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Life On The Rocinante' (After Dark!)


Cynder
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Some of the most critical people alive are art school professors. They are critical for a reason. Artists need to be prepared to have people hate their work. If I post a painting and someone says, "Wow that sucks." I got absolutely torn to shreds when I had my first gallery show. That doesn't bother me in the slightest. If nothing else it helps me improve as an artist. And a bad reaction is better than no reaction.

 

I went to art school, and I also went to architecture school. So, I know all about the purpose and value of the critiquing process, and I have a lot of experience there. The art school (and architecture school) professors do prep you for rejection in a way. But what they do is not the same as someone flying off the cuff at you so that they can erroneously claim a moral high ground over a raccoon in a trashcan. There are many important differences between the two types of criticism, including intention and purpose.

 

If you want to fight racism, volunteer with the NAACP or something. Don't sit and yell at someone online because they commented on the vandalism of a building. Being a keyboard warrior rarely accomplishes anything.

 

You are absolutely right.

 

And I take stuff like that personally because I feel insulted that people actually think I would do that and have the audacity to videotape it and post it. Like what the hell kind of person do you think I am? And also, the people I've known for over a decade who just suddenly think I'm a racist. Like, in all the years you've known me, have you ever seen me be a racist?

 

I would take it personally, too. It's a personal attack.

 

What I don't understand is why you give people like this any position at all on any Friends list that is associated with you. People who refuse to know you for who you are, who refuse to see you as a decent person.

 

You don't have to explain it or justify it to me. I just think it's a question worth keeping in mind.

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Updates...

 

Z tested positive. She's pretty much over it though.

 

L is absolutely miserable. She has all the symptoms that Z and I had when we first got it. She said she was going to go get tested today but I'm not sure if she was able to.

 

Today at work everyone looked at me like a Leper. Seriously, I got dirty looks all freaking day. My supervisor came over a half hour into my shift and told me that since I don't have a written negative test result I have to leave. Then he said, "Let me go confirm that." And he came back and told me it's fine and I can stay.

 

Then a couple of hours later his supervisor came over and was asking me some questions. I just wanted to be as up and up with them as possible. They will pay us for covid related time off. So I told him that my girlfriend tested positive and that my roommate is pretty sure she has it too but she doesn't know for sure. Well then he told me I had to leave. Then he said, "Hold on, let me go confirm that." Then he came back and told me I could stay. I am not upset about any of this. I know they are winging it just like everyone is. No one really knows what to do.

 

I know this might be a dumb thing to think about... But where I work is such a gossip mill. I know everywhere is like that to some degree. But where I work is about 85% male, so it's just entertaining to hear a bunch of guys gossiping about stuff. Because I worked there when I was still married and my ex-husband worked there too, now I can't help but wonder how many people in upper management are sitting around in the office like, "Did you know Cynder was gay? I didn't know that. Remember when her husband worked here? Wonder if they split up because she's gay?" I know I was talked about by upper management because the Production manager was out smoking when I left and he asked me what it was like having it. I was telling him that my gf had it too and we think my roommate has it. He was like, "Yea I heard."

 

This doesn't really upset me. I just think it's funny. I'm sure that has been mentioned at some point because they all were buddy buddy with my ex when he worked there. And a lot of people outside the LGBTQ community seem to forget that Bisexuals exist. If someone is with the opposite sex they are straight. If they are with the same sex they are gay. This is just the way a lot of straight people think and I don't even fault them for it. People who are straight and people who are gay don't really understand all the nuances of Bisexuality.

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I'm glad I work at a place where a person's sexual orientation or personal sex life is never a topic of discussion or gossip. Sure a woman might refer to "my wife" in conversation just like another woman might refer to her SO or husband etc but that's as far as it goes. And I am grateful for that. I feel comfortable and safe there because I know I won't be subjected to inappropriate conversation or topics (yes I am straight, no I'm not interested in discussing personal details other than with the coworkers I'm personal friends with - a few -and with those coworkers we still don't discuss personal stuff at work -over lunch or occasionally over text on our personal phones -but not gossip). If a person is married to or committed to a person of the same gender I assume that person is gay but not because I don't understand what bisexual is -I do - it's just that the label is irrelevant -it's just an assumption in my head. If that person wanted to share that she or he was bisexual, that's totally fine. I wouldn't feel like I misunderstood something just like people probably assume I am straight because I am married to a man (which I am) - I know someone else married to a man who has shared on FB she is bisexual. It literally has no affect on how I interact with her or will interact with her -just something she chose to share. I can't really imagine saying to someone "oh you mean you're gay" and being corrected - "no I'm bisexual" because I wouldn't say that to someone in the first place -I don't see how it would come up, even.

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I know I've been writing in here a lot lately. Most of it's been because when I took a week to rest I really rested and didn't work on art/business related stuff either. Well, that's not entirely true. I did some stuff but it was experimental. Like taking a blank canvas and having no plan at all, randomly pulling out tubes of paint without knowing what color they are, and creating something based on that. I also worked on digital drawings with my new tablet. I'm trying to get used to it.

 

I've been reflecting a lot on my relationship with D. It's been over a year since it ended. I honestly don't think I have ever harbored so much anger for one person ever. I even told my Therapist that. My ex-husband beat me up lots of times. And when I was a kid I was sexually abused by an older family member. And I wasn't as angry with them as I was with D in the weeks after I broke up with him. I guess I can rationalize that by realizing that both my ex and my abuser were abused themselves as children AND they both showed remorse. My abuser wrote me a letter telling me how sorry he was for what he did. And my ex-husband actually went to therapy, worked on his anger problems, went on meds, etc. He recognized that he had issues and he tried to be a better person. And I believe he genuinely was sorry.

 

None of that was the case with D, though. D had a childhood that a lot of people could only dream about. His family is wealthy, so him and his brother never wanted for anything. They always had the best of the best of everything. And his parents were really supportive and loving people. He got help with his homework every night. He grew up in a beautiful house in the country with a huge landscaped yard with sprawling gardens and woods to play in. I still can't figure out how the hell he ended up being the way he was. The only thing I can figure is that he was coddled a lot.

 

He was lacking in a lot of general social skills and just general life skills. It was a classic case of a wealthy person not understanding at all what it's like to be in the working class. He couldn't understand why I can't just go on a shopping spree when I get my paycheck. Well ok yes I got paid, but 2/3 of my check is my mortgage payment dude. He couldn't understand why I can't just show up for work whenever I want. Well because they need me there to do certain tasks when there's no one else to do them. Like, someone does my job from this time to this time, and then when they are off, I need to be there to take over for them. He doesn't have to work and he doesn't have bills. And he gets a big fat check every month (trust fund.) He claims that his business takes up more time than a regular job would, but it doesn't. He's a vendor, being a vendor doesn't take up that kind of time unless you're a hardcore career vendor who travels all year round, all around the country, etc. He's not. And he doesn't even make 90% of the product he sells. So it's not like his time is ate up making inventory.

