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Update time.

My mom is much, MUCH better, and it turns out Christmas was a culmination of a series of seemingly coincidental events that were actually all related.

So a couple weeks ago, she caught a cold. However, the cough never subsided. This is not too unusual, and she has had a chronic cough since 2009, and was in fact already seeing a pulmonologist about it, who said it might be asthma and gave her an inhaler. However, the cough that happened after the cold was unusual in that she would cough so much she would throw up and had shortness of breath, which had never happened to her before.

A few days before Christmas, she took a fall when chasing a dog out of our yard, but she felt fine after.

On Christmas, my dad came to visit and help prep the turkey. Part way through the morning, her ankles and wrists (mostly ankles) swelled up to the point where she couldn't walk, and she started throwing up. After her holding out for a while, Dad finally convinced her to go to the docs and drove her to the hospital. I joined them later.

Mom and I (dad left to run some errands) spent 6+ hours first in Urgent Care, then in the actual ER. The long and short of it is that the cold she had triggered her lung shit as well as some kind of dormant arthritis that caused her system to start attacking the minor injuries in her joints, turning it into bigger injuries. The way the doc put it was, "your body thinks the best way to get rid of the minor injury in your ankles is to get rid of your ankles."

She's got steroids now, and she's been sashaying around the house now that it doesn't hurt to walk anymore.

Thank you to everyone who expressed their concern and well wishes! I hope everyone had a far less eventful Christmas than we did.

Random idea:

My email keeps filling up with "allowed spam" -- deals and coupons from B&N, Thriftbooks, and the worst of the lot, Michaels. All of these include a date, whether it be in the traditional 01/01/0001 format or Black Friday Only! It would improve my life (very slightly), make me happier with these businesses, and help me find relevant information much more quickly if these emails were just automatically deleted when they expire. After all, someone is going to be deleting these emails, and I'd rather it was the computer and not me.

Okay, Google, delete my spam.

Her: "That is crazy. I couldn't do it."

***

Yesterday was probably one of the best PT sessions I've had yet. Despite not feeling fabulous I made myself go, and once I was there I was glad that I had. We got on the subject of footwear, and it was a lot of fun. Today we picked up where we had left off, my PT was wearing neon lime colored shoes that were not his taste at all, I learned that he does testing for both Reebok and Nike, I'm not a huge fan of memory foam in general although I can see specific applications for it at times. Another guy was wearing a pair of white loafers, he came over to ask me what I thought about them and I just rolled my eyes because I could already see where this was going. A woman who works there told me about a patient she had who brought in a reversible leisure suit and modeled it for her after his appointment, they're a fun crew and I'm glad my ankles are getting stronger even though the soft tissue work was pretty intense. My PT experimented with a new taping arrangement, I think I still prefer the way my chiropractor tapes, lateral stability is more my issue than anything, but I'm willing to try new things because this is their area of expertise.

***

Her: "I just don't see a note helping. You like going there so why ruin it bc of me? It's not worth it. I'm sensing that he's trying to move on, I get it. I hope you aren't upset."

Me: "I feel like I wasted a lot of time and energy."

Her: "You didn't." (This makes me furious) "I think you are trying to fix this. You did nothing wrong. Honestly if I thought it would help I would say go for it. Clearly he wants nothing to do with me. If you want nothing to do with me either I get it. The story of my life. Teaches me don't let anyone get close bc they just leave. Are you saying being friends with me is wasted time and energy too? Ok, I guess you are done with me too."

***

Her: "I just met up with my friend at Starbucks, guess what happened to her? This guy, she was, they weren't going out, after three years he told her he was just using her. Now he wants her back. Can you believe that?" Actually I can because this woman has shown him he doesn't have to do anything and she's allowed herself to become his booty call. What's more surprising to me is that she's standing up for herself and refusing to take him back.

Me: "It sounds very dysfunctional." #Understatement 

Her: "This is why I want nothing to do with men in the future." The rant continues and I half listen to it until she says something interesting. "How are women supposed to deal with guys like that?"

Me: "You have to seize power instead of abandoning it. You're in control at all times. At no point in time are you ever relinquishing control unless you've decided to hand it to your partner. You have to know who you are, what you want, and you have to have healthy boundaries intact and an incredibly high level of self esteem or people like that will find ways to take advantage and walk over you."

Her: "My friend agrees with me. He could have at least sent me a text thanking me, that's just common decency."

