Tuesday, December 29, 2009

More Like a Moderately Sized Angry Rant

A little while back I wrote:
I feel a really big angry rant brewing inside me. I know anger is one of the phases of the grieving process. I thought I’d pretty well worked through the grieving process over someone yet it seems perhaps I was just caught up in the denial phase. By year’s end (so in the next couple of weeks) I do believe you can expect to see me letting off a bit of steam here in the form of one really big angry rant at someone who I feel deserves it in spite of my defenses of him in the past on this blog. You know, even a pressure cooker will explode if you let the steam build up too long.

The anger is still there, but it is almost (not quite, but almost) replaced by sadness. Sadness at myself for trying to make a square peg fit into a round hole for far too long. Sadness at him for not being the person I wanted him to be for me.

I am torn between the desire to rip him to shreds with an anger-filled furious blogpost, to expose ugliness and failures and get all up on my self-righteous high horse about how I deserve so much better and blah, blah, blah. . . while on the other hand, he could certainly do the same to me with some ease I am sure. I am sure I failed him and disappointed him on all sorts of levels. Yes, we could rant away at each other and even make some damned fine points about each others’ failings. We could start a big ole’ flame war if we were so inclined.

Yet this blog was never intended to be a place for me to bash others but a place for me to try to grow. I have bashed others on occasion and probably will again, but it isn’t what I ever meant for this blog to be. I would rather this blog be about my growth, about me and what I’m doing right and wrong. Enough bashing is done without me adding to it more than I already have.

So let me record once and for all that I am going through the anger phase of the grieving process over BJ.
  • I am angry at him for things he did and things he didn’t do.
  • I am angry over perceived slights.
  • I am angry that it appears our break up didn’t hurt him nearly as much as it hurt me.
  • I am angry that I let our relationship last as long as it did.
  • I am angry that our relationship didn’t last longer.
  • I am angry that without BJ in my life I had no reason not to let W move back into the house.
  • I am angry that I would want to blame that on BJ rather than accept the blame myself.
  • I am angry that when I wrote to BJ in an email months ago “I guess I had hoped you’d care enough to want more from me and try to open a discussion with me, but I’m not sure you even noticed my pulling back until I mentioned it over the weekend. Maybe I’m living out a tagline from one of the blogs I read: Sometimes people build walls just to see who cares enough to tear them down” it was already plain to me that he didn’t care enough to tear them down.
  • I’m angry that there may not be anyone out there who cares enough to tear them down.

This past Sunday I nearly called him, but I didn’t. I nearly texted him, but I didn’t. I nearly just drove to his house instead of mine when I got back from taking N to Winter Camp, but I didn’t. I resisted the urge to pick at the scab. I resisted the urge to rant at him. I tried to, but couldn’t quite, resist the urge to write this blog post. I did resist the urge to rant in detail though. I had so much more I could've said but didn't. Perhaps that’s a good thing.

One last thing. I am angry at myself for deep down knowing the truth of a statement I made to him almost two years ago and yet ignoring it and denying it to myself for far too long. My statement: “You know this proves we could never be together again because neither one of us would ever be able to trust the other again.” I said this to him at a time when he and I did something wrong behind someone else’s back. I knew then that if he and I were both the kind of people to do what we had just done that neither of us could, or should, trust the other after that. I ignored my own knowledge. Flat out ignored it. Denied the truth of it. And for that, I am really pissed off at myself.

Okay folks that’s it. Bashing done. Anger phase recorded. Let’s move on.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Sunday Stealing: The Final Week of 2009 Meme

1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before? Let W move back into the house after I thought I’d finally gotten him out for good.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year? No, and no I don’t think I’ll make any this year although I still have a few days so maybe I’ll change my mind.

3. How will you be spending New Year's Eve? Sleeping.

4. Did anyone close to you die? Yes, I blogged about it here.

5. What countries did you visit? Just this one.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009? The key to not letting my past interfere with my future.

7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Monday, August 24, 2009. It’s the day I sent the most ill-fated email of all times, the one that asked BJ if we could slow things down and that signaled the beginning of the end of our relationship.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Fighting back against the biggest wave of depression in my lifetime and winning, giving me hope that I can continue to fight back in the future when the depression comes again.

9. What was your biggest failure? Not finding the hardness of heart necessary to make W have to fend for himself rather than letting him back in my house.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Just a hugely broken heart.

11. What was the best thing you bought? Tickets to Holiday World for N and me. It was a great, and not terribly expensive, summer vacation.

12. Where did most of your money go? Mortgage, over half my net income went there.

13. What song will always remind you of 2009? Live Your Life by T.I.

14. What do you wish you'd done more of? Taking care of me.

15. What do you wish you'd done less of? Taking care of W.

16. What was your favorite TV program? It’s so hard to pick just one, but if I had to whittle TV viewing down to just one program I would pick All My Children. It’s an addiction.

17. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? No, hate is a waste of time and energy in my opinion.

18. What was the best book you read? One of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events books. I don’t remember the title, but it’s the one that mostly takes place at Heimlich Hospital. N and I read it together as a bedtime story for him, and I loved it.

19. What was your greatest musical discovery? That N is pretty good on the trumpet.

20. What was your favorite film of this year? Avatar.

21. What did you do on your birthday? Try as I might, I absolutely can’t remember. Even looking back at my calendar it appears that nothing at all special occurred that day. I even went back and looked at my blog entries from that time, and they didn’t give me a clue.

22. What kept you sane? Who said I stayed sane? However, I will say that my friendships with Drama, Jeni and Val did a lot to help keep me as sane as possible.

23. Who did you miss? BJ, still do. . .

24. Who was the best new person you met? The new pastor at my church.

25. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009: Trust no one and always look out for #1.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Is It Bad?

Is it bad that I have done absolutely no Christmas shopping yet this year except for a couple of stocking stuffers bought while grocery shopping a couple of weeks ago?

Answer: Yes, yes it is.

Here ends the explanation for my absence from the blogosphere the next couple of days.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Catching up on Stuff

This is one of those there-are-too-many-things-I-want-to-say-and-not-enough-time-so-I’ll-post-a-stupid-list type posts. Yes, life is hectic for Trueself during the holidays. So much to do, so little time. Then I heap a big pile of medical tests and so forth on top just for fun. Whee!

So here we go, bits and pieces of random updates:
  • The church has a new pastor whom I adore. I do believe she is just what our church needs at this time.
  • I continue to be more and more involved in church. I will be leading a small group starting in January and already a few people have signed up! I also did a stint as Sunday School teacher for the kids for a rotation and continue to serve as liturgist every few weeks.
  • Church is good for the soul. If it isn’t then you aren’t in the right church.
  • N and I have made two different kinds of Christmas cookies so far and have about three more kinds we’d like to make. Hopefully, tonight’s the night for that project.
  • Our Christmas tree this year is a small tabletop tree. It’s all I could muster strength and energy to do, and W isn’t up to helping with the big one. Surprisingly, N wasn’t too sad about it.
  • I was impressed when W offered to go out and buy some of the Christmas presents for N. I was less impressed when he asked me for the money to pay for them.
  • My parents sent the usual “universal gift certificate” (check) to me for my Christmas present. What will I be buying with it? Well, I’m going all out for myself this year and spending it on repairing the toilet in the downstairs bathroom. It was either repair it or let it fall through the floor. I chose repair.
  • The colonoscopy last Friday went fine. They found one tiny polyp that they removed. Then I went home and slept all afternoon.
  • Earlier on Friday I had my annual Ob/Gyn appointment. Although endometrial ablation is not an option for me due to my particular condition, it just may be that I will be getting an IUD to control the heavy and long periods that I have. That will be determined in mid-January after they do an endometrial biopsy. As long as the biopsy is benign the IUD is the thing. That’s what I’m counting on because the other option is hysterectomy, and that is something I would prefer to avoid if I can.
  • I’ve been doing a lot of Christmas traveling this year. . . in my dreams. I have been having very vivid dreams about going and visiting with lots of people. So far I’ve been to see most of W’s relatives (at least the branch of his family I always got along with really well) and some of my own, both living and deceased. So far, everyone has enjoyed the visits, including me, and in the dreams it seems not at all strange that people are there who have been dead for years. It’s kind of nice to be having pleasant dreams for a change.
  • I am dreading Christmas Day. One day I will spend with just N and W. Just the three of us stuck together for a whole day without intervention from the outside world. I am hoping to ignore W as much as possible and focus on N. If worse comes to worse, maybe I’ll take N to a movie.
  • W said, “I love you” to me the other day. I didn’t know what to say back so I mumbled, “I know.” And the pit in my stomach expanded exponentially.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sunday Stealing: Lola's Holiday Meme

1. What is your favorite holiday show/animated show? It is almost impossible to pick just one. I love so very many. N and I watched a number of them this past weekend since we have a ton on DVD. Hmm. . . Favorite? Really? Just one? Nope, can’t do it. I love A Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and so very many others.

2. What holiday character do you think you're most like? Hermey in Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. Ever the misfit.