 

As far as why I was so angry at him, there's a lot of layers to that question. I don't even really know where to start. I guess the biggest reason is he made me feel like I was crazy for the whole last year we were together. And he knew I had mental health issues and he used that to his advantage all the time. He used my OCD against me, he used my depression as an excuse for treating me bad, etc. He completely blew me off on my birthday and hung out with this girl he had the hots for. And then when called out on it, "Well I just didn't want to be around you because of your depression." Ok, well I didn't start out that day feeling depressed. I started the day feeling great because it was my birthday and I was going to spend it having fun with him, and then as the day went on I became depressed. But oh, it was my fault. If I wouldn't have been depressed he wouldn't have done that.

 

He knew what things triggered my OCD and he would make it so I have to be exposed to those things and laugh about it. He knows I hate touching wet clothing, especially wet clothing that isn't mine. I would go up to his place on the weekends and do my laundry there. If there was a load of his and his Mom's clothes in the wash he wouldn't put them in the dryer himself. At first I tried to get out of it by saying "Well I don't know what clothes of your Mom's can be dried and I don't want to ruin any of her clothes." Well then he told me what can/can't be dried and he would expect me to stand there and sort through all these wet clothes that weren't mine. After a while, I just asked him if he could put the clothes in the dryer so I won't have to touch them. I was told to get the F over it. Wet clothing is almost a phobia for me. It almost makes me want to puke. I don't even like touching my own wet clothes but I can handle that easier than other people's. After having to sort him and his Mom's wet clothes a couple of times and almost puking, coming out of the laundry room gagging and shaking, etc, I just gave up. If there were clothes in the washer I would wait for someone else to take them out. If no one took them out all weekend I just didn't do my laundry at his house.

We would make plans for a certain time, and he would show up several hours late. If or sometimes not at all. If I was annoyed I was told it's my fault for expecting him to be on time. And then he complained so much about having to drive here to see me. (We lived about 30 minutes drive from each other.) So I would get a ride up to his house. I don't drive because I'm legally blind. So I would find someone to take me up there, pay them gas money, etc. And every time I did this, I would get there and he wouldn't be there. There was one time when his Mom wasn't there either and he wouldn't even give me the code to unlock the door and go in the house. If he was ever called out about any of this he would say stuff like, "Well excuse me but I have a life. What did you expect me to just sit around and wait for you." I would say something like, "But you knew when I was coming." He would always come back with something like, "Well I had errands to run. You could have came over later. Why do you have to be so damn selfish all the time?"

 

Biggest thing though was the near-constant gaslighting. He would tell me things didn't happen or happened differently literally right after that happened. Ok... I literally just saw/heard it, but you're saying it didn't actually happen?

 

He was always accusing me on not listening to him. Well there was one time we were sitting in his kitchen and we were talking about possibly going to the gun range later that day to shoot. His Mom was in the kitchen too. She was loading the dishwasher. And D starts talking about how all these anti-gun people don't' know anything about guns. Then he said most of them think AR stands for Assault Rifle or Automatic rifle, but it actually stands for Apostulate Rifle. (Which is actually wrong, it stands for Armalite rifle but that's beside the point.) And I said, "I didn't know that. What does AK stand for?" Well he went off on me. He claimed that he just told me what AK stands for and if I would learn to listen once in a while I would know. I said "You told me what AR stands for not AK." and I repeated back exactly what he said to the word. He insisted I was full of it and he said AK not AR. And his Mom is hearing this all happen and saying nothing. That just reinforced the idea that I might actually be crazy. I just couldn't help but think well maybe he's right. Maybe he did say AK. But I know damn well he didn't. And AK stands for Avtomat Kalashnikova if anyone is wondering.

 

I let go of a lot of my anger toward him in an Ayahuasca ceremony over the summer. I made sure it was a private ceremony because I didn't want to subject a group of random people to the torrent of filth that I knew was going to come out of me. Omg it was like an exorcism. It took a little bit to really let go but man when I did... I was in a judgment-free zone and had a strong substance in my system that really alters consciousness. I started out giggling a little. And then that because hysterical laughter... which became hysterical crying, which eventually became screaming, cussing, gagging, the expulsion of some fluids... then unintelligible primal screaming, then back to crying, then back to laughing. I think that was probably my last ceremony. I just don't think I need to do it again after that.

 

So a lot of anger was purged and released. Not saying I'm not still angry but now my anger is more in the back of my mind. It's not front and center anymore. He is one of the very few people I have ever genuinely hated. He's a disgusting human being. And I know he will likely live his whole life with no consequences. When his Mom dies he will be a millionaire. He can pretty much buy his way out of things. Plus he's a master at manipulating people and he's good-looking and charming. Good-looking, charming wealthy people can pretty much do whatever the hell they want. I am a firm believer in Karma though. I've seen it in action and I've gotten my own healthy dose of it for things I did when I was younger. The universe has a way of balancing things out.

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L tested positive. And when she first started getting sick, K was here. So now K has to quarantine with her because he was here when her symptoms started.

 

So today at work Char was pissed because she's afraid I will infect her. I can understand wanting to be safe. But she was making such a big deal about it. She was telling me that I need to leave, I should be quarantined, etc. I told her the Doctor said I could come back and work knows my situation. (They know two members of my household have tested positive.) She was like, "I'm not trying to be a B... but I'm going to the supervisor because I don't feel safe working with you. I'm 63 years old. I have grandkids, etc." I understand her concern. But I never took my mask off. And her and I don't work in close proximity with each other. It's not even necessary for her to get within 6 feet of me and still do her job.

 

So she comes back with T, our shift supervisor. We all three are standing there and she's just going on and on about how they need to send me home so she can feel safe, etc. T was telling her there are guidelines in place for a reason and we are following the guidelines. He was telling her according to the CDC I already had it so I'm immune for 4 months, etc. And then she was like, "Ok, so if I get covid and I die, you know my husband will sue right? And it will be a pretty open shut case since you knowingly allowed her to work with me."

 

I just walked away at that point. I had work to do and I'm not going to get sucked into this. I just let them fight it out. But then she was pissy with me the rest of the day. At one point she came over near me and was acting busy. In reality, she wasn't doing anything but standing there fidgeting. And out of nowhere, she was like, "Well I guess I won't be seeing my grandbabies for a while." I was quiet but I just really wanted to be like, "Alright Char, if you're so damn concerned why don't you go home?" If they told me to leave I would have left. I would have been paid for it because I still have some PTO. She was going around out whole bay complaining to everyone. I heard her a couple of times. She's right in earshot like, "Cynder needs to leave. She has covid. I could die for covid. I'm 63 years old. I just can't believe they're letting her work knowing she had it and two people she lives with have it." One of the guys I work with came up to me and was like, "So you're going to give us all the 'Rona huh?" I just laughed and he told me to go over and sneeze on her. I wouldn't have done it but it was funny.

