We’ve been here for over a month. The floors are oak that someone put carpet over but someone else ripped the carpet out, thank goodness . It’s somewhat drafty and badly insulated. Apparently our gutters aren’t great. The fan in the bathroom needs fixing. The kitchen is too small.
We hosted people in the backyard approximately every other day for the first month we were here. Now it’s cold and the backyard is soggy. There are some tomatoes that I should bring inside. I ate a pear right off the tree a few weeks ago and it was delicious. I got a tan but now that it’s cold I look kind of sallow. The cats settled in nicely. Husband and I manage to both be in the too-small kitchen without wanting to murder each other, and we’re both sort of amazed that this is so. The tub is pretty big and I spend a lot of time in there. The furnace is noisy and we don’t run it very much. My office is the warmest room. The bedroom is barely big enough for a bed and a dresser. We’ve managed to keep the place pretty tidy. My office is the only room that is a mess, but it’s getting better.
I’m a mess, but I’m trying to get better.
My job is trying to suck the life out of me, but now that I have a mortgage I’m not allowed to tell anyone to fuck themselves. I still love a lot about what I do, but management isn’t very kind to someone with brain damage. Downright unhelpful, actually. Last week was panic and this week is numb. Next week will likely be panic again.
I sit in my cold house with my warm cats and find peace wherever I can. I nest in my warm office with my cold thoughts and try to remember that things have a way of turning out okay, because I know this to be true. Most of the time, things turn out okay. I keep telling myself that.
It’s weird to be in such a bipolar state. Some things are going so well while other things are going so terribly. And I’m bouncing back and forth between elation and despair.
The house is really very nice and we’re quite happy to be here. I wish everything else was going so well.
I haven’t blogged in awhile. It’s not because there’s nothing going on. There’s a LOT going on, it’s just that none of it is super interesting.
I’m still recovering from my stupid head injury. I got some money for it, which is nice. Started watching a bunch of The People’s Court on YouTube and realized that I could do a small claims suit. To sue someone in small claims court in Oregon you need to notify them first of your intent and give them time to respond. So I did that and the bastard surgeon just sent me money so we wouldn’t have to go through the whole nonsense of court.
T and I, with our newfound riches, started looking into buying a home and have quickly realized that we are not going to be able to do so without a miracle– or the cooling of the market, which will hopefully happen soon. 10 years ago we would have been able to afford something awesome, but Portland is very hot right now when it comes to real estate, so we need patience and probably to save more money. Or a miracle. If anyone would like to lend us a few tens of thousands of dollars, that’d be swell.
I had an evil coworker who left in the middle of last month, and that makes me happy because she’s terrible.
The cats are fine, we’re both basically fine, everything is FINE. I’ve gotten good at doing subtle makeup. So that’s nice.
I’m still in school, still gettin’ A’s, still plugging away at everything in hopes of a brighter future. I turned 41. I’m tired all the time.
We met in the swimming pool at our high school when I was a sophomore and you were a freshman. I had just given myself an appalling haircut, but you said it didn’t look too bad. I appreciated that
We didn’t get to know each other until I was a senior, in psychology class. We both tested as introverts but were the loudest people in the class. We argued a lot, but it was in good spirits. I broke up with my high school sweetheart and developed a big crush on you. I wrote you a letter to that effect, and you wrote back and used the word “ennui,” which had to look up. I wish I still had that letter.
We went on for years, almost being a “thing” but never made it over the threshold to being in an actual relationship. We dated. We kissed. You asked me one night to help you shed your virginity, and I did because… well, why the hell not? The only other time we slept together was right after your dad died. I didn’t know what else to do to console you.
I fucked around with your feelings an awful lot, and for that I’m sorry. All those times we were “almost, but not quite” were because of me. You were smart and funny and athletic and witty and kind, and wicked hot, and I… for some reason just couldn’t be in a relationship with you. On paper, you were everything I wanted. In practice, it always felt off. I shouldn’t have kept leading you on.
I once dumped you in front of a “no dumping” sign near a canyon. You pointed it out wryly.
You stopped speaking to me nigh on 20 years ago, and you were right to do so. I was a mess, and more importantly, I treated you like shit. I didn’t mean to, but that’s no excuse.
I thought about reaching out to you to apologize. You turned 40 yesterday, and I thought I’d look you up and see what you’re doing these days. I knew you were in a hoity-toity industry and had been for years. I knew you were still in our hoity-toity hometown. I stumbled on your Instagram.
You’re married. You have two sons. Your wife looks nice. You enjoy baseball. You lost much of your glorious hair. You look happy.
