Letters to Mom 020: Relationship Rambling

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I ran my race.

I didn’t run all of it. I didn’t really try to run all of it. There were two points where I met another runner and walked with them while we talked about life and our past race experiences. I could have run more, but I don’t have this pressure or feeling that I should have run more. I did what I wanted and I’m ok with that.

I’m surprised with how recovered I feel. I know I ran more this race than I did on any of my previous races. I still did all of the obstacles. I still crossed the finish line and had my victory beer.

I’m… happy… with my race and that makes me feel sad in a way. I wrote about it at least once that I can remember. I never thought success could be painful, but it is now. I did well and so I hurt because I did well when mom isn’t here. Maybe one day I’ll grow past this point in my life where everything comes back to her death, but right now I haven’t and so this is where I am.

I did well and I can’t show mom any of the pictures. It hurts even though at the same time I have all of these positive feelings. Ox went with me. He was there when I crossed the finish line. He even gave me a half-way hug while someone else took our picture for us. He drove me to and from the race. He went to dinner with me the night before where we got subs and had ice cream from a local deli near the race location.

We had a mostly serious conversation about our relationship, and though nothing was really solved or figured out, I feel like it was important that we talked.

It’s hard to want to go back to work. I want to see my patients but I really don’t want the stress that goes with my job. I don’t want the annoying hours. Maybe part of the discontent is from being tired. Maybe I’ll be more ok with the thought of work tomorrow, but for right now, I would be ok if I didn’t have to go back. I have too many tangled emotions right now to want to be around people.

I’m glad that almost all of the obstacles felt easy and that the hardest part about the run was running uphill. I’m glad my new Vibrams performed well. I’m glad I didn’t get super sunburnt. I’m glad I went to the race.

There’s so much I want to write about but I don’t know how right now. It’s why I didn’t write yesterday or before the race.

Mom, I miss you. I know you would be so proud right now. I know you would listen to every word if we were talking. I’ve already been cornered by Mama Ox and talked about all the different obstacles and how I felt I did and was the time with my trainer worth it and all of these other questions and side tangents…

But it wasn’t you. She wasn’t who I wanted to talk to and though I knew it was a conversation that I had to have, I didn’t want to. I wanted to talk to you. I still do. I still need it to be you that I gush and ramble to. I need this to be for you right now.

The “race day” adventure started Friday evening. Ox came home after getting off from work. We packed the car up and said goodbye to his parents so we could try to out drive a storm that had the potential to hail on us.

We stopped at a gas station before getting on the interstate to fill up the car and get snacks. He helped me scrub the windows clean of bug guts since that’s a thing I have to deal with here in Nebraska. We ate pretzels and beef jerky while listening to music as we traveled. We were able to beat the storm because we’re badasses like that.

We made it to the town of Blair, home of the bears, which is where I had been able to get a hotel room. We were still about 30 minutes from the race location, but that was the closest hotel I could find. Nebraska is so spread out and a lot of the towns are small. I was sort of surprised we ended up as close as we did.

Blair is quaint. It’s bigger than Hickman, but it has a lot of mom and pop type places. The deli we went for dinner is a good example. In a way, it reminded me of Ye Old Fashion in Summerville. The food wasn’t anything crazy or out of the ordinary. I had a roast beef sub. It wasn’t anything that I couldn’t have made myself at home, but it was still good and I enjoyed eating carbs at night guilt-free, knowing that I would run them off during the race. I even indulged and had a waffle cone with cookie dough ice cream.

It had been a choice between driving to the race location so we could see where it was at and getting food since we didn’t get to Blair until 8pm. Food won out and I’m glad it did. I enjoyed sharing a nice meal with Ox. It was datey feeling, getting ice cream with him.

This was our second road trip together since he flew down to Orlando to drive with me to Nebraska when I moved. It was nice to feel like we got away together.

I wish I could ask you about sex advice, mom. I know Ox says it isn’t me, but it’s hard to feel like it isn’t. We were finally alone. Away. I’m losing weight, again. I’m doing well at work. I cover my bills. I’m domestic with doing laundry and cooking and cleaning.

I don’t know what else to do to be a better, more attractive or enticing mate.

I have been told it’s not me. I’m doing everything right. But that doesn’t change the feelings of “It is me”. This issue has followed me through all of my relationships. I have a higher sex drive than my partner and I don’t know how to change that or to come to terms with the feelings of loneliness that go with it.

Did you ever experience relationships like this, mom? How did it make you feel if you did? What happened? How did you cope?

I’m told I am sexy. I am beautiful. But I don’t feel those things, mom, and I don’t know how to change that. When I say them, when I say, “I am beautiful” it feels like a lie. That combination of words isn’t one of MY truths. I know my truths shouldn’t be based on another person’s opinion or actions or feelings. It should be based on mine, but in my head when I hear “You’re beautiful” I think, “No. I’m not. I’m just me.”

Just me…

That’s a lot of things, though. I’m “just” amazing and fantastic and compassionate and empathic and logical and emotional and structured and spontaneous and fun and funny and outgoing and reserved. I’m an INFJ and there’s so much that goes into “just me”. I don’t know why having sex less often than what my nervous system wants causes so much strife within myself.

Why does it make me question my self-worth? What does it make me wonder if there’s something I should be doing, or doing differently, or not doing? Why does it make me feel like the problem is within myself?

I don’t know if you would have any insight, but I wish I could talk to you about it. I wish I could hear your voice assuring me that Ox and I will figure it out. He’s so many things that my past relationships haven’t been. Why can’t I let this one thing go?

It made Friday night hard. I had packed a piece of lingerie with me. We were alone. We didn’t have Life breathing down our necks with obligations or responsibilities. Sexy time wasn’t in our cards for that night, though. The lingerie went unworn.

It was hard to not feel unattractive.  While we were outside smoking before going to bed I asked if there was anything I could or should be doing differently.

In the end, I asked if it was like my grief and how it can’t really be explained. Was it similar to how I wish my grief could be something like the memory orbs from Inside Out where I could let someone else hold it and say, “This. This is what I feel.”

Ox said yeah. It was like that. He could try to explain as best he could, but there wasn’t really a way to explain to someone else what it feels like to want to please your partner and not be able to.

I know we’re more than roommates or good friends, but it’s hard to feel or support that fact inside my head. It feels like a big part of the relationship is missing or withering away. We both come home from work. I do chores. He plays video games. We go to sleep. We wake up and repeat.

We ended up sleeping cuddled close together which helped keep the lonely feelings from winning. I still didn’t feel sexy or beautiful, but I didn’t feel alone.

When we woke up we checked out the breakfast bar at the hotel but decided to go to a local diner instead. It was another decent meal of nothing super facey. I had rye toast with a mushroom omelet. I even had some of the hashbrowns. We drove to the race site. Ox helped spray my back down. I wore the top he found for me. I had my new shoes. He was at the start line taking pictures and watching me raise my hand for Nebraska even though I had been giving him shit about still representing Florida.

He was there at the end, mom. He was there when I crossed the finish line covered in mud and he didn’t make me feel bad or weird for doing it. He held my bag and let me have my beer and… goddamnit, he’s awesome and I feel like shit for having such a shallow hang up.

He didn’t have to drive two hours to sit for an hour and fifteen minutes out in the sun surrounded by strangers while I ran a circle. He didn’t have to sit there and worry about me not finishing the race because I hurt myself on an obstacle he couldn’t see or twisted my ankle while running. He didn’t have to go. He didn’t have to give me a partial hug. Hell, a partial hug is more than what Zane would give me when I got home after biking to and from work so he could use my car and all that was was sweat.

Ox didn’t try to stop me from going or try to talk me out of it. He doesn’t make me feel bad for spending as much time at the gym as I do or the nights I’ve spent a majority of our “together” time at the dojo instead of being home. He goes to SCA combat practices with me even though he doesn’t fight. He wakes up at 3:45 on the mornings I work just so we can have a cigarette together before I leave even though it almost always fucks up his sleep. He lets me sleep on the couch when I feel the need to have space. He lets me write. He always says thank you when I do something. Making his lunch. Doing the laundry. The small, trivial, unnoticeable things of everyday life aren’t unnoticeable to him and he acknowledges those actions.

