualified for the job. I mean, come on… Patient transporting when I’m EKG certified, working on phlebotomy, about to be CNA working towards PCT… The only thing I could have done more to keep me from getting the job was walking in with a flashing, “I’m not going to stay in this position long” sign above my head.

But no, the conversation with my classmate totally overrode all of that rational. The only reason I was denied was because of my hair. They lied about the accommodations and simply didn’t like me even though both interviews had gone well. They’re all lying soulless jerks. Rawr.

The conversation with my brother ended on not such a good note. He sent me a text message not long after our conversation saying how it had felt like a slap in the face to him. He had just sent me money to pay for my classes and here I was throwing it away because I refused to dye my hair.

Bitch, I had just said on the phone that I knew I would do what I had to do, but that I hadn’t had time to process through the emotions and that I was angry and didn’t want to talk about it.

If you want to pick and choose what parts of the conversation you hear at least remember the goddamn facts of it and recognize that whatever hurt feelings you have are your own fault since you didn’t leave it alone when I told you to leave it alone.

I felt betrayed and guilty. I’m not the only one invested in my schooling anymore. That makes me want to do my best. But I’m not the only one invested in my schooling, so now I feel like I have to do what makes him happy. I feel like I “owe” it to him to give up my hair because that’s what he wants.

While we were on the phone he tried to relate to me by saying how he hates having to flip his septum piercing up when he goes and works with the color guard at the high school he volunteers at.

I mentioned how he had been dishonest about his piercing and that he was playing a dangerous game, which he was obviously ok with playing. He hadn’t been told he had to take the piercing out in order to have the job. He had flipped the piercing up before the interview and pretended like it didn’t exist.

That’s fine. That’s how he wants to play it. But it wasn’t fair of him to use that as an example of him “sacrificing” because he didn’t sacrifice. He lied and kept something that is important to him. So really the moral here is I should lie. I should hide my hair in a head wrap preemptively. At least that’s what he’s saying his actions would be if he were in my situation.

I didn’t have it in me to do much the rest of Friday. I applied to some jobs eventually. Only three. One is a Central Service Tech job at a surgical center not far from where I live. I wouldn’t mind interviewing for it. Another is a pharmacy stock position with the hospital. That one doesn’t seem so bad either, but with how I got so far with the interview process for them to deny me with no reason given, I’m sort of burned out on the hospital right now.

I thought a long time about the conversation with my brother. I didn’t want him to feel like I was throwing away anything because I wasn’t. What made everything so painful was the knowledge that if push came to shove I would, indeed, relinquish my hair. That I wouldn’t stand true to myself. I would conform. I would bend, but in my head, it wasn’t bending, it was breaking. And I would do it even as I hated every second, even as every morning I would be reminded by the mirror that I had abandoned myself. He felt hurt and betrayed even though ultimately I would do whatever I needed to do.

What do you do with that? I said, “If I have to, I’ll do the thing you want me to do.” And he still felt hurt. He still felt like I slapped him in the face. How was I supposed to succeed in that situation? I didn’t, and still don’t, understand other than to say, “It’s Jon and he’s always going to be a double-edged sword.”

Saturday morning, while I was drinking my coffee, I came up with what may be a compromise I’m ok with.

I’ll keep applying for jobs. That choice was never really an option. I’ll keep my purple hair while I do it. If, by the time I finish my phlebotomy class, 5 weeks from now, I haven’t been able to land anything, then I will dye my hair back.

And even then, I might wait a month while I finish out my PCT course and see if I can get a phlebotomy position with my hair the way it is. I think I like that idea better. I can’t apply for phlebotomy jobs yet, so I want to give myself a chance in that area before giving up my hair.

So, yeah, nine weeks. Nine weeks to find someone who sees me as a person rather than a stereotype. Nine weeks to find a company who understands that IT’S JUST HAIR and that I would be beyond grateful to be allowed to remain true to myself.

Having found that compromise I felt a bit better. My thoughts turned to the job search, though. I’ve been seriously looking for a job since mid-February. So a month I guess? Two interviews, and a call back I shouldn’t have passed up. So does that count as three?

