Thursday, August 20, 2015


glass and notebooks and blood and phone calls
text messages and secret plans
broken bodies and hearts and trust and homes
puzzle pieces and night clubs and couches
friends and ex-friends and everyone else
tears and music and diamond rings
teddy bears and crayons and sex
466 miles, sometimes
cold pillows and puppy kisses
empty water bottles and Family Guy and journal entries
sweat and protein
wild and wonderful
money and time
still fear
but still
still love.
still time.


It's the blueness of the sheets that hits me every night when I struggle to let go of the fears that keep me tied to the conscious world. That blueness seems so far away now, like those memories of visiting the ocean--letting it speak to me one last time--before driving back into the wilderness. I'd give anything to be wrapped in that coolness again, smelling all the smells that signal life is somewhere nearby. Instead I face the redness each time I walk into the room and it's like a stop sign flashing in my mind. But stop signs don't last forever. Eventually, you take your foot off the brake. You accelerate. You leave the redness behind.

I sit here idling, dreaming of the day I can see and feel and smell blueness again, once and for all and forever.

Friday, August 14, 2015

More Changes

I haven't been able to calm down for two days. It's a restless sort of terrified feeling that is fueled by many different things. It's hard to even know where to begin, but I need to say something.

I spent a good deal of time thinking of a way to move by September, and my opportunity presented itself yesterday morning, when a sublet became available in my future city. The plan was to move on my own, start working, and wait it out until we could move to a larger place together. It wasn't a definite plan because, let's face it, nothing can be these days. But it was enough of a direction for me. I seized the opportunity. Once the guarantor paperwork is filled out and I pay the deposit next Friday, it's finalized. But I spent all day agonizing because it seems that we will be moving separately at first. I suppose it makes more sense to take it slow, and being in the same town will definitely make things easier, but it's still an impossible feeling to completely control. I want to jump back into things like before. I want everything to be right again so desperately. Except I want to do things better, which means that we can't just jump into things and expect everything to be okay. It's going to be slow at first. It's going to be a rebuilding of the trust that had been broken. It's going to be learning to love each other all over again and in new and different ways. And that is kind of exciting. But it's hard when you just want that comfortable life that you had before--the falling asleep together every night, the waking up with the one you love right beside you, the always being able to look forward to seeing his face at the end of the day. And the little things like watching TV together, reading side-by-side, talking about the future, cuddling, being cute in an almost disgusting way, having weekend adventures. I miss all of that as well.

I skipped over a lot of things, but you get the general idea. I'm moving. I'm moving to a brand new place, all on my own, and I've never done that before. At least in Annapolis, I knew my roommate. This time, I don't know the two people with whom I'll be sharing the apartment. I do have a private bathroom, and the place has amenities out the ass, but it's still terrifying. I know this is a step forward for me. But I'm so scared, and I feel like crying all the time lately. I am torn inside because I know what I want, and I can't have it, at least not yet, and I have to make this decision. I know it's the right thing to do to get ahead, and it's also the right thing to do to be able to work on our relationship, but it still feels overwhelming. I keep wondering if these feelings are normal. I'm excited, for sure. But today I've been a wreck. I couldn't sleep at all last night, and my nap earlier today didn't last nearly long enough. I want the pain in my stomach to finally go away. It started to feel like it would when I would be waiting for him. It's not like there is that much of a difference between my situation here and the one I will be moving to, with respect to the relationship. The distance will no longer be a factor. But not being able to see his face every night before bed, when he is right there in the same town--that's going to be brutal.