I decided not to reach out.
You’ll never read this, but if you ever did– or if I can send a thought out toward you, 700 miles away– I would tell you that I am deeply and truly sorry, that I think you’re wonderful, and that I am so, so happy that you seem so happy. I would tell you that I’m a better person now, that you had a positive impact on my life and taught me the word “ennui” and you were so beautiful and I’m so fucking sorry.
But that would be for me, not for you. You’re fine. You don’t need or want anything from me.
I took an hour-long nap that evening and woke up feeling a little better. My husband and I watched Scrubs and ate McDonald’s and I felt like life might still have some good things in it. But then my husband fell asleep, and I couldn’t get my mind to settle. So I got back up at about 3am, called in sick to work, and spent a few hours composing and perfecting an email, then I sent it. Here’s my favorite paragraph:
I think that sums it up pretty well.
I finally fell asleep yesterday morning at about 8:30. Woke up at 1:30pm, called into a virtual work meeting, and spent the rest of the afternoon goofing off.
What I realized in the course of writing and revising that email to Amanda –and this isn’t just sour grapes– is that I don’t want to be friends with people who don’t tell me when I’m being an asshole. If something isn’t working, if I’ve pissed you off or upset you, let me know. Even if I can’t fix it, even if what I’ve said or done is unforgivable, at least give me the courtesy of telling me to fuck off. Don’t just disappear like I won’t notice that we’ve gone from hanging out weekly to “what the hell did I do?”
I know a lot of people don’t like confrontation. I get that. But suspecting something’s wrong, but not knowing, is a particularly agonizing sort of hell.
Unless someone is threating to your well-being –like they say vicious things when upset or have been known to bitch-slap people for looking at them funny– you have no excuse to ghost people who you have an established relationship with. It’s cruel, it drags things out, and it’s cowardly and weak. I have no interest in spending time with people who think that’s acceptable behavior.
Does it suck that I lost a friend? Absolutely. But the part that feels the worst is that I obviously misjudged her. Amanda comes off as feisty and opinionated, and I was under the impression that she would never pull shit like this. But she did. And that’s on her, not on me. I’m no longer pulling myself to pieces wondering what I did. After I slept on it, I stopped really caring what her reasons were. Because no reason could be good enough to cut someone off in that way.
There are absolutely people in my life who I’ve cut off. One was an ex who I’d tried to stay in touch with, but who was unsupportive and casually cruel, so I told him that he was awful and that I never wanted to talk to him again. Another was my brother, who I didn’t tell right away because I thought that what he was saying and doing was so singularly awful that I really had nothing to say to him (and he also gets violently angry when opposed.) I eventually did explain that posting Facebook memes sympathizing with the Neo-Nazis in Charlottesville was a pretty fucking shitty thing to do, and he even seemed to understand. I still don’t talk to him, though, for other more complicated reasons that I’ll probably never blog about because YEESH families are messy.
I’ve for sure stopped talking to people I met online and hadn’t known for very long, back in my dating days– but again, a few IM conversations or a first date at a bar don’t equal a relationship.
There are people in the past who’ve cut me off or distanced themselves from me, and in a lot of those cases, I kind of get it. I stole their crushes. I freeloaded off of them. I said things that were careless and offensive. I wasn’t a great person. My high school best friend lives in town, and being that she knew me through all my shittiest phases, I understand why we’re not superbesties 4 lyfe. I was an asshole to her. We’re friendly but not really friends. And that’s okay because I know the reasons.
But now I’m a fucking awesome person. I have flaws, sure. Definitely. But I am fairly responsible, a good cook, funny as hell, smart, caring, generous, kind, and always trying to improve myself. I am warm, and I take the time to hear people out. I made myself into someone worth knowing. It was hard work!
You don’t have to like me, laugh at my jokes, or enjoy my cooking. You are not required to be my friend. But basic human decency and being a non-awful part of society as a whole means that you at least owe someone an explanation if you’ve decided they’re not worth your time after years of friendship. This seems basic to me.
My husband has a friend (whom I’ll call Roxxi) whom he talks to several nights a week. He told her what was going on, and she sent me this amazing email that made me feel 97% better. In part:
I told her I want to print out her email and keep it in my wallet for the bad times. And she’s agreed to tell me if I’m ever being a jackass or simply need to shut the fuck up. Because that sort of thing is obvious to Roxxi, too. I didn’t know it before last night, but she’s not just my husband’s friend. She’s my friend, too.
