Letters to Mom 016: I Promise I’ll Try

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Hey mom,

I woke up tired today.

I miss you.

I miss a lot of things.

I miss Jon. I talked to him today while I was on break at work. I got to tell him that I’m homesick.

I guess it started when I got a text message from Big Bad.

I miss him, too.

And there’s a part of me that wants to hate myself for that. I want to be angry at myself for missing the times he and I cuddled together. For missing our quiet mornings. For fucking up our plans to do the Warrior Dash in February.

I want to not miss him. I want to remember what it felt like to read his message about being “disappointed. Thanks.”

But I’m bad about remembering things like that. I’m bad about remembering how he never said, “I love you.” I’m bad about remembering that there most likely would have never been a family Thanksgiving that I would have been invited to. A house I could come home to with him. There wouldn’t have been an “ever after”, but that doesn’t make me miss what I had less.

I miss wrestling with him. I miss kicking his ass at Mortal Kombat.

I miss my friend.

Just like I miss Jon. I miss going to Friendly Confines with him. I miss driving up to Daytona for breakfast. I miss our sappy hugs goodbye. I miss the times I slept on his couch.

I miss my dojo. I miss not having anxiety over going to work out. I miss feeling strong and healthy.

I miss feeling like a warrior because right now I don’t.

In a lot of areas in my life I know I’m doing better, but the overall feeling I have right now, the most pervasive one, is that I’m treading water. I’m bearly holding on and maybe that’s just the tiredness. Maybe that’s just the overwhelm of having the kids for the weekend and not having a safe space to get away to.

I feel apathetic right now about most things. About gaming. About working out. About eating.

I don’t want to do anything.

I want to sleep. I want to wake up and feel ok even though I know I’m not “not ok”.

I don’t have drive or motivation for anything at the moment, mom, and it sucks.

I’ve been breathing better for the past few days. I’ve been taking a lot of decongestant stuff and I guess it’s working. So now that I don’t have to struggle so hard to breathe I guess my body thinks it’s ok to remind me that my soul hurts. That’s I’m actually still really injured and I need to take care of that.

But I don’t know how because I don’t know what’s wrong.

I know I like it here. I know I’m starting to love my job again. I know that I don’t dread getting up in the morning even though I still wake up at 3 am.

I know I don’t want my own apartment because I like coming home here. I like being part of a family. I enjoy falling asleep next to Ox. Being away wouldn’t feel right. At the same time, all of my things are mostly still in storage. When the kids are here I don’t have a space for myself. And there’s a part of me who’s not ok with giving up the few days I have off to socialize.

Maybe “not ok” isn’t the right words. I would rather it be a choice rather than something I’m forced to do due to the living situation. But it’s not a choice. I have to and there isn’t really a way to change it at the moment. Maybe ever.

If I’m not “ok” but I’m not “not ok” then what am I?

Why can’t I just figure out what it is that I need to do?

Why can’t you be here for me to talk to? Why can’t I hear your voice on the other end of the phone? And saying, “because I’m dead” doesn’t count.

I don’t care right now. Because you’re dead isn’t a good enough answer.

I miss you, mom, and I so desperately want to say that I need you, but I know that word isn’t true because I’ll wake up tomorrow having survived another day without you and so it’s not a true need. Not like air or water or electrical impulses within my heart.

But I need you, mom. I need you to be here and you’re not and it sucks and I hate it.

I meet with a personal trainer tomorrow. I’ve signed up for a Warrior Dash in July. I have no motivation to do either of those things, but I’m going to do them because I know they need to be done.

This is the therapy part of healing. This is the hard part. The part that hurts. The part that sucks. The part that makes me cry and want to give up because the thought of doing them feels like it’s too much. Too heavy. Too hard.

It’s so much easier to hide away and stay in bed and be sad and to not do anything, but I know that’s not what I truly want for myself. I know it’s not what you would want for me either, so I’m going to go to my stupid meeting tomorrow, mom.

I’m going to try, mom. For you. For me. For us.

I’m so sorry I can’t promise more than that. I’m sorry I can’t do more than try. I’m sorry I can’t say that I’ll kick ass and take over the world and be an amazing person who does amazing things.

I wish I could, but right now I don’t feel those things. I don’t feel amazing or strong. I feel weak and broken and all I can do is say that I won’t let the sadness win and that I’ll try really hard for you.

Today sucks, mom. Nothing bad happened. Work went smoothly. I’m back home and I’m writing, but today just really, really sucks.

I love you. I promise I’ll try to make tomorrow better.

 

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Daily Post 080: Finishing the Recap

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So last week started with what will forever be known as the horrifically sockless Monday. I continued improving at work and doing more things on my own like spinning labs, packing labs, and switching the CWP over to disinfect and taking it back out of disinfecting for normal operation. It was also the first week of working on my own, out of training. I was able to get measurements for things like shelving units and plastic bins to eventually make different areas/processes at the clinic easier.

Work-wise it was a good week.

Emotionally, the week had its ups and downs. Monday was pretty bad. Unintentionally making a mom joke didn’t help anything in that regard. As far as my writing goes, I recapped all the way up to Saturday evening, which Saturday was an amazingly good day.

That brings us up to Sunday, so I’ll continue from there.


 

April 1st – Sunday

April. Mom’s death month. And it’s not even like it’s a week into the month. Only four days later… Maybe it’s because her death happened so close to the first that the changing of months feels significant.

I woke up to snow on the ground; about an inch of it. It was still coming down, too. We were projected to get roughly three inches, which we did.

We had a good breakfast that morning. Mama Ox made monkey bread, Ox made eggs, and I made bacon. Real bacon, not the microwavable things they typically buy.

I didn’t do much of anything for the rest of the morning.

I was sad and it was hard to fight through the apathy and sadness. The weather didn’t help since it was cold. Ox helped a bit. Laundry needed to get done so he carried the basket into the laundry room for me.

Eventually, somehow, we ended up going to the U-Stop in town to do minor grocery shopping. It’s really a gas station with a mini food mart built into it. It’s nice and clean inside and their prices aren’t bad.

I guess it helped that the snow did stop in the afternoon and the sun came out and the day did warm up nicely. It helped that Ox was there to make it feel less like I was fighting my battle on my own.

Did it still suck? Yes. But not all of it sucked and it was up to me to recognize that fact or not. he could have been a jerk and not helped at all with the laundry. He could have given me shit for feeling sad instead of being understanding. He could have been harsh or distant verses encouraging and warm.

The trip to the store helped. Being productive usually does, regardless of how hard it is to start that upward trend/turnaround. I was able to get chicken and instant potatoes to make decent lunches for my work week. That led to a conversation with Mama Ox when I got back to the house about what to do for dinner. I said that I could make Parmesan chicken with the leftover seasoning packet I had. That led to another trip to the store for more chicken and to me making dinner for everyone.

The meal didn’t turn out as good as I wanted. I should have used more sauce. The whole package of noodles ended up being too much so there was a ton leftover. The bag of frozen broccoli sucked and I really should have bought some fresh instead of being cheap frugal.

It wasn’t an awful meal, but it wasn’t one that left everyone saying, “That was good.” It was a meal and no one left the table hungry or puking and swearing off my cooking for the rest of forever. Small victories I suppose.

The day ended up being a good day even though it was rough in the morning. I was looking forward to going to work and being able to set up my shelving unit next to the bleach sink.

I’m pretty sure I played WoW for a bit. I don’t remember specifically when I did that, but it did happen over the weekend at some point. I basically screwed around in Outlands completing super low-level quests and one shotting elite mobs that use to kick my ass. It was a nostalgic feeling. And gratifying…

That fel reaver totally deserved getting destroyed. Just sayin’ >.>


 

April 2nd – Monday

I worked Monday. It was a smooth day. I liked how I knew how the clinic would be since I worked Saturday. No guesswork as to if the lab packs were made or if the correct supplies would be laid out.

Nope. Everything was exactly how I wanted it because I made it that way.

The first shift went well. After my break, I put the shelves together. I love them. ❤

The second shift went well until four out of six people wanted off their machine at the same time. Holy fuck was that a bunch of crazy. Me and the RN survived though and once everyone was taken care of I spent the remaining time cleaning stations and getting ready to close up for the day.

I would have left the clinic early but I ended up staying to talk to our AA, administrative assistant. I haven’t had a chance to really interact with her all that much, so I had a distant level of respect for her but no real opinion of her as a person. After talking with her though, my opinion has changed to one of “You’re one of the people I super like”.

