Letters to Mom 023: I Passed

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Hey mom,

I passed my first test for Human Anatomy. I passed with a 95. Pretty awesome, huh? I bet you’re doing the I told you so dance. I bet you rolled your eyes every time I said, “I’m going to fail this class.”

It hurts. Passing my test sucks. I’m doing well and I want you to be here and you’re not. You’re still dead and I’m still not used to it and I still want things to be the way they were.

I think I’m getting better, though. I’m dealing with the hurt better this time. I’m writing to you sooner. I’m remembering that I can still talk to you even if it is sort of a one-sided conversation.

The hurt isn’t as paralyzing as it has been in the past. I don’t think that it hurts less. I think it’s more that I know what it feels like and so I’m able to function through it better. It’s still going to suck going to work tomorrow and having all of my patients ask me how I did and telling them and knowing that it isn’t you. I can’t have you sitting across from me or going to Moe’s to celebrate with me. And goddammit, I get so frustrated with myself for focusing on what I don’t have anymore.

I love you, mom. I miss you. I’m doing well and I’m trying really hard. I think I’m doing trying for today, though. I think I’m going to go curl up in bed after calling Ox and be sad for a little while.

I know it’s been three years, but hopefully, it’s still ok for me to have sad days and to feel sad over silly things like passing tests.

Thanks for listening to me. And thanks for all of the studying tips and tricks that you taught me growing up. I wouldn’t have passed this first test without them.

I love you, forever and for always.

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Daily Post 126: Slackin’

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Emotionally I’ve still been sort of all over the place. Tuesday was where it really started tanking downhill but I’ve been slowly recovering to the point where I’m at today. I screamed in my car on the drive home from the dojo Wednesday and I cried again Friday night, but both of those times were healthy cries that I feel I needed to have.

I’ve been struggling with feeling lonely and I feel bad for Ox because he seems to take the brunt of that discord since he’s the closest person to me. Jon called Tuesday before I left for class. When I answered the phone I was pretty much already in tears. He knew instantly that something was up and asked if I was ok. I told him that nothing was really wrong. I was just sad and he said he hoped I felt better.

It sucks when I’m like that. I feel bad for the people around me. There’s really nothing that anyone can do. It’s something I have to get through, breathe through. I still don’t know what to do to make the pain and loneliness go away. There isn’t a “fix” other than time. There’s a part of me who feels like I shouldn’t need another person; I should be able to figure my emotions out on my own and not require outside forces to pull me out of my sadness. Because of that mentality, I don’t reach out for the support that would probably help me get through my downs faster and easier. I don’t like thinking that I “need” someone. Needing means you’re dependent, so what happens when suddenly they’re not there anymore? How do you keep functioning then?

It’s another topic in the long list that I have that I eventually need to meditate on. All I can say is right now I still make it through those times. I might not make it through them with the grace I would like, but I still come out on the other side so that hopefully still counts as a win.

All of that aside, Ox and I are doing well I think. We spent most of yesterday shopping for me again. I got winter socks from Walmart. We went to a few stores looking for snowshoes but were unsuccessful in finding something I wanted to spend money on. I did get a pair of snow pants to go over my work clothes. Ox and I talked about that for a while. Originally we were thinking about getting me a few sets of thermals, but since you wear those under clothing, it would be annoying to put them on, then my scrubs, drive to work, undress then redress so I don’t overheat while I’m working the floor. Getting something that could go over my clothing seemed like a smarter option for the type of work I do. So I got a pair of black snow pants for $40 since they were on sale. I haven’t worn them yet aside from trying them on, but I think I’ll like them and I think they’ll work well of what I’m looking for. Right now they’re folded up and waiting for our next snow day.

I was also able to find a long-sleeved shirt that I like. It has thumb holes!!!! I got two of them since I figured I’ll only be wearing them, maybe, on my days off. Two should suffice. I really like them. I wore one yesterday once we got home from shopping to get a better feel for it. It’s soft and stretchy. The hand part fits snuggly, and with the thumb holes, I don’t feel like my wrists or fingers are being restricted. With having lived in Florida for so long, I don’t like wearing long-sleeved stuff much, and with how often I wear workout gear, I don’t like clothing that doesn’t stretch or move easily with me. It has made finding winter things that I like a little harder than what it most likely is for other people. I have very specific criteria for what I’m looking for. Luckily I’ve been able to find things that match what I want, it’s just taken a bit more time and not settling for “good enough”.

Overall, it was another day of win for the shopping list. Only snowshoes, scrubs, and potentially pants left to go.

We also stopped at a few places to price mark laptops since that is something on my radar. Right now it seems like I would be spending around $500 for something along the lines of what I want. Not bad, but not something I’m going to do right now. During one of our conversations, Jon brought up the fact that he has yet to pay me for the Surface I gave him while we were in Vegas. That would be $200 I could put towards a new laptop.

There are still a few other options I want to look into before settling on something. I would like to investigate more into a Chrome book since Google runs my life. Regardless of what I find, I most likely will hold off until Black Friday / Cyber Monday to see what deals pop up. Not “needing” a laptop means I can wait for a while. There’s also the marketplace thing for my work that might have decent deals.

One of the things we got last week was a gallon of apple cider with a bottle of caramel vodka. It’s an amazing mix. Just throwing that out there though I am very aware of just how many carbs are in 8 fluid ounces of apple cider alone. So worth it.

I didn’t have breakfast containers for yesterday or this morning so I made breakfast bowls with tater tots, onion, pepper, mushroom, salsa, sour cream, cheddar cheese, egg, and steak. It turned out really good. It’s the first time in a while I’ve had anything potato related. I guess it’s a bit of a guilty pleasure, but it’s been an extremely pleasing breakfast both times.

My meals for the week are done since I froze my leftover soup and chili from last week. Both of those recipes make eight servings, so the food shopping for this week was pretty light. The only cooking I have to do today is my roast and that’s pretty much just putting it in the oven and letting it do its thing until I need to cut it up.

I did laundry yesterday since I spilled my Bang a little bit on the bed. Talk about a party foul. : /

I still need to put the clothes away and repack my gym bag. Aside from potential school work, though, my day is pretty chill as far as chores are concerned. Roast, clothes, lunch for Ox, taking care of the cardboard tote… Yep, mostly just minor things.

The cut on my left hand is doing better, but now I have a cut on my right hand which sucks. I can’t win for losing apparently. I don’t even know what I did to get this one. I happened to look down while I was putting groceries away yesterday and noticed it. It sucks how something doesn’t start hurting until you notice it, then it’s the only thing you can think about. Still no signs of infection or anything. Just a little red around the edges from being angry because it has to bend so much. Stupid fingers and their bending… >.<;

Oh… on the subject of food. The chicken taco soup actually turned out really good as leftovers. I’m happy about that because when I first tried it I didn’t know if I would be able to eat it for a week straight. I think the next time I make it I’ll either use a different seasoning since I’m not a huge fan of the chipotle flavor profile or use regular cream cheese instead of the jalapeno flavor. I do think the base recipe is a good one and that with slight modifications it could be added regularly to my rotation.

I went to the dojo both Wednesday and Friday night. I only stayed for one class each time, but they were good classes and I’m glad I was there. I got to do drills with one of the guys on Friday. That was fun. He’s a teenager, most likely around 16 or so. After our first few rounds of drills, we were both more comfortable with each other. We’re both going to have bruises on our shins for a while, but that’s part of it.

