Friday, July 29, 2011

Hush

I am in Arizona as I type this. I haven't been able to say anything about this trip because it was a surprise for my middle brother and his wife and I know M reads my blog and they are both on my facebook.

I flew out last night, arriving 11:30 AZ time, 3:30 my time. This morning I got up early and my mom took me to their house where I rang the doorbell and, when it opened, asked "are you prepared for judgment day?" M was shocked and I think it took him a moment to process the fact that his sister was at the door. His wife, M2, heard my voice and came out and was stunned as well. It was the most fun I've had in awhile and I'm so pleased the surprise went well (there was a fear that my grandmother might spill the beans). I felt somewhat bad because they'd just gotten home from breakfast, M2 was trying to sleep, and M was trying to rest on the couch with their little girl. But I think it was worth it.

We went to breakfast so my mother and I could eat, and then the girls, sans the littlest girl, went for a manicure and pedicure (second manicure in two weeks, aren't I high maintenance?)

Part of what I was hoping for was pure distraction but, instead, I get constant reminders. There is a television in the room I'm sleeping in that is just like the one J has. There is also a main road called "Buckeye", which, if you are familiar with Columbus, is the OSU symbol. And since we aren't telling my grandmother about the separation, I have to answer her questions about how he is. I miss him even more now. So much for out of sight out of mind.

But I'm going to try and take advantage of this spur of the moment 'vacation' and just continue to work at calming down and being patient.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Clinical Policies

I am not a clinical person in any sense of the word. I have a liberal arts degree in English and Psychology that I achieved in 2005. My first job outside of college was working as a front desk clerk for a hotel, wearing a polyester vest and a name tag. I moved to working as a depositor, writing out deposit slips for physicians' offices and entering the numbers into a computer system. Today I recruit and credential physicians to review for my company.

Through my present company, I have a much better understanding of health insurance and am convinced that instead of PE, we should be teaching coordination of benefits in our schools. I have seen some nasty shit through quality review and some true atrocities when it comes to health care denials that my company has overturned. But the most important thing I've learned is that nurses and physicians should be the ones who make the policies regarding health care, whether it be private insurers or Medicaid/Medicare.

So why is it that policy makers are not required to have a clinical degree? Why is our government supposed to determine health care reform without consulting with medical boards? Unless every single senator and representative in my state has a clinical degree (MD, RN, DO), I don't understand why I should trust what they think is adequate care. And if the government states that care should be rendered at the appropriate setting without considering the social setting, I don't want to be told that my company should have approved a certain stay (which has happened in the past when the state, which mandates that my company simply looks at the medical issue, should have approved a claim because the person's social situation called for something different).

It makes it a little easier for me to be less upset or frustrated about the debt crisis. I doubt that the people trying to hammer out a plan are those with financial degrees, CPAs and the like. I doubt very much that the financial and economic experts are the ones fighting this battle. Instead, we have people from both major parties who have the American people in mind but they have to deal with the other members who are posturing for the next election. We are supposed to be a country of the people and for the people but how is that true when the people making the decisions do not necessarily have the expertise to really speak for the people?

Damn it.

Muserlings

Adele has THE best laugh. I watched an episode of 'The Graham Norton Show' today and she was a guest (it was filmed the day before the royal wedding) and I just fell in love with her and wished I knew her intimately just so I could hear her laugh. I, on the other hand, do not have a good laugh. My middle brother and I, when truly tickled, go into a silent seizure and roll all over the place, amusing the hell out of one another and irritating our mother and others around to no end, which sets us off further.

My mother will be flying out late on September 1 to go with me to the clinic (I need me some shots) and I'm looking forward to it though I'm not sure what we'll do. The clinic, obviously, and then maybe my favorite pub, show her where I work, and drive her through the nicer areas around where I live. I did that today, sort of. I received a flier from Giant Eagle's Market District and went there with J. My god is this place big! I can tell I'm an adult because I literally thought "I wonder if they will go bankrupt because they can't maintain their overhead". But they are in Upper Arlington Proper, I believe, and so might have the audience required to sustain them. Super nice. HUGE wine section with two little kiosk type things where, if you buy a wine card, you can sample up to ten wines from the sort of fountain you see for sodas at convenience stores. I've seen this sort of thing in an episode of 'James May's Road Trip' when he and Oz came to California wine country (can you tell I watch a lot of BBC America?) and figured I'd never see it. But Giant Eagle is up to date. We wandered around and looked about and I just fell in love. It would be a good place to take a date because you can get some delicious looking and smelling food and then buy some wine and sit outside on a patio. Maybe I'll take mom there. I think she'd like it because the cafe area is reminiscent of what you find on cruise ships.

Other than that, I did some laundry, cleaned, and laid around, hoping my exhaustion would stay with me so that I can sleep tonight. I took PTO today but, of course, I checked my work email and did a limited number of things there. But mainly, I vegged and felt sorry for myself and then pulled myself together.

Here's hoping tomorrow is a better day. After all, yesterday I didn't have an appointment and today I do so things are already looking up!

Labor Day

Well holy shit, the clinic called me this morning and my appointment is scheduled for September 2 at 8:30 in the morning. I should get there 15 minutes early and if I need to reschedule, I need to give them 48 hours notice.