She showed me where the extra highlighters were. If that’s not true love I don’t know what is.

All joking aside, though, she was amazingly complimentary about how I’m helping to improve the clinic and she’s glad to have me as one of the solid, stable members of the crew.

She was supportive of my suggestion to rearrange a few things in the stock room for ease of use. She said if there was anything that I wanted to be purchased for the clinic to let her know. We talked about the future prospect of getting a second shift on TTS and she told me a bit of her story and why she is only part-time for the company at the moment.

She even emailed me a few files so I can print things out when I need them, versus having to wait or ask for someone to do it for me. I know that may not seem like a big deal. I mean, it’s not like their top secret files or anything, but I do feel it shows a level of trust that didn’t have to be given. It helps make me more independent as a worker. I’m able to be helpful rather than a hindrance. It’s a good feeling.

That actually led to how we were able to share part of our stories with each other. She had been trying to find my email address in the company directory, but could only find a Jennifer Conley in Orlando, so she didn’t think that was me since I’m clearly not in Orlando. I said no, that was me, that I had been working at the downtown clinic in Orlando, Florida before moving to Nebraska. She had no idea I had moved or been part of the company beforehand. She said that made her even more comfortable with me working at the Beatrice clinic because I had previous experience.

Even though it would have been nice to leave work early rather than on time, I’m glad I stayed. Getting to know her better makes me more comfortable with having to interact with her in the future and I think our conversation gave each of us a better understanding and level of respect for each other as people as well as coworkers.

Because we had so many noodles left over from the failed mediocre parmesan dinner the night before, I stopped by the Walmart near my clinic to pick up a few ingredients to make a soy sauce noodle recipe I found online. I am not a fan of that Walmart, or any Walmart really, so I’ll most likely avoid having to go there in the future, but I was able to get the things I needed. Since my mission was successful I headed home.

Dinner was super quick to make. It turned out pretty awesome, too. Hopefully, that makes up for the not amazing-ness of Sunday.

I had messaged Warren super early Monday morning; before I left for work which would have been around 5 am his time. I asked him to please reply to my previous message. You know… the one I sent on Friday asking about my spare key, the internet account, and our financial situation. I had emailed my old landlord Friday and was told everything was square with the lease. Ms. Side Chick is on it. I’m off it. We’re done in that regard.

I had let Warren know what the landlord had said, but still wanted answers for everything else. I had my “not amused” face on as I sent him a text Monday morning.

Me: Dude… Seriously… I know your phone is an extension of your hand because I’ve lived with you for a year. I know you’ve seen my message. I know you’re choosing not to reply to me. This is why people think you’re a dick when I tell them about our situation and why it’s hard to defend you against their opinions. You’re not doing much to make yourself look “non-dickish”.

He did eventually reply that evening, but it was after I had gone to sleep so I didn’t get his reply until Tuesday morning; yesterday.

All in all, Monday was a good day. I don’t remember being sad. I knew I was worried about the next two days since they were/are my days off. I was glad I wasn’t going to have to go to work, but at the same time, not having anything requiring me to be busy left me worried since the sadness and grief of mom’s death would have a better chance of seeping in.

I curled up in bed with Ox and went to sleep, turning my alarm off before doing so since I didn’t want to wake up at 3 am on a day I didn’t have to.


 

April 3rd – Tuesday – Yesterday

Yesterday started ok. It was weird not having to be up before Ox. Normally I’m the one up and dressed, lunch packed, breakfast eaten, sometimes showered, other times not with a bandana strategically covering up my bedhead used to keep my hair out of the way while I’m working…

We still did our “goodbye cigarette” in the morning only it was reversed with me being the one to crawl back into bed and Ox being the one to leave for work, off to be the breadwinner for the day.

I think I didn’t make yesterday easy for myself. I was still fuzzy and sort of headachey from drinking the night before. I ended up oversleeping with left me feeling groggy when I did actually wake up. I didn’t have a reason to shower, so I didn’t. Instead, I had breakfast then decided that I was still tired and got back in bed, in the dark. I basically stewed in my own thoughts of “this is the eve of mom’s death” for most of the day.

Ox called me a few times. He’s been talking to one of his friends and he wants me to meet her. It worked out that yesterday would have been a good day to do it. The thought of having to go out into the world, to interact with anyone, anything, hurt. The thought of doing anything hurt, much like the way I imagine physical therapy to hurt.

You know you need to do it. You know it’s beneficial and that doing nothing is only going to make things worse in the long run, but the thought of having to stretch those muscles is agonizing because you know it’s going to suck. It’s going to take a lot of work. It’s going to take a lot of time and effort and determination and willpower and discipline, and sometimes you really just don’t want to do it. Sometimes it just sucks and you need to have those moments of self-pity where you allow yourself to feel that suckage in all its unadulterated realness.

Everytime Ox called me yesterday I ended up crying. He mentioned that I sounded sad during our second call and I said I was. It was as if finally being able to admit to someone that today sucked made it more ok; less like an overwhelming weakness I was trying to hide from.

It was ok to be sad because being sad isn’t inherently a bad thing.

He ended up convincing me to shower and to drive into town. We could get dinner together, just us. We could drive up to his friend’s work and say hi, or not. Staying at home all day hadn’t helped anything though, so maybe trying being out of the house would.

I agreed that going out had a better shot than staying in since staying in had done nothing but make things worse.

So I showered. Getting up and doing it was hard at first, but I felt slightly better after doing it. I had done “something” so doing “something else” didn’t seem as bad; as hard.

I got dressed, putting on the overcoat/jacket thing I wore to my interview during my initial trip to Nebraska. I knew that I felt injured internally, emotionally. I don’t know why, but putting in that one small extra effort to make myself look a bit more presentable made me feel a bit better about myself. Yeah, I’m still sad, but you know what? I still did amazing enough in an interview to get a job that I’m doing well with. I can still look classy while being injured. I can feel broken and still function because I’m doing it, right here, right now.

I guess the jacket thing was more of a visual reminder to myself that have I done, and am doing, well regardless of what my emotions make me feel sometimes.

I picked up the Amazon package that had been sitting on the porch all morning. It had been there when had my first cigarette after waking up, but the thought of bringing it inside with me was too much at the time. It would get done eventually… by someone…

I’m glad that I’m the one who did it and that I didn’t let the apathy I had been struggling with all day make someone else’s day mildly inconvenient. I’m able-bodied enough to pick up a box and put it on the kitchen table, damnit.

Me: Fuck you, Brain. I KNOW I’m not that weak and feeble.

I cried almost the whole time on the drive into town and I really can’t explain why. The sun had finally come out and though it was still cold, there were puffs of warmth mixed in, like the Earth is struggling to wake up out of its winter sleep. Coughs of spring mixed into the fierceness of the wind.

It hurt to drive. It hurt to be outside, slightly dressed up, driving into town to do normal things on a day that isn’t normal.

It’s the “Eve”.

It’s the night code STEMI was called on mom. It’s the night she bled all over her hospital gown. It’s the night I didn’t sleep and I worried about her bleeding out while I held her hand because the heparin wouldn’t let her blood clot properly.

Today isn’t normal, but it’s sunny and I’m showered and I’m about to go do whatever it is I’m about to go do and it sucks and I cried because, for me, all of those facts suck. For me, the memory of April 3rd, 2016 will always suck, no matter how bright and sunny and warm the day may be.

Ox and I met at the parking lot of the PetCo in town since his snake needed more mice. I had a few minutes alone to compose myself and to come to terms with the fact that mom wanted me to get through yesterday. She wouldn’t have wanted me to stay home in the dark being sad. I know she would understand my sadness, but she would want me to find something about the day to enjoy, no matter how small so I was going to try to. For her. For me. For us.

One of the things Ox and I ended up doing was going to a HyVee and getting Bang energy drinks for me. There was a Super Saver in the plaza we met up at, but they don’t sell my drink and the thought of having one made me feel better in one of those silly, slightly childish “a piece of chocolate would give me warm fuzzy feelings” sort of way.

When I asked if we could go get one, Ox said sure. It nearly brought me to tears all over again because I know it was a silly request and yet he made it seem like it was no problem at all. He could have said no or asked why and forced me to explain all of the things I didn’t want to explain, but instead, he said yes with a smile and drove us in his car so we could be together, leaving mine in the parking lot until our impromptu adventure through the town was done for the evening.

He drove to a nearby HyVee where I got 12 cans of Bang because they were on sale. I don’t know why those drinks are so amazing, but having one of the Cotten Candy flavored cans makes me feel like I’m drinking liquid childhood or something. It was another small action that helped keep up the emotional improvement.