Through our conversations of Friday night, he told me he thinks it might be low testosterone. Having been in relationships where I’ve been told I need to be on medication to “fix” myself, I feel awful about the thought of Ox feeling like he needs to take or do something to “fix” himself.

He’s human, so I can’t say he’s perfect, but the thought that I might be making him feel pressured to do something like taking pills or medication sucks. It didn’t make me feel good when it was done to me, so I don’t want to do it to another person, intentionally or unintentionally.

He said taking supplements is something he wants to try; for me, but for him too. He said he’s noticed other things which could be related to low testosterone. I guess it’s something he’s thought about since before our conversation.

I guess there’s not much else to say in regards to this. I wish I knew your opinion, mom. I wish you could tell me if I’m making mountains out of molehills. I know sex is important, yet at the same time not, yet at the same time is… I wish it wasn’t such a big part of the race but since all of this talking happened the night before, it’s tied into it and so there’s no way I can talk about one without the other. It’s the part that’s unresolved in my head and so it’s the part I need to talk about first.

The conversations I have with Ox always bring us closer. In the end, we agreed that we’re ok. We cuddled close together, his arms wrapped around me, and slept through the night. I woke up rested even though I was in a foreign environment and usually have a hard time sleeping in a bed other than my own. I was with Ox and we were ok so it was ok.

We had a nice breakfast in a cute town. He let me have my day. We drove back to Lincoln and we went to our Mongolian Grill and he let me wear my fuzzy warrior hat inside the whole time along with my medal. He went out in public with me while I was still grimy from the race. He even looked up other events I could still sign up for this summer while we were eating.

He let me be grouchy and sad afterward when my headache from dehydration started setting in and I came down from the high of my race. He let me sleep for hours once we got home.

And today, he’s let me be whatever it is that I am. I’m not as sore as I expected to be. Physically I’m doing pretty well. Emotionally I felt frayed, though. I’ve wanted closeness and contact and I think a lot of that has more to do with the runner’s high than anything. It felt a lot like sub-drop after an intense BDSM scene.

We ended up going to the movies since they have the dream lounge chairs. I was able to sit cross-legged the whole time while we watched the new Jurassic World movie. We were close and touching the whole time. Being out of the house helped. Not being the “responsible one” was nice. I didn’t have to drive. I didn’t have to choose anything. I didn’t have to talk to anyone. All I had to do was be present and watch dinosaurs attack shit. I was able to be low energy and quiet and near him and it was nice.

We were able to stop at GNC before going home so I could have my energy drink in the morning since my stockpile was out. So not only did we get cuddle time with dinosaurs, we were also productive.

You would really like him, mom. He honestly does take really good care of me. We take good care of each other.

I want to run another race before summer ends. I want to meditate more on the sex issue because I do feel like I need to explore that more within myself. I need to figure out why it is such a big deal for me because as much as I don’t want it to be one, it is and I can’t expect others to understand it if I don’t understand it myself. I want to keep training and losing weight. I want to figure out why I have such an issue with the words sexy and beautiful. And I want to figure out what I want.

That doesn’t seem like a lot, but I know on the emotional “figuring myself out” level it’s going to be a lot of work. I guess it’s a good place to start, though.

I don’t feel as frayed anymore. I feel more ok with the thought of going to work. I have a battle plan for figuring out some of the stuff that’s bothering me.

Thanks for listening, mom. Maybe next time I’ll be able to gush about the obstacles and which ones I liked and which ones were annoying and about the two runners I met and winning my free water bottle and all of the things that went into making my third Warrior Dash the warm memory that it is.

I love you, forever and for always.

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Daily Post 074: Another First Day

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I’m back home after my first day at the Beatrice clinic.

The quiet night of studying I had originally planned has changed. And with being tired already this post is most likely going to be a bit all over the place.

The morning started off well. I didn’t get as much sleep as I most likely should have but I was ok with that fact. I got enough to sleep to make it through the day and I enjoyed the time I had with Ox last night. With the sadness I’ve been contending with and my period, and his head cold… there hasn’t been much in the way of sexual interaction.

It’s not a bad thing. It’s not like I think our relationship is ruined or in dire straights or anything like that. It’s just how things have been playing out for us recently, and I’m very aware that “recently” doesn’t leave much in the way of data since we’re still under the two-month mark.

And actually… I paused there for a second to check my calendar. I got home, here, in Nebraska, on February 13th / 14th. So really… today/tomorrow is the one month mark.

I’ve only been here one month…

No wonder things still feel new and mildly overwhelming most days. Putting my timeline into perspective helps me feel less like I’m overreacting. I feel less bad about being tired and sad and… the tangled mass of everything that I am which I still haven’t worked through and which I won’t be able to work through tonight.

Today was my first day of feeling like I was going to work. I know I’ve been at the Capital City clinic for two weeks now, but I didn’t think of that as “my” clinic. I knew it was a temporary thing and it wasn’t where I wanted to be. The team is nice, I’ve already bonded with some of the patients there, but for those two weeks it was holding out in the hopes that I would like “my” clinic more.

And I do already. I enjoy the drive more. I have literally no stop lights on my way to work. It’s mildly annoying driving that early when people leave their brights on, but the drive home was amazing. The sun was out. I was out of work early enough to enjoy it. The only thing that was missing was my sunglasses, but I’ll make sure to not make that mistake again.

I felt a little out of my element for most of the day because I was.

Me: Do you want me to set up that machine?

Me: Do you want me to make needle packs?

Me: Where are the extra cloths?

Me: Where are the band-aids?

Me: What do I do after this step on the machine?

Me: How do you adjust the parameters?”

Once I’ve been there for a few days and get a feel for the new machines and interface I know I’ll be fine. Once I get a flow for how to open the clinic on my own I know I’ll feel better and more confident in myself, but right now I’m back to feeling mildly incompetent. I’m also working with a totally new patient population again so I have the anxiety of, “Oh god. What if I miss the stick and that’s their first impression of me?”

The treatment initiations I did went smoothly, if a bit slow. I thanked each patient for their patience with me, and all of them said it wasn’t a problem. I didn’t get bad vibes from anyone and I do think we’ll all warm up to each other in the coming weeks. The more I’m there the more we’ll get to know each other.

And I have to pause again for dinner…. brb…

*  30 minutes later *

So yeah… I was writing about work…

I’m not as big of a fan of the trainer I was with this morning. She’s nice enough, but I feel I get along better with the other two people I’ve been spending time with. All things considered, it wasn’t bad. And I guess the biggest take away is that I know I’ll get better, It’s just going to take time. By the end of the week, I’ll feel more at home in the clinic. I’ll have a routine down for the drive there and back. I’ll have a better idea of how to close the clinic and what my “normal” go home times will be.

I do like the nurse I’ll be working with. That’s a plus. Like… a huge plus. I also love the person who will soon be my FA. I spent a fair amount of time working with her on the floor last week at Capital City. I think her and I both mesh really well and I’m looking forward to being able to work with her to make our clinic better because I do feel there are a few things that can help make things flow smoother.

Anywho, I didn’t go to the gym today. Mainly because I forgot my gym shoes at home. I forgot to put them in my bookbag when I switched everything over from my gym bag. I’m not going to need my gloves and shinguards for a while, which in a way makes me sad. I miss sparing. I miss my dojo. I miss being able to hit and kick things and pushing myself hard. I miss jumping boxes and flipping tires like a bad ass. I also know I’m not there at this moment and that, for now, all I really need is a backpack, so that’s what I’m going with.

Ox is going to have his kids this coming week since they’re on spring break. They were supposed to be here Tuesday night, tomorrow, which left me tonight to have to myself. I had planned to study. I had planned to write, which I’m glad I’m doing.

Well, we’re going to be getting them tonight instead, which sort of messes stuff up. I have to work tomorrow which means going to sleep early to wake up at 3 am. It’s their vacation. They are not going to want to go to sleep super early and the electronics are in the bedroom. At the time I still didn’t really have my own “away” space in the house to retreat to when / if I began to feel overwhelmed.