 

I really was not prepared for how much this whole thing was going to affect my mental health. My OCD has gotten so bad since I got sick. Even now that I'm better... OCD isn't letting up. And it's not germophobia or anything like that. I struggle with obsessive/intrusive thoughts. My thoughts are usually relationship-centric. Z and I were stuck here for ten days feeling miserable. She has been really down too and spends most days in her PJs. This is a woman who will put on a dress and high heels and do her hair and makeup for no reason at all other than that she just likes to be pretty. And since she got sick she is pretty much living in her PJs and bathrobe. She has some issues with depression and OCD too. So naturally, with us both recovering from being sick, and with us both being a little down right now, we aren't feeling that passionate toward each other. The rational part of my mind says this is completely normal and that will come back when everything gets back to normal. The OCD Demon in my head says, "But wait! What if what you thought was love was really lust and you've been lying to her and lying to yourself this whole time you horrible worthless piece of Sh-!" Then I start thinking about what if things go sour like they did in my last relationship. What if she starts to hate me like everyone else does? What if one day I realize I don't love her anymore? What if she dies? What if I die and she can't handle the grief? It just sets off this whole domino effect of just one negative thought after another and then I can't get those thoughts out of my head. Then I start arguing with myself like how do I know I really love her? How do I know I'm not lying t her? The voice of my awesome, now retired therapist pops up in my head and reminds me that I'm not a liar, that's how I know I'm not lying. And also I thought it over so many times before I told her I was in love with her because I wanted to be sure that I knew for sure before saying it. Well ok, what if being sick made me start falling out of love? It didn't. Right now we are just both dealing with some mental crap, some physical crap, stress about money, etc, so of course, we aren't all over each other wanting to have sex and profess our love all the time, etc. This is what couples go through. This is living a real-life together. What if I really wasn't ready for a relationship? Ok, I've always had OCD and I will always have OCD. My OCD isn't going anywhere. Having bouts of bad OCD doesn't mean I'm not ready for a relationship. The right person will help and support me during those times. So far, when things have gotten this way she has. Having OCD doesn't mean I should have to be alone for the rest of my life. Most people really have no idea what it's like to have actual debilitating OCD other than those who have it. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy, honestly.

 

I was crying to L earlier about all this... about missing Thanksgiving, etc. And I felt like a real jerk because her whole family disowned her and she doesn't even have a family to spend holidays with. Well, not a bio family. She has her family of choice, Me, Z, K's Dad, etc.) It felt good to actually get some of this out. I chose to cry about it to her because I just didn't want Z to see me cry. Not that I wouldn't be comfortable with that, but Z is already feeling depressed. I'm trying to be upbeat around her right now.

 

So today I did two things to help this situation. I contacted a potential new Therapist. I haven't heard back from him yet. He's supposedly really good at CBT. And he's within walking distance. I hope he takes my insurance.

 

The other thing was I got ahold of my massage therapist to book a deep tissue massage. I don't know if there is any real science backing this up but deep tissue massages seem to really help my mental state. When I'm feeling down or whatever and I go get a massage I feel great for a few days. I haven't heard back from either of them yet though. Hopefully tomorrow.

 

I also need to get over this creative block. Right now I just can't get into painting/creating anything.

 

These stream of consciousness journal entries are actually really therapeutic on their own.

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I struggle with obsessive/intrusive thoughts. My thoughts are usually relationship-centric. Z and I were stuck here for ten days feeling miserable. She has been really down too and spends most days in her PJs. This is a woman who will put on a dress and high heels and do her hair and makeup for no reason at all other than that she just likes to be pretty. And since she got sick she is pretty much living in her PJs and bathrobe. She has some issues with depression and OCD too. So naturally, with us both recovering from being sick, and with us both being a little down right now, we aren't feeling that passionate toward each other. The rational part of my mind says this is completely normal and that will come back when everything gets back to normal. The OCD Demon in my head says, "But wait! What if what you thought was love was really lust and you've been lying to her and lying to yourself this whole time you horrible worthless piece of Sh-!" Then I start thinking about what if things go sour like they did in my last relationship. What if she starts to hate me like everyone else does? What if one day I realize I don't love her anymore? What if she dies? What if I die and she can't handle the grief? It just sets off this whole domino effect of just one negative thought after another and then I can't get those thoughts out of my head. Then I start arguing with myself like how do I know I really love her? How do I know I'm not lying t her? The voice of my awesome, now retired therapist pops up in my head and reminds me that I'm not a liar, that's how I know I'm not lying. And also I thought it over so many times before I told her I was in love with her because I wanted to be sure that I knew for sure before saying it. Well ok, what if being sick made me start falling out of love? It didn't. Right now we are just both dealing with some mental crap, some physical crap, stress about money, etc, so of course, we aren't all over each other wanting to have sex and profess our love all the time, etc. This is what couples go through. This is living a real-life together. What if I really wasn't ready for a relationship? Ok, I've always had OCD and I will always have OCD. My OCD isn't going anywhere. Having bouts of bad OCD doesn't mean I'm not ready for a relationship. The right person will help and support me during those times. So far, when things have gotten this way she has. Having OCD doesn't mean I should have to be alone for the rest of my life.

 

That's interesting. I sometimes struggle with obsessive/intrusive thoughts. Just last night, I was woken up by them.

 

They were caused by an aggravating work situation this time. But last night I realized that the pattern was exactly like my old "relationship anxiety."

 

It was really no different.

 

For me, the most intrusive thoughts come when I try to dismiss the anxiety. They say, "but what if you should be worrying about this? What if you're ignoring an important problem and it comes back to bite you?"

 

And really bizarre (and most annoying of all) is the superstitious belief that if I don't succumb to the anxiety, it will cause what I fear to actually happen.

 

I can see what's going on, but I don't know how to tap out of it.

 

I've worked through some of these issues in therapy. For me, it's just plain anxiety, not OCD. It just gets intense sometimes, probably due to events from my past.

 

I have made (what I think are) some really interesting discoveries in my journey through anxiety. I think that the discovery that I made last night will stick with me, even though it seems relatively small.

 

And actually, reading your description of anxiety reinforces it more, although our worries are different. The pattern is the same.

 

Sh*t, I'm posting this in my own journal!

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That's interesting. I sometimes struggle with obsessive/intrusive thoughts. Just last night, I was woken up by them.

 

They were caused by an aggravating work situation this time. But last night I realized that the pattern was exactly like my old "relationship anxiety."

 

It was really no different.

 

For me, the most intrusive thoughts come when I try to dismiss the anxiety. They say, "but what if you should be worrying about this? What if you're ignoring an important problem and it comes back to bite you?"

 

And really bizarre (and most annoying of all) is the superstitious belief that if I don't succumb to the anxiety, it will cause what I fear to actually happen.

 

I can see what's going on, but I don't know how to tap out of it.

 

I've worked through some of these issues in therapy. For me, it's just plain anxiety, not OCD. It just gets intense sometimes, probably due to events from my past.

 

I have made (what I think are) some really interesting discoveries in my journey through anxiety. I think that the discovery that I made last night will stick with me, even though it seems relatively small.

 

And actually, reading your description of anxiety reinforces it more, although our worries are different. The pattern is the same.

 

Sh*t, I'm posting this in my own journal!

 

My intrusive thoughts take many forms. I have a really strong anti suicide stance. But I remember about 5 years ago when for some reason I couldn't stop thinking about drinking the Drano that was under my kitchen sink. And this had such a ripple effect. I would think "Well what if I drank it?" "Well I'm not going to." "Yea but what if I did?" And it caused me so much anxiety that I ended up pouring the whole bottle down my shower drain. The shower drain used to clog now and then and so I kept Drano around mainly for that reason. It was a small bottle. I just used the whole bottle. Ok, problem solved. It's not there anymore so I don't have to think about drinking it anymore. But then I couldn't stop thinking about what would happen if my BF at the time found out I used it all. Like what if he asks me where it went and then I have to tell him I used it all because I couldn't stop thinking about drinking it? Well then I just tell him I used it. Yes, but you are leaving out why you used it so that's a lie. And this was something that caused me mental turmoil for weeks. Ok, my bf didn't live with me. He had absolutely no reason to ask me where the Drano was. He never looked under my sink and probably didn't even know it was there to begin with. That is so completely ridiculous. It was so much pain and wasted energy over nothing.