Are those good numbers? Am I not trying hard enough? Should I still be reaching for low hanging fruit or stay aimed at the direction I want to go in? How do you know when you’re making the right choices? Is there something I should be doing differently?

Blarg.

I paid bills on Friday, too. I’m broke. Like, “I can’t go grocery shopping until Warren pays rent” level of broke. Yeah… and with no future income in sight at the moment. It makes my stomach tight like I’m preparing for a massive uppercut that I know is going to suck no matter how prepared I am for it. It makes me wrap my arms around my stomach to think about how I can’t buy anything. Not conditioner or body wash. Not the cheese slices for breakfast.

This was what I was trying to avoid by searching for jobs early. I didn’t want to be in this situation. But I’m here. So I guess the best thing I can do is understand the emotions I feel and do the best I can to change my situation.

I went to the dojo Saturday. Jiujitsu was first, then Muay Thai. I thought about not staying for the second class. I did, though, and I’m glad I did even though right now I’m incredibly sore.

I hung around after class, stretching on the mat while some of the guys talked. We all ended up in sort of a pow-wow circle, sitting and relaxing while we chatted. It was nice. I feel like I’m starting to form actual friendships with some of them, which you would think trying to choke each other out all the time would mean we’re like BFFs or something. Since a few of them are friends on my Facebook they mentioned my stripe and EKG certification. It made me feel like I was part of the group.

I didn’t drink enough water while I was at the dojo so by the time I got home I had a killer headache. I ate, drank water, then curled up in bed and suffered for a while. It wasn’t until around 8 pm that I started feeling ok enough to do much of anything. I cooked homemade beef stir fry. It came out awesome.

I went back to bed not long after cleaning up the kitchen and running the dishwasher.

So, of course, I’m not ok that when I went down to the kitchen this morning there are dirty dishes in the sink.

Blah. That’s a conversation I don’t want to have. But I know I need to because it’s only going to get worse for me internally if I don’t.

I don’t feel like doing anything today. I’m supposed to go start cleaning out the storage unit but the bitch in me doesn’t want to do it. Why should I be the only one to do anything when he can’t even be bothered to put his dirty dishes in the dishwasher?

I know if I don’t start moving boxes back to the apartment that Tuesday is going to epically suck. I don’t want to spend my whole day moving stuff. I want it to be the furniture and that’s it.

I feel like that’s a victim mentality. “Why me? Why can’t it be fair?”

I don’t know what to do to change those feelings. And I don’t know how to make it fair when the other person doesn’t care enough to change.

I might have a way to make my work area more conducive to studying. It’s something I’m looking into at least, being able to work better at home. Since home is becoming a point of stress for me I’m not sure how helpful any changes are actually going to be.

I want things to change, but I don’t want to put in any more effort because it feels like the effort I have put in is pointless. It hasn’t gotten me anywhere so why keep trying?

Because I said I would. Because if I don’t try than things literally won’t change. I have to keep going to the dojo if I want to keep getting healthier. I have to keep applying for jobs if I want the chance to actually have one. I need to keep going to class so I can keep improving which will let me apply for better jobs. And I need to keep telling Warren that he’s being unkind to me because he is. His apathy affects more than just him and it will kill our relationship if he doesn’t change.

I have to accept that he might not change, and if he doesn’t then that’s on him. I’ve been doing my part. I’ve tried to come up with compromises that work for both of us. I’m not a doormat. I’m not his mom. He’s not my man child.

This moment is temporary. It will change.

Daily Post 012: The Weekend And Then Some

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The game plan had been to go to the dojo for submission grappling since it’s Monday evening. I think I’m going to skip out on it in favor of writing, though. I know that sounds bad, but it’s pretty understandable when I slip in the added information that I was awake at 4 am this morning and did boxing at 6 am.

Yeah… I’ve already had a pretty intense, “holy shit, my ass is kicked” workout… I don’t really know if I want another one when I still have to wake up and do a bunch of stuff tomorrow in addition to going to class. Maybe that’s me being weak. Or maybe I should listen to my body when it protests about having to climb up the stairs.

