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Dear New Person,

There are several things about me that you should know. I have listed them here in this letter.

  • I have ADD.
  • I am polyamorous.
  • I care very deeply for my friends and family.
  • I have been married and had my heart broken like I never imagined it could be.
  • I have difficulty establishing intimacy.
  • I value my health and my physical capacity more than anything else I possess.
  • I have to understand why I am doing something before I can do it properly.
  • I believe that there is a plan laid out by a benevolent Goddess who birthed this world and our existence because she thought it was a good idea.
  • I am obsessed with sex.
  • I am arrogant.
  • I am a feminist.
  • My greatest fear is to be alone.

It has taken me a long time -- my entire life, in fact -- to compose this list. I have delved deeper into my own existence than I knew was possible in order to come up with these few gems of truth about myself. I list them here simply as a statement and an acknowledgment of their existence.

I want you to read this list as much as I want to finish writing it. It is a summary of who I am.

Explanations

To the best of my ability, what I have written here is simply my experience of my self. To you who are a new person in my life, I hope that you will accept me as I am. I will change, with time, but I will change in the right time and neither you nor I are able to force that change to occur when it will not. Moreover, I do not know the nature of that change, only that it is inevitable. I hope that you and I both will be able to accept me as I am then, too.

Thank you for sharing this experience with me.

Om Shanti


Currently not using this link. Sorry


Pinkie Boadicea, the Strong Woman.

Dreams

running, marathon, victory
Last night I slept almost 10 hours again. It's been happening a lot lately, and I think it's healthy for me. At about 9:45 I began to feel sleepy and relaxed. By 10:15 I had put the ferrets to bed, petted the cat, cleaned up the ferret poops that often save their pungent aromas until after I've tucked in under the sheets, brushed my teeth and picked my nature sounds of the evening. I didn't fall asleep right away, and I woke up a few times during the night from people shouting outside, but sleep I eventually did.

My first of the terrible dreams was one about my running team. We had gone on a trip to an amusement park and while I was sitting down to pee, the maintenance opened up the stall door to inventory the toilet paper. There was a woman around her fifties and a younger boy who could have been her son, or could have been her grandson. They both opened the door to my stall and stuck their heads in. I protested loudly, but they wouldn't leave. My coach leaned over the wall (he's very tall) and asked me why I couldn't just ask for things. There I was standing with my pants down and people staring at me (or rather staring around me and ignoring me), with my coach shaking his head and the other people explaining to me that if I didn't want to get walked in on, I should have picked a different stall.

Ashamed of how people thought of me, I avoided the team for the next two rides. I grabbed my bag, which was so heavy it might have been filled with bowling balls, and I hid down in the crowd of another group. My coach came to check on me, but I couldn't face him with so many people there. Later, I tried to explain to him how his words had cut me: why can't you just ask for things? I don't know! Why can't I? What stops me from being the calm and decent human being that blends in with others and just gets along? Why do I always have to bristle and protest? I DON'T KNOW!

But I couldn't tell him. The words caught in my throat. I couldn't explain to him how badly I wanted to be that person he thought I should be. I was afraid I would disintegrate if I did.

Later that day I was out with the J** and his family and another girl who I knew was somehow my junior, but I don't know from where. His sister, who might have been his ex wife, was late to dinner and we were all sitting around a small table trying to play a board game, or trying to wait quietly and pretend that we weren't bored. His mother, a blonde woman with a straightish crop, said off-handedly that she hoped she wasn't giving some guy a hand job in a stall somewhere. To which I replied, more likely a blow job. My junior girl flashed her eyes at me and grounded me. The guy sitting next to me at the table told me I wasn't allowed to speak anymore that night.

It was already morning and I could hear angry sounds from the street. I knew that it had rained because I felt it hanging heavy in the air. I wasn't ready to wake up even though my dreams had been nothing but miserable. For my last pleasure before I submitted myself to the day was to see my sweet Wilson snatched up by a bird while we were on a walk. I shouted at the bird and, startled, it dropped him, but he hung helplessly with his leash tangled in the tree branches. By this time I was already conscious enough to be somewhat in control and I made my dream self climb the tree and wave my hands at the bird, but Wilson just wiggled himself through his harness and plopped unceremoniously to the ground. I retrospectively replaced myself underneath him so I could catch his fall and feel somewhat capable in my somnambulistic* world.