I think the more I keep going, the more I’ll get to know everyone, the more comfortable and at home I’ll feel. I enjoyed working with the instructor and I do think I’ll enjoy being his student.

I still need to mess with JeFit but during one of the conversations with Jon the subject of it turning my music off came up. I guess it’s a setting I need to poke around with because his music plays just fine with the app. Good to know. If I feel ambitious today I might take a look at it.

I’ve still been cross stitching. I feel like I’ve been making a decent amount of progress on it. I didn’t take a picture last week, but I will later tonight before going to sleep. I’ve decided that since I haven’t been posting pictures for this project on my blog, I’ll wait until it’s finished to do a post with all of the progress pictures. That way they still get posted, but it’s not a “six here, one or two there” sort of thing. They can all be together.

School is going well. We had our first exam. I got 104% since I got the bonus question. Everyone passed. I didn’t see anyone else with my score though. A lot of 100%s, but it seemed like everyone else missed at least one question.

I still haven’t figured out my scrubs yet. I need to get that taken care of sooner rather than later. I also need to get my background check completed along with obtaining my school ID so I can participate in the clinical portion of the class once it gets to that point. I’m saving both of those tasks for Tuesday because my future self is going to need something to do.

Work has been surprisingly quiet and smooth. We hired a new nurse, though she has several years of dialysis experience so she’s not really new. I met her Wednesday. She’s pretty awesome. Friendly. Knowledgeable. I feel secure as a PCT with her. She’s going to be our float nurse for the next bit and I’m ok with that. I think we’ll work well together once we figure out a flow.

The acid machine got fixed at work, so I mixed a batch of acid Friday. I was having anxiety over it the whole time, waiting for smoke to start billowing up again. It went flawlessly, though. The pH tested within range and I was able to transfer it to the holding tank. I’m not sure if we’re going to use the jugs until their gone or switch over to the batch of acid I made when we open on Monday, but either way, the clinic is taken care of and ready to go. Woo!

I didn’t work overtime this week. It’s the first time in a while. I got permission to start using my PTO to round out my hours on the weeks that I don’t reach 40 from working at my clinic alone. I used five hours this week. Hopefully, that will slow down how quickly I’m earning PTO hours and keep them from capping on me. I would rather not have to cash my hours out since they’re taxed so heavily if you do it that way.

I was supposed to have a work outing yesterday night. There were plans for bowling that Ox and I were voluntold to go to. It got canceled though since I guess most people weren’t able to be there. Totally not heartbroken about it. I liked how my day went without the added stress of having to go be social, too.

Oh, and the FHM meeting was interesting. I’m hoping to be invited to more of them in the future, but even if I’m not, I’m glad I had the experience. It was nice to meet our medical director and to see another side of the clinic.

So yeah… I guess that’s about it. I’m doing alright in a tentative, low energy sort of way. I know I’m sensitive right now and I’m trying to be mindful of that fact. I’m looking forward to working on Monday and going to my class on Tuesday and to the dojo on Wednesday. I’m glad I wrote and I’m glad that the sun is out and shining even if it’s a cold and windy day.

It feels like a decent day.

And with that, I’m off to continue being a slacker. : 3

Daily Post 122: My First Call Out

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I called out of work today. It’s the first time since I started working here in Nebraska. The first time in seven months. I’m glad to say it wasn’t because I didn’t feel like going in. At 3:20 am I started having discomfort in my right kidney again, as if I were about to have another kidney stone.

I wasn’t going to risk being in the middle of driving to work or on the floor initiating a treatment when it decided to start passing. I messaged my FA and told her what was going on and that I would be late. She said she couldn’t open the clinic without me.

After a few phone calls on my part and some of my co-workers agreeing to switch shifts with one another, I got someone to cover my shift for me and the clinic, as far as I’m aware, is ok. Maybe running a little later than normal, but running none the less which is awesome.

I haven’t had any more waves of discomfort or pain. I was actually able to go back to sleep until Ox got up to go to work. My right side is a bit more tender. I’m consciously aware of it, so I’m not sure if more is yet to come or if I’m just overly sensitive, or imagining things in my head since kidney stones suck so much and now I’m paranoid about them and the pain they cause.

I’ve been drinking a lot of water this morning. Already at the one-liter mark, which normally doesn’t happen until around noon for me.

I’m hoping that this one is due to dehydration. I know I’ve been slacking on water for the past few days; roughly three to four in total. With the high protein diet I’m on, that’s not a good thing. The process of the body metabolizing protein can lead to kidney stones if there isn’t enough water intake to dilute the concentration of urine in the kidneys.

I haven’t been having cramps associated with dehydration, but I have been running overly warm and have had headaches a few times. My lips have also been chapped a bit. I was aware it was an issue but I guess I wasn’t doing much to combat it. I don’t know why it’s so hard to stay on top of my water consumption sometimes, but it is. I get caught up in what I’m doing or I’m not able to take a break like I normally would and before I know it I’m a liter behind and it’s bedtime and oh well… I guess I’ll try to do better tomorrow…

It’s also been pretty warm outside which probably only adds to the water issue on top of still working out.

All I can do right now is be mindful and keep drinking water and hopefully catch myself back up.

I drank a lot yesterday which might be why this one, if it is a stone, has only caused mild discomfort so far. It might be that my body has been able to get back to a normal pH level and so the stone dissolved on its own without having to pass. Here’s hoping.

Anywho, that’s how my morning started.

I was supposed to work four days this week since I’m working tomorrow at Cap City. I was looking forward to having the overtime on my check, but at least I’ll still be able to meet my normal hours without dipping into my PTO, not that having to do that would be such a horrifically bad thing. I have something like 80 hours saved up again. I have the time to use if I need it.

Yesterday was a bit of a heavy day. I went to the gym and trained. I had a weigh in. Up in muscle, but also up in body fat. That sucked. It didn’t make the day any better having to contend with that fact.

After the gym, I went to Home Depot. Since I got the punching bag and have it hung I got foam tiling to go under it. Rubber would have been better, but for the price and coverage, foam was cheaper so there you go. I got two packs the other day and while it does a decent job area wise, I feel a little cramped and there’s no extra room to do something like yoga or core work, so I went out and got another three packs yesterday. I haven’t laid them out yet, but depending on how today goes, if I end up in agony passing a stone or not, I might try to get a workout in.

I went to the bookstore to get the books for my CNA class yesterday as well. That starts this coming Tuesday. Sort of anxious about it. They were out of the workbook I need but I got the textbook and the little binder whatever handout thing that was required so currently, I’m at two of three items needed. They gave me a number to call. That will be on the to-do list today I suppose.

I also went ahead and did the grocery shopping since I work Saturday and only had enough breakfast to get me through today. I did a bunch of food prep when I got home, unloaded, loaded, and ran the dishwasher. I did laundry yesterday, too. Even made stir-fry for dinner.

For a heavy day, I think I did pretty alright.

Ox and I have finished watching Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Bladeworks. I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending. I don’t know, with how good the rest of the series was the ending felt sort of weak. We watched the first episode of Fate/Stay: Apocrypha last night after the epilogue for Bladeworks. It seems interesting but I heard it wasn’t the best storyline. I guess it’s another “wait and see” sort of things.