I’ve been tweeting this year, what with all the upheaval and the Covid and all that. It’s a good way to stay abreast of what’s going on, and I’ve been working on not getting into Twitter fights because they’re stupid and don’t change anyone’s mind. Instead, I watch animal rescue videos. Those mellow me out.
I find myself often recommending products that I really like on Twitter. No one cares. I have no sponsors, I’m followed by not-a-lot of people and no one knows who I am. But there are things I want to share with the world! Because I believe in them! And this is my blog! I do what I want! And this is my Christmas-themed post!
So here’s my list of the products and services I’ve enjoyed this year! Check them out if you like.
Glossier makeup has a lot of great stuff. I don’t really care for their skincare or scents, but for day-to-day low-maintenance wear, their makeup is the BOMB. Their prices are pretty reasonable for higher-end stuff, too.
I love their Perfecting Skin Tint, which gives my skin a lovely glow without looking the least bit fake. It’s very light coverage, but it really does make you look radiant without being done-up. I have an uneven complexion and this smooths it out just enough. Lasts pretty well, even better with primer. $26.
Their Generation G Sheer Matte Lipstick is also a real winner. I have it in Cake and Jam, and both of them give a lovely tint to my lips. It’s not super long-lasting, but it doesn’t dry my lips out and can be reapplied throughout the day. $18.
But most of all I want to recommend their amazing mascara. Lash Slick is by far the best mascara I’ve ever used. It creates length and definition without clumping, making my eyes look more awake and bright, but without making it obvious that I’ve done anything to my lashes. $16 and worth every damn cent.
Their Colorslide eyeliners are also totes amazeballs, they glide on your lids like buttah and last all day long. I have Stable Relationship, Brack, and Sparkle Shark, and they all get used on the reg. $15.
On the more expensive side, I just discovered Tom Ford Traceless Matte foundation and it is like airbrushing in liquid form. For when light coverage isn’t good enough, or for a full glam look, this stuff is awesome. It has a subtle lavender scent that fades quickly, it feels very lightweight on the face, it lasted all day without primer (I’ll use primer in the future, though) and it didn’t make me break out (always a concern with scented makeup and heavier foundations.) It’s spendy, but if you want a great medium-to-heavy coverage you can slap on and then not think about all day, it’s worth checking out. Comes in lots of colors, I just happened to get a sample that perfectly matched my skintone. Ordering a soon! $88.
My go-to scent this year has been Kilain Princess. It’s got a lovely, warm smell. It can be a bit overpowering, so use sparingly. They say it smells like marshmallows, green tea and ginger, none of which I detect. To me it smells like sexy comfort hugs. And doesn’t everyone want to smell like that? I’ve linked to the purse size because who the hell wants to spend $75+ on something without knowing how it smells on YOU? $30.
GoPuff is a fantastic service that I can’t recommend enough. It’s like grocery delivery for when you’re baked (or when you aren’t, in my personal case, but I can see the stoner appeal.) Our orders have always been SUPER QUICK and their reusable shopping bags are very well made for something they give out for free. Got the munchies? Want some Cheetos and a bath bomb? They will hook you up.
For the comfiest, non-wedgiest underwear I’ve ever worn, I highly recommend Thunderpants. They come in lots of cute prints, and they’re always adding new ones. They aren’t cheap, but they’re a treat to wear. They have camis, bralettes, and men’s & kid’s underthings as well.
And this is the year I discovered sports bras. This bra from Jockey is a great combination of supportive and comfortable. It’s available in more colors which are more expensive, but I love the dark grey anyway so I just ordered two more. It doesn’t flatten my boobs! But it also is wireless and super supportive! If you wanna forget you’re wearing a bra, this is a great option.
I bought some Reebok socks very similar to these earlier this year and they are super comfy athletic socks, excellent for taking a lot of walks. They’re a good weight for summer and fall, they wick well, and they’re very comfortable all day. Also, they’re well elasticized, and the ankle isn’t so tight that they leave deep marks scored into your flesh. Which is nice. They fit perfectly and seem to be holding up pretty well.
I could name more things, but this is probably enough. I love my Fitbit, except when it misbehaves, which it does sometimes because it likes to keep things interesting. I bought some boots but I’m not sure how they’ll wear yet (going great so far!) As always, Gap jeans fit my butt better than any other brand no matter how much I weigh.
Ten years ago I was a fucking disaster of a human being. Holy Moly.
But I feel such sympathy for that fucking disaster of a human being. I didn’t know yet. I just didn’t know. I hadn’t been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and wouldn’t be for three and a half more years. That diagnosis was like a magic lens that make all the fucked up shit pop into focus.