* I don't actually know if this is the correct use of "somnambulistic"

Philly Cycling Etiquette Demo

running, marathon, victory
I have been a cycle commuter in Philadelphia for about five years now. I've lived in many places, but as a student of Penn, I always aim for University City. Lately, I've expanded my 'hood, if you will, to include the majority of Center City, Queen Village, Fairmount, West Philly and the Schuylkill river trail.

When I ride, I can't help but notice the various challenges that cyclists face trying to navigate this city. For all the efforts that have been made (and I attribute all of these to the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, and our wonderfully accessible Mayor Nutter), it is still the case that cyclists don't get a lot of respect out on the roads. Cars don't give us enough room when passing, we get doored, we get walked into by pedestrians jay walking and not looking out for the silent vehicles that we are. We get shouted at, honked at, cut off and generally hated. Even when we do have bicycle lanes, cars use them to pass each other, to park in, to have a little more distance from other parked cars. People walk in them, run in them... I won't even start talking about skateboards. It isn't easy being a cyclist in Philly.

However, I am not just a Philly Cyclist. I am also an occasional driver and frequent runner. I like to believe that I get to see all three sides of this struggle for respect on the roads. I don't drive very often. Mostly I just rent a car and take it out of state, but I still have to get out of the city. I went out of my way recently to be polite to cyclists -- to look out for them before turning, to give ample passing distance, to be patient when the street is too narrow to share. And do you know what I discovered? It isn't easy being a driver in Philly! Cyclists are hard to see, and they don't often stop at intersections. Many times they're riding the wrong way down the street, or they're appearing out of nowhere as they jump a curb or dodge some other obstacle.

When I'm running, I downright hate cyclists, especially the ones wearing team jerseys or riding BMX bikes. They never EVER call their pass. They cut close to me when the path is crowded. They shout at me to get out of their way when they don't want to slow down. They don't ride on the right side of the trail, even though it's marked with huge arrows and yellow "don't cross" lines. And that's just on the trail. Cyclists blowing lights are pretty frightening to a pedestrian who is already worried about getting run over by a taxi cab (this has nearly happened to me twice, and actually happened to a friend once). Bicycles are also pretty silent. At night, a cyclist without lights is about as imperceptible as Casper the Friendly Ghost. Surprise, surprise, it's not easy being a pedestrian in Philly.

So lately as I've been riding around this glorious city, I've been wondering to myself, how can we make things better for us as cyclists? The answer that I've arrived at is that we need, as cyclists, to make things better for everybody else. It doesn't matter how strongly we believe we ought to have a right to the road. It doesn't matter, even, if we think that giving us more rights to the road will make this city on the whole a better place. We live in a democracy and we are the minority. We need to convince everybody else that giving cyclists a place on our streets is going to make everybody else's lives better.

How many times have you, my cycling compatriots, called your pass and heard an emphatic, almost resigned "thank you!" from your less hastily traveling fellow human? In that thank you, have you not, perhaps subtly, sensed a feeling of exasperation, as if to say "wow! a cyclist with manners! I never thought I'd meet one."? I know I have felt this same sense when a car driver turns on his or her right turn indicator and then pauses at the intersection until I am safely in front of them, or perhaps when I have heard the light tooting of a horn saying "on your left!" Perhaps, even, this is my own optimism playing tricks with me, but I am sure I notice these things more often when I myself am making a point to stop at lights and indicate my own turns.

So here is my idea on how to make cycling better for everyone in Philadelphia -- cyclists, car drivers and pedestrians alike: we as cyclists need to go out of our way to send a message to everybody else that we appreciate them making space for us and that we, in turn, are going to make space for them. I think we can do this by staging an intentional cycling etiquette demonstration.