My mom is pretty upset that it is so far down the line since I've been waiting so long but I'm just grateful that I finally have the appointment scheduled. It could have been pushed further into the future, it could have been on September 2 but not until 3PM, it could have turned out that they weren't actually taking new patients. There are a lot of things that could have made this worse. Besides, this will give my mother time to make travel arrangements so that she can come up and attend with me.

I wish I could say that this gives time for J and I to work on things as well and maybe he'll go to the clinic with me but I don't think that will be the case. I'm doing my best to respect the distance required right now and only emailed him this morning about a 'business' like item and I was very unemotional and let him know that I was trying to respect his needs and said that I don't want to upset him or cause him anxiety, we just needed to take care of this little thing. Hopefully I didn't freak him out. He teaches today so I won't hear from him for awhile.

But I have my appointment scheduled and hopefully that will alleviate some of my stress. I'm having so much trouble sleeping that I actually called out of work today due to exhaustion. I actually miss the fatigue that usually plagues me. Fatigue is a pain in the ass but it doesn't make me feel sick and doesn't make me feel quite so bleak and stupid. I slept off some of the sickly tired this morning and now I need to start doing something like cleaning or laundry or something so that I'm not just an unproductive blob.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Johan!

I'll admit, my breath caught when I saw my hand with my engagement/wedding rings. I do miss Jeffrey.


Positive

I'm tired of being all cranky and sad and frowny so here is my positive post. Our weather has taken a turn for the better. Heat indexes in the low 90's are positively pleasant after a week of 100's. I don't know if it will last but it is nice. And let's face it, I hate heat and if it stays like this I'll probably still bitch. But I am grateful that I haven't been on the east coast for the past year and a half because their weather has been freaking awful.

Also, Johan is adorable and hanging out under the rolling pantry. Earlier this week I let him out for floor time and realized he wasn't around. I panicked and looked for him and found him hiding under my drafting table behind the couch. Poor little guy didn't like the cold from the air conditioner. He is super cute and he still makes me happy.


Borasaurus Rex


Bored


Talking myself out of angry gloom

This MS Clinic bullshit is really pushing me to the limit of my patience. I looked at their site for their number and found a patient questionnaire that is evidently supposed to be filled out and returned prior to scheduling. So why the fuck did nobody tell me this when I called, twice, to follow up? Mother fucker, I had to drop off my MRI disc and was told seven to ten days, only to follow up with a phone call and find out one to two weeks. At no time did anyone say "oh, by the way, did you look on our website and find that you have to fill out ten mother fucking pages of medical history? Oh, you didn't know that you had to go on line? Whoops!"

So I filled out those ten fucking pages and am sending it via UPS overnight so that they'll have it tomorrow. I can't understand why no one told me about it. So now I get to call and sit on hold for however long so that I can ask if there is anything else I need to do. As in anything. Because it is apparently my responsibility to research and find out what their fucking requirements are. My goddamn neurologist didn't tell me this. His assistant fucked me by telling me to hang onto my MRI disc, and no one seems to understand that a regular citizen such as myself does not automatically know what to do in order to be seen by a specialist once the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis has been made.

Between this and the fucking fucked up marriage, is it surprising that I can't sleep? And all of the fun is being drained out of my life. Today I had to cancel my flight to San Diego because I realized that I desperately need tires (sorry, Chey!) and I can't afford both. Being a grown up fucking blows.

On the bright side, someone told me I looked like I was losing weight. This is totally due to stress and nothing healthy I've done myself. I don't eat as frequently anymore due to sheer lethargy. It just seems too much trouble to figure out what to eat once I get home so I eat bread and cheese and then just give up because it is too much effort. And I'm not really exercising. I ran one day last week, did some squats and lunges on Saturday, and hauled a heavy ass table home from the liquor store. So yay for stress actually having some form of a positive effect!

So woe is me and boo fucking hoo. According to the chick I spoke to, they are hoping I'll hear back today or tomorrow. I'll start holding my breath in a minute. Oh, and it "usually doesn't take long at all to get an appointment with him because he keeps slots open for new patients."

If you don't see me passed out and blue in the face it's because I don't believe a fucking word people say anymore.

Sheesh. When did I get so bitter? Here is something to make up for this post:



Monday, July 25, 2011

And I so looked forward to turning 30


Where is the smart phone application for this?

I went to J's place last night to talk about some of the things I mentioned in my last post, about his not talking to me about things. It wasn't the best of discussions. We aren't screaming at one another but we also can't seem to understand one another, though we are trying. I finally did explain that I wasn't asking him to do anything and I wasn't painting him out to be a villain, I just needed him to understand and appreciate the fact that I've been emotionally distressed for a long time now. I just needed him to understand how lonely, and upset, and fucked up I've felt. I don't need him to fix it or do anything, I just need him to see me. I understand the compulsion and desire to fix things though. It's a lot like the night before my MS diagnosis. No one wanted to let me just be scared. It is upsetting when someone you care about is scared or sad or upset in any way and it is only natural to want to step in and fix things so that they feel better. But if you don't let your emotions play out and take their natural course, and if those you need to won't acknowledge and understand what you are feeling, it just makes it worse.

We are told from childhood not to bottle our emotions, but you reach a point in your life where suddenly people expect you to move quickly and get over things rather than work through them. Again, it isn't because people are bad or mean or uncaring, it is that they can't handle it if someone they love is upset and so want to alleviate the pain as quickly as possible. But that just doesn't work.