I’m going to go with the latter and hope I don’t regret it later.

So, yeah. Things. And stuff.

I started writing yesterday but didn’t really have it in me, so I stopped about two paragraphs in.

I’m pretty sure the last day I wrote was Saturday morning before the dojo. I had a good workout. I enjoy the conditioning classes. I didn’t see Jim there, but I guess he’s been busy with work. At least that’s what Akib said when the subject was brought up. That’s sort of lame. It’s been over a month since I’ve seen him.

We pulled up the mats and swept/mopped the floor under them in preparation for the new ones. That almost makes me think I should go tonight. I haven’t seen the new mats yet… Arg. No. I’m not going to go because I’m still easing back into things. I’ve only had one solid week of working out. I want to do another week of one hour before trying to up it to two.

The instructor for the Muay Thai class posted on my Facebook saying that I did well in the class. It made me smile. There was also a picture of everyone who stayed to help with the mat clean up. It made me smile and feel connected to see that on Facebook, too. It made me feel part of the dojo family.

The day was going really well after the dojo. Came home. Made a grocery list. Switched the laundry. Went to the store. Realized while I was in the checkout line that I had left my wallet in my gym bag at home…

Yeah, that sort of sucked. I had to put everything back since I was in a store a bit further from my apartment than my normal one. I had planned to get an Arby’s sandwich after the shopping which is why I had gone to a different location. I guess that just wasn’t meant to happen.

I drove home to get my wallet which is where things took a nose dive.

Warren was awake and in the kitchen so I decided to get it over with and ask him about rent.

He said he didn’t know if he would be able to pay for March.

I was quiet for an extended period of time because never in any of my imagines did I think he would not be able to pay rent since he had said he would pay February, and didn’t, so that meant he had extra money to for sure pay for March… right?….

Wrong.

When I was finally able to half way process through my thoughts I asked why he didn’t think he would be able to pay.

Finances weren’t working out.

… How are finances not working out?

He didn’t know. He didn’t know if he wasn’t making enough or what, but he was going to figure it out.

Was there a date when he thought he would have the information?

No.

What the actual fuck?

I didn’t know what to say. How do you not know how things are not working out, and what the fuck? You can’t give me a date when you’re going to look into this information and tell me how I’m not going to be completely screwed over?

I was quiet for another extended period as the shock started bleeding into hurt. I nodded, turned around, and walked back to my car.

My hands were shaking as I drove out of the lot back to the store; the one close to the apartment this time since I didn’t want my sandwich anymore.

I sent a text my younger brother asking if he could talk.

He called shortly after I got into the store. I was standing in front of the ketchup display when I answered.

“Hey. I’m about to break down into tears in the middle of Publix and I know this is going to be an “I told you so” moment but I really, really just need you to listen to me and not say those words.”

So Jon listened to my story. He listened to me say how I felt betrayed. In the fourteen years Warren and I have known each other, in the six months since I’ve let him live here rent free, after the $4000 dollars I’ve spent to help him, and he couldn’t be up front and honest and come to me and let me know that things weren’t working out?

I had to ask, and poke, and pry, and even then I couldn’t get straight answers?

What the fuck?

How is any of that ok? How could he think any of that would ever be ok? After how he knows about my past and all of the times I’ve gotten screwed over by helping people financially and he’s going to treat me like that? He’s just going to assume after I’ve told him money is running low and I can’t cover things on my own anymore, that it’s ok to not tell me that he can’t help?

I started going from feeling hurt and betrayed to angry. Furious.

Basically where the conversation left off was getting information about removing Warren from the lease. If push comes to shove I need him to leave so I can find a roommate who will actually contribute to the apartment. I knew I needed to have another conversation with Warren, but I also knew that night was NOT the night to do it.

Big Bad and I made plans to hang out. The idea was to watch 13 Assassins. I asked if he wanted to drink.