Me: "I disagree. He has a boundary in place and you violated it. For him to text you back would be opening a door he already closed."

Her: "Then he shouldn't have flirted with me if he didn't like the attention."

Me: "He liked the attention fine. The drama got to be too much for him. This has nothing to do with him texting you. There are two ways to handle an incoming text, respond to it or ignore it, don't send other people text messages if you can't handle being ignored."

Her: "Well I'm sorry, he could have asked me out, if you like someone enough, you'll ask them out, not run away."

Me: "I disagree. You could love someone enough to walk away when you see that a relationship is unhealthy. You friend zoned him, generally speaking someone isn't going to ask someone else out unless they have a high degree of certainty that the other person will say yes. You could have asked him out, does that mean you didn't like him enough?" I can tell she's mad at me, but I'm tired of this.

Her: "You're never going to let me friend zoning him go, are you? Women are allowed to change their minds you know."

Me: "Men are allowed to change their minds too. You had a fundamental communication problem, you didn't trust him, and he sensed that. The relationship was over before it had a chance to go anywhere. If you don't trust someone, and they aren't communicating in a way that makes sense to you, is this anyone you want to be in a romantic relationship with?"

Her: "I don't even know if he liked me or not. My friend didn't either. This shouldn't be that hard."

Me: "I agree. I think he did like you, I know he did. I think he was either in love with you or thought that he was which is why he came into the store every day during his work week. That was his way of showing love to you and you didn't understand that. People like that are future minded. They see beyond the here and now, he was envisioning what his life might be like with you, and trying to figure out if you felt the same way about him. You were inconsistent, you tried being consistent, and he left the day you went back to being moody and inconsistent with him. You're allowed to have a bad day, but I think he felt played, he could see how volatile the relationship was, it no longer felt good to him, he closed a door, and I think I made a mistake in going back to him as a PT. I violated a boundary he had in place and I'm going to think about how I can apologize to him for that."

Her: "You always take his side."

Me: "That's untrue. I frequently talk about his side because I thought you wanted to understand him better. He makes sense to me. I feel his pain. It runs deep. You think it was easy for him to walk away, well I can tell you that it wasn't. I should have just let him go."

Her: "It's hard for me because people at work are telling me he never liked me that way, only as a friend."

Me (not bothering to correct her statement about work people): "Only one scenario can be true. Pick whichever seems to be true to you and go forward with that."

Her: "Well how am I supposed to know? This is so confusing, I still don't know if he liked me or not. If I knew that, then I would know what to do."

Me: "It doesn't matter if he likes you or not. Live your life and see who wants to be a part of it. It's like that video said, if someone chooses to walk out of your life, let them go. I made a mistake and I'm sorry. You will never understand him and you don't have to, people have been telling me what to do and who to date and who not to go out with, and what jobs to take or not take, I listen to them when I feel like it or think they have value to add, but ultimately I'm an adult, I'm responsible for my choices, and my decisions, and if a guy can't figure out how to convey that to me in a way that makes sense and makes me want to reciprocate his attention and affection, then we're probably already doomed as a couple. Sometimes people like another person, but they're just not ready for a relationship, or they're confused about what they want, or they want more or less or a different type of a relationship than you do. This whole idea about basing your actions on whether or not someone else likes you is ludicrous to me. You're trying to figure out if he likes you while he's trying to figure out if you like him, make an assumption and start trying to prove it true or false. It doesn't have to be accurate, just pick a side, listen to what he says, see what he does, and then determine if your theory is being supported, or undermined."

Her: "He's non-verbal. He wouldn't even have a regular conversation with me."

Me: "Sorry, but that isn't swaying me. We say about four words to each other if that and I feel pretty confident that I know what he thinks about me."

Her: "Well you just happen to be able to think the way that he does."