I think he understood but I always think he's finally understood and it blows up in my face so I can't know for sure. What I do know is that he's been seriously fucked up these last twelve days and I need to leave him alone. I forgot that he doesn't adapt as quickly as I do and that he can't compartmentalize the same way. So he's been trying to get used to being alone and I keep contacting him. It has been a roller coaster of ups and downs and it is seriously affecting his health, both mentally and physically. I had no idea and I just felt horrible for having contacted him yesterday. In the end I told him we could just wait until he felt settled and he could contact me when he is ready. He pointed out that I'd previously said I couldn't just sit and wait indefinitely because it would drive me crazy but I told him, in all honesty, that I could more easily wait for him than continue to cause him such horrific anxiety. I had no idea what was going on with him with regards to that and now that I know, I'm willing to do what it takes and be patient for his sake.

And maybe we really do just need to let things go for awhile. It is so difficult because I kicked him out, wish I hadn't, know it is for the best, don't know what I'm doing. I can't imagine what it is like for him. He might not have had a plan of action for talking with me but it wasn't his decision to move out. He didn't fight me when I told him to leave but he didn't initiate it.

So I'm in limbo and I need to be OK with that. I need to be patient and let go, things that are somewhat difficult for me. All I can do is hope to exhaust myself every day so that my mind won't be able to keep me up at night. Just like you can't force someone to feel better when they are afraid or upset, I can't force this relationship to work out or to progress at any particular pace. So I need to just sit back and let things happen without trying to control them (gah!)

Where is the handbook for this type of situation, god damn it?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Non-Addiction

My uncle, my mother's younger brother, has had a LOT of issues with drugs and alcohol in his life. He's an addict and always will be. People have told me that my father was an alcoholic and I have no proof otherwise since he died when I was so young. So perhaps it makes sense to assume that I have an addictive personality and that I'm out of control, but the funny thing is that I, the one everyone pegged to have a drug problem and a terrible life, have turned out so well.

My mother assumed I was an alcoholic when I was in my early twenties. It was the summer before my bi polar diagnosis and I was drinking heavily because I knew there was something wrong with me and I needed my mother but I'd always been afraid of her (she didn't beat me or anything like that and I have no idea why I was afraid of her but I was). In reality, I was drinking heavily to obliterate my mind so that I could take a break from the suicidal thoughts and the fear that I would always be fucked up. I ended up going to a psychiatrist on campus and attending group therapy, something that I truly credit with saving my life.

I started again over the last year or so, drinking heavily to avoid the truth because I was afraid of talking to J. I knew I was unhappy and instead of doing the healthy thing of thinking about it and figuring out what I needed and talking to him, I drank a LOT. It might be a surprise to some people who know me in real life, given my personality, but I was scared of J as well. Again, there was no abuse of any kind, not physical or emotional. But I just feared his judgment and, I assume, feared he wouldn't love me if I complained in any way.

But I've been lonely and unhappy for a number of years since moving to Ohio. J has been busy and it was made clear early on that he would be unavailable for a long time because work came first. So to drink and obliterate my feelings made sense. No, it wasn't right or healthy. God it wasn't healthy or smart! But I could have eaten my feelings away and probably J would have had different thoughts.

As it is, he just says "I can't take your drinking." He never asked me about it, why I did it, what I hoped to gain from it. He just assumed that I was an alcoholic, like my mother, and that that was the issue. He never thought to talk to me about it just like he never thought to ask me about the sex issue.

I lost interest awhile ago and instead of sitting me down after a few months and talking to me, he just thought "fuck her, I just won't make a move and I'll force her to make one." When I didn't, he assumed, at first, that I was fucking someone else. Then he didn't know what to think but he certainly didn't think to ask me about it. The truth is, as I know now, that I felt we didn't have an intimate emotional connection so I couldn't connect intimately physically. But instead of talking to me or asking me about my actions, he made assumptions and targeted me with his anger and frustration.

I do understand that, in retrospect. What else was he to think? But what I'm realizing now is that I need a partner who is there with me and for me, who makes me priority number one on the list. I need someone to notice a change in my behavior, like drinking more often, and ask me "hey, what's going on?" Someone to say "we aren't having sex and I wonder if there is something behind that."

J doesn't do that for me and never has. I've told him the above but so far I've just heard "I can't take your drinking" and "now I know your MS may have fucked with your libido." As much as I thought he was listening, he really didn't hear me.

And I wonder if he can. It is not, at all, that he is a bad guy. When I met him, he'd finally started taking care of himself and putting himself first after a lifetime of a bad family situation and his own problems. It was wonderful at first and I have always been happy to put him first because he's wonderful and lovely and I need to make sure he is taken care of. But somewhere along the line, I've taken a back seat and it has been accepted that not only am I not number one, but I have to bring up any issue I have or else it will go unnoticed and, if he doesn't understand or agree with me, it is my fault and probably either because I'm drinking, I'm bipolar, or I'm me.

The first time he's ever shown a true concern without being prompted has been recently and with regards to my MS. It took a lifelong and chronic disease for him to say "please let me know how your are and anything that happens with this." Before, he might realize I was upset and I'd tell him and he'd just say "I'm sorry, Kitty." That was it. No suggestions of getting help or reaching out to friend. No asking if maybe it was this or that.

I could have communicated better and as much as I like to think I don't play games or make people guess, maybe I was hoping he'd step up. But he didn't and I always have. Always.