But ultimately, this move is about moving forward on more than one front. It may not be an ideal situation, but it is still a step in the right direction in terms of our relationship. But that's not the only important thing I'm taking care of by doing this. I'm taking the leap so I can find a job that has the potential for professional growth, which may take some time, but a humiliating/menial job in a city with people I know and closer to so many people I love is better than one in an area where I feel isolated almost all the time. Being able to control my own space, for the most part, will also be a huge relief. This is also an important step because I need to keep in the practice of taking care of my own affairs. I haven't been cooking as much here, which bothers me, because I'm usually so much better about what I put into my body, but I am trying not to be too critical of myself. It's a chance for me to start functioning in the real world again. It's terrifying. I'm afraid of failing, of course. I'm confident. I'm actually more confident than I have ever been about my own abilities. But I cannot shake the fear of the unknown and the anxiety that comes with knowing that there is still a chance that despite all my best efforts, I will fail again.

I feel like I need continual reassurance that I'm doing the right thing. I may be doing this on my own, but that doesn't mean I won't need some sort of support. I'm scared of being in a new place all on my own. I don't know who wouldn't be. I wish I weren't doing this alone. And I may not be for long. But that doesn't mean that I can't. So even when I have doubts, I have to trust that I am going to be okay, no matter what happens.

It's been over a month, and I've survived. I've overcome obstacles that used to seem insurmountable. Normally, when I don't sleep, I don't function well at all the next day. I started panicking when I knew I wasn't going to be able to fall asleep. I had been awake for nearly 24 hours and still had an 8-hour shift plus the journey home to endure. I fought with myself quite a bit. I dreaded going to work. I feared I would not last without having a meltdown. I feared that it would all just be too much. I didn't want to continue feeling like I did. I just wanted to run away by sleeping in. But I went. I somehow forced myself to deal with the situation. I had to tell myself I was doing this for a reason, no matter how miserable the job is or how shitty I feel. I have a goal, and I need the money to achieve that goal. I have a responsibility to see this through. And I did it. I worked the whole day without having any trouble, other than feeling ridiculously tired. The nap this afternoon,though short, did feel pretty amazing after that.

Also, it's been over a month, and I haven't had a meltdown. I haven't screamed. There's been a lot of crying and a lot of intense emotional pain that has caused physical pain. The anxiety is constant, unfortunately. Maybe it's more to do with the disconnect between where I want to be and where I am. I'm not sure.  But I'm coping. I'm learning to live with these feelings, which are pretty intense at times. I feel like that's an understatement. But you get the point. I've had so much shit happen to me emotionally over the past month and a half, and I haven't broken down. A few months ago, just being in the same room with other people would have sent me over the edge. Being late for an appointment would have completely destroyed my entire day, and I'd spend the whole rest of the night crying in bed, unable to move. I don't know how that person ever came to be. I knew the whole time that I wasn't myself. But I couldn't stop anything from happening.

Sometimes I still have some of those same feelings, but I'm in control this time. At some point, I will write in depth about how I felt during those months. I know there are a ton of posts from that time, but being able to analyze it from the other side might offer more insight into just how debilitating my condition had become. But I'm not up for that right now.

I guess I should finally get to what made me want to write in the first place. Walking over to my desk to take some medicine, I got hit with the realization of how different everything is right now. In my mind flashed images of our old bed, followed immediately by images of this one. Blue sheets versus red sheets. Alive versus eerily quiet. Even the lighting makes the place feel different. I just look at myself and all of my things and can't believe we aren't in the place where I felt like we belonged. It really was home. And for some reason, this doesn't have that feeling anymore. It's always going to be home. It's always going to be a loving, welcoming place. But it's a different kind of feeling. It's a home that I can still be a part of, but it's not the same as the home you have helped to create. And I really don't think my new apartment is going to totally feel like home either. I'm scared of that empty feeling following me, which has a lot more to do with being alone, but you never know what can happen. I will do my best to make the place my own. I had more to say but I got lost in thought and it disappeared.

I may consider anxiety medication again. But for now, I can handle this, as unpleasant as it feels most of the time. I struggle with this because part of me feels that I shouldn't have to feel like this all the time if there is a solution. But side effects are a real problem for me, as I have learned, and I just don't know if I am ready to take that risk again, especially because your typical anxiety meds don't do anything for me. Maybe the anxiety will resolve itself when my situation improves. It's wishful thinking more than anything, but hoping won't kill me.

