“Caring is Creepy” ~ The Shins

“Cardinals mate for life”, I recall him saying as I smile and watch the feathery couple bounce across my backyard, my dog and cat mutually disinterested.
And that is the word for him: Disinterested.
I thanked G-d for him too, literally. Just a few months ago, I thanked G-d for bringing a someone into my home who would be a friend, assist me with chores made difficult by my wavering health, he even said he would dance with me. I didnt ask, he offered. He set my expectations so how can I be at fault for believing? Innocent until proven guilty, truth until proven false. I especially trusted him because he also served and veterans generally dont fuck over other veterans. Be patient, my mother advised me. He was going through a divorce and a rough rebound. His head isnt screwed on straight, we agreed. Still, he disappeared for 2 months. Not a word to ask how I felt, how the latest surgery went. Nothing. I finally text him to ask “Do you still live here?” If I were a landlord, his shit would have been in the street. But I wanted a friend, not a tenant. He knew that.
He apologized, said I was “right about everything” and he would make it up to me, we would be friends. The first week, he did make an effort. We hung out, watched movies, talked, laughed, drank wine… but then he disappeared. Into his room without explanation. For two days, I hear his phone, text and email alerts, going off every few minutes at all hours. It’s maddening. As an empath (I dont know how to shut off the “give a fuck” no matter how often I read tips on Shielding) I continued to knock on his door and ask how he was, try to coax him out. He eventually got frustrated and “I’ll be out of here in 15 minutes” he announced as I stood there stunned. Later, he text to ask if he could stay through the month and be out in August. I”m not an asshole so I agreed although it’s difficult for me to share my pesonal safe space with someone who is not my friend, and I told him that.
Today he announced he’s moving to Atlanta, his apartment will be ready Monday. Total abandonment and a few months rent-free storage. He realizes it but just as my “Give a Fuck” wont turn off, his wont turn back on. So I wished him well and said if he regained his humanity later, to feel free to look me back up and re-friend me on Facebook. I’ll probably never hear from him again.
Less than 2 weeks between (what appeared to be a sincere, determined) “We WILL be friends” and “I’m leaving”.
I had a nightmare last Sunday night too. THe worst I’ve had in over a year. I went to bed happy after a dance and woke up 5 hours later screaming into my pillow, wishing to G-d I had someone to hold me. He was being reclusive in his room and I tried to coax him out. Of course, I’m too proud to call a friend or ask for help but here was this “friend” 10 steps away and I wanted him to come out. Hang out. Talk to me. Watch a movie, have a glass of wine and laugh like we did two nights earlier. A friendly distraction. But he only got irritated and left the house.
So I pushed him out. The “needy roomate” has a bad dream and wants a hug but I’m not on his short-list of people he cares about. But his phone goes off every few minutes with an incoming text or email to which he readily responds. That nightmare clung to me for two days. I hovered on the verge of a panic attack and was late to work, distracted, irritable, kept disappearing to the bathroom to cry. Granted, I’m surrounded by cohorts with some degree of PTSD but what do you say when they catch you red-eyed? I had a nightmare.
I feel so stupid. To be this upset, to feel so rejected and abandoned by someone who I hardly knew, even after 5 years of social media acquaintance and the shared venn diagram of social circles. Not “as advertised” certainly. But I was emotionally invested. Hey Empaths, how do YOU shut off your “give a fuck”? Can you? I’m not asking G-d to make me different in this sense, but some control would be nice. Like faucet valves, adjusting to a comfortable emotional temperature rather than being scalded or numb. Balance? Shielding? Advice?

Popular advice is to surround yourself with only positive people, cut negativity out of your life entirely. Isn’t that selfish? Everyone can’t be “up” all the time. Mother Teresa had bad days, years in fact. Would you cut a good person out of your life to save yourself? But because of this thought, I tell myself “Don’t call for help. Don’t bring anyone down with you.” So I hold it in (or spill it here, to an anonymous audience of none). Is that healthy? Somehow, I think not…

Hey but the good news is, I can return to walking around the house naked.