Coming home, tired, to the news that his kids were going to be coming over shortly made me feel defeated. I have to study for this test. I have to be ready for another day full of new tomorrow. Another day of pushing my brain to its limits, trying to absorb everything as quickly as possible so I can prove that I’m worth keeping on the team.

I don’t have it in me to get my ass spanked at Minecraft by a seven-year-old in addition to everything else I have to keep going at the moment.

Ox and I have worked it out, though. We cleared a corner in the addition for me and set up a table there for when I need to have my quiet time. I can take the Wonderboom speaker Big Bad got me for my birthday and listen to music. I can study there without kicking the kids out of the room. I can use the Surface as long as it has a charged battery. I can cross stitch, and there’s a part of me who wants to take a puzzle out there to work on because I’ve been wanting to work on a puzzle since I’ve gotten here.

I know the closet where my computer is set up is my space, but that corner is more of a safe space at the moment then the closet since I can legitimately be on my own without being a hindrance to anyone.

As the weather warms up and Ox starts feeling better and I begin to spend less energy on settling in, the addition will continue to get cleaned up and worked on. I’ve already spent a day out there, I think it was last week, organizing and throwing things out. That’s why we were able to so easily create the space for me tonight we were able to.

I’m grateful that even though he called out of work today due to being sick that he took the time to make me feel as comfortable as possible. A lot of our situation isn’t ideal, but we’re both making it work as best we can for each other. At least that’s what it feels like.

I have about an hour left before the kids get here and I still need to shower and prep for tomorrow, not that there’s really much prep work to do.

I need to make sure my shoes get into my bag. I should get out of work around 1 pm so I would really enjoy going to the gym before coming home. I want to make sure my scrubs get put out so I don’t have to make a bunch of noise in the morning getting ready.

I want to take my contacts out since I’m home and I no longer have to deal with the day. I want to take my bra off and get into pjs and still enjoy a quiet night, maybe with the cup of hot chocolate I’ve been wanting for days but still have yet to make.

Different doesn’t mean bad. Tonight doesn’t have to be bad.

I’m worried that not wanting to do much with the kids means that I’m a bad person or will, potentially, be a bad parent, but this is another layer of new that I’m having to adjust to. I’ve never been in this situation before. Big Bad had kids but he kept me separate from them.

I haven’t had years to learn how to be a parent. I’ve sort of thrown myself into this situation and now I have to figure out how to fill this role. The past weekends the kids have been here have been a nice, slow progression. The first weekend I had the hotel room so after spending a few hours at home I would drive away and spend the night at the hotel. I wasn’t staying at the house with them.

This past weekend we talked to both kids and they were ok with me staying at the house while they are there. They enjoy spending time with me, and, as far as we know, they both like me.

This is going to be a week of no break. This is going to be the closest to being a parent I have ever been and there’s part of me who’s terrified. I don’t know how to do this.

It’s reassuring knowing that Ox thinks I’m handling things well, and it’s a bit easier to see myself surviving knowing that I have a quiet spot to go to when I need to. I could take the kitchen drawers out with me and paint them. I could cross stitch, or draw, or continue to pick through and organize things in the addition.

There’s more than just me being trapped inside of a room connected to the living room where everyone hangs out. I have a place where I can not be in the way.

I don’t know. I think things will be ok. I think I have a better shot of doing this “right” then I did when I first got home.

And with that, I’m going to go so I can shower and do the things I need to do before studying and going to sleep.

I know there’s still a lot about “The Great Before” that I need to write about. My 21-hour drive from Orlando to Nebraska, my first weeks here, all the things I have and haven’t done…

After a month of being here, I’m finally at my home clinic. After a month of being here, I have a quiet spot. After a month of being here, I no longer feel awkward moving around the house. I don’t feel awkward pouring myself a glass of milk or using a container to fill up my water filter.

There’s still a lot of adjusting to do and I know right now my main goal is to survive through March, which is sort of short-sighted of me I suppose since right after March comes April and mom’s death day, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. I need to survive the next two days while studying for my test. It would be nice to feel confident in it.

After my test, it’s surviving the rest of the week of the kids being here. After that, it’s continuing to survive the financial stress of March. April will be hard for its own reasons, but it will also be the point where things start truly evening out and I’m looking forward to it.

Hopefully, I can get back into the trend of writing daily. This has been nice, even if it did get interrupted twice.

 

Daily Post 065: Standing Up

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It has been a lifetime since I have written, and I don’t mean that in an exaggerated sense of the phrase. I mean, literally, since I have last writen a new chapter has unexpectedly begun writing itself.

EVERYTHING is about to change but unlike how things changed when mom died, I want these changes. I feel like this is the change needed to finish becoming who I’m supposed to be and I realize that most all of the people in my life won’t understand or agree with it, and I’m ok with that.

This is another moment of writing for myself, regardless of who reads my blog. This is my life, my thoughts, and I won’t change the picture of it by omitting events or feelings. I won’t skew myself, misrepresent the person I am. I won’t dishonor this space by pretending that things did or did not happen the way they did.

My week away was decent. I spent most of the time playing World of Warcraft with my brother. I have a level 110 mage. Her item level is in the 870s. I’m getting back into the groove of the game and I like most of the changes that have been made. Not all… but most.

Monday, the 18th, started my week. Really, in hindsight, I suppose it was the start of this change even though I didn’t know it at the time.

I woke up early to take my car in for repairs. I was able to find the drop off location with relative ease. I only had to U-turn once in morning rush hour traffic. Hooray.

The woman handling my claim is extremely nice. She even took a look at the damage and gave me her opinion. After crawling on the ground to look under the bumper she said both wheels were straight so there most likely wasn’t any real structural damage from the accident. It “should” be all cosmetic.

I was given a rental car to use until my car is repaired. It’s an Accent. It’s a bit bigger than my car but I actually really like it. If I ever feel the need to trade in my car or get a new one an Accent is definitely up there on my list to try out.

Since I was in the area I wanted to figure out the remaining issues with school. First I needed breakfast, though. I knew of a Cracker Barrel not far from where I was. I decided to get over my anxiety of driving a new car that didn’t belong to me and get some coffee in my system. It would also give me a chance to battle plan out my day.

I was looking forward to how things felt like they were going go.

On my way to breakfast, I received a text message. It was from Mother Earth. She had read my blog about the car accident. Her comment hurt. She quoted part of my previous blog post to me, the part where I say I was glad I wasn’t injured and I was able to message the people I care about to let them know I was ok.

Mother Earth: Good to know.

I hadn’t messaged her and her words felt like a slash mark across my chest. It’s a cold feeling. Metalic. I can still feel where it is. It’s in the same place as when she got upset at me about dating Zane. The same place where she told me to never message her again because of the blow up with Josh.

I read that message and felt defeat. I still do. It took a few minutes to know what I wanted to do, to say. It felt like nothing would be good enough, right enough. I had already failed and any sort of justification would just intensify that failure.

I replied explaining that I had messaged three people, though after reflection on it, after stepping back from the quickness of my reply, I realized it was four. I messaged Jon first, letting him know that way if I ended up not being ok at least he would be able to sound the alarm. I then messaged both of my roommates in case I needed help transportation wise, and again, to sound the alarm if needed. Once everything was squared away and I had already completed my journey to work I called my older brother.

That’s it.

I didn’t call my dad. I didn’t call Big Bad or my blacksmith. I didn’t call Sir, or my uncles, or my cousin, or Allison. There was no need to call anyone else and tell them, “Hey, I’m ok. I know that you think this is a big deal and you want to do something, but it’s really not a big deal, my day is unchanged, and there’s nothing you can do. K. Thanks. Bye.”

I made a post on Facebook. I wrote about it on my blog because it happened. As far as my inconvenience level it was actually mildly convenient to get hit because it forced me to be in the vicinity of school at an early enough hour to get shit done.

I had already moved past it, the car accident, much like you move past the annoyance of brushing your teeth in the morning.

But that’s not how it stayed. This is the second time my blog has caused drama in my life. The second time it has been read and actions have occured because of that writing.

Sitting in my car, holding my phone, seeing a message that felt like our effort and time meant nothing left me with a choice to make.

What did I want to do?

And my answer, inside of my head, was nothing.

