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.