Log: Apr 8 – Apr 10 (Wed – Fri)

Apr 8 – Apr 10 (Wed – Fri): Visiting with my parents

Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret, today

I haven’t had a chance yet to write about the bicycle trip with my family and friends. It was wonderful. I can hardly wait to write about it in a bit of detail and include some pictures. I took a lot of pictures, some of which I’m excited about.

Anyway, so tomorrow is the 10th and my parents will leave. I wasn’t going to write until after this trip time period was completely over, but my mood is iffy these past two days and I worry it’ll get worse tomorrow after my parents leave.

It was a very large emotional let-down when the bicycling trip came to an end and we found ourselves back here. The trip was a vacation for me in every way. I’ll write about it soon (it’s hard not to right now).

But now my mood is wavering. I’m okay. I’m stable. Then I feel my smile start to crack and some anxiety to come to my face. I want to stay upbeat but this is going to be so hard to watch them leave. I love every moment I spend with my parents. I have for many years. I had lived with them post-college very happily up until I got married. I would still be living with them right now if not for my being afraid of my ex/ not feeling safe out there anymore. So I must stay away.

Now I’ll confess I have a second interest out here: “Peter”. If I knew beyond doubt that somehow my ex no longer lived in my parents’ state and would never return, and it was completely safe for me to live with my parents again, I would hesitate at this time. I’m very interested in letting things play out for me and “Peter”. I still don’t know when or if I can/will ever see my beloved dog again. Life is strange.

Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Tussock Moth Caterpillar, yesterday

So here’s the log part of this post. My parents and I came back from the bicycling trip. We had to drop stuff off, return the vehicle, and then I actually had to go to work for a brief time, to add the finishing touches to a report and mail it out. I showed my parents around my workplace, showed them the area, and then we walked all around a lake to kill many hours while waiting for my brother to finish work. We got to see many birds, the beautiful lake area, and a huge garden. My dad had a beautiful Tussock moth caterpillar crawling on his back at one point there. I looked up its food and returned it to a tree that looked like what it likes to eat, in spite of them being considered somewhat potentially invasive.

We ate out with my brother and viewed his apartment and chatted with him for a bit.

Today, my parents and I went to the city my brother works in and I showed them my old workplace and the gardens I ate lunch at on some of my work days. Then we met with my brother for lunch at an amazing restaurant with a view of the water. He had to go back to work but my parents and I walked and walked and walked the entire rest of my brother’s work shift. We traveled the shore and I saw some really pretty birds and then my dad pointed out a sea lion. We looked over and saw a sea lion swimming up to us and staring at us. It was amazing. He just swam in one place, staring right at us, snorting and yawning sometimes. One woman exclaimed how she wished she’d brought some “num nums” with her. It was adorable. He was definitely expecting us to drop him food. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that people feed the sea lions.

Sea Lion

Sea Lion, today

So then my brother got off of work and we all took the train back to his place. Imagine me with my brother and our parents, all taking the train. I begged my brother to take a picture of all of us and he did. It’s a pretty funny picture. So then he took us to a dessert place to pick up treats for later, and then headed to my aunt & uncle’s place. My uncle is very ill but cooked us all a delicious soup. We all chatted for a while and then I freaked out because I got a letter from the state saying they didn’t accept my tax return after all and are requesting all kinds of documents to prove what I’d submitted via TurboTax. I knew it was too good to be true that I didn’t owe any state taxes. How did TurboTax lead me so wrong, though? I put in all of my information very carefully.

So then my brother left. My mom showed me one episode of Doc Martin, a TV show. And she’s even gotten to tuck me in tonight, for the first and last time for who knows how long. But I couldn’t stay in bed because my mood was so iffy. I wanted to come here to write and sort out some things from my brain.

I think you can see that this time period will be hard for me. I wish that my parents and my dog lived near me here. I don’t want to say goodbye to them. It’s going to be very sad and very hard. And frankly I think I balance them, too. It’s hard for people to understand my dad correctly a lot of the time. Even my mom has expressed some things that kind of shocked me. He’s been alienating a lot of people lately with the very, very blunt things he sometimes blurts out. She thinks it’s getting much worse and he’s saying very offensive things and that maybe it’s a chemical imbalance or maybe he’s trying to alienate everyone and her on purpose. I don’t believe that one for a second. I suggested she take them to a marriage counselor. i know her well enough to know this can’t get any better; she’ll only fret more and more about it unless she’s able to talk with someone about it and get some kind of answers or suggestions. I hope this gets worked out. I got to see a lot in action during this trip. Some things were very, very interesting.

Brown-headed Cowbird

male Brown-headed Cowbird, today

I just wrote a ton of things but I deleted them since my opinions on it don’t really matter. I love both of my parents so much. But it’s more than that. It’s also that I can’t see my dad surviving without my mom. So it’s very scary to think of her leaving him, which I’m not at all saying is going to happen. But I can also see that she has been living for a very, very long time with someone unable to offer any kind of emotional support, comfort, or a hug. Literally. And although I root for them 100%, I can also say that I personally seek a kind, gentle soul with understanding and external heart. But he has so, so, so much to offer in other areas.

Anyway. So after they leave tomorrow, I have to go back to work. Vacation will be over. I cannot believe how overcome with dread I am at the thought of going back to work there. I had to go back briefly yesterday, as I mentioned, and I was really shocked by the STRENGTH of my aversion to being there/ doing that work. I seriously MUST find a new job SOON.

Back to the topic of my parents. I like living with both of my parents together. I like living with my dad when my mom’s gone. And I like living with my mom when my dad’s gone. That felt important to point out. How much I like them both and together.

