Musing Moment 110: Trust Issues

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I had thought to make flashcards today to study for my certification, but sitting here at my sports bar with most of everything else already done I feel the need to write instead.

I had therapy today and during it, I realized something I guess I’ve always known.

I have trust issues.

Only… it’s more than that.

I don’t trust my friends to be there for me when I need them. I don’t trust my brothers to help me when I fall down. I don’t trust anyone to be there the way mom was and because of that, I feel alone.

I knew I felt alone because mom died and I knew that I don’t think anyone else in my life is reliable. I guess finally realizing the real reason behind being lonely is what’s so sobering.

Out of everyone in my life, all the people who care about me, there isn’t anyone that I would want to do a trust fall with.

Everyone in my life has either let me down or proven themselves to be unreliable.

In a way this realization makes me feel more solid, more stable. At least I know the reason behind my feelings now. At least I know the logic behind not believing anyone when they say something to me. At least I know why I go through these seizing moments of isolating loneliness when things get hard and I feel like I can’t find a solution. At least I know why I don’t reach out to others when things get overwhelming.

No one else is handling their own shit, so what would make me think they can help me with mine?

I can’t talk to my older brother about my emotions. I can’t not clash with my younger brother. I can’t depend on Warren to pay rent. I can’t count on work not to fuck me over.

I trust my blacksmith, but our lives do not cross the way normal relationships do so he cannot be the type of safety net mom was. He can be there in as much capacity as he is able to be, but that’s all. I trust Big Bad as well but pride would prevent me from asking for help if I ever needed it.

Everyone else has a giant wall between me and them. Some I allow closer than others, but no one is on the inside anymore and it was interesting realizing that.

I don’t even know if it’s right for me to say I love people anymore because realizing that I don’t truly trust anyone makes me question how “true” the love I feel is. I feel if you don’t have trust you can’t have anything. Trust is the foundation for everything. So if I don’t trust the people in my life how can I say I love them?

Maybe there are different types, different degrees, of love? I do believe that to be true. I love my patients differently than I love my brothers. So maybe it’s more realizing that the love I feel only goes so far. It only covers so much. Most likely not as much as other people love me.

While people may trust me to be there and to come through, I do not trust others to do the same for me because history shows me they won’t.

I have stopped believing words. People can say anything they want to me. I will hear them and I will make a mental note of what was said, but I won’t truly believe what they say until I see actions which support it.

I’m evaluating my relationships again. I’m realizing how many of them are with people who are content to merely exist rather than to truly live. It’s easier to not do things. It’s easier to not come through. After all, we’re friends so I’ll understand right? It’s not personal. Things just “didn’t work out”.

I think I’m done with those mentalities. I think I’m done bleeding pain and energy into things that aren’t going to change. I think I’m ok with having the trust issues I do because those people have earned my lack of trust.

Maybe this is where quality over quantity comes into play.

I never thought of myself as having many friends. I thought the ones had were of quality, but if I don’t trust them then how healthy are those relationships? Is it worth continuing to maintain them when it feels one-sided and parasitic? Would I be better of being slightly more alone, have slightly fewer friends, but know the ones I do have are trust-worthy and really will be there when I need them?

Wouldn’t it be better to know the numbers in my phone are ones I can call and, no matter what, receive help?

Looking at it that way I wouldn’t have more than 10 numbers.

It’s something I need to meditate on further.

The past two weeks have been hard. I’ve worked 56 hours each week. I’ve had to give up the dojo because I can’t afford both it and rent. I’ve been looking into donating plasma to keep making ends meet. I’ve decided to go back to school for Nursing. I’ve talked to two advisors who want me to pursue becoming a professor and who have helped me map out how to get to that point in life.

I spent Saturday evening with my blacksmith. Monday evening I spent with Big Bad. Mother Earth and I have made plans to go to Daytona Saturday night to watch the sunrise Sunday morning.

There are certain facets of life that suck. I’ll never see Mr. W again. We had to call EMS for him. If he’s alive he’ll be going to a different clinic now, one closer to his facility. I never got to say goodbye to him. I never got to hold his hand and say, “I’m glad I met you.”

Those moments are so fleeting. I’ll never be able to say those words to him and there’s a part of me who so desperately wishes I could. I let that moment go and I will never be able to get it back.

Every class I miss at the dojo is a moment that cannot be redone. Every time I work past when I’m supposed to and I give up something I wanted, it’s gone for forever. Every time I don’t say words I’m risking the chance to never say them again.

I told my blacksmith about losing my patient. He said the first step is realizing it’s not my fault.

I know it’s not my fault. I know mom’s death wasn’t my fault.

I don’t feel guilt.

I feel helpless. I feel like I do all these things and yet they still die.

He said the next step was to realize that as healers, at best, we are speed bumps in life. We cannot stop death. The best we can hope to do is prolong life for a fraction of a second more and to accept that we did our best and healed as fully as we could.

Maybe that’s where I’m at. I feel helpless because there is nothing I can do to stop death. I am powerless, weak, small, and mortal in the face of Death and I always will be. We all will be. We are but humans.

All I can do is live my life to the fullest I can in the moments I have.

I think I’m done with the relationships where I don’t feel there is trust.

I think this is another phase, another transformation in the journey of my grief. I know people will be hurt but I also know I deserve better than hollow promises and empty words.

I owe self-respect to myself.

I’m figuring things out. I’m taking steps forward. Some of those steps are going to take me away from people. I think that’s part of life, though. Part of the journey.

I know I’ll figure it out.

Those aren’t hollow words. That phrase is a fact.

Mom always had a way of convincing me to hold on even though I wanted to give up.

I’m holding on for you, mom. Some things super suck right now but I’m not going to let Life win. I’m going to figure it out and I’m not worried about all of the blood, sweat, and tears it’s going to take. Part of me wants it to be hard. I want to get to the end and have the ability to throw up my middle fingers and to scream in anguish, frustration, pride, and triumph until my lungs give out and my throat is raw.

Fuck you, Life. Fuck all of your complications. Go on and make it hard. I’ll still crush it because I refuse to accept defeat. I’m going to make this, all of this, work, and there’s nothing you can throw at me that will stop me. Not money problems. Not trust issues. Not fear or worry. Not sleepless nights or 16 hour days.

I will do more than exist. I will live my life and you can’t stop me.

 

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Daily Post 054: Comfortable Sadness

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I’m in a bit of a funk and I know I am. I can feel how my body is tired from everything I did yesterday which I’m sure is a contributing factor. My pulse has an arrhythmia that also isn’t helping I’m sure. And of course, since I’m tired and worn feeling I feel my grief more acutely.

I guess it started last night while I was showering. I was reflecting on how well I did yesterday. I biked to the gym and did a plyometric workout based on the different exercises L has had me do in the past. I followed that up with a half mile run before biking back home. I haven’t plotted the course but I think it was roughly four miles round trip.

Later I biked to Title Club Boxing for the boot camp conditioning class then biked back home. We’ll say that’s another 8ish mile though I think that’s lowballing it.

So yeah. Roughly 12 miles biking, a half mile run, and two conditioning classes. 30 three foot box jumps. Yeah. I pushed myself yesterday and it was awesome. I loved all of the sunlight I was able to get. I ate well and drank plenty of water.

I was thinking about how I’m doing well even though mom isn’t here. I don’t feel guilty for doing well. I don’t feel guilty for living my life and enjoying my bike rides and smiling and living.

But I’m sad now.

I miss her. I want her to be here so I can tell her about my day. I want to tell her how I’m scared I won’t be able to jump the red box on Tuesday even though L says I can.

I want mom to tell me I can, and she can’t. And that sucks.

I guess it’s not really a funk I’m in. I guess I’m sad today and I didn’t really realize it until now.

I woke up this morning and was proud of myself that I got out of bed and downstairs before noon. Before 9 am in fact. I had thought I would be so tired that I wouldn’t do a lot today, and to be fair I haven’t done a whole lot, but the morning started better than I had anticipated.

I made coffee and for the first time in a long time, I made an egg sandwich. I sat outside on my doorstep eating and drinking my coffee instead of smoking a cigarette. I bought a pack a week ago, but it’s gone and I haven’t replaced it. I don’t want to replace it, but I’m wondering now if a lack of nicotine is part of the sadness I feel; withdrawals in addition to everything else.

Regardless, the morning was nice. I felt like I was doing well in caring for myself and recovering. My knuckle is almost back to normal. I thought about going to my sports bar for lunch. I could take my flash cards with me and begin studying for my certification. I could do things today that didn’t require a lot of energy because I didn’t have much to give.

