Long-Overdue Update

Hi all,

Deer crossing in front of our car

Deer crossing

I haven’t checked in or updated here in a very long time until just recently when I had a little emotional emergency. So I thought I should go ahead and try to fill in some gaps, briefly.

Since I last really updated on here, I quit my awesome tutoring job and the in-person school and went fully online. I also started volunteering at an animal shelter. The online schooling is boring as **** and I’m kind of regretting the decision, BUT it is going faster than it was going when I was trying to juggle tutoring, classes, and more classes at the same time (tutoring is tied to taking several additional classes).

My first pea plant flower of the season!

First flower! Pea plant

I’ve also started gardening, which I used to do years ago. It’s great. I’m growing peas and lettuce. I’ve started some flower seeds but super late, so I’m not sure they’ll do anything. I tried beans twice but they were immediately eaten by something (I know I hand-killed a ton of thrips but I suspect more than just them were at work).

Also, as you can tell, I found a psychologist and was seeing him once a week. It took at least a month before I decided I could trust him. Obviously, I am not as sure about that right now.

But whatevs. I have a dental appointment today. Next week, I have a psychiatrist appointment. I am only seeing her twice a year now, but I might try to increase to 3 times a year since just recently I’ve been having more trouble again.

GullSandwich

Stolen: Child’s sandwich

Oh, and I exercise a ton still! And I’m eating a little bit more healthfully, much of the time! It seems that whenever I exercise a LOT in a week, I feel emotionally good. Whenever I don’t exercise, due to illness or just getting swamped with other things, I get depressed. The correlation is INCREDIBLY strong. Exercise = emotional stability. Sedentary-ness = instant hopelessness. Obviously, I need to use this knowledge for good.

Once a week, I see my friend, “Joe”, who some of you may remember I dated for a while, like two years ago? I don’t know how long ago. Anyway, he’s probably my best friend now. We go on a long Pokéwalk every week. It’s often along the piers, where I can see the birds and sea lions and sometimes a harbor seal and some fish. Sometimes, we go to different parks, including a particular lake that always has tons of different ducks and birds and squirrels. I’m very grateful to have him as a friend. Also, because he has Asperger also, and has dealt with therapists and group therapy and more, he really understands when I have my downs and instability and has great insights.

ALSO, he’s as into wildlife as I am, so he doesn’t mind one bit when I stop 800 times to photograph slugs and squirrels and birds and rocks and everything.

Close up of gull's eye, which is reflecting water ripples

Water reflection in eye

He and my SO (significant other) have met twice but only briefly. I really hope they become friends because then we can all go hiking together and stuff. We’re all attending “Joe”‘s b-day dinner this weekend, and I hope it all goes smoothly. I’ve had terrible experiences in the past with my ex who hated my friends. I’m not at all concerned about my SO hating “Joe” but I know that “Joe” has difficulty around other males. There will be up to 15 people and I’ll have met like 1 or 2 of them. Hopefully it all goes well.

What other news? I’m still living with SO and his mom. I had a rough time with it like a month or so ago, but since then I’ve been working on establishing what I consider more boundaries. She’s awesome and very generous but can be a little bit controlling about certain things, and I have a hard time knowing how to shrug it off. So I’m learning and I’m working on it.

Ducklings, back in April

Ducklings (from back in April)

I’m considering getting a part-time job at a coffee shop. I want something nearby, not too intense (although busy is okay, and I enjoy customer service). But my feelings of self-worth slip every day that I’m unemployed. I didn’t think it would happen, since I know that finishing school more quickly will get me a higher-than-minimum-wage-job more quickly and thus is productive, but it doesn’t FEEL productive. Even when I volunteer at the animal shelter twice a week, I love it but I still feel rotten about myself. Also, I’m focusing less well on school the longer time passes since I was at the in-person school. Bummer.

I set up a bucket to catch water in the shower as we wait for hot water. I also bought grey-water-garden-safe laundry soap and hooked up some tubs to catch my laundry water. There’s a plant out back that is a water hog, so this grey water really helps.

