Daily Post 045: So Good

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I went to the dojo Thursday after work. It was everything I remember it being and more. It was single handily the best thing I have done in the past two months. That includes sex. So much better than sex.

I got there a little early. The kid’s class was still going on. I smiled at a few people that I remembered. Some of them greeted me. I put my bag down in the locker room then took up my seat against the wall. I don’t wait on the secondary mat like a lot of the guys do. I like being off to the side, on my own, my back against something. Especially with Thursday being my first day back, I wanted the space.

I started getting a little anxious as more and more new people started coming into the dojo. There were at least six other girls, none of who I knew. I was worried they were all there for submission grappling. I was worried the dojo had changed drastically in the past two months and that I really was an outsider.

The kid’s class ended, I got my card for signing in, most of the people stayed on the second mat and started doing a conditioning class with a new instructor and only five other guys stepped onto the primary mat for NoGi.

I knew three of them pretty well. They were guys I had sparred with before and it made it feel like coming home to bow in with them.

My sensei greeted me warmly and welcomed me back. I made it through the whole warm up without being overly winded, that included doing the front and back rolls that I couldn’t do before the personal training sessions with MG. We worked a technique that built off of back mount, a position I’m fairly comfortable with. We then went into the sparring phase of class.

Instead of three-minute rounds, we did six-minute rounds. I didn’t think I would be able to last through them but not only did I last, I legit, hardcore tapped out my first partner. It was the first tap out that I feel like I earned rather than being given to me by a higher belt. It was an awesome feeling and the chick even came up to me at the end of class and said, “That was a good choke.”

My response was, “Oh. Thanks,” like we were talking about a cute skirt or something. “Oh. Thanks. It has pockets!”

The last round was a 3 minute round where I went up against one of the former instructors. He used to compete in Muay Thai tournaments. He tapped me out about halfway through the round but complimented my defense and gave me pointers for next time. I felt like I did pretty well and held my own against him.

I thought about staying for the Muay Thai class but decided against it. I needed to eat and drink. I hadn’t had a training session that intense in a while so I played it cautious and went home.

It was an amazing class. I could feel an improvement in my body. I might not have been going to the dojo for two months, but I’ve been going to Title Club and doing bag work. I’ve been doing the personal training at my new gym with L. I’ve been “doing” a lot and I could feel a difference. I was more coordinated. I was more agile. I was more sure of myself.

I was a lot of things.  Relieved, pleased, confident, content, accepted.

I was home.

Even as I left and said goodbye to my sensei I knew that I was back. I was home. I was still welcome. I don’t know why I let work take me away for as long as it did. I don’t know how I lasted as long as I did without the dojo and my pseudo-family.

All I know is I’m glad I went and I’m glad I’m still going to go.

There’s more that’s happened between Thursday and today, like having my wallet stolen, but it’s 9 pm and I wake up at 2 am and I actually am getting pretty tired. I’ll try to write more later. Not tomorrow since I get to see Big Bad, but maybe Tuesday.

 

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 031: Personal Training

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I could have been responsible and gone to sleep at a decent hour…

Or…

I could have done all of the things I did without regrets…

I’ll let you know how I feel about my decision to stay up late at 5 am tomorrow morning. XD

Today was a pretty good day. I woke up sort of tired. I guess that’s to be expected when I don’t go to sleep at a decent hour. I don’t have much hope of tomorrow morning being much better, but I’m happy with how my day went.

I enjoyed my cup of coffee and I still made it to work early enough to have breakfast alone in the breakroom. The first half of class was interesting and engaging. We had a guy from the Biomed department come and explain the water system to us and give us a giant list of all new important numbers we have to remember along with everything else.

Sooo many numbers. x.x

The second half of class sucked. Like, hardcore, “OMG I want to bash my head against the desk” level of suck. Mostly because we were sitting there listening to the instructor (not the awesome engaging Biomed guy) read powerpoint slides to us. There wasn’t a discussion. There wasn’t any sort of higher level brain function. It was literally just sitting there and suffering through things we had already received video training on. It wasn’t even new content. It was stuff we literally already knew and there was no way to fast forward through the slow, agonized monotone reading.