The Schuylkill river trial would be a great place to start. What we will do is gather a large(ish) group of cyclists and give everybody arm bands, stickers or t-shirts showing that we are all together on that day. To those cyclists that are participating, and anyone else interested in hearing, we will explain what good cycling etiquette means and how important it is for us that we show it to everybody else. Then we ride out on the trail in waves, calling our passes, slowing down when the trail is crowdy, indicating our moves to others on the trail. In short, we make a point of being seen behaving well.

I believe that everyone on foot that day will appreciate being made the center of attention, and in a good way. I also believe that everyone out there on wheels will get a good glimpse of what a good cyclist ought to behave like. The fact of the matter is, there are so many poorly behaved cyclists on the roads and trails that the few who do try to follow the rules get swallowed up in the numbers and not noticed by anyone. The result is irritation for all and no good role models for those who would try to be better. I also believe that those who do participate will get a much needed sense of pride in their identity not only as a cyclist in Philly, but as a good cyclist in Philly, someone who is making our city a better place for everyone.

We as cyclists need to be seen, but we need to be seen in a good light. It is certainly gratifying to whine amongst ourselves about how little the "others" respect us, but it doesn't change anything. First we need to realize that every body in this city is a human being with goals and frustrations. Then we need to let people know that we are here to make things better for everyone, not just for ourselves. Only in this way will we ever get the support of our city to truly make Philadelphia the greenest and most bicycle-friendly city in the nation.

Why I don't fly

running, marathon, victory
Here is my letter to TSA regarding my return to the United States from Japan. I have little hope that my post here on my quiet journal will do anything to right the wrongs that are consistently laid on those unfortunate enough to require air travel, but I have to share this because I know I am not alone.


I don't know whether to file this under rude employee or civil rights, but my experience with TSA security was nothing short of humiliating and physically sickening.

Generally, TSA checkpoints do not treat passengers like human beings with rights or feelings. Eye contact is rare, even when asking a question for clarification of procedures etc. This time it was unbelievably horrid. I don't know if words can adequately describe my experience.

I refused the X-ray screening. I was made to wait for a female agent to perform the required patdown.

When the woman finally arrived, she did not greet me and would not look me in the eye. She asked if it was my first time and I replied that it was. She then took me to a corner and began the explanation of the procedure. One or two sentences in she began to mumble. I asked her twice to repeat herself and she said loudly that she was going to touch my breasts and sensitive areas.

I am an abuse victim and this woman's harsh treatment triggered a panic attack. I began begging her not to touch me there and told her that I would take off my clothes for the screening if she would not touch me there. She then began shouting at me and shouting something about "legal". She threw all my belongings in a pile which included a fragile gift, my computer and my shoes and threw them again onto another table.

It is part of my religion that my shoes do not come in contact with my living space or my other personal items and I had specifically laid them separately in the bins. Her behavior distressed me severely and when the supervisor came over I began crying and shaking uncontrollably. The agent told him that I had exposed my breasts to her which is a complete falsehood.

No human should be treated like this. I am not a criminal, I am a citizen of the United States and I have rights guaranteed by the constitution. My body and my mind cannot bear the stresses that your agency and its employees put on it in order to travel. Every time I pass through security, it is with fear in my heart because of incidents like these. I should not have to fear my own country.

Tags:

A Long Road

running, marathon, victory
I'm apparently still very fragile. This is really hard for me to accept. I'm not used to considering myself fragile. For most of my life I've gone out of my way to take the bigger challenge, to do the extra work*, to come home tired and sleep the deepest sleep. However, since my separation I've been living a different life.

My life for two years now has been characterized by massive mood swings. I will alternative days of intense productivity where I will get up at the crack of dawn, run, work, clean, feign sleep, repeat, with days where I can hardly get out of bed. On the low days, the world will appear to me so big and hostile and overwhelming that all I want to do is hide until the storm passes and someone comes to tell me it's all over.

I know now that that storm is nothing more than years upon years (probably around fifteen of them) of denying my own humanity. I lived in a world where whatever someone told me they knew about humans, I would prove them wrong. If someone said that marketing strategies were encouraging people to over consume sodas at fast food joints, I would just stop eating at fast food joints all together. It wasn't because of my health, it was because I wanted to prove that nobody could make me buy something that was bad for me unless I wanted to. So for years I lived the delusion that I could work the system, that I was impervious to manipulation by people or organizations, that I never failed unless I gave up.