I spent most of the afternoon on the couch instead. I washed my dishes from breakfast and that’s about as far as I made it.

Eventually, around noon, I went back to my room since Warren woke up and was in the kitchen. I didn’t feel like being around people, though we did patch things over yesterday so we’re talking to each other again.

I still don’t feel like being around anyone but at the same time, there’s this need to not be alone. It’s frustrating. Like sandpaper inside my skin. I know there’s this irritation but I’m at a loss on how to ease it; sooth it. Nothing on this plane can make it better. None of the people in my life can be my mom. Not Warren, not my brothers, not Big Bad, or anyone else who loves me or I love in return.

It’s an ache I have to breathe through, function through, fight through, until I adjust to the pain and it fades into the background again, white noise in the chaos that is my life. A vibration that is always there that seems to be louder in the silent, quiet moments I allow myself even though I don’t think my grief itself ever really changes.

When I got to my room I started researching hospice RN positions.

It was something my brother and I talked about when I brought up the subject of going back to school for an RN degree. I don’t think I want to work at a hospital. I don’t want to change patients every day. I like that about the dialysis clinic. I know my patients and they know me. We share inside jokes. We pick on each other. We feel sorrow and pain together. I know them. I care for them. I like that about my job.

I’m not sure what I want to do with my life. I still don’t have an end goal, especially right now with the sadness hugging around my shoulders like a blanket. A soft, heavy blanket that is comforting in its own way. It’s familiar. I know what my grief feels like and I accept it.

The hospice thing is more just looking into other options I gain by becoming an RN. It’s another field I think I may find fulfillment in. I read several posts about what working as a hospice RN is like. I also looked up wages since pay is a logistic concern that would need to be looked into at some point regardless of how fulfilling I think something might or might not be.

It’s definitely more pay than what I’m making as a dialysis PCT.

Aside from that I’ve halfway chatted with a friend from California and arranged to pick up Mother Earth from work. I actually need to leave before too much longer to do that. It’s the only obligation I have today and so I feel shitty for not wanting to do it.

We’ve agreed to go sit and have lunch which I am actually looking forward to. I’m not looking forward to the driving, to having to get gas, to having to deal with traffic.

I’m looking forward to sitting and being injured and for that to be ok. I just wish there wasn’t so much to do to get to that point. The thought of the effort makes my shoulders physically hurt, like getting into my car is some huge weight I have to lift. I know it’s not. I know I can do it. I wish I knew why internally it feels like I can’t.

I’m worried that I won’t be accepted to the RN program since most programs are competitive or have a waiting list. I’m worried that I won’t get much for financial aid. I’m worried I won’t be eligible for reimbursement through DaVita because I haven’t been employed long enough. I’m worried about paying rent. I’m worried about keeping up with my training. I’m worried about Scarlet being sick and aging. I’m worried about letting the people in my life down because I don’t hang out often enough / well enough.

I don’t know why I have all of this hanging over me right now. I don’t know if it’s a matter of “misery loves company” and so it’s easy to see and find the negativity that isn’t really there, or if this is my brain telling me to slow down and process through some of the shit I have going on.

Right now I’m tired.

I’m tired of making sure my ducks are in a row for the meeting with my admissions advisor on Tuesday, which they are so there’s really nothing else to do other than wait.

I’m tired of making sure everything is ok with the lease renewing and that paperwork gets done, which that’s all squared away as well.

Maybe, since a lot of the stuff I’m stressed over is now stuff I can let go of, all of this is the stress I wasn’t allowing myself to feel. I had to keep going, keep doing, keep figuring out, and now, today, I don’t have to. Today I can be sad and tired and cry silent tears and it’s ok. It’s not interfering with anything. All my stuff is done.

I hope tomorrow feels better. I hope work goes smoothly and that the new schedule is out so I can plan my next six weeks.

Everything is temporary, including this moment. I know I’ll get better and I know I’m not broken. I know things are ok. I’m just sad and it’s ok to be sad sometimes.

I love you, mom. I miss you and I hope where ever you’re at that you’re having a good day.

Daily Post 049: Learning to Care

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I wrote on Tuesday. Tuesday evening, specifically.

Wednesday seemed like another awful day full of overwhelme. I went to the gym after work again. Well, actually… first I went to the dojo. I had kept that as my shining light at the end of the tunnel all day. I could make it through all of the hectic, crazy bullshit because at the end of it I could go to my dojo.

I didn’t get out of work early enough, though. I’m sure rain during rush hour traffic didn’t help with getting me there in record time. By the time I made it to the dojo there was only 30 minutes left of the Muay Thai class and I didn’t have my gi for the following jujitsu class. It sucked realizing my time was going to be so short; almost pointless. I did stay until the end of Muay Thai and it was a good workout, though light and short.

I did stay until the end of Muay Thai and it was a good workout. I bruised the crap out of the top of my foot. I wanted, needed, to get as much out of my body as I could for those few minutes so I pushed harder, kicked harder, and allowed the pain to start washing the day away.

It wasn’t enough to get rid of the angst and tension from work, though, and that was frustrating. It wasn’t enough to make me feel ok.

Sadly, frustratedly, I bowed out for Muay Thai then headed to the gym so I could try running the rest of everything off. The machine I picked to run on hadn’t been reset and I didn’t realize that until I had already been on the treadmill for a song or two. I didn’t care. I wasn’t on it for the numbers that night. I was on it so I could be ok. So I could go home. So I could not cry.

I ran well. I ran faster than I think I ever have, going past 7 mph. At least I think that’s what the number on the treadmill means. Who knows.

By the time RunKeeper told me my workout was done I knew that I needed to stop, otherwise my legs were going to regret it and I would be forced to take extra recovery days. I still wasn’t ok, though. Why couldn’t I shake these feelings, damnit?! What did I have to do?

I didn’t have an answer for myself so I went to the sauna and sat for a bit, trying to meditate my way to inner peace, but that too didn’t work. Nothing seemed to work.

I hurt and felt like a failure and nothing was soothing over the wounds of the day. I was still bleeding out emotionally.

I left the sauna and sat on the first steps of the pool in the gym, soaking my feet in the cold water as I sent a text to my younger brother. I couldn’t call mom. I’ll never be able to call mom. But I could still talk to Jon. I could still hear his voice and tell him that everything sucked.

Me: Busy?

After a few minutes, he replied with no, asking what was up.

I said nothing important. It had been a rough day at work and that I wanted to hear his voice.

He called and we talked for about an hour as I sat in the pool not caring about who heard my conversation.

I explained the past two work days. How I had to work with my head RN and how it always seemed like I did everything wrong in front of her. How days seemed bad now even though recently they had been good, amazing even. We talked about why my RN’s opinion means so much to me. How mom had been an RN and maybe this was my way of getting “mom’s approval” and praise.

It was a good conversation, one which I had silent tears for part of. We talked about his trip back home for the eclipse. We talked about his part time job at the school. We talked about his roommates and mine. By the end of the conversation, I was feeling better. I felt solidly grounded in reality and not falling through the chaos in my head.

I went home and slept deeply not caring about any chores that may have needed to be done. They could wait. Tomorrow would be another 24 hours.

Thursday I slept all day. Ok… not all day. I did get up and rewash the load of laundry that I never switched over to the dryer. But aside from that I really didn’t do much. Pretty sure I showered. I think I chatted with Warren briefly. But for the most part, it was me recovering from Monday and Wednesday.

Yesterday put things into perspective. I worked. It was another rough day. I was sitting in the breakroom during my lunch break when two of my coworkers also came in for lunch. One of them mentioned how I looked “perturbed”.

I said that it felt like the day had been a disaster so far and I could never figure out what happened on rough days to make it domino into such a crap-tastic time. I also acknowledged the fact that I really didn’t know how badly we had done with getting patients on the machines at their scheduled time and that it was entirely possible that things were fine and it was just my perspective on how things were going that was skewed.

They both gave me advice, mostly revolving around “don’t sweat it.”

There’s only so much that my team can do, and the only thing we can consistently do is our best. I’m not going to stop caring because that’s the whole reason I changed careers, but I think I need to adjust what I care about. I can’t care about literally everything because if I do this job is going to kill me. I need to save it for the important things.

Turn over is always going to be organized chaos. There are too many variables for it not to be. One patient might become hypotensive while another takes a longer time clotting and bleeds through their gauze a few times while at the same time another patient wants to come off the machine 15 minutes early, adding to the chaos.