Wednesday was a decent day at the clinic. Busy, but decent. The nurse practitioner rounded. An RN shadowed. I think I like her. I didn’t really get to talk with her all that much but she didn’t seem all that phased by the pace of the clinic. She seemed pretty battled hardened and that’s something I want as a PCT. I don’t want the nurse looking to me to call a code. I want them to be confident in their role because I can’t do it for them.

Our new trainee was also there on Wednesday. I really like her and I think she’ll work out well at the clinic. She’s supposed to be there today, too. I was looking forward to spending more time getting to know her but I feel like I made the right choice by calling out. It will still be about two months for her to get through training. Hopefully, we’ll have a nurse on our team by then as well so we can open back up to six days a week. We have a 15 patient wait list.

Tuesday was another day at the gym with my trainer. He had me do box jumps again. It was awesome. I really felt with it Tuesday which is why I guess Thursday sucked so bad. I’ve felt like I’ve been burning and improving but that’s not what any of the numbers said. Stupid numbers…

Anyway. Tuesday was another day of pretty decent productivity. That was the first day of going out to get mats for the punching bag. I applied to the college for the LPN program. I got an email yesterday saying since they’re changing from quarters to semesters that I needed to apply a different way, but, I applied. Go me.

I also emailed my doctor since I forgot about my biometric screening form while I was getting my birth control replaced last Thursday. Of all the things to forget. >.<;

She said I could pick it up today, which I originally wasn’t going to be able to do. It might work out that I am able to swing by there and pick up the form along with getting the workbook I need. That’s still to be seen since I need to make the phone call first.

Let’s see… I got the birth control replaced. That sucked. Things were being touched that aren’t meant to be touched so I spent nearly all of Thursday sleeping and feeling yucky after the appointment. It was like having cramps from the Period from Hell that’s trying to kill your insides. Not fun and I wish I were exaggerating.

It’s the third time I’ve had the IUD placed so I knew what to expect and while I know both my fractured rib and previous kidney stones hurt worse, at the time all I could think about was how much it sucked and I just wanted the pain to go away. It leaves me feeling vulnerable and weak; like a wounded animal that could easily be picked off. It took me 30 minutes of sitting in the parking lot before I felt ok enough to drive home.

I’m not ready to have a child. I’m not… I don’t think responsible is the right word… maybe dedicated would be a better word? I’m not dedicated enough to remember to take a pill at the same time every day. My life isn’t set up for that to really be possible but maybe that’s an excuse on my part. Maybe I could take it in the morning before work, but that means waking up at 3am on my days off to do it and that sounds sort of shitty, too.

I’ve tried different birth controls in the past so I know with some of them I do have side effects. One of them made me suicidal to the point where even I knew I was being bat-shit insane and that I needed off the medication. I don’t want to have to go through that trial period of finding out if my body will react negatively to something new. At least with this one, I know what I’m getting into and after a day or so things go back to normal. My body adjusts and the cramping goes away.

Neither Ox nor I want I want a barrier between us. And neither of us wants to abstain because let’s face it, sex feels good. It’s what we’re biologically programmed to do and it’s an experience I want to share with him.

All of that taken into consideration, this is the life I choose to live and the choices I choose to make so the consequences are what they are, cramping and yuckiness included. It’s not so much that I feel it’s “worth it” because even as a masochist an IUD insertion is not something I want to go through or would wish on an enemy, but it lets me keep what I have so it’s more like I accept it.

The kids were here last weekend. We got through the second chapter in Stuffed Fables. Lil’ Ox didn’t want to play, most likely because she’s eight and we had already gone through the story and she wasn’t as captivated anymore. She wanted to play Minecraft instead. Ox ended up playing her character. Ornery Ox stayed and played with us. We sort of got screwed on the first map since Lil’ Ox wasn’t trying to play and making choices just because rather than thinking about the party and what we were trying to do. We might have been better off restarting the page, but didn’t. Regardless, we defeated the second boss of the Nightmare Lord and can now progress to chapter three.

We have the kids again this weekend so we’ll most likely play again. They’re supposed to be here around 3 or 4 this afternoon. It’s Ornery Ox’s birthday. He turns 13. Officially a teenager. I’m sure that’s going to make the coming years interesting. Girlfriends, learning to drive, track meets, friends who make not-smart choices… Yeah… And I’ve only had seven months of parenting experience so far…

I paid the citation for my license plate. I’m still waiting on the paperwork to come through the mail. Not much to report on that front since I’m not able to do much of anything.

Oh, and I guess I never wrote about it since I’ve been so slack on writing, but I bought my very own punching bag. That happened last Wednesday, the day after I wrote about the whole pregnancy scare thing, which, by the way, I’m still not pregnant. Woo!

I was driving home Wednesday after work and thinking how it sort of sucked that I still didn’t have a dojo to go to and how my gym doesn’t have any sort of punching bag to use and how I really just wanted to punch something. I know that sounds bad. Violent, maybe. There’s just something about combat that helps me zen out and I miss it and last Wednesday I really wanted it so I said fuck it and researched a bunch of stuff online and then bought a punching bag off Amazon with expedited shipping.

In my defense, it was only a $10 difference between regular shipping and expedited… When you’re already spending $190 you might as well throw in another $10. >.>;

The bag was delivered on Friday, a day that ended up being a 16 hour day for me since I worked my shift in Beatrice then drove up to Cap City to close their clinic. 3rd shift there wasn’t bad. It’s not a full shift and everyone was on by the time I got there. All I had to do was discontinue treatments and clean stations and close the water room. Super chill actually. The only downside was that it was super late by the time I got home, after 10, which sucked and I don’t want to have to do again if I can help it. The teammate who asked me to cover for her has been extremely kind to me, though, so I agreed to take the shift. I wanted to help her. She’s the one covering for me today so we’ve done each other both a solid.

Anywho, I wasn’t able to do much with the bag other than hug the box when I got home Friday night. Since it came filled I’m sure the FedEx guy hates our house right now. Zero fucks given. I have my bag. My very own bag.

Saturday Ox helped me hang it in a section of the addition were we shouldn’t have to do too much work. Sunday was the first day I got to use it. I love it. I love wiping it down once I’m done with it. I love how there’s just enough give in it when you punch or kick to make a bit of a dent, but enough resistance that you still have to use force if you want that dent. My knuckles are wimpy again. I need to work up to be at the level I used to be at. My shins faired better. I’ve found a few workouts online that seem like fun. I’m looking forward to doing them.

I’ve had a few down days recently. I started cross stitching again, which made me miss mom. I actually curled up with her urn either Saturday or Sunday night and cried my first intense grief cry in a while. It felt good to do. I cried again on Thursday as I headed to the gym. That was the first time since I moved here where I screamed. That, too, felt good. Letting out the pain and sadness and anger and injustice rather than trying to convince myself that it’s ok and I shouldn’t need to be so loud, so expressive, so “overly emotional”; it made me feel better.

Mama Ox and I were talking in the kitchen one evening recently. I think it was Tuesday night.

Mama Ox: What was your mom like?

Me: *painful smile with unexpected silent tears* … My mom was awesome.

Out of all the times I’ve talked about my mom. Out of all the times I’ve had to explain what happened to people. Out of all the times I had to admit and own up to the fact that she died… No one, ever, has asked me what my mom was like as a person.

I wasn’t prepared for those emotions. I had never played out a conversation like that in my head.

I wasn’t prepared to be so woefully inadequate at explaining who she was.

The best I could come up with were those four meager words.

My mom was awesome.