3. What holiday character does your spouse think you're most like? I have no idea and don’t care.

4. Favorite Christmas/holiday song? Again, must I pick just one because I can’t. I can’t pick just one. I love so many. My favorite CDs are Dan Fogelberg’s Christmas CD, Vince Guaraldi’s A Charlie Brown Christmas, all the Now That’s What I Call Christmas! CDs, Mannheim Steamroller’s Christmas Extraordinaire, all the A Very Special Christmas CDs. They’re all great.

5. Most hated Christmas/holiday song? Hated?!? Why would one hate a Christmas song? Hmmph. . .

6. If you have an all holiday music radio station when do you start listening to it? Thanksgiving Day

7. If you have an all holiday music radio station do you love it or hate it? LOVE IT!!!!!!!

8. Have you ever wrapped yourself as a Christmas present? Nope.

9. Who is Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer's father? Well, first of all you’ve misspelled Rudolph which I find quite offensive. Secondly, I couldn’t remember which reindeer is Rudolph’s father which I find equally offensive, and had to look on Wikipedia to find out it was Donner. How could I be so careless as to not remember? Now I’ll have to watch the show again tonight to see what else I’ve missed.

10. Do you drive your neighborhood or one near you at night to look at other people's holiday decorations? Of course! Doesn’t everyone?

11. When you see a heavily decorated house do you think, 'oh that's lovely'? Or do you think, 'oh criminy, that looks like Christmas threw up all over their lawn'? It depends on whether it is heavily decorated in a tasteful way or a way that looks as though it is thrown together without forethought and planning.

12. Are you counting the days to Christmas with excited anticipation or dread? Yes! Of course with N around it is with excited anticipation.  However, every time I think about last year and how BJ and I spent much of the Christmas holidays together and how happy we were at that time I absolutely dread this year spending it without him.

13. When was the last time you had your photo taken with Santa? Did you sit on his lap? Wow, it’s been years. The last time I remember is when I was still in grade school.

14. Do you make a Christmas list for your spouse or significant other or do you rely on them to pick your gift(s) without a clue from you? I think it is tacky to make a list. I will offer suggestions if asked, but I won’t make a list.

15. When do you put up your tree? I start trying to muster the energy the day after Thanksgiving. As soon as I can muster the energy, often not until mid-December, the tree goes up.

16. Real or fake? Presuming we're talking Christmas trees here, I’ve had both. I like both. Most commonly these days though it’s fake.

17. When do you take your tree down? I start trying to muster the energy on Epiphany. As soon as I can muster the energy, often not until the end of January, the tree comes down.

18. Do you shop the day after Christmas sales? What do you shop for? Yes, Christmas cards, wrapping paper and accessories.

19. Is your work/office having a holiday party this year? Will you attend? Yes, they already had it, and yes, I attended even though I had to go solo.

20. Do you have your New Year's Eve Plans set yet? Not really. The most likely scenario though is that N and I will spend it with my parents and will ring in the new year sound asleep in our beds.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thursday Therapy: So How’s Work?

Tuesday’s therapy session was devoted a great deal to issues I’m having at work. Work has been not so good. Work has been in turmoil, not the least of which was a result of the changeover in supervisors in my area. In addition, a new coworker (who I addressed in last week’s edition of TT) came in with guns ablazin’ ready to change the world.

Fortunately, Freud has been very helpful to me in dealing with these issues. First we talked about how I am dealing with the new boss. After putting to use some suggestions Freud shared last time, I was able to report that things are getting better. I did something that was very difficult for me in a private conversation with my boss recently. I told him just how hard it is for me to speak up. Do you have any idea just how hard it is to speak up about the difficulty one has in speaking up? Yeah, well it’s difficult. Trust me. I thought I was going to have a blood vessel in my head explode when I finally said it. Of course, it was all anti-climactic from there. Boss doesn’t really understand my difficulty, but at least he seemed to respect the fact that I could give him concrete examples of how hard I’ve tried the last month to be a better communicator with him. I don’t know if I’ll ever be completely comfortable with Boss (yeah, that’s what I’m calling my supervisor on here), but I’m trying not to be terrified of him. I think he’s trying a little not to be so terrifying to me. I’ve never had a boss before that I was afraid of so this is new to me, this learning to be strong and push back rather than roll over. I’m used to everyone trying to play nice with one another. He’s got more of a hard edge, a rough way of speaking, a tone that intimidates. I will keep on trying to toughen up to it.

Last week at this time, the letter I wrote and posted on my TT post was an accurate reflection of how I felt at the time. Since then, my opinion has tempered somewhat. It appears that perhaps as the new kid on the block this coworker mustered up a big bluster of bravado. That’s how some people deal with the anxiety of being new. (Thanks Freud for this insight.) She and I went to lunch together one day and had a really nice talk. Although she does have a few quirks (who among us doesn’t?) she’s really not such a bad person. It is interesting to watch her go head to head with Boss because she is really good at pushing back. I think if you added some of her push back to me and gave her a little of my laid back you’d have pretty near the perfect person. ;-) Also, she helped me see that the way I see certain people here at work is not as far off as I thought I was. I’ve never been particularly impressed with one coworker who has always been held up as the model of all employees. My new coworker sees her in the same light as I do, which is to say that we see that this employee isn’t quite the deity others make her out to be nor is she very willing to share information and teach others. Instead she prefers to hoard knowledge, perhaps as job security for herself. Having my observations validated, particularly as the new coworker offered her assessment without having heard my opinion, made me feel better about the whole work situation.

Freud and I finished our session by shifting from work life to personal life. I shared with him for the first time about my ongoing relationship with M and how I feel it helps me stay relatively content living with W as roommates and pseudo spouses. We didn’t have much time to delve into the topic much, but I was pleasantly surprised that Freud didn’t react to my revelation with any negativity. I suppose that therapists aren’t supposed to react with much emotion to things, but there’s a part of me that always expects everyone to react to my affairs with horror and disgust as happens publicly when politicians, athletes and celebrities are caught (even though I have no elections or endorsement deals to lose nor do I have much risk of landing in the tabloids). As for me? You aren’t likely to catch me throwing stones at anybody, but I’ve always kind of thought I was the exception rather than the rule. Now, don’t for a minute think that I think Freud is endorsing my relationship with M because I don’t. I just appreciate that I can talk to him about it without him getting all judgmental on me, ya’ know? He’s willing to talk to me about it from the standpoint of its impact on me and my psyche without burdening me with the whole guilt and responsibility of protecting everybody else because I truly don’t think I can take on that burden until I work on me for me. Part of my problem is that too many times in my past I have put others and their welfare in front of mine to the detriment of me. Until I learn how to balance that out better I need to focus just on my welfare and wellbeing.

And in other news:

I feel a really big angry rant brewing inside me. I know anger is one of the phases of the grieving process. I thought I’d pretty well worked through the grieving process over someone yet it seems perhaps I was just caught up in the denial phase. By year’s end (so in the next couple of weeks) I do believe you can expect to see me letting off a bit of steam here in the form of one really big angry rant at someone who I feel deserves it in spite of my defenses of him in the past on this blog. You know, even a pressure cooker will explode if you let the steam build up too long.

On the medical front, I’m scheduled for a colonoscopy tomorrow. Although I’m a bit younger than they normally start doing them, it is recommended since my dad’s colon cancer now puts me in a higher risk category. While the procedure itself doesn’t scare me all that much I am quite annoyed with the regimen required beforehand. For five days prior to the procedure I can’t use Advil, and naturally I’ve had a raging headache the last two days. Also, I haven’t been able to eat nuts, seeds, or popcorn, and I’ve only been able to eat fruits and vegetables without their skins and seeds. Let me tell you I had no idea just how much I eat that would be forbidden. Even the bread I normally buy has seeds in it. Plus today I’m liquids only all day, followed by a lovely laxative cocktail this evening. Today happens to be our company’s holiday luncheon. Great timing. . . Oh well, at least tomorrow after the procedure I get to go home and be lazy all afternoon.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Just a Little Rant on the Side

I know a few of my readers are also alums/supporters of Big Ten schools so I don’t think I’m totally talking to myself here. However, those of you uninterested in collegiate athletics and conferences and the like may as well stroll off and come back another day when regular relationship whining resumes.

Okay, so now that it's just us here’s the deal. Just this morning I hear that the Big Ten (which already has eleven schools making the name Big Ten stupid and ridiculous) is considering adding a twelfth school to its ranks. Sigh. . . and Grrrrrrrr. . .

In my humble opinion, it was not ever the right decision to add an eleventh school to the mix. No offense Penn St., but you and your Nittany Lions just don’t belong here in my beloved Big Ten conference. The Big Ten is all about the Midwest. Pennsylvania ain’t part of the Midwest and has no business having their schools included in our conference. Yes, I know I lost this battle long ago, but it still chafes. Time does not erase the scars.

The bigger issue, of course, is the whole concept of TEN being in the name of the Big Ten. TEN is TEN. Ten is not eleven, and it is surely not twelve. We are supposed to be a group of prestigious universities, and we advertise eleven schools as the Big Ten?!? I’m sorry but any group that can’t see that eleven is not equal to ten doesn’t deserve to be considered prestigious. Even this accountant isn’t creative enough to make 10=12 a viable equation.

