more changes

So much has changed since the last time I wrote earlier this year, but what hasn’t changed is that things are equally intense, confusing, shifting, painful, growthful. ML and I broke up in April and it has been freeing and devastating both at the same time. What was clear to me was that I was forgetting about me, about myself, about how to take care of myself and how to make decisions for myself, and I felt, inside, like I was failing her all the time because I also loved someone else and because I knew that that hurt her and I knew that she didn’t really want to have that kind of relationship even though she went back and forth on whether she would be willing to try or not. I blamed myself for falling in love with J even as it also felt unstoppable. ML never blamed me, she was so kind and still insists that it went both ways, that we both failed each other in different ways, and although there were things that she did or ways that she was in our relationship that made it hard to feel like I was growing, it is still hard for me not to feel like the failure was mostly mine, that I could have and should have done things differently. And while it’s not totally clear yet that we are done for good, this break that we are on has been excruciating and hollowing, and has also been good for me because it is pointing out in glaring neon flashing signals the places where I need to figure shit out and the places where I was unhealthily leaning on her for my well-being. For example: I don’t take care of myself for my own sake. I forget to cook and eat, I let my to do list grow and grow without checking things off of it, I isolate and stay in bed and do nothing. I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted about depression here but I think that what happened was that in that relationship I eventually forgot to keep cultivating my own ways of coping with my mind and now that it’s just me again I’m like, oh, right, this, I need to deal with this.

I think it’s also been a difficult time mentally because of the ten-year mark of my rape and that I haven’t ever had any kind of therapy for that is becoming increasingly difficult to justify to myself any longer. I need to start doing that work. I need to be able to face the world on my own without falling apart just from mild exposure and I need to be my own care-taker. During high school I was just getting by. Early in college I was figuring out how to have friends again after having isolated myself during high school, and I was studiously repressing any complicated shit out of fear of, what, being too much maybe? And then I had my first major relationship and then pretty soon after that got together with ML and in both of those relationships I think I lost myself in some small way, or I oriented myself more towards the other person and derived my sense of self from them, or I prioritized the health of the relationship over my own health and didn’t quite grasp the connection between the two. And that’s just not working, that’s not healthy and I don’t want to continue that way. I need to ground myself in my own body, feel my own emotions from within, and care about making healthy choices for my own sake and not someone else’s. And I think that what comes up most for me in realizing this is that, all along I think I’ve internalized this sense of not being entitled to take care of myself kindly and lovingly. I feel faintly embarrassed as I type that, uncomfortable with that acknowledgement, and it sounds absolutely idiotic. But I think there’s truth in it, that I measure my value according to how useful I can be to someone else, how loved I can be by someone else. And I reject that! And I need to be careful with myself, moving forward, and make sure that whatever relationships I have, I am in touch with my own desires, capacities, priorities, goals. And the messiness of the past six months of my life (personally, medically, financially, logistically) shows that when things get complicated I’m not super in touch.

I left my job in May and have been taking time off (until the beginning of August) to do various travels. I went to Cincinnati in May for a week for a conference, and then I went to Texas for two and a half weeks to do political organizing work/research at an army base. Now I am heading to New York and Boston for two weeks and then Berlin with several friends until the end of July. I’m hoping to clear my head, spend a lot of time with friends and equally important time by myself, and come back to the bay area in August ready to move forward, whether it’s going back to my old job or finding a new one altogether. I’ve been semi-seriously considering nannying; I’ve been watching a few children this year and I just love them, I love them so much. On the other hand, the benefits of an office job are appealing too. Or something else altogether…

I got a pink triangle stick and poke from a few friends a few days before Pride (which was this past weekend). I don’t have any other tattoos. It’s right under my left collarbone, just above my heart, and under the triangle now is a yellow-purple bruise the size of a sand dollar. Who bruises from getting a stick and poke tattoo?!

What else do I want to say? I feel like I have SO much to talk about and I don’t even know how to start.

I know it’s been awfully quiet around here and I’m so grateful to have this space to report back to when I can, when it feels okay. Thank you for being around.

9 thoughts on “more changes

  1. Ack! My comment disappeared. This keeps happening for some reason.

    I just wanted you to know how much I admire your self awareness. I don’t know many people who understand themselves and see both the good and the bad within themselves as you do. You hold on tight to the changes you want to make – don’t ever let yourself slip too far that you can’t find your way back. I have no doubt that you will find your healthy happiness if you stay on this path. You remain an inspiration. xoxo

    1. Greg, thank you – you have been such a constant commenting presence here through the years and you always, always say just the right thing to make me smile :) I do think that self-awareness is one of my strengths, and it’s also a curse at times as it means I often overthink, overanalyze…

      I don’t know what’s up with the disappearing comments!! I will look into that. xo

  2. E! So lovely to see you around this space.

    Firstly, I’m so sorry to hear about things with ML. But at the same time, kudos to you for being so aware of what you need and doing what’s best for you. Remembering to do what’s best for yourself is so important and I think all too often we forget that.

    Secondly, um. Nannying? DO IT. So fun! But I also see the other side of it and wanting to do something that’s stimulating in different ways. Keep up posted, would you?

    I hope your travels treat you well and that you return home to the Bay with a clear head and heart and know that you can do anything you set out to.

  3. oh, that self-care stuff sounds just like me. even married, i revert to these ridiculous minimum upkeep habits when it’s just me around. and “forgot to keep cultivating my own ways of coping with my mind” is creepily real to me. at one point, i got fairly good at dealing with myself…sometimes i am afraid that i’ve lost that ability completely by being with someone who is simply so much better at coping with my mind.

    anyhow, i hope that your (major!) changes rattle themselves out well – and i hope your travels are lovely (they sound lovely!…except for the texas in summer part)!

  4. I am not sure where you are getting your information, but great topic.

    I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding
    more. Thanks for magnificent info I was looking for this
    information for my mission.

  5. All I can say is Wow you had a very hard year, my advice to you is put yourself first and then everything else. First God (if you believe), then you, then everything else… I don’t know if you do exercise that always help… try to find your passion, what makes you move forward. Hope this helps.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>