All right, that’s all for now.

Poem: Happy Father’s Day

I don’t want to be apart from those I love
Any longer.
Homesickness comes in waves
They spread in and expand
The foam pops and crackles.

I don’t want to live away from those I love
Anymore.

I MISS you. I’ve been missing you too much
For days
The feeling has been hard to bear.

To clarify, I’ve been on an emotional
Rollercoaster
Which gradually inched its way uphill
But fell from the track, straight down
Free fall.

But now you’ve tripped
Stumbled
Fallen
Getting stitches in your swollen lip
And a CAT scan of your head
And few memories,
Again.

And I’m so far away.

I can’t give you a hug.
I can’t spend my every minute of every hour with you.

I want to be with you both again.

Mundane Update

I’m calling this a mundane update. I’d say that I normally only come on here when my emotions are high or out of whack or something’s eating me, etc.

But I logged in for a different reason this evening, and thought, perhaps I would go ahead and write. Because writing helps me stay stable.

And I feel completely stable at present. I.E. I normally wouldn’t be writing. So here I am.

I’ll give a day recap. I had a big exam this morning in computer programming. I hope it went okay; time will tell. Tutoring was really challenging because students from one of the other classes came in for emergency help (their exam is tomorrow) but it was from a class that hardly anyone asks for help for, so I don’t remember the content very well. And I hadn’t brought the right notes; I didn’t realize some of those classes were that far in the book. I don’t bring my full notes because they’re so heavy.

I actually went across town after school/work. That’s not my norm. But last night, I got an invite to dinner with my SO and some of his friends, one of whom I have met a couple of times now and I enjoy his company. So we went even though it was for a very late dinner and we only just got back a bit ago. It’s late. I’m super sleepy.

I’m getting over a virus. I had to take like a week off of school. I missed the exam review and the last bit of new info for it and everything! So I studied a lot this-past weekend.

Pokémon Go is pretty exciting right now. They re-balanced the gym prestige. And this week, or for a few days anyway, they’re running these crazy double-poké stop goodies and double (or more) spawn rates of critters. This is tied into my getting-over-my-virus because I finally feel a bit of energy returning so I’m probably going to go out on a Poké bike ride tomorrow after work, or at least a nice walk. I walked a tiny bit extra today, and it was really nice. The sunset was amazing.

I’m super, incredibly behind in my online school. Well, only a week or 2, but it feels like a lot. It’s because my current class is a writing-based class and I suck at writing papers. I have one I need to revise TOMORROW (I’m telling myself that) and then I need to write one more paper. Then I can move onto a different class, thank goodness.

Well, I’m incredibly sleepy beyond words, so goodnight. Voting is tomorrow here but I already voted.

Probably need

In truth, I probably need some extra help right now. My stress is up way too high. Interpersonal dynamics are very difficult for me right now. School is at a fairly overwhelming point. Tutoring is still going well but I probably shouldn’t have signed up for the max hours.

My SO’s mom, I haven’t written about this, but she is recovering from a cancer surgery. It was her fourth, distinct type of cancer removed. Nobody knows why she is so prone to having cancer. I don’t mean 4 different instances of the same cancer; I mean quite literally four different types. I’ve been around for two of them being removed; the other two types were removed long before I knew of my SO. She’s amazing. But this one involved part of the last adrenal being removed, so now she is in the process of figuring out proper cortisol dosing and it’s really hard. Sometimes she’s very exhausted.

It has changed the living dynamics, for me. My stress is through the roof. There is the worry, and the knowledge that at least two of the cancer types have a good chance of returning “someday”, and how it’s hard to see how tired she is when knowing her to be always so full of energy and drive at all times, before.

But there are the selfish monster stresses, too. Like when she chooses to cook for all of us, but I’d rather eat dog food than help with cooking, but now she sometimes does ask us to help, and I KNOW it’s the good and right thing to do, but at the same time, I’d really, honestly eat dog food if I had the choice of doing so OR cooking…

Or the times when I’d like to spend an evening with just my SO, but he invites his mum to literally everything we do now. But that’s SOOOO selfish of me. Why wouldn’t he want to see her enjoying the events, too? And why shouldn’t she? She’s been incredibly generous with me the whole time I’ve known her. Maybe he’s worried she won’t be around forever, you know? That’s totally understandable.

