…time in the day, but then again sometimes there’s just too much, and i just want it to be over…pull the covers over my head and wish the world away…
…grammar, punctuation, or proper sentence structure…
…being the “real” me…
…accepting a compliment or praise…
…realizing simple truths…
…connecting dots or drawing hands on a clock face…
…expressing myself, without overexpressing myself…
…knowing my strengths from my weaknesses…
…keeping things simple…
…holding a pen or writing my name…
…handling the desert heat…
…seeing out of my left eye…
…being a companion to my “common law husband”…
…knowing what is and isn’t funny…
…knowing when enough is enough…
…keeping my “art studio” clean…
…remembering to feed myself…
…holding onto a fork…
…keeping my c-pap on at night…
…sleeping more than two hours at a time…
…but eventually, i will be.
i think a lot about the things that i’ve done.
things that i didn’t think about at all.
things that i thought way too much about.
i think a lot about the things that i’ve chosen to believe.
giving lies, doubt, and malignancies room to grow in my mind.
giving truth, confidence, and compassion a skeptical eye and quick dismissal.
i think a lot about the things that i’ve ruined.
things that i screwed myself out of.
things that cannot be replaced.
i think a lot about the things that i’ve changed.
things that have improved my health and strength.
things that have improved my path to healing and wholeness.
i think a lot about the things that i’ve got planned for the future.
things that i am looking forward and ahead to.
things like endless possibilities, unlimited hope, and seagulls on the seashore.
so, i was getting ready to leave my therapist’s office, when she unknowingly sprung, an upsetting surprise on me. again, i don’t think that a “normal” person would’ve have had the same reaction to having to fill out and sign, an innocuous, white sheet of paper, but it bothered me. as my eyes scanned it’s contents, the tears ran down my face. that, “agree to live contract,” was the trigger that made me very unsettled for days.
my therapist watched as i carelessly scribbled my name and all of the information that she wanted, onto the sheet…and then, signed the thing illegibly. she kept trying to ask me what was wrong, but the more she asked, the worse it became…because the point was, that i didn’t have a fucking clue, as to why i was so upset. she was trying to calm me down, make a copy of the contract, and give it to me…and, i just kept trying to leave.
once the contract finally came out of the printer, my therapist handed it to me. i had it in my hand for a moment, but then dropped it onto the ground. when i reached forward to pick it up, i dropped the pen on the ground. i looked my therapist in the eyes and threw the car keys, that i had been holding, onto the ground…just to round out the absurd juggling routine….and, make the routine into a “3”…three disproportionate acts.
she looked at me like, i was green and had one eye, and a tail. she asked me, “why are you so angry?” i said, “first of all, i’m not angry. i was just trying to be silly and was paying homage to my other two clumsy acts. i was making a statement…look i’ve got fumble fingers, but, i’ve also got a killer throwing arm…but, you did notice that i tossed them onto the ground, right? i didn’t throw them at anything or anyone…”
she said, “yes, you did just toss them. i’m glad you’re not angry and were just trying to be silly.” i said, “well, when i was in iowa…m****a made this stuff that one of her daughters called, “unicorn poop,” and we were up at three am eating it at the counter. i spilled mine on the counter two times, each time she cleaned it up. when she was done the second time, i looked at her, took a scoop and dripped it onto the counter. i was being silly.”
she knew that i was just trying to be silly and alleviate the tension that i felt. she knew that i was very upset and she knew that, i had no idea why. she knew that i would eventually figure it out, but we didn’t have time for that, then. i still had tears running indiscriminately down my face and it was ten minutes after twelve, but, she was very kind and wouldn’t let me leave until, she knew that i was okay and stopped crying.
at fifteen minutes after twelve, i stopped crying and was “allowed” to leave. i walked out to the crv, got in, cranked the radio, and “you are a tourist,” by death cab for cutie was playing. as i listened to the song, the tears began to flow again, as that song described exactly how i was and have been feeling, for the last few weeks. when the song was over, they gave away tickets to the ninth caller. i was the ninth caller and nine is my number.