Big Bad: Heck yeah

Awesome. I didn’t have intentions at the time to get super drunk. Just a drink, maybe two, to take off the edge of the emotional pain. I wanted to indulge a bit in being irresponsible because it looked like the future was going to be a shit storm. You know… one last hoorah before going back to the grind of figuring out the cluster fuck that my life looked like it was about to turn into.

Well… Saturday Big Bad and I got pretty… intoxicated. Yeah. We’ll go with that. Intoxicated sounds so much nicer than trashed.

We started by going out to dinner, which was nice. He wouldn’t let me pay even though he paid for our movie outing after the Warrior Dash. He said once I had a job I could celebrate by taking us out. Totally, going to remember he said I could pay and do that.

We went back to his place where we had the bit of Disaronno with Dr. Pepper. I found that mix from Frank when I went to the Cards Against Humanity nights he hosted. He hasn’t done one in a while, but that’s our go-to drink for those events. We call them Double Ds. XD

Anyway, I didn’t have much left, so when it was gone Big Bad asked if I still wanted to drink? I did, which isn’t really normal, but since I was in a “zero fucks given” mindset I didn’t care.

Yes, I wanted to keep drinking. I wanted to have a good night and not worry about being responsible or figuring things out or not having a hangover in the morning.

I most likely could have driven. We didn’t have that much, but Big Bad did instead. He drove my car since he said his truck wasn’t clean. I was fine with it. I trust him, and we made it to the store and back without incident.

I guess me trusting him to drive my car seems less like a massive leap of faith when I mention that he’s let me stay at his house unsupervised while he’s gone to pick up pizza for us. Somehow I think leaving someone alone in your house outranks letting someone with a clean driving record drive your car while you’re in it.

So yeah. We got a bottle of 151 rum and continued to mix it with the Dr. Pepper we had.

The only thing I have to say in regards to that is, “Holy crap.”

Way stronger than what I’m used to. Wicked hung over, but the night was amazing and I regret none of it.

Big Bad had birthday balloons in this kitchen. He asked if I wanted to write messages on one. He said he would write messages on the other one and then we could go outside and let the balloons go together, letting our messages leave.

I said yes.

I wrote a message to Warren #1, my current roommate who isn’t paying rent. I said that I hoped this situation didn’t ruin our friendship but that this was a situation of survival now and that I had come too far to not choose myself. I would take care of myself first before helping others and that included him.

I wrote a message to Warren #2 as well.

I guess I should backtrack a little.

While Big Bad and I were at dinner, sober, we talked about our past relationships. I told him the whole situation with Zane, before mom’s hospitalization, the events during it, and the events after her death. I think he understands my feelings better.

He told me about his ex-wife. I appreciated him opening up and telling me more about their history. I asked if in hindsight he thought the divorce was a good thing even though he was against it at first.

He said yes. There had been more bad times than good, and that he had wanted to stay together for his children, but that now he thought it was better to be separated; not only for himself but for his kids as well.

I’m not sure how, but Warren #2 was mentioned and Big Bad asked about the story for him.

It was hard. I had to stop a few times during my telling of it. But I told him. I told him everything. The fight before hand. The rape. Being suicidal afterward.

I told him that I try really hard to remain friends with my exs because I was with them for a reason. I cared about them. But Zane and Warren #2 are two people that I don’t want to see again. I can’t be “the bigger person”. I still want them to hurt the way that I and others have hurt because of them so they know what it feels like. So they know what they’ve made other people live through. I want them to hurt so they learn and become better people. I don’t think that’s a good enough reason to wish pain on others, though, so I still feel like there are issues for me to work through.

Part of working through that was writing my message to Warren #2. In my message, I said that I would not give him the power to rob me of my present. I would not allow myself to live in fear of relationships and love and kindness because of what he did to me. I remember I told Big Bad that when you’re punched in the face by someone who says they love you it makes you question what love is.

I’m not going to let my fear control me. I will acknowledge it and I will relearn how to have healthy interactions. I feel like that’s what Big Bad is helping me do.