 

This one has gone away gradually over the last 5 years or so. But one that used to get me a lot was thinking that I might be HIV positive. This could be caused by just hearing something mentioned about HIV/AIDS on TV or something. There were times where this just completely ruined weeks of my life. Ok, I don't go around screwing random strangers with no protection (Or with protection either, just to clarify.) I don't shoot up. I don't work in healthcare where I'm around dirty needles all the time. There are no reasons to think I would be HIV positive. But I would get into these arguments with myself. "Well how do I know I'm not?" As a result of this I know way more about HIV (How it spreads, how the tests work, etc) than most people outside the medical industry do. This was something I used to spend hours reading about. The rate of false-positive tests, the window period, symptoms after exposure, etc. And I've been tested dozens of times. I've done everything from the at home test you can buy at any drug store, to the top of the line blood test that you have done at the hospital. Negative every time. This one is easy to keep at bay though because it has a definite solution. If I would get obsessed with this, all I had to do was go get a test. And now with home testing you can know results in 20 minutes. But also, every year when I go for my checkup, I just ask to be tested. They always want to know why and I tell them the truth. I tell them I have OCD and it's something I obsess about so I like to be tested every year just so I can know for sure.

 

I also have thoughts about my actions unintentionally hurting people. Like what if I text someone not knowing they're driving and reading my text causes them to get into an accident, etc. This is most likely a result of being blamed for every little thing that went wrong ever when I was a kid. I swear, everything that caused my family any problem ever was somehow my fault. I was blamed for stuff that I had nothing to do with. I was blamed for stuff that happened when I wasn't even home. There was always some serious mental gymnastics involved but somehow it would be twisted around and made all my fault.

 

I hate the word triggered. I hate it because of what society has made of it. Triggers are a very real thing for people with various anxiety disorders (OCD included.) But now every butthurt SJW who needs to be outraged about something to feel fulfilled wants to yell trigger every time something offends them. So those of us who really do get triggered are lumped in with that crowd and not really taken seriously.

 

Before Z and I were dating we had a fire going in the fire pit one Saturday night. And it was like 3 in the morning. We are sitting outside talking/ She started talking about her ex (who is dead now, she died of a drug overdose.) And she was saying all this stuff about how her ex had a certain health condition and she had to go to the ER a lot. She always took her ex to the ER and always waited there with her. And this was even after they broke up. Basically, this woman wanted nothing to do with her unless she needed something, but Z was still so in love that she did whatever she wanted. This was over 15 years ago. But she was saying all this and suddenly the realization hit me that no one has ever been there like that for me. Ever. I injured myself at work when I was married. I was running an Industrial Air Stapler stapling paintbrushes at work and I put a stale right through my finger. And after it happened, adrenaline was kicking in I guess, I panicked and grabbed players and yanked it right out. I had to go to the ER and have it treated and also get a tennis shot. My husband complained that he had to pick me up at the hospital. He was mad that I was going to miss the rest of the night of work and my paycheck would be short. He teased me about what a p*ssy I am and how I should have just kept my mouth shut and kept working. And of course, he let me know how stupid I was for getting hurt. I know it wasn't a life-threatening injury, but still... some level of compassion would have been nice. And also, he had other women in his life that were "friends" who he would do anything for. And my Mom, who knew a family member was molesting me, and did nothing. And my ex, who stood by while someone was violent with me after a show, and then even was friendly with the person afterwards. It seems like everyone has some White Knight figure in their life at some point. I never did.

 

So, hearing Z talk this way about her ex just made me think of all these times I was hurt/in danger and people close to me couldn't care less. And this was a huge trigger. And Z noticed something wasn't right and she kept asking me what was wrong. I kept telling her nothing. I just couldn't go into it. I felt bad for her because she started asking me stuff like, "What did I do?" After a few minutes of this I just told her I was going inside. I just couldn't take it. She was asking if I was jealous about her talking about her ex. I told her that's not it at all. I couldn't really get the words out to tell her what it really was, though. And that took me about a week to bounce back from. I wasn't right mentally for about a week after that conversation. So yea, triggers are real. I've told people depression feels like drowning. Anxiety feels like being poked all over with needles. And OCD sometimes feels like being impaled. But most of the time it feels like trying to navigate around in total darkness while knowing there are trained snipers around with night-vision high-power scopes who could shoot you at any time they want. I could just be going about my day feeling fine... then suddenly my whole day is ruined over one thought.

 

That therapist I contacted did get back to me. He currently has a waiting list with about 7 people in front of me. I will look to see if anyone in my area does CBT. So far he's the only one I can find. And I don't know if I want to wait a year or more for treatment.

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Wow. You know, when I first read about the Drano and your subsequent imaginary argument with your boyfriend, I thought, "No, I really never had intrusive thoughts to that extent." I only remembered one intrusive thought that I used to have, where I would be tempted to drive my car into a telephone pole at maximum speed. I didn't want to kill myself. It was just this urge that I had.

 

But then throughout the day, I remembered more intrusive thoughts: I used to lock my door and put on my seatbelt immediately when I was a passenger in a car, because I was tempted to open the door and jump out when we were on the highway. When I waited for the train, I stood as far back from the platform as possible so that I didn't jump in front of it.

 

I had a whole laundry list of truly fearsome and/or gory situations that I could voluntarily participate in or be victimized by (HIV fear included), and I was often held in thrall by them. Like, I would catch myself staring intensely into space while scenes played out in my mind of me burning it all down somehow.

 

Actually, I always loved these commercials because they so neatly captured the process of catastrophic thinking:

 

 

Still cracks me up.

 

I don't suffer from these thoughts as much as I used to. I get one every once in a while, but they've all but vanished. And it doesn't hurt to think about them. Meaning, they don't take me back there the way they used to. I no longer relate to that part of me. Possibly because I'm old now, and everything hurts even when I'm not injured. Also, I am simply not as anxious as I used to be.

 

One thing I notice about your thought patterns is that they often include painful interactions with other people.

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Wow. You know, when I first read about the Drano and your subsequent imaginary argument with your boyfriend, I thought, "No, I really never had intrusive thoughts to that extent." I only remembered one intrusive thought that I used to have, where I would be tempted to drive my car into a telephone pole at maximum speed. I didn't want to kill myself. It was just this urge that I had.

 

But then throughout the day, I remembered more intrusive thoughts: I used to lock my door and put on my seatbelt immediately when I was a passenger in a car, because I was tempted to open the door and jump out when we were on the highway. When I waited for the train, I stood as far back from the platform as possible so that I didn't jump in front of it.

 

I had a whole laundry list of truly fearsome and/or gory situations that I could voluntarily participate in or be victimized by (HIV fear included), and I was often held in thrall by them. Like, I would catch myself staring intensely into space while scenes played out in my mind of me burning it all down somehow.