Arg.

But, good news. I survived it. Huzzah! And I don’t have to see that instructor until next Monday. Hooray!

I found out that one of my favorite teammates had a really shitty first day at her clinic on Friday. We talked about it as we walked to our cars after class. In six months she might try to switch over to my clinic, which would be fantastic. I would love working with her. But that’s in the mid-distant future. The good news in that regard is that I believe she still has a job, and even though the clinic she is being moved to is a bit further away, there’s a chance she can transfer to other clinics once she’s through the RN training, since she’s an RN and not a PCT.

Yay medical acronyms.

Anywho, I talked to Jon. He’s been interested in my company since we’ve been talking about my new job on the phone fairly often. I mean, it is sort of the main thing going on in my life at the moment, which I’m ok with because I really don’t want to bitch about boy drama anytime soon.

I told Jon on Saturday, maybe it was Sunday, that I would see if my trainer knew anyone in the Daytona area that he could talk to. Well, Daytona is too far from our district for my trainer to have a contact of us, but he encouraged Jon to check out the website and go through the application process.

That meant when I got home I worked on revamping Jon’s resume for him. I think he’ll like the layout, but I’m waiting on his approval before doing much else with it.

I went to Muay Thai tonight which was great. I was paired with a guy I have never met before. I found out later that he hasn’t been at the dojo for a while, but he’s good friends with all of the trainers.

It was the first time I’ve really taken hits in the face. I’m glad I wasn’t as flashbacky as I thought I would be. I remember what it was like when Warren #2 hit me. I remember all of the things that followed that incident. I’ve always been worried about how I would handle it, and now I know.

I can take a hit during training.

There was a lot of light sparring tonight. Another first for me with Muay Thai. Normally it’s just drills or conditioning. I guess I’m working my way towards being an MMA master or something. Total killer death machine with my elbows and shins.

Anyway, I got to see James tonight. I haven’t seen him since December. Maybe before then. We didn’t get to talk much, but we did clasp arms and bump shoulders. I would saw it was a “bro” thing except James isn’t like that. It was definitely more of a warrior type of clasp which my inner warrior self is overjoyed with. It’s not like you can randomly go up to people and clasp arms saying, “Hail fellow! Well met!”

II ‘m glad that James is still around and that he wanted to give me a hug. At least I count it as a hug. Warrior hugs are a thing.

I talked to one of my trainers about personal training costs and possible hours. I also asked about coming to the dojo to do yoga and other things earlier in the afternoon once I get out of classes since making it to the evening classes is hard at the moment.

Well, I know have a training session tomorrow after I get out of class. XD

Sometimes I wish I did things slowly or in small incremental steps. Instead, it’s feet first into the deep end more often than not.

So yeah. I have training after class for 30 minutes for $20. Since it’s right after class I don’t have to worry about skipping out on it because I’m tried. I go straight there, get my ass personally kicked, then head home to finish out the day. No more waiting three hours to workout in which time I’m able to talk myself out of going.

Nope. Totally ending that trend before it can become a habit because fuck you, Brain. You’re going and you’ll like it.

I think this will be really good though. I’ll be able to get help with the techniques I’m sort of insecure about. I’m looking forward to it. There’s more to write about in regards to this from a financial aspect, but I really don’t want to get into that at 11 pm. So I’ll save it for another time.

After chatting with my trainer for about forty minutes, since she’s one of the few girls I actually like standing around and talking with, I came home and cooked a pot of beef stir fry. Warren #1 and I got to chat about the financial situation of the apartment. Again, not something I want to go into super deep detail with, but it factors into why I’m ok with exploring the personal training sessions.

I’m hopeful that this month is going to be better than the previous months. Warren seems more energized and less depressed. He’s actually been taking care of himself and tasks that he’s needed to get gone. I want to see where this goes and how it pans out. Maybe things are on an upswing.