I'm a pretty fucking intelligent human being. I'm pretty sure, and pardon my lack of modesty here, that no small part of the delusion that I built was made possible by a supremely unstimulated brain. As time went by, though, working the system got harder and harder and I began to dream of just walking away from it all. I hated my good grades in school. I felt a slave to them. If I got an 'A' it was what I was supposed to have gotten. If I got a 'B' it was because the teacher screwed something up, or was unfair, or because I just had too many assignments at the same time and that I wouldn't have gotten the 'B' if it wasn't for that. Success in school never brought me joy, in fact, it only brought me more fear that it would never be over and I would never be freed from that ever present, ever intensifying, need to be perfect.

So fast forward to now. I've recognized that I've got some pretty ineffective life habits and I'm trying to deal with them. I have to say, though, it's almost overwhelming just trying to shift from the mindset of "I can do anything I set my mind to" to "I have hangups that need to be treated with respect. My life needs to explicitly allow for my happiness or I will be miserable indefinitely."

So anyway, I went for a run this morning. I kept noticing myself criticizing other people. If it was a girl, it was her stupid Lululemon outfit, or her floppy weak stride. If it was a boy it was his lack of grace. Actually, I made that up. I didn't really criticize the boys. But my point is that I was out to find fault in everyone. I had to keep reminding myself that my run was for me and that if I didn't pay attention to it I would lose it. So I yoga'd the crap out of that run. I felt good in the end. I was basically calm and I did my stretches, showered and napped. This is how I like my Saturdays to start.

But what motivated me to write this post in my journal was the fact that on my run I came to the realization that I've got a hell of a huge heap of hangups (no alliteration intended) to deal with. And if psychological therapy is anything like physical therapy, it's going to take a proportional amount of time to heal as I spent being broken. That was more than half my life. When I think about it, the major issues came up during puberty, but I had social anxiety before that. I don't know if I can make it. This healing business is exhausting. I mean, sure, it's great to finally have the tools to learn how to be calm and kick the irrational nervousness that always lurks in my mind. I once described it like the halo that glasses puts around everything you see. It doesn't necessarily get in your way, but you become used to it and don't realize how small it makes your world until you take them off.

Sometimes I feel like I'm reverting back to my old habits. I used to have this sensation of an ever imminent Major Life Hurdle ahead of me. I could never see beyond it. I'd think to myself, "this is it. If I can just make this, I'll be fine. So it doesn't matter that I'm exhausted and about to fall apart, I've got it in me to get over this..." So I would succeed. But the problem, I guess like when I got A's in school, was that on the other side, it was just more of the same. No cookie. No sense of accomplishment, no healing. When the hurdle was past, I never went back to the pain I was feeling before. Time heals all wounds, right? Bullshit. Time don't heal a fucking wound if you keep ripping it open.

My dissertation is kind of doing that to me. Like right now, I have 3 days to solve a model that's so far taken me 3 years just to write. It sounds big because it's kinda big. But mathematically, it's not. I've solved at least one EQ and I'm pretty sure there are only 3. But I feel like I need to just go! Go! GO! before I leave for Japan and that now is not the time to be sitting at home feeling down.

But the truth is, I am feeling weak. Not down, but weak. And Japan, as much as I'm trying, is not going to leave me rested, even though my plan is to lie around in onsen the whole time. And beyond Japan is the data portion of my model, and beyond that it just gets harder and harder. Like marathon training. The marathon is the easy part of it all. So I want to remind myself that not only do I need to take care of my spirit because it helps me work better, but also because in the long run we're all dead. That is to say, if I keep putting it off, everything else will be for naught.

It's a very delicate balance. And right now, I'm really afraid that I'll fall.

Fighting It

running, marathon, victory
I had my NewPiggy over last night. He works from home and today he left for California with his bike, Pengin, for another one of those 100K races through the mountains that he likes to do. He was really excited and you could see it. Because he works from home, as long as he has an internet connection, he can do his job. So it was really exciting that I finally got internet set up at home and that he was able to stay the day here.