It’s like explaining color to someone who has been blind their whole life. Blue is the color of water and the sky and my eyes and my birthstone, but if you’ve never seen blue none of that means anything.

Mom was empathic and compassionate and funny and emotionally strong and caring and all of these things but unless you had actually met her it doesn’t matter. No one will ever be able to experience mom and know just how truly unique she was. No one will ever know HER compassion or HER humor or HER strength. No one will ever know her color and there’s no way for me to even remotely do it justice by trying to explain it, describe it. It could only be experienced and that’s not possible anymore. Not like it used to be anyway.

Realizing that sucked and it’s been hard to accept that inadequacy in myself. It’s hard for it to not feel like a failing on my part. If I loved her so much, if I was so close to her, shouldn’t I be able to explain who she was? But I can’t. You can’t explain a person. That’s not how life works. A person is more than words. They’re feelings and experiences and trials and triumphs. Love and heartbreak. They’re laughter and tears and shared moments through countless years all swirling together to make them uniquely them.

I mean, yeah, mom raised me. In ways, I’m a reflection of her, but I’m still myself and so it’s not the same. It’s the best that anyone will ever be able to get, but it’s not the same and so when I was asked for the first time, “What was your mom like?” it was the first time I had to face the fact that no one will ever know. Not anymore.

I know it may seem like a low note to end a post on, but I’m sort of done with writing. I guess in my mind it’s not really sad. It’s a fact. It sucks. I wish it were different, but it’s not and this is reality.

In my reality right now I’m about to start CNA classes. I have a punching bag of my own. I have a car that runs. I have a job that pays my bills and teammates who support me. I have an amazing relationship with an amazing person who holds me when I cry and makes me laugh and laughs with me.

I am pretty sure mom would want me to be happy and to enjoy those things so I’m going to try to do that a little bit more than what I have the past few days. I’m going to try to be happy.

Musing Moment 114: Inching Closer

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I don’t do well on the days where I go back to sleep after I wake up, and though I know how to fix this, I sort of don’t.

Today is my first day off of four. I have my race on Saturday so I requested Friday off. Thursday, today, is a normal off say and so is Sunday. It’s like a mini-vacation.

Today is also a day where I am truly alone. Papa Ox has a field project he needed to go out for. Mama Ox and Ox are both at work. I don’t have training until 2:30 this afternoon. I have no other obligations unless I’m alive enough to go to the dojo after training for kickboxing, krav, and jitz, in that order.

When I go back to bed after Ox leaves on my days off it’s hard to not feel apathetic. It’s better on the days that I have training earlier in the day. I have a reason to get up. To shower. To eat. I have things I need to do and so there’s a level of motivation I guess that gets me up and moving.

Today I didn’t have that.

I went back to sleep. I woke up again. I had a cup of coffee for the first time in weeks. I had part of my breakfast but not all of it because I wasn’t super hungry.

I pretty much passed out right when I got home yesterday. I’m not nearly as sore, but I’ve also slept for somewhere in the ballpark of 16 hours. Small wonder I’m not really all that hungry. I haven’t done much.

I still really don’t have much motivation for anything. I “could” clean my computer desk, but I really don’t want to. There are clothes that “could” be put away, but again, I’m not really feeling it.

I made myself eat lunch since my trainer would give me shit later today for not eating. Saving myself from future heartache I guess; maybe that’s a mild form of self-preservation. I feel like he’s going to push me pretty hard today since I did so well on Tuesday. We did sled work at the end. My chest hasn’t been that sore in ages. I haven’t had to dig that deep on the emotional side in a while either.

I feel like the times where I have to fight against my grief and the darkness are the times that really matter. When I pushed the sled down the gym the first time I knew I was going to struggle more emotionally than physically. When my trainer turned the sled around and said I only had to do it three more times I wanted to cry.

My Brain: You say it’s “only” three more times. But that’s THREE MORE TIMES. THREE. I’m already fucking burnt. I can’t do three. No. It’s not that I can’t. It’s that I don’t want to do three. What’s the point? Why do three, or two, or even one? What’s the point in doing any of this when mom’s dead? You know, it’s so easy for you to say it’s “only” three. It’s “only” something. It’s so fucking easy for the rest of the world to just keep going like everything is easy and “only” three when just waking up is sometimes the hardest thing to do and then not only do I have to do that, but then I have to get out of bed. And then I have to shower. And then I have to do all of this other bullshit and interact with all these other people and pretend that living isn’t hard and doesn’t feel heavy and hollow and pointless. It’s already “only” fucking hard, ok? I don’t need to do your three. I don’t NEED to do anything because I’ve already done more than you can even imagine just by standing here. I don’t have to prove to you I’m strong. I’m already strong. Being here, standing here, makes me strong. So you know what? Fuck you, Life. No. Seriously. Fuck you and you know what? I’ll do three more just to prove to you that you can’t win. I won’t let you win. I WILL NEVER LET YOU WIN.

The last three pushes were some of the hardest pushes I’ve ever done, more because I was trying to breathe and control the urge to break down into rage-filled tears, though my body was totally ok with not having to push the sled anymore once I was done.

There’s a part of me who likes being pushed to that point. My mental and emotional breaking point I guess. It makes me confront my grief and the harder emotions that lurk in the dark, dusty corners of my mind that get ignored during everyday life.

I had a thought Tuesday as I sat outside recovering from my training.

I wonder if mom hurts, too.

I talk about my wound and what it feels like for her to be dead. I wonder if she hurts from us being apart, too. I wonder if being dead is hard for her because she can’t be here. I wonder if she has her own wound in her chest where she aches for one more phone call. One more hug. One more, “It’s ok”.

I wonder if I’ve been selfish and small and inconsiderate of the other side of the situation. Maybe it sucks just as bad for her as it does for me. Maybe worse since she lost so much more. She lost Jon and Jason and Jace and Lio and her coworkers and her brothers.

I only lost mom. Mom lost everything.

There’s a sick part of my brain that feels a little bit better thinking that mom and I are struggling together. I’m not alone in my hurt. I’m not alone. It sucks for both of us and we’re doing the best we can with what the Universe will let us have.

It sucks that I have to go for now so I can actually shower and get to the gym on time for training where I’ll have to push again when I don’t want to. I don’t know why I do this. I don’t know what I want. Or maybe it’s that I keep forgetting or losing sight of what I want and so it’s easier to say I don’t know what I want rather than to look for it or remember.

I miss you, mom. I miss you so much. I’m going to go to training and I’m going to run my race and I know I’m doing these things for me, but I’m also doing them for you. That’s why I’m able to do three more. Because I tell myself it’s for you. That’s why I get out of bed sometimes. That’s why I eat. Because I told you I would. Sometimes the only reason I’m able to do things is because I say they’re for you and I don’t want to let you down.

Today isn’t a hard day, but I guess with finding the dojo and everything else that I’ve been doing recently, I’m inching closer to… I don’t know what. Closer to something, though. The emotions are there, near the surface. They’re not the raging, chaotic, swirling beast they were in the beginning. They’re calmer now, more settled. They don’t overwhelm me in the same way anymore even though they’re no less powerful.

I don’t understand that foreign aspect of myself any more than I did before I started writing this, mom, but maybe I’m on the right path to understanding it.

I love you. Thanks for being there for me. We’ll get through it together.

Musing Moments 112: My Favorite Color

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It’s the last day the kids are here.