Right now that’s about it. I still need to shower and drink my tea, but I’m glad I was able to process through everything. I’m glad that I’m at the end of my day and for the most part my to-do list is taken care of. I know I’ll be tired tomorrow morning, but I’m ok with that. I’ll be able to sleep after my training session, and Wednesday I’ll be back at my clinic getting more comfortable and familiar with my new job and tasks.

Daily Post 026: Working Girl

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My days have been long. Tiring. Stressful.

But they’ve also been extremely rewarding, uplifting, and connecting.

I finished my phlebotomy class. I have my final payment figured out and a solution to the issue of not being able to attend the final part of the PCT course due to my employment training. I still won’t be able to take my board test for a while since Warren still isn’t paying rent reliably. It’s down to paying my bills or getting the certification. It sucks that I’m in this position, but I don’t want to complain about it.

This is a fact in my life. I have to choose between things because my finances are so low. I choose to keep the dojo instead of getting nationally certified for something I don’t need at the moment. I WILL come back to it and I WILL become certified. Just not in the time frame I was hoping for.

The day after my last day of phlebotomy, last Friday, I had my first day of work in almost a year. Physically and mentally it wasn’t a very intense day. A lot of power point slides, a lot of meeting people. Blood work was done. I had my first TB test. At least it’s the first one I have a conscious awareness of. There was a CPR class that I had to stay for since the Red Cross certification I paid for wasn’t accepted.

Everything in hindsight… /sigh

It was actually a pretty awesome class, though. The guy was super funny and engaging. By far one of the best training classes I have been to, ever.

So it’s sort of a toss up. On one hand, I would have liked to have left at 3 PM so I could have gotten to South Carolina sooner. On the other, I’m glad I was able to stay and experience the class.

I didn’t get on the interstate until 6:30 PM and traffic out of Orlando was at a level of stupid I haven’t experienced in a while. I drove until 1 AM. Allison called me around 11 PM and told me that I didn’t have to be up until around 9 AM the following morning which was totally ok in my book. I knew with as emotionally exhausting as my day of orientation was plus the drive that I was going to need as much sleep as I could get before the “big day”.

I slept surprisingly well even though I was basically in Drug Town. Downtown Charleston is pretty much like any other downtown. You have some sketchy areas, but it was actually mildly reassuring. This is where I grew up. There was still a feeling of “home”. I could see it in the way the grass is a different kind of green from Florida. The oak trees with their Spanish moss… The salt in the air is different. There’s something about low country South Carolina that can’t be replaced or impersonated. There’s something about going back to where you came from, even if you return as a visitor, that will pull at the strings of familiarity.

I’m glad I went to Allison’s wedding. Partly because she would have killed me if I ditched the day before when I was supposed to be her maid of honor… I do have a slight sense of self-preservation. But mostly I’m glad I went because it was beautiful to not only see the ceremony but to be part of it.

I realized I will most likely never have a wedding of my own, but I also realized I think I’m ok with that.

I don’t want to spend $1000 on a dress. I don’t want to make people drive crazy distances to hear me say things that I really only want my companion to hear. I’m ok with not having the government involved in my relationship.

Maybe all of this will change as I continue to move through life, but at the moment, I’m ok with accepting that I have always been different and that I will most likely continue to be different. Different doesn’t mean bad.

So the ceremony was really nice. I made my speech. I feel like I tanked on it. I was shaking so bad by the end that I had to put my glass down so I wouldn’t spill it all over my dress. After my “speech” I promptly changed out of my dress and went to a quiet outside area away from the reception and did yoga.

I know that may be weird or maybe even disrespectful but I was completely out of my element. I knew only a handful of people. I was in a dress with makeup, my hair all braided and “not me”. I had just spoken extremely heartfelt words to one of my best friends in front of a ton of strangers… I earned 20 minutes of alone time to stretch out my muscles from my seven-hour car ride.