Now, I know there are the sports fans who will say, “But if we expand we can have two divisions within the conference and have a football championship at the end of the season.” Even though I’m not a huge football aficionado I understand your desire for such a conference championship. However, ten is still ten.

I understand that I will probably never convince the Big Ten to kick out Penn St. They’re here and have been here a while now. I understand the desire of football fans to have their little championship thingie. I understand that I will never convince anyone to bring the Big Ten back to being, truly, the Big Ten.

So here’s my compromise offer. I do believe that if we insist on expanding then let’s expand not to twelve but to twenty. Let's not just be a conference, let's be a dynasty. Let’s remain the Big Ten conference and have two ten school divisions - the Big Ten North and the Big Ten South, or BT East and BT West, or BT Originals and BT Newbies or whatever we want to call the two divisions based on however we want to divide them. At least the Big Ten name will almost still be reasonable, or at least explainable. Just promise me you’ll invite prestigious universities to join, okay? Let’s remain committed to being a conference of prestigious learning institutions as well as athletic training grounds, okay? Please?

Hear endeth today’s rant.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Twisted Logic, Complaints, Whining

(You know just the normal bullshit around here.)

It’s amazing what you can live with, or without, even when it is something that you swore would always be important to you. Sometimes, you just find out that when it comes right down to it, what you claim is important just isn’t what is really important. When it comes right down to it, actions really do speak volumes louder than words.

From that opening paragraph you are probably expecting some profound exposition on some greater truth of life. Then again, you’ve probably been reading here long enough to know that would be an extremely high expectation for this blog. In spite of the title, “Deepest Darkest Thoughts,” seldom is seen here anything really profound. As a matter of fact, a more appropriate title for this blog may well have been “Dirty Little Secrets.” But I digress. . .

I have been a woman who, for years, regularly had my hair cut and colored. I long held the opinion that it was important, perhaps nearly essential, to have a nice hairstyle and more importantly to never let the gray show. Now I knew I didn’t have much gray, but I also knew there were a few strays here and there. I certainly didn’t want anyone to see them. Ah vanity, yes you are my friend.

So then we come to the time where W and I split up. We go our separate ways. He leaves me with a house (that I will readily admit I picked because I intended that one day BJ and I would share it, and share in the expense of the maintenance and upkeep) with a goodly sized monthly mortgage payment, high utility bills, and one thing or another requiring repair on a regular basis. More than once I dipped into the emergency savings fund to pay to keep the house in decent repair.

Decisions had to be made. I couldn’t dip into emergency savings too frequently, or I would leave myself with nothing at all as a fallback. Expenses had to be cut, and that’s where you learn what’s really important to you, and what’s not. Hair care was one of the first things to go. It wasn’t even that difficult a decision. It saved me nearly $100 a month. Housecleaning services also went by the wayside, saving me another $100 a month. Illini season football tickets were not renewed. I forget how much that saved, but given the weather this season and the Illini’s performance (or lack thereof), it was money well worth saving. What didn’t go by the wayside were Illini season basketball tickets. Now that is $800 a year that I would spend no matter how bad things got unless it meant the difference between homelessness and staying in my house. Truly, it is just that important to me. Another thing that didn’t go by the wayside was my 401(k) contributions. I considered cutting back on them, but I just wasn’t willing to sacrifice the future for the present. (I know. How utterly old school of me. The very thought of not mortgaging the future in order to play big in the present. What a concept. What can I say? Social liberal, fiscal conservative.)

Then things got rocky for me and BJ. I could tell that things weren’t working out with him the way I wanted. I could tell that he didn’t care about me the way he did before. Something was amiss. Somehow we weren’t meant to be. It became clear to me that he was never going to move into my house and be a co-contributor to the household. He wanted me to be able to move so that we could live somewhere between his job and mine. I have my reasons for wanting N to stay in the school district in which we live. I wanted to stay, at least until N graduates high school, where I am. Not to mention that I know the economy is such that right now would not be a good time to sell the house because it would mean selling it for less than what I paid. I suggested to BJ that perhaps we should step back and reevaluate. He jumped at the suggestion, and as far as I could tell took my suggestion as a break up rather than what I meant to be a temporary cool down. It probably took me a good two weeks of not hearing from him to decide that we weren’t working on working anything out but just going our separate ways. It was probably the weirdest break up I’ve ever experienced.

I was left reeling. Not only was I dealing with the emotions of the break up but also the knowledge that I had now left myself very financially vulnerable, more so than I had ever intended. If I went ahead with the divorce, I owed W over $70K for his share of the equity in the house. If we reconciled, the house would be paid off by next summer, freeing up a huge chunk of cash flow each month. Besides, W was being evicted and needed someone to care for him and his broken arm.

All of this brings us to today. Today I am still burdened with the financial responsibility of the house. W is still on the hook for his multitudinous debts he acquired during our separation. He pours 90% of his income into the reduction of those debts. The rest he spends on his personal items and the occasional grocery run for the household. However, I do see light at the end of the tunnel. By the time summer arrives the house will be fully paid for, and that will ease the cash flow crunch a great deal. The first priority will be to build the emergency fund back to its former level. Once that is accomplished, then smaller contributions will go there and allow me to perhaps once again get regular hair care and maybe even get someone in to clean the house occasionally. Not only that, I might be able to buy myself a laptop computer again.

The financial pressure has been crushing to me. Nothing stresses me quite like financial pressure, and for years I lived without financial pressures. Before we moved to LNJ, income far exceeded outflow. It was easy to live within our means. Unfortunately, I put too much financial pressure on myself by purchasing too much of a house here, and counting on having someone to share in it. I put the cart before the horse by making plans for a future that did not occur. I placed trust where trust was unwarranted. I paid a huge price for that, and now it feels as though my punishment is to be stuck with W for the remainder of his life.

And really? All I want to do is get back to a place where I can afford to have good professional hair care. If I can ever add that back to my budget I’ll live without the housecleaning services, and the lawn care services, and the week long vacations, and even replacing the laptop computer. I do miss the professional hair care. Although it was little enough priority to cross off the list during financial crisis, it will be the first thing back when the finances ease. Ah vanity, you are indeed my friend.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sunday Stealing: The 6 Ws Meme


Is easy to love? N. No matter what he does or how he acts or anything else, he is always my son. That makes him real easy to love.

Do you just wanna smack? Right now that would be a damned long list, but let’s just point out a few who top that list: J, W, myself, my boss (although I will admit he’s getting better now that he’s decided I’m not quite the moron he thought I was; now if he’d just quit sounding so damned excited every single time I show him something I did right; it’s alright dude, I just did my job, get over it; that’s when I still wanna smack him), several coworkers.

Do you trust? God, and pretty much nobody else.

Do you talk to when you're alone? God. . . and sometimes myself, but mostly God. God gives better answers than I do.


Dangerous things do you do while driving? I let road rage overtake me sometimes. I give people the finger too much, and try to intimidate jerks on the road too much, and let’s just say there’s a reason nobody allows me to carry a weapon in my car.

Are you allergic to? Neomycin, one of the drugs of choice for first aid ointments. Anytime my skin is exposed to it I break out in a horrific rash similar to poisin ivy (to which I am also highly allergic) so it is banned from my home. In addition, I prohibit anyone from using it on N because inevitably if it is used on any injury on N it will find its way to me without my knowledge resulting in my arms being covered in a rash, sometimes a rash so bad it keeps me home from work, and me no likey wasting paid time off on such things.

Is Satan's last name? I think Satan is the full name sort of like Madonna, Cher or Prince.

Is the freakiest thing in your house? Probably me. LOL


Is it time to turn over a new leaf? When the old one ain’t workin’ for ya’.

Will you be all that you can be? That is a question for which I would dearly love an answer.

Is enough enough? Before it’s too much.

Do you go to the dark side? When surrounded by idiots.


Are your pants? I’m wearing one pair. Some of them are in my closet, and some are in the laundry hamper.

Is your last will and testament? Sadly, it does not exist. I need to take care of that.

Is your junk food stash? Usually, in my desk drawer at work although it is bare at the moment.

Is Carmen Sandiego? No idea and don’t really care.


Was the Lone Ranger alone? Probably because he was as socially inept as I am.

Was The Scarlet Letter scarlet? Red = bad, right? Red ink = losses. Satan = red. Okay Santa Claus is red as well as Rudolph’s nose, and they aren’t bad. Hmm. . . Okay so much for that logic. Let’s try again. . . Red is a bright color, much brighter than the colors normally worn in that time, so it would draw attention and cause more humiliation to the wearer. Yes, yes, I’ll go with that.

Are musicians sexy and plumbers not? It’s all in the attitude. Musician’s attitude: I am so hot you’re lucky I acknowledge you. Plumber’s attitude: You need me so you damned well better treat me with respect in spite of my proclivity for showing off my butt crack.

Are there no seat belts on school buses? Because society is full of morons not willing to do the right thing.

Would you...

Swim the English Channel for a doughnut and coffee? If not that, what? No, of course not. I can’t think of anything that would entice me to swim the English Channel.

Forgive someone who deliberately hurt you? I have and probably would again.

Rather believe a lie if it hurt you less than the truth? I have and probably would again.