I’ve survived the two weeks without getting a hotel room or an extended stay and with minimal freakouts over not having my own space. This morning has actually been pretty nice so far. Lil’ Ox and I played Little Big Planet 3 for a while. I made her waffles for breakfast and ate my own premade steak and egg breakfast container next to her.

It’s been a low key morning; one that makes me think maybe I’m not so bad at this parenting / mentoring thing. Maybe it’s not the horrific end of myself and my independence that I feel like it will be. I enjoyed this morning and a lot of the days they’ve been here so, theoretically, it’s possible to enjoy others.

I was still able to go to the gym and train. I was still able to work on my tattoo design and on the nights I was super tired I was left alone in the room to sleep.

Yes, there were hiccups and not everything went smoothly or flawlessly, but it went well enough that I’m still ok for the most part. Ok enough to not be terrified or completely against the future or the “next time”.

We made decorations with pearler beads and went swimming. We got work done out in the garage and in the addition. Work has been going alright even though I was shorted 15 hours on my last check.

I can’t really think of anything major to write about even though I haven’t written in most likely three weeks.

Jon is doing well. I’m looking forward to seeing him and Jason in August. I’m not going to be going to Orlando afterward and there’s a lot of factors that go into that choice. I’ll most likely use the leftover money in my “Me Fund” to switch over my car’s license plate.

My race is in roughly two weeks. I know I won’t be able to run all of it but I think I’ll be content with what I’m able to do. I’ll be running alone which is nice. Ox mentioned going with me and hanging out while I run so he can watch. Nothing has been decided, but I do like the idea of not having to worry about pacing myself to match someone else. I want to do this for me. I want to do this alone.

There’s a lot of things I want to do that I haven’t been doing. Alone time is one of those things.

I’ve been missing mom a lot. It will be her birthday soon.

I feel bad for Ox. When I lived alone I could seclude myself away in my room and hide until I was better. I would drink or cry or sleep or whatever it was I needed to do to survive the waves of grief. I didn’t have to worry about messing up anyone else’s day with my sadness.

I don’t have that option here. We share a room. He has to deal with all of it. There’s no real way for me to “get away”. It doesn’t help or make things easier. I haven’t learned how to cope as an introvert with no safe space. So on top of dealing with his own stuff, Ox is stuck with me on my “hard days”.

I don’t know what else to write about on that part.

I wish mom were here. I wish she was still alive. I wish things had been different and at the same time, I don’t because I wouldn’t be where I am if they had been different and I kind of like where I am.

I think I know why it’s hard to hear my name. Everyone calls me Jen. Ox is the only one who will say Jennifer sometimes. Every time I hear my full name I hurt. I think it’s because my mom was the only one who called me by my full name. I can remember the first night at the hospital when the painkillers finally started wearing off and I asked her if she knew who I was. I can remember how she rolled her eyes at me like it was the silliest question ever.

Mom: You’re Jennifer.

I am Jennifer but that seems like such a hard and impossible person to be. It’s easier to be Jen, the PCT or Kitten, the not girlfriend / not wife nebulous life partner.

It’s easy to get caught up in the trivial, surface level pettiness of Life and to forget that I’m injured, but hearing my full name reminds me. I can’t pretend when I hear it. I can’t fake my way through that pain. I have to face it and I don’t want to.

I guess there’s a large part of me who doesn’t want to be me. I don’t want to put in all of the work it will take to heal all of the injuries I have.

I don’t really know what I’m doing with my life at the moment. I go to work. I pay my bills. I try to eat healthy as I have a bowl of mint ice cream at night that I don’t log on My Fitness Pal.

I’m still doing well at work. I’m still losing weight and gaining muscle. I’m still making ends meet.

I don’t know what it feels like, this life I’ve been living for almost five months now. Maybe that’s because I’m not allowing myself to fully feel it. Sort of like how I ignore my injuries. Maybe I’m just existing through my life at the moment rather than fully immersing myself in it and experiencing it.

There’s a part of me who doesn’t trust it. I’m waiting for it to run out; to end. The good times can only last so long.

I say “I love you,” but I don’t feel it the way I used to. There’s a part of me who doesn’t want to. I love as much as I feel I can. I’m broken. You’ll die. There’s only so much I can give. It doesn’t feel like enough, though. It feels like you deserve more. It doesn’t feel like it used to before mom died and I don’t know if it ever can or will.

Ox: Are you happy?

He’s asked me that a few times and I don’t know how to answer. I’m not “not happy”. I would like my own room. I would like for things to stay organized. I would like for the dirty clothes to not be on the floor. I would like for there to not be pop tarts on the kitchen counter tempting me every morning. But in the scheme of things, I have a roof over my head. I am staying here rent free. I have food. I have a car. I have a job. I have a support structure and people who care about me.

There’s no reason for me to not be happy. But most of the time there’s this feeling of distance. Like I’m holding my breath. A tension.

I hate this part of myself, but I already know what I would try to do if the relationship failed. I already have a “backup plan”. I wouldn’t move back to Orlando. I would try to move to Beatrice so I would be closer to my clinic.

And maybe that’s something else that keeps me from giving fully into whatever this is.

A relationship is supposed to be a compromise. Give and take.

I moved away from my lovers and brother. It feels like I’ve given up my solitude. I have taken on the responsibility of helping to care for two children. I have changed work environments. I agreed to pursue another obligation which I’m going to leave vague because I don’t want to write further about it. Sorry if that’s frustrating.

I knowingly accepted a lot of things before moving.

I want it to feel fair. But when asked if I’m happy the most I can bring up is apathy. I don’t hate where I’m at, but no, I don’t really think I’m happy. I’ve lost too much too fast with very little to compensate that loss to feel happy right now.

I’m happier then I was in Orlando. I don’t hate Life. I think that’s an improvement.

I want to see my brothers. That’s about it. I want to see others but I can’t go to Orlando and see the people there because if I do I know I’ll fuck everything that I have up. Ox and I talked about that aspect about it so he knows.

And I guess that’s something I can admit to and acknowledge within myself. If I went to Orlando I would most likely have sex with Big Bad and my Blacksmith. I don’t know if that’s weakness. I don’t feel like it is. I still care about them. I cared about them before I moved. I still care about them after my move. I didn’t move because the relationships sucked or because they treated me poorly.

I know they had their own issues. Big Bad never said “I love you” back. He sent the drunk text message the day of the Warrior Dash lashing out in his hurt. My Blacksmith and I were never able to spend much time together and that dynamic had its own complications. Then there’s Sir who chose not to see me to say goodbye before I left and all of the history from when we dated.

Maybe this is another aspect of me that’s broken and needs to be worked on.

They still built me up the most during a time where I was at my lowest, though. They let me be myself and didn’t give me shit for it. I still care for them and I still have the mentality that you can love more than one person without it affecting the love you feel for another.

Ox and I agreed to be monogamous so it’s better to not go. I feel like if I went to Orlando I would be choosing myself over the relationship and that the relationship would die because of my selfishness. There’s still a part of me who feels like I’m losing something else, something more, because I am making the choice to not go. I’m giving up more on top of what I have already agreed to let go.

I don’t feel whole. I feel like I function “good enough” and that’s the best I can do. The jagged, broken pieces of myself grind against one another rather than being well oiled and cared for. You can tune out the sound of friction if you try hard enough. I feel like that’s what I do most of the time.