I am not going to apologize for how I handled this situation. I’m not going to… I don’t know what…

I’m not going to be responsible for someone else’s emotions. And I wasn’t going to open myself up to what felt like more hurt and discord when it was two days away from my birthday. Two days away from an agonizing reminder that mom is dead.

I replied saying who I had messaged, what was going on with the car, and that though I was feeling fine if I started to have pain I would go to the hospital.

She replied with I knew my body best and we haven’t spoken since then.

I’m not sure what else to say on the subject. I know the rest of my writing is going to affect at least two people who read this post very deeply if they read it before I talk to them, but this is my journal, my diary. This is where I figure all of my shit out. I NEED to figure things out before I talk to people and I have a right to my emotions, just like they have a right to theirs.

I’m not going to let the possibility of them reading this before I talk to them change what I write or when I post. I post once I’m done because I don’t know if I’ll get the chance to afterward. I post in the moment because these words, my words, belong in the moment they were created, not later when things have changed and progressed.

So yeah… A text message was the second major event of my week off and it wasn’t even past 11am of the first day.

I continued to Cracker Barrel. I had my breakfast. I figured out the hours and locations for the departments I needed to be at for the school tasks I wanted to complete. I went and got my ID made. I got my textbooks, finally, since the bookstore never called me back. Shitty service guys. I called twice. : /

I was going to get the parking decal for my car but I didn’t have the registration, nor did I know my license plate number so I decided to save that for a different day.

I did spend the evening with Big Bad. He cooked dinner. While he had been on his fishing trip, which he returned from sans shark attack, he caught a grouper. It was the largest fish caught that day so he won a pool he and his coworkers had going. It was a tasty meal. We had sexy time before going to sleep however for the first time in a while I didn’t sleep well next to him. I don’t remember why, but I remember that I had been hoping to feel better, more connected, but I didn’t.

It was still two days until my birthday. Even though I was with someone I cared about, things still sort of sucked.

I don’t remember all of the details from there. Things get hazy but then, there’s really not much to say. I didn’t train at all during my week off. I didn’t donate plasma, either. I played Warcraft and slept and hung out with my brother.

Wednesday, was the 20th, my birthday. My blacksmith came over for a few hours before he went to work. It was good to see him. We had sex but in all honesty, we spent most of our time cuddling/sleeping.

He asked if I was ok, to which I replied yes. He said he knew I was strong but was I really ok. I again said yes, that I was fine.

Me: I promise.

I didn’t feel connected, though, and there was nothing either of us could have done to change or fix that. I wanted mom but that connection can never be what it was. It’s not wrong. It simply is.

I had been fine-ish for most of the day, but I began hurting when he got up to leave to go to work. It’s like by the act of him leaving I realized I was alone.

I didn’t feel used, but I didn’t feel good, either. Much like how I didn’t feel better from my time with Big Bad.

I got back on WoW because I had told my brother I would, but I didn’t stay on all that terribly long. We did a few things with guildmates, Jon and I talked a bit in Discord, and then I went to bed.

I didn’t cry much that night and that’s something I will acknowledge. I didn’t cry as much as I thought I would that week.

The 20th is the first day that I really started interacting with Ox. That’s his Chinese zodiac sign, so that’s his code name. He’s wood ox actually and so yes, I do make jokes in reference to trojan horses sometimes.

Anyway, I’m sure you can see where this is going…

We’ve spent roughly three hours each day since then talking to each other and neither of us knows why. We can’t explain it. We can’t find the logic in it.

What I do know is that in the next few months, as soon as feasibly possible, I will be moving to Nebraska.

Am I moving there because of him?

Yes.

And no.

I don’t want to stay in Orlando. I don’t want to stay at my job. I don’t want to stay at the apartment. I don’t want to have the roommates I do. And being completely honest with myself, I don’t want to be a nurse.

I don’t know what I want, but I want to figure it out and the pervasive feeling through this whole season was stagnation. The feeling that I can’t move forward here. I’m stuck here. I’m screwed here. I’m surrounded by reminders here.

Is my choice to leave stupid?

I don’t know. I haven’t done it yet. I don’t know what the repercussions will be for my actions.

I know that it feels right. It feels like there’s less resistance, less friction following this unexpected direction then staying here in Orlando.

My question for myself, the one I always ask when I’m not sure what choice to make; If I were to die tomorrow would I regret not doing this?

Yes.

My answer is yes.

I would regret not doing this. I would regret not seeing what’s about to happen. Even if I crash and burn and crawl back beaten and bloody and broken, I would be content knowing I did what I wanted to do. It didn’t work, but at least I can die knowing I tried.

There are things I/we want to take care of before I do move. We have both said, “within the year”, but what we’re aiming for is within the next three months.

On my end, there’s the issue of school. My certifications. Finding a job. Finding a place to live. Leaving my friends. Leaving my lovers. Moving what little I have and figuring out what exactly it is I want to take with me.

There is a lot that goes into this decision and I am working through all of the aspects and doing the research for it as I go. I’m asking deep questions and I am being brutally honest with my answers.

I know parts of this choice are going to be painful. Big Bad and I just spent an afternoon together where he gave me a birthday present with a card that brought me to tears.

It hurts knowing that this choice will hurt him. I love him. I want for him to be ok and for this to not damage him and I don’t know if it won’t.

I know there’s more I most likely should/want to write about but this writing was interrupted by a phone call and now I’m not sure where I am within the writing or where I want to go, and really, all of this is a lot in itself. Maybe ending it, for now, is the best course of action so I can come back later and work through all of the many different parts one at a time.

I have set it within my mind that I am leaving. I’m leaving to go live in essentially what is a forest. I’m leaving to have the space and distance and solitude that I have craved for so long. There is a person involved but it’s more that he showed me this area exists and that, with work, it’s possible for me to get there.

I will be there. And as I find time to write, which I know I need to make more time for, I’ll work through everything that comes with this decision.

I think I know what this coming year will be for me. I wasn’t sure before, but now… now I think I know. I will leave this broken, empty, dusty den of what used to be and I will fly away to make a new one, my own nitch which I carve myself without approval or guidance. I am no longer a fledgling dragon and I will prove it to myself.

I need change if I am to continue to grow the way I feel I’m meant to.

This will be my year of standing up.

I had a year where I survived.

I had a year where I have become stable.

Now it’s time to stand once again and own the person I’m meant to be.

Daily Post 053: This Feels Like a Long Post

Standard

A lot has happened in the last week so I’m going to start this off with a bullet list so I can remember to write about everything.

Apartment – Fight with Warren, K moving in
Social Life – Big Bad, Blacksmith, Mother Earth, Nicole
Work – Certification, Praise from RN
Workout – Yoga, Running, Jumping, and a Busted Knuckle
School – Because that’s a thing

Alright.

So…

The apartment…

I mentioned in my last post that Warren and I got into a spat. We still haven’t spoken to each other. I think he purposely ignored my messages on Facebook last night asking for the printer, but that’s fine. I went into his office this morning and got it myself. I’m not going to let the silent treatment prevent me from printing papers for college. If he didn’t want me in his space he should have given me my printer when I asked for it.

I guess it was Wednesday last week. I worked that night. A sixteen-hour shift. I swept up dog fur and vacuumed on Sunday. I had also cleaned the kitchen. I was frustrated to come home and find dirty dishes in the sink with Warren not home because he was out hanging with his new girlfriend.

On top of going out to play before being what I consider an adult, I happened to look at my bank account for the first time in a while.

Warren hasn’t paid rent for the past three weeks.

The agreement, now that his job pays him weekly, is that every paycheck he makes a payment of $150.

He’s given nothing in three weeks and didn’t tell me anything about not paying me.

I was beyond pissed and betrayed feeling after finding that out in addition to still having to do his dishes.

I made myself a drink and sulked in the dark living room for a while. I had work the next day but was too spun up to sleep. Fuming silently seemed like a better investment of my time.

Warren ended up coming home while I was still in the living room. He asked if I was ok. I asked if he had planned to tell me that he hadn’t paid rent in three weeks. He said that hurricane Irma really messed with his finances. He said he had meant to tell me but that he kept forgetting. I said he could have sent me a text. He said it was something he wanted to discuss in person.