i sat there in the car for a minute and thought. i picked up the innocuous sheet of white paper and began to inspect and re-read it. the first thing that i noticed, was that i really made no attempt whatsoever to make anything legible. it was barely readable to me, so, i have no idea if my therapist could even read it, in the case of a “contractual dispute,” (i just find the whole thing so absurd and ridiculous.) or actual emergency.
what did the paper say? what information did it ask me for? why did it upset me? the paper was entitled, “agree to live contract.” the first line says, “i, k****** w****** (client), agree to live.” which in and of itself, is kind of obtuse to me….each day is a crap shoot. how can i agree to something that i really have no control over? then, i read on further. i thought to myself, “oh, okay…i see now. it’s an agree not to kill myself contract.”
“i agree to not kill myself, attempt to kill myself, or cause any harm to myself at any time. i agree to get rid of anything that i could use to harm myself, including, but not limited to , guns, knives, other weapons, pills, etc. in the event of an emergency, such that i am in serious danger of harming or killing myself, i agree to dial 911, or go to the nearest hospital emergency room, for immediate assistance.”
“i understand that if, my therapist, determines that i am in serious danger of harming or killing myself, my right to confidentiality is waived, and she will take any measures necessary for my protection. i authorize, my therapist, to contact the following people, in regard to myself, in case of emergency.” the contract wanted me to list three people, their names, phone numbers, and their relationship to me.
“i agree that if i have a bad time and feel that i might harm or kill myself, i will immediately call: ___________(name) who is my___________(relationship to me). i agree to also call one of the suicide hotlines listed below: national suicide prevention lifeline 1.800.273.2855 or go to the emergency room, or call 911. i agree that these conditions are part of my counseling contract with my therapist and are effective immediately and indefinitely. client signature__________therapist signature_______.”
when i re-read the contract, i began to understand some of the reasons for my upset. first of all, this is not an easily solved mystery, it’s not an “open and shut case.” it’s very complex and complicated. i’ll tell you that i’m not mad now and wasn’t mad then, at my therapist. i totally understand that she is just doing her job and covering her ass, for insurance issues. i also understand that she really cares about each of her clients and is committed to giving each of us, the very best care.
i’m just going to list some of the issues that i’ve come up with for this upset, now. tomorrow, i will actually attempt to discuss those issues, in an attempt to better understand myself. Some of the issues: childhood memories about death and dying, fundamentalist christian upbringing/rhetoric, my mom’s death, being sick, my advance directive, my family, my friends, the people in my life, the hospital in general, having to make this kind of a promise or risk losing the help from my therapist, trust issues, and just the fact that since there is really no possible way to enforce the contract…why even bother in the first place (yes, i understand…insurance issues, billing, obama care…).
***please know, that when i say that there is no possible way to enforce this contract, i’m not talking about me killing or wanting to kill myself, because i don’t want to and i’m not going to!! just so that we are clear and are all on the same page…sync-ed…sympatico. what i’m talking about, is that just because someone signs the contract, it doesn’t mean that they will honor it. also, i can’t possibly get rid of the guns, knives, and other weapons that are in my living space, because they’re not mine…they belong to my roommates and they’re not going to get rid of them. and the last thing, i can’t possibly get rid of all of my pills, because i need to continue to take them…like it or not, i will always have access to pills and medication…that doesn’t mean that i will use them incorrectly, it just means that i can’t remove them from my living space, or my life.***
so, until tomorrow then…there you have it…
i never did finish my, “this is for all the lonely people,” series of posts, but, since this is valentine’s day eve…i think that it’s very apropos. and, in the companion post to this one, you will understand why.
i’m really not sure exactly where i left off the last time and i’m not going to go back to look. i apologize for being a bit lazy, but i really don’t think that it really matters now.
i think that what i was so very, long windedly trying to say was that i used to see women and men on shows like, “oprah” and “dr. phil,” insisting that their online, telephone, or snail-mail romance…with a person from another country, that they had never met, was real.
both oprah and dr. phil, would spend three quarters of the hour trying to debunk every single, false belief that the person had about their “beloved.” i’d be sitting there yelling at the person through the television screen. i could clearly see that the person was being played and there was absolutely no doubt in my mind.