Quite frankly, if my folks would only move down here, I’d surely be inviting them to everything, too. I wish I could see them every single day of my life. It’s hard not to.

But the fear still keeps me away; I don’t honestly remember if I ever told any of that online here. Probably not. Since it’s all tied up in my fear.

Mortality is hard.

I suppose we’re all going to die. We’re all already dead. There’s no point in worrying about who is going to die when and first and how painful it’s going to be. I just have to live this every day and know, it’ll happen but every day is … one more bonus day.

Oh yeah. I just re-read the point of this post. I need to actually try to find a psychologist/counselor/whoever. Life is really high-pressure and stressful at this time. I honestly, honestly, honestly, don’t want to fall apart again. Been there, done that, DON’T WANT A REPEAT.

Up and Down: The story of life

I can see now that I’m not exactly the most emotionally-stable person. If I were updating you regularly, you guys would know it too. Let me tell you a story.

Twice a week, my mornings begin on the campus track, under a great, open sky. Several times, it’s even been sunny and warm. But on these track mornings, we run here, we run there, we stop and stretch. We stop and slump. We stop and practice un-slumping. We slump and greet each other. We stand tall and great each other. We ground ourselves downwards for the backside and upwards for the front side of our bodies. Our heads touch the sky. We run more. We walk briskly. And as I run, I see the gulls and crows and pigeons and some other birds. I see the clouds and feel the sky. I breathe the air and feel amazing. That’s life. UP.

Let me tell you a story. Four times a week, I am now getting paid a minimum wage to help tutor Accounting 1 students. This can range from nobody needing my help, in which case I can do my own homework, or certain people needing intense help. I am a Helper by nature. Shyness and asperger are both irrelevant if I am trying to help someone. It’s awkward when I don’t have the words or I know what I want to say but can’t form it into a sentence. It’s hard to think of other ways of explaining a concept someone is struggling with. But I whip out my computer and search online for many explanations and then find the words to string it all together, sometimes. Sometimes I am able to find a way of explaining something and the person has a lightbulb moment. Those moments are wonderful. UP.

At other times, it can take me a long time to remember how to work out a certain type of problem. But I am happy so long as I don’t mislead or give wrong information to anyone. I have helped people come to correct answers several times now, so that is really, really cool. UP.

I had six combined hours of tutoring time where nobody was asking for my help, and I was able to do my Accounting 2 homework. When it came time for my Accounting 2 class, I had studied so much that I was able to do ALL of the in-class assignments without any real problems! I felt quite amazed. UP.

Here’s another story. I am taking a Beginning Piano class. It meets many times during the week. The chords are hard for me and the posture is something I work on, but I already know how to read notes and count rhythm so a lot of class is very … well, boring. So last class period, a student with a guide-dog-for-the-blind entered the room and asked to join. He asked to have a student who could sit with him all semester and help him stay on track, because he can’t read the music. I volunteered. First of all, his dog was incredibly adorable and sweet. Second of all, I was having too much time on my hands during class anyway (I’ve already practiced the book for many lessons ahead of where we’re currently at). So helping him starting today during class, and it was very interesting for me. He taught me how to find the same chord up along the keyboard easily by knowing the number of white notes between the left and right hand. I helped him learn the G7 chord we were working on in class. He’ll just have to learn the melodies by ear, but I could assist his learning the two chords, at least. And I sit right by his awesome dog, who sleeps the whole class period. UP.

The story is going to start to change soon. I’m just warning you.