 

Actually, I always loved these commercials because they so neatly captured the process of catastrophic thinking:

 

 

Still cracks me up.

 

I don't suffer from these thoughts as much as I used to. I get one every once in a while, but they've all but vanished. And it doesn't hurt to think about them. Meaning, they don't take me back there the way they used to. I no longer relate to that part of me. Possibly because I'm old now, and everything hurts even when I'm not injured. Also, I am simply not as anxious as I used to be.

 

One thing I notice about your thought patterns is that they often include painful interactions with other people.

 

I have them about other people too, but not as often. And the ones I have about other people are so random. I mean, I could be talking to a coworker and suddenly think about punching them in the face. It's not that they did anything wrong that made me mad, etc... it's just a random thought that popped in my head. When I first started having them I called them flash thoughts. I used to think about hitting, stabbing, throwing things at my ex-husband all the time. It would something as random as washing a knife when doing the dishes and then just get this image in my head of stabbing him. And the first therapist I ever brought this up to completely misinterpreted it and made me feel like I was a menace to society and like people weren't safe around me, etc. My therapist who just retired pointed out that people who think about that stuff and would actually do it don't get upset thinking about it. Those thoughts are so upsetting to people who are non-violent and would never act on them. For me, those kinds of thoughts come in waves. I might go years without having one, and then have them a lot over a week or so... and then go for a long time without them again.

 

Cheating is another big one for me. I've been cheated on a lot. And I am someone who doesn't have a big mouth, so a lot of people confide things in me. Most of my friends have cheated at some point. I know this because I'm the one they come to to talk about it. I'm sure someone is reading this and thinking I'm just hanging out with bad people. Idk... In my eyes my friends aren't bad people. My current roommate L... she was with her son's father for 9 years. She's still in love with him and believes he is her soulmate. She's a good mother, works hard at her job, pays her bills, is kind, etc. But she cheated on her son's Dad multiple times. He doesn't know either. In the time since they split up, she's had multiple FWBs, most of whom are in relationships and she is their secret on the side. She is just one example. I don't have time to go into details about all the cheating I've seen/been told about in my life. My Dad cheated on my Mom all the time when they were together. And I don't think my Mom was an angel either. I overheard a really suspicious phone conversation once in the middle of the night where my Mom was making plans to go meet up with someone. Yea it could have been a friend, but it seemed more than friendly from what I heard. My sister cheated on her girlfriend that she was with for 8 years. My youngest brother is rumored to be cheating on his wife. At one point I was friends with a married couple and the husband was screwing around on his wife with another friend of all of ours. I heard all about it from his side, and from his other woman's side.

 

And yes, when I was in my early 20s I cheated on someone. It was emotional cheating but still. Just because nothing physical happened doesn't mean it's any different.

 

So I have intrusive thoughts about cheating a lot. I get into these arguments with myself like, "How do I know I wouldn't cheat?" etc. I tell myself because I"m just not that kind of person. And then of course I think, "Yea but I did one other time." And then I spend all this time trying to convince myself that I wouldn't cheat if I had the opportunity, etc.

 

I get this way about lying too. I get on this, "What if I lied?" thought process.

 

I was held to impossible standards when I was growing up. I've really tried to cut myself some slack as an adult. Being told how worthless and ugly I was for the first 20 years of my life really is hard to get over though. And if there was something my parents didn't like, I worked at changing that thing, only for them to find something else that was wrong. There was just no winning at all because the game was rigged from the beginning. It was the same way with my oldest brother. Him and I could do no right while my sister and my other brother could do no wrong.

 

Spellcheck still doesn't work on this forum and I can't figure out why. I hope this isn't really sloppy.

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Yesterday the cab driver who took Z to the Doc's office to get her Covid test picked me up from work. The conversation that followed was just so awkward and uncomfortable for me. I know he wasn't trying to be a jerk. I've been using the same cab company for almost ten years. I know most of the drivers and they are pretty comfortable with me. I hear all about their kids, their dogs, where they went on vacation last summer, etc. And this driver has always been a friendly guy. He was asking me if Z is coming back to work soon. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this here before but Z works in the office at the Taxi company. I told him she was coming back Saturday (today.) Then he was like, "Well is he still sick or is he over it?" Then he starts going on about how he almost quit his job over having to take Z to get tested. He was like, "Yea I told the manager to go f herself and that I wasn't taking him to get tested. How are they going to make me drive someone who has it and put my life in danger." And after like the fourth time Z was referred to as Him/He I corrected him. I was nice about it but I said, "She, not he."

 

He apologized but continued to talk about how he can't believe they made him take him to get tested for Covid, etc. It was like he was demanding I give him an explanation. He asked me why Z was even going to get tested? Couldn't he just stay home if he's sick and leave it at that? I told him management wanted her to get tested. And of course, he's like, "Yea but why?" I didn't say anything but I just wanted to be like, "I don't know. Why don't you go ask your boss instead of asking a customer?" He was talking about how they are a small family-owned business and they don't worry about Doctor's excuses and all that, so there was no need for Z to go get a covid test, etc.

 

L goes back to work on Tuesday. I'm pretty sure K is going back to school Monday. K never got sick, thankfully.

 

Z and I had such a good time last night. She really opened up to me about why she's been in a funk lately. Her job is not treating her very well at the moment. She said she's giving it another month and if things don't get better she's going to start looking elsewhere. Basically, there is a lot of really bad communication where she works, and then if there's ever a problem she usually gets the blame for it. I've been in that situation before and it sucks.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am about as squeaky clean as they come in a lot of ways... almost to the point of being boring sometimes.  I have no criminal record.  I've been at my job ten years and I'm a model employee.  I have my side business that is in good standing.  I have good credit.  I'm reasonably healthy.  Never had a problem with substance abuse.  Never been pregnant and child free by choice.  I pay my bills on time.  I was an honor student all trough high school and all through college.  I didn't lose my virginity until I was 20, and it was to a guy I had been dating for 3 years.  I never snuck out, never skipped school, never did drugs as a teenager, always was home by curfew, etc. 

Looking back I'm not proud of myself for a lot of this.  My reasons weren't exactly healthy reasons.  I was so good because I was absolutely terrified of my parents, not because I cared about virtue or being a good kid.   My parents were strict to the point of ridiculousness.  I got slapped in the face full force just for having the wrong look on my face a few times.  My nose was bloodied on more than one occasion for minor mistakes.  I had to ask permission to use the phone and I had to sit right in the kitchen and have my conversation where I could easily be heard because my parents didn't allow secrets.  I was no allowed to close my bedroom door... ever.  I was not allowed to be alone in a room with my boyfriend ever.  We couldn't even go sit on the porch without one of my parents out there because they didn't think we could be trusted alone together.  (Seriously... did they think we were going to get busy in broad daylight on the porch? lol.) 