So I've begun to wonder, regardless of how much I love him and how much I care, how willingly I'd hurt someone who hurt him, if we will be OK. Because I need to be important to the man I'm with. And I need to be important to me.

PS: For the record, there are things I feel an addiction to and they are embarrassing. The one that I feel a physical draw to is diet soda. This is something I try to give up but after a week, I start fiending for it and feel like I "need" it. The other is cheese. I don't mean just simply on food or in food but by itself, string cheese or a block of cheese to cut up and put on toast. This is something I don't know that I have a physical draw to but maybe only because I have not given it up for long enough. But I fucking LOVE me some cheese.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Program This

People, for the most part, don't fuck with me at work. There are a few individuals who have reputations for being bullies or two faced or nasty or just kiss ups. The bullies don't bully me, the two faced are polite to me, the nasty aren't nasty to me, and the kiss ups don't get anything from me. For whatever reason, I've made it this far without any major issues (probably because I now report to an executive or because they know I'll give it right back to them if they want to get nasty).

But there is this one arrogant son of a bitch who is passive aggressive and non communicative with me and it drives me nuts. The worst part is that he's in IT and when he ignores me or won't bother to say anything, I don't know if work is being done on an issue that is affecting my ability to work in a productive and efficient manner.

I'm not the only one to complain about this but I think I'm among the least tolerant. I'm not at all above copying dude's boss on emails (well, his boss is on medical leave so I'm copying his boss's boss) or sending emails with others copied to document the issue. One of my favorites so far was when I pointedly let someone know that the problem hadn't been resolved because this guy had been sick yesterday and on PTO. That was just my way of cornering him into having been on PTO rather than working at home. Not that it matters since I don't think people really pay all that much attention to time sheets so long as they are coded correctly but still, even if it is simply symbolic, it made me feel good.

So far, my approach seems to have worked because I do get responses and fixes faster than I used to. I think he realizes that I'll continue to tattle on him until I get what I need if it is not done in a timely manner (seriously, we work in the same office so if I don't hear from you with a one business day turn around, I'm going to raise hell until you've proven yourself at all reliable).

It sucks though because it makes me feel like a bitch and because I'm accustomed to him being unreliable and a dick, I jump the gun and get upset before I really should at times. I just want to be able to do my job. That's it. I'm willing to put in the effort and the time and do my part and all but when a major cog in the wheel isn't working and the responsible party isn't taking it seriously, I can't do my work and client deliverables are jeopardized. And when that sort of thing happens, I am very good at emailing the appropriate parties and, without directly saying "so and so is to blame" intimate the cause of the problem and the impediment to resolution.

And can I just say that dude is in charge of creating new databases and programs only because it saves money? Because my company has been using one of his programs for YEARS and this program has never had anything less than two pages of problems from the word go and has always been a problem. Yet dude seems to have moved up and maintained autonomy to do what he wants.

Maybe if I start fucking up, turning in shoddy work, and being a total prick I'll get a raise...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

....

We were supposed to talk today but I blew it. I emailed him last night just to give him the answer I finally had to a question he kept asking. His question "If you love me and you think we'll work out and you're saying all of these things, why did you kick me out?" The fact that I asked him to leave sincerely distresses him and I wish I'd handled it better. I told him, initially, that it was because I knew we needed breathing room and because I was incredibly hurt. Both those things are true. But I realized yesterday that if this hadn't happened, things could have gotten a lot worse and maybe we would have been pushed to the point of no return. As it is, we have never been so candid and honest and grown up with one another. I think that is why this needed to happen, because it has forced us to confront the issues in a real way. And no, I don't think we could have done it living under the same roof.

I emailed him again later because I hadn't heard from him, saying I just wanted to know his thoughts. He called me very upset and asked me what he was supposed to say. We were supposed to be taking two days off to be alone and yet here I was emailing him. He was angry and frustrated and upset. We talked and argued and cried. Eventually I said "could you imagine going to sleep in the same bed as me tonight?" He could. Maybe it is the male - female brain thing again but I told him I couldn't. I couldn't just lay there and wake up after we'd fought, yet again.

He asked me again what we were supposed to be doing and I told him we were supposed to be really thinking things through and coming up with the reasons we'd gotten to this point, the things that we find problematic, and what we need from each other.

I don't think there was but one point where he wasn't angry during our hour conversation. The only time he seemed anything but frustrated and angry, even through the tears, was at the very end. We decided that we really do need to just cut off contact for a bit and I told him I would honor it. I don't think I told him that it was going to be hard because I'm terrified that he'll decide that he is happier and better without me. But that is what makes it so hard for me to not have contact with him. So he said we'd take a month off. I'll text him if he gets any important mail and will just throw out the junk mail. He put in his forwarding card at the post office so I shouldn't really be seeing anything.

It was only at this point that he said something without the anger and that was that he wanted to know if I heard anything or learned anything more or had any news regarding the MS. He won't go to the clinic with me (whenever I get an appointment) but he cares about me and wants to know.

And so now I have a month in which to be terrified and sad as well as to reflect on things. I know I should be taking this time to figure myself out and find what makes me happy but that doesn't help me in any way. I want to go back in time to 2007 when we first moved here because maybe then I could prevent what has happened. That is what would make me happy. I'm not taking a pottery class or meditating or anything like that.