I asked him why I should renew the lease with him. In a solid year, he has yet to pay rent reliably and still doesn’t take care of his own responsibilities even though he’s repeatedly told me he would. What benefit is there for me to be his roommate?

He said he was sorry and that I would get my money. He went off to the kitchen and started doing whatever he did. I went up to my room and cried my eyes out because I was so frustrated.

Here I am, again, in a shitty living situation with a guy. Doesn’t matter that he’s not my significant other. I’m owed $8k and all of the promises of “I’ll pay you back” are still empty words that mean nothing.

Later that night I got a text message saying I would have “my money” by the end of the month. As of right now I still haven’t been paid.

I sent a reply to his text message.

Me: Tonight wasn’t about money. Tonight was about how I’ve told you since you’ve moved in to just let me know what’s going on and you still leaving me in the dark. It’s about me finally getting to the breaking point where I’m done feeling like I’m being used. If you’re not going to pay rent reliably then at least sweep and vacuum up the dog fur. Or load the dishwasher with the dishes. If you have enough energy to get a new car and go out with people then you have five minutes to clean up after yourself before you go have fun.

I didn’t get a reply to my message until the following day at work. Warren sent me a novel of a message through Facebook saying I’m a hypocrite and dropping curse words all over the place.

Since I haven’t been able to think of anything nice to say to him I haven’t said anything at all. As far as I’m concerned at the moment he can go burn in hell.

I’m not his mother. I’m not going to remind him, weekly, that he has a dog. He’s had one for at least four years. Long before moving in with me. He doesn’t “forget” to feed Burno. He doesn’t forget to take the dog outside to use the bathroom. “Forgetting” that his dog shreds like a German Shepard is an excuse to be lazy.

I’m not going to say, “Now, Warren. Remember to sweep the hallway. And don’t forget to brush your teeth before you go to sleep.”

He’s an adult. Just like me. No one reminds me to pay my car insurance on time. Or to make sure I clean Scarlet’s litter box. I’m not going to make sure he “adults”.

Fuck that. He’s older than me. Get your shit together or find someone who’s willing to have a man-child.

So that’s where we’re at. My friends don’t curse at me. My friends don’t use hurricanes as excuses to not tell me “oh, by the way, that money you needed to pay the power and internet bill, you know, those things I use for work, I’m not going to give you”.

I had to go out and buy provisions for the hurricane, too. That didn’t make it ok for me to not pay bills. That still had to get done. And the hurricane didn’t last for three weeks. Zero fucks given about whatever “reasons” he has.

We’re both in victim mentalities right now I think. Me with, “he’s not being fair,” and him with, “she’s a hypocritical bitch.”

I’m fine with that. I’ve been doing the dishes and taking out the trash on my own and you know what? The apartment looks the way I want it to without having to wait on someone else to hold up their end of the agreement.

I’ve had less stress at home this past week then I have for a while and it’s mainly because I’ve stopped caring. I’ve come to the conclusion that I can rely on Warren to be unreliable. With that mentality, I’ve let go of a lot of things. At the moment I’m ok with renewing the lease, mostly because I don’t have a choice.

Karen and I are meeting tonight for her to sign the application. That should be squared away by next week. Then it will be a matter of getting Warren to “make time” in his ever so busy schedule to vacate the two smaller rooms and move into the master bedroom.

Yes, I am still in bitch mode. I know he’s going to have “anxiety” over moving stuff around, and our schedules aren’t going to line up, and it’s going to end up being a clusterfuck that I take care of on my own. If it doesn’t go that way then at least I can be pleasantly surprised. If not then at least I’m not disappointed. That whole reliably unreliable thing…

So that’s the developments with the apartment. Fun times.

On to my social life…

Things with Big Bad are going well. We spent last night together. Last week there was a development that added another dimension to our relationship; the addition of consensual non-concent play. We’ve always had an element of BDSM in our dynamic but this was something we / I have stayed away from. Even with my blacksmith, I haven’t really done anything with it, mostly because I still have flashbacks sometimes.

The experience I had with Big Bad was amazing and something we both enjoyed and though I don’t think I’m cured or anything it is liberating to be able to explore this side of myself again after so long. It’s been four, maybe even five years now.

BDSM rape fantasies aren’t something you can talk about with most of the populace, let alone role play with a partner. It feels like we’re closer. There’s a level of acceptance between us that is more solid than it was before last week.

We don’t think either of us is a weird, sick fuckup for getting enjoyment from each other. It works for us and we’re the only people it has to work for because we’re the only people in our relationship.

I keep waiting for my relationship with him to have some horrible flaw that cripples us, but there hasn’t been one in over a year and it doesn’t feel like one is on the horizon. I’m just so used to there being one that the lack of one feels foreign, almost wrong.

So far things are good, though. Beyond good. They’re stable and warm and caring and supportive and everything I had given up on finding after Zane and I broke up.

My blacksmith is going through a lot right now. I don’t remember if I wrote about it or not. They found a growth. It’s non-cancerous. He’s on medication for the next three months to get rid of whatever it is. I don’t have details. I know the medication makes him sick and that he has to fight through exhaustion while still working doubles at work.

A tree fell on part of his house during Irma. One of the house’s bathrooms, closets, and part of the back patio are messed up, but none of the living spaces were damaged. Insurance is supposed to cover everything. Until it does part of his house is boarded up.

I don’t know when we’ll be able to see each other again. I’m guessing not for a while. Four months at least. Enough time for the medication to hopefully work. I’m not sure what will happen if it doesn’t.

It’s humbling. I left my previous career partly because I spent two weeks in a hospital holding my mom’s hand. Two weeks of sitting there with a Bachelor’s of Science and being unable to do anything other than worry.

Here I am, in the medical field, and I still wouldn’t have been able to do anything during the biopsy. I still can only sit and wait and be patient and hold my shit together even though all I want is to be told that things are ok. That they will be ok. That nothing bad is going to happen.

But that’s not how life works. No one can promise that because no one has that type of control. Those words are a lie and I refuse to tell them to myself and even though other people say them to me I don’t allow them in. I don’t accept lies.

I say things like, “It will work out how it’s supposed to,” and maybe that’s just as messed up. Maybe that’s just another lie.

It’s the one I listen to though. It allows me to accept that I don’t have control. I don’t have control over what is happening or what will happen. All I can do is accept what Life deems “right”. It doesn’t take away the fear of “this is the end”. The fear of “this is where he’ll release me because he can no longer be my Master.”

It sucks. I know he needs me to be strong. He has enough going on without having to worry about making sure I’m ok, too.

I’m fine, even with the annoyances of work, the apartment, and Life in general. I survived mom’s death. I can survive this. I can survive his death, too, if it comes to that. I know I can. He would want me to.

Mother Earth and I have been doing well. She reads my blog. She mentioned that I don’t write much about when we hang out. I know I haven’t and some of the reasons are intentional while other reasons aren’t.

Part of it is I know other people in our mutual lives read my blog. I don’t know why that has anything to do with anything, but it does. Maybe it’s because I feel like they’ll comment about what I write rather than having a discussion with me.

Part of it is a lack of writing in general. The days I’m able to write are often long after Mother Earth and I have spent time together, and so the more imidate things on my mind are not our moments together. They’re also not moments that I feel I need to work through. I mean, there are emotions, and there’s still stuff in our past I need to make peace with, but overall I feel accepted and restored when we’re together. Our moments help keep me sane and mostly stable. They’re also something I want to hold close to myself, like a precious piece of something that isn’t meant for everyone. It’s mine and it’s ok for it to stay that way; to not be shared.

She’s my Mother Earth and I’m her Earth Dragon and nothing further needs to be explained to anyone.

I do feel like she gets the short end of the stick when it comes to my social life. Big Bad is actually the only one I am consistent with. The only one I make a real effort to work my schedule around for. Other than that I spend all of my time trying to train at the gym or working. Other social obligations feel just like that, like obligations.

I know Nicole wants to spend more time with me. She messaged me just this morning wanting to go to the beach and all I can think of is how I would much rather NOT go. I could sleep instead. I could spend all of that time not traveling. I could save all of that money instead of spending it.