Other times it might run smoothly with no deviations from the expected or intended schedule.

Every day is different. I can’t hold onto the thoughts of, “This isn’t how it’s supposed to happen.”

I guess that’s a lot like having to let go of the life I thought I would have. I thought mom would still be alive. I thought I would have her for another 20 years with her and that she would live long enough to see Jace graduate and become a karate ninja samurai. I thought things would be different, but they’re not. Things are how they are.

I guess that’s the mentality I need with my work days. It doesn’t matter what I thought the day would be like. The day goes how it goes regardless of what I want or expect. “Go with the flow.” “Don’t sweat it.”

It’s not that I don’t care. It’s more like I won’t waste energy on trying to change the course of a river. I can’t change it, I can only go with it and let the current do all of the work. The destination is still the same. I’ll still reach the end of my day. I’ll most likely still be tired at the end of it, but I think one method will leave me with much less stress and inner tension than the other.

I don’t know if I’ll actually be able to implement this new mentality right away. I think it will take some time, but it’s something I’m going to try. Those moments where I feel overwhelmed and like chaos is raining down all around me I’m going to try to remember to step back and let go of trying to control it all. I can’t control it, I can only go with it.

The rest of the day went better after the conversation with my coworkers. All of the third shift patients got put on their machines. I was able to make needle packs for the following day as well as close down the machines we were no longer using. I was able to go to the stockroom and get the supplies we were out of or low on. I was able to update all of the documentation. I was able to finally breath is what it felt like.

I left work around 5 pm. I didn’t want to go to the gym. The dojo was doing randori which I don’t feel I’m ready for. Title Club was still closed as they transition to a new location, and to be honest I don’t think I would have wanted to do anything physical anyway.

Instead, I thought about what I wanted to do with my evening. I needed closure. Something to signify my night was done and that I was now able to relax.

I ended up getting dinner at a little place called Viet-Nomz. They have amazing food, and it’s an extremely small establishment near my apartment which encourages social dining. I’m not sure if that’s actually a thing but it reminds me of one of the customs in Germany where it’s socially acceptable to share tables with strangers as long as you ask if you may sit with them.

Since it was dinner time they were fairly crowded, but I was ok with that. I sort of wanted that feeling; being part of, lost in, the crowd. I sat across from two girls who were chatting together. I put my headphones in and ate my rice bowl. This was my reward for surviving; a bowl full of carbs and protein. Good music and a moment of not having to worry or care.

It was an extremely fulfilling meal. Once I was finished I headed home. I did make a detour to CVS for some Icy Hot patches for my back. It’s been bothering me lately and those have helped in the past.

When I got home I didn’t bother with the kitchen. I took my shoes off and headed straight upstairs to my room. I didn’t bother with anything other than showering and putting one of the patches across my lower back. I changed into comfy clothes and scrolled through Facebook for way longer than I care to admit until I finally crawled into bed. By that point, I didn’t even bother to take out my contacts I was so tired.

My alarm went off at 2 am since I forgot to turn it off. That’s when I figured taking out my contacts would be a smart move. I drank so water while I was up then when back to sleep until about 9 am.

I’m currently at Perkins. My breakfast has been eaten. I’m working on my second up of coffee. I have an appointment for a deep tissue massage at 6:30 this evening. I’m going to be going to kickboxing at 1pm since it’s the grand reopening for Title Club. I have a few odds and ends as far as doing chores goes, but overall it’s a pretty low energy / recovery day. Same with tomorrow I think.

I was supposed to have a sleep over with Mother Earth this evening, but she’s feeling under the weather so we’re going to reschedule our girl time. Big Bad and I have plans to see each other for our scheduled Monday evening. One of my coworkers wants to split my Monday shifts with me, so instead of 4 am I would go in at 10 am and still leave by 5 pm. That gives me time to go to the gym in the morning, shower, eat, and start my week off the way I would really like to. I think that will be a fantastic change for me. I won’t be getting as much overtime, but I also won’t be nearly as burnout as I’ve been fearing I would be. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this change works for both of us since she needs the hours.

I still have the blog award nomination I need to write for, but I think I will save that for either later today or tomorrow. I think I want to go back home for a little bit and rest before going to kickboxing.

I guess looking back at it, this week hasn’t been bad. It’s been long and it’s had a lot of stress, but it’s had a lot of positive moments, too, and for the next two days I’m off and I plan to fully, thoroughly, enjoy them.

Part of learning to care is learning to care for myself. I think a few days of introverted downtime is what I need and I’m not going to give myself shit for it.

Daily Post 047: Breakfast Reflection

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I wrote this earlier today but didn’t get a chance to proof it until now, not that I’m really too worried about typos. It’s already 9 pm and I have a 2 am wake up call to go running at the gym. I’m hoping I’m dedicated enough to actually pull it off.

 

Anywho… without further ado, I present the ramblings of my brain.

 


 

After a week I’m finally able to enjoy my Perkin’s breakfast. Though to be fair, it’s closer to noon so it most likely counts as lunch rather than breakfast, but it’s my first meal of the day even though I’ve been up since seven, so it’s still breakfast in my book.

There’s a kid in the booth next to me being slightly loud. I can hear him through my headphones, but even that isn’t really enough to detract from the peace I feel at finally being able to sit and complete this thing, this action I’ve been wanting to do, which is really nothing.

Literally, nothing.

I can sit and give that my full attention. Breathing. Being. Bask in the feeling of being alive and not having to go anywhere, do anything. Of not having to worry about fucking up at work. Not having to worry about chores or errands or obligations or time constraints.

I can finally take a moment to sit and acknowledge that I have survived up to this point.

The past few days have been rough emotionally. I’m slipping back to that place where most things, all things, feel pointless. Why do them? We all die. We all have hardships and struggles and they only ever end when we do. There’s always a new obstacle and so really what’s the point? Why try? Especially when mom’s not here to see any of it. Not the stress, the effort, the failures, the triumphs.

There’s only myself.

Logically, I know there are other people in my life but when my brain gravitates to this area, this saddened, wounded place within myself, I feel alone. I’m hyper aware of the fact that every person in my life is mortal. Everyone I love, at some point, will die, and so even though they are in my life eventually they won’t be, and so it’s hard to argue with the loneliness.

That’s one thing I learned from mom’s death and I’m not sure if my take on it is healthy or not.

Everyone dies.

Even the people closest to you. They’ll leave, or you will, eventually. It’s sad, morbid, maybe, but those qualities do not make it less of a fact. Less true. That’s part of life. It’s why I’ve changed the way I evaluate my relationships and the hurts I feel from those I care about.

Are they worth the pain? The miscommunications, the angry comments, the criticisms, regrets, guilt. Is the person I’m having these emotions over worth it? When they die will they be worth the pain I’ll feel?

The answer for most of the people in my life is yes. They are worth it.

I look at the people I love. I see their mortality and I accept that when they pass, if they pass before me, that I will hurt, ache, mourn, maybe even grieve, though not on the same scale as I grieve for mom. I accept that the pain I will feel is the balance. It will let me know that my love was, is, real. That our relationship existed in the infinite vastness of our universe and that, for me at least, it meant something deep.

The few people who are in my life who I don’t feel are “worth it” I find myself growing more and more distant with and I’m ok with that distance. With work taking so much more of my time I don’t regret not putting energy into something I don’t legitimately want.

But still, even valuing the relationships I have, cherishing them for the love and support I am freely given, they aren’t mom. They can never be mom.

I don’t seek their approval the way I did her’s. I don’t want their praise as much as I desperately wish I could hear her say she’s proud of me one last time. I can’t embrace them the same way I did her because they aren’t, can never be, her.

I’ll never forget those words, spoken through cracked lips while we talked in her hospital room.

I have always been proud of you.

I know she’s proud of me.

Sitting here, surrounded by other people going about their day; getting lunch with family members, having a business meeting,  or what appears to be an awkward first date, I’m sitting here allowing myself to realize that I’ve still survived and that even though I don’t understand it, it’s not pointless.

I save people every day I go to work. I know she would think that’s amazing.

The other day I had one of my patients thank me and tell me I did well. Very often my patients tell me they don’t feel any pain when I cannulate them. I finally earned the trust of one of our more finicky patients. She allowed me to cannulate her for the first time last week after which several of my coworkers came up to me and told me “good job!” and that they were pleased with how I handled myself.