You still be alive if you were sucked out of an airplane window? Probably just long enough to feel excruciating pain and enormous fear prior to my death, resulting in such a horrified look on my face that it would take much painstaking work by the funeral director to prepare me for my open casket funeral.

I must say this was a good one. I thoroughly enjoyed completing this meme and highly recommend it if you’re looking for something to post yourself.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thursday Therapy: The Letter I Would Like to Hand My Coworker

This is a different kind of Thursday Therapy post, but trust me writing it was most therapeutic.

Dear New Coworker,

Welcome to our company. You’ve been here less than ten days now, and it is amazing just how much you know already. I am truly amazed at your ability to pinpoint errors and flaws in everything we do. It is truly impressive. I am sure the company will be so much better for having you here.

I’d just like to offer a few pointers to you to help you navigate around here. Although I can see just how truly marvelous you are, some people around here are a little touchier than I so I think the following points may help you:
  • Some of the people here like to think that due to our high ratings within our industry that we already do a few things well.
  • Some of the people here understand some of the history of the company better than you do, and they would probably appreciate if you would listen to them explain things rather than interrupt to tell them how wrong they are.
  • Some of the people here get touchy when you refuse to believe explanations that are provided for why certain performance measures are calculated in certain ways. The reason they get touchy is because some of those measures are calculated in accordance with laws and regulations.
  • Some of the people here are starting to wonder if you have overstated your experience in our particular industry when you repeatedly act ignorant of certain well known industry wide standards and terminology.
  • Some of the people here don’t have an appreciation for just how much you can do to make this a better company if only they would sit back and let you do everything.
  • Some of the people sitting near you have complained of hearing you tell the same stories of your life to everyone who sits with you to train you. Perhaps they weren’t intending to recite your personal history at a public forum soon so they aren’t interested in hearing it so often as to have it memorized.
I know it is hard to believe that a fine company like this would employ so many people who are so overly sensitive to so much. I’m sure that will make it more difficult for you in the coming days. To help you out, may I give you a few suggestions that may help those people appreciate you more? I would like to offer that:
  • If you listen attentively to people when they speak, they will likely give you a turn to speak at some point.
  • If you would take the time to learn how things are currently done before suggesting complete overhauls, sensitive people might be more willing to listen to your suggestions.
  • Instead of criticizing current methods, perhaps taking an inquisitive approach might work better in soothing sensitive souls. Ask someone to explain why things are done the way they are. It will make them feel better, and who knows? You might pick up a useful morsel of information occasionally.
  • Remember you aren’t the only one who has worked for more than one company during your career. Others here may well have an idea of what are company specific terms and what are industry standard terms. Try not to be too critical of them when they expect you to understand certain industry standard terms. You might even help stroke their egos by thanking them when they educate you on a term with which you were unfamiliar.
  • Just because you filled a certain role in a previous position does not mean that is the authority you will have in this one. Perhaps you should take your job description literally for the first, oh I don’t know, couple of weeks or so before trying to take on other responsibilities outside of your or your department’s purview.
  • As fascinating as your life story is, and it is truly fascinating, perhaps in sensitivity to others around you maybe you could go to the break room or some other location outside the department to share your life story in the future, particularly since it takes so long to tell. Better yet, maybe write a memoir and hand it out to those with whom you’d like to share.
No need to thank me for these tips. I’m always happy to help.
Not So New Coworker

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Must Just Be the PMS Talking

Why do I continue to have conversations with J? Why for goodness’ sake? And why do I let him get to me? Why do my emotions reel over this man?

Below is J’s latest email to me (with my editorial comments added), in response to an email I sent him explaining that I just don’t get much out of our time together and don’t want to continue meeting surreptitiously:

I didn't know there was any problems. (So we start right off with incorrect grammar. Not exactly the way to get me on your side J. Not only that you are admitting that you are completely oblivious to me when we are together, because if you weren’t you couldn’t possibly not know about the problems.) I can only drive so far because I have work issues and I don't exactly have the same arrangement you have. (Oh, that’s right. You have a life, and I don’t. Thanks for the reminder.) You only asked me to help pay for a room once. (Because I genuinely thought a gentleman would offer to share the cost and was stunned when the last time we were together you didn’t pony up your half like you’ve done before.) I thought you wanted to know the "stuff" hat (presumably you mean “that” here) is going on and since when do you not get much out of it? (Umm, since forever?!?!) I believe it IS PMS, (Certainly, because anytime a woman has a negative thought it must just be PMS, right?) and I believe you want to see me again and soon. (Might as well believe in the tooth fairy too.) I do focus on you. (You do? Really? When? In what way?) I enjoy what I get from you as well as giving it to you. (Umm, excuse me but you get an orgasm, sometimes more than one, each time we’re together. I haven’t had one, not one, with you. What exactly are you enjoying giving to me?) I make love to you and enjoy your company. I miss you alot. (Two words dude. It’s “a lot” not “alot.”) I know the situations aren't perfect (Really?) or even right (Ya’ think?) but I always love seeing you and making love to you. (Well, yes I don’t doubt that.) I want to and will talk about certain stuff anymore. (I don’t understand this sentence and am not even sure I can fill in the missing gaps correctly to figure out your original meaning.)

I have not sent him a reply to the email above. I’m not sure I will. I’m also not sure I won’t. In some ways I’m tempted to send him just what I’ve included here – his own email with my comments interjected. Snarky much? Why yes, as a matter of fact I am.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Sunday Stealing: The Can't Sleep Meme

Would it be hard to kiss the last person you kissed? Given that the last person I kissed was M, no, it wouldn’t be hard, not at all. As a matter of fact it would be mighty fine.

When is it hard to kiss someone? When I am repulsed by them.

You're trapped in a room with your most recent ex for three days, what do you do? Given that my most recent ex is BJ, I’d have to say have sex. Of course, that depends on whether or not he would be willing I suppose, but knowing him as I think I do I think he’d be willing. If he wasn’t willing, I suppose we’d have to watch sports or Law & Order on TV. We certainly wouldn’t talk. That could lead to too many fireworks of the bad kind.

Does it matter to you if your significant other smokes? Yes, I won’t be with anyone who smokes no matter what, or how many, good qualities they may have.

Have you ever regretted letting someone go? Three times. Yes even though it wasn’t really my choice since he let me go, yes because we should have at least tried to make a go of it, and yes because I really didn’t realize how easily he could walk away. Sigh. . .

Where would you go if you were butt naked and locked out of your house? If my dreams are any indication I’d go to work where no one would notice. LOL
However, I tend to think that in real life I wouldn’t do that. I’d probably head down the street (passing by Gladys’ house) to N’s best friend’s house. His mom and I get along well, and I’m pretty sure she’d lend me a blanket to use as a cover up until I could get back into my house and get some clothes.

Do you want to please everyone? OMG yes. This is one of my biggest problems.

Have you ever been called heartless? Not that I recall, at least not in so many words. Although N called me a mean mom yesterday for making him sing in the children’s choir at church. That’s pretty close to being called heartless, no?

Someone calls you at 3:00 AM, who do you expect it to be? A wrong number, or my mom calling to tell me my dad or grandmother has died.

Does it matter if your significant other drinks? Not as long as he/she doesn’t overindulge too often. My definition of overindulging too often is either drinking alcohol every single day or drinking until drunk more than once or twice a month. Yes, I know that’s a pretty strict definition, but it works for me to keep me out of trouble, and I need the one I'm with to follow similar guidelines to keep me on the straight and narrow.

Could you go the rest of your life without doing drugs? Without my prescriptions taken as prescribed, no. Without recreational/illegal drugs, since that would be no change at all to me, yes without a doubt I could.

Which is better, amazing eyes or an amazing smile? Both are marvelous, the combination of both is even better. I don’t know. I can’t decide on one being better than the other.

Do you want to get married and have children one day? Umm, at this point I would have to say that I don’t see that in my future. In my past yes, but future no, although the get married again part would be more likely than the have more children part. However, the more experience I have with men in the real world the more I become convinced it isn’t smart to marry them.

Are you easy to get along with? In some ways I think I am, particularly since I’ll twist myself in knots trying to be what you want me to be. In some ways I think I rather frustrate those around me though by that very same thing and not being my honest to goodness self.

Do you ever want to go to sleep and not wake up? Almost every night. Oh wait. . . as in never ever wake up? Then no. I just want to go to sleep and not wake up until I’m ready instead of when the alarm or the child wakes me up.

Are you shorter than your Mom? Heavens no, and if I was then I really might want to go to sleep and never wake up.  At 5'7" I'm absolutely as short as I would ever want to be. Although I know many short women who are absolutely marvelous I have no idea how they cope with being short. It would drive me batty.

Describe your life currently in one word: Complicated

Are you on medication for anything? Yes, several things including depression, high blood pressure, allergies, asthma, and endometrial hyperplasia.

Who would you allow to read your thoughts for one day? As bizarre as this probably sounds, it would be BJ.

Are there things in your life that you will never be able to get over? I hope not. Otherwise attending therapy is a colossal waste of time and money.