Allison’s mom came and sat with me for a while. It was nice to talk to her alone. I haven’t been able to since my mom died. I got to tell her about my new job and how I’m doing in life. I’m pretty much her second daughter, she says so herself, so I think she enjoyed catching up with me. It was nice to have some one on one time with someone I’m close with. It helped ease the overwhelmed feeling from the speech.

The rest of the night was fun and uneventful for my part. I got to people watch. I talked to a few other people, but mostly I kept to myself, which I was ok with.

In the end, I helped pack everything up. I went out with Allison’s buddies to a bar and had a few more drinks. Afterward, I went back to the hotel where I had another night of extremely deep and restful sleep.

I woke up in the morning, packed everything up, checked out of the hotel, then drove back to Orlando. I stopped in Daytona first and spent about three hours with my brother. Originally it was going to be a short visit, but then I ended up going to a few stores with him and then we got dinner together. It was insanely nice to spend time with him and I don’t regret it even though it altered my time table for when I wanted to be home.

By the time I got back to my apartment I was done. I don’t even remember what I did. I brought everything in from the car, but that’s about all I remember. I know I didn’t sleep at all even though I tried to. I don’t know if I was wired from the cup of coffee Jon made me while I was with him or what, but I spent all night awake.

One the plus side, I didn’t have to worry about being late for my first official day at work. Downside, if you think spending eight hours reading policy and compliance documentation sucks, try doing it on no sleep…

Even though I was wicked tired I liked how I started my day. I went to Starbucks and got a coffee drink and a breakfast sandwich. I know that was splurging and my bank account doesn’t appreciate it, but I wanted to do it. It helped make the morning special.

As I pulled out of the drive-thru I spoke to my mom for the first time in a while. Out loud spoke to, not just silently thought words.

“Ok, mom. Let’s make today a good day.”

I had tears running down my face as I drove through the parking lot. My chest hurt. I didn’t want to take those steps forward. But I did, and I even enjoyed my day despite the mind-numbing material.

I actually really like the group I’m with. All of the managers for the facilities are super nice and friendly. This really does seem to be a company that lives up to all the talk about the company culture. I really do believe they care about their employees, from my own observations and limited exposure so far.

Tuesday wasn’t as bad, but still really dry material. We were told we needed to come up with a team name. I’m super hoping for DaVita Divas to win. We realized we’re an all female class and with the spunk and banter we toss around the diva portion really fits us I think.

Today the subject of mom’s death came up with a few of my… classmates? teammates? not really sure what to call them mates?… Anyway… it was an extremely connecting conversation.

Two of the ladies are slightly older. One lost her mother about 15 years ago, and her husband 4 years ago. She shared some of her experience with grief with me and I was able to explain mine. In the end, I thanked her for talking to me. I told her hearing other people’s experiences helped me feel not alone and helped me understand and accept my own feelings.

Another, we’ll go with teammate, gave me a hug.

It was really nice. Mom’s death is a big part of me right now, and I like that I was able to share that aspect of my journey and still be accepted.

After class I came home and sort of dicked around on Facebook for longer than I meant to. I did go to Muay Thai tonight, though, so I don’t feel bad about the computer time. I’m pretty happy with the effort I put in at the dojo today. I had been worried about interacting with people, but I’m glad I went. I was paired with a person that I’ve seen at the dojo fairly often, but have never formally talked to. He’s super nice and was extremely helpful with giving me advice for my stance and punches.

I enjoy going to Title Club on the days I don’t want real interaction. I want it to just be me and the bag and whatever the voice through the speakers tells me to do. I don’t have to worry about holding pads or having someone “push” or “encourage” me. I don’t have to worry about my grief snapping and having to explain to someone that they didn’t do anything wrong and that I just need to cry. It’s the main reason I haven’t gone to the dojo as consistantly as I was before the end of March.

I have been keeping up with training, though. Just in a different way.

Today ended up being a dojo day instead of a gym day. It was a good class and I did well and I think the interaction was good for me on a social and emotional level.