I woke up with him a little before 8am. He worked and I flitted around the house cleaning, cooking, basically doing all those nasty women's works that are so miserable to do alone, but somehow don't seem so bad when there's someone hanging around telling you how sexy you look holding that power drill topless...

After Mr. Piggy went home, I laid down for a nap. I didn't sleep very well the night before, something that happens when I have another piggy in the bed, and lots of life happened while the Piggy was working, so I really needed it for a brain break. The fact that it was rainyish, overcast and decidedly chilly outside made it that much nicer.

This is the second time that I laid down for a nap after my NewPiggy went home, and it's the second time I woke up somewhat disoriented and alone. Today, however, I took action immediately to fight off the funk. It all started in my own head, that conversation with yourself that's always running.

I'm alone, I thought. I want to touch someone, or hear someone, or more strongly I wanted someone to hear me. I was nervous, almost frightened, like a small animal who finds itself suddenly outside in an unfamiliar place and, wide eyed, searches desperately for shelter. But then I remembered that before I slept, I had a plan. I was going to wake up and finish cleaning up my house. There's a lot of generic mess that's accumulated in the last two weeks in addition to the things that came home along with the cat. The mess gets in the way of me thinking clearly and adds a feeling of being trapped along with the exposure. So I remembered I was going to clean it and then I was going to sit down at my beautiful table with my beautiful new computer and a beautiful glass of wine...

***Twenty minutes later***

Right, with a beautiful glass of wine, and I was going to work luxuriously on my dissertation. It would be romantic, like Hemmingway, and lofty, like the scholars of the past.

Just remembering that I had laid this plan out for myself made the difference. Suddenly I felt able to move again. The world seemed less overwhelming and less harsh. All because I imagined a beautiful glass of deep red wine.

Jul. 18th, 2012

running, marathon, victory
Dear One,

I've been working very hard lately. It's not easy being well. I don't feel constantly on the edge of the crevasse as I did when getting off my first prescription, but I know that the reality of my experience is that I am.

Saturday I splatted for no good reason. NewPiggy had come over and we had a lovely dinner with friends. He stayed the night and we had a lovely breakfast and a lovely time lying around watching a movie in my air conditioned room. It was Zombie Strippers. I love that movie. But even before he left in the early afternoon I started to feel the foreboding presence of unjustified anxiety. I asked him if he would, please, let me know if ever he wasn't pleased with how things were. He promised he would and for a moment, the anxiety eased a little. After a surprisingly long nap, though, I was in a full on funk.

I went downstairs and sat in the corner of my kitchen -- the spot where I discovered I can shield myself from seeing everything in the house but my refrigerator. I sat there and wished that I could cry. Somehow, since learning to "not get hung up on the little things" while with my husband, I have forgotten how to cry. Sometimes it happens to me, but for the most part, the tears stop just short of my eyelids.

I have too much to do right now to have time to sit around feeling depressed, so this time I took initiative and packed up some stuff to donate and rode it four and a half miles across town. This was great because it made my house cleaner, which always makes me feel accomplished, it got me out of the house and it made my heart pound and my body drip with sweat. These were all things that I avoid once the funk sets in.

Going to therapy on Monday, I thought that I had kicked it. I wanted to believe that I had kicked it, but a tiny part of my brain kept warning me that I had thought this before. Now today it's here again.

This time, however, I think there's a cause for my feeling down. My JooPig is really frustrating me. He's got all these hangups, and truth be told I am no longer sure they developed during his marriage, and yesterday he crossed a line. I was trying to express understanding of his desires in a conversation that was wholly banal in nature and he gave me the silent treatment over text messages! Of course, it's impossible to know if the text you didn't receive was never sent or if in fact it had been lost in cyber space. But silent he did treat me and when I found out what was going on I gave it my best effort of being understanding and clarifying what had happened. I gave him a chance to express his feelings, but in the end he was hung up on the fact that the way he was behaving was not the way he thought the person he wanted to be would behave. When I noticed that, innocently though I did, his reaction was anger and aggression towards me. Well, I quite frankly don't have time for that nonsense.