I will be okay. I am doing the right thing. This is a step forward on all fronts. I won't give up.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

On Sacrifice

I want to hold you and kiss you and make everything better. Knowing that I can't fix things for you or help in any significant way--other than to offer my unconditional love and support--makes me feel like a terrible partner. But this isn't about me. I know this is my blog, and I can talk about my feelings all I want. I can say that I feel inadequate, that I wish I could give every penny I had just to make things right for you, that it hurts me so much to see you hurting that it's causing me just as much physical pain as missing you does. Maybe even more. Even if it seems selfish of me to talk about my own feelings in this situation, I know that the feelings themselves are the most unselfish kind I have ever experienced. I'm thinking so much less about myself these days, but not in a bad way. I'm making sure to have enough to cover my needs and plan a little ahead, but for the most part, all I want to do is help, comfort, soothe, and heal. This is the nature of the person that you thought had vanished a long time ago. But now that I've gotten that out of the way, for real, this isn't about me.

I promise that one day soon you will not have to worry about these things ever again. You will be able to relax--to not have to think about it every minute of every day. There are so many more things I want to promise you, if you will let me. I struggle with saying certain things here because I don't know what's appropriate and what's not, so I'm being intentionally vague.

So maybe it's better if I stick with my own situation in such a public domain. But your situation is my situation too.

The words are getting stuck. They want to force themselves out, but I am afraid. I'm not entirely sure why, but I am.

I'm afraid and nervous. I'm confused. I'm hopeful. I'm kind of excited. I don't really know how to handle all of these feelings at the same time. I am trying to focus on the positives in my life and look to the future, but the negatives still need to be addressed before that future can be fully realized.

I had a phone interview this evening that went very well, and I have an interview next Friday for a position that's actually in my field. Both opportunities are in Morgantown. I've looked into short-term/month-to-month rentals starting as early as the first week of September because I won't hesitate to move should I be offered either of these positions. Part of me wants to make the move anyway and do what I have been doing here should I fail to obtain either one: get anything in the meantime and just start saving for a better life, continuing to look for more relevant employment. I'm leaning more and more towards that. I'm feeling the urgency. I'll have enough to make the move and to be comfortable for about a month, and that should be more than enough time to get some sort of job, even if it is as miserable as the one I have now. I feel like this pain in my stomach would lessen a great deal if I could take that step towards independence. It'll be scary doing it alone, but I know that I have to, at first. I need to be the one that can provide that security of a place to stay and food to eat. It's my turn, and I don't want to fail.

I'm crying because I still want to give you everything and cannot. Sacrificing is hard, but not being able to sacrifice when you desperately want to is even harder. A lot harder.

I still have a lot to say, but I need a break. Otherwise, this is going to get even more repetitive.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Over a Month Down

I've been writing a lot on paper lately. Some of the things I have going on in my head aren't at the point where they can be shared with the world, and I'm starting to realize that some of them are just for me, no matter how much I feel like I need to share them with others. It's been a challenge trying to hold everything in. I don't know if I would say that things have gotten easier to handle emotionally, but I keep feeling more positive every day. I have my moments, but those are the times that my skills are really being tested. I think I've done a pretty good job so far. I had a major crisis on Tuesday night, and I was able to solve that problem with a little bit of guidance. That would have completely ruined me this time last year. So much of this situation would have. So even though it's Friday night and my weekend plans have been erased already, I'm feeling okay. I had a long day at work, took a nap, figured out a little more about what's happening in my near future, and am handling the pressure of being here pretty well. I have a long weekend--a really long weekend--ahead of me to decompress from the workweek, and I should be ready to go again by Wednesday. (I also have an interview on Monday for a much better, less bullshitty job, so I'm looking forward to that as well.)