Me: "I can usually tell if people like me or not, but I normally don't care because I try not to let what others think influence me and my actions. I'm going places, if you want to go with me, I trust that you can figure out how to add value to my life and make me see how it's better when that person is around and in it, if not, I'm fine with flying solo. Maybe they're doing things for me and I'm not doing much for them. You can like someone without being blind to their faults. I'm far from perfect. I'm pretty intense, and I have high standards. I'm too much for a lot of people and I get that. No harm, no foul. I go my way and they go theirs. Maybe our paths cross, maybe we part for good. The only way to figure out if someone is worthy of trust is to give them an opportunity to be trustworthy and see what they do with it. Maybe you'll get burned that way, but it's far better to find out sooner rather than later. I refuse to go out with anyone I don't trust, respect, like, and think I can love. Until someone meets my criteria, or they give me reasons to think that they have that capacity, they are not even on my radar. There are people who like me that I will never go out with because I can already tell that something about the two of us will not work and I'd rather avoid that completely than take a chance on them. I could be wrong, and maybe I'm missing out on some great guys because I do trust my intuition which isn't always fool proof, but I can't make myself go there if I have certain reservations. I have to be true to me regardless of how lonely it can be. Trust me, I wish I could change the way my mind works at times and I bet he does too. But we can't, so we don't."

Her: "I'm just done. I'm so over this. I'm not going out with anyone. I just can't do this anymore."

Me: "Not all guys are like that. He's unique. I think a better strategy would be to go out with more guys, that's the only way you're going to get over your fear of dating. Exposure is key."

Her: "No way. Me and my friend agree, no more guys."

Me: "Okay. Your choice obviously. Dating can be a lot of fun. It's like anything else, practice makes you better, but you have to be willing to put yourself out there and it sounds to me as if you're unwilling to do that so you're better off pulling yourself from the pool if that's the case." 

***

Her: "How old is this chick?"

Me: "34"

Her: "That is crazy. She needs to figure out how to cut the drama and get on with her life. She's in no shape to be going out with anyone. She needs to get her shit together and that's a fact."

Me: "Yeah, I need to let go. I let myself get caught up in this and now I don't know how to get out."

Her: "You're just trying to be a good friend."

Me: "This friendship is a pretty one way street unfortunately. I can see it when I step away, then I get roped in again. I just need to figure out how to set a healthy boundary and enforce it."

Her: "You're both riding the crazy train. It's time to get off on the next exit. This is like stabbing a needle in my eye. I'm going crazy just listening to you. Is she for real?"

Me: "It's really hard because she seems like such a nice person, this is what happens when you don't have a lot of real problems in your life. When I suggested volunteering she told me about a friend of hers who does work in Milwaukee, then she said she wasn't going to drive into the city at night like the entire city of Milwaukee was the hood. She has a choice, others don't. They live there because they have to, she wants to live in her safe white girl world and I guess I thought I could help, but maybe I'm just wearing myself out trying to explain this guy to her. Do you believe me if I say that he's interested in her, or do you think I could be reading him wrong?"

Her: "I think you're pretty good when it comes to that sort of thing. She shouldn't need anyone to go between her and this dude. That is some fucked up shit."

Me: "Yeah, I feel bad because someone did something similar for me and I am very grateful for that mediator and diplomat role. I think the difference, or one of the differences is, I admitted my guilt and accepted my share of the blame up front. I never expected anyone to go to bat for me like that, I wasn't expecting to be where I'm at today. If it wouldn't have been for someone else, I'd still like to know how she did it and why she was willing to get between estranged parties like that. It's interesting and kind of unsettling, I'm super grateful for her reconciliation efforts, but she doesn't really seem to want thanks or gratitude or anything from me. It's strange. I almost feel like she isn't even a real person, but she is. I tip my hat to her. This is exhausting. I feel like I should call a spa and send her there for the day. I would if I could swing it. She's earned that level of relaxation."

Her: "I'd like to go one of these days. You got any plans for your birthday?"

Me: "I bought myself a couple of presents already. Let me know if you want to go get your nails done and when is convenient for you, if I know in advance I can ask off, we'll spend the day together, the manicure is my treat."

Her: "Aw honey, you don't have to do that. What'd you buy for yourself?"

Me: "You are a great friend and have shown me how destructive this path is, I'm so grateful for your advice and wisdom, and it's not that much to get your nails done, Outside of the girls, I spent less than $150 on presents this year and I have the money for their fun day with mom set aside already. I've had that in my checkbook for months. You've been there for me when I was wreck and we haven't gotten together in a while. Come on, I can't go out to eat hardly ever, I'm going to make spending time with my friends a higher priority in 2018. We don't have to get our nails done, just thought it would be nice to sit back with a glass of wine and chill for a while. Whatever your jam is, I'm buying."

Her: "I've been wanting to get my toes done for a while. Didn't we go together that one time or did we end up having to cancel? What'd you get for yourself?"