I have a whole ‘nother topic I wish to write about soon, as well. I’ll leave you in suspense. Apr 8 – Apr 10 Mood Ranking: 3.75-7.25 (Up when with my parents; down when thinking about work)

Log: Apr 4 – Apr 8 (Sat – Wed): Bicycling trip with family and friends

Apr 4 – Apr 8 (Sat – Wed): Bicycling trip with family and friends

This is going to be fun to write.

Sunset

Sunset, taken by my brother

Apr 4 (Sat): “Peter” had stayed over after his mom had driven me home from Friday’s Passover dinner. He left early to go pack for this trip and for his upcoming work trip to France. My parents arrived. My mom helped me make my list for packing. I packed. My parents and uncle went out walking. We all somehow got everything gathered and the bikes packed up into the vehicle. My parents, me and “Peter” drove to the location. We got there by evening. My brother and his gf were already out there, touring the area. We dropped off our stuff in our rented room and then we all went out to dinner together, including the family friends we were also meeting there.

After dinner, we returned to the hotel room just as the sun was setting and the sky was beautiful. I asked if we could go on a walk, and we all went. I gave my brother my camera because he is an amazing photographer. I will post at least one pic that he took here. In the late evening, we all went down to the pool area. “Peter” and I swam in the pool. My brother joined for a while, as well, while everyone else went directly to the hot tub. Then we all ended up in the hot tub and chatted with the other folks (strangers) who were staying there.

Scenery

Scenery

Apr 5 (Sun): On this day, my brother and his gf had to leave in the morning because she had to catch an airplane and he had to get ready for work. The rest of our group went out bicycling and the weather was very pleasant. The scenery was beautiful. We crossed many roads, some of which had quite a lot of traffic. We had a view of the agriculture the entire way.

That evening, my mom made us all pizzas on an outdoor grill. She had made me gluten-free dough at Home before she flew down here! She had been planning a pizza night. So “Peter” and I helped shop for and chop up the vegetables and such. The experience was very interesting and fun.

Neat woods

Neat woods

Apr 6 (Mon): Okay, this was my favorite bicycling day. This ride brought us into a sort of valley area and we rode along a very private road alongside a creek. I saw a wild turkey and domestic horses, and a lot of turkey vultures. On this ride, “Peter” and I stopped because I needed to “use the green door” (I just learned that euphemism). Meanwhile, he had sat down against a large rock and taken out his book. So when I came back over, I sat down next to him and he set his book down and we just sat there together for a long time, listening to the birds and the wind and the distant creek and watching the clouds. On our ride back, we felt a few drops of rain. “Peter” was sad that he didn’t get to ride in a downpour, which I’m adding here because of foreshadowing.

I took an excellent picture of my dad entering a stationary outhouse. I know that we all stopped at a neat food place, too, and I locked my helmet to my bike for the first time in my life and that was interesting. This food place happened to have a gluten free area, if I’m putting the pieces together correctly.

I think that we all ate the delicious pizza leftovers for dinner on this night. Then, my mom, a family friend, myself and “Peter” went and played music together in the evening! The family friend had brought her traveling piano and a tenor ukulele with her. My mom and I had brought our recorders and music. We all played various types of music and “Peter” and I got to show my parents some of the songs we’ve been practicing!! It was so much fun!! (And also somewhat nerve-wracking to have an audience.)

A break in the rain

A break in the rain

Apr 7 (Tue): This morning was beautiful and sad. It was, ironically, pouring rain at 4a when “Peter” had to leave. In this short period of time, I had gotten so accustomed to having his constant company (and loving it), and I cried when he drove away in his taxi. But he had to leave for a work conference in France. I’m glad he’d been able to attend for as long as he’d been able to. I went back to my bed alone and moved over to where he’d been sleeping, and went back to sleep. I had trouble waking up later in the morning.

On this day, our group had a late start, due mostly to me, and we drove to our new destination. It was very windy and very rainy. So we went into an interesting building and toured the exhibits there. I bought a small book at the gift shop that I think “Peter” would like to read after I finish with it. I also bought a little pig clip for my uncle, but you’d have to understand the kitchen-pig link for that to make sense.

After our weather app said the weather should start to clear, we got on our bikes and started riding. This time we were in another agricultural area but on very quiet roads. It was lovely and peaceful and … pouring rain. By the time I got back to the car, I could WRING the water out of my shoes. The roads had such deep puddles and we had to keep riding directly through them to get out of the way of traffic on the last stretch. But it was very fun. I think my dad said that this ride had been his favorite of the three.

For dinner, my mom and I whizzed through the grocery store to gather ingredients for tacos/burritos. Another family friend arrived and it was such a joy to hear all of the laughter and catching up. This is one of my dad’s favorite people in the whole world and they just cracked each other up the entire night. Joy. She left late that same night.

Two small birds chasing away a raven

Two small birds chasing away a raven

Apr 8 (Wed): On this morning, I had trouble getting out of bed again, but then we re-packed all of our things and played music together again. It was beautiful. Then we had to say goodbye to our family friends and drive back. We made it back, dumped off our stuff, returned the vehicle, and then I had to go to work for a short time! I showed my parents around my workplace and the surrounding area. I wrote about this already in another post. We walked around a lovely lake and I took a million pictures of birds and flowers and my parents. I’m not sure how this connects, but I know I already wrote about this day somewhere else. Anyway, then we had dinner with my brother near his apartment.