We talked longer than we have in about a week last night. I could feel the pain and the anger and the frustration, and all I wanted to do was be there to take it away, but part of me knows that I am responsible for so much of it. I know he is trying hard not to resent me, and it's one of my greatest fears that he'll never be able to get past that. But I have to let time do its work and continue to be open, receptive, and supportive. I cannot blame him for any of his feelings. The situation is complicated, and our relationship is only one part of a much larger and more complex clusterfuck, for lack of a better word. I've never felt this way before. I don't have much, and while I want to hoard what I have away so I can remove myself from this area as quickly as possible, I have a much stronger urge to use what I do have to help him. I've never been able to sacrifice like this before. Have I really been such a selfish person my entire life? And the strange part is that it makes me feel good, all things considered, to be able to give and expect nothing in return. I feel like he deserves it after all the times he has done the same for me. I know this is what I am supposed to be doing. When I go to work at this nightmarish job every day, I'm not thinking about what I can buy or what adventures I might be able to take. I'm thinking of how every little bit I make is going to help both of us into a better life. I only wish I could offer more than what I am able to right now.

That's why I decided to sell my suit. I never thought I would be willing to part with it. It was my first really outstanding creation, and it's been with me through a lot. I feel like it's an important part of me. I love being able to look at it and feel all of the experiences and memories again. But I've ultimately decided that this is more important to me than drag. There will always be other suits. And maybe this is a good way to symbolize that it's time to move forward. The suit does say "Time 4 Change", after all. And I think it is. Whatever money I do get will get me that much closer to the life I want to lead. Again, it's hard to believe that I am the person making these choices. (I've even considered selling my iPad since it is the most valuable thing I own, but I use it way too much for that to be practical.)

I've learned that being able to leave this place on my own and get a job in my future city is an extremely important part of this process. I may not be able to go through all of the steps on my own, but financing such a venture is a majority of the battle, and I already know that I am capable of that. I just have to do the work and wait for my efforts to be rewarded. Having this goal in mind has helped me refocus quite a bit because, honestly, there was a point yesterday where things were a lot more uncertain. I'm not saying that everything is completely clear, but being able to set my sights on something is important for my motivation and ability to sustain whatever it is that I am doing.

I'm learning that that's another one of those Asperger's things that I just have to work around. For as intelligent as I am, I've got pretty shitty executive functioning skills, at least when it comes to managing my own life. I don't know why I can help other people prioritize but have such a hard time doing the same thing for myself. I'm still working on ways to trick myself and get myself past the hurdles. Here are some of my major problems. It's not an exhaustive list, but it's a start:

1. I have a hard time prioritizing tasks. Everything seems equally important.
2. Numbering tasks in order of priority is sometimes helpful, but then I run into trouble if I just can't accomplish one. Then I don't seem to be able to move past it to the next one.
3. I have trouble starting on a new task when another one is in progress.
4. Even when I know exactly what I need to do, I sometimes still freeze. It's like being stuck on the edge of a swimming pool indefinitely. You know you need to jump and are going to do it but you just can't figure out why you won't.
5. If I can't see the concrete steps involved, it's significantly harder for me to get anything done.
6. Similarly, if I can't see a concrete goal at the end or concrete reassurances or reminders throughout a particularly long process--especially if it's something I don't want to be doing in the first place--I lose drive and focus.
7. Stress, feeling out of control, not having a finite endpoint--all of these things make accomplishing anything much more difficult. I can't get organized in my head enough to even begin sometimes.