So I bought a cheapo guitar the other day. I can’t justify the purchase but I’ve been playing it every single day since then and having great fun. I became obsessed with guitar again after hearing the song, “Burning House” by Cam. The piano music for it cost money, but the guitar tab was free online. Of course, the guitar cost more than the piano music would have…but anyway. Now I’m learning “Closer” by Travis on the guitar and it’s lovely. My mom is also teaching me the fingerings for alto recorder via FaceTime, which is challenging. But I’ve been meaning to do that for years. She calls this time period “another of my manic music phases”. UH OH.

I wish I could begin to tell you another story, but this one is so confusing, I just don’t know what to make of it. There’s a story about my boyfriend and myself, and maybe even his mother. I don’t know where he and I stand at the moment. I’m going to use some buzzwords and say my “love tank” is running on empty. In other words, he’s not SHOWING me love in the way I am capable of FEELING loved. I believe it is happening the other way around, as well. Sometimes he comes home from work and I’m too uncertain and awaiting and don’t make any first moves. I just wait. What am I waiting for? Him to sweep me up off my feet and spin me around and say how wonderful it is to see me again?

Life was different when we lived in the apartment with his old roommate. Our lives were different. There were times when I came home and went to the grocery store and tried to cook parts of meals for our dinner. He would try to arrange his schedule to come home earlier and he’d help with other parts of the meals. He frequently played piano. I did homework and what else did I do? Play with Curie the cat? I vacuumed a lot.

Now, what is going on? He comes home and he always greets me but I am not always initially warm toward him. I feel a “waiting” inside, like waiting to see what the rest of the evening will be like, waiting to see what’s up. One time, I was smack in the middle of re-writing some guitar chords for a song that someone else had written out incorrectly, and he came in and immediately started to read to me my Accounting textbook and ask me questions about it — which is awesome and helpful from one standpoint, but it wasn’t what I was doing right then and there — I was finishing a personal project. So I don’t know, I don’t think I handled it very well, just trying to get us to go downstairs and help his mother with dinner because I couldn’t handle trying to suddenly switch my brain over and think about Accounting. But then I spent the rest of the evening worrying if I’d disappointed him or something.

But then there are also the times when he comes home, and he always greets me, and frankly I am not always warm toward him, and he spends most of the evening talking/discussing/debating/arguing politics with his mom. Or they watch the TV downstairs together and they’re both on their electronic devices, like she’ll be on her laptop doing research and he’ll either be on his laptop or reading news and stuff off of his phone. And I just go upstairs and listen to “Welcome to Night Vale” or music. Or now, I play guitar up here.

I do join them a lot, for various TV shows, like we are in the process of watching all of the Doc Martin episodes from start to finish. I don’t mean to say I always avoid them but sometimes, I really can’t handle the talking any more.

I’m handling my homesickness by talking with my mom over the telephone nearly every single day now. Sometimes I get to hear my dad’s hilarious background commentary. For example, yesterday I made my mom listen to me struggle through an easy Bach piece on piano. I must have been on speakerphone because at the end, my dad said, “Bach is rolling over in his grave!” But it’s SO funny when he says these things because he can’t keep a straight face even as he’s saying it, so he was cracking himself up while trying to say it to me. I love my parents so much.

My boyfriend is meeting me for my nighttime class each week. That’s pretty amazingly awesome. I was too afraid to take the class, and it’s across the city from the usual campus, but he said he’d meet me there after class and we’d bus home together. It’s been working. I was 15 minutes late to class last time, since I’m still very anxious about attending the night class, but at least I made it.

So I haven’t been spelling it out for you very well, but I get down sometimes. Just down. I’m not suicidal right now. I’m not even particularly self-injurious, with the exception of a very shit non-communication that took place when my bf got home late from work last night. I worked through it in a healthy way, though. I took care of some chores downstairs, thus making myself available should he wish to find me, and then going into the bathroom, closing the door, putting in some earbuds and jamming out to a current favorite song fairly loudly and with much dancing. I painted some of my fingernails between dancing. By the time he sought me out, he found me perfectly happy and having a personal dance/nail party and he was creeping in with a very anxious look on his face like he was so worried about whatever it was that had happened. I don’t know. We are just kind of shit for communication, but a lot of it is I’m finding myself reverting back to OLD PATTERNS OF BEHAVIOR AND WITHDRAWING. That ain’t fair to anyone, and it’s not adult, rational, assertive behavior, and it’s not fair to ME. So it’s not what I want.

