Category: Relationships

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.

What is community

Two plus years ago I took a very scary step. I gave religion a second chance after giving up on it many years ago.

I didn’t feel any fulfillment from organized religion. I had been burned in niche communities with the drama or being used in someones agenda. I had a hard time reconciling faith with science. Despite all that, I stood by the quote from Contact (the movie, never read the book,) “[…] we belong to something that is greater then ourselves […]” This book and movie was before the popularization of the Higgs-Boson, though I suspect Carl Sagan was aware of it when he wrote. Read more

Favorite Person

There has been a lot going on. Being the High Holy Days I’ve been very introspective and thinking about who I am, how I do things, how to be a good person. I’ve always been harder on myself than I am on others.

One of the things that made my day was twice I had separate people tell me how I am their favorite person.

The second who told me that was a 17 year old, but we get along as if we are a similar age (between his and my age.) I think it is because we do have so much in common, as well as I treat him like an adult. I think that this may change over the years as he grows up and gets more experience in general and starts to develop his own life away from his parents.

The first who said it today was a guy I’ve been in classes with. He has been to my house for events. He really is a good guy. I had to nod my head as he described things such as my having a big heart, not bullshitting, putting my all into everything I do.

The fact I heard it twice really helped me to be less hard on myself. It was nice for the universe to find a way to tell me to chill. I’ll still keep tabs, but it’s nice to know that I’m not as bad as I often think.

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.

Car Crash III

It’s been over a week since the last update. Lots has happened.

I’ve gotten my car back. I negotiated with his insurance agency to get more money to cover the battery replacement. Had a cow when I got the car that the power steering seemed dead – after driving in traffic an hour the next day was back to normal; something about power cycling? It had me making panicked calls to my parents, wanting to chat it over with my boyfriend (but he was unavailable), and researching replacement vehicles while making contingency plans for my various funds. Because it sorted itself out I am trying to give it the benefit of the doubt, though I am still a bit anxious about if I can trust this car any more or not.

My pain is way better. Tuesday of last week I tried to work but was on heavy pain meds, as in I took close to 4000mg of naproxen that day. No, that is not a typo or any extra zeros. I was super spacey, couldn’t concentrate or focus, and had a massive headache. While I did work that day, it was torture. I ended up sleeping the next two days mostly. Doing laundry, getting groceries, and putting out the trash were dramatic events that even drugged up were nightmares. But I took things slow and persevered. I know others would help, but I couldn’t swallow my pride enough to ask someone to do these “simple” tasks for me or to come keep me company or cook dinner.

Over the course of the week I slowly pushed myself to wean the drugs. It got to taking 500mg of naproxen a day. Then on Monday I had my first physical therapy appointment, where she told me to keep taking them on a schedule to help reduce inflammation and thus help things heal.

The physical therapy both worries me (due to $ and how that will work out with the insurance company – especially since I have to prepay and be reimbursed) and reassured me. The reassurance was that I had “good range of motion” and wasn’t being a diva. 😛 That I really wasn’t that bad off and therapy would be short and simple. Especially since I had already gotten into a routine of exercise before the accident. The therapist was impressed with the level and diversity of my exercise routine and told me to do what I could but keep moving. She couldn’t/wouldn’t settle the ice vs heat debate which has been raging among the folk in my life. 😛

Other than PT, a work moderately heated discussion over PTO, and slowly building back up my exercise routine – things are back to normal. I think that for now I will stay the course with the car as well as my plans for finances, which includes being able to pay that sucker off next month – 3 years ahead of schedule! While it is VERY tempting to either put that money elsewhere (hellooooo credit card debt) or to just keep it liquid, I’ve got a plan and need to trust in it.

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. 😉

Car Crash

(Note, making life easier I am copy pasting from Slack where I shared this with friends.)

Ok, back home at at my computer (as opposed to on my phone.) I’m not ok but am. Physically I hurt all over (joints: fingers, elbows, wrists, shoulders, hips, knee, ankles; muscles up and down my back and across my abdomen (mostly lower, but also just under the boobs.) I’m tired. I am now extra hyper aware of things around me (even when Daniel was the one driving last night.) I’m nervous now to drive on the highway like I haven’t been since I first started driving. I’m worried about my car. Worried what if I should go to the doctor. Worried about my test tomorrow, because sitting for 2hours in a test center when I am not thinking clearly and am nauseated and sore doesn’t sound fun; never mind I don’t feel prepared for it and if I fail (it is pass/fail) I won’t be reimbursed the $1300 for the course from work. I’m worried why my car won’t start and what I can’t see that might be wrong with it. And that I couldn’t shut the driver window and it rained last night.