Because I'm scared and sad and confused and I feel like a terrible person for hurting him so badly. And nothing anyone says will change those feelings. I'm not being stubborn or petulant, I'm simply acknowledging the truth. You can't make people feel better with words after times of great devastation and I think it is perfectly OK for me to feel this way at this time. I just truly hope it all works out.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Maybe I am being blind or setting myself up for disappointment but I feel like we are making good progress and am more confident that this will all work out. It will take time but we are talking and listening to one another. We aren't yelling at each other. He gets defensive and angry at first but that is because he's worried I'm blaming him or attacking him. More importantly, he controls himself and calms quickly when I explain things and that means he's listening and hearing me. And I'm hearing him. I was surprised by some things but, in retrospect, I see where he is coming from. This is good because it means I can recognize the negative behaviors and so can identify them in the future and modify my behaviors into healthy ones.

But the point is, we are both receptive to one another and that means we are not at the point where we would need counseling to deal with one another. And it means we are both in this to put in the work.

We are taking today and tomorrow off, planning to meet up on Thursday. During this time we are to think about what we need from one another and what things came up to bring us to this point.  And we'll discuss them and, hopefully, deal with them.

The point is that I have hope. I am scared and will be unless or until we work out. But I feel more confident about our relationship and about our love than I have done in a very long time. I know that sounds bizarre because he is out of the house, but we are finally being candid and honest and that is what we need.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Progress

I'm finally moving on with it. Yesterday I put on my big girl panties and dove into the office, sweating like crazy for hours as I put J's items in the closet, moved furniture around, vacuumed, dusted, worked to get out the cobwebs and dust. It was hard, grueling work, painful both physically and emotionally. But it had to be done because I can't keep it a shrine.

I also cleaned the bedroom and bathroom, taking out trash, dusting more, and moving things around. The bedroom was surprisingly painful, even more so than the office. His presence is no longer felt in the bedroom whilst his ghost haunts the office. Maybe because the bed we shared is gone and a new, queen size has been installed. Perhaps because we so rarely slept together, he staying up late and falling asleep on the couch before coming to bed at 5 a.m., one or two hours before I had to get up.

But I tackled it. I'm not usually one to procrastinate, rather I take on the worst tasks right away to get them over with. But these are things I'd been avoiding because it was a different type of priority. At work, I return the phone calls first because that is the most unpleasant part of my job. If I have an unpleasant duty assigned to me, I get it out of the way as quickly as possible. But this? This was painful and difficult for so many reasons. I had to face the fallout of my relationship. I felt like sobbing the entire time, touching J's belongings, feeling his absence. I felt like a bitch for tidying him out of my life this way.

We talked a bit yesterday. He came to pick up his mail and I took him to our favorite pub because we were both starving and I feel bad about how shitty his financial situation is. That and it was just a plain weak move and I caved. We talked, just a bit. He made it clear that he thinks IT Guy just wants to make his move on me. Interestingly, he seemed angry when I asked "is that why you talk to N?" his female friend. I didn't think that was his motive and I told him I just wanted him to consider that he has female friends so why can't his wife have male friends? But I left it at that.

He told me that he assumed IT Guy was bad mouthing him. I told him absolutely not, and that if anyone was going to try that they would find out incredibly quickly that shit like that does not fly with me. I told him that people did assume he left me, which is oddly horrible in its own way. And I told him that it would make more sense for his friends to trash talk me since I asked him to leave.  But he said that no one was doing that, that they just all said the same thing about our needing space and needing to work things out.

People also like to tell you that you need to take this time to work on yourself and find what makes you happy. I appreciate it, but seriously? Having my husband back and everything being super happy and loving and wonderful is what I want and what would make me happy.

Gah, let's not go down that path. Instead, I'll just focus on the fact that I've made progress. It's been painful and I'm still not sleeping, but at least I'm getting somewhere.

Also, I have yet to drunk dial him so kudos to me.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Not Carrying On With It

My apartment is a disaster. There is not a single room that I could call tidy or not be ashamed of. There is simply a lot of disorder and, in some cases, a LOT of dust.

I should be setting things right. I should be taking a methodical approach, going room by room, sorting things out. Picking up the pieces of my life and organizing them into a new shape to mask the giant hole that is left.

I should at least gather up all of the trash and recycling to take to the bins. I could go through each room and gather up all of the waste paper and bits and pieces.

Or I might put in minimal effort and just place items back on the alcove shelf. I put them in the bathroom yesterday so the mattress people could move in my new bed.

But so far, the only thing I've done is unclog my bathtub drain, using baking soda and vinegar. But I did this only because there was standing water in the tub and I needed to shower. So necessity forced my hand.

Instead of doing all these things I should be doing, I think I'll just crawl into my lovely new bed and hide from my life just a little bit longer. If only I were able to sleep. Sleep comes so hard these days.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Fallout: 1

He did a very 'me' thing tonight. When he came to collect some belongings, he told me that he has a "girl umbrella". A student dropped out of his course and left her umbrella and he was holding it should she come looking. He said he was keeping it because it is bigger than the one he has and it will be a spare. But he wanted me to know that 'some girl' didn't leave it behind in his apartment should I ever be in there and see it.

Keep It Separated

As I've told my mother the news, I no longer need worry about anyone else spilling the beans.

J and I have separated and he has moved out.

I am devastated and I feel sick all the time. I've told J that I really hope things work out, that we reconcile and find each other again. But we both know that this was the decision that had to be made, no matter how hard it has been for both of us.