Total Trip Mood Ranking: 5-8

Log: Apr 3 (Fri)

Apr 3 (Fri): Therapy 9a (cancelled), Work 3:00p – 5:30p, Dinner event with “Peter” and his family (not a true Seder, but some Passover food) 6:30p @location

  1. If I go to work right now, I could get a little bit accomplished.
  2. Then perhaps my uncle would not kill me if I went to dinner tonight.
  3. My uncle might still kill me if I went to dinner tonight.
  • If I go to work and to dinner tonight, WOULD I HAVE ANY ENERGY FOR TOMORROW, WHEN MY PARENTS ARRIVE?
  • If I stay home today and tonight, and rest, WOULD MY MUSCLES AND STAMINA ATROPHY AWAY ANYWAY??? That is what usually happens to me when I don’t do much for a couple of days. I waste away quite quickly and lose 100% of my stamina.
Baby robin from years ago

Baby robin from years ago — he looks about how I feel right now. “MOOOOOOOOOOOOM!”

It sounds like I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t. I will die under one of these choices — my uncle will kill me if I go to dinner tonight. That much I know. I don’t think my doctor will kill me. She said to stay home for 3 days, but I think if she saw the ultra-serious type of mask I would wear onto the public transit system, she would be okay with it. I described the type to her during my appointment yesterday. They’re NIOSH N95 and tested to prevent TB spread when properly fit and all that. So I feel like I could keep the public safe from me if I do indeed have Whooping Cough (I’m not convinced, but the test will tell us within a few days). But, “Peter” also said he could get me a direct ride so I wouldn’t be on public transit to the dinner.

BUT which way will the exhaustion be worsened? That’s all I need to know now. If I stay and rest, will I be even more atrophied and have less stamina tomorrow? Or if I do a bit of work and attend dinner, will I exhaust myself even more for tomorrow?

HOW AM I GOING TO DECIDE. | Update. I literally asked my mom for help deciding! I’m going to go get showered and into clean, nice clothes, and then head to work for a short time (masked) and then to the dinner, only if they can get me back so I’m home by 9p. I’m going to drug myself into oblivion tonight (I checked with a local pharmacist who said it would be fine for me to take my clonazepam at night even with new drugs for this bug). I’m both coughing and feeling really excited now that I’m considering attending the dinner again.

Okay, I’ve gotten a tiny bit accomplished at work. There is just ONE task I NEED to complete before I leave this evening. I’m SO excited about the dinner tonight. I know I shouldn’t go. I’m not taking any mass public transportation today, btw, although admittedly I am going to be using taxi-like services with my mask on. “Peter’s” mom said she’d drive me home around 9-9:30p. If only I could focus on my ONE remaining task here at work. Just one, really challenging (focus-intense) task. Then I can wash the dishes and leave for the dinner. [Then come home and be murdered by my uncle for having stayed out whilst ill.]

Okay, I went to the dinner and I am glad. It was very interesting and I learned a lot. You guys don’t know but through my mother’s line, I am technically Jewish. I was not raised Jewish and know nothing about it. But this dinner was so interesting to me and also I enjoyed meeting “Peter’s” parents and their friend. It was delicious. And I fell in love with their two cats. Whenever I got very stressed during socializing, I was able to get a kitty to come to my fingers by my chair side and get pets. One even jumped onto my lap and layed down for a while. I loved it. They drove me home afterward and “Peter” stayed over. I took a very high (for me) dose of clonazepam to ensure sleep (1.5mg). I slept. YAY. Today’s Mood Ranking (still subject to change as the day progresses): 5-5.5-6

Log: Apr 2

Apr 2 (Thu): Work 9:30a – 5:30p, Dr. appt 2p @clinic, REST after work

Flowers from yesterday

Flowers from yesterday

[Continued from previous day’s log] “Peter” is so nice. Even in the middle of the night, during a coughing fit, he offered to go get me some more hot water, since that’s the only thing that seems to soothe it. (Sidenote: I’d taken 50mg of diphenhydramine. Why couldn’t I sleep at all? I didn’t even feel capable of it – almost like I’d had caffeine. But I didn’t have anything caffeinated before bed, unless guaifenesin acts as a stimulant? The bottle doesn’t indicate that it would — the instant release one I got says take every 4 hours)  40 minutes before he had to leave for work, I took 1mg of lorazepam. I decided my anxiety must be keeping me awake.

So I took that, I got up and showered quickly, came up and made us some eggs in a hurry, and then he had to leave. I drank more of my ginger-lemon-honey tea and then laid back down on my bed and was able to sleep for 2 hours. Then another coughing fit so here I am. After I post this, I’m going to do some work that I can do from home, and then I have my doctor appointment. This has all been a lot of really random, probably boring details for y’all, but. These are my days. 🙂 I like “Peter”. I like ginger-lemon-honey tea. I like sleep.

My mood did change as the day progressed. I went to the doctor. She suspects that I have Whooping Cough. Did I not get my last booster? Maybe not. Well, she’s sure enough that she went ahead and started to treat me on antibiotics, and told me to stay at home for 3 days worth of the antibiotics and then I won’t be contagious anymore, if I have it. Otherwise, I am highly contagious to the public.

So I did first try to get this laptop fixed before going back home (wearing a mask). But after several hours, it was not meant to be for today. They wouldn’t do it until I’d run a backup of everything on here. The backup took too long so in the end, I had to just crawl to the pharmacy and then back home. It took forever to find lunch food out there. I got home and went straight to my bed, where I’ve been sleeping/coughing ever since. Now there’s a little blood when I cough.