Me: "I'll call ahead and make sure we get the good people. I don't mind tipping them well since they do such precise and artistic work. I bought myself a laundry hamper and some puzzles. They had MLB and collegiate sporting items on sale, but I decided to pass on those because I knew the girls wouldn't be interested and to be honest, the pictures weren't great. I almost bought myself a Badger calendar, but the prices will continue to drop and I hardly ever end up using them anyways. You'll have to stop by for puzzle and game night when you're free. I bought one that has a marina view with Big Ben in the background, one of my really good vacation memories with the girls is the time we went skiing with my mother-in-law, I bought a Jackson Hole puzzle that has ski routes on it, and the third one is a small red building across the water, it was taken in Rhode Island, the waves will be a challenge, I almost bought an antique table, but then I got nervous and decided to leave it. I still want a puzzle table, I'll get there. The top was right, but I didn't really care for the legs. It only had three chairs, I only need three, it felt unbalanced. Maybe I will call my step dad and get his thoughts on it. I have been wanting a puzzle table for a while now and this one isn't too tall, but it's not exactly in my budget either, I have to think about it. I have a shortage of horizontal space, I miss having so much, I got spoiled at the house. I really want an ironing board too. Remember how you used to make fun of me for my collection? Out of all the things I miss about owning a home, I really took my laundry area for granted. It took me almost twenty years to do what I did with it, and now it's all gone. Funny to think about now. Sorry to get all nostalgic on you. That was such a great house in so many ways, and we never gave it the love and attention it deserved."

Her: "You can't be too hard on yourself. You did a lot with that place. People move on, I'm glad you have a place of your own now. That's good for you and the girls."

***

Today's video clip was on fire. It was an ayurvedic post someone retweeted into my timeline, it talked about the forms found in fire and how it is constantly shifting and changing, the mind conjures up images much like people see things in clouds. The speaker said that as we move toward a screen based world the mental work is done for us instead of allowing our brains to process living images. Formerly every home would have a fire and people would spend many hours around it, tending it and nurturing it to make sure it would heat homes and be hot enough to prepare food correctly. I love water and as I walked back to my place I thought that maybe I would get one of those fountains that makes the trickling noises since I tend to like them when I hear them at other places. Then I thought about the plumbing getting clogged and the more practical aspects of fountain ownership. Before I left for PT I listened to a clip on the INTJ personality, one of the key takeaways they made was a point that I'm still thinking about. They said that most people are unaware of how sensitive these people can be and that really hit home. 

I drove to PT feeling as if these most likely well intentioned people had exposed a secret nerve or core, I remember being at work and having a moment, this is months ago. I was standing near the desk, I think this was back in March, or possibly April, we weren't talking about anything real serious that I remember, I wasn't having a bad day, but something had happened that we were discussing, my boss told me that I was very sensitive, it felt like, I can't even describe what was happening inside of me, I kind of stuttered and told her that I was as if this was something she didn't know, but really it was me repeating it out loud to test it out for myself. The other day we were upstairs when a guy at work told a woman that she was emotional, but not sensitive. I thought that was a good distinction, this is why I find people fascinating. Most of the time I feel like he's not really connected to planet earth, there are people who are space cadets without being deep, I try hard not to judge them, I know he has health problems, he's a fringe person in my life, I rarely have people that I label as neutral, but he would be one of them. I can't generate strong feelings of love or hate, he's just kind of there and then I wonder why.

***

I'm still thinking about that thread on how to seduce an INTJ, this is just me and my thoughts, I certainly don't want to make assumptions or generalization about the rest of the population. One of the many wonderful things about fiction is everything in your life becomes material you can riff on or write about. I doubt this was a conscious effort on my part, I created characters and gave some of them sex lives mostly because that's fun for me to do, it can reveal character traits, and an author can really mess with people's minds, hearts, and futures that way. To build up, to tear down, game playing, role playing, seduction, denial, fantasy, unrequited love, sensory exploration or deprivation, I think one of the gifts I take for granted that the video talked about is how far into the future I can see. My main character has a current life span of fifty years. I can go into his life at any point in time and extrapolate from there. I know when he was born, I know how and when he will die. I know what he likes, and once I started writing about his sex life, I learned a lot about what I really wanted that I wasn't getting.