We drove to the Home Depot where his friend worked since she was getting off work soon. I was nervous. I mean, obviously… It’s a person I’ve never met before. Their sole purpose in life is to attack me on sight…

Me: You can chill the fuck out, Brain. I would be totally ok with that right now…

While Ox and I waited, we looked at paint and wood stain for the kitchen cabinets. We walked back and looked at the countertops since his mom wants new ones. We talked about color scheme and tile backsplashes for the kitchen walls and looked at different pantry cabinets since I want to get one for the kitchen. We talked about how we could move things in the house around and what type of flooring we want to put down in the addition once it’s done. We talked about how a lot of things in the house feel half down and how I’m not wrong in feeling that way; that’s an issue with his dad. Projects not getting finished.

It was a really awesome experience. I’m not sure if it was intentional on Ox’s part, but I’m grateful for the time we spent together in the store looking at home improvement stuff. It helped me remember there’s a lot of things in the future I want to be here for and that I’m looking forward to being a part of.

I was also able to get a white milk crate for work. I want one as a “shred” box for the treatment floor. It’s so annoying having to constantly walk back behind the nurse’s station to put documents into the bin there. Now I have a crate I can put on the main tech counter. I can put treatment sheets and lab forms and all sorts of paper in there and at the end of the day I can take my crate and empty it all at once. It’s a small, trivial thing, but it makes me happy knowing that my workflow will be improved.

I did get to meet Ox’s friend. She seems nice and I’m curious to get to know her better. I think we have had very different experiences, I also think we’re very different people. I don’t think we’ll be best buds or BFFs or hang out buddies, but it would be nice to know if we wanted to hang out with people other than ourselves that Ox and I have people we can call up and spend time with.

Once we left Home Depot we decided to try Buffalo Wings and Rings again, the wing place we had tried to go to Saturday evening. I can’t lie, part of the reason I’ve wanted to go there is simply because the name makes me smile because I think it’s cute. The other part is because I really like their color scheme. A very small, insignificant portion is because I want to find another wing place. I had already determined before moving that nothing would compare to my sports bar in Orlando.

BW&R was much quieter yesterday evening and though the food wasn’t as good as my sports bar in Orlando, it definitely is better than Buffalo Wild Wings in my book and overall I was satisfied with my meal. I would be ok with going back there. In fact, it might be where I go for lunch today since I’ll be in town.

Dinner was nice. Once we were done we drove back to my car and picked up snake food before coming home. I spent most of the evening writing which helped iron out details and timelines in my head. It helped shift things into a clearer, less sad perspective.

I’m glad to say that even though yesterday was hard that it turned out to be a pretty amazing day; one that I’m grateful for experiencing.


 

That brings us to today. April 4th, 2018. The two-year anniversary of my mom’s death. I… am ok so far. Better than I was yesterday. I’m already showered. I’ve written again and was able to remember all of the positive things of yesterday. I have therapy scheduled for 1 pm today and I’m actually looking forward to that phone call. I haven’t spoken with my therapist in almost two months now. There’s so much that has happened that I want to share with her. She’s been on this journey of recovery with me since the beginning. It was only about a month after mom’s death that I sought out counseling, and I do believe it’s one of the reasons I’m as stable and strong as I am today.

I need to buy a flower today. A second one to go into the vase I have by mom’s urn. I want to go to the gym today because I know mom wants me to keep living my life and to actually live it rather than exist through it. I want to cook dinner tonight since I didn’t last night and I already know the recipes I want to do. I’ll most likely need to stop by the store for a handful of things. Making sure laundry is squared away so I have scrubs and socks for the next three days would be a smart move, too.

Since I have a few hours before my phone call I think I’m going to try going through and organizing the piles on top of the freeze and cabinet in the laundry room. Maybe I’ll even poke around inside of the cabinet if I have time.

I don’t know. Today has possibilities and I can still enjoy them, experience them, while I miss my mom.

Today, two years ago, my mom died, and yet I am still her daughter. That is the fact I take comfort in right now. Life can’t change that fact. Death can’t change that fact. She and I are forever connected because I’m her daughter and she’s my mother.

Fuck you, Universe. You can’t take that away from us.

And with that, I’m going to go live my life today because I know that’s what my mom wants me to do.

I love you, mom. Forever and for always.

Daily Post 071: A “Fuck You” Post From Nebraska

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For all of my joking with Ox about this not being hard, about how writing for work is easy and most likely the best place to start, simply sitting here in front of my computer is hard.

I moved to Nebraska.

I’m here. It’s cold. There was ice on the ground yesterday.

I love it.

I shadowed at the clinic in Beatrice this morning. It’s everything I was hoping for it to be.

I’m in the middle of doing my yearly review with my FA from Orlando so I should have my pay increase in before I become active at the clinics up here. I still have my voucher for my national certification test which is good until April. That leaves me all of March to find a test center and complete that for another dollar increase in my rate.

Everything is different and yet at the same time the same.

I’m still in front of the same computer with the same finicky keyboard. I’m still writing this post in Grammarly which constantly reminders me that I write more than 98% of users with a way higher vocabulary than normal which makes me wonder what everyone else is writing because I don’t think I write all that much.

I still talk to Jon on the phone about nothing important. I listen to him bitch about work and how his coworkers suck. How school is annoying and how his World Religion class is a joke full of busy work he doesn’t care about.

I still shower and brush my teeth. I still forget to take my contacts out until I’m about to crawl into bed which makes me groan as I unwillingly trudge back to the bathroom to take them out.

I still miss mom. I still wish she were here for me to tell her about all the of the changes I’ve experienced and made. I wish she where here to talk about my trip to the Great Unknown. I still have her urn with me even if I don’t have the chine hutch set up.

My computer is still in a closet but I’ve been allowed to paint it the way I want so it’s the Summer Dragonfly color that I painted the living room when I was in Orlando. The trim, shelving, and ceiling I painted white. Ox is going to help me put in more shelving on the sides so I have a place to put my notebooks and pens. It’s almost set up to how I want it and he’s been amazing about helping to make me feel welcomed and at home.

I’m living with him and his parents. I know by society standards that seems like a failure but I like it. In Asian cultures, it’s common for the extended family to live together. Grandparents, great grandparents… Everyone helps take care of everyone.

It feels good to joke with his mom. It feels good to cook dinner and clear the plates away. I don’t mind when she does the dishes. I think both her and I are so used to being the only people to do things as far as household upkeep goes that it’s weird allowing someone else to do things.

The voice in my head of “You are supposed to be doing that,” still makes my body tense. I’m staying here rent free. I should be doing everything. The laundry. The dishes. The cooking. The cleaning. If I don’t do it all then I’m a slacker. A mooch.

But… That’s the thing that’s different… I DON’T have to do it all. I don’t have to do it all right then, that second. There’s help. There’s Ox who takes out the trash. There’s his mom who doesn’t mind loading the dishwasher if she didn’t have to cook the meal. It doesn’t have to be all me all the time. There’s a give and take that I’m not used to anymore. I’m relearning that I don’t have to tense up or internally freak out and feel like a failure if someone else takes it upon themselves to do something that needs to be done.

It makes it easier to want to do things to help because it doesn’t feel like I’m being used or taken advantage of.

She bought me an ice scraper for my car windows yesterday and even though I know it wasn’t expensive, it’s important to me. She went out of her way to make sure I had something that I needed. It was kind and thoughtful.

There’s a feeling of home that I haven’t felt since sitting in the living room of mom’s house when I would go back to visit.

It hurts in a healing way.

I’m happy in a way I didn’t think would be possible again.

I’m so much less stressed. Even with my former roommates still being dicks about rent and paying me back, I can’t put into words how much better I feel about my future and how I’m looking forward to seeing how things play out for me.

I have a future I want to see, that I want to be here for. A future I so desperately wish I could tell my mom about because I know she would be happy for me.

She is happy for me and writing that hurts the most so far.

I shadowed today, which that’s been a bit of a rollercoaster in itself.

I was supposed to shadow on the 23rd which is Friday. That changed to Tuesday, but then it got super cold and there was ice on the roads so it was changed to Thursday. Since my FA needed me to fill out paperwork that I could only access through the intranet at work I had to go into town to get on one of the clinic’s computers. While I was there it was decided that I should show up to the Beatrice clinic at 5 am this morning; Wednesday.