I had another patient not want to come into the clinic one day. I went outside to talk with him. He sat in his wheelchair and wouldn’t look at me while he said he didn’t want to go to his treatment. When I asked why he said because he was tired. He was tired of going inside, of sitting in a chair for four hours every other day. He didn’t want to do it anymore.

My heart broke while I knelt in front of him holding his  hand and listening to him because I know those feelings. I know what it’s like to be tired of trying.

I’m tired of waking up. I’m tired of mom being dead. I’m tired of being tired.

I asked him if he knew what would happen if he didn’t get his treatment. He said yes. I told him I understood that he was tired, that he didn’t want to come inside. I told him he didn’t have to come in, but that I did have to tell the charge nurse that he wouldn’t be there. He said he knew I would.

Before I got up I asked him if I could give him a hug. He said yes, so I stood and wrapped my arms around him in empathy. I told him that I hoped he felt better as I squeezed just a little bit tighter even though I knew that I couldn’t take away any of the tiredness or pain. All I could do was let him know that I knew it sucked and that I cared.

He said thank you and we both had tears in our eyes as I walked back inside. I told the charge nurse about the patient not wanting to come in. She nodded her head and went outside herself shortly after. About 30 minutes later I saw the RN coming in, pushing the patient’s wheelchair. They got him set up and when I had a second I went over and spoke to him again.

Me: I’m glad you’re here.
Patient: I came in because of you.

I’m still moved by that comment. It’s hard not to have tears running down my cheeks while my coffee sits in front of me growing cold, while other people around me laugh, while the kid next to me bangs things on the table, I’m trying so hard not to break down as I think about this one patient and how I made a difference for him.

Every time I have seen this patient I make sure to say, “I’m glad you’re here,” because I am. I’m glad that he’s still fighting, that we both are. I’m glad we’re able to see each other even if it’s under the shitty circumstances of kidney failure.

I’m glad I wrote about that event finally. I’m glad I solidified it through text rather than letting it remain a memory inside of my skull. It’s on paper now. It’s real. It happened. I touched someone’s life and showed them it was worth the struggle and pain. And like wise they have touched my life even if I still stumble from time to time.

I’m glad I wrote about all of these moments because it’s allowing me to remember the good points. The moments where I don’t feel lonely and where I feel like life is worth living and that I really do have a purpose.

I’ve been sad. I’ve been lonely, and it’s not a loneliness that anyone can fix. This is grief. It will always be here within my chest, within my heart. The only thing I can think to do is to keep breathing. I’m not ready to give everything up and I don’t know why. There’s not a point to do anything, but there’s not a point to not do it either.

I guess it comes back to the beginning of my writing and the feeling of being alone.

I truly only have myself. I’m not ready to leave that. I still want to prove to myself that I can do the things I want. I still want to be a fighter. I still want to learn to dance. I still want to run my Warrior Dash. I still want to have my cups of coffee. I still want to play Witcher 3 and kill monsters in horrifically horrible ways. I still want to love the people I love.

I’m not ready for any of that to end.

I don’t really know where I’m going with this writing. To be honest, this wasn’t how I had intended it to go, but it has been soothing. I don’t hurt as much as I did before I sat down, yet in some ways I hurt more. Maybe that’s healing.

The new scheudle for work came out. I’m scheduled for four days every week for the next six weeks. In some ways I’m happy. That means I should get a handful of overtime hours every week. There’s only one week where I’m working three days in a row. The other weeks are pretty spread out so I shouldn’t be too burnt out from the schedule. If it becomes too much I can always trade / give away days to someone else.

On the other side, I’m worried about being too tired for the gym or training. I’m worried about feeling like all I do is work and being so exhausted on my days off that all I do is sleep.

My worry about the schedule factored into my mood last night. I sulked as I played my game, thinking about all the time I wasn’t going to have to do things because of work. It carried over into this morning, though I did recongize that I had more energy than previous days.

Eventually, I got up and showered. It took two hours for me to pull myself out of bed, longer than I feel it should have, but I did, eventually, do it and that action seemed to kickstart things. After I dressed I sat at my computer and made a small to-do list, refraining from adding too many tasks. I wanted to keep it short and sweet. I didn’t want to overwhelme my day off with a massive list that I wouldn’t be able to finish.

No. Just enough to get things done. Enough to feel accomplished. That’s what I needed. To feel like I did things and that I achieved something.

Updating my calendar was one of those things.

After putting the work dates into the computer along with my workout times I think I can find a balance. I also think I know what I need to start doing as far as caring for myself goes.

Sunday will ALWAYS be a rest day. I’ve staked that claim solidly into the ground. No obligations. Ever. That is MY day. If I choose to share it with someone, cool. If I want to do chorese, awesome. But it will never, EVER, be an obligation day.

It will be my “go out for breakfast” day. My “free time to write” day. My “video game” day. My introverted “I’ve trained and worked the past six days the rest of the world can catch on fire and burn, silently” day. My “zero fucks given” day.

Since Tuesday is my other guaranteed day off, that will by my main chore day. Laundry specifically since I need to have some sort of routine for that. I need to know when my work / workout clothes reset. I need to know I can pack my gym bag and have srubs ready to go. I need clothes to not be a stressor in my life, and knowing when they will get cleaned helps with that. It makes things reliable, structured.

So Tuesdays, always, without fail, first thing in the morning so it’s already halfway done, will be laundry day.

I think I’m going to have to change the way I meal prep slightly since I very rarely will get concecuative days off now. I think I’m going to try preping one or two meals at a time rather than having a week’s worth of food ready. That means I’ll be cooking more than once a week, but for smaller intervals. I can also work it to where one meal is a baked dish so I can use the oven while also cooking something on the stove.

Salads are another easy option to add into the mix. So maybe getting three meals prepped in a single day isn’t as hard as I’ve been making it. Maybe my system doesn’t need to change as much as I think it does. Maybe I just need to be more conscious of the cooking methods for the meals I choose.

I suppose we’ll see. Food isn’t a huge stressor for me. I know I can provide for myself, even if it means grabbing a handful of things from the gas station on the way to work because I ran out of pre-made stuff at home.

My biggest concerns are remaining active in my training and continuing to adjust to work. I still need to find that balance between the two and not lose myself in the process.

I feel like this has been a productive writing. It definitely let me reflect and consciously accept different aspects of my life.

It feels good to know I have a dedicated “off” day to reset myself and a dedicated “chore day” to reset for work.

I think with having those two I’ll be able to figure out how everything else fits in over the course of the next six weeks.

Well, my breakfast is most likely good and cold by now. I feel better. A lot better actually. Stable. Solid. Like I have an idea of how to live my life and still take care of things. I’m going to go so I can eat and finish off my to do list.

Thanks for being here for me, mom, even when I’m not always here for myself.

Daily Post 046: A Couple of Stories and the Rest of Everything Else

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There are a few things I want to write about.

Recapping my time off
The wallet story
The key fob story

And so I suppose I should start with the wallet story since I mentioned that in my last post.

I don’t remember what day it was exactly anymore; a sad consequence of my lack of writing. Time and events blur together. I remember the emotions, but the time frame gets muddled. After looking at my calendar, I guess it was last Friday.

I woke up after surviving two days at work. They were good days and I was looking forward to my morning. I had planned to go to Perkins for breakfast and coffee; a quiet way to start the day where I could plan my to-do list, figure out the shopping and what chores I wanted to get done.

All was going well. I wasn’t able to locate my wallet right away but I didn’t put much thought into it. I had gone to the store the night before and most likely had forgotten to put it back into my gym bag. I’ve left my wallet in the center console of my car by accident before. All was well. No harm, no foul.

Nothing boded well when I went out to my car and saw the glove compartment open. I  don’t keep anything in my car, so nothing seemed to be  missing. Owner’s manual was still there along with my proof of insurance. Even the ancient GPS system my mom bought me for my 18th birthday was still there. I did notice that the small, black coin pouch I had was missing, though, and my wallet was still MIA.

Further adding to my conclusion that someone had been in my car was how the driver’s side door wasn’t fully shut. Luckily the car battery wasn’t dead, but my relaxing day had now turned into a “fuck… well… how do I replace all my shit before work tomorrow” type of day.

I started by calling my brother. I had plans to go to Daytona to watch the marching band he’s been working with perform. I let him know what was going on and that I would try my best to be there, but that I had to take care of life first. He wished me luck and told me to keep him posted.