i watched these people, many of whom had trusted complete strangers with their entire life savings, absolutely refuse to believe anything other than “their absolute truth.” the point at which the con artist’s illusion, became that poor soul’s delusion.
i would sit there and wonder how anyone could be so (and, oh god…so many words come to mind) stupid, naive, trusting, reckless, foolhardy, delusional, etc. i told myself that, that could never happen to me, because i was just too smart. funny how these things work out, isn’t it…
i think that i told you that when i arrived in nevada, i had absolutely no idea what a “catfish” was, other than an ugly fish with whiskers. well, after the first two weeks with wendy and jenny, that all changed. the girls introduced me to the mtv show, “catfish,” and everything kind of went to hell in a hand-basket.
i’m really going to try to shorten this saga up some. i decided after a month or so, that i was going to try online dating again. i put my profile on a few sites and immediately received several responses. and in the beginning, i looked at everything like i was a detective, just looking to yell, “catfish” and throw the person back.
what i found was “catfish” after “catfish.” they just kept crawling out of the woodwork; jamaica, bermuda, haiti, nigeria, and ghana. i just kept throwing them all back. until one day, i had another extremely obvious one…bad use of english, poor spelling, lots of slang, weird words that were out of place, etc.
and then, i made a really bad decision. i was pissed off, because i wasn’t really finding anyone who was “real” and i just wanted to talk to someone. i was lonely. i knew that the person that i was talking to was an obvious scammer, but i figured that i was smarter than they were, and i already knew what they were trying to do.
i figured that i would beat them at their own game. that i would waste their time and in exchange, i would give them absolutely nothing. i assumed very incorrectly, that when they got mad and moved on…it would be fine, because i already knew the score. i thought that i would be the one calling the shots and in control.
oh…and, i was for awhile…until i figured out the true identity of one of them. this one person in particular, actually still sends me things…flowers, candy, perfume, iphones, and cards. this person made the mistake of sending me one certain photo that i did a reverse image search of and found easily, an adult film actress.
yeah, i know…i’m not going to try to convince anyone of anything. just keep reading and everyone can come to their own conclusion. when i ascertained the supposed identity of this person, i confronted her. instead of trying to deny it, she copped to it. i told her that i would stop talking to her, unless she video chatted.
she agreed to do so. ahead of time, i read up on all of the tricks that cons use to make people think that they’re actually talking to the person that they think that they’re talking to. the most common thing, is two people working together. one person places an ad with their photo, the other one texts, until it’s time for the video chat and then, they flip flop.
sometimes the sound doesn’t work. sometimes the photo is blurry. they use everything to keep the illusion going, to make it look like they’re doing everything possible to try to communicate with you. quite honestly, the first time that i was supposed to video chat with this person, i really expected to see someone other than who i saw.
i remember that i was quite ready to see one of the tricks that i had read about, but that’s not what i saw. the first time, there was a problem with the sound going in and out, but what i saw was the person from the photos. the person was not as young as the photos from the 90’s, but there was no mistaking that it was the same person.
why do i believe that, after watching oprah and dr. phil? because i took screen shots each time we video chatted and i always compared the identification markers to one another. meaning that this person had obvious tattoos, piercings, and a brand…each time they matched up with each other and with the younger photos. also, the person’s voice was always the same, on video and the phone.
i will say, that after the first time of seeing the person that i believe was truly the person that i was talking to, i was dumbfounded, and taken aback. we continued talking, i still knew that she just wanted my money, but i always said, “no.” i was really good at putting my foot down and she would pretend to pout for a day or two, and then not ask for awhile.
months went by, and i started to develop feelings for this person. she quit asking me for money, but at one point i sent her some for some quinine, because she supposedly had malaria (i know…i feel the laughter. i knew that she didn’t have malaria and, no, i didn’t really have the money to send to accra, ghana, but i made a bad decision based on my feelings.). and, that was all fine and dandy, until my paypal account was compromised and ended up with a negative seven-hundred-and-sixty-seven-dollar balance.