He has stated that he is sad about this and hopes, as well, that we work things out. I can only believe him and trust him.

I do know he still cares because twice he showed signs of jealousy even after we'd split (for all intents and purposes anyway). And I think he must know that I still love him because I have been forthcoming, honest, and upfront all this while. I'm going away this weekend and I told him about it because I'm going with CD IT Guy, and I didn't want J to think anything untoward (which he did anyway but I offered to show him the invite which acknowledged the awkwardness of the offer and the friendly manner in which it was meant).

It doesn't matter what anyone thinks, I suppose. I love J. I don't want any other person on this planet but J. I just need to be distracted. Maybe I'll finally be able to sleep.

We have done the 21st century awkward thing of defriending on Facebook and defriending various friends because is that what you do? He defriended K, and I had to tell her it wasn't personal because they like each other. She's my best friend though, so I guess in the split he felt I wanted sole custody. I defriended N and D just because I didn't know what else to do. I did send them messages though, letting them know it wasn't personal and asking them to please be there for J.

And tonight I am going to get good and drunk. No, that isn't true. I think I'd need a lot of booze to get good and drunk and I accidentally transferred funds the wrong way so overdrafted my account. Fortunately, my good friend former boss loaned me money to cover that but I'm not going to risk anything, especially not on booze. Or black tar heroin. So I guess I should say that I am going to tie one on and get a bit tipsy. I'm sure I'll cry and weep and be broken. And tomorrow I took the day off to deal with the fall out and to organize my home so that it isn't soaked in the atmosphere of loss and grief of his absence.

People tell me things will get better in time. They mean well but I think they want me to know that I'll move on. I don't want to move on. I want J. I want us. I want us back and I desperately hope that we find one another.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Vaguely Ambiguous

I just realized that, in an attempt to extend an olive branch or what have you, I gave both of my older brothers a link to this blog. What an idiot. No, that isn't fair. I didn't know events would unfold like have so it seemed like an OK thing to do at the time.

But what now? What if one of them gets bored enough to actually check this site? Do I end every post (or begin it) with "if you are reading this, please don't say anything to mom"?

Because I know my middle brother and his wife keep mom fairly up to date with whatever happens to be on my facebook page. Seriously. My mom and brother both called me once because I had a facebook status that seemed more dire than life really was. At that time J and I still had a land-line but our cordless phones sucked and didn't work half the time. So mom and A.M. were calling me trying to make sure I was OK and couldn't get through. I think A.M. e-mailed me eventually and I went outside to use my Kroger go phone to let them know I was OK.

But yeah, all that over facebook.

Now I feel just a it more inhibited about what I say on this site for fear that my family will find out things about my life and, as absurd as it sounds, I don't want them to know. If I could go back, I wouldn't have told J or my family about the MS diagnosis. That sounds stupid as well, but you know, certain events in life change people and I think I might prefer to just be me before any diagnosis or upheaval.

But, no use regretting. If you've worked in my office for any length of time you become fairly familiar with the concept of the work around and so I'll simply kick around an idea and see if it seems worth it.
  1. I'm supposed to be working. I came into the office today rather than use up more PTO being sad and girly and so here I am. 

It would be a lot easier to work if it didn't feel so pointless. That sounds stark and apathetic and, given what is going on in my life at the moment, I suppose that should be expected. But that isn't how it was meant. Rather, part of what I have to do is a lot of data entry into a database. This seems pointless because my database is not communicating with another database and has not been for some time and the IT folks won't let me or a department head know what is going on so it doesn't seem like a priority for me to drop information into a bottomless pit. It has to be done, but it isn't pressing.

I could also play around with the formatting of a quality report to make it what the client wants. But the client has already been told that this will not be a quick turn around and frankly, I didn't get much sleep last night and am dead tired. So I'm a bit brain dead when it comes to figuring shit out.

I'm expecting things to be quite different when I get home after work. There will be many empty spaces and a certain silence if J's had any luck. I'm going to put off the inevitable by going out and trying to find something to wear to an 'elegant' wedding this Saturday.

That's something to look forward to. Not the shopping and trying stuff on (cause I went last week and tried stuff on after not having been in an actual department store in years and it was crowded and hotter than robot Hell), but the wedding. It will be particularly fun for the following reasons:
  1. Weddings are rad, especially when you have nothing to do with the bride or groom
  2. I'm going to know one person and one person only at this affair, the person I'm going with. Why do

Monday, July 11, 2011

Over

So this is what it feels like to have your world come crumbing down around you. I never would have guessed that so many things could go wrong in so many ways all at once before.

One of life's little lessons that you don't learn about in kindergarten I suppose.

My heart has broken but, unlike other broken items, I can't get rid of it. I don't think anything has ever hurt more in my life. I didn't really appreciate it before but it's true; no matter how many pieces your heart breaks into, you're left with it, all of it, all of the splinters and pieces that don't work any more and just stab at you again and again.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Cry baby

Seriously?! OK, so I decided to call the MS Clinic for as a follow up to find out when I might hear about an appointment. I dropped the fucking MRI disc off on July 6 and was told it would be seven to ten business days. This upset me. I cried. But not too hard, because I was downtown and had to be careful of pedestrians and one-way streets. I've marked my calendar every day to reflect how many business days have gone by. Today is business day seven. So I thought I'd call if only to be reassured that it wouldn't be long now.