I next went to the bank and explained my situation. I needed to get a license so I could have a form of ID, but I needed money to do that and I had no way of getting access to my account without my cards.

Luckily the bank let me answer a bunch of questions about my accounts after which they gave me $50 to get a new license. Hooray for being able to answer questions about myself.

Once I had the money I went to the DMV. I would say ours is pretty terrible, because in general I think there’s a law that says DMVs have to suck, but mine is actually sort of, kind of cool as far as DMVs go.

They use an app where instead of getting a number, you can use your phone number. They text you updates about your wait time so you don’t have to spend three hours sitting doing nothing. You can still go out and do things.

I couldn’t do any if the grocery shopping, but I could go to my training at the gym without much worries about losing my spot in line, so I did. It was a good training session and it helped with my stress levels even though things were going fairly smoothly all things considered.

By the time training was done my spot in line had come and gone. Not to fear, though. With the app, you’re allowed to join the front of the line once. So I drove to the DMV with my “box of important papers”. It’s a portable filing container where I keep things like my social security card, my pass port, past bills, tax forms. You know, things that can be used for identification or things that should be held on to. I took the whole damn box with me because there was no way in hell they were going to turn me away for not having the “right” papers.

Irrational Right Brain: Bitch, I have every paper you could possibly ask for. Give me a freaking license.

Well, I got to the DMV, all proud of myself for getting things taken care of and not freaking out the way I would have when I had first moved away from home. I hit the J key in reply to the DMVs message to rejoin the line only to be told that “This line is closed. Please try again later.”

Umm… what?

*Hits J again*

“This line is closed. Please try again later.”

*Franticly continues to hit the J key*

The result didn’t change. I tried downloading the app on my phone, but it took forever and I grew impatient with waiting. I tried to rejoin the queue from the kiosk but it said my number was already in the system and wouldn’t let me join again.

Ok, so at this point I was about to flip shit because there was no way I was going to be able to get this done on Saturday because I had work, and I didn’t know what the hours were on Sunday, but I didn’t want to waste my Sunday trying to finish something I could have / should have gotten done in one day. Not to mention that I was going to drive to Daytona with or without a license, though with would have been preferable.

I got in line to talk to the chick behind the window. You know, the one who hates her life because she only ever gets the really stupid questions and she’s always having to repeat herself. Yeah, that chick.

The guy in front of me had the same issue, so at least when I got up to her I knew what was going on. They had reached max capacity for the day. We couldn’t rejoin the line from the app because it was no longer accepting people. She did some sort of IT voodoo magic and added me back in line and my number was literally the next one to pop up on the screens in the waiting room.

Total score. Mrs. I Hate My Life Chick is still my hero to this day.

I went through the door to the counter I was assigned. I told the other “I Hate My Life” DMV employee what was going on. For the low low price of $30 and a new picture, I was able to get my replacement license and get the hell out of Dodge. I went back to the bank, got my new debit card issued and went to the car dealership to make an appointment to get a new key fob for my car since that was the whole reason my car hasn’t been locked for over a year and a half.

Which brings me to the key fob story, but before delving into that I want to conclude the wallet story with saying that I made it to my brother’s performance and immensely enjoyed being around a marching band again. It solidifies the fact that one of my goals in life is to own a 3 1/2 octave marimba of my own because I miss having the means to play music.

Fast forward a few days… I had to go to the front office to talk to the secretary. Warren’s truck got towed while he was at work and he wanted me to figure out what was going on. That’s a whole different story, one I might get into, but the big takeaway here is that while I was waiting for the sectary to get off the phone she pulled out my wallet from a drawer.

Once she was off the phone she explained that she had found it in the drop box that morning and was about to call me. I guess who ever took my wallet felt bad that there was literally nothing in either it or my car worth any sort of value and gave it back.

I’m happy they did. I couldn’t find a replacement wallet I liked. I love my Thundercats wallet and even though I’ve replaced everything of importance in it already, I’m grateful to have the wallet itself back. Memories and all that.

So… on to the key fob thing…

When I first got back to Orlando I ended up staying at an extended stay for a while. I was trying to figure out what to do with my life after mom died, and every time I settled on what I was going to do all of the information changed and so my plans had to be reevaluated. It sucked and for a long time I lived in the nebulous sort of uncertainty.

While all of that was going on the key fob for my car started falling apart. I kept having to snap it back together. I did that about four times before the key fob started acting weird. It wouldn’t lock the doors properly. I had to mash the key several times before it would work. Then it started having issues unlocking… That sucked because I didn’t want the alarm to be on and me not be able to get into my car.

I knew getting a replacement fob was crazy expensive, so I decided to forgo the fob and just use the regular key. Since I wasn’t keeping anything valuable in my car I didn’t care about locking it. And after a year and a half of no bad incidents, I really didn’t see a pressing point in dropping a ton of money on something I didn’t need.

Well… having your wallet taken from an unlocked car sort of sucks. So I made an appointment to have a new fob programmed.

The morning I went to the dealership to have it taken care of the check-in girl asked me if I had ever tried to replace the batteries.

No. I hadn’t. To be honest I didn’t even know it took a battery until I had talked to my younger brother the previous Friday. I had just figured because the fob was falling apart that the malfunctioning was associated with that.

She said the fob wasn’t lighting up which was a stronger indication of an issue with the battery and that we should try that first. I told her I felt like I was breaking rule 101 of troubleshooting by not trying that myself. We went to the parts room, got a battery, walked back to my car, and poof! Working key fob.

That saved me about $300. Yeah. No joke. That’s how much they wanted in total for a new fob plus programming it to work with my car. What the fuck, right?

So that ended up being a pretty awesome and worthwhile endeavor. I am now in the process of relearning to lock my car whenever I get out of it. I also have an updated picture on my license which is pretty cool since I’ve lost so much weight. It would have been nice if it hadn’t of been such an involved process, but all things considered, I’m happy with how both situations turned out.

The thing with Warren’s truck was that his tags were expired. He was given notice to update them and never did so I really don’t feel sorry. I’m glad he was able to take care of it and got his truck back. He’s also been paying rent on time though he’s still dodgy when it comes to the chores. I still don’t want him as a roommate for the coming year, but there’s not much I can do about that. I don’t foresee the credit card being paid off anytime soon, so for the next year at least I’m where I’m at. At some point, I hope for that fact to not feel like sandpaper inside my skull and to find some sort of peace with it. We’ll continue to see how things go in that department.

I went to the dojo last Monday evening. That was fantastic. I got mat burn on the top of my left foot which sucked. Friction burns always feel like pure alcohol is being poured over an open wound. It made work hard because of the pressure from wearing closed toed shoes. Not that sandals would have felt any better. There were two spots, not just one, and the top one lined up perfectly with the strap of my sandal. FML.

I’m glad to say they’ve healed nicely and that I should be ok.

Because of my foot, I didn’t go to the dojo the rest of the week. I did go to my training at the gym. We’re going to be increasing my weights tomorrow. My trainer wants to push me and I told her I can take more because I can. She had me flipping the 220 tire last time. Woo.

Work has been going well. There’s a new RN being trained at our clinic, so I’m no longer the super new person. I didn’t get a chance to talk to the new guy a lot, but he seems nice. I think he’ll be ok. He used to work at one of the hospitals, so while I don’t really know his story, he has medical experience so I think his transition won’t be as hard as what mine was.

This was the first week where I’ve worked overtime. I worked four days, three of them in a row, and that was brutal. It’s taken me two days to recover to the point I’m at and even now I’m not sure I’m fully with it. Way better than I was, but still low and pretty introverted. It doesn’t help that it feels like I’m getting sick.

I noticed it yesterday. My throat was sore and my nose was runny. Today my throat was worse. I feel fine physically. I’m not exhausted like what I was from working so much, but still. I know I’m not at my best.

Despite all that I feel like I’ve been productive-ish the past few days.

I got the car washed and vacuumed so it’s not icky anymore. I’ve cleaned my bathroom, washed my sheets and comforters. I’ve washed the clothes, cleaned out the fridge, and run the dishwasher.

I also bought the complete edition of Witcher III and played that last night while eating pizza and drinking. I haven’t gamed like that in I can’t remember when. It was nice. I’ve played a bit this morning as well. Indulging and all of that.

Big Bad and I saw each other Saturday evening. I spend most of Saturday sleeping, recovering from my three 12-hour shifts. We met for dinner then went to his place. There was a brief session of sexy time, but we both ended up falling asleep before 9 pm and slept through the night. We had breakfast and coffee in the morning before going out to start our days.