And I was told all the time what a bad kid I am.  My Mom used to love to tell me that I was so much worse than she ever was.  Ok... I was worse than my Mom who skipped school all the time, started smoking cigarettes at 13 and weed not too long after that.  She was always sneaking out.  She was sleeping with my dad at 17 and my Dad was married and ten years older than her.  Yep... I was so much worse.  It was such BS and I even knew it back then.  I hear people my age talk now about all the things they did as teenagers.  I hear people say stuff like, "Yea well all teenagers smoke weed.  All teenagers sneak out.  All teenagers skip school.  All teenagers lie to their parents."  Hearing that makes me sad.  I was a stupidly good kid who was treated like a bad kid.  My entire teenage life revolved around school and chores.  And nothing was ever good enough.  Standards were impossible.  The deck was stacked against me from the beginning. 

Z, my girlfriend for anyone who hasn't read any of these posts in here before, was the polar opposite of me as a kid.  She was bad in her younger days.  You name it... she did it.  She had a really bad reputation, too.  She did every drug she could get her hands on.  She stole.  She drank.  She beat a lot of people up.  She was expelled from school and never graduated.  And she was in prison before she was even legally old enough to drink.  Prison straightened her out in a lot of ways.  She did a lot of growing up in there.  But unfortunately, she came out a convicted felon with no high school diploma and she had a really hard time being a productive member of society.  She was homeless for a while, etc. 

And she had a bad home life too.  She was beat up on a regular basis at home by her dad.  She was sexually abused, etc. 

And now... all these years later, her and I are pretty much in the same boat.  Neither of us make that much money.  Neither of us have what could really be called a career.  Neither of us have much to show for any of what we've been through except a lot of good stories.  Being good didn't get me any further in life and being bad didn't ruin hers. 

I chose to be good because I was afraid.  She was abused to the point where she just gave up and believed she was worthless anyway so it didn't matter what she did. 

I just find this interesting.  We were having a whole conversation about all this stuff earlier.  We are so much alike in so many ways, but this is one way we are opposites.  All the crap we both went through when we were younger was one thing we bonded over when we first started talking though.  She calls it parallel pain.  Sometimes I wish we would have known each other when we were young.  But realistically she would have probably scared the crap out of teenaged me.  And aside from how I looked she probably would have thought I was boring. Because I was. 

Edited by Cynder
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It is funny, isn't it? I like reading you write about Z. There seems to be a lot of mutual respect there, and this sense like you have found someone who you have that super important compatibility with on the deeper levels. It's game changing when you find someone who you connect with in that way. 

My SO and I were living wildly different lives from each other in our younger years too, but it continually surprises me how compatible we are at this stage of our lives. And I honestly think, if we had been together earlier, we would have screwed it up! We both needed our time going through certain experiences and maturing a bit into ourselves for this to have happened. I was "good" most of my life, but that was partially a rebellion to falling into traps I saw so many family and friends go down. And I had free reign to be as wild as I wanted, no such thing as curfews or being watched over as a teen, as my mom was wild herself and working so much to keep us in a house and with food and necessities. Our house was a rotating home for anyone who wanted a place to stay it seemed, so I could come and go as I pleased. But I studied of my own accord, got into sports, and had small jobs while helping at the house. 

My SO grew up rather well off materially, got to go to the schools I wished we could afford, had curfews and strict regulation, and he of course had to buck a lot of that. 

Very different backgrounds, but we share so many qualities and relate in so many ways. We are both headstrong, independent, and value a lot of the same things.

Its nice getting to this point in life, eh? I think life will just keep getting better for you. 

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9 hours ago, itsallgrand said:

It is funny, isn't it? I like reading you write about Z. There seems to be a lot of mutual respect there, and this sense like you have found someone who you have that super important compatibility with on the deeper levels. It's game changing when you find someone who you connect with in that way. 

My SO and I were living wildly different lives from each other in our younger years too, but it continually surprises me how compatible we are at this stage of our lives. And I honestly think, if we had been together earlier, we would have screwed it up! We both needed our time going through certain experiences and maturing a bit into ourselves for this to have happened. I was "good" most of my life, but that was partially a rebellion to falling into traps I saw so many family and friends go down. And I had free reign to be as wild as I wanted, no such thing as curfews or being watched over as a teen, as my mom was wild herself and working so much to keep us in a house and with food and necessities. Our house was a rotating home for anyone who wanted a place to stay it seemed, so I could come and go as I pleased. But I studied of my own accord, got into sports, and had small jobs while helping at the house. 

My SO grew up rather well off materially, got to go to the schools I wished we could afford, had curfews and strict regulation, and he of course had to buck a lot of that. 

Very different backgrounds, but we share so many qualities and relate in so many ways. We are both headstrong, independent, and value a lot of the same things.

Its nice getting to this point in life, eh? I think life will just keep getting better for you. 

It is funny... in a way.  I look back no and feel like life tricked me.  My sister got to do whatever she wanted growing up because she was my parents' favorite.  (This is something my Dad straight out admitted to and he also told me out of all his kids he loved me the least.)  She came and went as she pleased.  She got really into drugs.  She slept around.  (By the time she was 18 she'd had more sexual partners than I've had in my entire life now as an adult.) She got bad grades and barely squeaked by in school.  And now she makes more money than I will ever see.  (She's a construction worker if anyone is wondering what she does for a living.) And she's lived this great life. 

When I was a kid I remember I was asked to remind my brother to feed the dog once when he got home from school.  Well, he didn't need me to remind him, he fed the fog anyway and I didn't end up saying anything.  Well somehow my parents found out that I didn't actually remind him and I took a beating for that.  I mean that literally.  I mean my stepdad took a belt to me over that.  I also got slapped in the face for forgetting to run the garbage disposal once while cleaning up the kitchen.  I got backhanded really hard in the face once for saying "So what?" to my sister. 

Z was the middle kid in her family.  But for some reason her Dad always was meaner to her than her siblings.  She doesn't speak to her Dad anymore, either.  And there was a time when I didn't speak to my Mom either.  She was the one who eventually reached out to me because she was convinced I was going to die doing Ayahuasca.  

Yes, there is definitely mutual respect between Z and I.  Honestly I didn't think this kind of connection with anyone was even possible because I've never had it before.  I think the closest I ever came was with my ex Aaron who I've written a lot about in this thread.  But even with him it wasn't the same. 

And now I feel guilty because I feel like I really made her earn her place in my life.  My last relationship was just so toxic toward the end.  It was great for the first year, then gradually he started hating everything about me.  I was always hearing "I hate your energy.  I hate your voice.  I hate that you breath loud when you sleep..."  About a week before I broke up with him he started complaining about how much he hates how I chew my food.  (This is something no one else has ever complained about ever and it wasn't an issue with him until that day.)  I asked him "Is there anything you like about me anymore?"  A week later I dumped his ass. 

I was pretty convinced that I am just meant to be alone and that was fine.  My plan was just to be single the rest of my life and have a "relationship" with my art/creativity.  And then in all this Z and I started talking.  D and I had only been split up about 6 weeks.  I wasn't grieving.  I was happy as hell to be out of that relationship.  But I didn't want another relationship. 

There were so many times she asked me out and I turned her down.  I always told her it's not her.  I just don't want to date anyone right now.  And then eventually she gave up.  And we would have these really long conversations on Facebook messenger for hours... about all kinds of stuff.  I kept turning her down but I was still so intrigued by her.  There were a few times when we would get talking about her work in restaurants and her being a professional chef and all that.  And she would always be like, "Let me cook you dinner some time." 

