Posts tagged with "friends"

tin cans and string for years

Man can­not remake him­self with­out suf­fer­ing, for he is both the mar­ble and the sculp­tor.

—Alexis Carrel

I’ve been dis­cov­er­ing that I don’t know how to take care of myself. Not in a prac­ti­cal, every­day sense, but a cog­ni­tive one. Consistent psy­cho­log­i­cal abuse dur­ing my for­ma­tive years meant I nev­er had the chance to devel­op some impor­tant life skills, like how to nur­ture my emo­tion­al needs, how to make mis­takes, and how to view myself with­out judg­ment. The poi­son was in the wound, you see, and the wound would­n’t heal.

So far I’ve just start­ed rec­og­niz­ing these issues in ther­a­py, and it all makes me feel dam­aged and defec­tive, like­ly why I’ve been hid­ing these parts of my life from oth­ers for so long. But I’ve been hid­ing them from myself most of all. It’s hard to go through the painful but nec­es­sary process of griev­ing when I’m alone; always eas­i­er to ignore things and keep going.

I asked Tiana to help me through this, cause now I know I can’t do it by myself. It was­n’t easy. Even the sim­ple idea of ask­ing for help makes me anx­ious. People who’ve had major roles in my life have hurt me or let me down in a very sig­nif­i­cant way, so trust­ing oth­ers has always been hard, and I’ve avoid­ed being vul­ner­a­ble for so long because of that.

Luckily, Tiana respond­ed the way I need­ed her to, and it’s been a great com­fort to give myself up to some­one I can trust. To be able to cry in front of a per­son with­out feel­ing guilty about my emo­tions or how I’m mak­ing them feel. To be able to talk to some­one who’s recep­tive and atten­tive and gen­tle and car­ing and appre­ci­ates my open­ness as well. To be the lit­tle spoon, cause every­one needs to be held some­times. She lets me let go, and for the first time, I’ve been able to sur­ren­der myself ful­ly and still believe that I’ll be okay. I can sigh with relief instead of sad­ness.

These are still baby steps though, and the whole process is ter­ri­fy­ing. My sense of con­trol is what makes me feel safe, even if it’s detri­men­tal to my growth, and I’m still learn­ing how to give that up. But I tell myself it’s progress nonethe­less, which is what I need now.

a heavier dose

I’ve been try­ing to stay vocal about my needs, lest I fall back into old life traps and defence mech­a­nisms. It means I’m still apply­ing lessons learned from last year, still try­ing to be open even if it means being vul­ner­a­ble.

As far as I can tell, this has been work­ing in my favour. Otherwise, Seth would­n’t be com­ing over on Saturday to teach me how to play the acoustic ver­sion of Sean Rowe’s Jonathan, one of those songs I’ve always want­ed to learn before I die.

As a side-effect, it’s been a strug­gle to bal­ance my rela­tion­ship needs with over­stim­u­la­tion. The oth­er night we smoked an apéri­tif in the car before spend­ing three hours gorg­ing our­selves on all-you-can-eat sushi, learn­ing that the small but sig­nif­i­cant priv­i­leges of our class come in plates of bite-sized fat­ty pro­tein made to order. Then we watched the entire first sea­son of Tim and Eric, Awesome Show! Great Job, and played Magic until 4:30 in the morn­ing.

It left me burnt out and I must have lost two days, yet it still feels like I don’t have enough nights like that, shar­ing real moments with peo­ple who don’t per­pet­u­al­ly have some­where else to be or some­one else to see. I need more of those times in my every­day life, not just in the days marked on my cal­en­dar.

merry x-mas

Julia asked me how long I’d been spend­ing Christmas at their house. We fig­ured out this was the sev­enth year, cause I have pic­tures of Ginger from 2005, before she died. I can’t say I remem­ber each Christmas dis­tinct­ly, aside from a few extra faces and occa­sion­al make­outs that cause some to stand out more than oth­ers. It’s strange to think that I’ve known Braiden for more than half his life. I per­pet­u­al­ly think of him as being sev­en.