I was supposed to see Mother Earth but that’s been changed to Thursday. Hopefully, the tired, sick, introverted feeling I have now is gone by then.

There’s still a few chores I want to do, one of them being “go to the store” which I really don’t want to do but I would rather get it over with and have food to eat for the coming week then not doing it and being screwed. I’m most likely going to do a rotisserie chicken from the deli along with a frozen lasagna or something to that effect. I don’t feel like spending time in the kitchen cooking, so I need to find decent alternatives.

I know… a frozen lasagna is not the best alternative, but it’s definitely better than going out to eat for every meal.

On the subject of going out… I guess that’s something else worth mentioning. When I got off of work on Friday I was sad. I didn’t want to go home. Nothing bad had happened at work. It had been a decent day, but I missed mom and the thought of going home and being alone in my room was the last thing I wanted to do or experience.

I messaged Warren and asked him if he was working. He said yes but that he would be done around 10:15.

I asked if he wanted to meet and my sports bar for dinner. He said yes, so I went and sat by myself for roughly an hour and a half during which time I had two Angry Orchards.

When Warren got there we ate and talked. I cried a bit as we talked about mom and what I was feeling. It helped and by the end of dinner it was midnight and I was ok enough to go back home. The thought didn’t seem as painful as it had when I had left work. I went to sleep pretty instantly.

I have tomorrow off, work Wednesday, off Thursday, work Friday and Saturday. The new schedule should be out this week so I’ll know what my coming weeks look like.

For now, I guess I’m going to go so I can shower and go to the store. I can’t think of anything that makes it feel worth going out. No reward or treat. I don’t want lunch. I don’t want a coffee. I want to stay inside and maybe nap. Maybe I’ll do that afterward as a reward. Get everything taken care of then nap before going to the dojo for NoGi. I don’t feel like I’ll do all that well tonight, but I want to go regardless.

 

Musing Moment 108: Throwing Down the Gauntlet

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I’ve been thinking about this for a while. For months. It’s been a thought that keeps popping up. It’s something I’ll ponder on and then let go back into the vast, endless sea of thoughts that fill my head, but it keeps coming back.

I want to be a fighter. Yeah, like an MMA fighter.

I don’t really know why. I keep asking myself that because I know other people will ask me the same question.

I know it’s not because I want to beat people up. I don’t have anger issues where I’m using this as my outlet. I’m actually a very anti-violent person.

So why this pull to something so… well… violent?

I want to prove to myself that I can. I want to prove that I’m better than I was the day before. I want to fight “for real” because every morning I wake up and it’s a fight inside my head.

Do I get up and go through another day without mom or do I give up?

I can’t put into words how much I wish I could give up sometimes. How I wish I could stop fighting, struggling, pushing. It would be so much less effort, less pain, less everything if I just stopped.

But I can’t. I promised mom I wouldn’t. So every day, I get up. I fight even if sometimes I struggle more than others.

That fight, the fight to keep going, is so much harder than going to the gym and busting out some burpees. It’s harder than the guys I go up against at the dojo. It’s harder than 16-hour shifts with dialysis patients. It’s harder than anything, everything else I have ever done. Just because after over a year I am more familiar with how the fight goes doesn’t make it less hard, less tiring, less demanding.

It’s the same fight, I’m just conditioned for it better than I was when mom first died.

I want to fight against other people to make my mental fight real. To make the fight of Life tangible. I know I’m going to lose some fights, or all of them because who knows, maybe I’ll super suck at this. I know I’m going to get knocked down, knocked out even. Maybe I’ll get injured. Broken bones, cuts, bruises to be sure.

And I know I’ll get back up. I want to fight and I want to lose and I want to keep going because that’s what I have to do. That’s Life. There’s giving in, giving up, and saying it’s too hard, and then there’s giving a giant middle finger to Life and saying “Fuck it. I’m going to do what I want to do and you can’t stop me.”

That’s why I want to do this. Because fuck you, Life.

I know I still need to condition. I know it will still be at least a year before I even want to start toeing the subject with my trainers. This is me throwing down the gauntlet, though. This is me declaring to myself that this is something I’m serious about and something I WILL do.

I will be a fighter.

There are very few people in my life who know I am interested in doing this, let alone the fact that I’m seriously going to do it, and even though I’m writing this for all of the Internet to read, I want to keep this information to a very select few.

I don’t want to explain it to Facebook. I don’t want to be discouraged any more than I already have been from something I want to do because “I’m a girl” or “too pretty to get punched” or any of the other things I’ve already heard when I’ve brought this up to people.

I’m going to do it and I don’t need permission to do it. I don’t need people to agree with it, or understand it. Not my brothers, not my lovers. No one. My body, my choices, my consequences.

I’m serious about this. I return to the dojo with a purpose.

Why do I train? Because mom died.

Why do I fight? Because I can.

Those are my answers, my reasons, my justifications and I am content with them. I don’t need other people to be content with them. Just myself.

Hopefully, I’m content enough to now go to sleep because tomorrow is going to suck if I don’t. At least it’s a short day… because you know… 12 hour shifts are short… ;-;

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Daily Post 043: Assessing, Reflecting, and Tattoos

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I tried writing the other day, but it was in the middle of a pretty bad thunderstorm. About two paragraphs in the power cut out, my computer restarted, and the internet didn’t want to play nice anymore. I figured that was a pretty clear sign to go to sleep.

Writing has been on my mind a lot lately. More accurately, my lack of writing. I get to the end of my day and I’m tired. I have to be up early the next day so it’s a better option to sleep. Other times I don’t want to take the time to go through the stuff in my head because I know it’s going to be a long and more than likely painful process leading to personal growth/realization.

Well, today is a day off. I don’t have a lot going on and I really don’t have an excuse to not sit down and do this… so I’m doing this.

Work is going well. And I’m conscious of the fact that I start this reflection off with work rather than my relationships or personal life. It seems so natural. I start with my mission.  My sense of purpose. The thing I’m doing to be helpful, useful, and productive to society. I’ve always loved work, and even though I enjoyed my year of unemployment, I’m glad to be working again. I’m glad I’ve found something that makes me feel fulfilled in this way.

Waking up at 2 and 3 in the morning is getting easier. I’m finding ways to make it work for me. I’ve made friends with the gas station attendants at the Wawa I stop at for breakfast and coffee. It’s a nice start to my day, and I’m not going to lie, using the app is pretty nifty.

The days at work aren’t as physically and mentally brutal as what my first week was. I’m finding my flow. All of the tasks I need to do aren’t as overwhelming. I am familiar with more of the patients. I have favorites who always make me smile and who smile when they see me. One of them calls me “Nurse Jen” even though I’m only a PCT. It’s cute. It makes me feel warm and like I belong.

One of my patients got a kidney transplant. I found that out yesterday. Last week one of our patients died at home due to a heart attack. I didn’t know her very well but I remember being introduced to her. It was sobering. Eventually, one of the patients I’m familiar with will die and that day will be hard for me. I don’t know how I’ll handle it. I don’t know if it will stir up the grief from mom dying, but I know eventually that day will come and I know my team will be supportive of me and help me through it.

There’s a girl at my clinic who I call “Academic Dishonesty”. I think I’ve written about her a few times, though I honestly can’t recall and I’m not going to go back through my writings to find out. I shadowed with her and she was in my training class. She was supposed to work at a different location but ended up getting transferred to my clinic. No one on the team is happy about it. They don’t care for her and she’s pretty much pissed everyone off one way or another.

The reason for her nickname is because while she was on the floor, in front of patients, she mentioned how she had forgotten about a test she needed to take for her online class. She had her boyfriend take it for her and she was mad at him for not scoring high enough and costing her the President’s scholarship she had.

… I mean… That’s like saying you convinced someone to rob a bank for you but you’re pissed because they didn’t steal enough money…

Having been a student, and a teacher, I can’t respect someone like that. There are other instances involving patients that bother me and I’ve spoken out about them. She went from being full time to part time, so I only see her every other week. I guess now she’s being changed to per deim. I know one of the patients spoke to the FA about her. I don’t think she’s going to stay for very long.

I don’t wish ill on anyone, but I hope she finds something else or that she leaves because she wants to focus more on school. I don’t think she’s the right fit for dialysis or the team. Anyone who is comfortable lying and cheating like that isn’t a person I want to be associated with.