If you woke up naked next to the last person you kissed, what would your reaction be? Terrified, because I’d be afraid that (1) I didn’t go back to work after lunch like I was supposed to, and (2) that M’s wife might walk in at any moment.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Thursday Therapy: The One Where I Ignore That I Didn’t Post Until Friday

A while ago in a Thursday Therapy post I wrote:

. . . I am coming around to understanding some of the dynamics of what I do and why. I am starting to see a little bit what purpose certain actions serve for me. That’s really an essential understanding if I am ever going to change because no matter how many times I try through sheer will power to avoid certain behaviors I fail. I fail because there are unmet needs within me and until I find out what those needs are and healthy ways of meeting those needs I don’t stand a chance of making long lasting changes. I can lump a lot of behaviors together in the category of Things TS Does to Try to Meet Needs She Can’t or Won’t Acknowledge. Overeating is right in there. So is lying. Oh, and here’s having sex with inappropriate people. Yes, there are a number of behaviors that I see more and more clearly have a common root. I haven’t quite just yet ferreted out those unmet needs and even once I do I’m sure it will take some time to come around to finding, accepting, and utilizing more healthy alternatives in order to meet those needs.

I’m fairly certain the need to be accepted as I am is one of those unmet needs, and I’m pretty sure that I am the one who is going to have to accept myself as I am before anyone else can be expected to do so.

Tuesday’s therapy session moved down the road a bit with this line of thought. We’re getting mighty close to a real breakthrough I think. A lot of what I’m going to say here is probably going to sound very much like a broken record. (For you youngins out there records were something we had before MP3 files, and they were relatively fragile. Once you had a scratch on a record it would often get stuck in a groove and not be able to continue spiraling towards the center thereby repeating on particular phrase over and over. Hence the phrase “sound like a broken record.” You’re welcome.) Feel free to move on to more interesting and entertaining blogs elsewhere if broken records aren’t your thing.

So anyway, needs that I can’t or won’t acknowledge. I have two needs that are in conflict with one another – the first need is to be seen as the “good girl” or, in other words, the one who is never in trouble and always does the right thing, the second one is to be accepted and appreciated for who I am including my flaws and errors. I have spent my life trying damned hard to meet that first need and to change who I am rather than to find a way to meet the second.

I hide behind the façade of the “good girl” the one who never gets in trouble. I don’t do anything openly that I think might damage the façade. Instead I hide my bad behaviors from the world. What I am not trying to do here is justify bad behaviors on my part. Bad is bad. However, what I’m trying to get at is that I have set expectations so high for myself that they are unattainable. I expect perfection from myself. I expect that I will come off as perfect to those around me. Naturally, perfection is unattainable by anyone (Well, except you of course; I know you’re perfect.  You're welcome.) so I need to cut myself some slack, but I don’t. Everything is so very black and white to me. There is perfect, and there is failure. There is no middle ground. I am hard on myself. I am very, very hard on myself. What this often leads to is me giving up for after all, if anything less than perfect is failure and I can’t be perfect then obviously I’m going to be a failure no matter how hard I try so why try at all?

And this is at the heart of so many things.  If I can't be supermodel thin then why watch my weight at all?  If I can't be the best at work then why put forth effort at all?  If I can't have a loving, supportive, mutually fulfilling relationship then why have any relationships at all other than those that fulfill a physical need?  If everything isn't just so, then why even try?  If the house can't be spotless, then why keep cleaning it?

Okay, so this is not working for me. Intellectually I understand the flaws in the logic. Intellectually I can tell myself how it ought to be and what I ought to do. Intellectually I get it. And that’s where we are. I am stuck at intellectually understanding and not yet at the place where I can figure out how to implement this understanding. I know what needs to change, but I don’t yet know how to make the change.

I think this is progress. I think. . .

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

So Fragile, So Strong

I have two acquaintances one IRL and one in cyberspace who have recently had very scary, very sudden medical problems.

The first one, as he came out of the swimming pool in early November, was struck with such a severe and sudden headache he was taken by ambulance to the nearest hospital. It turned out to be a sub-arachnoid hemorrhage (which involves bleeding around the brain). From what I understand this is often fatal, but in his case he not only survived but is back home and aside from some debilitations that will be with him for the remainder of his life he is getting back into the swing of life, even singing in his church choir last Sunday. He has a wife, grown children, grandchildren and a bevy of friends happily awed by his progress.

The second one collapsed in a restaurant a couple of weeks and was taken by ambulance to the nearest hospital. It turns out she had a massive stroke and apparently had another one in the hospital. From the last update I read she is finally out of her coma, but her right side is pretty much unresponsive. She has a husband, children, many friends and many more internet friends waiting anxiously from day to day, moment to moment, hoping and praying that she comes through this.

I just mention these things to you for a couple of reasons:
  1. Life is fragile so don’t take for granted that you can always get around to telling those you love that you love them.
  2. Brain injuries can be devastating. Time is of the essence. If you, or someone with you, exhibit symptoms such as sudden outset of a severe headache, passing out, dizziness or confusion call 911 right away. Don’t take the chance that it’s nothing. Better to have it checked out and be sent home with nothing wrong other than not eating enough that day than to have a stroke that goes undiagnosed and untreated for too long. I do believe the outcomes of both of the cases above were helped by quick responses by those nearby and by medical responders.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sunday Stealing: The Tell Me About Yourself Meme

Apparently DDT was closed for the holiday weekend. It was not my intention, but I just never got around to hunting down a ‘puter (no, I still have not replaced my laptop because I have no extra $$ lying around for it) somewhere to get anything posted. Also, I was a big lazy fat ass all weekend. Well, except for making the traditional turkey, stuffing, taters, gravy, cranberry stuff, rolls, veggies, relish tray and punkin pie dinner on Thursday. It took me from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. to accomplish that. After that it took me three days to recuperate. Heh. . .

Anyway, back to business. Here’s this week’s Sunday Stealing offering, a kind of general ask all sorts of random questions meme. I’m not sure you’ll learn anything new here, but let’s give it a shot.

1. When is your birthday? Earth Day

2. Where were you born? In a small town hospital

3. Where do you live now? At home with N, the dog, and W

4. What is your heritage? Well, I’m a right fine mix of Scottish and English from what I’ve been told. I'm also a second generation Illini alum.

5. Tell us about a weakness. Procrastination

6. What's a goal that you'd like to achieve? World domination peace

7. What is the most overused internet phrase? “Go Google it.” said in answer to every question.

8. What was your first thought this morning? Oh shit, It’s Monday.

9. When do you usually go to bed? Lately around 9:30 p.m. (Why yes, as a matter of fact I am old. Thanks for noticing.)

10. Do you smoke? If not, did you ever? No, yes for about 10 years starting when I was 17.

11. Do you like your current relationship status? If I did would I have this blog?

12. Do you (or did you) get along with your parents? On a superficial level.

13. How often do you drink alcohol? Let’s see, in the last month exactly once – a glass of white wine with Thanksgiving dinner.

14. Have you ever tried drugs (that weren't prescribed)? Smoked pot twice. My only reaction to it both times was to be incredibly thirsty so it didn’t really appeal to me.

15. Have you ever gone skinny dipping? If yes, do tell. Of course! Hasn’t everyone at one time or another? After all, how do you have sex in a swimming pool if not for skinny dipping?

16. If given the choice, how would you like to die? Go to sleep and drift away peacefully.

17. What did you want to be when you grew up? At various times a hairdresser, a lawyer, president of the United States.

18. Have you ever been dumped? Many times.

19. What's on your pizza? Mushrooms, olives, onions, and bell peppers. If going fancy, add roasted red peppers and feta cheese.

20. Have you ever shoplifted? No, not once in my life. The closest I ever came was taking a book (Northanger Abby by Jane Austin) from the undergrad library without checking it out. I stuck it in my backpack and walked out with it. After I read it I returned it to its rightful place on the shelf in the library. I did it just to see if I could get away with it and felt very brave and daredevilish when I did, and justified it to myself as not being so awfully bad since I didn’t actually steal it so much as borrow it without permission. It made me feel so guilty though that I have never done anything similar again.

Well, there you go. Perhaps there were a few nuggets of new material in there.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Things That Make You Say WTF

  1. Being told in the morning that you yelled “No!” repeatedly so loudly during the night you woke everyone else in the house yet have no memory of it or of any dreams you had either good or bad.
  2. Finding out the coworker you thought was befriending you has actually been stabbing you in the back.
  3. Realizing that there is not one person who has invited you to Thanksgiving dinner, not even close family.

 Yeah. . .

So that’s my life today.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sunday Stealing: The Party Mummy Meme

1. Name someone with the same birthday as you. Jack Nicholson

2. Where was your first kiss? On my front porch

3. Have you ever hit someone of the opposite sex? If yes, why? Yes, FU and I used to fight all the time as kids, and sometimes it got physical.

4. Have you ever sung in front of a large number of people? When? Yes, many times in Sunday church services plus at my SIL’s memorial service

5. What's the first thing you notice about your preferred sex? Fingers

6. What really turns you off? Bad grammar. There is no way I could seriously be in a romantic relationship with somebody who uses bad grammar without realizing that it’s bad grammar. (Although using it to make a point, when you know better, ain’t no big deal.)