Shadowing went well. The RN is super nice though her last day is going to be Friday. The tech was a girl I met while I was at the clinic on Tuesday. She answered all of my questions and gave me her opinion about things; which clinics she preferred and why, the shortcomings to each location, what the patient population was like…

It was a really nice morning. The Beatrice clinic only has eight stations. It’s a third of the size of what I’m used to. It’s roughly a 30-minute drive from where I’m staying and the drive itself is nice. Ox took me there this morning and picked me up once I was done.

We had driven by the clinic shortly after our trip home from Orlando, and I’m glad that I can call this place home rather than “the place where I fall asleep at night.”

This IS my home and I like it here.

Before I left the clinic this morning one of the FAs I interviewed with showed up and we talked more about the logistical side of things. She added me to the time clocks for all three of the clinics I’ll be working at. We set up a time for me to come in tomorrow to do some Nebraska specific policy and procedure training after which we will be contacting my FA in Orlando to make my transition official, so while I still haven’t signed anything as of yet, I am set to begin working here in the next few weeks.

It’s a good feeling. Much less nebulous than what it was though I still don’t know what my rate will be. I’m assuming if they need to take me through training that my rate will be decreased slightly for that duration; a week, maybe two. After the initial training period to make sure I understand, and am comfortable, with the newer equipment I’ll be essentially on my own again, only this time it will legitimately be on my own. The clinics are so small that I would be the only tech with one RN.

I’m confident in my ability to hold my own. I’m confident that I can do this and that’s a good feeling. I’m not scared of my work future. I’m looking forward to it. And for the time being it is very likely that the Beatrice clinic will be my home clinic. The dedicated tech they had for that location recently resigned and so there’s a spot there and I’m the closest tech to that location.

I like it. It’s new. All of the machines are new. It’s spacious and quiet. There are 20 minutes between patients. I would most likely be working 12-hour shifts on MWF, but TTS is still only one shift so I would be out around noon on those days.

At no point at any clinic would I be working a 16 hour day.

I haven’t shadowed at any of the other locations, but the Captial City location reminds me of what Orlando was like. I think I would like that one the least simply because it’s so similar to what I’m trying to get away from.

It was sort of weird putting on scrubs again. I forgot my notebook this morning so Ox had to turn around so we could get it. I’m not used to wearing layers, thermals under my scrubs, and so there’s an odd feeling accompanying all of the familiar. It felt good, though; waking up, making breakfast. Hopefully, as I become more situated at work, with an actual schedule and routine, things will become a little less hectic in that regard. At least I remembered my wallet and cell phone. Two out of three things isn’t bad for a first day back after essentially a month off.

I have a membership to the YMCA again. The facilities here are super nice. Better than the ones I went to in Florida, which you would think it would be the opposite. I’m in the middle of nowhere and yet the Y offers classes in Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Women’s Self-Defense, and Hapkido. There are yoga and Zumba classes and all of the other things I’m interested in. Personal training is still pretty expensive, but it’s an option for later down the road.

I haven’t looked into dojos all that much. I know they’re around. I know eventually I’ll get back into jiujitsu and the MMA stuff because that’s something I want in my life, but for now, I’m ok with simply finding my routine again and getting back to the point I was. I’m ok with taking things slow for right now since everything has changed so much.

Ox and I have plans to go to the gym later today to soak in the hot tube. Relax. Decompress. Become a little more comfortable in yet another new environment.

So much new…

I’m getting more familiar with the roads here. Parts of my mental map are still cloudy, fuzzy, but I’m getting better at remembering where things are in relation to each other. The clinic is here, so that means the stitch shop is north. This is the grocery store so the gym is in a “that way” direction. I know it will still be a little bit before I’m uber confident but I’m content with the progress I’m making.

I haven’t looked into starting classes anywhere. I most likely won’t until the fall semester at the earliest. I might table that until next year. I know when I’m ready to explore those options that there’s a ton in the area to support whatever direction I choose to go with.

Ox’s mom said the house needs a breath of fresh air, which I think I’m providing. Things are getting cleaned and organized. Things are getting donated or thrown out. Projects will get completed as other things fall into place. The addition to the house, an extra three bedrooms, which were started years ago, has the very real potential to get done now.

I want to see the addition completed. I want to help complete it. I want Ox’s kids to have their own rooms when they come to visit. I want Ox to get custody of his children.

His daughter, the cutest seven-year old I have ever met, has already told me that her dad has married me and that I’m a mom, to which I responded, “Am I, now?” because yeah… that’s news to me.

I stayed at a hotel last weekend because Ox’s kids were at the house. It’s their home.They hadn’t met me yet. I didn’t want to stay there without meeting them first. Coming from a divorced family, I know what it’s like to feel threatened or replaced by a parental figure finding another person. My stepmom was a bitch while Jon and I were growing up and sadly she really hasn’t changed all that much. It’s more that Jon and I are no longer insecure preteens she can pick on. We’re adults and we’ll stand up for ourselves as such.

If his kids didn’t like me I didn’t want them to feel stuck or trapped with me being at the house. I want them to feel secure and thought of. Their opinion matters. They ARE important.

His son I think is a bit more reserved when it comes to me than his daughter. To be fair, he’s older, and he’s only ever had poor examples for mother figures. His biological mom, the parent he stays with the most, I don’t think does a good job. I mean… when the child openly says, “I don’t trust my mom,” and he’s only thirteen… I think there are deeper issues that need to be addressed.

We seem to be doing ok, though. We went to a hobby shop and spent a few hours digging through magic cards on Friday night. Saturday I came over to the house and played magic with him and Ox. I think it went well. He didn’t want to hug me goodbye when I left and I completely respected and understood that.

Ox’s daughter totally handed my ass to me in Minecraft. XD

We had more success with Little Big Planet. I got her to read to me Sunday night before I left. She says she’s “bad” at a lot of things.

“I’m bad a reading.” “I’m bad at that game.” “I’m bad… I’m bad…”

I want to know who tells this amazing child that she’s bad at anything. She’s not bad at all. She reads amazingly well. And even if she’s “bad” at something… she’s seven. It’s not “bad”, it’s something she can get better at if she’s given encouragement and support. Who the fuck gave this seven-year-old self-esteem issues?

I want to show both of Ox’s children that not all females are mean, or weak, or selfish, or whatever it was that the previous women in their lives have been. There are females out there who are stable, secure, confident, and who have their shit together.

I don’t think of myself as their mom, but I do want to be an example for them. I want them to be ok with me being with their dad and I don’t really know what else to write about that because I’ve only interacted with them for such a brief time.

I don’t know how to be a mom, but being cuddled up in bed with Ox’s daughter as we took turns reading pages to each other felt so right that I don’t know how I haven’t been doing it my whole life. It reminded me of when mom and I would read to each other. It reminded me of all of the stories and adventures we went on while sitting together in the easy chair passing books back and forth.

His kids are getting to the age where they could go before a judge and say they would rather live with their dad. That’s why getting the addition completed would be so… beneficial? I’m not sure what word to use to describe it. Everyone wants his kids here rather than with their mother, myself included.

And I pause here in my writing because I’m at the end of one thought and am scared to wander into others. Everything else would be from “The Before” as Ox and I call it. Before the move.

I guess that’s something to address.

Ox and I aren’t playing games. We’re seeing if we can coexist together as life partners. We’re both interested in each other. We both seem to want the same things. We both have similar enough interests to be compatible with enough differences to keep each other intriguing. There’s open enough communication that when more sensitive subjects need to be discussed there’s the trust to openly talk about the topic.

We both want to see where it goes, so we are. I’m not going to sit here and justify my actions or try to make it more ok to disapproving eyes. I’m making the choices I feel are right and all I can do, all anyone can do in their life, is see if the choices made pan out the way we hope or intend for them to.

So far the choices I have made have led me to feeling more secure, more stable, more at peace, more happy, then I have in the almost two years I’ve lived without mom.

In the process, I have lost Mother Earth, again. And there is what I am starting to recognize as the matriarch part of my self which stands stoically at this realization.

Everyone else I mentioned moving to wished me the best, encouraged me to make the choices which were best for me. She was the only person who sent a message reading as a farewell. The only person who made my moving seem as if it were a leaving that I could never come back from, where we could never visit, never call, never message.

This marks the fourth time where I have felt wounded by her and so I said my own goodbye and have left it as such. The money given to help her and Josh will most likely never be returned to me. I don’t think our relationship will be mended this lifetime. I think I’m tired enough of being told to “never message me again” to the point that trying again isn’t worth it. My soul is too tired to try.