I ignore. I pretend. I go day by day and it’s “good enough” so I should accept it. I’m never going to have mom back so I should learn to be ok with what I have.

I think there’s still a lot of stuff for me to work through and like so many of my other writings I don’t feel like I’ve figured anything out. I still feel like it’s all pointless and a waste of time because I never seem to figure any of it out.

I just keep finding more and more things to try to fix with no solution for fixing them. They’re just problems within myself that keep me from fitting in properly with the world I find myself in now. The world I’ve placed myself in.

I still love people, but I’m not allowed to express that love so I’m wrong. I’m an introvert living in an environment where I can’t be alone so I’m wrong. I don’t want to be a parent but I’m in a relationship with two children so I’m wrong to try to not be a parental figure.

I guess that’s the core of it all. I feel wrong. I feel like I’m the problem. I’m the only one with issues so it’s me that needs to change. Everyone else is fine. I’m the one who’s not.

What do I want?

I want to be ok. I want my mom back. I want to be able to cry and curl up with her urn alone without the fear of someone coming into the room or hearing the TV playing Modern Family.

I want things I can’t have and so I feel defeated. I can’t win so what’s the point of feeling anything?

Am I happy?

No. But I can’t have what will make me happy so I’m “good enough” and right now that’s the best I can do. I’m sorry I can’t do better. I’m sorry I feel this way. I’m sorry I can’t be normal like the rest of the world. I’m sorry I’m myself and I’m sorry for being sorry about that. I’m sorry I make things harder and more complicated than they should be. I’m sorry I don’t game as much as I did in Orlando. I’m sorry for wanting sex more than you. I’m sorry I’m always trying to complete a project or organize something. I’m sorry I don’t know how to relax more. I’m sorry I’m not more social and that I don’t want to find a dead bird for us to play with and hopefully writing that makes you smile knowing that the rest of the Internet is going “What the actual fuck?” right now. I’m sorry everything seems to come back to my mom being dead. I’m sorry I can’t seem to get past that. I’m sorry that you’ll read this and feel some sort of failing on your part. I’m sorry for messing up your day. I’m sorry if now we’re not ok.

I love you and I’m sorry if that’s not enough. I’m sorry if my love is broken and not the same as yours.

Thank you for everything you do and have done for me these past almost five months. Thank you for the nights you let me sleep on the couch without making me feel bad. Thank you for trying so hard to make safe spaces for me. Thank you for your patience and the times you’ve held me while I’ve cried. Thank you for not giving up on me. I promise I’m trying to get better. I promise I’ll try to be ok today.

It’s one of the few things I look forward to; seeing you at the end of my days. No matter how shitty they are, no matter how much work sucks, or how much I feel like I didn’t push hard enough at the gym, or whatever other nonsense my brain plays inside of my head, I always look forward to seeing you. I always think about you, about how I’m almost home, when I see the cell phone tower you pointed out to me because that’s how I know where to turn. I look forward to your hugs. I look forward to your voice. I look forward to you because you’re my favorite color.

I will see you tonight. I love you.

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.

 

Daily Post 082: Recap Attempt #2

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Hey mom,

I didn’t start crying when I typed that. Go me.

I want to finish telling you about my week since I wasn’t able to finish it last night. I was crying through most of my writing so when the internet crapped out on me I figured it was the Universe saying that I had had enough for the day.

But there’s still so much that’s happened and a lot of it is really good and I really need to tell you about the good stuff.

 


 

Friday – April 6th

Friday was another day where I worked. I was pretty sick and I knew working was going to suck. I also knew it was a shorter day than if I had been in Orlando and that I would tough it out.

I ended up getting a text message from my new FA. She needed me to update some of my personal information in the company’s system, specifically my address, because she was having issues moving me over from Orlando to Beatrice. While we were texting she said I was approved for the Step Up program which will be another boost to my wage.

That’s three raises within a month, mom.

FA: You are a FANTASTIC addition to our team and I want to make sure we do everything possible to show you how much we are so glad to have you! 🙂

I’m doing good. It’s not just BS inside of my head. I’m excelling and I’m actually getting compensation for it. I might be able to break that $15 mark that has been haunting me. I make less than when I started teaching at Full Sail still. Because I make less I’m failing; taking steps backward in Life.

I save lives every day I work and yet I’m failing.

I know that’s not a healthy way to look at it, but if I could just make what I started at I would feel like I’m at least back at square one. I would feel like I’m out of some intangible hole of darkness that is eroding away the success of my life.

I’m close to being there. So close. And I’ve earned it. It wasn’t handed to me.

I guess that’s what makes it so… vindicating. As a first-year tech I “shouldn’t” have gotten a raise during my yearly review, but I did because my FA thought I did amazing. I passed my national certification because I studied and proved that I knew what I needed to know. I’m approved for the 12-month increase in this program because I’m a competent technician who meets the program’s requirements.

I got myself here. I’ve earned these things and I’ve earned them because you raised me to be who I am. These accomplishments are ours, mom, not just mine and I’m so happy that I can tell you about them. I’m glad that I achieved them even though you died. I’m glad I can say that I’m doing well and it’s not just words or lies or half-truths.

They’re full truths.

The day at work was still brutal, but it wasn’t as bad after getting the messages from my FA.

Ox got his kids for the weekend so I was bombarded by an eight-year-old when I got home from work. You would love her. She’s adorable. I wish you were here to tell me how to be a parent. I wish I knew how you did it when you were tired from work and wanted to be alone. I wish you were here to tell me that I’m doing well. All I can do is try to be a parent like you were to me. You are my example, mom, and I feel pretty lucky to have had you for as long as I did.

I didn’t sleep well that night. Things didn’t feel right between Ox and I because of the money issue. He said everything that everyone else has said. “I’m sorry.” “I’ll pay you back.” “I’m not like the rest of them.”

He said everything I didn’t want to hear which instigated the feelings of “not ok-ness”. I ended up sleeping on the couch for most of the night and only part of that had to do with being sick. I needed the space. At the time I didn’t know how long it would take to come to terms with our situation. All I knew was that I wasn’t ok and I needed to be alone to figure it out.


Saturday – April 7th

I worked again. I was still sick but not as much as I was the previous day. The morning was rough because things still didn’t feel ok between Ox and I. We still had our cigarette together. He still hugged me before I went to work. I wanted to magically fix things to be the way they were before he asked me for the money, but I couldn’t. I had to go to work wanting to say more but not knowing how to.

It was a short day at work, so all I had to do was survive, which I did.

I messaged Warren to see if he had had a chance to take care of the internet account. Not surprisingly, I didn’t get a message back from him.

I also found out that the work schedule had changed and that I didn’t have Monday off like I had thought. No. I had to work Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Four days in a row.

I was glad I found out about the change. I also realized I was sort of fucked on the introvert side of things. The kids were going to be leaving Monday morning so I wouldn’t have any time to recover or prep for the coming week. I was going to have to hobble through the week using duct tape and super glue and hope that things got better not only with my sickness, but with Ox and me, and I knew that wasn’t going to happen unless I talked to him, which I wasn’t ready for.

After surviving work, I went home and celebrated… I need a code name for Ox’s daughter still… but anyway, I celebrated her birthday. She turned eight. That was a bright moment in the day even though I was tired.

I went to sleep early that night still feeling disconnected from Ox.