It was very hard for me today to digest the decision I made last night: the Joo is being put in time out to think about his behavior!

I'm sad that I had to make this decision. It hurts me that my love, my kindness and my unconditional acceptance of this man are not only not enough for him, but actively fought against and rejected. I can't put myself in this person's company no matter how much I adore him. He poisons me.

Fortunately for me, however, I have my NewPig who has shown me everything that I have tried to show my Joo, and done so without the slightest expectation of reciprocation. He is always happy to see me, always willing to find a solution when our schedules are tight. He is positive, relaxed and relaxing. And I think the biggest thing that I like about him is that he is actively appreciative of everything I give him, and if he is ever disappointed, he certainly does not show it. No wonder my therapist suggested I go bang him when I was feeling down!

Anyway, I have so much in my head these days but it all seems to just fall out right before I go in to therapy. So I'm opening up my journal again to record them. It helps that I have internet at home now and I don't have to hold all my thoughts inside until I get to a cafe. I wanted to note that I'm practicing being chill on the roads. When someone does something that I think is dangerous, instead of thinking to myself "oh, this person is a real ass" I think "wow, I'm so awesome that this totally irresponsible person put me in a dangerous situation and I totally handled it with calm and precision." I don't know how long this attitude will last me, but so far it's working. I have to remind myself that being angry at people for being jerks is like being angry at a fire for burning. I'm sure this is a Buddhist quote. But anyway, getting angry at people won't change a thing. It just makes me upset and they will never ever know or even care how they made me feel. In fact, I've found that when I smile and wave to people, even if barely sincerely, I sometimes get apologies or courtesy or even surprised embarrassment in response. All of these are more meaningful, more helpful and more satisfying than a battle of sailor mouths. Particularly so because I know that it was something that I did to evoke this reaction.

So today when the funk started to descend upon me, I managed to nap and clean my house. Mostly. Before going to bed for a surprisingly short nap (only one hour), I told myself not to worry about my meeting tomorrow -- I would have plenty of time when I woke up to prepare for it, and I would be refreshed and therefore think more clearly. When I did wake up, however, my house was such a disaster from my recent trip that I couldn't focus at all. So I set to cleaning it. I thought that if I could just do something small like clear the table or mop the spilled dish detergent up off the floor that I would gain the sense of accomplishment that I craved. Well, six pm turned into seven, seven into eight, and at eight thirty I accepted that I was not going to get to the dissertation tonight. I resolved to repeat my success from Saturday. I sat down at the table with my sewing scissors and excised more unwanted padding from my exorbitantly expensive bike shorts. I then checked the time. It was 8:42. Just about 4 minutes late to make it to AIDS thrift. Instead, I decided I would gear up in some sexy and wicking workout spandex and ride down to a suitably far 24 hour CVS and buy new batteries for my Nite Eyez rainbow spoke light. My baby girl flew with rainbow colored wings. She and I took over the city, well, the two miles of city between CVS and my home, but took them over nonetheless. I felt great and my heart pounded in my chest when I came home. Stopping to unlock my front door, I could feel the heat rising from my body in a cloud, prevented from dissipating by the suffocating humidity this summer has brought.

Did it work? I hope so. I practiced taking care of myself by baking some fish, which was exactly what my belly was craving after the ride. No matter that it was 10:30 at night, I wanted fish. As I scarfed down the pre seasoned filet, I realized that I was starving. I damn near inhaled the oiled vegetables and wild rice. My body apparently gets really cranky if I don't give it enough fat.

My kitchen is mostly clean. All the unwashed dishes are soaking in the sink and I wiped down the counters. The floor still has a sheen of Palmolive on it, but I'll get to that later.

I'll get there. I'll get there. Eventually, one day, I'll get there.