Before he was married he had a framed black and white photograph behind his closet door. Nina Simone has a voice that gets to me, I found a video someone did of 'I Put A Spell On You' and that's still powerful and moving to me. I'm not into power plays in the bedroom, but I just love that shot of her on the chair and the one of him on the bed is good too because I love that room and its simplicity. Mood is a good way to seduce someone like me and that can be independent of environment. In fact, if he can create that kind of spell then I view him as some sort of sensual sorceror or magician because these men are extremely rare. I wrote about my character for more than a decade before I met someone like him in real life. That video explained that an INTJ can often pick up on very subtle things others may miss. I'm still debating this in my head although it sounds true. I remember standing in front of a guy who was asking me questions I was supposed to answer and thinking, he is flirting with me right in front of a woman he works with, how is this even happening?

It was dangerous, exciting, and I still have to marvel at how he pulled that off because she seemed completely oblivious to the vibes I was getting from him. He was doing his job, but doing it in a way that conveyed a lot more to me. I had met him before, he told me he remembered me, but I assumed that was because the problem he had to solve for me ended up being very time consuming and annoying so I had to sit around for a while waiting for him. I loved his watch, his clothes, his car, his voice, how meticulous he was, the way he sat, stood, and moved. I wrote a lot of erotic poetry about him that he never saw, but to get back to my story, accuracy is important to me. I want to know that these people seem real even if they're pulled out of thin air and my life experiences. I wanted a guy like that because as soon as I met him my character became even more real to me. Slow sex, the kind where your mind and body become instruments another person uses to ignite and arouse passion in you and heighten theirs, where you inch toward an invisible finish line, but back off and retreat just when you think you're going over the edge, it was real, it was authentic, but I think, I'm not going to go there, that ain't love to me.

Fiction is problem solving to me. My character sits and thinks of ways to win the woman he thinks he loves, then he wonders if love is even real, or lasting, or if people who say they're in love are confusing lust or affection or some other misguided principle. He runs this past her and gets her input, then he goes back and thinks some more. Her parents throw a party when she graduates from college, he goes out with her older sister, gets wasted, makes it up to his bed, falls into it, and is still drunk when she crawls into bed next to him. For a while she just lays there, then she tries to get him to participate by putting her hand on his shoulder. He's laying the wrong way on his bed, she wakes him up and since his inhibitions are lowered everything he wouldn't say to her comes out in his words, actions, and facial expressions she can barely see in the darkness. The moon is full, she responds fully to him, she's love drunk, scared, but committed. Once the deed is done she lays next to him until the sensations recede, leaving her with a head full of thoughts she wishes she had contemplated more thoroughly before. 

She's gone when he wakes up the next morning. At first he thinks he had a wild and crazy dream, then he has evidence that she was really there and then his brain really starts working. His head is killing him, he feels sick to his stomach, and then a piece of his heart hardens when he sees the card she left for him on his desk. For the next six weeks he doesn't hear from her. She spends every night crying her heart out, she gets sick, wonders if she could be pregnant, then finds out she isn't which gives her feelings of relief and regret. Her host family is worried about her, they make her stay home and give her the day off, she calls his mom, he answers the phone, she hangs up on him, and then calls back because just the sound of his voice is enough to give her hope for the future. She hates herself for loving and wanting him, she remembers each caress and kiss while his mind is a lot of blank and not much form or color on the canvas. No matter how hard he tries to shut her out he can't, but he can keep himself busy enough to try and crowd out thoughts of her.

The next couple of years involve both of them pretending that night never happened. Neither of them bring it up, she writes him lengthy letters, sends him packages with money from the countries she visits along with pictures she thinks he will find interesting. When his sister finds his collection of pictures she tells him to do something with them. He feels like his heart will be on display if she frames them, but she ignores his objections and hangs them up in his office along with some of the model airplanes he put together when he was younger. As his reconstructed elbow deteriorates and his mind fractures he holds on tigher to his memories of her. He's sacrificed for her, he's done things he didn't think he could do, his brother is living the dream, his sister is finally having the baby she didn't think she could, everyone seems happy and in loving relationships (this isn't really the case, but it feels like that to him), he remembers his father telling him that dentistry was a foolish choice for someone with a problematic elbow joint, he doesn't have anyone to talk to about any of this so he goes further into his mind because at least that makes some sense to him.