I stayed a bit afterward and talked with one of my trainers; the one who had asked if I was ok the last time I had been at the dojo. I got to explain about my new job and why I had left the time before. I got to talk about the situation with Warren. She knows I might have to cancel my membership. It won’t be this month at least. I’m hoping things work out.

I’ll make things work out.

Oh… yesterday…

I went to kickboxing at Title Club since I didn’t feel like being around people. Afterward, I went to the store and bought a few things to make meals since I have to have lunches at work. I made tuna and beef stir fry. I had some leftover rotisserie chicken so I also make spinach and chicken couscous. Got some protein bars. Some Gatorade. Eggs… Normal stuff.

Tomorrow I’m going to buy a lunch box. I donated the one I used to have to Goodwill almost a year ago; shortly after I resigned. I got rid of a lot of stuff when I left Full Sail. I’m actually glad that I’ll have to get a new one. This is a new place. I don’t want to bring old memories into it.

I actually have a to-do list for tomorrow. It’s the first day this week that I’ve made one. Much like with my writing, my to-do lists have become sporadic. I don’t mind, though. I feel like I’m doing well.

This whole month has been hard. Everything from March 23rd, through mom’s death day and past with the final weeks of my phlebotomy class, skill evaluation, beginning a new job only to turn around and be the maid of honor in a wedding which required a total of 14 hours of driving in two days…

I DID do well and it WAS hard.

Now that things are settling down I can feel the rhythm that’s forming. I like it. I wake up early. I workout in the early evening. I come home and unwind.

I’ve already mapped out what I would like to do tomorrow. This is the first day where I’ve wanted to plan ahead. It’s not a very extensive list and the first five things on it are still, “wake up, make breakfast, eat, shower, go to training”, but it’s my list and it’s what I want to do, so I’m going to do it.

I’m going to be ok. Financial stress is pointless even though my financial situation is something I have been stressing over. I’m going to make my life work the way I want it to because I’ve come too far to let it uppercut me again.

Fuck you, Life. I’m ready for you.

Daily Post 024: Done and Determined

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I’m alive.

It’s nice to feel warm again after the past two weeks. Solid. Real. Driven and determined.

I went to the dojo yesterday. Stayed for NoGi and Muay Thai. I most likely would have stayed for Jiujitsu too but I was a slacker over the weekend and my gi wasn’t dry enough to wear by the time I left for the dojo. In the end that might have been a good thing since doing three classes after a week and a half of nothing might have been harder than I could have / should have handled.

A lot has happened, as always when I go for stints without writing.

Warren and I had our first full blown fight / spat. I’ll probably post the message I sent to him as a Musing Moment so I can keep it.

He’s still being a not cool roommate. And since this is my blog I’m going to say how I really feel. I feel like he’s being a dick. And insensitive, selfish, disrespectful dick.

Every time we have a conversation about him not paying rent or contributing to the apartment he uses being depressed about Amber and his job as his reasons. He’s too depressed some days to clock into work, so he’s always short on money. He’s too caught up in being depressed to notice his dishes in the sink or the coating of dog fur on the floor. He’s depressed so it’s ok that he’s not doing the things he said he would. He’s depressed so there’s a reason for it and I should be understanding.

I think I’ve been pretty understanding and supportive for the past seven months.

So all through the two weeks of me contending with mom’s death day approaching I still had to take care of his dirty dishes and do all the chores even though I’ve repeatedly expressed how I’m not ok with it.

Friday it sort of all boiled over. Friday morning I woke up at 7 am. I stayed in bed until 9 am, not wanting to go downstairs. Not wanting to see a sink with dishes in it. It didn’t seem worth it. Nothing was worth it. Mom was dead, but that didn’t matter enough, didn’t count enough, for me to be depressed and have someone take care of me. Or at the very least not have to take care of someone else along with myself.

Victim mentality, maybe, but I don’t think it’s unfair of me to not want to clean up after someone else when I am legitimately struggling just to come downstairs in the first place.