I have to teach myself to be happy. We all have to teach ourselves to be happy. You'd think that it would be natural and easy to be happy, but no. Happiness must be accepted and welcomed in. Is this what Jesus meant? Who knows? Certainly not the Church. But anyway, happiness can be banging at your door and if you refuse to let it in, then what? You are unhappy for all your days. It's hard for me to accept happiness because I always wanted to do it myself. Ever since I was a baby I wanted to do it myself. When I got older, somehow I learned that I was supposed to be a certain kind of person and that only this kind of person was valuable, or respectable, or deserving of happiness. I realize now that that's all bullshit, but the tendency to revert is there, like a nasty habit of biting your fingernails. I have to train myself to be happy and I believe I will eventually learn to do it by default. It's just a matter, I think, of spending more time accepting my happiness than I did pretending that it would somehow come to me if I was "good enough."

Well, it's late. I'm sure I have more to say, but I need to stop. I'm just grateful that I resisted the urge to troll facebook looking for that reassurance that I craved. I'm grateful because I know it's not there and the mere act of searching would only reinforce the compulsion.

I suppose I am getting there. ichi, ni, ichi, ni. Right, left. Right, left. Just like a marathon, you tick away the miles one step at a time. No sense in thinking about mile 20 when you haven't yet reached mile 16. Mile 16 will fuck you up the ass. With a power tool. So watch out!

ichi, ni, ichi, ni.

Goodnight world.

--Goats

A Gift to Myself Long in the Waiting

running, marathon, victory
Yesterday I had WaveFront laser eye surgery performed on both of my eyes. It was ten years ago that I decided I wanted to have this done, but my eyes were so unstable that the doctors could not recommend the procedure. Finally, however, my eyes and my life joined together to make this dream possible for me.

I was so excited that I couldn't sleep, and I couldn't sit still at the surgery center while I waited between all of the tests and preparations. Certainly, I was nervous as well, but the entire process was no more stressful or frightening than a regular eye exam. In fact, I think my gynecologist stresses me out more than this surgery did.

Now, almost twenty four hours after the procedure, I am contact and glasses free. My vision still isn't perfect -- I have halos glowing around any light sources and there is a slight sensation of liquid in my eyes, kind of like when I first put my contacts in -- but I am free. I can look around me and feel the air on my face and the comfort in my eyes and I can see the face of my friend sitting across the table from me.

I took a picture of myself to send to my friends and I look like a teenager! My cheeks were all puffy and silly and I was giddy with drugs and happiness.

So now where am I?

I am happy, that's for sure. My medications seem pretty stable and I will go to the psychiatrist today to discuss them. It's unfortunate that my sexual response has been dampened by the drugs, but I spoke with my Joo and we both think it's best that I keep them. It is only temporary and the benefits that I get in the rest of my life -- the calmness, the feeling of control over my circumstances, the focus -- they are all more important for me now than sex. It's sad given how much I love sex, and it was not an easy decision to make, but I think it is the right one. And anyway, I still fuck and come way more often than anyone else I know. It's a sacrifice I have the leeway to make right now.

Yesterday, my Pretty B came over to my house to bring me food and cookies and happiness. We hung out and I made her a piña colada with bourbon, because that's all we had, and I painted her nails and they're beautiful. She's been needing to relax, and I needed to give myself a break, too. It wasn't until I was putting the top coat on her finished beauties that I realized how much I needed to just be for a while. Even when I specifically chose not to work on anything, or exercise, I still carried around with me that pressure to accomplish something, anything. It was wonderful to just be with a friend and let everything just lie where it landed and relax. Who would have thought that surgery would be a chance for me to destress? But it certainly was. I feel rejuvenated.

My love life is also in wonderful shape. I have two partners right now and I adore both of them. I call them JooPig and NewPig (although I pronounce it "NooPig"). I don't remember if I explained it to you before, but a SLAMpig is someone that you are sleeping with but are not dating. It's a general category that includes fuckbuddies and friends-with-benefits. Apparently it also means "slut" in Swedish, which I find extra entertaining. The partner of a SLAMpig is a SLAMcat. Cleverbot said so.