“My thoughts were so loud, I couldnt hear my mouth…” ~Modest Moust

“I still haven’t gotten anywhere that I want.
Did I want love? Did I need to know?
Why does it always feel like I’m caught in an undertow?

The moths beat themselves to death against the lights.
Adding their breeze to the summer nights.
Outside, water like air was great.
I didn’t know what I had that day.
Walk a little farther to another plan.
You said that you did, but you didn’t understand.

I know that starting over is not what life’s about.
But my thoughts were so loud I couldn’t hear my mouth.
My thoughts were so loud I couldn’t hear my mouth.
My thoughts were so loud…”

Just days after surgery, what did I expect? A miracle, I admit. But even after plucking a rogue, swollen parathyroid gland from my chest where it had migrated, nothing has changed. Nothing. I dont feel better, improved. It could take weeks, they said. It may not even work, is what they didnt say but I had read.

So I wait with a fresh scar across my thickening neck.

I dropped off Facebook for a bit. Needed to. I found myself resentful of the health and happiness of others. Everyone has someone, it seemed. I struggle alone in this house. I finally got a new roommate but he wasnt as advertised. He’s never around and he’s not a friend. He ran off to Atlanta to be with his on-again rebound, a thin, age-innappropriate 20-something bitch in every sense. And this Ive learned from him. But he ‘loves’ her inexplicably and unconditionally. Fool for a young, pretty face. Do I sound jealous? Maybe I am. I want someone to care about me. I may not have been happy but I was at least content before he moved in. He bleeds what little energy I have left and generally, of no conscious doing of his own, makes me feel worse about myself. He is an emotional vampire and I generally suck at shielding because I cant stop caring about those who dont care back. So it’s better that he’s not around. But he didnt even bother to send a message to ask how surgery went. As I said, not a friend.

Thank G-d I have one or two close friends who check in on me daily, ask how I’m feeling, just remind me that I am in their thoughts. Still, I could use some physical help. An extra set of strong hands. Someone to tackle the back yard with the lawnmower. Or just to take those strong hands, place them on my cramped, pained shoulders and PUSH DOWN HARD. Like an anti-shrug. Not a massage. Nerve damage means massages feel like a hornets nest that has been kicked under my skin. But firm pressure to break up the tightly woven fascia or a bear hug to crack the part of my back that I cant reach would be nice. Really, just a hug in general might be nice. Shit, I’d probabaly start sobbing like a baby if anyone touched me.

I was always a caretaker. Working the pressure points in the FOot, scalp, hand, back. I miss having someone to take care of but these days, I wish I had someone to take care of me. Someone who doesnt ask but just “does”. Because I dont ask for help.

There are several dance events this weekend and I was hopeful but I know now that was overly ambitious. I still hurt. I’m still weak, exhausted and in a fog. Coherence is still a challenge. I get frustrated and depressed in my failure to communicate effectively so I shut down, too tired to continue trying. I could die here and it would be days before anyone realized it. Here she lies: uninspired, she just gave up. Because she didnt care enough about herself to push her way out of bed. And then what? Go where? Do what? What doesnt HURT?

Dont tell me to stop feeling sorry for myself. It’s already on the menu. Self pity is the gravy over the self-loathing that I feel. Or is it the other way around?

I didnt want to live to be old enough not to wipe my own ass but neither did I think I would fizzle out like this. I couldnt watch “Seven POunds” the other night. I read the synopsis though. Then I asked my mother how long a body had postmortem before it’s parts were cooked and unusable. Not long at all. In fact, unless you die in the hospital (or a bathtub full of ice while on the line with 911), there isnt much that can be recycled. And for a moment I had this comforting thought that I would leave nothing wasted but my fingernails.

G-d, and the boredom…I catch myself staring at the floor wondering if I can knock out just 2 push ups without the sutures tearing out of my neck. I don’t take kindly to limitations.