That’s really the only hardship I have with work. Ms. Academic Dishonesty, and I hardly ever see her. The rest of it is finding my own pace for things and I’m getting better with that. Yesterday was the smoothest, least stressful day I’ve had so far.

I found out that I’m going to be back paid since I wasn’t given the dollar increase I was promised. That was supposed to happen when I passed my certification, which, surprise if I haven’t written about it, I passed and am now certified through DaVita. In about six months I will need to take another test to become nationally certified, but that’s still a little ways away and so for the moment, I’m going to continue to focus on finding my balance.

There are other things I need to be trained on, like how to mix bicarb and acid for the dialysate and how to clean catheters, but catheter care is still about four months off, and there’s no rush for me to do the water training. I think they’re going to wait on that for a bit, too, which I’m ok with. I feel like I’m catching my breath from being through into the deep end. I’m no longer drowning. I’m treading water. I want to recover a bit more before I try swimming.

My FA asked me what I wanted to work; a lot of hours or fewer hours? I told him honestly I didn’t know. These past two or three weeks have been my first weeks on my own and I’m only now starting to feel stable. I think I want to keep it down to two days in a row at most. Last week I had to work three days in a row and that was pretty rough. I did it. I could have done a fourth, but it wasn’t fun and I would rather not do it again for a little bit. Three of my teammates went on vacation at the same time which is why the schedule got sort of screwy. Doesn’t help with trying to establish a baseline for how a “normal” week will feel.

So really, I think the only thing I need with work is time. I’m doing well and I do find my job extremely fulfilling. I don’t know if I’ll be there for forever, but I’m happy with being there for right now. I get to play in the stock room organizing things on my breaks. The patient schedule is getting ready to change due to new CMS regulations and we’re trying to petition to be moved to a newer, better building. I think there’s a lot of potential for me here and I would like to stay with it for a little while to see where it takes me.

Big Bad and I are doing well. We were able to see each other Sunday evening. His mom is in the hospital again but should be released later today. She started having chest pain and shortness of breath at 3 am on Saturday. Big Bad couldn’t remember exactly what the doctor called it. He said he thought it was arterial fibrillation but I’m pretty sure it was an arterial flutter, which is bad, but not as bad as fibrillation.

I didn’t stay the night since I had work the next morning, but it was nice to have sexy time along with the quiet time of cuddling and feeling connected to something other than work. For all that I’m around people my moments with Big Bad are the few moments where I’m actually touched or hugged.

We’ve been able to see each other mostly weekly which has been nice. We decided not to see each other last night since we had time together Sunday. I would have been bummed but we decided to spend the evening together Thursday instead. I have Friday off so it works out pretty well for us and it means I don’t have to go a whole week before my next hug. We’ll even be able to do coffee together. I’m looking forward to it.

I’ve seen my blacksmith a few times as well. It’s been incredible. He was in a car accident one of the evenings we were supposed to meet. He’s ok and no one was hurt. They kept him at the hospital for a while to make sure there wasn’t anything wrong. He’s had family in town and is back to working doubles at work. With my schedule being the way it is and his changing, I think Saturday evenings are going to be our times together. He’s trying to get a DnD group together which could prove to be fun. That’s still in the works but it’s something to potentially look forward to.

Warren and I are doing alright. Still not thrilled to have to have a roommate, but things are a bit better. He takes a few days to do chores but they do eventually get done. He swept yesterday and when I came home the trash had been taken out. Hooray. I’m still waiting to get a rent payment from him. I might ask him about it later since he said he would pay me on Friday. Well… It’s Tuesday… Blarg. At least he’s been paying the full amounts when he does pay.

We’ve broached the subject of the lease and how we’re going to pay for things this coming year. That’s still tentative and nebulous, which I extremely dislike, but there’s not much we can do about it at the moment. The lease is up October 19th. I won’t be able to pay for a year in full again. We’ll most likely switch over to monthly payments where I pay with the credit card that way we don’t have to worry about having to pool a large sum of money together all at once. I can make multiple payments on the card and keep the balance down.

Warren’s new job is going well. He’s out of training. In a few months, he’ll be eligible for bonuses as well as a raise. He’ll be eligible for moving up to assisting with OS issues as well which will be another raise if he gets picked for that promotion. That would help out significantly. A two dollar raise with bonuses. Yes, please.

He’s recently been hanging out and being social with people. He’s picked up the hobby of paddle boarding which gets him out of the house. I can tell he’s dropped a lot of weight. He seems happier and more energetic.

One of the girls he was chatting with was interested in all of the things I do. I guess Warren was telling her about me being a badass with jiu-jitsu and Muay Thia. I ended up meeting her for dinner and we got along pretty well. She went to a kickboxing class with me at Title Club and enjoyed it so much she got a membership. That meant I got a free month. Totally had no idea about the referral thing so that was a pretty nice surprise.

She and I have gone to a few other classes together. We have plans to do boxing tonight at 7:30. She reminds me of me a few years ago. She’s just starting out on trying to get healthier. I think eventually she’ll want to try going to the dojo, but for right now I think she’s doing things right. Taking it slow and figuring out what she likes and doesn’t like and what her limits are.

I haven’t been to the dojo in a while, but that’s because I’ve been waiting for my arms to heal.

Yeah… that’s right… heal.

I got tattoos on my upper biceps and rolling around on the ground with sweaty hands gripping my arms didn’t sound all that hygienic so I’ve been going to Title Club a lot and doing bag work.

Big Bad went with me for the first tattoo on my right arm. I was alone for the second one. Originally my brother was going to be with me but that ended up falling through. I think it was better that way. In the end, I took care of a lot of things alone. I flew with mom’s ashes alone. I drove to my grandparent’s grave with her urn alone. I stayed in the hospital at night with her alone. There were a lot of moments where it was just me and her, me and mom, and so I think it was fitting that I ended the tattoos for her with her, alone.

Overall I think they turned out well. There’s some touch-up work I want done. Now that they’re mostly healed I think the runes in the center need to be a darker red. The ink looked good in the bottle but with my skin tone, it seems pinker. I liked the darker red of when it was scabbed over with blood.

The bands going around the under side of my arm was the hardest part. My triceps bruised all the way down to my elbow. I’m still waiting for the bruise on my left arm to fully go away. The bruises didn’t hurt and were extremely shallow but yeah, you could definitely tell my arms were pissed with me.

The scabs are almost fully healed. There are only a few spots left where the skin needs to flack. I’m thinking I’ll be able to go back to the dojo next week.

One of the realizations I had this morning happened while I was talking to Warren’s friend. I told her how I had training at the gym today along with our plans for boxing in the evening. Somehow through the conversation, it came up that I might have a second cup of coffee since I was being a slacker today.

She asked how I was being a slacker when I had plans for the gym.

That’s when I realized that my definition for “slacker” has changed.

I don’t honestly feel like a slacker, but I am taking it easy today. Easy… when I have roughly 2 hours of intense activity scheduled…

What I don’t have planned is nineteen million other things to go along with those two hours. I don’t have 12 hours of work where I walk six miles while staying in the same room. I don’t have chores or errands. I don’t have projects. I don’t have social obligations.

I have a fairly quiet day, on my own, where I get to enjoy not one, but two cups of coffee while I sit on my couch until noon in my pjs. I don’t have cooking I need to do because it’s already done for the week. I might do laundry, but that’s only because I don’t want to have to do it tomorrow night after work.

I did order more scrubs over the weekend. The ones for work still haven’t come in, which is frustrating, but even if they had, I wouldn’t like wearing them as much as the ones I went out and bought myself. So, last weekend I went to Uniform City and ordered two more sets of the ones I like. That way I’ll be able to make it through four shifts without having to worry about doing laundry on top of getting enough sleep. It seemed like a good investment especially since I like them so much.

But yeah, currently I’m scheduled to work Wednesday and Thursday and I only have one set of clean scrubs… lame. So laundry will most likely happen. It would be one less stressor to worry about.

I haven’t had a legitimate “rest” day is about two weeks. My “rest” days are now my long days at work where I walk about 7 or 8 miles. On my light days at work, where I only walk about 6, I usually get off early enough to still make it to a class, so I go.

I haven’t felt burnt out, it’s been helping me sleep more deeply, and it keeps my muscles from getting too sore or stiff. I think I’ve been pretty good about gauging my body and understanding when I need to stop. Sometimes I only stay for 30 minutes of a class, other times I stay for the whole thing. Sometimes I push hard. Sometimes it’s a lighter workout.