And then L moved out to live with her ex (Who was her boyfriend then) and it was right around that time that Z was looking for a place to live.   After she moved in here it was pretty much impossible to not develop feelings for her.  She moved in and we would sit out on my porch until 4 or 5 in the morning some nights just talking.  We could keep a conversation going all night long and never run out of things to talk about. 

Right now she's going through some rough stuff.  I wish there was something I could do other than just listen.  She told me she's been having suicidal thoughts lately.  But she also told me she would never actually do it.  Her and I both have a really strong anti suicide stance.  But you can have that strong stance and still think about it and still wish for death.  I know I have plenty of times.  

Anyway... I'm going to end this one and work more on my current painting. 

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Z and I were talking last night after she came home from work and I don't know how we got on the subject, but we were talking about restaurant workers messing with people's food and stuff.  And with her background working in kitchens and stuff I asked her if she ever did anything like that.  I told her I won't judge if she did.  She said she was tempted to do it once because the customer was a neighbor of hers back when she was a teenager. 

She said "Her son stole money from me and she knew and refused to do anything about it.  So I waited till one night when none of them were home and I got my Dad's gun and shot the windows out of her car.  Then I shot up my own car and called the cops myself and filed a police report."  The car of hers that she shot was a car that was junk that she was trying to get rid of.  And she called the cops because then it looked like she was just a concerned neighbor.  "Yea someone shot up my car and my neighbor's car last night officer..."  She never got blamed for it. 

People might be reading this wondering where her parents were.  Her parents were off doing their own thing.  They didn't really want kids, so her and her siblings were alone a lot.  When her Mom was home she ignored her kids.  When her dad was home he was beating her up and just being an ass.  I don't really understand why people use the excuse "We didn't want kids" for their crappy parenting.  Oh... you didn't want kids but haven't you ever heard of birth control... or condoms... or adoption...?"

My parents used that same excuse in a different way.  I was an accident.  My Dad was married and in his late 20s when he got my teenage mom pregnant.  Ok, yes I was an accident.  But I didn't ask to be conceived.  My Dad blamed me all throughout my childhood for how I "ruined his life."  And my Mom complained about how she could have been a nurse and made a lot more money if it weren't for me.  Um... ok.  Well, abortion was legal when I was made.  Condoms were readily available and so was the pill.  My Dad could have made the decision to not screw around on his wife with a teenager.  My Mom could have thought "Maybe I should get on the pill before I get naked with a married man... or maybe I just shouldn't screw married men."  They were sleeping together with no protection.  What the hell did they think would happen?  And they blamed me for being in this crap relationship.  But they were together 15 years and had three more kids together after me.   And my Mom wanting to be a nurse... well there's no rule that says nurses can't be parents.  If she wanted to be a nurse that bad she still could have been a nurse.  So I didn't really buy the whole "We treated you bad because you were an accident and we didn't want a baby" excuse. 

I know it probably seems like I write a lot about my childhood in here and people probably think I just need to let it go.  But writing about it is my way of letting it go.  That's one of the reasons for having a journal.  The only difference is I'm writing for an audience and this isn't some book tucked under my mattress. 

 

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It's better to let it out.

I have a lot of "mommy issues" so I understand.

It's been interesting living temporarily with my brother. He was my mother's favorite child so I presumed he got everything he wanted. But turns out there were a lot of things that happened to him related to our mother that I didn't know about.

Go ahead and write about it! No need to try to stifle it.

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7 hours ago, boltnrun said:

It's better to let it out.

I have a lot of "mommy issues" so I understand.

It's been interesting living temporarily with my brother. He was my mother's favorite child so I presumed he got everything he wanted. But turns out there were a lot of things that happened to him related to our mother that I didn't know about.

Go ahead and write about it! No need to try to stifle it.

I told my Mom I was being sexually abused when I was a teenager and she didn't do anything.  She went back and forth between thinking I'm a liar and I'm just trying to "destroy our family."  And acting like she believed me but was more concerned with keeping it quiet.  She told me I better not tell anyone, etc, but then would turn around and say I need to stop lying. 

Then all these years pass and her and my sister are hanging out one night after a family get together.  And my Mom was sh-- talking me.  (I wasn't there.)  Yes I wasn't there, so I can't say exactly what was said, but this is how the conversation went according to others.  And just for convenience I will call the person who abused me S.  My Mom is telling my sister that I'm crazy and she's like "Cynder is nuts.  She still thinks S molested her.  I don't know why she can't understand that it never happened.  She imagined it.  That F'ed up head of hers..." on and on. 

And my sister said something like, "Well I think she might be telling the truth Mom."  And then Mom wanted to know why she would say that.  And she said, "Because he molested me too." 

My Mom had to be restrained because she was saying she was going to drive over to S's house and kill him. 

Ok... so when it was me who cares?  But when it's her favorite child suddenly she's so pissed off.  And then a huge shouting match followed on the phone between my sister and I.  Because my sister called me and told me she just told Mom a little while ago.  My first reaction was that I was sorry that she went through it too.  But then anger kicked in.  Not at her but at Mom.  I said some things like, "Oh so NOW she believes it.  Back then I was a liar."  Yes, probably not the best reaction on my part.  But that's one of those situations where you never know how you'll react until you are living it. 

And then in the text messages that followed between my sister and I she told me she always thought I got special treatment.  Sorry but I don't know what planet she was living on growing up.  My parents never hit her.  She was never called names, etc.  She got to do whatever she wanted.  She got everything handed to her.  She got away with murder.  Idk... maybe in her mind them basically letting her do whatever felt like she was being ignored.  Idk. 

And after all this my other sister told my Mom that S abused her too.  And we will probably never know for sure but we have suspicions that he abused my youngest brother too.  We will probably never know.  S is dead and youngest brother disowned all of us years ago. 

I swear... I could write a book about my family. 

Well... onto something more positive. 

Tonight Z and I were hanging out in the kitchen while I was cooking.  She's been at work since 4am.  She worked a 14 hour shift yesterday and 12 today.  So she was going to bed early tonight.  We went to kiss goodnight and bumped noses like two 13 year olds kissing for the first time.  Afterwords she said something about her big nose getting in the way.  I told her I like her big nose (Which actually isn't big at all.) 

Lately she has looked a lot more masculine.  This isn't an issue.  At first I felt guilty for finding her attractive while she is on either side of the spectrum.  Because for a lot of trans people that is a big issue.  Passing for the gender they identify as is a really high priority.  It isn't as much for her.  She has her masculine days and her feminine days.  And she does either so well, honestly. 

When she shaves, does her hair and makeup and gets dressed up, she can pass for a cis woman.  And when she looks more feminine she uses her feminine voice.  Then there are days where she wears unisex pants and a t-shirt and has stubble on her face.  And on those days she uses her male voice. 

To me, this is one of the most intriguing things about her.  I have always found androgyny really sexy.  And she knows I find it sexy and likes that about me.  Sorry if this is TMI for anyone but we've had sex while she has been both ways.  And even that is different depending on where she is that day on the gender spectrum.  One issue she had dating in the past was people just couldn't accept both sides of her.   She would get with people who either wanted her to be one or the other all the time.  That fact that I am attracted to her either way is something she never had with anyone else. 