I even wrote about how I’d get hooked on people and not be able to let go. I wondered why I was built that way. I obsessed for yeeeeeeeaaaaaarrrrrrrrsssss about poor, poor K who was, yes, kind of a dick sometimes, but did NOT DESERVE years of fucking birthday emailsfrom me in addition to me joining a Meetup group because he and his wife were in it. Even before I knew what flavor of crazy I was being, I should have known that I was being a creepy fucking stalker.
I was so angry at anyone who didn’t love me back the way I thought I deserved to be loved. I thought I was special and everyone else was cold and shut off. Turns out I was, like, super mentally ill. My shrink says all of those things can be true, I’m a special feelings princess, other people are cold and detached, and oh yeah I’m also like super mentally ill.
I see my BPD as being in remission. Like cancer. Like you gotta keep an eye on it and keep seeing your medical professionals on the regular, but you are not actively growing tumors or bleeding into your brain or anything. Woo hoo.
But there are nights like tonight when I feel nostalgia like indigestion in my gut, when certain songs bring back certain people. The only girl I’ve ever loved is a prostitute in Tucson now. The boy who went on vacation and never came back but didn’t ever tell me we’d broken up. My high school sweetheart who got married again and isn’t speaking to me again probably because his wife doesn’t want him to. Fucking Bruce who hasn’t talked to me since I told him that I didn’t really want to hear about his wet dreams through the medium of text message. And so on, and so on. My ghosts.
To paraphrase the late, great Carrie Fisher: Nothing’s ever really over. Just over there.
I started this blog ten years ago this month. I didn’t realize that before I signed in to post, but it’s a neat little coincidence.
There’s a lot in here that I find embarrassing now. Several things I’m probably better off not looking into too deeply tonight. But I can’t bring myself to abandon it, even with all the ranting about a certain someone, even with all the bravado and outbursts and so much documentation of a time before I knew what was wrong with me and how to, mostly, stop.
I have a very sturdy government job and have been relatively stable and working in government jobs for years now. I’ve been with my partner since Summer 2014, and we eloped last month at our favorite bar. I did a jello shot. I seldom drink anymore. I quit smoking. I quit vaping. I got very fat. It is all very stable, for me, and I think the me of February 2010 would be horrified at how boring I’ve become. But I’m no longer tearing myself apart, and that’s worth something.
And here’s some Frank Turner to sum it all up:
I thought that suffering was something profound,
That weighed down on wise heads,
And not just something to be avoided,
Something normal people dread.
I wrote a song a few months ago called “Imposter Syndrome.” Apparently it’s good. But other than that, I haven’t been writing.
I think part of it is that I’ve been busy with work (I’m working now!) and part of it is that I’m content enough and what I usually write about is angst. There hasn’t been a lot of angst.
But if I’m going to consider myself a writer, I have to write.
So I’ve got this temp gig working for a state agency as a receptionist. It was supposed to last for about two months, but I’ve been there for almost five. Maybe they’ll keep me, maybe they won’t, but it’s been a good experience. Having a job, having routine, is really good for me. Even when it’s a grind, it’s better than sitting at home hating myself. Now I can be at work hating myself. Ha ha.
It’s brought out a lot of insecurity, though, this job. Brought it to the surface, more like. Which is what “Imposter Syndrome” is about, that feeling that I’m a fraud and I don’t belong.
Amanda Palmer touches on that feeling a lot in her book The Art of Asking. You should really read it, I just finished it about 20 minutes ago, and it’s excellent.
Anyway. I’m going to try to write more (I always say that) and see what form my writing takes when I’m not ranting about the one that got away or some other agony from my oh-so-tortured life.
I turned 35 two days ago. I was pretty freaked-out by that number, but I’m feeling okay about it now. I still feel about 16, deep down. I’m trying to treat this birthday like a New Year, in that I’m making resolutions and trying to just… make my life better. You know?
It’s been months and months of sitting on my ass, feeling decrepit and sorry for myself, and I’m sick of it. I’m not back to 100% and there are things I can’t reasonably do, but there are a lot of things I can do and should at least try.
So I’m visiting doctors to try to get better, and taking my pills to try to stay sane, and I still feel like crap and kind of like dying, but there’s hope here as well, and that’s keeping me going.
When I turned 30, I freaked the hell out. I’m glad I’m not doing that now. Getting older is so weird. I don’t feel different, except in the ways that I do. Older, wiser maybe, a lot more exhausted. Today I’m swinging between panic and excitement.
So this post is just checking in, I guess. Hello, Internet. I’m still here.