7. What is your biggest mistake? Marrying W

8. Have you ever hurt yourself on purpose? No, and I can’t begin to imagine why anyone would.

9. Say something totally random about yourself. I’ve been wearing fingernail polish lately which is something I haven’t done for several years.

10. Has anyone ever said you looked like a celebrity? Nope.

11. Do you still watch kiddie movies or TV shows? Of course! I love Phineas and Ferb.

12. Are you comfortable with your height? Eh, I wish I were taller but I’m reasonably comfortable at 5’7”.

13. What is the most romantic thing someone of the preferred sex has done for you? Taken me to the Spindrift Inn in Monterey for my birthday just because they have feather beds and I love feather beds.

14. When do you know it's love? Obviously, I’m not really good at figuring that out.

15. What's something that really annoys you? People who won’t tell you what’s wrong when something is obviously wrong.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Just Another Do As I Say Not As I Do

After BJ and I split up and W moved back into the house, and I was starting to feel like I was going to lose myself if I wasn’t careful, I posted an ad on Craigslist seeking female companionship. I pretty much decided I was through with men for a while and would just as soon pursue a relationship with a woman if I could.

M was one of only a very small number who responded to the ad. M made no mention of gender when responding. I answered all who responded to the ad (well, except for the way too young college guy who wanted to convince me that he could show me the error of my ways in seeking a woman), but M was the only one where we got past the first couple of emails. M and I started texting. We were both playing coy. We were both being vague. We were both being somewhat challenging to the other. I started to suspect M was a man and called him on it. Eventually he admitted he was, but by then he had me drawn in. I am a sucker for banter with a hint of challenge thrown in. I was enjoying our sparring much too much to stop just due to gender (sign #38 of a true bisexual) and decided to see how it would play out.

It was clear as our conversation progressed that neither of us wanted the messiness of an emotional involvement. We both have marriages that we aren’t leaving – me because I feel an obligation to take care of W as long as he needs me, and M because he genuinely loves his wife even though she won’t have sex with him. We agreed that sex is a pretty basic need, and if you aren’t having that need fulfilled life is mighty difficult.

Being the nervous Nelly that I am (or maybe just realistically cautious) I really wanted to meet in a public place for the first time. He wanted to meet at his apartment. M explained that due to cataracts that until he has surgery he doesn’t generally go out by himself as he feels vulnerable being unable to see much. I debated on accepting this or believing it to be a ruse. I thought red flags and warning bells should be going off in my brain, and they were. Yet I also sensed something else in M, an openness that was hard to believe would be there if this was all a con or a lure into something else.

I went with my gut and decided to meet him at his apartment during my lunch hour. The advantage to this is that people would miss me fairly quickly if I did not return when I should. Also, I wrote a blog post that I scheduled to post 30 minutes after I should be back to my desk so that I could delete the post before it actually hit the blog unless something awful happened to me. In that post I outted myself, gave all my vital information (short of SSN), all the information I had at the time on M, and the request that anyone reading it immediately contact the local police. Obviously, the blog post was unneeded, and I deleted it once I got back to work. However, it made me feel better to know that there wouldn’t be a tremendously long time before someone would be on my trail if something went wrong.

Although I’m not exactly sure why, I left my purse at work along with all my identification, money, credit cards, etc. I think it was in case the whole thing was a set up to rob me. I did take my cell phone with me thinking it might be handy in case a 911 call was needed. I’m really not quite sure, given how nervous I was about the whole thing, why I went ahead and went to meet M. Sometimes it makes me wonder what’s wrong with me that I struggle to strike up a conversation with coworkers yet I can go meet a man I know nothing about in a location about which I am unsure of the safety and have much more than conversation. (Believe me, I would never suggest to anyone else that they should act that way. As a matter of fact, I’d probably be the first in line to warn them against such dangerous behavior. For goodness sake don’t ever agree to meet someone for the first time in an unfamiliar apartment of their choosing. Just because it worked out for me this time do not extrapolate that to think that you should do the same. Just don’t. Exhibit a bit more common sense and self control than I have. Please.)

When I got to his apartment M opened the door and invited me inside. I hesitated long enough to scan both M and what I could see of the apartment – small (both M and the apartment), neat and tidy. I decided that I could take M if necessary due to his stature – a little shorter than me and probably less than half my weight, skinny doesn’t even begin to describe M – so I walked into the apartment. It didn’t take long for M to put me at ease, and a FWB relationship was born.

At this point I feel that M has every bit as much to lose, if not more, than I do if things would go wrong somehow. After all, I know his address while he doesn’t know mine. He stands to lose much more than I would if we were caught. I mean, what’s W going to do? Threaten to leave me? Go ahead. M, on the other hand, really doesn’t want to lose his wife. I suppose the biggest danger to me is if M’s wife were to ever catch us. While I acknowledge that as a possibility M assures me that she never ever comes home from work in the middle of the day.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday Therapy: High Anxiety

This week’s session with Freud was devoted to my anxiety and shyness.
Although I haven’t had any panic attacks lately (I did come close at one point but somehow managed to bring myself down before it went into full blown panic attack mode), my general anxiety level is pretty high recently.

As if I weren’t dealing with enough on the personal front the work front became very rocky lately. As is quite common given the general state of the economy the company for which I work is having its share of difficulties, and truth be told is probably in better shape than many. However, there are uncertainties out there that lead to certain actions which contribute to instability in my own personal job. I’m being vague intentionally here as I’ve garnered something of a local audience and wish to remain somewhat anonymous at least. Anyway, there is restlessness among the ranks at work. Add to this that both my direct supervisor and the supervisor above him resigned within the last few weeks, and you have the makings for some pretty high anxiety on my part.

There is good and bad with the new supervisor. He apparently entered the job with the assumption that I am moron. Therefore, anytime I do something right (most of the time) he acts pleasantly surprised that I’m not quite the moron he thought. At least he seems to be keeping an open mind and letting me demonstrate that I have something to offer. Just because the last supervisor tried to fit me, a square peg, into a round hole doesn’t mean that I don’t have something to offer. Fortunately, the new supervisor seems committed to maximizing the skills and talents that each of us brings instead of making us little clones of him like the former one did.

Also, one of the things that holds me back at work is my overwhelming shyness. Left to my own devices I sit in my cubicle working away and never say anything to anybody. I have this overwhelming fear of bothering other people so if I don’t have something important to say or an important question to ask I just shut up and mind my own business. This makes me come across as various things to various people: arrogant, unfriendly, stuck up, haughty. It doesn’t come across good in any way. I am none of those things. I’m just afraid of everyone. All it would take is a kind word, an opening gambit to get me to open up. I feel like a stranger in a strange land. When I try to psych myself up to reach out with my own opening gambit I generate so much fear in myself that I freeze up, not to mention waste too much work time with my energies focused that way. It becomes easier to not try and to continue to sit in front of my computer.

So Freud and I talked about how this whole anxiety, shyness, fear, need for public approval thing affects so many areas of my life. It affects work. It affects friendships. It affects my church life. It affects my intimate relationships. It affects virtually every area of my life.

There is something of a paradox here. I want people to accept me as I am. I also want people to like me. I find that people don’t like me as I am. I try to change into who people want me to be in order to like me. I am incredibly uncomfortable being someone whom I am not. I find that I still don’t fit in, and people still don’t like me. I revert back to who I really am and wish fervently that people would accept me as I am.

And maybe I twist religion around to fit my needs. I so badly want and need unconditional love and forgiveness and caring that I cling to the promises of God. I cling to Jesus’ unparalleled caring for the unlovable, the outcasts, the shamed. I cling with the hope that someday when I move beyond this world I will move into the next where I will be loved, accepted and cared for without question. It is that hope to which I cling. It is that hope that puts compassion in my heart for others who feel disenfranchised and make me desire to share that hope with them, if only my shyness didn’t intervene.

And always, always, always, it comes back around to me being overwhelmingly angry that I am so often misunderstood and so often left out because of it. Yes, on Tuesday Freud and I started to expose a burning anger within me that I must sort through. We must, because I cannot continue going through life being angry and turning that anger inward toward myself.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

M is for Mmm, Mmm Good

(Warning: This post is rated MA. Some readers may find some material in this post objectionable. Reader discretion is advised.)

I have another post I’m writing, but it is taking a while. It isn’t quite coming out like I want so I’ve set it aside for a bit to rethink it and see if I can do better another time. So for now, you get this post, a post where I get all introspective about being something of a cougar lately.

It occurs to me that M is the only man I’ve ever had who is in his 30’s. Way back when (you know in the olden days when guys picked you up for a date on his new dinosaur) I had guys in their late teens and early 20’s. There was one guy in his mid-40’s and then W entered the picture and it was all 50’s and older from there. Once I hit my mid-life crisis (or whatever happened a few years ago when W and I started to fall apart) it was still guys my age or older. I even scoffed and laughed right out loud at a few 20-somethings who expressed interest. Sorry, if I am old enough to be your mom then that just skeeves me out. (And you thought I had no limits. Well you were wrong. I do. Very few, but even I draw the line somewhere.) So I mostly ended up with men in their 40’s and 50’s.

Then along came M. I don’t think I’ve really gone into detail before as to how I met M, but that’s a topic for another post. I started to include it here, but it really is its own story so there’s one more unfinished post out there waiting to make its debut.