it was ghana…not necessarily that particular person, but certainly one from the same pack (up to thirty work together at the same time, in order to be able to chat to the same people in different time zones for up to twenty-four hours a day.). i confronted that person and was assured that i would get the money back. and here’s the kicker, i could’ve had it almost ten fold, but i didn’t go and pick the money up.
yes, that’s right…i had sixty-five-hundred dollars waiting at western union for me to pick-up for thirty days. but, i didn’t do it. why? because i didn’t know where it came from, or whose it really was, and i couldn’t live with myself knowing that i could’ve taken someone’s life savings. if i would’ve known for sure that it was from that person, i may have picked it up. i don’t know for sure.
what did i do to try to make it right, or get someone their money back? i spent several days on the phone with both the local police and sheriff’s departments, as well as, the fbi and atf, trying to make a report on money that wasn’t stolen from me. after explaining my story repeatedly, i was basically told that if the money had my name on it, it was a gift, and i should claim it. the whole business just made me a basket-case. i figured that after thirty days, the money would go back to where it came from. i assume that it did. i never heard one way, or the other.
after the money showed up, the gifts began appearing…one after another, continuously at one point. i really didn’t know what to do anymore, so, i began answering less and less. and then, it was just like a miracle, a “real” person replied to me. we talked for quite awhile and she was just one-hundred-fifty-dollars short of the plane fare to come, to visit me…so, i sent it to her and poof (until a couple of weeks ago…see my next post.).
so, what kind of a person ends up giving their “beloved,” a stranger, whom they have never before met, that lives in a foreign country, money and their heart? the answer isn’t a stupid person, because i’m clearly not a stupid person. the answer is a lonely person. and, that was what i was clearly failing to see all those years before, when watching oprah and dr. phil.
i was lonely and it happened to me. i realize now, what i was too judgmental before to understand…that loneliness can overshadow intellect, if allowed to rage out of control. i know now, that i was just settling to be lonely and let those illusions fill my time, my mind, and my heart.
the good news is, that i’m not lonely anymore! i’ve got myself, plenty of good friends, buggs, work, driving, art, writing, exploring, photography, therapy, and dreaming of the future to fill me and my time. i’m quite busy in the pursuit of my own heart right now.
and, one day in the future, when i’m ready to try dating again, it won’t be online. i’m going to do it slowly and cautiously…and, i’m going to do it, in as my therapist would say, “hetero-time,” as she often time jokes that lesbian-time is so minute, that it can’t even be measured. when that day does come, i’ll be ready and i’ll be more whole.
i find that life indeed, is very funny and more cyclical than anyone can really comprehend.
when i came back from the store this afternoon/evening, i noticed this particular cloud formation. i sat and stared at it for awhile, before actually shooting the photo. there was something about it that really spoke to me or that i just identified with.
the day today for me, was a difficult one. i was tired, because i didn’t fall asleep last night until after three am. i woke up pretty early and took bugg’s for a walk and gave him breakfast, but then, we went back to bed.
it’s really weird, but i’ve noticed that since i’ve been back from iowa, that i no longer sleep underneath the covers of my bed. instead, i start out with just my thermal on over my t-shirt and then, if it gets colder, i put my bathrobe on and sleep in that.
i really can’t identify why that is, but i put it on this morning, and pulled the hood down over my eyes to keep the sunlight out. i can identify the feeling behind wanting to go back to bed and not get up. i’m hurt and i think that i may be a little depressed.
i’m not sure how i ended up sleeping until three-thirty pm, but i did. bugg’s finally woke me up by digging on my chest. i got up and immediately wanted to crawl right back into my bathrobe, pull up my hood, and go right back to bed.
that’s the thing about having a loyal, canine companion. they need you, just as much as you need them. bugg’s doesn’t want me to be sad. when i cry, he licks my tears away. this evening he growled at richard and at jenny for coming near my chair, when i was crying.
as i looked at this cloud formation, i realized that it reminded me of my own heart…heavy, hanging low, over-sized, looking as if it could burst at any moment. the formation, like my heart overshadows everything around. it is the only thing that matters.