So anyway, my love life is really great right now. I'm not just fucking, I'm consciously building relationships with people. It's a beautiful thing. And contrary to Leilani's prediction, I am not dating men who resemble my husband, nor am I repeating my same mistakes from before. I am really enjoying having boundaries, enforcing them, feeling justified with my own feelings and confident with my reactions to things. I like that neither of my Piggies are interested in being "boyfriends," too. It is difficult and frightening, because we have no commitment to each other, though we do have loyalty. On the other side of the coin, we have the confidence that we are together because we want it. I like that when I fight with my Piggies (actually, haven't gotten there with the NewPig yet) I can be confident that my position is clear and justified and that I will back down if it's appropriate. Somehow, because I know that anyone could walk out at any time, I know that each time we fight it's all real and if we solve our problems, it's because we mean it. I don't know, it's just good.

So that's life. Later I will work on my dissertation. I have a model. It's not perfect, but it's fun. That's gonna have to be good enough for me.

Fun. I think that's how I will make my life decisions from now on. Will it be fun? Ok.

(me)

An Old Composition, Needing Exposition.

running, marathon, victory
帰りたくないから、飲み明かそう。

今週はいいことばかりだったのに、情報がくるにつれてどんどん落ち込んで行った。

私は夫と一緒に住んでいない。4年間も五百マイル離れた場所にすんでいる。火曜日は一学期の間私のいる学部で働くことができたという情報があって、それが喜ぶべきなのはわかっていたのに不思議に心が冷やされた。だんなが同じ町に住んでいたら、自由に行動をすることができなくなるのです。それが怖いの。「絶対にこうしちゃダメ」とは言われないが、あいつには、あいつの思った通りにしたくないなら、私の考えの方が優れているという説明が必要なの。それが見つからなければ許してもらえない。無視して好きにしようとすると、それがだんなを軽く扱っているというわけで、怒られるの。

まさかこういう人と結婚するなんて思わなかった。

My Brain and My Everything Else

running, marathon, victory
My Brain is the neurological equivalent of a late 1970s bodybuilder -- overgrown, overdeveloped and overwhelming all my other body systems. It even shriveled my sex drive just like a bodybuilder's shriveled…you get the point. For as long as I can remember, my brain has been overriding my better sense of the world, but it has only become apparent now that my theories are being put to the real tests of life that my brain doesn't have a clue what it's doing.

Take paying the bills, for instance.

V−Day

running, marathon, victory
I went in to the Vaj Dr. today to see if she had any solutions for the 3rd Vaj infection I've had in 4 months. She didn't, really, but she's still an awesome person.

When I was there, the nurse went through her usual battery of related and unrelated questions:

What is your name?
Date of birth?
How tall are you?
(Please stand against this ruler)
How much do you weigh?
(Please step on the scale)
When was your last menstrual?
  • Here I always wonder: which of the 28 days did you want?

Can I have your phone number (again)?
Where do you live?
What is your mother's maiden name?
Social?
Father's Social?
History of imprisonment in the family?
Can you count to 10 backwards while rubbing your head and scratching your stomach?
Please fill out this depression questionnaire.

...What??? Depression questionnaire? What the hell does this have to do with my annual vaginal violation?

All ranting about the medical industry aside, it made me think. No secret anymore that I'm getting divorced. No real secret that I'm still not divorced either. Well, truth be told most people are shocked to find out that I'm still not divorced. What can I say? Out of my hands.

Anyway, my first impulse was to get on the internet and start doing some searches. Sure, I've been to brain therapists in the past, but none of them suggested that I might be chronically depressed. So I just figured that the divorce process makes everybody miserable and I'm no different. But I realized that I've already done the research. I've already done so much fucking research that I feel like I know absolutely everything there is to know. I can safely say I've read all the articles on the internet about certain subjects because I started noticing the copyright violation induced redundancies in them. Shit!

What really peaked my interest in this case was the mention of one article of substance abuse for the self treatment of dysthimia. Apparently the disorder can initiate early on in life and while not intense enough to totally disrupt life functioning, chronic enough to lead to eventual breakdown and to go unnoticed and accepted as the way things are. I'm too smart for substance abuse...probably. At least, well, is the internet a substance? Because knowing the way things work, or what causes them to be the way they are, certainly makes me feel better. And I definitely read the internet to excess. Hmmm....