He almost dies in New York when he goes on a bender, when he gets home he resolves to change his life and forget about her for good. Her sister has wanted him for years, she's let him know she would accept anything he has to offer, when she calls and tells him she wants to take him out for his birthday, he agrees. His thought process is something along the lines of if he can't have the love he wants, he'll take the American dream life complete with the stay at home soccer mom wife. He gets along with her sister well enough, he thinks she's sexy, but when he's out with her his mind is screaming at him to put down the glass and pick up the phone to reach out to her sister. He gets drunk enough to avoid having to drive home, tells her goodnight, and decides it isn't worth it when he's standing on the front porch of the house her parents own. She pouts and asks if he can come in for a moment. He tells her he has to get going, she grabs his hand, pulls him into the front hall, grabs the shirt she bought him for his birthday, and tries to rip it apart with her hands.

The switch in his mind flips off and suddenly he's what she knew he could be as far as an incredible and dizzying sexual experience goes. She thinks his inner wild child has come out to play, but he's really taking the hurt and hate for her sister and trying to block it by indulging in an age old form of comfort. A song plays over and over in his head, he blocks it as best as he can, he goes through the motions and she's so caught up in her own pleasure she doesn't see that he's only half alive. People who know him well call him out, he's spent so many years trying to repress and block his emotions that he thinks numb is normal. Nothing touches the nerve pain, he can't sleep, doesn't eat much, the only person who seems to have any clue as to what he might be going through is his intern who tries her best to reach him, and sometimes makes progress, but since she's very young and hasn't known him for long, people discount what she's telling them. She reaches out to his brother who is going through things of his own. He believes her, but doesn't know what he can do about anything.

The day he decides to call of his engagement and break up the relationship is the day his girlfriend tells him she's pregnant. He doesn't say anything, but in his mind he's going back through her schedule and comparing that to his brother's. When he has the chance he goes through her birth control patches, counts them, and comes up with a different number than he should have. He counts again, he can't figure out why more are missing because if she's pregnant, she should have used fewer than he thought. The problem is on his mind until a bandage is removed in front of him, he realizes that the edges were too fresh on her patch and she had probably removed the ones she had applied in front of him and put on a new one right before they met again. A piece of his mind splinters further as he systematically packs up every single item of hers he can find. He has his locks changed, writes her a check, drops the money, her keys, and her personal belongings off at her house and contemplates suicide as he drives toward the bridge near his childhood home. He hears a song that reminds him of her sister, he doesn't believe the baby is his, but knows it could be. He's living a new version of hell and it was his own actions that brought him here.

In the beginning I needed a guy who was going to get the girl. That's all a romance novel was to me. It couldn't be that hard to write a bunch of drivel about two people meeting, the sister and brother were foils for them, the smart sister, the dumb blonde, the dentist, and the athlete. Money wasn't a problem because these people all have trust funds. But when you're forced to retire before the age of thirty you start seeing a trust fund as much smaller than others, especially when you're faced with the kind of medical bills he has. He's self employed, he put money aside for retirement, nothing he did worked out the way he thought it was going to, being smart hadn't helped him the way that he had envisioned, instead of having a successful career he was sitting along the third baseline watching his brother's gifted arm gun down runners at home. His brother's wife announces that she's pregnant, more and more evidence of other people's happiness convinces him that life and love just aren't going to work for him. He doesn't tell anyone about the things he sees and hears knowing that will take even more away from his life. But when he can no longer perform his job duties, the hallucinations stop.

He became a way to escape from the world I had created for myself into another dimension. I looked okay on paper and I was very not okay, but nobody seemed to care. They said that they did, but I didn't see their actions backing up their words. Worrying about people is pointless. It's totally crazy to think that allergies saved my life. Had I not gone to the hospital I would probably be dead today. I knew it would be cold so I wore warm clothes. I packed a bag, I guess no matter how mixed up things are inside of my mind I can't escape those organizational tendencies, they must be hard wired into my head because a part of me could still operate on that level of consciousness. I write about him because this is and was my life. I look okay most of the time. I go to work, I do things outside of work. I have friends and family members that I talk to, even when I tell people that things are not okay, they don't believe me. I have credibility issues and this is a very terrible problem to have when you have mental health issues.