The Rogers'

The kids are get­ting old­er, no longer up at 5am and anx­ious­ly wait­ing by the presents until they’re allowed to wake up the par­ents. The idea of Santa has long been dis­pelled. Braiden’s giv­en up being a cen­tre for goalie, lost his post-sea­son scruff cut, and at 13 is only an inch short­er than me. Nicole’s done most of her grow­ing and will be legal in four months, but at the age where she’s still some­one’s daugh­ter instead of her own woman. Julia’s sport­ing a new voice and pierc­ing, but has kept all the sass that comes with being the mid­dle child.

Continue read­ing “mer­ry x‑mas”…

going out in style

Cause I want to has been the rea­son for every­thing late­ly.

I start­ed to under­stand how we’re all dying in the Silvia Plath sense of the word, so I decid­ed I might as well go out in style. Vonnegut got it right with his Pall Malls, though I choose not to add tobac­co to the mix.

Magic draft

Steve draws some­thing real­ly good or real­ly bad.

I quite con­sis­tent­ly get my ass kicked at the drafts that Seth hosts, his crew always being made up of vet­er­an play­ers. The advan­tage is that I always walk away hav­ing learned a thing or two, and get­ting enough new cards to build on a con­cept is a nice lit­tle bonus. If some­one told me I’d be spend­ing mon­ey on a col­lec­table card game at this age, I nev­er would have believed it.

Magic has been keep­ing me busy in a good way. It’s nev­er just about play­ing, it’s also about being around friends, and the cama­raderie, and get­ting fat on Steph’s amaz­ing meals. Those are exact­ly the things I need in my life.

pho and spring rolls

#1, beef rare, every time.

The red bean ice is a treat I don’t get often enough.

It was hard bal­anc­ing my time around oth­ers and the time I need­ed alone. I have needs that require the com­pa­ny of cer­tain peo­ple, and when I’m try­ing to meet those needs, that often leaves me feel­ing very over­stim­u­lat­ed. The exhaus­tion had been giv­ing me flare-ups, not to men­tion headaches that dulled the sens­es and elo­quence.

Now I have some breath­ing room, and a chance to do all the lit­tle things I’d been too occu­pied to han­dle, like catch­ing up with peo­ple I haven’t seen in a while, get­ting the car fixed (from $9k worth of hail dam­age), fil­ing my tax­es (from two years ago), chang­ing the strings on my uke to high‑G tun­ing, or just watch­ing a movie. I’m still in night mode though, where I tend to get the most done after 10pm, and I find myself staving off sleep to do just one more thing.

root beer float

Root beer floaaaaaaaaaaaaat.

I want to trav­el some­where, cause it feels like it’s time to step out of my com­fort zone again. I haven’t made enough of my own expe­ri­ences and mem­o­ries for too long. But I’m in too unsta­ble a place right now, and I prob­a­bly will be for at least anoth­er year or so. Ironic that it’s insta­bil­i­ty I crave. It’s left me won­der­ing what I should be explor­ing here.

let's leave these rusted old folks back in the city

It’s been too long since we took a ride togeth­er. Too long since some­one else was at the wheel and I got to score the pass­ing Canadian fields with my new favourite songs. Too long since I saw the old crew and filmed them land­ing aeri­als on the farm.

two dogs in a car

We dri­ve through love­ly lit­tle vil­lages I’d nev­er want to live in but always think of vis­it­ing some day. They’re too small for com­ic book stores and decent Chinese food and any pos­si­bil­i­ty of get­ting lost, but big enough to hold the hopes of any­one who ever want­ed to build a life for them­selves in a qui­et com­mu­ni­ty full of old-world charm and decay. The tiny econ­o­my based on tourism from an annu­al coun­try music fes­ti­val or his­toric school will make sure it stays like this for­ev­er.

Continue read­ing “let’s leave these rust­ed old folks back in the city”…