I still have to live without mom. Every day. After two years it’s still not easier and though I’m happy in ways I thought were gone from me forever, there’s still that heaviness everytime I breathe. That fact will never change. I don’t have it in me to carry that fact along with fighting to prove to someone I care who seems so set on believing that I don’t.

I didn’t get to see my blacksmith before I left, but he did take the time to call me the Saturday before my trip.

As always he built me up the most, bringing me to tears while we talked. He said he’s proud of me. That’s he’s proud to have watched me grow from who I was when we first met into the person I am now and that he’s looking forward to watching me continue to grow in the person I’m meant to be.

He pointed out that last year I would have never thought of moving away, much less actually doing it. I went through a complete career change and have become stronger for it. I’ve opened up after the hurt of Zane and allowed myself to have healthy and stable relationships. I’ve learned to trust again.

I’ve done a lot of amazing things, all of which are mostly intangible. I’ve worked through so many faults, and flaws, and insecurities, and the whole time, every time, it seemed too hard or too overwhelming or too impossible to do the phrase “Go fuck yourself,” screamed in my head as I refused to let Life beat me down.

I can remember the times I wrote about being tired of fighting, of trying but how I didn’t know how to give up, I only knew how to keep going even though I would give anything to stop.

Well, fuck you, Life. Even if it doesn’t last, this is the peace I’ve earned. This is my reward for overcoming every single thing you’ve thrown at me.

Fuck you for Saturday night, the night I was alone at the hotel after driving back there by myself, ridden with anxiety as the thought of, “this is it,” ricochet around in my head like a bullet.

This is where I die. This is where there’s some freak car accident where I get a life-threatening wound I have have to choose between letting myself die and being with my mom or fighting to finally live the life I’ve wanted to have. This is where everything gets snatched away from me like a cruel joke. This is where I get so close to the finish line, where I can see that checkered pattern that I’ve been striving so hard to cross only to fall and trip and to lose my race.

This is where it all ends. The final taste of happiness that I’ve been trying so hard to find again.

But I didn’t die on the way back to the hotel. I made it back there fine, in one piece, without incident. I don’t want to live my life in fear like that, but for right now it’s hard not to. Everything is so frail and new and precious to me and there’s a part of me who’s terrified that it’s going to be stolen away from me and I’ll never have it again.

I realized, curled up in the hotel bed that I might have forgotten something. My mom and I are still together. No matter what, I will always be her daughter, and no matter what, she will always be my mother. No matter where I go. No matter who I end up with. No matter what career I do or do not work. No matter if we’re alive or dead, I will always be her daughter and she will always be my mother.

Life cannot change that. Death cannot change that. Not even the Universe can change that fact.

So you know what? Fuck everyone who disapproves or thinks less of me, or berates me, or faults me, or who says anything about me behind my back or who doesn’t agree with how I’m living my life.

YOU’RE NOT MY MOM.

No one on this planet will ever be my mom so fuck what they think.

Yes. In two months I met a guy online and packed up my shitty excuse of a life, transferred my job and moved to a completely new state to be near him; to start over with him.

I didn’t need or want anyone’s permission to do it. My life was so broken where I was and for once it feels like I’m doing things right, so fuck you, Life, if you think I’m going to give this up without fighting you. I won’t let you take this back from me. I’ve earned everything fucking minute of my happiness for everything that you’ve ever taken away from me.

You took my dad away from me with I was eight. You took away my mom from me when I was twenty-seven. Fuck you. Fuck you for every struggle I’ve ever had to go through to become who I am sitting here today.

I’m angry that I had to go through all of it. And maybe that’s something I’m going to have to work through now that I have the time and space and peace to actually start dealing with everything.

Anger.

I didn’t mean for this writing to go that direction, though to be fair I didn’t know how to begin writing or what I would write about when I finally sat down, but anger never, ever, made it to the list in all of my imaginings, but there you go. I’m angry.

And admitting that I’m angry makes it less powerful than what it was. I’m hurt and still injured and recovering, but I’m so much better than what I was two years ago, and I know I’ll only improve from this point forward.

So yeah… Fuck you, Life. I’ll get through this part of it, too. The anger and injustice and the fear and insecurity of gaining it all just to lose it in the end. Fuck you if you think I’m going to break now. My work isn’t over, but I’m hanging up my armor for now because I’m done fighting you.

It’s winter. This is when I get to go sit in hot tubes and do yoga and be reflective and clean and organize so in the spring, when new things start and the earth begins to grow again there’s the space and opportunity for it to all begin. This is a quiet time and I’m going to enjoy it, revel in it, bask in the nothingness of not struggling.

This is a  new start, a new chapter, a new first post. This is my “Fuck you” to Life from my new home in Nebraska and I’m glad I took the time to write it.

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Musing Moments 106: A Letter to My Blacksmith

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I was supposed to see my blacksmith tonight.

That one sentence holds so much weight for me that I don’t even know how to being forming thoughts to express how I feel.

We haven’t seen each other since the beginning of December. He’s had to work double shifts due to a hiring freeze at his work. He’s been fighting through burn out. My schedule hasn’t helped matters. It’s a complex situation and so while we’ve wanted to spend time together we haven’t been able to.

Finally, though, tonight, we were supposed to.

And yet we didn’t.

I’ve been tapped out at the end of my days. They’re fun, long, intense. Training is going amazingly well. I’m doing outstanding. My brain is a puddle of goo by the time I get home. I haven’t been sleeping as much as I should, my body still adjusting to 4 am and 5 am mornings. I’m exhausted by 5 pm even though I rarely am able to sleep before 11 pm.

I feel like a slacker because I haven’t gone to the gym or dojo since Friday. Almost a week.

Add to that the therapy session I had this afternoon and all of the chores I still needed to get done before our evening together. The lack of time to decompress from any of it…

We decided to reschedule for another evening where I would be more able to fully enjoy our time together and even though I’m grateful for his understanding I hurt. I’m angry. At myself. Because after four months of waiting for everything to work out I cancel.

It’s confusing, the swirls of emotions. Different colors and sensations dancing around, never staying still.

I wish this didn’t feel like a failing on my part. I wish it wasn’t tainted with thoughts of, “If I was adulting better I wouldn’t be so overwhelmed.”

Those thoughts don’t change the fact that I am, though.

I’m overwhelmed. Mostly with worries.

I’m worried about my training. I’m worried about not sleeping enough and being too tired during the day. I’m worried about falling behind. I’m worried about falling short of the expectations I have for myself, of the expectations my trainers have for me. I’m worried about not living up to the image my classmates and friends have of me.

I’m worried about the building anxiety of returning to the dojo. I’m worried about not being able to afford my membership because of finances. I’m worried about having to sacrifice my goals because I let myself get into the same situation I seem to always find myself in.

I’m worried about mistaking giving up with self-preservation. I’m worried that I need to hold on just a bit longer, believe and have faith for just a few more weeks and then things will be better. I’m worried that my past makes me jaded and that I’m not being fair to Warren.

At the same time, I’m worried he’s taking advantage of me or that our friendship doesn’t mean enough for him to not break it. I’m worried about being able to afford rent in October.

I’m worried about my dynamic with Big Bad overshadowing my dynamic with my blacksmith because I do think that is a very real concern.

I’m worried about a lot of things and I know that worry would have spilled over into tonight if my blacksmith and I had met.

I feel all of these worries, all of these wounds, so intensely right now. I’m grateful for the space and understanding to let me deal with them. I’m angry that I needed it. Disappointed even though I’m trying so hard not to be.

Maybe it’s all because I am tired. Maybe sleep will help. Maybe another weekend, one of solitude, will help. Time. Space. Decompression.

I have plans to fix the dojo/gym issue. I have options to explore with the financial issues. All I need is more time in regards to my training to allow my nerves to ease and settle.

But none of that could have happened tonight. Tonight I’m still a stressed mess and I ache because of it.

I’m not failing. I’m not disappointing anyone other than myself and I know that. It’s a sharp, cold pain, though. Icey. Isolating. An ache in my chest, a thin sliver through my heart chakra.

I know I already apologized and expressed my gratitude but I need to pour all of it out on this page, bleed all of it into my keyboard the way I couldn’t do through our text messages.

I’m sorry.

I know you don’t want me to be. I know you said you didn’t mind, but I’m sorry. This wasn’t how I wanted the night to go. I don’t mean to keep us apart for longer. I’m sorry my training started when it did and that the effort of keeping everything together feels like a lot.

I’m sorry I still miss my mom and that I hurt due to my grief.