I’m bummed, to say the least. If I’m not allowed to leave my house tomorrow, I can’t attend “Peter”‘s family’s non-Seder passover-food dinner event, and they had even located gluten free matzah. To say the least, there’s no way my uncle would allow me to attend it, even though “Peter”‘s family knows I might have this and said it’s ok to come anyway. But it is such a bummer. There’s kind of no chance I’ll be feeling better tomorrow. I’m not healing at all. I can’t sleep. I’m going to still be sick for my family’s bicycling trip. My uncle thinks I need to not attend it; YEAH RIGHT!!!!! I don’t care if it kills me, I am going to be there!!! My parents, to say the least!!!! BUMMMMMED and kind of hopeless-feeling. Kinda like, scared & alone feeling. Even though my doctor-in-training cousin told me days ago he suspected Whooping cough from my symptoms, I didn’t believe it. Now I’ve missed dinner and don’t know what to eat. At least I know how to cook eggs again now. I can do that.

[I’m tagging PTSD now because my throat is so sore, it’s hard for me to swallow. Those who remember from previous posts know that I get very anxious/depressed/hopeless whenever my throat is sore. My therapist thinks of it as body memory from something (specific) in childhood involving my throat/not being able to breathe.] Today’s Mood Ranking: 4-5-6

Log: April Fools (Wed)

Apr 1 (Wed): Work 1:30a – 5:30p, REST (“Peter” might stop by briefly)

Flower from today

Flower from today

I’m writing this from the following day, so I’m having a bit of a stall-out. What did I do on the 1st? I slept poorly — was up coughing much of the night. I went to work very late, to allow for whatever sleep my body would take. I HAD to go in; a coworker needed me to complete one of the figures for his report that needed to be turned in ASAP. I finished it, fixed the tiny thing he’d needed fixed, and then soonafter headed back home.

I did not have any events I’d need to omit mentioning for emetophobics. I coughed a lot, but it didn’t get that far, thankfully. I did schedule a doctor appt for the 2nd. Because I HAVE to be healthy by Saturday!!! (And preferably by Friday!!!)

I tidied up my bedroom. I ordered some food from a Thai restaurant for “Peter” and me (my aunt and uncle declined). He picked it up on his way over from work, and we ate it here at my aunt & uncle’s house. I had the soup that I’d been craving for a while.

My uncle drove the three of us to the grocery store I’d asked him for a ride to earlier in the day. “Peter” helped me to gather the random things I was there to get — honey, ginger, guaifenesin, and tissues. Then I needed some toilet paper and some laundry detergent. My uncle got the dog food and whatever else was on his list. I didn’t have any coughing attacks in the store (-yay-). We got it all put away. And I got to make my ginger-lemon-honey tea that my brother’s previous gf, from Peru, had taught me how to make. It’s soooooo good and all of those fresh ingredients can’t hurt (and supposedly have some helpful properties, to boot).

Mmmm ginger-lemon-honey tea. So good. I’m drinking more right now. Basically, I’ll be drinking this from now until this damn bug goes away. Anyway, so it got late and “Peter” asked to stay the night so he could leave bright and early in the morning for work. (I can’t personally grant permission; I’m just a guest. But I was too chicken to go up and ask. We went to bed quite early so I don’t think we bothered anybody, except for my random coughing.) I was pretty surprised  because he knows I was up all night coughing the night before and probably would be again. And it’s true, I was literally awake the ENTIRE night last night. NO. SLEEP. Just a lot of random bouts of coughing (mostly productive) and I only panicked twice (when coughing and my sinuses are completely blocked, I feel that it will never end and I will just cough forever or until I [omitted]. Or my eyeballs pop out. Something.

I’m cutting the rest to post in Apr 2. Today’s Mood Ranking: 5-6 (I’m not sure which was more dominant)

Log: Mar 31 (Tue)

Mar 31 (Tue): Therapy 8:30a (canceled), Work 10:30a – 5:30p (canceled), Music practice with “Peter” 6p @location (cancelled 😥 )

Butterfly from a previous hike

Butterfly from a previous hike

Well daaaaamn. I don’t have a lot of choice anymore! I canceled therapy, I don’t think I can go to work, and I’ll definitely have to cancel Music Practice, which is terribly sad.

I’m so very sick. I slept for exactly 5 hours thanks to the diphenhydramine last night. I woke up after having yet another terrifying nightmare involving my ex-husband. They are NOT FAIR. I never feared for my life with him. Why is it coming into these nightmares? I know WHY I had a nightmare — stomach ache, of course. But why of my ex, always with my physical safety a concern (and the safety of everyone near me or loved by me). Actually, that last part makes sense. I did fear for animals with him. And after my major fuck-up, I feared for someone else’s life very much. But my own?…? These dreams are recreating the past, because I’m starting to think that maybe, just maybe, deep down, I really *was* afraid for my life every time he went into a rage and destroyed items. I know the first time something happened, I hid in the bathroom and cried and didn’t have my phone to call the police for help if I needed it. But I don’t recall ever feeling that way again.

Oh, well. So I woke up having had a bad nightmare. I was drenched in sweat (we all knew that was coming when I ate chicken+rice+coconut milk before bed; that stuff all breaks down pretty quickly). (For those just joining my blog, I’m referring to my body’s issue with blood sugar levels.) But then I couldn’t stop coughing and blowing my nose for the next two hours. My throat hurts, my body aches. My lungs are coughing very productively, as is my nose. If it gets any more colorful, I’ll have to go to the doctor. I couldn’t stop coughing, even with the cough drops. Now I’m on my second mug of tea and that has helped a bit. I’ve also had more of the soup I made last night (again, me cooking = must be a miracle). So I am just going to rest. I wish I could go back to sleep but I have a stomach ache and I know it won’t happen.