Today I'm okay. I'm upset for a reason I can't explain and I'm sure it's tied to my birthday, but I don't want to go there. I intentionally and purposefully block every birthday memory that I can, but every once in a while one comes creeping out, I've had good memories and moments, I can see the future and this is where it gets tricky because the future is flexible to a degree, choices I made decades ago will come into play, factors I had no control over will crop up, PT is as much for my mind as it is for my ankle. As long as that guy is around I feel like I'm going to be okay. My story has a happy ending, but fiction isn't real life. My real life has a happy ending too, but today I'm thinking about my dad, I hadn't talked to him for years before he died. I don't feel bad about that. The future is being created now, this is why it is serious, but can't be too serious. Buying those puzzles was such an important gift to myself. It's a chance to step out of my black and white world into one where there is color and shapes and a break for my brain. My friend isn't good for me and I can't take it anymore. That's really what this is all about, how to get away from these women in my life who seem like they're my friends, but aren't.

I don't want to go to bed tonight because I don't want to wake up tomorrow morning. I know I'll be okay and being 43 won't feel drastically different than being 42, it feels like I've given and given to her and gotten taken to the cleaners in return. A friend of mine told me to be happy that others were rejecting my beliefs because when the crazy people think you're wrong, that's a good thing. I know what I know and I know what I don't to a certain extent. I'll put my puzzles together, just getting the pieces out will help me. This is something I can do for myself, I can take care of me because I love me, despite how I'm feeling right now. I'm going to talk to my manager about this and I'm going to start requesting that I work different shifts, I need some space, I need distance, I need protection, I need safety at work. I know management is largely useless and others will take her side over mine. I probably would too. I'm a trouble maker and a polarizing figure, others get credit for things I've done, I'll never get rewarded for the systems I put into place, but I know my manager appreciates me and what I've done because she goes out of her way to tell and show me.

***

  1. When I was a teenager I had a lot of friends
  2. at least that's what other people told me,
  3. girls I went to school with would come up
  4. to me and ask if I was going downstairs,
  5. we lived at a boarding school, 24/7 life with
  6. friends, guys who watched NCAA basketball,
  7. who wore Thigpen jerseys to German class,
  8. that my friends liked, they'd be super nice
  9. to me every night, and as soon as we got
  10. downstairs, they'd ditch me, for their men.

 

  1. Now I'm in my mid-forties, you'd think that
  2. these stupid fucking games would end, but
  3. I guess I was naive, I guess there are none
  4. so blind as those who refuse to see. Today
  5. a guy made a comment about the Badgers,
  6. I felt like he was talking to me instead of
  7. the group he was with, when I was in school
  8. one of the guys questioned why I was 
  9. watching the World Series, that was my
  10. first taste of sexism in sports.

 

  1. You're just like these so called friends I
  2. left behind many years ago. You don't care
  3. about me as a person, you just want my
  4. insights into some guy and I'm not going
  5. to play that game anymore. You want to
  6. play games with his heart, I'm drawing the
  7. line, calling time, I learned his lesson today,
  8. he left, he walked out, and he's not coming
  9. back, I need to do the same, no matter how
  10. much it hurts. 

 

  1. I don't even know how much free advice
  2. you've gotten from me, somehow you  
  3. manage to make me feel like you're owed
  4. this, or like since I happen to have a very
  5. similar personality to some guy you like
  6. that I should spend endless hours feeding
  7. your insatiable appetite for drama. I. Am. 
  8. Done. You think you got frozen before, 
  9. I hope that prepared you adequately.
  10. I don't expect an apology, I screwed up.

 

  1. Some time ago you reminded me of my 
  2. mom, that's rarely a positive comparison,
  3. you have nothing for anyone else, you
  4. don't have to worry about money, it's 
  5. all about you, your needs, your wants,
  6. your obsessions, your skin, your face,
  7. your lipstick, your deodorant, your oils,
  8. shampoo, free things, I can't believe
  9. how incredibly foolish I was, I thought
  10. I was smart, but in the end, you won.

 

  1. Congrats. I hope this victory is worth it.

***

I can't believe I have to go back into work. Everything inside of me is telling me to call in and quit, but that just screws me financially. I did this to myself, I think that's what hurts the most...

***

  1. As long as I say what you want me 
  2. to say, do what you want me to do
  3. I can no longer live with these 
  4. misconceptions, baby all I've got
  5. to say to you, is that ain't love,
  6. I believe you've got the wrong
  7. emotion. That ain't love, at least
  8. it doesn't feel like love, to me. 
  9. How was I to know, that there
  10. were bullets in your gun? 

***

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