He has been nothing but accepting of me and supportive of the things I’m trying to do with my life. Saturday night was another instance where I bared emotional scars to him. Jagged, deep, sensitive scars and instead of thinking me as broken he listened and heard me. He held my hand while I told my story, and when we released our balloons with our messages into the night sky he wrapped his arms around me and pulled me to him so my back was pressed against his chest.

We drank more. We got bored with the movie and instead went outside in the backyard and started a fire in the firepit. It was the first time I’ve been in his backyard. He has two dogs that he normally keeps outside so it was the first time I got introduced to them.

It felt nice being able to be drunk around someone and for it to be a pleasant, fun, positive experience. I know I’ve had a few drinks while I’m with Sir. I’ve had drinks with Frank and everyone, but Saturday was different. I have a lot of memories of being afraid to drink when I was with Warren #2 because I knew we would end up fighting and I wanted to be sober in case I wanted to leave.

I didn’t have that worry with Big Bad. I knew I was safe and that I could enjoy all of it with him. And this is where I sound crazy as an INFJ and talk about vibes and feeling things, but it’s true. It was fantastic being drunk and all of my mental barriers being down and completely open to the energy around me. I didn’t have to hold back, and I didn’t. He didn’t.

Even though we both had headaches and felt rough Sunday morning it was an amazing night. All of it. The conversation by the fire, the balloons, the sex. I regret nothing. Not even the hangover I had to suffer through.

I can definitely say neither of us wants to drink like that ever again. At least not for the next foreseeable ever, but from our conversations since Sunday morning, I think we both enjoyed it.

Sunday we had coffee together once we finally got out of bed. Which took a while.

When I got home Warren was awake again. I didn’t want to have the conversation yet, but I did let him know that Jason and Jon weren’t going to help me financially. I didn’t ask Jason or Jon if they would. I think if I worded my request right they would, but I don’t want them to because it’s not me who’s not able to hold up my end of the deal. It’s Warren and I don’t want them supporting him. It’s not their responsibility to help me help someone else. So I felt like I needed to let Warren know that. I can’t do March on my own and I’m not going to be getting help from my family.

He said he understood and would figure his side out.

I went to my room after that and continued to feel like crap, not just because I was low energy from drinking, being up late, and in general recovering from the amazing night I had, but there were the nagging guilt and building stress of returning to reality. I curled up in bed with Scarlet and stayed there for most of the morning.

Big Bad was supposed to meet Corey to give him a check for computer parts. Not sure if I mentioned it anywhere but Corey is in the process of building Big Bad a computer. I thought it was going to be a quick meeting just to exchange funds.

It turned into Corey, Chelen, and Big Bad having lunch at my sports bar. I got an invitation asking me to join them, which I did. It was nice. We sat outside in the fresh air and shaded sunlight. A breeze was blowing which felt calming against my skin.

I think going out was probably the best thing I could have done for myself. It got me out of bed and showered. It got me back outside, moving around. It got me to eat a salad of tasty awesomeness and drink some more water.

Big Bad actually asked me back to his place after lunch. I don’t know how either of us could still want or even accomplish sexy time, but the human body is amazingly resilient.

When I left for the second time I came home and ended up going to sleep fairly early. Can’t imagine why…
I woke up at 4 am. It was an “awake” awake. One of those “This is a day where things are going to get done” type of awake. There isn’t the grogginess of having to fight through sleep, the dragging of one’s self out of the warm bed. I was ready to get up. I wanted to get up. I had things to do.

When I went downstairs Warren was awake, watching TV on the couch. He works nights so him being awake so early is normal. I sat on the couch next to him and was quiet for a little bit.

Eventually, I asked, “How you would feel if our situations were reversed?”

I still felt hurt and betrayed. I didn’t want to feel like that, but how else am I supposed to feel? I really wanted to know what his perspective was.

Warren: I know you’re probably tired of helping my sorry ass. I know I would be.

We had a really long, in-depth heart to heart conversation. We brainstormed different ideas, he told me different things he was looking into. He told me why finances weren’t working out. I told him how his choices were affecting me and why I felt the way I did.

I said by him not telling me about his situation that he took away a lot of the choices I could have made had I been given more time.