Nope. Now I'm told it is usually one to two weeks after the physician gets the disc(s) and medical record(s). He'll review everything and then see which doctor can/will take me, and then I'll get a call.

Maybe it doesn't sound like that big a deal, two weeks rather than ten days, but that adds four extra business days, which means another two non-business days are in there and I may not hear from the mother fucking clinic until July 19th, which is just two days shy of one month since the god damned diagnosis.

This has been, without question, the shittiest summer I've had in a really long time and I seriously think things need to improve before I lose my shit altogether.

Boo hoo. Woe is fucking me. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Last Word in this Chapter

Another thing that I always thought was a lame cliche: men and women think differently. I've always thought that was just a played out stereotype or what have you to keep conservative middle America guffawing at sitcoms. But it must be true because there is no way J could be as deceitful and manipulative as he would have to be to pretend he didn't understand what I was trying to tell him. He's not a deceitful person (or if he is, I've missed the boat by many miles and have still not faced the horrible truth after seven years.)

So today I put myself in his shoes and thought over the conversations we've had the last two days. Yep, big, awkward, horrible, grown up, married people conversations. Ones where he gets angry and I, surprise surprise, cry. Feeling really happy? Cry. Reading or watching something moving? Weep. Angry? Sob. Frustrated? Cry some more. The most annoying of my uncontrolled habits that I've never been able to stop. So I cry and weep and he seethes and feels angry. But we put up with it and soldiered on because we love each other and both want this to work. And this morning, I thought to myself "does he really, truly believe that I still think x y or z even after we've talked about it?" So I e-mailed him when I got to work to let him know I didn't believe it of him and that he needn't worry that I did or that I was watching his every move with suspicion. I also explained that the reason I don't say things while we are actually talking and end up emailing him in the morning is because they don't come to me. Something about sleeping and getting up gives me a bit of clarity and objectivity and so I want to communicate with him about whatever it is but I'm certainly not going to wake him up (again) at 7 a.m. to share.

We are working on things. He's truly sorry that he hurt me and has said that he loves me and that he would never degrade me or humiliate me or hurt me in any way on purpose or with intent. He has said that he doesn't think terrible things about me and that he wishes he could just fix things. But that isn't ever possible so instead we are just working through everything and today was the first good day I've had. I didn't spend the day at work with a clenched knot in my stomach, wanting to be sick at every minute, trying not to cry whilst my mind raced through all the terrible thoughts. Maybe because I'd gotten past the heat of the emotion and because we'd actually communicated like human beings, I was able to get over my shock and horror and start sorting through the rubble.

I'm not wearing rosy glasses or anything. I'm still a bit fearful and still hurt. But I'm trying to view things in a more simple way. Take him at his word. Consider what I've learned about him over all these years and holding up those actions against this one. He and I have both really fucked things up in our own ways and I think we have both owned the responsibility. And hopefully, this will just draw us closer together and we can get back to where we used to be.

Something happened around the end of May when he was studying for his exams and I didn't write about it. It wasn't so much a fight as it was just a catharsis. For a moment I really did think that that was it, we weren't going to make it. But J surprised me by coming back and apologizing for "behaving badly" as he put it. The process of getting a PhD or living with someone who is doing so can really test marriages I've been told. There were a lot of adjustments to be made when J started almost four years ago. Things changed in a number of ways to accommodate his new life as a professional student. And somewhere along the line, things got bad and neither one of us noticed properly. Then we forgot how to have conversations with one another. There is a good chance that my MS did start up at the end of 2007 and affected part of me that really contributed to a big portion of our troubles.

But hopefully we've caught it in time. Hopefully we'll see through all of the bullshit and find each other again and remember why we love each other. Because I do love him, tremendously, but I also want him to be happy. I'm not saying I'm so selfless that I could easily let him go if I knew it would lead him to a happy life. That would be complete and utter shit. I would feel broken and bruised, defeated and drained, and without a sense of life any more. I would be far less of a real person than I am now. But I never want to be some clinging, needy, weak little idiot who shields her eyes from the truth if it just means he'll stay for a little bit longer.

And oddly enough, I think I felt more married today than I have in a long time. I think I finally saw part of who it is I fell in love with again. I didn't know I'd missed him or been apart from him for so long until I felt it today.

And this is the last I'll write about this particular occurrence in my life. I'm vague on the details on purpose. As much as this is my blog and about my life, it is also about those that I love and respect. J doesn't read this (I asked him not to just because I thought it would be weird) but I still feel I owe him the respect of his privacy. I also owe our marriage some privacy and respect because it means a lot to me.

So I'll simply say this: life never stops surprising me with the shit tricks it plays on me and I'm convinced my life is just one long humiliating march towards death. But I also feel a great sense of wonder and accomplishment when some good comes out of it. In whatever form.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Impotency of Apology

People talk about 'the power of words' a lot, about how something small and innocuous can make a major impact. They talk about how a simple 'thank you' can turn someone's day around, or how something small can devastate. But I never really thought about how meaningless and hollow things like 'I'm sorry' and 'I never meant to hurt you' could feel.

Someone I love very much turned me and a fear of mine into a joke with a third party. I'd expressed a sudden fear regarding a private issue (not at all related to MS or anything like that) to this person and later found out that they'd joked about it with a friend and suddenly that friend could make snarky remarks about me. I felt humiliated and devastated. I shook all over and felt sick. I just couldn't believe that this person viewed me in that way, a joke, someone without or undeserving of dignity and respect.

