Thursday, July 29, 2010
After spending so much time at home and seeing pretty much no one to speak of, I seem to have become the proverbial social butterfly this week. Not that I am happy to claim the title. My preference would be to remain the anonymous soul I've been for the last eight months. However, as luck would have it, my social calendar runneth over. Last night we went to dinner with a group of neighbors, then back to one of their homes for a round of Trivial Pursuit. We made up our own rules and played men against women. Need anyone ask who won?? We all moved into this newly developed neighborhood at the same time some twenty-odd years ago. We had cul-de-sac parties at which we all brought grills and hand-cranked ice cream makers. We did the moving party at Christmas, going from house to house. We went to movies and comedy clubs and restaurants together. We were all of a similar age, and several families had small children. I have watched these same children grow up, go through their own trials and waved them off as they were married or back as they divorced. This is no doubt one of the best bunch of individuals I know. They are truly great friends. Tonight, we have tickets to the play "Annie," and we will no doubt see several of my other half's acquaintances. The tickets were an end-of-year gift for him as he teaches the 14-year-old star of the play. It's bound to be a great event, but I don't know many of the parents who will be there, so I'm a bit on the anxious side about it. Finally, tomorrow we have a brunch scheduled with friends who moved to Virginia two years ago. I am already dreading this because this is one of the friends who hurt me very badly several years ago. She brought me into a Bible study, encouraged me to be in leadership and then was one of those who said nothing when I was asked to leave as the proverbial scapegoat. (Hmmm, onto that word proverbial today.) The leader of the study didn't like what an audit team had to recommend, and as the one who was asked to lead the audit, I was the one to get the boot. I've come to realize just how controlling the leader was, not to mention being quite the "queen bee" type. As for my friend, I haven't seen her since the "break-up" and will confess that I was hurt, then angry at her. For her to have been such a good friend, one whom I might say had been a bit of a mentor to me, I really would prefer not to see her and just forgo the brunch. I'm fairly certain that isn't an option. Too bad.
On the work front, I have avoided going back into the office for almost two weeks. I'm no longer able to manage my stress on any level, and when the tough got going, I bailed. I think I've recovered enough to pick it up again this weekend when I can work alone.
Because really, this socializing has seriously cut into my hermit lifestyle.
(Image is a collage found at AnangkaArts at Etsy and can be purchased in the form of a magnet or a greeting card. It is representative of the Tarot card "The Hermit" and goes by the same name.)
Friday, July 23, 2010
As previously mentioned, I've been working part-part-time on a project for my previous employer, and it's been eating into my journal time. I've been going to the office several days per week, and I'm at the point that the work should be completed in another day or two. I don't know what, if anything, I'll do there once this is finished. They may need me for a few days per month, but we will see. As the weeks have gone by, the same things that caused me to leave have gradually started up again. I'm certainly not where I was six months ago, but this week has seen a bit of a setback for me. It just confirms that I need to stay away from highly emotional and stressful situations.
Speaking of stressful, I just read that a "plus-size" model was protesting her recently published photograph. It seems that the publisher had the picture airbrushed from a size 10 to a size 2. She said she was proud of her size and felt it was insulting to her for the photo to be changed. Funny, I was insulted to find out that a size 10 was considered a plus-size! When did that happen? I knew that the modelling business has been getting bad press for pushing the girls to be so thin that they aren't healthy, but I didn't realize that those standards were now being pushed on women in general. However, I have noticed as I've shopped online for the last year or more that designers do seem to be using less material. A size Large just ain't what it used to be.
I recently found a picture of myself taken about 5 months before I got married. Both my other half and I agreed that I look way, way, better now. We both thought I looked anorexic in the photo, but I remember never feeling thin enough. As I've aged, predictably, I've gained those few pounds per year. Anyone who has seen me within the last 10 or so years has said that I look great, maybe because I now have curves.
The good news from the fashion front is that curves are back in vogue! I just wish someone would tell that to all of those designers who think a size Large is equivalent to a size 8. Who would like to volunteer? Anyone?
(Image is a black and white gelatin silver print entitled "Hands." It can be purchased at Etsy from leanaphoto.)