I think we’re on the same page now. I think we both feel better and less “the world is ending”. I’m going to give it until Monday before pressing more on the topic. I want to see what happens in a week.

I went to boxing this morning. I came home and made breakfast.

Oh. That reminds me. Big Bad and I figured out that the end of February will be when we’ve known each other for six months. It’s odd. It feels longer than that. We had been talking through texts so I sent one saying, “Happy slightly early six months of knowing each other”

He thought it was cute.

While I had been at his house Saturday, before the drinking, he said he had gotten something for me. I have mentioned a few times how the coffee I make at home is from instant powder and how I enjoy the coffee we have together in the mornings. He uses a percolator and actual coffee grounds. It’s different from mine and I like it.

Well while Big Bad had been out shopping for things he got me my own percolator and container of coffee to have at home with me. I absolutely love it. I totally hugged the box in front of him.

I used it for the first time this morning, sending him a picture of the percolator sitting in its new place on my stovetop. It actually looks good there. Most of my appliances are black and stainless steel so the percolator blends with everything. It makes my brain happy to see a gift from someone I care about in my environment. Even better that it fits and looks like it belongs there. And it’s something useful.

Best gift ever.

After eating I got ready for class. I picked out the threads I needed for a new cross stitch project. Its something for Big Bad. I think he’ll like it and I want to do something for him. I’m not sure if he’ll be overjoyed by it or anything, but I think it will mean something to him. If nothing else I think he’ll like it because it’s cute and from Star Wars.

Class was good. We started learning about EKG pathologies. There’s a lot of them. x.x

After class, I went to my sports bar. It’s something I’ve budgeted in for the next weeks. Instead of cooking lunch I go to my sports bar for a water and small salad. I study, make flash cards, research, whatever I need to do.

It keeps me out of the apartment for longer, resulting in more light and gives me a place to work since I don’t have a separate office space at home. I don’t work well in my room.

While I was at my sports bar I got an email from my contact at the hospital. He was forwarding me a job posting he thought I would be interested in. He said if he saw any others that he would send them my way.

I took a look at the posting. It’s for a Central Service Technician – Uncertified. Basically, I would be helping to sterilize surgical equipment and setting up the trays for surgeries. Part of the job would be getting certification within the first year of being hired.

I think I would seriously like that job. Cleaning, organizing, mostly introverted work. I would be working nights, which is a little lame, but they would be on the weekend which is sort of cool. That was one of the things I wanted. A job that left my week mostly open.

With a set schedule like that, I could look at getting a part time job after my classes finish. I’m hoping this pans out. I feel like I would like this position more than the position I interviewed for on Thursday. I think this posting is new enough that it hasn’t been filled yet, and I know my resume looks way, way better than it when I applied for the patient transporter position. I have two addition certifications listed, I have the CNA and EGK certifications in progress… On paper, I look way better for an entry level medical position that what I did two weeks ago. Go me. Hopefully, it works in my favor.

So I eventually came home and applied for that after calling Jon to tell him about the posting and finishing my flash cards. It was hard to sit and finish working on them after getting the email, but that’s part of the deal I have with myself for getting lunch out. I can do it only if I do my work. So work had to be completed first, then I could dash home to create a new cover letter and go through the online application process.

Once that was done I emailed my files directly to my contact at his request. That was around 4 pm. Since I haven’t heard back from him I’m going to assume that my information won’t be passed forward until tomorrow, but I’m hopeful.

It’s awesome knowing that my contact is actively looking to help me and that he wasn’t just saying pretty words in his last email to me. He reached out to me with a posting I didn’t even see even though I had checked the hospital’s page just last night.

Currently Big Bad is waiting for me to finish writing so we can hang out tonight. We’re both tired so hopefully, it’s a quiet night we were both relax and unwind from our busy days. I’m looking forward to it, and the morning where we maybe do strength training. Tomorrow will be a dojo day for sure. Jujitsu so I can finally wear my new gi.

It’s still too clean. I need some blood, sweat, and tears on it. Can’t get my blue belt otherwise. : )