Category: Feels

20 years later – growth

Yesterday a friend and I commiserated over life in general. We both still have similar thoughts about belief in a higher something, fate, acceptance of what life throws at you, and that as we age, we just become more ourselves.

This friend and I drifted apart after a key point in my life where I made a decision that she supported but didn’t agree with. We recently reconnected via Facebook. I gladly accepted her request but was still trepidatious. We have had minor, passive interactions in the months since that reconnection.

Maybe this says bad things about me, but I had moved on in my life. She was the one to request the connection. If she wanted to rekindle she would do so in her own way and time. I have a very full life and she is 1000 miles away. We can’t exactly meet up for coffee. I gave her my phone number. She didn’t give me hers. I figured it was up to her to take it from superficial back to something deeper.

Then… then she was in a terrible accident last week. To the point, she was “fighting for her life” according to her sister. That she had a “brain bleed” for several days after the accident. I was saddened. It reminded me of how I had reconnected with another friend and lost her shortly thereafter.

I have been told by others that I have a generous spirit. I let her sister (who seems to be the spokesperson for the family to the public) know that if there is anything I can do, I would. I’m a universal donor – so there is a good chance if an organ was needed I could at least test to see if other factors matched and would gladly give. When a Go Fund Me came up, I gladly and quickly gave what I could.

I was surprised and excited when I received a phone request from my friend. We chatted for a long while. One thing that struck me is how some things had not changed and how lucky I was to have such a good friend returned to me. The other was how… things had not changed. She was on the same path in life that we saw 20 years ago. Her life is still limited the way I feared mine would be had I stayed. (I don’t mean any shade by the limited comment.)

The conversation was like a mirror into another dimension as to what I would have been had I not made some changes to my life. It was a blessing, helping me to appreciate better where I am and that I am glad I made those changes. I am happier and healthier (emotionally, mentally, maybe even physically) than had I not made those decisions.

I am very sad my friend had her accident and the challenges it is putting her through. But I am grateful that it was a “wake up” moment on so many of these levels.

20 years later

Ok, not exactly 20 years, but close enough.

Today I sent an interesting email to my boyfriend. He loves the HBO show West World and is eager for me to catch up before the second season airs so we can watch it together. I got through three episodes before I asked him, “Where is the point to know if it is for me or not?” I was asking because there was just too much dysfunction and power play. There hasn’t been actual rape yet, but enough veiled rape and scenes where it has come very close.

It’s HBO. Of course there is a lot of sex and violence. It’s a given at this point.

As I succinctly told my boyfriend, in West World, despite it being an obvious simulation and fake world. It’s an obvious fiction – all of it, not just the simulation. Yet, it is too close to reality. Shows like Game of Thrones or Dexter or even True Blood  are so over the top fiction that there is a distance.

When I see Delores in the hay, staring up at a man who is towering menacing over her… I don’t see the actor. I stop seeing Delores. Instead I go inside and in my minds eye I feel pinned down, in the dark, begging for it to not happen and it still does.

I know I’ve worked through it many times in many ways. My therapist got me to bring it up at one point and was satisfied with how I responded and where I was with it.

But being triggered – not just squicked but actual PTSD triggering – I have to draw a line in the sand and say no.

I had this debate with myself a few years ago when I watched Jessica Jones. Yeah, having the same first name also made it viscerally real. I think that she fought through and back helped a lot.

Spoiler, in episode three Delores shot a man. I’m not sure if he was real or one of the simulacra. But, it wasn’t enough. I think the breaking point for me was how when one man was standing above her, she flashed back and saw another. It’s way too real in how I experience when triggered.

There are no right answers. Luckily, my boyfriend is so awesome that I’m sure while he will be disappointed that he will understand and stop pushing it on me.

It’s funny how, even when you accept the past, understand that you weren’t at fault, have supposedly healed, that it doesn’t take much to go right back to that mental spot. That span of hours, especially the last 4 of them, are burned into my memory and probably always will be.

Biological clock

Growing up I never thought twice about kids. I loved kids – playing house with dolls evolved into babysitting and volunteering to help in the classrooms of younger kids. I was great with kids and they loved me.

When I was in college, I was stupid. On many levels. And I got pregnant. It was one of the roughest things in my life – to date. Which being damn near 20 years later says something. It didn’t work out for many reasons. The how and why I wrote about once, but this post isn’t about that experience.

Even after that experience I still thought I might have kids in the future. Although, it scared me to the point that I questioned if it was my one chance. Then I fell in love for the umpteenth time and got married. Sadly, that didn’t work out either. And during that marriage and all the adulting and growing I had to do during that time I slowly gave up on the idea of having kids. To the point I was adamantly against having kids.

After the marriage dissolved I dated. I was lucky in that I found guys who for their own reasons also didn’t want kids. But then a ‘what if’ happened. Most likely it was a weird medication related thing, but for a very long 69 days I wondered if I was pregnant again. Of course, during that time frame the guy I had been with for over a year had broken up with me, thus making the situation more stressful. But it awakened in me a need.