The pros for the trip do not out-weight the cons for me and so I find myself extremely reluctant to take steps to make it happen. I don’t really want to drive the hour to visit her either which isn’t fair.

Nicole likes being in my neck of the woods more, so it hasn’t been an issue, but I’m aware of the imbalance in our relationship. I don’t drive to see her. I don’t go out of my way to “hang out” even though I enjoy our time together.

I feel like it’s similar to Mother Earth. We have this relationship, this dynamic, whatever it is, and yet I’m not sure I’m fully present for it.

I am present when we’re together, but I’m so focused on my calendar; when can I train, how early to I have to be to work, will I be able to squeeze in grocery shopping…

And now I’m looking at adding school into the mix. Is any of this fair to the people in my life? I want to do the things I want to do, but that doesn’t leave much time for downtime where I can recover, or social time for anyone else.

It’s something I need to meditate on and figure out. I don’t want to add scheduled date nights onto my calendar but I’ve already done that for one person, so not doing it for others seems unfair. And none of this even touched on the topic of spending time with my younger brother or figuring out traveling for the holidays or what to do for Thanksgiving this year since last year sucked as far as my vote goes.

Blarg. Overall I think I’m doing alright with my social life and that it’s really just stuff I need to figure out for myself. No one is putting pressure on me. It’s all inside of my own head.

Work is going well. I got a text message from my boss earlier this afternoon saying the census will be low tomorrow and to take the day off. Don’t mind if I do. I was looking at four days this week, three of them being 16-hour shifts. I’m cool with not working one of those.

I’m going to begin studying for my certification. I also will be going back to school and there’s reimbursement from the company I need to look into since I’m most likely going to be going for a Nursing degree…

Yeah… I know… more on that later I promise.

I’ve officially been out of training for three months. That’s a nifty feeling. I still haven’t heard about when I can take the CVC class or when I’m allowed to actually take the certification, but I’ll be prepared for that day whenever it ends up being.

There was one particular moment this week at work that I want to reflect on. I’ve written about this particular patient before. Mr. A. He’s the patient who didn’t want to come into the center for his treatment. The one I hugged and told him I hoped he felt better. The one who said the reason he came inside was so he could see me.

Mr. A is awesome and he’s one of the patients I enjoy seeing even though other people I work with would describe him as “needy”. He asks for a lot of stuff. He likes the interaction. He likes to talk and do magic tricks like pulling a dollar bill out of his hat. I don’t know why but I like him and he’s one of the people I don’t mind doing things for because I like seeing him smile. I like making him feel like there’s still good stuff in the world to experience, even if it’s just a simple cup of coffee that I bring for him while he’s on the machine.

Mr. A used to be a CVC patient, but his fistula has been deemed mature enough to use for his dialysis treatment. That means he has to be cannulated with 15 gauge needles.

I don’t care who you are, getting stabbed sucks.

He didn’t want to have the needles for his treatment. He wanted to use the CVC. I explained that we could use the CVC but that it had more risks associated with it and that the better option would be to use the fistula even though it hurt more in the beginning.

He said he would do it for two cups of coffee. I smiled and said we had a deal. One cup for each needle.

He said ok. I could use the fistula then but to try to make it not hurt. I put my hand in his and squeezed, saying I would do my best not to. We were quiet for a second as I held his hand. I was debating saying something further. Should I say it or not? Should I keep going with the procedure or be vulnerable, too?

I decided to be vulnerable.

Me: It hurts me, too, Mr. A.

I said it in a small, quiet voice. I could feel the tears stinging my eyes because it does hurt me. It makes my heart seize every time I see one of my patients flinch in pain as I insert a needle. And I have to do it, not once, but twice. I have to hurt them. I’m paid to hurt them, and thinking of it in those terms makes me feel like the shittiest human being.

I squeezed Mr. A’s hand again before setting up what I needed for the procedure. I felt his arm before I cleaned the area. His fistula is a little deep, but not too bad. It feels solid; like it won’t roll much. I can tell it’s fairly new with how small it feels in comparison to some of the patients who have had their fistulas for years.

I had a moment of self-doubt. Maybe I should call someone else over. Maybe I wasn’t the right person to do this. What if I fucked up?

No. I would do this. I would try. I know I’m not the best, but Mr. A agreed to use the fistula because I was his tech. This was my procedure, my patient, and I wouldn’t let him down.

I took a deep breath as I stretched the skin on his arm. I said a silent prayer to Freya asking for my aim to be true and inserted the needle. I let out my breath as I saw flack back within the needle line. I was in. I advanced the needle. It went smoothly. I secured the needle with tape and allowed myself in inhale again as I stood back up.

Mr. A: Is it in?
Me: Yep. Only one more to go.
Mr. A: That didn’t hurt at all. You know how to treat a man.

I smiled an uncontrollable smile. He’s too cute sometimes. The second needle went in just a smoothly. Again, Mr. A mentioned how it didn’t hurt “too bad”. I completed the procedure and got his treatment started.

Mrs. Flo, the RN I’ve written about before, the one who’s approval is the end-all be-all to my medical career, came up to me afterward and congratulated me.

Mrs. Flo: Very, very good.

I know Mr. A can be a handful. I know he almost always refuses to come in for his treatments, or constantly asks for things, but I don’t mind. I don’t mind listening to him and letting him know that I hear him. I don’t mind taking an extra 10 minutes to get him on the machine if it means I can hold his hand and admit for the first time to someone that it hurts me, too.

It filled me with pride to know Mrs. Flo had been watching and that she approved of how I handled the situation. It made me feel even though I might still mess up that I’m doing well. Her approval means so much more than anyone else’s I’ve received so far. I’ve got this.

So that’s work. It’s going well and I’m hoping for it to continue to improve. We just requested our days for the new schedule. I should be capped at three days, and with the changes I made to my tax information I should be alright for a little bit; even better once I get my certification and the dollar increase to my wage.

Onward to talking about workouts. : D

I’m pretty sure I typed about the yoga class I did last week. It was awesome. I enjoyed it. It met the quota of “at least one yoga class a week”. I failed hardcore on the running aspect, though, so that was kind of lame.

Part of it was I went to dinner with Mother Earth and Josh one of the nights I was supposed to run. The other was I didn’t push through my tiredness on the other night. No one to blame but myself.

Yesterday I went to Title Club Boxing instead of the dojo. Since Big Bad and I had plans for the evening I felt it would be better to go there since they have a shower and are already halfway to his place.

Since at the time I was waiting for Warren to not be a dick and to give me the printer, I decided to go to what was listed as a “technique” class. It ended up being more of a boot camp conditioning class. I was ok with that. It was 30 minutes of intense workout and super fun. I stayed for the boxing class afterward which was an additional hour.

Once it was done I showered then went to Big Bad’s. It wasn’t until this morning that I really noticed the first knuckle of my right index finger. It hurts-ish. More a low level of discomfort than real pain. There’s a popping / grinding feeling whenever I curl my fingers and if I extend my finger out like if I’m pointing at someone, I can feel a sharpish edge of something poking into my skin. It’s swollen in comparison to my other index finger and I can see a difference in how the skin folds when my finger is extended…

Yeah… not cool bro.

After reading different articles online and talking with my trainer I plan to wait and see what happens. A lot of things say it’s most likely inflammation and overuse, not like I was using it all that much aside from my one boxing class in weeks…

I can tell the swelling has gone down as the day’s progressed. I plan to get some ibuprofen while I’m at the store since that was something mentioned in the forums. If the pain increases or if it doesn’t continue to get better as the days progress I will, undoubtedly, go get it looked at. I want to see if my body can take care of itself first. If I were in more pain I would be more worried. At the moment I’m being cautious.

My workout with L today was awesome. She’s very supportive of me gearing up to be back in school (again, more on that later). When I mentioned my knuckle she looked at it and told me modifications I could during my workout so I wouldn’t have to grip things as much.