I've been doing so much better with these things, but I know there is still room for improvement. The fact that I have been able to make myself go to this job that I hate more than any other job I have ever worked (a lot of that may have to do with the circumstance, but I also feel like they are asking a hell of a lot of me for eight bucks an hour) is a testament to my ability to make sacrifices and stay focused in order to get something that I really want. But I need to constantly look at apartments and jobs in the place I really do want to be. I feel like I recalculate everything on a daily basis. I have to give myself visual reminders all the time. That's why it helps when we talk or FaceTime. Seeing him is a reminder for me in a lot of ways. It reminds me of what I have to look forward to. It reminds me also of what happened in the past and how I need to put in my work to make sure it never happens again. It reminds me of the person I want to be and the future I want to have, not just for us, but really for myself. For some reason, just talking about nothing for an hour or so makes me feel like I've got this, no matter what life throws at me.

I don't want people to get the wrong impression. It's not that I am solely focused on relationship things. I'm also doing all that I can to get my educational, financial, and personal goals off the ground. But it helps me to think about everything as part of the same package. After all, the relationship goals wouldn't matter much without taking care of the other ones. So I'm working my ass off, doing my research, preparing for different situations that might arise, and all that fun stuff. I've just been a lot more vocal about my relationship, and I don't think anyone can blame me for that. It's the most fulfilling part of my life. And I feel like I am the last person that would have come to that conclusion. I always envisioned myself as that sort of career-focused person. I realize now that it's not a bad thing. I'm not in a very fulfilling career right now, but I think I have learned over the years that you are not entirely defined by what you do. Your job doesn't determine your worth as a person or the happiness you can derive from everyday life. I don't know if I would have learned these lessons had I taken the traditional route through life. I feel like this post is headed in a very different direction now.

I never would have learned the value of money had I not experienced what it is like to be exceptionally poor. I never would have learned anything about how the real world works--how people are sometimes trapped in roles they don't want. I never would have learned that there is a hell of a lot more to being successful and mobile than just hard work. I never would have seen the corruption, the disparities, the injustices that so many people who grew up in upper middle-class households never have to think about. Along the way, I have lost so many different kinds of privilege, and I'm proud to have learned all the lessons I have. I've learned never to judge people based on one aspect of their lives. What would people say about me knowing that I essentially pack boxes for a living? That I have been in and out of work for the past several years? Would people expect to meet someone with my education, my experience, or my intelligence walking by me as I'm covered in dirt dragging around a pallet full of lawn chairs? Do you know how differently people treat me when I walk around in a suit as compared to when I walk around at work? As much as I can appreciate all that I have learned, it's still incredibly depressing to go from being a researcher with a promising career ahead of him to unloading trucks for next-to-nothing. How many other people have ended up just like this? I know I am not the only one. But I also know that this is not the end for me, so as depressing as it may seem now, I'm just working my way through Right Now, getting ready for What Comes Next. If I could be there tomorrow, I wouldn't hesitate for an instant. But time doesn't work that way, does it?

Another interesting thing happened tonight. My best friend from Kindergarten/early elementary school found me on Facebook. She still lives in the area and wants to do something one of these days. I have so many feelings that I don't even know how to deal with them all. I'm overwhelmingly happy that she did find me and took the time to tell me that she still thinks about those times and how great they were. How she will always be grateful for those years we shared. And that really means a lot to me. I feel the same way. And sometimes I wish I could go back to those days, as I'm sure we all do, because the worst thing that could happen on most days was that you ran out of graham crackers or it got too dark to keep playing outside.

I'm incredibly impatient with my current situation, and that's really helping me work on my impulse control. The hardest part of impulse control for me is delaying gratification or enduring something undesirable to achieve a better outcome. So obviously you can see how this situation is a little torturous at times. But every day that I make it is another win for me. Every situation I endure--every time I stop myself from engaging in self-pity, bitching, obsessing, etc.--I get stronger. Everything I do and endure here has a purpose. If I didn't believe that, I probably wouldn't have even lasted this long.

So tonight, I'm a little sad and lost with what to do with myself, but I'm actually alright. I think I'll relax and watch some Family Guy. I will try not to think about tomorrow or the next day or the next month. I will just focus on what I can do right now to make myself a little happier than before.

Still not giving up.