So this day did not go exceptionally well. It was a sick day but I don’t feel any healthier for it. Twice, I coughed so hard I [omitted for emetophobics]. I finally panicked when I didn’t think the coughing would ever stop, and contacted my doctor-in-training cousin, who helped me get a grip. On the plus side, I finally went through all of my pictures from three different hikes that I’ve gone on this year! I’ve gone back and added some pictures to my recent posts. A few of them were uploaded at their full size (you can click on them and expand them), but I figured out how to resize before uploading, finally.

Caterpillar

Caterpillar (not quite a Mourning Cloak Caterpillar; not exactly a Buckeye Caterpillar; not quite like the Painted Lady Caterpillar; highly unlikely that it’s a Bay Checkerspot Caterpillar, but it seriously looks like one!)

At the end of this day, I finally ventured upstairs and my uncle saw how sick I am. HOLY SHIT was he PISSED. He’s SO mad that I went on the walk with “Joe” on Sunday. He’s SO mad that I would over-extend again. He’s mad at “Joe” for not recognizing that I should have stayed home and rested. He’s mad at me for the same. He’s mad that I would compromise my health, my upcoming plans with my parents, etc. I didn’t handle it well; I kept calm for a bit and then finally just started to cry (mood-ranking that as a 4). I really didn’t think I was that sick on Sunday or I wouldn’t have gone. Can’t go back and fix things. Besides, I wouldn’t have the lizard pictures or the butterfly pictures or have seen the snake if I hadn’t gone. So long as I can recover from this bug and it doesn’t kill me, surely it will have been worth it. I even got to see Indian Paintbrush, which I’ve been keeping an eye out for for a while now. Today’s Mood Ranking: 4-5

Log: Mar 30 (Mon)

Mar 30 (Mon): Work 12:00p – 5:30p, [Canceled dinner & Meditation center movie night plans due to exhaustion/being VERY SICK yet again]

Trees from a previous hike

Trees from a previous hike

So today has been rough. I woke up very sick. My sinuses and my lungs seemed nearly infected. I coughed so hard at work, I actually [omitted for those with emetophobia]. I stayed at work anyway. But here’s why: 1) My uncle/boss knew I “played” all weekend. So an absence would have looked really bad. 2) I had a specific task I need to do for one of the employees. I got half of it done today, but I will have to finish the second half tomorrow. There’s really no excuse for not having finished it all today; it shouldn’t have taken more than a couple of hours.

I’m actually considering going to a particular Thai restaurant on the way home and buying a bowl of their Tom Kha Gai soup for my dinner. Doesn’t that sound really good when you’re sick? I know I’ve blown my restaurant budget out of the water this month, but I might go buy a bowl of that soup anyway. Technically speaking, my budget can handle it due to the insurance reimbursements that came in this month. But I’ve got to plan my meals better in the future. This is ridiculous.

So I did not go to the restaurant because it was closed today. Instead I went to the pharmacy for cough drops and pseudoephedrine, and then the grocery store where I bought coconut milk and some pre-cooked chicken and some other things. So I at least heated up the coconut milk, added lots of extra water (didn’t realize the coconut milk would need to be watered down), and the chicken, and some lime juice. Ate that with some leftover brown rice. I had other stuff from the store so I wouldn’t be hungry while cooking. So I was able to rest a while before making this soup. I’m sure it was bland by most people’s standards and certainly had little extra nutrients in it, but I liked it. I could have added carrots or bell peppers but it just didn’t sound good. I’d have added mushrooms if I’d have thought to buy some.

The soup mentioned in this post

The soup mentioned in this post

What’s pretty damn awesome is that my MATTRESS PROTECTOR arrived today!!!! I’m washing/drying it right now and then will put it on the bed! At long, long, long last, I won’t have to be anxious all of the time about the possibility of peeing in my sleep. Also, this should keep my allergies more at bay — I’m highly allergic to this bamboo mattress (probably since my sometimes-extreme sweat and also some urine has, in my own theory, caused some mold growth). I cannot lay down on this bed without my nose swelling shut. Anyway, I got this and the anti-allergen pillow case and hopefully my nose will stand a chance now. I’ll sign off for now. Today’s mood was pretty damn neutral, and my whole body has been screaming at me due to this illness. I’m very worried about healing in time for my upcoming bicycle trip with friends and family!!!!! I know that I need to take it easy between now and then, but it’s so hard to decline offers. I don’t WANT to cancel Music Practice tomorrow. I KNOW that I should. Instead, I said I’d see how I feel tomorrow and that if I do make it, I need to be in bed by 9p, which he said sounded good. I KNOW I should just cancel altogether but OMG I don’t want to. I KNOW that I should. I KNOW it. OMG I have to cancel. But will I? I can’t heal if I stay the night with him tomorrow night. His roommate has 2 cats and my allergies will prevent my body from healing at all. I know this from many years of experience. My body will not heal when allergens are high. But will I cancel? I don’t promise it. I’ll consider. Perhaps I’ll be miraculously health when I wake up tomorrow. I’ve taken some cold/sleep medicine already for tonight but I just keep coughing. Breathing at all is tickling my throat. But I’m going to try sleeping now. Goodnight, all. Today’s Mood Ranking: 5-6

Log: Mar 29 (Sun)

Mar 29 (Sun): Hike with “Joe” and his mom “bring a flashlight or headlamp” + dinner at his dad’s house afterward 9:30a @hike

Indian Paintbrush

Indian Paintbrush! (one of my favorite wild flowers)

Today. You wouldn’t believe today. Talk about a fuck-up. I mean, which of you couldn’t have guessed upon seeing one sentence above: that “Peter” stayed the night, and then the next day’s plans, with “Joe” and his mom, and NOT seen a major fuck-up coming?