If I’m not mistaken before M the biggest age difference where I was older than the guy was with K. He was three or four years younger than I. Anyway, I’ve made a big deal out of the whole age difference thing here for a reason. I am unsure whether M’s age, whether relative to mine or just that he’s in his mid thirties, has an impact on the fact that without a doubt he is the best sexual partner I’ve ever had. Perhaps it is just that he’s old enough to have developed his technique and young enough that all the parts still work as desired. I think, though, that there is more to it. He goes above and beyond basic technique. He cares that we both have a good time, and I will say that without a doubt we both have a very good time.

One thing that does not play a part in making the sex so good would be emotional intimacy. We are not particularly attracted to one another in any way except on a physical level. There is no feeling of romance, no feeling of falling for each other, no urge to make anything more of this than an excellent FWB relationship. We chat about our lives on a superficial kind of level. We care about one another on a superficial kind of level. We both are really there for the physical release that goes along with a good sexual experience and nothing more.

There are lots of little things though that M does that help make the sex great. He cares a great deal about my pleasure, and not just the focus on how many times can he get me to cum.

M takes the time to ask me what I like and how I like it and he takes directions really well. He takes things slowly, working me up until I’m the one begging for things to move to the next level. He can last seemingly forever, and I wonder if the age thing comes into play there.

M talks dirty to me while we’re doing it but not in a degrading way to me. He is forever telling me how beautiful my tits are and goes into great detail in describing everything he likes about them. He talks about how wet I am and how much that turns him on. He asks if I like his cock in my pussy and makes me tell him how good it feels. He never ever calls me a stupid slut or whore like some I’ve been with. Maybe that is a turn on for the guy, but to me it is not. The word “stupid” doesn’t belong in any description of me no matter what activity we are engaged in. I think it says a lot about the person saying it, that they have some sick need to put down the other person, to dominate in a less than loving way. Anyway, M doesn’t do that. He talks really, really raunchy and dirty but always with nothing but good things to say about me.

Because M doesn’t focus so much attention on how many times I cum, I cum harder with him than with almost anyone else (except for myself with the assistance of my favorite toy). Sometimes in the past I’ve felt like the guy felt as though it were some kind of contest to see how quickly he could get me to cum and/or how many times he could get me to cum. I felt rushed and not appreciated and not taken care of, but just as one more thing to do. M isn’t that way at all. M spends time working me up slowly, building up so that the orgasms don’t come quickly or even frequently but when they do they are far and away worth the wait. And I don’t feel like I’ve “performed” for him. I’ve simply enjoyed myself to the fullest and brought him some pleasure at the same time.

Now my only complaint is one that I have consistently had with every man with whom I've been -- not enough oral sex with him on the giving end.  In spite of him getting each and every time we've been together, he has only given twice.  Sigh. . .  Ah well, nobody's perfect I suppose.

Eventually we get around to intercourse. We try different positions, and enjoy several, but we both agree that we like doggy style the best and generally end up using that position to bring M off and finish up.

Afterwards, we lie on his bed and chat until his alarm goes off, letting me know it’s time to get dressed and get back to work. We don’t generally have a whole lot of time to chat. As a matter of fact the last time we got together we hadn’t been finished long when the alarm went off (M always sets it for 45 minutes after I get there so I won’t be late getting back to work after lunch).

I told M that it is really hard to believe his wife doesn’t want to have sex with him given just how good he is. He says she just doesn’t like sex of any kind all that much. If he begs long enough, she’ll let him have sex with her, but she wants it over with fast. He said he’s tired of begging. I can empathize. Oh I surely can.

So for whatever it’s worth, sex once or twice a week with M is really good and makes life tolerable. It’s hard to be too cranky when you’re well fucked.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Watch Your Mouth Young Man

I guess you just have to chalk this one up to one of those “kids say the darnedest things” moments. Given his expression I know that N said this in the most innocent of ways. He clearly didn’t have a clue.

I am preparing dinner. N comes into the kitchen and asks what we’re having. I tell him we’re having fish, rice, and his favorite combo of veggies (broccoli, cauliflower & carrots).

N says:
Why can’t we ever have some meat at dinner?

I say:
Fish is meat.

N says:
No. Why can’t we have man meat for dinner?

At that point I had to turn my back on him just to hide the expression that I’m sure was on my face.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Step Away from the Social Networking Sites

Top two reasons I should have stayed off of Facebook this weekend:
  • Seeing a picture of J and his wife at their wedding reception where she is beautiful and all smiles and he looks like a condemned man which I found to be an interesting choice of pictures to post on his page.  (Also, an all white tux?  Really J?  *cringe*)
  • Seeing that BJ has changed his status back to “in a relationship.”

Question: Why do I want to torture myself that way?
Answer: I don’t.

Question: Do I intend to get on Facebook again soon?
Answer: Absolutely not.

Question: Why don’t I just avoid checking the pages of people whose updates are liable to upset me?
Answer: Lack of will power. I can’t resist trying to check on people who matter to me (even if I don’t matter to them or maybe particularly if I don’t matter to them).

Question: Why do I let these things get to me when clearly these weren’t the right men for me anyway?
Answer: I DON’T KNOW!!!!! Alright? I don’t know. I know it’s stupid. I know I should shift my focus elsewhere. I know, and I know, and I know. But I don’t know why these things get to me so badly. I just don’t know.

And now? I would just like to go lock myself in my room for the rest of the day, have a good cry and maybe take a really long nap. . . if only I didn’t have to be at work trying to focus on reports that must be created this week whether or not I feel up to the task.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sunday Stealing: The Over the Top Meme

This week I'm a day early with this post. Usually I'm a day late. Hey, maybe sometime in the future I'll actually post Sunday Stealing on Sunday!

Part One - Describe:

Your hair? Ugly mousy brown with just a few grays, long and shaggy looking since I gave up salon cuts and color when the money got tight.

Your mother? Strong, capable, one of a kind, knows she's right about everything, bows to my dad even when she knows he's wrong.

Your father? Insecure, always putting up a front, easily angered if his authority is questioned.

Your favorite food? Papa Del's pizza

Your dream last night? I wish I could remember it better. It was very elaborate and detailed. It would make a great science fiction book or movie if only I could remember the details, but I can barely bring some of them back to my conscious mind. Hoping I'll dream it again soon so I maybe I can remember it better.

Your favorite drink? Jack & Coke (Oh, like I haven't answered that here before about 14 bazillion times)

Your dream/goal? To be able to retire by 65 and then work part-time doing basic accounting/bookkeeping work for fun.

The room are you in? (awkwardly worded much? yeah) The home office.

Your hobby? Beating myself up for how awful I am.

Your fear? Never being truly loved by a man.

Your TV? Works just fine thank you.

Your Pets? Just one, a fabulous dog who loves me no matter what, even when I'm late with his breakfast.

Friends? Good grief, how often do we have to go over this. No friends. I don't know how to be a friend or keep a friend.

Your life? Sucks.

Your mood? Sucks.

If you're missing someone? Hell yes. Every single day.

Your best friend? Doesn't even know she's my best friend, and I'd be embarrassed to tell her because I'm sure she'd think "Hell, we're not that good of friends. How could I be her best friend?"

Part Two - The Where's?

Where do you want to be in 6 years? Free of W, watching N finish high school, more financially secure than now, and still geographically right here in the same place.

Where were you last night? At home because N threw up in the hallway just as we were leaving for the Illini basketball game. Sigh. . .

Where did you grow up? In small town rural heart of America, where farming was the major industry and people still knew everybody in town.

One place that I go to over and over? The University of Illinois campus area -- it is the place in the world where I feel most comfortable and where I come closest to fitting in.

Your favorite place to eat out? Dos Reales or Papa Del's

Wish list items? Universal health care, enough money to have a professional take care of my hair

Last time you laughed? This morning.

Last time you cried? A few minutes ago.

Part Three - The What's?

Something that you aren't? A girly girl

Last thing you did? Went to get my license plates renewed

What are you wearing? Green undies, white bra, Seattle t-shirt, denim shirt, jeans, glasses

Something you're not wearing? Shoes or socks

Your favorite store? Meijer

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thursday Therapy: Ever Closer

Listening today to Dan Fogelberg’s Netherlands CD, as I often do since it is probably my favorite album of his, I got stuck on one song, a song I know well, a song I can sing from heart, and yet a song with words that made me stop and pause today, to remove focus from my spreadsheet, close my eyes, and just listen.

Promises Made
by Dan Fogelberg

Promises made and promises broken
Measures of our demise
Secrets of souls that rarely get spoken
Pleasure's a thin disguise

Dozens of ways and dozens of reasons
Shielding our hearts from pain
Riddles of romance
That distance may yet explain

Certain of nothing
So fearful of love
Nobody seems to show you enough
Over and over the scenes are replayed
And once again those promises made

Feeling forsaken, broken in two
How did this ever happen to you
Taken for granted, bruised and betrayed
Lonely survivors these promises made

Dozens of ways and dozens of reasons
Shielding our hearts from pain
Riddles of romance
That distance may yet explain

Certain of nothing
You're so damn fearful of love
Nobody seems to show you enough
Over and over the scenes are replayed
And once again those promises made
Those promises made

Dan wrote more than beautiful music. He wrote music that actually said something, that held stories so meaningful to me and I’m sure to others. Anyway the song lyrics above are where my head is today, and it is heart wrenching to me. It sums me up quite well I think.