Actually several needs. In addition to realizing that maybe I did want to have a kid, I also realized that I had been searching for a long time for belonging. Again, that goes to a lot of deep psychological things over a lifetime that I won’t get into in this post. This other need led me to Judaism. It was here that I found a family and felt so connected and supported like never before (even though many people did their best – from blood family, my exhusband and his family, and others.)

Part of the healing that learning about and practicing Judaism was embracing the idea of kids. Now, there is a double edged sword because being an adult that isn’t a parent or grandparent there are a lot of gaps and salt in wounds that many may not realize. It is never done on purpose. But it stings a lot regardless.

Several months ago I met a guy whom I’ve been dating since. We had the discussion about wanting a serious relationship and kids on the first call he made to me to ask me out for our first date. Bonus that he is Jewish and understands the value and importance that the Jewish community has for kids. I have a feeling this might go somewhere. Of course, it might not, too. I’m still assessing him and he probably is me too. 😉

I have a close friend who went through a lot in trying to have children, many years of pain, frustration, anger, and medical treatments. Luckily, she had her miracles, all three of them. I’ve read many accounts of others regarding their experience with infertility.

I’m already 39. This has so many risks and possible issues inherent with the concept of pregnancy. Even though my guy and I are still early in our relationship each of the past few months I’ve started to notice something. In each of the infertility stories there is talk about the frustration, anger, questioning, etc that accompanies each new period. A reminder that something you want and is getting less likely as time marches on is slipping further away from you. It seriously has started to move me to tears.

This journey has been a very interesting one. No one knows what the future holds. But even when not even trying, it is odd how I am paralleling the emotions of those who have been.

The secret

Last night I had an somewhat fancy event to go to with my boyfriend. It wasn’t just a fancy event, but also an opportunity to meet most of his immediate family. Between the unclear dress code and wanting to impress, I found the perfect outfit and put a lot of effort into looking and being my best.

I was proud of how it all came together, so of course I posted selfies on social media. One of the responses was from my brother, stating that his girlfriend approved (um, what?) and wanted to know my secret. My response at the time was that it was lots of things, but I’m happy to share. So this is sharing.

Many of the things circle back on each other.

The first thing to looking fabulous is being happy. I’ve worked long and hard over many years to resolve all sorts of issues and learn to be my “best self.” Lots of introspection, conversations with family, counseling, etc. I’ve also worked very hard to reach a point in my career where I’m happy with where I am, what I do, and how much I bring in. I’ve gotten to a comfortable place with my investments and cashflow. I’m happy with the people in my life, focusing on those who (for whatever reason) bring me joy and/or support while drifting away (ok, not the best thing) from those who brought out bad things in me or took more than they gave. I love my communities that I actively engage with.

The second thing is feeling good. I’ve spent the last several years slowly working towards being physically healthy. I’ve made HUGE strides in the past year. It seems to have finally found a good balance where I feel phenomenal. I sleep great, I eat great, I’ve found the mix of food, meds, and supplements that I need to be my best. I’m not going to say the specific food plan, exercises, meds, or supplements because I don’t want to give the impression of knowing anything, being a medical professional, or saying something that while it works for me doesn’t for others. No two people have the same needs. Though one thing that makes a big difference is hydration – drinking lots of water, moisturizing, etc.

The third thing is knowing what works for you. I’ve experimented a lot over the years. I’ve gotten to a point I know what colors, cuts, etc. of clothes/styles that work for me. I know how to pull off different looks (hair/makeup) that achieve different ends depending on the situation. I have found specific products that work best for me – both in the moment as well as long term. (Because if it looks great one night but makes you break out the next day is not good!) I’ve learned how to style my outfits that accentuate me best, as well as the outfit too. I’ve found tricks (spanx!) that help to make things look better on me.

It may not be clear, but as one goal is reached, it opened doors for the next goal. It was all interconnected – having the income helped to focus on finding the right accessory or supplement. Feeling happier mentally and emotionally helped me to do more and eat better. Feeling physically better helped me do better in my work and in working through my emotions.

Looking good for an event, an evening, is not about one secret. It isn’t about a fad diet or exercise program or vitamin or article of clothing/accessory. It is a culmination of being your truest and best self, of being happy and healthy.

Disappointment

For many years now I have avoided facebook. Between their privacy violations, intrusiveness, and how damaging it can be to one’s career, let alone relationships with all the drama inherent in its design… I felt it was just easier to not. Then came Daniel. He expressed frustration at how difficult it was to share things with me, especially silly things his family have done.

As Daniel, right now, seems to be pretty awesome and might be a long term thing, I bit the bullet and signed up. I made sure to make things as generic or locked down as possible. Because of how he wanted to keep us being a couple quiet from his family, I initially signed up under my Hebrew name. I managed to screw up doing that, and eagerly waited out the 60 days to fix it. By the time that happened, I had a few connections, posted a wee bit, and decided to fuck it, we can do it under my real name.