I did get up eventually, though, and I did go downstairs. And again, like every morning since he’s moved in the sink had dirty dishes in it. I pretty much snapped. I took Warren’s dishes and put them in his computer chair and left them there for him to find when he woke up. It’s something I had said I would do during one of what feels like our many conversations. After that I started drinking. I drank from 10 am until 6 pm and the only reason I stopped was so I could be sober to drive to Big Bad’s house.

This was the first time where I hurt so much that the only thing I knew to do was to drink enough to be buzzed so the pain was bearable. I literally didn’t know what else to do other than drink and watch movies all day as a way to survive. I wanted to self-harm. I wanted to hurt on the outside as much as the inside so then maybe at least my pain would matter enough to be taken seriously. Just as seriously as I should be taking someone’s depression over a breakup and a shitty job.

I didn’t really want to self-harm, though. I knew those thoughts were there, but they weren’t the actions I truly wanted to do, so drinking seemed like the better option. Drink, be numbed, watch movies, cope, breathe, survive, and  tomorrow will be better.

When Warren found his dishes he got pissed. I waited a few hours before writing and explaining how every night I clean the kitchen so there won’t be anything for me to have to contend with in my morning. And every morning I wake up to having to clean someone else’s mess before I can start my day. It sucks, and since I’ve told him about it I said it feels like a giant “fuck you” every time it happens, which is literally every day.

He said I was being childish and petty which felt like a slap to the face.

It took me a while to come to terms with his response. Those words bounced around in my head like bullets. Childish. Petty.

Am I really being childish? Is wanting to not take care of someone after doing it for seven months being petty? Am I being unreasonable? Selfish? Am I that bitchy roommate I didn’t want to be? It didn’t help my mental state at all. It made me feel guilty and like I really was asking for too much.

I’ve come to the conclusion that actions aren’t “things”. Just like facts are neither “good” nor “bad”. They exist. They happen. It’s our perspective which makes them “things”.

So, Warren’s perspective is that I’m being petty. My perspective is that I kept my word and did something I said I would do.

Even if the situation turns around, which it hasn’t, his dirty dishes are still in the sink, I don’t want to be his roommate in October. I really don’t want to be his roommate now, but there’s not really anything I can do about that. Since I paid rent in full I have no money to put towards living somewhere else.

I doubt I’ll be able to live alone in October. That doesn’t mean I have to stay here or live with him. I can find somewhere else to go. Really, the real question is can I last until October? To that, I don’t know the answer. I hope so. I really do, because I can’t afford to live anywhere else at the moment.

This whole situation has caused another shift inside of my brain, though, so I guess it’s not all bad.

I’m done waiting on people. I’m done expecting people to help when they say they will. I’m done waiting for people to keep their word. Basically, inside of my head, I’ve cut all imaginary ties for financial support.

I’m on my own.

All the people who said they would pay me back… Done. I’m not going to go through my life holding my breath, waiting, hoping, thinking my situation would be better if only…

No.

I’m done.

I’m not going to get that money. What I have right now is what I have. End of story.

If they pay me back, cool. But I’m done thinking about how great my life would be if it actually happened. I’m done with not mattering.

I have my goals. I know what I need to get to them. I need to work my ass off essentially, especially if I want to reach them in the time frame I’ve given myself. I can only count on me, financially, to get me there, so that’s what I’m going to do.

Fuck Life if it thinks it can stop me.

That’s the mentality I’ve taken up since clawing those bullets out of my head. I’m not petty or childish. I want to be treated fairly. I want to be treated how I was told I would be treated. I want to not have a 30-year-old man-child.

This isn’t where I wanted to be so this ISN’T where I’m staying.

I talked to my instructor today about the PCT issue. That led to a conversation with my former instructor who agrees that I shouldn’t have to take the Home Health Aid class over again. So they’re both going to fight on my behalf to get my paperwork changed. That will be roughly $800 I can keep. I can’t put into words how much I really want to hold on to that money at the moment since Warren still isn’t reliably paying rent.

Yeah… it’s not just dishes that are broken promises.