I spend a good deal of time and effort trying to shield my heart from pain. Yet my efforts don’t work. Over and over, I turn in the wrong direction and end up with more and more pain. Over and over I fuck up my life better than anyone else could ever do to me.

Okay Freud, next Tuesday it ain’t gonna be that easy session like last time. We’re heading back into the muck that is my psyche. We’re gonna continue working on ferreting out what’s driving me and how to change it. I feel it. It is close. It is very close. Yet I still can’t quite open that lid and really take a look at it. I get so close, and my mind runs away refusing to look. But I’m closer than ever before, and I do feel we’re nearing a breakthrough. It’s there, that something, oh yes, it is definitely there, and getting closer to becoming clear. I am terrified.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Dozen Fives

I saw this on another blog, and because I'm feeling meme-y this week I swiped it.  Feel free to swipe it too if you are so inclined

1 - at least 100 lbs lighter than I am now.
2 - working in a job I didn't care for.
3 - dealing with the fallout from W's colon cancer
4 - dealing with the fallout from W's broken shoulder
5 - coming to the conclusion that adopting more children was not in our future

1 - apple slices with caramel dip
2 - pimiento cheese spread on crackers
3 - Frosted Mini-Wheats (dry, not with milk on them)
4 - caramel corn or kettle corn
5 - Fritos with cottage cheese

1 - pay off my mortgage
2 - get the rest of my bills caught up
3 - pay for W to go into assisted living
4 - donate generously to my some of my favorite charities as well as my church
5 - quit my current job and find a part time job

1 - test tube washer
2 - concessions stand worker
3 - financial examiner
4 - accountant
5 - financial analyst

1 - taking care of and delighting in a one-year-old N
2 - working at my dream job
3 - living in the best house I ever owned
4 - hosting dinner parties at my house
5 - serving as treasurer for my church

1 - Amazing Grace
2 - In the Garden
3 - Old Tennessee by Dan Fogelberg
4 - Promises Made by Dan Fogelberg
5 - Jingle Bells

1 - Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
2 - The Shining by Stephen King
3 - The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
4 - The Promise by Danielle Steel
5 - False Memory by Dean Koontz

1 - Picking my nose
2 - Procrastination
3 - Having sex with married men
4 - Plucking the hairs on my chin obsessively
5 - Hitting the snooze button repeatedly

1 - Cheering loudly at Illini basketball games
2 - Playing board games
3 - Reading
4 - Watching reality TV
5 - Playing the piano

1 - high heel shoes, I despise them
2 - mini skirts
3 - midriff tops
4 - wool suit in Miami, FL
5 - pajamas

1 - Macaroni and cheese served with broccoli on the side
2 - Biscuits and gravy with plenty of strong black hot coffee to drink with it
3 - Pasta with mediterranean vegetables (my own recipe)
4 - Grilled cheese sandwich and creamy tomato soup
5 - Stuffed portobello mushrooms, mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans

1 - Universal health care in the U.S.
2 - The British Isles
3 - N all grown up and on his own
4 - All 50 states (only have 12 to go)
5 - Illini winning the NCAA Basketball Championship

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

PMS Is Not the Only Reason to be Grumpy

Spent time with J on Saturday. I was suffering a bout of PMS (knew I was close to starting. . . hoped it would hold off. . . and it did. . . until yesterday. . . when it arrived in full force with all its glory. . . where's my chocolate?) which is probably why I was not so happy about how things went.

My biggest reaction to the entire four hours we spent together is this:
Will the man never shut up?!?!?
Could I maybe get a word in edgewise somewhere? Must every moment be filled with words? Must everything he tells me have to be about his first ex-wife and how she’s not letting him see his kids enough, or T and how she’s still managing to mess up his life, or his current wife and how annoying she is? Worse yet, is when he starts in on the whole evangelistic sharing. Dude, you’re lying naked next to someone not your wife. Preaching straight-laced Christian fundamentalism seems somehow dissonant at that point.

And yet, there I am, sharing the cost of a room, patiently listening, trying to find a way to somehow get a little fulfillment for myself from all of this. I even asked him to stay longer. I don’t know, maybe hope springs eternal that if we were around each other long enough he’d listen to me too, perhaps even ask how I’m doing.

But let’s be realistic here. That isn’t going to happen. He’s so wrapped up in himself, in his own needs, in his own life, that I’m nothing but a warm place to put it occasionally.

Maybe PMS has very little to do with why I wasn’t so happy with how things went. Maybe I was unhappy because the whole thing sucked. It was all about him and not at all about me, or us. He’s a selfish bastard, and I deserve so much better. Why does he have to prove that repeatedly? Why can’t I just get the message and move on? Sigh. . . so much personal growth is still needed here.

Also, the last couple of times with J before this one seemed so much better to me. I think it was because I was using J for revenge sex. I was being utterly defiant of BJ and our relationship by going behind his back and screwing someone else, getting revenge for hurts BJ had caused me. Now, without that as motivation there’s just nothing there for me when J and I get together, because the sex isn’t good, the company isn’t good; there’s just not one good reason to ever do this again.

Hmm, yeah, wonder how long this resolve will hold out. . .

Monday, November 09, 2009

Sunday Stealing: The Strange Question Meme, Part 2

26. What color is your watch? Gold

27. What do you think of when you hear “Australia”? Emily, Sulky Girl, Fusion

28. Would you strip for money? Probably not

29. Do you go in a fast food place or just hit the drive thru? drive thru

30. What is your favorite number? 14

31. Who’s the last person you talked to on the phone? N

32. Any plans today? work, lunch with M

33. In how many states have you lived? Let me think a minute -- four

34. Biggest annoyance right now? W

35. Last song listened to? No idea

36. Can you say the alphabet backwards? Not well

37. Do you have a maid service clean your house? Used to, before I got too poor

38. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time? Black, boxy flats by Dr. Scholls. Very comfy, not stylish at all, but very comfy.

39. Are you jealous of anyone? Yes

40. Is anyone jealous of you? Are you kidding me? What on earth could there be to be jealous of in this train wreck?

41. Do you love anyone? Yes

42. Do any of your friends have children? Yes

43. What do you usually do during the day? Work

44. Do you hate anyone that you know right now? No

45. Do you use the word hello daily? Probably not; I'm more a hi person than hello.

46. What color is your car? Black

47. What size wedding ring do you wear? Well, I'm not wearing one, but the one I have is a 6

48. Are you thinking about someone right now? No, I'm concentrating on this meme.

49. Have you ever been to Six Flags? Only a gazillion times.

50. How did you get your worst scar? Falling on the merry-go-round in first grade

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Thursday Therapy: Sometimes You Just Need a Break

Therapy this week was more like a chat with a friend than therapy. I wondered, oh a little more than halfway through, if this was a good use of therapy time. I’m still not sure, but I think it wasn’t all so awfully bad to be a little more low key than the intense heart wrenching sessions we’ve had lately.

Anyway, we started out with my questions about how I handled N’s recent line of questioning (as detailed in last week’s TT post). Freud said I handled it not so badly and gave me a few suggestions of how to respond in the future to similar things. One suggestion was to add to what I said some inquiry as to how N is feeling about things and trying to draw out what it is that motivated his asking so that I might be able to address the feelings behind the questions. For example, if N is worried about whether or not W will continue to live with us and what that might mean for N if I kick W out again then I could address those worries.

Also, I did report a success to Freud, one that I’ll admit I’m pretty darned proud of. A few days ago W and I were discussing the meds I’m on for my depression (there was some confusion with the refill of the prescription between me, the pharmacy and doctor so I ended up going a few days without them), and I mentioned that I felt that I really needed them because they make me a whole lot more able to deal with life. He replied that he didn’t think there was anything wrong with me, that I was just fine without the meds. Instead of kowtowing to W and just shutting up like I used to do this time I spoke up for myself. I told him, not shouted but just said in measured tones, that I don’t appreciate him discounting the things I say. I told him that just because I may be able to hold things together on the outside to present to the world a façade of “okayness” doesn’t mean that’s how I feel on the inside. I went on to say that I would appreciate it if he would respect the things I say and believe them rather than arguing with me about them. He actually then apologized to me, a real apology too not just “I’m sorry you feel that way” (his standard apology) but “I’m sorry. I won’t do that to you again.” (Not that I believe he really won’t because he probably will, but at least he was apologizing for what he himself did and not how I felt about it so that’s progress.)

Maybe I just felt negative about therapy this week because it wasn’t hard, wasn’t ugly, caused no tears, and I didn’t leave with a mental laundry list of all the things I need to work on. Maybe I’m just not used to celebrating, or even acknowledging, my own successes. Maybe it’s okay that sometimes therapy, and life, doesn’t have to wallow in the misery, the bad, the stuff that needs fixing. Maybe it’s okay to just sometimes say “Yay me!”

Yay me!