I didn’t have this one planned out in the slightest, obviously. Well, “Peter” and I had a lovely morning. He knew I was about to be picked up for a walk. We quickly got up and showered and got ready for the day. I hurried and made eggs (another miracle, if you knew how much I DON’T COOK) and he found some leftover bread and other snacks from the night before and we had a lovely breakfast. Then it came time to part ways with him headed to the train station and me escorting him to the end of the driveway, and “Joe” had walked down from his mom’s parking spot already and so they actually met. That was not expected for any of us three and I don’t think anyone had the slightest fucking clue as to what to say. I announced each other’s names, and gave no other introductions, seeing as they both knew of the other. I was pretty wracked with guilt. Guilt because I hadn’t told “Joe” that I had a morning guest (I decided that’s not really anybody’s business, right?). Guilt because I then couldn’t remember if I’d been clear WHICH friend was picking me up for the hike this morning, to “Peter” (although in hindsight, I do think I had said so. But I can’t be 100% sure).

Regadless, awkward. Nightmare for me. Both of them said it was fine, separately. I’m wracked with guilt and apprehension but they both said they’re fine and are fine with meeting each other. Like I’ve previously said, they’ve both indicated to me that they’d be willing to go on hikes with each other. It’s me who’s scared about that. Worried that “Joe” wouldn’t actually be able to handle it deep down. Ever since he triggered me that one day, reminding me of my ex, I have treated him as such: fragile; non-resilient; must be protected. It’s unfair of me and a sick dynamic. Things will get figured out, don’t worry. If I can’t remain friends with him, then I can’t. But until then, I’m going to try, because I feel that he and I can make really good long-term friends. (Ranking this mood period as a 5. I was guilty but didn’t make myself intestinally ill from anxious or ruined the entire day completely or anything. Just guilty and concerned. Now I’m somewhat obsessively worrying, but you’ll learn the reason why as I keep typing more.)

Lizard

Lizard

But regardless and beside all this crud, the day was great for me. Worrying over “Peter” aside, the hike that I went on with “Joe” and his mom was really lovely. We took it nice and slow. It wasn’t about racing to the destination; it was about sighting the different birds. It was about photographing the various butterflies and moths, and different plants and trying to locate them on the brochure. It was about identifying different trees. It was about spotting all of the lizards we could find and “Joe” even spotted an awesome caterpillar! I spotted a snake. “Joe” and I went through a cave (I’d remembered my headlamp!). It was a very lovely walk and I took many photographs. One in particular, I think came out well (judging from the camera’s display screen). It’s a photo of a lizard. Update: here is the picture.

Oh! And I also brushed into Poison Oak for the first time in my life! It’s funny because I finally memorized what the plant looked like, on this very trip. Then, I came out of the cave all excited and brushed right against a Poison Oak plant. Part of me was a bit excited — this is an experience I’ve never had. I know it must sound strange to WANT to experience a reaction to poison oak, but I want to experience most things in life at least once. Interestingly, I got no reaction from it. I was careful not to rub it or touch it or anything. When we returned to the visitors center, I asked what I should do. They told me to quickly rinse with detergent (hand soap is all that was available to me) and then rinse with cold water for a solid 2 minutes. Then to make sure I immediately wash my shirt in cold water and detergent when I get home. They said this would be quite effective at preventing a reaction if done within an hour of contact; it was well after an hour by the time I washed, but I never did react. I must not have gotten its oils on me when I brushed against the plant?

I’m still ill but feeling better. It’s back to a gross cough and a mild sore throat. I was EXHAUSTED after dinner, but actually had plenty of energy for the hike. That’s a huge contrast to yesterday, where I got tired just taking the garbage outside.

After the hike, as was planned, “Joe” and I ate dinner that his father made for us. It was really good and afterward, I felt SO exhausted. We drank tea and all three chatted for a while, mostly about Astronomy (his dad is a Cosmologist). And then I asked to be driven back home so that I could get ready for bed, since I’m sick and so wiped out.

Of course, I’m not sleeping, am I. No. I came home and my uncle was quite upset that I’d spent the day with “Joe” and not “Peter”!!! He cannot believe I made that choice and thinks it was the wrong choice! He chastised me; why would I spend all day with another guy if I am dating “Peter”? He seemed upset. Then I texted with my mom for at least 30 minutes, although she was trying to just say goodnight because she was exhausted. But I just HAD to chat with her for a bit. She loved the sound of the hike, at least. But apparently my uncle must have told my brother about my choice today, because my brother had told my mom! She said they are worried that I’m going to blow it with “Peter” because I spent the whole day with “Joe”.

First of all, did I ever write on here that I got lectured for making the announcement to a handful of family that I was now exclusively dating “Peter”??? My uncle was upset. He was so worried that I’d get attached to “Peter” and then hurt and then end up like I was after my divorce. So he DISCOURAGED me from exclusive dating, and was upset that I’d announced it like “Peter” and I were an item until we’d exclusively dated for at least a month and see if he’s actually a jerk or something.

Rewind even MORE!!! When I had gone on a date with a 3rd person, “Bob”, he was all over me about isn’t this enough people already, what am I doing, etc etc.

Basically, I gather he is not happy with something I’m doing but it’s coming out in this dating thing.