Long story short, I was in stop and go traffic (75south, getting ready to get onto 285) and was at a complete stop when shortly after I was hit from behind. Iwas very glad and lucky that a) while it bumped my car forward a few feet, I had left enough room that I didn’t hit the tractor trailer in front of me, and b) that I was able to safely and quickly get over to the shoulder.

Guy and I exchanged insurance. I took a bunch of pics of my car and his. My car only had some scratches on the bumper and the license plate is bent. His car the entire hood is accordioned and he was leaking fluid. His check engine light was on, he suspected his radiator was fuxored.

Huzzah for my car being a tank and living up to its really good safety rating. (Mazda 3, 2013) His car was a Chevy Cobalt. I didn’t have a good impression of GM vehicles before and certainly don’t now. :stuck_out_tongue

After all that and checking with Daniel and another friend I called 911 to get a police report filed. The cop showed up really quickly and was great to work with. The guy only got a warning for “following too close behind.”

Frankly, I was impressed with myself that I was able to remain calm, collected, polite, professional under this stress. I even befriended the guy talking about how he moved here from Bulgaria 18 years ago, his wife’s new car, his job…

Then as the cop was going to block traffic to let us safely get back in, my car wouldn’t start. Mind you, I had at that point the 4 ways on for 90 minutes, had been turning the car off and on, playing with windows (down to get breeze/air; up to reduce noise while on the phone with my insurance and his…)

The cop then helped me check to see if there was a release for the emergency fuel pump shut off. After lots of searching and googling we found my make/model doesn’t have a release. :neutral_face: This then left me with needing to be towed. And no body shop was open on a Saturday afternoon. And the tow truck was 90 minutes at the EARLIEST to me. I ended up waiting on the side of the highway with no ac and unable to charge my phone (that was at that point down to 26% battery) for 2.5 hours in 105 F. My insurance and the tow company urged me to abandon the vehicle and walk along the highway to the nearby exit and go somewhere for someone to pick me off. OH HELL NO. In Atlanta there are 1300+ roadside fatalities a year, mostly for that exact situation. That and I didn’t feel comfortable abandoning my car.

After the truck came, turns out the dealership doesn’t have a body shop and that is required when in an accident. But for them to tow me car to a body shop I had to get my insurance to approve the new location and update his dispatch. Luckily at that point I was hungry (having not eaten since 9 am, it was 330 pm),thirsty, and appreciating having the AC and way to charge my phone in his truck. After getting the approval, I tried calling the rental car agency that Daniel had reserved for me. They closed at 4. Luckily the tow truck guy said we could get there in time, he wasn’t going to leave me alone at the closed body shop, and the rental agency was nearby so he just drove me there. (No additional approval needed.) We got there at 3:58. :neutral_face: I had let Daniel know when the tow truck arrived (phone battery 1% left) but due to dealing with insurance and trying to call the agency I hadn’t reached back out to him. When I arrived at the car agency I let him know. Apparently my call wouldn’t go though because he had been calling asking about me and worried if they would stay open late until I got there. lol

I was given the actual LAST CAR on the lot.

So I made it home around 5 pm, because I took back roads home and was slower than normal both from nerves and driving an unfamiliar vehicle. I did lose my cool while waiting for the tow truck – crying, shaking. I was glad that I at least kept it together until I could safely breakdown.

Now I am waiting on the guy’s insurance claim agent to reach out to me about the tow and rental, as well as whatever repair I need done.

I have been taking left over 500 mg of naproxen (from a 2011 surgery) every 4 hours and it isn’t really enough for the pain. I figure if after my test tomorrow I’m not seeing improvement I will see my doc. (And make his insurance cover that too.)

Daniel was really sweet. After I got home I showered, took some time, and then turned around and went to meet up with him. We had plans for a group dinner, the first time I am meeting any of his friends (still haven’t met any family but that is in the works.)

On our way to dinner he was surprised I hadn’t called my parents, he insisted I call them. I called my mom and put her on speaker so she and Daniel could speak to each other too. lol That was amusing. Daniel was happy at how I talked him up to her. Then once we got back to his place after dinner (4 hours! It was fun, but I was dying by the end of it due to the pain) I asked him to give me a back massage to help with the pain.

A lot of folk have asked me that or if he was texting. Frankly, I didn’t ask him and don’t care. It doesn’t change the end result.

He said he tried to stop but wasn’t able to. But there was no screeching tires and no marks on the highway like when stopping quickly.

He also hadn’t honked his horn as a warning he wasn’t able to brake.

*shrugs* It is what it is. Accidents happen. It could have been worse. I’m just glad it wasn’t worse. I’m sure I will eventually feel better.

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.