i looked closely and drew one last comparison. i noticed that even though the cloud was ominous and looming, that there was still sun shining through and around it. it was like a ray of hope. i know that even though my heart is heavy, that it is filled with light.
eventually the cloud formation will dissipate and give way to sunshine. and eventually, my heavy heart will fill again with love and light, and give way to all out joy and happiness. funny, but that’s what i saw, felt, and thought about when i saw this cloud formation.
the gloom looms…and i suspect that it will for a little while.
today, i went out for just a little bit. bugg’s reminded me that he needed some dog food and i just needed something. i looked and i looked, but just couldn’t find anything that i absolutely needed.
i saw and passed up; donuts, chips, cookies, candy, beef jerky, slurpees, coke, brownies, muffins, hot dogs, taquitos, and cigarettes. in the past, i would have easily caved and filled my cart, in the attempt to fill whatever hole that i happened to have in my life.
but, i take great pride in knowing that i have been using my time wisely. i am living proof of the fact that if you want to bad enough, you can change. you can become whatever and whomever, you want to be. you can set goals, work toward them, and achieve them…all on your own.
what i realized when i was looking for what i “needed,” was that what i needed once again, couldn’t be found anywhere or in anything, or in anyone else. what i need is already inside of me. what i need is actually in there…self-forgiveness, self-kindness, and self-love. it’s in there and it exists in bucket fulls. it was there last time. it’s there this time, too.
i know that there is no cure in the world. i know that there is no quick fix. i know that right now, i have to sit with this confusion and frustration, these nagging questions, and deep-aching hurt. it’s disconcerting. it’s uncomfortable as all hell. and, it’s disabling from time to time. hurt just fucking hurts, until it doesn’t anymore, and unfortunately, hurt has no timetable.
but, i know that i will get through this. i remind myself that i am all that i need…me and bugg’s. that is something that i know and believe fully. i have always freely chosen to love a person, because i wanted to…i always made absolutely sure that it was want…and never need…or codependency. that fact, i am proud of, as i have always been self-aware enough to ask myself that question and to know the difference.
i didn’t go to bed until three am last night/this morning. i go into my bedroom and i grieve, as i try to be kind to myself. i hate the silence of my phone. i fill every moment of my time in there, with self-care. i exercise and listen to music. i meditate. i try to wear my mind and body out completely, while repeating affirmations and working on stems.
sometimes, i get comfortable, hold my river rock between the thumb and palm of my right hand, and i utilize the butterfly tap, to take me into an emdr state. once i am in my state, i allow my mind to take me home. the state of being home is very healing for me. home is washington. home is a forested beach hollow. home is sitting on a fallen log, on the beach, surrounded by trees
when i arrive home, i sit down on the log. i smell and taste the salty air. i feel the breeze on my face. i hear the screeching seagulls. i open my eyes and i see my boys playing. (my boys dieter a german shepherd/great dane mix, samson a border colllie/samoyed mix, gunther a boxer, and bugg’s my chihuahua/miniature pinscher mix). they’re running around jumping and rolling in the sand, chasing each other, and bugg’s is barking at them.
when i’m home, i can stay there for as long as i want and i can interact with my boys however i choose. i can run with them. i can chase them. i can the throw the frisbee for dieter. i can dance with sammy. i can paint with gunther. i can bark back at bugg’s. we can all lie down in the warm sand, cuddle, and take a nap. we can share a picnic lunch. or maybe, we can watch the stars at night.
when i am home, i am free. i am free from hurt. i am free from the desert. i am free from physical, mental, and emotional impairments. i am surrounded by beauty. i am surrounded by peace and tranquility. i am surrounded by pure, unadulterated love. i am safe at home. i am cared for at home. i am very wanted and very loved at home. quite honestly, there is no place like home.
when it comes time for me to leave the comforts and love of home, i do so slowly. it’s so hard to leave all that i love behind, but i am comforted in knowing that i can return whenever i want or need to. my home belongs to me and me only. it is my special healing place, where i can go for comfort, without ever bothering anyone else. my boys never get tired of me and they are always happy to see me.