 

Sunday – April 8th

I had Sunday off, thankfully. I spent most of the day sleeping and trying to feel better for the four days ahead of me. I messaged Warren again in the morning asking him to please reply to me. By the evening I still hadn’t heard from him so I sent another message.

Me: Dude. I get being busy and shit but this is stupid. All I want is to know what’s going on since I’m still getting emails from Spectrum.

Maybe that wasn’t the best way for me to handle the situation, but I had pretty much had it with feeling disrespected and ignored. I know from having lived with him for over a year that he’s glued to his phone and that he’d seen my messages. I know you would be on my side with this, mom. He’s being a jerk and that would sadden you. Maybe you would be able to talk sense into him if you were still here.

I got to text with my blacksmith and Big Bad a bit on Sunday, too. I miss both of them but I also enjoy the life that I have here.

I want the future that’s here and that makes things painful. The tentative plans at the moment are for me to visit Jason and Jon towards the end of August. If I visit Orlando I will want to visit my old clinic. I will want to see Nicole and Warren and a few other select people. I’ll want to visit the dojo and roll with the guys again. And there’s a part of me who will want to have a quiet cup of coffee with Big Bad or a hug from my blacksmith.

I still care about them. I can’t not remember how much they helped me heal and grow during the first year after your death. I don’t know what to do with those feelings right now other than to know that they’re there. I guess that’s something I’ll have to come back to and meditate further on.

I feel like I should be making a list of things I need to think about and figure out. I feel like that’s a theme I’m constantly writing right now. “I need to figure it out. I need to meditate on it.” Maybe I’ll actually get around to figuring all of that shit out at some point.

I went to sleep early again since I had work the next day. I wasn’t even remotely ready to go back in but I also knew I didn’t have a choice. I’m the only PCT for the clinic at the moment. No one else could cover me short notice like that even though I was googling the symptoms of pneumonia.


 

Monday – April 9th

I don’t remember much about work on Monday. I know I made it there. I know I worked. I’m pretty sure I started feeling better the longer the day wore on.

I stayed late that day to do the steps I needed to do to be reimbursed for all of the work expenses I’ve had. I wasn’t able to submit the report, but I got most of it figured out.

Ox and I talked about the money situation when I got home. Or rather, I finally admitted that I wasn’t ok with it. I’m glad we talked. I’m glad he shared his side of the situation with me; specifically his emotions and his reasoning.

I admitted that I was worried about permanently damaging us by letting him borrow the money because now all of those icky feelings are part of our dynamic. The fear of not being paid back. The fear of being used. The feeling of loss over something that I worked hard to earn. The fear that this was a test that I should have said no to and now things are ruined for forever because I can’t let things go.

I cried. We hugged it out. We agreed all we can do is prove to each other through actions that we’re not our exs. In this situation, that means waiting to see how things play out, and that sucks, but I think we’re better for having talked to each other. And I guess I should really rewrite that to say, I’m glad I manned up enough to voice my feelings rather than keeping everything bottled up where it could fester and get worse.

I know we ended up having sexy time that night and I think that helped, too. With being sick and working and the kids being there, we hadn’t had much time to be affectionate towards each other. I’m sure the distance between us didn’t help the money issue feel any better.

The sex helped me feel more connected and grounded. And totally going to have a girl moment and say I slept amazingly well that night because yes. Just… yes. And I know that if we were actually talking, sitting on the couch with Law and Order reruns playing in the background that you would have some silly, quick-witted remark that would have us both cracking up.

I know that you would be/are happy that I finally have a stable relationship with open communication where I can talk through my fears and still be ok. I can admit that I’m not happy with something and have it not be the earth-shattering end I’ve grown to associate with voicing my feelings. I think you would be pleased that it brought Ox and I closer together and that we’re stronger for this challenge we’re being faced with.


 

Tuesday – April 10th

Of all of the days that could have turned into a clusterfuck of disaster, it was this day.

I overslept and was late for work. >.<;

I ended up sleeping on the couch a little bit after sexy time. I was coughing a lot and sleeping elevated seems to help me breath better. So I took some pillows out with me around midnight and left my phone in the room and fell asleep. I wake up at 3 am for work so I can have an unrushed shower and breakfast before getting dressed.

So imagine how screwed, and not in a good way, I felt when I woke up fairly rested, tiptoeing into the bedroom to see what time it was and realizing it was 4:15, I’m supposed to be to work at 4:30 and I have a thirty-ish minute drive to get there and I’m still in night clothes…

*queue cold, sinking feeling of despair in the pit of my stomach as the death of my work life flashes before my eyes*

I totally didn’t shower. I threw things into my lunch box. I don’t even remember what it was. Ox was super apologetic. When my alarm had gone off he assumed I was already in the shower since I wasn’t in bed. He filled my water bottle for me as I dashed around trying to in some way salvage the morning. Of course, the only number I didn’t have was the number for the RN I was scheduled to work with that morning so there was no way to let her know I was running late.

Fuck my life. Seriously, mom, I thought I was so dead. I thought I had ruined the day and there was no recovery.

Surprisingly I made it to work by 5 am. The RN was super chill. She sent me a text as I was driving so I was able to call her and explain the situation. She said not to worry, that we would be fine and we were.

I was able to do the water checks like I needed to do. We got the clinic set up and everyone on the machines at their scheduled times. It was a surprisingly smooth day. While I was on my break, having my cup of coffee, I took a moment to take a picture of the sunrise because that’s one of the things I love about where I work now.

Even with the craziness of the morning and the fear and anxiety of having royally fucked everything to hell and back, I was able to have a moment of quiet, peaceful serenity that made everything worth it.

The move. The goodbyes. The change of everything. The sickness. Even the mad dash to repair the morning. This picture, this moment, and every moment I’m able to have where I can reflect on where I was and where I’ve been able to bring myself, makes me remember that it’s worth it.

 

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I ended up getting a reply from Warren later in the day explaining that his phone has been messed up since the latest OS update. He explained the situation with the Internet account. He didn’t say anything about my spare key or about paying me back, but at least he replied to my messages finally. I’ll tackle all of that when I feel like dealing with more excuses and BS.

I messaged my FA about my expense report since the system wouldn’t let me submit it. I have to have a person to send it to for approval and it won’t let me enter my FA’s name. I think it’s because I’m still listed in the system as being in Orlando. She’s looking into the issue for me so I’m hoping that will get resolved.

I came home and took close to a three-hour nap and it was amazing. When I woke up I made dinner. It turned out really good and it left me with leftovers to take to work for lunch the next day since meal prepping didn’t happen over the weekend.

That night was another night of incredible sexy time.

I know… two nights in a row. My brain can’t even.


 

Wednesday – April 11th

I woke up tired. #noRegrets

I also found out that one of the cats sprayed all over my clean scrubs…

I ended up rewearing the ones from the previous day. Aside from that small hiccup in the morning, the day went smoothly at work. I emailed our AA and requested more things for the clinic.

This was the day that I think I’ve found my direction at work, mom.

I was going through a couple of the notebooks because it seemed like they were redundant. While I was combining them, I found the criteria to become a Vascular Access Manager (VAM). It made me realize that because our clinic is so small, we most likely don’t have a VAM and that if I did this training I could fill that role.

It got me thinking about the different things I already know about, like becoming an “expert cannulator”, which would be more training. It got me to thinking about becoming an LPN instead of going all the way with RN. I want to stay in a tech role while being able to be more helpful to the nurses I work with. LPN gives me that. At least I think it does. It’s something I want to talk to my FA about at least to see what I could potentially be doing to continue to grow.