Also, I gather that both my uncle AND my brother really liked “Peter”! Because they’re both scared shitless that I’m going to blow it with him!!! Hilarious world this is, really. If I’m sleeping in, it’s bad. If I’m watching Star Trek with “Joe”, it’s bad. If I date multiple people, it’s bad. If I announce that I’m dating one person exclusively, it’s bad (the announcement part). If I then spend a day with another guy (just as a friend), it’s bad. Assumedly because they like “Peter” now that they’ve met him.

Well, I’m a pretty sensitive/emotions-type person and frankly I AM now extremely worried that this will blow things with “Peter”. I did already email him to explain my reasons for the choices I made. Look. Frankly. If he can’t accept the way I think and the way I come to decisions, what good is he for me anyway?!?! I’m never going to fit in to the “norm” decision making process of my uncle and brother. It’s not going to happen. I can’t predict the way they make decisions, just as they can’t FATHOM so many of my own decisions.

Butterfly

Butterfly (Painted Lady)

I believe that “Peter” believes in independence and friends, be them male or female. I think he’s strong and resilient but if this day will end things between us, then it ends things between us. “Joe” and I had these plans already made and “Joe” has been expressing his excitement about this hike to me for a long time. If I was too sick to go, that’s one thing. But if I SUDDENLY learned that “Peter” was available and decided to spend the day with him and back out on “Joe” like that? Doesn’t that seem like it lacks integrity? Would I want to be with a person who would have made that choice?!?! Fuck no! I don’t think you drop someone just because you suddenly have a boyfriend and this boyfriend is suddenly free one day and happens to have stayed the night the night before. Priorities? I don’t know for sure what’s right and wrong, but I chose “Joe” who has stayed by me for a lot of my shit over the past months (I was even texting with him back around the time of my grandpa’s funeral, and had gotten to talk with him all about the meltdown I’d had there with my dad, my brother and my brother’s gf present). “Joe” has stayed by me through the extreme mood swings I went through right off of the Wellbutrin. “Joe” is staying by me even when I told him I was no longer dating him and then later figured out with “Peter” that “Peter” and I are exclusive, and “Joe” is STILL on my side and my friend.

So what am I thinking? He’s my friend. I care about his wellbeing, too. Of COURSE I shouldn’t have cancelled on him on a whim. What the hell are my uncle and brother thinking?! (And besides, it was beautiful there and I saw and learned a lot. Worth it.) TODAY’S MOOD RANKING: 5-7

Log: Mar 28 (Sat)

Mar 28 (Sat): SLEEP IN; clean the upstairs; 3p @BBQ in the afternoon (my aunt and some of her friends, my uncle, my brother & his gf and two of his friends, and “Peter”–my uncle invited him)

Big slug from a previous hike

Big slug from a previous hike

I woke up very sick today. One of my eyes was half-sealed shut by eye crud. My sinuses felt infected and hence my throat is sore. My lungs are affected. Maybe I had a small fever, who knows. So I got up and took a long, hot shower and a lot of the crud broke up, so that was both satisfying and gross. 🙂 I took a while over breakfast: I had the rest of the soup I’d made, and a lot of tea that claimed to be good at soothing sore throats (honey and something, I forget now). I lingered over it for a long time.

Then I vacuumed the main floor, both stairs, the upstairs, and most of the downstairs. My brother and his gf have arrived already. He says I look terrible and he’s scared of getting sick. I’ve been super careful to wash my hands any time I blow my nose and whatnot, but he’s right to be worried. I’m definitely contagious. “Peter” is still planning on coming anyway. I don’t know him well enough to know how he views illness. For MYSELF, I never care about illness during the infatuation stage. I caught the first of these damn bugs completely knowingly — it was the first time I stayed the night with “Peter”, after one of our music practices. He was very ill and I didn’t give a damn. We even kissed, and his nose was running snot at the time. This is what the infatuation stage does for me. In REAL life, once this stage wears off, I’ll stay far away from him when he’s sick. That’s real life. This is not; this is infatuation stage and it’s a glorious stage. lol But with him, I don’t yet know. Is he coming because he’s affected by the infatuation stage too, or does he never care that much about exposure to germs? I’m not going to ask; I’m just going to go with it. My mood is fine in spite of the physical illness. I have NO energy today; I got kind of tired just walking out to the garbage bin earlier.

Oh hey! I peed in my sleep again last night. So I’ve got laundry going ALLLL day today (it soaked everything). I never even wondered if I was dreaming or not. The dream was at my maternal grandma’s house, which she hasn’t owned in over 7 years, and this room, that of course looked nothing like her old place, had five toilets. I believe that I peed in all five of them, in the dream. This part is funny to me: It was really hard to pee into one of them; I had to really, really force myself to pee. Of course, now that I’m awake and can think back on it, that was obviously my body’s last ditch effort to send the “DON’T PEE!” signals to me. It failed. I woke up some time in the night/morning and knew the bed was soaked and didn’t care enough to even move. I just fell back asleep and slept in it. I was soooo tired!!! So yeah, the long, hot shower felt pretty damn good this morning. And now 100% of all bedding is getting washed AND I’m going to order the expense mattress protector TODAY (as soon as I’m done typing this, in fact), even though these aren’t my beds and I can’t know the future to know if a mattress protector I buy today will fit onto my future bed. But it’s necessary. I soaked a freaking down comforter last night! Which I’m highly allergic to, btw. I’m allergic to all parts of these beds. The rotting bamboo mattresses (rotting now because I sweat so much in my sleep, they get soaked sometimes; not to mention the sometimes pee), the thick, woolly mattress pad (god, talk about dust mites!!@#$), the down comforter (I’m highly allergic to feathers), and the pillows themselves have feathers coming out. It’s horrible. I can’t breathe through my nose at night. I think the mouth-breathing probably doesn’t help my tongue issue, and I’m damn sure it doesn’t help my sinuses that keep getting ill lately. SO. I’m going to spend the money and get some bed stuff that will be easier on my allergies.