I’m sorry that normal days still feel heavy and that some mornings I still wake up and wonder what the point of all of it is. I’m sorry that sometimes I’m tired from surviving.

I know you love me and I know I’ll find you through every life and I know this moment in time is temporary. I know it’s not my place to feel ashamed, and yet, the only thing I can feel is sorrow for having in some way failed you.

I will work through these feelings. I will address the worries I have and resolve them. I won’t let them stand in the way of our time together again.

I promise.

Daily Post 129: Reminiscing Colorado and Other Ramblings

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I have a few hours to myself, so I figured now would be a good time to write. Not the emotional purge of two days ago, but a recap of my time in Colorado before the events become too fuzzy to remember. The emotions will always be there, but the details fade, sort of like when you’re looking at the horizon. It’s all soft, blurry, the details of the scene faded until all that’s left the the general shapes and colors.

Colorado was awesome. I don’t think it’s ever a place I will want to live. It has a “big” feel to it. There aren’t many trees. The area I was at seemed to be mostly grass land. The rolling hills would break up the landscape, but there was a feeling of openness that I’ve never really felt anywhere before, and a feeling of oldness. Slowness. Maybe that has to do with it being autumn already. The seasons are turning away from my months. Away from spring and summer and closer to the slumber of winter. I can feel it in the coolness. I can see it in the way the blue of the sky is more white.

And maybe all of that is inside my head, but there you go. Crazy is just a side effect of awesome, right?

Either way, there’s something about that openness that I can appreciate but not truly be comfortable with. So while I enjoyed visiting, I can’t say that I would want to leave the warmth of Florida to live there. Even being here in Vegas, while I am more comfortable, it’s already chilly in the morning and hard to find motivation until later in the day. Even with a cup of coffee.

It was amazing seeing Chrys again. I enjoyed our trip into the mountains. The mountains there are so vastly different from the ones around Vegas, which is interesting to see since they are part of the same range. In Colorado the mountains have forests, trees, water, life. There’s a subtle, quiet energy. Like a sleeping giant.

The mountains in Vegas are like the bones of the Earth. I suppose that’s the difference between a forest and a desert. The desert calls to me. I feel it in my body. The forests of Colorado I enjoy, and I think I will have a fondness for them, but I don’t “feel” them. The south is in my blood. The desert is in my bones. I’m not sure where the forests of Colorado are in that regard. It feels like it’s on the outside of me, not part of me, and maybe that in a way sounds bad, but to me it isn’t.

It’s a fact. Not everything is meant for everyone. I have an appreciation and I feel that’s enough.

We went hiking for 12 miles last Thursday. According to fit bit we climbed something like 172 flights of stairs. The last three miles were brutal for me, but I regret nothing. I’m actually pretty proud of myself. I didn’t think I would be able to do five miles, much less 12. I haven’t been consistent with the gym lately. I have never walked for that long, so my endurance impressed me. Let’s throw in the fact that I only had roughly 24 hours to adjust from sea level to 8000+ feet of elevation. There were times I would be winded just from getting up out of the chair, much less climbing over rocks and boulders. I questioned if there was oxygen in the air sometimes.

Yeah. I’m the biggest baddest bad-ass out there. /flex

I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the times Chrys and I walked together. I enjoyed the times we talked. I enjoyed the times of solitude where she walked ahead of me.

There was a moment where I was alone and a breeze blew through the trees making the leaves and branches rustle like rushing water. I stopped and let it wash over me, arms extended. There was the quiet strength that I associate with those mountains and I let it flow inside and through me. I felt mom in that breeze and by the time it ended I had tears in my eyes.

I’ve felt mom several times during this trip. It’s been hard, but good at the same time. I guess that’s why yesterday was such a slow and lazy day. Even though I haven’t really done much I feel like emotionally I’ve done a lot of leg work.

We went to a local restaurant for dinner after our hike where I had one of the best steak dinners ever. Part of that may have to do with hiking 12 miles and needing to eat… but I’m pretty sure it was still an amazing steak. The water in Colorado is also pretty amazing, unlike the water in Orlando. A lot of that has to do with the type of aquifer in the area, but I will say, that’s definitely a plus that Colorado has over other areas I’ve lived.

Chrys and I went to a concert the day before I left for Vegas. High Elevation in Denver. I got to see some really awesome bands, including Chevelle which is one of my favorites. They sang two of my favorite songs and I unashamedly sang with them. I got to see Volbeat which is a band I didn’t know about before buying tickets for the concert. I got to see Avenge Sevenfold as well. Lola Black was a good band, and In the Whale is a local band from Denver which everyone should check out because they’re worth it. Being the sacrificial offering band opening for everyone, especially a headline like Avenge Sevenfold, is hard but they did an amazing job and I would totally see them again the next time I’m out that way.

I guess I made an impression on EJ, Chrys’ son. He keeps asking about me and wanting to see me. Chrys and I have joked about it a bit through text messages, how I didn’t do anything special to deserve his infatuation. Really… all I did was breathe, but I guess that was enough. He’s another three year old who mildly intimidates me because they’re a growing human and all of the interactions they have with the world around them is shaping them. Am I being a positive influence or am I creating insecurities, fears, doubts within them? Am I in some way scaring them for the rest of forever?

It makes the idea of being a parent seem like the heavy weight which it is. I’ve been asked a few times since starting my trip if I have plans for children in the future. My response is always that I aught to find a good spouse first before thinking about having kids, which is sad but true. I don’t have an amazing record in that department. And with all of the processing I’m doing with mom’s death I really don’t feel like delving further into hashing out my emotions in regards to relationships.

I’m happy for the people who have them. I’m happy other people have happiness. Right now I’m ok with being “alone” because I’m actually pretty content with the arrangements I have. I know they’re not “’til death do us part” relationships, but my partners care about me and support me through the hard days just as much as the good days and I think right now that’s really what I need. Support and understanding, which in itself is a type of love. Compassion. Empathy.

It was nice being in a house again. A home. I don’t know if I can put into words what it felt like to sit on the couch with Chrys, me cross stitching, her playing on her iPad (at least I think it was an iPad), Star Wars playing on the TV, neither of us talking, but neither of us feeling the pressure or need to fill the space between us. It was comfortable. It was welcoming. It felt like home. I belonged. I was welcomed. I didn’t have to be anything other than me, because being me was enough.

It’s like that here in Vegas, too. At least mostly. I think Lio feels a bit of pressure to make sure I’m entertained, but there’s no pressure from Jason. Jace is up early in the morning and so my days start around 7. Really… 6:20 and I fight it, staying in bed until I realize it’s futile and actually get up. I’ve been going to sleep around 8, so you would think with all of that sleep I would be rested, but I’m still sluggish and tired most days. Curse you emotional processing, curse you.

Today is the first day where I feel antsy and like I should do something. Go to the gym maybe… Since I am going hiking tomorrow though I think it would be a bad idea to strive for something today. Maybe I’ll walk with Jace after his nap. He used to walk with mom during Christmas to look at the lights on the houses. That’s another thing which will hurt the first time we do it. It’s the pain of change. In some ways it’s like trying to make a river flow in a new direction.

Yesterday I went back a reread all of the posts I made from mom’s hospitalization up to her death. I’m glad I did. I think I want to print out those pages. I want to have a physical thing to hold. I feel, at the moment, this is the most life altering experience I have had. All of the heartache and grief of past relationships seems so trivial, so petty, when compared to this. My letters to mom… I want to have a book, a physical journal for those thoughts. So I think that’s what I’m going to do when I get back to Orlando. My book of survival.

I don’t have much else to write about right now. Jace has a belt test for karate tonight that I’ll be going to. I’m not sure how hard that will be. I know I wish mom could be sitting with me. She would be so excited. I think both Jason and Lio will be there. I don’t know if that will make it better or worse.

Jason and I haven’t talked about mom at all. Not the emotional side of things. We’ve talked about the estate and the legal nonsense we’re still having to work through, but neither of us said anything as we drove past the hospital the other night. Really, we had a moment of silence I guess. Both of us knowing that there aren’t words. There will never be words. There is no language to express the depth of what we feel, the spectrum of emotions. No colors able to paint a picture. In that way we’re very similar and because of that shared silence was enough.

I suppose I should stop rambling for now and actually work on doing the computer chores I need to do while I have the house to myself. Yay paying bills and other adult responsibilities. I guess I’m still doing alright in that regard. I had worried that with being on vacation and being unemployed still that I would be giving myself more shit for being a slacker, but you know what? I’m still on top of things, so fuck it. I’m doing good enough, and right now, that’s enough for me.