I don’t know. I just… allowed my self to think about the future. I let my mind wander over what it would be like… What would it be like if I stayed at the clinic for a year? Two years… a lot of years?

I like the thought of being a core person there. Someone who’s knowledgeable and important and… I don’t know… I like the thought of having some sort of “ownership” over it. It’s “my” clinic.

I clean and stock the treatment floor. I know our first MWF patient has a tape allergy and only likes the plastic tape. The fourth patient doesn’t want to walk out with gauze on her arm. She likes bandaids instead. I know the fifth patient on TTS likes her chair pushed all the way back and the screen of her machine turned to block the sun when it rises.

I want to be the best I can be for my patients because I’m the only tech they have. I want to be the best I can be because they deserve to have the best. I’ve listened to their stories, at least as much as we’ve been able to share in the two-ish months that I’ve been working there.

I’m not burnt out anymore, or at least I’m on the road to recovery from it. I like the idea of staying at the clinic. My patients inspire me to be the best version of me I can be. I think you would get a kick out of that, mom. We never thought I would be able to do anything medical because of how I used to pass out at the sight of blood, and now look at me. Little Ms. Dialysis Technican stabbin’ people with needles and shit.

I know you’re proud of me and that you’re thrilled that I touch the world in the way I do now. I never saw my life here.

While I was going through the binders I found the old phone sheet for the clinic. It was a list of all of the teammate’s cell phone numbers, only, over half of them didn’t work at the clinic anymore. Not a very helpful phone sheet…

Since the day was going so smoothly I ended up recreating the phone sheet, structuring it better. I removed the old names and numbers and added the new ones, like mine, that needed to be added. I also added the phone and fax numbers for our “sister” clinics in Lincoln along with the numbers for the FAs and AAs because those are important numbers, too.

Towards the end my RN came over and looked at what I was doing. She said I was way more ambitious than her. I told her that I enjoyed making documentation like that and that my second degree was in Digital Graphics. It was a wonderfully creative outlet which continued the positive energy the day had generated within myself.

I will say that even though I felt good about it, there was a part of me that wanted to downplay what I was doing.

Me: Oh… it’s nothing… really… all I did was open a resume template in Word 2013, delete a bunch of stuff, and then type in the information I wanted… It’s not like I “did” much of anything…

Also Me: You’re a fucking bawce. You know who else updated the phone list? No one. That’s who. You will take your praise and compliments and you will like them!

Once the clinic was closed up for the day I drove home. I changed into comfy clothes and dyed my hair. Mama Ox brought home Chinese food for dinner so no one had to cook. I rewashed my clothes because the cats are jerks.

Ox gave me part of the money he owes me since Wednesdays are paydays for him. He was originally going to give me $100 but I wouldn’t take all of it. I only want $50 payments.

That $50 is already the most anyone has ever paid me back. I don’t want him to limp by the rest of the week because all of his spare money went to paying me back. The relationship is two halves. I don’t want my other half to suffer needlessly. We’re not going anywhere. It doesn’t matter if it takes two months to pay me back instead of one. I would rather it take two and have us both be content and ok, rather than be paid back in a month and my other half be stressed and not ok.

We’re doing ok and I’m more secure in feeling like it’s ok to believe I will actually get my whole $400 back because he is actively paying me back as he can.

It was a good night. I washed the dye out of my hair and crawled into bed. Sexy time didn’t happen but that’s ok. I think my brain would have broke if we had gone three nights in a row.

I did end up sleeping on the couch again. Even though I’ve been feeling better the past three days now, I seem to keep getting coughing fits and last night was one of those times.


 

Thursday – April 12th

And here we are at today. All caught up for the most part.

Today was was my fourth day in a row at work and for all of the stress I put on getting the clothes washed so I could have clean stuff to wear, wouldn’t you know I completely forgot to pack socks in my bag this morning… I ended up wearing my gym shoes all day at work, which got me a lot of comments since they’re the Vibram toe shoes I’m not supposed to be wearing… but it was either those, my sandals, or barefoot because there wasn’t a chance in hell I was wearing my work shoes without socks again.

I took the CWP out of its disinfect cycle. I’m getting more comfortable with my routines at work and how they fluctuate through the week.

The bins I asked to be ordered should be in tomorrow so I’ll be able to play with them at work on Monday. I’m looking forward to that.

One of the doctors made rounds on the patients today, so one of them ran for six hours instead of his normal five. That sucked, but it left me with time to continue making notes and lists of things I want to bring up in our clinic meeting this coming Tuesday.

Once work was over I went to the gym again. I ran and did more upper body work. I picked up a sheet for personal training. I’ve been thinking about that a lot and how to mesh my personal routines with work.

I think I’m going to request to always have Monday’s off. That would give me a day alone before having to go back to work. During the weekend Ox’s parents are home so it’s awkward for me to meal prep or do any of the chores I want to do. And I realize that’s mostly all just inside my head but I feel weird. Everyone else is playing computer games or watching tv and here I am being Ms. Productive and making them feel like slackers. Or… since I’m up and they’re up… having to have actual conversations with people while I’m in my introvert mode… Don’t mind me while I go to the backyard and dig my own grave because that seems more appealing than actually talking to a human right now.

It doesn’t help that every other weekend the kids are here so it’s even harder to do chores or to get to sleep early enough for work since I wake up so incredibly early compared to everyone else.

I also want to start looking at maybe taking a class or two at one of the community colleges. That might be a little tricker, but it’s something I have the motivation to do, and something that would be easier to accomplish with a more set schedule.

Consistently having Monday off would give me a day where I would be alone for most of the day so doing chores and stuff wouldn’t be an issue. I could actually look at having personal training again as well since there would be at least one day I could guarantee a consistent time to meet. Training, ideally, would give me something to do in the morning that would force me out of bed, which has been an issue I’ve noticed for my days off. On my days off I tend to not do much which allows the apathy and sadness a foothold.

Having Monday to myself would ensure that my weeks reset fully. Laundry, meal prep, writing, planning, mapping everything out so I at least have a battle plan that can be modified as needed.

I think I’ve proven myself enough at work that I can ask for a “me” day and get it. I didn’t mind working four days in a row. Even with all of the unashamedly sleepless nights that I’ve had I made it through all of my days with energy to take care of what I needed to.

I’m going to see if I can talk to my FA alone after the meeting on Tuesday and see if something like that can be worked out. I think that would make work as close to perfect as human existence can allow it to be.

I’ve eaten dinner. I got to talk to Kyle a bit. He’s still not able to pay me anything back, but it was nice to be able to chat with him and to hear his voice.

Ox is home from a long day at work. It’s supposed to snow eight inches on Saturday. And I don’t have to go to work tomorrow.

I’m glad I wrote all of this, mom. I’m glad that I didn’t cry through all of it. Not even most of it. I’m glad there was so much positive to tell you about.

I still miss you. I still feel that hurt, that ache. But I’m still going on because I know that’s what I’m supposed to do right now. I’m still going to the gym. I’m still eating healthy. I’m still trying to learn things and to help people. I’m still striving to be a daughter you can be proud of.

I love you, mom. I miss you. I love you, forever and for always. Thanks for listening to me and for being there for me; through all of it. The good. The bad. The new. The scary. Thank you, so much, for loving me and for helping to make me who I am.

I’ll talk to you later.