I have now purchased what seems to be a good mattress protector AND a pillow case that will prevent my allergies, hopefully. And altogether, it cost about $50!!! I was expecting the good mattress protector to be around $300. That’s why I was putting off buying one!!!!! Man I should have done this MONTHS ago.

Update: “Peter” came to the dinner party and everything seemed to go really well. Dinner was amazing. The company were all SO nice and funny. Everything went smoothly. “Peter” stayed the night. It hadn’t been planned but I was glad. Today’s Mood Ranking: 6-7

Log: Mar 27 (Fri)

Mar 27 (Fri): Work 10:30a – 6p

Waterfall from previous hike

Waterfall from previous hike

First of all, I opened up my blog just now, expecting to post a brand new post and feeling quite crazy/out-of-control. But opening up this post and returning to the logging of days in this format calmed right now. I am glad I’m putting a chunk of days into a single post like this. It appears to have a grounding effect for me. So it’s staying (for now).

Next up, I am sick again. I caught my uncle’s bug this time (he’s been quite sick most of the week). I have had a fever today, and a sore throat in the upper parts — it feels more like a sinus infection this time. I biked to work anyway. I intended to leave an hour early but was given a task at the end and ended up staying a bit late. Then I remembered I needed to go to the pharmacy, so I’m glad that I was on bike, since that’s not near a train station.

So I was pretty excited about my updated status with “Peter” and ended up sharing my excitement with a handful of people through text. My uncle, my mom, my brother, and two cousins. I was happy (but feeling stable) all day. Everyone chimed back to me and my brother made fun and all was well. I thought.

I came home very late because the pharmacy was extremely understaffed tonight. It’s a long story as to what happened but I ended up in a conversation with two other chatty people in the waiting area and we had a lovely conversation about the area and bike thefts and which flea markets to visit if your bike is ever stolen and other interesting tidbits. Anyway. So I did bike home in the dark, and am feeling so sick, and exhausted by the time I reached home. I’m still ranking my mood just fine, but I was definitely feeling unpleasant physically.

I came in and immediately learned that my announcement scared my uncle shitless. I’m going to go ahead and write some of the things he told me but please know that it will have a happy ending, so don’t judge him too harshly. So. First of all, he viewed my morning announcement as far too compulsive. Why not date in secret for a month and then if things seem to be working, then you can announce it. I’m like, it wasn’t a fucking engagement announcement! I was just sharing my excitement with my friends, aka these family members. Announcing it like I did was absolutely the wrong thing. He is scared shitless that I am hyper-focusing on this relationship and then it’s going to be horrible and I’ll be hurt and crash like I was when I first came to live with him. That’s what it boils down to. He said a lot more than that, believe me. But the gist is, he’s scared for me. Scared that I’m too into this. Scared that I’ll crash. As he was talking, I got scared. I got scared that it was all going to come down around me. I got scared that it really is just a sick bubble that’s going to pop and I’m going to be back into darkness. I rank this mood slippage as a 4.

(Quick side-note: I’m not even hyper-focused on this relationship at all yet. I’m not obsessing or anything. If he rejects me, he rejects me. You guys already saw me work through my fear of him rejecting me; I’m not obsessive anymore about it. We’re just trying this exclusivity thing out. Maybe it’ll work, maybe it won’t. I only mean it in a fun way, not in a caged-in-must-stay-with-this-person-if-it-turns-out-he’s-a-monster way. Give me a break! I’m very embarrassed to have announced it to those family members, now. If I could take it back, I would.)

So I opened my mouth. I told him what I was never, never going to tell him. I said, that is one of my therapist’s fears, as well. Now to be honest, my therapist and I have not discussed what my therapist actually thinks. But I get the feeling she’s afraid I’m going to crash. She did contact my psychiatrist not too excessively long ago to ponder if a low dose mood stabilizer would do me good.

It turned out to be the most amazing thing to have told my uncle. It’s like, whatever rant and lecture he was going on at me just stopped. Everything melted. For a moment, he was listening to me, like he hasn’t done since the month I moved in. “Oh, really?” Everything just clicked. I wish I could explain it. Although normally he expresses that anything a psych person may or may not say, may or may not do, is all bullshit and why am I paying money, etc., this time, he was listening and interested to hear that there really is a theory that perhaps I might crash, that perhaps I might need to be on a low-dose mood stabilizer. He asked about what my psychiatrist said. In the end, he ended up agreeing with part of what my psychiatrist said (the things I am working on to prevent a crash, if indeed that’s part of my issue), and also with what I perceive to be my therapist’s concerns (again, I cannot say for sure that those are her concerns; we did not discuss it). And then it came out with my uncle that he is just so scared of seeing me go back to the way I was when I first arrived. That he loves me so much & cares about me & can’t bear the thought of seeing me that way again. It turned out to be a very positive talk. I could never have predicted that he’d take it well that I might have some kind of mood disorder.

I had already talked with my mum about it, though. We laughed a lot. It wasn’t today but I don’t know which day it was. Since I’m in such a positive mood, laughter came easily enough: “Well, either I’m doing much better now and am much healthier, or I’m hypomanic. One or the other.” My psychiatrist isn’t sure, either. Hence why I’m going to keep documenting how I’m doing on here, with a mood range for each day. Today’s Mood Ranking: 4-7