So it turns out that I misunderstood but one of my old TaskRabbits actually asked me out on a date like a month or two ago. At the time, I just responded letting him know who he was speaking with — I thought he’d written to the wrong innerdragon! But I later clarified, it was me! So that’s flattering but, I’m still into my boyfriend. I know we’re in a phase right now that’s going to require some killer hard work to pull our shit out of, but I still think it’s worth it. If that scale tips, well, then suck. I hope the scale doesn’t tip.

But the biggest downer in my life right now is the communication shit my boyfriend and I are going through. He sounded pretty amazed when last night, finally deciding to take some clonazepam, I was like, do you even like me? Do you even like spending time with me? Because I can’t tell. And long story short, that’s something we’re going to have to work on, because he does like me, of course, and want to be with me, but he’s going to have to learn how to show it in the ways I can FEEL again, because this ain’t working for me right now. And I told him we’re going to need to set aside some evenings for just reconnecting, like going on a walk-and-talk together or stuff like that, where we can just talk, because I feel disconnected from him, just waiting and wondering what the hell is going on. I was upset the other day when his mom was asking him over dinner about some training he’d done that day, and I was completely in the dark on that. So he had obviously told her about it and not me. The woes of living with your SO’s mother, let me tell you. And I was really upset about it and then…. I realized, I had talked on the phone with my own mom for like an hour that same day, and she knew all KINDS of things about my day that my bf has no idea about…. So then it was a little harder to blame him for that oversight. 😉

Anyway. Stay strong. Stay attending the classes. One of these days, I’m going to have to do that OTHER class’s homework — the one I’ve been avoiding because my book didn’t arrived until two days ago and the font hurts my eyes. But the disability center JUST sent me a copy of the whole thing as a PDF, so now I can have my computer read it to me. No more excuses for avoiding it.

…Unless you count that the software that came with it (and is necessary for the class) is for PC only, and I have a Mac… Ah life.

Note to my dear readers: Kindly REFRAIN from leaving any analysis of my relationship with my bf. There is so much more I would write if only I didn’t fear the judgements I sometimes receive on here. Please allow me to document my life here without fear of being told what I’m doing wrong and what you would do differently if you were me. Thank you for understanding!!

Log: Aug 20 – Sep 11 (Thu – Fri) SCHOOL and life

This log is for Aug 20 – Sep 11. I’ll be as brief as possible. A LOT has happened but I’m so consumed by school right now, I just haven’t had the chance to write or do anything else at all, really.

Aug 20, R: School. Work. Stayed late, talking with someone from another company in the building. Ate out w/Peter (actually, he picked up food for us and we technically ate it at home) when we both got home; it was very late by then.

Aug 21, F: Work. Peter worked from home in order to be there when the furniture was dropped off. It seems like SO long ago now. SO long ago. That was my wardrobe and our new bed. It all arrived in many boxes. It looks like we ate out for dinner; I must have gotten back late again.

Aug 22, Sat: Put together wardrobe and …? Dinner w/ Peter’s folks, I believe.
Aug 23, Sun: Put together wardrobe and …? Cat sitting still

Aug 24, M: School. Brother in Fiji with his gf. Fell asleep in class inspite of caffeine. Went to get keys for another cat-sitting job; ate out there (it had gotten late again).

Aug 25, T: School. Work, I think. I learned what a percent sign means. You can laugh, but I’m serious.

Aug 26, W: Falling asleep in school again. Math homework and Accounting homework.

Aug 27, R: School. Work. I went home while Peter cat-sat until very late; the cat was too upset to keep food down at first, so Peter had to stay many hours until he was calm enough to eat and play a little.

Aug 28, F: Work. Went to Aunt and Uncle’s house for a while afterward. Then home.