Low-grade pain is a constant current that never disappears completely. Like water dripping on your forehead ceaselessly, it’s maddening. It saps your desire to do anything but go back to sleep.

Sleep. Or company. I havent got the latter so I’ll choose the former.

(N) ever After

My heart is dust. Dropped and shattered over and over by countless, careless hands. Careless men who couldn’t care less Whether I saw another sunrise. The victim left to bleed out, still wondering if somehow I had asked for it? Did the chemicals or The Chemist betray me? Fleeting and fickle, his attention and care. A drop on my parched tongue, hardly seems fair. My conscience is clear. But my heart is still dust.

What is beyond pathetic? Crying when you masterbate. I cant get off thinking about anyone but him and when I think about him, I start crying.

And I sing myself to sleep sometimes. A self soothing mechanism sadder than a grown woman sucking her thumb. I thought I would sing my children to sleep someday. I also thought I would wake up beside the one G-d blessed me with to love and cherish and be loved and cherished in return.

What a fairy tale scam. Love, fidelity, G-d, Ever After, all of it.  Just a fucking scam.

“Your mess is mine…” ~Vance Joy

I woke to a heavy heart. Dreamt of him. Not a good dream. I wish I didn’t remember my dreams so vividly because they play out in my head all day like a memory of something real.

I compare my moods to a game of shuffle board: I’m hung up on a feeling until something else–good or bad– comes along to knock that original feeling out of the way or push it deeper into my psyche.

I hate December.

My thoughts are racing so much these days!

I’m up!

I’m enjoying the sight of my Hooker Tree ( a hot pink tinsel Christmas Tree loaded down with sci-fi geekery) with a kitschy blue electric menorah burning beside it in the window.

Then I plunge: He goes home in a week and a half. I have one weekend left with him. And I panic. My stomach lurches and my heart feels like its trying to break my ribs.

Happy thoughts! I tell myself. I brew decaf coffee (with my anxiety, I can’t have caffeine anymore) and the smell soothes me. I light candles and open the back patio door to let the fresh chilly air purge the funk that I am releasing into my environment. I buy a few gifts online for my family.

Then I look at my phone. Nothing from him today. So attentive when we are together but when we are not…Last weekend as I got in my car, he leans in through the window to kiss me and says “Love you, drive safe.” I started because Im the one with the bleeding heart, always dropping the “L” bomb on him. He hasnt said it to me. But this was a slip of habit, I know. Like him hugging a family member (or his clinically insane wife) and the automatic, obligatory “love you, drive safe” comes out. He probably didnt even realize he let it slip out and if he did, he probably thought “Crap, hope she didnt catch that”. But what I wouldnt give for him to say those words on purpose.

I’m up! We’re drinking cheap wine, eating pizza and laughing. He’s such a lightweight! Two glasses of wine and he’s giggling like a girl. We’re in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do but hang out and watch movies. And it’s wonderful! Until the crazy starts pouring in again on his phone.

He has more baggage than anyone I’ve ever met. I try to be strong, I want him to lean on me, but he hates that I internalize his problems. But that’s what happens when you care about someone. You want to help and when they hurt, you hurt.

Because of this, he makes no promises. He doesnt talk about a future of ‘we’. He focuses on the now. He has to: Custody battle first, then divorce, then the next career move then…what? It’s not that he doesnt consider the future, he doesnt consider the future with me as a factor, as a Major Player in his life. Or if he does, the doesnt tell me. He just doesnt want to let me down. Or get my hopes up.
I told him, “Remember when I said I had no expectations and would be content if we came out of this as friends? I lied. I cant be your friend. I still have no expectations but I DO have hope.”

And I’m down. He’s not even gone yet but if this is a precursor–a taste– of the despair that is to follow when he leaves soon…G-d help me.

We both need something good to happen in our lives. Just give us ONE solid “win” on the board.