Next Tuesday she’s going to have me try jumping the red box… that escalated faster than I thought it would. She’s confident I can do it. She said I’m clearing the blue box with a fair amount of room to spare. She said jumping the red box is more of a mental hurdle than a physical one. Physically I can do it. Mentally I need to tell myself I can do it rather than looking at it like an impossible task. But it’s the red box… >.<;

I can tell my core is continuing to improve. I could tell last night at Title Club while I was throwing hooks how I’m able to generate more power within my torso. It’s a cool feeling. It’s also helping me with the plyometrics L is having me do. I’m able to do the core workouts better, for longer, and faster; definitely with less of an “I’m dying please kill me” feeling.

I also happened to dig out my long sleeved stuff to see what would fit this year. Two shirts I’ve kept since I graduated high school fit me again. Actually, one of them I was never able to wear. I bought the shirt while I was working as a stocker at JCP. At the time I had been working on losing weight and it was my “reward” shirt. A super pretty, deep purple oriental type shirt with long flowing sleeves.

I was able to fit into it for the first time last night. I don’t know when I’ll wear it out. I want it to be for something special. I want to feel pretty while I wear it. Makeup and everything. No icky faded hair. Nope. Fresh dye, eyebrows waxed. The whole nine yards.

I’ve waited six years to wear this shirt. I’m going to make sure I’m the hottest thing this side of the sun when I go out in it.

That’s it as far as working out goes. Trying not to fuck up my body too much while still making progress. I still need to sign up for the Spartan race. Before I do that I need to make sure Big Bad really would be ok with me running without him. He has his daughter’s that weekend and wouldn’t be able to go with me. More meditation is required.

The last thing to talk about is school. Not that I haven’t written a small novel already.

So school has changed a bit, again.

I applied to Seminole State College. I found out Monday, yesterday, that I was accepted. I dropped a pretty penny on getting copies of all of my transcripts. I had copies sent to the college, but also to myself since I’m tired of not having that information when I need it. I mean really… who remembers and/or cares about exact day of their graduation? >.<

That’s essentially six transcripts I had to pay for. I guess it’s worth it. I mean, if it gets me to where I want to go then I’m cool with it, and it will be nice to have “unofficial” copies to keep in my “box of important stuff”.

I was looking further into the Sports and Exercise Science degree and realized that it’s a transfer degree to UCF’s Bachelor’s program, so I wouldn’t really be getting what I want for a while… Lame…

That got me thinking this morning though… Maybe I should do the Associate RN degree first since a lot of the classes for the Nursing and Sports and Excercise Science degrees crossover.

That would let me vertically move within the company, or potentially leave for something else, while still working towards my SECD (sports and exercise science degree because there’s no way I’m going to type that out every time).

That would give me time to figure out if I really want to pursue another Bachelor’s degree. I’m pretty sure I do, but I’m also pretty sure I want to make more money while I do it. Basically, after getting my RN degree, I would do the SECD. After completing the degree at Seminole State I would transfer into UCF I would be a junior. I would be in the Human Performance path and I would be working towards a minor in fitness training.

I finished the application process for the college so now it’s really just a waiting game. I get to talk to my advisor next Tuesday. That’s where I’ll be able to really battle plan everything out. I want to see if I can take one of the B Session classes this fall. That’s essentially a fast forward class. Instead of taking 16 weeks and doing a full semester. I would only be doing about 6 or 8 weeks for the class. If I could get through English II or another Gen Ed that would be nice. Go ahead and get it out of the way.

I’ll be finding out what, if any, of my previous classes, transfer on Tuesday as well. I’m hoping for at least two. Four or more would be better but Full Sail is lame with how they label their classes so my Public Speaking and Physics might not count.

I applied for financial aid though I’m not expecting to get much if anything. Right now all if it is “wait and see” so since that’s the end of what I have to write about I guess I’ll go ahead and get going to I can grocery shop and do the cooking before meeting Karen tonight.

Life is going, some areas of it smoother than others, but I’m pretty ok with how I’m coping. Go me.

Daily Post 045: So Good

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I was home.

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

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

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

 

Daily Post 044: On The Mend

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It hasn’t been the worst five days, but it hasn’t been the best either.

It started with Thursday evening, just after work.

Big Bad and I had made plans for the evening. It had basically been my “light at the end of the tunnel.” You know. That one thing you’re looking forward to, so all the minor little annoyances through the week aren’t that bad because this one epic good thing is going to happen.

Only it didn’t happen.

I got out of work, got into my car, and sent a text message asking if we were still good for the evening.

Big Bad: Not tonight. Saturday?

That brought me up short. Like, mental functions came to a screeching halt because what do you mean not tonight? What happened? Why did it change? As an introvert, I’m all about canceled plans but only when I’m the one to cancel them or when it’s something I don’t want. I wanted this. This was what made waking up at 2 am and not breaking down in front of patients worth it. This was my reward, my recovery. This was my one epic good thing.

Why did it change?

But there was no explanation. To be fair I didn’t ask why. I said I would have to look at my calendar to make sure I wasn’t double booking myself but I didn’t ask why. I don’t really feel like it’s my place to ask why I guess. If he wanted me to know he would have told me. But he didn’t tell me and so my brain is still left to its own conclusion.

Maybe he was tired. Maybe something happened with his mom. Maybe it’s another girl since we’re in an open relationship. Maybe he had a shitty day at work. The reasons are pretty endless and in the end, really don’t matter. Our plans changed, or at least what he wanted his plans to be changed, and so this is where we’re at.

I was hurt and on some levels still am, though since time has passed, not as much as I was.

It felt like being stood up though and that sort of sucked. So that’s how I spent Thursday night, alone, at home, drinking Strong Bow and watching the new Power Ranger movie finally, which was actually pretty epic in its own right. I mean, how can watching an illegal download of Power Rangers while you’re intoxicated not be badass?

Friday was hard. It was mom’s birthday. Would have been her birthday if she were alive but she’s not so it seems sort of silly to me to celebrate it. I acknowledged the day. My brothers acknowledged it. Several of our close family friends reached out to us, but that was it.

I respect the day for what it meant, but the day I honor now is her death day.

That doesn’t mean Friday didn’t hurt. It did. Warren tried being playful with me a few times only to be thoroughly shut down. I ended up apologizing to him while he was in the kitchen. I hugged him from behind while he was putting his lunch in the microwave and said I was sorry for being bitchy, that it was mom’s birthday and that the day sort of sucked.

He held my arms around him and said it was ok and that he wasn’t letting go. We talked like that for a while, my head against his shoulder blades since he’s so much taller than me. I giggled and laughed even as tears were running down my cheeks. It helped me feel less alone. I had lunch with David to talk about his logo branding again since we’re back to square one with that, but even with the day not being all that bad I still hurt and drank again that night.

I remember what mom’s birthday was like last year and so I’m glad to say I feel I improved on how I handled the pain. I’m sure as time continues its relentless march I’ll become better, but there was an improvement and I’m proud of that. I watched Fantastic Beasts and Hidden Figures Friday night. Both good movies.

Saturday I still hurt. I still didn’t want to do anything. My blacksmith wanted to meet with a few other people to discuss a DnD campaign. I agreed to meet them at 7 pm. The location chosen was a gamer pub that I’ve been to before. In my head, I had the feeling that going there was a bad idea. If we were even able to get a table on a Saturday evening it would most likely be so packed and loud we wouldn’t be able to hear ourselves think much less discuss our campaign.

Well, apparently it was a Harry Potter weekend event thing at the pub so it was even more packed than usual. I got us in line for a table for six which was a 40-minute wait. In the mean time everyone else had shown up and we talked outside while we waited for our time. 50 minutes later it was still about a 30-minute wait. We decided to go elsewhere for food. Let me dig out my surprised face…

The other couple made it to the sushi place first, followed by me. About 15 minutes later my blacksmith still wasn’t there. I sent a text asking if everything was alright. Before I got a response the other couple decided to leave. I asked if they still planned on being part of the campaign. The guy replied with he wasn’t sure. He would text and let us know.

Irrational Right Brain: So basically you’re saying no, you don’t want to be part of it, you’re just too chicken-shit to say it out loud.

About two minutes after they had left my blacksmith called me saying he couldn’t for the life of him find the sushi place. I said I didn’t know if it was really worth the trouble of him finding it since the other people had just left. He decided to go home instead since he had been called into work later that evening anyway.