I feel like this artist's block I'm experiencing might be coming to an end.  I haven't painted anything in over a month.  I've been doing a lot of digital stuff though and writing some poetry here and there.  Hopefully I can get back into painting soon.  I was literally starting to hate all of my paintings. 

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I've spent some time today thinking about why morning sex is so good.  Z and I are both on a different schedule than most of the world.  On her work days her shift starts at 4am.  And when I work mine starts at 6am.  So we are up really early most days.  This morning at around 3:30 we were laying in bed all cuddled up.  She didn't have to work today otherwise she would have been up and leaving around that time.  But yea, 3:30 in the morning, an hour before my alarm goes off, we had a really good time.  Idk... sex is always good with her but for some reason when we do in the morning it's just awesome.  And then we both wake up in a really good mood and that usually lasts all day. 

K was cracking us both up last night.  There are two TVs and multiple game systems in the room.  Z was playing something else, I don't remember, on the big TV and K was playing Need for Speed on the smaller TV.  Now everyone keep in mind K is 7.  He likes getting the cops to chase him in NFS.  And just listening to his commentary while playing is so damn funny.  At one point the cops were chasing him and as he's trying to outrun them he just randomly says, "Oh hi officer.  Don't mind me.  I'm just pooping with my butt."  That's the kind of thing that would be weird if an adult said it.  But hearing a 7 year old say it is just hilarious.  Z and I both cracked up laughing and then he knew he could make us laugh so he kept making comments like that. 

Trying to get this year's calendar of events all laid out...  the pandemic is making it nearly impossible to make concrete plans for anything.  You never know what's going to be canceled and when.  Hell City was going to be one of my biggest festivals this year... Already postponed without a definite date.  This could really cause a problem because it might be rescheduled the same weekend as something else.  As a vendor I hate having to make those decisions when something overlaps.  OC Chicago already overlaps CPPD.  So I'm going to have to bow out of OC Chicago... which really sucks because that's a great show.  But CPPD is a better show and I'm a sponsor at that one so...  Plus if you bow out at CPPD it's almost impossible to get back in.  OC Buffalo got rescheduled for the week I'm supposed to be in Europe too...  So that's freakin' peachy.  And as far as going to Europe... no way of knowing if that will happen or not either because who knows what will be locked down, what flights will be allowed out, who will be giving refunds, etc.  So I can't even buy my plane tickets yet even though I have the money. 

OMEE was supposed to be mid February.  It canceled yesterday.  Now I don't have any shows on the calendar until April.  Let's see if any of those actually happen.  Honestly. even though I've moved on I still have anxiety about certain shows because I know I will have to see D (My ex.)  I just keep reminding myself I don't have to interact with him.  He would have been at OMEE, but his booth is all the way on the other side of the venue from mine and he isn't anywhere near the food or the bathrooms, which means I would have no reason to walk past him.  Only downside is Denise, Krystal, Kory, Mel and Gwen all have booths somewhat close to him so I can't really go see them at their booths.  But they all know where to find me and all the vendors make their rounds pretty well at the OM shows. 

Alright... enough babbling about work.  Time for sleep. 

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I'm remembering the times I've had really bad days (anxiety, etc...) in the recent past when I've microdosed Ayahuasca.  There are two possible outcomes when I micro.  One is I don't feel any effects but feel calmer and I go on about my day.  The other is the very slight buzz that last about a half hour.  I guess the best way to describe it is gooey.  I know that's a weird description but that's what it feels like.  My abdomen feels warm and gooey.  Tension melts out of my upper back.  I feel a tingling sensation between my shoulder blades and in m cheeks.  And I feel so mentally zen.  Jeez if there was a way I could feel like that all the time without having to just continually sip on a bottle of the stuff...

People might be reading this and thinking it sounds like I'm addicted.  I assure you, it's not an addiction.  (Yea yea... denial is the first stage, uh huh, lol.)  I don't feel all wound up and like I'm needing a fix before I microdose.  I do it on days when my anxiety is high for other reasons. 

I'm a firm believer that when it comes to mental health people should do what works.  And unlike physical health, with mental health there is only guidance and suggestions.  There is no proven cure for depression, anxiety, etc.  People have to try different things until they find what works.  If meds work, take meds.  If meditation works, meditate.  If psychedelics work (like they do for me) take psychedelics.  

Some people might twist this around and say things like, "Well for me self harm works. So I should cut myself?"  Well in my opinion no because that puts your physical health at risk.  And I used to be a cutter so I know all about that. 

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Z and I had such a good time before she went to bed tonight.  It took us about 3 hours to get through a single hour long episode of American Gods because we kept pausing it to talk about random stuff. 

We were talking about art, etc.  She was saying she wishes she had some artistic talent so she could show the word some of the things she sees when she closes her eyes.  She told me a few weeks ago about this one post apocalyptic image she saw in a dream.  The more she described it, the more I could see it and the more I wanted to paint it.  And so I will. 

She says she has artistic skills in other ways, mainly with words.  She does write a lot. 

I told her I think my artistic skills are the only thing I really have to offer humankind.  I see an image in my head and I can show it to the world.  And that's really it for me.  I don't have a sparkling personality.  I don't really have much of any personality, actually.  I'm not good looking.  I'm pretty forgettable.  But my work isn't.  This isn't putting myself down. it's just me being realistic. 

I've noticed at shows that if I have a booth next to a really attractive person, a lot of times people assume that my booth is part of their booth and they think I'm just their help.  I get so much of "So who's the artist?"  I did a two day festival in the summer of 2019 where I decided to have some fun and count how many times I got asked that question.  42 times in two days.  I have two female assistants that are pretty attractive.  When either of them are working in the booth with me a lot of people just assume the pairings are theirs and I am just there helping.  Like there's no way an ugly person could make anything beautiful. 

And don't even get me started on the gender bias in my line of work.  When D and I were doing shows together, omg... it was disgusting how many people just assumed he was the big boss of everything and I was just his little helper.   I heard it so much, "Wow, your husband is such a talented artist!  It's so nice of you to help him sell his work!"  Well uh... he's not my husband first of all, (Thank Gods.) and it's my work. 

I heard through the grapevine that D is actually living here in my city now.  All I can do is shake my head.  He hated this city when he was dating me.  He hated the way the streets were laid out, etc.  He hated having to come here to see me.  He hated so much about my town.  Now he lives here.  And that sucks because after breaking up I could at least feel confident that I wouldn't run into him out and about.  Multiple people I know who live here have seen him recently.  I know he's dating someone else from here.  (I know this because she was a friend of mine who he met through me.  I don't know for sure but I have my suspicions that that were messing around when we were still together.  Oh well, they deserve each other. 

There are two festivals here in my home town that I've been doing for about 5 years now.  D grudgingly did them with me when we were together. After I ended it with him I was glad he wouldn't be doing them with me anymore.  Now he probably will if they even happen this summer.  Z will have my back I'm sure.  If he starts anything I will make sure to record it.  I usually have a GoPro running in my booth at bigger events for security reasons anyway.  Of course he knows this so he will probably try to start something outside of my booth. 

Well, I think now it's time for some raunchy cartoons on Netflix and a glass of wine.  🙂

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