I’ve been consciously focusing on my water intake as well. I drink at least one bottle of water every time I go on break at work. I drink at least two, sometimes three, when I work out. I make sure at least one bottle is a Gatorade to help with electrolytes. I haven’t had any headaches, but there have been a few days where I’ve run “warm”. I feel hot like I’m overheating, but after some fluids, I’m better.

I’m too active to not keep up with what my body needs. So far I think I’m doing pretty ok.

I got new gloves and I love them. For all of you with a fetish for sexy black gloves… you’re welcome.

 

They’re fingerless sparring gloves from Venum. They’re holding up extremely well. I can throw punches harder without destroying my knuckles and still have my fingers free from gripping. If / when I replace them I might go down a size, but at the moment I’m extremely pleased.

I’m thinking about getting new shin guards next. I know I just got a new pair around Novemeber but I can definitely feel how they’re too large for me now that they’re pretty broken in. I gave my old gloves and wraps to K, Warren’s friend who I’ve corrupted to the way of beating things. I might give her my shin guards when I replace them since she’s taller than I am, which is odd for me because at 5 ft 8in not many people are taller.

That will be a month or so down the line when it happens. I would say “if”, but I know I’m going to replace them, so it seems silly to try to deny the fact that I’m eventually going to spend the money.

I recently upgraded all of my gear, actually. New compression shorts and shirts. I got the shirts right before my tattoos so they haven’t seen much action yet. I’ve been wearing only my cover shirts since the sleeves are looser and don’t agitate the skin as much.

I’m starting to see more definition in my abdomen. I try not to think about results all that much but it was nice being in smaller sizes when I upgraded my gear.

The Shefit bras are still doing amazing. So amazing in fact that I got ones for work as well.

I did spend a fair amount of money but I’m ok with it. It’s keeping me going, both work and workout wise. I feel like I’m investing in myself rather than splurging for no reason.

I still have a ways to go, but I’m in a much different position in my life than what I was last year or when I started this journey I didn’t know I was on. I like where I’m at. I’m getting comfortable with this new me. The me where two hours is something I look forward to. It’s a reward. My “me” time. It’s an understood part of my day, not something I have to convince myself to go do.

Mother Earth and I are supposed to meet on Sunday. I’m not really sure what else to write about that. I had been going through my Facebook messages, deleting old ones I no longer wanted to keep. I found messages from her and Josh, messages from when mom first died and they had reached out to me.

I didn’t know what to do with those messages. Keeping them hurts, but I don’t know if I’m ready to let them go either. I messaged Sir explaining my feelings and asked him to let Mother Earth and Josh know that I miss them.

I try to live my life as if it’s my only day alive. If I were to not wake up would I have died with unfinished business, unspoken words? Would I be ok with things being left as they are or is there closure that needs to happen?

This was one of those things where I wouldn’t be ok with leaving it as it is. I needed them to know I missed them. If I were to die, at least they would know I still cared.

He said he would work it into the conversation for me. I was ok with that. I wasn’t trying to bridge a gap. I wasn’t trying for anything other than having peace of mind.

I got a message from Mother Earth a few days later. We started touching on the subject of our separation. She said she would rather meet in person to talk about it because she didn’t want to cause me more pain. I said it was a painful situation. She accused me of trying to steal her husband. She said her and Josh would always be “home” for me and then exiled me through text messages. There’s no way for this to not be a painful situation.

I still feel abandoned. I still feel wounded. I think there’s a lot that’s gone on or that was said that I don’t know about. All I know is my side, but, from my side, mom had just died and two of my closest friends cast me out. I don’t know how to recover from that.

Life doesn’t go backward. We’ll never be able to be where we were a year ago. I’ll never be able to trust or be open like I was before this hurt. I don’t know if I’ll ever want to try for a sexual experience again. I think it will always have that “unsafe” warning flag. Even if we hang out and drink and there’s the “harmless kissing a girl” thing going on, I don’t think I’ll ever give into it because for me it wouldn’t be “harmless”. It will bring up all of these emotions and memories.

In my head, they’re no longer the “safe” people they were. They can be friends, but there will always be a distance there from having been pushed away. I can come back but only to arm’s length.

I don’t even know if they want me to be their friend. I don’t know what this meeting is going to be like. I’m hoping it’s a decent meeting. We’re meeting at a restaurant so I’m assuming it won’t be a screaming match. I don’t know how I’m supposed to be able to eat. Even thinking about it gives me anxiety. I don’t know where I stand with her. I don’t know if this is a meeting for her to tell me to fuck off to my face.

Logically I know that would be really silly. She could do that over text messages again and save both of us the gas and time. But the injured part of me, the one focused on self-preservation and not being hurt again, is worried and because I’m worried eating food sounds like an impossible task.

We haven’t spoken since arranging the meeting. I’m trying to not think about it because there’s really nothing to be done until Sunday so fretting over it is a waste of energy. I would rather enjoy my day off than play the “what if” game. Whatever happens, happens. It would be nice to have some sense of closure.

There’s still the money that is owed to me by both her and Sir. I know both of their situations have improved. It would be nice to have that money back. It would make October less scary. It would be a way to show that I still matter. That promises mean something and are still worth keeping.

Things are going well for Jon. I had a dream the other night that I was at home. I think I knew mom was dead, or that she “wasn’t there” anymore. I was walking from the garage, through the kitchen, down the hallway back to my room. It was darkish though I could still see well enough to know where I was going.

As I passed the door to Jon’s room I got a sense of foreboding. It was like something was in there and I shouldn’t turn my back on it. I had to watch this doorway to darkness because something bad was inside it and if I looked away it would get me.

I woke up feeling uneasy. I turned my bathroom light on for a little bit until it got annoying enough for me to turn it off and go back to sleep.

I called Jon last night after kickboxing and asked him if we were ok. I said I knew it was a weird, out of the blue question and explained my dream to him. He said we were fine and he was sorry about my dream. It was good to hear his voice and to have the reassurance that we’re ok. I’m sure we’ll fight about something eventually. I mean, after all, we’re brother and sister, it’s part of our genetics to fight. But for now, things are good between us.

He’s on summer vacation from school so he’s been playing World of Warcraft a lot and teaching guard camps for marching band. He’s having his own roommate issues, but I think they should be fixed in October assuming he can last that long.

I got my breaks replaced on my car. It’s the first “major” expense I’ve had with it other than getting new tires. The struts need to be changed eventually but those aren’t an immediate concern. I’m able to plan for it a bit and work it into my financial schedule/goals.

I like the place I go to for car service. They’ve always treated me extremely well. Because I ended up having to wait so long for my breaks to get fixed I got a half off oil change with a coupon for another 1/2 price oil change. I would have liked having those three hours of my life back, but they tried to make it better with some form of compensation. They could have done nothing.

Scarlet is doing ok. Still annoying as ever with her whole meowing thing any time there’s running water. She’s been curling up with me at night again which is nice. For a while, she was sleeping in the closet for whatever reason.

I think that’s about it for the moment.

I know I need to meditate about mom, about the tattoos. I haven’t done that. I know there’s pain I need to work through and find balance with in regards to accepting the end to that chapter.

She died. End of story.

End of THAT story.

It’s not the end of MY story, which I guess is why it hurts.

I’m alive. I’m not dead. I still wake up. I still do things and move forward and achieve and fail. I still have things I want to talk about and share.

I’m still here and because I’m still here I feel that pain. I feel that loss. I feel the absence and the void. I feel that end and it sucks because it’s not MY end. It’s not where I wanted it to end.

I’m glad I have the tattoos. They’re heavy, but they remind me that she was real. That she lived. That she influenced my life and made me a better person. I’m glad that I have a way to permanently show the world that I mourn for her.

My tattoos aren’t like her ring or my necklace, things I have to take off when I train. My tattoos are always with me. Unlike the emotional wounds, my tattoos are visible. They remind me of what I’ve been through. They remind me of what I’ve survived.

I’m strong. I’m the matriarch of my family. I’m my mother’s daughter. I’ve made it this far. I’ve told Life over and over again to go fuck itself this past year. I’ve made things work. I’ve taken step after agonizing, inching step forward because I promised I would.

No one can take that away from me. No one can remove my tattoos or take away the insight and knowledge I have gained through the experiences I’ve had. No one can take away my self.

That’s why I got the tattoos I did. The runes are what my mom gave me and no one can take that away. Not Life. Not Death. Not Stress or Doubt, or any of the other countless personified things I struggle with.

I love you, mom. Forever and for always.