So that basically turned into an hour of me wasting my life. I messaged Big Bad to let him know the campaign had fallen through and if he still wanted to hang out that I was able to. About an hour later I got a reply saying he was already heading to bed but that he missed me.

Irrational Right Brain: Yeah… I miss you, too. I miss not feeling alone and stood up constantly.

Rational Brain: You’re not stood up constantly… It’s just a series of unfortante…

Irrational Right Brain: Fuck you! It’s constantly. /pouts in corner

I went back home. On the way, I called Warren and asked him to check the Dr. Pepper that we’ve had for forever to make sure mold wasn’t growing on it. I also told him I was getting a pizza and that he was going to eat it with me while drinking and watching a movie. He didn’t seem all that heartbroken about his assignment.

I got a bottle of Fireball, picked up the pizza, then came home and watched Ghost in the Shell, a live action movie of one of my favorite animes. The movie wasn’t bad. I don’t know why it got such horrible reviews. People suck I guess.

Anyway, that was my Saturday.

Sunday started off alright. I went to Perkins and had breakfast. I enjoyed my cup of coffee while staring out of the window into space. I wasn’t as sad as I had been the previous days but I still didn’t feel at my best.

I was supposed to see Mother Earth but those plans changed to a phone call. I was actually ok with that change. I did stop at a gas station for a pack of cigarettes and a bottle of water before driving to my park where we ended up having a two-hour conversation.

I think a lot of things were aired out. I do think her and I will be ok, but that Josh and I may never fully recover. Having been able to tell my side of the situation and hearing the aftermath of what happened I feel like I was thrown under the bus by him and I don’t think there’s a way to recover from that. You can’t fix feelings of betrayal.

You can explain them, rationalize them, but it doesn’t change the fact that they’re there. The stab wound in my back, the fallout of being labeled a homewrecker, the loss of two of my closest friends for over a year… none of that can be taken back, and they all stem from his actions/explanation. Intentional or not, he didn’t stick up for me when shit was going down is basically the situation.

Instead of defending my name he allowed people to think I was a sleazy skank. It sort of sucks knowing that, but I would rather know than not know.

I was pretty emotionally drained after the conversation but I did manage to go do the grocery shopping along with prepping the food and even going as far as to cook half my meals.

I didn’t do much else for the rest of the day.

Monday is basically a black hole in the world of Jen. It was what I guess I’m going to start referring to as a “heat” day, though to be fair it was something that was building for a while.

I thought about writing a drunken post about it last night but, thankfully or unthankfully, it depends on your perspective, I didn’t and went to sleep instead.

I would say I needed my partners, but need means you would die without it and since I’m still alive I guess it’s not a need, though I can tell I’m still not really my full self so maybe it is a need. I don’t know. Shit like that gets complicated because having shelter is a need but you can go for a while without that. Same with food. Blarg.

I desperately wanted to be touched yesterday. Sexually, affectionately. I wanted my mates and that was the one thing I couldn’t have. Sometimes that makes me depressed. Female ferrets can actually die if they don’t mate while they’re in heat, so the depression thing is something I’ve come to accept. I’ll get sad and feel alone and “woe is me” but eventually it passes. The fuzzy feeling inside of my head and my obsessive thoughts usually go away after going to sleep. My craving for rare steaks and dark chocolate go away and I’m back to my productive self.

Yesterday I wasn’t depressed though. I was frustrated and no matter what I did the irritated feeling wouldn’t go away. Towards the evening I drank again, which didn’t really ease things over but it made me more accepting of my situation. I have two partners and for the past six months, I’ve not been able to be with them when my body craves them most.

Drunk Irrational Right Brain: What the actual fuck is the point of having mates then? /rage

Really if I had written last night I’m sure it would have been a lot of bitching about how society represses female sexuality, how I shouldn’t feel ashamed for actually wanting / needing to get laid, and how frustrating it is to not be able to meet those needs even though theoretically, I should. Maybe also something about wanting it more than once a week or every other week. You know… pretty much what I’m ranting about now so maybe being drunk would have had nothing to do with it. More F bombs, maybe, but looking at it now, that most likely would be the only difference.

Like I said, it was something that was building for a few days. Most likely since Thursday and the sadness of mom’s birthday sort of masking the actual build up.

Today has been the best day so far out of my five-day break from work. I was supposed to work Saturday but my boss actually took that day from me. He wanted to be on the floor to see how the changes we’re making to the patient schedule actually work rather than being told how they work. I actually really respect that about him. I feel like my boss is a true leader rather than a dictator.

I go back to work tomorrow, Wednesday. I also work Friday, but those are the only two days on my schedule this week. Those are 16 hour days, so while at first, I gave myself shit for not having a lot of days, I totally take all of those thoughts back because those are going to be really long days. >.<;

I haven’t been to the gym at all since last Wednesday. The first three days I was ok with. I was emo about my plans being canceled, then I thought it was a good idea to take it easy since it was mom’s birthday and I haven’t had a legit rest day in literally weeks. Then I was in heat and only wanted to be around specific people and destroy anyone/thing that wasn’t those specific people. And now we’re at today.

I had training scheduled for this afternoon but moved it to Thursday instead. I’m not feeling the whole “having an instructor push me” thing. I really don’t want to deal with people still even though my mind isn’t fuzzy anymore. I’ve been way more productive today. I’ve cleaned the kitchen mostly, I’ve done a full load of laundry with plans to wash my sheets since they’re infested with cat fur. The woes of cuddling with Scarlet.

I’m thinking about going to boxing at noon. That’s still tentative. I like the idea better than going to the gym with my trainer and I know I’ll feel better after doing something since I’ve gone almost a week with no form of intense physical exertion. It would let me stop by the store for more tomatoes as well, which I need to finish one of my meals for the week.

There’s a lot of positives for going, but there’s still a larger than normal part of me in the “fuck it” mentality where it really doesn’t matter to me if I go or not. I really just need to state one way or the other and stick with it rather than flipping back and forth because that’s too much energy.

I’m going.

There. It’s done. I have 30 minutes before I need to leave. All I need from the store is tomatoes. Quick in and out, then back home to cook and shower.

I am picking up Mother Earth from work so we can see each other face to face. We both agree small steps should be taken towards mending our relationship. We both agree we’re part of each other, which I feel the ease of which we were able to converse on the phone proves. We both agree that even though we’ve done well this past year and we’ve existed, we haven’t fully lived either and part of that is because of the absence of each other in our lives.

I don’t think it would be good for me to show up to one of their game nights with everyone and pretend that things are normal and fine. I think being slowly reintroduced to the group would be best and that honestly maybe I’ll never be ok with going to a game night or hanging out with the whole group again. I don’t want to see Josh in the group, or alone, or really at all. I think there’s going to need to be a lot of meditation before I can rationally hear his side of why he let things happen the way they happened and even then I, while I might be able to accept it, the damage is done and maybe this distance is a consequence for his choices.

I don’t know.

I do know I’m not ready for it, and that this meeting with Mother Earth is a small step towards what we don’t know. We want each other back in our lives at least as friends, sisters. She’s my Mother Earth and I’m her Earth Dragon.

I have less anxiety over this meeting than I did over the potential meeting of Sunday and the resulting phone call. I think her and I will be ok in whatever capacity we decide to take this to. I don’t need to figure everything else out just yet, so I’m not going to or worry about it at the moment.

I do have slight anxiety over the thought of going back to the dojo. I recognize it, acknowledge it, and I’m doing pretty well at not giving myself shit for it. I don’t know if I’ll go tonight. I guess it depends on how the rest of the day goes. I do plan on working the dojo back into my schedule though now that my arms are fairly healed.

After a few days to a week of going back, I’ll be alright. It’s that initial push back into it that’s going to be rough.

I guess I’ll go for now. I still want to take a quick shower before heading out for boxing.

These haven’t been the best or most productive days, but they haven’t been the worst either. Just got to keep on keeping on.

Daily Post 043: Assessing, Reflecting, and Tattoos

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah… that’s right… heal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I think that’s about it for the moment.

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

She died. End of story.

End of THAT story.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love you, mom. Forever and for always.