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Sadly, one of my dearest friends just had to be hospitalized after combining drugs and alcohol. Probably something I would have done way back when if I had had enough of any kind of serious drugs. I had no access to a gun, and the thought of slitting my wrists makes me queasy. I have a hard time having my finger pricked. However, I knew firsthand the kind of accident that could occur if I were to run my car headfirst into an oncoming 18-wheeler. I planned it, mapped it, found the perfect spot on the highway. Even did a few drive-throughs to make sure. Thankfully, I finally looked at the cab. Saw the driver. Realized that I was going to hurt someone other than myself. And I knew that it was no longer an option. Which kinda left me with no options.
I know now that had I been very seriously considering the act, I would have found a way. I'd like to think that it was because I didn't want to hurt anyone, but I doubt that I'm that noble. Maybe I was a coward, but I was enduring emotional pain that was so intense that I wasn't really living anyway. It's hard to think or talk about what I was going to do, but it was my truth at the time.
Or since I didn't carry through, was it really my truth?
"The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple."--Oscar Wilde
(Image shown is a portion of a necklace found at VenusFlytrapJewels at Etsy. It contains a charm with photos related to mental health as well as a small bottle of pills. In black and white, no less.)
Thursday, July 8, 2010
I've been out of work for almost 10 months, and although some might not think it's true, I have had somewhat of a schedule. Well, not for the first three months, that is. That was when I was simply numb. No thinking, no feeling, no responding. There were a handful of significantly stressful and humiliating events during the last decade of my life for which I had not grieved. Add to that the fact that I found myself in the final stage of my feminine life without much warning. Finally, the numbness wore off, and I became a thinking, feeling, responding maniac. Too much grief and hurt needed to be released. Too much time that had been, perhaps, wasted. This journal was my recording of what I needed to work through, get through one way or another. It took the last five or so months to do just that. One day I should probably record some of the events. I'm sure my doctor would recommend it. To anyone who took the time to read, encourage or offer up a prayer for me, I can't express enough just how thankful I am. Big, big hugs all around. I am eternally grateful.
Now, I am at a point in this journey that I can look back and see how I've progressed, and I am so encouraged by where I find myself. I am actually answering the telephone and talking to people. Amazing! I don't think I've ever said, but long ago during my first bad incident, I developed a phobia about the phone, and I've never gotten over it. Now, not only have I talked to people, I've gone back to work with my former employer. Technically, I guess I'm no longer employed, but then again, I'm not very technical. I think this is more of a part-part-time job. A good start, no? The retail position offered earlier in the year is still available, and I have been in touch with the owner recently. Again, good.
I know myself well enough to know that there will be more ups and downs. However, I believe that I've learned enough now to keep those ups and downs to a very low frequency. Hopefully, no more serious roller coaster emotional upheavals and certainly not with any regularity. I know when I need to back off, I think. Now that we've refinanced and made it possible for me to stay at home if I need to (which was a miracle to accomplish), I feel much less pressured and stressed. I have options. Again, amazing. I put myself at the mercy of others for so long, I forgot how that felt.
Well, all of this said because I believe that I had a bit of a schedule to my days. I am someone who needs a schedule. Plus, it was quiet, and I needed that as much as anything. My other half is now in the last of his four-week vacation, and having him constantly around has played havoc with my pseudo-schedule and my peace of mind! I can't wait for next week to arrive! He's not a horrible person, but it took this long and difficult 10-month journey to make him realize where I was headed. Downhill, very fast. He has begun to realize that he has never given me any support during the decade of difficulties and that he was, in fact, actually one of my difficulties. Sadly, over time, the result was the loss of our closeness. We will never have a true marriage again. He has also finally acknowledged that truth and is, like me, trying to live as friends. It is one of the situations that gives me the most grief. I am a person who needs to give and receive love. Not having that kind of relationship may be my biggest loss of all.
But enough of that. I am tremendously encouraged and almost feel giddy with the progress! I have a peace now that I have not had for a very long time. I think I've managed to put some of the pieces back together. My heart feels lighter, my emotions are positive, I have options, and I am able to not only unlock the door to The Place in which I had taken refuge but to step out into the world.
The Place will probably always be there. I can visit, but maybe I should throw away the key...
(Image is an assemblage from AnAlteredAffair at Etsy and is entitled "A Lock on My Heart."
Friday, July 2, 2010
Woohoo!! I did it! I made it to the end of the week without crashing.
I'm calling the girls. I feel a party coming on, and it doesn't involve tea...
(Image is entitled "Guinness ACEO" and is found at bethberg on Etsy.)