Letters to Mom 007: A Much Needed Talk

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I wrote this last night but was unable to post due to laptops being lame and emotional exhaustion.

At least I’m posting now, right? That whole better late than never thing, mayhaps? ^^;


 

Hey mom.

I need to write to you right now, and that sort of sucks because the only thing I have to type on is a micro Dell laptop that I guess Jon got when he first got out of basic training. I had mentioned to Jason that I was in the market for a laptop since I had to give mine back to work and he got this thing out for me to play around on. This is the first time I’m poking at it, and I can already tell that I won’t like it, but for right now, it’s the only thing I have to spill the words out on, so I suppose it’s serving its purpose.

I’m in Vegas right now. I’m with Jason, Lio, and Jace. I’ve only been here a few days, and I’ll only be here a few days more. There have already been some really hard moments for me and I need to tell you about them. I’m already crying which is frustrating because it’s hard enough to type on this tiny keyboard without the added complication of not being able to see what I’m typing; in Word Pad no less since this thing apparently doesn’t have the Office suite…

Anyway… Take off from Denver wasn’t so bad. I still had tears and the conflicting feelings of my brain begging you to be alive when I landed, just like the first flight out to Vegas five months ago, and the despair of knowing how futile feeling those emotions are because you’ll never be there. Not this time. Not next time. Not any time I fly. It’s like those emotions are ingrained into the experience of take off. The experience of not being connected to my phone for four hours and not knowing what was happening. Not knowing what I would be walking into when I got off the plane and wishing, bartering, begging with everything that I had for you to hold on long enough for me to say goodbye. To say I love you. Four hours of “Please be alive. Please be there.”

But you won’t be there anymore. And I know that. Yet I still feel everything so intensely when the plane starts down the runway, and it doesn’t matter that I know you won’t be there now. My brain still says those words and I still have to hide my face from the people sitting next to me so they don’t see the tears I can’t stop.

I know the feelings will be there now. I understand what it feels like and I’m better able to cope with them; the thoughts, the feelings. I’m sure I’ll still feel those feelings when I fly to Texas on Saturday. And I’m sure it will still hurt and I’m sure I’ll make it through the trip just like I’ve made it through all of the flights so far. It still sucks though, and I don’t know why but I want to tell you that it sucks. I want you to know that it hurts and that I miss you every time.

It sucks and I make it through it.

I read Jace his first bedtime story. I think that would have made you smile, but that was really hard too. I wasn’t prepared for it. I wasn’t prepared to walk into his room and to see your picture there on his dresser. I had to hold it together while he rummaged through his bookcase and picked out the story he wanted me to read to him.

Mom I wanted you to be there. I wanted you to be the one reading to him. It should have been you. You should have been there to smile at me and tell me how I am becoming a good aunt and that I’m so good with him. You should have been there to encourage me and to tell me that I’m not fucking things up with my not knowing what to do with a three year old.

We had dinner that night. Lio’s parents came over and that sucked because I was sad from reading the story to Jace and had to keep that sadness from consuming me. Jason, Lio, Jace and I sat at the kitchen table like a family and ate dinner together and I didn’t want to eat. I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream because it hurt so much. I knew it would it would hurt. The whole time I was in the kitchen making my plate the only thought I had was how I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to sit down. I didn’t want to do it because that would make things real.  But I knew it was something I was going to have to do. To face.

You’ll never sit with us again. Not that night. Not the next night. Not on Thanksgiving. Not ever.

It’s all of these stupid, trivial things that shouldn’t hurt but they do, mom. They hurt so much and I wish you were here so you could hug me because you always made everything feel better. You always made me feel like no matter what, no matter how much things sucked, or how much they hurt, that they would be ok. You always had a way of making me believe that I would be ok. And now that you’re not here I’m having to tell myself those words. I’m having to believe myself and sometimes that seems like the most impossible thing to do. Sometimes it still feels like a lie that I’m trying to make myself believe.

I don’t know how to handle the holidays this year. You won’t be here for Thanksgiving and if a normal family dinner hurt that much I can only imagine what that day will be like. Or my birthday. The first one without you calling me to wish me a happy day. Or Christmas just a few days after that. Not even a week. I guess that week is really going to hit me hard with so much so close together.

The first New Years without you…

Mom, how am I suppose to survive all of that?

Jason and I went out tonight. We went to different stores trying to find sandals for me to replace the ones I’ve had for four years. We went to a craft store because I told Jason about some art books I had seen and he was interested in them. We went to Barns and Noble and spent a while looking at books. I think that would have made you smile. You always loved that the three of us liked to read so much.

We went to dinner where they had paper on the table with crayons and I got to color and draw and I guess that impressed Jason. I don’t think he’s ever seen me draw. Not since going to school. We played a game of tic-tac-toe where neither of us won. We went to the movie theater and watched Star Trek. I think you would have liked the movies. I think you would have actually gone to the theater and watched it with us if you were still here. One of the few movies you might have been interested in.

I think the last time Jason and I had any time alone was seven years ago, when we still lived in South Carolina. I think the concerts he took me to where the only times we ever spent time alone. We were always with Jon, or Lio, or it was all of use together. I don’t mean for that to sound bad, because in my mind it isn’t. It’s just a fact that I realized. It was a really nice night. It was an amazing night where we both laughed and talked about games, and books, and movies, and got to remember just how similar we are even though there’s twelve years between us.

We had to drive past the hospital you stayed at. The one where you died. Part of me wants to go back there. Part of me wants to see the room. I don’t remember the room number even though at the time I thought I would never forget it. I would still be able to walk to it. I remember the elevator ride up. I remember walking down the sterile halls to your room. I remember Jon placing your ring into my hand.

I don’t know what it would do for me. Nothing… Everything… Would it hurt? Would it help? I don’t know. Maybe it’s just a sick way for my brain to jab at this wound with a rotting stick. Who knows?

I know I won’t go there this trip. Maybe on another one though. Maybe one day it will happen.

I talked to Lio about the holidays. She wants all of use to come out. She thinks it will be good for Jon and I to be together. She thinks it would let us hash things out in a safe environment. I don’t want to be alone on those days, so I guess I’ll be here even if Jon is. I think Jason would put a stop to things if he started being vicious towards me.

I miss you, mom. I wish you could see the changes Lio has made to the house. You would be impressed with how crafty she is. You always were. I wish you could hear how much Jace is talking. I wish you could hear him count to 10. I wish you could see him dance to Turn It Down for What. You would think it’s the cutest thing in the world even though you would most likely despise the song.

I wish so many things, and it all comes back to wishing you were here.

I know you’re with me. Jace has already asked about the pendent I wear. The little urn I got so you would always be with me. He knows it’s something special. The way he looks at it. The way he reached for it while I was buckling him into the car seat when we went grocery shopping. It’s not the same as his fascination with other things. He loves you mom, and I so wish you could still be a part of his life.

I wish you could still be a part of mine. Physically.

I knew this would be the hardest part of my month of traveling. The days are getting easier the more I’m here. Dinner the second night didn’t hurt as much as the first. Reading the second bedtime story didn’t make me want to break down into tears. I made it through those firsts and survived. I’ll keep surviving my year of firsts.

And I guess that’s as good a point as any to end my one-sided conversation on. I’ll keep surviving, mom. I love you. I miss you. I know you’re still with me. I’m sorry it still hurts and I still cry.

I love you. Forever and for always, and I’ll keep surviving.

Daily Post 128: Recaping While On the Road

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September 4th. Another forth passed. Another month added to the handful I’ve had without mom. Five months so far. Next month will be the six month mark. I don’t know why 1/2 or something is significant. But it is. Each month is still significant for me. Still aches.

 

I suppose I should start with a mild recap since I haven’t written in I don’t remember when. I got an apartment on my own. With mom’s help really. I wouldn’t have been able to do it alone without the inheritance money. In a way I’m glad that I can look at the situation as her helping me. I move in November 8th, which is still a ways away. I’m very much looking forward to it though.

 

I finished my final test for the CNA course I was taking. That led to a lot of unsettled emotions since I didn’t have mom to call. I know she would have been proud of me. It still would have been amazing to hear her voice, or to get a hug in person. The following Monday I had to go back to the school to sign up for my board certification. They’re supposed to send me a date for my exam in about a month and a half. And that too hurt. More than I thought it did.