Today is a friend’s bday. I’m seeing a TON of well wishes and facebook created videos and such. Recently, a family member of Daniel’s posted about how this was their first bday alone and how their friends stepped up making them not feel alone or lonely. Facebook, for whatever reason, did nothing to recognize my birthday. If it automatically creates things for others, why not mine? Why did my friends not do anything? (Daniel did something awesome, just not on facebook.)

All this then jumped into another thought. I’ve spent many birthdays – and holidays, and time in general – alone. It isn’t something that bothers me much when it is general, but it does for special days. I can’t imagine never having had spent holidays or birthdays alone. It really makes me wonder how much of that is culture, since I came to the Jewish thing late. Goodness knows that if I really wanted to, I wouldn’t have a moment alone again. But it is really hard for me to reach out, to ask.

There isn’t a neat conclusion to all this speculation. Just random thoughts that spin through my head.

Car Crash II

Woke today in LOTS of pain. Called my boss to tell her that after my test I needed to go to the doc. She said just take the whole day off. Because I was seeing the doc, I did not take any pain meds, wanting them to see me without any filters.

Next started a slew of calls accident related. Called body shop to give claim number. Body shop called back saying it was denied as claim was disputed – how did I want to pay? *facepalm* Turns out it wasn’t even reviewed yet by the claim adjuster – who was my next call. After she reviewed the case (she hadn’t even gotten to it yet) she called me back.

The test was hard – between the pain and trouble concentrating, as well as dizzy spells… I’m frankly surprised I passed it, and that I didn’t pass out when walking to/from my car. :disappointed: I had to reread questions a few times because I would space out half way through. (So not me.)

After the test many more calls and such. End result is that the insurance of the guy who hit me is covering everything. Car repair, my medical for 30 days up to $X, and a (very) small something for my pain and suffering. I’ll be calling a lawyer to check that this is legit and enough before I sign anything. Got the rental moved to the insurance, and canceled the rental company insurance coverage of the rental.

The nurse at my doc is so smart and better bedside, sometimes I wish I could just see her. :stuck_out_tongue: End result mild concussion (hence the extra fatigue, nausea, dizziness, and concentration issues), mild sprain of both wrists, common seat belt trauma (across abdomen and hips), and something with my back. We are waiting for the xrays to see if I need to go to an ortho AND PT or can just go to PT. The rad techs took a LOT of images of my lower back. I got fresh prescription for 500mg naproxen (as opposed to the 5 years past expiration date I was taking), muscle relaxers, and anti-nausea meds. I also have referrals for said ortho, physical therapists if I don’t need the ortho, and if the concussion symptoms don’t go away in a few days for a neurologist.
Since standing for more than a few minutes and walking more than a few feet has me tired and/or dizzy and tripping over my own feet, I felt cooking was not a good idea. I had to run a related errand anyway, so stopped on my way home at my local hole in the wall Mexican. \o/ Chimi-steak-fajita, amazing guac, fire roasted salsa, and of course a margarita on the rocks, no salt.

Tomorrow I hope to hear what looking at my slides result in and how long I will have the rental.

<<>>> I am liking this rental. Feeling very spoiled. Part of that feeling spoiled is due to how awesome D has been with all this. In sharing the update with my mom she even said, “He might be a keeper.” High praise from her. 😉

Some things just stick with you

I know everyone had a rough childhood. No family is perfect. Everything is relative.

I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD by a licensed therapist because of my childhood. And I had it under control, until recently.

You see, one of my family members used to harass me. It was mostly verbal, but there was the physical too of being forced to hug/kiss – or to have my face “smushed.” (The face smushing was worse after I got glasses – in the annoying factor, pain factor, and the “now I have to clean your greasy hand print from my glasses” factor.) Extra ick factor that this person smoked heavily.

For as long as I could remember – even before I started middle school – this family member would make jokes (repeatedly, over many years) about how I had to go to college in Guam. Why? Because it was so far away it wasn’t even in the same day. Bonus points for different hemisphere, country, and timezone. No one ever told him to shove it, or comforted me that they didn’t want me to be so far away. They never said it to anyone else that I recall, only me. To be fair, this person honestly thought it was funny and all in good fun. They did not have the intent to hurt/harm, and clearly no one who heard him thought they did either.

I know that the threat of nuclear attack is horrid and beyond scope of comprehension for those of use who came of age in the 90s. But all I can think about is Guam, how my family wanted to send so far that they didn’t want to be in the same DAY with me. How no one wanted me. That shit hurts, yo. Don’t tell me it was only kidding. If it was kidding it would have been a one time comment.

I hope nothing comes of all this rhetoric. At least nothing that many others, especially civilian and/or innocent have to pay for. I am sure I’ll get through this, I’ve developed a lot of coping mechanisms and have many “tools” to deal and heal.