I need four more venipunctures. That was another eye opener. One that I don’t feel like writing much about at the moment. It’s sobering to know where I stand with some people. It’s interesting in a mildly detached way. When I asked people to support me in obtaining my certification, in advancing with my life, they said no.

I get that I’m asking, “Can I stick you with a needle?” I understand people have phobias and anxiety and fears. I know I was asking a lot. For every person I asked it was too much. No one, not a single person out of the ten I asked, said, “Yes. I’ll help you.”

I asked my brother on the off chance he might be able to drive down from Daytona, but his class schedule conflicts with mine, so it can’t happen. He’s the only person who unwaveringly said, “Yeah. I’ll help.”

Next week is my evaluation. Thursday is my last test for the class. Next Friday is the orientation day for my new job. Saturday is Allison’s wedding. Monday I begin my two months of training. Monday evening I get to register for my board test for phlebotomy. That will be a 120 question test since my evaluation counts as the clinical portion.

I’m tired just from thinking about it all.

That’s not mentioning how I have to drive 7 hours to get to the wedding, be the maid of honor in the wedding, give a speech which I can’t even really drink during because directly after everything I have to turn around and drive 7 hours back so I can be in Orlando for work.

I know this is me being sort of whiny but I really don’t see how any of this has been an honor. I had to take a week out of my life to go to Disney, which was fun-ish, but not something I would have volunteered to do on my own. I paid for the vacation home we stayed at along with all of the gas and driving we did that week plus my own ticket and $3 bottles of water. I’m going to have to drive to South Carolina and back and pay for my hotel room. I had to drop $200 on a dress I’m going to wear once, plus whatever the shoes cost…

I want this honor to be over with and I’m glad it almost is.

On the subject of money…

I have a sort of side business going on at the moment. Resume making. Wooo. It’s actually pretty cool.

Because I got the job with DaVita that’s been a topic mentioned a lot when we go on break. My classmates ask about the interview process, how I found the posting, different things about the company. etc.

One of them asked to see my resume so I showed her. She was super impressed with how clean and professional it looked and I got to explain how I created it myself and how until I had resigned from Full Sail I had been working on a second degree in Digital Arts and Design. She asked if I would make one for her. We negotiated a price and she sent me her information.

I guess she ended up telling others about our arrangement, so now I’m creating resumes for three other people.

Even funnier… I was talking to my blacksmith over the weekend and mentioned my “underground” business, so now I’m helping him with his resume as well. XD

One of my classmates mentioned how I should create a flyer for the billboard at school as a way to market my services.

So… yeah… that might be a thing for me. It would be pretty cool if it worked into a fairly reliable side income.

I don’t think I really have much else to talk about…

I’ve started cross stitching again. I’ve started listening to my audio book again as well. I have about three more hours in American Gods. I saw they’re coming out with a series on Netflix for it. At least I think it was Netflix. Totally stoked for it though. I hope it’s done well.

I’m proud of myself that even while I was in a hardcore grief wave that I made meals and stuck to them. I did laundry and though I haven’t put it away yet, I know I will by the end of the night.

I think a lot of my turnaround has to do with a few experiences / conversations with Big Bad. I actually don’t want to write too much about those experiences, but I will say I am glad he’s in my life and I’m grateful for the perspective and acceptance he gives me.

I got mom her rose for her death day. I went to Goodwill and found the vase I was looking for. I had an idea of what I wanted in my head and I found it.

I’m happy with where I’m at right now with my life. And maybe happy isn’t the right word. Or, at least it’s not happy in the normal sense.

I’m happy that I know what I want to do and how to do it. I’m content with the direction I’m going. And I’m ok with not allowing negative people to deter me from my course. If that means removing them from my life I’m ok with that. I’ve come too far to stand by and allow myself to be disrespected or taken advantage of.

I’ve done my part. More than my part.

I’m done.

Just like I’m done with this writing and will now continue with my evening by cross stitching, drinking tea, and listening to the rest of my story.

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.