 

That night, Monday night, I was lost and alone and I didn’t know how to breath through the pain that wouldn’t go away. Warren #1 talked to me. Actually, it was more like he let me talk. He let me say all of the things that I wanted to say even though I knew they wouldn’t fix anything. Saying that I miss her, that I want her to come back, that I’m lost without her… it doesn’t make me miss her less, it doesn’t change the fact that she’ll never walk this earth again, it doesn’t make me any less lost… but it makes the pain ease. The feeling of black claws piercing my chest to crush my heart lessens. The claws retract slowly, and eventually I’m ok enough to hang up and go back inside where I sleep for hours because I’m exhausted.

 

Since I have so long to wait for the exam I’m on walkabout right now. I flew to Colorado yesterday to spend a week with a friend I haven’t seen in seven years. Chrys. I’ve talked about her here and there. But yeah. Currently sitting on her husband’s laptop typing away while we wait a bit longer before driving out to the mountains. We’re going to spend a few nights in a cabin, do some hiking, do some drinking and reminiscing and catching up on seven years… Should be fun. We also have plans to go to a concert the night before I leave.

 

Once I’m done kicking it in Colorado I head to Vegas to spend a week with Jason. I didn’t get to see him much when I was out packing up mom’s apartment. I’m hoping to get more family time in, even if it’s just lazing around the house not doing a lot. With all of the BS going on with Jon I really wouldn’t mind having a hug from one of my brothers where I don’t feel like an awful person.

 

After Vegas it’s off to Texas to spend the last bit of time with a friend from high school, another person I haven’t seen in years. Allison. I’m supposed to be her maid of honor so we have plans to go dress shopping while I’m there, but aside from that it’s really just spending time together.

 

I’m looking forward to everything, but I’m also looking forward to being back in Orlando.

 

For the last few weeks I’ve had Scarlet with me at the extended stay. I snuck her in because it sucked so badly being apart from her. I needed cat cuddles in my life and I honestly feel like we were both better off for it. Currently she is camping out with Randy and Emily. I hope she’s doing ok without me. I know the past five months have been just as hard for her as for me.

 

I’m still on the apartment with Zane, but the apartment in Vegas is completely 100% taken care of. Woohoo for something getting done. There was a guy Zane was trying to get onto the lease, but he was denied. Since he was denied I can’t be removed and Mr. New Guy isn’t allowed to stay. When I was as the office inquiring about the lease I asked if there was a way to make sure Mr. New Guy moved out, since I don’t want to be responsible for an unauthorized occupant. The receptionist sort of danced around it saying if maintenance saw something they would do something about it, but basically the office isn’t going to enforce anything.

 

I asked since I was a listed occupant if they could check for me. If Mr. New Guy is still there the office will have to issue a notice to cure. If the problem isn’t fixed in a certain amount of time then we all get evicted. I said I was ok with that. That I have given Zane more than enough time to figure this out. I wanted to know if Mr. New Guy was still there and if he was I wanted a notice to cure to be sent out. So we’ll see where that goes.

 

As far as the phone. I had to pay $400 last month because Zane hadn’t paid the previous month and wasn’t going to pay the current month. He wasn’t going to tell me about it either. I only noticed because I happened to check before going over to sign the roommate release form. Five days into this billing cycle and we’re already at 90% of the data used. In previous months it was my fault we went over the data. Having to use my phone for GPS navigation while out in Vegas or staying in touch with people through Facebook ate through it. I paid the overage charges so the bill remained unaffected.

 

Zane isn’t going to pay for his overages. Since he won’t take care of the phone I suspended the line. He hasn’t contacted me about it. I haven’t figured out what I want to do about the $400 still owed on his phone for the $600 owed on mine, which was supposed to be a gift. And right now, while I’m in Colorado, or where ever I end up being, and not in Orlando, I’m not going to worry about it. It’s still going to be there in a month. I’ll take care of it later because fire and brimstone aren’t going to fall from the sky if I let this one thing wait. The bill will remain the same. Nothing bad “should” happen.

 

Jon and I had what I feel is another falling out. Not like we could fall much further in my opinion. Saying that he thought I was a failure pretty much killed any sort of secure bond we could have had.

 

After he figured out his living situation we got the Uboxes sent to his place to be unloaded. He said he would hold onto the china hutch and hope chest for me, both fairly large pieces of furniture that I couldn’t fit into my tiny Mazda 2 at the time.

 

I got a message from him last week asking when I was going to get my stuff because he wanted to finish setting up his apartment. Right now so I don’t have you holding it over my head, thanks… So I figured that out. He was going to hold onto the china hutch until I moved into my apartment, but that changed when I got to his place. He said if I left it he was going to incorporate the china hutch into his décor. I said that was fine as long as I could have it back when I moved. He said yeah, that’s fine. He was going to get it fixed up while he had it as well. I was ok with that since there are a few spots that need some tender love and care. I said if it was in a shop or something when I moved that I understood I wouldn’t be able to get it right away. That’s when he said he was going to fix it himself…

 

First off, my brother has never done anything with carpentry since making a tool box for the boy scouts. Second, the china hutch and china are the only things I inherited from my mom. I don’t care if he was the best carpenter ever. It’s mine. I have the right to say who and who can’t work on it. It’s not a play thing to learn on. It’s an irreplaceable item that was left specifically for me.

 

So… since I couldn’t leave the china hutch with Jon without him fucking with it, my friend and I packed the china hutch into the Uhaul van. It almost didn’t fit which was a bout of anxiety in addition to everything else. Then there was the risk that it wouldn’t fit on the elevator at the storage place. It did though, and we got it into my unit fine. So all of that is done.

 

Silly me let Jon borrow my car while I’m out of town for the month, so I’m going to have to see him again. I don’t want to. It’s really the only reason I don’t want to go back to Orlando, which is sad. We shouldn’t be like this after mom died. At least I feel like we shouldn’t. We should value each other as really the only family we have left. Instead every time I see him, or think about him I think about his email and how he thinks I’m an awful person. And yet he called and wanted to do dinner the other night… I don’t understand.

 

I understand that it hurts, and that I want to avoid it. So when I get back, somehow I’ll get my car back and then I won’t have a reason to see him for a very long time. Ever really. I don’t want to see him for holidays and if he ends up going to Jason’s and Lio’s I might actually stay away and visit during a time he’s not there. I haven’t figured out what to do for holidays yet. I haven’t gotten that far.

 

Overall I’ve had some really low times recently. It hasn’t been as low the past two weeks, but the weeks before that sucked hardcore. I’m hoping this vacation helps. With what I don’t know. Reminding me that good things still happen. That it’s ok to smile and laugh. I’m hoping it gives me a chance to stop and actually figure out some of the emotions because I really haven’t processed all that much.

 

Sammie, Josh and I tried to do a triad. Not sure if I mentioned that at all. It didn’t work. It left a rift between Sammie and I that I don’t think will ever heal. It’s sort of like Jon. If I see her, when I think of her, I think about her text messages saying to never talk to her again. And that’s a long story that I don’t know if I’ll ever want to write out.

 

It’s funny in a sad way. The people closest to me are usually the ones with the lowest opinion of my character. I don’t understand how it happens. But it sucks, and it makes me not want to let anyone else in.

 

I was able to see the blacksmith before I left. We’ve been able to spend a bit of time together over the months. It’s been nice. Sunday evening there was a lot of emotional talk. It left me feeling stronger.

 

There’s another person that I’ve recently met. He’s an INTJ. I’m cautious about him because I enjoy spending time with him. I’ve actually hung out with him fairly often. He’s shown me jujitsu moves and combat maneuvers since he was a paratrooper. We wrestle. He wins and tickles me. Our sense of humor seems to be the same. We cuddle and I like that most of all. Being silent and being held while he runs his fingers over my hair.

 

I feel like he can tell when the pain wells up in my chest. He hugs me tighter when it does. He makes me feel not alone, and right now I like that. Maybe need that? I don’t know. Neither of us wants to be tied down in a relationship. He knows about the blacksmith. I know about his other partner, who I guess is jealous of me… I seriously don’t understand why, but then I know myself. All I want is for everyone to feel secure and happy and cared for.

 

I don’t know. It just seems like the Universe has been doing an awesome job at having things work out to where I’m ok and taken care of. I needed an iron bond to reality and I found that in my blacksmith. I needed a soft warm blanket to wrap around me and I have that with Big Bad. I needed a stable, secure home and in two months I’ll have that, too. I needed to see friends and family and so I’m taking the time to do it.

 

I still don’t know where I’ll end up, but I’m not as worried about it anymore. I’ll end up where I’m supposed to.