This person has apologized and stated that there had been no malicious intent. Do I believe them? I suppose. But it makes it hurt even more that they didn't think of me or consider my feelings. And even with an apology, I still hurt and I still feel betrayed and I have lost my trust.

Perhaps it would hurt less if this person weren't J, my husband and best friend.

We talked about it. We talked about a lot of things. I walked away feeling, I don't know what. Today I wonder if he views everything as my fault or if he accepts anything that I said. I wonder if he truly understands the things I tried to express. Sometimes I feel like I'm screaming as loud as I can to be heard but that I'm speaking the wrong language.

He's told me that he's 100% in this and that he loves me. I suppose I believe him but in the back of my head I keep thinking about how I've never been this hurt, not even when I felt my heart break over an ex-boyfriend. And because I was so easily turned into a joke, I feel like I'd better guard myself and not give him any ammunition.

I feel like I just can't see clearly because someone has slipped me a mind-altering drug and everything thing just feels off.

I used to think people only said things like "I don't recognize 'us' anymore" in the world of TV only. But I suddenly don't recognize anything.

Among the worst things to have crossed my lips in the last 24 hours is "can you believe that we may have to spend years and years telling people that it wasn't the MS that caused the split?"

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Now For Something Totally Different

So I'm thinking about getting a tattoo. This is something I've always toyed with but never gone through with because I couldn't really think of anything that I wanted imprinted on my skin for the rest of my life. The desire comes and goes, with significant yearning upon watching a few episodes of one of TLC's various "Ink" programs.

How I managed to be 30 without any tattoos is a wonder given that both of my older brothers have loads. I don't know all of what they have but I always remember that my eldest brother's first was the evolution of man around his calf. I, atheist that I am, love this; however, I do wonder at the size and location of it for a first tattoo as it is a bit large and I wonder if it hurt and took forever. I believe this same brother has a sleeve, as does my other brother (or else it is a work in progress). Middle brother has, among other things, a portrait of our baby niece who drowned, his wife's name (regrettably placed beneath a gargoyle), his daughter's name, a phoenix, and the Kool Aid Man (don't ask). My sister in law, married to eldest brother, has a sleeve as well, I believe. But I think her first tattoo was of her favorite band's emblem on her inner wrist.

So you see, you'd think I'd have something by now but I do not. Same with J, actually. He is the baby of his family and his middle brother has a ton of tattoos and his eldest brother has at least one (this is his Marine brother and the tattoo I know of is a Tigger). But I'm considering one now. A small Viking ship with the letters V.A.R. in Greek script. This would tie together my heritage (Icelandic for the Vikings, V.A.R. for my father's name before when he was born in Lithuania, and Greek script for my maternal grandfather) and also be a symbol to me that I'm a badass. Because let's face it, Vikings are badass. And I would like something to tell my mind and body fuck you for the bi polar and MS. A little something to say "I will not be beaten by you but will just try harder at every obstacle you give me."

But who knows. I'm not one to make rash decisions so I'll give it some thought and look into it. As I've opted out of the race in October, I might get it done during my San Diego trip. But I'm not in a rush and I don't plan on having it anywhere that isn't easily covered (I'm thinking shoulder bladeish area). So we'll see.

I just thought it would be fun to go back to regular life and not talk about diseases or fears or fails. Especially since I sent the link to this blog to my brothers last night and specifically told them that this isn't an MS blog.

Friday, July 1, 2011

First Fail to MS

Today I emailed my brothers to tell them about my blog. In this email I asked my eldest brother if he was a runner because part of the reason I thought I could do a half marathon was because I thought he'd done it and I assumed, having the same DNA, I could do it to. I also emailed a friend from middle school, who runs marathons, for advice.

It was after a reply to the middle school friend that I realized how asinine my thoughts were. He was great, telling me to follow a plan, to be in race shape, could he have more details of the race, that I realized how ridiculous I was being.

So I emailed my girlfriend Sandy, and told her I was pulling out. I emailed my middle school friend and basically said "look, I know this is odd but thank you for being there for me to realize what an idiot I've been."

Because who do I think I am? I can't continue to train with the idea that I can pull this off in October. Not when I've just been diagnosed with MS and have yet to have an appointment with those who will be treating me.

So I pulled out of the race. Would I be going for it if not for the pain I felt on June 2? Yes. Would I be afraid of not doing well/finishing/not running it all? Yes. But would I still go for it? Yes.

I still plan on training as usual, hopefully to run in early 2012 but I am disappointed and angry. I'm upset that I have too much going on to do it properly as planned. I'm upset that I'm not in control enough to compartmentalize and just suck it up and carry on as usual.

I'm fucking pissed at myself that I'm caving because I don't have any physical symptoms to keep me from training and continuing on as was before this all started. I'm pissed because I'm caving to fear, stress, and the unknown. I am letting this god damned diagnosis give me a reason to pull out of something I feared. I feel like I'm using it as an excuse.So I cannot except the idea that I am looking after myself.

That is my justification. That I am stressed as it is with work and with this MS nonsense that I can't handle more, like the idea of a deadline for being in the right shape to run this race. But it feels like a cop out and I feel like a failure. I know that Sandy doesn't care if I run or not, she just wants me to come out to California. But I know. I know that I've failed, that I've caved and given in and let MS take its first thing from me.

But that is why I plan on continuing to train so that in early 2012