Aug 29 + 30, Sat+Sun: Went on an overnight road trip with Peter, his mom, his sister and her bf. Very fun and many neat beaches! Peter quizzed me on Accounting when we were in the car.

Aug 31, M: My first Accounting test. I got a 90% on it. Termination dust has arrived for my folks, who live so far away from me. I took some really cute selfies of me and one of the cats.

Sep 1, T: School. Worked from home (really only had to do some faxing). Pollen is killing my sinuses.

Sep 2, W: School. Couldn’t stop bugging Peter because he seemed ‘off’ and I couldn’t stop worrying. He had a virus or something. I kept trying to figure out how it was my fault that he wasn’t feeling well. It’s a sickness in me. I need to get that under control!!! Stayed at school until late, doing more homework.

Sep 3, R: School. Peter took the day as a Sick Day. After my classes, I took the train to my workplace but ate at a restaurant before starting work. I had a margarita and work was much better then. Ate dinner out, too. Feel terribly guilty and anxious for eating out so frequently lately, but we’re getting home so late & I’ve been too tired to think of helping cook.

Sep 4, F: Work. Peter had the day off and came with me. He did work and such while I worked. We went to my aunt & uncle’s afterward.

Sep 5+6, Sat+Sun: Saturday…I can’t recall. Sunday, I did more homework with Peter’s help. Then we hurriedly got ingredients and made the dish I’d promised for the BBQ that evening at my aunt & uncle’s house. My aunt and uncle were there, as well as my brother and his gf. It’s kind of stressful. I don’t know how to be around everyone. My uncle is one way, my brother is another way. My aunt is another way. I get confused.

Sep 7, M: Looks like it was a major study day for me.

Sep 8, T: School. My first real Math exam! I got a 100%! I didn’t feel happy or anything upon doing so well. I’m worried that I’m depressed. Then remembered I had an Accounting test the next day, and absolutely panicked. Peter helped me for hours to study for the test and try to remember all of the homeworks I’ve done for it, but I was panicking so much, my mind was a complete blank. I think this is when I decided Peter must be getting really frustrated with me. And started obsessing that all of this study time together would change our relationship dynamic and put him as a tutor and me as a student instead of 2 people in an equal relationship.

Sep 9, W: School. My 2nd Accounting test. I got a 100% but was shaking the whole time. I blame part of that on the cup of coffee that morning — since then, I’m off coffee. Stayed at school late, doing homework. Helped make a simple pasta dinner.

Sep 10, R: School. I finally got caught up in one of my computer classes! FINALLY! I worked from home again, thanks to remote access to my work computer! WHEW. I’m too exhausted to keep doing the back-and-forth between school and work — they are not in the same city. I don’t know how people do it. Anyway, after school, I got AHEAD in my Math homework! Yay! But last night, as we were trying to fall asleep, I started to nit-pick on Peter. I don’t know what was bugging me. I started saying how I felt like we were not talking much lately (I meant about serious or relationship things, or something), and I felt emotionally disconnected, etc. I then said something else picky that came out really hurtful. I think that deep down, I am having very bad anxiety issues lately, and so I can’t feel content. I feel like something must be wrong. I have tons and tons and tons of body anxiety and sickness anxiety and I’m terrified to tell anyone in my real life because I don’t want to be [insert a better word for ‘diminished’]. I don’t want people to label me the very stigmatized word of hypochondria. But I have a bad anxiety disorder flairing up right now and don’t know what to do about it.

Sep 11, F: Work today. It hasn’t been busy today. I probably could have left hours ago, but since it’s the only day I’ve come to the office all week, I figured I should stay the whole time. I am sick today with a head cold. I’ve had a sore throat for a week. I thought it was allergies (pollen + cats). For three nights, I’ve had a TERRIBLE time sleeping. I was actually sleeping okay for a while there. But right now, terrible insomnia, and restless leg. The minute my legs stop moving, I start to feel panic and the burning and urge to MOVE them again. I’ve slept on the floor twice again (we haven’t had the time to put the bed together, yet). I’ll post this although I won’t be able to add the many pictures until later, from a different computer.